Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My Loved Ones With Me at The Altar

My bouquet charm was the last wedding craft I made, but the first one that I had planned for. If I remember correctly, I believe I literally snuck it in the night before we left for Playa del Carmen, MX. When I first saw the idea in a craft book (I wish I remember which one!), I knew I just had to have it!

Having our wedding in Mexico came with a sacrfice - that sacrifice was not having all of our loved ones with us at the altar. But...I was able to fulfill my childhood dream of having a Spanish wedding and Todd was able to get his beach wedding.

My grandma (my mom's mom and the first woman in my charm) and I use to talk about what my big day would like. My grandma (Marcelina Alicia Urusquieta) was born in Mexico City and use to tell me all about the customs of her native country. Of course I never dreamed that she wouldn't be with me at my wedding! Afterall, she was supposed to be one of my bridesmaids - right next to my sister who was my matron of honor.

My grandma died several years ago, so I when we planned the wedding, of course I knew she wouldn't be there physically, but I had always thought that my grandparents (on my Pop's side) and our buddies Obie and Deuce (Westhighland Terriers) would be! When I realized that this wouldn't be the case, we were both sad. I had always pictured my grandparents sitting in the front row and thought Obie and Deuce would have walked me down the isle next to my father.

I know there are thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of brides who will find themselves in the same circumstance. Having your loved ones with you during your wedding (in real life) is definitely the ultimate, but when it's not possible here's an idea that I hope will cheer you up - it cheered me up. ;-)

Here are my memories that I have of my picture charms on our big day.

I carried with me pictures of my two grandma's, my grandpa, and Obie & Deuce throughout the entire day. While we were all getting ready, my mom carefully wrapped the charm around my bouquet with ribbon. While we were waiting to begin the wedding march, me and my Pop kept taking peeks at our loved ones and we talked about what they must be doing at that very moment. When I walked down the isle I was consious that they were with me. When I was at the altar, Todd and I had a moment to spend just looking at them and shortly afterwards he told me how happy he was that I had made it. (Of all of the wedding crafts, this was his favorite.) After the ceremony we spent even more time holding the charms and talking about how much we loved those pictured in it. The added bonus was that it was a great way to share the memory of our loved ones with our wedding party and our guests as they came up to see the pictures and to hear our stories.

I purchased the little picture frames at Michael's. It was a picture charm bracelet kit. Instead of making their suggested design, I came up with this quick beaded weave made of black beads and crystal beads that came with the kit. Unfortunately, I can't find this kit anymore at Michael's! I'm so bummed! But here's a site where you can purchase something similar from.

This is one heartfelt wedding craft that you'll be so happy you spent the time on!

If you make this craft, please do share!
Happy crafting!


Celina Baginski
HSW Editor

PS If you find this kit, email me and tell me where!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wedding Tissue Pouches

Has anyone noticed the cute little handmade tissue pouches for weddings? I noticed them about 2 months before my wedding and couldn't resist sneaking in just one more craft. These are super easy to make and remember, you don't have to make one per guest. You could get by with one per couple.

Not only did the guests love them, I actually got to use one myself when I was up at the alter. Of course when I started getting teary eyed, my nose started running. My sweet Todd had a tissue pouch in his pocket with a tissue already partially out just for that moment! Actually, I think he cried more than I did, but his nose wasn't running!

My wedding was in a gazebo with a backdrop of palm trees and the beautiful carribbean ocean, so I chose material that had more of a tropical feel. You can have a lot of fun designing these pieces. I'm actually creating several more now that will go well with Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter. I'll post them online when they're completed. ;-)

So are these little tissue pouches really necessary? Well, you wouldn't want your guests wiping their tears and snotty noses on their sleeves so I say yes! If you've got a little extra time, go for it! It's a very nice touch that'll make your wedding unique.

Click here for the instructions.
Depending on the complexity, plan for about 15-20 minutes for each pouch.

To help you with inspiration, I've included a few pictures of other tissue pouch designs.

This is a great design for a tropical wedding!

If you decide to make your own tissue pouches for your wedding, I'd love to see them and feature them on my blog. Email me at

Happy crafting!


Celina Baginski
HSW Editor

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Beaded Rings as Bridesmaids Gifts!

Bridesmaids gifts are important.
It's your chance to tell the most important women in your life just how much they mean to you. These are women who have shared tears with you, maybe a sister who's pulled your hair out a few times, the girlfriend that you got caught with as you were sneaking out of the house late at night or maybe the girlfriend that you got a speeding ticket with (or two). These women have been through a lot just by knowing you! They deserve something extra thoughtful and special from you. Say THANK YOU in a big way!

So over Memorial Day, I made a couple of beaded rings that I think would make perfect bridesmaid gifts! As a matter of fact, I've been wearing the all fresh water pearl ring every day since! But before I start talking about the rings...I must write down a few of my fondest memories that I've shared with my bridesmaids. ;-)

Here are just a few things that my special bridesmaids and I have been through together.
  1. Amber, my little sister...oh, god...the memories... From packing each others underwear with Barbie doll clothes in an attempt to lessen the sting of the spanking we new was coming our way to me helping her learn how to breast feed for the first time by strategically positioning her 10lb boob (like I have a clue! I'm 33, recently married with no children). What haven't we been through together?

  2. Diane and I go back about 8-9 years and together we've cried on each others shoulders too many times because some asshole was an asshole again, we've shared gallons of booz together, lots of hikes together around beautiful Colorado and we're currently planning our Girlfriends Extravaganza party in honor of the long awaited SEX IN THE CITY movie!!!

  3. Wendy and I have been friends since high school (yes, it's already been 16 years). Together we shook our pom poms in sync with our hips (but Wendy, for some reason every time I look at old dance pictures your poms are always going one way and your hips another...we need to work on that). We rode the streets hanging on to the waists of our men, wind blowing in our hair and praying to God that we didn't crash because we were wearing daisy dukes and no helmet - yes, it's true. We were crotch rocket biker babes at the prime age of 17-18 years old. LOL I can't say anymore because even our mom's still don't know all of the messes we got ourselves into.

  4. I met Kim at the ripe age of 30. She lived in the corner house and neighbors often witnessed me walking down the block in her direction carrying pitchers of margs and only carrying two glasses. Together we've already gotten the label of "boozies" from my new husband. As Wendy's husband likes to say...we've gotten our swerve on zillions of times. LOL We've laughed so many times that I don't think I've ever (almost) peed my pants from laughing so much.

  5. Caren is Todd's little sister, yet incredibly wise for her age. I've enjoyed seeing her grow into herself over the years and she's turned into one heck of a remarkable woman. I'm thrilled that she's moving out to Colorado next month so we can become even closer. I'm not sure if she knows what she's getting herself into (because she's about to see alot of me!), but I can't wait. It'll be so nice to finally have family out here and I'm so excited!

So here's my point...I'm sure that you have your own funny, crazy and memorable stories of your own. So treat your bridesmaids to something special. You can absolutely create a wonderful gift on any budget!

Pearl & Light Blue Ring

The first ring that I made on Memorial Day was illustrated in Bead Fantasies IV, by Takako Samejima on page 17-19. This wasn't the easiest ring that I've ever made, but it's pretty cool nonetheless.

This ring would be most appropriate for a Spring or Summer wedding.

Fresh Water Pearl Ring
This ring was soooo easy! I found the design in the book titled Beads, Buttons and Bijoux, by Nathalie Delhaye on page 32 - 34. The instructions said to use seed beads, but instead I chose approximately 3mm & 4-5mm fresh water pearls for my ring. I love it! I wear pearl earings alot so this ring ties my earings and my grandma's diamond and pearl necklace together perfectly.

This ring is good for all seasons! Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter.

So there ya have it ladies! Pick the one you like most. Don't forget to make yourself one too. ;-)

Happy crafting!


Celina Baginski
HSW Editor

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bridesmaids Necklaces As Gifts

(all pointing to my sister's big boobies)

My first wedding project (and one of my favorites) was creating necklaces for my bridesmaids. At first I had no clue where to begin, but I came across an awesome beading book written by Takako Samejima. Her designs were different from all of the other designs that I had seen before and wow were they gorgeous! I was immediately inspired and thought to myself, "This is no big deal. I can surely figure this out."

Well, let me tell you that creating these little suckers was no cake walk. For starters, it took quite awhile just to learn how to read the diagrams and to understand the concepts behind "weaving." I started first by creating a necklace for myself as practice. I went to several bead stores and picked up beads as closely matched in color and in size as the necklace I chose in the book to make. That was time consuming, but not as time consuming as making the first piece. I had to start over 3 times and over a period of 3 days I had put in about 13 hours.

OK, so the good news is that once I figured out that seed beads are not created equally (there are several sizes), figured out that I needed VERY thin nylon thread and a very thin needle (because you have to weave in and out of the same bead several times) and figured out how to read the diagrams I have gotten to be quite good I must say! To make the same necklace, I went from 13 hours to 1.5 hours per necklace. Not bad!

The fun part is that once I got over the learning hump, I've been able to make many more designs out of Takako Samejima's books as well as others without much effort at all! And, of course now I'm hooked. I love beading! My sister and I have both made several pieces of jewelry including necklaces, bracelets and rings. I definitely know for sure that I'll keep beading for years to come - no kidding!

The very best thing about this gift is that my briedsmaids LOVE their necklaces. The colors of beads chosen go with just about any outfit and they've been able to wear them over and over again.

Happy crafting!


Celina Baginski
HSW Editor

Resources: Takako Samejima is the name of the jewelry designer mentioned in this article. She has a collection of books that are titled Bead Fantasies. There are 4 books in her collection. Bead Fantasies I, Bead Fantasies II, etc. If I remember correctly, the bead necklace that I made for my bridesmaids came out of Bead Fantasies II.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Weddings Are a Big Deal!

My wedding was a big deal. It seemed as though I had planned for it for years. As a little girl, I dreamed and wished for the perfect man and for a wedding as sentimental as I. By the time my day came, I knew exactly what type of wedding would suite me best (thank god Todd went along with it).

I'm very crafty, so I knew I wanted to make all of the little things that would make our wedding unique and thoughtful. I love to create handmade gifts, so I planned and made gifts that kept on coming. I had a budget, that's for sure, but it wasn't going to put a damper on my dreams. Instead it was motivation to get even more creative. Was it exhausting? Oh, yes. Was it worth it? Heck yeah!

I thought, "When will I ever again spend tens of thousands for a party that I'm the star of?" Um...let's see...oh yeah. Probably never. It was my time to do it right. To perfect every detail to the extent that I cared most about. This grand event was a reflection of who I was down to every beaded necklace and every illuminated lantern. I'm so glad that I spent the time on the details that mattered most to me. When I think back on my wedding memories, I don't just think about "the day." I think about the hundreds of days leading up to it.

I think about the night I laid awake trying to figure how I could get perfect rounded paper corners cut for 100+ save-the dates. Then shortly after, I walked into Archivers for the first time and thought that I had died and gone to heaven. Paper corners...piece of cake! I think about what it took to figure out how the heck I could create the illuminated lanterns in a portable way so we could get them to Mexico without breaking. I think about my back-to-back mini panic attacks while getting ready with my bridesmaids in our room. I also remember when my nose started running at the alter because I was crying and thinking of all of the extra hand sewn tissue pouches that were just 20 feet from me! (I ended up wiping my nose with the back of my hand twice before Todd remembered that he had one of the tissue pouches in his pocket. LOL At least I remembered not to wipe my hand on my dress afterwards.) Oh, yeah...and I remember the holes that burnt through my gown during the private fire and drum show we had the night before because the wind kept blowing the kerosine my way.

Oh yes...these are my memories. And you know what? I cherish each and everyone of them.

My vision is to help you handcraft a wedding that's a true reflection of yourself for everyone to see; to help you perfect every detail to the extent that you care most about. Throughout your wedding journey, you'll weave memories that will last your lifetime. Make the most of it! And don't forget to send me pictures...

Happy crafting!


Celina Baginski
HSW Editor

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