Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happily Ever crAfter

It is finished.  My friend Sharmee is married.  It was a long weekend, but a joyous one.  I was honored to be apart of it and to have had a role in her entire wedding weekend.   We started working on her wedding about 3 months ago, so it's been non-stop crafting since April.

Unfortunately, I didn't take many pics of the things I was in charge of.  Mostly because we were working quickly so I didn't have time to think about it.  But I did take a few pics of some of the stuff we made/decorated/wrapped with my iPhone. Our biggest issue was the sheer size of each of the events, so we had think of how to do things as cheap as possible but as pretty as possible. 

This was how we wrapped the favors for the mehndi night.   I used Sharmee's outfit as inspiration.  We used gold tissue and green satin ribbon, tied in a knot to minimize the amount of ribbon we'd need.  Since we couldn't afford to wrap the entire gift with cute paper, we cut up small squares of some mehndi inspired paper and taped it to the top.

The next major thing we had to put together was welcome baskets for the groom's side called the jaan.  These went inside their hotel rooms and included itineraries for the entire weekend.  We had to make 90 of these so, again, cost was a big factor.  Instead of going with baskets, we decided to use these gold colored gift boxes.  The guests were already getting reusable containers that we decorated filled with snacks (not pictured) so providing a basket as well just proved to be too much to me.  We filled them with crinkle and stuffed them with snacks and sweets.  Sharmee had some stickers left over from her invitations, so we attached the stickers to the boxes with ribbon and included an itinerary.  I will spare you of a pic of the itinerary I made, but we personalized the itineraries for the most important guests.  Simple, but thoughtful.

Another thing I was in charge of was decorating the sign that would be displayed in her house.  The original one that they had made in India got lost in the shuffle of all things they brought back, so they ordered a new one and asked me to decorate it.  Traditionally, it is decorated with a glitter pen, but I, of course, knew nothing else to do but to bring on the bling.  Glitter pens just seem so 80's to me.  So, we used some gold trim Sharmee purchased and attached it to the border.

Then I blinged it out with rhinestones and pearls.  Luckily, I had a bunch of rhinestones left over from the basket I just made that happened to match the colors in the sign.  It looked really good in the photographer's light, if I do say so myself.

One of the most important things I had to decorate was the basket that Sharmee's sisters would be using during her wedding ceremony.  The basket would contain rice for her sisters to toss periodically during the ceremony.  So, I did what I know best here and spray painted it gold.  I added some gold trim to it that followed the lines of the basket.  I like that the lines were at an angle and not completely straight.  Then I used some paisley elements that Sharmee bought in India that happened to match our bridesmaid saris perfectly.  Totally on my list of stores to visit when I go back. My friend Anita is the rhinestone queen, so she brought over her bin of rhinestones and I helped myself to her stash.  

Since we had plenty of supplies, I added a few elements to the side as well.  I was really proud to see it being used during the ceremony.  :)

That's about all I got snaps of.  If the photographer got pics of the other stuff I made, I will definitely post them!

This was an amazing process to be apart of.  It was really touching to see an entire community come together as a family to make sure this wedding ran as seamlessly as possible.  Congrats, Sharmee and Nikhil!  Here's to your happily ever after!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011



If you haven't heard about this already, then I encourage you to check out LINKwithlove.  It is an awesome initiative started by Kal Barteski - one of my favorite bloggers - after she discovered some of her artwork was used - a lot - without her knowledge or consent.  LINKwithlove is about respecting each other's works, words, and ideas.

Read more about it on the website.  Like LINKwithlove.org on Facebook.  Follow @LINKwithlove on Twitter.  And always link with love. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Rhinestone a Day Takes the Blah Away

I am always down to do something out of my comfort zone.  When my friend gave me free reign to decorate a basket as a gift to her future sister-in-law, I ran to Hobby Lobby before she had a chance to finish asking.  The basket would be part of a Hindu ceremony known as a chandlo.  It is basically a short ceremony that announces that a couple can be wed.  The groom's side brings gifts for the bride -- which might include a sari and/or an outfit, jewelry and anything else they'd like to gift the bride-to-be -- as well as snacks for the bride-to-be's family.  I had to decorate a large basket for the bride and six small bins for the family. 

I wasn't going to write a blog post about the basket I made, but I searched the ends of the internet for some idea of what I was supposed to be doing exactly and it seems no one ever really posts pictures of the baskets they've been given or the baskets they've made.  How sad is that?  So today I am going to put an end to the silence that is these baskets.  Especially because I find that my Hindu friends require a lot of baskets for various ceremonies, events, gifts, etc.  And these baskets deserve to be seen! This is, of course, my version of a basket that could be used for these types of events.  At the end of the day, it's just a pretty basket.  IMO.  :)

The basket I was given to use was just a plain, flat basket, so I gussied it up with some gold spray paint.  I am a big believer in gold spray paint.  In fact, I always have a can on hand just in case I feel something needs some gold spray paint lovin'.  Hobby Lobby sells mini cans that are perfect for small craft projects.

I wanted to keep it within the same color scheme of the outfits that were going to be in the baskets:  red, blue and green.  So I basically blinged it out with red, blue, green and clear rhinestones.  I am of the mindset that the more rhinestones the better.  I think the world would be a better place if everyone would just use more rhinestones.  Am I right??  Am I right??  Inside joke.  Sorry.

And, of course, I added some ribbon. Because ribbon makes everything prettier. I ended up switching out the ribbon color at the last minute from the pic above so I don't have a pic of the 'before' with the color I used. I am never afraid to rip everything off and start over again if I feel like something isn't quite right.  And I did that quite a few times. 

Since I would have to wait until the day of the chandlo to assemble the baskets, I pre-cut the wrapping that would go around the basket.  I'll just say really quickly that I hate cellophane.  I try to avoid using it at all costs for no other reason except I cannot use it.  Every time I've tried making a basket, I end up ripping the cellophane or there is a big whole in it because my basket is too big and my cellophane is too small.  I hate cellophane.  Or cellophane hates me.  Either way, for the basket I used tulle.  Tulle is the greatest fabric ever invented.  I use it for everything I possibly can.  Tulle calls my name and I always answer.  Love it.

To save time, I decided to eliminate any potential problems by making my bows ahead of time.  I have been in love with fascinators lately, so I used that as my inspiration.  I simply made the bows and attached pins to them that would be attached to the outside once I assembled the baskets, then I added peacock feathers to the outside.  I scored some peacock feathers that had a red tint to them which fit my color scheme which made Pintobean a very happy crafter. 

The rest of the basket making process had to be finished the day off the chandlo, so I don't have pics of that process.  Actually, I forgot to take pictures of it until we were walking out the door with it, which is one reason why these pics are terrible.  But, what to do?  Here is the final product. 

And I love it.  Love the sheerness of the tulle.  Love the feathers.  Love the ribbon.  Love the rhinestone on the bow.  Love all the rhinestones. Love it. Here is a close up with the red sari.... I added a few more rhinestones at the last minute.

And here is another shot of it.  I couldn't stop taking pics because I knew I'd never see it again. 

And here is a pic of one of the snack bins from the back of my car.  Of course, it coordinated.  See the red-ish peacock feather?  So pretty!

And another shot. Last one, I promise. 

So, there it is.  Now I have to think of how I will decorate the baskets for the engagement ceremony.  That is, if I get the job.   

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Party Like a Princess

Recently, I had the opportunity to use my powers for good rather than evil.  My Seester's coworker, Brenda, asked me to make some invitations for her daughter's 1st birthday.  All I had to hear was "princess party" and I was all over it.

Since Brenda had a clear vision of what she wanted, the only thing I had to worry about was ruining this little girl's first birthday party with horribly constructed invites.  No pressure. 

This is what Brenda fell in love with.

{image via Paper Chick}
Obviously, Paper Chick is in a whole other league from me, but I told Brenda I would see what I could do. So I got to work and tried to figure out how to produce something that would end up being the same concept Brenda wanted minus the skills Paper Chick has. This is what I came up with.  

Naturally, I consulted my Precious my Silhouette.  Side note...The more I work with my Silhouette, the more I feel like I become invisible and am consumed by crafty thoughts.  Love that machine.  Anyway, the Silhouette offers a couple dress options, but nothing that would work as is, so I chose this shape and modified it slightly to fit what I envisioned.  I made sure that the invite would fit in a standard A7 envelope and that there would be enough room on the skirt to fit the text Brenda wanted.

I recently saw The Count of Monte Cristo and was a bit enamored with the invites he sent for the extravagant ball he threw for himself.  The font was basically consistent throughout the invite and I felt like it looked really regal that way.  So I kept the font consistent despite my inclination to use one or two more.  I think it made this particular invite look really girly. And what's more girly than a princess party?? 

For the details, I chose pink tulle and pink ribbon. You can't really tell the tulle is pink, but it has a sparkle to it that the white tulle didn't have so I basically had to use it.  I have a reputation to uphold after all.  And just because I think pink and pearls go together like tulle and ribbon, I added a pearl at the neckline. 

I couldn't get a good shot of the tulle - the light wasn't working with me this morning - so here it is from another angle. 

And just because I thought they looked so cute all together, I had to share a snap of them all packed up. 

With as much love as Brenda has poured into making her daughter's 1st birthday a true celebration, I can't help but be honored to have had a small part in it.  Thanks, Brenda

Friday, June 3, 2011

June Obsessions

Wow.  I can't believe it's June already.  Well, you know what they say, time flies when you're having fun.  And apparently I am having a blast.

It's Friday, it's hot, and I'm ready for a nap, so I won't bore you with too much talk today.  I'm just going to jump right into this....  Here are my obsessions for June!!

Color Combo:  Kelly Green and Navy.   This is my beautiful friend Sarah.  I've known her for going on 23 years now.  She is hands down one of my most favorite people in the world.  And not just because she's kind of awesome, but also because she has always had such a great sense of style.  In her home and with her clothes.  I'd kill for some of her accessories and I'd die for some of her purses.  After I got to wear them, of course.  She's definitely my go-to person anytime I have a design decision to make as well as when I feel like having a good hard laugh.  Anyway, I have been obsessed with kelly green and navy ever since she showed up to her nephew's birthday party wearing this awesome navy dress, a green cardi, and the peacock brooch I've been coveting forever.  How cute is she???  And how awesome do those colors look together??  Love.

{image via Ciao Bella Gelato}
Ciao Bella Key Lime Squares.  This is one of those life changing moments that one must splash all over the world wide web.  I happened upon these at Costco with my friend one day and I've never looked back.  Except to make sure I knew what aisle there were on so I could go back for more.  This is now one of my staples in life.  It's key lime flavored gelato nestled between graham crackers.  Yum.  It's like an ice cream sandwich all grown up.  Mr. Bean doesn't even like key lime, and we have to fight every night over how many the other has eaten.  Check their website for where you can buy these.  Then call me and tell me how they've changed your life.  OK.  They might not change your life like they did mine, but if you live in a world of chocolate like we do at the Bean home, this is a nice refreshing treat.  Perfect for summer.  And winter.  And fall. And spring.  I think Ciao Bella needs to change the saying to: "When life gives you key limes, make key lime gelato sandwiches." What, not as catchy?  I'll work on it.....

{image via Polyvore}

Stripes.  I'm going join the rest of the world and admit I am a tad bit obsessed with stripes lately.  Something about them screams summer.  And although I can't stand the summer, a dress like this might help beat the heat.  I can't really say much else except:  awesome

Well, I guess that's it.  It felt like a much longer list when I started typing.  Oh well.  Enjoy your weekend!  I should have another post up soon that will have you thinking pink. :)