Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Make our day #1

One of the most exciting aspects of our big day was getting to make and source lots of stuff for it. It's been very hard to find the time to get back into making since having Joel, sleep deprivation takes it's toll on your creativity. A project like this, with a set in stone deadline meant whatever we said we'd make, we would! Our budget was tight so whilst Etsy and Not on the High Street had tonnes of things we would have liked to have used we felt we had it in us to make up our own/ beg, borrow, or pay tupence for items much more suited to our purse. The series of Make our day postings are designed to help brides and maids to be save money, have fun and

Table dressing was really what it all came down to, as once our meal was over the entire hall was to become our dancefloor, my god it'd been years since I'd danced my socks off like that.

Table numbers were essential, I saw some similar to these on Rock N Roll Bride. They cost us £1.50 to make, yes you read that right. Here's how...
1) If you can't bear to part with any of your own then blag some old unwanted 7" singles from your friends dad.
2) Next cut appropriately sized circles out of craft papers/wrapping papers/wallpaper samples/magazines etc. (I bought two sheets of crafting paper from our local art shops 50p bin and the rest I cut from my aged collection of paper bags; I new they would come in one day) I used a circle cutter but a compass and a pair of scissors would still do a great job.

3) Stick the circles onto your singles using glue stick
4) Print your table numbers out from your selected font and cut them out, scissors will do for this job, leaving a very small edge 2mm or so (this leaves room for any error with wobbly cutting, like mine)
5) Stick numbers onto your newly covered singles.

6) I very nearly spent daft money on menu holders from a catering site as I couldn't think how to make them stand up (being quite weighty) with Mr Bs help we perfected a very simple yet sturdy holder from card. First cut a circle of card about 5 inches across. Then snip a straight line from the edge into the middle of the circle. Then (best done with a craft knife) cut a broad smiley shape on the side opposite the snip (you might have to do a bit of playing with this on some paper first to get the best shape) This is what your single will slot in so try and cut 1mm of card away at the same time so as to avoid warping the holders shape. Wrap it up into a cone shape and fix the join with tiny staples (they can take the pressure that tape can't)

So just repeat the process for each table and you'll end up with a fab, bargain priced set of numbers for your groovers and shakers to sit by.

PS- We wrote our seating plan on the venues foyer windows, using specialist glass writing pens, that way it could be altered if our guests numbers changed. Easy peasy :)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Beet my heart skipped

In the weeks running up to our big day Wednesday nights evolved into maids nights here at Oakbank. Left free in our diaries, frantic googling and making occurred (blog post 'Make Our Day' to follow) in what remained of the evening after eating some delicious meals.
I used quite a few of these sessions to work my way through various marked recipes from my cook books for our tea. It seemed a good exchange for the girls expertise, easing my guilt about them having to put up with my 'bridezilla' outbursts.
I won't bore you with all the recipes but here was one which we had twice as it was so bloomin tasty. Hugh Fernley Whittingstalls Baby Beetroot Tart Tatin. A good 'hands free for drinking/ leave in the oven' dish, perfect for evenings with the girls. I was quite excited selecting and preparing the beets, their colour (even before halved) is quite unlike any other root veg I've used....

I'd never cooked with beetroot before, it's my pickle of choice and I'd struggled to imagine how it might taste slowly roasted in it's own juices, turned out on a pastry base, scattered with feta and drizzled with dressing. That struggle was over in an hour or so and with scrumdiddlyumtious results and full belly's all round!

Beware though, what happens the next day is quite remarkable. We were so genuinely shocked by what we saw when we went to the loo that alarmed texts were flying around saying ''pink poo!!''

A wedding shared is a wedding halved

We were blessed to have such brilliant maids to help us with our wedding plans, so many maids are relatives forced upon you who just turn up on the day, wear the frocks and that's about as much as they 'do'. Our maids were far from ornamental, they know us so well that if push came to shove, and we'd had a total melt down, they would have created and styled a day to do us all proud.

It wasn't easy to get the three of us together for wedding planning sessions; what with toddler bedtime randomness, new jobs, college and commitments we were (and still are) very busy girls. About six months before the big day I set up Wedding Belles, a private/secret face book group (now set to public view so you can take a look), as a way for us to share ideas, inspirations and general weddingy stuff in a quick and accessible way, without fear of Mr B our guests getting spoilers. That's the trouble with facebook, it's so instant that if you are someone who, like me, suffers from 'blabber mouth' it can really stuff things up!

I set the tone of the group page with this image, which I found on one of the many blog posts I was reading. I still stand by it summing up so much of what our day was to feel and look like.

 Then as certain aspects of the day were defined (dresses, decorations, catering) I invited these people/businesses into the group. It then started to act as a networking site and some harmonious links were forged, like our decorations designer  The North Pom and dresses designer Make Me A Dress hooked up their items in this lovely photo shoot (click to see full article)

Image courtesy of Make Me A Dress
The group, Wedding Belles, proved very useful. Looking at it now I realise it was where we chose our fabrics, designers, decorations, shoes, bags, jewellery, flowers.....the list just goes on and on. It also meant our real get togethers were much more productive having made so many decisions in cyber space. For example the maids Amy Butler fabric, was chosen and shipped from the states using the group chat facility.

Then friends (near and far) who'd offered help in making bits and bobs were also added to the group, so they could get a feel for what direction/style we were going in. For example we were able to show the decorations colour scheme (I truly hate that phrase and we didn't really have one in the end anyway) with this rather technical plan of our hanging pom poms. Oh yeah!

All in all the group worked a treat and I'd recommend using this format to other brides or maids to be, even if you all live locally and can meet up regularly it's still great to have an online group page to act like a mood board/shopping list/scrap book/rantings outlet!
I still enjoy looking at it now as a memento of the fun we had looking at so many beautiful things with such purpose.

Sunday, 17 June 2012


Today is Fathers Day, a day made up by card companies to make money. I won't help card companies succeed in their plan but I think it only right that Dads get the recognition they deserve by having their own special day too. Joel made a fantastic card for Mr B, with my help, he folded, stuck, scribbled and dotted. Here are the results..
One masterpiece

One very mucky, happy boy

Joel would have never been smiling like this if we'd have spent that time in a card shop, plus the money we saved on the card can buy 'choc choc' (Joels favourite thing to shout about), even more smiles. Well he is his fathers son.

We stuck to the the traditional and inexpensive gift of socks and beer, we felt happy with our selection of M&S British Ales (there was even one brewed specially for the jubilee) and they all had these lovely Jack bottle tops. I might have to chivvy Mr B along in drinking these so I can create something out of the tops.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Time for a change

Up until three minutes ago my name for penning under was Miss Pussycat (a name harking back to my My Space days, remember that?) with this rather svelte, and a bit sad at the time, version of what I see in the mirror today was my profile picture.

Now I am nearly five years older than when this was taken, newly married with a beautiful little imp for a boy. Despite the severe lack of sleep, lack of time to be creative/write/think/apply eyeliner I am the happiest I've ever been. So the skinny little Miss became an altogether more well rounded Mrs with a simple click....

......and the diamond encrusted rings I've always dreamt of x

Monday, 11 June 2012

Summer of love

A quick post to declare my undying love for my husband, son and Shepherds Huts. Mr B and I had a good nosey round one yesterday at the Holker Hall Garden Festival and we are already making plans on how to fit one in our garden. We'll be taking B&B bookings come August :)

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Mini-Moon part three and the Jubileeeeee!

On our last day in Bath the nations Diamond Jubilee celebrations commenced....

Literally the view from our front door

Vintage sets

Old style banners, twenty or so dining tables and all the chairs they could find.

Dress code was of course Red, White and Blue with a smile

We had a day to re-coupe and prepare for our own impromptu celebrations, well we couldn't let sixty years go by with no knees up (despite having just organised a DIY wedding and just landed from our mini moon!) We love hosting!

My new arty addiction is glass pens, we used them for our table plans at the wedding and so I used them on our lounge windows for 'weather proof' bunting.

Cute eh!

Much like the last night of the summer holidays our mooning is over, we finished it off with a pub tea 'in', exactly what we would have ordered if we'd been out; egg and cress butties with chunky chips, washed down with our favourite beer. Eaten on our laps in front of the fire (oh yes the weather turned)

Mini-Moon (part two)

Once we had filled all our shoes, forever, with sand we headed on up to the lovely Roman City of Bath for four days of.....

A florists shop which was just a couple of metres deep as it was part of the old bridge, hence on a good day half their stock being outside

Joel met a siamese cat in the garden, it meowed at him so he started telling it all about the lights and plants in the garden

Toast your own breakfast at Bertinets

That days fresh meringues, the size of your face!

The holiday appartment was all jubilee'd up for us

Baths impressive weir

Slap bang in the middle of all the hustle and bustle was Bath Abbey, it had incredible architectuure

This small ''choo choo'' caused us no end of fuss, Joel spotted it as soon as we arrived at Longleat, however it didn't run until half an hour later. Try as we might to distract him with otters, monkeys, merecats and chipmunks ALL he wanted to do was ride this train. Boys only have eyes for things that go!

Once again in Postman Pat Land, the lifesize mechanical models of the entire cast and village had nothing over this 50p ride at the entrance!

Mini-Moon (part one)

Wey hey hey, Weymouth rules!

A little over two weeks ago we were married, it feels both ages ago and just yesterday. We are still finalising our wedding photo selection so to keep you up to speed here is our mini moon in pictures (and the odd bit of writing)
We'd both loved the idea of being waved off from our celebrations by our nearest and dearest but it would have meant missing out on our night do and by hanging on a week meant we got a full weeks holiday starting with razzing it down to Bournemouth for five nights by the sea......

Lovely Westbourne shops

Gorgeous house in Lyme Regis, there's something so whimsical about symmetrical houses

You snooze you win!

Poole harbour, where they build amazing boats for the rich folk

The sun shone every day, we were so happy, it was like falling in love again

Alum Chine vintage beach huts, miles better than the posh modern Wayne Hemmingway ones down the road

Lulworth Cove is the cutest little place, check out this shack shop, we could run one of those! 

Vintage style tourism tiles in Poole museum


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