We said ‘thank you’…

… with something personal.

Favors are usually something small, most of the time something to eat. But that wouldn’t have made sense in our case. I wanted our wedding favors to be a reminder of our wedding, without being too much about ‘us’. And since there was a lot of DIY element to this event, these also had to be DIY. Looking back, it was quite a gigantic task, this was by far the most time-consuming project.

Without further-ado, let me introduce our wedding favors: a bunch of self-designed, self-screen-printed, self-sawn sauna towels 😉 It made perfect sense, since during the evening we had a sauna session, in a very cool old-style smoke sauna, and we also cooked outdoors right in front of it.

So I bought about 5m of 100% linen from a thrift store, though the fabric was brand new and had a natural colour.

It took some time to figure out what to print on them though, apart from making sure the paint worked in such extreme conditions as well. Eventually, I settled on a design of a single birch tree, albeit with a somewhat minimalistic look, placed on the side of the towel (in case the ink leaked and ‘marked’ the human bottom that was placed on it). I used a photo which I then sketched over in photoshop. Later we added the name of the place, but decided against including the date, which is probably only important for the two of us anyways.

The task of cutting out the stencil was left to H2B.

Unfortunately, our design was bigger than the screen we borrowed from my father-in-law. So we had to do it in two parts. That made things a lot more complicated and the process about 3x longer.

But of course I had to sew them first. I prewashed the fabric, and it was very difficult to cut straight after that, so I don’t know if it was a good idea… and I don’t have a long enough ruler either.

I ironed all the edges, turning twice. God, that was boring, but it looks a lot better, and I guess also made the actual sewing faster. In the last minute I also remembered that adding a hook could be a good idea, so they all got one.

And then onto the printing… in 2 rounds… and few mistakes, due to a not impeccable positioning in the 2nd round…

I would love to show the end result, but they were all given away before I could take a photo.. 😦

I can show something else though. It was a for a few of the guests we knew would not stay till the sauna. Again, of course, DIY from start to finish, from drawing to ironing.

The folk motif is called Matyó, from Mezökövesd, Hungary, which is very close to where I’m from. See more here.

Project no1… as of importance, my veil

So my veil… I’m really proud of it. I thought it would take ages, but I got ready with it reasonably fast.

What took the most time was to determine the actual shape I wanted. A lot of pinning, then repining, then repinning again. I used the same lace edge that was on my dress. I had about 4 meters to play with.I had enough tulle for double layer cathedral length veil, but I only wanted a single layer tip-length, aka, ending just under my bum. Once I was ready with the shape and length, with the lace still pinned on, I basted around with a green thread (only one half, as I wanted it symmetrical, so I just folded it and after removing the lace pinned the two halves together). Then came the scissors and the no way back. I left a tiny piece of material on at the middle on top as well as the bottom, just to help me navigate. I didn’t want puff on my head, but needed a tiny gathering none the less (the amount between the pins-arrows).

On the photo there is a clear comb, but I ended up using a brown colored one, which was also much flatter and so kept the lace closer to my head. In any case, I wrapped a thin piece of tulle around the comb in every gap and made a double not at each end. Don’t have a photo of it, but the next step was to sew the veil to the comb.

And then came the lace. Mine was quite wide, so I spent some time adjusting it to the curve, fiddling with the pattern to make it lay nicely. Miraculously, I managed to pin it so (starting from the top) that the pattern overlap exactly in the middle on the bottom. You couldn’t tell where it starts and where it ends 🙂

Sewing the lace on was relatively easy. I sew from the bottom up, doing a short section on the left then on the right, then on the left again, etc. I did pay attention to keeping my stitches inside the pattern, as the yellow arrows show, unlike the orange arrows. You wouldn’t really be able to see, but I wanted it to be perfect 😉

If you have a little time, you should really do your veil, it’s a great feeling… Something to pass on to my daughter.

And this is how it looked in action:

Engagement

It’s soon been a year since we got engaged… meaning we are soon getting married!! Gash… and still so much to do!

Unfortunately, it was never possible to get all my family over here for the big event, but we wanted them to be part of it in a way, so we are, well, actually my uncle, is going to throw a garden party in his back garden for us. Just some well deserved chilling, cocktails perhaps (I wish…) catching up with people, some good food, hopefully lot of sunshine too. I thought it would be nice to send invites out for that as well. So I made a few more, similar, but different at the same time.

I used the leftover brown paper we had for protecting the floor during painting the walls, then painted it haphazardly with white acrylic paint (no blue this time) and doodled some flowers over it with black markers.

And that’s how they turned out (the odd bit is the address being covered up :). Cheers!

 

Inspired by Alisa Burke.

… the rose that belongs to me

And so… flower, the expression of love, an essential part of every bridal appearance in the form of a bouquet  as well as the decoration.

I love flowers! All colours, shapes and sizes… my favourite flowerbed tho, has to be the one we have in the garden back home where my grandma, my mum and me have planted rose bushes.

Anyhow, its quite a pain to choose something for my bouquet… I feel a bit sorry for cut flowers, I don’t like to see them die, so I mostly have planted ones. Can I carry a pot down the isle?? I was also seriously thinking just making paper ones, like these:

Or nowadays its quite trendy to use vintage brooches:

However, this is not my style at all! I think I would miss the freshness and smell of real flowers. I might end up just collecting something from the meadow on the day! Or… I received a blue hydrangea for women’s day… shall I just snip off a couple flowerheads? If it is in bloom now is it going to be in bloom in 5 months as well?? Isn’t it pretty?

I’m also about to plant some sweat peas (tuoksuherne – lathyrus odoratus), baby’s breath (kesäharso – gypsophila eleg.) and lobelia (lobelia – lobelia erinus) all in white. Also some pompom poppy (pioniunikko – papaver somniferum) in a very light shade of lilac. We’ll see which one turns out the best.

In the meantime, I really got hooked on fabric flowers. If not for the bouquet, I will definitely use them for decoration. I got a few done already. There are a zillion tutorials on the internet. The bigger issue is rather to find the ones that you actually like. The fabrics I used were all remnants and scraps, or old curtains or something similar. What is the afterlife you might ask… 🙂 Well… a future little girl’s dress can always do with a few flowers 😉 or they will adorn other accessories, bags, headbands, etc.

A few more different styles to come, as I managed to get my hand on some more fluid fabric 🙂

Back to basic physics

It is quite important that we won’t create much waste as a result of this wedding. This means that we try to also think about the afterlife of all the things we make. Are we going to be able to use them in a different capacity? Is it recyclable/compostable? Would it end up on landfill?

So, as it is going to be a mostly outdoor wedding (fingers crossed!!) we need some sort of lighting for the evening hours. Even though it gets dark quite late, like 10pm or something, lights also help with ambience, creating the mood… and not the least can be perfect background for photos.

Now, being true to the DIY spirit, the lights will also be our creation. What kind of light thou? There are many options. Finns have a very cool thing for winter time called jätkänkynttilä, which is basically a log that is cut down half way in a few segments, filled with some flammable material and then lit.

by Jan-Erik Finnberg

This site has a tutorial as well as showing a new way of utilising this ‘candle’. It looks awesome, no problem with disposing, but might be slightly dangerous when wee girls and boys are running around.

There is a craze about mason jar candle lights – or any glass jar for that matter. It’s pretty simple to make, very cost effective, not wasteful, but doesn’t provide very much light. An example from CasaSugar:

Or another non-hanging option from Pinterest:

If we look further than candles, I really like this idea I found also through Pinterest:

Well, yea, so what does physics have to do with all this? Khm, it seems I have to relearn everything about currents, watt and voltage and stuff. After all, we gonna make our own lighting… you know, using LED diodes, wires, capacitors, resistors, etc, etc, etc 😉

The plan is to create a light curtain using (warm) white LED lights, and hopefully not electrocuting ourselves on the way. For this we popped in to Helsinki Hacklab yesterday. Do I need to mention I was the only female there? Anyways, these hacklabs are quite cool places, there is one probably near you (if not, set one up ;-). They have a 3D printer there among many other gadgets. I don’t want to include any photo of how I imagine our curtain to look, cos we might end up having something totally different, whatever we manage I will be happy with 😀

And what is the afterlife? It will take pride place in front of our window every Chritmas (and be a reminder of what makes a happy marriage ;-))

Happy DIYing!

Come! Welcome!

We have started posting out invitations, so I think I dare to show them here too.

Now, like I said in the other post before, we don’t want to follow schemes and such. There are just way too many things we like to stick with one style. Even if it is just the stationary bits. So, there most likely won’t be any theme going on with regards to invites, order of service, etc… I think the whole thing is a bit of a game for us (or for me at least) having the chance to try out different ways, create freely.

I really like Alisa Burke’s creations using old books, like this one. First I was a bit apprehensive about ‘ruining’ books, things that are quite highly regarded… however, there are quite a few second hand books lying around this household, so I asked H2B if there is one he can spare. It was written in Finnish, which made for some funny (embarrassing?) moments. The story was about a rape-murder case. I have already painted the sheets I wanted to use, so he had to read through to make sure Finnish guests won’t get pages that contain something not so nice or ill-fitting to a wedding…

So, here they are.

I used watercolour, but to write on, it didn’t cover the text enough. Then I remembered I had a tube of white acrylic paint somewhere, so I managed to fix that issue. However, watercolour made the paper somewhat, well, not flat. And I didn’t like that.

H2B suggested I should iron them… Erm, iron? paper? I went and ironed all the sheets… see the difference:

I was pretty pleased. I could start drawing on them 🙂

And then there are the envelopes.

Over 200kgs and settling

And so we moved…

The flat is nice and modern, quite bright, if the sun is out (if, hasn’t been too much yet…). But we have no furniture, apart from an old sofabed and inbuilt cupboards.

The contents of our bedroom: bed-NO, craft books-YES, borrowed sewing machine-YES. Well, also bought a cheap bedsheet to be made into curtains, but that has nothing to do with the wedding, so it will be posted in a different blog. I bought a small piece of fabric in Edinburgh, which will be made into the invites. Already have some ideas for it, but with no table around I thought I would wait a little.

Oh yes, yesterday we visited a craft store in downtown Helsinki. It has a massive selection of all things crafty and I couldn’t leave without buying something, so now I’m a proud owner of a tube of Mod Podge. Today a cheap glue was added to the collection. I brought with me the acrylic paints I had, so I’m almost all set. I still miss a few dyes and brushes, which we will get free, I believe, when getting some paints for the flat.

One more thing on the wedding front. Most small churches close for the winter time (have no heating, or no visitors, or neither..) which started yesterday. Luckily, that does not mean that we cannot visit them this weekend, so we might have a venue very soon!

BREAKING NEWS

We are moving to Finland! Huh, after 6,5 years. Yea… some things will become a lot easier to organise, some things won’t. But at least things will start to progress bit faster (like, actually getting a venue).

Have to develop my finnish vocabulary, related to DIY, crafts, etc… but I won’t be alone 🙂 Already started sourcing second-hand shops (kirpputori), cos there are very few charity shops over there.

We are moving to the Helsinki area, and if you haven’t noticed yet, Helsinki will be the Design Capital of the Year 2012! I bet there will be loads of inspiration around. Can’t wait!

Not that I can’t find enough otherwise… I want to do a lot of work with fabrics (you know, getting things cosy…) and recently I came across Alisa Burke‘s work. I love the carefree, experimenting attitude she has towards creating art. I will most likely use some of her techniques for my projects. I totally share her view that ‘why to buy if you can create it yourself’.

Luckily, H2B’s family has a fair amount of women (and men) with craft skills as well, so those long winter nights could be transformed into some long wedding-craftalongs! I just need to be good at communicating my vision.

On my family’s side, my parents already offered their cooking and baking skills. Obviously, making some hungarian dishes and nibbles… it would be a great way to bring some culture over. I just hope the venue will be able to accommodate such.

Feel it!

Some time ago, I listed a couple words that I’d like to use to describe this wedding. Short list, but quite important in infuencing my diy projects. Here they are:

cosy, informal, relaxed, outdoor, fun, comfortable, personal, unique, friendly, (homemade)

What might happen

Right, I consider myself to be quite crafty… but my enthusiasm is probably bigger than my experience. I have done embroidery (learnt from my grandma and in school), knitting (from mum), crochet (from mother-in-law-to-be), clay (myself), some woodwork, weaving, glass painting, beading, candle making, picked up a bit of typography and some other bits and bobs along the way, all the girly stuff really. Oh yes, and I LOVE photographing (see).

I plan to build on, if not all but, most of these when putting together the wedding. I will definitely need to add one more skill to the repertoire, which is sewing. Hubby-to-be can do more woodwork and metalwork should it be needed. He also likes photographing, though most of his subjects are airplanes… but he can also develop his own film photos, which is quite fun and sometimes look much better than digital, like this.

I will share my sketches, samples and sources of inspiration here, as well as other aspects of the wedding planning, like info about the venue, logistics and… red tape (?).

I can tell, it’s going to take place in Finland (yes, gorgeous lakes and sauna!)… with a small family gettogether beforehand in my hometown in Hungary with those who can’t attend the main event.