Monthly Archives: November 2011

December Digital Calendar

Another month, another gorgeous digital calendar page from Adaleta at Polkadile!  Click the image to download!

The Corsetry Tales – V. 3

 The Corsetry Tales – V. 3 by La Coco Rouge

Breaking in Your Corset

Once you’ve purchased a high quality corset you’ll want to take some time to break it in before your wedding day.  Breaking in the corset will allow it to mold to your unique body shape and ease the comfort factor of wearing it all day.

How to do this?  It’s super-simple.  In fact, it’s like preparing to hike Macchu Picchu or easing into new shoes.

**NOTE: Have a thin article of clothing between you and the garment such as a chemise, tank, etc.  This will help keep your corset clean by wicking sweat from the body as well as preventing chafing of the skin.

Begin by wearing your corset a couple of times before the big day for a couple of hours each time.  Three is always a magic number so if you have time, try to do this on three separate occasions.

After properly lacing yourself into the corset, keep the laces pulled snug, but not too tight.  Over the next couple of hours (2-3), you’ll want to pull the laces tighter every 30 minutes or so.  At the end of your session you will have pulled the laces as tight as they can go while still being able to breathe freely and easily.

When you are ready to remove the corset, first unlace, and then unhook the front.

Leave the corset out for a couple hours to ensure it’s dry (not damp from sweat or rain – rain can happen!) before storing.

This process is highly recommended to extend the life of your garment.  High quality corsets are not inexpensive so you’ll want to treat them like the handcrafted treasures they are.

Breaking in your corset will allow the fabrics to stretch slowly without putting undue pressure on the grommets, stays, stitching and laces as well as molding carefully to your body for a comfortable fit for an extended period of time.

What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!  In celebration of the day, and to let you get to know some of the members of our team a little better, each of us has listed a few things we are especially grateful for!


  Krissy from MakeBelieveN says:

“I’m grateful for:

My family! I am a lucky woman. My family is very, very close and we understand what love is. Lots of hugs and kisses 😉

High speed internet! Dude, I couldn’t be a business owner without it!

Good coffee. The idea of waking up without a steaming cup of joe reduces me to tears.



  Michelle from GreenwoodOccasions says:

“The three things I am grateful for:

1. My husband. He’s my balance, and I could not do it without him.

2. My son. He’s a pip, and he brings clear purpose to my life.

3. My mental health. There was a time when I was struggling with severe depression and anxiety, and it makes even the most simple tasks nearly impossible to accomplish. Now that my illness is under control, I can’t express to you how different the world seems… and how *possible* everything is.”


  Jennifer from ClayBouquetShop says:

“1. My family. We love and support each other, no matter what, even though there may be times when we just don’t understand each other.

2. My husband. It took us a long time to find each other (thank you EHarmony!), and he is truly my partner in life. Though we may think the other is insane every now and then (because we all lose it sometimes : ), we live, love and laugh together; and support each other when things get difficult… and I am thankful every day that we finally found each other. : )

3. I am thankful that I have had the opportunities in life that I have had. I am hopeful that the economy will turn around and that everyone will have both a job that provides (at least) a living wage and necessary benefits, and a home that provides comfort and security.”


  msformaldehyde says:

“1. I am thankful my son is alive. He has had 3 brain tumors and the one he has now has not grown any bigger. I am thankful for the next 3 months of just living and not worrying about our next MRI. My son is pretty amazing and makes me a better person in this world of chaos.

2. I am thankful for my friends. Without them I would not be the person I am today. My friends are completely awesome. Through thick and thin they stick by me. For that I am very thankful.

3. My health and current job. I may not have medical insurance but I am pretty healthy. I am working a temp job and after being laid off for the past year, I am thankful for every day I work. 🙂 Life is short, live every day as if it is your last! 🙂 (At least I try to do this; it doesn’t always work out when I drink too much espresso and craft like crazy woman! :)”


Delight from delightworthyn says:

“I am thankful to have a roof over my head–there was a time when this wasn’t so.  I am thankful to have friends that have become family.  I am also thankful for those days when everything seems possible.”


Keri from DelaneyPhotoJewelry says:

“I am grateful for my wonderfully lighthearted, humorous, and loving family.

I am grateful to be looking out this big window into the wilderness, with occasional deer grazing, and once a bear passing by; while working from my home studio.

I am grateful for moments like this that allow me to sit still for a moment in this hectic world and reflect on what I’m grateful for; the list is long.”


Auriana from MoonshineBaby says:

“Let’s see…

1. My supportive and inspiring network of friends, and my loving, funny boyfriend.

2. The recent growth of my shop and the mind spring of ideas I’ve continued to have since opening. Since August, I’ve noticed a rapid pick-up in sales, and I feel very thankful to be coming so close to living out my dream of supporting myself by making beautiful things. But I’m sure a lot of you also feel that way about your shops, too!

3. And also thankful for the second job I was able to pick up to supplement my income while business steadies for my shop.”


Ann from SwankUnderpinnings says:

“I am grateful for living in the Northeast US and getting to experience all the beautiful changes of seasons….and all the yummy foods, scenic vistas, activities and traditions that go along with them.

I am grateful for the way we are all gifted in totally different and unique ways….and the days I get to run into an amazingly talented musician, gourmet cook, or inspired artist who shows me beauty where I never would have known to find it.

And I am grateful for friends and family and a husband who lets me follow my crazy dreams.”


Amanda from ArtisanMaskers says:

“I am endlessly thankful for the opportunity to live in a country that allows me to worship and live how I choose; and which allows me to teach my children in the same manner.

I’m grateful for my incredible husband and darling children who are equal parts supportive and inspiring.

I am thankful for health and happiness!  My heart goes out to those who have neither, especially during the Holiday season.”



So, now you know what we are thankful for–what sparks your gratitude this time of year?

Sparkle!!! Your Wedding

She floats down the aisle…..a bridal vision in silk and tulle. The radiance of little lights shimmer, falling about her like an aurora of shooting stars. Tiny faceted rhinestones sparkle from her veil. Around her waist, she wears a sash tied with a sheer chiffon bow, adorned with a beautiful array of sparkling rhinestones. On her wrists she wears rhinestone ornamented silken cuffs. Her bridal bouquet is sprinkled with rhinestones and her shoes, peeking from under her gown, sparkle with dainty rhinestones. She is a dazzling princess bride in a fairytale wedding.

The use of crystal rhinestones in wedding accessories, flowers and bridal attire is a beautiful and modern addition to any bride’s trousseau. Rhinestone design can be done elegantly and easily if you are a DIY bride working within a budget.

There are several online retailers who sell rhinestones in bulk which helps keep your wedding costs in line. You can find an assortment of free vector designs online to start your design process – just google vector ornaments or flourish designs.

The most secure way to apply rhinestones to your bridal creations is to use E6000 glue with a toothpick for application. Be sure to spread a dot of glue, smaller than the diameter of the flat back rhinestone on both the rhinestone back and the material/paper/whatever item you are adorning. Wait 5-8 minutes and then join the two glue areas. Let the glued item set undisturbed for 24-48 hours (48 hrs will give the strongest bond). It’s a good idea to only spot clean your rhinestoned items, as dry cleaning solvents will dissolve the glue bond.

Another way to add rhinestones is to sew them onto your bridal pieces. You may buy point back rhinestones in metal settings for this application. Check your fabric stores and hobby craft stores for this type of rhinestone.

**If you’re not a DIY kinda girl, take a look through the stores of the Wed Eclectic Team. There are a number of artists and designers who offer rhinestone accented wedding items.

Wedding Rhinestone Ideas:

  • Wedding Invitations and Save The Dates – add their sparkle here.

  • Guest Book and Pen – encrust the pen in rhinestones.

  • Hair – broach headband, rhinestone hairvines, hairpins, rhinestone dotted silk flowers

  • Wrist, Choker, Waist, Garter, Shoes – accent all of these with rhinestones.

  • Bouquets – flower accents and bouquet wraps.

  • Boutonniere – bling him, too.

  • Earrings and Necklace – pair vintage rhinestone costume jewels with rope pearls.

  • Veils and Wraps – use masses of tiny floating rhinestones.

  • Flower Girl – give her a rhinestone fairy wand with flowers floating from ribbons.

  • Ring Bearer – add rhinestone decoration to the ring pillow.

  • Reception – incorporate rhinestones into your cake topper design, centerpieces, garlands.

  • Pets – rhinestone necklaces and collars.

  • Favors and Bridesmaid Gifts – sparkle it, girl!

    This post brought to you by Gale of LilyFleur.

Tips for a Less Expensive Wedding – #2 The Money Chat

#2 Have the “Money Chat” with Whoever is Footing the Bill

DO NOT start off your marriage with a power struggle!  Sure, you want your wedding day to reflect you, but keep in mind that there are many people around you who may want to be a part of this process; and if they happen to be paying for some part of it, that’s probably only fair!  After all, it makes sense that they’d want to have some say how their support is put to use.  Your “parents” (be they grandparents, the uncle that raised you, or your soon to be in-laws), as well as chosen attendants, are a part of your life now—and hopefully will be for a long time to come!  It may seem like a frightening thought, but sitting down with everyone that will be helping out financially can relieve a WHOLE lot of stress later.  Really.  Have a civil chat about who is paying for what so that no surprise “necessities” crop up the week before the big day.

To make having a chat with everyone about the cost of your wedding a little bit easier, I came across some great advice on the internet ( here, here, and here ), which I compiled into one easy pdf for you to peruse:   Who Pays for What  Print it off and check off or change things as needed!  Hopefully it will help in the planning process!

If you are like me, you may look at that list and laugh at how complicated it is.  You may be able to instantly cut several of these traditional costs.  On the other hand, maybe you (or your parents) are very traditional and will want to do all of these things.  Can you see why it is VITAL to have a conversation with all the involved parties (you, your spouse-to-be, your parents, their parents, the best man, and the maid/matron of honor) to figure out who is going to pay for what!?  I know it seems like an uncomfortable subject to broach, but it can be a big step in establishing a trusting and respectful relationship with all of these people!



I actually didn’t want a reception.  My parents handed me the $2,000 cash they’d intended to use toward a reception and told me to do whatever I wanted with it instead.  Unfortunately, because my husband is the youngest in his large Argentine family, his parents weren’t about to let him get off the hook that easily.  It was pretty easy, though, to compromise.  They offered to cover the food (a huge part of any Argentine celebration), and we covered the rest.  We easily cut some of those traditions that weren’t meaningful to us, including many of the “Pre-Wedding” events and even things like bridesmaids’ dresses—his cousins in Buenos Aires are always getting a chuckle out of American weddings where everyone wears the same outfit…  We opted to set the bridal party off with matching corsages/boutonnieres, instead.  We also cut many of the ceremony costs and reception center costs because in my native Utah, our religious facilities are free for wedding use.  Knowing ahead of time who would cover what saved hours of headache for everyone involved!

The Corsetry Tales – V. 2

How to Properly Lace a Corset

The Corsetry Tales – V. 2 – by La Coco Rouge

There are a couple of variations on this theme but overall the main instructions remain the same.

**NOTE: Have a thin article of clothing between you and the garment such as a chemise, tank, etc.  This will help keep your corset clean by wicking sweat from the body as well as preventing chafing of the skin.

Step 1:  Ensure your corset laces are loose enough for the garment to be fastened in the front without strain.  A good rule of thumb for well fitted corsets is about 4”-6”.

Step 2:  Fasten your corset in the front.  I’ve heard from multiple people different places to begin your fastening – the top, the middle, the bottom – but overall corseters will begin an the top and work their way down.

Step 3:  It’s best to have a partner to assist at this point, but not necessary.  I’ve fastened many a corset on my own; but it’s easier with someone else’s help.

Your corset should have puller loops in the middle or where your natural waistline is located.  You will begin by tightening the laces at the top and work your way down to the middle and then begin tightening at the bottom and work your way up to the middle.

**NOTE:  You most likely will have a modesty panel on your corset.  Don’t worry too much about the panel until you’ve begun to tighten in earnest.  As the width in the back continues to narrow, shift the panel to the far side and stuff it underneath with your fingers as it comes closer together.

Step 4:  Now that you’ve ensured a tight but comfortable fit along the length of the garment you’ll give a final pull on the loops and tie them off.

Sounds easy, right?!  Well just in case you are like me and prefer a visual to go with the written instructions I’ve found a couple of videos on YouTube that you may find useful.

Scoundrelles Keep

Ms. Martha’s Corsets

Tips for a Less Expensive Wedding – Intro and #1

I am a notorious cheapskate.  I regularly shop thrift stores and love the thrill of finding great stuff for a better deal.  Also, I managed to do my whole wedding and reception for $2,000, with change left over to spend on the honeymoon.  (Yes, seriously.)  And the best part?  People still—almost seven years after the event—compliment me on how fun and amazing our reception was!  I’m sure there are a few brides and grooms out there who could use a little budgeting savvy, so I’m sharing some pointers on how to get what you want on your big day, without exceeding the “what you have to work with” limit!  Over the next several weeks, we’ll talk about cutting wedding expenses by:

#1 Prioritizing

#2 Having the “Money Chat” with Whoever is Footing the Bill

#3 Setting a Realistic Budget

#4 Calling in Favors

#5 Being Creative

#6 Doing it Yourself

and #7 Incorporating New Traditions (and Editing Out Some of the Old!)

I’ve decided to liven up each tip by using examples from my own wedding and from that of my very best friend, Julianna.  Her wedding and reception came in a little pricier than mine–at around the $6,500 mark–and we have nearly opposite styles (as you will see); but both of us had fantastic wedding days, full to the brim with our own unique personalities and tastes, without breaking the bank!



Tip #1    Prioritize!

Is your dream wedding incomplete without an abundance of fresh flowers?  Or maybe you’ve always wanted that one photographer who just captures each moment in perfection?  However you best express your style, your wedding is the ideal opportunity to “put your money where your mouth is”!  I put this tip very, very first, because even before you know how much you have to spend, you will already know where you want to put it!  Sit down with your spouse-to-be as soon into the planning as possible and figure out what little things you want to make the big things in your special day.

Julianna always wanted THAT DRESS.  The one that was as unique and stylish as she was.  Made for her.  Literally.  So, a huge chunk of her personal wedding budget (roughly 25%) went to hunting down a local seamstress that was willing to work closely with her on the whole process.  Her dress was made from cream-colored taffeta and is dripping with gorgeous detailing and pleated ruffles at the neck- and hem-lines.  It is truly one-of-a-kind and was a dream come true for her:  worth every penny!  (Images copyright Brittany Anderson.)

Wedding Garters with a Little Bit of History

One wedding custom most of us are familiar with is the garter toss.  This tradition seems to stem from a few different cultures, each of which had their own way of obtaining a piece of the bride’s clothing on the wedding day.  I thought I could share a little of my research with you!

During the Dark Ages, the story goes that friends and family would accompany the bride and groom to their wedding bed.  When the couple began the consummation of their marriage the husband could provide the wife’s garter as proof that their marriage vows had been fulfilled.

Another old English custom was for wedding guests to sneak up to the bride and groom’s wedding chamber.  They would then fling the bride’s stockings at the bride and groom, and if the stocking landed on his or her nose, the person who tossed it would be the next to marry.

In France, in the 14th Century, certain areas believed that obtaining a piece of the bride’s clothing would bring good luck.  This resulted in the wedding guests ripping pieces of cloth off of the bride.  (Which, as we can all imagine, was no fun for the bride!)  Later, to deter the ripping of clothing, the bride began throwing pieces of her dress, the garter being one of them.  Drunken male partygoers then began trying to remove this item themselves, until that role became the groom’s and the tradition began.

And still there are more stories.  Eventually, traditions evolved to the point that some groom, somewhere tossed a garter to the single men.  The man who catches the garter is now said to be the next to marry.  For this innovation I am thankful!  While I was comfortable with the garter toss at my own wedding, I don’t know that I would have been comfortable with any of these other garter customs!

Now that you’ve got a little background, here’s a collection of my handmade favorites to help you out on your search for that perfect garter!


The Graceful de la Ronde Crocheted Garter


Miss Muffet Had It Coming...


Superman Inspired Garter in Vivid Colors


Ivory Lace Bridal Set


This post was brought to you by Jon and Deanna of EdenGallery.

Kitty Kanzashi – Big Day!

I never thought this day would happen but on the 17 of October, 2011, I, Kitty Kanzashi married my lovely partner of 11years!  We both wanted an intimate wedding because neither of us enjoy being in the limelight, and we wanted to ensure that we took the time to talk to our guests and make sure they were enjoying themselves.  Apart from the hectic half hour where we had to get photos of us with all our relatives, it was a lovely day.

Since both our families live near Southend on Sea, what better place to get married then at a cozy seaside hotel?  We chose to get married in the lovely Roslin Hotel right on the seafront because (1), the food there was fab and, (2), we wanted a place where we could have the ceremony and reception in the same place.


My wedding dress was made by the brilliant Bound By Obsession, while my partner looked very dashing in his TM Lewin suit.


Of course, the wedding would not be complete without a few kanzashi for me, my partner, the immediate family and my matron of honour.


After the ceremony, I set aside some time for a tea ceremony which was an element of my Chinese culture popping in.


Oh, and here is a fun shot of my friends and I showing off our shoes!


This post was brought to you by Kitty of Kitty Kanzashi

DIY Copper Mercury Glass

I know that you have seen the beautiful trend of mercury glass at weddings and in decor already.  Even if you have, I have a little twist on the classic mercury(silver).  Let’s spice things up for the holidays with copper and bronze mercury glass!

AntiqTextDotBallCpr3inF11 Here are the DIY instructions:

-You need highly reflective spray paint in whatever color you want.  For the copper I would choose:

Valspar Brillian Metal (Not cheap at $35.00 but will go a long way) or

Krylon Premium Metallic in Copper (way better value)

Krylon 1020A 8 Ounce COP Met Spray Paint

Valspar 465-66011 12 oz Brilliant Metal Spray Paint, Copper (6 Pack)

-You will also need a spray bottle mixed with 50% water and 50% white vinegar.

-Paper towels.

-Painters tape


To get started collect glass vases from your local hobby store or even a dollar store.  Clean them very well and make sure no lint remains.

Lay down newspaper to protect any surfaces from paint

Wrap the painters tape around the top exterior rim of  your vase. {I don’t know about you, but I am very messy with paint}

Spray the interior of your vase with paint.  Go slow here.  Small bursts of paint.  Irregularity is perfect.   Let it dry no more than two minutes.

Now spritz the interior again with your vinegar/water mixture and let it work for about twenty seconds.

Grab those paper towels and lightly start rubbing off the paint in sections.  Get a feel for how much light you want peeking out of the glass.

Let dry entirely and Voila!