The Wedding We Made (part 2)

Flowers and weddings go together like pasta and cheese, gin and tonic and chocolate and my mouth. But beautiful displays and bouquets can end up being a costly endeavour. I had always loved the idea of artificial flowers, of being able to keep my bridal bouquet forever. But when I saw that people were starting to make bouquets out of brooches, doorknobs and just about anything else you could dream of, fake flowers transformed into a chance to get creative and the crafter in me was itching to give these unusual options a go.

flowers

(Photo taken by Amy Bride)

I quickly found a simple template for a flower, cut out two sizes and sewed them together with a button (oh how I love a button). I made around five in an hour and thought – bloody hell this is fantastic, bring it on! I showed them to Steven who was equally impressed and the handmade flowers were officially part of the wedding plan. And then Steven got his hands on them…

I may have mentioned before that my significant other can sew better than me. Depending on my mood this makes me simultaneously ashamed and filled with pride. So when mere moments of snipping, placing and sewing created the most perfect felt rosebud you have ever seen I was jealous and delighted in equal parts. At first he was tasked with the job of making me an entire bouquet of felt rosebuds all by himself, but eventually I discovered that it was not, in fact, rocket science, and I could, in fact, do it too and so I helped a bit and spread the skills around.

With rosebuds made by my nearest and dearest, ribbon roses adding a touch of glamour, and some vintage brooches that belonged to my nana, my bouquet blossomed into the beauty it is, even to this day, proudly displayed in my living room.

bouquet

(Photo taken by Yellow Door Photography)

Whilst the bouquet was a subdued haze of cream and red, the centrepieces were rather more off piste. In amongst knitted and felt flowers, there was a cardigan tie, a sequined sleeve and various other oddments that had taken up residence in my sewing box and were miraculously transformed at the hands of my genius spouse. I envy the way he can see what something could become with a bit of work, no matter how uninspiring and unloved it may look.

table centres

(Photo taken by Katherine Smith)

With nine rosebud buttonholes finishing off our floral creations, we were delighted with how they all turned out. I think it truly sunk in how successful they were when I saw guests choosing their favourites, and keeping them as a memento of the day. You’ve got to be doing something right if people want to take things home with them!

buttonhole

(Photo taken by Yellow Door Photography)

So I’m sure some of you are wondering if this really helped in our budget conscious wedding. Well…drum roll please! All in all our flowers cost us less than £50, and we will never see flowers like them at another wedding. They were 100% us and will be forever!

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The Wedding We Made (part 1)

I was going to write just one post about the wedding, but once I got started, I soon realised it could quickly become a novel. So instead, it’ll be a series of posts (most likely until I get bored) interspersed with other crafty yumminess to keep you gripped and enthralled. Just let me believe that you are gripped and enthralled, even though you’re probably not, for my sanity.

There’s something magical about weddings that goes beyond love and commitment and all those smushy things. So much time, effort and money goes into celebrating the special couple, that the day becomes an entity in it’s own right. We felt that was especially true on our big day, because so much of it was hand made or crafted by the people closest to us. What originally started out as ways to make the most of the little funds we had, quickly became the best parts of our wedding. Every last bit of the day was us, to the core.

us

(Photo by Yellow Door photography)

It all started with the invitations. We always wanted to make our own invitations, to make sure we had complete control over the final look. Steven is quite the dab hand at coming up with interesting ideas, and after various incarnations of folded card that were always too fussy, too amateurish or too time consuming, he struck gold.

When he suggested little fabric envelopes with each guest’s name embroidered onto the front, I just couldn’t imagine it any other way. Enter an extremely talented sister-in-law with a whizzy sewing machine and ceaseless patience and the dream became a reality.

cuinvite

(Photo taken by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie)

Each guest or family group got their very own personalised envelope to keep forever. Handily, they are the perfect size for bank and ID cards (ever the practicalities with me!) so they still serve a purpose now the wedding is over. We printed the details on cards from Vista print and even built a website…which promptly failed and led to plenty of emails and texts. Yes, we thought we were being clever and no, we didn’t think it all the way through. Everyone made it on the day though, so we clearly did alright.

cuinvite2

(Photo taken by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie)

We even had our own invitations with our names on, because, you know, we didn’t want to feel left out.

Everyone was thrilled by the invites, and we are so grateful to Mandy for taking the time, effort and skill to make them for us. They were such a conversation starter and gift in their own right that a few people didn’t even realise the wedding details were inside. I have never seen invitations like these before, or since, and I will be very surprised if I ever do. They are simple, elegant and timeless and we couldn’t have wished for anything better.

If you were as impressed as we were with these mad embroidery skills, Emelbee also do t-shirts, jumpers and other embroidery magic. Get in touch if you are interested!

Creeping back to say hello

Well. It’s been over a year since I blogged about anything, and looking back at the most recent post (from April 2012, not really recent is it?) it’s safe to say a lot has changed.

Reading back, almost everything I wrote had something to do with uni, and now I’ve graduated. Suddenly, and resoundingly university has nothing to do with my life anymore. It’s only now that I’ve spent 16 months away from education that I realise how much it defined me, and it’s even more obvious with things like social media. It was my Twitter description, it was the backdrop to everything I blogged and it dictated a lot of what I ‘liked’ on Facebook.

Now, it seems to have been replaced with knitting. Yippee!

Since I last posted, I’ve graduated, got a job, got a different job, moved over 100 miles away from home, got married and settled into life as an adult (not a grown-up, they are different). I now work on Simply Knitting magazine (go and buy a copy, you know you want to) and my life has become even more submerged in the world of making knots with sticks and string. It’s not like I wasn’t a knitting nerd before, either, now it’s just legitimised and I get paid for it!

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(Bath. Photo taken by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie)

So, I hear you bellowing at your screen, what have you made/baked/created in the last year, who cares where you live?!?

Well, that’s a little rude, but I’ll let it slide. This is where I wish I’d kept up with the blogging fandango so that I could have some online form of crafting catalogue. Alas, a list of what I can remember and some photos of what I had the foresight to shoot/friends shot for me will have to do instead.

A bazillion wedding crafts were undertaken (which might even warrant a post of their own, we shall see) including bunting, flowers, chutney, cake, table plans, orders of service, invitations, button holes, bouquets and all the other stuff I’ve already forgotten. (It has been more than 4 months people!)

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(Photo taken by Louise Smith) We knitted and sewed flowers for every centre piece and chutney was made by the cauldron full.

cake

(Photo taken by David Pollington) A majestic dragon was formed out of sponge cake and tiny likenesses were made from Fimo, all sitting atop the largest fruit cake one could ever wish to wrangle.

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(Photo taken by Katherine Smith) Over 80 bunting triangles were knitted by 4 lovely ladies (plus me) and I lost count of the flowers that eventually made up my bouquet.

So around all of that not a lot else was made.

A couple of framed quotes, a Union Jack cushion, and a hat to resemble that of a certain Jane were all given at Christmas, but that was about it in terms of hand made gifts. I sewed myself some pyjama bottoms and a toiletry bag (sadly lacking photographic evidence) which I will have to show off you at some point, and I did finally bake some bread! (More on that story later…)

bread

(Photo taken by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie)

On the knitting front, an Alan Dart Dachshund is sitting in pieces in a plastic bag, waiting for me to sew the bugger up, countless swatches have been knitted for reviews in the magazine, a shawl has been started and a couple of pairs of socks have leapt off my needles. Look – these ones I made for myself!

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(Photo taken by Thoroughly Modern Lizzie)

I even got paid to write something, which really made my heart sing. Hurry, buy this beauty now!

http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/stitch-and-craft-bookazines/the-knitter-collection/

So, now that I’m back, you can expect more of my ramblings, crafting and shoddy photography to come. Aren’t you all thrilled?

Until next time…