Sunday, May 18, 2014

Love Is All You Need - Pam's Bridal Shower!

Spring has finally sprung and love is in the air!

Last Saturday (May 10, 2014) was a day I've been waiting and planning for since last year - it was my sister Pam's bridal shower!  After many months of planning and thanks to some of the best bridesmaids and mothers, the day came together perfectly.  Pam was even surprised - something that none of us thought would happen!  She had been snooping and asking questions for months and months about her shower and had been so confident that she would know when it was.  Thankfully, Joe, Pam's fiance is just as tricky as she is and had made this nearly impossible for her.  He had pretended that her shower was on other days, had friends text her "by mistake" about the shower (implying that it was on other days) and even scheduled fake events for the day of.  The night before her shower, Pam even spent time making pasta salad for a BBQ that she thought was happening on the day of her shower!  So despite all of her attempts at knowing, Joe was able to get her to the doors of the hall without her suspecting a thing!

Pam's shower was held at Faith Hall at Trinity Episcopal Church in Buckingham, PA where there were about 75 people in attendance.  Since halls are typically very plain and empty looking - the bridesmaids and I made sure to create some classy and eye-catching decorations to spruce the place up a bit!  My first focus was on table centerpieces.  Since Pam is getting married at the Rosebank Winery in August, I thought a "rustic/wine" theme would be more than appropriate for the shower.  Below are the centerpieces that we ended up creating.

First, for the centerpieces I tightly wrapped wine bottles in thick twine (bought at any craft store).  I used hot glue to secure it and only put small amounts here and there - where it was needed.  Next, I created paper flowers from craft paper in a variety of patterns.  To do this, I cut the paper into squares, then cut each square into a large circle.  I spiraled the circle, making sure that the edges were not perfectly rounded but wavy in order to give each flower more texture.  Then, I rolled the spiraled paper from the outside in towards the middle.  When it was rolled completely, I let the paper unravel and loosen, then secured it with a dab of hot glue to complete the flower.  I made the flowers in a variety of sizes as well.  The bridesmaids helped me in gluing the paper flowers to the twine-wrapped bottles in a cascading pattern.  Each bottle was different and unique!

Next, I used small mason jars to create vases for flowers to go along with the wine bottles.  I measured and glued burlap ribbon around the center of the jar and then topped it with lace ribbon.  We took the centers of the mason jar lids out and filled the jars with baby's breath and berried-flowers to complete each table.  (The centerpieces above are pictured without the flowers)

After we completed the centerpieces, the bridesmaids and I focused on favors for each guest.  We created charms for wine glasses that mimic engagement rings using small clear beads and one "diamond" bead for each charm.  The beads were strung on jewelry rings purchased from any craft store.  The wire at the ends of the charms was bent and closed so that the ends didn't need to link, but could be placed on and stay on each wine glass easily.

Along with each wine glass charm, each guest could help themselves to handmade chocolate lollipops.  I used chocolate lollipop molds in the shape of roses to very easily create the favors.  We thought roses would be charming and appropriate because the wedding will be at the Rosebank Winery in August!  We placed the lollipops in wrappers and then secured them with handmade tags, made by bridesmaid Kelly.

Since a large amount of people were invited to the shower, and many of them were not familiar with all of Pam's bridesmaids, myself included, we thought a "Meet the Maids" display would be perfect!  Each of the bridesmaids wrote a short paragraph about how they met or came to be friends with Pam and included a picture of themselves with the bride-to-be!  Bridesmaids Jenn and Briana put this display together after receiving everyone's note and picture.  At the shower, we strung it between easels, making it visible to all of the guests.  This was a hit at the shower and each lady loved reading about each of the bridesmaids relationships to the bride!

In addition to meeting the maids, the guests could also meet younger versions of Pam and Joe through our "Guess the Age" game and display.  We gathered 10 pictures for both the bride and groom-to-be from a variety of ages and displayed them tastefully on separate boards.  I created each display from a simple piece of foam board covered in some cute fabric.  The fabric was actually a curtain I found on clearance at Wal-Mart for $3.00.  I took a shot on buying the curtain, figuring that I wouldn't be able to get that much fabric for such a low price anywhere else.  In my opinion - it worked out perfectly!  I used left-over twine from the wine bottles to create little "clotheslines" to hang the pictures on with miniature clothespins.  The boards were placed on easels at the shower and directions to "guess the age" were strung between them.  The letters on the boards and the strands between were hand-drawn and cut by myself!

We used a variety of other simple and sweet decorations throughout the hall including a burlap banner made by bridesmaid Kelly...

...and fancy picture frames displaying the shower invitation as well as special pictures and moments of Pam and Joe throughout their relationship, including one taken following their engagement at the 2013 Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, PA.  Joe ran the race and Pam waited for him at the 9th mile.  Little did she know that he would get down on one knee and propose when she saw him (wearing a "will you marry me Pam?" t-shirt)!  They walked the last mile together, newly engaged, and the rest is history!


Lastly, what's a bridal shower without delicious food, drinks, and of course Mimosas!  We went with brunch foods including eggs, french toast, bacon, sausage, bagels, and plenty of fruit.  Bridesmaids Jenn and Briana, and Joe's mom made cute and yummy parfaits, too!

All in all, the day went off without a hitch and I had so much fun planning and crafting for this special pre-bridal event!  I love you sis, and I can't wait for the wedding!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hello Blogger, My Name's Laura!

Hello friends!

I'm so excited to finally start sharing the diy projects, crafting successes, and occasional crafting mishaps with all of you!  As an added bonus, I'm hoping to provide a little inspiration and help along the way as well.  But of course, before you trust me for all of your crafting advice, let me tell you a little bit about what began to inspire me and my continuing journey of being a crafty little lady!

Although I've always been a busy body, this kicked into full gear last year while I was planning my wedding.  My husband (Steve) and I decided to go for a non-traditional wedding but still wanted to include all of our friends and family who couldn't make it down to our wedding spot with us.  In order to tie the two together (as well as tie the knot the way we wanted to), we decided to take the trip down to Mexico for our nuptials but then have a hometown reception when we came back from our wedding and honeymoon.  This worked out perfectly for us, but with much planning...and to my liking...crafting!

In order to keep the cost manageable, our hometown reception would really live up to it's name and take place at my parent's house in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.  Although their backyard is already a dream come true, In order to take our reception from "backyard BBQ" to "classy outdoor reception" we really had to dress it up!  My mom and I got right to work, crafting everything from centerpieces, to favors, and even a s'mores bar!

My favorite but most time-consuming craft was my floating wall of paper cranes.  Having taken my husband's last name of Crane, I found this to be a must-have and when it was finished, it really pulled our decor together as well as added an extra pop of color.  Pretty much every night leading up to the reception, I spent hours folding paper cranes of all sizes, one by one.  When I ran out of paper, I began to string the cranes on fishing line and then finally created strands and strands of paper cranes.  On the day of my reception, I actually counted how many I had (but since then I've forgotten the exact number).  I do know, however, that it was a lot!

But anyway, that project, as well as everything else I created for my wedding and reception, pushed me and inspired me to share my crafting ventures with all of you!  Below are my paper cranes as well as more of my favorite crafts from my wedding.  I hope you all enjoy!

Strands upon strands of handmade paper cranes

Handwritten seating chart using old windows (with some extra distressing added)

The centerpiece of our bride and groom table (from behind)

The centerpieces for our guests tables

Reception favors for our lovely friends and family

Sparklers to add a little light and fun to our first dance!

Our suitcase card box

And finally...

The most delicious s'mores bar!  Yummy!

Credit to 217 Photography for the amazing pictures