Sunday, July 17, 2011

Centerpieces go "green"...

Our budget for our wedding was small so we had to get kinda creative with our decorations!  CREATIVE is my middle name so I hopped on the computer and went searching for fabulous things I could make! 

One of the MAJOR costs of most weddings are the flowers.  I've never really been a flower girl because of all the money that is wasted...don't get me wrong, if the hubby shows up with fresh-cut flowers, I welcome them with open, it's not my first choice of spur-of-the-moment gifts.

Here's a look at one of the centerpieces (we had a total of 3 different tablescapes)....

Here's what you need to complete the project as well as a picture tutorial:

Small Rocks
Grass seed
Plastic (I used small trash bags)

Step 1: Gather Rocks
YES...can you believe that while I'm making centerpieces for the tables at the wedding where I will marry the man that I've LOVED for 13 years...we found a rock that looks like a HEART!!!!  AMAZING....

Here's my sweet little helper that is going through a phase of smiling funny....

Since our colors were Cocoa and Sweet Leaf, we chose these wooden containers that were a dark, dark brown...
Step 2 (not pictured): Line each container with your plastic (since I was using bags, I cut them down to size)

Step 3 (not pictured): Pour small rocks in the bottom - we did about an inch thick

Step 4: Pour soil on top of rocks...this is where you'll need to decide how close to the top you want your grass...we didn't want it very close so the soil was about an inch thick as well.

Step 5: Sprinkle your grass seed on top of the soil...since we didn't have any room for error, I was pretty liberal with my grass seed....don't forget to water!!!  You don't want to add too much water because the gravel and soil are so shallow...I think I add about 1/2 cup the first day and then sprinkled every day after...


We planted one of these a month or so before the wedding so I could gauge at what point after planting we liked the growth of the grass...we decided on about 10 days.  So...about 10 days (it was actually 8 'cause we kinda, we planted all the planters (6 of them) and let them grow.

Put them in sunlight but not outside...we had them in my scrapbook room in front of my windows.

The Allan House Review...

Our first review is of the wonderfully eloquent Allan House in downtown Austin...literally blocks away from the Capital!!! 

This quaint Victorian-style home is situated on what seems like a city's outside courtyard is donned with a canopy of trees, each decorated with string of tiny white lights and hanging, lit, paper lanterns.  There is a large wrap-around porch where guests sat and visited and enjoyed the ceiling fans.  The inside is truly gorgeous...hardwood floors, staircases, antique furniture...AMAZING!!!

Since this was a destination wedding of sorts (we don't live anywhere near Austin), everything had to be done via telephone or e-mail.  The girls there were nothing but helpful and WONDERFUL!!!!  They answered our questions promptly and made me feel like everything was under control.  They even referred us to a couple of vendors since we didn't know any in the area.

If our wedding would've been "smaller", we could've enjoyed the inside more (which was air conditioned) but it only seats 75-80 comfortably and we were kinda even wondering about that 

  • GORGEOUS house
  • AMAZING staff
  • ROMANTIC outside courtyard
  • WONDERFULLY landscaped yard
  • TONS of photo ops
  • GREAT downtown Austin location (corner of 11th and San Antonio)
  • The initial time frame is only 6 hours and that INCLUDES set up and tear can purchase additional hours (or even 1/2 hours) but they're pretty expensive.
  • Parking is limited to the street (FREE on Saturdays and Sundays so that's good) but there's not a whole lot of street since they're skinny and one side of the street is NO PARKING.  Additional parking can be purchased from a church and a business close by but, again, it's very pricey.
  • This is more of an "Austin" con but I'll put it here...Austin city ordinance says that music must be off by certain times...since our wedding was on a Sunday, that time was's different for Friday/Saturday nights as well as the week nights.
  • HOT if your wedding guest total is greater than 75 and it's in the Summer months...we purchased large fans that our guests could go stand in front of for a little reprieve.  Misters would've been wonderful but with all the rock around, I'm sure that would be a liability no one wants to take on.
  • A/C was on but it still was so hot inside...I didn't hear this from any of our guests so I'm guessing it was just us and our wedding party, photographer and DOC since we were running around.
All in all, despite the "cons", we would do it again...especially since we know what to look out for :0)

THANK YOU, were the BEST!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

After-Wedding Reviews...

I'm gonna start posting our "reviews" of the vendors, venues, etc. we used for the wedding.  Not all of them will be nice but I'm hoping that they will help some un-suspecting bride determine who to use, what to ask, what to look for, etc.

Don't worry...I'll still be posting artwork!  In fact, I still have all my hand-made goodies to post.  Maybe for every "review" I post, I'll post a wedding project and maybe even have mini-tutorials.

Something to keep me busy since I'll be missing CTMH's annual Convention this week (my 1st and ONLY if I have anything to do with 

Here's the order I'll be "reviewing" but they are IN NO WAY in any "specific order":
  • Wedding Dress - David's Bridal
  • Tuxedos - Al's Formal Wear
  • Bridesmaids' Dresses - Target online
  • Man of Honor Suit - JC Penney
  • Venue - The Allan House
  • Caterer - Pappas
  • Cake - Michelle's Patisserie
  • Guest Accommodations - DoubleTree Hotels - Austin-University Area
  • Guest and Pre-Wedding Accommodations - Embassy Suites Austin - Central
  • Groom and Groomsmen Pre-Wedding Accommodations - Vacation Rental
  • Wedding Night Accommodations - The Driskill Hotel
  • Homefield Grill
  • DOC (Day of Coordinator) - Sylvia Williams
  • Photographer - Jeanie Slate Photography
  • Stylist - Shona Ramos
  • DJ - DJ 'Lil Mario

Friday, July 1, 2011

American Celebration Blog Hop....

July snuck up on me!!!  I had grand intentions of getting the artwork done BEFORE the wedding so I wouldn't have to be in my scrapbook room on my "honeymoon"...and by that I mean the small window of time with no 

EDITED TO ADD: I've finally been able to get in my scrapbook room and instead of making 80+ "Thank You Cards", I decided to do this card using July's SOTM, American Celebration!!!  I totally cased the idea from one of my MAJOR sources of inspiration....Betsy Veldman (Paper, Scissors and SuperHeroes)...I saw the card a week or so ago and knew immediately that I was going to transform her PaperTrey Ink card into an all CTMH card!!!  I think it went pretty well...

here are some closeups...

All products CTMH:
Paper: Fanfare
Stamps: American Celebration (Only available during the month of July)
Inks: Cranberry, Sunflower, Sky Blue and Pacifica
Embellishments: Black Hemp, Red & Blue Buttons, Sand Paper & Edge Distresser
This month's stamp set is SUPER-DUPER CUTE and who doesn't love a good 'ol patriotic stamp set! 

Here's what it looks like...

I think I'm so late in the game that I've been skipped but you can keep hopping to Dawn's Blog and pick up the hop there!  Keep on hopping 'till you get back around to where you started! 

Leave some love along the way by taking the time to comment and if something inspires you, purchase the stamp set from your Consultant (or e-mail me to find out how to get your hands on it).