CupcakeKay's Blog

The wedding craft madness has well and truly begun. In the past week I have (with the help of several fantastic friends)…

1. Made these adorable buttons:

They will go in the favor bags. Aren’t they cute? Also, I love how just about any photo taken with the Hipstamatic app looks artsy.

2. Made the favor bags themselves. Well, most of them. We got about 75 done in one sitting. Still need to do about 30-40 more.

3. Made chalkboard signs for use in the photo booth (tutorial to come, if I remember to bring the cord for my camera, so I can upload pics).

4. Made the stencils for the groomsman gifts. Mr. Cake and I need to go buy the mugs today after work, and then the etching can begin!

5. Burned around 65 cds. Over halfway there!

Also, we now have a working stove, so I will soon be delving in to the glamorous world of wine bottle label removal. When I googled it this morning to see which techniques were most recommended, I found that more people than I expected are interested in such label removal. Most of them are scrapbooking their wine labels, not using the bottles, though. I was surprised at the number of articles out there on this. They all seem to have different thoughts on which methods work best. I shall have to try a few and see for myself.

Oh, and I did a good bit of knitting on the ringbearer vest. I’d say it’s about 85% done now.

Whew! That was a productive weekend. I might actually get everything done in time!

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I spent a good several hours yesterday researching things to do and places to eat in San Francisco, our honeymoon destination. Whee!

I found a really cool tour that takes you to the Muir Woods in the morning and wine country in the afternoon. I’ve been to SF four times now (I think), but I’ve never managed to see the redwoods. The tour includes transportation and three complimentary wine tastings, which I think make it well worth the $89. We’d spend more on a rental car and gas to see those things.

Also, have you seen these before? http://www.gocartours.com/sanfrancisco.html They look so cool! The little car not only tells you where to go via GPS, but it talks to you about what you’re seeing along the way!

We have a list of “Must Eats,” of course, since we’re both foodies. In addition to our 3 squares a day, I’ve plotted out ice cream parlors, donut shops, cupcake bakeries, etc. We are eaters, and now we have lists and lists of places to eat. (I’m also a list-maker, in case you hadn’t noticed.)

I’m getting super excited about the honeymoon now. I’ve toured SF in a sort of slap-dash manner before, as the purpose of my trip was always to see the people who lived there, not the city. I’d go to museums and such while they were at work, or just wander around the city. But we’re really going to do it up big this time. I can’t wait.

This!

“After becoming engaged, my mother told me, ‘You know, you can be an adult without being married, but you can’t be married and not be an adult.’ At the time, I agreed but didn’t think much about it. Now, six months after our wedding, her words keep coming back to me, ringing as one of the truest characterizations of my own process of getting married. Planning this wedding basically forced my husband and I to confront and negotiate with all the people in our lives at once, and I’ve come to see the pain and frustration that comes with going through all of that as a necessary catalyst for growing up and for carving out a place for our new family within the existing ones.” –APW wedding graduate Anna

Actually, her whole post is pretty amazing: http://apracticalwedding.com/2011/04/wedding-graduates-anna-matt/#more-11113

And I love, love, LOVE her dress and her hair (in fact, after the wedding, I plan to ask my stylist to give me that exact delicious shade of strawberry blonde. WANT!).

But back to the important stuff…

I feel like Anna has managed a positive spin on the stress, frustration, and heartache of wedding planning, and that’s something I desperately need right now. It helps me to think of this pain as something necessary, a part of the process of making something better. Seeing this as work that must be done to build my family, instead of an unnecessarily high level of stress for what is essentially a big party (and not even the biggest party I’ve ever thrown, btw), helps me to feel that it will all be worth it.

Thank you, Anna and APW, for keeping me sane!

Craft update: I got four rows knitted on the ringbearer sweater vest last night. This was during our meeting with the DJ, which went well. I had intended to spend much of the evening watching a movie and knitting, but that didn’t happen, thanks to one of our dogs, who seems to have forgotten he’s house-trained since we moved. I spent the first hour I was home cleaning every conceivable dog-bodily excretion off the carpet, the bed, random boxes we hadn’t unpacked yet… So, yeah. Not as much knitting time as I had hoped, and considerably less relaxation time. Maybe I’ll get to relax sometime in May.

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I realized today that I must turn into a CRAFTING FIEND to get everything done in the next 19 days. In fact, I need to put unpacking our house on the back burner until after the wedding. As much as I would like to have a fully decorated house to come home to after the honeymoon, I just don’t think there’s time.

Here’s my list:

Priority #1: Finish my shrug. This just entails weaving in ends, blocking, and sewing on 20 button “eyes.”

Priority #2: Finish the ringbearer’s vest. It’s about half knit at the moment, and I intended to do some embroidery on it, as well.

Priority #3: Wine bottles. Update: we now have a stove. It is not yet operational, but soon (I hope). It’s 1970s-tastic. See?

Priority #4: Make CD favors. Burning 100+ CDs on my laptop. Fun.

Priority #5: Printing stuff. CD inserts, cards that ask folks to email us their pictures and give them the link to view ours, etc.

Priority #6: Etch beer mugs for groomsmen.

Priority #7: Super Secret Bridesmaid Gift Crafting. (No details will be given here because a) I want it to be a surprise, and b) I may not get it done).

Well, that’s enough of a list to make my head explode! And that’s not even counting the stuff I have to buy, the lists I need to make, and the folks I need to check with for progress reports on THEIR projects.

As I’ve said for the millionth time already this month…remind me why we didn’t elope?

…except this one.

As we enter the final countdown to the wedding (25 days!), I often find myself musing on this “Ask Team Practical” discussion, The Loneliest Bride (when I have the mental capacity for musing; there are some days all I’m capable of is wailing, gnashing of teeth, and rending of garments).

Part of this is just that I decided to make three major life changes all at once, and I’m working so much that I have time for nothing else. My stress level is at an all-time high. This was dumb on my part, but sometimes life just turns out that way.

But I truly am lonely. Unlike the writer of that APW question, perhaps, I’m realizing that I’m truly lonely apart from the wedding, and the wedding is magnifying that to levels of sometimes overwhelming sadness.

First of all, my engagement started with (and was the cause of) the loss of a friend. Because of whom I picked for my husband, one of my (I thought) closest friends stopped speaking to me. I didn’t expect this. I knew she wouldn’t be happy with my choice, but I naively believed that because I loved her with all my heart and would always continue to be her friend, no matter what her choices, that she felt the same about me. When we planned our hypothetical weddings together in our early 20s, we were supposed to be each other’s bridesmaids. Now she won’t even be there. Should we ever repair the friendship, there will be no way to go back in time for her to attend my wedding. That loss will always be felt.

There’s no way for me to explain in words how deep this wound is. It hurts constantly.

And with each RSVP of no, each person who, however kindly, tells me that they’ve prioritized something else higher than my wedding, I get lonelier.

I think what it boils down to is that my wedding just isn’t as important to anyone else as it is to me. No one tells you that about wedding planning. And let’s face it, even if they did, you’d shrug them off, believing YOUR friends and YOUR wedding are the lovely, special exceptions to every wedding planning rule.

But here’s how I feel:

I’d like to take out an ad in the New York Times (or, you know, a paper my friends actually read), or a billboard, or something equally large and prestigious, that reads, “In case you didn’t know, I’m going through a huge, momentous life change. This is both joyous and hard. I’m feeling both overwhelming happiness and panic at the same time. I need your smiles to mirror my joy. I need your hand to grasp when the enormity of this choice feels like a weight on my chest, and I can hardly breathe. I need to know that you’ll listen to me, that I will have your undivided attention, when I need it. Most of all, I need to feel that I am important to you, that my wedding is important to you (although, yes, I realize it is not the MOST important thing to you: you’ve got your own stuff). I just need you to be there. And I want you to know that I AM HERE FOR YOU. No matter how busy and stressful my life, I always have time to share in your joys. No matter how happy I may be, I will always be your shoulder to cry on.”

Ok, so maybe it’s too wordy for a billboard.

My first honest-to-god completed wedding craft*:

“What in the holy heck does a ball of yarn in a sundae cup have to do with your wedding?” you ask.

Well, I’ll tell you.

Instead of a pillow, our ring-bearer will be carrying this. It will have a red ribbon tying some (fake) rings to it. (Don’t look at me like that. My ring is a family heirloom. I’m not taking a chance that my adorable but none-the-less FOUR-YEAR-OLD nephew will lose it.) It combines my love of yarn with our love of ice cream, and it will look so cute in the hands of our cutie-patootie ring-bearer.

It was pretty simple to make. You will need:

A sundae cup (mine came from Garden Ridge and cost $1.49)
A styrofoam ball of a reasonable size to fit in the top of the cup (also from Garden Ridge, $4.99 for a six-pack)
Less than a skein of yarn (I used KnitPicks Shine in Aquamarine, left over from the shrug I knitted myself)
Glue
Ribbon

1. Wrap the yarn around the styrofoam ball. This was a little tricky, as it took me several experiments to come up with a way of wrapping it that I liked. If you had a round ball of yarn that you didn’t have another use for, you could just use that. I didn’t want to waste that much yarn with which I could be knitting!

2. Glue the ball of yarn into the sundae cup. I think I used a bit too much glue, as some of it ran down the inside of the cup. Also, I don’t like that it’s visible through the glass. It looks kind of like a wet ring in the yarn. You could avoid this by using an opaque sundae cup. I plan to glue some ribbon over the outside to hide it. Although, honestly, no one but me is going to notice the glue.

3. Thread a short length (probably 6 to 12 inches will do) of ribbon through the yarn on the top, and tie your rings (or fake rings, if you’re a horrible mistrustful aunt like I am) to it!

Voila!

Next up in Cupcake’s Crafty Corner: As soon as we get somewhat unpacked (oh yeah, we decided to move a month before the wedding, because we are dumb and don’t have enough stress in our lives) and our stove arrives, I shall be boiling wine bottles! If this sounds like a strange activity to you, be sure to stick around for my next craft blog.

*One could argue that my knitted shrug was my first completed wedding craft, but as I have not yet woven in the ends or sewn on the button eyes (yes, my wedding shrug has eyes), it is not entirely completed. I’ll get to that one day. I bought the buttons last weekend, at least!

No, not the one with my fiance. That’s a love/love relationship (ok, a love/mild annoyance relationship, but aren’t they all?). I’m talking about my relationship with the wedding planning website and WIC conspirator The Knot.

I love it for its handy tools, like the budget, guest list, and checklist. It also has very useful articles on traditions and etiquette, which even the indiest of indie brides finds herself in need of occasionally. Turns out, when you’re building your wedding from the ground up, you often need to know how things are usually done, if only to turn them on their ear. I also find it’s easiest to focus on individualizing only the things I really care about and do the rest the way people are expecting it to be done. Saves me a lot of time and energy. The Knot is a good resource for all this.

But then I come across something like this: “Your wedding dress — the one you found after months of searching or the one you stumbled upon at a sample sale — will be the focal point of the day.”

No, I’m sorry, but my wedding dress will not be the focal point of the day. My MARRIAGE will be. Fancy that!

Past Glories