Save-the-Dates are done baby done! I mailed them out today and it felt so good! One wedding project done… now on to the next!
Save-the-Dates are done baby done! I mailed them out today and it felt so good! One wedding project done… now on to the next!
Wax seals…. a great little detail to add some character to letters, cards, or even invitations. I bought a cute bird seal from Paper Source to stamp onto the back of our save-the-dates. Birds and birdhouses is a recurring element for our October wedding… the reason? I love birds! So does my dad, growing up we had an aviary in the backyard filled with birds and then while I was in high school we got a double-yellow headed Amazon parrot (who lives in the house). So birds seemed necessary to be a part of our wedding. I bought the bird seal and picked out a gorgeous bronze colored wax. The wax said it was for a glue gun, but Eric said we didn’t need it. He was trying to be helpful and resourceful by saying we could use a lighter. I agreed with him and left the store sans a glue gun. When the time finally came to seal our envelopes, I took out a sheet of paper and practiced making seals. I lit the wax and within a few seconds it was burning, so I dripped some wax down and sealed it. It came out okay. It was inconsistent and a tad messy. I wasn’t pleased (plus I didn’t like the fact that the whole thing caught on fire)! “There must be an easier way,” I thought to myself. It dawned on me… get a glue gun! So earlier today I went to Michael’s (with a 40% coupon in hand, of course!) and picked out a cheap mini glue gun (oh, and I got two adorable mini birdhouses that I plan to paint and create something beautiful out of). I came home, and unpacked my new glue gun. I took my wax and began to insert it, only it would not go in! It was too big! How could that be?!?! I was a tad annoyed, but I am trying to be more carefree, so I decided to just “go with the flow” and head back to Michael’s (not before printing another coupon, just in case I needed it). I had every intention of buying a regular sized glue gun but when I inspected it, it seemed to hold the same size glue sticks as the one I was returning so I opted not to get one. I really did not want to drive to Paper Source in the rain to buy the glue gun there because I knew there’s was bound to work with the wax. Instead I decided to buy sealing wax at Michael’s after i returned the gun. The wax they sell is the kind you light like a candle. I figured it’d be easy enough. Twenty minutes later (and after another trip back inside Michael’s after realizing the cashier charged me for the glue gun instead of returning it) I was home and trying out my wax. I lit the wick and let the wax drip onto some scratch paper. Next I blew it out, this created a smokey mess, and happened every time I blew the wax out. I was paranoid I would burn my place down so I decided to to check YouTube for some tutorials to see if they had some advice to avoid the smoke. I’m so glad I did that, instead of finding what I was looking for, I found a guy who used a stick of wax (similar to the wax I had bought from Paper Source) and a lighter to create wax seals! The trick I discovered was in how you hold the wax. You have to keep it spinning or turning so that it doesn’t catch on fire (that explains it)! I was ecstatic and began to seal all of my envelopes! Some turned out better than others, but I’m okay with that because they all have that handmade look I was going for! By the way, I love the way they came out!
Colors. Dresses. Themes. Cakes. All things a bride must decide upon when she is planning her wedding. Something that I have see a lot of brides-to-be do as soon as they get engaged and begin their planning process is, is create an inspiration board. I can honestly say that is not something that I did. I credit myself as a very visual person. I prefer to mentally plan the outfits I am going to wear the night before. When I write, I can see the stories so clearly in my mind before they are even written down. So why did I opt not to create an inspiration board? Truth be told, I don’t know why I didn’t do one. It just wasn’t something I felt compelled to do… until now. As I said in an earlier post, I use Pinterest a TON, and even before that I would take screen shots of inspiring images I found online that I wanted to keep. I filed all of my beloved photos into a “wedding inspiration” folder. But lately, after reading countless blogs, I decided I needed to create a board of my own. I tackled Pinterest first. See, as much as I use the site, I never dictated a specific board to my OWN wedding. I had boards on cakes, flowers, stationary, altars… basically everything but my own wedding! So I finally created one for me and Eric! But you know what?! I wasn’t that pleased! It seemed a bit hodge podge. I can see our wedding so clearly in my mind and I am convinced I can take all of my ideas and create a wedding fairy tale with them. Perhaps that’s why the whole wedding inspiration board thing didn’t work out so well for me… I already know what my wedding is going to look like so therefore if I can’t find images that are like the ones in my head, why use any then? Did I even make sense with that sentence?!? You understand what I am saying though… I feel because I have such a clear vision, that a board is useless for me. Maybe wedding inspiration boards are more for brides who need help fine-tuning their ideas?!? Either way, I think I’ll stick to organizing my ideas via various Pinterest boards.
By the way, for all of you inspiration board loving brides, do check out Dessy.com and theknot.com…. both sites have tools for girls to create boards using their collection of photos (and if you don’t see what you’re looking for? Upload your own)! Should be noted, I did try both sites, and it just was taking too long to scroll through the gazillion photos and I wasn’t even seeing images that pertained to my vision!
A month or so ago, I bought a corner punch. I knew it was exactly what I needed to give all of my wedding paper goods that extra wow factor. Plus, I knew I would totally use it in the future for holiday cards to gift tags. I did a little research on-line (Weddingbee and Amazon) and decided to get the Fiskars Twist & Flip Round Corner punch.
What drew me to this particular item was the ability to twist the top and change the size of the corner (you could do 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch… LOVED having the options). Went to Michaels (where else would I go for my crafting needs?) and bought it. As soon as I started to use it, I realized this hole punch wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. It was very difficult to line the paper up so that the corner hit the punch just right (not getting this part exact resulted in uneven rounded corners). It was awkward in my hand and therefore clamping down felt very strange. This particular hole punch was also next to impossible to use and get seamless rounded edges! Every corner may have been slightly rounded by the device, but it was obvious that the paper had been altered (something I hated)! What I love about rounded corners is the fact that it looks so effortless, almost as though the paper came that way! I tried and tried and tried some more to get this little guy to behave and work the way I wanted it to, but I lost the battle (even after trying both sizes; 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch). I do, what I always do in these situations, I went back online and researched some more. I decided to give Fiskars another try and buy buy their corner Squeeze Punch.
This device you hold as though you are holding pliers. It felt much more natural in my hand and guess what?!? It produced the most beautiful rounded corners! I couldn’t be happier with the end result. I was able to punch multiple sheets at a time and all yielded amazing results! I had gotten the 1/4 inch version, but may get the 1/2 as well.
So I have some amazing news! I mailed my save-the-dates the other day!!! Well, that’s sort of true… I mailed only my parents and one and one to my sister. I wanted them to receive the cards first in order to give me feedback and also I just wanted them to experience the joy of being the first to get them! My sis got hers yesterday and already posted on Facebook how much she loved them (yay! They were a success)! She thought that I had taken them somewhere to have them printed (nope, all me… that’s just how good I and the Gocco are)! My parents will probably get theirs today (I can’t wait for them to open it up)! I had to go out and buy more stamps today (it was hard to calculate the exact number of each I needed). You see, the buying of the stamps was a little tricky. I had done my research beforehand. I knew what stamps I wanted and how much each one was. I was planning on my bulking envelopes costing around 80 cents to $1 each to mail. The woman at the post office told me they would be 65 cents each! That totally threw me for a loop! I told her I wanted “the Garden of Love” stamp (a beautiful collection of heart shaped plants, fruits and birds).
“The Garden of Love” stamps are forever stamps, which mean they take the face value of whatever the current value is (45 cents). So, I had my one stamp, I just needed another stamp to accompany it. The woman began to show me my options. She even showed me the tradition (and in my opinion cheesy) wedding stamps, that I would only need one of per envelope because they were worth 65 cents (no thank you)!
Going the tried and true wedding route for stamps was not something Eric and I had envisioned (nor would it look good with our save-the-dates, which have a vintage vibe with a touch of whimsy), so that was out. She then showed me stamps of lesser value that I could add with my 45 cent “Garden of Love” forever stamp. These stamps were of presidents heads, Hawaiian shirts and random other artifacts that didn’t mesh with our wedding feel. I pulled out my stamp list I had composed and asked if she had any of the ones I saw online and liked.
The “Love: King and Queen of Hearts” is a 44 cent stamp but it is so cute that if they had this I would consider getting this and nixing my “Garden of Love” option and finding a cute secondary stamp to go with it. That idea was short lived, they didn’t have it, go figure.
I loved this “Monarch Butterfly” 64 cent stamp, and thought I could get this and either get away with not having another stamp or get a simple 1-2 cent stamp. But of course, my post office did not have this either.
I also inquired about the “Herbs” collection of 29 cent stamps. It was go with the “Garden of Love” stamp (both being plants). This was a no as well. I began to think that perhaps I should just buy my stamps online. I asked what she in terms of 5 and 10 cent stamps. She showed me a clock and a teapot.
These two weren’t bad. They actually really worked with our vintage wedding vibe. I told the woman that I would get these. So each envelope uses one “Garden of Love” stamp (45 cents), one “American Clock” stamp (10 cents), and two “American Toleware” stamps (5 cents each). All of the stamps equal 65 cents (couldn’t have been more perfect)! And I just adore the look of multiple stamps. Eric and I want to try and collect/buy vintage stamps for our wedding invitation envelopes, so this was a good transition into that.
The above is an image of all of the stamps I bought for the save-the-dates (most of them, at least). Below is a photo of what my stamped envelopes look like (before they get addressed)! I played around with the placement of the stamps… some envelopes get a single row, others get three in a row and one below in the corner). Doing all in a row is best because it gives me the most room to write (I tend to have large handwriting and most people I am sending them too either have long or multiple names)! Oh, and in case you were wondering, the envelopes are from Paper Source!
*both of the above images are personal shots.
I can’t say enough good things about the craft mecca, Michael’s. It is a huge store filled with almost everything you could possibly want to fulfill all of your basic crafting needs. *note: I do say “almost everything” because I have gone there a few times and have not found what I was looking for, or not enough options to choose from. The selection may be sub par at times, but the customer service and store policies will have me going back again and again. Yesterday as I was finishing up on creating my belly bands for the save-the-dates I had to stop. My Martha Stewart Doily punch (you know the one… I recently dedicated a whole post to it’s awesomeness) cracked and broke! It seemed so random. I wasn’t doing anything with it but punching pretty holes into pre-cut strips of kraft paper. I was really annoyed. I didn’t have the receipt, no proof of purchase. I was mad at myself for tossing those seemingly worthless pieces of paper. I was bothered by the situation at hand (another obstacle in my lengthy adventure to getting my save-the-dates done)! I won’t lie, I stopped what I was doing and sulked for about 20 minutes. It was around 5:50 on a Sunday so I thought sulking was all I could do because Michael’s surely closes at 6pm… right?! Wrong! When i was online researching new Michael’s coupons (I figured if they wouldn’t return it, the least I could do was be prepared to buy a new one… at a discounted price) I saw that my local store stayed open until 7pm! I quickly ventured out to the store with my broken hole punch in hand and hoping they would have pity on me (the sad girl who gets irritated by silly little things and has to go to Michaels on a Sunday night looking like I just rolled out of bed. Yeah, I was a hot mess). I found a new Doily Punch (the last one they had, what are the odds?) and headed to line. A young guy, no older than twenty was behind the register. I told him a watered down version of my situation (bought hole punch, cracked and broke and wanted to exchange it). He said okay and we exchanged “hole punch thingys” (as he called them) and I was on my way. I couldn’t believe how easy the whole process was. I am so used to having to show prof of purchase and tags and cards and so forth when doing returns, but Michael’s makes it so easy! That is why I will continue to be a loyal Michael’s customer (oh yeah, and those insane weekly coupons are always nice)!
view the Michaels site here: http://www.michaels.com
As I was searching for photos to include in this post, I found images of both the new look of Michaels (above) and their old logo (below). I grew up with the old design, but have to say I never really liked it. It is too dated and doesn’t capture the fun spirit that is crafting. With crafting supplies and an avid imagination anything is possible and almost anything can be created.
Doesn’t the new logo just spark creativity in you? Truth be told, when they first unveiled their new look, I wasn’t a fan (I dislike change, especially when it is so drastic, even if it is much needed). To me the new logo, with it’s curvy-swirly font screamed, “trying too hard.” Over the years, it has grown on me and I now accept it as the new face of the crafting super store.
Happy accidents… the results of mistakes made carelessly or occurrences that fabricated due to actions we made. However you want to describe them, they are always the same. Something beautiful and unexpected and amazing. A few days ago I was printing in not the most ample of lighting situations and realized a few hours later that something was wrong. The coloring on one of the sheets of my save-the-dates was off. It had a faded quality, very reminiscent of yesteryear. After examining the card I realized I had placed the matte paper into the printer backwards! The thing was, I actually liked the way my “mistake” looked. It had this very weathered and vintage vibe, that I loved! If only I had discovered this little happy accident 30 sheets prior, I could have done them all that way! You know what they say, you live and you learn… especially from your mistakes (and happy accidents).
I underestimated how long my save-the-dates would take me. I had all of these dates in my head (and written on my calendar and planner) as to when I would accomplish various tasks for the save-the-date card, and I’m kind of running a bit behind schedule. I had every intention of being done with them today. I even had written “go to post office” on my daily “to-do” list, but it just didn’t happen. I did have a VERY productive day, though. I got so much done! I had a whole system going. I would print a ton of my save-the-dates, then go and cut out about ten or so, then with my corner hole punch I would round every corner (which considering each card is folded into four flaps… it was a lot of corners)! I realized last week with my belly band marathon that doing small batches of each task is the best way to go because it makes the whole project seem less daunting. I have to say, I’ve been very calm throughout the whole save-the-date experience (when designing and printing your own cards things can get stressful and fast). I have had several incidents that proved to be great learning experiences (one dealing with my corner punch and the other with my new paper-cutter). Today was especially therapeutic for me. Since my college days, I have always found cutting paper so relaxing. I recently bought a nice Swingline paper trimmer (guillotine style) because I thought it would make my life so much easier. I realized today as I tried and tried to cut my cards that it was only making things far more difficult. You see, my new cutter is only 12 x12 inches and i printed my cards 3 to a sheet of 13 x 19 paper. Using my cutter meant I had to roughly cut out each card with scissors, then attempt to line them up using the Swingline. It just felt awkward and never seemed to cut straight lines. I gave up and decided to use a ruler and my xacto knife. This method may take longer but I feel so much more comfortable doing it this way. I am in control of the knife and where i cut, with the Swingline I never really knew where it would cut. I still think the paper cutter was a great investment and know I will use it for so much in the future (I’ve already put it to use cutting the belly bands)! I really am enjoying my new cutting process, and that’s the important part, right? Enjoy every minute of the wedding planning process (even something as mundane as cutting out save-the-dates). I love my cards and couldn’t be happier with how beautiful they are turning out! It makes all of the time I’ve put into them so worth it. This really is my labor love. I love what I do. I have about 68 cards printed out and about 30-40 actually cut, folded, and with rounded corners. There’s still a lot to do, but I know it will get done and soon! And when all is said and done and they are mailed out to our guests, then I can start to think about the wedding invitations (which I’ve already started to design)!
Sweets. I love them. I am a huge dessert girl and really feel quite weird if I don’t end each day with a little sweet treat. Chocolate is my weakness, especially of the darker variety. I usually buy various types of holiday candy (when they’re on sale… remember, I do love bargains!) and then carry one or two pieces with me at all times to eat while at work or when I’m out. It’s usually always dark chocolate so I justify my candy intake by reassuring myself that “it’s good for you!” Which it is, of course, but in small quantities (like the amount I eat… HA)! With all of that said, you must know (and probably already guessed it), I am a huge baker. Cupcakes and cookies are my favorites things to create in the kitchen. I try not to bake that often though, because I have a really bad tendency to eat more than my share of the batter or dough (depending on what I am making that day)! Cakes are pretty and I certainly admire many cake decorators because that is an art form. Icing cakes and creating art out of fondant… amazing! That is something that I would love to master one day. I tend to shy away from cakes because I have never been able to ice one without it looking awful (crumbs in the frosting, lop-sided layers)! Cupcakes are more my cup of tea. I just can’t get enough of the cute individual little cakes. What i love so much is that after you have created them, you don’t feel that twang of guilt when it comes time to serve them (you know that feeling I’m talking about, the one you get when they hand you the knife and tell you to dig right on in and cut it). Cupcakes, there’s no cake to cut so no guilt about destroying a masterpiece.
My mom knows I have a huge cupcake obsession (I think almost anyone who knows me does) and gave me a really thoughtful “just because” gift: a cupcake calendar! Every month has a picture of a different cupcake and the recipe to make that months treat. I really had every intention of creating each and every single cupcake, but after reviewing January’s coconut and cherry cupcake I decided I’d start with February instead! Last week for Valentine’s Day I baked the February cupcake, which was Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Yum! Red Velvet is a cake I’ve made numerous times (whenever I’m with my parents on their Birthdays, it’s always the cake that I bake). Cream Cheese Frosting is tricky to get right and I find myself more often than not always having to put in so much powder sugar in order to get the right consistency. This recipe that i used was super easy (from a box mostly) and tasted so good! The frosting was a little on the runny side (usually always the problem) but adding more sugar helped a ton and it set really well. The cupcakes looked beautiful.
Red Velvet Cupcakes
1 (18.25oz) box yellow cake mix
2 tbs cocoa
5 large eggs
½ cup vegtable oil
2 (1oz) bottles of red liquid food coloring
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
2 ¼ – 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to box directions. Beat cake mix an next 5 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Spoon batter into 24 cupcake lined muffin cups (filling two-thirds full). Bake to box directions. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks. Spread with love with frosting.
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until reamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at low speed until smooth. Stir in vanilla, beating until blended (you may need more sugar).
*yields about 2 dozen cupcakes
I have a confession. I hardly ever pay full price, for anything, except the necessities like gas and food. But even when it comes to food shopping I usually always save a few dollars either by using my savings card or taking advantage of in stores deals. There’s nothing I adore more than a good bargain. Today I scored an amazing deal. I went out to the local craft store because I really needed (maybe wanted is more accurate word) a doily paper punch by Martha Stewart. I thought punching the belly bands of our save-the-dates (to give them a vintage lace feel) would be such a cute touch. The craft store had what I wanted, but it was $15, not too much, but still more than I had anticipated spending. I knew I could find a better price. I ran the rest of errands and then came home to surf the web. Within minutes I found what I was looking for… a coupon for 50% off one item at Michael’s. You can usually find these types of coupons online because every week various stores run different ads and saving deals. I printed my coupon, drove to Michael’s and got my Martha Stewart doily punch for half off! I only spent $7.90!!! Such a good deal!!! Oh, and did I mention that I absolutely am in love with this little gadget? It makes the cutest doily pattern in paper!