Monday, March 30, 2009

Impulse Inspiration

After enjoying the vibrant colors and beauty of the Mexican culture, I came home thinking that our living room needed a little more pop (that's right...I came home wanting to redecorate and not pondering the economic woes, poverty and crime of Mexico as a nation...I am, after all, not my brother).

Currently, most of the accessories are a sunny yellow and bright green while the walls are olive/hazel. I love this combination, but at the same time, I think it needed a more vibrant, warm color added into the mix.

I went to the fabric store for the first time in months to get some ribbon for another project. In general, me going to the fabric store for one item is very dangerous...as dangerous as sending me into DSW with instructions to only buy one pair of socks.

I found my ribbon but thought I would take a peak in the decorator section just to see if I could get a few samples to take home. I mean, come on....I was just going to look. And of course, I fell in love. I took a swatch, happy with only that until I saw the price tag: at $6 a yard, I was almost sold but though it could wait. But then I saw the 50% off sign...

$3 per yard later (it was birthday money from my Grandma Jean...she rules), I was making curtains quickly before Chad got home from work. I figured once they were hanging, he couldn't put up too much of a fight. Then I made three great big pillows for the couch/floor. After I add some art (we need something huge for that one wall and art can be so expensive)...voila, Living Room Makeover complete.

For a quick curtain tutorial, call my mother. Well at least that's what I did. It's super basic but the brilliant trick I learned from her was to cut the lining several inches narrower than the curtain panel. You will still sew right sides together matching the edges of fabric on either side. Iron them flat and on the back, you have the most beautiful seams and border....it's brilliant and also a cool technique I'm going to try on the next blanket I attempt.


I'm very pleased with the outcome and the giant pillows are so comfy and perfect for the couch/floor. I think because I was focused on wedding for so long, all of my "shelved" ideas can finally be executed! I know some brides get a little sad post wedding but I am incredibly happy to reclaim my life (and all the projects I've been dying to do)....cheers to crafty days ahead!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Honeymoon Craft Time!

My favorite comment on this activity: "You are the only person on earth who would find a honeymoon resort that has craft time."

Truely this was a happy accident. After the wedding of our dreams that consisted of an awesome party (where we happened to get married) the new Mr. and Mrs. Berney got lost in Mexico for a week. We "Berney-mooned" at Pueblo Bonito Resort in Mazatlan and had a delightful time. So before you jump to conclusions and envision me doing silly things like taking along my cross stitching (I seriously considered it), the new hubby happily got involved in said craft time too! He's also a creative soul and while his normal outlet is music, I think he really enjoyed creating some special souvenirs.

By the pool everyday our new amigo, Saul, set up a stand in which he sold "pottery blanks" with predrawn designs (think paint by number sans numbers). Some of them were just silly, like a Batman (Chad really wanted that for our bedroom. I'm a lucky girl I tell you...), some fairies and ashtrays, but there were also cool serving dishes. After we had paid for the pieces and painted, Saul took them home and brought them back touched up, glazed and completely amazing. We were addicted and did not participate once, but twice. It was the perfect activity and great for three reasons:

1. I am a very pale girl and getting ready to spend time in the sun is a lengthy process. It requires 15 minutes of sunscreen application by myself and another person. Then another 30 minutes I have to spend "setting the sunscreen" so as soon as I jump in water it doesn't float away. Many years and many burns have taught me this. And after repeating this time sucking ritual almost everyday, I had enough of the sun. Pottery however, was outside under lovely umbrellas and within ordering distance of the pool bar waiters. The more you drank, the better your pieces looked. It is what my personal heaven would be: Alcohol, a good breeze, some shade and a craft. Oh...and my husband of course.

2. I didn't spend hours bartering and agonizing over all the Mexican pottery that is so beautiful and EVERYWHERE. I think we bought a small bowl, but the pieces we made are so much cooler.

3. I learned to say colors in Spanish! I took French for years...so this was a step towards learning a more useful language: Mas rojo por favor!

Look! He's crafting!

And he's really proud of his work....as he should be. We call him "Mr. Caliente Fish"....the pottery that is.

He really liked him.

This was my first attempt....

And the finished product!

This was my masterpiece.

He's so hot.

Wedding Photography and Crafty Quote of the Day

"You don't take a photograph. You make it." -Ansel Adams

I was inspired for this quote because I just received a brief preview of our wedding photos from the very talented and wonderful Debrah Woods of Inspiration and Design Photography based out of Roanoke, Virginia. Our photos are available on her blog:

http://inspirationanddesign.typepad.com

I talk a lot about making things and the thrill of seeing my creative visions come to life. Never in a million years did I think my wedding photos could be so infused with the same sense of creation.

I will say I am excellent at picking myself apart in photos (muppet face, fat arms, fat tummy, etc)...a model I am not. But looking at the photos, muppet face or not, you can see how happy Chad and I are to spend the rest of our lives making each other laugh. That is an amazing picture. He is dashingly handsome and I think I look kinda pretty.

So, dear brides, make your veil to save money. Say no to the bajillion dollar dress that you will wear once and if you had as much fun as I did, destroy by the end of the night. Make your programs, favors and just say no to all the ridiculous "oh but we have to have our names engraved on toasting flutes that match our serving set that match my garter that match the waistband of my fiance's wedding day boxerbriefs." Just say no to that never ending "gimmee gimmee" machine that is the wedding industry.

But do not skimp on your photographer. You are not spending money on your photos alone...you are investing in the unique talent and spirit of the individual crafting the tangible memories of this one very special day. I'm just sayin'.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sweetie Darlings

Sometimes dolls are creepy. But I think the simple sweetness of her expression keeps the creepiness at bay. Hence the name (and famous quote...name that Brit television program...)

These are for the flower girls and the latest and greatest attempt and perfecting my "Sweetie Darlings" that will eventually be available on Etsy. That's an "after wedding" project! My latest improvement is using a better hair technique. The yarn was actually sewn into their heads with a tapestry needle after they were stuffed (as opposed to previous models that had the hair glued on...no so condusive to hugging). As a result, they look awesome...I'm slightly proud of myself.


The other totally awesome thing about the Sweetie Darlings is their versatility. I LOVE making them into different "characters". While the "I want a Ballerina" request keeps popping up, I really enjoy crafting their outfits. I wanted these Sweeties to look like they were going to a party.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Crafty Quote for the Day

"The greatest gift is a portion of thyself." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've been doing a lot of gift buying and gift recieving with our wedding only a few days away and I found this appropriate. It sums up why I try to make most of my gifts even though it is time consuming and can add a little stress. But I like to think everything I make has a little piece of me in it so the outcome is always worth the process. I'll have pics up of my creations soon!

Having Wedding Guests Play Along...

At check in, each of our guests will receive the day's timeline, a welcome note and a fun little game. I stole this idea from a Twitter friend who is a GENIUS and does a version of this with colleagues on business trips.

The game is a list of themes for possible photographs. The themes are related to things you would find in the area, hotel, weddings, etc. The idea is to leave the photo suggestions completely open to interpretation. The hope is to gather a collection of interesting photographs taken by our guests and make an art piece out of them for our living room. Again, the worst that can happen is no one sends us photos...but I have a feeling with our friends and family, we'll end up with some really great shots. The card is below! Stay tuned for the outcome....

Tea for Two...or Three or Four...

All this wedding business has been a great excuse for me to hone my invitation and paper product skills! I used to LOVE Print Shop when I was a kid...Publisher is now my favorite friend.

I made this "evitation" for the Bridal Tea....how cool is it that we're having tea??!!