Monthly Archives: September 2011

DIY Dress????

Ever since I read the (spit out coffee thru nose on cue) web post about how to make a $10.00 wedding gown out of cheap T-shirts (and shared it for morning laughs with my network of professional fashion designers, stylists, costumers, and film and TV  ardrobian friends)  I always wondered who would do such an insanely risky thing?  We have a cheeky saying in wardrobe land “If it doesn’t fit, it looks like S%*#”.  With over 20 years experience I’m not even sure if I’d do it for myself!

wedding-dress-materials.jpgFitting oneself just to mark a silly skirt hem is a complicated act of contortion.  Imagine looking in the mirror while balancing  sharp objects and risking impaling oneself while seeing in reverse.  Houdini would have had to practice!  Looking glass land is not so kind, or  she lies and the reality can be disappointing.

On the eve of my Garment Fit Class at our local sewing center, fit and how to achieve it has been on my mind. Students are always teamed up so everyone can practice working on a body that’s not their own, not familiar and therefore makes them focus on it’s imperfections.  One of my students brought in her friend’s gown project for problem solving, she had reached a construction impasse and we were able to help her make it work and finish it so that she was as proud of it as we were.

A wedding gown is the singular garment that you are most photographed in during your lifetime.   It’s not meant to look or fit the same way as every day clothing, it’s not constructed the same way and will be there forever in pictures for you to stare at.  Do it right the first time and consult a pro.  There are some of us who love a bride to bring in sketches and will love to help you make your vision into a reality!  Ask around and look for reviews on sites like Yelp.com for custom designers with happy clients.  Did you go for an appointment with a dressmaker and get a bad feeling in your gut?  She’s not the only one out there, keep looking!

Cameras see everything differently from the naked eye and your wedding pictures won’t lie, they’ll tell more stories than you can foresee.  There’s an art and a science to knowing what a camera is seeing that the human eye cannot.  Hollywood stars take hours of prep to look good even if they supposedly just rolled out of bed.  Seasoned designers also have this keen skill of knowing just how amazing a body can look in a dress.

DIY can be a great thing if you’re really good at something!  First time tackling it?  Give yourself an out if it’s not working and consult a pro.  Years of experience teaches us how to eliminate hours of needless wasted materials, there may be a solution you just didn’t find on the Internet at 3am. Stick with DIY favors and a few decorations and let a professional take your dress ideas to a place you’ve never thought of!

While Googling “DIY Wedding Gown” for this post, some really gasp-able pictures popped up.  Others are labeled DIY but the skill level in the pictures are clearly by someone who knows what they’re doing. If you’re hell bent on doing it yourself, please buy a pattern and enlist a good friend who really knows how to sew to help  you.  Please?

The $10.00 T-shirt dress is likely something you are going to look back on and regret in a few years.

This post brought to you by Harper of SEAMS Couture

SEAMS Couture    
152-R Main Street Wenham, MA 01984  
By Appointment: 978 473-3398  
‘Friend’ us on www.facebook.com/SEAMSCouture
Winner of Brides Choice Awards from Wedding Wire & The Knot Boston! 
OffBeatBride, You’re So EnGAYged, & Green Bride Guide Approved!
Winner of Northshore Magazine’s Best Bridal Salon BONS 2011!

Simple Love

Not everyone’s idea of a wedding is the same.  A tad of research about weddings around the world will testify to that! But even here in America, within our American Culture, where everything is standardized and, let’s confess, fairly cookie-cutter, things can be Different. You don’t have to have the typical wedding. You really do not.

So what if you’re broke?

What if you hate the idea of having a traditional wedding?

What if the idea of planning a wedding sends you into a flutter, the thought of wearing white makes you shiver, the task of finding musicians, picking a cake, choosing flowers, agonizing over favors, arranging seating….

What if that’s just not you?

Let me tell you a story.

It’s ten years ago. Steve and I are engaged, and poor.  Really, really poor.  A fancy wedding just wasn’t possible for us.  Not for years.  A lot of years.  Frankly, we weren’t sure that a fancy wedding was really our thing.  We were… blah about it.  We didn’t really care.  Which got me thinking, did we need a fancy wedding?  Did we need to wait all of those years—and with our finances the way they were, it would be a whole lot of years—to have the wedding of other people’s dreams?  All we wanted was to get it over and done with. So…

One day I came home with an extra $50 in my pocket.

I burst through the door; screamed, “guess what I have!” Waving my bank card in the air with triumphant flurry, I asked Steve to marry me.

And we did just that.

On the way to court, we stopped for our Wedding Day dinner.  It was pizza and sodas.  I had a Diet Coke. He had a Mr. Pibb.  I put extra mozzarella cheese on the pizza.  Don’t scoff. To this day, this happens to be our favorite meal!

Next we stopped at the florists, because Steve insisted I have a bouquet.  I picked a Gerber daisy, bright orange and cheerful.  It matched my top.  I only wanted one flower, but when the florist learned it was my wedding bouquet she added all manner of greens, fluttering baby’s breath, tiny daisies, and a lovely orange bow, just so, tying it all together.

At the court, we learned—not what they told us over the phone!—that we did, in fact, need two witnesses.  I called my best friend, who lived 40 minutes away, and she sped straight over.  I won’t tell you officially that she made it in under 25 minutes… but she did.  Short one witness, Steve walked into the courtroom and simply asked for one.  A man there on a traffic violation agreed. (William, wherever you are, thank you!)  During the ceremony, we exchanged rings; I gave him my father’s, and he gave me his grandmother’s.

At the end my friend took us outside to take pictures. And that was it!  Unceremonious.  Unpresumptuous.  Cheap.  That was our wedding. It’s served us well throughout the years, and neither of us has had a single regret…

Well, except for that cruise we didn’t take for our honeymoon… but the honeymoon is a different matter entirely!

Michelle and Steve

This post brought to you by Michelle Greenwood of Greenwood Occasions.  Visit her shop here.

Paris with Psiri

 

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Derrick and Veronica met in San Antonio, Texas (where they are from) but their romance was meant to cross the ocean. They started as friends talking long distance.  He works as a contract firefighter in Kuwait and she was still living stateside. After a few months of talking every day for hours, Derrick decided to fly Veronica out to Athens, Greece. A romantic midway point.   As they say it, it was a done deal.  Derrick swept Veronica  off her feet as they went on their first official dates in Greece.

 They parted ways back home and kept in touch by email, phone and messenger.  He flew in to San Antonio any chance he could or when he thought he was going to lose her. (Long distance relationships are tough.) In February 2010, Derrick officially moved to San Antonio to be with Veronica.  They continued our relationship and talked about marriage and the future. Unfortunately, 6 months went by and he still hadn’t been able to find another job.  Derrick’s previous employer, the fire chief in Kuwait offered him to go back.  Sadly he did.  It was September 2010 when he headed back to Kuwait.

Two weeks after arriving in Kuwait, Derrick was given a surprise anouncement…Veronica was pregnant!  While pregnant, she traveled to Kuwait so Derrick could experience the pregnancy.  They even took a vacation to Portugal.  The sweet baby girl, named Psiri {the “P” is silent}, arrived May 15, 2011 in San Antonio, Texas. (Her name comes from a neighborhood in Greece where Derrick first told Veronica he loved her.  Derrick was able to make it 1 week before her arrival and was able to stay only 1 week after she was born, before he had to return to work.  During another vacation abroad in Germany they decided since their relationship had been unique from the start, that they would travel to Paris and elope! It was fine with the family and they had Psiri to experience it with them!

Veronica, Derrick and baby Psiri now live in Kuwait where they plan on raising their family.

Photography by: Stephen Zezza
Website: www.stephenzezza.com

Accessories by Make Believe’N

American Church in Paris

 

Thank you Veronica for sharing your special day with me!

Krissy

Make Believe’N

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wedding Champagne and Flowery Foods

GARDENIAS!!! This flower makes my heart sing! It is such a beautiful and exotic wedding flower. These past couple of weeks, we’ve been in the midst of the last warm weather southern gardenia blossoms. I have two of these buxom girls lazing next to me right now in a little bowl of water. While doing backstrokes, their fully open butter cream florescence wafts a heady invitation through the air. I can’t help but bury my nose in their sensual aromatic beauty each time I pass by them.

Gardenia jasminoides….are they edible? A petal popped quickly into the mouth, raked teasingly across the tongue, teeth gently nibbling to release the narcotic fragrance. Rapture!! Yes!! Gardenia j. is edible! Used by chefs and sommelier in ways similar to the addition of edible rose petals. A delightful taste sensation, although a complete surprise, given that this flower does not easily give up her perfumed scent mysteries. The taste is light, sweet, a bit buttery and Gardenia fragrant. The scent of this flower translates accurately to the taste buds, filling your mouth with it’s rich, yet delicate sexy perfume. It’s petals, I shred, pluck, candy and toss au naturelle as often as possible.

When, where and how to apply Ms. Gardenia’s beautiful wiles Writer’s choice: Float a fully opened 2″ bloom in an open mouthed flute of chilled Roederer’s Cristal Champagne. What bride or wedding anniversary couple wouldn’t be enthralled by this lovely romantic sentiment? Pluck the petals, trim the bitter base end and layer into your favorite salad of fresh garden greens – add a handful of pitted fresh lychees for taste and texture interest. Toss with the lightest non-seasoned vinaigrette dressing. Candy the Petals. Rinse and thoroughly dry pesticide-free gardenia petals. Using a small paintbrush, thinly coat the petals with lightly beaten egg whites. Set gardenia petals on a plate covered with superfine sugar. Sprinkle the blossoms with more superfine sugar. Gently shake to remove the excess. Place on waxed paper and allow to dry for several hours. These can be used to adorn any number of wedding food offerings and adds an elegant touch to wedding cakes.

Gardenia Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of heavy whipping cream

2 cups of whole milk

1/2 vanilla bean, opened up, seeded (include seeds in mixture)

3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you prefer less sweet)

Petals of 2 or 3 Gardenias (wash them well. Cut leaves up. Home grown gardenias are best)

PREPARATION Bring milk, cream, vanilla bean and seeds, half of the sugar, and chopped gardenia petals to a simmer in heavy saucepan (at least 2 quart in size), stir to melt sugar, remove from heat and let the flavors develop for 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk 8 egg yolks and remaining sugar till blended and lighter in color.

For Diabetics: Use Whey Low Ice Cream Sugar(low carb, low calorie, and natural). It works perfectly. Add about 1/3 of the heated mixture slowly to the egg yolk mixture, whisking while adding. (this keeps egg from clotting) Then whisk all of egg mixture into cream mixture. Reheat, whisking continually, bring to simmer, but not a boil. Whisk and heat until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. A spoon dipped into mixture should stay lightly coated, and a finger run down the center should leave a line in the custard. Remove from heat. Put custard into a bowl in an ice bath (partial sink of water with ice works, to cool it quickly) Stir every five minutes or so. When cooled off, strain, put covered in fridge for several hours or overnight. Then use your ice cream maker. Freeze it to “soft-serve” consistency, put in another container and set in freezer to finish.

*NOTE – Be sure to use natural blooms from non-pesticide sprayed plants.

This post brought to you by Lily Fleur

Fascination with Fascinators

“The new fascination with Fascinators”

The fascinator craze swam across the pond and has taken hold here in the U.S.A!  Maybe it was Kate Middleton sporting a variety of these beauties or maybe its just our desire to wear something completely whimsical and feminine. Whatever the reason, fascinators are here to stay!  Fascinators are just the answer for the entire bridal party because of the current variety of styles and colors.  The bride may choose something in white or ivory with an attached Russian netting bird cage veil. A stunning vintage rhinestone or pearl jewel nestled in the center of a swirl of ostrich feathers.  Very dramatic and different! Some brides prefer a more traditional veil for the ceremony and then switch to their fascinator for the reception.  A more eclectic bride will opt for a fascinator in very off-beat colors.  I had a request from a bride who was wearing a vintage dress in burnt yellow and black with black heels and rhinestone jewelry.  I made her a fascinator in burnt yellow and black feathers with black netting and a beautiful vintage rhinestone brooch. It was a perfect match and she was thrilled!  The color palate for fascinators is endless.  I like to make them with contrasting netting across the face….like pink with light grey or tiffany blue with peacock tones.  Fascinators are formal, dramatic, different, memorable, and perfectly suited to your wedding!      

                                                                        

This post is brought to you by La Chic Femme

September Giveaway

This month’s Wed Eclectic giveaway is hosted by LaChicFemme, who is offering a $25 gift certificate, good towards the purchase of anything in her shop.
And just look at what she creates!

Fabulous fascinators…worthy of serving as your wedding veil, replacing your traditional veil during your reception, for your bridal party, and to wear on nights out with your partner or friends!

Birdcage  Veil-"Creamy Delight" with FascinatorNecklace and Earring Set-Vintage StyleBird Cage Veil with Attached Fascinator "Blue Drama"
One of a kind jeweled and feather bouquets…have you ever seen anything so chic?

Feather Brooch Bridal Bouquet- Pretty in Pink Edition IIBrooch Bouquet, Feathers- Sterling Silver Edition
This giveaway will run until midnight, September 30th, but don’t wait!
Entries will be accepted for:

A comment including your favorite item from LaChicFemme’s shop

Extra entries for comments indicating that you:
(Please include your email, handle, etc for verification & contacting you when you win!)

Heart LaChicFemme’s Etsy shop
Friend LaChicFemme on Facebook

Follow WedEclectic on Twitter
Friend WedEclectic on Facebook

Tweeted this giveaway (please copy your tweet here)
Posted this giveaway on your Facebook page (please copy your post here)
Posted this giveaway on your blog (please include the link here)

Also find her at:

www.lachicvictorianboutique.com

www.vendors.offbeatbride.com/2011/la-chic-victorian-bridal-boutique

The winner will be chosen randomly, verified, and contacted on October 1st via email with the good news!

Less Really Could Be More

Most Brides today are concerned with… well everything when it comes to wedding planning. What many DIY or unique brides don’t realize is that you can be unique without going completely crazy. A friend recently married wanted to mix feathers, rhinestones, candles, flowers, and silver accents for her centerpieces. After picking each item, all of which she loved, she put them together. Verdict… Eeek! It was too much!

She realized that by picking specific pieces and weaving that theme through her wedding it could be sparkly, feathery, romantic, and pretty all at the same time without being overwhelming. Whether you choose a signature color or a symbol to weave throughout your special day make sure to include only the necessary items, otherwise your big vision could turn into a big mess. You don’t want your guests paying more attention to your giant feather centerpieces than to you!!!

A fantastic example of a simple, yet beautiful touch for a Fall themed wedding is the acorn. You could include a simple outline of an acorn on your invitations, line the aisles with them, or maybe have some special place cards made…

Fairytale Wedding Acorn and Oak Leaf Place Card Favors- Set of 10 Wooly Felted Acorns.

Available…. www.fairyfolk.etsy.com

Small touches can be made anywhere in your wedding. These acorn picks are perfect and sweet way to end the day. Acorns are just an example, but don’t be afraid to incorporate the things you love in your special day. Whether it’s a special dessert you both crave, or your love of vintage buttons… little touches stand out the most and don’t need such fanfare for maximum impact. Just remember less sometimes really can be more in the end… even for us eclectic brides!

Magical Acorn Cake Toppers - White Fairy Tale Wedding.

Magical Acorn Cake Toppers - White Fairy Tale Wedding.

Available…. www.fairyfolk.etsy.com

By: My Haley Girl

 

Copycat Ethics

Left: Stevie Koerner's "I Heart New York" necklace. Right: Urban Outfitter's copy.

Stevie Koerner (Truche) Etsy design and I Heart NY by Urban Outfitters (available 2009 and 2010)

James Avery (available since 2008)

James Avery (available since 2008)

Designers will occasionally run into this issue especially if the work they do is creative, beautiful and attracts attention.

I came across a wonderful article written by the creative media folks over at Nclud (nclud.com/sketchbook/handle-a-copycat/) on how they deal with this sort of situation.

While it’s true that designs in the public domain are just that – in the public domain – true creation comes from admiring a handcrafted design and then using those elements you admire in a way that is uniquely your own.

Designers gather inspiration from the world around them and admiring another creative’s skill and composition is part of that.

But when does inspiration cross the boundary into copycat and how do you avoid it?

Using different materials, using them in a new and original way and above all – respecting the time it took the original designer to create an inspired look can go a long way from crossing ethical boundaries. It can take hours to conceive a workable idea and seconds for another to claim it as their own.

To this day, Thomas Edison remains one of the most prolific inventors of our time with 1,368 registered patents.

Not all of his ideas were useable but when he came up with one that was – he changed the way the world functioned.  He also created platforms from which greater inventions could be conceived.

Two of my favourite quotes from him are:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
“I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.”

While some profess that copying is the sincerest form of flattery, there are many designers who are frustrated when the lines for integrity, ethics and morals are breached for the benefit of another’s gain.

If the two designs are set down side by side and they look similar…chances are one is a copy.

If you find that you are gathering inspiration from someone’s handcrafted item, think about how much of yourself you are putting into the design and how much of someone else. Remember that modifying a single element or changing a colour is not unique and that at least 80% of the inspired design should truly be your own.”

This post was brought to you by Stephanie of La Coco Rouge

lacocorouge avatar

 

 

A side note to bloggers:

Every day we are each challenged to come up with original, authentic content.  Being a copycat of a fellow blogger is just as bad as these designers stealing ideas and making it their own.

Please share this post if you agree and think this needs to be a lesson learned.

Krissy – Make Believe’N