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Entries in spools (6)

Thursday
Sep152011

Pre-Wedding Installation

Thank you for bearing with me on my Monday post this week.  I was definitely in a funky mood and I took it out on the blog unfortunately.  No more being Debbie Downer today.  I am feeling better and am excited to share some pre-wedding installation pictures for an upcoming wedding.  A few weeks ago I shared the beginnings of yarn flowers and fabric tags and now I can show you a finished product.  Everything turned out great and I just know it will all come together perfectly on the day of.  Keep in mind, these shots just show the trial run so not everything looks totally finished.  This is just to give you a little sneak peek into what I have been working on and I will share shots from the actual day after it happens.  

So I successfully turned all of those yarn poms into flowers which will be displayed in pretty, blue mason jars at the wedding ceremony and reception.  The picture on the left is just all of the flowers together, about 200.  The bride collected all of the mason and glass jars, vintage crates, and display props and she sure has some collection.  Everything is going to look so good together, the perfect rustic party!

The picture on the left shows the beginnings of the dessert table, minus all of the yummy desserts of course.  I love the vintage crochet tablecloths that the bride found.  Old window frames display the guest seating chart and will be propped up at the entry so everyone can find their way.  

Above are my finished fabric tags which will be tied on with twine over a lace-covered jar.  These are the guest favors.  

Besides the yarn flowers and fabric tags, I also made the table numbers, which are the frames shown above.  The bride collected a bunch of vintage frames for me and then I stitched the buttons on and embroidered the 'TABLE' onto the spools.  Each one is a bit different, with its own personality.

Working with this bride was such a fun and great opportunity for me.  I love her sense of style and she has come up with some truly fabulous details.  This was just the trial run and everything looked so great so I know the actual wedding is going to blow me away.  I cannot wait to share the wedding here on the blog too.  

Have a great Thursday! 

Thursday
Jun162011

Featured: The Knotty Bride DIY : Spool Place Cards

A couple of weeks ago I shared another one of my DIYs with The Knotty Bride's fabulous readers.  This time I made place cards using simple and easy materials.

Vintage spools are an easy way to add a rustic-chic touch to any event and fortunately, you can find them pretty cheap on Etsy.  Use the ribbons to personalize to your specific event's colors.  I stamped the spools with this stamp kit which I use for many of my crafting endeavours.  See the full tutorial and all the pictures at The Knotty Bride.

Today I wanted to share a few behind-the-scenes details about this project and the little shoot I did to capture the details.  First, my inspiration...I love vintage spools and have used them many times before.  I always have a stash of them around my studio, on-hand for emergencies.  They frequently appear as props in my pictures but around the holidays, while I was doing my Christmas wrapping, I decided to do something different and incorporate them into my packaging.

I replaced traditional gift tags with these spools by stamping names onto them.  When I was brainstorming for The Knotty Bride DIY recently, I thought of these spools and knew this could be an easy and inexpensive detail for brides to replicate for a wedding.  Transforming them into place cards or escort cards seemed like a logical choice.  

In terms of capturing the project, I was greatly inspired by a photography book I've been reading recently, Plate to Pixel by Helene Dujardin.  Who is Helene Dujardin?  She is a talented French food stylist and photographer and she writes the blog Tartelette.  Her blog is filled with her gorgeous pictures and it is just overflowing with yummy inspiration.  The yumminess refers to both the recipes and the photography!  Her book was recently published and I knew I had to add it to my collection.  Although all of the food pictures make it seem like a cookbook, Helene uses the book to explain her creative process in capturing her images.  It has been very informative and inspirational for me and my work.  Although I do not specifically take pictures of food, her tips and advice can apply to any kind of still-life photography.  She mostly shoots in natural light, as do I, and I have really enjoyed reading about how she works.

Images found via Creature Comforts; photos by Helene Dujardin 

So I took a lot of Helene's tips into consideration as I was setting up my shots for the place card DIY.  I really took the time to think about light and background textures and props.  I shot this project during the evening while the sun was setting.  I was looking around in my backyard for the perfect location and ultimately settled on this wood planting table.

We have a bunch of random plants on the table but once I moved them, I really loved the rustic feel of the wood and thought it would compliment the spools perfectly.  Since I was very zoomed in for these pictures, it didn't matter that I was on a planting table and not a normal dinner table.  Helene's book encourages you to make your surroundings work for you.  This planting table is also located under a deck, so although there was plenty of natural light filling the scene, there wasn't any harsh, direct light.  

It's too bad that someone did not take a picture of me while I was shooting.  It was pretty humorous.  I had to stand up on those steps and balance and hover over the props.  I definitely almost lost my balance a few times.  

I was really happy the way the pictures turned out.  I didn't do much post-processing Photoshop work on them once I was finished shooting.  Helene's book has definitely encouraged me to practice my photography and to think about my shots more beforehand.  I'm excited to read the rest of her lovely book and to keep practicing.

I hope you enjoy the DIY tutorial.  Get crafting!  

Friday
Apr082011

I'm Back in Business

Hi friends!  I am SO sorry for my long absence but I am finally back to blogging.  Thank you so much to those who left comments on my last post regarding my family member in the hospital.  It is still a challenging time for my family but we are getting through it and your sweet comments have been so thoughtful.  Also, thank you for the lovely comments you left regarding my macaroon picnic photoshoot that I did for Valley & Co's spring ezine.  I absolutely love collaborating with Aleah and Nick and this spring shoot was no different.  I have some fun behind-the-scenes pictures to share but I will save those for next week.  

On top of all the challenging things my family has been dealing with, my computer decided it was going to act up as well.  For most of this week I have been computer-less because my hard drive was failing.  The good news is that I now have a brand new hard drive that is bigger than my last one!  The bad news is that my computer guy was unable to retrieve any data off of my old hard drive.  Yep, it's a bummer, I lost some stuff.  But I am pretty good about backing up my files so I didn't lose much.  Right now I am going through the tedious process of discovering what was lost and what wasn't.  Ugh, it sucks but it could be so much more depressing if everything had been lost.  So here is my little public service announcement to everyone: BACK UP YOUR FILES!

Just do it!  It is so simple now with portable drives, external hard drives, and online services.  And it's not even expensive and so worth it if your computer crashes.  If you have a lot of pictures or have an online business I think this is a must!  I recommend backing things up a few ways.  For pictures, I would back up stuff on a picture sharing website like Flickr but also on an external hard drive.  I use something similar to this and have been super happy with it.  I also have smaller, more portable drives as well.  Another new tool I have been using is Dropbox and I cannot say enough great things about it.  Dropbox creates a file on your computer and everything you put into that file automatically links up online.  So even if I'm on a different computer, I can still access those files that I originally created on my computer.  Does that make any sense?  If it doesn't, please check out the website because they have a great video tutorial that explains everything a lot better than I just did.  So I don't care what you use, just back up your stuff!

Ok, now for some pictures because this post is getting too wordy.  I sent out a couple of vintage spool orders recently and they turned out super cute.  So here are the results:

Aren't the 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.' spools adorable?!  

And I love the color combo of the mint and blush pink that I did for Alastair and Kelsey.  This group of spools is going to be used as cake toppers and I am so excited to see the results.  I hadn't thought of my spools as cake toppers before but now I'm in love with the idea!  

Font Friday will resume next week.  Since a lot of stuff got lost, many of my fonts are missing and so I'll need a week to get everything in order.  But please check out my friend's blogs for some Friday font goodness.  Little Bit Heart has an awesome baseball-inspired post today.  Fourth & Folded has an 18th century handwritten font.  Blush Printables is sharing a lovely find.  Hank + Hunt has a crazy-awesome embroidery stitch inspired font that I'm a bit obsessed with.  And Super Swoon has now joined the rest of us on Fridays.

I promise next week will be filled with blog posts galore!  Thanks for the patience friends.

Thursday
Jan202011

Custom Spools

Last week I was busy working away on an Etsy order for my bride J (I mentioned her here) who ordered some of my custom vintage spools.  She wanted to incorporate the "all you need is love" theme into her wedding so I embroidered the phrase onto the ribbon.  They will be incorporated into her super cute table design (yes, she has shown me pictures & has worked up something truly adorable) and each table will be adorned with its own spool.  I had originally intended the spools to be used as escort cards but having your favorite phrase embroidered onto the ribbon is another great idea and I think these will be a great addition to J's tables.

What do you think?

Since they're handmade and I do the stitching by hand, they are all a bit different (each of the spools is unique too).  I love these slight little differences!

I love the graphics on the vintage spools.

After gluing the ribbon to the spool, the last step was cutting the ends of the ribbon and making a flag shape.

Washi tape!!  I don't know how I lived without this stuff for so long.

All packaged up and ready to be sent to J!  Packaging up a handmade item and sending it off to someone is one of the best feelings.  I'm always a bit nervous, hoping my customer likes what I made as much as I do.  As a new designer, I have a special attachment to everything I create and want it to be received in the best possible way.  But it is so nice to send the package on its way!

So that is just a peek at something I've been working on.  I have a few other projects in the works that hopefully I'll be able to post soon.  I am super excited about all of the things I have been designing lately.  

Also, tomorrow is Friday which means a bunch of Font Friday goodness!  I can't wait to share my picks as well as those of my fellow blogger friends.  Be sure to stop by!   

Monday
Jan102011

All You Need Is Love...

Happy Monday!

The week has begun and it is already 1 pm here so I need to get busy.  I have a lot to accomplish this week including a handful of DIY projects (the results of which will be revealed to you all soon!) and a couple of Etsy orders.  I am so excited about my Etsy orders too but more on that in a minute...

First, a few pictures of my current office and craft space...my bed!  I've touched on this topic before (here) and yes it's true, I've set up shop in my bed again.  It is just too warm and comfy here, I cannot convince myself that working in my studio is a better option.  I love my studio and having a separate space to devote solely to my crafting but it is an outdoor patio-turned indoor space.  It is concrete slab with brick walls and it has no insulation or heating/cooling vented to it.  So basically I freeze when I'm in there.  I find it hard to even go in there now to grab something, just for a second.  Like I run in, run out as quick as I can to avoid frostbite.  It's heaven in the summer but hell during the winter so my solution...working from my bed!

This is a spoiler alert for an upcoming DIY!  It involves mason jars...get excited!

But back to the Etsy orders...I have been working with the most adorable bride on Etsy (I'll refer to her as J) and the whole experience has just been so fun.  I've had the pleasure of making a few things for J's handmade wedding, including some of my hearts-on-a-stick which are a favorite of mine!  We've chatted a bunch and she's let me in on her wedding details and even shared pictures with me of her adorably cute table decor.  I have loved interacting with her and helping her craft the perfect handmade wedding day.  The picture above highlights something else that I am working on for J this week.  I am making some spools for her, each personalized with the "all you need is love" message.  J could not have picked a better slogan and I know that this detail and all her other handmade lovelies are going to come together so beautifully for her big day!

Working with J has reminded me of the importance of Etsy.  It is such an amazing marketplace.  I am always finding new and beautiful things on there and it is important to me knowing that my purchase is going to help support some fellow artist or crafter.  As a buyer and seller on Etsy, I've seen first hand that Etsy does not just enrich the lives of those buying but also those selling.  I never would have connected with J or had the pleasure of making things for her had it not been for my online Etsy shop.  Buyers are obviously paying me to deliver a product but occasionally I get a buyer like J who is gracious enough to share with me her thoughts and plans for her wedding.  And that connection and interaction with a bride is oh, so nice.  Not only do I get to make something for her, but I get to make something for a friend!  So in conclusion, Etsy helps you make friends!  Crafty, wonderful friends!

Too mushy for everyone?  Well, tough...deal with my mushy!  I truly and honestly love connecting with other creative souls and the amazing world of the internet has allowed me to do so.  I am grateful!