WEDDING FAVORS LOVE | colorful, lovely, fabulous favor inspiration | All Hail Rebecca Thuss

I have admired Rebecca Thuss from afar for quite a long stretch now.  When it comes to swoon-worthy, she is, in my estimation, a genius.  Upon a visit to Rebecca’s site, one finds this menu:

Now, I can speak only for myself, but you might agree with me when I say that this short, sweet list of Portfolio items is kind of paralyzing in a way, with its array of tantalizing topics, each one more enticing than the last.  Where to start?!

This frozen moment can be compared to that brief moment when your beloved has just proposed, and you are, for a second, dumbfounded, with an acute case of shock, delight and this is the biggest decision of my life but I need to make it in the shortest period of time manifesting all at once on your face.  Or maybe that’s a bit extreme of a comparison.  But whatev.  No matter, as this period of reaction is short-lived, in both cases.  What takes over – back to Rebecca Thuss now – is an unparalleled excitement coupled with a furious exploration of every nook and cranny held within those carefully and cleanly titled categories.

Listed among her many enviable capabilities are Prop & Set Styling, Wedding Design, Event Design and Crafting…

Wow.  Every one of those skills is something I think most of us would be pleased as punch to do for a living ourselves.

Little boxes, on the hillside, little boxes, filled with ticky tacky…

These two, above and below, bring back thoughts of this oldie but goodie DIY project.

Want your wedding to be floral-focused?  Then these little pink favor boxes could be the perfect finishing touch on your big day.  And, speaking of flower power, these gowns will fit that theme, not to mention your shape, expertly.

I adore the favor boxes below; they offer a fun, rustic feel, and the images affixed to the box tops – each one different from the last – are filled with warm colors and tones.  Plus, I’m lovin’ the twine and tags, of course.  Attention to detail is always admired and appreciated… and if you have the time and desire to do it, I wholeheartedly champion the effort (and I’d love to attend your wedding, as well!).

Cherries!  Little scalloped edged bags of transparent vellum, filled with (what I consider to be delicious) deep red cherries.  So simple, so pretty… it’s perfect for the quick and easy favor, but still quite upscale and dignified.

{ Images: Rebecca Thuss }

Feeling inspired?  Stay tuned for more posts about other terrific ideas and sources for making your own, or at least semi-homemade, wedding favors.  There are so many out there, it’s kind of unreal, and definitely overwhelming.  But, as always, my goal is to track down the best of the best, or invent on my own when I feel like getting crafty.

For now, here are a couple of handpicked resources where you can find yourself some of your very own perfect favor packaging supplies…

~ The Packaging Source

~ Wedding Things (some samples: purple, orange and brown)

And always remember, have fun with it.  You’re throwing a huge party, and, besides getting married, the point of it is to have a grand ol’ time… so make sure you invite yourself!

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Part II: FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | love print + wedding photography giveaway + flourish freebies + a colorful new spin on a couple of wedding trends | So, in Short, More Wedding Goodies!

OK, let’s get started…

Here we go with more of that sweet, sweet stuff I love today!  Beginning with this abso-fab print from bubbo on Etsy…

It’s pretty freakin’ nice, wouldn’t you say?  I’m including this today not just because it’s fantabulous – which it so is – but because of what happens if you buy it.  Take it bubbo…

Bubbo: “100% of sales from Valentine’s posters + prints goes to Haiti!”

That right there, folks, is what it’s all about.

And what do we have here?  Oh, just some free flourish ornaments/designs for your very own personal use, from none other than iDiY, via veils and vows.

If you’d like to get your hands on these, just click the links to the two sites I’ve listed above, or check them out via these links, below, courtesy of iDiY.

Aridi Calligraphia Flourish 2 via Fontica

Civilite Tails via FontGirl

Ornament Scrolls & Flourishes by T. Olsson via Moorstation

I’m gushing over this next one, which is – omigosh – a WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY GIVEAWAY!  My sister talks to her little boy like that to get him interested in activities when she isn’t confident the interest will come about naturally.  Funny, because I’m confident about this one…

Love it!  How great are wedding photography giveaways?!!  About as great as free flourishes, I’d say, yes I would.  The photographers offering this amazing package, which I discovered via Emmaline Bride, are Andy Stenz and Jamie M. Swanson.  Thank you, Andy and Jamie.  You are stupendous and on behalf of brides everywhere, I extend my deepest appreciation for doing something so wonderful.

Oh, speaking of wedding photography earlier… here’s today’s uber-cute collection, which I found here, within the my heaven on Earth, flickr.

How great is that?  The bride is seriously pulling off that stunner of a dress, and you know I’m a sucker for a good dessert table.  Oh, and by the way, it looks like that mustache trend is here to stay, brides and grooms.  Feel free to get on board!  So, while we’ve got a bunch of trends going on, that lime green, canary yellow and baby soft bluish-green is so crazy beautiful and unique, it makes the whole thing look quite fresh and new.  That color scheme is mega-inspiring!

Also found this photographic beauty there, which I’ve seen a million times in every magazine I own and have been meaning to scan, myself, for I don’t even know how long.  So glad I found it on flickr!  It’s just so intense!  Love it.

Let’s end with some wedding dessert options.  Yeah, that’s the stuff.

{Source of yummy dessert photos}

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Part I: FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | save the date freebies + smiles + scrabble | Happiness Lies Within

Alright everyone, here we go.  I’m practically hyperventilating over these finds, today.  Go get a brown paper bag in case you begin to experience some shallow breathing…

The Wedding Chicks have outdone themselves with this find right here.  They’ve brought us one of the most beautiful wedding paper templates I’ve eva seen.  Eva.  It’s beautiful, it’s got that oh-so-popular vintage look we’re all after these days… it’s EPIC… and, best of all, it’s a freebie.

Hello, Photo Save the Date Calendar Cards freebie.  So nice to meet you on this fine day.  I have been hoping you’d arrive one day.  You’re everything I’ve ever wanted, and I’d like to share you with all of my friends and family…

Not only are you beautiful… you’re customizable, too!  Seriously, you need to stop it – you’re spoiling us.  (Don’t stop – I didn’t mean it.)

I am absolutely, positively swooning over these Save the Date Templates.  THANK YOU, Wedding Chicks!!!

It was this last sample of the template in action that led me to that superfantabulous freebie (freeby?) discovery above…

The couple in that picture share a love for a certain board game…

… ditto for the FH and me.  I admit to thinking, on occasion, about how to infuse a little bit of the game we both enjoy so much into the wedding.  But everything I’ve brainstormed has been too Scrabble-y for my taste.  Enter: the engagement photo session of Julia and George, by Bend the light photography.  What did they do?  They broke out a game of Scrabble for the shoot!  So simple – I can’t believe I didn’t think of this!

Wedding Chicks

Next up, I’ve got something that really makes me happy.  Whenever I’m perusing the latest wedding photos put up by all of my favorite photographers, I search for one specific thing the most, above all.

The perfect beaming smile shot:

Can’t you just see the happiness pouring out of their mouths?

THIS IS ADORABLE.

Thank you for these day brighteners, Amelia Lyon.

Today is just overflowing with finds, people.  I LOVE what’s coming next, and, well, I can say with confidence that you will, too. Check in later for Part II of the Finds…

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PICTURE PERFECT | obsessed with these ideas! | Want Your Smiling Faces on Everything? Martha’s Got You Covered

Dear Martha Stewart Weddings,

Your magazines are among the only ones I keep, for years past the date printed on the cover.  Why?  Because the ideas that line the glossy pages of each and every issue you make are the kind that will never go out of style.  And these ideas right here – which I rediscovered while flipping through the pages of an oldie-but-goodie during a recent cross-country flight – are precisely what I mean…

Picture Treats

 

Photo Stickers

 

Photo Kisses

 

Photo Confetti

 

Photo Cake

 

Playing Cards

 

Photo Bracelets and Pendants

 

Cufflinks and Watch

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{ All images courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings }

 

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ETSY SPOTLIGHT | sigmosaics, part deux: pastel perfection + valentine’s day picks | How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways…

I love it when I randomly take a look at one of the many lovely shops I’ve “Favorited” on Etsy, and find – always to my surprise, for some reason – new and outstanding product ready for purchase.  Say it with me, folks – new product.  Ahh, just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it.  In a hard consonant kind of way.

Well, this was my experience when I paid a visit to my “Favorite Sellers” page recently, clicked on my old friend Sigmosaics AND SAW THESE:

 

 

 

(I know what you’re saying – but no, those are not the same eggs from Friday’s Fab Finds… they are, in fact, smaller mini eggs, and in summer hues.  No I’m not joking, they’re different.  Scout’s honor.)

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Does breakfast in bed sound like the perfect way to spend your Valentine’s Day?  Then ask him to buy you one of these – but make sure he knows that you’d like it filled with food before he presents it to you.  Remember, men don’t read minds!  (Thank God.)

 

 

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How about some heart-shaped creations?  I’d feel pretty lucky to receive one of these little works of art mid-February…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and by the way, here are two additional reasons why I have mad love (do the kids still say that?) for Kerrin, the creative force behind Sigmosaics:

1. 10% of the listing price of nearly all the items I’ve displayed above (save for the mini mosaic eggs) will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

And, as if that wasn’t enough…

2. An excerpt from her bio: 

“Sigmosaics is how I became known amongst my customers in Portugal coupled with the fact it is also the name of my website … therefore I decided to also use this name for my Etsy shop. My children provided the inspiration for the ‘Sig’ part … it’s their initials!”

I’m a sucker for rolling in your kids’ initials when naming your business.  That’s just a certain kind of special, and it’s the kind that I love.

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS ♡ Part 2 | Still Staring | a tush God took a few more minutes to sculpt + other eye candy you secretly want to own and/or touch…

I thought I liked my butt until I saw yours, Miss.  I hope you don’t mind me staring a bit.  I don’t think you do, since you’ve made it the photographic focal point.  So I’m going to keep my eyes fixed, as well as send a little shout out to Chris Nicholls for gifting the world with your assets.

Pretty, pretty pink pastel stationery, anyone?  Martha Stewart to the rescue…

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By the way, here’s a Fab Friday Tip I remembered I wanted to tell you:
When you finalize your guest list, assign each address a unique number.  Write it lightly but legibly on the back of your response cards before mailing them.  This way, if Mr. and Mrs. Friendorfoe forget to write their names on the card, or Mr. Friendorfoe’s handwriting is atrocious, you’ll still know who’s responding.  Problem solved.

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Speaking of wedding correspondence, I scanned these two pages out of my Speedball Textbook to show you.  This right here is a great reference tool for writing out your guests’ addresses.  Click on the image and print it for easy reference, if you’re diy’ing it, like me.

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Speaking of writing/typography… I love visiting Briar Press for their awesome Cuts & Caps, many of which are totally free.  And that – say it with me – is a wonderful thing.  This one here costs money, but it’s my favorite “A” so it gets featured.

Speaking of fonts (yeah, I’m gonna keep going with this free association), I found this meticulous masterpiece by Danish artist Peter Callesen, via paper tastebuds.

I still don’t believe that that, right there, is possible.

You must visit his site.  Seriously.  No, seriously, because I need some opinions on whether this is physically possible.  Please weigh in.

And Peter, if you see, this… HOW do you DO THIS, my friend?!?!!  Is this learned, or innate?  I think I love you and would like to be your artist-world-partner, assuming you aren’t already tied down, or anything.  (?)  Our marriage would be based on your talent, not a bond of love, since I haven’t met you.  But that seems to be enough for a lot of people, so whaddya say?

Here’s more of your work, whilst you decide.

That looks like real bones!

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS ♡ Part 1 | Etsy Bitsy Favorites | hey… psst… I stare at you sometimes

Occasionally, I’ll go to my Favorites page on Etsy, just to take a lingering look at what I’ve accumulated.

For example, I favorited Etsy shop owner sarahparrott825, because she has the most precious thing going.  She calls it, “Press & Post,” which she describes as “a monthly delivery of one letterpress card complete with a kraft envelope & vintage postage stamps for those who love to write & send beautiful notes.”

What an absolutely, positively splendid idea.  And who doesn’t like pristine vintage postage?

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Gathering Etsy Favorites is one of my many labors of love.

I’m the saver in the family, so it’s not about parking things to pick them up later… though I certainly do Paypal it up every now and then.  (My credit card bill alternates between Whole Foods, Etsy, rent and Chipotle.)   I have a few reasons for picking Favorites… sometimes I feel like I need something, sometimes I find something inspiring, but most of the time I feel like having the opportunity to easily access and stare at something for whatever length of time pleases me.  To infinity.

Or ’til it makes its way to the blog.  A totally legit reason to hoard loveliness, no?

Time to share.

~ An origami paper crane, by Shadan.  I’ve had this one on the list for awhile, for two very specific reasons:

1. Origami cranes are my thing.  (Shout out, childhood.)
2. It’s just a paper crane – a beautiful paper crane, but a crane, nonetheless – however, somehow Shadan’s crazy skillz transform the scene it into a topographic landscape, complete with mountainous lanterns, what seem like jellybean lowlands, and I think there’s a kid in the back. (And that’s either a huge white diaper entombing his bottom half, or a sunbeam splashing off of an unknown in the foreground.  Votes?)

By the way, here’s Shadan‘s dandy Etsy bio:

“I’m a vegetarian,recently-married,closeted reality-show loving,friendly,artistic girl who would just like to turn my hobby of making things into a full-time career before I poke my own eye out with my pencil at my current 9-5 cubicle job.”

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~ A set of favorites from Sigmosaics, comin’ at us all the way from Christchurch, New Zealand <– why I love the internet.  I’m digging the “lip” of orange that rises just above the external mosaic.

More of my favorite mosaic work from Sigmosaics:

~ Last up, lovely paper goods from humunuku.

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RANDOM PRETTY THINGS | absolutely nothing to do with weddings | Ribbons & Bear Coasters!

I think it’s really just the vibrant colors that got me with this one.  I realize it’s only ribbon.  Folded mini bundles of ribbon.  But look at them… aren’t they sort of glorious?  Maybe it’s just me…

And I want these coasters BADLY.  I have a healthy chunk of German heritage flowing through my very visible German veins, and… well, I can’t really reveal to you yet the other reason.  But it has to do with the red bear print… though I guess that IS obvious.  What else could it be?  :)

Look at that punim.  So cute!!!

This was a more self-indulgent post than usual.  I do like to self-indulge, but maybe this one was kind of REALLY self-indulgent.  Thoughts?

I’ll give you mine: it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want to!  =D

Yeah… soooo… I’ll be back soon with something much more relevant.

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WEDDING PRINTABLES | freebies + downloads | My Work is a Label of Love

I’m absolutely gushing over today’s post, you guys.  First of all, it’s got printable freebies, and they’re labels.  Eek!  Second of all, the pictures, ooohhhh the pictures.

These labels from Eat Drink Chic, which I found via ‘IDo’-it-yourself, would be totally perfect for a really vintage, unique, hyper-stylish wedding.  And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is the description of one seriously hip affair.  Go download these free labels immediately if you can relate to that description, or if you just like the labels and want to do something neat with them.

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These two gorgeous printable label freebies came from the creative noggin’ of one of my favorite bloggers, Miss B of The Blah Blah Blog. Stunning design, and fantastic color combos, I might add.  Of course, I’m a sucker for red type and brown kraft paper.  Throw in a little soft bluish-green and I’m your lapdog.

{lil prettie mailing label}

{pen pal envelope wrap}

Visit her post on this loveliness to get the low down on the dl.  I love a good stream of consciousness rundown on a free download.  Miss B = a daily breath of fresh, female air.

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Here, we have a spectacular freebie I think you’re gonna love, courtesy of The Wedding Style Guide Magazine, and found via the ever-inspiring ‘IDo’-it-yourself.

Those tags are crazy beautiful, are they not?

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Next up, we’ve got these super fab labels I found on Melissa Van Hoose’s blog, A Very Chocolate Wedding.  Just perfect for those of you who would like to skip the whole writing out the addresses business that some of us spend days, err, weeks perfecting.  (Work in progress, friends.  You’ll see; I’m, uhh, pretty sure it’ll be worth it.)

Cute, right?  Go download the pdf of your choice here.

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Now last, but certainly not least, we have a set of darling printable bookplates created by Zee, a talented photographer who maintains a blog entitled, Hey, Zee!

If you’re considering books for favors, I think attaching these would be just about the most precious thing.  Get them here.

I am in lust with this woman; her photography is beyond… absolutely beyond.  And her prose are, I think – and I’m just taking a guess here – more captivating than she may realize.

In one of her posts, she writes, “The most important when editing my photos is that I only please my own eyes… I feel happy and confident about them. They make me smile. So, that is important. No one else must love them as much as I do.”

Well, if I may respond, Zee: in your efforts to please and stay true to yourself, I am confident that you have delighted the masses.

Following your heart; always smart.

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WEDDING DETAILS LOVE | baker’s twine | One Day, They’ll Accept Our Love…

Okay, you all know how much I love the little details that go into creating the ins and outs of your wedding decor.

And it’s no secret that I love me some craftaliscious gift packaging.

Well, one big component of those obsessions is twine.  And for a long time, it didn’t matter what kind.  You see, I do my best not to discriminate.  I don’t see type or color in my twine.  I’m twine-blind.  All twines are created equal, and that’s how it should be.  Twine, twine, twine.

However.

Recently, I’ve noticed that I have a thing for baker’s twine.

I’ve developed a slight – a slight – partiality.  And here’s why.

{ 1-4 }

It is obnoxiously adorable.  In your face pretty.  It’s just irresistible, and you know what?  I won’t waste my time fighting off its advances. Why fight, when we can love?  Really, everyone, join me.  There’s enough to go around.  It’s string.

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Baker’s twine is awwwwesoomme (I sang that like an opera singer as I wrote it).  There are SO many things you can do with baker’s twine.  About a bazillion things to be exact, and they’re pretty much all haute and chic… you know, stylish-like.

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But they can be kitschy, if you like kitschy.

And they can be cutesy, if you like cutesy.

So if you want some colorful bursts of inspiration that’ll get you into wedding decor production mode tout de suite, well then gaze upon that which ensues.  I hope it pleases thee as much as it pleases me.

That above, that’s pennant bunting!  I love jargon terms.  They always have sort of a luscious taste to them as they roll off the tongue.

Some tags…

… more tags…

… and a pretty pink package, all from Nice Package.  I like that shop name, but for the wrong reasons.

Major red twine love going on here.  You can find the twine in these next two pics over at maythird.

Here’s a really lovely, simple wrap job to which I feel especially endeared:

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Rifle Paper Co. via *

This right here is a personal fave; while it isn’t baker’s twine, it’s AWESOME and I’ve been dying to post it somewhere, recently:

And a bit more from Nice Package, because you know you want it.

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MARTHA WEDDINGS LOVE | take a peek… | New Winter 2010 Issue!

If you haven’t picked up your copy of the latest issue of Martha’s fabulous weddings magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, maybe a peek at what’s in store will help you brace the winter winds and scurry over to that newsstand…

Of course, the first section to which I always flip – without fail – is DIY Style. Verdict: I can promise you that it’s a winner in this issue.  The DIY projects Martha features are quite often utterly amazing, and the current issue is no exception.  In fact, I’d like to get started on a few of these IMMEDIATELY, but I can’t get myself to stop staring at the photography.  I love pretty colors and tiny details, so mine eyes have seen the glory and my pupils are dilated to the breaking point.  Kudos, Johnny Miller.  What lovely work you’ve done here.

My favorite project?  Oh, I’d love to tell you, thanks for asking!  Right off the bat, I was drawn to the jewelry box that involves repurposing your ring pillow.  It’s so simple, so green, and so perfect for bringing a bit of your wedding into your everyday life!  That’s how I define a great idea.

Of course, you’ll have to wait until after your wedding (rough, I know), but it’s such a smart, beautiful concept that I think it’s worth putting on that post-wedding To Do List, don’t you?  All that’s needed to craft up this little homemade jewelry box is a simple wooden keepsake box, like this one, suggested by Martha.  Plop in that already beribboned ring pillow, and presto!  Too cute.  Have fun!

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INSPIRATION | pretty lovely and pretty creative | Color Schemes for Your Home Space Work Just as Well for Your Wedding

I love this idea… it’s something I’ve always wanted to do with the many lovely photos of my mother that my dad has taken over time.  This one’s from Cindy Russell, of her mother.  … Always loved that he took those photos.  So sweet, such a deep expression of love.  I’m joyous that they exist, and I’m sure my mom is stoked about it, too.  This is a big part of the reason I let the boy take candids…

… no matter how hideous I may be feeling at that particular moment.  I don’t let myself stifle his often adorably sneaky efforts, ’cause who knows, one of those snapshots might actually become an image I grow to cherish 30 years from now.  One never knows.  For real – there are a solid three, maybe four photographs he took of me about three years ago that I really do adore; there’s no mistaking that I wasn’t in the mood to be photographed at the particular moment each was taken, but they still come off quite lovely (if I do say so myself).

I want to make something clear, though; I’m definitely not always camera ready.  Rephrase: I’m nearly never camera ready, in my opinion.  But, I’ve found in the trials and tribulations of being this fine gender of mine, that it’s really just a girl thing.  (SO GLAD I figured that one out sooner than later.  We really are way more camera ready than we may believe ourselves to be.  Truth.  I wouldn’t lie to you.  And if you’d like to contest that on a personal level, go ahead and send me your argument in the form of a pic of yourself.  I will be brutally honest with you.  But not one in which you’re trying to look not-so-hot.  Then you’re just trying to get me to say bad things about you, and that’s not good for my image.  Capiche?)

Anyway, I also found these next few rather colorful – in the absolute sweetest way – and, for me, intensely inspiring photographs, all of her living/work space.  The first is sort of Narnia magical, the second is pretty much exactly what my work space looks like, but in terms of the towering book stacks, only.

Those colors, those delicious pastels mixed with bolds, arranged in a teetering zigzag of organized clutter.  That’s my favorite kind of clutter.  I think my better half would agree, if I made the surrounding area of our teetering zigzags look as delicately beautiful as Cindy Russell’s.

That home design prettiness combined with the playful and similarly colored party flags behind this lovely wedded couple (the flag line is in the second set below) make for a massive amount of inspiration.  Don’t you just love these COLORS?

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I’ll wrap it up with an adorably colorful celebrate banner, and a totally cute getaway car flower garland, both of which Luzel featured on her lovely blog, iDiY.

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DIY ~ WEDDING CALLIGRAPHY | tools you’ll need to do it yourself | Addressing Your Wedding Invitation & Save the Date Envelopes!

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Scroll to the bottom of this post to turn on the musical stylings of my favorite new artist, Warpold Wine.  Mmm mmm goodness.

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So, one big decision I’ve made in the process of planning my wedding is that I’m personally going to address the envelopes that will hold my save-the-dates, and then, based on that outcome, I will decide which way to go on my wedding invitations.  Why did I decide this, especially since there’s so much room for failure and frustration?  Well, there are two major reasons, and one minor reason.

Major Reason 1. My name isn’t Moneybags McTonsocash.

Major Reason 2. Way back when I was but a wee babe, I had myself a chic little calligraphy business.  I was kind of super young, but I worked hard at it, and ended up landing some serious business.  Shout out to the recipients of the MVP/Most Improved, etc. sports award certificates… hand-scribed by moi! Your names may never again be written with that much love, care and attention to detail.

Hmm, this was back in the early 90s, so that means all of you are probably in your mid 20s right about now.  Which means you may be in need of some calligraphy services in the very near future. Yes?  Go home and take a look at that certificate.  If you like what I did when I was 10 years old, then get in touch and we can discuss your vision for your wedding calligraphy.  ;)

… Anyway, so given my childhood undertakings, I couldn’t reconcile outsourcing the task.

Minor Reason 3. I heart the handmade.  I strongly believe in doing it yourself if you can do it well.  Don’t have experience with calligraphy?  No problem – do you have good handwriting?  That’s a strong start.

TOOLS I USE:

Note: Tunes I Use is at the bottom of this post.

You can get everything you’ll need at your local specialty art supply store.  I get my tools from DaVinci’s in NYC on the corner of 23rd and Lex., because they carry lefty nibs and it is surprisingly hard to find these.  By the way, the difficulty of finding nibs for left-handed people has always weirded me out, especially because I’ve heard and was told in my youth that left-handedness is often the mark of an artist.  No offense, right-handed artists reading this.  You outnumber we lefties, so I am probably setting myself up for a fight (if so, one rule: no hand-attacks), but I’m really just reciting what I’ve heard throughout the years.  Of course there’s always the possibility that everyone in my life has been humoring me all this time.  Hmm.  My fiance does have a scarily high success rate when it comes to fooling me.  This, I will revisit.

Ink

There are tons of inks from which to choose.  Since my save-the-date envelopes are red, I am currently experimenting with Winsor & Newton’s #974 white ink, and seeking results similar to those achieved in the following images, from Moira Events (1-3), and Papineau Calligraphy (4).

I may switch to silver ink, as I am doing a process of elimination to find the most opague white ink available on this planet and it is proving quite a challenge.  DaVinci’s tells me this one, below, is the best.  We’ll see.

The ink:

Nibs

There are nibs for right-handed and left-handed people.  I’m a lefty, and for my envelopes, I will be using one of the bottom two nibs shown in this image (LC-3 & LC-4):

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Four of my nibs (here, LC-3 is on the pen holder):

Pen Holder

I use a Speedball pen holder.  You shove the rounded base of your chosen nib into the pen holder.  Once joined, the two together make your calligraphy pen.  Hurrah!

For inspiration, I’ve gathered up a personal gallery of some of the most gorgeous hand-written calligraphy I’ve ever seen.  I find the four examples below to be among the most inspiring whenever I sit down to write.  They are the work of Primele Calligraphy.

I will post updates on my progress with regard to finding the highest quality and most opague inks and which style of calligraphy I end up choosing to do.

Talk soon! -Alison

Stay tuned for continued installments of DIY Wedding Calligraphy.

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12.31.09 Update: You may have noticed, I’m way into a certain artist right now.  So much so that the CD jacket made a cameo appearance in this post’s feature photo.  That’s when a person is way into something, methinks.  So, allow me to suggest the following for your listening pleasure…

Artist: Warpold WineAlbum: Warpold WineIdeal for: sitting back, relaxing, doing your own wedding calligraphy, break-ups, make-ups, commuting, frolicking, wrestling with your significant other, and good deeds.  Also, New Year’s Eve festivities.  Sample it here, or check out the touring schedule.

I live for the wow factor in my weddings, and the chill factor in my music. Just let it run; there are 12 tracks, each one with its own charm and brilliance.  Standouts: tracks 4, 5, 7, 8… no I can’t do this.  I love it all, and it actually pains me to play favorites.  Currently listening to 8.  OMG, track 8.  CHILLS, people.

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HOLIDAY FAVES LOVE | dreamy diys + pretty printables + awe-inspiring images | Heavenly Holiday Decor + Gift Packaging Perfection = My Happiness

There are lots of reasons why the holidays are one of my favorite times of the year, but ranking high among them are the following two:

~ dreamy and delightful holiday decor

~ pretty packaging perfection by incredibly creative crafters

Combine those two with my absolute favorite thing in general and of all time – photography – and you get marvelous, breathtakingly beautiful things… wondrous things that never cease to amaze me, no matter how many times or however long I stare at them.  Here are several examples of that magic, created by some of the greatest triple threats around.  Click on the links announcing each set to visit each artist’s space on the web (Flickr pages or personal weblogs).

I Love Danielle Thompson

Visit her ridiculously awesome blog, too.

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I Love giverslog

It gives me the loveliest leads and most darling ideas; like this:

And this

And, best of all, this:

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I Love Martha

Just look at what she creates!  One cannot help but be inspired by this:

This:

Or this:

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I Love eatdrinkchic

Just look at this and you’ll understand:

So many projects and free printables:

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So not done with the Love for Danielle Thompson

If you haven’t visited her blog or Flickr account yet, I am now pressuring you to do so.  It is AH. MA. ZING.

Here’s more of what you’ll find:

Told you.

I think it would be a nice time to live inside of her pictures.

As far as gift wrapping/packaging is concerned, here are just a few of my personal faves:

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And I just LOVE this tree:

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HOLIDAY BAKED TREATS LOVE | Festive Cupcakes That Go Way Beyond Icing and Sprinkles…

Want to make a serious impact this holiday season, but feel your typical treats just aren’t cutting it this year?  Or maybe you kinda sorta forgot to buy gifts for your family and friends, and it’s December 22 already.  Whoa, came outta nowhere, right?!

Okay, no worries, everything’s fine.  Bakerella has some major league ideas that are sure to drop jaws…

Show up on the scene holding a sweet lookin’ batch of any of the uber-creative confections below – all courtesy of the magnificent Bakerella – and you’ll finally be able to throw away your copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

It’s through their eyes and their stomachs, my friends.  Their eyes and their stomachs.

So, how about these adorable Coca-Cola Cupcakes?

(Sooo cute.)

My favorite part might be the multi-color shells you have to buy:

It’s a little involved, as you can see, so…

Go check out the instructions on how to Make These Coca-Cola Cupcakes.

Another one of Bakerella’s projects I adore:.

How PERFECT are these itty bitty cupcake Christmas trees?!!

To make them, you’ll need sugar cones…

Snowflake sprinkles…

And candy canes, just to name a few ingredients.


Want to try your hand at this? Here’s how to make these Candy Cane Christmas Tree Cupcakes.

Of course, it doesn’t stop there.  Bakerella has tons of ideas and recipes, and some seriously phenomenal photography to go along with it.  I especially love the shots that depict the initial steps of her baking process:

Okay… so I’m going to leave you with that for the time being, as I go bake something immediately, because I’ve just thoroughly enticed and tortured myself and unfortunately there’s no turning back… Talk soon!

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{All images courtesy of Bakerella}

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PAPER LOVE | wrap it up | Don’t Get Your Hopes Up; No One Can Wrap Like This…

Don’t you wish you could wrap your gifts this perfectly? I do.

feltandwireshop.com - design_army_papers

But, unless we’re sending our packages via email – aka not sending real gifts to people in real life, a serious holiday-fail – we’ll just have to settle for a little human error in our gift wrapping efforts.  Fortunately, there are gift wrapping papers as fun and spirited as these bright beauties from Design Army, which make even the worst wrap-job totally forgivable.  This bundle is called the “Do-Re-Mi” Wrapping Paper collection, and you can get it here.

Rudolph:

rudolph

Frosty:

frosty

Jingle Bells:

falala

12 Days of Xmas:

12_days

(You get two sheets of all four designs)

My favorites?  The “12 Days of Xmas” is quite nice, and I really get a kick out of another design, called “To/From” Wrapping Paper, which saves you an obvious step in the gift-wrapping process:

Cute idea, no?  If you think so, you might want to hurry up – you don’t have much time left!

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HOLIDAY LOVE | so pretty and so festive | Red + White + Brown – form of – PAPER ‘n’ TREATS {so delicious looking}

Leslie’s Color Me Pretty posts on her blog, decor8, make me feel all warm and festive inside.  Just look at the sweet, sweet goodness of these projects she created and photographed so brilliantly.  Go Leslie, with your bad self!  I love how you rock that hyper-creativity that so obviously flows through you in immeasurable quantities.  Did you know that red, white and kraft paper brown are, as a matter of fact, my favorite holiday colors?

Leslie’s loveliness inspired me to gather up my favorite manifestations of that oh-so-special color triumvirate.  My heart actually beats faster when I look at these other bits ‘n’ pieces of holiday inspiration.  Totally serious.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

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WEDDING DIY LOVE | Candy Tin Labels from The Inspired Bride!

Omigod.  When I saw these little candy tins from The Inspired Bride I jumped a little in my seat.  These are absolutely perfect; they’re the perfect color, the perfect size, the PERFECT design, and they’re well within my budget (free).  Thank you, thank you, a thousand times, thank you!

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Visit The Inspired Bride’s Sweet Treat Favor Tin project for her instructions!

FYI, here’s what you’ll need for the project:

4-ounce Food Safe Metal Tins (should be approximately 2.5″ in diameter like these from SKS Bottle)
Our Tin Cover Label PDF (available here)
Our Tin Base Wrap PDF (available here)
Good Quality Printer Paper
Double Stick Tape
Scissors
Rotary Trimmer and / or 2.25″ Circle Punch (optional)
Assorted Candies of Your Choice


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HOLIDAY + DIY LOVE | Attention to Detail – Delightful Packaging for Your Tasty Treats

Macarons are pretty famous these days.  I’ve seen them pop up in quite a few weddings… and, to be honest, it took me some time to figure out just what, exactly, the colorful confections actually were.

Back when I first started noticing them, I’m talking right at the beginning, I thought they were some sort of mini hamburger confection.  And I didn’t really get the whole mini hamburger craze so many brides seemed to be embracing.  I like hamburgers, but I mean, I don’t love them, and certainly not enough to feature them in confection form at my wedding.

La Maison du Chocolat

But I figured it out after a while.  And now, I totally get it.  How adorable and delicious do these tiny treats look?!?!  Love them.  Even though they still look like miniature hamburgers to me.

{1, 2, 3}

By the way, for anyone still a little bit confused by just what, exactly, a macaron is, here’s a great explanation, courtesy of Wikipedia: Macarons are sandwich-like pastries made with two thin cookies and a cream or ganache between the cookies.  Macaroons, on the other hand, are dense cookies made either with coconut or with a coarse almond paste.

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Now, what’s better than mouth-watering pictures of macarons?

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Do-it-yourself projects involving macarons!!!  And first up is this super-cuteness I found on Project Wedding.  For the full project and pics of the process, go here!

Source List

1. Small favor boxes, 2″ square from PaperMart ($20 for 200 boxes)
2. Sturdy Paper Punch - Here we used this Cosmos Punch from Martha Stewart Crafts ($10)
3. Macarons – You can try to make your own or purchase some from your local French bakery. Prices will vary but it will be somewhere around $1.50 per cookie.
4. Ribbon from PaperMart (25 yards for $1.40)

Instructions:

Step One: Using the Cosmos Punch, make a hole in the front of the box.
Step Two: Assemble box and place macarons inside.
Step Three: Tie with a ribbon and voila — one sweet favor!

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Next up is a fantasmagoric (my mom uses that word, I love it) diy project by Vanilla Bakeshop, and featured on Style Me Pretty

For the full project, including a killer do-it-yourself recipe for making your very own homemade macarons, check out Style Me Pretty’s Holiday DIY Project by Vanilla Bakeshop.  Here are their hints on how to craft up this cutie:

DIY Tips for Holiday Macarons

Color & Flavor Coordinate: Presentation is key! You eat with your eyes first. Take that into consideration when you are making your French Macarons. Choose three flavor and color combinations that compliment each other and taste delicious.

Personalize: Adding a personalized custom label to your favor is a sweet touch that is simple and inexpensive. A helpful online source is http://www.MyOwnLabels.com. Choose from a variety of label templates and colors. Cost: approximately .75 per label.

Packaging: Choosing recycled eco-friendly cardboard or clear favor box is a creative way to show off your colorful French macarons. A cost effective online packaging source is http://www.papermart.com Cost: approximately .50 per box

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Maybe you like crafting, but not so much the taste of macarons?  No problem.  Here’s an adorable Macaron Charm Tutorial, just for you, macaron hater.

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Now these next images are not quite do-it-yourself, but I just love the packaging and creative arrangements you can find over at Paulette Macarons, an inspiring macaron collaboration which I came across during a visit to Kim Vallée‘s site.  As you can see, the creators of Paulette Macarons are very committed to the glorious art of presentation, which makes for some great time spent window shopping…

Coming up: more tantalizing treats for your eyes to covet… plus the second edition of Keepin’ It Bridal.  Talk soon!

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HOLIDAY LOVE | Wrap Your Gifts in Pretty, Decorative Packaging… It Makes ALL The Difference

For You! tag

{source}

Yesterday, I received a package.  I was promised it would arrive several days ago, but, as you can easily infer, it didn’t.  I’m not so much a stickler for timeliness as I am someone who appreciates keeping your word if you’ve promised something.  So, it shouldn’t surprise any of you that I wasn’t too thrilled about the late arrival.

But guess what?

When I opened it up, it revealed THE MOST PRECIOUS packaging efforts I had ever seen in my life.

The package came late?  Oh.  I had forgotten as I stared lovingly at the pink tissue paper and brown Kraft confetti.  Lateness?  Completely forgiven.

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Clearly, the right packaging can make quite a splash with your recipient.  Honestly, I don’t know what I would have done with myself, had that item arrived on time.  Great packaging and timeliness might have made me fly out there and thank her myself.

So, in case you were looking for the perfect way to package your gifts this holiday season, I think I might have just the thing.

Have you seen these lovely paper goods from Martha Stewart Crafts?  I just love all of the packaging materials she offers.  Below are a bunch of my favorites.  They are divine for packing up some fresh, homemade (or store-bought like the rest of us) cookies, or a bunch of your favorite chocolates.  … Or any other little bits of love you’d like to share with someone.  She also has absolutely darling flair for you to pretty up your basic package.  Crafty or not, you can do this!

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QUICK NOTE: Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing with you some of the best wedding crafts and deals floating around in this here ether we call the ‘net. Do you know the only thing that upsets me about all these goodies and DIY projects?  That I can’t have 17 separate weddings, just so I can use it all and do it all.

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Oh, did I mention a lot of these items below are on sale right now?

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Large Gingerbread Treat Boxes

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Iced Cookie Boxes

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Tall Goodie Boxes

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Candy Cane Compartment Treat Boxes

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Say you’re all set with your basic packaging.  How about some wonderful ways to jazz it up?

Dimensional Pink Rose Stickers

I SO love those rose stickers.  How cute, right?  :)  Ok, now on to the holiday appropriate ones…

Heirloom Tags

Gold "Happy Holidays" Transfers

Silver "Merry Christmas" Transfers

Frosty Village Edge Punch

Woodland Metal - Rimmed Gift Tags

Woodland Ribbon-Threaded Tags

Apricot Ribbon Bows Dimensional Stickers

Colorburst Ribbon Borders Transfers

Looking for some step by step guidance?  You can find tutorials like this one on Martha Stewart Crafts as well:

Food Packaging

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Friday’s Fab Finds!

For some reason, the phrases “talk is cheap” and “a picture is worth a thousand words” BOTH popped into my head simultaneously today, so I think I’ll go with it…

On to the finds… essentially, in Twitter-ease.

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Want to embroider your own handkerchief but have absolutely no clue how exactly to do it?  It’s easier than you think; visit the always awesome and inspirational design sponge for this very elegant, very personalized diy hanky project

diy hanky!

lotsa hankies!

How about saving some postage on your save the dates?  Here’s an idea: print out an image you love, or cute pic of you and your sweetie, and stamp the back with this nifty postcard stamp!  That’s creative AND resourceful, two traits anyone would admire.  From modernartstamps and terbearco, respectively.  Both on Etsy!

modernartstamps on etsy - DIY Postcard Card Rubber Stamp

Found this PRECIOUS diary from Keel’s over at the lil bee today.  Check her out!  You can grab this cuteness at Anthropologie

Keel's diary

On the lookout for a super-fun return address stamp for you and your honey?  Here’s one that’ll definitely get a double-take:

AsspocketProductions on etsy -  Postmark Rubber Stamp!

I almost forgot – I promised myself I’d be brief with these comments!!!  So here, a custom calligraphy address stamp (hover over for where to find – ok, that’s all I’m sayin’):

DPaulette on etsy -  Custom Calligraphy Rubber Address Stamp

Speaking of calligraphy…

"Francesca" font

{pretty pen jen via littlewhitebook}

Completely loving the deliciousness of Adios Script, a font you can find at Veer

Adios Script, from veer

And, since we’re on a font kick at the moment, how about some musical flavor in your wedding menu?  Love this paper perfection by Cynthia Warren via design is mine

Note suite by Cynthia Warren

And this candy-licious Valentine’s Day menu, also by Cynthia Warren, via Jordan Ferney

Cynthia Warren pink paper plate www.cwarrendesign.com via jordanferney.blogspot.com

Aaaand one more, by Ceci New York via Paper Crave (this made me fall back in love with purple)…

Ceci New York wedding suite

Ok, dying to get this for Christmas…

14K Gold Filled Rings

Cute stamps (hover over for where to find)!!!

karaku on etsy -  Wooden boxed Natural Stamps

And, finally – even though I could add more Fab Finds ALL DAY LONG, I’ll force myself to wrap it up with this fine photo by Kristen Grinnell via 100 layer cake

Photo by Kristen Grinnell kristengrinnell.bigfolioblog.com - via 100layercake.com_blog_archives_category_pretty-paper

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DIY Wedding Eye Candy + Instructions ♥ Make It Pretty, Make It Personal, Make It with Decorative Rubber Stamps

karaku on etsy - Stazon cotton white starter set one plastic wrap bag

holly + billy wedding {1 & 2, 3}

Lovely, right?  This is a pretty stunning project, a GREAT WAY to save money, and in my opinion an even better way to make your wedding yours… not to mention get loads of compliments on your unique talents.  You can stamp your monogram on a bag of cookies, or prettify a plain brown paper baggie with a flourish of your choosing.  Personally, I think it would be great fun to get a personalized rubber stamp from Pretty Pen Jen for this project.  (Below is one she made of a couple’s return address.)  I cannot WAIT to do something like this for my wedding.

made by pretty pen jen

{Pretty Pen Jen via littlewhitebook}

Don’t have the stamps or ink?  No problem, there are SO MANY PLACES to find exactly what you need, on the internet or in stores, like Michaels craft stores, for example.  And various crafty things are on sale there all the time.

Etsy has everything you need to make your project the best project.  And by the way, I’m sure you’ve noticed I mention etsy quite a bit on here, but it’s not just because I’m obsessed; it’s also because it’s so incredibly awesome for finding and doing things like this!

karaku on etsy -  6pcs - ink for fabric!

And this, which you can use to embellish a brown paper favor bag, like the one up top:

nothingelegant on etsy - Lace Pattern Wooden Rubber StampAnd check this out – how about making personalized linen ties for your favors?

karaku on etsy -  30mm - tape for stamping!

For a destination wedding, stamps with international themes like this Parisian set are oh so magnificent for adding a little flare to your correspondence:

karaku on etsy - The Eiffel Tower set

karaku on etsy - The Eiffel Tower set

So, if you’re getting into this whole personalization-by-stamp idea, here’s my advice on how to get the best results: get yourself some Staz-On stamping ink, a quick-drying ink for stamping projects on plastic, glass, paper, wax paper, porcelain, photographs, metal, vinyl, and more.  Pretty amazing stuff.  You’ll also want the cleaning solution, for any accidents.  Everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody can afford to replace whatever it is that’s been stamped. Never fear; check it out, in action:

karaku on etsy - Stazon cleaner

Awe. Some. Ness.

I love this play by play instructional by karaku on Etsy, where you’ll find many of the stamps I’ve mentioned, as well as bushels and bushels of other fantastic eye candy. The steps pictured below are all you need to get started on a project of your own.  Seriously, even though I often LOVE professionally done weddings and super pricey decor, when I see stuff like this, I just can’t imagine spending bucketloads of dough for something I can make for pennies!!!

karaku on etsy - using STAZON 1

karaku on etsy - using STAZON OPAQUE 2

I totally encourage a project of this nature.  It’s EASY, fun and hard not to come out with something beautiful. Go forth and create, my pretties!

Oh, and don’t forget the ink!  :)

karaku on etsy -  6pcs - INK FOR FABRIC - Japanese colors

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