A “LOVE”ly Celebration

Saturday was a very exciting day for our family–my son proposed to the love of his life, and both families were close by and got to watch it all unfold! Witnessing the proposal was a very moving and magical experience, and it meant the world to both of them that we were all there.

After pictures were taken and we had a round of drinks at a nearby dessert bar, we all headed back to our house for a party. Her family had just traveled from upstate New York, and this was the first time that the two families were meeting, so my son wanted this to be a very informal gathering. He wanted there to be plenty of time for relaxation and casual conversation. Even though this was to be a very casual get-together, I wanted the house to look festive because, after all, this was an engagement party! So I made all of the decorations in keeping with the theme and my son’s wishes. As I have said many times before, one of the best parts about paper crafting is the fact that you can customize any project to fit a theme, style, or recipient and, in this case, I did all three!

Now that you know the back story, it’s time to get to the fun part–the actual decorations! My goal was to have some form of decoration in all of the major parts of the house where people were going to be, and I used a combination of banners and table top decorations to accomplish this goal. The color scheme was teal and purple, and these are the patterned papers I used in some form on almost all of the decorations I made:

Let’s start with the side porch door, and I’ll walk you through the decorations as people saw them as they came through the house:

I really wanted to dress up the side porch door, as this is the first thing that people were going to see as they arrived. So I made a vertical banner, which I had never done before. I wanted the words on the banner to speak to this being a celebration for both my son and his fiancé, so I chose to use “Best Day Ever”. The banner ended up blending in with our door color, so I got two bunches of balloons for either side of the door to help draw your eye to the banner.

Here are some pictures of the banner against a white door, so that you can see the detail more clearly:

Each of the 4 x 4 letter blocks was adhered to a long piece of white burlap ribbon. I looped the top end of the ribbon around a piece of dowel and tied coordinating strips of ribbon to the dowel on either side of the banner. I then tied the hanging loop of twine to the small eye hooks my husband drilled in to either end of the dowel.

The next decoration people saw was another banner as they entered the kitchen area:

This time I attached streamers to the 4 x 4 letter blocks, so that everyone would have to walk through the streamers. I don’t know about you, but I think streamers scream party, and I wanted the happy couple to walk through some streamers on their engagement day!

The last banner I made was hung the mantel, and you could see it from anywhere in the kitchen area:

Out of all of the banners I made, this one was my favorite. Because this was a double banner, I used 3 x 3 letter blocks and strung all of the blocks together with ribbon. I put command hooks on top of the mantel and hung each banner by tying the ribbons to the hooks. I know it is customary to put the woman’s name first, but it rhymed by flipping the names around!

Now let’s go into the sunroom, where the appetizer table was:

The plates and napkins were on top of a cabinet that was by the door entering the sunroom. As a decoration for this cabinet, I covered the couples’ initials with some of the different patterns of papers. I kept each letter very simple, except for tying a wooden button on with some twine to her initial. I also added some tiny hearts table scatter to the top of the cabinet as an extra touch.

I didn’t have much room on the appetizer table for decorations, so I decided to use a stack of books. My son and his fiancé attended the same Master’s Degree program in Creative Writing and both work in the publishing industry, so the books have real significance to them.

I covered the books in brown paper–which I haven’t done in MANY years– and it brought back a rush of memories of starting each new school year by making my own book covers with grocery bags. I was so proud of myself when I thought of the idea of adding the equation to the spines of the books! I thought that it not only tied in with the occasion, but also tied in the fact that her undergraduate degree was in economics.

And did you notice the mason jar of flowers on top of the books? This actually is my most favorite decoration of all, and I had one jar on the appetizer table, and one on the kitchen table:

I took flowers from our garden and placed them in the mason jars, with the white hydrangea clusters on top of the daisy varieties. I then covered the flowers completely with water, followed by a thin layer of vegetable oil. I added a tea-light to the center of each jar and lit the candles. The oil layer provides the buoyancy needed to allow the tea-light to float.

I think these jars of flowers are just beautiful, and I know that this is going to be my preferred method for arranging flowers from now on. Flowers and candlelight always add a touch of romance, and I was happy that I found a way to incorporate both in to the decorations.

The get-together ended up being everything that my son had wanted, and it truly was a great ending to the BEST DAY EVER! He loved how festive the house looked with all of the decorations, and the two families had a wonderful time getting to know each other.

Mission accomplished!

Before I close, I have one more project to show you–the party bags. You can’t have a party without favor bags!

I filled bags with 3 different flavors of popcorn from our local popcorn shop, and attached a tag that said “He POPPED the question, she said YES”! This isn’t my original idea, but, when I saw it on Pinterest, I knew it was perfect for our popcorn-loving family!

Here is a closer look at the tags–the background paper used for the tag reminded me of popcorn kernels. The label was computer generated and printed on adhesive label sheets. I punched the label out with a circle punch and mounted it on a solid card stock circle also made with a circle punch. I know it was a little corny (sorry, I couldn’t help myself!), but everyone loved them!

Thank you so much for sharing in this special day with me–this is the first engagement for our family and it’s very exciting! I not only made all of the party decorations, but I also made our son and his fiancé a gift that I would like to show you as well. I will try and get a second post up later this week.

Until then, take care, and, as always, remember:

“May what waves kiss your feet; / the sand be your seat; / and your friends out-number the stars”

-C-

P.S. She said yes!

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Ring of Daisies-Part II

Happy Friday, my friends, and thank you for coming back for Part II of my series. Today I get to show you the coordinating daisy candle rings that I created for our table. I’ve never made candle rings before, but after having so much success with the napkin rings, I was anxious to give them a try!

When I pictured this project in my mind, I envisioned white candle holders and taper candles so that the candle rings would really stand out. I didn’t want to use traditional candle sticks, but wanted to repurpose and paint a jar or glass of some kind to add some charm and interest to the table. I also wanted the holders to be low profile, so that my husband and I could still see each other over the candles. With these criteria in mind, I went “shopping” around my house and I finally settled on using wide mouth half-pint mason jars. These jars have a great shape, but I was a little concerned about the wide mouth. I didn’t know whether I could make a daisy big enough to cover the entire opening, without distorting it’s shape. I guess I was about to find out!

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I have painted a lot of mason jars and I prefer using the chalk paint pictured above. It provides excellent coverage and I love the opaque look it gives the jars. I put 3 coats of paint on each jar and then sanded the surfaces with extra fine sand paper to expose some of the words. I finished off each jar with a coat of the cream wax paint, which softens and smooths out the chalky finish. After you apply the cream wax, let it dry and then rub the jars with a cotton cloth to bring out the shine. Before I put the jars aside, I stuck the tapers in the middle of the jars with this candle adhesive that we purchased from Current many years ago. It really works and a little bit goes a long way!

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With the candle holders finished, I now needed to concentrate on the actual rings. When I initially thought about making the rings, I figured that I would just cut the flowers in half and wrap them around the taper candle. Wrong! I off set the petals as I add each flower layer, so if I cut the flowers in half, the entire flower would just fall apart. Once again, making these candle rings proved more challenging that I originally thought. I have got to stop coming up with these complicated ideas!

Instead of wrapping the flowers around the candles, I needed to make a ring to just slip over the candles. I measured the tapers and discovered that the candles were about 1″ in diameter where the candle ring would sit. I also measured the opening of the jars and determined that using the enlarged flower would cover the opening perfectly. So I put on my engineering hat and went to work. It took a lot of thought and failed attempts, but I finally figured out a way to create an open ring in the middle of the flowers while keeping them intact. Here come the pictures!

 

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And here come the circle punches again! I created rings by punching a 1″ circle out of  both a 1 1/2″ and a 1 3/4″ circle, and these rings helped hold the flower layers together when I cut the middle out of each flower. I ended up just using 2 size layers for each flower, and used a larger scallop circle for the flower center.

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I started out by making 8 enlarged flowers and punching out 8 of the larger daisy punch. I applied adhesive all around one of the 1 3/4″ circle rings and also added a little adhesive to each individual flower petal just beyond the circle edge. I centered a flower on the circle ring and pressed it down. Then I turned the flower over and snipped out the middle of the flower. As an aside, what does the picture above remind you of? You’re right; a ship’s wheel. You might be seeing that return on a future project. But I digress…..

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I then added another flower, offsetting the petals and then turned it over and snipped out the middle again. It would have been much quicker to just put all four layers on and then use the 1″ circle punch to remove all four layers at once, but the hand punches can’t cut through more than one layer of card stock at a time.

I followed this same process until I had all four flowers layered together. Here’s what one flower size layer looked like at this point:

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Look at that–I did it! I created a flower layer that stayed together even with the middle cut out of it! Pretty impressive for a non-engineer!

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I then started over with the next flower size and followed the same process to complete all four flower layers using the 1 1/2″ circle ring. When this size flower was finished, I put some foam dimensionals on the larger layer and attached the two sized flowers together.

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For the inner ring, I carefully snipped each scallop and glued 2 rings together, offsetting the scallops. I’m not planning to attach this ring to the flower layers; I’m just going to slip it on over the flower.

And now for the moment of truth–what does it look like when I put everything together? Will the flower ring stay together after I slip it over the candle? Let’s find out:

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What do you think? I absolutely love them, and I think they turned out even better than I imagined! The shape of the jars add so much charm and interest without detracting from the flower rings, which is exactly what I set out to accomplish. Now let’s see what they look like on the table along with the napkin rings:

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Notice that my husband and I are practicing our social distancing! I kept the table settings plain and simple so that the napkin and candle rings would stand out. The woven placemats bring in some texture without adding color, and the lace trim on the cloth napkins compliments and highlights the sweetness and charm of the daisies.

These rings weren’t quick and easy to design and make, but they were definitely worth all of the time and effort. I absolutely love having the kitchen table decorated for Spring, and the overall effect is simple, soft and charming. It makes me smile every time I walk by or sit at the table.

It’s been great to spend some time together these past two days, but I am ready to take off my engineering cap; step away from the daisy hand punches; and move on to easier projects. All of this shelter in place time is perfect for crafters like me, so I am sure we will be together again soon. You are in my thoughts and I hope you stay healthy and safe. Until next time, remember:

“May the waves kiss your feet; the sand be your seat; and your friends out-number the stars.”

-C-