Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Venue Update: Moving!

Well we are officially in packing mode...Dana is set to close next week - she just got word that the buyer's loan is through underwriting (Yeah!) This is the first step - once we are out of our current houses we can focus solely on the next houses (and those brides of ours :))

Dana's Dining Room-It makes it we are really moving!

Hope to have lots of updates in the very near future as so many things are happening all at once! Maybe plans next exciting would that be?!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Mayhem! Stream of Consciousness post...

That's what Monday's should be called! It's good to be busy though...right?? I am currently working on getting financing nailed down for the cottages and fielding quotes from a few contractors, along with finishing up some details on a couple of weddings and making sure all of their contracts are in...blogging...etc...It's not like running a marathon...but I tell you it is mentally exhausting! Any tips out there for how to do everything in a VERY limited amount of time??

All that to Motto...Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone....

I'm at the edge here people....things are just gonna start falling of the proverbial plate any second now...this must be life I am experiencing!

Friday, February 22, 2013

DIY: Dora Backpack

Courtney would tell you I am crazy, well actually she did. But I do tend to look at a project and think - "That will take me only a few days.." At the time, that doesn't sound crazy - but in the midst of purple corduroy overload - it is. And I am fully aware that I am crazy. But, the kids LOVED these bags. I seriously got e-mails and texts all weekend about how their kid would not take off the bag. We ended up having 15 kids! I had to make 3 little pouches for the littlest one because I was so not making another bag after I had made 12. I do have to give credit to this awesome lady for this awesome tutorial. I did make a few changes since I was making them in bulk to make my life a little easier..


  • 1/2 yd of heavy duty fabric. I used corduroy, and so did the other tutorial
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Felt for the face (1 square of each is plenty)
  • Washers
  • velcro
  • Heat n bond
  • 1/4 yd of scrap fabric for the lining
1. Cut out all your pieces. Go here to download the body and face pattern. Trace and cut with a seam allowance 
1 strip - 3" x  28" ( a little larger than the tutorial suggested - I found it easier to deal with excess than not enough.)
2 strips- 2-1/2" x 6" 
2 strips- 2-1/2" x 12"
2 squares - 6" by 8" (I guess that is a rectangle :)
1 square: 4" by 4"
2. Do your prep work - Ironing and sewing the straps and pocket. Here is where I strayed from the tutorial. I had 48 straps to sew! And there was NO WAY I was going to turn them all right side out, so I just ironed them down and did a top much easier.
Iron a small seam on either side

Fold in half and sew down. do this for the 6" strips and the 12" strips. Sew along the folded side
The next is for the pocket. You will need the 4x4 square and the long strip. 

Iron down all four sides

Lay the long strip onto the ironed square and pin the sides to the BACK of the strip. I made it so that the top of the pocket was at about 4" down from the top of the strip. It will not be tight in the front - that is okay

Fold down the excess and iron

Stitch along the 2 sides and bottom. Be careful to only stitch the sides of the pocket.

Voila - big enough for Map!
3. Iron sew the face onto the body. I used heat n bond to place the eyes and mouth where I wanted them to go and then did a zig zag stitch around. I did not make my zig zag stitch very tight because I had so many to make. I also had never zig zag stitched before. I practiced on some scrap until I got the hang of it.

Just with Heat n Bond

Stitching around. Every step I proclaimed to my husband that  "this is the worst part!" Ha- looking back- this was the easiest for sure. I think it was just the redundancy of making 12..

4. Sew the long strip onto the body.
Make sure it is face to face and that the pocket is nice and pulled away from the edge.  Your machine will have to go through 4 layers once it reaches the pocket- my machine nor did my needles like it. I seriously broke 5 needles during this project! I had only ever broken one before in the years since I've had the machine..
5. Attach the back
First add the long straps. Pin the straps to the front of the back piece .

Place the back piece on top and sew the back piece to the other side of the strip
 Make sure your straps are securely fastened (you could sew those on before adding it to the strip) I double backed over the straps just to be sure.

6. Make the flap
Place a bowl along the edge and trace and cut out 

It ended up being roughly 7.5" by 4"

Sew face to face along the curve - leave the straight part open

Turn right side out 
7. Attach the flap and straps to the top of the bag. 
Notice how it is a little uneven on the top..

Trim it up! Make sure that it is as straight as you can make it

Pin the shorter straps down - make sure to line it up with the long straps

Add the flap on top and pin down and sew a seam across the back. At this point I took off the front part off so I could slide the bag around the arm of the machine

Check the seams and make sure the straps are securely tightened. 
8. Add the lining
Lay the bag on the lining. Make sure it is nice and flat, the sides out and all

Trace around giving yourself a seam allowance. Now - the original tutorial did a much nicer lining - but, again - 12 bags people! 

Cut out the lining 

Take the two pieces of lining and put them face to face and sew along the sides - leave about a 5 inch opening on the bottom

So this is not 5 inches - and i had to open it up some...
9. Attach the bag to the liner
Keep the liner inside out and place the bag RIGHT side out  inside the bag

Pin the side of the liner to the side of the bag and sew along the top

Pull the bag through the hole in the bottom

Check the seams and sew the liner closed
Tuck the liner in and pleat the sides. 

10. Attach the velcro and washers to finish the straps 
The washers I used. You could use D-rings, but I  wanted something a little cheaper..

Attach the washer or D-ring to the short strap. The seam should be along the back of the strap

Attach 1' velcro to the top of the long strap and then about 2 inches down attach 2" velcro. This will make the bag adjustable

All Done! I also whipped up these little babies for the back pack..

The finished Product
I know he looks a little mad - it's the flap...but the kiddos loved them and it  isn't too bad making just one.. :)
I also made these for the younger ones - little pouches - they  turned out super cute and  lots easier to make! 

Let me know if you make any Dora backpacks :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

We are so slack!

Do I even need to address the fact that we have not blogged since Monday! Why, yes - yes, I do. We have been super busy, but also, our heads are going a mile a minute trying to get this project off the ground. Our contractor we had originally decided to go with backed out, so we are interviewing new ones along with trying to get bids from them - which takes time. We got some feedback from the bank and goodness gracious we need a lot of money. So, we have been approaching this at every angle possible to try and make all the tiny pieces fit together. Along with that, our engineer is taking FOREVER and I swear I am 2 seconds away from having a hernia.

Oh, and we are packing...with kids. I can't even describe the state that my house is in. I seriously started crying on Sunday as I was packing my china. My china people - something I rarely use. But as Sam was outside fixing this and that per the new owner's request, I was having big alligator tears and sobs over leaving. I know there is something bigger and better than here - but I can't help but feel attached to the house we brought our babies home in. Maybe I am just a softie...

Wedding Season is fast approaching along with 7 weddings we are doing florals for - and that is just from April to June. We officially booked our 19th event last week! Woot Woot! So business is good and right on track for a 40-45 wedding year.

So...we are busy wedding planning, designing  chatting with brides, consumed by projects and how to squeeze every last dime we have, and oh yes..we have those dang kids! Seriously - I love it when I have the laptop open, one kid sitting next to me reading Cinderella and the other sucking his thumb and holding my hand - wouldn't trade that time for anything..well maybe a nap :)

Monday, February 18, 2013


I know, I know...we are neglecting this baby! It has just been sooo very busy...good busy, but busy none the less. I am basically planning a wedding in the month of February for 300 guests and Dana has been cranking out the birthday parties and planning a couple of weddings herself...between that and moving and, oh ya, the kids...there just does not seem to be enough hours in the day! We will be better... I promise!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Courtney's Outfit Inspiration

Well....This is not said in an effort to garner votes...but I really think Dana is going to take this one! I was feeling quite uninspired concerning this project and while I like what I have now....I REALLY like what Dana has!

On to my inspirations:

I started out with a green 16 W (what does that W mean anyways...) dress...and tried to make it into a dress...but that didn't work I decided to go with a skirt instead!

Here is my shape inspiration
Which I thought would look cute with leggings
With a black silk shirt and a blazer...kinda like this

And a Cute Tassel necklace like this!

So those are my inspirations....I think it will be cute and sexy....Great Date night option! I Definitely think I can get lots of use out of the Tassel Necklace! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Support Small Business!

Happy Tuesday! As a small business owner I love it when someone gives me a shout out just based on the merit of my work/goods. I don't have a huge advertising budget and free publicity is good publicity! So I thought I would showcase a few vendors on Etsy that create unique, handmade items that can really set your wedding apart! You also get the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting the "little man" which gives everyone hope that one day it will work out for you too! (You know if you have ever had that dream or thought of "I could make money with this....(Food, craft, ability, etc)")

Wedding Signs, Mr. and Mrs. Decorative Wedding Signs/ Wedding Chair Signs / Custom Colors Available
Signs for the back of your chairs...Love those details!
Photo Booth Props - 19 Piece Roaring Twenties
Photo booth props - So inexpensive and fun!
Ivory sleeveless bridal alencon lace wedding bolero jacket
Love this little lace Bolero on a strapless gown - Very Kate M.

Clutch Purse Bridesmaids Gift Bridesmaids Bags Customize Your Cutie Girlie  Clutch Wedding Purse Bag
Love these for Bridesmaids....useful on the day and a great gift!
Find these cuties here
Wedding Thank You Cards / Thank you card set / Bicycle Wedding Theme - Head Over Wheels For You
Customizable thank you cards in the theme of your wedding!
Find these Here

Wedding Dress Hanger, Bride Hanger, Last Name Hanger, Mrs Hanger, Wedding Hanger, Personalized Hanger, Bridesmaid Hangers, Bride Gift
So cute! When else could you justify 25.00 on a a hanger!
Find it here