Our Biggest Wedding Present

We picked out our biggest wedding present in the week after our wedding day, and it arrived about a month after that. What was it, you ask? Well this was our living room before (clutter and all) :

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And here is what our living room looks like now:

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A new couch! And a leather couch at that! This is a gift from my very generous parents – my mum’s parents gave my mum and dad a leather couch as a wedding present, and the couch is still in good condition in my parents’ house. Leather lasts, so the stipulation was that we choose a leather couch within a certain budget. The living/kitchen/everything but bedroom area of our house is one big funnily-shaped room, so we knew we’d need a corner couch or two loveseats again. We thought the corner sectional would be the way to go. We checked out The Bay, and one of the couches that we liked there was by EQ3. I’d remembered seeing an EQ3 store down by our Ikea, so we paid a visit there to see what our other options were. It was great to see so many of the leather colours on furniture, rather than 6″ square swatches, and the Bay only carried 3 of the many lines of couches that EQ3 makes. We ended up buying an exact replica of one of the display couches, the EQ3 Solo in Raven leather:

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Mr CB, acting cool in the store.

I also really wanted to buy this ottoman that was displayed by “our” couch, but we have nowhere to put it:

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I love the one black section with the rest patterned! How awesome is that?

Buying direct from EQ3 was cheaper than the Bay, even though we could have had our registry discount applied to the purchase. Plus, the delivery time EQ3 quoted us was half the time the Bay quoted us. Sold!

Here comes the ‘lesson’ part of the post. If you know you have a large new piece of furniture set to arrive in 3-4 weeks time, start finding out who wants to take the old stuff ASAP. When we got the call that our couch was in town, it was about the time we were expecting it. We just weren’t expecting them to have a delivery driver ready to get it to us the next day! We (for some reason) expected to wait a week or two for delivery. At that point, we both posted on Facebook to see if anyone was interested in the old couches.

Mr CB had had a bite from a friend of his on Facebook, but she couldn’t get the couches before the new ones arrived, so I upended them and stuffed them in our entryway on the day the new one arrived. Mr CB’s friend wasn’t very quick about getting back to us, then wasn’t sure when she would come, blah blah blah… I got tired of waiting on her and posted the couches in the free section of Craigslist, and on Freecycle. I had a few bites on Freecycle, but most people said no once I’d sent them a picture. What up with that? One lady really wanted them, but her friend with a truck fell through so she had no way to get them out of our house. This went on for WEEKS before I thought about calling a charity to come pick them up. A lot of the ones I phoned wouldn’t pick up furniture (even if their website said they would. Grumpy Cinnamon Bun). Habitat for Humanity wanted a photo before they’d commit, so I sent one of the ones from the top of this post. They emailed me back saying ‘Sorry, we don’t do floral.’. WHAT? They’re not that bad! I felt a bit like a parent telling their child to eat their peas because there are ‘starving children in Africa!’. SOMEONE TAKE THESE COUCHES ALREADY. I know there are people in this city that must need furniture, but we had no way of connecting.

Finally, I found someone who could pick them up (Interfaith Thrift Stores)…. but it would be ten days. I was just happy to find someone who would take them off my hands, because by the time the nice Interfaith people come, they’ll have been hanging out in our entryway like this for a month:

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Only a small fire hazard… Actually the door is still pretty clear, no worse than if our entryway was walled in instead of open (one giant room, remember?), but if I want anything from the storage room (the open door you see) or our coat closet (hiding) it’s an adventure.

Do as I say, not as I do. I wish I’d gotten on the couch problem sooner, and lived for a day or two with no couches rather than a month with twice as many as fit in here.

Did you get any furniture for your wedding? Do YOU want my couches before next Saturday?

AND

& by hindsvik on Etsy.

Yes, this is an almost-3 foot high Helvetica ampersand.

Yes, I am really tempted to order it.

No, I don’t know what we’d do with it.

Yes, I still want it.

It could be cute as part of our ceremony area, right in the middle, so Cinnamon Buns is on one side, and I’m on the other? Think of the photo ops, people!

What would you do with it?

Wedding Inspiration in the Wild

I plugged my phone into my computer recently (I have an iPhone, and I’m terrible about updating it!) and transferred some photos to my computer. Way back in the day, I remember wondering why you’d want a camera in your phone. What use is that? I’ve since learned the error of thinking that way – having a camera in your phone means you’ll almost always have a camera with you! For taking pictures of wedding-inspiring things! Or other stuff I guess, but I’ve got a bit of a one-track mind right now.

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This display was up in an office building near where I was working in December. It’s our wedding colours! It  made me happy every time I walked by. I even considered asking what they were going to do with the big ball backdrops after Christmas, but I chickened out. I did take a photo of the back though too, in case you want to re-create this look.

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Grid. Wire. Christmas balls. Go.

This is the other amazing wedding-related thing I took a cell phone picture of:

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Now, if you can look past the glare, and the reflection of people in the food court above, this is a window display at Brooks Brothers. See those bookcases those fancy mannequins are standing in front of? Not real books! It’s a painted/printed backdrop! This time, I actually did have the guts to go in and inquire about the possibility of taking one of the panels off their hands when they were done with it. Wouldn’t it make the perfect backdrop for the photobooth at our book-themed wedding?!

The display person wasn’t in when we went, so I was speaking to one of the guys who sells suits (note to self: wear nicer clothes than yoga pants when going to Brooks Brothers). This guy swore up and down that the bookcases in the window were real. ‘I walk past them every day!’ Um, dude, I could tell by walking past them once that they were only 2-D. You can see the screws that attach the printed panels to the walls if you look a little closer. I was on the verge of telling him to go out to the window right now with me and look, but I figured that I needed to keep him on my side. He agreed to take our phone number and give it to their display person – he gave me a business card to write it on, and I also scrawled a note saying “re: bookcase prints in 3rd floor window”, so they’d know what I meant.

After talking with suit guy, I wasn’t too hopeful about the display lady phoning – I was sure that dude would have told her about the crazy lady who wanted to buy bookcases at Brooks Brothers. Luckily, display lady knew what I meant, and called! Sadly, BB saves all their display stuff, so I wouldn’t be able to come along and pick it out of their dumpster. She did recommend a few places that do large-format printing though – this particular display had been printed on foamcore, so it would last longer than just paper.

Have you found any good wedding inspiration ‘in the wild’?

Finds at the VV Boutique

Cinnamon Buns and I were out running errands the other day and our travels took us near a Value Village, a prolific chain of second-hand stores. It was super-easy to convince him to stop (yay!), just to see what we’d find. I was hoping for a cake stand. Well, look what we found:

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Stand and dome for $9.99, new in box! I don’t have one with a dome yet, so we decided to add it to our collection. My favourite find though, was this:

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What is that? 3 classic books? Something seems a little funny though…

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It’s some sort of box/container thing! I had to have it, how perfect is it for a booky wedding?! I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do with it though. For $5.99 though, I wasn’t passing it up. I tried putting the jar holding our 65 ribbon wands in it:

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I don’t think that is the best use for it, the ribbon wants to obscure the books. I keep thinking it’d be great for programs for the ceremony… only we aren’t sure if we’re doing programs yet. It’ll definitely get used though!

Any suggestions on what it could be?

Pillow Talk

So I am going about this all backwards, but I’ve had such fun trawling Etsy that I can’t help but share! The short story (soon to be elaborated on in more posts!) is that I want some lounge furniture at the wedding. Lounge furniture needs pillows. I want them to be fun and mis-matched! I also want to keep them after the wedding, for our couches at home! Therefore, I must show you the cutest pillows I’ve found!

These pop-Britannia pillows have been in my favourites forever:

(both from KarenHiltonDesigns on Etsy)

There is also this adorable shabby-chic  Union Jack:

(helkatdesign)

We could continue with the flag theme, and get a subtle Canadian flag from the same store:

Or we could get a not-so-subtle Canadian pillow:

(gradeehdesigns)

We could get wordy pillows, to go with our theme:

(westeggstudio)

(chunkymonkeyluv)

(cozyblue)

If I didn’t have so many other DIY projects, and that little thing called ‘a full time job’, I could needlepoint these adorable ones!

Or maybe we should use our throw pillows to send a message. A very, very important message. It applies to weddings, it applies to workplaces, it applies to homes, it applies pretty much everywhere. I think it is a worthy thing to be put on a pillow, and could be a keepsake from the wedding that would then sit on our couch. I’d smile every time I saw it:

(alexandraferguson)

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?

Mason Jar Madness

When I was still in the ‘English-rustic-country-picnic’ mode, and not yet in ‘book decor’ mode, I thought a lot about mason jars. I have a few old ones around the house that may still make it in to the wedding, but our decor focus is going to be more on the books, now that we’ve found a theme we both like. I don’t want all my mason jar Etsy finds to go to waste though, so I’m going to share them! You could do a whole canning jar-themed wedding with these guys!

Firstly, your guests need to save your date!

(from SugaredInk)

Then they’ll need invites to your wedding:

(from FeliceDesign)

(from BethCote)

(from ShopOlio)

Or you could make your own, using this rubber stamp:

(from SugarSkull7)

When the guests get to your venue, they’ll need light! Indoors:

(from LampGoods)

And outdoors:

(from TreasureAgain)

When they use the restrooms, they’ll need to wash their hands.

(from Whippoorwheel)

And wouldn’t mason jar-printed tea towels with cute tags make the perfect favours?

(from OhLittleRabbit)

(from BlossomandTwig)

Or you could buy a whole lot of mason jars, and make things yourself!

(from MattLauraJones)

I think it is so great how something as mundane as a canning jar is suddenly wedding chic. Mason jars make me think of simpler times, when everyone knew how to preserve food, and did so more for necessity than fun. Are there mason jars in your wedding? Are you decorating with another so-called ‘mundane’ object?

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