Monday, August 31, 2015

Wedding Bonbonnieres - Lavender Sachets

Personalising your wedding with handmade touches is a fabulous way to make your special day a day to remember. For my daughter Michaela's recent wedding, there were many handmade details - each one of them was a labour of love and took many hours to complete but they added an elegant, understated touch to her day and were a talking point amongst the guests. Today, we begin the "Wedding Collection" - a series of posts showcasing those details.

This is the final instalment for the wedding bonbonnieres: boxed Lavender Sachets. Take a look at Part 1 and Part 2 for more details.

The bonbonnieres consisted of a simple piece of cotton fabric filled with lavender. Michaela cut the fabric into a square, folded it in half and then stitched it on two sides to form a sleeve.
Even kitty Kitty Kat wanted to get in on the act.
 One hundred sleeves later and the pile looks like this.

A project of this size necessitates you work production-line style and that you employ as many extra hands as you can so at this point, a group of friends was enlisted to help. There were stations set up for filling the bags with lavender, tying the bows, attaching the charms and hot gluing the gold leaves, none of which I remembered to photograph. But with nibblies and drinks provided, there was plenty of fun and laughter around the table.

The thank you tags were attached to a ribbon with a wedding band charm and then tied around the sachets.
Using a wedding band trinket as a jump ring was a clever touch!
Once wrapped with ribbon and decorated, the sachets were ready for boxing.

We sat in front of TV one night to fold the acetate boxes that would hold the sachets and then they were lined with a square of burgundy crushed velvet to add a luxe look.

A little note was included with each one. On the front, it read: "Smell me, I'm fabulous" and on the back was a heartfelt thank you note from the Bride and Groom.

With a production-line set up, one of the bridesmaids was on hand to place the sachets in the acetate boxes. It's lucky we have an eight foot dining table to spread out on. No meals were eaten here for days!

The dining room buffet became their home for the next few days before the boxes were tied with the finishing cord.

A closer look at the production line.

A closer look at the lavender sachets before the boxes were closed.

It was nice that the final touch was added by the Bride and Groom - a gold cord tied around the boxes giving them a very professional finish.

The bonbonnieres were quite a community project with more than a dozen different helpers over a period of weeks - I'm sorry not to have photos of everyone who pitched in to help, but thank you to each and every one of you - your help was invaluable. 

I'll be sharing more personal touches in future posts so don't forget to check back to see what other ideas this very crafty bride came up with to make her wedding a day to remember!

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Monday, August 24, 2015

"With Love" - Bonbonniere Tags

A few weeks back I shared how to create a silicone mould for casting tags that will be attached to the bonbonnieres for my daughter's wedding. With the mould made, it's now time to cast the 100 tags needed.
We chose polymer clay as the casting medium for the tags - it gives them a nice weight. And because they will all be painted later on, we were able to use up lots of scrap clay that I had in the studio.

To begin, roll out the clay to the thickness of two wooden stir sticks. Timesaving tip: Use a pasta machine to roll out a whole sheet of clay to the desired thickness rather than rolling out enough clay for one or two tags at a time. My brain was a bit foggy with project overload before the wedding but if I had been thinking clearly, I could have saved a heap of time!

Cut the clay using the same oval cutter that the mould was made from. 

Insert the cut tag into the mould positioning it so that it lines up.

Press the clay down into the mould so that the clay is impressed with the pattern.

Carefully remove the clay from the mould.

Use a bamboo skewer to poke a hole in each one and then bake in the oven following the manufacturer's instructions.

This was a great way to use up a lot of scrap clay and the tags were actually quite pretty - it was almost a shame to paint them.

But paint them, we did! After painting with a couple of coats of very dark burgundy craft paint, the raised lettering was highlighted with a gold marker to add the finishing touch.

In my next post the bonbonnieres will really begin to take shape. Join me to see how they turned out!

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

New Studio Lighting - Daylight LEDs

Good lighting is essential when you do a lot of close up work. When I moved in to my studio 5 years ago, I had a suspended double fluoro installed above my work table to make sure that the work space was well lit. But even with this central light, tasks lights were still needed at every station around the table. Having a suspended light seemed like a good idea at the time but with light only hitting the tables, the rest of the room was dark. And with so many cables and cords dangling from the ceiling, it looked untidy.

But today, all that has changed. I had an electrician install two new ceiling lights which are flush mounted to the ceiling. 

I am quite impressed with how much light they give off and as I sit here at my computer, I am amazed that the light is reaching this far.

You can see that I still have the power cords dangling from the ceiling (for power at the work tables) but it's much tidier now without the cables suspending the old lightfitting. But the best part of these new lights is that they are daylight LEDs and they give off the kind of light you get from a bright window.  

They will be extremely helpful when I'm photographing my work - I will no longer have to switch off the overhead lights to eliminate the blue cast thrown by the fluorescent lights which confuses the camera so much.

I won't be getting rid of my daylight task lamps any time soon because I'll still need those for close up work but I am grateful for the extra light I now have in the studio.

'Til next time.....

If you can't get enough of My Tutorials and you want even more inspiration, click here to find my books and printable pdfs