Stand and Deliver

As you might remember, we are not having cake at our wedding, we’re having pie instead! I happen to think that pies can be just as pretty as cakes with fancy icing, so I want to make sure they are displayed as best as they can be. I had decided to collect some mis-matched cake stands, and have the pies on those. There has been one picture in my inspiration folder from the very beginning that got me on to this kick:

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(from OnceWed)

We’ll have many more pies than that photo though, so we’ll need many more stands. Yay! An excuse to go antiquing! Sadly, my very favourite antique mall has shut down so I didn’t really know where else to go in town, so I put it off. I’ve managed to gather (and by I, I really mean Cinnamum) a few nice new ones that look vintage. But, for Christmas, Cinnamon Buns’ mum gave me these:

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Is either one in wedding colours? No, but that is the whole point of mis-matched, isn’t it?! Cinnamum-in-law found a weekend market/bazaar or something, one of those wonderful markets where most people are selling junk, but if you dig you can find something amazing. She found these! I gave them both a good soak in soapy water, and they came out sparkling. I love the stubby little feet on the yellow one:

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It is great to have such a low one, because I think the pie table will look best with many different levels. I’m still wondering if I can work books in there too… I’ve toyed with the idea of a pie on a stack of books, but I’d be worried about them all tipping over. Maybe glueing or screwing or tying the books together would work to make a stand?

I still want to find somewhere to go and find a cakestand myself. I get that thrill-of-the-hunt thing and it feels really good to find a gem in a crowded little shop that is mostly full of junk. That I know I get from my mum, Cinnamum. She knows her antiques, and I’ve been towed around antique stores by her for as long as my dad has towed me around used bookstores. I don’t do it very much, because the condo Cinnamon Buns and I live in is pretty full already!

Do you like antiquing? The thrill of the hunt?

Production-Lining the Ribbon Wands

Did you miss the last post about costing out the ribbon wands? It’s here!

While waiting for my ivory and teal ribbon to arrive, I spent a few evenings in front of the TV cutting the green ribbon into 18″ lengths. Once the rest of the ribbon arrived, I cut the teal into 18″ lengths. I decided to stamp a whole long length of the ivory ribbon before cutting it:

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After stamping, I cut the ivory ribbon into 2′ lengths, cut a notch in the end (making sure that the text was going the right way!) and singed the notch over a candle so it wouldn’t fray.

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I like to work this way, by getting all the bits done in chunks. Cut all the ribbon, singe all the ends, glue everything together. I find it goes much faster that way, rather than cutting lengths of 3 different ribbons, gluing those down, then cutting 5 more lengths of ribbon…. That said, I always make one (of whatever I’m doing!) fully, to understand exactly how it is going to go together, and what the best order is for all my different steps.

Now it’s time to make some wands! I used my trusty glue gun to stick everything together. My glue gun is low temperature, making it much less easy to burn yourself. But note that ‘low temp’ still doesn’t mean good to touch!

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Step 1: Attach the dowel to the straight end of the ribbon. Because I’d paid attention to the direction of the text on the ribbon when cutting the notches on the ends, I knew that if I glue the flat end without checking, all would be well.

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Step 2: I attached 3 ribbons at once! Make sure to spread the glue far down enough so you catch the end of the teal ribbon in the glue, as well as the two green ones. I also made sure to use the nozzle of the glue gun to spread the glue very thin. Glue gun glue can be very bulky, and I didn’t want too much extra bulk to roll up later.

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Step 3: Attach teal ribbon the second. Note that when using organza ribbon, if you press down on it to anchor it to the glue, glue will come through the open weave and stick to your finger! This isn’t a problem with satin or other more solid ribbons. This is why I have the low-temp gun! I also press down with the flat of my fingernail, instead of my fingertip. The combination of low-temp gun, and no nerves in the fingernail works well for me, but is not recommended.

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Step 4: Put a line of glue all the way across the ivory ribbon, on the outside edge of the last teal one, then roll it up! Give it a good press once you’ve reached the glue. Take this time to pull off the spider webby glue strands! You can see some in the picture above.

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Step 5: Give it a wave! Then repeat steps 1-4 64 more times.

Something I learned:

When I was cutting the teal ribbon, I singed both ends with a candle to stop it fraying. I only actually needed to do one end, the end that is out and waving around. The other end is encased in glue and ivory ribbon! I actually ended cutting those little singed bits off, because the organza doesn’t melt as nicely as the satin does, so the rolls would have gotten a little lumpy if I hadn’t trimmed the end off. Live and learn!

I’ve got just over 20 done so far, I imagine I’ll get the rest done in a couple more crafting sessions over the next week or two. I need to stamp some more of the ivory ribbon, that was the reason I stopped making wands, running out of that!

Glitter Ball Cookies

Happy Christmas, if that’s your bag, baby!

As I can’t send all my blog readers actual cookies for the holidays, I thought I’d do the best a blogger can do: post about cookies!

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And tell you guys how I made this Martha recipe work for me. I won’t reprint the recipe here, but here’s a link to it on Martha’s website. Go over there, look at those cookies! They have this awesome disco ball-look from all the sanding sugar. I knew I wanted to make them the moment I saw them in the magazine, so I decided to bring some in to work on the day before vacation.

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I mixed up the dough as directed. Martha says that if the dough is too sticky to work with, chill it for a bit. Mine wasn’t sticky enough to work with! It was crumbly and dry. I did a quick test in a measuring cup by adding water to a little bit of the dough. That really helped, it was much easier to roll into balls then. So I added just a tiny bit of water to the mix (note that I did a double batch, that is why the mixer is so full!).

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Then it was time for rolling in the sugar. I bought mine at Winners – it’s a great place for those random, non-perishable food items. Check regularly, and build up your arsenal of sprinkles! (It is also my secret source for cheap artisan vanilla!)

I put my sugar into two shallow bowls, as directed (I used our pasta bowls). Then a got a ball of dough and rolled it in the sugar. Not very much stuck. I tried again. Still not much more sticking. Definitely no disco ball effect. I made about 12 this very frustrating way, pressing bits of sugar into the dough bit by bit, when I decided I’d had enough. I filled a little bowl with water, and I moved my green sprinkles into a smaller, deeper bowl.

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I dunked a doughball in the water, then rolled it around in the green sprinkles. Bingo, instant green disco ball! It was the water that made the difference, but I also found it easier to work with the deeper bowl than the shallow one.

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I found the easiest thing was to use my left hand to dunk the ball and drop it in the sprinkles, then my right hand to roll it around. That meant that only one hand got coated in sugar, and most of the colouring in the sugar stayed out of the water (I took the picture of my water bowl above before I figured this trick out!). By the end, the colour had bled from the sanding sugar, because of the moisture, but it didn’t matter too much. The sanding sugar I had was a mix of coloured and plain sugar, so the bleeding just meant that the plain sugar turned red (or green), which wasn’t a problem. I also worked with one colour at a time, and rinsed my hands between colours.

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I didn’t bother sticking two together with ginger icing, like Martha says either. They’re perfectly nice to eat just as they are!

Ribbon Wand Costing

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Back when I talked about ribbon wands, I said I’d do a post about the costing for them. Well, here’s’ that post!

I started with the test ribbon wand that I liked and wanted to replicate. First step was figuring out the ‘ingredients’.

  • a stick
  • 2 feet of 7/8″ ivory satin ribbon
  • 3 feet of 1/8″ apple satin ribbon
  • 3 feet of 5/16″ teal organza ribbon

I started with the ribbon, because I figure the stick part would be easy to find.  I decided I wanted to make 65 of these puppies, so I figured out how many yards I’d need of each. Can I take this moment to say that the metric system makes so much more sense to me than 3 feet to a yard and 12 inches to a foot? I like my nice round multiples of 10 and 100. But, the ribbon was labeled in inches/yards so I went with that. Metric rant over, thank you. :)

I’ll need 65 yards each of apple green and teal, and 44 yards of ivory.

Obviously, I’d bought some ribbon already, so I pulled out my Michaels receipts to see how much it would cost to just buy the ribbon there.

  • Ivory: I had this in my ribbon stash from forever ago, so no receipt. Oops!
  • Apple Green: $0.59 per roll, each roll has 10 yards. I’d need 7 rolls (’cause you can’t buy a half roll!)  so total cost = $4.19. Not bad!
  • Teal: $2.99 per roll, each roll has 3 yards. I’d need 22 rolls, so total cost = $65.78 WHAT?!

My cost was already up to $70 and that doesn’t include the widest ribbon and the sticks? Uh oh! So then, I turned to my trusty friend, the interwebs. I decided that there must be somewhere online that I could buy ribbon way cheaper. I started searching, and ran into a roadblock: I found lots of places selling cheap ribbon, but almost nowhere that was selling all the kinds I wanted in the right colours. I didn’t want to have to pay shipping twice, so I knew I’d have to find somewhere that sold it all. The one (one!) place I found everything I wanted was crafta.com.

  • Ivory: $6.39 for 100 yards
  • Teal: $1.59 for 25 yards = $4.77 for 75 yards
  • Apple: $3.19 for 100 yards
  • Total ribbon cost = $14.35 + shipping

I was a little spooked by the colour of their ‘Apple Guava’ satin ribbon though. On my monitor, it looked like it could be the right colour, or it could be neon badness. It bothered me enough that I decided to buy that ribbon at Michaels, as the difference would only be about $1, or negligible if I waited for a sale.

I happily put 4 rolls of the teal (why not get extra, at that price?) and one roll of ivory in my cart, and went to check out. That is when I found out about the $50 minimum order and $5 handling fee for international orders. Argh! I checked through the website, added some apple green grosgrain ribbon to my cart. Added back the thin green ribbon I was going to buy at Michaels. Still nowhere near $50. I sent them an email, asking if they could make an exception. I never heard back.

I really wanted these particular ribbons, and my search was turning up fruitless elsewhere. I complained in a forum, and someone contacted me and said that if I wanted, I could get the order shipped to her house in Texas, and she could ship it to me! I waited another day to see if I heard back from Crafta, and when I didn’t, I went ahead and ordered, putting the shipping address as my new online friend’s house. :)

Here is how the ribbon costs worked out:

  • Ivory & teal: $12.75
  • Shipping from Crafta to Texas: $7.25
  • Shipping from Texas to me: $9
  • Green from Michaels: $4.40 (including tax)
  • Ribbon Total: $33.40

The sticks for the test ones were pre-cut lengths of dowel sold in packages of 20 from Michaels. (They were in the same aisle as the felt and kiddie stuff.) I figured that pre-cut, pre-sanded must be the expensive way to buy them, so I checked out the prices at Home Depot, and in the woodwork section of Michaels, where they sell longer lengths. It turned out that everything so close in price that it made sense to buy the pre-packaged stuff and not worry about cutting and sanding! The dowels are 3/16″ round, and 12″ long.

I waited for a sale and ended up getting 4 packages (80 dowels) for $13.50, bringing the total cost of the project to $46.90.

Cheaper than some bubble options I’ve seen / not as cheap as rice, but worth it for the lack of clean-up!

I suppose that cost doesn’t include glue gun and glue sticks, but I’ve had my glue gun since I was 10, and a ginormous package of glue sticks for it too, so I regard those as free. Same goes for the inkpad and stamp for the ivory ribbon. Cinnamon Buns and I are also both happy with the sticks being unfinished wood, so no paint or varnish costs either.

Do you have a favourite, and cheap, online craft supply store? Please share!

Stamps Martha Would Be Proud Of

I’m  just going to take a quick detour into crafty-land to talk about a rubber stamp company whose products I drool over. It’s still wedding related, because I’ve already used 2 different stamp sets in wedding crafts, and plan on using more! (all photos in this post are from Papertrey Ink, unless otherwise noted)

The company in question: Papertrey Ink. They put so much thought into everything they design! For starters, there’s their Perfect Match system. They sell cardstock, ribbon, ink, buttons, and more in these colours. Any colour-conscious bride’s dream, correct?

(there are a few more colours not shown in this graphic from their website)

They also do dies, and their dies cut more than paper! They can also cut felt, cardstock, magnetic sheets, and all sorts. They have some general ones (I love the look of the scalloped border dies) but (and here is the clever part!) they also have dies to match their stamps!

So, say you want to use their Friendship Jar stamp set for your Mason Jar Themed wedding (I’m going to have to throw a mason jar party someday!). You get your stamps:

And instead of cutting them out painstakingly, you get your dies:

And bam! Perfectly cut-out everything! I think they recommend cutting first, then stamping, as the dies have a solid back you can’t see through.

My most recent favourite though, is their banner-builder set. Found some cute paper? Want to make it into bunting, but that sounds like too much work with scissors?

Dies + Paper + Glue =

(photo and amazing work by Betsy Veldman)

Bunting!

There is also this banner shape:

(photo and work by Dawn McVey)

There are also card-sized versions of these dies, if you want mini bunting. And they sell the border dies that have been used along the tops of the banners in the photos above.

Sorry if this has come off sounding like an infomercial, but I wanted to make sure that any crafty, or crafty-curious brides out there knew about this company. They make it so easy to put this stuff together! Each bunting shape has two dies, one a little larger than the other, so you can get a perfect matted look!

I do have one beef, and that is the cost of shipping to Canada. I gush and drool over their products, but actually don’t own too many because of shipping. I save up a list of stuff, and when I have a list of stuff totaling over $100 that I can’t live without, I’ll order. I don’t do it very often, because $100 is a lot to spend at once on stamps. But sometimes, they’re too great not to order. And you lucky Americans get free shipping on orders over $60! I don’t have the mason jar or the banner set yet, but someday I’ll order them.

So, awesomeness? Or too matchy-matchy for you?

Cinnamon Bun Self-Improvement – The Skin

After getting engaged, there were a few things about myself that I realised I didn’t want immortalized in wedding photos. Now, I’m not talking about getting a nose job or liposuction, just little things that I’d been meaning to change anyway, but never got around to. One of the first ones was my forehead.

Now, we all had zits in high school, didn’t we? (Please tell me we did.) All the hormones and crap food we ate on the sly are not a good thing for one’s skin. I never had actual acne, but my forehead was generally red. The thing was, it never went away. I’m coming up on 10 years out of high school, and while most of my face was fine, my forehead was generally red and angry, even if I just brushed it accidentally while getting dressed. And while there weren’t actual zits, there was this…. texture? Red, bumpy, and angry were how I described it. I didn’t particularly think about it too often any more, I had just come to accept that some people have pale skin, some have dark, some have smooth, and I had pale, bumpy skin. It always seemed oily to me, so I bought oily skin cleansers, and I didn’t moisturize often at all because why would I put more shiny on something that’s already shiny?

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Not too red in this photo, for once, but certainly not smooth!

Cinnamum encouraged me every now and then to see a dermatologist, because ‘It’s not normal!’. I replied (in my inside voice) that I am perfectly happy the way I am thank you, and Cinnamon Buns obviously doesn’t think it’s that bad!

Then we got engaged, and I thought about wedding photos, and thought “Oh noes! I do NOT want angry forehead in the photos!” I rarely wear makeup, because most just makes me redder, but I  started using Bare Minerals on fancy occasions a year or two ago. It actually improved the look of my skin, not only in the make-up way, but I noticed that if I wore it regularly, I was less red. Sadly, I’m too lazy to get up early enough to put makeup on most days. Once the novelty wore off, I stopped, and the red came back. I thought it was the minerals soaking up oil.

I didn’t make an appointment with a dermatologist; I decided to give a change in skincare products one more try and if that didn’t work I’d seek a doctor’s advice. I was a little skeptical that it could be fixed, because people had told me that it was everything from acne to rosacea, but I thought I’d give it the old college try again.

I went in to a new make-up/beauty store that just went in downtown called Murale. I figured that drugstore/grocery store bands hadn’t helped (neither did mail-order: Proactiv, I’m looking at you!) so I’d go somewhere fancy. It turns out that Murale is part of Shoppers Drug Mart, but very very focused. The lady who helped me wasn’t just a regular joe like me who walked in looking for an $8/hour retail job. She was a pharmacist! She had training! She inspected the angry-face, and asked about  my current routine. She then suggested me a cleanser and a moisturizer, and said to use both of them twice a day. I told her that my skin was oily. She said no, she thought it was dry. Huh?

Her diagnosis was that that skin was dry, making it produce too much oil, which was what created the bumps. If I moisturized with what she recommended (a very light moisturizer) it would return my skin to a balance, so it would no longer be in a cycle of ‘too dry — red and angry — make too much oil — bumps — stop the oil — too dry again’. Hmm. So I spent my money, went home, and washed and moisturized my face.

It wasn’t instant, but it worked! I am smoooooth! I thought I’d had oily skin since I was 12 (well, between 12 – 17 it probably actually was. Hormones.) but apparently it was just dry! I thought dry meant flaky – I was wrong.

These are my two miracle products:

Eau Thermal Avene:

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(source)

Bioderma Hydrabio Light:

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(source)

I also think that the reason the Bare Minerals did more than just hide redness was not because the powder was soaking up oil: it was the make-up primer acting as a moisturizer!

Now, I’m religious about the routine, and I wonder why no one figured it out in the years before? When you’re 12 – 17, it’s easy for people to paint you with the puberty/acne/hormones/you’ll go out of it-brush. No one knew what my saviour at Murale knew! These are some of the more expensive facial products I’ve bought, but the bottle of cleanser lasted me until recently (4 months), and I haven’t run out of moisturizer yet! I have a spare standing by though, so I won’t have to go without.

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(Photo by our photographers, Fotograffika) No airbrush and very little make-up! No angry red face! Yay!

This wasn’t the only thing an impending wedding kick-started me on – more on that another time!

Did your engagement spark any solutions to issues like this that you’d been ignoring/living with?

Invites for a Bookish Wedding

When we left off, Cinnamum had suggested going the book-y route for invitations she sent me a few links, and a few ideas. One of the ideas was:

How about a photo of the two of you on the front. as though it’s a best selling novel? A catchy title. Quotes on the back, like :
…..boy meets girl story against the backdrop of the Rockies. Would their romance be just a summer of love, or would she go to the ends of the earth to be with her man?
…..In the dark and dangerous world of backstage at the theatre, their love blossomed. Could it survive a Calgary winter?

While I love how enthusiastic Cinnamum is getting about this… I don’t want that style of invite. I found it hard explaining why I didn’t like that idea, when I still wanted a book-related invite. I think the best I could come up with on the phone was “it’s too theme-y”. This is where I turn into Goldilocks – “Too theme-y!”, “Too standard”, and the elusive “Just right!”. So, thus started the search!

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(source and tonnes more photos from a DIY bride!)

(Etsy store Whimsique will make this style for you, if you can’t stomach hollowing out a book)

These invites are stunning, gorgeous, unforgettable, and we have way too much family overseas to mail actual books as invites. Please go look at that first link though, to see the amazingness.

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(source)

Mum suggested these invites, modeled after the old Penguin paperbacks. This has special meaning for me as Penguins have always been a big part of my life: dad collects them. Penguin numbered their books when they started publishing, and dad’s goal is to get first editions of the numbers 1-2000. I have so many childhood memories of poking through used bookstores, looking for those covers, and dad with the list in his Filofax. Sadly, that invite doesn’t seem to be produced any more, plus the orange covers are for fiction. I’m pretty sure romance was magenta, and I know dark green was mystery, blue was biography… my geekiness is showing again, isn’t it?

There’s a box of Penguin postcards available, that I could do something with, but I don’t know if I could handle each invite being different. I’d agonize over which one to send to who! Although they might make fun thank you cards…

There’s always the looks-like-a-beautiful-yet-generic-book invitation (not a romance novel with us on the cover!):

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(source)

(Story Book invite from LetterBoxInk – the same people who did the theatre ticket invite we liked!)

I think these work well for a destination wedding, or a more complicated event that needs various directions and stuff to fill up 10 pages. When your ceremony and reception are in one place, there’s way less info that needs to be distributed. Plus, we have a wedding website for that extra stuff!

There’s the whole library thing:

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(source and more photos)

If pressed, I would call our decor more ‘quirky used bookstore’ than ‘library’. I have to confess…. I buy the books I want to read. I don’t necessarily buy them new, but I haven’t renewed my library card in at least 2 years. I felt a little crazy the first time I actually said out loud ‘No, we’re going not so much for library, and more for books in general’. But if you want library…. here’s some free templates!

I felt like I’d reached the bottom of the barrel – nothing more was showing up when I searched for ‘book invites’ or ‘literary invites’ or any such thing. Then I decided to go check out this Save-the-Date I’d favourited on Etsy a while back:

(ellothere’s Etsy shop)

They’d added a new item to their shop! A coordinating invite!

(Etsy Listing)

NOW we’re getting somewhere! This doesn’t have room for 3 sets of parent names, and there’s no clue as to what an RSVP card or other insert would look like, but I could work with this!

The same day I found that, I found this invite that was also new to the interwebs:

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(source)

These two last ones really got me going, and got me super-enthusiastic about book invites again. I had been thinking of just going with the ticket ones at this point, just because I couldn’t find anything else, and I couldn’t put into words what the perfect bookish invite would look like. But I think some combination of these last two could be it. The last two inspired me to do some rough sketches of what a larger bookcase invite could look like. So far I keep coming back to one of those delightfully messy bookshelves with some books upright, some piled, a couple silhouettes, some vases… I’m not certain whether I prefer perspective, like the book pile invite, or 2-D, like the bookshelf invite above.

I’ve shown my scribbles to Mr. Cinnamon Buns, and he thinks it is a good idea to explore. I think he was a little taken aback when I brought up new invite designs, but he’s drawn me a few bookcases and examples too, so I think he’s running with it. We definitely hadn’t planned on getting our invites custom-designed, but neither of us has the skills to put something like this together. I could manage our simple Save-the-Date, but I couldn’t actually create something like this from scratch. I know I said we weren’t going to DIY the invites… but it’s a bride’s prerogative to change her mind, right?

We haven’t followed up any custom-design leads, and we haven’t yet said good bye to the ticket invites, but I think we’re in a good place idea-wise.

Did you get an invite custom-designed for you? How was that process?

The Great Invitation Debate

I’m going to let you in on a little (or large) secret, hive. We’re still up in the air about our invitations. I talked here about not DIY-ing them, and probably going with something that is printed for us, rather than us printing, but we haven’t gotten much farther than that. Or rather we did, but I started second guessing. But, let’s start at the beginning…

Cinnamon Buns and I sat down one night and went through the invitation section on Etsy. Now I bet we didn’t see all of it, but we browsed a good portion of it, and I’d been favouriting stuff left, right, and centre. When we sat down that night, we decided that we should order some samples, so we narrowed it down to our mutual favourites. We both had to like the design, or we wouldn’t bother ordering it. We ended up both liking:

Formal Vintage Ticket by LetterBoxInk

Apple Swirls by RuffHouseArt

Vintage Style by DesignAndInk

iHeart You by LittleSparkCreations

So, these decisions made, we decided to order. We ordered the Vintage Ticket as-is, we ordered the Apple Swirl in the style of this listing with the grommets, and we ordered the Vintage Style. We did not end up ordering any of the iHeart You invite, because of the atrocious shipping they charge for one sample: $1 if you’re in the US, $13 if you’re not? In case you didn’t know, us foreigners can access the USPS website too. We can use the shipping estimator, so we know when you’re ripping us off. Sending mail to another country isn’t that complicated! I do it all the time! So, even though we loved it, we let it go.

They arrived, and the two of us had a sit-down to go over them and talk about what we thought. Then we went out for breakfast with Cinnamum-in-Law and talked about them (she liked the tickets best), then I mailed them to Cinnamum with notes of our likes and dislikes attached.

The Vintage Style was pretty, and used nice paper, but we felt a little underwhelmed for some reason. I think we like quirkier things than that. I liked the Apple Swirls one, I loved the booklet style, and the perforated RSVP card, but we both agreed that apples really have nothing to do with us or our wedding. We both really, really liked the Vintage Ticket, because it was a bit of a tie-in to our jobs. We do love our jobs, and theatre is what brought us together, so it seemed appropriate. I think at this point, Cinnamon Buns stopped thinking about invites, thinking we’d chosen the tickets. While I loved the tickets, I kept trying to find ways to tie in our book theme to our invites. I even came up with a few sketches, that could possibly be used instead of the apples!

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When the parcel arrived at Cinnamum’s, she sent me a few comments by email. Her main problem with most of them was: the invitations were trying to cram too much info, in too many styles of font, in too many colours of ink, on to a small card (looking at you, Vintage Style). She liked the idea of a pocketfold or grommet to hold everything together, and both parents’ full names inviting people. This means we need extra space, as Cinnamon Buns has two sets of parents.

Where I did agree with Cinnamum was when she said “The theme of your wedding is reading and books. I think that needs to be reflected right at the start with the invite.” Although I do sometimes hesitate to use the word ‘theme’. I prefer ‘bookish accents’. If it’s a book theme, shouldn’t I be wearing a dress made of books? Sometimes I say our wedding theme is ‘Stuff We Like”.

I continued looking for book-invite inspiration, and Cinnamon Buns continued thinking we’d made a decision. Next up: all the invites a bookish bride could want! Mostly.

The ticket invites are certainly “us”, but I feel like we could find something more cohesive with our wedding ideas. Do/did your invites tie in precisely with the wedding, or just generally with you as a couple? Would you find theatre ticket invites odd for a wedding that is not theatre-themed?

Crafting to Christmas Carols

Once our Save-the-Dates were done, it was time to package them up. We’d decided to send them out with our Christmas cards. It saves a little bit of postage, and it’s a little like a Christmas present! Is it too self-centered to think that other people might view an invite to our wedding as a present? I, for some crazy reason, decided to make the Christmas cards. Here is what they ended up looking like:

DSC05813Argyle makes us both happy, and I was doubly happy that I got to use my favourite apple green in the cards too. To start, I put on some holiday music (I’m a geek for it. Especially BTO’s Taking Care of Christmas. They spoofed their own song!)

I used blank white cards from Michaels – the kind that aren’t even folded yet (but they do have a crease). I just wanted the pattern on the front, so I taped two pieces of paper together to make a mask that would cover up the back, and prevent me from stamping on to my craft mat. The craft mat could take it, but I was going to be doing so many, I didn’t want that ink to smudge onto the clean cards if I wasn’t careful.

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I used the scrap paper that I’d used to test colours and how to line up these stamps.

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Here’s my little set-up with a blank card inserted under the paper on the left. If you’re wondering why I didn’t fold them, thus hiding the back from the evil inky stamp, I tried that, and it stamped funny around the fold because it was a teeny bit thicker.

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The stamps I used were the A Little Argyle set from PaperTrey Ink. I could go on and on about the awesomeness of PTI, so I might save that for another post. My perfect green was ColorBox’s Moss Green pigment ink. I inked up the larger of the two argyle strips with that.

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Then I stamped it on the card. I ignored the patchyness of the ink for now. Because of the size of card I had, I had to do 4 passes with the stamp. In the photo above, the diamonds don’t go all the way to the right-hand edge of the card – it just needs two more diamonds in each row! And I wanted them 4 diamonds high.

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Now that I had all my diamonds in place, it was time to address the ones that were patchy. I wasn’t going for perfection, as they are handmade, but I wanted a bit more coverage from the colour in all the diamonds. That’s where the single diamond that PTI includes in the set comes in:

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Ink that baby up, then just line it up over a patchy diamond and stamp away! I love clear stamps because it makes this so easy. Imagine trying to do this with a wood-handled rubber stamp? Practically impossible!

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I didn’t re-ink the single diamond after every single stamp, as I didn’t want it to be too obvious that I’d gone over some diamonds.

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The red lines were faster, because I had a regular-sized red inkpad (not a tiny cats’ eye like the green one!), and I didn’t have to go back with the single stitched diamond stamp. Large expanses of stamp are harder to ink evenly than a thin design like the stitches.

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Then came the sentiment (a Hero Arts stamp), in the same red as the stitches (Colorbox Cranberry).

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Then I decided to have fun with the envelopes. This single diamond is bigger than the diamonds on the cards, I love the oversize look of it!

I had meant to get us a pretty address stamp, maybe even a calligraphy one, but Christmas snuck up on me, so I ran our envelopes through our printer to get our return address on them. I think I’ll still order the address stamp, for thank you notes, and invites and such.

Each envelope got stuffed with a holiday card, a save the date, and our Christmas letter. Some years I write our news in the cards, but we’re sending out more than normal because we’re combining them with save the dates, so I was in full support of Cinnamon Buns writing the Christmas letter.

I got in to stamping in a big way last year, because I decided to make holiday cards that year too. Now my stamp collection is threatening to take over the office!

Do you make your holiday cards?

A sincere apology to all librarians!

Bunting. All the ‘cool’ weddings have it nowadays. For a time, I wanted it too. Cinnamon Buns wasn’t too in to the whole bunting idea, so I let it go, knowing I could come up with something else to use. You see, we’ve got all this great space in our venue for swagging bunting something along the edge of the balcony:

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We’ve got about 80 feet of balcony to decorate (oh my). Tacks, etc are not allowed, but I’ve got a cunning plan for string and tying off to weights on the other side of the balcony – no one will be up there except maybe the photographers.

Bunting is out – books are in. What to do? The obvious thing is something made out of pages of books. Hearts, inspired by Bookity, we want in the reception area. I was now on the hunt for fun things to do with paper! Then, I found this tutorial for a felt ornament from Betz White. I immediately tried to do the same thing with paper:

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I cut this one from an old magazine I had lying around from previous (non-wedding-related) craft projects. It looked great, and Cinnamon Buns thought it was cool, but Betz White’s directions involved a lot of measuring and drawing. I was pretty sure the same thing could be accomplished with some folding and cutting, so I found this tutorial. Yup – fold, fold, snip snip snip and voila! Cool-shaped wiggly paper things! It has the added bonus of being able to be done in stages – first, cut all the squares from a big theatre reference book I bought for $1 from the library. Next, fold them all. Mark the cutting lines next. Then, attack with scissors! I imagine that I will store the cut-up squares flat until closer to the wedding, and maybe have a gluing and stringing party some time in May.

I also found this tutorial (and picture):

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I’m thinking of stringing a little ball between each wiggly shape, with a few inches of string in between each thing. I already have a 2″ circle punch that will make this job much easier. I might not make the balls as full, either. The ones pictured above have 7 circles folded in half and glued to each other, I think I might just do 4. We will be using 6″ squares for the wiggly shapes (the one in my photos is 5.5″, that’s as big as my magazine was!).

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My plan is bakers twine or embroidery floss for stringing. I’ve been stocking up on glue dots when they were on sale, which will make sticking the wiggly shape together much easier. I hope it will look neat and 3D strung along the balcony there. As there’s about 80 feet of balcony, I’m guessing we’ll need about twice that in garland, to get nice full swags.

This will be a very easy project to get other people involved in, there’s a few different steps, but none of them take much thought. Did you have crafting parties leading up to your wedding?

Speccy Spice

I have worn glasses since I was about 8. And I need them all the time, or else I walk into walls or people or traffic. At 13, I convinced my parents to get me contact lenses – it made sports at school much easier (when your glasses steam up in your goalie helmet on the field hockey field, you don’t have time to wipe them!), and I felt a little more cool. Between the ages of 13 and around 18, I wore my contacts constantly. I tried all the different types, including a crazy type that you could actually leave in your eyes overnight for up to a month. As I got older though, I felt my eyes getting drier and drier, until I had to give them up. It was also at that point that I learned to embrace my specs as part of me. I started getting interesting frames to make a statement. These were the first frames I really loved:

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They were BCBG, fake tortiseshell, with sky blue on the inside! They were definitely too small for my face, and sat wrong. Still, I wore them all the way through university and loved them. Soon after meeting Cinnamon Buns though, I decided to go for a new pair.

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(That’s my “cold disgusts me” face.) I love these wire frames because they were a little different with the way the earpieces flowed into the top of the frames. I loved these so much that when I finally had to get a new pair of glasses because of my prescription, I almost asked for new lenses in those frames. I ended up not doing that, firstly for some change, and secondly because they’d have to take the glasses away from me to put new lenses in, and then I’d be immobilized. I ended up with these purple Karl Lagerfeld glasses (I don’t buy big designer clothes, so I’ve always figured I might as well splurge on designer glasses, because they’re always on my face! It’s why I only buy new ones every 4 years or so.)

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(photo above by Fotograffika, the top 3 photos were personal ones)

These current glasses are thicker and bigger than anything I’ve had in a while. I like them, and I’ve been wearing them every day since I got them, but I’m unsure about wearing them at the wedding.

Now there is no question about it, I will be wearing glasses at the wedding. Contacts are no longer an option, especially as I had my eyes-too-dry problem before I moved to a place with almost no humidity. And anyway, I’m a speccy girl! I wear glasses! That’s me! I just think that the black wire frames might be a bit more elegant, less obtrusive, and slightly less ‘trendy’. I feel that I have a timeless wedding gown, I don’t want to look back at the pictures and my glasses and say ‘That is so…. 10s? Teens? Is that what we call that decade?”.

All glasses tend to slide down my nose, so I’ll have to be vigilant about pushing them up so they don’t cut my eyes in half in photos. I;m confident about pulling off glasses and a birdcage veil, because I keep looking at this gorgeous photo:

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(source)

Part of me wonders if going back to my old glasses would be odd for the wedding. The purple glasses are my current ‘look’, after all. Everyone who is invited will have seen me in exclusively those glasses for the year leading up to the wedding (well, the local people, anyway!). But I still lean back toward the black frames… I’d need new lenses with my current prescription, but at least I won’t have to buy all new frames for the wedding.

Which frames would you choose? Are you a speccy bride?

Felt Butterflies

How cute would these rings be for when we take photos with the bridal party?

Both photos from Mixko’s Etsy shop.

They’re just the colour of Cinnamon Buns’ shirt, and what I want the bridesmaid dresses to be! Us ladies could do some silly photos with butterflies on our fingers! They could be all the same, or I could get the Monarch butterfly, and get the smaller ones for the girls… The girls might even be able to tuck them in to their bouquets for the ceremony (I wouldn’t make them wear them for that part. Unless they wanted to I guess!). And at only $7, they could be squeezed into the budget somewhere. That looks like much nicer felt than the stuff they sell at Michaels.

Butterflies have nothing to do with our theme or our wedding at all, I just love these rings! Do you have anything random like that that you want to work in?

Round Round, Right Round

Here we are, as promised! We picked: the heart Save-the-Date!

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It’s more vibrant, and you can see more of our faces.

We picked up our 100 5×7 cards from our printer less than 24 hours after we dropped off the file. It came to $71 for the 100 cards, $0.71 each. No design fee, because that part was a DIY. Why did we get 100 when we’re having a 65 person wedding? I wanted spare to experiment with, and it’s always good to get more. What if you realise you’ve left Auntie Muriel off the guest list, or you’ve gotten closer to your new co-workers? But first and foremost, this was about the experimenting. I pulled out one of my more recent crafty purchases, the Crop-a-dile Corner Chomper.

It’s big, it’s beefy, and it rounds corners with two different radii. I actually bought this guy (with a coupon) to replace another corner rounder I had. The other one I have is this orange Fiskars one. It’s very small, not nearly as beefy, and I was concerned that wedding crafts might prove too much for it (even though I wasn’t sure what I’d be rounding at the time I replaced it!). It also does the same two sizes of corners.

I went to town, and rounded the corners of a couple cards with the Corner Chomper, then showed them to Cinnamon Buns.

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He said that while he liked the rounded corners (especially the 1/2″ radius) better than the normal ones, he wasn’t crazy about how the Corner Chomper chomped. The corners didn’t round nicely into the straight sides of the cards. Confused? Here’s a close-up of the offending part:

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I had noticed it, but didn’t think he would! I had had that problem with my little Fiskars punch too, but I was generally trying to round the corners of 1″ squares before, so I thought I’d give it a go on these big cards.

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The little guy triumphs!

Cinnamon Buns and I chatted about whether or not it was silly, what it added, and whether we should put the time into rounding the corners of the Save-the Dates. The answers were: not silly, because we like it, it makes them different than your average postcards and it mimics the heart, and yes, we should put the time into it. I actually took a bunch in to work, with the little orange rounder, and rounded away in the greenroom while waiting for the show to start. (Lest you think I’m being a bad employee, there’s always half an hour of ‘hurry-up-and-wait’ after the audience has been let in to the theatre, but before the show starts. Actors are getting in to costume, I hang around nearby in case anyone has lost their socks or pops a button, but normally I read trashy magazines for half an hour.) I got half done then, and then did the other half the next morning in front of the TV. I’d say they took me an hour, tops, for all of them. Not too much of a time commitment for a cute little detail!

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And the little orange corner rounder that I thought was going to be too weak? It did totally fine on all 400 corners it rounded. I’m hoping the alignment issue with the Corner Chomper is something that will be resolved once I get to know it and use it more – in short, I hope it was user error and not the tool itself, because I really wanted to like it.

Did the underdog tool surprise you in any of your wedding DIY? Do you think we’re crazy for even spending an hour rounding corners?

Too Many Save-the-Dates!

Now that we’ve got all our engagement photos back, it’s crunch time for our Save-the-Dates. We’d asked for a high-res version of one of our sneak peek photos from Fotograffika so we could get a head start, but we both put off really doing anything about it until the disc of everything came in. We spent a night browsing Etsy together, and finding photo Save-the-Dates that we both liked. The average price for someone to design it for you seemed to be about $15, which is really just a drop in the bucket of wedding spending. But…. all of the designs we liked were so simple, we decided to try to do it at home.

I dusted off my mad photoshop skillz (ha!), and got to work. I’ve had no training, I just learned by myself out of a desire to make funny pictures and icons for my very blogging days (I had a livejournal in 2002!) :

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Now, it’s been years since I made all those. Would I remember how Photoshop worked? Cinnamon Buns and I went to town on the one high-res photo we had:

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(the fonts are Action Jackson and American Typewriter) Please note that that isn’t our actual wedding website address. :)

Not bad, but we decided to wait for the disk of all the photos, to see if there was anything better. It was also a lot of trial and error to get to this place, because I could barely remember what button does what in Photoshop.

Then the disk arrived with all our photos – I’ve already shown you a good sampling of the photos, so let’s just get in to our Save-the-Date options, shall we?

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(this font is Stereofidelic – I must like it, I used it in the graphic above that was made years and years before!)

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This one I made based off of a joking comment Cinnamon Buns made one day before heading off to work. Don’t give me silly ideas, I will run with them! This photo was perfect for speech bubbles, but I feel like there’s some sort of manic expression on my face!

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This one I loved, because of the bookshelves in the background. I thought it was a very ‘us’ photo, and the books tie it in to our wedding “theme”. I don’t believe that Save-the-Dates have to match everything – I think they’re a really fun way to do something a little different than the rest of your wedding. But, this seemed too perfect not to use!

Heart-BLOGSAFE With each one I made, the process got easier, and I remembered tips and tricks, and I was enjoying myself again! This heart one made me really happy, and I liked that I worked our wedding colours into the save-the-date without it getting in to the too matchy-matchy realm. No books in this one, just our smiling faces.

Now, as I said in the beginning, we were in a time crunch when I making these. Because we decided to include them with our Christmas cards, there’s a very real deadline as to when we had to pick one and take it to the printer. We had been planning on using a local printer, rather than somewhere online – luckily there are two printers within walking distance of our house who could easily do this for us in 24 hours. Cinnamon Buns and I decided that to choose, we’d each pick our top 2 – expecting that that would narrow it down to one we both loved (this strategy worked with photographers!). Turns out, we really are on the same wavelength! We both like the bookshelf one and the heart one equally. Uh oh!

In the interest of full disclosure, we have already had these printed, and most are sent (see above re: time crunch). But, had I planned better, and had time to ask you, hive, which save-the-date would you have chosen for us? Don’t worry, I’ll reveal them in their full glory soon!

A Cinnamon Bun Photoshoot Part 2: Home

We spent about 45 minutes at the ruins, the we hopped in our cars and drove to our home. I’d thought about doing a shoot in our kitchen, with brownies or muffins or something, but in the end I decided that our kitchen is just too terracotta and I didn’t want that immortalized. ;) Cinnamon Buns also wanted to get photos of us in front of our bookcases, cuddling on the couch, drinking tea, playing Wii… all the things we do normally when we’re at home together. Once again, all photos in the post are by Fotograffika.

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We both changed into some of our favourite comfy clothes.

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Snuggled.

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Cuddled.

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Canoodled.

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Goofed off. :)

(sidenote: I love how our bookcases look in black and white!)

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Drank tea from our matching mugs (his is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, mine is Dame Agatha Christie)

Wii tickle fight!

Then a round of Mario Kart, complete with ticklefight when we were done! (Mosaic by me, with photos by Fotograffika)

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Disapproving fish is disapproving!

I am so happy we did some of our engagement shoot at home, and amazed that Vanson got such great pictures. I always think of our house as a little dim – we face north, and we’re a few feet below grade – but with the help of a great day and a great photographer, it almost looks like a magazine house! Oh, and the tremendous amount of cleaning both of us put in in the days leading up to the shoot. :)

Would you consider doing engagement photos at your home?

A Cinnamon Bun Photoshoot Part 1: The Ruins

Well hive, I showed you the sneak peeks of our engagement photos that our photographers gave us a little while ago. Yesterday we picked up the entire DVD of images! I was amazed, we got 150+ images out of about an hour of shooting! We’ve booked Fotograffika for our wedding with two shooters, and there was an engagement session (with one photographer) included in the package. I talked a little about our choices for locations – we decided on the ruins, and then our house. To keep these posts a reasonable length, I’ve split up the locations into their own posts. No promises on length though, I wish I could share all 153 photos!

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We eased into it by taking some photos by the side of this rustic red building that’s right beside the ruins.

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I found out what they’re ruins of! There was a hospital built there in 1894, and demolished in 1973. They were sneaky with the ruins though – they demolished the whole thing, did the landscaping, then  put some hospital bits back! That’s cheating in my book!

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It was a gorgeous sunny day – but much too cold to be wearing a short-sleeved dress and leaning against stone walls! Whenever I got too cold, I just put my coat back on, so we’ve coat and non-coat photos. I was happy for my tights, and I was also wearing a thin camisole and a half slip under the dress. We were lucky – days before it had been snowing!

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The photoshoot was pretty easy in that we’re not a couple that shies away from PDA. We kiss on street corners when we’re waiting for the light to change, we give each other little kisses in the grocery store, we kiss if we see each other in the hallway at work, we always hold hands when we’re walking together… we’re probably some people’s pet peeve! But, it meant we weren’t awkward kissing for the camera. :)

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We were there at a good time of day  – lots of lovely morning sun in the east (you can see some frost on the grass in the bottom right corner of that photo!).

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I didn’t think I was that good at acting warm!

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Here’s one with our coats on. At least Cinnamon Buns was wearing long sleeves to begin with, lucky bun!

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I love this peekaboo shot around the tree!

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I did my makeup myself, because I decided to get my hair done. I went to the MAC counter a few days before and got this great lip stuff: MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolour (colour: For Keeps). It’s got two parts, one is the colour, one is the clear gloss for on top. The colour does not budge at all, and the gloss is nice and shiny (I prefer shine to matte – I only own lipgloss, no lipsticks!). For the rest of my makeup, I used Bare Escentuals. Some people say not to use mineral makeup for photos because it reflects funny, but I haven’t noticed a problem. It’s one of the few makeups that doesn’t make my face itchy, so I’m sticking with it!

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Doesn’t it look like summer in this photo? I’m so happy the photos didn’t turn out too wintery, and my short-sleeved dress didn’t look silly!

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The Cinnamon Buns in their natural state – with books in their hands. I mentioned this in the preview post, but we’re both reading The Hobbit, and my copy is my dad’s copy and the one he read to me from when I was little.

That’s as much as I could narrow it down! If you’re on the fence, totally do an engagement shoot. It was great getting to know how our photographer works, and what goes in to it all. We also confirmed that we’re going to have to do something about Cinnamon Buns’ transition glasses lenses before our wedding photos! I think he looks great in these photos, but I don’t want ‘sunglasses’ in our wedding photos. :)

Next we welcome our photographer (and now the hive!) into our home.

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