Friday, July 31, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

Wedding Cake Toppers...

I'm not a deep thinker, however, when it comes to details surrounding a wedding I might tend to over think. I've mentioned that our son is getting married in the near future and that my husband and I are hosting a wedding brunch to be held after the wedding ceremony. The brunch has a "French Country" theme. The reception the day before will be the main event, so we hope this brunch will have a more relaxed atmosphere. Still, I love to plan the details of events like this, so I hope it's very special. Instead of a typical wedding cake we are serving a number of different french desserts {fresh fruit and creme filled tarts, macarons, and croquembouche} and several simply decorated white cakes. That way the bride and groom will have the opportunity to take part in the tradition of "cutting a cake" after the wedding ceremony. As a result I've been scouring the internet and stores for three cute cake toppers to place on top of these three simply decorated eight-inch cakes.When I saw this adorable ring bowl an idea was born.

Instead of having cake toppers that have no use after the ceremony, I wanted each cake topper to be kept and used throughout their married life. That was no small task. It took a lot of imagination to come up with the three toppers, but here they are. The first topper I bought was this ring holder. The mint green color goes perfectly with their wedding decor, and I hope the bride uses it whenever she needs to remove her rings. I found this at a flea market in our town.

The second topper is this beautiful little crown that I bought in "Parts for your Art" Etsy store.

I fell in love with several wedding cakes with a crown topper on Pinterest. I bought this crown in a blue color and changed the color slightly to light sage green, then glazed it to make it appear to be a vintage French item. Have you ever seen newborn baby photos with a crown on the head of the baby? Well, in the future this item can be used in that way when their babies are born and, then again, if they wish, as a 1st birthday cake topper.

I really struggled over the third item, but when I came upon a miniature glass cloche the light went off. I bought the cloche and then went looking for the other items. The base of the cloche was found at Hobby Lobby -- just a 3.5" round plywood disk. I'll put a pretty doily die cut on top of the disk and just under the cloche. 

Then I'll thread some ribbon around the tops of the two keys and tie it in a bow. Those keys go under the cloche. The keys symbolize the keys of the bride's and groom's hearts. The keys can later be used as their first Christmas tree ornament.

Each cake will be put on one of these beautiful cake stands that I bought from Save-On-Crafts. I think they are so pretty and they have that Frenchy feel that I'm trying to incorporate into the brunch!

Sometimes I think I'm a little "out there" when I put so much effort into something that could be so simple, but I hope it's the touches like these that make the brunch special and beautiful.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

Silverware Envelopes and other wedding details...

One of the responsibilities {and pleasures} my husband and I have for my son and daughter-in-law's wedding will be to host a wedding brunch for family and friends just after the ceremony in the Oakland California Temple. This will be a more casual and relaxed setting than the reception the day before in San Francisco. We're fortunate that my sister and her husband live just ten minutes away from the temple, so their beautiful home will be the setting for the brunch. The theme is a French country brunch buffet with lots of pastries, tea sandwiches, quiche, salads, fruits, tarts and macarons. As if that isn't enough we'll have some wedding cake and a croquembouche or French Wedding Cake. The bride's sister is making the croquembouche. Here's a photo of the dry run they did to see if they could pull it off...

A croquembrouche consists of cream puffs and other confectionery items arranged in or on a cone and held together by caramel sauce. They bought a styrofoam cone, wrapped it in parchment paper and added the cream puffs with the tacky caramel. It's pretty amazing, isn't it?

There will be about 100 people at this event, so I'm busy planning all the details so it will run smoothly and look effortless. While scouring Pinterest I came upon this lovely idea at Save-On-Crafts.

They are called Silverware Envelopes. I love a quick exit from a buffet {especially when there are a lot of people waiting in line}, so this is the perfect solution to house all of one's utensils and a napkin in a to-go pouch. It's a great idea not just for this occasion, but for any type of casual entertaining.

I knew I could either spend over $80 to order 100 of these cute envelopes, or I could try to make them myself for a quarter of that price. You guessed it. I made them...

I bought four packages of #9 Kraft Policy Envelopes {25 per package} at Hobby Lobby for $2.49 each on sale at 50% off. That's 100 envelopes for $9.60. The outside dimensions for this envelope are about 9"x4". I lopped off the top flap with a paper cutter.

Then I went online and found this silverware stamp at Stamper's Anonymous for $13. I actually like this stamp better than the stamp they used on the store bought items because it's a little larger and a better size for the envelopes.

I love the vintage image of this knife, fork, and spoon.

Instead of spending over $80 on these envelopes, I spent about $23, and I have a stamp that I can reuse in the future for other parties. Time to check that detail off the list!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fabric Flowers and Wedding Prep...

Wedding season is upon us. This weekend a daughter-of-our-heart {our former daughter-in-law} is marrying in Tennessee, and we're looking forward to sharing that event with her and her chosen. In a few weeks our son and his beautiful bride are tying the knot in California. As my daughter-in-law-to-be said, "We are in wedding sweatshop workshop mode." This week we've been embellishing some beautiful dresses that the flower girls are wearing. The bride and groom have chosen to have their little nieces and nephews all dressed alike and most (that are old enough) will be flower girls and their escorts. The boys will all be in little gray suits (dashing!) and the girls will wear beautiful lacy dresses. The older (5-12 years) girls will be in this champagne colored dress...

And the little ones (3 months - 4 years) will be in this creamy beauty...

That's 10 little girls parading around in those beautiful dresses and 8 little boys looking as handsome as can be in their three-piece suits! That's the plan. We realize, of course, that the plan and reality rarely coincide. What will probably happen is right before the festivities begin two little boys will get in a mud fight and three little girls will be standing in their line of fire. Wish us luck.

The littlest girls dresses were all dolled up with a cute bow and bling...

so Meghann wanted the dresses the older girls are wearing to have a pretty accessory too. A project was instigated and some flowers were created. You might remember that the wedding colors are green, gray and creamy champagne...

Meghann chose to add a little color to these older girl dresses in the form of a flower...

It makes me wish I was eight years old again!

We used the same technique to make these flowers, as I used earlier this spring...

So pretty. I can't wait to see the grandkids all gussied up! I can certainly recommend the Etsy Shop {Girly Girl Envy} for the littler girl dresses. They came perfectly sewn, were reasonably priced, and arrived right on time. The Etsy Shop for the older girl dresses sent beautifully sewn dresses that were also reasonably priced, but we had shipping problems with both orders we ordered from them. It all ended up fine, but things like that tend to make you cringe a bit. In the end, though, we couldn't be more pleased with these little girl dresses.

Monday, July 13, 2015

DIY Sea Glass Vases

I'm fond of sea glass, 
so when I saw these beautiful vases at West Elm I knew I had to have one or two...

...until I saw the prices. The litty bitty bud vase is $25 -- the largest vase (still small) was $44.
It's amazing how quick I can become disenchanted when things are overpriced.

I was hopeful that I could find some sea glass vases for a better price, so I went to Hobby Lobby and found this selection on sale for 50% off. I bought the small one on the left for $12.50 on sale. Still, I wanted a better selection with different sizes and shapes of vases, so I decided to make some of my own. How hard could it be?

Let me state up front, that not all my ideas are good ones. What came next was a lot of trial and error and a bit of success.

Hobby Lobby is currently having their 90% off clearance sales right now, and, as luck would have it, there was a variety of glass vases for the taking! So, I bought a couple of large vases for about $2 each.

They might look small in the photo above, but they are actually much larger than the ones for sale at West Elm or Hobby Lobby. I also picked up the vases below for pennies, and they were already slightly tinted. So far, so good.

I began by looking up "how to make sea glass vases" on the internet and Pinterest, but I came up with very little. There is a Martha Stewart product out there, but you have to paint it on, and I didn't think it would work well on the large vases I'd bought. There's a Mod Podge technique that sounds interesting. I might try that next time. I did a little more research and found a glass paint that dries transparent. That's just what I needed for the first phase of my project.

Vitrail paint, by Pebeo, is a solvent based, transparent paint commonly used for stained glass creations. The paint dries to a hard surface and is resistance to gentle washing. I bought several colors of this paint and went to work with high hopes.

  •  Glass vases, bottles, jars that have been thoroughly cleaned 
  • Vitrail, by Pebeo, glass paint {Hobby Lobby in Art Department, Regular price: $7.99. Use a 40% off coupon!}
  • 100% Acetone Nail Polish Remover
Instead of painting the outside, I decided to stain the inside of the vase. The size of your glass vase will determine how much paint you use. Simply pour some paint into the bottom of your vase and add a half a cap-full of acetone {100% acetone nail polish remover}. Mix the solution together -- adding a little more acetone or paint if needed. The idea is to leave the paint as thick as possible, but make it thin enough to coat the inside of the glass vase. Swirl the combined mixture around the entire interior of the vase until it is thoroughly coated. Turn the vase upside down and let the excess paint drip out of the vase. This solution can be put back into the paint container and used again on another vase. If necessary dip a cotton swab into the acetone and clean excess paint from the top of the vase. Don't be concerned if the paint looks opaque or cloudy. When the paint dries completely, it will be come transparent and have a glass-like finish. This technique worked beautifully on two of the vases {see one below}..

...and failed miserably on two more...

Back to the drawing board. I'm still not sure what happened, but I think the last two vases had some texture on the inside of the vase which didn't allow the paint to coat the glass thoroughly. That's my best guess. Fortunately, the Vitrail paint is solvent based, so the next morning I dumped a container of Acetone Nail Polish remover inside those two vases which dissolved the paint and cleaned them out lickity-split. I decided it's much, much easier to buy glass that is slightly tinted to begin with!

In the meantime, I'd come across a much easier and less expensive technique to help make the vases look a little more like sea glass. Simply spray the outside of the vase with a frosted glass spray. Do a little at a time and add more frosting if necessary.

When the glass frosting has dried, lightly spray a little flat white spray paint onto the glass.

A little of the white paint will go a long way.

Those two methods (glass frosting and white spray paint) will work together to give your vases a sea glass look, especially if the glass vase is already tinted.

These vases are going in my newly painted laundry room. They'll find a home on the top of the cupboards above the sink.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Friday, July 03, 2015

Friday's Fabulous Finds...

I spy with my Etsy eye some... 
sunshine yellow & navy blue.

Clockwise, starting top left:

Wishing all my USA friends a Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 02, 2015


My husband is fond of a little saying that he repeats to friends whenever the subject of house painting comes up. He says, "Suzanne has painted the rooms in our house so many times that we've lost square footage." I'd like to fault the man for being unkind, but no truer words were ever spoken. I love to paint walls. It's the quickest and one of the least expensive ways to update a room. Earlier this week I finally finished the last of the wedding picnic blankets, so I decided to do a quick redo that I've put off for a few months. I painted our laundry room about five years ago and never really liked the color. It's a nice size room, but it only has one small window and the colors I chose were too dark for the space. I've been oohing and awing over laundry rooms on Pinterest, so I decided to lighten up the room...

I'm putting a light gray --  Behr Burnished Clay -- on three of the walls and doing a cool blue -- Behr Harmonious -- on the accent wall.

The photos I take indoors are never true to color, but the swatches above give you a more accurate idea of the color combination. I love it. It'll make me want to go in the room and tackle the most stubborn stains. {Kidding. Not even new paint could have the effect on me.} Yesterday I put the first coat of paint on the wall. It felt great to work a project that didn't require a sewing machine.

Today I'll put the second coat on, and then I'll enjoy the holiday (Independence Day) weekend.
Monday I'll get back to the accent wall. Can't wait to see that blue on the wall! I'm hoping it isn't too bright.

This blog post is about as exciting as watching paint dry.