August 2010 Archive

The Dessert Dresser, Part II
Remember this thing? Well no need to worry everyone. I have been working on sprucing it up in time for September 24th (which is just under 5 weeks from now by the way). It’s just that the process is going very, very slowly. And at first I decided that maybe leaving the dresser as is would be kind of cool. The colour is lovely, the banged up parts look vintage and I would be saving myself time, effort and money. But then I visited my venue. And closed my eyes. And images of a white dresser flooded my mind. Frankly there was no room for this hot mess of a dresser. So the next day, I had a paintbrush in one hand, and a paint can in the other.

I should have figured this part out, but since I found the dresser in the trash nearly 7 months ago it was extremely dirty and dusty. So I removed all the drawers out of it to clean out the dirt, dust and spider nests (at least I am pretty sure they were spider nests). I actually took a hose vaccum to parts of it to suck up all of the nastiness.
And I removed all of the drawer knobs. My fabulous mother has a huge grab bag of knobs that she said I could use for the dresser when it is finished being painted. I am over the moon excited to share them with you because these knobs are downright fabulous and will really add a special touch to the finished product (think Anthropology-style knobs, that’s how fab they are :)

To wash the dresser I used a warm water and grime-remover solution. And this is the water before I wash the dresser at all. You should have seen it afterwards. This thing was disgusting. I am so glad I decided to wash and paint it. Using a lightly damp cloth I scrubbed and scrubbed each drawer to make it as clean as possible.

And voila! Pretty, teal, clean drawers just screaming out for paint!

My neighbor (gosh I just love him) bought me this paint from his work. It’s a homemade cocktail for antique white and is oil based. I guess I never realized how messy this type of paint gets but let me tell you it is absolutely fabulous stuff. I started painting the drawers (the fronts, insides and sides) and let the paint dry overnight before I could start adding a second coat.

I really love how clean and textured the antique white looks on the wood. Our teal ceremic cake stand and plates combined with pink and white treats and vintage knobs will look so splendid together. I am starting to really see this whole look come together and it feels really good! I bet you wanna see the finished drawers now don’t you?
But you will have to stay tuned for photos of the revamped drawers :) I promise it’s worth the wait since next weekend I am taking a trip to Canada’s largest wallpaper warehouse to add a little more sass to this thing! And I hope everyone is enjoying these last few weeks of August. Oh my gosh where does the time go? I have just weeks left to finish lots and lots of crafts and wedding related things. What a crazy time! Take some time to yourselves lovelies! xoxo
Here’s Part I
Here’s Part III
And here’s the Final Product from our Wedding Day.
DIY Seating Chart
For months and months I was stumped on what to use as our seating chart and what would display where each guest is supposed to sit. I contemplated big intricate designs and printed up canvases which would be flaunted in fancy fonts. I thought that a giant salvaged door finished in a white wash with everyone’s names scrolled in silver pen would look pretty fab. I even bought this really old and very cheap shutter to use as a display but my creativity got the best of me and I decided to use that bad boy elsewhere. Instead, I called up my neighbor Matt. You know, the one who helps make really cool things for me. Like these. Because I knew I wanted to have something homemade. And I gave him an idea of what I wanted. We actually went perusing for wood one day and came across these skids in a parking lot. They were being thrown out so we broke out the saw and took what we needed.
And after getting down in his garage-slash-workshop he created for me this stained, vintage looking structure that I just love. It was exactly what I was looking for and Matt left some nails in the wood to give it a worn look. He rounded the bottom egdes to give it a little flair too. I was so thrilled to see this all finished! It’s exciting to see a vision come to life don’t you think?
I got right to crafting to spruce this up as a Seating Card Display. So in keeping with the vintage glam feel of our wedding, I picked up some more ivory lace (similar to the kind I used around these) from Fabricland. I measured strips of lace to sit width-wise across the structure. Six strips ended up fitting comfortably down the entire structure. Since the lace I picked is very delicate and not very sturdy I startched the lace to add some firmness. To do so, I simmered 1/2 a cup of cornstarch and two cups of water in a pot, stirring until the mixture got nice and smooth yet pastey and quite thick. I then drenched each strip in the mixture before wringing it out and scraping off the goop. Then I laid the strips on a towel, making sure they were nice and flat as they dried out overnight. By morning they had firmed up and were much easier to work with!
Once the strips firmed up I was ready to start glueing the strips on the structure. I used a glue gun but my goodness, these thing wreak havoc on your fingers. As fabulous as glue guns are for so many different projects, I hate how messy they get! The glue gets so stringy and sticky. Yuck.
Then you’ll need some of these:
So you can do a little bit of this..
But of course I wanted to spruce things up a tad. So I broke out my favourite stuff, sweet sweet Krylon.
And tranformed plain little clothespegs into fabulous gray-hued ones:
I wasn’t sure if I actually liked the gray pegs better than the natural wood ones but having that pop of gray to coordinate with our colours is a really lovely touch. I think I will spray paint the next few packs of pegs too, now that I have tested the colour. I also made up a few mock cards to see how they would hang on the lace. And of course I used my Martha Stewart punch to pretty up the mini shipping labels. Gosh I love those things!
I think I likey! What do you think? Stay tuned for more pics of the structure with the completed cards and birdcage set up that will be used in the foyer of the mansion (our venue). There will be the small birdcage shown in the photo, then a larger sized one and a flower arrangement in a lace wrapped vase next to the Seating Chart. I will also use one of my chalkboard frames that will say “Find your seat.” I have started to tackle the seating arrangements and my goodness that is one heck of a job! Hope everyone is having a truly fabulous and blessed week xo
{Update} The seating chart ended up being one of my most favourite wedding details and guests surely appreciated the work I put into the project. Here are some photos from our wedding photographer Amanda Wilcher, showing how the seating chart looked set up the day of our wedding, with all of the shipping name tags clipped to the lace. Enjoy!
The details above, and the set up below.
DIY Favour Bags
I swear this DIY stuff has me head over heels in lurve with arts and crafts. Prior to becoming engaged over two years ago, never would I have thought that I’d want to be so heavily involved in personally creating so many elements of my wedding day. But after many many crafting days – the latest project being these cute favour bags – I feel like a little kid in a candy store. And these bags are just perfect for candy as a matter of fact. I am very excited for our wedding guests to fill them up with cake pops and truffles and macarons and cookies and donuts and Maltesers and jelly beans and this list goes on and on and on….
I started with medium sized brown Kraft bags from Michaels. They come in packs of 16 and with a 50 percent off coupon ends up being $2.81 (I refuse to pay full price at Michaels; it’s so pricey there!) Then I  picked a stamp that reads Thank You so guests would understand that the bags and the treats to go in them, are Andrew and I’s way of thanking them for sharing in our celebration. Martha Stewart makes a really rad (and expensive) line of paper punches so I picked up a doily pattern edge cutter that is just to die for. And I made sure to get a dark black ink pad so the stamp imprint would show up clearly on the brown paper. Pretty simple list of supplies for such cutey patooty bags!
{Step 1} Punch the tops of the brown bags. I opted to punch each bag just once so that the doily pattern rests in the middle of the bag opening. I found it very difficult to match up the lines of holes in the pattern when I went to carry the pattern across the entire top. It got very messy and I was wasting all of my bags trying to make things look perfect so I decided one punch per bag would do the trick.
{Step 2} Stamp the bags, apply pressure and peel away stamp. This is a pretty self explanatory step, however – and this is a biggie – make sure your ink pad is big enough for your stamp to lay flat down on it. Parts of my stamp like the top of the T and bottom of the Y didn’t fit on the pad I bought. I ended up make a big mess of myself and the stamp trying to get equal coverage on the stamp but eventually found a way of rotating the stamp on the pad to pick up enough ink.
You can see in this picture below how the ink would well up inside the curl of the letter Y. I ended up throwing out about three bags since this made a really big blob of a mess. Try stamping your stamp on a scrap piece of paper a few times to make sure it’s fairly clean after completing five or six bags. This will keep the ink out of places it shouldn’t be and avoids unnecessary build up.
{Step 3} Let the bags dry. It’s that easy! The bags dry very quickly so you won’t have to wait too long. I ended up making close to 50 bags so I still have about 40 more to go to ensure that all of our guests will get one. But I just adore how they turned out and will be placing all of the bags in one of the drawers of our Dessert Dresser. The tops will hang out slightly and will in my opinion, look so fab!
Not the snazziest DIY projects but one of the cutest and cheapest I have done to date. And unlike some of the others I really think our guests will notice the extra bit of effort put into something homemade like these! What do you think you could use these bags for aside from a wedding? Happy Crafting everyone!  P.S. That doily pattern punched into the tops of the bags will be seen in other areas of our wedding decor so stay tuned; I just cannot wait to share it all with you :) xo
My Bridal Shower

The I can’t remember the last time I felt so special, loved and cared about as I did at my Canadian bridal shower thrown by by Mom and two of my bridemaids Emily and Melissa. The whole thing was a surprise until the day of and I had no idea who was going to be there, where it was, what the food would be or anything. But when I showed up I instantly lit up with happiness; there’s just something to be said about really special and kind people all coming together in one place. I was greeted with not only my fabulous Mom decked out in BCBG, but this custom made bridal hat. So couture and me, I adore it :)
I had my wedding hair trial that day too. So I got to wear pretty hair to my special day. Here’s the back:
And here I am in my hat. I love it. A lot. Can’t you tell?
I only wore the hat for a bit since I didn’t want to mess up the ‘do too much. But once most of the guests arrived and got name tagged, we were served some pretty amazing food and drinks. Everything was so yummy and pleasantly presented; I felt like I was at a very fancy cocktail party. The waiter made sure to bring out each tray to me first; it made me feel so special :) Those things that look like mozzarella sticks are actually mac and cheese sticks. Probably the best invention ever.
And the drinks. The blueberry vodka and lemonade drinks. So very tasty I might add :)

While the food was being brought out, the girls then played some adorable games, like making wedding gowns out of toilet paper and tape while I judged the end results (Ohmygosh my girlfriends and family are good. Like really good when it comes to designing). And we played a How Well Do You Know the Bride game along with What’s in Your Purse. Eeep! Loved this. 
In the picture below, the girl on the left is my long time gymnastics friend the incredible Mel, then that’s my adorable Mom, followed by my gorgeous girlfriend Cheri (the granddaughter of my neighbor) and my beautiful work supervisor Jody who was most recently a beautiful bride herself. I picked Jody’s dress as the winner, it was actually quite amazing.

Did I mention my girlfriends (and Mom!) have amazing choices in shoes too?

After games we had a little time for gifts. I was a little nervous to open my presents in front of so many people since I always feel silly getting gifts (I know, it’s a bridal shower). But after the first few, I started getting really excited to open each and every special package. I got some beautiful blue towels, two toasters, a utensil set and box for the pieces, a cake cutting and serving set with jewelled handles, stemless wine glasses, kitchen utensils, a salad spinner, some gift cards to VS, H and M, Aldo and La Senza and so much more. I know I keep saying it over and over again, but how can I be so lucky?
Like I previously mentioned, my most treasured gift was from my Mom. A custom engraved Tiffany’s charm bracelet with the sweetest card ever. I’ve never gotten anything (or bought myself anything) from Tiffany’s so seeing that little blue box when I unwrapped the tissue paper, made my heart skipped a few beats. It honestly brought me right to tears and a few of my girlfriends at the party teared up too.

And then again no bridal shower is complete without the addition of gorgeous girlfriends, neighbors, family, friends, coworkers, childhood friends, former highschool classmates and the list goes on and on and on…

Thank you to all the women in my life who made the entire day so wonderful and memorable. If this is just one small preview of the happiness that will comprise our wedding day then I cannot wait for September 24th. Much love to each and every one of you. Love Rhiannon xoxo
DIY Wedding Welcome Bags
Ever since we knew that Apb and I would be having out of country guests attending our wedding (he is American; I am Canadian yet I graduated University from MSU and now live back home in Canada) we were dead set on having Wedding Welcome Bags as the perfect way to greet our guests come wedding weekend. Originally I was dead set on throwing together screen printed cotton canvas bags because the idea was completely adorable and really, how hard and expensive could it really be?
I thought we could get a really cool screen print in some sort of vintage pattern with our initials or something. Then our guests could reuse the bags long after our wedding is over. Yet, costs started adding up after I looked into prices, and frankly I didn’t know if guests would even like the idea as much as I did; wouldn’t a throw away bag be easiest for everyone? After all, who even wants a canvas bag that reads ‘Andrew Loves Rhiannon So So Much’ (that’s a joke Apb).
So to solve my problem my fabulous Mom picked up some brown paper tote bags from Michaels that come in packs of 13. They are the perfect size and because of the brown paper are great for stamping and writing on (unlike coloured bags that have a slippery-shimmery finish on them that doesn’t allow ink to dry). Yet as much as I love stamps and ink, I really wanted to incorporate a little message on the bags via some shipping tags from Staples (if you’ve never really found a use for shipping tags then find one ASAP because these things are oh so versatile and way too much fun). There are two sizes of tags to choose from and each pack comes with 100 tags for under $4.00. Yes please and thank you very much.
Then my Mom really outdid herself. She bought a ton of goodies to stuff in the bags like…
{Organic raspberry, coffee, orange and coconut chocolate}
{Individually wrapped biscottis}
{Mini Volupsa travel candles}
{Packs of eucalyptus bath salts}
{Salted packs of peanuts}
{Packages of white Tic Tacs}
{Various flavours of chocolate toffee crunch}
{Pamphlets of downtown Burlington where everyone is staying}
{Face towels pressurized into a roll that you dampen with water to use}
And I got to stuffing these bags as fast as I possibly could. I really was way too excited to see how they came together complete with all the goodies in them and the adorable little embellished shipping tags tied on the handles; with black lace of course. And now that I am seeing how nicely the bags came together I can’t even believe I contemplated canvas tote bags. Brown.paper.bags.all.the.way.
I stamped the corners of the tags with a fancy hole punch, then wrote “Welcome. We are so glad you’re here. Enjoy, Love Rhi and Andy” on them. Now all we need to add is some Toronto and Niagara Falls postcards with personalized messages to each of our guests (like how to make sure they check out the incredible gelato place directly across the street from their hotel because it’s truly heavenly). The morning before the first guests begin to arrive I will drop off the basket of bags to the hotel to make sure the staff on duty hands them out upon guest’s arrivals.
I think I will use these bags in the future for gifts and parties and loot bags since the possibilities are endless when it comes to jazzing up the bags. I also hope this post helps anyone else who may be in a rut trying to find a cost-friendly alternative to packaging multiple bundles of gifts or items for people. I know this kind of post would have been helpful about two month ago for me :) Happy DIY-ing everyone!