Monday, February 28, 2011

Saving the Date–Part II

You can catch up and read Part I here!

I started designing the back of the post card.  I loved this vintage post card graphic that I found on Martha Stewart and worked from there.STD - Back Block

Post Card graphic via Martha Stewart / Bike graphic via Paper Source

The main text is Traveling Typewriter from, an amazing resource for tons of free fonts.  The date is Pea Valerie from Fonts for Peas.

As for the bike, why the bike?  I purchased the bicycle as a rubber stamp at Michaels and I plan to use it on our invitation suite.  This was my way of trying to tie our Save the Dates in with our invitations.  It seems fitting for us Gazelles since we love riding our bikes. 

DSCN3780The Gazelles on one of the best bike rides in Alberta, riding Highwood Pass in June before the road opens to cars.

Time to tackle the front of the post card!  I wanted some kind of embellishment on the front to highlight our date.  I found a bracket that I liked off of, played around with it in PowerPoint to change the colour and add in some texture.  This is what I came up with:Picture2 - edit

Bracket via / Modified by Miss Gazelle

Now which picture to use?  I picked four favourite pictures and tested them out with the date embellishment on them.STD Choices

All photos by Sakura Photography

I honestly really liked them all, but I think that the top right and the bottom left wound up being my two favourites.

Stay tuned for Part III…the final reveal!  Which one is your favourite?

Saving the Date–Part I

It is a pretty exciting time here hive – it is time to talk about our STDs!

Of course you know I mean Save the Dates, right? Smile

Once Mr. Gazelle and I got engaged I immediately started thinking about the Save the Dates.  I wanted something simple but something that was going to give our guests their first glimpse at our wedding.  Our wedding will be a destination wedding for 81.667% of our guests so I wanted to play off of that theme.

How about post cards?

First I thought about purchasing a bunch of post cards in Vancouver, getting a custom stamp made with our save the date info and sending them out.

a99379_sum02_theme_xlImage via Martha Stewart Weddings

I wasn’t overly excited about that idea exactly so I thought it would be nice to personalize them a bit more.  Like maybe with a picture of us?  In Vancouver perhaps?  With that in mind we decided to take a trip to Vancouver in October to have our engagement photos taken.  I mentioned my plan to our photographer and asked if we could have a few pictures taken with some iconic Vancouver scenery in the background.

This was exactly the kind of photo I envisioned using – us on the Stanley Park sea wall with the Vancouver sky line in the background…leana-neil-050

Photo by Sakura Photography

…but we had so many amazing photos to choose from that I wasn’t sure which photo to use!

Stay tuned for Part II to see how our Save the Dates started to come together!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Are you freaking out yet?

The number one question from friends and coworkers is, “Your wedding is coming up so soon.  You must be so busy, are you freaking out?”

My response is usually a casual, “Nah, everything is just fine.  It’s all under control.  There isn’t a lot to do yet.”

Then my dental hygienist asked me that question on Friday and I realized that there isn’t that much time left.  Cue freak out!  I realized I needed to take a good look at my to do list and to set out dates for when things need to happen by.  Things like when deposits and balances are due, when we need to have RSVPs back and when we’ll have to mail invitations out.  I printed off some blank calendars from to get me started.IMGP3067I’ve determined that I need to hurry up and make a mock up of our invitations, then March/April needs to be all about assembling those invitations.  This will give us a chance to get those invitations out to our guests well in advance of our destination wedding!

Once I had a handle on things in the calendar I updated my online checklist on the knot.  I changed the dates on the suggested tasks to fit our timeline and added in the tasks specific to our wedding.  I’ve also put in key reminders on my Outlook calendar at work.

Once that was done I wrote out a list of all of my DIY projects to keep all of my projects straight.IMGP3068I’m feeling a lot more organized now!

What are you doing to keep organized?  Do you have any good tips to share?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My DIY Hair Flower–How To Guide

In my last post I showed you my hair flower, not let’s talk about how I made it!

First off, here’s what I used:

  1. Silk dupioni (I bought 0.4 meters, but 0.2 meters would have been plenty)
  2. Tulle (0.2 meters)
  3. French veiling (1 yard, 9 inches wide, purchased from GS Boutique on etsy)
  4. Vintage rhinestone pin
  5. Fabri-Tac adhesive
  6. Peony template (you may want a few print outs)
  7. Needle, pins, matching thread, scissorsIMGP2671

First up, I cut the silk into strips just wider than the flower, folded it up and pinned the template to it.  I wound up using about 9 layers of silk flowers as I wanted a full flower, but I didn’t want so many layers that the fascinator would be really heavy and prone to falling out or weighing down my hair.IMGP2678I then repeated the process with the tulle.  I used two layers of tulle between each layer of silk.

The silk I used was prone to fraying at the edges, so I decided to use fray check around the edges of each flower.  The fray check also has the benefit of giving the flowers a bit more structure so you can define the layers rather than having them flop down against each other.IMGP2683IMGP2686I then assembled all of the layers, making sure the layers didn’t align perfectly and alternating two layers of tulle between each layer of silk, finishing with silk on the bottom.IMGP2688

I then ran a few stitches through the center of the flower.IMGP2689Now fold the flower in half, and then in half again, with the bottom layer staying on the outside of the fold.  Run a few stitches through the corner of the fold to help give the flower a bit more shape.  Unfold.IMGP2707IMGP2708IMGP2707Turn the flower over to attach your embellishment to the top of the flower.  The benefit of using a brooch was that I could just thread it through the center of the flower.IMGP2691Now it was time to design the French veiling leaf for the flower.  I drew a leaf on another copy of the template.IMGP3037I wanted the leaf to be symmetrical so I folded the paper in half and only drew half the leaf.  I wanted to curve the bottom of the leaf that would attach to the underside of the flower so I grabbed my compass from university.  This is by no means necessary of course.  Fold in half and cut!IMGP3039IMGP3042I then pinned the leaf to the veiling, making sure the tip of the leaf lined up with one of the tips of the diamonds in the veiling.  Trim.IMGP3043I attached the veiling to the back of the flower with just a couple of stiches.  It will get tacked down a bit better soon.IMGP3048I needed a way to attach the hair clip to the back of the flower so I cut out a circle of silk big enough to attach the clip to.IMGP3049I used fabric glue (Fabri-Tac) to attach the top of the clip to the fabric circle.  Once it was dry I put a spot of glue in the center of the circle and a ring of glue around the outside.IMGP3050I glued the circle down, making sure there was enough play to allow for popping the clip open and closed.IMGP3051And that’s it!  At the hair trial I’ll determine if I need to add in a few stitches here or there but I honestly think it is good to go (that Fabric-Tac is strong stuff).IMGP3053IMGP3056And here’s a cost breakdown for the project!  I’m not including the cost of the fray check, fabric adhesive and basic sewing notions since I already had those on hand.

Hair clips = $1.05
Silk dupioni = $11.76 (and I could have sufficed with half the amount I purchased)
Tulle = $1.05
French veiling = $3.71
Rhinestone pin = $10.45
TOTAL = $28.02

I hope you found this tutorial useful!  Have you thought about trying to make your own bridal accessories?

My DIY Hair Flower

Hair fascinators…they are so pretty!  I knew I wanted to wear one for our wedding day.  I spent some time perusing Etsy looking for the perfect flower for my hair.  I never quite spied one I was in love with though.  Most of the fascinators I saw included feathers and I wasn’t sure I wanted that.  I thought about approaching a few vendors who had something close to what I was looking for to ask about a custom order, but as I started thinking about it more I realized that this would be one project I could tackle myself.

I envisioned a hair flower made out of layers of silk that matched my dress, with layers of tulle, maybe with a touch of French veiling since I wouldn’t be wearing an actual veil.  Perhaps a vintage rhinestone brooch in the center?  Perhaps something like this??IMGP3056

The first step in this project was finding the perfect rhinestone brooch.  Mr. Gazelle and I were up in Edmonton way back in October, perusing the Old Strathcona Antique Mall.  I spied the perfect one in a jewellery cabinet.  It rang in at $10.45 – not a super duper bargain but it was exactly what I was looking for.IMGP2674I used the hankie that came with my dress to find a beautiful off white silk at the fabric store that matched almost exactly.  From there the next question was what kind of flower did I want to build?  Martha Stewart came to the rescue with her peony template.IMGP2678I followed Martha’s tutorial as a guideline, but I’ll take you through my steps in the next post!

Did you decide to DIY a project because you couldn’t find exactly what you were looking for?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

More thoughts on registering

There are so many do’s and don’ts of wedding registries!  I feel like our registry is a bit unconventional compared to those of my friends and family who got married  few years ago.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few raised eyebrows at our registry.  As I mentioned before, we chose to register at Crate & Barrel because we love the furniture from there.  There are also tons of kitchen gadgets that I love to drool over as well.OilAndVinegarCruet

Registries have evolved from containing all the items that you would need to set up your first house over the years.  As people are choosing to get married later those needs change and you can register for camping gear or touristy things to do on your honeymoon – a pretty cool idea!PullmanLthrSdChrRed3QF7

I’ve read threads on boards entitled, “Would you be offended if you saw this on a registry?”  I hope people won’t be offended with ours, and truthfully we don’t imagine that people would buy us a chair or a table.  If we wind up purchasing our big ticket items off of our registry after the wedding that is okay with us. 

Here are the top pieces of advice I gathered from wedding etiquette sites and it really helped to solidify our choices:

  • Don’t feel uncomfortable about opening a registry. They’re an established tradition and a convenience guests can use or not. Registries show consideration for guests’ time and budget, and help them avoid the stress of choosing an appropriate gift. (Source)
  • Do request non-traditional items if they reflect you as a couple. (Source)
  • You should be registering for gifts you'll both enjoy in your future life together. To decide on what you need, take inventory of the things you already have, talk about the style of home you'd both like. (Source)

And absolutely not to be forgotten.

  • Don’t reference your registry info on any stationery, such as your save the date or invitation. (Source)
  • And of course it goes without saying, thank you notes need to be sent promptly!

How did you decide what to register for?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fun with the scanning gun

Future Hubs and I are both in our thirties.  We’ve already managed to acquire a nice set of dishes, cutlery, a great set of pots and pans.  We own most of the things that couples ask for on a traditional registry.  In fact, we have two Kitchen Aid stand mixers already!

Back in the fall we were perusing Crate & Barrel, admiring all of the nice furniture.  A very helpful sales associate let us know that we could include furniture on a gift registry with Crate & Barrel.  So, why not register for furniture – the things we would need and like – rather than registering for things we don’t need or not registering at all?  The completion program sealed the deal. 

We decided to go to one of the wedding registry parties this past weekend.  They are typically held on Sunday mornings from 9 – 11 am, just prior to the store opening.  We got there right at 9 am and we were welcomed, given a scanner gun and shown how to use it, and our coats were whisked off to the back for us while we browsed the store.

We made a beeline to the drink table…orange juice, cranberry juice and mimosas!DSCN4789The drinks were conveniently located next to the waffles!  We grabbed a couple of hot of the iron waffles with syrup and sliced strawberries.DSCN4790After having a few bites it was time to get to work!  We had talked quite a bit beforehand about what we wanted to register for so we had a plan.  We found the first item on our wish list and put the scan gun to work!DSCN4798We continued to browse the store.  There were other food stations set up, one serving paninis, another serving smoothies.DSCN4800Once we had scanned in everything on our wish list we took another look around at the couches and tested out some of our favourites.  We had a great chance to talk to the staff about options, prices and they answered all of our questions.  The staff were helpful but not pushy.  DSCN4808Just before 11 am we uploaded our items from our scanning gun, got our registry set up and we were done!  We also got a thank you gift for registering – a glass vase.DSCN4826DSCN4827All in all it was a great experience!

How did you decide where to register at?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

An anniversary long in the making

On Saturday February 12th the Future Hubs and I celebrated our first anniversary after almost two years of dating. Yup, that’s true!

The Future Hubs and I first met and started dating in August 2007. We got along really well, but…things don’t always work out. We broke up a few weeks shy of our first anniversary. Imagine my surprise when he contacted me again just over a year ago. Getting back together wasn’t a quick and easy decision, but shortly after we started spending time together again we knew where this was going.

It has been one crazy and wonderful year so far. From first dates, to weekends in Banff, DSCN2970DSCN3254he supported me through my crazy Ironman training DSCN3706and then we got engaged!DSCN4270

To celebrate our anniversary we went out to dinner at Alloy where we had our second, second date. We shared an appetizer of prosciutto pockets stuffed with brie and roast Asian pears. I had a surf and turf of prosciutto wrapped monkfish and braised veal cheeks. FH had duck with a pomegranate reduction. We shared a decadent chocolate trio for dessert with coffee cake, pate and gelato.

While I don’t have any pictures from our lovely anniversary dinner, I can at least share what I wore with you! My brand new Sing Sweetly Party Dress from Anthropologie made its debut.

I’ve never been huge on Valentine’s Day but it was nice that Valentine’s had a bit more of a special meaning for us this year.DSCN4785How was your Valentine’s Day?

Cakespiration–The Topper

This week I had one of those, “Wow, I really need to get a move on some things!”  One of those things has to do with cake.  We are having our cake tasting soon so I thought it would be a good idea  to get an idea for styles of cake that we both like.  Plus if we are going to get a custom cake topper then we probably better get that started!

I went to my number one source for all things custom – etsy.  There are some amazing cake toppers out there!  There was one for $180 we both liked, but add in shipping (and most likely duty) to Canada and it just seemed like too much to spend no matter how cool it was. 

We both agreed that we loved the custom love birds from Bent Branch – hand made, customized, and well within our budget.  I contacted the shop owner Krista and she was in touch with me quickly with fabric colours and options.  Here is an idea of what we will be getting:

il_fullxfull.217550061Image by Krista Eytchison of Bent Branch

The female bird will be white, the male bird will be grey.  These are our fabrics, ribbon and flower colours that she’ll be using:

il_fullxfull.217550117Image by Krista Eytchison of Bent Branch

We’ll also be getting glasses for the girl bird, plus a top hat for the boy!

il_fullxfull.156430368Image by Krista Eytchison of Bent Branch

Krista has been great to work with so far.  I can’t wait to see how our cake topper turns out!

How are you topping your cake?