Some heartfelt creating

Mother's corsage

I’m in the process of cleaning out old photo files–a “housekeeping” task that leads me down memory lane for some lengthy and heart-wrenching strolls at times. It’s kind of cathartic, kind of fun, and definitely worth the effort: I keep finding photos of people I’d forgotten I had, along with a lot of projects I worked on–some many months ago.  And today I’ve uncovered some wedding-goodies, which seemed appropriate for this Valentine’s week!

I’ve previously documented some of the decorations and items I made for my niece’s wedding back here. I’ve had every intention of finishing up that big process of creating a digital scrapbook of the whole wedding, but it’s a work that is sadly STILL in process—put on hold because of computer issues and life happening. But I’ve gotta do something with THESE pictures now, so for the time being, I’m simply going to document the crafty-part of this small but lovely wedding, and will get back to the bigger project when I can.

Veil

Reworked Wedding Veil

Just as I did for my own wedding back in 1994—of which this niece was a part—and in the same small church, even—I made a lot of decorations, the wedding florals, and even reworked my own wedding veil for my niece to wear. And I guess I helped her coordinate everything in a sense–I took her to the local HL and turned her loose to choose colors and florals. Silks were preferred over real flowers simply for the keepsake aspect; I was personally glad of the choice because they’re so much easier to work with than live flowers!

It was technically a Winter wedding (mid-March), but close enough to Spring that a totally different color palette would have been fine, but my niece trends toward a vintage vibe, and she wanted a dusky, deep-toned array of somewhat larger-than-life floral tones. Deep rose-pink, dark teal, deep plum-purple, and a rich burgundy—all very dusky-toned—were the darkish-but-bold pops of color against the backdrop of ivory and touches of black. Those colors were pulled through into the decorations for the small sanctuary and into the two “fellowship hall” rooms that served as the reception areas after the marriage service.

Bridesmaid Bouquet-Blue

Bridesmaid Bouquet-Claret2

Bridesmaid Bouquet-Claret

The bridal party’s bouquets were put together Brides Bouquetsimply, with each bridesmaid getting her own single color, while the bride carried a bouquet with a mixture of all the colors and flowers chosen (and a few lilies thrown in to add a bit of traditional flair).  Boutinieres2

 And of course there were boutonnieres, too!–>


Curtain of Fans

The finished “Curtain of Fans” coverup!

One of the biggest challenges of decorating for the wedding reception–a simple, small affair for family and a few friends and held at the same little church– was that one of the rooms has an enormous mural that covers one entire wall. While it’s perfectly fine as a backdrop for daily church life and gatherings, the scenic ocean view did NOT go along with our wedding-theme-décor at all—it was, in fact, an eyesore to figure out what to do with. I lucked up in finding some really inexpensive white fusible-web-type-material (which lent an ethereal softness to the whole room) and used yards of it to hang “curtain panels” from floor to ceiling over the problem spot and then decorated over that. It ended up making a nice backdrop for the food service tables, and carried the vintage-vibe of the decorations through the space nicely.

Fans

I spent hours….and hours….and hours making these paper fans (long before I had a scoring board to work with!), and used up a lot of old buttons and other little trinkets that I’d had for many years. Vintage, in the real sense of the word!Fans2Fans3Curtain of Fans2





There were a bunch more decorations, both in the sanctuary and in the reception areas, but these are the ones I just found pics for, so here they’ll rest for posterity to find some day. I look back on these photos now and really am reminded of the many hours I devoted to this effort…and of why I spent so much time. It matters, this time and effort spent on these little labors of crafting love. I can look at each simple piece I created and pretty much remember every thought going through my head at the time, all those months ago: remembering my own wedding, reflecting on the fact that the 11-year-old at my wedding was now preparing for hers, realizing that sometimes it feels like my heart will burst with the love I have for this little-girl-now-grown. Perhaps that is what crafting and creating any thing of beauty is–our hearts bursting open for a moment and spilling forth the love and other emotions that have grown too large, too intense to be contained. It was a beautiful wedding and I’m so glad I was there….with all my heart.

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

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A Bright Valentine for PPA238

PPA238-3

Whew! Didn’t know if I’d make it in, in time for this Pals Paper Arts Challenge. I really loved PPA238 Colorsthe colors for PPA238, though, so I had to do my best to play along. (I’ll regret this when it’s time to get up for the day job here in just a few hours, but glad I completed my mission!)  With Basic Gray, Pink Pirouette, and Rose Red, I knew I wanted some hearts, knew I wanted to use some stitching on my card, and knew I wanted to play with my new PP Blendies I received this week. Other than that, the card kind of shaped itself as I went along.

PPA238-1

I used Watercolor paper as my base to play with my inks. I don’t pretend to be any kind of artist, but I really do love playing with PPA238-2colors, and getting the new blendies in the softer colors for Spring is exciting. I worked in the PP Blendies first, then water-washed in varying intensities of the Rose Red (using my finally-purchased Regals refills–how did I live without these before?). I stamped in some Basic Gray with various pieces of a couple of sets. I wanted to give my card both a vintage, “well-loved” feel, but also with a bright “bling” to it. This card is earmarked for a sweet great-niece who likes this kind of style…and who really does brighten my day. I hope this card will brighten hers!


Here’s what I used:

  • Stamps:  You Brighten My Day; Gorgeous Grunge, Butterfly Basics
  • Inks: Memento Black, Basic Gray, Rose Red, Pink Pirouette Blendabilities
  • Paper: Basic Gray Cardstock; Watercolor paper; a salvaged sheet of DSP in a Pink Pirouette pattern from a really old SU batch
  • Tools: Hearts a-Flutter Framelits, Sweetheart Punch; Occasions Paper Piercing Pack
  • Embellishments: Whisper White Bakers’ Twine, Whisper White Taffeta Ribbon (from a Paper Pumpkin kit); Silver 1/8″ Ribbon; 952,000 Rhinestone Basics Jewels (well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration–sure felt like it, though)

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

A Twinsational Day

Room Decor1What wonderful weather (62 degrees and sunny in early February in my neck of the woods is quite a treat!), what a lovely place to have the event, what a wonderful group of people gathered; in short: what a wonderful TWINSATIONAL day! Likely the only twins-shower that I’ll ever see in my family, it was — well — doubly special.

I wanted to showcase for posterity the way the items I put together looked in the room after we finished decorating–and before the happy crew of kids and adults gathered for the festivities. The photo above shows the “hospitality” table (have no clue what word is appropriate here!) that held the favors I made (see post here), the diaper cake (here), and a batch of goodies for the kids that were present to play with and enjoy during (and after) the event. Several of us got together one afternoon and worked on some of this–creating a dozen tutus….and enough glitter mess (from the glitterized tulle ribbon that was sparklingly gorgeous!) to fill a tub! Add in some dollar-store tiaras for the girls and some blow-up plastic Avenger-type “weapons” for the boys (and, hey, I played with one of those “hammers” myself), and the table was sweet and complete fun.

Ariana banner room decor

And here are the “name banners” I put together (using the Simply Created Build-A-Banner Kit stencils and a WHOLE bunch of SU and stash papers; see prep-post here).

Isabella Banner room decor

Initials

I think these stand for “Adorable Infants”. 🙂

And here’s another item I had put together before the shower, to be used there, and then later at home on the babies’ walls. The local HL had these HUGE papier mache letters–about two and a half times larger than the ones they generally stock–when we decided we wanted to use them. So I snapped them up, and then spent most of the afternoon, while others worked on tutus, wrapping…and wrapping …..and wrapping pastel tulle ribbon around each letter. That “A” was most particularly time-consuming!  For the shower itself, I added a bit of bolder pink or purple wrapped in a random design around each letter and a touch of bling where I tied it off at front bottom. This little “extra” can be easily removed after the shower, if desired, to add lace, ribbon, buttons, more bling…or whatever seems best once the nursery is completely put together. So, a very adaptable gift item that was very easy (even if labor-intensive) to do.

There was a lot of other great “stuff” at this shower, too: dining tables topped with either pink or lavender tablecloths, tiny rubber duckies, baby-themed confetti, and little tissue-baby-buggies holding down a pink and purple balloon; serving tables filled with festive food, this adorable and Cake2absolutely delicious, sugar-rush-inducing REAL cake; an “advice tree” Advice Treeto pin on good wishes and advice for parents-to-be; and a “thumbprint tree” spot at the arrival area for everyone to leave a very personal, lasting imprint for the wall-hanging, which will be completed later by my sister (and grandma-to-be), who is a very talented artist.  So much sweetness surrounded us all today as we gathered to fete the parents and share in the excitement of preparing for two little girls to get here!


So, that’s it for my twinsational day, and I finally get to rest from all my “shower duties” for this year. I’m exhausted from all the prep, setup, and cleanup…but mom and dad will be getting a LOT busier very soon!  🙂

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Double-Diaper Cake

Diaper Cake 2

The first time I was introduced to the concept of a “diaper cake” for a baby shower, I thought that was the cutest thing ever devised for this kind of event. I’m always amazed at the creative minds out there that dream up these things to begin with. I mean, really–it’s kind of a big leap from what a diaper represents to a CAKE. Not something I would likely have ever thought to do on my own. But I’ve now made so many of these through the years that I’ve lost count. So, naturally, I had to make one for my niece’s twins shower.

I’ve seen many photos out there for twins where separate cakes are made, but I could just Diaper Cake pinkenvision one where a Diaper Cake purplecuddly-cute stuffed animal sat on each side of the cake, and so I worked from there.  Miss Pink and Miss Purple each have their own side, replete with little toys, a bit of clothing, some blankets with a cute owl print in pinks AND purples (those form the “frosting” for the cake layers), and –of course– tucked underneath all that is a (literal) hundred neatly rolled and banded diapers, waiting to be used when “Size 1” is reached. That may be awhile– so after it’s done being a table decoration for the upcoming baby shower, this little tower of tutu cuteness can be kept intact as a room decoration til ready to use those diapers, if the parents so choose.

Diaper cake

And this is a continuation of the “tutu” theme being used throughout the shower. I tied up a variety of pink and purple tulle ribbons onto some elastic cording and put it around the “base” of the cake, which is a rectangular box–which also houses a gift for the babies. The only item on this that can’t be reused for the twins or their room is what I put on top of the base: I wrapped up some cardboard circles in pink or purple paper and used them to be the “wings” on this cake, to hold the stuffed animals. The rest of the “layers” are the rolled diapers, covered with blankets (bottom two) and a couple of pre-folded cloth diapers (on the top layer). Those came in a four-pack–and just happened to have one purple and one pink patterned one in the bunch. I really lucked out in my shopping, because so much baby stuff this season seemed to be more in the soft greens and yellows or peaches, and so I was really tickled to find items I could make work here. (Next time I’m making a cake, the recipient will probably NEED yellow, peach, and green–and it will be the scarce color combo then!)

So, that’s all the shower prep now–done. I’ve got to finish packaging up the rest of the gifties, and then plan on a marathon room-decorating session coming up for the weekend. And then on to the big event. Nothing quite like family, friends, food, fun–and getting ready for babies on the way!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Trash to Treasure: Two Twin Topiaries Touting Tutus

Topiary-both2

Ta-Da!  There, that was my quota of “T-alliteration” for at least a month! 🙂 I think I may be a bit punchy from exhaustion, but I finished another aspect of the upcoming baby shower and I’m definitely PLEASED as punch with the results.

This is a trash-to-treasure story because they started out the day in a sorry state. Although in great shape structurally, they were missing all but a bit of ivy-greenery and they were filthy Topiary Before(so filthy that I didn’t take a true “before” picture and instead waited til I had at least dusted off a couple pounds of dust and dirt). These were a cast-off from a move by another family member who knows I’ll attempt to recycle anything into craftiness. When we started talking about doing everything in “twos” for the shower, I knew I’d found the new incarnation for these sad little things. The pots were just a standard “clay pot color” til I shined them up with some Silver Metallic Stazon that I’d bought on clearance awhile back at my local craft store. I painted these at (my day job) work today on my lunch hour (ignore the stuff on the counter where I worked!) so they’d have plenty of time to dry before I started handling them so much. I also removed all the greenery sprigs and soaked and scrubbed and cleaned and revived them enough to re-use a lot of the pieces of them, too.  The spanish moss was a total loss, however, and had to be replaced.  Here’s the way they looked when I finished them at about 1:00 a.m.:

Topiary-both

The color in the photo was impossible to get right with these two together, but one is in pinks and the other in purples (which you can tell better in the  individual photos below) to go along with the rest of the shower goodies.

Purple TopiaryAfter replacing the spanish moss Pink Topiary2on the cast-off topiaries, I covered the entire topiary post with tulle yardage and gathered underneath the styrofoam ball at the top, and then again at the point where the post attached to the clay pot. Then I added back the greenery sprigs, adding in some to help make it full enough.

I had found some lovely little silk roses in my chosen colors in the bridal section of the local box store–at half price (yay!) that were done like a garland. This was perfect to use on a topiary base because all I had to do was play around with the location of each rose bunch by moving the ribbon garland strand around til I had it where I wanted it, then secure each section of rose cluster with a florist pin.  The hardest part of all of this effort is that I’m 6-feet tall and was working with an item that was about 2.5-feet tall on a tabletop, trying to make sure it was all evenly spaced, not top-heavy, didn’t have any gaps anywhere, and looked good from all angles. This kind of stuff was a lot easier to do when I was 30 years younger and making stuff for the current mom-to-be as a newborn!

I tried to make these very, very similar, but with their own bit of personality–hence the dots and chevrons on the ribbon I chose to finish them off with, rather than totally matchy-matchy. (I wasn’t a fan of chevrons for a long time, but I think this ribbon may have won me over completely now. LOVE those polka dots totally, though!). In addition to the big, bold main bow, I snipped several lengths of ribbon and tucked them in (with straight pins into the styrofoam) among the greenery and roses to really make the whole thing pop with color and fun.

So, shower day is getting closer, and my to-do-list is getting shorter. Very happy with this project, but glad to have it done. Too tired at the moment to even look to see what’s on the agenda for tomorrow!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Baby Shower Favors–done!

Baby Shower favors2

Not a card made on Saturday, but I sure did a lot of papercrafting! I put together 60 baby shower favors (and MOST of the candy bought for them actually went in there….). My right index finger is quite angry with me right now with a bit of an arthritis flare-up from all the various paper-handling I did, and my entire right hand is REALLY mad at me for all the punches and Big Shot items cranked out.  Whew!  More photos as they look when complete, but not yet set up for the shower (which is not til next Saturday):

Baby Shower favors5

Baby Shower favors7

Baby shower favorsThese were really a lot of fun to put together, and I’m thrilled to have finally gotten the Mini-Milk Carton Die when it was on clearance in December–it really made short work of the base for each of these, leaving me free to spend the time I had to do the embellishing…. hence all the punching and all the flowers and doodads on all four sides of all 60 of these. They’re finished up in every shade of pink and purple paper I had on hand (for the twin girls on the way), and the little poem on “doubles” I put together for this. There’s a bit of bling on each little clothespin, and a piece of pink or purple tulle to carry through the “tutu cute” theme.

So, one more thing was checked off the shower to-do list. Next up, some topiary, one to be done in pink and one in purple. I’ve got the vision in my head–now I’ve just got to see if I can make it work!

–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!

Love and Watercolor

Deconstructed Sketch186-2I have a tendency to get obsessed with a stamp or paper or technique–or all of the above–once I start working with them. Since I missed so much paper play time last year when a lot of my stuff was new, I’m making up for lost time. Right now I’m “stuck on LOVE”–literally the “LOVE” stamp from Seasonally Scattered. And I’m finally getting to play with all Deconstructed Sketch186the DSP that I got last year, but had never even cut a piece of, in some cases, til recently.

My card was inspired by the Deconstructed Sketch No. 186 at Deconstructing Jen. These sketches are right up my alley, since they’re often featuring several layers and doodads that suit my normal style. But I actually tried to stay at least “Clean and Layered” with this one. Tried, at least. I wanted to feature this oh-so-lovely paper as much as possible, without other competing items. I also altered the orientation of the sketch to landscape mode, to allow the paper more show-off space and still accommodate the sentiment and banners. The bones of the sketch are still there, though!

Deconstructed Sketch186-3

Here’s what I used:

  • Stamps and Ink: Seasonally Scattered with Versamark and White Stampin’ Emboss Powder
  • Paper: Island Indigo, Whisper White, and Crisp Cantaloupe Cardstock (the coordinating colors list for the DSP says Tangerine Tango, but the soft wash of color is so much more compatible with the CC on this card); Watercolor Wonder DSP (this paper may technically be retired, but since it’s available in MDS, I consider it fair game forever. Thankfully. Coz it’s gorgeous!)
  • Tools: Ovals Collection and Hearts a Flutter Framelits; Sweetheart Punch and Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack.

NO EMBELLISHMENTS.  *THUNK*  I think I just passed out over that fact. I may have to go back and throw on some ribbon or Candy Dots or SOMETHING!  Or else revisit the sketch and make something with 30,000 layers PLUS embellishments!  Yeah, that’ll work!


–Thanks for visiting my Little Corner today!