Saturday, December 3, 2011

Recipe Review- Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

I came across this recipe on and had to try them immediately.  I spent the next several hours making the buns and then quickly enjoyed one afterwards!

The recipe was easy to follow but definitely time consuming.  I kneaded the dough myself instead of doing it in the mixer. I followed the bloggers advice of adding more cinnamon and sugar before rolling the dough up.  The only thing I changed was that the frosting called for 1T of milk but it was not enough liquid to make the frosting so I ended up using 2T. (Then I made a second batch of the frosting as I did not think the first amount was enough).

The pumpkin cinnamon buns were very good.  The pumpkin flavor was subtle but added something just a little extra to the standard cinnamon bun.  I will make them again and recommend trying them for yourselves.  Thanks for posting this recipe!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wedding Detail Series: DIY decorations

**This post should have been posted the first week of October however my computer died.  It took a few weeks to determine that we could not repair mine and get a new one.  So here we go, nearly a month later :)

The final touches to personalize our wedding was an assortment of decorations.

First, the chapel (built in the early 20th century) had enough character that we did not feel that we needed to do much.  We weren't huge fans of the all wooden arched alter though and thought we could spruce it up a bit.  I found a picture in a magazine of this flower "curtain" that had hundreds of flowers strung on to string, or ribbon, and all hung side by side.  It was beautiful, unfortunately I was unable to find that picture to show you my inspiration and couldn't find anything like it online.  Anyways, when I showed it to the florist she said that piece alone would cost thousands of dollars.  Something we weren't willing to spend as the only other flowers we planned on having would be the bouquets.  We finally decided to do a version of the flower curtain with thicker ribbon and one flower at the end of each ribbon all strung at different lengths to give the illusion that it took up more space.

The florist attached an ivory rose to the bottom of each ribbon, which was cut at different lengths.  She also made a loop at the top of the ribbon to fit over a pvc pipe that we had cut to the appropriate lengths and wrapped in the same ribbon.  It did not cover the entire walls of the alter but did give the overall effect we were looking for.

At the reception hall, they had set up all of the tables, chairs, white linen tablecloths and the tulle/lighting around the dance floor.  We then put all of the green and brown overlays on the tables, set up the centerpieces, set out the heart folded napkins and cookie favors and hung curtains in the arch way of the entrance.

After: Daytime
After: Nighttime (looking opposite direction)
Outside Entrance: Before
Outside Entrance: Curtains Hanging

One of our favorite additions was our clothesline of photos.  Again, we wanted to make our wedding and reception feel as intimate as possible.  The other way we incorporated this was by having a photo of every one of our guests on the clothesline.  We had a clothesline that was specific for my guests and one for my husbands', however some people did overlap on both :)  
Picture of each of the letters in our names with corks to hang on the clothesline.

Below the picture clothesline, sat a table with pictures dedicated to our parents and grandparents wedding photos.

  The chapel was so quaint, the reception hall looked beautiful all lit up at night and we received so many compliments on the way that everything was decorated that it made all of our work worth it!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wedding Detail Series: DIY Entrance Tables and Centerpieces

Our theme was wine, so for our table numbers we collected wine bottles and removed the labels.  We then made our own labels with each table number and the names of the guests at that table.  We set them up in and around  two wine crates at the table before you entered the reception room.

At each table, we had a picture frame with the coordinating table number and names associated with that table. We wanted our wedding to feel intimate despite there being 113 people in attendance.  One way for us to initiate that was to put random facts (named Food for Thought) about the people at each table on the framed table numbers. ***On a side note, we wanted each table to be slightly unique.  We went to Goodwill several times over a few months, purchasing different frames (all in the same wood tone), 5x7 for the tables and 8x10 for the instructional pieces.  We also purchased various vases in different shapes and sizes to put as the centerpieces at each table (see below).
People really seemed to enjoy this part.  It was fun to share if they knew everyone at the table and learned a little about others if they didn't know someone at their table.  We received a lot of positive feedback about this detail.
The centerpieces on the table with the table numbers, was a glass vase (in various shapes and sizes) filled with corks we had collected over the previous year (as well some donated from friends and family) and a candle.  We ended up with thousands of corks!  We did not use them all for the centerpieces and are still trying to repurpose them (see other cork projects under the Completed Projects tab).  Surrounding the centerpiece was a vine wreath and grapes (in green and purple, in a variety of sizes dispersed throughout the tables).

The last piece at each table was our favors.  We made (yes we homemade hundreds of heart-shaped cookies a few days before our wedding) Swedish Ginger Snap cookies, Pepparkakor, using my husband's family recipe.  We purchased the bags they are in online and then made Thank You labels with our wedding date.  We also folded the napkins in a heart shape to coordinate with the cookies.  Again, yes we folded and ironed the napkins into the heart shapes...our caterer was going to charge us extra, per napkin to do this so we decided we could... :)  How we had time for anything else that week, I don't know!

Also at the front entrance was a table for sign-in.  We knew we would never look at a traditional guest book.  So, we decided to do a wedding guest quilt.  We had guests sign a square of fabric (which we pre-cut) with a fabric marker.  We made the center of our quilt as an example to display using pieces we had some of our family and friends do beforehand.
We printed our logo and wedding date on transfer paper and ironed it on to our center piece of fabric.  From there we arranged and sewed together our squares of fabric (with a lot of help and direction from my mother-in-law~ Thanks Kathy!).
On that table with our wedding guest quilt sample, we had a basket for blank pieces of fabric, a basket to put the signed pieces of fabric and fabric pens.  Otherwise, the table was decorated with a canvas of one of our engagement photos sitting on a winecrate which covered the projector displaying our slideshow on a screen behind the table.

Whew! That was a lot of information!  As I write all of this, I am again shocked that we put in this much time and effort.  However, I wouldn't have changed a thing.  We loved the way everything turned out and had so many compliments on the details we put in!

Project details:

Wine bottles~ Collected by us, friends and family; labels stripped
Wine bottle labels~ Blank labels purchased at Office Depot and then created and printed by us at home
Crates~ Free from liquor stores, just by asking
Corks~ Collected by us, friends and family
Picture frames~ Purchased at Goodwill for $.97-1.50 each
Paper for frames~ Purchased at PaperSource
Background paper in instructional frames~ Purchased from World Market
Vases~ Purchased at Goodwill for $1-2.97 each
Vine wreaths~ Purchased at Ikea on sale for $2 each
Fake grapes~ Borrowed from a friend, I think purchased from Hobby Lobby on sale
Candles~ Purchased from Ikea for $9.99 for a 5 pack of multi-sizes
Cookies~ Homemade
Favor bags~ Purchased online from $10 for 200 bags 
Favor labels~ Blanks labels purchased from Office Depot and then created and printed by us at home
Fabric for wedding guest quilt~ Hobby Lobby
Transfer paper for iron on logo~ Hobby Lobby


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Wedding Details Series: DIY Stationary

My husband is an industrial designer and is really good with programs like Photoshop and Illustrator otherwise DIY Save The Dates, Invitations, Programs and Thank You cards may not have been possible.

For the Save The Dates we set up our camera on a tripod and took several shots in different areas.  We new which direction we were going right away: wine themed.  We choose the picture we liked best and went with Vistaprint online to make them for us.  My husband overlaid all of the text we wanted on the Save The Date picture and once we had a final proof we uploaded it to Vistaprint's site and let them do the rest. They were large postcard size and included our wedding website where people could find all of the information they needed about the upcoming wedding.

Next came the invitations.  We decided to make our own after we were unable to find anything we truly liked,  for the right price.  We went to Paper Source and asked A LOT of questions.  We purchased all of the supplies we needed once we somewhat settled on the design we were looking for.  Then the fun part began!  We spent HOURS cutting, gluing, assembling and embellishing our invitations.  **This is the only downside with DIY, it is very time consuming sometimes!

We cut handmade paper into strips and unattached it on the underside of the front flap (where the actual invite would sit over the attachment seam).  We had a stamp of our logo made online, stamped a 2x2 square which we cut out with scrapbook scissors, sprinkled clear embossing powder over the still wet brown embossing ink and then heated each one.  We did the same process with the gold vines, which my husband hand drew on every invitation, except we used an embossing pen followed by gold embossing ink.

Besides the invitation, there were three cards inside.  A reception card, a response card and a 'related' card which gave additional info needed.

On the back of each invitation, I wrote "Handmade with Love" with a gold pen.

Here I am actually cutting out the 'Thank You' stickers that we put on the favor bags. (Future post)

We lined each envelope (using a envelope lining stencil) with a gold leaf pattern paper, which we also used in the frames we used for finding your table number and signing our wedding guest quilt (to be posted in a future post).

Next came the programs.  We printed them vertically on ivory stock card using the same style we used in the invitations.  Inside, we listed the ceremony details and wedding party information.

Finally came the Thank You cards.  We kept them pretty basic, printing them two to one piece of ivory card stock and then cutting them out.  They had our logo and "thank you".

We loved that everything was personal and carried the same theme.  It was a ton of work though, so I'm not sure I would recommend this to just anyone!

All paper products and materials for embossing were purchased at PaperSource.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wedding Detail Series: Bridal Attire

So I can only consider this post partially DIY as I did not do the alterations myself....

I went to several bridal boutiques without luck of finding the gown I was looking for.  Then I finally came across a dress that could be altered into what I was looking for!  I found the below dress at Circle Park Bridal in Addison, TX.  I then took the dress and my ideas to my alterations lady and viola!

The front was darted into a sweetheart neckline, the back was modified to come down into a "v", the belt was covered in a sheer brown to work with the bridesmaids dresses and a large lace applique was applied to the train.

I paired it all with a veil made from my mother-in-law's veil edged in my husband's grandmother's handmade lace (something old), beautiful lace shoes by Martinez Valero that I found online (something new), my mom's pearl jewelry (something borrowed) and this garter (something blue).  My husband is Swedish American so I found Swedish flag ribbon and had my alterations lady sew it on to the garter.  Then I attached this Swedish and American flag pin I found.

I absolutely loved how everything went together.  The dress fit our venues and theme so well.  Couldn't have been happier :)

More to come in a few days!

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