Wedding Craftiness

The anticipation has been built! The big day happened! And it was wonderful and beautiful AND crafty. I stuck true to my goal of enjoying the crafting for my wedding. There were no late nights of frenzied crafting. No going overboard on minor details. Just simple crafting that I enjoyed along the way. Time for the photos!

 

Gifts at the rehearsal, many handmade.

 

I made eight boxes for the girls who helped with the wedding (I didn’t have official bridesmaids). Each girl got a personalized bookmark and handmade sugar scrub (sugar + Olay Dawn Dish Soap Pomegranate – two ingredients).

 

A little hot glue with flowers, tulle, and a hair comb. Easy! I made two versions of this and the hairstylist chose this one. I tried to make a full birdcage veil and it just made me look like a lunch lady. This worked out so much better and I couldn’t even feel it.

 

I made my bouquet very early on in the process. Three fake hydrangea stems with brooches scattered through out. I watched many YouTube videos on how to make brooch bouquets and the series by Jessica Flores was the most helpful.

 

I made us cards to exchange on the morning of our wedding. Here I am reading the one Tom wrote to me. Very similar design to our thank you cards.

 

Of course I had to get a photograph of me knitting on my wedding day! Here I am working on a Bitty Baby dress for Ella. I bought that bag just for the wedding from The Needle Palace on Etsy.

 

And then my sister Avery knit me the shawl for my wedding! I gave her the yarn (Quince and Company) and requested the Shaelyn pattern.

 

Just throwing in one of my favorite shots here. Our photographer was amazing.

 

Reception time! I used three mason jars (quart, pint, jelly) on top of a wood slab. Tom’s grandmother gave us the jars from her canning days and his uncle cut the wood slabs for us from a tree on his property. I bought a big roll of burlap to make the runners myself (raw edges). Hydrangeas and baby’s breath for the flowers with a fake votive candle. Very simple!

 

Our table signs were a little different – from an idea I saw on Pinterest. All numbers that were important to us. Miles between our hometowns, dates, etc.

 

There were about ten children at our wedding, so they had special placemates and a set of crayons. I also made these “I Spy” jars (the tag is on the other side). When you rolled around the jar, you could “spy” the different items, like a dinosaur, eraser, etc. Another idea from Pinterest.

 

Our sweetheart table. I almost bought a custom set of mugs, but then found plain mugs at Joann’s for $2 and dressed them up myself. We had a special wedding brew in them. Very fun!

 

I even decorated the bag for the dollar dance! Just a simple canvas bag from Hobby Lobby. Used a masking alphabet and misting spray. Just took a few minutes to make.

 

Those are the highlights!  Our guestbook were quilt blocks, but I’ll save that for a separate post when I finish the quilt.  I’m so glad I got to craft parts of my wedding and save some money along the way doing it.  We are so blessed!  I’ll leave you with this last fun photo (made that pennant in the background too).

 

Surprise Birthday Party

Last month I hosted a surprise birthday party for my partner.  It was his sister’s idea at Christmas time, so we spent about four months planning and preparing for it.  Hosting a party for a grown man is a strange thing.  You know how I like to make decorations for baby showers and bridal showers.  But what do you do for a man’s birthday party?  We decided to bring out all of the things he likes on to each table and go from there.  Cheap centerpieces when they come straight from your house!  And he did not even notice the things were gone.  We used his favorite pop as balloon weights.  And I made a simple label for the water bottles related to Duck Dynasty.  Not my usual craftiness, but it definitely took some strategic thinking.  Overall, it was a big success and he was completely surprised!

 

Baby Shower Fun

Last Saturday I was happy to help good friends celebrate their upcoming arrival of Miss Hannah.  I created my first chipboard name banner for the event, modeled after several examples on Etsy and Pinterest.  I purchased the chipboard scalloped triangles and little owls from Studio Cee.  Great quality pieces and easy to paint.  I used K and Company patterned paper and my Cricut to create the letters and background.  A little tulle with ribbon and it came together nicely.

 

 

Simple thank you cards for the new mom-to-be.

 

 

 

And then of course I wanted to knit Miss Hannah a little sweater.  This sweater is extra special because it is handspun.  The green fiber was a gift from the happy couple last summer.  Little did I know I would be spinning it especially for their future daughter!  The Ravelry project page has the other details.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, knits for babies are always better with the baby in them!  Looking forward to the safe arrival of Miss Hannah later this spring!

2013 Goals – The Year of Acceptance

The past few weeks have led to a lot of reflection about 2012 and ideas for 2013.  Ali Edwards always recommends “one little word” for the year, and this year I am choosing “acceptance.”  For me, it means accepting who I am as a crafter.  With all these years of crafting experience, I think I know some of the things I like to do and some of the things I do not.  For example, I love scrapbooking, but I am just never going to be one of those “one photo super ephemera page” type of scrapbookers.  I know, never say never, but some things I can be pretty confident about.  I do not enjoy quilling or crocheting tiny toys.  I have no desire to knit a complicated cable sweater for myself.  These are things I know about myself.  But in 2013, I want to find other crafting realizations of acceptance.  Maybe I will always have a stash of yarn and I just have to accept that.  Maybe it is acceptable to have hundreds of buttons for scrapbooking.  I want to accept who I am and not feel guilty about who I am not as a crafter.  A lot of knitting podcasters have been talking about the “no guilt” year and “acceptance” is my version of that this year.

 

So all of that being said, here are my goals for 2013.  After seeing what happened in 2012, I am sure there are several projects I will come up with that do not relate to this list.  But I am excited to make these projects happen in 2013.

  • Keep track of three stashes – fabric, yarn, and fiber.

For the past two years I have kept track of fabric, so that should be easy.  I am not a prolific fabric user.  Last year I kept track of my yarn intake/outtake, which was quite the eyeopener.  It really helps me think about new purchases.  One of the ways I was able to help balance my yarn purchases last year was through buying fiber.  Well 2013 is the year for keeping track of fiber too.  The main goal for all of these stashes is always to use more than I buy.

  • Finish spinning the fiber for a handspun sweater and knit it.

This was something I started working on last spring when I became more serious about spinning and won a new wheel.  I m halfway done with spinning the 32 ounces of fiber and want to finish that.  I hope to three ply the fiber.  Then I want to knit myself a sweater out of it.  It is taking sweater knitting to a whole new level!

  • Do not participate in Campy Loopy this year.

This sounds like a funny goal, especially because I try to keep my goals positive.  But for the past two years I have participated in Camp Loopy, a three month long knitalong where you buy yarn for each project during the summer.  It is a great program because you receive free yarn and discounts.  But it also consumes my summer knitting.  Sure, knitting a sweater in a month is great, but it requires buying yarn and picking a new pattern.  I have plenty of yarn!  I want to knit what I want to knit this summer – no rules.

  • Knit six projects for myself out of the six “brown bags” I created.

Two years ago I knit 12 socks in 12 months, partially due to the incentive of the “brown bags” I put the yarn in.  It was surprise each month what I would get to knit with.  It also required a lot of my knitting time, as you can imagine.  So this year I am reenacting that goal by cutting it in half – six bags throughout the year.  I have already bagged up the yarn.  They are all skeins that I decided “I must knit with this in 2013.”  So that should be fun.

  • Make a t-shirt quilt out of my box of t-shirts.

This goal has been on my mind for several years, but I definitely want to make it happen in 2013.  I am confident enough in my quilting abilities to make it a success.  And it will be a great way to see some of my favorite t-shirts.

  • Create a master list of scrapbook pages that need to be completed and do them.

I am again behind on my scrapbooking pages.  I did not scrapbook as much in 2012 and need to get back to it.  Usually I go on a long retreat weekend to make it happen, we will have to see when I time for that in 2013.

  • Organize my stamp filing cabinet this year.

Almost everything I have is organized into a space.  In fact, some days I have time for crafting, I just use it to organize.  But somehow my stamps have gotten a little out of control in their filing cabinet.  So I would like to organize that in 2013 and be able to see all of my stamps easily.  One of the things I know about myself (part of acceptance) is that I need to be able to see it if I am going to use it on my cards.

 

Seven crafting goals for 2013, I think I can make that happen!  It is going to be another busy year, but I am looking forward to it.  Hope you are too!

Christmas Cookies and Christmas Tags

Last night was the third annual Christmas party with my local scrapbooking group.   It is a great way for us to see each other during the month of December when we know we do not have extra time to crop for an entire day.  For the past two years I have made a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie, but this year I decided to mix it up.  I made Soft Nutella Chocolate Cookies, a fudgy decadent cookie.  It was like a brownie batter, but just dense enough to form into cookies.  Next time I will make the cookies a little bit smaller and actually save some for myself to try!

 

We also added a Christmas tag exchange this year.  First, we swapped materials well in advance.  Then we made 12 tags and swapped at the party, receiving a new set of 12.  Here are my before and after photos.

I used my Cuttlebug and Quickutz dies to create the scalloped circle.  Everything else came together so quickly with the paper and stickers provided.  I added a few Stickles to give it some bling.  Overall, the party was a great success!  Looking forward to eating my cookies and using the new tags this season.

Baby Shower Craftiness

This past weekend I helped host one of my best friend’s baby shower.  She was part of the “wedding trifecta” from two years ago (I was a bridesmaid in three important weddings within three months).  So this time instead of wedding shower craftiness, it was time for baby shower craftiness!  The entire theme revolved around books because my friend is a kindergarten teacher.  And the nursery theme for the baby is going to be rabbits and bunnies.

First, I made the invitations.  My friend saw the idea on Pinterest and I recreated the look.  I printed the actual library card on my printer with the American Typewriter font.  The entire pocket was stitched together on the sewing machine.  And the quote label was created with a Sizzix die.  I am very pleased with the results and proud that I had these done early!

 

The favors were another Pinterest idea.  I just created the labels for these.  Always glad to have my circle punch and scalloped Quickutz dies handy.  A little bit of Stickles made them glittery.

Centerpieces for each of the tables contained a book with corresponding decorations.  Her mother put all of these together.

 

Then our other best friend made the best diaper cake with books.  How cute is this thing?

And here is just one of the fun treats created for the appetizers.  We stuffed ourselves on veggie pizza, fruit, taco dip, and homemade cupcakes.

My gift for the shower was a baby blanket with a matching bunny hat.  I was also happy to have these done the week before the shower.  No last minute knitting here!

And finally I created a set of thank you cards for the new mom to be.  I used the same paper as the invitations.

Overall, a great success.  I had everyone fill out a scrapbook page with baby advice and well wishes, so I will be working on finishing the album this summer.  It will be an excellent gift when I return home to visit the baby!  She is due in early August and I am really looking forward to being a godmother.  In the mean time, I have to resist casting on too many baby projects until we know how big she is going to be!

Crafting Goals for 2012

A week into 2012, I think I am ready to commit to my crafting goals for 2012.  I always enjoy hearing other people’s goals before I make my own, so these are very inspired.  And it is time to pick a new word of the year!  Last year the word was “relax.”  That worked well until December when I had a lot of gift knitting to do.  This year the word is going to be “mindful.”  I really want to be mindful during my crafting and enjoy the process.  Besides gift knitting, what is the rush, really?  And yet I always seem to get too deadline oriented with things that are supposed to be fun.  So I will be “mindful” when I am crafting in 2012.

My goals for 2012 are relatively short because it will be a very busy year professionally.  I will be writing my dissertation and getting ready to go on the job market.  So I am going to relax on the goals for 2012.

List of 2012 Crafting Goals:

  • Knit a lace weight sweater for myself without being concerned about the deadline.
  • I have enough yarn for two lace weight sweaters and one fingering weight sweater.  It is about time I start one of these!  For you non-knitters, this is a big goal because I will be knitting something big on tiny needles with thin yarn.  But I am really excited about it and will enjoy the process as I go along.  Now we will have to see when I actually cast it on.

 

  • Become consistent with my spinning.
  • I learned how to spin on my spinning wheel in 2011, so now it is time to actually become good at it.  I want to be able to knit with the yarn I spin in 2012.  I already have lots of fiber to practice with, which relates to the next goal.

 

  • Keep track of my fabric and yarn this year with the obvious goal of using more than buying.
  • Last year I kept track of my fabric and that really worked out well.  This year I want to keep track of my yarn as well.  I will try to do weekly check ins with the yarn since I knit much more than I sew.  But I am already on a “yarn and fiber diet” until Camp KIP, so hopefully I will be able to stick to knitting more than I buy.

 

  • Enjoy my gift crafting!
  • This may seem like an obvious goal, but strangely I like to stress myself out about projects for other people.  Especially where a deadline is concerned.  So this year, with one upcoming wedding and one baby on the way among my friends, I am going to not get stressed out, but enjoy the crafting.  I am looking forward to knitting for a new baby and testing out some new techniques.  And I will not be crafting furiously the night before the wedding – I refuse!  Either it is getting done early or on time.

 

  • Grow something new (successfully) in the garden.
  • Last year was my first attempt at a vegetable garden and I really enjoyed the process.  There were some issues with slugs.  And starting things from seed is difficult.  But I am looking forward to a new year of gardening.  And I would like to try something new this year.  Not sure what yet!

I think that will be plenty for 2012!  Looking forward to another great year!