Pyrography and DIY Wedding Decorations

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 kit

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.

img_1732 img_1726 pyrography nibs

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.

pyrography wood burned hearts wedding decor

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!

Wedding Wednesday: Cake Crisis

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.

this felt like a petty good point to insert one of my all-time fav gifs #relevant

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:

cake lace

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 🙂

Me and My Big Ideas Wedding Planner

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.

me and my big ideas mambi happy planner wedding planner extension pack

me and my big ideas mambi happy planner wedding planner 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.

me and my big ideas mambi happy planner wedding planner extension pack me and my big ideas mambi happy planner wedding planner extension pack me and my big ideas mambi happy planner wedding planner extension pack

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.

me and my big ideas mambi happy planner wedding planner extension pack

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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.

me and my big ideas mambi happy planner wedding planner extension pack

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!

DIY Bridesmaid Proposal Jigsaw

WEDDING CHAT! I had the very exciting task of asking some of my favourite ladies to be my Bridesmaids/Maids of Honour this weekend. Being me, I wanted to do something a bit special and definitely make them work for it. I was in Tiger one day and spotted blank jigsaws and I thought that would be a fun idea! After a bit of crafting I had a DIY bridesmaid proposal jigsaw and I’m just as pleased as punch with how they turned out.

will you be my bridesmaid proposal jigsaw DIY

They were so easy to create! I bought 5 blank jigsaws from the Tiger store in Glasgow – 1 for each maid and 1 to practice. I also bought a cheap watercolour paint set from the same shop, as well as some black acrylic paint. With the watercolours, I simply painted splodges and splatters of pink, yellow and orange on the blank jigsaw and waited for it to completely dry. Then I printed off the words ‘Will You Be My Bridesmaid’ on some heavy card and used a craft knife to cut our the letters to make a stencil. Using washi tape, I stuck the stencil to the dry jigsaw and then used the black acrylic paint over the top, making sure to keep the stencil in the exact position at all times to avoid smudges. Once the letters were all dry, I broke up the jigsaw and placed the pieces along with the backing board in a small handmade pouch (taking the DIY to extremes, people) tied with a big gold bow.

will you be my bridesmaid proposal jigsaw DIY

I couldn’t just leave it at the jigsaw so I decided to put together a little package including a handwritten note for each girl, some of my favourite sweets and an individual bottle of wine complete with a straw. It’s class all the way with this bride…

will you be my bridesmaid proposal kit

All of this was popped in a storage box from Ikea which I decorated with some dots punched out from the same paper at the cards. The theme of my wedding may or may not be gold…

will you be my bridesmaid proposal kit

will you be my bridesmaid proposal kit

All the girls said yes once they had finally put together the jigsaw. Apparently puzzles become more of a challenge when you haven’t completed one since being a toddler! I’m so pleased to have one thing ticked off my ever expanding list. Now to get Ian’s butt in gear to ask the Grooms-men!

I’m Engaged!

I can’t quite believe that I’ve just written that title, but it’s true…. I’m engaged!

beyonce feyonce engagement announcement

Ian planned the most amazing and personal proposal. Last Monday, he told me we were going on a surprise adventure and I was supposed to guess the final destination. We jumped in the car and headed to past Loch Lomand, up the west coast of Scotland. It took me longer than I’d like to admit that I finally figured out we were going to Fort William. Once I had guessed the location, Ian handed me another clue – my Elder wand replica from the Harry Potter Studio tour. I couldn’t for the life of me find the link between Fort William and Harry Potter until I happened to glance out the window and was reminded of the scene in Chamber of Secrets where Harry and Ron are making their way to Hogwarts in the flying Ford Angelica. Then it hit me – we were going to see the viaduct that they fly over in the film. At this point the tears started flowing and didn’t stop when he told me not only were we going to see he Viaduct, but we were going to travel over it… On the Hogwarts Express. I cried straight for about 15 minutes.

Needless to say the whole experience was amazing. He had booked first class seats in a real, old-fashioned train compartment – just like the film! The views were phenomenal and I obviously cried again when we reached the viaduct. Can you tell that I’m quite invested in Harry Potter? The train took us all the way to a little town called Mallaig where we jumped off and got the second tastiest fish and chips I’ve ever had the joy to consume. Then we took a wander around the Harbour and while I was busy taking photos of the scenery, the sneaky little snake bent down on one knee behind me, urged me to put the camera down and turn around, and then he popped the question!

Anyway it’s been non-stop since then with different celebrations, not to mention that the day after we flew to Marrakech with a couple of friends for a short break. It’s been the most perfect week full of love and family… I’m the luckiest girl in the world! Now prepare yourselves for a a massive photo dump from the day 🙂 Let’s start planning this wedding!

bolfly goldharry potter engagement announcement

bolfly goldharry potter proposal idea engagement announcement

harry potter viaduct railway proposal

harry potter viaduct railway proposal

harry potter viaduct railway proposal

harry potter viaduct railway proposal jacobite steam train

harry potter viaduct railway proposal jacobite steam train

bolfly goldharry potter engagement announcement

bolfly goldharry potter engagement announcement

Scottish proposal jacobite steam train mallaig

Scottish proposal jacobite steam train mallaig

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Sew Your Own Wardrobe: July

Happy July my lovelies! I hope the weather today is a taste of things to come for the rest of the month! I’m back with another instalment of my Sew Your Own Wardrobe series and I have to say that I’m pretty excited about this one! One of my friends from school is getting married at the end of July so I thought it would be a great idea to make my own dress for the occasion… Well it seemed like a good idea at the time! As you will know by now I’m a complete ‘Have-A-Go-Harry’ so I’m rolling up my sleeves and just getting on with it. If it works out then bully for me, if not then we will go to plan B (there is no plan B, YIKES!)

So what am I making? Well for this most auspicious occasion I thought I would pull out one of my fancy designer patterns – namely the Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity 2178.

simplicity 2178

It’s a lovely Grecian design and since this is a bit of a fancier piece, I’m going to make a toile. For those of you who don’t know what the hell a toile is, it’s basically a mock version of the dress in a fabric which I’m not too fussed about making a mess of. Speaking of fabric, let me show you the good stuff!

2178 fabric

 

On the left is a linen/poly mix and this is the fabric that I will do my toile in. The great thing about this is that if it works out well then I will just keep that as the final dress and save good fabric for something else. That’s right the stuff on the right is classed as ‘good’ fabric because it’s a luscious liberty print which I acquired from my favourite fabric shop in the Barrowlands. My inside man actually gave me a heads up to let me know it was coming in and as I was off to Barcelona the next day, he kindly agreed to keep some aside for me (at an excellent price) so that Wonder-Ian could pop in and get it. Everyone say it with me: ‘You know you have a fabric addiction when…’

Are you excited to see the final result? I certainly am! Although I have to admit that after reading some reviews of this pattern online I’ve become a bit apprehensive. Nevertheless I will take their comments on board and I’m sure it will be just fine 🙂 Wish me luck!

Happy Easter

Hopefully if you’re reading this you will have the day off like I do! HAPPY EASTER 😀

If you don’t recognise the holiday then happy staying-off-work-and-eating-so-much-chocolate-you-vom day! It’s a wonderful occasion.

For me, today will be spent watching copious amounts of The Good Wife (what a lady!) while playing with my new dress form (minds out of the gutter people). Let me formally introduce you to Dorothy (Dot)

dorothy

I was at a Wedding on Thursday and then we popped off to Aberdeen for the weekend so we’re only just starting to get to know one another. I think it’s going to be a beautiful friendship. I’ve been sticking her with pins all day (now, now) and there’s been no complaints so far!

Speaking of beautiful new partnerships… My friend got married last week! Not only is she the only person I know with a cat, she is now the only person I know who’s married. Well, who has become married since knowing her. Here’s what I wore to her fancy-shmancy do…

image

Fun fact for you, 1.5 days before the wedding I decided I hated the dress I had bought months ago and had a full scale MELTDOWN. There were snottery tears everywhere. I had like zero time to get a new frock and was about to lock myself in the cupboard when hero of the day, Mr Ian, steps up and fixes everything! In the end, after a few frantic calls to the House of Fraser and a little happy dance because they have an amazing sale on, I found the dress above and all was right with the world. He’s a keeper.

Anyway, I hope you all have a fabulous day 🙂