Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Enamel Brooch Bouquet Re-visited

photo taken by Heather Armstrong of heatherphoto.ca

I had wanted to make an updated post to the tutorial I posted back in the Spring. I had been waiting for actual photos from our wedding to do that, so you could see the bouquet in use, and we got those this morning. So here it is in all its glory!

Making this bouquet really was a learning process. I was in love with the final result, with only one of the pins really bothering me. Here are some things I learned along (the rest of) the way:

*decide on the shape you like - I had put the entire bouquet together and then realized I really did not like the full ball shape, but rather a dome. It wasn't too hard to take apart, but it would have been easier to saw the bottom off the foam ball before finishing up. A good way to decide on shape is to google enamel brooch bouquets (or search pinterest) and see what you like.

*order one of these, or cut your handle to the proper length before attaching it. You want it to have just enough room for your hands to wrap around it comfortably. Again, it can be fixed later, but it's easier to not have to.

*try to choose flowers with petals that are close together or overlapping. Flowers with petals that are spaced out will show your foam ball underneath.

*if you want that nice round shape, make sure all the petals on your pins flare towards your body when you're wearing the pin, like this..

rather than away from your body, like this..

You can see one pin sticking out on my bouquet for this reason and it did drive my perfectionist tendencies a little crazy. Along these lines, I bring you my next tip:

*If it doesn't work or you don't love it, lose it! I had a few pins I thought I just had to have on my bouquet, but I couldn't make them work. Don't force it because you spent money and time finding it. You can always re-sell it or use it in another way, and you want to end up with something you love.

*Layer, layer, layer! I didn't cover my foam ball in any fabric or paint. I just used smaller, flatter flowers and ones I didn't mind being less prominent to be layered over. This added dimension and filled in areas. Earrings are great for layering and filling in small spaces between the larger flowers. I really like the full look, so this worked well for me.

photo taken by Heather Armstrong of heatherphoto.ca

*attaching your fabric to the bottom of your foam ball before attaching your pins would be a smart move. I had a lot burns on my fingers from trying to fit the hot glued fabric underneath the bottom pins. My fabric doesn't look perfect, but I like the loose pieces rather than having it all tight.

*take your time with the ribbon wrapping and save the hot glueing until you've wrapped and re-wrapped and are sure you like the way it looks. It took me quite a few tries to get it looking decent. The fabric from above made the ribbon buldge out a bit. Don't stress though, your hands will mostly be covering it.

*If you add a contrasting ribbon like I did, do yourself a favour and hot glue it. Mine un-tied itself a few times during the ceremony. Oops!

*I think this last one goes without saying, but if you're going to do a bouquet toss, use one of your bridesmaids' bouquets. You don't want any concussions!

photo taken by Heather Armstrong of heatherphoto.ca

Mostly, just have fun with it. Make it unique and make it you. Try things out and if they don't work, try again. It is a lot of work to make one of these bouquets, but the result is definitely worth it!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Photobooths and a Shop Update

photo taken by Heather Armstrong of heatherphoto.ca

Our wonderful photographer sent us the Crazy Booth photos from our wedding, and they are so much fun! We loved having a photobooth since it provided our guests some more entertainment, and it gave us a better chance at capturing more of our guests in pictures...doing funny things. If you want to see some of the results, I've made a post up on our wedding blog.

I've been having some not so fun side effects from our current IUI cycle (which sadly caused me to miss out on a local Pyrex meet-up), so I've been trying to take it pretty easy. Getting those pictures really helped cheer me up. I wanted to keep busy, so this morning I photographed several vintage finds and got a lot of them up in my shop.

That blue romper with the gingham details has to be my favourite of the lot. It's one that will probably stay with me, just in case. Aside from the romper, there were some really great finds. I was pleasantly surprised when I found two aprons made out of vintage sheets.

How neat is that? I even have the sheets that match the aprons.

Tonight I am heading back over to Jer's parents' house where Jer and I are house sitting while they're away in Nova Scotia. We are going to make burritos and take advantage of our last night of access to his dad's incredible record collection. I'm not going to lie, there will probably be some dancing around on my part!

Have you scored any great thrift finds lately? Tell me about them!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer & Sewing

The weather cooled down a bit over the end of last week, so Jer and I spent as much time outside as we could. We went to our local park to swing, and to the dog park with Lola, we played baseball, rode bikes, and went for walks, and it just brought our stress levels right down. I haven't been feeling great because of the fertility medication, so it was nice to get out and re-charge.

The heat picked right back up in time for my babysitting date with Emma and Lizzie. We spent a few hours running around outside and splashing in the mini pool while their mama and pops were at a party. Before they left, I got to spend a bit of time with Janet, which is always great. How gorgeous is this lady?

I need to make sure to capture more moments like these because it reminds me that summer really isn't so bad.

Not being able to resist those 1/2 metres of fabric for under $2.50, I grabbed my mom and went to another fabric store location. I picked up a few more prints (including some Alexander Henry and Urban Garden) and some stretch fabric. I've never sewn with knits before, so this should be a fun experiment!

One of the ladies working at the store showed us some great fabric, almost like a microfibre, that all the employees swear by for cleaning. You just wet it and it does better than any cleaners do on glass and smooth surfaces. It's normally $20 a metre, but since it was half off we bought enough to cut into six cloths. Our windows and mirrors have never been so clean! I absolutely hate window sprays (even natural ones), so this makes me so much happier about cleaning. I'll have to do updates on how the cloths hold up. Unfortunately, I forgot to include them in the photo.

And of course, an update on the Pyrex Cross-Stitch..

It's getting there!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Storing and Gardening

My mom used to be an avid cross stitcher and there is evidence all over her house to prove it. When I was little my room was filled with cross stitched Disney characters, our bathroom had a huge cross stitch of the three men in the tub poem, and even my dad had cross stitch pictures on his desk at work. My favourites were the set she made for the kitchen..dishes, containers, spices, and pies.

I remember she had a big blue binder filled with pages and pages of little plastic slots filled with embroidery floss cards, each one numbered and ordered. She had every colour you could imagine. When I was 6 or 7 she would let my cousin and I invade her stash to make hundreds and hundreds of friendship bracelets. Aside from swimming and hiking, this was our favourite thing to do at the cottage in the summer. We were constantly walking around with a half finished bracelet safety pinned to the hem of our shorts, which I imagine looked quite funny. This didn't stop until I was 12 or so (after I had made a three inch wide rainbow bracelet that took nearly an entire summer) and most of her stash had dwindled down. She stopped stitching, so she wasn't building it back up.

The big blue binder is long gone, but I wanted to find a more organized way of storing my embroidery floss since I've started cross stitching more and more and my stash is building up. I couldn't find any floss cards or binder pages, so until I do I decided on this much more space consuming (but cute and fun) storage..

I'm not sure I will ever run out of those old wooden thread spools, but they have ended up being so useful.

Speaking of stashes, my local fabric store was having a 50% off sale, so I made my way over to see what I could find. There wasn't a lot I liked in terms of colours, but the neturals were great. I did allow myself one floral print just because I loved it so much, but I passed up all of my usual picks in favour of the more neutral options. I picked up a huge pile of half metres (oh, Canada) for less than $2.50 a piece. The best part is I am already mixing and matching just from my stash and am coming up with so many more project ideas.

I haven't mentioned the garden in a while so I thought I would post a little update. The heat has finally broken and I'm hoping that makes a difference to my unhappy little veggie garden. While the tomatoes are happy as can be, my cucumber is wilting, the peas are turning yellow, the beans are not growing as well as usual, and of course the zucchini are only flowering and not actually growing (which I'm thinking may have something to do with our soil since this has happened for the past three years). I'm thinking of picking up a bag of soil and trying to do a couple plants in planters to see what happens.

Hopefully your gardens have been surviving the heat!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stash Building

I was inspired by Jeni's Art of Choosing series to go through my fabric stash. What I learned is that I tend to gravitate towards pinks and novelty prints. I generally buy fabric for specific projects rather than stashing it away, unless I really fall in love with a print. This means I don't have much fabric sitting around, but it also means I'm rarely able piece together projects with only what I have in my stash. It just doesn't work. A new goal of mine is to build a well rounded stash to make projects easier. This is most of what I'm starting with..

Through Jeni's blog I also found out about the Stash Stack Club. It's the perfect thing for someone like me who has trouble picking out coordinating, stash building fabrics (especially online). Of course this month's colour is Pink, but of course I don't mind a little more pink. I love that there are options for full and half stacks (12 or 6 prints) and three size options. That means there are options in more price ranges. I cannot wait to receive my first six!

Speaking of fabric, this came in the mail today..

Maybe a summer shirt? It'd be darling as a little dress. First I need to finish this little project up..

Jer and I started our next round of fertility treatments today. It was a rough morning at the clinic, so we decided to have an ice cream date as a way to unwind.

This face helps with the de-stressing too..

Monday, July 16, 2012

Where are the Eggs?

Is what I kept getting asked as I was carrying this basket around Aberfoyle..

It won't actually hold eggs, but I love old wire baskets for storage. This one was pink too, so I basically had no choice.

The rest of the finds were great, but my very favourite find of the day was a set of antique pins. My grandmother had an almost identical set, but on a necklace. It was given to me before she passed away, but since then the loops holding the flowers to the chain have disintigrated and there's not a way to fix them. I've been too worried to try any projects using them, so I have them sitting on my dresser to look at. These will remind me of her when I'm wearing them.

After a nice day yesterday, Jer and I got some not so good news - we are in for another round of IUI using injectibles. To make things a little more uncomfy, the clinic we normally use is closed for two weeks so I will be travelling to the clinic an hour away each morning. It could be worse, right? In an attempt to cheer myself up a little, I picked up my mom and we visited our local thrift store. The only Pyrex was a turquoise 401 in awful condition, but we both came away with a few good finds.

Something I've been playing around with lately is popsicle flavours. I picked up a cheap $2 mold last time I was at the grocery store, although I hope to get a set of these in the near future. Playing around with flavour combinations has been so much fun!

The first lot were red/white/blue "rocket" pops. I had seen them all over blogs and pinterest and had to give them a try. It's just a layer of strawberries, yogurt, and blueberries. They were good, but I felt like the fruit really needed to be mixed in with the yogurt.

The next batch was berry/banana - strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries blended with yogurt. They were good, but the final batch was by far my favourite..

Strawberry/banana with just a tiny bit of yogurt. Do you have any favourite popsicle recipes to share? I can't wait to try out more!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Aberfoyle Market

I first heard about Aberfoyle Market last summer, but never got a chance to go. I finally did this weekend, and wow, was it ever a good time! It is huge and there are vendors everywhere. It was so easy to get lost in the little shops and booths, and I honestly have no idea if we even hit them all because we did actually get lost. Several times, in fact. This is easily my new favourite antique market. The people were fun, the prices were (mostly) great, the offerings were so varied so there really was something for everyone, and there was just so much to look at.

After the market, we headed across the street where we found this little gem..

I came home with a couple fun finds that I'll share in another post. Right now I'm listening to the rain falling outside. The rain that graciously held off until after we returned home.