Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pinterest, you have the best ideas!

Many of my wedding planning 'to-dos', and the 'let's make it' ho-rah have spun off of 
looking at
There are SO many ideas posted on that site, it is hard to walk away from your 
computer without a hundred new projects you want to accomplish. 
I found the first two photos below and decided that we were going to have something this for our ceremony decor as well (since we are having an outdoor ceremony with a tree focal point).  

Instead of using white string, I used jute so it would have a more natural look and feel. This was definitely one of the messiest projects I have gotten into - think paper-mache paste meets string. My twine balls are still sitting around my house drying out for their big debut, but be sure to look for them in the photos from the wedding day when they are posted!

Oh, what a blessing!

I am blessed beyond measure.

I flew home this past spring to visit my parents and was able to go to a bridal shower that my mom's most special friends put together. I can't begin to tell you what a blessing it is in my life to have a group of God-fearing women lifting you up in prayer. I am certain that through constant and selfless prayers by women who love me, I have been able to accomplish all of the projects I have blogged about previously and to come. It is not by my own strength that time seems to stand still to allow for pulling things together, but by the Lord granting favor.

The shower was truly an outpouring of love upon me and my husband to be. The food was wonderful, the decorations were beautiful, the games were so much fun, and the fellowship was unmatched.

Everything since that day has seems so real, finally. It is my turn to get married and I can't wait. New beginnings are a reminder of how we are loved - for he loved us first, gave a peace child to redeem the lost; granting new life, new beginning, for the souls that he calls his own. Scott and I will say our vows, promising to live as one with each other as well as the father, and will start our new beginning. My heart feels glad and I am at peace (which probably sounds crazy to everyone, as we are approaching our final month before the wedding)

*I wrote the first half of this entry this past spring following the trip home, but have since received heaps of blessings as we near even closer to our wedding day. 
My mother-in-law to be along with my future sister planned a second bridal shower for me. Not only is this wedding and marriage feeling more real, but I am feeling more and more loved. I am gaining a husband and another family who loves me more than I could have imagined. 
For the second bridal shower my mother-in-law chose to decorate with things that reflect the wedding planning and things that will be seen again at the ranch. It was absolutely wonderful.

The promised pictures of invitations

In my last post I promised to show pictures of the invitations and rsvp cards - so here they are! 

They turned out pretty good - the colors are perfect... 
thanks to Mike, my new friend who works at Staples.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Invitation Headaches

Well, I learned the hard way that trying to save a dollar doesn't always save you from frustration. I designed beautiful invitations and ordered paper in attempt to print at home; alas, it is never as easy as it may seem. I dropped off the invitations to be printed at Staples yesterday. Sigh.
Our printer could recognize the size of the cards but not the color, if only the beautiful yellow would come out yellow we could have saved a buck. Mike at Staples is doing a wonderful job but I'm heartbroken that I couldn't do it myself.

Total cost: $190 plus a headache and some tears.

Pictures soon to follow (of the invitations, not the tears)     :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Vests for my Boys

I wanted to do something special for the men who are going to stand up for us, so I found a pattern and started on some vests! I have never sewed men's wear before, so this was quite the adventure. The pattern was pretty simple - I had a front, a lining front, back, a lining back, welts (pretend pocket looking pieces), and a back strap closure. This made it super easy to cut out all of my pieces and get started. I used a linen for the front and satin for the lining and back. One groomsman has yellow satin and the other has green - this will match my girls. I also made a vest for my Dad using a tan satin.
The hardest part I ran into was all the pleating. There are two pleats in the front and two in the back, two in the front lining, and two in the back lining. This turned into a measuring and pinning game. After the pleating was finished though the rest of the vest just really pulled together pretty quickly.
Everything was machine sewed with the exception of the first sewn stiches on the side seams, i hand stiched those then machine stiched (I wanted to make sure I caught every edge and made it look professional).

The vests, after they were completely sewn, got buttonholes. I am so thankfur that my MILTB has a machine that you can program to complete buttonholes - it made the finishing touches go so fast!

Over all, each vest took about 45 minutes to cut out, an hour and a half of initial sewing time, an hour of hand sewing time, and 20 minutes for finishing touches. I know these pictures are kind of hard to really see how the vests look, so by sure to check back to see the wedding day photos. Of course, the boys will make the vests look far better than I could ever dream just by putting their handsome selves into them.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Coffee Sack Table Runners

I was looking for table runners for the reception, something country feeling. Flipping through bridal magazines I saw a photo where someone used burlap as a table runner. Burlap seemed like the perfect way to add some texture and visual interest to a plain table - I was sold on the idea; however, looking at fabric stores for burlap came with a large price tag (Joann's was going to end up costing around $60+).
Fortunately I mentioned to my mother-in-law-to-be the burlap runner desire and was met with an idea. There is a warehouse type store in Youngstown, Ohio called Star Supply - they have a little bit of everything and nothing of spectacular value. There we came across a stack of old burlap coffee sacks that were $0.45 a piece and couldn't pass them up. They are each printed with labels and were shipped with the goods they once held from other countries, which of course made them more beautiful in my eyes.

We snatched up ten sacks and ended up cutting them into table runners. But had to cut them apart outside as they smelled like coffee, dirt, and Mexico.

Of course Callie Girl had to help us out a bit. We had to cut the side seams, unfold, and cut in half the full length. Thank goodness my MILTB had extra craft tables, rotary cutters, ruler, and lots of patience!

We did run into a small problem after we started cutting - the burlap began pulling apart from itself. Again, praise the Lord that my MILTB is fast on her toes, we used the surger to run up the edges of the runners (this gave the runners a look that was polished and made our $0.95 cent find look like we spend much, much more).

I can't wait to post pictures of the wedding day. These runners will look awesome with all the vintage colored glass vases we found at the thrift stores!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Survival Kits for Wedding Day / Boxy Bags

I know that my girls probably read this blog, but I am going to go ahead and post anyways. Sorry ladies for ruining the surprise!

I read about an idea of giving bridesmaids a survival kit to make it through the wedding day and knew I had to make something similar for my girls. I had been waiting to try making a cute "boxy bag" and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to test out a new sewing project in combination with a wedding idea.

So here is it - 
You'll need two printed fabrics and interfacing (I used left over material from the ties and vests to make mine), a zipper, coordinating thread, and about 30 minutes.

I started by cutting the fabric and interfacing into squares that were 8" by 10" - you will need two squares of your inside material, two of the outside material, and two of interfacing (craft weight works best for this project).

I ironed the interfacing to my outside material, then I matched my two fabrics (right sides together) and sewed the long length. I opened up and pressed the newly sewn edge flat. Do this for both sets of squares. 

I pinned the newly pressed edges of the squares to the zipper and sewed to secure in place.
After the zipper was secured, I sewed the bottom edge (opposite long side) with inside material together (right side out). I trimmed the material close to the seam then turned right sides together and sewed the long edge again (creating a french seam for the bottom of the bag). 

I then folded the bag in half long way and pressed. Following the ironing, the short ends were sewed (be careful to not have the zipper zipped close!)

This point is a little tricky - pinch the corners out and sew about a 2 inch length triangle in each of the four corners. After you have them sewn, trim close to the new seam.

There it is - your new boxy bag! Turn it right side out and enjoy

I filled my new creations with "survival items" for the wedding day - travel sized items that the ladies may need to save the day (or just to make being on the ranch easier)
{hair spray, mini first-aid kit, deodorant, clear nail polish, emery boards, 
tide-to-go pen, bobby pins, lotions, mouth wash, and advil}

Friday, April 20, 2012


Going to college to major in art meant I powered through creating images and throwing them onto canvas. A painting changes drastically from what it starts from. All the years I have been making things, this whole "documenting the process" is new to me. So, here it is - this is my newest painting from the very beginning to current (which may or may not be the end) - pretty neat to see where things come from and what they end up becoming.

Maybe paintings have more life than we give them in one glance. They all have pasts we don't see at first, but the layers and layers of paint, all of the experiences, build up a sort of richness that create a more beautiful piece. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

wedding planning

Weddings are stressful. End of story. 

I now understand why nearly every newly married couple goes away on a honeymoon - it isn't to cuddle for a week straight without having to be apart to go to work, it is really because you need a vacation after putting together one of the most stressful occasions of your life. Scott and I have had a particularly long engagement as we are now at a year and 4 months. The first year was delightful, nothing was any cause of worry and there was all the time in the world! Now being about 4 months out from the wedding I  could swear tomorrow morning I may wake up to a head full of gray hair and a stomach full of ulcers. 

Who had any idea that there were so many small things to have to worry about? Who knew that you needed chargers for under the plates and napkins that complimented the tablecloths, tents for sun coverage and double the amount of chairs to have seating for ceremony and reception, johns for people to pee and music to keep them grooving, pens to sign the guest book and programs so people don't forget who everybody is, gifts for the parents and a pastor for the 'i do', balloons for the party and tins for the back of the car, food enough for everybody and a cake with icing that won't melt off in the sun, bouquets for tossing and bouquets for keeping, photographers to capture every moment and plan covering every hour to keep us all on schedule. Man, I thought it just took one man and one woman who were so in love with each other that they couldn't imagine the rest of their life without the other part of their soul. 

I had to take a break from the planning and the worrying about all the things that make up a party to focus back on the reason we even decided to have the party. I am in love with Scott. With that change of focus, we decided to cut the guest list to a small fraction of what it originally was so that we could stop worrying about all the things and focus in closer on each other

Stepping away from everything to take time for ourselves and pray about our situation, I remembered hearing about the marriage triangle. It is such a beautiful visual to help remind couples what a marriage really takes. I had to share a copy of what I read, if you haven't read this before I am pleased to share it with you

The Triangular Model of Love


Triangle with God at the top, husband and wife at each angle on the bottom
This diagram shows the relationships between a husband, wife, and God. Both the husband and wife have an individual relationship with God as well as a close relationship with each other. Notice that as the husband and wife grow closer to God, they actually draw closer to each other. This means that a vital part of a husband and wife’s relationship is their individual relationship with God. If one of the spouses is growing closer to God and the other is not, the triangle’s shape gets out of balance. This is very evident in marriages where one spouse is a believer and the other is not. For non-Christian marriages this triangle is still in effect although is not used by the couple. It is important to understand that the spiritual aspects of marriage is the most intimate part of marriage because out of it all other aspects of the relationship are developed.


Inverted triangle with commitment at the bottom, intimacy and passion at each angle on the top


The commitment/decision part of love is a choice. It is seen when a couple decides that they will stay together for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse. It is not based on feelings that go up and down. It is the decision to stay when the going gets tough. It is also the basis for marital love that provides the safety that couples feel knowing that they are committed to someone who will honor their trust.


Intimacy is the friendship part of love. It is where couples can share their hearts and feel they are best friends. Many people would classify intimacy as the sexual part of sharing each others hearts, of trusting each other with hopes, dreams, fears, etc.


Passion is the exciting part of love. Sexual love is here, many people do not realize that it is not limited to sexual love. Romance and showing affection are also involved in nurturing passionate love. Taking a romantic walk in the park, having dinner together alone, and sending a romantic note or flowers help to kindle the passionate and exciting feelings of love. While passionate feelings are a part of marital love, remember it is only one side of the triangle.

How the Sides of the Triangle Work Together

Commitment = Decision
Intimacy = Friendship
Passion = Excitement
It is important for married couples to keep this triangle balanced in order to feel the love that they would like to experience. For example, if a couple doesn’t trust on the commitment level, both intimacy and passion will suffer greatly. It is very important for trust and friendship to be built first before the openness of the passionate side of the relationship can be experienced. Many engaged couple become engaged based solely on the passionate side of love without nurturing the intimate (friendship) and commitment sides of love.
Over the course of a marriage it is important to realize that the triangle periodically changes shape. For example, during a time when the husband is sick with the stomach flu, the commitment side of love must be the strongest. During this time the intimate side of love can be nurtured, while, the passionate side is put on hold for a time. This is necessary under the circumstances and will hopefully change as soon as the person’s health returns. However, it is important to see that when the passionate side is waning during that illness, that the other two sides, intimacy and commitment, must make up the balance. If a couple’s decision to marry is based on a shallow concept of love, when the feeling of loves wants the marriage itself can be in danger.
If the commitment side of love is weak, a couple has a serious crisis at hand because the intimate and passionate sides of love and still seeking to be fulfilled. In these cases, it is not uncommon for spouses to seek fulfillment elsewhere through fantasy or extramarital affairs. The commitment that a husband and wife has is the basis for intimacy and passion to grow. Each of the sides of the triangle relies on the other sides in order to give and receive love to the fullest.
The intimacy side of the triangle wanes at times as well. This occurs many times with overly busy schedules and/or the introduction of children into a marriage. Much of the time that couples spent focusing on their relationships (sharing thoughts and feelings) is disrupted because of the children and busy time schedules. IT is important to see how the intimate side of marriage also affects the passionate side of the love triangle.
The passionate side is deeply connected to the intimate side of married love. It is important for couples to nurture the intimate side of their marriage. Couples must make sure that their relationship is one of their top priorities and set aside time to spend alone. In the way, the passionate side of love will be able to be maintained. It is predictable to see that when the intimate side of marriage is suffering that the passionate side also suffers. Couples finding themselves in the circumstances may find that sex becomes laborious or nonexistent. Next, let’s look at a diagram that shows how triangles one and two work together to form a Christian model of love.


Second triangle superimposed on the first - God at the top
After reviewing triangles one and two, you may notice that triangle three is a composite showing both triangles superimposed onto each other. Using this model a husband and wife who share a commitment to prove each other and who are growing together towards God, will be able to experience intimacy and passion for each other and for God. It is important for couples to monitor the shape of their triangles and to understand the transition phases that the triangles go through. In this way, a couple who sees a side of their triangle is suffering can seek to bolster it by building up other sides of their marriage and making sure that their individual relationships to God and being maintained.

Focusing on our personal relationship with God as well as our relationship with each other will bring us through all the troubles that leave us guessing if we can make it another day. So, my stressing ends here - I have given up worrying about all the things and turned my concern over to wanting to love my God and my Husband. Anything done from here out will compliment the day, but it certainly won't make or break our wedding. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bridesmaid Necklaces

About a week ago I stopped at the craft store on my way home from work and ended up picking up some glass beads. After looking at I wanted to make some sort of jewelry - there are just so many cute things posted on that site! I recruited my best girlfriend to test out my crafting challenge and before you know it we had two beautiful necklaces for my bridesmaids. 

Things you'll need if you want to try this out:
Beading string (this looks like fishing line and I'm sure that would be an acceptable substitute if you have some lying around)
Glass beads in 3 different sizes or color (although, if you wanted them to all be the same that would be ok too!)
1 Larger bead type
Necklace closure/clasp

We started by measuring out 3 pieces of string - each should be able to be folded in half (so it is basically two strands) and go around your neck to length desired of your necklace. Ours were roughly 38 inches long without the fold. All three strands get put through the clasp - folded in half so that you can pull the tails through the string loop to secure the strands. The larger beads are strung from the closure down as far as you want then separate the strands out. Two strands with each kind of bead. Again, you can add as many or as few as you want so long as they are all even. Braid this section of beaded strands together. Add the large beads on the left over strand area and finish by wrapping around the closure piece, knotting, and threading the left over strand back through the last couple of beads on the strand. 

This project took about 2 hours to have a completed, but well worth it!