Good morning folks! I’ve been a busy little bee recently and have bashed our some major wedding planning during my blog absence. We’ve made a fair bit of progress – mainly booking our Photographer, settling on a theme and also… *drumroll* I SAID YES TO THE DRESS. Obviously I can’t say much more about that but I’m absolutely delighted with all of the above! Speaking of wedding theme, I’ve started making up some of my own decor items for the day, (nothing like being an eager beaver) and thought I’d give you a peek at my new crafty tool.
Pyrography. Every time I say the word, The Prodigy starts playing in my head. Not a bad thing! I spotted this little kit on sale for a tenner in TK Maxx (where else) so I though I’d give it a go. We’re going to be using a lot of wood for our wedding decor so I thought this could be a cute way to add a bit of personalisation to some items. The kit came with the pyrography tool, a little stand for it, 3 different nibs and some wood tags.
The idea is that you use it like a pen but instead of using ink, you burn or char your design onto wood. The pen gets wildly hot so you have to be really careful to only hold the plastic part of the tool but once your get used to it I found it pretty easy. I used the tags to practise on for a while and then when I was quite confident using the tool, I attacked these wooden hearts for a sort of ‘carved-our-names-onto-a-tree’ look.
I think they’re really pretty! This was done with the pointed tip nib which gives the most consistent result with even heat distribution. I’ve engraved 50 of these hearts and glued them to some jute twine and they make really lovely and natural looking bunting. Things are really starting to come together now!
Yes, you read right. Of all the blog clichés, I’m starting up a Wedding Wednesday feature. You might be reading this and thinking ‘Come off it Amy, where’s that crafty crack I’m after? Hit me up with some of the good stuff.’ To that I say: Don’t worry you addicted internet friend, you’ll get your fix when I’m good and ready.
You see, I have been on a creative mission recently. After the lull of moving into the house I sort of threw myself into wedding planning and then got really caught up in everything. In an effort to slow down and really start to enjoy the process, I figured that sharing what I can here would force me to take a step back and have these posts to look back on after it’s all over and done with (in a very short 13 months time). That brings me to today’s main feature: Wedding Cake.
In the beginning I really couldn’t have cared less about the cake. Cake it cake, right? WRONG. Cake it life.
I mentioned this to my mother and she just about fainted. She is a baker, you see, and a damn good one at that. I hinted that she could make the cake herself and then she broke out in a hot flush. She protested that there was no way that she would manage to make a cake with all the other stress she would be under (who’s the actual bride here?) So we left it at that and I set up a google alert for deals on wedding cakes which spat out a Groupon offer on the daily.
Fast forward a month and Kath (my mum) decided to pull up her big boy pants and offered to make a fruit cake for the big day. Couple of things with that: I don’t like fruit cake. It brings dishonour on all other cakes. Her argument is that she likes fruitcake (again, WHO IS THE BRIDE?) and that it’s basically indestructible and can be made well in advance. That doesn’t make up for it being an abomination. Also after Pinteresting the shit out of wedding cakes, I decided that I NEED a 4 tiered masterpiece. We were at an impasse – Kath’s offering a fruit cake and I have visions of this:
What to do? As with many of my life choices, we decided to go with the old adage, fake it till you make it. Did you know that there’s such a thing as a dummy wedding cake? Some brides actually hire out fake, decorated cakes made out of polystyrene to display at the reception and then just serve a delicious selection of sheet cakes which are much easier to manage and way cheaper to supply. This all sounded wonderful but the thought of cutting into a cake my mum made on my wedding day seemed pretty special so we have ourselves a bit of a compromise… She’ll make a fruit cake as one of the tiers, the rest will be ‘dummies.’ That way we can serve all the delicious flavours without worrying they’ll spoil. We’ll actually be able to cut into the cake for that key photo-op and then also be able to serve fruit cake to all the heathens who want it. We have our solution!
I looked into hiring a dummy cake but decided against this for a couple of reasons:
£175. Just for hire. For a cake that you cannot eat. Sorry, WHAT?
The hire ‘cakes’ were pretty plain (obviously so that they would fit in with many different wedding looks).
They couldn’t be dismantled to insert the desired (ha) fruit cake.
So I’ve decided to have a go at decorating my own dummy cakes. I found a set on amazon for £17.99 and with the right tools, hours of YouTube tutorials and a bit of practice I’m hoping that we can pull together the cake of my dreams. I say ‘we’ because I’ve roped in Kath to help. She took a cake decorating course in the winter of 1997 so I’m sure she’ll be an invaluable source of knowledge.
I mentioned tools, and I think this is the key thing to making this cake a success. I do not possess any raw cake decorating talent, and I take my hat off to you and grovel at your feet if you do, but I believe in this case that specific tools will carry me a long way. You can basically get a tool to do pretty much anything in cake decorating, and while having actual talent would be the ideal, I have enough time to practise something that might actually look quite good. Case in point: I managed to make actual edible, flexible lace at the weekend with a bit of patience and the correct tools:
Obviously I had to buy specific things to make this but here’s the thing… I’ve spent a grand total of £91.33 on all the cake decorating supplies I think I will need to make my ideal cake. I’ll need to add-on the cost of the ingredients for the fruit cake and fondant for covering the tiers but I’m pretty confident I can keep the total under £150. Compared to the £450 I was quoted for a real 4-tier edible cake, I’m calling that a win!
So Mum and I have a cake-date set for this weekend and I’m so looking forward to it. There will probably be tiers (hahahahahaha I’m so funny) but it will all be worth it when it comes to the big day and we can say that we made it together. Even if it does look like a dog’s dinner🙂
Oh look. Here I am showing off a basic cushion. Blogging has hit new and exciting heights, people.
Looks like a cushion, smells like a cushion, acts like a cushion but it is so much more. This is an urgent reminder that I can actually sew. This mere cushion is a symbol of the end of my hibernation period. I’m back, bitches*.
My triumphant return began with a desperate need for curtains in the new house. Let me set the scene: New house. No curtain poles. Crippling fear of drilling holes in new walls. Lack of skills to install curtain poles, even if I wanted to. ‘Temporary’ solution of tension curtain rod in the bedroom that could only hold the weight of 2 sheer voiles before crashing to the ground. Daylight streaming through the window at 4.30am. Waking up at 4.30am every single morning. Fixing that problem by buying 2 SUPER ATTRACTIVE sleep masks. ‘Temporary’ solution remaining for 8 weeks. Finally caving and admitting that we need actual curtains. Charging the drill and assembling all the parts necessary for curtain pole installation. Chickening out and calling my dad for help. Make my dad do the job while I critique his work. Finally have functioning, light-blocking curtains. Halle-freaking-lujah.
After hemming the curtains to fit the window I had some left-over fabric and this was the outcome. A very simple cushion, zip and all, will an appliqued heart motif because I’m so original.
I basted the heart to the cushion first then used a really tight zig-zag stitch to enclose all the edges to make sure it wouldn’t fray. I think this is probably the first time I’ve done any proper applique-ing and I actually found it pretty therapeutic.
I padded it with a cheap Ikea pillow form and it’s now happily residing on our cloud-like bed. Thank goodness for simple and satisfying projects!
In January 2015, I decided to start scrapbooking using the Project Life system and it was the best decision I made that year. Without even realising it I managed to document some of the best trips I’ve ever been on and our pretty spectacular engagement, so there was no way I was giving it up in 2016. I still really love scrapbooking but have found I’ve settled into a style with my layouts which really makes things a lot easier (and I’m not hoarding supplies like a crazy person).
At the start of the year I bought the Liz Tamanaha Everyday Edition kit which is just the most perfect selection of cards to suite my style. I loved the challenge last year of creating layouts using a different colour theme every month, but there’s something about the cohesiveness of this year’s pages that just gives me old big heart eyes.
Can you tell I like black, white & gold? I love how this kit has those colours in abundance as well as some key accent colours which I can use when the mood strikes me. Here’s some of my favourite cards from the past few months.
I probably won’t be sharing my Project Life spreads every month like I did last year, but maybe every now and again I’ll pop in a post to share some of my favourite moments throughout the year. The main thing is, I love Project Life and there is absolutely no stopping me!
I have 100001 other things I could be getting up to right now but instead I spent some time recently learning how to bead. I need another craft like I need a gaping hole in my tiny brain but there I was, getting tied into knots with jewellery wire and poking myself in the hand with pliers. It wasn’t a complete disaster though! I did manage to make something that resembles my initial inspiration … A bridal hair vine.
So I know I’m not getting married for another 16 months (465 days, but who’s counting) but this idea kept bobbing about my brain and I just wanted to see if it was something I could make. I first seen the idea on Pinterest (obviously) and sourced the image back to a company based in Australia. Taking into account shipping and taxes, getting a hair vine made by them would cost me close to £500… I know wedding stuff is expensive but spending that much on a piece for my hair is completely out of the question! Thankfully I really like my first attempt so I’ll definitely be making one myself for my wedding.
This version was just a test as I’ve never attempted to make jewellery before. For the real deal I’ll probably do it in silver with pearl accents but I wanted to make a copper version because I’m actually obsessed with that colour right now! It’s a lot smaller than the one for the wedding too. For the real deal I’ll be looking to make it about 20 inches long and this one is only 7… Gonna need a lot of wire!
Side note – It was a funny couple of months leading up to the move. I was in a state of constant limbo – not wanting to start a new project because I knew it would have to be packed away eventually, not that I even could if I wanted to. My whole creative brain packed its bags and took an extended holiday. I’m very glad to report that we are now back in business! My neuroses are under control and the creative juices are flowing.
So, we closed the deal for the house in August 2015 and waited so long to get into our home. Then found out there would be an additional 3 week delay which almost killed me. We got there eventually and have been happily living there for 7 weeks now! It’s a 3 bedroom, south-facing, detached beauty in Uddingston and I’m still in a constant state of shock that we actually own it. I took some quick snaps the day before we moved in for posterity.
And of course, the door.
I can now proudly say that we have a door number. It’s all very exciting.
Previously, we had always lived in furnished, rented accommodation so there was never a need for us to buy any of our own furniture. Unfortunately that now means that we need EVERYTHING. We currently have 1 sofa (there should be 2 – it’s a whole thing and causes me great anxiety), a TV unit, the most comfortable bed in South Lanarkshire, a selection of desks (CRAFT ROOM) and a coffee table. I know the rest will come with time, but the urge to go and blow a bomb on everything all at once is strong.
As it is a new build, we got to choose all the fittings like carpets, tiles, kitchen cabinets and even wall colours. We didn’t really appreciate how much of a help this was until we finally moved in and realised everything else that we had to buy! Not having to worry about replacing/adding flooring or turfing the garden is such a relief. There are a few little changes we would like to make down the line but we now have the luxury of time. I’m absolutely thrilled with how it’s turned out and now we can truly make our mark on the place.
I’m not sure if you know this but I’M GETTING MARRIED and what would any bride be without her trusty wedding planner? I’ve been holding off on the wedding activities until we moved into our new house, and now that has finally happened it’s full steam ahead. I took my time looking to find the right kind of wedding planner and finally settled on the Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI) Wedding Extension Pack.
Can I just say that I love this brand? I already have the happy planner which is an absolute asset to my life. Since I already carry around the Happy Planner, adding the wedding extension just seemed like the best idea. That way I would always have any wedding information that I could possibly need on me for on-the-fly organisation. The pack slots right into the arc ring system and it’s a perfect accompaniment to my daily planner.
The pack comes with 10 tabbed dividers covering all aspects of the wedding planning process. I’m still in the early stages so not much is filled in. I can see this being completely stuffed as time goes on though! To combat this, I also purchased the large expander discs for my happy planner to accommodate the pack.
The icing on the cake of my new and improved planner is the addition of some pocket folders. These are so handy for receipts and other bits of paper which I’m sure will be in abundance.
I’m truly happy with this set-up, although if I did have to be really critical then I would mention that it’s quite American-ised (if that’s even a thing). There’s a few sections which don’t really apply to a Scottish wedding, for example there’s a couple of bits about a Bridal Shower and that’s not really a thing we have in the UK? Also I though they were talking about pirates when there was a reminder to order boutineers… Anyway, here’s to diving in, head-first and armed, into this world of wedding madness!