How to make shrink film wine charms

winecharm

When my sister got married I was looking for an inexpensive but classy way to mark guest’s wine glasses. I came up with the following design using printable shrink film paper.
First, I scanned in the part of their wedding invitation that I wanted to include on the tags. Then I created a PowerPoint file with some test tags with different fonts and image sizes to see what I liked best. The dimensions I ended up using were: tag size 2″ x 4″, image size 1.5″ x 1.5″, font: 40 point Edwardian Script.
Once I had selected the right parameters for the tag I created a template with 10 tags per sheet and then used the template to make the final tags. I entered each guest’s name on a tag and printed them out, then used scissors to cut out each tag, and cut the corners off the tops of the tag. I used a hole punch to punch a hole in the top of the tag, then baked them for a few minutes, and Voila! Wine charms!
I used two pairs of needlenose pliers to attach a jump ring thru the hole and then put a wine charm ring through the jump ring to attach the tag to the glass.
These were relatively easy to make and were a hit at the wedding. They were a fun little keepsake for guests and they made it easy for people to keep track of their glass.

PM me for extra tips!

Heritage Brand: Pillyvuit

pillyvuit

When I was fresh out of school in my late twenties, after having to watch every dime throughout ten years of higher education, I was finally making a pretty good living. I went shopping downtown one day and found a sugar bowl that was a thing of beauty- white, with a petite little knob on the lid, that made a soft little “ding!” When the lid was put on the pot. It didn’t fit with anything in my hand-me-down kitchen in my dingy apartment, but I loved it. Over ten years later I turned the little bowl over and saw the Pillyvuit marking on it. I hadn’t known what Pillyvuit was when I bought the sugar bowl, but it was love at first sight.
Years after I bought that sugar bowl I learned about white French porcelain, of which Pillyvuit is king. It’s durable, timeless, and beautiful.
In Seattle there is a small French restaurant that makes a dish called “oefs plats”. It’s a relatively simple dish, with two eggs cracked onto ham and cheese over the top. The whole thing is baked in a small dish. One day, when my husband and I were browsing the Pillyvuit dishes at our favorite kitchen store, I picked up a dish and told him, “these are the dishes that oefs plats are made in”. “Let’s get them,” he said without hesitation. Since then we have had many delicious breakfasts made in those dishes. The beauty of them is that they are oven-to-table (and apparently even fireproof, although I haven’t tried this). They clean up easily and after many uses they are as beautiful and as white as the day we bought them.
We have added to our collection since then- beautiful teacups that we drink out of on weekends, and a few serving dishes. They all mix and match beautifully and are as elegant as they are practical.
Pillyvuit dishes are made in France.

What’s in Your Picnic Basket?

pb

pb2

pb4My husband and I like to take trips in the summer and when we do, it is nice to have a picnic basket that is pre-packed with all of the essentials.  Last weekend we took a trip to the Olympic Peninsula and stayed in a rustic cabin for the weekend.  We just put the picnic basket in the car and we knew we would have everything we needed for a picnic should the occasion arise.  We ended up using it to have a very nice breakfast in the cabin every morning, instead of having to navigate the brunch crowd in town.

Our picnic basket is the Longaberger Large Picnic Basket, which can be bought used on Ebay.  I like this basket because it’s sturdy and I think it will just get prettier with age, and I like that the top can also be used as a small table.  I also like the way it opens, since it is very easy to access everything in the basket.  The downside of this basket is that it is not easy to carry over long distances, especially if you have a lot of floaties and other things you are taking to the beach.  But it’s other good qualities more than compensate for this.

The liner is the Sunny Day liner.  I like this liner because it has pockets, and I like the colorful stripes, but really any of the cloth liners for this picnic basket would work.  Often these baskets also come with a plastic liner, but I am not a fan of these as I think they are unnecessary.

Now for what I keep in my basket.  First, I found some sturdy acrylic wine glasses and put two of these in the side pockets.  In the other side pockets I put some one-gallon Ziplock bags and a bunch of plastic grocery bags, which are nice for garbage and dirty dishes.  I added four sturdy, unbreakable plastic plates and a cutting board that could be used as a serving platter (mine is 8.5″ x 11″ bamboo, the middle size of these).

There are lots of little odds and ends that are nice to have in the basket, and I searched for awhile until I found something to hold all of these things.  What I found is actually a first aid kit from Target, which you can see open in the last picture above.  I was a little surprised that I couldn’t find something made for this purpose but I have found that the first aid kit is really perfect.  I wanted something that could open up and allow easy access to everything inside it.  On one side, which is just a zippered pocket, I put napkins, thin closeable plastic sandwich bags (we use these all the time), and burger basket liners (you can use these on your plates and serving platter to minimize cleanup- I think these are nicer and generate less garbage than paper plates).  On the other side, which has divided pockets, I put lots of plastic utensils (I usually throw these in the dishwasher when I get home, and I find they can be re-used many times), the Opinel Stainless Steel No. 8 Knife in Olive Wood,  a Waiter’s Corkscrew, the MSR Alpine Salt and Pepper Shaker, and some individually packaged wet wipes.

Believe it or not, there is still plenty of room in the basket after all of these things for a picnic.

I have found that the picnic basket is constantly evolving, and after our trip this last weekend we have decided to add a tea ball (so that we can drink our nice loose-leaf tea when we are on vacation), and possibly some camping mugs.

We’ve really enjoyed using this picnic basket on our travels, and have had some wonderful picnics with it.  What’s in your picnic basket?

Budget Wedding Idea: Books as Centerpieces and Favors

CJ-446 CJ-445 CJ-444 CJ-443 CJ-442 CJ-440

The only flowers that I had at my wedding were my bouquet, my matron of honor’s bouquet, corsages and boutonnieres for both sets of parents, and a small bouquet for the hall table.  Even this small amount of flowers was almost $500!  Ah, weddings.

So instead of having flowers for centerpieces at the tables, we decided to have books, which also doubled as the favors.  We chose a theme for each table based on our interests and tried to match them with the guests.  Our themes were wine, Disney, cooking, Hawaii, Pacific Northwest Travel, running, and Paris.

Our guests LOVED this.  They still talk about how much they “loved the books”.  We just put together what we thought was an interesting selection of books on a particular topic, having one extra book for each table, and tied a wide ivory ribbon (I learned how to tie a bow here, and this was the ribbon we used) around the stack.  We tried to keep our spending to an average of about $10 per book.  People enjoyed going thru the books and picking one out, and it gave everyone something to talk about.

We were able to assemble the stacks of books the weekend before, so on our wedding day our vendors just had to put one stack of books on each table.

Of course, in keeping with the theme, our place cards were old-school library cards.  We put a pocket for the card inside each book, so that people could put their place card in their book and keep it as a reminder of the day.

CJ-437

Etsy buys- stamps and napkins

stamp
Return address stamp from simpleANDpretty on Etsy

Oh Etsy, how do I love thee, let me count the ways.  High quality, creative, interesting things are everywhere on Etsy.  I’m a big fan of anything I can get personalized, and many of the artists on Etsy are happy to do custom orders.

I recently bought this return address stamp from the Etsy store simpleANDpretty.  There were so many to choose from on Etsy.  I can definitely see getting a couple more of these.  I really liked this one from 2impress and this one from StaceyMeacham.

I also had some custom napkins made by KSTYLEDESIGN.  I had some vintage white cotton fabric that had been my husband’s mother’s, and I wanted us to be able to use it, so I had it made into napkins.  KSTYLEDESIGN wasn’t the least expensive option I found on Etsy, but the finish that she used was my favorite.  We spent about $100 including the shipping both ways for twelve napkins.  It was well worth it- they are lovely and we will have them for a long time.