Thursday, December 29, 2011

Craft-a-thon Tonight!

     It's been a week of wedding progress! On Tuesday we picked up my dress and picked out dresses for the bridesmaids. We had tremendous success at Stacey's; I'm nearly as excited about the bridesmaids' dresses as I am about my own! In order to get a discount (and because I was super-jealous), I ordered the same dress in ivory to wear for the rehearsal dinner. I'm so excited I might not even put a picture up and just let all of you be surprised!

     In other news, we're hosting a wedding craft-a-thon at my parents' house tonight; we will be working on the save-the-dates, picks for the cake, the ribbon dancers, and the cookie bags for the wedding. We will provide our fabulous wedding elves (it's a workshop, right? Ok, dumb analogy) with pizza, beer, and snacks. Should be a good time! Here's some of the art I've created for the cookie bags; I can't quite decide:

I think the rose might be my favorite right now; it's a little more formal than I was imagining, but I like it. Something wonky happened to the typewriters; I swear they're cooler in illustrator.
      Finally, I've spent several mornings working on my invites, hoping to come up with a final one. I've created, discarded, and resurrected several ideas and schemes, and here are a few I've been working on:

     The top one is a revamp of the first one Wendi and I worked on; the second is a concept I've been thinking about, but it needs a lot more glitz and some sort of clip art, I think, before I might really like it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's HERE.........

     My wedding dress is in! I'm psyched that it's safely finished, and that the long alteration process is about to begin! I'm most excited to see what the corseted back looks like: the one I tried on at Schaffer's was so large that I couldn't really get an idea of what that would look like or how it would feel.

     On Tuesday the 27th we'll be going to try it on and also look for the perfect bridesmaids dresses! I feel like finding those will be the last big piece of the puzzle. I had always planned on purple, but the popularity of that choice in a season including 4 weddings before mine is causing me to question my colors. This trip should solidify that dilemma, I hope. So far, only Megan, Breanna, and Mom have signed on for this trip. If you want to come, let me know! Sorry, working people, that it's a Tuesday afternoon. If we find the dress, I'll find a time to go look at them with my two other bridesmaids, Amanda and Arielle.
     In even more exciting news, my sister's coming home from LA this week! Only five more days, Sister! We've got so much planned for the time she's here; I can't wait!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Another Invite Option

I've been working on some more invites, and I'm a little excited about this one. Of course, who knows whether or not blogger will let me put it up; it wouldn't let me upload any of my Photoshop JPEGs yesterday. Anyway, here it is!

I haven't quite figured out how to make the white parts invisible; I'm not exactly an Illustrator wiz, but I'm learning! There are definitely some fonts in here I'm not 100% in love with, but I'll keep working on it. Let me know what you think!

I've had a few hours to play around a little bit, and I added some purple to this one. I started with the flag, but then I thought this might be a solution to my white problem. Does it work? I'd rather have the brown show through, but as an alternative, it's not so bad.

And, because I just can't help myself, I did this one with different central artwork:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Club

Allison and I have started a book club/ writing circle and a are currently in the "recruiting new members" phase. If you're in the DSM area or can be contacted via Skype/Facetime, join up! You can visit our website here. (Yes, I've become a little obsessed with google sites). If you're already a member (Meghan & Allison, I'm talking to you) POST SOMETHING. Our name is kind of silly, but I had to come  up with it one the spot when creating the site. Here's the logo I created:

Blogger doesn't seem to be letting me upload JPEGs at this time, so I'll have to add the pretty pictures later!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Detail Updates

Good morning! I'm blogging to you from the front half of our apartment because we have no power to the back half! Yep, that's right, no heat and no hot water on the first night we have snow. Surprisingly, it hasn't gotten too cold in here, but this is throwing a giant wrench in my preparation plans for Jake's work party tonight! I meant to spend this time taking a shower, shaving my legs, and putting my hair in hot rollers. Is this supposed to be some message from God about vanity?

Anyway, I wanted to say thanks to Megan for being the only one to give helpful feedback on my invite situation. I'm feeling kind of stuck on that front; I just can't create anything I really love. I've got a new, half-formed template that coordinates better with my save-the-dates, but it's far from finished. I'll give you a little teaser:

As you can see, it's still very rough. This would be the bottom portion. Now that I'm looking at it, the feminist in me is starting to think that the female bird shouldn't be below the male bird, looking up at him longingly...may have to switch them around. I love the font: Jane Austen. How could it be more perfect? 

In other news, we've chosen a DJ. We went with Complete Music, based in Des Moines. They seem extremely eager for our business. They're constantly checking in with me about things, even though they've already gotten our deposit check. Seems like a good sign. And, their logo's kind of cute.

Thursday, December 29th, we'll be hosting what I've decided to call "Craft-a-thon" at my parents' house. We'll provide food and drink (the fun kind), and hope all our friends will come to help us create the ribbon dancers, cookie bags, cake toothpicks, and myriad other crafts for our wedding. Hope you can come! As an extra incentive, Megan will be back from L.A. and crafting along with us! See you in two weeks, Sis!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Invitation Creation

      With my aunt Wendi's help, I got started working on my invitation design a few weekends ago. I've gotten a decent start, but I'm not nearing a finishing point with either one. Anyway, I thought I'd put them up and see what people think.

        I just downloaded a TON of fonts that Candi gave me, and I haven't played with them much, so those will probably be changing. Any opinions would be helpful!
       If anyone has been dying to see what our Super Hero Herky shirts will turn out like, they're finished! We've got the game tomorrow, so I'll try to post pictures of us in our bad ass sweatshirts soon.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Quilt Retreat Inspiration

      So this last weekend Mom, RaeAnn, some friends from Wisconsin, and I spent Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday morning at the Ankeny Legion at a quilt retreat put on by our local quilt shop, Quilter's Cupboard. We got so much done! Here's what I finished (minus those pieces that are Christmas presents for followers of this blog, which is unfortunate, because they were some of my favorites!):

My large twister quilt, made with the "It's a Hoot" fabric line from Moda, which I LOVE! 

This is a plastic bag dispenser, the pattern for which I found on It was super easy, so if you're on my Christmas list and you want one, let me know! (The fabric I used for this is also the backing fabric for my pillow).

I'm totally obsessed with this pillow! I found it on Pinterest ages ago, and the quilt retreat gave me the time to get it finished! 

Ok, it's not done yet, but this will be the "awesome bag" I started making for myself. I made a totally awesome (I know, an awesome awesome bag?) one that's a Christmas gift, too. You can find this super easy pattern on Pinterest as well.

      Now that the show-and-tell portion of this post is over, let me explain what this has to do with our wedding! Our plan from the beginning has been to make a quilt people will sign instead of a guestbook. Mom insists that I make it ahead of time instead of having people sign fabric squares I would put together later. She's totally right; I'd never get it done. Plus, it would be cooler if the guests get to see the finished product. This is along the lines of what we were hoping to make (found on Pinterest), but we were having trouble deciding on the pattern:

During the quilt retreat, they had a "jelly roll race." For the non-quilters, this may beg a little explanation. A "Jelly Roll" is a roll of different coordinating fabrics cut into 40, 2.5"  strips. You sew all the ends together so you have one long strip, then double it, sew it lengthwise, cut the ends, then repeat. My apologies if this doesn't make sense (I'll put up a picture of the one Mom made when I get a chance. It's freaking adorable!) The point is, the winner of the race sewed this quilt together in approximately 45 minutes, and the longest it took anyone was about an hour and 20 minutes. If you've ever made a quilt, you know that you're cutting out hours of labor here! Our new thought: Jelly Roll Quilt (in whites and creams) as the background, with bright-colored pennant bunting appliqued on top! We've ordered Jelly Roll strips on Etsy, and the guestbook quilt will soon be underway! Here's a Jelly Roll quilt (from Pinterest) that gives you an idea of what the background will look like:

      Lots of pictures today. Hope you liked them!

Monday, October 24, 2011

For those concerned (aka the Heroes Game Crew)

I've been trying to work out how to make the white-eyed super heroes less creepy looking. Jake says I can't make them a different color because they're SUPPOSED to be white. I thought changing the eye shape might improve them. Let me know what you think!

A grey-eyed Batman Herky just for Megan:

I'm going to use my license as Super Hero Herky creator to nix this. He's cooler (and more accurate) with white eyes!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Iron Man for Melanie

Here he is!

Here's a blacked-out eyed spiderman:

I think the thing that's bothering me is the double line that ended up around his eyes somehow. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Off Topic Again

I've been having so much fun with this, I decided to make enough different Herkies for everyone in our group to have a different one. Here are the ones I've done so far:

 Thor Herky is my favorite by far! Wolverine is a close second. I'm a little afraid no one will want Hulk Herky because he's so ugly, but the Hulk is SUPPOSED to be ugly! Anyway, I hope you enjoy them!

The Venue

One of the earliest decisions we made was to have the wedding (ceremony and reception) at my childhood church: Our Lady's Immaculate Heart Catholic Church in Ankeny. Our church was an obvious choice because of the price and because of its ability to accommodate up to 300 guests (we're hoping to end up with around 250 guests, but we'll be inviting over 300). I thought some pictures would help illustrate our plans a little bit. Our sanctuary just underwent a major renovation. It's definitely more now and less nineties, but I do miss the sunlight that's now blocked out by shutters they added to the skylight. People were complaining, apparently. Anyway, it's a large church and lacks some traditional elements, namely an aisle. When I was young, I always thought of the lack of aisle as a deal-breaker. I'd never get married in our church! But it turns out, getting married in a familiar church which holds so many positive memories means a lot more to me than walking down an aisle at my wedding. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the changes:

Mom says pictures aren't allowed in the new chapel (above), which is too bad because it's extremely pretty. It's also the only place in our church with stained glass windows. Fortunately, pictures are allowed from the outside, and, as you can see, it's also attractive!

The social hall has the same pretty wooden ceiling as the sanctuary, and, with the banquet room, holds 300. We've got plans to set up a photo booth in the hallway, a bar in the banquet room. The cake table, cookie bar, and a dance floor will be set up in the main area of the social hall. Instead of the usual head table off to the side with the bridal party facing the guests, we're putting the head table smack in the middle of the action, with guests' tables all around. We're seating people on both sides of the table so the wedding party's dates can sit with us as well. Here's the only picture I could find of the social hall: clearly, a fabulous event is taking place in this photo!

The one thing that's making me a little anxious about my venue choice (and I know how silly and trivial this is) are the ugly brown plastic chairs we'll have to use. Ugh, they're not pretty! And there's no way we're spending the money to cover 250 chairs. I'll work through it! Anyway, you can get a feel for how bright, airy, and roomy the place is from this picture.

That's all for today!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Planning Continues...

I saw a shirt like this on etsy and wanted to buy one for Jake for our wedding. Totally up his alley, right? I was thinking I could get one for Jake and I and we could wear them the day before or something. Mom had the idea that we should make them for everyone who comes to the wedding rehearsal, and I've been kicking around that idea. I also might make a zip-up sweatshirt out of the design myself to wear while getting ready. Anyway, here's a rough draft of the design:

That's far from the only thing I've been up to lately! Mom got some of the dowels for the ribbon dancers (they perform the same sendoff function as bubbles, bells, confetti). Dad cut them into footlong pieces and I've spray painted about 100 of them gold so far. I'm definitely going to add the jingle bells if we find a simple way to attach them. 

The final thing we've been working on is prepping for the cookie bar. As a favor for our guests, we will have several different kinds of cookies (provided by my amazing aunts, etc.) for them to take home. I recently punched decorative edges onto 350 small brown paper sacks (tons of fun, I assure you), and we're still trying to decide what we want to print on them. Did you know you can print onto paper bags? Totally awesome! Here's a cookie bar inspiration picture:

That's all for now! Just wanted to give a shout out to Kelsey, Jake's sister, who just got engaged this week! Congrats!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A Little Off-Topic

Ok, I know this is supposed to by my wedding blog, but I've been working on the logo for our "Heroes' Game" (Nebraska vs. Iowa), and I'm pretty excited about it! Anyway, here it is:

 Isn't he cute?

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I know I haven't been posting much (I admit, my failure to upload that design last time discouraged me quite a bit), but we've been hashing out new details and getting to work on some of our projects.

Project 1: brooches and shoe clips
     I can't remember where we got the idea to put brooches in my bouquet; this idea has become super popular and we probably got the idea from several sources. While most of the brooch bouquets you see are more brooch than flower, we were (for obvious reasons) thinking we'd reverse that ratio. So:
 Not like this.
Like this (see that turquoise one tucked in there?).

     I had also been looking around the internet for shoe clips for myself and my bridesmaids. I plan to let them buy whatever black shoes they want (or use what they have) and then add the uniformity myself with pretty clip-on accents. The problem was, I was coming up nil on etsy, etc. At least nothing that I liked that didn't also cost like $80 a pop. However, while scouring antique stores for bargain bouquet  brooches, I had the brilliant idea to buy clip-on earrings instead! A big rummage sale in Clear Lake and a Junk Bonanza later, we've got 3 terrific pairs! Only two or three more, and we're set! Here's an idea of what they'll look like:

Project 2: Ribbon Dancers
     For the send off, I was already certain I wanted to go the ribbon dancer route. These things are so pretty! I'm sure the pictures will be awesome, unless of course it's raining. Anyway, Mom got some dowels, Dad's going to cut them into four pieces each, I'm going to spray paint them gold, then we'll tie the ribbons on. For a little something extra, we're going to attach a jingle bell to ends, but the ones we got were too big so we'll have to wait a bit on that. It's a little wrong how excited I am about these. 

     Well, that's all for now. I'm going to try to be a better poster in the future!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Save-the-Date JPEG

Ok, I'm trying one last time. I realized that once I save an Illustrator file as a PDF, I can use the program it opens in to save it as a JPEG. I'm really crossing my fingers here! Ok, it's huge, but here it is! I asked around, and pretty much everyone liked the more defined birds better. The two images below are identical. I still worry a little that it's a little informal, but I don't want our wedding to be stuffy and full of itself. Anyway, I hope you can see this image! If it doesn't work, I'm fully prepared to give up.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Save-the-Date Design

      Since the last time I wrote, we bought the dress! Super-exciting, but as the dress won't be here for 5-7 months, it's time to find a new focus. And so we turn to save-the-dates and invitations. Mom and I went to a "Bridal Showcase" at Archivers, and though we didn't learn a whole lot, we did start to sketch out a direction. Unfortunately, I'm still sort of back-and-forth about the colors (mostly because I want too many). One thing I know for sure: I want scratch-off save-the-dates. I found a recipe for making the scratch-off paint, and now I just have to figure out a design. The following is what I've come up with so far, inspired by the antique cake-topper I'm going to use!

Obviously it's simple because I'm no artist, and drawing on a computer program further limits my skills. I'd like to make the birds more defined, to make them look more like real birds, or at least more like the cake-topper birds. Also, it's not exactly sized to fit on a 3 by 5 inch card. I didn't spend a lot of time choosing the font, and I will probably want to pick a font I can use for the invitations and programs as well. Any suggestions are welcome!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sister, It Won't Be a Sure Thing Until You See It, but I Think We Found the Dress!

     First I want to explain the reason for this blog: I feel I have been totally indecisive about what I want since I got engaged, and I think part of that is not having my sister/MOH around (she's MUCH more decisive than I am!). Also, I guess I just can't be assured that my ideas are solid until I have her input. I believe that, between her, my mom, and myself, there's no way any detail of this wedding will be in bad taste. Anyway, my sister moves to LA in a week, and I needed a way to keep her in the loop and get her help with decisions. Hence, this blog is born!
      This dress is named "Grace" and is by designer Maggie Sottero. I know very little about wedding dress designers, etc., but I know I love this dress! I love its  simplicity and the vintagey-feeling of the lace. Excuse the dorky lace shawl and purse, try to imagine a sash with a brooch around the waist of it, and be aware that we're going to make some little cap-sleeve-type straps out of the lace. It's not just straight lace, there's some beading mixed in. The color I like best is light gold. I have no idea what color sash I'm going to wear, but I do know that the brooch will be gold and will incorporate an old brooch of my grandma Brandt's.  I love that I get to make this dress my own by adding all the little details of my choice! The girl who helped us at Schaffer's is trying her hardest to convince me not to chop off the little train. I guess I just don't think bustling ever looks good, and that's the way I'll be wearing it for the majority of the time. We'll see, I guess! Also, remember that I will not have such a creepy look on my face, nor would Breanna ever do my hair in such a hideous fashion! Now, drum roll please, for the picture! Let me know what you think!
\Large View of the Grace Bridal Gown