our first anniversary

Today my husband and I celebrate 2 years. Yippee!

I never shared the few pictures from our first anniversary, so I guess now would be a good time. 

Since we had a huge doughnut as our 'wedding cake', there was nothing to freeze for a year [and thaw and pretend it's not freezer burnt]. Anyway, we figured getting another doughnut was a good way to celebrate year one.

[Spoiler alert - it's a good way to celebrate year two as well.]

santa cruz, part 3

On our second full day in Santa Cruz, we left the hotel early in the morning. The last two nights of our trip we stayed at Hotel Paradox. It was not on the beach, but it was a nice hotel none-the-less. The check-in desk was part of a huge redwood and there were nature-esque decor all around, which I'm a big fan of. 

The morning was cloudy and rainy but we were hoping it would clear up by the time we got to our destination to do some sight-seeing. 

Our first stop was at the Baylands Nature Preserve in Palo Alto. It was not raining, so we got to walk around for a bit. The goose below did not like me taking pictures and tried to attack me. 

Because we were still craving tacos, we drove to downtown Palo Alto to go to Tacolicious for lunch. It was still a little early, so we browsed the farmer's market and did some window shopping before making our taco stop. 

The drive to Big Basin Redwoods was beautiful. VERY curvy roads and almost every other vehicle we passed had a Christmas tree they were hauling home. We didn't get to hike that far into the woods since we didn't have much time before we needed to head back. Also - surprise! It started to rain again. 

The only thing I'm bummed I did not see was a banana slug. Maybe next time. 

Before heading to supper, we went to watch the sunset at Steamer Lane. Many others had the same idea and the beach was filled with couples and families trying to soak up the last of the sun before it set. 

Finally it was the night I had been waiting for - the Aimee Mann Christmas show. It was held at the Rio Theater [iPhone pictures below] which was a bit smaller than we had expected. There were a bunch of seats in the middle-front which were reserved but all others were general admission. We decided to sit on the right side, second row. Yes, we were right by the speaker but knew it wasn't going to be deafening. However, we overheard countless people complain before the show about how it was going to be too loud, or they weren't even going to chance it. Wimps! 

Also pre-show, I enjoyed other overheards like:

"I think it's a small band, her husband is here.", referring to Ted [not her husband].

"Who's the opener?" "I don't know but it will be good since she's a music snob."

The show was filled with both comedy and music. The main story was that Santa was murdered backstage and it was Aimee and Ted's job to find the murderer. The opening for the show was an amazing video of "Murder, She Sang". [I just tried to search for the video since I keep hoping it finds its way online. It hasn't but I found the skit from Wits which must have started this idea?]

Along with being excited to see The Both [Aimee and Ted] I was also excited to see comedian Tim Heidecker. I'm pretty sure no one at this theater understood his humor. We, along with maybe one other guy, were the only ones laughing. Santa Cruz - stop being scared of loud music and comedians! 

Anyway, I just want Aimee, Ted and Tim to know - we enjoyed the show! We laughed with you and also at you [well, mainly just Ted in his baby New Year outfit]. 

fiess gallery

The day before our wedding we had a few hours to decorate the Fish Hatchery, where we were holding the reception. 

It almost felt as if we were moving into the place, we we had to bring / supply so much. There were tables, chairs, and of course decorations. Most of the decorations were handmade items. When we were about halfway through decorating, a couple showed up at the door. They said they were looking for the Delafield Art Gallery. A friend of my parents told them wrong building, there was not an art gallery at the Fish Hatchery. However, I still think we should have charged them to take a look at some of the homemade items we had! 

I'm very thankful for my creative / talented family. Here's some of the items from the Fiess Gallery. 

My mom sewed a lot. A LOT. See all those table cloths in the first picture? She bought unbleached muslin and made them. She also made the burlap table clothes that were on some of the tables upstairs of the Fish Hatchery. Granted all this really means is that she cut the fabric / burlap and sewed the edges to make them look pretty, but don't let it fool you - it's a lot of work! 

She also made the banner that was hung in the church [and later above the appetizers as seen in the picture below.] 

PHOTO BY ESTER B PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO BY ESTER B PHOTOGRAPHY

I have already shown some of the work my dad did - he made both the picture stands and the wood that was on the bottom of the light-up signs. However, he also made some amazing bowls. These were not made specifically for the wedding, but I brought them along because I like them and we needed some bowls to hold Dum-Dums. 

I may not be as skilled [or as fast] of a sewer as my mom, but I did my best and made the little favors filled with candy for everyone to take home. I used unbleached muslin, made up my own pattern, and sewed about 100 bags. Afterwards, I added string so they could be pulled closed. I also stamped a little saying on each one and filled with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a Dum-Dum sucker.

 A few games we had on the game table had a lot of pieces to them. In order to keep everything together, I made a few more bags for things like Memory, Pick-Up Sticks, and Dominos.

Downstairs at the Fish Hatchery there were a few pictures that I wanted to cover up, so I needed to figure out a way to do so without violating any building rules. I ended up enlarging some of my photos from our Seattle / Orcas Island trip [where we got engaged] and hung a couple on each floor.

For our guest book, we decided it would be fun to get a picture of everyone and have them leave a message. [At some point I will put the pictures / messages in a book.] My cousin Samantha [although not a Fiess, but still a creative family member] was kind enough to go around throughout the night and take the pictures using an Instax mini camera. 

Upstairs we had a table where people could write their messages. I had placed a wire camera my brother had made in college on the table for decoration, but I'm happy to see how people ended up using it by putting their notes on it! 

Finally, there are the bowls that my brother made. If you haven't checked out his fantastic work yet, do so now and then come back to finish reading this. 

I asked him to make a few bowls for the tables and he ended up making many more - so each couple / family could take one home with them. We love how they turned out and how they really added a special touch to the table decor. 

Once again I just want to say how grateful I am for all the help we had with our wedding. We did a lot of DIY projects which took some time, but I would not have had it any other way. 

wedding flowers + plants

Planning the flowers and plants for the wedding was quite simple. I had a basic idea of what I wanted which made it easy. Probably the biggest conundrum was deciding where to purchase the plants. 

BOUQUET

I knew I wanted my bouquet to include succulents and craspedia [aka billy balls / billy buttons]. When I went to the Avant Garden in Delafield, Sarah the wedding consultant was very helpful. She assured me that using succulents in my bouquet would work just fine [my mom was concerned the succulents might fall apart during the day]. Along with the succulents and craspedia, I wanted some white flowers - including queen anne's lace, although I was under the impression it was a weed. To my surprise, Sarah assured me there are different varieties of queen anne's lace, so they could use a non-weed variety. 

Both mine and Katie's bouquet turned out beautiful! Katie's was a smaller version of mine. 

Once the bouquet started to fall apart, I took the craspedia out and cut them to keep in a small vase Eric  gave me for my birthday last year.

I am happy to say the five succulents from my bouquet are still doing amazing! Currently I keep them in the bowls my brother made and a couple times a week I spray them with a bit of water.

SUCCULENTS

I decided to buy my succulents online as it was less expensive to order them from California. Through a search on Etsy, I found Sanpedrocactus, a family that sells a wide variety of succulents. 

I bought both some rosette cuttings and potted succulents. The rosette cuttings worked great for decoration on the dinner tables in the bowls and sitting next to some of my photos. 

Also to my surprise - I still have some rosette cuttings that are alive! This may be a record for me.

The potted succulents came in a little reddish pot [shocking, I know] but I spray painted them gold. These plants found their way around the Fish Hatchery in the bathroom window ledges and other random places.

AIR PLANTS

The air plants came from the Air Plant Design Studio located in Florida. I bought the large kit which included a variety of different air plants. These were placed on the dinner tables as well, along with other spots that needed a little extra something. 

I still have five of them [I told our guests to take some home, since I knew I would not be able to care for them all] and they are still doing well. Every time I talk about giving them a bath, people get confused. If you are part of that crowd, here is the run-down: 

Once a week I fill the kitchen sink with water and place the plants in the water upside down. I set the timer for 20 minutes. Sometimes either Eric or I will sing a bath-time song to the plants. After 20 minutes, I lay them on a towel and once they are no longer dripping wet, I put them back where I keep them. 

more wedding paper projects

I lied. I actually do have more paper projects from the wedding to share. 

 

CHURCH PROGRAM

Sticking with kraft paper and the fonts from the invite, I created this folded program. 

CARD HOLDER

I know most people make or use some grand item for people to put cards in at the reception. I went the complete opposite way, bought a $7 letter sorter form Target and made a little sign.

PLACE CARDS

I had a few different ideas for place cards and finally just had to pick one idea. This design seemed quite easy but I will say I am glad I had help. My friend Amber punched out the names, I sewed, and my matron-of-honor Katie cut off the threads as well as alphabetized them all. Thanks ladies!

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THANK YOU NOTE

Lastly, I made a little note for all the guests thanking them for being part of our day and to let them know they could take a ceramic bowl home with them [they were part of the decor on the dinner tables]. The bowls were all made by my brother Ben. [I will have more pictures of his work later, but for now it is all about the paper.] 

wedding rehearsal invites + thank you cards

I talked about my wedding save the dates and invites yesterday. Today I will explain how I made the rehearsal invites and thank you cards. 

REHEARSAL INVITES

Something I didn't mention yesterday was the quantity of invites I ordered from Greener Printer. The website only lets you order a minimum of 50. Ideally that should have been enough, but it's always good to have a few extra so I had to bump it up to the next fixed amount of 75 [which was ok since it was only a couple dollars extra]. When I received the invites, they had actually sent me 80! [Maybe they always throw in a couple extra for free?!]

The point is - I had way too many invites, but since they are printed on nice kraft paper, I didn't want to waste them. So, for my wedding rehearsal invites I used the extra "glimpse" 4 x 6 cards. 

I created my text in Photoshop Elements and printed them out on card stock with crop marks . They measured 3.75 x 5.75 so they would be a bit smaller than the 4 x 6 cards.

Because of the crop marks, I was easily able to cut each invite out nicely. [I do have a paper cutter, but for this kind of job, I think it's much easier to use a ruler and knife to get the exact lines you want.]

After they were cut out, I used my tape roller to adhere the new invite onto the old one.

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Since some people that were invited to the rehearsal were also invited to gift opening the day after the wedding, I printed out a little note to tie onto the invite.

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I took my Martha Stewart screw punch to put a hole in the middle of the note. The reason for using the screw punch instead of a random hole punch is so that the eyelets fit perfectly. The screw punch can create three different sized holes and for eyelets the middle [3 mm] punch works perfectly. 

To set the eyelet I used my older eyelet setter. [This is what I used to use to punch the hole and set the eyelet, but I really dislike how loud / obnoxious this tool is.] 

To finalize this project, I strung some string into the eyelet and tied it around the invite - bow in the front and gift opening note in the back. 

THANK YOU CARDS

Originally I bought thank you cards to send out, however, the more I thought about them, I decided to use some leftover decorations from the wedding instead to create my own. As you will see in a later post, I used Instagram prints [printed by Origrami] as part of the decoration for the dinner tables. I ended up cutting these pictures down to fit on 4 bar cards I had gotten on clearance at Broadway Paper. [You can find them here though, in curry.]

To secure the pictures to the cards, I used black photo corners.

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To complete the card, I used my Martha Stewart stamp set [seriously you guys, I'm not being paid for all the Martha products I use - I just really like them] to stamp "THANK YOU" onto the card. 

The envelopes I used were Paper-Source 4 bar envelopes [in sage I believe? I could be wrong...].

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The whole process for all my wedding invites / cards may have taken a bit longer than just finding already made designs online and simply pressing "buy" - but I really enjoyed making everything. So, if anyone out there reading this ever needs invites and wants me to help - you know where to find me. [And if you don't - go to the contact page :) ]

save the dates + wedding invites

I've already shared a little project I did for our wedding, but now onto something more substantial. 

SAVE THE DATES. 

I'm really excited how these turned out. I knew two things going into this project - I wanted kraft paper and white ink. Turns out printing white ink is a bit more complicated than I realized since it takes a LOT of ink. After much discussion with the fine folks at Execu Print, we decided the best process was to screen print on chipboard. The white turned out amazing and I love how thick the postcards were! 

My only complaint was that after they went through the machines at the post office, some of them got torn on the back. Not a huge deal - but something good to remember about sending chipboard through the mail. 

Fonts used: Intro + Anna Clara

 

INVITES

I chose to create the invites through Greener Printer. I randomly came across their website and sent away for a free sample pack of their paper. Everything about the paper in the sample pack was great so I decided to use them for printing. 

Using Greener Printer was actually very easy. I created my layout in Photoshop Elements, saved it as a PDF and sent it to Greener Printer. It took them a very short time to get back to me with the proofs. As soon as I gave them the green light, they printed them on 20 point kraft paper. 

I should point out I really wanted to do white ink on kraft paper [to try and stick with how my save the dates looked] but printing white ink was over TWICE the amount as black. It was a bit more than I planned on spending, so black ink it was! 

My invites came about a week later and I was quite happy with them - even with black ink. 

Note: the envelopes did not come with the invites. I bought the envelopes from Paper-Source. Main envelope is mint and RSVP envelope is curry.

To bundle everything together, I created a strip of paper to wrap around. I took my Martha Stewart scoring board and began scoring white card stock. To begin, I'd lay one side of the paper along the triangle piece and score every half inch. 

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After the whole sheet was scored, I flipped it 90 degrees and once again scored every half inch. 

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Once that was done, I removed the triangle piece and laid the paper against the top of the grid so all the lines have formed diamonds. This is the tricky part as for some reason there's no good measurement where to put the third line, so it's a guessing game. Basically the third line needs to intersect with the other two lines [and for some reason my second line is not showing up in the picture below, but it's there, I promise]. 

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After scoring the whole sheet of paper, I cut it into strips. 

invite-9.jpg

Once I had the strips, it was easy to fold all the lines. [It looks fine if you don't crease them, but I thought it added a bit more definition.]

Once that was done, I just wrapped it around the largest part of the invite and secured it with washi tape. 

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After that, I slid the other pieces under the wrap, added some twine and ta-da! 

Final step was to put the invite in the envelope and seal it up. For the address labels I bought 8x10 kraft sticker paper and printed out all the addresses / return address. I cut them into strips [I fit four per sheet] and started by centering the return address on the back of the envelope.

Then I flipped the envelope and secured the rest of the label. 

There you have it! 

I still have a few other wedding paper projects to share, but I will save that for another post!

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Fonts used: Anna Clara + Mossy