Sunday, June 24, 2012

Flower Pens

Here's a really easy project to disguise simple looking pens to look like a pretty flower.  I made some for our wedding reception and put it next to the guest pages we had.

Here's what you need.

- a pen.  I use the papermate ball points.  It has to be one where you can remove the top cap.
- a flower (nylon or silk)
- ribbon
- floral tape
- regular tape
- craft glue

Okay, so here we go:

1.  Prepare your flower (nylon or silk).  Cut to about a half inch stem to the place you want resting on the top of the flower.  Sometimes this is the flower base, and sometimes it is about where the leaf is.  Your call.  Add a little floral tape to the half inch stem so it fits in the pen top cap area. (you may want to test the flower in the top cap before you start wrapping -- like after the next step).  Set aside while you set up the pen.

2.  Disassemble your pen by removing the cap, and top cap.

3.  Use a small piece of tape and tape the ribbon to the pen.  The tape should only be on a small part of the ribbon, that can be covered up easily when we wrap the rest of the pen.  Notice that I taped the ribbon about a half inch from where the ink part of the pen is.   This is because if you put the ribbon too close, you won't be able to put the cap back on.

4.  With the end of the ribbon affixed, carefully wrap a layer of floral tape around the pen.  This will cover up the slick area of the regular tape, and the rest of the pen to give a little grip when you wrap the ribbon on.

5.  Next, (you probably guessed), wrap the ribbon around the pen.  When you get to the end, wrap the ribbon perpendicular (so it follows the top edge of the pen).  Cut an extra inch, and fold up as shown on the last photo in the image above.  Hold this with one hand.

6.  With the other hand, take your flower, add a dab of glue to the bottom, and stick it into the hole of the pen (where the top cap once was).  Ta da!  :)

Pretty simple wasn't it.  For show, I took a terra cotta pot that my sister painted, added a small piece of paper in the bottom, and filled it with aquarium rocks.  Then, I stuck the pens in.  You can probably use colored sand too.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nylon Flower Daisy

Here's a really simple nylon flower to make.  I used these nylon flower daisies for the flower pens at our reception.

What you need:
- nylon
- stamens
- #24 wire
- #4 ring (or whatever size you want, really).
- stem wire
- nylon thread
- floral tape
optional:  if you want to attach a leaf, you'll also need some green nylon and green wire.  (instructions for leaf are not included in this post)

Okay, so let's get started.

How to:
For tips and techniques on Nylon Flower making, check out my post here.

1.  Wrap the #24 wire around the #4 ring, and twist together where wires meet.  Cut the wire so you have a wire petal handle of about an inch.  Make 7 petal rings using the #4 ring (or a different size, if  you prefer).

2.  Daisies are known for their long petals.  You can elongate all of the petal rings but holding them all together, and squeezing the wires to form a nice long petal.  Holding them all together also gives you more uniform petals throughout the flower.

3.  Wrap the petal rings with nylon, and secure with the nylon thread.  If you want a thicker look and feel, you can wrap the petal twice.

4.  Grab some double ended stamens and fold them in half.  Use some nylon thread to attach the stamens to the end of a stem wire, with the stamen ends above the stem wire so that the stem wire is not showing.

5.  Attach the wrapped petals around the stamens evenly with nylon thread one by one.  It may help to bend down the petals a bit after the first petal is put down.  Remember to try to keep the tie line the same as you attach the petals.  Also, you don't have to cut the nylon thread between each petal, you can continue to wrap around a few times, attach a petal and wrap around a few more times.  After all the petals are attached, wrap the nylon thread several more times up and down the petal handles to secure it more to the stem.

6.  Once all the petals are attached to the stem, you can cover up the petal handles and the nylon thread with floral tape.  Remember to stretch the tape as  you go to let it get sticky.  Wrap the floral tape down the stem.  If you have a petal to put in, you can attach it at this time (as you wrap the floral tape down).

7.  Gently fold down the petals to open up the flower.  You can and a slight bend down the middle of each petal to add more dimension to the flower.  You can also bend the stem wire a bit so the flower is front facing instead of facing straight up.

That's it.  Super simple flower to make.  You can add more stamens in the center and make the petals larger if you want a larger flower.  Because these were going to go on top of pens, I didn't make them too  large.  Have fun.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Our DIY Wedding: Part 3 - Mail

This is the last installment (I think) of our DIY Wedding series.  I'm anxious to get started on some tutorials. So, that should be coming soon.

For this last installment, I decided to cover the wedding items that had to be mailed out.

First was the Save the Dates.  We actually went rather simple with these.  One weekend, we went out with our tripod, and Eric's new camera, and took some pictures with the camera timer, and Eric doing a lot of running. :)  We picked one that we liked, did some customization on it using Paint.NET (free software), took the image to Costco for prints, and sent them out.  Here's how it turned out.

Next, the invitations.  I did all the design work and printing at home.  I printed the information on cardstock (cheap at Big Lots!) and bought some corresponding scrapbook paper for the outer cover of the invite.  I wrapped it all with a soft mesh ribbon before placing it into the envelope.  Here's how it looked.

Once the wedding was over, I wanted to make something special with the thank you cards. Here's what I came up with.  Also, I wanted to play with embossing powder and a heat gun. :)

And lastly, the announcements.  Since our wedding was on the smaller side and a destination wedding, there were several relatives and friends that we were unable to invite.  So, I created these announcements with a "save the date" / invitation to a local family bbq reception.

That's it.  :)  Hope this helps inspire ideas.

Tutorials are coming soon. :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Our DIY Wedding, Part 2: The Food

Food!  Yup, we love the stuff.  :)  Here's an overview of the food we had for the wedding, and then some.  Except for the cake, the food was made by us, friends, and family.  We could not have done it with out them.  Okay, so let's start.

First, we had a rehearsal dinner on the night before.  For dessert, we set up a s'mores bar.  :)  We used the flame gel cans that are used for chafing dishes for the fire.  We had skewers, marshmallows, graham crackers, and a random assortment of chocolates ranging from hershey chocolate, reeses peanut butter cups, and a variety of ghiradelli squares.  Best S'mores Ever!

On the morning of the wedding, I made these cinnamon rolls.  I used the allrecipes cinnabon clone, made the cinnamon rolls several days before, but froze them before baking them.  On the night before the wedding, I moved the cinnamon rolls to the fridge, and on the morning of, I baked them up.  Delish, and super simple.  I made the frosting the morning of too, and done!

Okay, so now the wedding food.  

First are the appetizers.

- 2 cheese platters (brie, jarlsberg, gouda, babybels, and dubinger, with apples and grapes)
- assorted crackers
- quiche lorraine
- veggie shooters (spinach dip with veggie sticks in a shot glass)
- gravlax (cold cured salmon) with cream cheese
- swedish meatballs
- hot artichoke dip
- french bread slices

Here's a closer look of the meatballs and artichoke dip.

Now for the main dinner. Everything was delicious.  The BBQ Chicken was marinated 2 days before and cooked the night before.  The Beef Brisket was also made a few days before and frozen then defrosted and heated in the oven on the day of.  The mashed potatoes, rice, and veggies were done on the day of (by awesome friends). 

- Roasted Mixed Veggies
- Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
- BBQ Chicken
- Beef Brisket
- Jasmine Rice
- Mixed Greens Salad with homemade dressing
- bread rolls
- wine (toasted head chardonnay, and section 29 zinfandel)
- beer, water and sodas. :)

Okay, now let's go for the sweets!!!

- chocolate fountain
- chocolate fountain stuff:  strawberries, bananas, other mixed berries, and pound cake.
- heart shaped sugar cookies (super awesome design  -- look below for a better picture)
- chocolate crinkle cookies
- oatmeal cookies
- peppermint and vanilla meringues
- coffee

Here's the closeup on the sugar cookies.  (Thanks Emily, I still get compliments on them.  And thanks for all the other cookies and meringues too.)

Lastly, we had cake.  We bought the cake from a local Safeway in the area, and it was perfect, and not nearly as expensive as others we saw when we were shopping for cake.  Along with this, champagne, and sparkling apple cider. Mmm!!!  We froze a small piece of the left over cake and plan to have it for our first month anniversary, cuz the thought of eating year-old cake doesn't sound all too appealing to me.

Well, that's about it.  :)  There was a topper that I was working on for quite some time that turned out pretty good, but because of the daylight, it was a bit difficult to see.  Here's a picture of it when it's lit up at a place where you can actually see it.  Pretty cool, right?  It's just too bad we couldn't get it to show up. Oh well.

I totally forgot this last picture.  We finished off the night with shots of patron and pickle juice. :)  If you like pickle juice, you should totally try it.  The pickle juice has an awesome neutralizing effect. 

Okay, so that's our food post. :)  I intend to prepare one more wedding post on the the stationary. Yup, those were all DIY too. :D  Stay tuned for those.