Saturday, 31 August 2013

Wedding Preparations

The week before Lara's wedding was jam packed full of final preparations; baking, jam-jar cleaning, table setting planning, napkin folding, and my main role-doing the flowers. All you need to make a wedding lovely is a mixture of tradition, family and friends, and a few personal touches. But for me, it's the personal touches that make it a really special day. And this wedding was certainly overflowing with little touches personal to Dan and Lara.

Jam jars for reception drinks of Pimms. 

Lara's gingerbread grooms and brides. 


Beautiful vintage themed table plan with collected brooches and vintage suitcase. (Generously lent by me!) 

Wooden hearts Lara collaged for name places/napkin rings

Napkins ready to take to the hall

My personalised almond biscuits 

My pearly butterfly cakes.

Gorgeous flowers provided by the Butterfly Tree florist ready for me to arrange for the tables.

Teapots for the tables, I had my eye on a couple to keep afterwards.

Note to self: no matter how much you plan and organise in advance, the last week will always be a busy rush... 

Tiny crafted flowers and decorative bowls

Every now and then I like to stock up on crafty bits and pieces that I can use in future projects. Sitting in front of the TV or listening to chilled music I can use up scraps of fabric or bits of yarn and just make pretty motifs and haberdashery.
Recently I've been making simple flowers from fabric scraps and crocheted cotton/silk yarn. There's something very satisfying about making lots of little flowers, and I think they look rather lovely in my decorative bowls from a shop called Bert's in Brighton (I'd like to think they look like anthropology but they were much more affordable!)
These little blossoms may find themselves planted on lots of crafty projects in the near future. 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Personalised Wedding biscuits

As promised instalments of wedding photos will be posted. Though these are not from the day it's a sneak peak into some of the efforts into adding special touches to the occasion. I can't take complete credit for the idea as it comes from a combination found on trusty Pinterest. To find ideas I'd love to try or have already had a go, visit my pinterest page especially the Handcrafted board; My Pinterest Page

To make my personalised wedding biscuits you'l need a few rubbers, a pencil and a curved lino cutter (found in most craft and art shops). 

Draw your designs onto the rubbers. Remember to make sure the designs are back to front as they'l be turned the other way round when used! I drew my designs on paper first till I was happy with the size and style. As these were for my sister's wedding I chose 3 designs, Lara and Dan's initials, a heart, and the date of their wedding day. But this idea could be used for all sorts of occasions such as for Christmas, birthdays, Valentines... 

Carefully cut out your design. Take your time and do it in layers. A small mistake can easily be fixed by reworking it in the next layer. I wasn't sure if this would work for biscuit stamping as the stamps need to be quite deep in order to make a good imprint into the biscuits, but as long as you're careful in this stage they should keep their shape.

Make your biscuit mixture, make sure your stamps are carefully washed, and stamp away! For my mixture I used an almond biscuit recipe, but many biscuit recipes work fine, as long as it's not a mixture that spreads too much when being baked. I found mixture often got caught in the crevices of the stamps, to over come this I made sure there was a generous sprinkling of flour on the rolled mixture as well as on the stamp.

Ready for the oven...

Once cool, finish with a powdering of icing sugar and they are ready to eat! I found they were great for dunking with a cup of tea. 

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Afternoon tea for a hen

Last Saturday I had the privilege of being a bridesmaid to my sister, Lara. It was a special day bringing together family and friends, all celebrating the perfect pairing of two lucky people.
I now have a new pair of lovely shoes, a dress, hair accessory, dressing gown and necklace thanks to the occasion, as well as of course a new brother in law!
With the honour of being a bridesmaid as well as a creative sister,  I was involved in parts of the planning from second opinions, sourcing bridesmaid clothing, baking cakes, and doing the reception flowers. But one of the duties of this role, maybe one of the more important, was in the planning of the hen do. So whilst I continue to edit photos from the wedding day; here are a few snaps taken from the weekend when we girlies celebrated the new life Lara and Dan were going to be building together.

We provided Lara with a send off from single life with advice, support, gifts and memories. In the planning of this hen do, the three of us bridesmaids, (my other sister Lois, and Lara's school friend Hannah) began to think of fun ideas and activities for the weekend that we thought would reflect Lara's creative and vintage style. The sunny setting of Brighton (where the groom lives and from now on they both will!), was the perfect place for our girly weekend including champagne at the beach, catching up with old friends, afternoon tea, hen do games, craft workshop, and a meal out.

Decorations fit for the bride with compulsory underwear bunting. 

I was able to practice my baking ready for the afternoon tea section of the wedding including these butterfly cakes in a selection of pretty cupcake cases.

Lois' cake of all cakes carrot cake!

Scattered with tiny edible stars.

It was lovely to do something a bit alternative for a hen do by having a sophisticated afternoon tea, it created a relaxed atmosphere, who doesn't enjoy dainty cakes and sandwiches??

Salmon and cream cheese finger sandwiches.

Pretty vintage style napkins, you can find these at   a fab place to get any party accessories. 

Beautiful collected vintage plates

Mum's mini scones with jam, cream and strawberries (also featured at the wedding!)

A special memory book compiled of old photos from Lara's childhood provided by mum, and photos and memories throughout her life from various friends. I'm yet to complete this book by adding photos from the weekend. A lovely idea to have a book you can look back on to remind you of those precious memories and words given by loved ones, once completed Lara can keep this and provide smiles and giggles whenever she wants to.

The bride to be, a vintage fairy. 

The Mr and mrs game provided lots of giggles as the adorned knickers may suggest, she got a few questions wrong! 

I led a craft workshop teaching some techniques in making vintage style accessories. This was good practice for me as my dissertation is about craft workshops; there will be a more detailed post about this workshop and others at some point in the future. I'm hoping to do more workshops in the future as this was such a success; so please feel free to contact me if you're interested! We made necklaces...

and hair accessories...

Mum pleased with her lace and flower necklace, coordinating with her outfit wonderfully! 

There's something very special about girls getting together and supporting a friend in her transition into married life. It was a weekend full of chatting, laughing, reminiscing, and excitement.
Now to get on with editing the wedding photos!