Monday, December 19, 2011

Mama Kat brightens my wardrobe.






5.) Put together a holiday outfit you'd love to wear at a holiday party should a holiday party ever be on your list of things to do.

Confession time: I've never really had a distinct personal style. *sigh* I know, I shouldn't be allowed to boast the title of 'woman'.

I chose this writing prompt because it will be a challenge... a soul searching challenge. I know, I know. You think I'm exaggerating. I'm not. I've felt like a princess before but never because of what I was wearing or how I looked. It's not a lack of self-confidence, promise. It's just never been what was important to me.
I'm a jeans-and-t-shirt-with-crazy-nail-polish-and-mismatched-socks kind of girl. I'm 5' nothing with a huge... everything so it's extremely easy to look frumpy. I dislike most fashion trends (The side ponytail was horrible the first time so why did it get reincarnated? I'm still waiting on skinny jeans and leggings-as-pants to die their most deserved death.) I never dreamed up my perfect wedding dress. (Even when I looked for one, I felt overwhelmed and like I was drowning in taffeta and tulle 90% of the process... The one I did find was knee length and didn't fit how I wanted on my wedding day because I lost so much weight with mono.) I didn't go to prom so I missed out on the princess dress shopping then, too.

So, the Holiday party I imagine will NOT be an ugly sweater party. It will be glamorous and everyone will look gorgeous... but not as gorgeous as I will. I won't try to hide behind my favorite hoodie (It has a snowman holding a blow drier saying "goodbye cruel world" and reminds me of Calvin and Hobbes.) and everyone will marvel at how gorgeous my hair is when it isn't just towel dried or in a ponytail and how well I clean up. I will not wear shorts underneath "just in case". I will not spill anything. I will not wear flip-flops or kids' shoes. I will accessorize but I will not remove them before the night is over. I will shave my legs beyond right above my knees. This is what I will be wearing:


(I actually have these from when I worked there but I never found an outfit worthy of them so they're being neglected in my closet. Sadface.)
Etsy, $34 
Etsy, $37
Etsy, $44
I found this on Pinterest but didn't save the link, SORRY!
This is from a tutorial... hope you're fluent in Polish!


I want to point out that, though it may seem like it, the length of the dress and the open-toe shoes are not inappropriate for the season. Let me explain why.
I live in the south. It snows once a decade and never more than a few flurries. While you're drinking hot cocoa/chocolate/coffee underneath that electric blanket, (as I imagine you are because I would have to) I'm wearing shorts (yes, shorts) in December. Jealous? =D


I learned a few things along the journey:
  • I'm cheap and picky.
  • I have a thing for houndstooth patterns and the 50's.
  • I believe brown and black don't mix.
  • I don't like animal prints. (Zebra is an exception.)
  • Shooties are my favorite!
  • Turquoise shooties aren't on the market. =(
  • I want a job that will allow me to have this hair:

Shoot, I want HAIR that will allow me to have this hair.

So, how did I do? Share your thoughts and/or outfits below!
Funny story:  The total of the items listed comes to $323. Taxes in Georgia are 7%. That adds $23. To achieve the hair and make-up, I would have to buy them as well. Therefore, this is a $500 Holiday Party outfit. MERRY CHRISTMAS, ME!
SN: Compiling this post took five hours. Even imaginary shopping where prices aren't an issue is THAT hard. Sheesh!










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Song of the Day









Friday, November 18, 2011

Reminiscing... I still tear up at this. =)

3.) Married? Tell us the story of how the question was popped.

Rodney was coming over but I decided to make a quick phone call to a real estate agent about a house that was built for me. Okay, that's an exaggeration but it's BLUE so it's perfect. lol. Anyway, I'm on the phone when Rodney shows up. I hand him a love note I had written for him the night before because my thoughts were racing and the only way I can sleep sometimes is to get them all out on paper. He reads it, smiles at me, then he writes his own note and leaves. The agent talks and talks then I finally get to hang up and read the note.

"Wait here. Don't leave the den. Await my text. No peeking out the window either. Love you =)"

Thank God the agent was long-winded because as most of you know, I'm a surprise spoiler. If I hadn't been on the phone, there's no way I would have had the patience to wait around for the text and I probably would have ruined the whole thing.

The text came and gave me permission to go to my car. I got to the driver's side and there was a piece of paper taped to the window with a big "C" on it that said "For Chrissy M. Lott" at the bottom. I opened it and thus began the greatest scavenger hunt and most romantic proposal of my life...

I called Rodney, as per instructed, only to realize I was going the wrong way in my excitement. The clue was leading me to a park we frequent.

When I got there, this is what I found:
This one led to Grassy Pond. By this time, I'm crying. I forgot to call until I was mostly there so Rodney starts freaking out and telling me to slow down and only drive 5 MPH. He finally gives me the go-ahead and I find this:

The swing got changed to the pier since it was empty. The pier had rose petals around a bench and another note taped to the bench.

As I was sitting, I heard Train playing from behind me. We don't just have a song. We have a band. Hey, Soul Sister gets louder and Rodney emerges with the last clue taped to his chest.
He explained how he didn't play Marry Me because he didn't think Train should ask the most important question, that he wanted to do it himself. He had a whole speech about things related to "T" such as Train and time and changing my last name and it was all super sweet but I don't remember much because we were both freaking out. (lol) Then he got down on one knee and proposed with a GORGEOUS blue topaz ring. 
(A. I hate diamonds. B. I love blue.)
It was perfect, just like him.

"Happily ever after to follow."

For his version, (including the incredible speech that I can't remember) check out our wedding website!




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday #3 Paint.net

First of all, let me just give a shout-out to the creator of pretty much all the textures and layers I use, Jerry @ Shadowhouse Creations.
Secondly, if you don't have Paint.net already, that's what this tutorial is going to be using, so you can download it here.

Today, I'm going to show you how to make this in three layers. (Get excited!)
This is my favorite picture from our wedding day with our song lyrics imposed on top. Pretty spiffy, right?

Start out with a blank canvas. Pick your size. I'm going to do 800 x 600 pixels.


Add your image.  Optional: make your picture black and white.
(You may have to finagle it to fit your canvas.)



Next, find/type the words you want to add. I would recommend putting them in Notepad or Microsoft Word. You'll have to copy and paste lots of things and it's easier to keep it open in the background than to rewrite everything if you need the words again. (Trust me on this one!)


(I'm going to make the picture layer invisible by clicking the box beside the layer. It'll make it easier to see.)
Add a new layer by clicking on the green plus sign in your layers box. Click on the text tool. I chose Windsong size 48 for the first layer of words. Copy and paste the words into Paint.net. If it is super long, you'll have to manually add breaks or the words will run off the screen. Do this *AFTER* you choose the font you plan to use. Once you have the words set up the way you want, make them white by clicking on the color white in your color palette.



Add another layer for the smaller text. Click back on the color black and use the text tool to copy and paste your words again. This time, we're using the same font, size 14. After you set it up the way you want, make it white.
Make the background visible again by checking the box beside the layer. 
If all the words are lines up to your satisfaction, you're done.
If you need to adjust one of the layers, click on it and adjust accordingly. BE SURE that the layer you're trying to change is highlighted in blue in your layer box.

If you want to add textures, add a new layer and paste the image now. Play with the layer property by clicking on the property button in the layer box to see which one gives you the effect you want. 
(You can click on this image for the bigger version then save it to your computer to use it. Don't forget to go let Jerry know his work is AWESOME!)

I copied and pasted the above texture into a new layer, then changed it property to Color Burn, pressed 'ok' and VOILA!


Once you're done, flatten the image by going to Image then Flatten (Ctrl + Shift+ F) and save!

It seems like a lot of steps but it's really simple once you get the hang of it, promise! Experiment until you get what you want. You're not limited to a specific number of undoes with this program so have fun, go mad! I'm not expert but if you have any questions, leave me a comment or email me at ceelotyson@gmail.com and I'll do my best to help!



Because I love you guys so much, here's a little inspiration/background music while you work!
Train: Marry Me




I'd love to see what you guys come up with!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"I don't want to be famous. I want to be known for being a good person."

My husband said that earlier. It's one of the 5,972 reasons I love him. I'm sure there are more reasons but that's my favorite number.

Anyway, I feel that way, too, even when it relates to this blog. I want to have readers that like what I write. I want reviews to be based on the fact that what I've written touched you so deeply that you just had to let me know. I appreciate the sentiment behind a positive review but I don't like that it was done JUST so that I would do the same. If it's clear you didn't read my blog before reviewing it, don't bother reviewing it.
(1.) I'm not a mom. I'm 22. I've been married 3 months. We have a 5-7 year minimum for babies. 2.) I'm too broke to hold a giveaway. HELLO! Unemployed since February, remember? Oh wait... nvm. 3.) When did I review products? I've mentioned Sharpies...)

To be honest, I'm kind of offended. I think I'm going to get out of all these hops and linky parties if the only reason for me to get a positive review is so I'll return the favor. Call me naive but I believe in doing something without expecting something in return.

I'd rather be anonymous than have to "buy" my popularity.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday #2 Clever Wedding Thank You Cards

This week, I used Tutorial Tuesday as an excuse to do (read: "start") my Thank You cards from our wedding. I know I'm late but (as per last Wedding Wednesday) I was super early with my Shower Thank You's. It evens out.

The above card is based on this Save the Date.
As she says, when the card is opened, the reader finishes "tying the knot" (da-da-cha!)

As I've stated before, I only use tutorials for a guideline until something goes wrong so I'm going to do a short version, then the long version for problem solving or because there may still be people on the planet that are capable of reading instructions before you start a project. If that's you, please leave me a comment. I'd love to meet you!
Short version:
  • Create card 
  • Print card
  • Fold in half
  • Punch holes
  • Cut ribbon
  • Attach 1st button
  • Loosely tie knot
  • Test length of ribbon
  • Attach 2nd button
  • Cut excess ribbon (Optional - the extra ribbon can help hold the button in place.)
Voila! 
Now onto the pictures and explanations!

Supplies:
  • Cardstock
  • Computer -or- Crafting supplies (Depends on how you want to make the cards. I'm better with graphics, personally.)
  • Ribbon
  • Button
  • Hole Puncher
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers (Optional but will save SO much time!)
Computer graphics - yay!
Tip: if you print a line to follow while cutting like I do, remember to only print the line on one side in case the sides don't line up perfectly.

Cut the cards.

Fold each card in half. (Now is also the time to cut off any excess paper.)

Punch a hole through the front and back.

Cut the ribbon with about an inch leeway past the holes where the buttons will go. 
(You'll have to experiment with this part to get it right but it's better to have too much than too little.)

Cut the ends of the ribbon diagonally so it'll be easier to string through the buttons.
(This is where the tweezers come into play.)

String the first button and tie a knot on the back of the button to hold it in place.

So far it should look like this.
Next come the big knot...

From here, you'll have to work with the card mostly closed. The ribbon I used could be untied if I had to open the card but I don't know if all ribbon or string will be untied as easily.

Attach the 2nd button using the same method as the 1st.
(Optional: cut the excess ribbon.)

Voila!
Front:

Back:

Inside (unopened):

Inside (opened):


We're also including business cards we got for free during a promotion from Vistaprint.
It's got our favorite love quote that we feel describes us perfectly.
They're bluer than pictured!


Let me know what you think!



If you want the template I used, e-mail me at ceelotyson@gmail. I don't know how to make PDFs yet but I can e-mail you the image! I'm by no means a pro so you'll have to tweak it for your personal use. If you're extra nice, I'll go ahead and change the name or text if you ask nicely. 


Monday, October 10, 2011

Paper ♥ Camera Entry


This is my favorite wedding picture.
I think it embodies us as a couple perfectly. 
Elegant wedding pictures are a dime a dozen. 
Yes, they're beautiful, but they're not us
We're pinwheels and feathers instead of flower bouquets and petals. We're turquoise and royal blue instead of white and gold. We're matching Converse instead of hundred dollar heels and squeaky leather shoes.We're quirky and fun and we're laid back and casual.
We're soulmates.


Photography love...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My DIY Wedding

Hey everyone!
I figured my first real post should aim to establish some kind of credibility in the craft world. I apologize in advance if it voids my credibility in the real world.

My (amazing) husband and I got married on July 29, 2011.
(SN: You should read the greatest proposal story ever here!)
I lost my job in February so I've been living off my income tax refund and retirement fund. That kind of budget definitely does not allow for much in regards to the insane markup of anything wedding-related.
So, we got together with our wonderful families and I took a step out of my retail mind to get back to my childhood rooted in craft projects. Because of their love and support, plus a little ingenuity, we were able to turn what could have been a difficult situation into a truly magical and personal day.
Here's how:
I made the invitations myself and printed them on card stock. They were simple. They were perfect. We didn't even bother with RSVP's.


We used my Aunt's church reception hall for both the ceremony and the reception. We warned everyone in advance on our website to get comfortable and be sure to sit with someone they like and proceeded to set everything up banquet style.
The venue was a huge hit with everyone because of the pink stained glass windows. The pictures wound up having a really cool pink hue, too! Who needs to spray tan?

We had a cake, cupcake, and ice cream reception. We eliminated lots of casual attendees by not feeding people. (lol) I wanted to do a candy buffet but when I priced it, it was over $300 before the jars and scoops. That's more than I paid for my dress... my WEDDING dress. Nope!


Instead of bouquets, we used pinwheels. The bridesmaids each carried one down the aisle and they were used in pots filled with birdseed (that would later be pelted at us with fury) for decoration. I got them all at Hobby Lobby on clearance for less than $3 each. I was super proud of the cost cut and I've never been a floral person anyway so it was ideal! The groomsmen also had paper pinwheel hats, but that wasn't my doing. One of the groomsmen came up with the idea at the rehearsal dinner and made it happen by the next day.


We also had all kinds of other elements that were unique to us...

I had a short dress.

We both wore Converse because Rodney is a genius and I couldn't find blue heels I liked. It set the tone completely... and was surprisingly controversial among the more traditional guests. Ah, well.

I made our aisle runner myself. We got 25 yards of muslin on sale from Jo-Ann Fabric then I got some blue house paint from an old project, took it in the backyard and splatter-painted it. Don't worry, I added a pretty monogram to class it up.

Our flower girl carried feathers instead of petals and our ring bearer had Ring Pops on his pillow.

My bouquet was made of paper flowers made from the sheet music to Marry Me by Train, blue paint, and peacock feathers. I ordered the bouquet and matching hair clip from Danamazing then added the turquoise feathers on a whim but fell in love and made it permanent.

The backdrop for the ceremony was already up except the swirlies. All they required was card stock and scissors. I turned them into a paper flower bouquet for keepsake purposes and it now sits in our bedroom as a centerpiece for the room. I'll try to add pictures in a later post.


We went to the craft stores and looked at the guest books but couldn't find anything we liked that we were willing to pay $30 or more for so we made our own pages. I'm super glad because we got some real funny gems. Everyone wished a honeymoon baby on us, though. (Jerks!) I just wish I could re-purpose the leftover pages.
~~I'll add pictures later.~~
We didn't do a sand or candle ceremony. Rodney and I are both accident prone so we were hesitant to incorporate sand or fire.  We did a group blessing instead to include our loved ones and a glass jar for people to write messages for us to read on our first anniversary. I won't say whether or not we peaked. (And by "we" I mean "me")

I discovered the Photobooth idea the week of the wedding and rushed to bring it to life but it fell through last minute. I'm glad I made the mustaches and chalkboards and they got used beforehand though!



Add an electric guitar wedding march and deco beads and that's my recipe for an amazing day. Just be sure to hire a wonderful photographer to capture it all!

I have to beg and plead anyone considering using birdseed as a send-off NOT to do it. I know it's  inexpensive and easy but it's SO PAINFUL! People take out all their aggression on you through tiny little pellets, especially if they're 8 years old and mischievous.


For real though, thanks to everyone for your help, ideas, input, work, and most of all, love.
I promise I'll get to those thank-you notes before our 1st Anniversary... Hopefully.




Oh, and I'm in desperate need of a use for 200 Sparklers that were bought for the wedding but went unused because of the No Burn order we had going on at the time. Ideas, please!