Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bridal Showers

So, this post is in recognition of my failure as a budding blogger to take decent pictures of my creations.  I will do better.  But in the meantime, you will see terrible pictures of things that I created yesterday for a good friend of mine. She's getting married in a month and I'm uber happy for the current couple/soon-to-be-newlyweds.  

This is only the second bridal shower that I've been to and the first one that's been a female only affair.  In classic Renee fashion, I waited until the last minute to think of gift ideas and started brainstorming 3 days before the scheduled event.  Also, in true Renee fashion, everything worked out thereby continuing to enable her bad habits.  I wanted to create something personal, that would be remembered and that she could see and use everyday.  Those discounted the usual items that I THINK get given at bridal showers, such as lingerie.  Given these restrictions, I decided to consult with my dear friend, Pinterest.  Oh Pinterest, how I covet thee.  Thankfully, i have enough spare time (cough) to scroll through a forever scrolling webpage of ideas that pop up when I type in 'Bridal Shower'. They ranged from terrible involved to just not being right, but after xx amount of minutes hours, I was able to come up with 3 gifts that would amount to less than $50 in monetary value (i think, I didn't really do the math) and would take me less than 6 hours to do.  Since I would be starting these projects on Thursday, everything would work out fine.

Unfortunately, I was unable to procure one of the necessary items for gift number 1, but fortunately, gift number 1 was the most time consuming and was instead replaced by an equally good one (that got blessed by the groom) and was a hell of a lot simpler.  I still ended up making three items and they all turned out well, if I do say so myself. Presenting....

Gift #1

These magnets are of cities that they've been to together.  Zurich in Switzerland, Cancun in Mexico, St. George in Burmuda, Ponce in Puerto Rico, Cincinnatti, OH (where the Groom is from) and Manasas, VA (where the Bride is from).  I decided to do the cities because it's pretty easy to remember the countries you travel to, but a lot of times (at least for me), the cities are forgotten.  This way it will be a constant reminder/quiz of where they've been. As their travels increase, I'll possibly consider building on the collection. 

Gift #2

This picture frame lists famous couples in history and in story with the couple's names front and center.  I spray painted the frame purple as it's the Bride's favourite color and knew she would find a good place to put it.  I made sure to include some recognizable African couples as well though I didn't include as many as I would have liked. 

Gift #3

CC stand for Chris & Candace and i put their last name on it.  I played with just putting CJ as a universal nickname, but I felt as though the Groom has had that name for so long that people would automatically associate it with him.  The CC helps to establish their union along with sharing the last name.  The symbol on the right is an Ghanaian Adinkra symbol "Eban".  It is a fence which symbolizes "Love, Safety and Security".

This was the centerpeice.  I FINALLY used my Silhouette Cameo for good (and not pack rat evil).  I've had this thing for almost two years and prior to yesterday, had yet to put it to good use.  With the discovery that a $2 roll of contact paper from Big Lots is a cheap alternative to throwaway stencil material, I'm hoping that hurdle has been jumped and I'll continue to find good uses for it.  It was simple to use, a little tedious at the weeding out process, but intuitive and worked out well.  I still need to figure out how to properly import some images into the software but it worked out well.  

Gift #4

This was because I tend to go overboard, but I needed something to "wrap" the casserole dish in and this "Market Tote" at JoAnn Fabric's was 60% off so I grabbed it.  It folds up nicely and will definitely be put to good use. Note to self: always walk with JoAnn coupons in purse

All in all, it took me about 6 hours including shopping and travel time to complete all of these, and a good chunk of that time was trying to find the parts to the cutting machine and the remainder of my supplies that I KNOW I own but hadn't touched since I moved here. The Bride loved it and I LOVED seeing the expression on her face when she realized the thought that went into each of the gifts.  It's reactions like those that make me love what I do and inspire me to continue putting in the extra effort to make things that people will use and enjoy. 

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