Sunday, August 17, 2014

Our 10th Anniversary Party ~ the Creative Details

What a great day! We had so much fun and from what I've heard, it sounds like it was fun for everyone. I've kept details under my hat for so long that I hope to remember everything I wanted to share. Let's begin with our save the dates.

I printed these on card stock and used marker to mark the date. I chose this format so that I could design and print them before even confirming the date. 

Then the invitation:

These are Wonka Bar knock~offs complete with golden tickets. This was a Pinterest find as many of my details were. In fact, I've just taken the private lock off my anniversary party idea board if you're interested in seeing most of my inspiration.

The main crafting project that kept me busy for weeks was the backdrop. A few notes before I show you:

  • I had help. A few of my girlfriends came over for an evening to help and my sister also helped me for an evening.
  • Even though the backdrop got destroyed (wind and transport etc) I would do it again! I loved the result
  • The end result was not quite the end I would have left it at if I had more time. 
  • I loved this backdrop!

The details: there are 12 foam backed poster boards attached with zip ties covered in paper flowers. The only thing I used was plain printer paper and glue (low temp glue gun). I researched tutorials on Pinterest and in the end I just made things up as I went. It took an average of 2 boards per evening to complete. 
A close~up from my Instagram

I wish I had followed my original instinct to make some extra fill flowers, but as I finished two nights before the party and having out of town guests, I decided to call it finished. The gaps are obvious. Within the first hour of having set it up, I lost one of the larger flowers in the wind and I decided not to try to save it. Transporting it was a bit of a pain. If I make one again, I hope to sell it to a photographer. I think it would be especially nice in a studio.

The only other decor piece we had anything to do with from the picture above was the program.

We actually started late, but we managed to catch up and finish on timer anyway. We wanted to be sure families with littles weren't out too late. Anyway, the rest of the stage...gorgeous right? We were blessed to be hosted on a family farm by an awesome family who are no strangers to hosting events. Their property is beautiful and full of the host's creative touches. 

Our family outfits had some creative touches added here and there. Bow ties, boutonniere and a hat brim change.

Instead of making traditional bow ties that wrap around and under the collar, I removed the top button on the shirts and put a snap in its place with the other side on the bow ties. It worked quite nicely. I couldn't resist popping a piece of wheat into the bib pockets of the boys' coveralls. They looked so cute. I'll show you them dressed up in another post.

We decided that David wouldn't wear a suit but instead a dress shirt with blue jeans and suspenders. He looked so hot! Yes, it was a hot day, but I mean he looked really great! I whipped up his boutonniere with matching ribbon from the boys' ties and my hat brim.

This awesome hat I purchased at the Haberdashery here in town. Friends from church own this great shop and I was so happy to have an occasion to need a great hat. Luke hooked me up with this one and I love it, but the trim was black and my dress, navy. I took matters into my own hands and changed up the trim with a ribbon. 

It's not the best picture, but you get the idea.

I made some digital designed printouts, but I'll share those with you as I get into the ceremony details.

I had a lot of fun with this party. I had so many ideas and some of them didn't make the light of day, but in general I'm happy with the results.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Thank You!

Well we are one week away from our anniversary party (9 days away from our actual anniversary). I am so humbled and honoured by support I've received and I can't wait to show you my new dress. You are going to have to wait until after the party. I do like to keep secrets. In the meantime, here's a couple of pictures of bags purchased from my blog sale in action. Thanks Charis and Donna!

"It fits a Mac Book Pro"

 Charis wrote me this note: "I love my teardrop bag! It's just the perfect size to stash stuff for the kids when we are at the park or splash pad.  Todays contents: snacks, water, sunscreen and bug repellant, diapers, wipes, nursing wrap... Plus more! Since I don't currently use a cell phone, the little cell-pouch holds my roll of diaper-disposal bags! Love it"

Many of you shared the link to my sale on Facebook etc, and that meant just as much to me as a purchase, so thank you. I have lots of details to wrap up in a week and we have family coming from out of town, so I probably won't be posting until after the party. I can't wait to show you what I've been so busy doing! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Slashed Prices!

Have you visited the blog sale? Well, today I've slashed the prices. Go check it out!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Made Something NEW!

I've finally finished a project that's been on my cutting table for months. David bought me the fabric for it for Mother's Day and I've had the pattern even longer. Thankfully, summer has meant that I get to have sewing time and I've been thoroughly enjoying it!

The pattern is The Iris Convertible Shoulder Bag by Canadian Designer, Celine of Blue Calla. I saw the pattern featured in the I Think Sew newsletter and knew I wanted to give it a try as soon as I did. I admit that it helped that it came from a Canadian designer, I love to support my countrymen.

I began making this bag in a different fabric that David had helped me choose, but the slippery nature of it and the straight stripes that refused to stay straight caused me to change my mind. Believe it or not, I found this fabric at Walmart in their pre-cut fabrics. It's a canvas weight and I'm really happy with the result.

The front pocket has a pretty little surprise under the pocket flap. The lace and vinyl trim is something only I will see, but it's a feature that I really like. It closes with a magnetic clasp and keeps my small items secure.

The vinyl was a challenging and fun new experience for me. Every needle hole shows and so you can't pin it or stitch rip and re-do. It's get it right the first time or you really notice! I'm really pleased with it. I took it really slow and payed very close attention to lining things up. It's recommended that you use a walking foot and I don't have one, so I had to trouble shoot certain steps. 

I lined the bag with a bold pink broadcloth. I like light coloured lining so that I can see into every corner with a glance and I like a pop and surprise of colour in every bag. The bag has a divided slip pocket and a zipper pocket in the lining. It's a very functional bag.

David found me this great rainbow zipper and I knew that I wanted to use it in the purse. It makes me smile every time I see it.

There are tabs on the side where I can attach a shoulder strap later, should I choose to do so. I'm not usually a fan of cross shoulder straps, so I may not do it, but you can't add those tabs later and I now have the option. 

PS I ordered my party dress and it's on its way! Thank you for all your support in my blog sale. I've left the blog sale post below and will keep it there for the time being. You're welcome to peruse and shop. I won't be showing you my dress until after the party, but I am pretty excited to have something pretty to wear.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Welcome to the Mama~Needs~a~New~Party~Dress Blog Sale!

Hi everyone. Welcome. I am nervous. I am putting myself out there and it feels vulnerable. As you know, my David and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this summer and I "need" a new dress. Read:I wanna look hot for my man in a new dress! I thought I would give a blog sale a go in efforts to raise some money for the dress.

I have bags. I have lots of bags. My favourite thing to sew is bags and how many bags does one person need? I have 17 bags below for sale. They are all handmade by me, they are all used (some more than others) and they all favourites for one reason or another.

Pricing was difficult. David feels like I've underpriced them and I had a difficult time coming up with these prices. Things to consider were time, supplies, quality and the fact they are used (again, some more than others). Having said all that, if you are shopping and think "man, she's outta her mind!", please don't leave nasty comments, just don't buy anything. Deal?

How the sale works: Each item is first come first serve. Leave a comment or send me an email (mrsgingras at gmail dot com) with what item/items you'd like to purchase and I will either send you a paypal invoice or, if you are local, you can pay me cash in person. If you are not local shipping will be added on and I can give you an estimate for which items you are interested in. All items are made in a smoke/pet free home and, if washed, in scent free detergents. Feel free to ask any questions you might have and I will answer as soon as possible. BONUS: the first 7 customers will receive a free key fob!

Click on any picture for it to enlarge.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I just wanted to give you a quick "heads-up" that I will be having a blog sale this Thursday. I will be posting handmade items for sale as a mini fundraiser ~ Mama needs a new party dress sale! I hope you'll drop in and shop. See you Thursday 8:00 AM CST. First come, first serve.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Rhythm

We want our summer to have a good balance of productivity and rest and fun. In order to help us accomplish that we have come up with a preliminary plan. Being our first week of summer break, we are in the testing period. Some things we considered when coming up with our plan what the fact that David is great with spontaneity and I'm great with a plan. We needed to find a way for both of us to enjoy summer and not be in a stressed out mood to begin with. With that in mind our summer rhythm gives a general outline of a main idea for each day of the week. Those ideas are not set in stone so to allow spontaneity, but is enough of a plan for me not to feel antsy and restless. I know what days we intend to stay close to home and what days we will be sure to get out and about. This should also help Abigail keep her expectations realistic. Abby is very much like her Mama, we don't handle busted expectations very well. I'm just learning how to have more realistic expectations and be flexible when things don't go as planned.

This is what it looks like, now I'll break it down. Sunday, we go to church which then runs pretty much straight into lunch and nap/quiet time. This takes us until late in the afternoon and pretty much straight into dinner time. Sunday typically is entire family quiet time, though maybe not as much in the summer. We, of course, are open to get togethers with friends, but that doesn't seem all that common for us on Sundays.

Mondays, I tend to want to stay at home during the school week as we pack our weekends pretty full of outings. In the summer; however, we can avoid retail and busy places on the weekends and do our outings on weekdays when more people are at work than not. With that in mind, Mondays will be our day to run errands. Yesterday, for example, we scheduled trips to the post office, grocery store, party store, the library and the bulk store. What we ended up going to the tire shop twice to have our flat fixed plus the other errands. It really took way more day than we expected, but since nothing else what scheduled, it worked out. 

watching the men working at the tire shop we were supposed to go celebrate Canada Day and our vanniversary, but with the rain and small children we've opted to try to see fireworks tonight (if there are any) and have an extra pajama van night. We'll amp it up with glow sticks and flags, so that should be festive. Our project for today was tidying/sorting/organizing the living room bookshelves and tv cabinet. It feels good to get those kind of things finished.

Wednesdays, we already have a regular Prayer Furnace spot and we thought we'd add parks and picnics to the day to round it out.

Thursdays are the days we'll plan larger adventures, things that are in our summer idea notebook like museums, mini road trips, festivals etc.

Friday will be set aside for dating our children and each other. It's been quite some time since I've taken Abby on a one on one day and I haven't dated my boys yet, so this will be nice time to have. I'm also pretty excited about dating my David. Hannah took a bottle at four months old and hasn't since, so I haven't had a childless date yet, but maybe we will this summer.

Saturday we already have a tradition of pajama van. This is where we put the littles in their pjs after bath time and we put on a movie for them in the van and go for a nice long drive. David and I get steeped tea and timbits from Tim Hortons and we have a mini date in the front of the van. Its a win for everyone. Actually, it's become a favourite time for me in the week.

You'll notice there is a lot of space in and around each day. This is intentional. We want time for spontaneity and time for appointments, friends or whatever else comes up. I'm not a fan of being interrupted, so this gives lots of time to get to "the plan" and still have room for interruption. It's a rhythm, not a schedule. It moves, it's flexible and I think it will work for us. 

By the way, we will be incorporating Mom's night out, Dad's night out, creative time etc. So far, Monday nights look like a go for sewing! This is exciting to me and though I got a late start last night, I got a decent portion of a project worked on. Woot woot!