Books Planter

As I’ve alluded to, we used many books in our decorations. Specifically, we use Reader’s Digest condensed books. You know the ones, they are everywhere, until you need them. Through random connections over the year, we managed to collect a fair few. Then the crafting inspiration began. We chose these books specifically for the reason that they are all the same size.

Photo Credit: Candi Holden

I had seen at one point, a succulent planter made from a book. I liked the idea, but didn’t relish the idea of having to use an Exacto knife to cut out the insides of 35-ish books. I brought my husband on board for ideas. He immediately suggested using the drill with a 2-in hole saw. The man is brilliant!

After a couple of test runs, he decided the drill was tearing up the paper too much and the project needed tweaking. While I was crafting some other wedding related item (or watching a movie, I don’t really remember), he created a template. He took a piece of 3/4-inch plywood and cut it down to the size of the book pages. He then drilled two overlapping circles into the middle of the board (You’ll see it in a photo below).

The process went a little something like this:

1. Open book to roughly the middle, so the pages are even on both sides. This helps the book lay flat. Then clamp the template onto the book.

2. Using a drill with a 2 in hole saw, drill out the pages using the template as your guide. You will notice that the drill does not tear up the top most pages. You may need to alternate between the two spaces on thicker books.

3. Remove template. Use clamps to hold pages in place for gluing.

4. Glue to seal pages. We used wood glue. First, squeeze a good amount around the edges and bottom of opening. Second, use your finger to spread the glue around, covering the entire drilled out space. I discovered that wood glue stains your fingers a bit yellow. Since I only used one finger to spread the glue, I cut the fingers off of disposable gloves to make them last longer. Allow the glue to dry before removing the clamps. We usually allowed 30-40 minutes. Due to our limited number of clamps, we worked in groups of 5.

If you’d rather not spend the time to make your own book planters. I will have a few available in my Etsy shop quite soon.

 

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Marker Challenge

It is week 4 of the Summer Challenge hosted by Punk Projects. This week’s challenge was to use markers or ink of some sort. Imagine all the possibilities. I couldn’t think of any. First off, I’m not a huge fan of markers. I don’t like the lines they leave when you color with them. I’m a crayon kind of girl. To help my inspiration, I checked my saved pins on Pinterest.

The only pin I have involving markers was how to turn old markers into water-colour paint. (Which I may do next week.) Since that wasn’t helpful, I turned to Google’s search engine. That is where I came across this skirt. (Follow Link for photos)

To start my project, I decided to make a circle skirt with a yoga waist band. I didn’t want to sew zippers this week. I have a delightful purple knit fabric that I was able to use for the waist band. I picked up a light purple cotton fabric from the store along with Tulip Fabric Markers.

To make the waist band, I followed this tutorial over at makeit-loveit.com.  Then I used this tutorial over at Simple Simon to make the skirt.  I realise they are both tutorials for children, but each piece is easily made into an adult size with your personal measurements. I did find that my knit was stretchier than used in the tutorial.  To test this, I tried on the waist band after sewing it into a tube. I then resewed the seam to make the band smaller.

Center Front Design

Now that the skirt was complete, it was time to start drawing. I was inspired by this colouring page released by Craftsy.com a bit ago. I like the idea of a craft supply garden. I did have to add a few other objects to my garden since my skirt is much larger than an average piece of paper.

Thimble, Dress Form, and Pattern

I’m not the best sketcher, so my plan had been to cut out and trace objects onto the skirt before colouring them in with the markers. I quickly scrapped that plan and just used a pencil to lightly draw out the pictures before colouring them in.

Ruler, Cupcake, Paint Brush, Thread Vine

If you could see the continuous design, you would find that for the most part, each object is its own plant. There are a couple of larger object, like the patters, that are wrapped in stems. The spools of thread are a continuous vine that weaves in and out of the other “flowers.”

Cake and Apron

I still can’t say I’m sold on using markers, though I would like to try another project like this only get it closer to my inspiration skirt. The Tulip markers worked well for drawing lines, but they weren’t the best for colouring in spaces. This week I was also reminded of Swoodson Says year challenge for trying something new every month. Since I’ve never used fabric markers to decorate before, I believe this qualifies.

A few extra details.

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Decorations Begin

I did my very best not to be a bridezilla. I think I mostly succeeded, though I may have become a wedding craft-zilla. I hadn’t intended on making every last thing that went into the decorating of our wedding, but it happened. I should have known when I decided to make my dress that it would happen.

 

Once the dress was done, the other details began to fall in place. I had purchased a wooden name thing from Pick Your Plum shortly after we were engaged with the intention of using it somehow in our wedding decorations.  It had the misfortune of arriving damaged. You can see the crack in the bottom of the E. Thankfully, my man was able to fix it, but now I really needed to cover it.

At some point, we decided to use books in our wedding decorations (As you will see soon). Thanks to one of our centerpiece ideas, we had loads of small circles of book page scraps just lying around. I grabbed my bottle of Mod Podge, a foam brush, the name thing, and got to work.

It took ages and ages to paste and fold the little circles over the entire thing. I am very glad to have had the pre-cut circles. The circles folded and molded around the many corners and fit into the crevices quite well. Once the entire piece was covered, I painted on a final layer of Mod Podge to seal the paper. Sorry there aren’t more photos of this process, but it’s a very messy project. Quick Edit: It appears that I didn’t complete this project. I started it and then it was finished by my wonderful Aunt Marilyn.

My first thoughts had been to put this on the wedding party table, but we decided not to have a specific table everyone. We thought everyone would have more fun sitting with their family and friends. Instead, we used this on the table in the entryway.

On display at the wedding. Photo credit: Candi Holden holdenmemories.com

We have plans of adding a base to make it a little more sturdy since it did break again on the way home from the wedding. It is currently on our mantel in the living room.

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The Wedding Invitations

Front Cover

After helping my sister make her wedding invitations, I swore I was going to purchase mine until I started shopping for invitations. The options I really liked were way out of price range; the options in our price range were run of the mill options. I wasn’t about to spend more on invitations than I had on my dress and generic wasn’t an option. I did what any self-respecting crafter would do. I designed my own.

Title Page

I wanted to provide a lot of information without all those pesky inserts that tend to show up in invitation envelopes. As we are both voracious readers, a book made sense. Designing the pages took the most time. I spent a couple of weeks agonising over font choices and map selections. Which information was most pertinent. The proper order of pages. Did you know there are etiquette rules for the exact wording of wedding invitations? I now do! Once the pages were designed, I had them printed at Staples.

Invitation Page

The RSVP cards were a little quicker to make. One random evening, I said we should as for a recipe with each RSVP. This would make the card memorable and hopefully provide extra motivation to send the card back. I used a vintage look recipe card from Love vs. Design. I used Photoshop to edit the card size and some of the wording as well as changing the colours to match our wedding. On the back I put all the important RSVP information including a QR code to reply online rather than sending back the card. I also had this printed at Staples using their same day printing option for postcards.

Further Information

While waiting for those pages to be printed, I scoured the local craft stores for cover options. Thankfully, scrapbooking paper comes in many colours and designs. I was able to find a collection that fit the design. I also found envelope seal stickers. Thanks to Pick Your Plum, I own enough Washi tape to cover every wall in our house from floor to ceiling, so I didn’t need to purchase anymore.

Even more information

With all of the supplies gathered, assembling the invitations went a bit faster (We make our Christmas cards, so I have had a little practice).  The first step was to trim and score all the pages so they could be sewn into books. (I don’t have photos of this process since I was concentrating on completing this task as quickly as possible.)

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Next, I moved to my sewing room, where I stitched together each and every book. This sounds worse than it really was. Just imagine you are making a quilt with 120 five and one half-inch seams. Just a couple of hours of work, no big deal.

RSVP Front

To complete the invitation, I secured two strips of Washi tape over the stitching. This meant I didn’t have to hand tie all the stitching strings.

RSVP Back

I then spent the next 2 days writing out addresses. Then carefully stuffing the invitation into envelopes.

The entire process took me through 6 Harry Potter movies. Not a bad way to spend a few days.

 

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Wish Really Hard

Holy last-minute Batman! When this week’s challenge was posted, I was excited. The challenge was to make something inspired by a movie. I already had a few projects in mind before this was even posted I thought it would be a piece of cake. I was almost right.

I knew what the background was going to be Hogwarts castle over book pages. Then I was stuck. I didn’t know where to go to finish the project.

After a particularly irritating day, I sat down to watch Finding Neverland and found my inspiration. J.M. Barrie kept saying “Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough.” Which goes along with every Harry Potter fans wish for a Hogwarts letter.

My last addition was a couple of “Hogwarts Letters” above the castle.

If you’d like to join in the challenge, head over to Punk Projects and check out her Craft Challenge.

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Dress Reveal

As part of our photography package, we got an engagement photo session. We weren’t really interested in engagement photos. Our photographer was kind enough to switch it out for a wedding dress session. Scheduling this was the motivation I needed to complete the dress! Enjoy!

I even was organised enough to schedule my practice hair day before going to the shoot. I was so proud of myself!

She wouldn’t let me wear my sunglasses!

I was really glad I wasn’t wearing a larger or heavier dress. It was hot and humid. Because July in Florida is like that.

Then I decided to run away, or something.

In case you want to try this dress on your own, here is where I found everything.

I’ll be showing off more of Candi’s photos with my other wedding posts. If you are in need of a photographer in the Winter Haven area, I highly recommend Candi. She is easy-going and professional. She was great fun to work with. Check out her website, Holden Memories, for more details and to see her other work. She also has a facebook page.

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The Rest of the Dress

All Layers Back

Just as when I made my wedding dress (I completed the bodice and then didn’t work on the skirt for a couple of months) this post has been on the back burner for some time. Now I am excited to share other wedding projects, but I feel I can’t move on to those until this is done. Quick note, if you click on each photo, they are linked to Flickr. My Flickr page gives a further description of the photo.

The Lining Layer

After working on the bodice for what felt like million hours, the skirt portion was a simple undertaking. The dress didn’t have any crinoline or fancy under-skirting to make it poof out any. It was a basic A-line-ish skirt with a small train. The only difference being that this dress had a lining, the main fabric, and the lace overlay.

Lifted Overlay

Because I was using expensive (at least for me) and not easily replaceable (everything had been bought online or from far away), I didn’t want to send it through my serger to create finished edges. Instead, I opted for French seams. This doubled sewing time since each seam needed to be sewn twice.

Main Fabric Layer

A French seam is similar to an outside leg seam on blue jeans. First, you sew the fabric together from the outside. Then, you turn the garment inside-out and sew along the same line just far enough away to encase the edge between the seams. Doing this prevents the fabric from unraveling and leaving strings all over.

It really was quite boring doing this portion since all I was sewing was long straight seams over and over and over and over again.  I was delighted when I finally got to baste (temporarily stitch) the three skirt layers together.

French Seam

When it came time to stitch the bodice to the skirt, I found another conundrum, the bodice was decidedly longer than the skirt opening. Even with my decision to attach the bodice further down the skirt than the normal 5/8 inch. I discovered with the different seam and the multiple layers, the skirt was narrower than the practice copy. Thankfully, the skirt flared out and by lowering the bodice, I was able to make it fit nicely.

Lace Overlay  Seam

My solution to the extra bodice length was to add fancy buttons and loops rather than the usual hidden hook and eye. Doing this also added support to help keep my dress up!

By the time I got to hemming this project, I was over the whole thing! Really, I just don’t like hemming stuff. I often have a handful of projects hanging around waiting for hems. Five minutes of work, but I just don’t do it. In this case, since I lowered the bodice, I didn’t have much to work with for hemming. I decided to do a rolled hem with my serger. Doing this meant I wouldn’t have to iron and pin each skirt. Instead, I could just sit down and start feeding the fabric through the machine and it would come out with thread encasing the edge of the fabric. What could have been a massive hours long project was quickly completed in less than an hour.

I was finally finished!

All Layers Front

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