taking something old... making something new.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

signs...that I'm going a little nuts?

I had this great idea for signs using leftover fabric from my invitations, a printer, embroidery hoops, and these beautiful, delicate swirling iron lantern posts we have. I want my wedding to feel like a pleasant spring garden party, complete with a picnic-style luncheon, lawn games, a dress-up photobooth, and overall a relaxed atmosphere. I want people to feel free to wander around and enjoy the day. Having signs will help them identify where they can go and what they can do, besides just being fun to look at :) To print on fabric, it's actually really easy. I bought some Freezer Paper from the grocery store, ironed the shiny side on to a piece of muslin fabric, and cut it to the size I wanted (I did 11" squares for a 10" embroidery hoop). When you iron the freezer paper to the fabric, it doesn't feel like it will stay and it's not a super strong hold. However, it holds together long enough to feed the fabric and freezer paper through the printer. Once it prints, you peel the freezer paper off the back, and voila! You've got printed fabric! After printing the fabric, I cut out more appliqued flowers and using wonder-under ironed them onto the fabric just like I did with the invitations. Then I put them in the embroidery hoops, trimmed the excess fabric from the back, and tied a ribbon to the top.

my dancin' shoes

Okay, so I know I'm taking this whole fabric thing too far, but since the time I forced myself to stop looking at other people's weddings for ideas (was starting to get discouraged) my mind has been flooded with new ideas...and I'm much too excited about them to let reality keep me in check. I have 74 days until my day of wedded bliss and I've got a lot to do, but my shoes are a pretty important element to my big day. I wanted something special and unique and brightly colored. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find anything that fit my wedding shoe criteria: 1. Not strappy--I hate the way my feet look in strappy sandals 2. Had to be peep toe--I love peep toe 3. Heel needed to be between 2-3" in height. I'm already 5'10" and I don't want to be an amazon on my wedding day! Besides, I'm only about 4" shorter than Bartek. 4. Couldn't have stiletto heels--I don't want to aeriate Ashley's lawn with my shoes. I'm going to be spending at least 6 hours outside in the grass! 5. And last, I wanted something bright, unique, and me. So, what else to do when I can't find a shoe to fit the criteria? Well, I make them of course!
I took this great pair of Kenneth Cole shoes that I love but haven't worn for a while because, well, I haven't had a need for silver shoes lately. They are broken in, comfortable, and I can easily see myself wearing these all day with no problems. Besides, I love how they look on my feet. I went to Ben Franklin and got this amazing Amy Butler fabric, a bottle of super strength Mod Podge, and a foam brush.
Then I simply tore fabric into strips and slathered on the glue! I applied glue directly to the shoe (lots of it) first, then applied it over the fabric after putting it on. Once the shoes were fully covered, I cut Thin strips to line the edges and give them a nice, finished look!
Looking up close, they're definitely not perfect, but I don't really worry what the little critters in the grass think about my shoes. I'm pretty darn excited about them. When the rest of my sisters come out before the wedding, we're going to have a shoe-making party and we'll have everyone make a pair of shoes in different funky fabrics. It should be great fun~!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

when impulse buys go terribly right...

So Bart and I have found a place to live when we're married. It's a great little house in Bellevue and it's close to everything! I love the house and think it's quite charming. While I won't actually be living there until April 9 after 1:00 in the afternoon, I am moving all my things into the place so I don't have to keep it all in storage. So it has been really fun playing house, even if it only lasts until I go home each night!
Our living room is quite large and there was this big blank space on the wall and I decided that what I'd really love is a side table or buffet. I found this beauty on craig's list last week for $150 (it's antique). I had a little inward battle and deleted my correspondence with the previous owner because I told myself that I was not going to spend any more money on this darn wedding and this darn house. But alas, somehow I found myself in my car with cash in hand. And you know what? I don't regret it. I absolutely love it, and I know that Bart will grow to love it someday as well!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

sewing party

I had a blast tonight having a little invitation sewing party with Tess and Micah. We ordered a gluten-free pizza, assembled and sewed 200 invitations, and talked about babies (both Tess and Micah are pregnant). It was a great way to spend a snowy evening. I'm super excited about these invitations. I found the idea online and it was the perfect invite for me. I used a combination of fabrics that I had already and purchased fabrics from the store. Each invitation is hand-sewn with a square of fabric on the back and an appliqued flower on the front.
Apologies for the grainy photos. I forgot my camera so I had to use the iphone. I considered a reenactment for the sake of good (or just better) photos but alas, I couldn't really capture the moment, as it was spent among friends and I loved Tess's vintage suitcases in the background.
By the end of the evening, we accumulated quite the stack of invitations. I still have to finish cutting out about 100 flowers and attaching them to the front of the invite, but that is something that is easily done while watching a good movie.

Tess and Micah. A great team. Micah assembled the mayhem while Tess and I sewed. Micah got a little distracted when she started talking about cooking and ended up gluing a few invitations so they had the invite on both sides instead of fabric on one side :) I'll let it slide as she is experiencing pregnancy horomones right now !
I took a picture of all the invitations after they were packed away in the box. I thought it made a pretty cool picture. In fact, I think I'm going to have this picture made into fabric. My friend Natalie told me about this cool website spoonflower where you can design your own fabric. I have it posted here if you want to check it out.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

ottoman facelift

Okay, so I'm getting married outside in a friend's gorgeous yard. Yes, the wedding is in April, but I've got to plan on good weather. If it ends up being bad, I'll adjust. I believe in planning for the best case scenario and then being flexible when nothing goes right! Anyway, her yard is absolutely gorgeous and I am so grateful for her generosity. For the wedding luncheon, I'm picturing tables set up around the garden (this will all be in bloom) and orchard area, but also having a basket filled with picnic blankets in case people want to eat their lunch picnic-style. I'd also like to have furniture set up (small side tables and chairs and brightly covered ottomans) in places so people can sit and chat with one another in a more comfortable setting. I found these two ottomans at Value Village for less than $10 and couldn't wait to cover them with the $4/yard fabric I got on sale at Hancocks. My goal with my wedding decor is to create pieces that will be used in my house later on. This ottoman will DEFINITELY go in my front room. I love how it turned out.
Sadly, I did not get a picture of the ottoman before I took it apart. I guess I was just too excited and got about halfway through before thinking about taking pictures. This is sort of what it looked like, only without rolling wheels, and the fabric was shiny blue on blue striped and frayed.

So as usual, my first step is always to take things apart. When reupholstering, it is really important that I take it apart methodically and take note of how it is constructed. I will usually put it back together in the opposite order I took it apart. After pulling the fabric off the old ottoman, I found out what the strange powder was--it was the foam pad. It had totally disinegrated and was at the point where it was hard and would break off into a fine powder when touched. Pretty disgusting--that went straight into the trash and I had to take a trip to the fabric store for new foam. So what I started with was the wood frame from the old ottoman (complete with springs in the undercarriage, and a piece of thick foam that sits on top of the wood frame. To keep them together and add a bit of padding, I used thin cotton batting to wrap the two pieces together so the foam doesn't shift around while I work with it.
Next, I lay my fabric over the top of the foam, sew the corners, and staple it to the wood frame. I made a piping with extra fabric and layed that down before covering the wooden frame. Once covered, I stapled the fabric along the bottom, replaced the foot plates and the feet, and Voila! Three hours later, I've got a brand-spankin' new piece of heaven!