haas reception

In previous posts, I talked about Samantha and Drew's wedding up north. They had a little ceremony with close family and friends. The couple still wanted to celebrate with everyone else, so a few weeks later they held a reception at the farm where Sam grew up.

It had been years since the pole shed had been thoroughly cleaned out, however, the last time it had been was when the cement floor was poured. The machines and tools needed to be taken out and the outside needed to be re-painted. While they were sprucing it up , Sam's dad decided to add the concrete path. 

As far as decorations for the party, Sam picked out a bunch of photos I had taken at the wedding and we made blue print copies of them. The prints were hung on the walls and they made great art as well as gave everyone a little glimpse into their wedding day. 

There were also a lot, I mean A LOT of lights that Katie and I strung. I wish I could remember the total amount, but alas, just believe me it was a lot. The end result was fantastic though, as you will see in some pictures later in this post. 

There were some other details such as the tissue paper ball chandelier, a wall of older pictures of the couple, and beautiful flowers that Sam's mom grew on all the tables. 

Sam had a great idea for a guest book. She had the plan in mind, told her aunt about it who luckily found the perfect book to complete Sam's goal. The book was a children's dictionary and each guest could pick a word and write a little sentiment next to it. I heard many people who were having fun looking through the book to find just the right word. 

As people arrived to the reception, some ate while others played games outdoors. The kids ran all around the farm and I followed them for a bit [to take pictures, but also to make sure they weren't getting into trouble].

As dusk settled in, everyone gathered outside with their sparklers and matches. After the sparklers were lit, Sam and Drew walked arm in arm past the revelers.

From there, everyone headed back into the shed and the couple shared their first dance. Following, was the father / daughter and mother / son dance. 

There was a bit more dancing by others after the family dances, but slowly people started to leave and the rest headed towards the bonfire to relax and talk until the early hours of the morning. 

sam + drew get married, part 2

On the second day up north, it was time to leave St. Germain and head to Washburn. Katie, Andy, and I met bride-to-be Sam at Memorial Park where the ceremony was to be held. There, we picked some flowers to make a bouquet and had a little rehearsal to figure out the logistics for the ceremony. 

After the rehearsal, Sam took us to the little beach where the wedding was initially going to be held. There was a last minute change because the water was too high and there basically wasn't any beach left. 

Katie and Andy, sand collecting pros that they were at this point, collected more sand. This is the sand that would be mixed with the sand collected from St. Germain.

By now it was time for lunch so we we went to downtown Washburn and had lunch at Cafe Coco. We walked around for a bit before heading to Good Thyme Restaurant to set up for the dinner that would be held there the following evening.

Good Thyme is a restaurant set in what looks like a very old home. The grounds are beautiful. We were lucky enough to be able to set everything up the day before and take a look around this beautiful property. 

Here are the decorations. The boats were made of driftwood that Sam's aunt collected. The sails were made from some old handkerchiefs from our Grandma, as well as burlap. 

After decorating, we took a break at our hotel before heading out for supper. Katie, Andy and I were going to try Maggie's but the wait was ridiculous. It mainly appealed to us because of the pink building and the fact that there were flamingos EVERYWHERE inside. Real kitschy, but funny none-the-less.

Instead we headed to Morty's Pub for a fish fry.

Before sunset we started getting ready for the meet and greet campfire. Since the families of the bride and groom had yet to meet, this was a good chance to get everyone together before the big day. 

Sam let me put together s'mores bags for everyone. I had a lot of fun screen printing Meet, Greet & Eat bags which Katie and I filled with graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate.

It was a perfect evening to be near the water eating s'mores around a campfire and meeting new people. 

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. 

donuts | games | drinks

Like I mentioned recently, I still have a couple wedding posts I wanted to share from our wedding back in May. 

Here are some pictures and a bit of a tutorial on how I went about making the three light-up signs we had at the reception. 

The paper mache 8" letters were bought from JoAnn Fabric [purchased of course when they were $1 off each]. 

Using a craft knife I cut around the edge of each letter. On some of them, once I started to cut through, I could pull back the rest. Inside was paper filler that fell out. 

Since the edges were a little rough, I used sandpaper to smooth them out. 

Next step was to take a screw punch to make holes where the lights would go through. There was no rhyme or reason to where I punched the holes - I just placed them were I thought they'd look best. 

Once the holes were punched, I painted the inside and outside of each letter gold. Spray paint I'm sure would have worked just as well and possibly have gone quicker, but I think I initially went with paint since it was the middle of winter and I didn't want to go in the freezing garage to use spray paint. 

I don't have many pictures of the next steps, but basically my dad made a great wooden platform which he glued the letters on. We then stuck the lightbulbs in the letters. I will admit the back didn't look too pretty, but we did our best and honestly in a darker room it doesn't really matter. 

What we ended up with were three amazing signs for our wedding reception: DONUT, GAMES, and DRINKS. 

Here are two of them lit up in all their glory [photos courtesy of Ester Robards].

old signs / new signs

Many years ago I found signs that my grandparents had used at their wedding. I wish I would know more about the history behind them - who made them, where they were made, what do some of them mean [ie: "the bunch"?]. Unfortunately I don't have many answers, but I can show you how neat they are!

I enjoy that the menu was written in pencil on the Dutch Lunch sign.

I also enjoy that I can't take pictures without two certain cats trying to steal the spotlight.

For our signs, I kept the original idea, but used the fonts from our invites. I only made three signs since they were the only ones that really made sense for our set up.

Even though it was a small decoration that some people may not have noticed, it was a favorite of mine because of the meaning behind it. 

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. 

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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

kissing for the cats + dogs

I know the blog has been silent for a while, but I have a good reason. I was busy getting married! 

Now that I'm done with the crafting projects and everything else wedding related, I'm back. I'll have a bunch of posts on the different things I made for the wedding at a later time, but today I want to start out with a small project that was made specifically for collecting money. 

A while before the wedding Eric suggested that instead of people clinking their glasses to make us kiss, we should ask that they donate money to the Watertown Humane Society instead. A few years ago we adopted our cats Herbie and Maude from that particular shelter, so it only seemed fitting.  

The funny part is - no one ever started clinking their glasses during dinner. I guess no one wanted to see us kiss [fine by me]. But, at the end of dinner, my matron of honor stood up and announced the idea of collecting money for the Humane Society. Then the money started pouring in left and right. Our grand total collected was $90.05 which we dropped off at the Humane Society last Friday.

I don't have any before shots for this project - but it was quite simple. I bought a cat figurine from Amazon. I bought a jar of raspberry jam. We ate it. I cleaned the jar. I superglued the cat figurine on the top of the lid and spray painted it gold. Done! 

While we were at the shelter, we obviously said hi to the cats and I may have taken a few pictures. 

I think we woke up the cats that were hanging out in the largest room. They seemed a bit annoyed at first that we interrupted their naps. But slowly, one by one, they came over to us and wanted attention. 

And, I'm not sure how I made it this far in the post without mentioning it, but -

JUNE IS NATIONAL ADOPT A CAT MONTH.

Look at these cats! They want a home! We are at our limit of two. Shortly after we adopted ours, my parents adopted their cat, and then my aunt and uncle adopted their two. You guys, my relatives may love cats, but I don't have enough relatives to adopt ALL THE CATS at the Humane Society. So, please help out! 

This little girl was in love with Eric. He knelt down to pet a bunch of cats and she climbed on him. He then went to sit on the bench and she immediately curled up on his lap and fell asleep. This is how we picked out our Maude. When we'd visit the shelter, she'd always come and sit on Eric's lap. So, if you are looking for a super sweet lap kitty, go adopt Sybil! [I take no responsibility if she turns out nothing like Maude, but I'm guessing she is quite similar.] And if you adopt her, let me know and I'll do a free pet photo session for you and your new family member! 

Sorry - got a little carried away with that 'lil kitty. Here are some more guys and gals looking for a home!

This cat made me laugh. 

And finally, the kittens. I wish I could take all these kittens home with me and it wouldn't make me a crazy cat lady or make Eric rethink marrying me. 

Once again - it's National Adopt a Cat Month, so don't forget to celebrate the easiest way, by going to adopt a cat.