Tuesday, January 29, 2013

*knocking dust from the shelves* Welcome back! I have pictures!

I have finally begun working on my wedding dress, and have pictures to share!

First, I would like to apologize for being absent for so long.  I moved out to the middle of nowhere and we do not have internet at our house.  I have to use the internet at work, and it doesn't always work just right.  Also, with family and wedding stuff going on, on TOP of work, it hasn't always been easy to post.

Secondly, I would like to explain the dress.  I always wanted to make my own dress.  The thought of going to a boutique and finding a dress I'm not crazy about, that looks like all the other dresses, that has to be altered and altered and altered again, and doing all of this in front of strangers, has ALWAYS made me nervous.  I started learning to sew at a young age, and decided that I would do as my mother did, and make my wedding dress.

The first attempt failed.  Miserably.  I found that the dress pattern I had picked out was NOT printed in my size, but luckily I figured this out BEFORE cutting anything.  The fabric - all 8 - 9 yards of it - was in tact.  So, now what?  I decided that a dress wasn't really me, anyway.  I'm just not built for a one piece dress, so I decided to work with a skirt and a blouse.  I still wanted to make it lace over satin, and so I did, cutting the blouse out of both fabrics and two versions of the skirt, one in a straight hem, and the lace overskirt in a floorlength hem in back, that raises to knee length in front.

I am working on this dress now, and have some pictures - though dark and poor in quality - to share.  Everyone seems amazed with the idea that I am making my own dress, but I just never saw it happening any other way!

The elastic has not been installed at the waist, yet, so its shape is a bit... funny.  Also, it obviously needs to be pressed.  But, you get the jist.  This is the front of the skirt.

This is detailing from the front, showing the sequined trim I added by hand.  It was tedious, but brings something to the dress that just gives it more of a bridal flair.
Back of the skirt
Detailing from back of the skirt, with gathers and trim

Close up of side view, again, a bit off-centered because it's not finished, so not laying right.
side of skirt at a distance

I'll post again later with pictures of the train I came up with, and the veil that I made work.  I have very long, dark hair, and I don't wear it up, so the traditional long veil looks very dowdy on me. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It's official, as of April 22, 2012! We are engaged!

Josh popped the question this morning while giving the dog a bath.  I was searching for Victorian style boots, and not paying much attention, till he had the dog play along and come sit by me.  I still paid no attention so he (sitting by my legs on the floor before the couch) asked me to make sure he hadn't put Penny's collar on too tightly.  I sigh and go to check it... and there, on the strap, is my engagement ring!!!

It's black hills gold on silver with a pink sapphire :D

I will be posting pictures and instructions on my wedding veil, soon, too! It's actually looking VERY nice and I barely started on it!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

organization, and nothing goes to waste!

Well, I should start with an apology for not posting in a while.  It's been a bit hectic with house shopping, work, wedding planning and all!

I am happy to announce I found a pattern for a wedding dress I LOVED!  I found two that I liked and made my groom-to-be pick which he liked, and came up with a Burda pattern, #8198.  I'll be doing the dress with the lace over-dress and bell sleeves and decided on the most fantastic idea.  The lining fabric I picked will be a shimmer satin I got from JoAnn, in a soft, aqua blue color. The lace is a pearl colored lace, ordered from J & O Fabrics.   (A side note, this has been a wonderful company to deal with, so far.  They email back quickly, they are friendly, and have LOVELY products!  I've already suggested them to someone in the Farmgirl Sisterhood!)

A lot of my ideas, I am realizing, have been brought about by My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding on TLC.  Yes, yes, I know.  But I LOVE that show, and quite frankly, I often wonder if some of my ancestors were Irish gypsies. *teehee*  One of the ideas was the color in my wedding dress.  I don't look good in white or ivory, and I love colors!  I've seen many a gypsy girl with a pink or purple dress, or color splashed into their dress.  Granted mine will not be quite so flamboyant as their dresses, but I got an idea about how to add a bit of sparkle and my own panache to it, which I will get into at a later time.

Well, this all actually all has a point.  As I said, I ordered my lace from J & O Fabrics.  Originally, I ordered samples from them for $2 a pop of 4 different laces I liked.  My original plan was to have an ivory lining with a colored lace, but it just did not pan out.  I pulled the four generous swatches from the envelope and pondered.  The first was much too stiff to be used in a wedding dress... more like something one would use in a window treatment.  The second was the ivory pearl.  The third was described as "antique lavender" but appeared more of a dowdy mauve color, and was quite stretchy.  The last was a gorgeous shade of sky blue with silver, but the silver was entirely too heavy, which did not show up online.  (This is why I loved their sample option... colors, textures, and patterns are often deceiving in the digital world, and their swatches were big enough to know EXACTLY what you're getting!  My least favorite in the group online ended up being EXACTLY what I wanted!)

I sat there looking at the three unchosen swatches, feeling a bit guilty.  I just can not waste fabric.  I knew I needed the one I had chosen so I could pick the lining fabric, but what would I do with the others?  And even the swatch I liked?  What would its purpose be after I'd chosen the satin?

Use them!  Even though one was too sparkly, and one was a bad color for me, it DIDN'T mean I had to waste them.  I got an idea from a flier in an aisle at Hobby Lobby to decorate with mason jars.  (Consequently, my family has an obsession with mason jars... they are the handiest, dandiest little things ever invented.)  One method was to create a votive or tea light holder using wire, gidgets and gadgets, and lace or fabric remnants.  Gadzooks!  I have 4 good sized swatches I can trim down to ribbons and use!  The same goes for any fabrics I have left over after I begin cutting the dress out!  (wish me luck, by the way... I now have two very spoiled little kittens running amok...).  I always purchase more than I need in case I have a mistake, a flaw in the fabric, or another project I want to create.  I have thought of using some of the satin for either a small bag to carry that day, or mix with more lace to make the ring pillow.  I have a simple, but pretty guest book that cost me (I am not lying about this... I swear!) NINETY EIGHT CENTS about a year ago when The Man and I began talking about getting married.  It was in good shape, but no one wanted it for some reason!  As plain as it is, I can really personalize it with the things I like!

Well, as I begin I'm also continuing to make paper flowers, will be making paper pinwheels, and other nifty things with found objects, paper crafting and scrap booking embellishments, and peacock feathers.  But, with all these odds and ends, AND bits and pieces for the dress on their way, I was losing track of them.  I have stamps for when I am ready to design our invitations, stamp pads, markers, and yes, crayons.  I have brads and charms and gears and cogs and sprockets.  I have crystals on order for both decorating AND putting on my wedding dress.  Where will all of it go??

I am using some of the boxes I receive my goods in (I wish Overstock.com had frequent clicker miles... haha!) to separate my stamps and ink pads and markers, another for the base petal cutouts for my paper flowers, another for crafting supplies, and I got small trinket boxes at Hobby Lobby (four of them for $3.99!) with dividers to put all my charms, doo-dads, bits, pieces, and other miscellany into.  Now, I know where all of my stuff is, and (ESPECIALLY with a move coming up in the next 2 months!!!!) I can find what I need when I need it, and put it away easily at night.

If you are going to make ANYTHING, whether it's a scrap book, decorative items for the home, or something as insane as handmade wedding decorations and favors (and a dress!) organization is key.  Now that I sound thoroughly like my mother, I am off to think up how to use these pieces of chip board I snagged from a box in the store room at work!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

A great favor idea!

I haven't come up with a pattern or a "how to" but I got a nice little gift in the mail from a writing group I belong to, the other day.  It's a postcard, about a 4" x 6" card with a congratulations on my first year anniversary with the group and a calendar attached to the other side, starting in March, with the anniversary date circled.

This got me to thinking, it would be easy to design a postcard of this nature and have the design printed on the cheap  through a website like VistaPrint, then attach my own calendar with our wedding date marked.  It may even come in handy as a "save the date" sort of reminder!

I will come up with an idea and send it along in a later posting, as well as instructions!

I am also going to share instructions for the paper flowers I started creating, soon.  I got the idea from another blog, but have added my own touches, and they are just so much fun!

Until next time!  Keep your eyes peeled for beauty in the daily things!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Welcome, and how do you do!?


[bree-kuh-lahzh, brik-uh-]
noun, plural bri·co·la·ges [bree-kuh-lah-zhiz, lahzh] , bri·co·lage.
1. a construction made of whatever materials are at hand; something created from a variety of available things.
2. (in literature) a piece created from diverse resources.
3. (in art) a piece of makeshift handiwork.
4. the use of multiple, diverse research methods.

So, what then, would be a "bricolage" wedding?  It's the plans I have for my own wedding.  I will admit up front that not everything I am using is just stuff "at hand".  But, I am saving a lot of money and starting ahead of time to get this wedding to be just the way I want it.
A bit of back ground for you.  My name is Miranda, I am 32 years old and I am from Texas.  My future husband is a WONDERFUL man from Lubbock whom I met COMPLETELY by accident in July of 2010.  Well, we THOUGHT it was an accident anyway.  We ran in to one another at the Walgreens close to where each of us work.  We hit it off and became friends and, through trials and tribulations, have decided to get married.  He has not officially proposed, but soon (I hope!).  Back in October of 2011, I was fortunate enough to go with him to Oklahoma to meet his family.  It was then that we discovered that our fathers were not only acquainted, they were good friends!  My father passed away in 2007, so hearing the stories from my future father-in-law about their antics was such a wonderful thing.  (And, this bizarre coincidence leads me to believe that, somehow or another, Daddy had a hand in our meeting!)
The two of us have a love for older things.  Machines, cars, doohickeys, gadgets, what's-its, thingies, gizmos... their beauty, their quality, and just the way they feel in the hand.  I've always been intrigued by clockwork things and other "technology" that seems to be forgotten.  This intrigue grew when I began to study the literary genre of Steampunk... it's a sci-fi genre largely based off Industrial age technology, such as steam engines, early combustion engines, tesla coils and clockwork mechanisms.  I started work on a story in November 2011 in this genre, then decided (after winning the contest I had entered) to finish the story and turn it into a book.

One day, while looking for inspiration for the book, I began to daydream about the wedding, as well, and an image popped into my head.  It was the topper for a wedding cake, and the first "bricolage" idea was born.

I have not built it yet, but have a design scribbled out in a notebook (eventually, I plan on sharing these designs).  A wooden base with a heavy gague metal wire heart in the center, peacock feather sprouting from behind the hear.  Soldered to the heart will be various cogs and sprockets and gears - small in size so as not to be overwhelming or make the topper too heavy.  Attached to the cogs will be various Austrian or Czech crystals for a bit of girlish sparkle.  Dangling from the center of the heart will be an old fashioned padlock and two skeleton keys.  On a plaque or tag on the base will be written "You hold the key to my heart as I hold the key to yours, for today, our hearts are as one."

Now, as I said, I am purchasing some of the things I need, such as the cogs, and a few of the keys, and probably the padlock too, as they are QUITE pricey and heavy.  But, I am finding wonderful companies who make AWESOME products.

My favorite, at the moment, is designer Tim Holtz.  His papers, findings and tools have been GREAT inspiration.  I'm even borrowing one of his ideas to make a card for Valentine's day for my dearest!

Another idea I borrowed from goodness-knows-where, are paper flowers.  Tim Holtz comes in handy here, as well, as I have purchased many of his papers to use.  I have decided that hundreds of paper flowers are both unique and less expensive than the "fresh" variety.  I can personalize them and have literally dozens at my disposal, and they make good favors, as well!  I imagine I will sprinkle in natural and silk flowers, but the paper flowers are quite nice. 

I will share those with you in another blog. ;)

I invite anyone who may be planning their own wedding - or other major event - to read my blog as I share my ideas.  In this economy, weddings and other parties are quite expensive, and, if you have the ability or know-how, it makes the event that much more personal to do things on our own.  Please feel free to share my blog and the ideas I post with others!  If I can help someone else get inspiration, this blog will have served its purpose!

Thank you for reading!

Miranda Pace - The Future Mrs. Strickland.