Button Bouquets

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I know November isn’t the traditional wedding season, but I saw these the other day and just thought the idea was fantastic.

This is an enamel button bridal bouquet! Designed by UK artist Natasha, these bouquets and boutonnieres offer a very unique (and longer lasting) take on the standard flower bouquet used in Bridal parties. Not only do they make a wonderful talking point on the wedding day, they also won’t wilt and die like traditional bouquets, meaning you can keep them as a wonderful keepsake/memento of the special day. ūüôā

Having worked as a professional florist for 17 years, Natasha uses those skills for all sorts of alternative bouquets (not just button ones) to fit any theme you may have. So if you’re looking for something different then the normal flower arrangement, why not give her shop, PumpkinandPye, a look. If you don’t see something just right, I’m sure she’d be more than happy to make a custom piece for you. ūüėČ


Save the Date!

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Good morning, crafters!

So, going along with the wedding theme, Saturday readers, I have a DIY super cute save the date tokens that are a little different from a card or a printed photo of the couple. They’re super easy to make and are really quite sweet. They’re also useful, which I find super attractive in things like this as there’s nothing I dislike more than superfluous things that no one feels really comfortable throwing away and they don’t know what to do with it afterwards. So I bring you this sweet little tutorial from Project Wedding that you can make and also alter and decorate to suit your tastes.

Your materials are super easy. You’ll need felt (in whatever colour you’re using for your wedding or in red/pink/whatever colour you want to use), ribbon, a custom stamp and stamp pad (for the date or for any other design you may want to stamp), small adhesive magnets, embroidery thread with a needle, and scissors. You should be able to find all of these at your local craft store. And for quality reasons, you may want to stay away from the dollar store. These save the date magnets will look hand made, but you don’t want them to look cheap.

Your first step is to cut out your hearts, however many you need, in pairs so that you have two that fit together. They do not need to be perfect, and in fact, if they are imperfect, they’ll look a little more unique, so that’s good!

Your next step is to cut a piece of coordinating ribbon and stamp the date of your wedding on it. You may want to purchase some fray stop from a fabric store for the edges of the ribbon to keep it from fraying.

Arrange your magnet and ribbon on the heart. If you managed to find adhesive magnets, I’d recommend sticking it to the felt, and sliding a small part of the ribbon underneath so that it will be held a little more securely in place.

line up your second heart overtop of the first one. You can pin it while you stitch it to make the felt easier to sew, if that’s your game. But it isn’t necessary.¬†Stitch around your heart, making sure to sew the ribbon so that it doesn’t move. How you stitch is up to you, but hand stitching looks so sweet with these little favours.

And voila! You’re done! Keep in mind you can use any fabrics, any colour of ribbon and make them any size you like. You can get as fancy as you would like, getting into hand painting or stamping on the felt itself. I love these little magnets and I think they’re so sweet!

Happy crafting!

Megan


Wedding Streamera

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Good morning, Thursday readers.

As you may not yet know, I have just recently become engaged, which meant that a lot of decisions are going to be coming my way, and fast. So of course, I hopped to the internet to start looking at the basics, venues, food… but also some of the diy things that I would use or like to do for mine.

This is a nice DIY tutorial from Project Wedding that I thought was especially nice. Many venues don’t allow throwing rice or confetti, due to the health of the animals and clean up. And I can’t imagine my wedding without lots of colour and fun, so I’ve found a nice alternative that would give the splashes of colour without the mess. ¬†These Kabuki streamers are so nice because you can customize the colours and they are inexpensive to make. They just take a bit of time.

Your materials are also super simple. You will need some crepe paper streamers in 3 coordinating colours, and these are easy to find. You can find them at a dollar store, craft store or a party store and they come in big rolls that are super inexpensive. You will need some coordinating paper – you can find some really nice stuff in wallpaper stores for a more wedding feel, but again, craft stores will have a great selection. You will also need some scissors, a needle and thick thread for attaching, a heavy paperweight and a small piece of tape or label to seal the project closed when it’s completed. ¬†You can get some beautiful decorative tapes from your craft stores, so they can be finished beautifully!

So lay out all three colours of streamers and you will need to cut 25 inch long sections. You will need one cut length of each colour for each streamer package. Layer your streamers one on top of the other with all three colours and to make it easier, you can use a paperweight on one side or along the length to keep the ribbons from moving.

 

 

Your next step is to cut the streamers into thirds, along the length.. You will make two cuts vertically up the streamers to leave you with three skinny sections, and remember, all of these sections will be going into your streamer packages.
Cut decorative paper into 2×4 inch pieces to use for wrapping the streamers.
Using a needle thread, thick string through your paper and tie off twice to produce a small finger loop. This will allow your guests to slip on the package for good throwing grip. You could also use ribbon for this step if desired, and you could even use some hot glue to secure it to the paper rather than using a needle and thread.
use a bit of glue on the inside of the paper and attach one section (one of each colour) of the skinny paper ribbons next to the string/ribbon. You’ll need to repeat this for each set so that you’ve got 3 sets of streamers, or 9 in total.
Secure your streamer paper under a weight and working one section at a time roll up your streamers tightly toward the top. Roll each section separately and be sure to keep your streamers tight for small rolls. When you reach the end of one section, stick it under a paperweight while you roll the others so you don’t lose your work.
When all three sections are rolled up, you basically need to enclose them rolled in your decorative paper, and then seal it with tape or label.
When the time is right, your guests just need to break the label and start waving their hands wildly over their heads to celebrate and make waves of colour and noise without damaging birds or creating a disaster of glitter and confetti.
Enjoy!
~Megan

Tie One On

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It’s wedding season for our family and you know what that means…dressing up! (You may insert moans of sympathy here.) I, very luckily, happen to be in one of the wedding parties so I don’t have to worry about choosing attire. My husband, however, was not so lucky. He is really not one for wearing a suit and tie on a regular basis but since it’s family, he wanted to look spiffy for the occasion. One of the quests I was set upon was to find him a new tie. Not just any tie but a subtly geeky one. I have satisfied this quest goal! Behold! I give you Cyberoptix Tie Lab. All of their ties are hand printed on your choice of either microfiber or real silk and they are gorgeous!

Wow, that's a great t...is that a circuit board?!

Wow, that’s a great t…is that a circuit board?!

Their subtle yet sophisticated selection comes in a wide array of colors and styles. All inks are water based (better for the environment) and the cloth is sourced from responsible, sustainable vendors. The best part? These are made to order, so if you want to create your own design for a wedding, graduation, bar mitzvah, or just because, they can do that for you!

Ooooh. Fancy bow ties for game night! Bow ties are still cool, right?

Ooooh. Fancy bow ties for game night! Bow ties are still cool, right?

I went with a beer themed tie complete with hops, wheat and barley but there are so many other styles. The designs were all created by their founder, Bethany, and these ties are doing so much more than making your neck look good. They are helping to revitalize the ailing city of Detroit. That’s right, they are also very much into their community by being part of the Grow Detroit’s Young Talent initiative which helps youth in the city to gain experience in the workforce. Before I leave you to browse these a bit more, ladies (or guys) if ties aren’t your thing, just wait…there’s more. They also hand print lovely pashmina style scarves.

Feeling brainy today? You will in this!

Feeling brainy today? You will in this!

So if you need to look smart for a grand occasion, I highly encourage you to check out their wares!

Cyberoptix Tie Lab can be found on Shopify, Facebook, and Etsy.

~Laura


Giving the gift of delicious!

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Hey there folks!

I was thinking about summer gifting and about some diy ideas that would work for all kinds of different events. Something that you can dress up and give at a wedding, or something that you can give to your friends on their birthday. ¬†This idea is for the person¬†who loves them a good Starbucks frappasomething. These beauties are home made flavouring syrups. They’re beautiful, hand made with your love and thought put into them and they’re usable in¬†coffee.

Just imagine these all wrapped up in a bog. Gorgeous!

The best part is that you don’t need to only use them for coffee. If you’re like me and have a water carbonator, you could use them to naturally flavour the water, you could pour them on ice cream, or into a fruit salad. Freeze them into ice cubes for flavouring iced coffee or tea. There’s so many different uses.

First thing is to find the bottles. Remember that if you’re giving these as a gift, you will want to find ones that are sealable or find a way to seal them. The dollar store is a great place for bottles like this or even a cooking shop. If you look for olive oil bottles they may even come with cork stoppers to make your life a lot easier. ¬†Just remember to pick a good bottle for the occasion. You can check out the different photos I’ve included for ideas on how the same thing can look when packaged differently.

Once you have the vessels, you can continue on to make the syrups. ¬†If you’ve got the expendable cash, you can buy them. Starbucks has a lot you can buy and you can find them at some gourmet stores, but I think the whole point of giving something like this is to make it personal and with your energy to the mix. ¬†There’s a lot of great recipes floating around the web like this website which has a number of great flavours or here¬†(Where you will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the recipe for a dairy-less syrup). ¬†Once you have the base of your flavour syrup you’re only limited by your imagination and by what you have on hand and available. ¬†You only really need household kitchen tools to make this and the only special ingredients you will need are the extracts or fruits that you want to use as your flavouring.

 

 

Once you’ve made your delicious concoctions, you need to fill and decorate your bottles. ¬†This may¬†seem unimportant or like an afterthought, but for a gift, the packaging can make all the difference – especially if it’s an important event. Nice labels are a beautiful touch. I find that local dollar or craft stores often have label stickers that you can buy and write the flavours on to. ¬†You can put your computer skills to work with a print out, or you can get some nice craft paper and fashion labels yourself. ¬†Remember that the type of bottle you choose and the type of label you use will give you different looks. The first photo makes me think of an independent cafe where second photo, a country kitchen and¬† the¬†third photo looks a lot fancier (think wedding gift) given the shape of the bottles and labels and the ribbons.

It’s simple right? ¬†Just remember that the things that make this a fantastic gift are all those little touches that you do yourself. For packaging, try checking your local wine shop for something fancy to wrap these puppies in or you can even grab an old shoebox and wrap both the lid and the box with paper to give it a more elegant feel. ¬†You can find various stuffing materials at craft and dollar stores to keep bottles from rattling around. ¬†If you’re thinking of making these for a wedding or equally formal event, I’d recommend making two or three as the impact and the wow factor is so much greater.

Welcome your friends to a summer of flavoured coffees, and teas, and sodas, and icecreams, and…. well, let’s be honest. They’ll just use it on everything.

 

~Megan


The Glaze Craze!

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Hey there folks!

 

Here’s a great business that is both a small, handmade business as well as a DIY starting point for those of you interested in ceramics. ¬†The Glaze Craze¬†is a make your own ceramics shop with a huge amount of different things that you can make and different classes that you can take, even with workshops and camps available for kids. Owner Karin took over the shop when it went up for sale since this was the best way for her to use her love of ceramics to make a living. ¬† After changing a couple of locations she settled it in Richmond Hill and where the business originally offered only pottery painting, Karin has expanded the offerings to include ¬†building, glass fusing/painting, and canvas painting (and hopefully soon sand blasting art)

I always ask the question to the artisan, what their favourite part of their art is and Karen used to love working with clay but since adding glass… well she’s changed her mind. ¬†Looking at the number of ways you can work with glass is pretty amazing from making ornaments for a tree to beautiful plates and chargers.

It should be noted that both the pictures above were from customers who were proudly displaying their art.

Karin is a great example of an artist who became an entrepreneur and she loves to teach and help kids and adults alike to find the inner artist and showing people who think they have no artistic ability that they have plenty hidden deep down.

She does offer online orders on her website, as well as the ability to book events (both for children and adults) and to order wedding platters. You can check out lots more photos on her Facebook page as well as her instagram account.

So go ahead and plan a ladies night out so you can have fun with the girls, a kids night out so that parents can have a wee respite, or go just to play with your own creativity. There’s a lot that her shop offers to help you explore and create something beautiful. Remember, your parents who have everything don’t have something like this that was made by your own two little hands.

 

~Megan


Some Corsetmaker on Corsetmaker Action.

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Hey there folks!

You might be wondering what that title is all about. It sounds sexy, doesn’t it? Well it is, but maybe not in the way you might be thinking. ¬†As you may remember, I am the corsetmaker behind Absynthetika. ¬†In my travels, I have met many clothingmakers and of course, within that group, I’ve met my share of corsetmakers, especially at the various cons that I attend. I always try to walk around at these cons and get to know the other vendors. I have my regular group of buddies that I look forward to seeing every year, and in one of my con wanderings years ago I ran into Heather. ¬†We got to talking, about business and about sort of being competitors – since she also makes corsets – and we realized that we have a fair bit in common. ¬†We kind of became friends, and we root for each other to do well at our cons. We present different things to our clients and so we felt our competition wasn’t so much with each other but with some other people out there.

corsetHeather is the owner of Apollonie. She does make corsets. Very well in fact. Though my focus for this post isn’t going to be ¬†her corsetry – for a reason other than our not so competitive competition – ¬†as where I think she really shows her amazing skill¬†is in her cosplay and historical garment making. ¬†I want to showcase this amazing seamstress. ¬†I’d like to give you a little history on Heather as I think this really helps to show that she knows her stuff. ¬†She attended George Brown College which is a fine institution of learning. ¬†At this hallowed place she took courses in fashion design and techniques and millinery (which is hatmaking, for those who may not know). ¬†Where I am one who certainly believes that you can learn from experience, this background has lent an ease and professionalism to her craft that you don’t always see in independent clothing makers.

 

Another thing worth mentioning, and this is something I found personally endearing, was that she is a stickler for quality workmanship. Like myself, Heather doesn’t have patience or sympathy for those who like to cut corners and do things cheaply which means that anything she makes you is going to be a quality product. ¬†Which is important. I know we are so used to living in a disposable culture, but let’s take back quality. When we buy things that will last, it means that we’ll come back for more. I know that if I find a great pair of shoes that last forever and are beautiful, I will go back to that store to find more. It may not be big bucks brought in super fast, but it does ensure client longevity and a solid business relationship. This is something that you often get with handmade items and doubly so when you have someone who pays attention to the details in their work.

 

One of the first pieces of work that I saw of hers was a cosplay costume that she did for a character I hope all of you recognize:

Loki

She did some fabulous leather and metal work of amazing quality to create a cosplay of stunning proportions. ¬†I can’t express how I love this piece. ¬†I love that it looks cinema quality, and you can see so many of the tiny details that were added on.

 

Next comes the historical garment making.  This is a difficult one as you really need to have someone who can do some fantastic pattern drafting. Making a historical garment wearable for the modern woman is not as easy as it sounds, and trust me when I say, anyone who asks me about this kind of costuming gets a referral to her. Take  a look at these gorgeous pieces.

 

Ladies        Lady
Take it from someone who makes clothing and who also makes corsets, this type of historical costuming is not easy. ¬†It is not easy and it also takes a heck of a lot of time, energy, and attention to detail. From the fabrics that she chooses to the designs, these are such great examples of what I want to highlight about Heather. ¬†I should note as well that she also does bridal sewing so if you’re looking to do a cosplay or themed wedding and want to have someone with experience and skill make you what you want…. Heather’s your lady.

 

~Megan

 


The Jar Reinvented

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Mason jar and old fashioned milk bottles have made a comeback and I can’t say that I’m disappointed.¬†¬†I’ve been obsessed with mason jars for as long as I can remember. ¬†I’m sure it started with my mom’s delicious homemade peach jam growing up. ¬†Anything out of a mason jar meant yummy in my tummy!

These days people are turning mason jars and milk bottles into beautiful home decor items and all of it can be accomplished very simply yourself with some jars, some spray paint (chalk paint or other coloured spray paint), maybe a brush or two, some ribbon or twine, chalkboard stickers and imagination!  You can create vases for your home, wedding favours, wedding table settings, cute accessories at a craft table, pencil holders and the list goes on.  Look at what can be done!

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Speaking of favours, how cute would it be to have a party and give each of your guests their own mini pie in a mason jar?  It would be delicious and oh so cute!  If you think that might be something to blow your friends over, then you have to check out the recipe book Cutie Pies by Dani Cone!  I just so happen to have this book among my cookbook collection and the ideas in there are to die for!

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Are you a little more inspired to make something out of those jars that are sitting in your basement?  I may just have to pull mine out!  Have a fun day!

– Lindsay

 


Gnomes!

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I don’t think there’s anything I love better than gnomes! ¬†No matter what’s going on, gnomes can always put a smile on my face! ¬†This is why I was so excited to crochet my very own gnome at GenCon. ¬†Still not finished that, by the way… ¬†ūüôā

Today I’m going to share with you a few of my favourite handcrafted gnomes.

First, from Hello Little Cloud, we have a super cute polymer clay gnome. ¬†He is so adorable that I want bunches of him and will just hide them around the house and at work! ¬†Then Work of Whimsy presents us with a gnome wedding cake topper that’s made of paper clay and wood. ¬†Such an amazing way to make your wedding cake unique and utterly awesome! ¬†Wendy’s Ceramics allows us to paint our very own gnomes. ¬†I think I’ll be ordering one or five of these!

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Now, if you’re looking for something that’s not as cute as the typical gnome, how about a zombie gnome? ¬†These will definitely scare away the birds and bugs from your garden. ¬†And maybe even little children! ¬†Check out RevevantFX for all the best in zombie garden gnomes!

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Finally, I’ll share with you some ways to incorporate gnomes into your day-to-day! ¬†For starters, how about with jewelry? ¬†Savoir Faire Jewelry does just that with this stamped gnome necklace. ¬†I don’t think anyone’s Christmas tree can be complete without this felt gnome ornament from Enchanted Forest Craft. ¬†And lastly, Dot and Ann turn gnomes into fantastic aprons!

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Are you with me yet on how gnomes are awesome? ¬†Come on! ¬†Just admit it!! ¬†ūüôā

– Lindsay


DIY Wedding Ideas

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With one of my sisters having just gotten married this past weekend, I have been awash in designs and ideas on how to pull together a great looking wedding while still saving money. She chose a rustic/outdoors wedding theme, and it definitely lent it’s self to the crafty minded. One website that provided oodles of inspiration was Rustic Wedding Chic. They have a small (but growing!) collection of images from other do it yourself weddings, as well as tutorials and suggestions to help you plan your own. ^_^ My sister took lots of tips from their DIY wedding bar, as it also included a calculator that helped keep her from buying too much alcohol.

While the partner site to this one doesn’t feature the tutorials that Rustic Wedding Chic does, Preppy Wedding Style did provide me with several ideas that I used at my own wedding last year to create a simple elegant wedding on a DIY budget with it’s fantastic images and color pallet suggestions.

I could go on and on here, but I wanted to highlight two great resources to get any future brides started. I’ll save specific sections for another day. ūüėČ
~Nicole