A Handmade Wedding

Good evening everyone!  It’s a beautiful, sunny Saturday here in Texas, and I wanted to spend a little time catching up with you guys.  I’ve already been married a month now, which is a little surreal – we spent so much time and effort planning for this wedding, and it was over in an instant.  I’m still digesting and savoring the memories of my wedding and our honeymoon, and I wanted to share some photos with you.

While some elements of my wedding were handmade, we hired vendors for the really important stuff, like photography, food, and florals.  Other elements were DIY though – we used Spotify playlists in lieu of a DJ (no regrets! so much cheaper!) and went with an app called WeddingMix for our videographer (again – much cheaper than an actual videographer).  My mother-in-law also recorded our entire ceremony, which is wonderful.  But for other aspects of our wedding, it was important for my husband and me to incorporate handmade elements that reflected our personalities.

I decided that my contribution would be embroidered and cross-stitched designs to hang behind our sweetheart table.  Our venue had a tin wall that was the perfect spot to showcase the finished pieces.  I’d been working on this installation pretty steadily since January.  While I didn’t get to finish ALL the pieces I wanted, I was able to get a decent-sized collection for the wall.  All photos below are from our photographer, You Are My True.

Besides the embroidered and cross-stitched pieces, I painted some wood panels purchased from Joann (which I mention in this post).  Someone decided to use them for the sweetheart table and groom’s cake, which was a brilliant idea.

For the photos above, I’ve captioned each artist’s name and Instagram handle (with the exception of kits purchased from Dimensions or Bucilla).  I don’t have a close-up of the second embroidered “Love” piece (which you can see in the first photo, hanging right above the banner), but this design was by Brynn & Co (@brynnandcoshop). It was a kit that I got from Mollie Makes.

Some of these pieces were WIPs that I had long neglected, like the embroidered birds or the cross-stitched “Love” piece (in the first photo, it is hanging above the banner and is the first piece from your left).  That piece is unfinished, which is unfortunate since it’s a beautiful design. But I’m attached to the half-finished look (and also too lazy at this point to finish it).

Getting all these pieces together was a little stressful, but I’m so glad that I did – it was so worth the extra effort. I was happy with how they looked on the tin wall and that I could bring a handmade element to my wedding. My amazing bridesmaids did a wonderful job of arranging them.

And after all the planning and effort (and money, cough cough), I have to say our little wedding was perfection.

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Credit: You Are My True 

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Project Complete! Fancy Tiger Sailor Top

I know promised a post about my finished Sailor Top from Fancy Tiger Crafts.  I’m not sure if I’m any more blog-worthy than I was when I first completed this top, since I am running on about five hours of sleep and Fiancé is probably getting sick, which means I WILL PROBABLY GET SICK BY DEFAULT NOOOOOO.

Ahem.

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Yay!!!  It’s done!!!

I think I mentioned in my previous post that my stitching was…not the best with this piece. Exhibit A:

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Um…Exhibit B.

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(Sigh).  Exhibit C.

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Honestly, those bad stitches are in spots where people won’t see them, so I’m just not going to be precious about them (and my laziness outweighs my desire for better stitches, in this instance).  I’m really happy it’s done…but I’m embarrassed it took me so long to finish it.  All I had to do was finish “stitching in the ditch” for the collar and the hem, but it took me months to get motivated to do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I do think this was a fairly accessible pattern for a beginner like me, though the gathering step might have been tough on my own. I think my problem is I’m still too terrified to do anything of substance when it comes to sewing on my own. I feel slightly more confident in a group setting, only because I am comforted by the fact that we’re cutting patterns and fabric together.  These are steps I find absolutely terrifying but unfortunately are completely essential to sewing.  I know I can only overcome my dread of cutting by making more projects…but I just haven’t been able to work up the courage yet.

Here is another obligatory photo of me with my completed top:

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Fiancé says he can always tell when I’m completely done with taking photos, based on my dumb expressions (my words! Not his).

I should also mention that I have very long arms, and half the time I just am not sure how I’m supposed to be posing with them.

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I’m definitely getting sidetracked, but you get the gist of it.  Though it took me months to complete two simple steps, I’m glad that my pretty Sailor Top is finally complete!

 

Wedding Procrastination Part 2: Craft Mania

I know it’s only Monday, but is it Friday yet?  Most of my mental energy has been occupied by work and wedding planning.  But I’ve had some time to sneak in some crafting.  As usual, there is not any real kind of logic to what I’m doing and why.  And of course, right when I sit down with the intent of doing wedding crafting, I’ll pick a completely unrelated project to work on instead, because procrastination, I never learn, etc.

Let’s throw some pictures up in here.

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Fiancé and I went to JoAnn on Friday night, because – I’m just gonna say it -we are getting overly ambitious with our plans for our wedding favors.  I mean, I LOVE our ideas, don’t get me wrong, but I’m pretty sure what will end up happening is (A) we will make a couple of prototypes of said item(s), realize how much work it will be, and will be paralyzed by the sheer amount of work ahead of us, and, (B) two weeks before the wedding, we’ll be like FUCK IT and throw jellybeans into mason jars or something.

Anyhoo, JoAnn had all these cute little wooden charms, so I threw a bunch of them into my shopping basket.  Like, there’s no coherent plan on what I’m going to do with these things other than paint them?  Maybe I can elegantly toss them at random friends as I walk down the aisle? I don’t really know.

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Sooo at some point this summer (spring? I don’t even know anymore), I took a Sailor Top class.  I didn’t finish the top while in class, but I had TWO MORE THINGS left to do before finishing – “stitching in the ditch” for the collar, and then the bottom hemline. That’s it.  That’s all I had to do, guys.  Yet this top has sat in my basket for at least six months before I finally dug it out and finished it.  While I’m glad it’s done, the stitches aren’t the greatest in the world. I’m just saying. Your six-year-old can probably do a straighter hemline than I did with this top.  But whatever, I was tired of it sitting in the workbasket, so it’s done.  I’ll make a post when I look blog worthy, aka not right now.  (Currently I’m wearing pajama pants with foxes on them and a Mickey and Minnie Mouse hoodie.  It’s a super sexy combo, you guys).

Ok, what’s next?

Blanket progress! I actually haven’t worked on this in a couple of weeks.

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This next project I started during the weekend, because WHY NOT:

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You eagle-eyed knitters can probably already spot my wonky slip stitches.  (Actually – the mistake is so glaring that probably anyone can see it.  IT STARES INTO MY SOUL).  But I’m too lazy to fix it. I honestly haven’t properly learned how to fix a wonky stitch, so it’s just going to be like that forever, you guys.  “Only you can see it,” my fiancé kindly told me as I showed him my progress and whined about my various mistakes.  So yes, I suppose only I will notice once it’s finished…but I WILL ALWAYS KNOW.  Yet my laziness overtakes my will for perfection. Sooooo ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Well, I guess it’s time for me to go- OH YEAH.  This project is legitimately wedding-related.

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I didn’t learn how to do French knots until 2015 or 2016, so I tend to get all FRENCH KNOT ALL THE THINGS.  I’m actually not liking how many French knots I added to this piece.  It’s kind of reminding me of this?

 

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Source: NPR

Now that I’ve given everyone nightmares, I’ll take this as my cue to exit. NIGHTY NIGHT.

Little Box of Crochet – Christmas Decorations

I’m going to keep this pretty short because it’s January and we’re all grumpily trudging through this month. The last thing we want to be reminded of is, “HEY GUYS, remember how it was the holidays like last week?”

I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish these ornaments until January 1st.  Yep. I had promised myself that as long as it was technically the holiday season, then I could continue working on Christmas ornaments.

Let’s see what’s inside, shall we?

You get some beautiful, sparkly, festive yarn, along with a nice palette of pinks and peaches.

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You get some cute little treats with this box.  I really liked the Make Arcade’s  Christmas pudding felt kit. We don’t really have Christmas pudding in the States, but it was a fun little ornament to stitch up.

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You also get a stitch marker, postcard, and a mini candle.  It left the yarn smelling soooo good.  Sometimes when I would be working on the project, I would just shove my face into the yarn because it smelled so nice.

The ornaments were pretty straightforward and the patterns were easy to follow. Voila!!!

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I have to admit that I did not make the snowflakes.  The pattern looked a little challenging to my (beginner) eyes as well.  It was getting late in the day and I was feeling antsy about spending any more time on Christmas craft projects. I’m sure had I spent more than five minutes on it, it would have been fine.

Now I have homemade Christmas ornaments to enjoy for years to come!

 

A Tale of Two Cowls

I was having lunch today with a couple of friends, both who had lived northeast for awhile but had migrated back down to Texas.  “It’s weird that it’s the holiday season and we’re all in shorts,” one of them said.

And that’s pretty much what fall and winter is like in Texas.  Eighty degrees?  Well, I guess it’s time to pull out the winter boots, because when else are you going to wear them?  Below seventy degrees outside?  BRING OUT ALL YOUR WINTER GEAR.

I have two finished cowls to show you, even though it’s currently 75 degrees outside and I will get a heat stroke if I wear them.

Rock Climbing in Vegas Cowl

Last year Fiancé and I went to Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding. It was such a wonderful trip!  Before we left, I stopped by the Sin City Knit Shop and bought a skein of their famous “Roll the Dice” yarn.  I received a free pattern with my purchase and selected the “Rock Climbing in Vegas” pattern by Debbi McCarty.  It seemed the most accessible for a beginning knitter.

As is customary with my projects, I didn’t start it until June of this year, when my family and I were traveling to Italy. I figured it would be a fun project to take with me on a plane.  I worked on the project during the two weeks we were there.  It was a nice way to take a mental retreat.

My cousin’s cat was really intent on helping me with the project.

“I got this.”

“But seriously…just let me try it.”

My aunt’s cat really wanted to help, too.  Italian cats are so nice, you guys!

The project worked up really nicely. I love the ombré effect.

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And the cowl is so soft and squishy!

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Decreasing the size of this picture so my face doesn’t take up your entire screen.  HEY GUYS!

This cowl is perfect to wear for transitioning into cooler weather.  It’s lightweight enough so I won’t sweat to death if I wear it in sub-70 degree temperatures.

Lil’ Snood Dogg

When I got back from the field last month, I decided to treat myself to a Joann’s trip. My brother had gotten me a gift card, and the money was burning a hole in my pocket.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a whole rack full of Wool and the Gang projects.  I excitedly took home a Lil’ Snood Dogg kit.

Let’s see what we’ve got inside.

The yarn is a cheaper wool/acrylic blend than the Crazy Sexy Wool you would get with ordering the kit directly from Wool and the Gang.  I’ve never worked with Crazy Sexy Wool but I liked the blend that came from the Joann’s kit.

The project is worked up in moss stitch. There were definitely some tension issues on my end.  A couple of rows to the end, I messed up and did a couple of knit stitches in a row, but was too lazy to fix it.  Sewing the ends of the cowl was a wonky task given the tension differences at the beginning and the end.  The stitches also worked okay, considering my dog decided to try and eat my knitting needles halfway through it.

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Despite the imperfections, I like the look of the cowl.  It’s snuggly and I don’t think my mistakes will be noticeable.

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I look like I’m about to rob a bank?

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MY FACE HAS TAKEN OVER YOUR SCREEN. HI.

I think I’ll wait until we get really cold weather to wear this cowl, though. So…I can wear this for like three days in January. Can’t wait!

A Quick-ish Hello

Hello friends!

I just wanted to drop a quick note and say hi.  It’s been really busy over here – I’m five days out from my test, work has finally started getting really hectic again, and we’ve been planning our wedding in between.

I’ve logged 133.75 hours of studying for this Friday’s exam.  I didn’t log how many hours I studied in the spring (it can’t have been more than 60-70 hours), so I definitely feel more prepared this time around. It’s still a very broad exam and all the hours I’ve logged doesn’t guarantee I will pass. I’m just ready to get it over with. I can’t wait to come home from work and not have to spend the rest of my weekend studying.

Right after the exam, I’ve got field work at a relatively new site.  I’m pretty excited that the chances of getting stuck in mud at this site are pretty low.   Then after field work, I’m freeeeeee to do nothing on my weekends.  (Except plan for the wedding.)

I finally pinned some bridesmaids dresses for my ladies this weekend (I’m letting them choose their dresses).  Fiancé and I are taking our engagement photos on Wednesday and I am so excited. I’m getting my hair and makeup done for the shoot, which I’ve never done before.  It’s going to be a really fun study break.  I already have my wedding dress as well, so everything is slowly coming together.  My hair stylist gave me the idea of making my own veil, which is something I’m definitely going to pursue. I have zero interest in purchasing a veil that is half the cost of my dress.

I’m typing on my new laptop because yours truly dropped her old one several weekends ago and cracked the screen.  I really like it so far, and the photo editing program that comes with it is just basic enough for me to grasp.  I honestly haven’t been doing much in the craft department, other than working on a simple blanket that doesn’t require any counting. But up until a couple of weeks ago, I was working on a wreath from an old Little Box of Crochet project:

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Well, I’ve procrastinated long enough.  Time to hit the books again.

 

Little Box of Crochet – Darling Little Duck Project Review

Happy Saturday, friends!  Today I want to show you a Little Box of Crochet project that I recently finished (and by recently, I mean an hour ago).

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This little duck looks really world weary, doesn’t he? He’s BEEN THROUGH A LOT, OK?

This fun little project was designed by Anisbee Anisbee  using Three Bears Yarn.

Let’s peek inside this box, which was released this past July to all subscribers.  (So I’m only two months behind, cool).

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Let’s open it up…

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With this project, you get an encouraging postcard from Nicola Rowlands, a pen and notebook, your hook and project yarn, and a stitch marker from Koro Clay Studio.  You also get a little bit of stuffing for your duck, but if you don’t have any on hand, I’d suggest you purchase some.  The stuffing included in the box is just enough to get you started, but won’t be enough to fill the entire duck (which makes sense – there’s no way to fit all that stuffing in one box!)

The yarn is soft and easy to work with.

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I moved along with the project pretty quickly at first.  This was my first large-scale amigurumi project but the pattern was easy to follow.

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He looks like a little bowling pin here.

I was moving along swimmingly until I got to the part where I had to make his little feet.  I thought, “This looks challenging” and put the project away for about a month.

Finally I felt guilty and started assembling the feet.  It wasn’t as bad as I’d thought, but I think a couple of photos to guide me through the process would have made me feel a little better about making them!

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I finally finished the feet last night.  I definitely miscounted on one of them, and they look a little wonky overall (don’t tell Ducky.  He’s a little touchy about his feet, ok?)

This morning I sewed on his little feet, beak, and created his eyes.

Voilaaaaaaa!

 

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This sweet little guy is all complete!  There are also some bonus projects if you’d like to use up your extra yarn, like a garland or finger puppet.

For anyone wanting to wade into the world of amigurumi, this is a great box to get started with!