Friday, December 30, 2011

Wedding Bridal / Groomal Pictures

Princess number 1 only asked for a few specific things for her wedding. She wanted a GOOD Photographer first and top of the list. She searched out and researched. A man she worked with told her that his daughter did weddings sometimes when she wasn't booked with other things. She went to the website and there wasn't any other options at that point.

She hired her for bridal and Groom pictures before the wedding so we could have pictures of her in the dress at the reception but, she also hired her for an hour after the wedding to get pictures of the family etc. I wish she had hired her for the reception as the pictures we took were outside and it was FREEZING and there was a breeze that kept blowing our hair all over. If I was facing the other side, it would have been better but they had my family on the side the wind was blowing from and so our hair kept blowing in front of our faces.

Because of the cold from the pictures etc. My mother ended up with Pneumonia and was in the hospital. My dad was in bed for two days, and I ended up in bed for 2 1/2 days. It was really cold and I think I was just run down and I am praying now that the wedding majority is over, I can get some sleep and get into a better routine with the new year.

Of course, I have the open house in our home town but after that is over, I really want to get myself on a good schedule, exercise and diet for the new year.

I have to write something here or I won't have a place to put these beautiful pictures so I am somewhat babbling so you can see more of these photos.

I wanted to show you the bouquet again with the great photography of it. Isn't it beautiful. You can see how it was made of maps. You can see the bling, you can see the pin centers. My sister is so talented.

I am not sure when we will be getting the actual wedding day pictures but I will share these with you so you can at least see the dress and how cute the couple are together.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nice Surprise - Cellercise

I got a big surprise when my sister called my eldest Princess asking if they would like to go in on a gift. Princess met my sister on the way to our house and my sister passed off this wonderful gift. It may sound stupid but if you take the time to look up the item and do some research, you will see how thoughtful it was of my sister and daughter to get this for me. Here is a link to the website for cellercise:

As soon as I touched the package it was in, I knew exactly what it was. I have been looking for a used one of these forever. My sister sat next to Dave on a plane about 10 or so years ago and talked to him about cells and interesting things they knew and he talked to her about his machine. She bought one and I have used hers many times. We used this when my mother almost died a few years ago. We took the cellerciser to the
nursing/rehab home and would sit her on the bed and place her legs on the tramp while we jumped. EVERY time she would say the pain was less, her swelling would go down and she would have more range of motion. After seeing that, I wanted to get my own.

I saw one once for really cheap on an old paper or something and when I called the number, they had moved and the number was no longer in service. Other than that, you don't often see them for sale used as they are so great.

I used to jump on my trampoline every day but the tarp ripped. I would like to get back to be able to do the move in the top picture! Dave on his website has this photo so close to mine that I wonder if I would ever be able to get myself to be able to do that on the mini tramp. I'll have to let you know when I do get it!

Thank you Big Sis for the thoughtful gift. This is the second year in a row she gave me exactly what I would have wanted for the holiday. Thanks to Prince and Princess number 1 for chipping in and picking it up for me. I am excited to start using it. I'll have to keep you informed on how it works for me.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Day With the Girls

I was so busy with the wedding that I wasn't sure how much I had actually purchased for the girls. I realized that I forgot to finish a few projects that I wanted to get done before the big day. As I was pulling things out to put out, I found that I had stacks of videos that I bought when the local store went out of business. The funnier thing I found was that just that day, I bought the exact same video that I already had in that pile and had purchased a few I already had. Princess number one didn't mind that as she wanted them. Funnier still is I had a bag of videos she asked me to get while the store was closing and I put them out only to find that Prince number one had most of them already. Princess number three thought that was great so she could take them to college with her. I am thinking that I have been a bit to busy to really be focused on that type of thing.

As you can see, we had the trail of candy and videos I posted about in this post:

I was so busy that I didn't want to wrap anything but kinda like that tradition as we have never done it. I was lucky to find these huge Stockings that I could just throw everything in so I could see them "unwrap" them prolonging the suspense but save on wrapping paper and time. The girls really seemed to like taking the time to dig through the stockings.

We spent the morning enjoying the gifts, then went to church for an hour with a special Christmas Program. It was wonderful. We came home and finished the dinner and ate and then we all enjoyed going to the local nursing home and singing to the staff and people who were staying there. We gave them little Christmas canes and a stuffed animal and sang their favorite Christmas carol. It was a good experience and we always are happy when we go.

We played a game after getting home and then Prince and Princess headed home to their kingdom and the girls enjoyed playing games before bed.

It was a wonderful day in my life. We got a long email from Princess number two and a great poem she wrote. I'll have to ask her if I can share it with you.

Hope your Christmas was a good one!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Late Start Today.... Big Party Yesterday

I think this is the first time in 500 or so posts, that I have totally forgotten to post. I had two hours sleep Christmas Eve and then after cleaning up all the Christmas stuff, getting the gifts needed for my family parties on boxing day, thank you gifts for the friends of the groom that helped in the kitchen at the reception etc. Little did I know that doing all that would keep me from sleeping at all the next night. I woke the kids and we packed up the car and headed to the skating party that we have every year. Click here to see past info on that.

I was so tired but spent the afternoon trying to figure out why my missionary Princess number 2's mp3 player wasn't playing. I kept trying different things. Finally as people were leaving, my brother helped me figure out that she didn't save the songs on it, she saved a link to the cd. Oh, that news was sad as she spent hours taking off songs she loved to put on it. So, I will have to take the list of songs and go through her several hundred cd's and try to actually put them on the player.

While I was doing that, I handed different kids the camera and said, "Take pictures for me." These are some of the pictures they came up with.

I had to run some errands that can only be done it a big city and then we had the adult Christmas party. I was so tired I didn't take more than one or two pictures. I have to say that I have done that another day last week at my daughters reception, I was so busy that I told my girls to take pictures. It wasn't until the next day that I realized that we didn't have one picture of my girls with their sister or one with me and my daughter. It isn't good that I am so tired. I pray that now that the wedding and one reception and Christmas are over, I will be able to get more sleep and be able to think and remember to take pictures. As you can see, I am a picture taking mom.

I am sorry that this post was later in the day but I am just glad I got enough sleep to even realize that I had missed posting. lol I hope you are enjoying your holidays!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merriest Christmas with Princess and Prince Number 1

We had a wonderful Christmas. On Christmas Eve, I had Princ and Princess number one help me make 25 dozen rolls for the open house coming in a few weeks for their reception in our town. I don't think Prince number 1 had ever done much baking but after experimenting with a few different options, once we got it down, he became a pro. We got an assembly line going. It was so much quicker than with one. I spent until two a.m. the night before making several batches by myself and the kids were eating them faster than I could make them. (They did have some help from me:-)

I didn't have time to make the traditional pj's (See here for posts on those).

So, I lucked out and bought pj's and they had all the girls collections in microfleece. They loved them and they were nice and warm. I purchased myself some of those pj's that look like jeans. They were very comfy.

Of course we had to take a picture with our missionary. I sent her a pair of pj shorts and a shirt in one of three packages. I sent one for before christmas, one for Christmas day, and a third is going this week for New Years Eve. I sent all sort of fun noise makers and things for her room to celebrate. We did miss her as because she was in training and not in the country yet, we didn't get to talk with her on the phone.

She doesn't have much more time in training and will be leaving the country soon. How exciting for her. She says that the language is coming quickly and she loves it.

I am headed out to a family party for the day and need to leave so I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. As Prince and Princess left, each of the girls gave them both hugs. He went with us to sing at the local nursing home and they played games while I worked on photos and sewing something for him. It was good to hear my girls giggle and laugh with him. They need a good role model and I am grateful that Princess number one found such a great one!

After they left, the girls said how nice it was to have him around and thought it was cute how he opened the doors for my eldest and carried everything out to the cars and packed it all. I am grateful for having such a wonderful day.

I'm sure you'll hear more about that later..... Aren't we blessed....

Friday, December 23, 2011

Most INCREDIBLE Cake Topper Ever

My friend Julie and I have been friends for many years. When we lived near each other, she made all sorts of dolls and clay figures. I ran a boutique at the time and she had a booth there. We became great friends and even though it has been years since she moved, we can pick up right where we left off and it is as if no time has passed.

When Julie found out that my eldest Princess was getting married, she told me she wanted to make a cake topper for her. She asked me to send her detailed photos of everything from the jewelry, dress, hair style, to the bouquet. This we did and even though my sweet friend lives 10 hours drive from the reception round trip, she made the drive to get the cake topper there on time.

She has a website that shows some of her amazing work. I don't think it does her talent justice because you can't see the depth and the details from photos but here is a link to her site. Make sure you click on the "more" buttons on the left to see all the stuff she has up. Here it is:

Julie spent about 50 hours making this cake topper. The smallest details are not overlooked. She made the boutonniere look like it is made out of a map. The colors are exact. The bouquet is matched down to the bling in the center of the flowers. The most amazing thing I can't believe is how she hand crafted the jewelry to match exactly. My mouth dropped open when I saw the little leaves on the earrings and necklace.

Here is a photo of Julie with the happy couple and the cake topper. I wish the pictures could portray the details in the topper. She hand beads the dress to match the exact beading on the brides dress.

She made one of these for my mother a few years ago and Julie spent hours beading a crown for the doll using wire and little pearls. The talent that she has is amazing.

I have to admit that I asked her to help one year making little Jesus figurines to give out for a church party thinking I could quickly pick up the art as I am quite talented and crafty. I thought they looked easy enough..... I was WRONG. She ended up making all of them and I ended up glazing them. :-) In fact, as my youngest princess decorated the tree this year, several little ornaments that Julie made were on the tree and brought a smile to my face. You can see the nativity and the little baby Jesus in the manger in this photo. She is a dear friend and I love her!

Thanks for all your hard work Julie! She is working on a topper right now for a 50th wedding anniversary and she does Prom dolls and pageant dolls so if you are looking for a gift that can't be matched, perhaps a life like replica doll is just the thing!

Another amazing friend that helped with the wedding. I am blessed with many such friends.

My niece made the wedding cake and I thought she did such an amazing job. When I saw that she had included pinwheels on the cake, I was impressed. Not only did it look good, but it tasted good. That is not always true. Another amazing family member that helped with the wedding. I am blessed with many such family members!

It looks like I am just blessed all around!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Clothes, Curtains, Covers for Wedding

On the doors, there were windows. Some had glass, others didn't. We didn't want to leave the opening so you could be distracted by the things behind the doors. We also wanted to bring in the wedding contrast color.

I started collecting fabric curtains, lace curtains, table clothes, fabric pieces and anything else I could find in the colors of the wedding from yard sales and second hand stores.

Years ago I bought some cream table clothes that had light gold stitching on the flowers after Christmas for 75% off. I knew having five daughters that I would need them at some point.

I scoured the discount bolts at our local fabric stores. When I found a bolt in a fabric / linen I liked, I had someone surge the edge for me. On the contrast blue, I bought clearance blue fabrics and some scraps at second hand stores.

This table for gifts was actually a shower curtain on the bottom and a chiffon curtain drape twisted down the center. We used just about anything that was the right color.

These smaller pieces of fabric were used around the base of the pre-lit Christmas trees, draped over easels to hold pictures. They were also placed over smaller tables that held pictures of the bride and groom etc.

The larger matching clothes I bought were used on the eating tables. The clothes I had made that matched were used on the serving tables and gift tables.

For the curtains behind the doors, I used two lace panels that were used and cost me $2 each. We cut them to fit the size of the door window plus an extra foot or so on the side so that the curtains would look gathered. I used a roll of small elastic that I purchased at a second hand store. We wove the elastic through the lace at the top and tied knots in each end. Once we had enough fabric lace gathered on the elastic so it would look good, we took large thumb tacks and put a safety pin on it and then stuck it through the knot on the end of the elastic and pushed it into the inside frame of the glass on the upper inside. If we pushed it onto the door itself, the pin and tack would scratch the other doors or get knocked off.

If you look at the photo at the top and notice the elastic laced through you can see it is only through the lace and not attached to the blue fabric.

The blue fabric was then cut to be just a little piece bigger than the exact size of the door window and was held in place by the safety-pins under the tacks. We just opened the safety pins and put the fabric on and closed them. This held the contrasting blue into place. After the wedding, we just opened the safety pin and took off that blue fabric leaving the lace and tack in place along with the saftey-pin to use for next time. Whatever color the bride chooses can just be cut easily and pinned on in minutes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Floating Wall Part 2 and Closet Doors

The floating wall idea came from me trying to incorportate pinwheels into the wedding. Princess number one wanted pinwheels, maps and doors. So, I made pinwheels out of map scrap paper. I used scrapbook paper that had maps on it in the color that I liked. I could have used real maps as we had a huge stack but I liked the consistent color of the scrapbook paper.

I learned right off that I needed something strong and stretchey to use as the other side. I bought blue wrapping paper for the contrast color but the paper was thin and the eyelets in the center of the pinwheel pulled through. So, I used contact paper. It is thick, already has glue on it and stretches some to help it get over the eyelet without ripping.

The earlier pinwheels and hearts I did using just cardstock paper and glue stick came loose and I had to glue them at the wedding to make sure they stayed in place. They did look great in between the doors for the center piece and the closet doors on the edges. I used fishing line around flat large head thumb tacks to string them across the doors.

We used beads on twine to tie them onto the fishing line. We had already measured how many straws needed to be on each twine to reach the floor. We put a bead on the bottom of the twine to hold on the straws and then taped them to the floor once they were tacked into the top of the doors and spaced evenly.

I put a box fan on a table behind the closet doors and pointed it towards the floating wall so that the pinwheels would spin. I had hoped that I could just angle the fan upward so that it would hit all the pinwheels. This didn't work. What I needed was two fans. One box at the bottom and on either on a table higher or one of the taller rotating type fans to reach the top ones.

It did look ok but not as many of the hearts and pinwheels spinned because the fan wouldn't reach both lower and higher. We learned for next time. It was interesting to watch people come in and go to examine how it worked. I guess the child in us still needs to know how things work.

Tomorrow. Cloths, covers, and curtains.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Backdrop or Background Doors for the Wedding

These 8 main doors were used as the backdrop or background for the ring ceremony. We placed them into groups of four hinged together to give them stability so they wouldn't fall if bumped. I did think about putting one of the floating walls in the center but thought it would be distracting from the ceremony so we skipped that. However, it is nice that in the future, if we use them for the other girls or family, we can put a banner, colored cellophane, a wall of flowers or anything else down the center.

In thinking about it, I like the idea of making a wall of flowers. I had two doors I threw out but now wish I had kept them. I could have drilled tons of holes through them and placed flowers in the downward diagonal holes and made a door of just flowers. I'll have to keep that idea in mind for next time.

On the sides, we used closet doors to help us attach the "floating" wall we made. I'll talk about those in another post but I just wanted you to see how the front looked.

About the curtains - I used push thumb tacks to attach the lace. I used thin elastic to thread through the lace to make it gather some. Before putting the thumbtack into the door on the inside edge of the glass, I put a safety pin on the tip of the tack so that it would be held into place allowing us to pin a colored piece of fabric behind the lace. We wanted to incorporate her wedding blue color into the back drop or back ground without it distracting from the doors. Using the lace in front allowed us to then put the blue in the back in a muted for so it wasn't distracting.

Doing it this way by putting the tack in the frame next to the glass, it keeps it from being knocked off or having it scrape another door. It also holds the safety pin on which can be used now in the future to hold whatever color the new user chooses without much work other than cutting the fabric to fit and pinning it on using the existing pins.

To take apart the doors, you need a large, thick nail and a hammer. You open the doors enough that the hammer won't scratch when it hits the nail. You place the nail in the under side of the hinge in the center and then tap it with the hammer. The pin on the top of the hinge now raises where it can be pulled out.

Once the door hinges are separated, you replace the hinge pin into the main door hinge. If it is loose at all, take a plastic baggie and stick the hinge pin into the baggie before placing it into the hinge. The baggie will be just enough to hold the hing pin in place for transportation of the doors.

The hinges for the doors are between $4-8 a hinge. There are two to three hinges on each door. Some have hinges on both sides of the door which really adds up. The hinge pins are about $4 for three pins but there are three different sizes of pins and some can't be replaced so you don't want to lose those pins. If you put them in a baggie, you risk them ripping through or you have to play, "find the pin that fits" in some of the older doors.

I had to replace most of the oldest doors hinges as they had all sorts of types of hinges back in the day but most aren't large and wouldn't hold moving doors very well and they also only used two hinges. I tried to secure them with three where I could to make the back drop more secure.

To make it easier for those using the doors in the future, I took a black Sharpie and wrote on the top of each door. "Backdrop door 1" through "Backdrop door 8" on them. Then I did the same thing on the French foyer doors. I wrote, "French door 1" through French door 5" as I had a little closet door on the one side to give the doors more stability.

That way, all they have to do is line them up by the number and put the pins in the hinges accordingly.

I really can't tell you how much work this project is. Each door took so many hours. The time cost was HUGE! The monetary cost was for each door, extra hinges, pins, paint etc. We used the new paint that has the primer and paint in one so we didn't have to paint more than one coat. It is about $35 a gallon. I was able to get most of it from the mismatch paint isle and just have them re-tint it for me to the color I wanted. I was blessed that they just happened to have light enough mis-matched paint. I always check there before ordering new paint.

Tomorrow, is the floating wall Part 2...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Entry Doors (French Doors) for the Wedding

I won't tell you how much work the French doors were to scrape after trying to take off the masking we put on for painting. I left the tape on to protect the glass but it took hours to pull off the paper and tape, scrape with razor blades and then wash. Each French door took about 6 hours to mask, paint, scrape, and distress.

After that, we had to put up the pictures. Before leaving the night before and during the set up day, I chalked the edges of the rest of the "frames" my sister cut out for me using her "cricket" cutter.

We then taped the pictures into the slots on the windows. We put a picture of her as a baby on the left slot and one of her husband as a baby on the right slot and put maps of where the events took place such as, "Princess was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and Prince was born in CA" so we had two hearts cut of the areas where the even happened and a heart printed in the center saying where it was and when.

Then, on the other french door set, we put engagement pictures on one, and Bridal/Groomal pictures on the second door on that side.

We lined the doors up so that it was like an entry way into a room off a balcony or something and I wrapped chiffon, curtain type fabric over the door hinges making it look like it was a window/door entry or exit.

In the center of the left engagement pictures/bridal picture doors, we put a sign thanking people for coming and supporting the couple and told them to please take a magnet as a "thank you" on their way out.

To make the photos stand out but not have the background showing through and distracting the pictures, we put a clear blue cellophane layer behind the pictures. It just brought in her wedding color more as the blue and cream were the colors she chose. I was able to find the blue clear wrapping at a local dollar store. One package did one door. So I needed 4 packages of wrap. You could do this with any door or window and if you couldn't find it at the dollar store, I am guessing a specialty paper store or a hallmark type store would have it.

This could be used for even your windows at Christmas. Wrap them with red or green cellophane for a festive look. You could also wrap a ribbon around the outside of the window making it look like your windows were big presents! The cellophane lets the light still come in but enough color to make it festive.

Tune in for more "Door drama" tomorrow on "Wedding Door Blues." lol Actually, they all came out beautiful, I will share about that tomorrow.