New Year. New Projects. Busy Bee.

Time has flown by! One minute it was Christmas, then New Year came and went in no spectacular fashion and now it’s nearly March! Eek!

So, what have I been up to, let’s start at the very beginning (of the year) it’s a very good place to start…

My real-life job has been a little full-on. Having to do actual work that I actually get paid to do rather than sitting watching Pointless whilst folding paper into pretty things takes up a lot of time! So there’s my excuse – there has been very little making of beautiful things because I’ve been up to all sorts in the wonderful telly land of Emmerdale.


So, about a month ago I got a lovely message from my beautiful friend Debbie who is a travel wizard! She specialises in planning and taking total care of your dream holiday (what a woman!). She is exhibiting at a local wedding fair and wanted a floral decoration for her table. So I set to it! I had so many ideas of rainbow flowers in a low, long display or perhaps sunset colours or a splash of blues.

It didn’t quite work out that way…

The colours were just too garish. Perhaps on a bigger scale it could work. Colour variations over a large area would be so powerful – in fact I know my friend did such a thing with origami stars at her wedding and it was so beautiful!

So I opted for my trusty pastels! The colours are just so pretty and effective. I BLOODY LOVE PASTELS!



I really like the low displays, I might experiment with more flowers to make them taller and fuller, they’d look lovely as a centre piece for a wedding, it’d be easy to attach a table number or menu to too.

I also want to look at maybe suspending flowers on fishing wire. I have no idea how I’d do it yet but it’s something to think about!

That’s all for now! ūüėć

Advertisements

Windows and beautiful things…

my first display is in! 

Anyone passing through the lovely market town of Otley should make a trip to Quench, just of the market place. I’ve filled the window with handmade flowers, bunting and bouquets for your visual delight in the hope that people will see my wares and look to ask me to help them realise their handmade dreams!
  
My flowers and bouquets are ideal for weddings and hen parties and make lovely gifts for birthdays and baby showers.

   
     I have over 100m of bunting in splendid spring/summer pastels which would lend itself to decorating any space for any event! 

My latest idea has come in the form of large picture frames, decorated with flowers and pearls – perfect for a cute addition to alternative photograph opportunities! These are handmade and can be decorated with anything from pearls to buttons to beads! 

  
My confidence has really grown through realising how popular my little creations have become and I’m dying to turn my hand to new projects! 

I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this new venture! 

Here’s to a summer of creating!

My First Customer!

The day has arrived! My little project has its first customer! Hurray!  

 

Over 100m of bunting and some little fairy lights sets are heading over to Karen in Otley this morning for her step-daughters wedding reception “Darn Sarf”.  

  
Here’s to a fabulous party!

A x

Here’s to the summer!

So, exciting things are afoot!

Recently I decided that I would try and branch out into Wedding Accessory Hire! I have boxes and boxes of beautiful bunting, jars, vases, crocheted doilies, fairy lights and table number holders that are sitting, whiling away the days, in my¬†top room…

I also thought I might try and branch out into making bouquets from the paper flowers that I made for our wedding. Not only that but I’m currently making a rather lovely brooch bouquet (even if I do say so myself) for my gorgeous friend Jo! Which is great fun!

So, to exciting things… I spent a tea break chatting to my lovely friend Karen who owns a little coffee shop in Otley about all the thoughts in my head and she has given me the lovely opportunity to dress her cafe’s window for the summer!

What a splendid idea!

I have enlisted the help of my super talented friend Helen to guide me in my quest to dress the window with a selection of my wares so it’s all very much go! go! go! in the Lowe Household!

I shall be making 30 flowers for the display – using some of my jars and vases to hold them and of course there will be bunting!

My afternoon has been happily spent making a small button bouquet for the display. I’ve seen them elsewhere on the web and it was just another thing that I though “I can make that!” So I did! I used a 3inch polystyrene ball, some crepe paper and a selection of buttons to build it up and, to be honest, I bloomin’ LOVE it!!image

Another year over…

I can’t believe it is 2015. 2015! We should be on hover boards with crazy hair cuts, self-tying sneakers and shrink-to-fit jackets according to Back To The Future…

But we’re not. We are just being us, another year older.

So what have I been up to I hear you cry… Yes, you, the reader who at this time is probably just my mum…

I have been a busy bee! At Christmas I made a wreath for my mums front door using my recently acquired paper folding skills and general habit to just give anything a go…

I bought a plain woven wicker ring, decorative gold/jute fabric bows and a bag of mixed wooden stars. I wanted a natural look for my Mums neutrally toned house and it turned out an absolute treat! I attached the bows using the attached wire holders and finished each one with a small wooden star.

It really looked effective with just 3 large paper flowers made with Christmas themed craft paper. I went for simple and classic leaves, tartan and subtle festive designs.

I really enjoyed making it and it didn’t really take that long either…

IMG_7035

IMG_7039

IMG_7038

IMG_7036

IMG_7037

Stationery abundant…

I’m sorry that my writing seems a bit sporadic but my brain is just trying to compute the sheer amount of thinking it had to do for our wedding!

What have I covered?

Bunting – check! Jars – check! Flowers – check! Favours – check! Ale – check! Doilies – check! Fairy lights – check!

Ah yes, now I’m a big fan of the printed word. I am, however, not a fan of hand made invitations tied with lace, perhaps with a quirky photograph of the luck couple holding a chalk board with all their wedding details, craft card with lace-effect inserts covered in menus and RSVP details… just me?

First up I enlisted the help of The Fiancé to help make our Save The Date cards. A simple brown luggage tag tied with the gingham ribbon that I bought masses of to decorate the jars and suchlike, and I had a rubber stamp made with the basic information on. I think it worked a treat!

Invitations took a little more brain work and I wanted to keep it under budget too so I turned to the marvels of Vistaprint.co.uk – what a wonderful and reasonably priced place to design your own invites! I had an idea of what I wanted and I was lucky to find that they had a template that I could change to suit my ideas. I spent a fair bit of time working out fonts and layout but once I’d figured out the final bits it was easy then to go on to make my Orders of Service, evening invites and I even made a cheeky I-spy game that I put on each table.

2014-11-07 15.25.58

2014-11-07 15.27.07

Vistaprint was fabulous – totally worth a look if you are considering designing your own stationary!

Flowers, Fairy Lights & Favours…

I quickly decided that, to go with the bunting and the flowers, the tables needed to be fun and colourful too.

Mixed doilies, various jars, charity shop-bought vases, cut-glass decanters – all put together to make the most of the large tables covered in white cloths.

I had the help of my sister-in-law’s mother Mary and friend Jen in collecting doilies from charity shops – all crocheted and in different colours, different patterns and sizes and costing no more than 49p each. Each table had three or four doilies in the centre. It broke up the dullness of the table cloth and softened the crispness of the white.

I used two jars and one vase on each table also. The larger jar had 5 tall flowers, the smaller had 3 short flowers and the vase was stuffed with a string on battery powered fair lights. I couldn’t believe how effective everything looked together. It totally blew me away! I was so pleased that all the little ideas that I’d had had finally come together!

image (5)

IMG_2526

By the way, battery powered fairy lights are completely and utterly the way forward!! They are so effective and worked brilliantly in the cut-glass vases and decanters. Our venue weren’t keen on us using candles and I hate the fake tea lights so this was the perfect solution! And now I have 12 stings of lights that I can use for christmas and parties! I shopped around and found a great deal on Ebay by a company from Japan. They took weeks to arrive so if you’re going to go ahead and use an international trader then PLAN AHEAD!

The most contentious issue, and one that we spent many, many hours debating, was the issue of favours. We had so many romantic ideas – personalised magnets, wine glass charms, pin badges, seeds… – All lovely ideas but all averaging at ¬£1.50 per person. That was ¬£135 on trinkets! Erm… no. I love our friends and family but… really?!

So, we decided that we could make up little bags of sweets and have some stickers printed with our initials and the date.

IMG_2542

We also had little activity books made up by a lovely trader on Etsy called LoveInColours for our younger guests. Each one was personalised, came with crayons and we could choose the colours and age-range for each child. The kids LOVED them and they kept them amused whilst the boring grown-ups made speeches.

And finally… there was ALE. We, as a couple, LOVE ALE. And I happen to be lucky enough to have a brewer in the family. We needed ale at our reception and unfortunately our venue would not let us have a keg of our favourite brew on the bar so we asked Brass Castle Brewery of Malton –¬†http://www.brasscastlebrewery.co.uk/ – if we could have 100 bottles of their wonderful vanilla porter ‘Bad Kitty’. We relabelled the front of the bottle with our names and date, keeping the back of the bottle with all the details of the brewery and the ale so that our guests knew what they were drinking, in a flash of inspiration we decided on the name ‘Matrimoni-ALE’. We displayed the ale on a table by the dance floor and everyone took a some home with them!

Simple ideas…

This will be a quick one…

Table number holders. You need them, but you don’t need to spend a small fortune buying them. MAKE THEM!

I bought 10 pieces of 1cm dowel, 2 packs of patterned wooden pegs (¬£3 for a pack of 6 from M&S), 10 small bows – I bought a mixed pack from Ebay in various colours for ¬£2.50 and just used some household All Purpose glue to fix everything together…

image (7)

It was a wee bit fiddly but there’s no need to rush.

image (6)

Simple.

Paper folding for beginners…

The most time-consuming but ultimately rewarding thing that I set my hands to whilst planning our wedding was most definitely the paper flowers that I wanted to use for my Flower Girl’s bouquets and for my table decorations. I’d seen various examples at a wedding fair and even priced up how much it would cost to have someone make them for me, but I soon made the decision that this was something that I could do myself!

Go me!

The first thing was to find easy-to-follow instructions that would guide me in my quest! I’m pretty rubbish at following instructions at the best of time and I soon found that origami is THE MOST DIFFICULT THING EVER! Who knew that there were so many different types of flower? Cherry blossom, Dahlia, Kawasaki, Lily, Lotus… perseverance was the key! I found the shape I wanted and used this wonderfully straight forward site ¬†–¬†http://www.origami-instructions.com/origami-kusudama-flower

image

image (4)

IMG_2531

I think I must have spent about £45 on paper, £15 on buttons and craft pearls, £5 on floristry tape and £4 on twine Р£79 to make 107 individual flowers for 10 table centres, 2 large flower girl bouquets and 1 small posy for my tiny flower girl. That works out at 73p per flower. NOT BAD! I have to be honest, it was a time consuming and laborious task but incredibly rewarding!

At the end of our big day each of my guests took some flowers home with them, some now hang in offices, sit on mantle pieces and are admired by friends and family – yep, I’m pretty smug…

Cracking the flags!

Dragging my mum and Hubby-to-be around wedding fairs across Yorkshire made me realise one thing – weddings are EXPENSIVE! I also came to the conclusion that everything that I saw and liked could be made by my own fair hands… and why not?! I’d seen over-priced origami flowers; hire companies telling me that some of the cute finishing touches that I’d wanted would cost a small fortune to rent; pick & mix carts, letter boxes, centre pieces all costing faaaar too much!

I made it my mission to do as much as I could myself and on a budget! I looked up origami flowers online, decided to make as much of my own bunting as I could and started collecting various jars and vases РI became the first stop before the recycling bins for my friends! boxes and boxes of jars that just needed cleaning up! And then came the charity shop trawls РI refused to pay over £1.50 for a vase.

My handmade wedding was a go! Origami flowers would be made from patterned paper, finished with various buttons and pearls; bunting would cover the room; jars would be decorated with gingham ribbon; vases would be tied with lace and filled with fairy lights; tables would be dressed with crocheted doilies – I even made my own table number holders.

The last thing we wanted was a ‘uniform’ day of two colours – eurgh… how dull! Pastels were the way forward! Spots, stripes, gingham, florals… the world of patterns was our oyster! Nothing would match, but everything would ‘fit’.

When asked what our ‘theme’ was I would answer that there was no real theme. I could see that people couldn’t visualise it – all the different colours, patterns, textures (I’ll get on to that later) but I just had to smile and assure them that I wasn’t going mad and that it’d all work out in the end! My Fianc√© put his complete faith in me and let me take control of everything! It was so exciting!

God bless my mother and her faith in my need for a sewing machine! I got my first ever sewing machine for christmas and there was no stopping me! I took myself down to the local haberdashers and stocked up on bias binding and a couple of stacks of quarters of various fabrics. From then on I took great pleasure in throwing together great lengths of bunting and proudly displaying them around the house for Richard to find.

I started the mammoth task of paper folding too. I needed at least 100 flowers, all with 5 petals, each petal being on piece of paper to fold!

Relentless.