Thursday, August 29, 2013

Designing + Planning Orange Wedding Bouquets and Centerpieces

I'm at it again!  Some of our good friends are getting married this weekend, and they asked me to be their florist!

I love having the house full of flowers, helping friends save a little cash, and most of all, making them something beautiful that's a part of their wedding day (and about a thousand photos).  The stressful part?  Making them something beautiful that's a part of their wedding day and about a thousand photos!!!

I love their ideas for their wedding - hints of a baseball theme (they did get engaged at a baseball game after all!), casual outdoor feel, and bright colors of royal blue and true orange.  I'm also quite impressed with all the projects the bride has been working on!  Maybe she'll let me write a post about all her hard work...


So all that aside, I wanted to share with you what I've been doing to plan for this DIY floral experience. 

First, I started with the bride.

What's the budget?  As reasonable as possible but I still want everything to look pretty.

What do you want the flowers to look like?  True orange, with some blue for mine.  No lilies (a bridesmaid is allergic). 

Aw man, because I was kind of hoping to try these...

We browsed through a number of photos on pinterest and found that she prefers a rounded shape, not too big or too small, avoid the wildflower look, and no flowers that are too crazy.

We also took a trip to the flower wholesaler, but the day we went they were severely lacking in orange flowers!  I hadn't been planning to order ahead for this wedding, but after the selection that day, I decided it would be a better idea.

The following flowers come in orange.  I'm sure there's more, but this is what my flower guy suggested.  I bolded the ones I ultimately chose, and gave reasons why the others wouldn't work

Alstroemeria - too generic
Asiatic Lily - bridesmaid is allergic
Calla Lily - too expensive
Celosia - too weird
Gerbera Daisy
Gladiola -not the right shape
Hydrangea - Royal blue for the bride
Hypericum - too expensive
Orchid - too expensive
Proteus - too weird
Spray Roses
Snapdragon - tips are green, not the right shape
Tulip - not available
Zinnia - not available

By studying the inspiration photos, I got a good idea of how many stems I'd want for each type of arrangement.  The bridal bouquet is of course larger than the bridesmaid bouquets, and the centerpieces don't need as many stems because they can be spread out.

To save money, my bride had the great idea to use the bouquets as centerpieces at the reception.  She's having 15 tables, but I only have to make 8 centerpieces because 7 are covered by the bouquets.  This is awesome, and essentially saved her 30% on the cost of her florals.  I plan to poke some greenery in around the bouquets so everything looks as cohesive as possible on the tables.

Here's the breakdown!

I went with fewer stems than planned for the bridal bouquet since three of them are large hydrangeas.

Also, flowers have to be ordered in bunches, not individually, so I tweaked the counts until I got even numbers for bunches.  Where you see 1.5's in the table, that just means half the bouquets get one flower and half get two.

So how much do flowers cost, anyways?  Carnations are the bargain of the bunch (har har) at less than 50 cents each.  The most expensive thing on my list, aside from the hydrangeas where cost can vary wildly, was the cockscomb at $1.80 each.  Everything else comes in between $1.00 - $1.50 per flower.

It's also helpful to consider the size of a flower.  Sunflowers, gerbera daisies, and dahlias take up a lot of square footage in a bouquet - so even if they're more expensive, you get more bang for your buck. 

My grand estimate for the flower order came to $450.  Y'all, this a BARGAIN for an entire wedding of flowers.  For my wedding, I got estimates of $700 - $1000 for bouquets only (and subsequently told the florists no thanks).

To make myself feel a little more confident in choice of flowers, I threw together some photos to make sure everything would play well together.  Thankfully, they do!

I've also been considering the schedule for the work.  The wedding is Sunday.  Friday I'll pick up the order and "process" the flowers.  Saturday I'll put most of the bouquets and centerpieces together.  Sunday I'll finish any centerpieces, prep the vases for the bouquets, and make the corsages.  I get to have fun in there too - they've planned a bachelorette dinner tonight, a group outing to a Nationals game Friday, and the rehearsal dinner Saturday.  Plus some of our BFFs who are also in the wedding are staying with us all weekend, so I'll have helpers this time around!

I'm super excited to pick up the order tomorrow and get to work!  I love having a house full of friends and flowers :)

You might also be interested in these posts:
Prepping Flowers for DIY Bouquets
DIY Fake Peony and Hydrangea Bouquets
Elegant White and Green Bouquets
Autumn Bouquets and Boutonnieres

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Project FAIL: T-shirt scarf

I kept finding these little holes right near the waist of my shirts.  I couldn't figure it out!  My best friend finally told me I was probably zipping my shirts up when I zipped my pants.  D'oh!

So now that I fixed that problem, I'm left with a number of garments with holes in them, like this shirt.

It reminds me of those blue raspberry candy sticks.  Yum!

But that stupid hole wasn't so sweet.

I thought I'd save the day and make it into a fun infinity scarf.  Just cut off the sleeves and top, and it would be wearable again!

Yeah, it looks like a t-shirt bunched around your neck.

But what if it were skinnier?

Yeah, still looks dumb.

Project fail.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dining Room Update: Getting Worse Before it Gets Better

Not like you can tell, but we've been making progress on the dining room!  I ordered almost everything we'll need to set up the room.  Most of it has arrived, but is still in boxes because first I need to paint.

Lucky is not impressed.

The suggested paint color was Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.  It was supposed to be lighter than the Rainwashed we used in the living room, but in reality it's just a little greener and only 4 LRV points different.  We felt like the colors would be so similar that it would look like something was wrong with the paint in one room, or that the lighting was weird.

My next idea was to go for a different cool neutral, but one that was markedly lighter than the living room or kitchen.  Site White seemed like a good choice.

I bought a sample quart and painted a bit in various spots around the room.  It was awful once it dried.  Something about the texture of the walls and the lighting with this color made the room look dingy and dirty.  It also felt too cold.

So then we considered a warm neutral, Kestrel White.

Much better!  I bought the gallon and now I just need to paint!

Once I get all this other stuff out of here... (keeping it real)

this is driving me nuts!

I have about a dozen boxes from everything I ordered, a new piece of furniture for the guest room, and a thousand warm neutral paint swatches.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Guest Room Update: Wallpaper is Gone!

When I received Jackie's ideas for the new rooms on Saturday, it sent me into serious DIY mode.  Tommy was out of town on a bachelor party (see their flowers next week!), so I buckled down and got to work.

The worst thing about the guest room was the wallpaper.  The craziest part is that the previous owner was an interior decorator!!

I mean this very seriously.  If we ever buy another house with wallpaper in it, I am making it a contingency of the sale that it ALL must be completely gone by the time we close.

We emptied the room and got to scraping.

Tommy did a ton of the work while I was on a business trip.  Altogether it probably took us 20+ hours to get all that ugly off the walls.

My final recommendation on removing wallpaper?
  1. Get a damp sponge and sponge over the area.  
  2. Wait a few minutes.
  3. Scrape and peel anything you can.
  4. Repeat
  5. Bonus: have a binge viewing marathon of a show your spouse hates.
I had two sections going at once so the water could be soaking into one area while I scraping away somewhere else.

You know what didn't work at all?  That wallpaper removal spray and our garment steamer.

Finally, FINALLY it was all down.  I gave the walls another once-over with a giant car wash sponge to get off any remaining glue and paper bits.

Tommy was pretty happy when he got home from his trip, though he did say something along the lines of, "Now how am I going to get away with watching six episodes of Prison Break in a row?"

Unfortunately, the walls aren't in great shape.  Aside from being a disgusting flesh color, there's a fair amount of drywall work in our future, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A First Time For Everything

Y'all aren't going to believe me.

I hired a decorator...

You still there?  Good, because I can't wait to tell you about her!

First, why did I hire a decorator?  We have a few rooms in our house that have completely perplexed me.  They're ugly, dysfunctional, and difficult to decorate.  I'm talking about our dining room, guest room, and basement.

The basement is a true mess, so we're saving that for later.

The dining room is tough because it's small, dark, connects a bunch of other spaces, and gets abused as both a place to eat and a place to work.  We'd probably find a bunch of other things to do in there if we didn't hate being in the room.  It's a mess.

I took a photo as-is because it shows how it's just not working for us.  Stuff piled everywhere, computers in the way, uck.

The guest room is tough, too.  Eventually we hope this room will become the nursery, so we don't want to invest in anything that won't have a life there or somewhere else in our house after a baby.  I've also been unable to see past the wretched wallpaper in there.

It's small, too, and we can't put anything but a queen bed in there.  Guests have no room to walk and nowhere to put a suitcase.  It's highly uninviting.

So with all those challenges, I was stumped!

Meanwhile, I've discovered Jackie through her blog Teal & Lime.  Since I started following her, she's quit her day job and started an interior design service, Teal & Lime Interiors.  What's cool is that she never even comes to my house - it's all done digitally!  This helps her keeps costs low - she provides the design, ideas, and a shopping list, and the client buys and installs everything themselves.

Besides all that, I LOVE her work.  Her house is amazing, and I am constantly inspired by her mood boards and projects.

Affordable, beautiful style that I can implement myself?  Sign me up!

We hired Jackie to make two custom mood boards for us - one for the dining room and one for the guest room.  This past weekend, she sent me the completed designs.  You better believe I spent the next hours of my life poring over them and starting to buy the stuff!

Today I'll share our before pics and her designs.  Over the next weeks (maybe months), I'll share how we go about implementing her design.

So far, we're loving the process, and highly recommend Jackie.  If you're interested in her services, tell her I sent you!  She had a lot of fun working on our rooms.

Without further ado...

Dining Room: Small, dark, messy, and the center of our house.  The only things I like are the built-in cabinets (yay storage) and the chandelier we installed last fall.  Keeping it real here, don't judge!

Here's Jackie's solution for the room.  She based it on my idea of hanging a family photo from our wedding week at the head of the table.  Everyone is wearing coral and navy, so she incorporated those colors in her design.  I also ordered most of the stuff for this room, and I can't wait to set it up!

Guest Room: Small, dark, awful wallpaper, uninviting.  The lake view from the room is about the only thing going for it.  Again, keeping it very real here, so don't judge!!!

Again, Jackie came through with an awesome design!  She drew inspiration from the shirt stripes quilt I made from Tommy's dress shirts.  We're still fixing the walls in here, so I haven't made as much ordering progress, but I'm super excited to get started.

What do you think?  Am I crazy to hire a designer?  Do you think her designs will work for us?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cute Dress Form Cover

My Mom got an adjustable dress form for me while she was working on my wedding dress.  It's cool, because it can be adjusted to exactly my size.  Unfortunately, she's not that attractive when you can see her innards, and she doesn't match my craft room!

There's an easy fix!  Make a slipcover!

I went with a cotton knit for the fabric.  This saves me from having to perfectly fit the cover to the dress form, and also allows the cover to grow or shrink if I do.

I wrapped the fabric around the dress form and threw in some pins where it needed to meet.  I made it narrower at the waist and larger around the hips and bust.  Knit is so forgiving!

I zoomed it together with my sewing machine (and a knit needle), making sure to match up the stripes because I'm into that kind of thing.

Then I put it inside-out on the dummy to check the size.  It needed some tweaking in the butt area, so I added a few pins to mark the new seam.

After that, it was looking pretty darn good!

To make the neckline lay right, I also pinned everything around the shoulders.

After all the sewing was complete, I turned the slipcover right-side-out and wiggled it onto the dress form.  I reattached the neck thingy at the top.

The cover needed hemming, so I gathered the ends together with a needle and thread, nothing special.

I also covered the pin cushion!

Isn't she adorable now?

For about 45 minutes of work and $12 in fabric, this project got some good bang for its buck.

I love that she matches my size and my craft room.  Now I can get to work making things to wear!

A quick note on making a dress form your size.  I know there are knobs that indicate measurements, but if I make all the hip adjusters say 40", she ends up being a perfect cylinder.  My real body happens to be wider side-to-side than back to front (more of an oval if viewed from above), so I simply adjust all the knobs and keep measuring the circumference on the dress form with a measuring tape until she's got my same measurements and dimensions.

Pin it so you don't forget!