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1  Re: ONGOING ATC SWAP - SEPTEMBER 2014 - Gallery in The Swap Gallery by abby w. on: October 08, 2014 04:46:46 PM
Last week I got, like, the best mail ever--

the results of my first-ever Craftster swap!

cmarion3  chose "Your Favorite Children's Book" from my list of themes and she knocked it out of the park.  She made a tiny reproduction of her favorite childhood storybook, complete with all the wear and tear every good book sports.

I love the creased page and the mouse-nibbled corner!

It came with instructions to fold it up and make it into a book.

I am in lurve with my first ATC!
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2  FAKE FLOWERS ARE NOT CHEAPER: A message to brides from a floral insider in Weddings and Bridal Showers by abby w. on: March 28, 2012 06:20:07 PM

Since starting my career in the business of selling wholesale flowers over a year ago, it has become my mission in life to spread this message to the brides of the world:


I mean it.  I sell flowers for eight hours a day, five days a week.  I promise you that I'm not lying.

When you think about it, it makes sense that artificials would cost more.  Think of a fresh-cut flower like a potato.  You spend a little bit of money on it, expecting it to go bad after a week.  Now, think of an artificial flower like a watch.  You spend a lot of money on it because you expect it to last a long time.  

It breaks my heart to read posts from brides which say "I really wanted real flowers but they were too expensive."  I can understand.  Some brides don't give a rip about florals, or want some that last as keepsakes, or even would rather make their own from paper, fabric, etc.  But some brides really care, and find themselves restricted by budget.  It's to these brides that I'm speaking.  

There are a few caveats to remember.  I'll give them.

1.  You can afford real flowers if you buy wholesale.  Sam's club is a great example that some craftster brides already know about.   The flowers come uncut, with leaves / foliage, and with packing petals (the dead ones on the outside you can pull off without damaging the flower's head) still on, but all that work is easy to finish.

2.  You can afford real flowers if you arrange them yourself.  It's a little nerve-wracking to arrange your first centerpiece.  I know from experience.  But if you practice with some cheap flowers (think Trader Joe's, your garden, your office building's flower beds Tongue)  you'll start to understand how to build and shape an arrangement.  You can do it.  You'll be better than you think.

3.  You can afford real flowers, but maybe not all real flowers.  Most orchids, calla lilies, lily of the valley, and lilac are horrendously expensive, even at the wholesale price I sell them for every day.  They are traveling to you from Hawaii, Thailand, Malaysia, or Japan--you're paying for that travel cost.  I've never bought them for myself, and I have a 50% off employee discount.  These are the kind of flowers you may consider skipping altogether.  Instead, get to know the flowers native to your region.  You'll have a unique bouquet (think wheat!  so cool!) , and one that's inexpensive as well.  Also, try to remember what's in season--sometimes prices are lower if it's the flower's traditional growing season.  But if you must have one of these, consider mixing some fakes in with a mostly-real bouquet.  They'll be disguised.

Obviously, I think it's important to support local businesses like florists.  If you really want real flowers, artfully arranged 100 times better than you could ever do by yourself, make it a priority in your budgeting plan and steal money from other areas that don't matter to you as much (as we know, you can't have everything, wedding day or no).  But for those on shoestring budgets, it makes me feel so good to let you know that you truly can have real flowers if they're important to you.

That being said, I wish all of you brides so much fun, joy, and happiness in the planning of your unique, special wedding day--and I wish you as little stress (especially stress over stupid money) as possible!

Flower love 4 lyfe!
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3  1st Craftster Topic: My Sister's Jaw-Dropping Fall Wedding! *more pics added* in Weddings and Bridal Showers by abby w. on: November 03, 2011 07:23:18 PM
So this is my first post on Craftster--forgive my mistakes.  I just had to share some details of my sister's INCREDIBLE, BEAUTIFUL, and PERFECT fall wedding on October 29th of this year.  Her colors were red and gold (mostly, but fall colors in general) and the ceremony and reception were largely handcrafted by our family and the groom's.

First, let me just tell you that the bride and groom started dating in the 6th grade.  Are you dying of cuteness yet?  Here they are:

This was their entrance into the reception hall. Didn't they look great?

The groom is a chiropractic physician, but is just starting out, and the bride works for a nonprofit, so the wedding had a tight budget.  Since the whole thing just took place, I don't have pictures of all the crafty details, but I'll make a list here and add lots of lovely pictures to ogle.

Homemade wedding goodness:

bridesmaids' dresses--Carla designed her own pattern and had a seamstress make the dresses to her taste as well as to our preferences.

bridesmaids' and bridal hairpieces--made from vintage brooches.

programs--leaf-shaped fans on colored cardstock.  The program was printed on paper with leaf veins, so the whole thing looked very realistic.

candle holders--mason jars with fall-colored ribbon tied around, set in brown rice

mum balls--these were the bane of my poor dad's existence.  Nine-inch spheres made of floral foam, soaked in water, COVERED with the heads of mum flowers and set on top of large, sturdy glass vases to decorate the entrance-way.

photo booth--a friend of the bride took photos on a white wall in the reception hall, and the bride provided mini chalkboards to write a message.

candy bar--rented apothecary jars were filled with old-fashioned candies, and YOURS TRULY paper deco'ed some tags for each one.

Petal bags--guests tossed petals from tiny organza bags as the couple left the theater.  EACH SEAT got a bag of petals.  omg.

Cakes and wedding mints--made by a family member of the groom.  I especially liked the groom's cake.  Tee hee. Smiley

Favors the couple called in:

Balloons--so my aunt is an internationally-licensed balloon artist.  Nice, huh? Smiley In addition to taking all Carla's wedding photos free of charge, she supplied some balloons (and the artists and volunteers to put them together).  They looked INCREDIBLE and the couple didn't pay for any labor to have them constructed--just the cost of the balloons themselves.

These are the balloons on the stage.  Smaller (but still huge) balloon flowers were also attached along the front of the stage.
You can see yet another different kind of balloon flower if you look behind them on the banister in this photo...and also it's just kind of nice to look at the happy couple.

Flowers--a friend of the family is a flower designer and did GOBS of flowers without charging any labor (the couple paid the wholesale cost of the flowers alone).  Look in the stage picture at the two HUGE arrangements flanking the preacher.  She also did tons of centerpieces--both tall and short, as well as the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres.

Also, all the tuelling for the reception hall was free--donated by the woman who threw the bridal shower in September, or lent by a friend of my mom's.

The night was fabulous to be a part of, and I know that all my sister's wishes came true.

Want to see one more picture of the couple, dancing their first dance?  Of course you do.

I'll continue to upload more pictures as they show up on facebook.  Thank you for looking and indulging my sisterly pride!
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