Category Archives: Wedding

Crafterall Papercut Map Art

My brother and sister-in-law gave my husband and I some beautiful artwork for our wedding and we’ve finally got it up on the wall so I thought I’d share it here.

Crafterall map artThese beautiful layered papercut maps are from the Crafterall Etsy shop and my family knew that I had been drooling over them for quite some time. Imagine my delight when we got a set of our very own!

The map on the left is the San Francisco Bay Area, where we met and currently live, and the map on the right shows the San Juan Islands off the coast off Washington, where we got married (we had the ceremony on Jones Island).

Map Art San Juan IslandsWe briefly toyed with the idea of hanging this art in our living/dining room to have it out where people can see it, but look how perfectly it goes with the origami swallow mobile I put up in our bedroom! How could we possibly hang it anywhere else??

Crafterall San Francisco map

Also pictured here are the adorable anchor pillow shams a friend gave us for Christmas

Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with the vast expanse of white space above our bed! Living in earthquake territory, we’re nervous about hanging anything heavy or framed in glass. I’ve suggested a big beautiful tapestry but my husband is lukewarm on that idea. I’ve been wanting to make us a big Japanese shibori-inspired quilt in shades of white and indigo, maybe if I ever actually get around to doing that we can hang it on that wall…

You should check out Crafterall, there are tons of other beautiful maps available in all different colors (I love the map of the Great Lakes too)! You can get custom work done too but, according to a bulletin on her shop, she’s got custom work keeping her busy through June of this year! Way to go!




Wedding Dress DIY: Custom Touches to Ready-to-Wear

My husband and I left ourselves just five weeks to plan our beautiful San Juan Island family-only wedding this summer! Five weeks! It came together so perfectly though, that I now truly believe wedding planning takes as long as you have to plan the wedding, be it five weeks or five months.

The one thing I was really worried about was my wedding dress. Having recently done some support shopping with a friend who’s getting married at the end of this month, I knew that most stores need at least 3 or 4 months to order a dress as well as time for alterations. That left just off-the-rack options. Unfortunately, the vast majority of stores carry size 6-10 for their samples with very little selection in the plus sizes, so I didn’t even try wedding boutique sample sales. Instead, I opted for what seemed like the only option: online ready-to-wear.

I found a beautiful wedding dress that perfectly fit what I had imagined (for under $200!!) from the unfortunately named Trashy Diva (also occasionally available from ModCloth). The Honey Dress was the right length for me, a gorgeous peach-hued ivory color and was retro inspired without leaving me feeling like I was in a costume. There were just a couple details I wasn’t happy with. Fortunately, as you’ll see, it’s easy to add very small and easy DIY touches to really add some custom features and unique details to your ready-to-wear wedding dress!

Wedding Dress DIY Before 2The first issue was that this dress showed just a teensy bit more cleavage than I wanted to show on my wedding day! The second issue was that I thought this dress was just begging for some sort of belt to visually separate the bodice from the skirt. The cleavage issue was solved with a quick hand-sewing project and the belt issue had an easy no-sew solution!

To reduce the amount of cleavage I was showing but leave the open, sexy and classic feel of the neckline, I decided to edge the neckline with some beautiful lace that I found at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco. I made sure to bring the dress with me so I could perfectly match the lace to the dress in both color and style.

Wedding Dress DIY LaceThese beautiful laces can cost a pretty penny so the smart woman who helped me at Britex pointed out that since the lace I chose was double sided, I only needed to buy half the required length! I cut the lace in half to have enough to cover both sides of the bust.

I hand stitched the lace to the inside lining of my dress using whip stitch and being very careful to not put my stitches through the front side of my dress.

Wedding Dress DIY 2

Wedding Dress DIY 3I slowly worked my way along the lace making sure that I took a step back here and there to check that the lace was perfectly lined up (I didn’t pin it because I didn’t want to have any visible pinholes).

Wedding Dress DIY 4To be honest, I was a little nervous about sewing the lace to the dress. I just never pictured myself as a “lace” girl, and was afraid I’d wind up just wrecking the dress. But once I finished one side of the neckline and could see the side-by-side comparison, I loved the alteration!

Wedding Dress DIY 5I was really happy with the finished product with just a hint of the lace peaking over the edge of the dress. It didn’t add much fabric but that half inch or so of lace went a long way in covering up my cleavage and making me feel more comfortable and classy in my dress. It also gave my dress a custom detail and made me feel that much more special on my wedding day!

Wedding Dress DIY After

Wedding Dress DIY After DetailTo solve the second problem of a belt for the dress, I once again turned to the Britex notions section. I purchased a nice long length of a ribbon that matched the ivory of my dress but was just a few shades darker. I had originally wanted a thinner ribbon, but I’m so glad I listened to the Britex sales clerk. She was pretty adamant that I need a ribbon that was closer to 3″ wide and in the end I really think that she was right!

Wedding Dress DIY Bow

Photo adapted from one taken by our fanastic photographer, Matt Land –

On my wedding day I had my maid-of-honor tie a nice big bow in the back of my dress and we snipped the ends of the ribbon with an angled cut for a nice finished look.

All in all, I really think these two little DIY touches added so much to the look of my wedding dress! Not only did they make me feel special and unique, most importantly they helped solve some simple fixes to make me feel comfortable on my wedding day!

Wedding Dress DIY Wedding Day

Photo taken by our amazing Seattle area photographer Matt Land –






DIY: Hand-Stamped Wedding Thank You Cards

My in-laws’ beautiful sailboat was very involved in our wedding, so when it came to making some ‘Thank You’ cards I wanted to keep with the nautical theme. I decided to try my hand at rubber stamping and wound up with some pretty cute note cards, if I do say so myself!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter poking around the stationary section at my local art store for a while, I decided to buy individual alphabet stamps rather than stamps with phrases already on them. While individually stamping each letter is definitely more tedious, have the whole alphabet gives me much more flexibility and lets me use the stamps for different projects (like my new blog header! You like??). I liked the Times New Roman typewriter-looking fonts and figured these would be more forgiving if I didn’t stamp in a perfectly straight line.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also went with a set of cute nautical-themed stamps. I picked a set that had a least 4 or 5 stamps that I thought I could use for the cards and envelopes but also some stamps that might be cute for future projects (like the skull and bones!!!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo be honest, I didn’t really put much careful thought into my choice of ink and just knew that I wanted a nice seaworthy shade of blue. Once I got home and actually read the package, I found that I had apparently bought a water-based ink that could also be heat-set and used to stamp fabrics!!!! Look out adorable textiles, here I come!!! The ink was supposed to be quick-drying, and for the most part it was. I found though, that even about 10 minutes after stamping (onto cards that were specifically made for stamps) I could still smudge the images with my thumb using a bit of pressure. After leaving everything out overnight it dried completely and there were no more smudging issues.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy inspiration for the front of the cards was a cute stamp I saw online that had a view of the back of a car with a “Just Married” sign and tin cans trailing behind. I thought it would be super cute if I could do the same with a boat! I tried drawing some tin cans behind the boat stamp and that just looked….well….stupid. So I left it alone. I like the way it turned out, like we’re sailing into the sunset for an explorer’s honeymoon…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI played around a bit with the positioning of the ‘Thank You’ on the inside of the card and decided that I liked it best centered at the bottom of the card. It still felt prominent but left room to write personal notes to everyone who helped make our day incredible!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs a final touch for the cards I also put a little stamp on the back with “ec ❤ pc”. Which brings me to another point. Think creatively about the stamps you have. My kit didn’t come with any punctuation or a heart stamp. For the period in “thank you.” I simply used just the dot from the letter “j” and for the heart on the back I used just the wing of a firefly stamp that mysteriously came with the alphabet stamp.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI really enjoyed playing with stamps and can’t wait to try stamping fabric. I’ll tell ya though, not sure if I would have enjoyed the process as much if I had more than about 25 cards to make!!






DIY Mixed Flower Bridal Bouquet: Tutorial

I got married last week in a small family-only civil ceremony on Jones Island in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington. It was perfect! It was really important to both of us to have the things we wanted without breaking the bank. For me, that meant a couple small DIY projects. One of these was the flowers.

Photo credit: Matthew Land

Photo credit: Matthew Land

Getting married in such an isolated location puts some limitations on vendor availability. I really just had two florists in town to choose from and at a starting price of $125 for a bridal bouquet, I chose neither! Instead, I bought my wedding flowers from the grocery store!!

I popped into the grocer a couple days before the wedding to scout the flower situation and found out when their shipments of flowers come in so I could buy the freshest flowers with the largest selection. I chose three mixed flower bouquets in a purple and yellow color scheme for a total cost of $28 (that’s $97 savings!).

2-3 bouquets of flowers
Green florist tape
Straight pins
Elastic bands

Step 1: Strip your flowers.
While all those leaves and filler bits look great in a bouquet in a vase, they get in the way when trying to construct a bridal bouquet. So before getting started with any arranging, you want to strip your flowers of ALL leaves and organize them by flower type.


Step 2: Pick your “Show Off” flower.
Once you’ve got all your flowers laid out, you’ll want to choose one or two flowers that will be the center of your bouquet. This should be a larger flower and should be your favorite. I chose the Gerbera daisy as the focal point for my bouquet.

Next you want to select a few flowers to surround your center flower. When adding these it’s nice to work in odd numbers and to keep things even. I add three stalks of flowers around the daisy (pardon the blurry photo!).

Take the time to arrange these few center stalks. When you’re satisfied, use florist tape to hold them in place. Florist tape is a stretchy green tape that’s a bit tacky, so when you wrap it around itself it will self-adhere. It’s what boutonnieres are often wrapped in.


Step 4: Add more flowers.
Next you’ll want to add a few more flowers, in the same even manner as above. If you’re going to add odd flowers, try to balance them with an odd flower on either side of the bouquet. Here, I’ve added clusters of purple flowers evenly spaced around the yellow. Secure the stems with more florist tape every four or five stalks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you’re going to add flowers unevenly, try to balance them. For example, in my bouquet I added a yellow lily and orange carnation to one side, then some white daisies to the other (see finished pictures).

Step 5: Add your “filler” and greenery.
Once you’ve got your bouquet built up a little, but not quite finished, it’s time to add your filler and greenery. I added stalks that stood up straight to the back of the bouquet and added looser more droopy stalks to the front of the bouquet.


As the bouquet gets larger it gets more difficult to secure the stems with florist tape alone. I wrapped the florist tape with an elastic band when I found it was getting a little unwieldy, just to make sure everything would stay nice and secure.


Step 6: Add finishing flowers.
The final step is adding a few flowers to the outside to fill in the bouquet and to surround the filler and greenery. I just added flowers until I was happy with the size of the bouquet, making sure the central showcase Gerbera daisy was always visible.

For the final step to keep things nice and tight, I secured the florist tape with straight pins.



Since the bottom of the bouquet would be visible, I also took the time to give the stems a nice even blunt cut at the bottom. I don’t have any pictures of it, but as a final step I wrapped the bottom of the bouquet in my granny’s handkerchief to cover the florist tape.

And voila! My finished bouquet! (I’m hoping there might be a better picture when we get our photos from the photographer. I’ll update the post if I find a better shot).

bouquet in action