Friday, July 31, 2009

Emsbossing How-to

One of my favorite things about Wedding planning is all of the fun new DIY projects I get to take on. I never really thought of buying an embossing tool and wasn't much of a stamp person, until the wedding plnning began. Through Weddingbee, I have been introduced to Paper Source and have found so many cute stamps and inks, but I wanted to take it to the next level. Enter embossing. My new favorite form of crafting. I love it because I am already a scrapbooker and card maker, so embossing will really add more to projects I already love doing.

Step 1:
Using a slow drying ink, stamp your image onto the paper/surface.

Step 2:
Pour on the embossing powder. Make sure to do this right after applying the ink.

Tip: I just dumped it on, I used alot at a time because in the end, I just poured the excess back in the container to save for next time.
Step 3:
Remove excess embossing powder.

Tip: Make sure large excess areas are completely removed, especially when using colored or glittered powders. I had extra on a couple when I went to heat and they ended up staying on the paper.

Step 4:
Using a heat embossing tool, heat the powder. Make sure to have the tool about 2-3 inches away from the paper and do not over heat! I burned a couple papers that were either overheated or heated to closely causing a bit of smoke and singed paper.

Tip: Embossing tools sometimes smoke, which is common, according to the box of the tool I purchased.
Step 5:
Turn off the embossing tool! I tend to forget to turn things off, or just think I didn;t turn them off, like my straightner. Luckily heat embossers make a noise so it's a good reminder to turn it off. Once the tool is off let it cool before storing it.

I've become obsessed with embossing, what's your favorite craft?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

DIY Thank You Cards

My sister and I both love to craft and make things super personal. With her job, she doesn't really have the time to do those fun projects most brides get to do. So as part of her shower gift, I decided that I'd make her Thank You cards that go with the theme of her shower.

I know she will be super busy around the time of her shower, but will want to get her thank yous out soon after. So they'll be ready to go. It will save her time from finding or making her own. I'm also excited to make them because she is the one who introduced me to card making. I have been a huge scrapbooker for years, but it wasn't until I was home for college break one year that she decided we should make all of our Christmas cards. After that holiday season, I was hooked. It's been a few years since we started and I was so excited to make these, because this is where my new crafting love came in to play- embossing!

  • Heat Embosser- $12.00 (approx.) with 40% coupon from A.C. Moore
  • Thank you stamp- $9.00 from PaperSource
  • White Ink- $3.60 at 40% off Sale at A.C. Moore
  • Glittery Embossing Powder- $3.95 from Paper Source
  • 3 packs A6 pool folded cards- $18.00 from Paper Source
  • 6 packs A6 pool envelopes- $21.00 from Paper Source
  • 3- 64 pack Adhesive Pearls- $10.50 from Paper Source
  • Silver Ink- $3.60 at 40% off Sale at A.C. Moore
  • Silver Embossing Powder- $3.95 from Papersource
  • White Printer Paper- $0, my mom gave it to me
  • Diamond rubber stamp- $0, I had this left over from projects for my engagement party, I think it goes for around $5/6 at A.C. Moore, I bought it for 40% off at the time
  • Scissors- $0 on hand
  • Pencil for tracing- $0 on hand

For 60 thank you cards, Grand Total: $85.60

Cost per card: $1.04

*There were also 15 extra cards, no envelopes since I didn't do the math right, which aren't included in the totals. I realized after making them, that the cards came in 25 packs (therefor 75 cards) and the envelopes in 10 packs (therefor 60). So after making them all, I realized she'll have about 13 extra, since I messed up on two.

I have to remind myself that these would cost significantly less, if I had the tools already. All future projects will be much cheaper, since I have the tools and the ink and embossing powder left over. Luckily my sister and I are the first of my friends to get married. These stamps and tools will be put to lots of good use!
Here they are boxed up and ready to be gifted:

Have you done any surprise craft projects for the bride to be, while you were a bridesmaid?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Photo Fun

Miss Piglet, of Weddingbee did an awesome post on Photoscape, which is a free photo editing software. When I first read her post, I had been debating whether or not to purchase Photoshop. I had it on my computer until it broke and I completely lost Photoshop. I really didn't want to spend the money on the program, but I loved being able to edit all my photos.

When I saw Miss Piglet's post and saw the word free, I figured why not give it a try? Well after editing multiple photos, I give this product two thumbs up. It is super easy to use. I feel like it is a little more basic than Photoshop, but that's all I really need.

I had fun editing photos from a few recent events, but it was really cool to use with our engagement pictures. I loved the way our photographer had edited the photos, but it was fun to be able to zoom in on a couple of pictures and play around with them to get a whole new effect.
Here are a few of my experiments:
After cropping and blurring: (I think blurring leaves a dreamy effect)
A different approach: I changed it to black and white and increased the blurring, making the "Love is Life" graffitti, the focal point.
After: Cropping and black and white effect
After: Sepia Tone, this one reminds me of a vintage postcardBefore:
After: Cropping, it was fun to zoom in and see our facial expressions on different shots

Have you used any photo editing software? Which one do you think is the best?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bridesmaid Inspiration

Has anyone ever noticed that there are a ton of wedding magazines and wedding websites, but there really aren't any sites that are great references for bridesmaids? Most sites have bridesmaid sections, but I'd like more. Being a first time bridesmaid, I have a really hard time finding resources. I have ended up using typical wedding resources, but there just isn't much geared specifically towards bridesmaids. It would be awesome to have a place to go and chat with other bridesmaids, have shower and bachelorette ideas and inspiration. I wonder if something like that would actually work? Do you think a lot of bridesmaids actually put a lot of time and effort into researching ideas for these events? Have you done a lot of research when you were a bridesmaid?

Well while I think of that, I thought I'd share some of the places I go to for bridesmaid inspiration:

1. Hostess with the Mostess:

I love this site because it gives ideas for tabletop, decor, photo inspiration, you can also search for recipes. The Entertaining section gives hostessing tips, such as how to set a table. It's great not just for Bridal shower inspiration, but also baby showers, holiday parties and more.
The photo below is from the "Something Blue" Bridal Shower.
2. Weddingbee: I pretty much go to Weddingbee for anything wedding related and that includes bridesmaid tips. I like going to the Wiki to look up shower games and ideas, or search bridal shower and see what I come up with. It's fun to see showers the bee's post because they always tend to be real creative.

I loved this one posted by Miss Duckling, the Shower was a "perfect pair" theme. I love all the shoe details. 3. Martha Stewart: I think Martha is the queen of crafting and entertaining, so she is always an obvious choice when it comes to party planning and creative ideas.

If you search "Bridal Shower", many articles and photos will come up. Like the one below in the pink Bridal Shower gallery:

4. The Partea Planner: This site is so fun for Tea party inspiration. I love all the details, so it can also be inspiring or non-tea events, too.

Here is a party she did for a Birthday:

Where do you go for Bridesmaid inspiration, whether it be tips, bridal shower or bachelorette related?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Planning Interruption

My planning is going to be pretty non-existent for the next couple of months....mainly due to Sister Newport's wedding plans. One of the resons I had a two year engagement was to allow time for her planning too. It would have been too much if we had our weddings in the same year and boy were we right. Her planning is kicking into high gear with a few months left to go.

Since I won't have much to share related to my wedding, I'm planning on including lots of plans, inspiration and experiences from Sister Newport's!
So here's a little background:

Last year, for the first time, I was asked to be a bridesmaid. Not just any bridesmaid, but the Maid of Honor. I was beyond excited. I had never been part of a wedding party, although I had always loved the idea of it. I love planning parties, creating diy projects, and spending time with my friends. Being a bridesmaid has always seemed like a dream job to me.

Last year, when my sister's fiance popped the question. My wish to be part of a bridal party finally came true. I have spent the last year helping to plan the details, lend a listening ear, help with diy projects, choose music, visit venodrs and take part in all that a Maid of Honor should.
My sister is my best friend and helping with her plans has been so exciting and fun for the both of us. I wish we had started a log of how many hours we have spent together during the planning process. Now that there are only a few months left to the big day, our bonding moments are greatly increasing. I don't think a week goes by with out an appointment or project.

Just for some background, my sister and I are four years apart, although more than once we have been asked if we are twins. We are completely different, but have some things in common-one being crafting. We love being creative and trying new techniques. Right now we pretty much like to scrapbook and make cards, but I think wedding planning will push us to be more creative. We both love to plan, but in different ways. She is more of a planning manager, and I tend to be the detailed oriented one. Which is great, since she sees the big picture and I think of the little things.

Beyond our similarities, we are totally different which causes our ideas to clash often. She is a world traveler, and I'm the homebody. She is a shopaholic with fantastic taste, I can't figure out how to match my shirt and shoes. She is an avid sports fan, I'm more of a movie fanatic. She thinks with her head, I think with my heart. We are completely different, yet somehow have managed to become best friends.

With just a few months left, planning is starting to heat up and I can't wait to share all of our experiences with you!

Has anyone else had to take a major break in planning?

Catholic Encounters

I have heard over and over again how complicated it is to get married in the Catholic Church. We somewhat experienced this, but realized over the weekend, it's probably only hard if you don't regularly attend church or are marrying outside your own church.

It literally took us months to find a church in RI that was willing to marry us. We had to agree that our hometown church would sign off on the paperwork, which we were worried about since we no longer attend on a regular basis. We kind of pushed this off for awhile. Then this weekend, we finally met with the pastor at my childhood parish.

He was so welcoming and friendly. I explaiend that I had attended the church growing up. He didn't really ask too many questions. He let us know he'd help with whatever we needed. All he asks is that we start attending regularly and stay for the entire mass. His biggest pet peeve is parishoners leaving after communion, which is about 2 minutes before the whole service ends. Thats a pretty small requirement after all the troubles we were expecting.

This weekend left us with a big sigh of relief. All we have left to do regarding the church is to sign up for and take pre-cana, then have the pastor write the letter to our church in RI, then we're all set. Things look like they are going to work out!

Did something end up being easier than you expected during your planning process?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Love is Life

The Cliffwalk is a Newport toursit must see, which also happens to go along Salve's campus. Mr. Newport and I spent many walks on the cliffwalk, so it was a must on our list for engagement pictures. The views are just unbelievably gorgeous. It was kind of funny to be walking the cliffwalk while having our photo taken. It kind of felt like paparazzi. I actually didn't even notice him most of the time, it wasn't until we were on the cliffwalk and other people were walking by that it felt a little funny, but then after a minute, you just get used to it. Although Dave made us feel super comfortable, I'm glad I don't really have photograpers following me around all the time!
If you look closely at the photo below, above the bridge, it says "Love is Life", this is probably my favorte part on the cliffwalk, I first noticed the quote on a walk during my freshman year.Dave found this tree between the cliffwalk and Salve and decided to take a few shots, little did I realize ants were all over the tree. Mr. Newport did notice, but thought I'd freak out and we wouldn't get a good shot, so he decided to wait and tell me this after the shoot.....
Here we are leaning up against the ant tree.....Thanks Mr. Newport ;)
Did you feel like you had paparazzi following you during your engagement shoot? Did you like it, or was it a little weird?

All photos credited to: David Bibeault

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sensational Centerpieces

One of the DIY projects I am most looking forward to is our centerpieces! We are going for a reception room that is romantic beach elegance. The room will be all white with hints of gold. Candles will give a soft glow. To illuminate the room, the centerpieces will be candles.

I have found so many inspiring photos on the web. I originally wanted one large hurricane vase, filled with a little sand, an off white candle, and a starfish. Something similar to the picture below.
Image from: Shore Chic

Then I saw the image below and thought I must add lots of votives around the main hurricane centerpiece.
Image from: Jennifer Dery

Then I saw this image and thought, I must add a few white shells at the base, with the sand. it seems like my centerpieces are ever evolving.

Image from:

Lastly, I saw Mrs. Lemon's amazing centerpieces, and it got me thinking, should I do clusters of candles? I realized at this point I had already bought the hurricane vases, so I had to let go of the idea of Mrs. Lemon's beautiful candle clusters.
Image from: Mrs. Lemon of Weddingbee

Are your centerpieces florals, candles or something completely unique? How did you decide what to do? Where do you get your inspiration?