Tuesday, November 30

we ♥ november

wedzu

We hope you enjoyed this months blue willow theme, it's one of those things thats been on the 'to do' list for ages and I'm so pleased how it all turned out. Thanks to everyone who commented and contributed. And a big thanks to everyone who voted in our poll. It seems results were pretty much split down the middle with almost half of couples choosing to send their invites 1-2 months before the wedding. The other half 3-4 months, and just a handful choosing over 5 months before.

This month we're totally in love with new online marketplace, Wedzu. Specialising in beautiful indie and handmade wedding items from accessories to decorations. Above, some awesome wedzu sellers including Andrea Bonelli Jewelry, Bonzie, Percy Handmade and Paloma's Nest. And of course 'i do' it yourself is on there too!

Things that made us go ooo this month...
• We were so delighted to see one of our fingerprint guest book trees part of a beautiful wedding in the Nappa Valley featured over on Style Me Pretty. It's always lovely to see one of our designs brought to life at a real wedding.

stylemepretty mention NOV10

I cant believe tomorrow we'll be putting up the Christmas tree, this year seems to have flown by. Stay tuned next month for the 12 Days of Christmas full of lovely gifts!!

Monday, November 29

DIY project: decoupage plate

decoupage plate

Decoupaged plates are a beautiful way to display memories of your wedding. Made with scraps of paper you could incorporate left over wedding stationery and bits of paper decorations, paper that wrapped your wedding gifts and of course photos from the day. They also make beautiful gifts for bridesmaids and parents.

What you will need:
• A plain clear glass plate
• Wedding photos
• Scraps of paper
• Modpodge or other decoupage glue
• Paintbrush

DIY project
Step 1. Start by photocopying or scanning/printing your wedding photos onto paper. Photo paper will have trouble sticking.

Step 2. With a large paintbrush apply the decoupage glue to the back of the plate and start placing your first layer of paper scraps and photos. If you need to start overlapping paper do another coat of glue first.

Step 3. Once all pieces are in place finish with a final coat of glue and leave to dry overnight.

decoupage plate


Sunday, November 28

blue willow cake ideas

willow-cakes

Its cake time again! Here are a few slices of wedding cake inspiration to get you thinking and get your mouth watering.


Friday, November 26

blog competition!

fascinator

There are only a few days left to enter our fabulous blog giveaway this month, so don't miss out! To be in with a chance to win this stunning feather fascinator and veil from RTISAN, just leave a comment below (or here) telling us why you should be the lucky winner.

Thursday, November 25

real wedding: Elaine and Jeff

elaine and jeffElaine and Jeff 2Elaine and Jeff 3Elaine and Jeff 4

We have a truly stunning real wedding to share today thanks to photographer extraordinaire Max Wanger. His soft and dreamy photographic style beautifully complimented this romantic asian inspired wedding.

The ceremony was decorated with a collection of blue and white china vases sourced from family and friends and filled with a mix of ivory flowers.

Elaine DIYed many of the details herself, including the invitations and programs with a vintage skeleton key illustration, a theme that was carried though with the decorations. Guests were also asked to write a little wish to the couple on cute vintage luggage tags decorated with their photos.

For the reception Elaine and Jeff opted for a cocktail party with lots of yummy treats to choose from including fruit skewers, mini Asian chicken salads in take out boxes, lolly pops, banana gummy bears and rock candy. The couple even created their own signature cocktail for the day, 'I Effen Love You' made with black cherry Effen Vodka and served in jars with pretty blue and white striped straws.

Tuesday, November 23

FREEBIE tea favour labels

tea favour labels

Tea seemed like the perfect wedding favor to go with our theme of blue and white china. So this month we have designed these free 'tea for two' labels you can download and use on your bombonieres. Each label is just over two inches in diameter for easy cutting out with a circle punch. Print them on sticker paper to put on tea canisters as we have done above, or you could used them a pretty gift tags.

To download just visit the 'i do' it yourself site.

Monday, November 22

willow tablescapes

tablescape

Just in case you still needed a little convincing on how beautiful that old blue and white china can be, here are a few gorgeous examples of wedding tables.


Sunday, November 21

DIY project: painted plate place settings

painted plate place name

I've been a big fan of painting ceramics for years now, ever since I discovered some fabulous paints which do away with the need for a kiln. So I'm very pleased to finally bring to life a great wedding DIY project using Pabeo Procelaine paint.

There are plenty of options with Pabeo Procelaine coming as 45ml bottles in 46 colours, which we used here. But they even come as marker pens for more detailed work, and you might find this a better option for writing out names.

All you will need is the paint or pen, an oven, and a plain white plate for each guest. These can be picked up relatively cheaply in bulk at kitchen supply shops, or try your local discount store.
Simply paint your guests name on each plate. You can be as creative as you like, just write the name or decorate it with patterns or flowers to tie in with your wedding decor.
Then the best bit - bake them in an oven at 150°C for 30-35 minutes and ta da! The plates now have glossy names with excellent resistance to dishwashing and normal detergent, so your guests can even take their personalised plates home.


Friday, November 19

blue willow decorations

willow-deco

Make your wedding decor really pop with bold blues against a backdrop of crisp bright white.

Blue and white umbreallas suspended from the ceiling, via Martha stewart weddings.
A gorgeous white reception venue with splashes of blue, by photographer Laura Novak. Blue willow printable menu card by i do it yourself. Walk down the aisle in blue and white style, by Beach Productions. A glamourous silver and blue wedding designed by Colin Cowe. You could even incorporate a traditional Chinese tea ceremony into the day, photo by Michele M Waite Photography.


Thursday, November 18

real wedding: framed escort cards

escortcards

Here's a lovely wedding project put together by Kristine and Alec for their wedding day. Instead of traditional escort cards, Kristine covered four large white frames with canvases and a pretty blue paisley fabric. She then pinned white tags to the fabric with each guests name and table number beautiful handwritten on them.

With everyone seated the white frames were reused as "charity boards." Each board had a description of a charity special to the couple, and each guest received a custom paper tag that said "Share the Love". Guests were instructed to pin their tag to one of the frames to vote for their favourite charity. The bride and groom would then donate money to each charity according to the votes. A lovely idea and it kept guess busy during the evening checking on the status of the voting.

Photos by FotoBriceno

Wednesday, November 17

DIY project: escort card plate wall

DIY escort card wall

Surprise your guests with a cute and quirky escort card display decorated with china plates.

You'll need a wall or a wooden board that you can attached wire plate hangers too, ribbons, pins and your escort cards. Hang strips of wide ribbon from the board, top to bottom, and secure them with a staple gun. Fix your plate hangers to the wall scattered around the display somewhere along the line of the ribbon. Finish by pinning your escort cards to the ribbon.


what to wear?

what to wear?

Ok, so I know we don't usually comment on celebrity weddings but we do love a bit of photoshop silliness. And it's not often you get a royal wedding after all. So to celebrate the engagement of Kate and Wills - lets have some fun. What dress do you think Kate should wear? Pick one or suggest your own.

Monday, November 15

something borrowed: DIY iron on china

DIY iron on

This morning we've got a great DIY china pattern project by Paul Lowe found at Country Living. Use this easy iron-on technique to personalise table cloths and napkins for your wedding with pretty blue and white designs.

Simply take photos of your blue and white china pieces and print them onto iron on transfer paper, filling the page. Then iron onto your fabric following the papers instructions. Easy!


Saturday, November 13

stuck for choice

glue

When it comes to DIY wedding projects one of the questions we see asked a lot is what glue should I use? A quick trip to the craft shop and you'll see why, there are so many choices out there! Stick glue, spray glue, glue that comes in guns. But what to use where?

We've put together a list of some of the most helpful glues on offer to Aussie DIY brides, with a lot of help from Cynthia of the Shiny Rabbit etsy shop, selling funky jewellery and accessories. If you think of anything we've left off or would like to share your experience, be sure to let us know!


1. PVA craft glue
FOR: Wood, paper, leather, fabrics, some plastics.
PROS: Dries clear, multipurpose, inexpensive, easy and available just about anywhere.
CONS: Can crinkle paper if spread too thickly or the paper is too thin.


2. Hot Glue
FOR: Paper, wood, metal, fabric, plastic
PROS: Very good adhesion for lots of projects, and quite cheap. Great for holding objects that aren't flat such as embellishments as the object can sink into the glue.
CONS: Very messy, stringy bits of glue tend to get stuck everywhere you don't want them so have a damp cloth handy for quick clean ups. Watch the metal tip of the gun it gets very hot.


3. Diamond glaze
FOR: A great jewellery coating, paper.
PROS: Not really a glue but it is acid free and very versatile with good adhesion for some applications. It's a little viscous so it has some nice properties like settling into a space or gap, can be pushed into the place you want it. Dries very glossy.
CONS: Creates a few bubbles which will stay if not popped and they can be hard to remove. Not cheap – a small bottle can set you back around $15 but its not bad for what you get out of it as glue. Not commonly available in Australia, some craft supply or scrap booking stores stock it but probably best to look online.


4. Modpodge
FOR: Wood, paper, fabric
PROS: A glue, sealer and finish all in one and available in different finishes and for different uses. Great for decoupage. Check out Modgepodge Rocks for ideas. Stocked by art supply shops such as Eckersleys.
CONS: Very sticky especially the gloss version.


5. Spray Adhesive
FOR: Great for paper, card and thin fabric.
PROS: Quick and easy to use with a lump free, smooth finish.
CONS: Tends to spay everything else around it too. Don't start by spraying directly onto your item, the glue can come out too quickly and end up soaking your paper, so aways do a quick spray first onto something that doesn't matter to clear the nozzle.


6. Glue sticks
FOR: Paper, card, thin fabric.
PROS: Commonly available and cheap. Great for paper and card as its not likely to cause the paper to crinkle.
CONS: Some glue sticks are not acid free, check the packet to make sure.


7. Superglue
FOR: Wood, metal, ceramics, glass and plastics.
PROS: You only need a tiny spot of product to produce an extremely strong instant bond.
CONS: Instant bond so be careful!


8. Urethane Bond
FOR: Rubber, wood, ceramics, fibreglass, metal, glass, leather, vinyl, fabrics and most plastics.
PROS: Strong, waterproof and great adhesion, you'll need less of this than you think. It flows really well and settles in all the gaps over its drying time, even vertically (will bleed upwards so be sure to keep that in mind). It has a small amount of give so it’s good for items that may need to be adjusted slightly as you work. Sticks almost anything to anything and dries super glossy.
CONS: Expensive – available from Bunnings for around $20 + for a small to medium sized tube. It flows really well but this can be difficult to control so use much much less than you think you will need.


9. Two part epoxy
FOR: Rubber, metal, wood, plastic.
PROS: Epoxy glue is a two-component glue, which is blended immediately prior to use and can be shaped until dry. Heavy duty effective adhesion and easily available, the brand tends not to matter. A little goes a long way.
CONS: Messy and fiddly. You need to mix it right in equal parts or it won’t catalyse or catalyse too quickly and the mixing can be difficult even with the two syringe mixer packs. Can shatter its bond if object is dropped.


10. E6000
FOR: Rubber, wood, ceramics, fibreglass, metal, glass, leather, vinyl, fabrics and most plastics.
PROS: Wonderful bond with any objects and a very strong hold. Great for heavy embellishments. Slightly spongy dried so it has a nice suspension for shockable objects
CONS: Use with care, strong smelling. Doesn't keep well in it's tube so line up your work ready to use one tube in one go and buy small tubes. Generally only available online shipped from the US.


Remember when working with glues for your wedding projects always read the instructions and work in a well ventilated area, you may even need to wear a mask when working with some glues. Its also advisable to do a test piece when working with a new glue and material combination to make sure there are no adverse reactions.

Thursday, November 11

DIY stationery: blue willow

blue willow rangeblue willow invitation

blue willow menu

Im really please how our latest wedding range turned out. This bold printable wedding stationery was inspired by the traditional blue and white willow pattern - but its a really modern twist on the classic design.

If you don't already know how our printable wedding invitations etc work, it's really very simple. You can have fun, save money and create beautiful invites, menus, save the date cards and more from your own home printer with our unique designs supplied as computer files. Not sure your home printer is up to the task? Don't worry you can just as easily take the files to your local print shop.

We customise the design with your supplied text, (use the sample wording shown as a starting point or come up with your own) then we send you a file for printing. This way you can choose your own paper and even decorate and embellish the designs as much or as little as your like!

Shown here in cobalt blue but available in any colour.
Visit our online shop for more matching designs, including rsvps and save the dates starting at just $15.

Wednesday, November 10

shine on your special day

leader paper mention nov2010

We were asked last week by Leaders Newspapers our thoughts on how to save money and DIY wedding dresses. The story is out and you can catch it in lots of local paper this week.

So where were our thoughts on how to save money on your wedding dress? Well, last year we ran a poll on the blog asking you, our readers, what you would DIY for your wedding day and interestingly no one chose to make their own wedding dress! Its a pretty daunting task, I know plenty of people are great at making clothes but the idea of making a wedding dress for themselves, their daughter, their friend is just too much pressure and too much responsibility.

So if you're not up to making the whole dress, accessories are a great way to DIY and add that personal creative touch. Floral hair accessories, a sash or belt can be quite easy to make and can really jazz up a simple store bought gown.

Our favourite option for saving on wedding dresses if definitely going to a boutique, you can pick up something amazing in white or a pale colour for around the $500 mark. Just because its not marketed as a wedding dress doesn't mean it cant be.

Places like etsy.com are a good option for buying vintage and handmade dresses online. Also keep an eye on the new Aussie site madeit.com.au
There are plenty of great designers out there offering beautiful handmade and vintage gowns at great prices, of course the down side is you cant go for an actual fitting unless you can find someone local on there. Like all online shopping you need to be cautious, read the feedback that has been left and make sure you give accurate measurements. If you're buying a dress already made from overseas remember the sizes vary from country to country. A size twelve here is very different to a size twelve in the US.

If you're looking at buying a vintage dress or altering a family members dress remember womens bodies have changed quite a lot over time, it can be really hard to find something that will fit our taller and wider bodies! Again sizes can be very different, a ten today is not the same as a ten 50 years ago, think about those tiny little waists of the 50s. So make sure you have accurate measurements when buying. And if you're buying vintage online you wont be able to smell it! So if the listing doesn't mention smell Id be inclined to ask, you don't want to smell of cigarette smoke and mothballs walking down the aisle.


Tuesday, November 9

bridesmaid blues

blue willow birdesmaids

Cool cobalt blue is certainly making its way to the what's hot list for 2011 weddings, team it with vibrant yellow for a colour explosion or keep it bold yet simple with white or silver.

We're full of fun facts, did you know that cobalt blue was the main blue pigment used in Chinese blue and white porcelain for centuries? So it fits in perfectly with our willow pattern china inspired wedding this month. A white wedding gown is sure to pop against these bold blue bridesmaid dresses.

Credits: Real wedding by Dino Lara. Bold blue dresses - side knot silk chiffon gown from Nordstom, scallop shift dress from Karen Millen, maxi dress from Coast, silk cheongsam from Chinese Dresses. Stunning sparkling blue heels from Zappos.

Sunday, November 7

something borrowed: DIY organza flowers

organza flower
organza-flower-steps

If a whole blue wedding dress isn't your thing how about some beautiful blue floral accessories? Great for bridesmaids too, try this easy DIY project from sew4home and add them to hairbands, clutches, dresses - just about anything! Check out tutorial here.

Friday, November 5

something blue

56588064
56588064
56588064

As this months theme was inspired by a gorgeous gown we have to take a look at some more beautiful bold designs, all seeming inspired by blue and white china.

Credits: 1-3 haute couture gowns by John Galliano for Dior, 4 Zuhair Murad 2009 Spring Summer Collection, 5 and 6 Douglas Hannant, 7,8,9 unknown, 10 Atelier Versace

Wednesday, November 3

giveawayrtisan giveaway

The lovely Sharon from RTISAN is back with another gorgeous giveaway for our blog readers this month. A beautiful birdcage veil and feather fascinator valued at nearly $90!

The beautiful white bandeau birdcage veil made from soft Russian veiling wraps around your face while the fabulous fluffy oversized fascinator is made from turkey marabou feathers and goose biots for extra volume and va va voom!

How to enter:
Simply visit RTISAN's lovely etsy shop here, take a look around, and leave a comment below telling us why you should win this gorgeous giveaway. We'll announce the lucky winner at the end of the month!
(Dont forget to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win)


the competition is now closed


Tuesday, November 2

melbourne cup picks

hats1
hats2

It's that time of year again, the Melbourne cup!
As last years post was so popular we thought we'd again share our tips for picking a winner in the fashion stakes. Here are our favourite hats, headbands and fascinators of the year to keep you looking fine and fabulous beside the race track AND down the aisle!
Keep an eye out tomorrow for your chance to win your very own fascinators by one of the talented designers above!!



Monday, November 1

blue willow

blue willow

A while ago I came across the most amazing haute couture gown by John Galliano for Dior (pictured above) and was immediately struck by it's beautiful curves and pretty blue china pattern. So with bold blues proving a popular colour choice at weddings, it's about time we looked at the classic blue willow design.

The willow pattern is a fairly common site in many homes, being used for over 200 years on kitchen ware! Derived from an older Chinese design it was commercially produced in 18th century England. The story depicted in the design is said to be an ancient love story, so here goes:

"Once upon a time there was a wealthy Mandarin, who had a beautiful daughter (Koong-se). She fall in love with her father's humble accounting assistant (Chang), which angering her father. He fired the young accountant and built a large fence around his house to keep the lovers apart. The Mandarin wanted his daughter to marry a powerful Duke, one day the Duke arrived by boat to claim his bride, bearing a box of jewels as a gift. The wedding was to take place on the day the blossom fell from the willow tree.

On the eve of the daughter's forced wedding, the young accountant disguised himself as a servant and snuck into the palace. The lovers escaped with the jewels, but the alarm was raised. They ran over a bridge, chased by the Mandarin, whip in hand, to escaped on the Duke's boat. They made their way to a secluded island where they lived happily for many years. But one day, the Duke learned of their whereabouts and wanting revenge, he sent soldiers, who captured the lovers and killed them. But the Gods intervened and transformed the lovers into a pair of doves."

credits: Haute couture gown by John Galliano for Dior, bold blue shoes photographed by Chelsea Elizabeth, classic willow pattern dinnerware.
Blue and white paddle fans shot by Allegra's Studio, chiffon flower on cream silk dupioni wedding ring pillow by Woomi. Willow pattern cake via Cake Central, blue and white teacup gift tags by Catnip Studio Too, 12 different blue and white china patterns via Martha Stewart weddings, blue vase with white hydrangeas.

colour palette: cobalt blue and white

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