Jul 31, 2014

Burlap and Doily Luminaries

Lovely vintage style find of the day - burlap and doily luminaries. Who would have thought that these simple glass canning jars invented and patented by John Landis Mason almost two hundred years ago would be so prized by crafty brides everywhere. Amanda Formaro created these Mason jar luminaries with doilies she bought at a thrift store for 35 cents each. She tried using paper doilies but they just couldn't compete with the elegant motifs of openwork crocheted doilies made of cotton or linen thread. These amazing - and very affordable - DIY wedding luminaries were made with tall glass jars, adhesive spray, second hand doilies, burlap, buttons and twine.

doily wedding luminaries
 
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Jul 29, 2014

Blue Polka Dot Bridal Shoes

I've fallen in love again and I remember well all the signs - nervousness, excitement, anticipation and an always-welcome loss in appetite.  This time it's a sweet pair of shoes - blue polka dot bridal shoes - that I'm told are made by Kate Spade and are available at Nordstrom's.  I haven't been able to verify either and while Nordstrom's does have two styles of blue satin shoes by Kate Spade online, both priced at $298, neither makes my heart sing like the pair shown below.  Does anyone know where to find these?

 
Image courtesy of Aves Photography Design in the Fort Worth, Texas area.

Jul 28, 2014

Burlap and Lace Wedding Invitations

Burlap and lace - they shouldn't make such a handsome couple but they do.  One is plain, coarse and country.  The other is soft, sensual and a feast for the eyes and with delicate designs such as Venetian, Belgium and Chantilly lace.  Vintage style burlap and lace wedding invitations bring these opposites together in such a beautiful way.  The burlap designed paper has an authentic, rustic quality and the lace is pure elegance.


Jul 26, 2014

Mint Chocolate Candy Cookies

Mint chocolate candy cookies - chances are you can knock these out with everything you already have on hand except the chocolate covered thin mints.   Andes chocolate mints are the perfect choice and if you're not a big fan of mint chocolate desserts, they also made these other chocolate-friendly flavors:  Creme de Menthe, Mint Parfait, Cherry Jubilee, Toffee and Peppermint Crunch (around the holidays).  Also available in baking chips and Crème de Menthe Sugar Free.  After the baking is done, place one mint wafer on top of each cookie, and slide the pan back into the oven for less than one minute.  The chocolate wafers will melt easily, making them so easy to spread! 


  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 (4.5 ounce) packages chocolate covered thin mints
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the sugar, butter and water, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat, stir in the chocolate chips until melted and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

2. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, and stir into the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate the dough for one hour or longer.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray. Roll cookie dough into walnut sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven and be careful not to over bake. When cookies come out of the oven, Press one Andes mint wafer into the top of each cookie and let sit for 1 minute. When the mint is softened, swirl with the back of a spoon or knife to make a pattern with the green filling of the mint wafer. For smaller cookies, break mints in half. Makes 3 to 4 dozen mouth wateringly delicious mint chocolate cookies.

Beach Wedding Stamps

Beach wedding stamps - warm and whimsical and so...inviting.  Even if your wedding is in Fresno, California or Fort Wayne, Indiana, everyone loves to be reminded of sweet summer days spent in the sand and the sun.  I am lucky to live close enough to the sea and by all means come here yourself and have a Virginia Beach wedding.  Just don't do it between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  You want magic instead of madness and you'll save a bundle of money and dodge a bunch of traffic too.  I love seashells and sand crabs, sandals and suntan lotion, boats and little beach huts.  How about you?

Jul 24, 2014

9 Stunning Milk Glass Wedding Centerpieces

Milk glass vases - you've seen them in every thrift shop, picked them up and admired their English hobnail patterns and graceful Art Deco-like designs.  The small, slim bud vases sell for less than a dollar unless - like me - you prefer large flea markets and church rummage sales where lovely items such as these sell for a quarter a piece.  Why not make your own milk glass?  Here are five easy steps to creating custom made milk glass wedding centerpieces.
  • Collect any glass vase - clear ones work very well - that have a hobnail, striped or scalloped pattern.
  • Clean the entire surface with soap and water.  Use a toothbrush to clean if it has an intricate or cut-glass pattern.  Let glass dry completely.
  • In a well-ventilated area, set your vases 6 inches or more apart on newspaper or old shower curtain.
  • Using a shiny white glass paint such as Krylon, shake the can well and spray vases working from side to side.  Spraying too close will cause drips and runs.  Don't worry about the inside of the vase.  Just spray enough to cover the tops.
  • Rotate the vases until every spot is covered.  Wait about 15 minutes and then give them a second coat.  You've just made the magic happen by turning a dollar store glass vase into a magnificent milk glass style vase! 
milk glass vases 
 
mkilk glass centerpiece 
 
milk glass vase with yellow roses 

 milk glass vase with red tulips
 
vintage style milk glass centerpiece
 
 
white milk glass centerpiece with pink flowers
 
 
white milk glass centerpieces
 
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Jul 23, 2014

Fall Wedding Boutonniere Ideas

Here are my favorite fall wedding boutonniere ideas with beautiful burnt orange calla lilies and roses, bits of bright green fern, artificial hypericum berries in bright burgundy, orange and lime green. Less is certainly more when it comes to making fall themed boutonnieres and the third photo - made with items from your local Michael's craft store - is wrapped in a simple gold grosgrain ribbon. Created in a matter of minutes and yet as bright and beautiful as anything made by the hands of a professional florist.

orange calla lily boutonniere
 
white and yellow wedding boutonniere
 
fall themed wedding boutonniere
 
orange wedding boutonniere 
 
rustic orange wedding boutonniere
 
fall wedding boutonniere ideas
 
 
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Edible Peacock Cupcake Feathers

These authentic looking edible peacock cupcake feathers are made of potato starch, vegetable oil, and water and then brushed with a tender coat of vanilla.  Food coloring gives each one its lovely iridescent blue/green appearance.  But they are only painted on one side.  There is no stick per se, so you need to slightly push each peacock feather into each beautifully iced wedding cupcake.  Sold in sets of 12 (2 1/4 inch size) and 24 mini feathers (one inch size). With buttercream frosting or corn syrup, they will adhere to most dessert items, wine glasses, or elegant serving dishes.


  
 
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Incredibly Easy Rustic Wedding Centerpieces

Rustic wedding centerpieces - you can make any one of these with just a few items you may already have at home. Or a quick trip to Michael's with coupon in hand. I once was lucky enough to buy almost a dozen mismatched vintage canning jars at a local church rummage sale - $1.00 for the lot. But even an ordinary jam or jelly jar covered in burlap and lace looks rustic and romantic. Here is everything you need to make these DIY wedding centerpieces:
  • Baby's breath - light and lovely, available all year.
  • Ball Mason jars - in 4, 8, 12 and 16 ounces - some as inexpensive as 79 cents each.
  • Burlap and twine, vintage style lace.
DIY rustic wedding centerpiece 
  
 
rustic spring wedding centerpiece
 
Two charming white daisies look lovely sitting in a clear jar that could have held
your favorite brand of mayonnaise.  With a little bit of twine, lace and loose weave burlap,
this rustic style centerpiece may be cheaper than your morning cup of latte.
 
  
DIY rustic wedding candle centerpiece
 
 
 
 
rustic sunflower centerpiece
  
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Jul 22, 2014

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

A double layer pumpkin cheesecake - with a delicious blend of cream cheese, whipped topping and pumpkin puree. A perfect idea for a fall bridal shower or brunch. Your fiber loving friends will be grateful for what pumpkin has to offer - no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is overflowing with dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals and vitamins A, C and E. To make an easier version of this pumpkin cheesecake recipe, substitute 3/4 cup of Libby's pumpkin pie filling (or any brand will do) for the pumpkin puree. The pie filling already has all the spices in it so you don't need to add them separately.

pumpkin cheesecake recipe

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup of white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 pinch each - cloves and nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese (room temperature is best), sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Remove 1 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
  3. Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the remaining batter and stir gently until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.
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Jul 21, 2014

Aqua Blue Wedding Cakes

Aqua blue wedding cakes are always in demand here in Virginia Beach - tucked away are we in the southeast corner where coastal Virginia meets the deep blue sea.  After observing tens of thousands of land-locked families stake their territory on our clean white beaches from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, it's plain to see everyone loves the beach.  Sunbathers come to relax and refresh. Surfers come for "the perfect wave."  People from Peoria to Peru come for the people watching - especially along our three mile boardwalk.  These beautiful blue cakes reminds me of home, but in case your area has more snow than sunshine, you can still infuse your wedding with the amazingly beautiful color, aqua blue.

aqua and white wedding cake
 
 
 
Aqua and White Wedding Cupcakes
 
aqua and orange wedding cake
 
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Jul 13, 2014

Tea Party Bridal Shower Favors

Tea party bridal shower favors - small but sweet tea themed gifts for those who love to share a comforting cup of herbal tea.  I love the convenience of tea bags myself, but for those who love freshly brewed tea leaves, these heart-shaped tea infuser spoons are just a few dollars each. An affordable little gift and a heart warming reminder of a very special afternoon spent with well-loved friends. A sturdy design and easy to use, this elegant tea infuser won't tarnish, and opens easily by squeezing the handle. Simply put your favorite loose tea leaves inside, steep in hot water for a few minutes and enjoy!