Our Pine Shelves are Installed!

This post’s alternate title: “It’s Been A LONG Time Coming.”

Ever complete a project, step back and it seems like you can hear the angels singing?

Completed Pine Shelving

Ever since the day we moved in and realized our faux-tolix barstools wouldn’t work with the kitchen counter overhang (overhang is too short/ stools are too tall), I wanted built-ins here under the overhang. However, given that we’re simply in an apartment and not in an owned home, I thought that we wouldn’t be able to install anything permanent or semi-permanent like shelves. So we got a few IKEA units (on sale in the as-is section) to act as a stopgap solution…

bookcase_after

This looked OK– better in photos than it did in person, though. Since they were on carpet and hadn’t all been assembled identically, they kind of leaned back or forward from each other and didn’t look as neat and clean as what I had in my vision. So little by little the area underneath here was altered…

Living and Dining Area

One unit was removed to make way for our turntable… then all three units were relocated to the west wall when we got our green couch and reoriented the whole apartment.

After hanging art

Now… Ahhhh. This is so much better!! They are only ten inches deep which actually gives us five more inches of floor space in that area when compared to the EXPEDITs. Five inches may not seem like much, but it’s almost half a foot, and the space is so much more streamlined, as the photo below makes clear. The pine warms up the space in a very honest way. Somehow, yeah, “honest” seems like the word for this simple solution. Here’s a few more shots:

Pine Shelving

Pine Shelving

Completed Pine Shelving

I feel like purposefully leaving the area underneath the bottom shelf empty makes it seem light and creates the illusion of more floor space. The best part is that the project was affordable, there aren’t many screws in the wall, and the whole thing can be taken with us to our next place next fall! I will have a how-to and budget breakdown here for you Wednesday!

DIY Wedding Bouquets (Faux Flowers)

To save money on her wedding, Steph agreed to let me try my hand at arranging flowers for her bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. I had so much with these faux flowers!

My first foray into faux flower arranging was a year ago when I helped create my friend Lisa’s bouquet for her own big day…

Lisa's Flowers

Lisa's Flowers

Photos by Scout Weddings.

So since I had a little experience, I kind of had a starting point for Stephanie’s wedding. First, we identified the color scheme of the wedding– Magenta and “metallic tones.” Since the venue was more of a tropical setting, with a pond, palm trees, and other lush greenery, we decided to go with bright and vibrant greens, as opposed to the dusky earthy tones I had used with Lisa’s bouquet. I created the bride’s bouquet first, and then did the MOH’s as a kind of “prototype.” We realized that the “star” flower was out of our price range to include in every bouquet (we were trying to save money after all) and created a scaled-back version of the MOH’s bouquet for the rest of the girls.

For the Bride, we found the most amazing pink flower, perfect for the color scheme, then accented it with browns and whites:

The Bride's Bouquet

The MOH (me) got a gorgeous white version of Stephanie’s pink flower, with matching white hydrangeas and a brown version of the anenome flower:

The MOH's Bouquet

And the bridesmaids (six!) got arrangements of white and brown. They are the same as the MOH arrangement minus the more costly white bloom–they have the same brown anenome, brown roses, and white hydrangeas:

The Bridesmaids' Bouquet

Since these photos are close-ups, it’s a bit more obvious that the arrangements aren’t real flowers. On the day of, however, I doubt people could tell, or were even thinking about them.

Here are a few tips if you decide to try your hand at a DIY faux flower bouquet. Got more tips? Share in the comments.

  1. Splurge and get the nicer flowers. It’s easy to tell the difference between a $15 stem and a $5 version of the same flower.
  2. Shop when they’re on sale. Both times, I got flowers from Hobby Lobby and they put their silk flowers on sale every two to three weeks.
  3. Bunch all the flowers together while shopping, and create the loose idea of what you want the arrangement to look like while still in the store. Our cart looked very crazy with all kinds of different flowers until we decided on our winners.
  4. Keep warm tones and cool tones in mind when choosing flowers, and pay careful attention to the leaves–they are the most tonal (brownish, blueish, yellowish green) and more apt to clash.
  5. When arranging, start with the main flower and accent flower(s) and create what looks like a triangle from above. This will help the bouquet look attractive from any angle. Then, begin adding in greenery as filler. Here’s a little illustration:
  6. A Bouquet Triangle
  7. Keep turning the arrangement around and around while working on it. Make sure all the sides look nice, because the person holding it will not remember to hold it a particular direction. I guarantee it.
  8. Get creative when it comes to greenery! It’s the weakest link, in my opinion, when it comes to faux flowers. There are simply not as many plain foliange options! I wouldn’t have normally gone for this faux boxwood but the vibrant, pure green was just the tone we needed. I’m so happy we used it!
  9. Tear it apart! Our boxwood stems came with four to six (I can’t remember) “pieces” attatched together. By separating each boxwood sprig, we could poke it into the bouquet just where more greenery was needed.

Bridal Party

 

Photo by Faithfully Focused Photography

My favorite thing about faux arrangements is that they last forever! My mother had faux flowers at her wedding in the 80s and she still has her bouquet.

Thanks for reading! I really had so much fun creating these.

DIY Wedding Invitations

Well, Stephanie is in Maui and I’m missing her like crazy. Is there a better way to get over it than to reminisce about the planning and preparation that led up to last weekend? Is it too early to reminisce?

If you’ve planned a wedding you know that invitations are crucial for setting the tone of the event and can get expensive really quickly. I’ve seen invite suites that exceed $4 per invite… if you plan on inviting 100, 200, 300 people the price can get astronomical very quickly. Lucky for me, I have some wonderful friends in the printing business. They designed and printed my wedding invites for me in 2010, and have always been patient in indulging my amateur graphic designer side by allowing me to submit my own work for them to print. Case in point: Stephanie’s wedding invitations!

For her event, Steph wanted a simple and classy affair, and chose the color scheme “magenta with metallics.” Early in the planning process she had also mentioned working in Art Deco elements, so I took a few cues from that and created something that I think fits the bill and is unique. Do you think it fits the vision?

The paper looks pretty white on my computer screen, but FYI, it was printed on an ivory-cream stock.

DIY Wedding Invites

I created them using Microsoft Publisher, since that’s the program I’m most familiar with. I now have the full Adobe suite on my mac and would love to learn more programs, but time wasn’t cooperative in this case. So Publisher it was. I think they turned out very nicely.

DIY Wedding Invites

The fonts are Chopin Script, Castellar, and Baskerville Old Face… in case you were curious.

Since the invite suite was simply cream with black text (classy looking , AND cheaper that way!) We used metallic bronze envelopes to spice things up. I think it worked really nicely. We were able to print these for right around $80–including 200 invites, RSVP postcards (two sided) and the info cards. The envelopes added a bit to the cost but we definitely saved a lot of money compared to ordering suites online or out of one of those catalogs they have at print shops.

Here are some of my tips in case you’re interested in trying this out yourself:

  • Look at other invites to see what kind of styles you like and would feel confident in mimicking.
  • Make lots of test prints! What looks good on your computer might look very different on paper.
  • Keep things simple! By limiting my color scheme to black and white, I was able to easily drop in some art deco designs I found online.
  • Limit yourself to three kinds of fonts. This is a basic graphic design tip you’ll see all over the place. If you start going too crazy with fonts, things can become too busy and look more amateurish than you need to.

Have you ever designed your own paper goods? Business cards? Christmas cards?