Sunday, 1 November 2015


Well... the big day has been and gone. It's all been a bit of a blur. Last Friday, the preparations were frantic, what with the dress still unfinished the day before the wedding (THANK YOU, mother-in-law!!!), the favours still not decorated, family and friends all wanting a piece of our attention and just general, last-minute panic. I admit my nerves were thin, worn and when the DVLA decided that that day was a good day to yet again annoy me with their inefficiency I broke down in tears.

By 8pm all was done and ready.

The favour idea got thrown out of the window and instead, I decorated the lot with piping icing in lots of different styles, from the abstract swirls of black with roses in the centre to cheesy phrases like 'love, love' love' and one or two that actually showed a picture of cheese with the caption 'some cheese'. Now I have approximately 80 pizza box holders here, ready to be crafted into something entirely different.

The dress has been finished with the help of my mother-in-law and it has been the first occasion I have ever heard that woman swear like a sailor. We went for the easy option in the end - loops made from ribbon, silver decorative ribbon to cover up minor faults at the back opening and a new modesty panel as the original one was nowhere to be found, and when I did, it was too short anyway.

The guest book got spiced up a bit with some card prompts I stole from the internet (questions like 'What are your 3 top tips for a happy married life' and 'What should we definitely do in our first year together?') and a variety of cheesy stickers, which, to my surprise, actually worked very well. Our guest book is about 2/3 full and most people have taken the time to fill in an entire page full of good advice and well-wishes.

It had been a lot more work than anticipated, but we got it all done in the end.

As you can see, I am now waiting for pictures. Our photographer has given us a glimpse only, with one beautifully captured picture of the cake cutting process, in which the Husband and I shared a moment of oblivious joy in the form of a broad grin on our faces.

What few pictures I have have been added here, but hopefully, over the coming days and weeks we will have a big selection.

I will keep this blog up and running, occasionally, with a few updates and possibly more ideas, should I have the opportunity to participate in other people's weddings in the future. There have been a few things I have probably missed, which I will also post when the time is right.

However, I will not give up crafting, and the wedding preparations have shown me just how much joy and, yes, relaxation I get from dabbling in various arts. I have just opened up another craft blog here, where I will post regularly on whatever it is I am making in our newly-wed household, from Christmas cards (upcoming!) to wall-art and the many cakes and bakes that make life just that little bit more interesting.

Please do visit my new blog, The Crafty Times, leave comments and enjoy.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


Sooo... the big day is nearly here, the dress is almost finished and the activity packs for the children are done.

Tine to turn to the favours. I have decided on simple ginger biscuits. The original idea was complicated and intricate, with pizza box holders acting as tiers between two biscuit bases to imitate a wedding cake.

The reality is simpler, because the biscuits wouldn't fit the bags I bought for them.

To make the biscuits, sieve 350g plain flour into a bowl, add 3 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1tsp bicarb, then mix with 180g brown sugar, some salt and about 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
In a pan, melt 125g butter and add 75g golden syrup. Leave the mixture to cool and them mix with the dry ingredients. Add 1tsp orange extract and 2-3 squeezes squeezy ginger, add 1 egg and knead with your fingers until thoroughly mixed. Add extra flour if necessary.

Form 30-40 small balls from the dough and press lightly onto grease-proof paper on a baking tray. Bake at 160 degrees C for 15-18min and then leave to cool on a rack before transferring to a tin.

I haven't made the icing yet, but it will be 250g icing sugar mixed with a little water and milk (for the colour), then use piping to add letters and other silliness. pictures to follow soon.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Wedding Post Box

Wedding post boxes can be as simple or as extravagant as you make them. Given the time left, I went for the simplest solution I could find.

That we have recently moved house means that boxes are in plentiful supply, so I simple picked one of the small ones and masking-taped the sides and top shut. The masking tape would ensure that the box stayed closed whilst at the same time providing a good surface to paint on. If I'd had more time, I would have taped the whole box as that would have given it a wooden-looking texture under the paint.

As it is, I cut a larger-than standard letter hole and applied 2 coats of the blackboard paint left over from the frames I have done a while back.

A liquid chalk pen - also used on the frames - ensured a nice finish to the writing, which we kept simple at the front and silly on the sides (one side has a flying love letter painted on it and the other features a rather childish love heart with our initials in it).

A few gems left over from the invitations and a few ornamental stickers left from the guest book completed the box within less than an half and hour, excluding drying time.

Menus and place cards

They were rather easy things to make, I admit. Using Microsoft Publisher, I used fairly generic design templates and added the writing in Verdana. Same-size boxes ensured that the cards could be folded neatly. I have a trimmer at home for work, so used that to get an even finish. The place cards and A5 menus were printed off onto white card, of which we got a pack of 50 from Hobbycraft,

This is an international wedding, so we needed both an English and a German version for the menus.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Dress update

Sooo, it's been another week and I haven't had time to do anything remotely do do with the wedding. Work was crazy and I am very panicky about getting it all done in time now. Today's shown a lot of progress, what with finished menus, a seating order, a table plan and place cards, as well as a started letter box.

But the dress is another matter.
It's shoulder straps are done - I've used ribbon to keep it simple - but with the whole bottom still needing draping, it's looking like another all-nighter. Having said that, I am pleased with it. The top fits perfectly, the bottom sits nicely around my curves and I actually look a lot slimmer than I am.

The shoulders that I've been so worried about now look okay and I may even leave the beads off them after all. So really, it's just the skirt. I will attempt to fix the messed-up thread tension on my sewing machine and give it another go.

But have the picture as an impression of what I've been doing.

And finally, a big THANK YOU. 1000 views cracked!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Finally connected!

Aargh! After a month and a half without any internet access, I am finally back online. So much has happened in the meantime, it is unbelievable. I will endeavor to post updates on the dress, the table decorations and anything else we have made as soon as I can now to bring everyone up to speed again.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Hen Night

Sooo. A DIY hen night. There will be 2 crafts involved in that evening: staying awake long enough for the children to go to bed and being able to mix cocktails. That's right, while the men go out to party us women will stay at home and have a girly night in.

The idea is as simple as it is practical - we will get all the cheesy movies out that we'd never normally get to watch, put on some gruesome face masks, paint nails and drink home-made cocktails.

I've spent the last 3 days putting together a list of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, making a shopping list, using a major supermarket chain to work out the estimated price and I am now slowly going around different shops to put together all the items at a reasonable cost. Any leftovers from the budget (at the moment around £250) can be used towards face mask ingredients and morning-after breakfast.

I'd recommend to everyone to learn the basics of EXCEL. Not only is it a brilliant program to organise lists, but it has also helped me keep track of our wedding budget and now the hen budget. You really don't need to be a genius to work it, after all, I've managed. The two price columns add up the cost of all the items (estimated and actual) for me and the box to the right of the table helps me keep track of how much money I have saved from the estimate. The box stays green so long as money is saved and goes red if I go over budget. Simple, really, and I've done something similar for the wedding, with the sheet counting up all our savings and deducting every bill from it.

As you may guess from the list, our cocktails include, among others, Pina Colada, Mojito, White Russian, Cuba Libre, Long Island Iced Tea as well as non-alcoholic Fireside Flamer, Cranberry Cutie and Chocolate Cocktail. My cocktail-mixing days have been a while, but I am sure you can't unlearn these things.