Friday, September 24, 2010

Peace Out

Well hive, it's about that time. All the projects are finished, last minute supplies are being bought, and we're ready to start setting everything up to set the scene for the biggest party this little town has seen in a good long while. I have no idea whether the weather will cooperate, but we're keeping our fingers crossed.

I've had so much fun sharing all my crafting obsessions, quirky plans, and DIY masterpieces with you all. You've been so much help, and given so much support, that I can't help but think you'll be a part of this day too. As I prepare to sweat my tush off in the humidity (hey, it's a great way to get rid of pre-wedding bloat!), I want to say thanks. Thanks for everything! I can't wait to get this show on the road, smell the barbecue in the air, and prepare to marry the best hick-town redneck this side of the Mississippi.

See you on the flip side!

 <3 The Sand Dollars

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wrapping it Up

As the countdown continues to dwindle to barely a handful of days, I find myself wanting to shirk off all the important tasks at hand (making the cake, paying the security officer, yada yada...) and deciding to tackle more craft projects. Because I am a craft addict. First up, another bridesmaid gift! I decided that two handmade presents weren't enough, so how about 3? I wanted to make some pretty, fun rice-filled "eye-masks" of sorts. Basically, if you fill up a cloth container with rice, you can microwave it for 30 seconds to make a heat pack, or toss it in the freezer for 30 minutes for a cool one. I love to use them on sore muscles or puffy eyes. I'm not sure what they're really called, but all I know is I made some pretty cute ones for my girls!

I sewed a heart on each side in the reverse-side fabric (because everything should be reversible, in my opinion! And decided not to sew them shut, but to have a button and loop. The rice-pack is slipped inside, should they feel they'd rather have a fabric pouch than a heating/cooling thingamajig. And just to refresh, here are their other two gifts:

Handmade headbands, and cute upholstered letters! I think they'll like everything. Though I had a tiny budget ($30 for six girls!) I feel like I stretched it a pretty long way.

In other news, the hive voted, and I listened! We'll now be doing the guestbook quilt AND bench! I'm really excited about it. I love the idea of snuggling up with the quilt on our bench. So, because I felt like 297 tasks before the wedding wasn't enough, I decided to decorate the bench a bit before everyone signed it. So, I painted it white, then added the art from our programs on it. Wanna see?

It turned out really cute! We have silver sharpies for all the signatures. If you're wondering how to do an easy transfer, here's a quick tutorial.

1) Print out your artwork. Doesn't matter in what color, just needs to be the right size.

2) Scribble pencil all over the back where you'll be transferring. I prefer old fashioned pencils for this part, they give you more even coverage.

3) Flip it over, and lay it right side up on your project. Using a fine-pointed pencil (mechanical works great here) trace over your outline. When you remove the paper, you'll see your outlined work.

4) Trace over it with paint/pen/sharpie/whatever! And fill it in if you like. Then you're all done!

Our bench is ready to go! We have a couple more things to wrap up, but these two projects have been my favorites. I can't wait for the wedding to finally get here to see everything in action!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just Put Some Windex On It

Anybody out there Big Fat Greek Wedding fans? Well if you aren't, then let me tell you that there's some good advice in that movie. Did you know that Windex is magical? Well, it is, and this week it saved my dress.

This past Sunday, while Mr. SD was driving back from his bachelor party in Corpus Christi, my FMIL brought his little sister over so we could go pick out some paint swatches to redecorate her room. I realized I'd never shown them my dress, so I went to the closet and pulled them out. That's when I saw it. A faint pink streak down the front of my short dress. I stayed calm on the outside, but inside I was screaming expletives. Really, wedding gods? First you make my band flake out, now you've changed my 0% rain sunny day to 40% THUNDER STORMS, and now you're trying to ruin my dress. So I called the lovely, helpful ladies at Providence Place who sold me my gowns. They let me in on a little secret they learned back when they entered the biz. Now, my short dress is a Mori Lee Bridesmaid dress, and the long one is a gown from their private collection. But, apparently many designers chemically treat their dresses for situations like this. Here's a little photo of the big bad stain:

I'd already removed the giant streak before I had the presence of mind to take a photo. But this one shows a dime size spot, which is pretty easy to see as it's smack dab in the center of the skirt. So I whipped out my gear.

Windex and a rag. I was told to spray to cover the entire spot, then blot, blot, blot! And ladies, I couldn't believe my eyes! That spot just came right out as if it was magic! No washing, no rinsing, just a little spraying and blotting action. I saved myself the time and expense of going to the cleaner's, and not knowing if I was going to come back with a clean dress or not. Now you can see that's it's as good as new.

Hooray, Windex! I'd urge all of you to call up your salon and ask if your gown is treated as well. It would be a great way to ensure that if something happens on the Big Day, you have a fool-proof cleaning method that will leave you stress (and stain) free.

Have you picked up any good tips for last minute wedding bumps?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Traditional, Who Knew?

Considering all the things we've broken the rules on (no flowers, getting legally married before the wedding, having a Rice Krispies wedding cake, doing a "first look") I'm surprised to find that we're sticking to a lot of long-standing wedding traditions. First up: the Dollar Dance!

For those of you unfamiliar with the Dollar Dance (aka Money Dance, Honeymoon Dance, Shameless-Request-For-Cash-On-Our-Wedding-Day) it's a popular tradition in the south, and has been at pretty much every wedding I've been to in this neck of the woods. And let me tell you, people LOVE it here! We round up a whole bunch of cash, have the Best Man and Maid of Honor hold a couple of boots, and throw down a dancing battle royale as to who hustles up more cash. Our good friends made about $300 off theirs, which is a huge help on the honeymoon. All the younger guests (and some family) get a big kick out of dancing with each other. Especially groomsmen with the groom. Anyway, I was thinking that we really needed it to be a popular song, to get the most people to want to dance. So what's the hottest, hippest, most popular song in Lake Jackson these days?

Wagon Wheel, by Old Crow Medicine Show. I was crazy excited about this with our old band, because lately they've revised it to more of a rock song, and they totally jam out to it. But alas, they threw us to the wayside, so we'll have to go with the original. It's folksy, it's twangy, but mostly, everybody has been obsessed with it since high school. So I know they'll want to get out there and dance!

Also on the agenda are the classic bouquet and garter toss. No special songs here, we'll just boot up the ipod and turn down the sound a bit. I do plan on borrowing a bridesmaid bouquet for the toss, though, as I'd like to keep mine in tip-top shape. I'm also reclaiming my garter from the lucky fella. I heard a hot suggestion to tie a gift card to the bouquet and garter to promote that old-fashioned excitement our uninterested-in-marriage single folks just don't seem to procure these days.

And last but not least? Birdseed. We're tossing birdseed as we make our exit to our getaway scooter. Not quite as traditional as rice, we wanted to be as animal-friendly as possible. I had originally suggested deer corn when I thought the park would allow seeds, and wouldn't you know it, my country-bumpkin, redneck groom said it would be "too hick-town". Can you believe it? I was shocked. So, I called the Parks and Rec services department and got the all-clear on birdseed. I picked up a huge $10 bag from Wal-Mart and now we're all good to go!

What traditions are you keeping, and which ones have you decided to break?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rockwall Harbor Logo

Sometimes coming up with a logo idea requires a lot of research. I do thumbnail sketches, then move to Illustrator to do a few mockups, and have 10-15 different options to choose from. I look at logo books and google images for inspiration. Then there are those times when a logo idea walks into my brain all pretty and done. This was one of those times. I'm redesigning the website for the Rockwall Harbor, and they needed a new logo. Here's what I came up with:

I love it! That funny looking thing on the left is a stylized version of the gorgeous fountain they have on-site. Here's a quick reference:

I thought it would be a nice touch to bring something identifiable to this logo, as opposed to simply typographical elements. I can't wait to show you the finished website. It's still in the development stage right now, but it's moving along well!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Logo Evolution

Sometimes, designing a logo is a simple process. With the West Brazos Dental Center, I hit the nail on the head in the first round. For Terry Driggers' private practice, it took a lot more effort. Here are a few of the options we started out with.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

Option 5

Option 6

Option 7

So you can see I really ran the gamut on what they could go for. They knew they wanted a two color logo, with an emphasis on typography, and the family dentistry part. So, what did they choose? A sleek, boxy design.

I love it. It's bold, simple, and to-the-point. I wanted it to seem reminiscent of teeth without being too literal. I think I'm really fleshing out what my style is as a designer, and you can see the common threads throughout the other logo choices. I'm hoping to get a few more logo jobs in the near future, and really see what I can do!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Things I've Done

I love finding out more about people. I was browsing through my starred items in Google Reader, and found this on a friend's blog. So, here goes! The things I've done are in bold.

(If you want to fill it out for yourself, just cut and paste, then bold the things you have done.)
1. Started your own blog (try six...)
2. Slept under the stars (I do a lot of camping)
3. Played in a band (praise band, holla! I played the bass)
4. Visited Hawaii (Maui, in 8th grade for my parents' 20th)

5. Watched a meteor shower (thanks astronomy class!)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo (again...praise band, and choir)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris (twice, lucky me!)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (sewing, baking, carpentry, I could go on...)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (bleh)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables (I loved my salsa garden)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (twice!)
20. Slept on an overnight train (from Paris to Rome)

21. Had a pillow fight (what girl hasn't?)
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (several, I'm bad)
24. Built a snow fort (I lived near Boston for 7 years)
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping (soon! I have to!)
27. Run a marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (good times)
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise (next Sunday! Holy crap!)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community (and have the bonnet to prove it)
36. Taught yourself a new language (Japanese and Mandarin, though I was never fluent)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (and of course, the requisite make-out session ;)
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted (I'd say drawn counts)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Maui)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud (can't wait to go back to Shiloh for more muddin' action!)
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (I was in a crowd scene in DC when I was in first grade)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (Sprout Graphics!)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies (I was a Brownie, then a Junior, then I quit)
62. Gone whale watching (Humpbacks, in the Boston Harbor)
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (Three so far, still working on my technique)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (thanks Royse City)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (Kevin Jonas!)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

This is a fun list, there's a lot of diverse activities. I hadn't realized I'd lived quite so much! It makes me grateful for the life I've lived, and all the things I still have yet to do.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Please Help Me... I Can't Stop Myself!

Oh, Elephant, why did you have to torture me so?!? You posted this picture yesterday, and now I can't get it out of my head.

I haven't thought of this idea in AGES, since I followed Mrs. Apple Cider in the first place. And then you go and post it willy-nilly and throw me into a tizzy. All I had to do was flip my computer over to Mr. SD and simply say, "Look at this". We had the whole sneaky smile thing going on. It's awesome! And we already have the bench built, the one my bridesmaids helped me with during my Bachelorette Craftapallooza.

I literally just took this out to my garage and sanded it yesterday in order to paint it this weekend, until I read Elephant's post. I had planned to have just my girls sign the bottom, then paint it white for the foot of our bed. But now, I can have everybody sign the top, and it will be even more special. But what about the quilt?

I'm not sure if I want to lose the quilt. It's such a cute idea, and still something that will hold a lot of meaning for us. So, while I was writhing in agony, Mr. SD announced that we will let the hive vote. You won him over with the last one, on what we'll ride away on (which will be my cute little scooter) so we need your help again! Should we do the bench, or the quilt? Or should we do both? Are two guest "book" options too many? Will people do one or the other? I can make a new sign no problem, but is it asking too much? I don't want to go over the top with too many unconventional ideas. So cut a girl some slack, and tell me what to do!

a) Quilt Guestbook
b) Bench Guestbook
c) Both!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Must. Stop. Dreaming.

I have an addiction to crafting. I've purposely forced myself to shelve my supplies so I can set a limit on all my wedding crafts. But that doesn't help all the daydreams of projects I so want to do...

I love Taylor. And I love this idea! How cute would it be to string up pictures of us at the entrance of our reception? Adorable. But Mr. SD would kill me, I'm already asking the boys to hang 40 strands of string lights and 50 paper lanterns. So, buh-bye cuteness.

A pretty cardbox. At first I struggled, searched the DIY section on the bee forums, then just decided to borrow a friend's birdcage for it. These two are mocking up my cake, and will be used as the Rice Krispies molds, so they'll get all greasy from the butter. Oh, well. A bird cage is still a really cute option.

Handmade, non-floral boutonnieres. My FMIL asked the mister if they were having any, and seemed a little disappointed when the answer was no. As they're only wearing shirts, no jackets or vests, I thought they would look out of place. But how much fun would it have been to bust out the ribbon and glue gun again? I'm going to have to open an etsy shop after the wedding to offset all my crafting urges!

Chair decorations, especially these adorable paper ones! We're already outlining the aisle with bright yellow pinwheels, but I'd still like to go the whole nine yards. And now, for my crowning glory.

The ever-adorable, painted furniture cake table! I want, want, want this! I even have a piece in mind, and an aqua paint can available...but alas. I can't. There's no way I can convince people to move this behemoth at midnight after the wedding. But a girl can dream, right?

Are there any crafts you're being forced to just-say-no to?

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Last Minute Addition

I've heard lots of bees gushing about their wedding videos, and choosing their videographers. And I have to admit, I was jealous. Very jealous. We didn't have any wiggle room left in our budget, and have been facing financial hardship left and right on the home front, so it's definitely not been something I thought we could swing. Mama SD offered to pay for one, but I couldn't ask her to spend more than $1k on one and still feel good about getting Christmas presents this year! Besides, everything I found in that budget was super cheese. 90's music, horrible montages, and grainy videos. Not something I would spend money on myself, so I didn't want my mama to either. Yet she was adamant that I have some kind of video documentation of our day, that we would want to watch it someday down the line. So that's where this baby came in.

An HD video camera! Looks like I'm getting an early Christmas present anyway. Plus, this is something to keep well after the wedding day, to document babies and baseball and who knows what else. I feel like this is a much better investment than paying a grand for someone's time and a cheap-looking DVD I'll never want to look at. Our plan is to set this baby up on a tripod and film our ceremony, then do the same for our first dances and other big moments. And to keep the do-it-myself momentum up...

I'm going to edit it on my Mac with iMovie HD! I know. I'm crazy. I'm sewing my own quilt guestbook, making my own cake, writing my own ceremony, cooking food on-site (well, not me, but it's still self-catered!), and now making our own wedding video. The only vendors we've hired are the photographer, and the band (and we all know how well that turned out!) Everything else is all being done by us. And you know what? Instead of feeling cheap, or poor, or super lame that we have to do it all ourselves, I feel empowered. So what if we can't afford to hire people? We have capable hands, and a lot of friends. We're going to have a great time, no matter how much money we spent (or in our case, didn't spend) on this wedding. I don't have to worry about crazy vendors, waiting on their schedules to line up with mine, or compromise my vision. This wedding is going to be exactly how we want it. And the fact that we're the ones making this happen is a very happy feeling for us to share.

Did you decide to DIY something you thought you previously couldn't afford? What did you do?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pulling It All Together

The countdown continues. We have two weeks until W-Day, and I still feel completely frazzled. Our band hasn't mailed out the check for our returned payment. Our replacement band has a drummer that will be "unavailable" that weekend. I'm not sure where we'll go from here, so I've just decided to take it day-by-day and focus on the things I can nail down. Like signs. We need a few signs to take care of important wedding day messages, so I figured I would whip up a cute design in Illustrator for each one.

We had to go ahead and rent 20 chairs for the ceremony. As much as I fell in love with the hay bale idea, it would cost upwards of $5 per bale, as well as the fuel and inconvenience of driving 30 minutes away to the nearest feed store that sells them. Plus, at $2 a pop for the white wooden wedding chairs, it was too good a deal to pass up. We're reserving 20 for our elderly guests and immediate family, while the rest will stand during the ceremony. No need to worry about them, they should only have to stand for 15 minutes, tops. Not a big deal.

In wedding-land, it pays to make bride friends. A sweet friend of mine got married in July, and she's lending me all sorts of wedding goodness. The best of which is a birdcage for our cards! I heart you Megs. You're the best!

This one gives guests instructions on how to handle our quilt guestbook. I cut up all our swatches, pulled a trifle dish from my kitchen, and came up with this setup:

Then I signed one of the swatches to further help folks along.

We also rolled and tied about a million (oh, ok, 200) utensil sets. We'll have a couple jars, and a basket at our buffet tables.

I love that we tied them with twine. We'll have to come up with another way to use it in the wedding. That pretty much wraps up the last of my DIY projects, unless I suddenly remember something weddings have that I've forgotten to do.

Are you wrapping up plans for your wedding? What sort of projects do you have left?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sexy Time Teasers!

Let me start off by blaring, this is NOT safe for work! Repeat, please do not view these at your cubicle, unless you are some sort of lingerie executive, then I suppose it would be business as usual.

Let me start off by saying that Suzy Min was fantastic. I went over to her house to take most of the pictures in her studio, and they turned out amazing. She had a ton of backdrops to choose from, and they were all perfect for each outfit I had on. She really took the time to help me pose, and never made me feel awkward or out of place. I'm shocked to say it, but damn! I look good! And trust me, it was all her. Well, and the week of going without Cokes and pasta, which give me that horrible belly bump. I'm currently chowing down on shrimp penne, a giant coke, and brownie batter. Trust me though, these pictures were worth the fast.

Hello, Gorgeous, you come here often? I cannot believe she made me look like this. I'm so, so happy with the results, and I can't wait to see the rest of them! I only have these two until late next week, so I'll have to try and contain myself. I have a strong urge to make one of these my Facebook profile picture, but again, I'll restrain myself. I'm pretty sure all my vague high-school friends would be a little too excited to see pictures like these go up on the 'book. So for now, I'll share them with you, Hive!

And p.s. if you ever need a Houston (or Vegas!) area photographer, give Suzy a ring. She'll give you shots of tequila to loosen you up ;)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sexy Time

Hive! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. Today, I'm doing a boudoir shoot. Yup, that's right, I'm taking sexy pictures! And with none other than a hive member who befriended me, the lovely Suzy Min. She's a gorgeous local wedding photographer, who happens to live just down the street from my new home. How awesome is that? She's such a wonderful photographer, here's a sampling of her stunning work.

Awesome, yeah? I can't wait to see what she comes up with. We've already done a lot of brainstorming as to what I'll wear. So far, I have five outfits:
A maid teddy from Victoria's Secret (only mine is all a soft pink), which I'll be pairing with a super cute little cake plate and some brightly colored mini cupcakes I bought from Wal Mart.

A sexy teddy with some killer heels, shades, and my Bersa .380 Thunder as I channel my inner Bond Babe.

I also have a bra and panty set that looks pretty burlesque that I plan to wear with Mr. SD's Old West six-shooter gun belt, spurs, and hat. He also has a bullwhip. Don't ask... Anyway. 

I plan on also taking my Sea Side Pin Up swimsuit to complete my bombshell look, and a pair of aviators.

My last outfit is a sexy babydoll, and we'll be taking them in the bed the mister and I built at my house. I think it's going to be so much fun, and I can't wait to share some of the pictures with you! My big plan is to create a e-photo album to load onto Mr. SD's phone the morning of the wedding. Something he can enjoy when he has to start working on the road for his job. 

The last thing I want to talk about is footwear. When Suzy asked me if I had any sex-me heels, I unfortunately had to say no. But earlier when I was browsing my closet, I had a brainwave. One pair just needed a little love to reach it's true potential. I'd picked these babies up at Target a few years ago, and since have stopped wearing them because I thought they looked cheap, and too young. Case in point:

They were scratched, dull, faded, and I wasn't a huge fan of the brown and black color combo. It made them too casual. So I polished them up, took a black sharpie to the side, then channeled my inner Louboutin and painted the sole with some pink nail polish. Check out these stunners...

They look like brand new shoes! So cute and sexy, I can totally see all the height now. And the heels are so sassy. So Suzy, I'm ready for my close-up!

Who else is doing a boudoir shoot? How did you choose to share them with your SO?