Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Tree

Putting together our first Christmas tree was a lot of fun - and a lot of work too.
Our Christmas Tree
When we started, we only had only 10 ornaments, but the ornaments we had were pretty awesome. We were given a set of Old World Christmas ornaments from Brian's aunt Linda and uncle Ronnie for our wedding, so we decided to continue with that theme. We ended up spending about $200 more on ornaments - yeah. $200.
Christmas tree
Seriously, though, a saxaphone and a white kitten in a basket! I had to!
Brian made our lovely popcorn garland and some friends gave me the wonderful red bows, after I gave them a pie making lesson (another post.. coming soon...).
Christmas tree
We got our star, our old school holiday lights, and a few other choice holiday items from Stats.
Christmas tree
All in all, I love our tree. Sure, the initial investment in our ornaments and holiday decor set us back a few hundred, but I'm glad we got some classy ornaments that we can keep forever.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Paperback Wreather

Our Holiday Wreath, made from a recycled paperback book
Yes. I'm a librarian and I tear books. I used discarded books, of course (see more on that, here) and luckily, I have easy access to lots of discarded books! Aside from books, I started with a styrofoam ring and some super hot glue.
Making a wreath
The glue was hot. Super hot. I ended burning quite a few fingers in the process! I was warned... the actual idea, along with the warning came from the Living with Lindsay blog. Great idea, right? I just added a red bow to ours, to make it especially festive.
Our Holiday Wreath, made from a recycled paperback book
I've already got compliments from the neighbors!

More holiday crafts and baking on their way...

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Our First Gingerbread House

Our Gingerbread House
Believe it or not, Brian and I have never decorated a gingerbread house, ever. This being our first married Christmas together, we're really getting into the holiday spirit. While I really wanted to make the entire house from scratch, we just got really busy and I ended up buying a Wilton set and some extra candies. As soon as we started decorating, we didn't stop once for pictures, we just went nuts.
Our Gingerbread House
Brian got one side of the house and accidentally made this really cool pac-man-like pattern.
Our Gingerbread House
Our true collaboration was really on this roof. Brian covered it in frosting, I added the pipping details and we both added the candies.
Our Gingerbread House
The roof is definitely my favorite part of our little house. I went very traditional on my side of the house.
Our Gingerbread House
We then frosted the base (a small box, covered with foil) and added some blue shimmery sprinkles. The last thing I did was add a red ribbon around the base.
Red Ribbon around our Gingerbread House
For the rest of the month, there will be crafts, cookies, cakes, cheeses, and pies! Get ready!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Recycled Book Christmas Garland

We recently had a huge book sale over at the library. Many things were sold, many things were donated, and some things were candidates for the trash - or in my case, my craft cabinet. Lucky for me there were boxes of promotional copies of the Harlequin Romance Mystery, Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch for my crafting pleasure. The best part is that the text is available online in full pdf here, so it's free of any librarian-cutting-into-books guilt.
Christmas Book garland
I started the garland with cutting multiple strips of the text, approximately 1" thick. I tried to cut off the edges which had no text, just to keep the garland visually full of text. Because my tree has a red bow on top, I decided to string the garland with red embroidery floss, just to give it that extra pop of color.
Christmas Book garland
I loosely folded my strip of text in a wavy "s" pattern, then started to thread it, one wavy strip at a time.
Christmas Book garland
I tried to keep the tightness of the garland somewhat random, but loose enough so that the red thread would show through.
Christmas Book garland
Just a note, I am completely excited about Christmas this year. December just started, but we already have 3 trees (and we're still getting one more...)! Very festive in the Young household, so expect an array of holiday posts this month.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wedding Craft #14: Table Numbers

Tables at our wedding
Hi there! This is Brian, Annette's husband. She has asked me to write a bit about the table number cards I put together for our wedding. Starting with an old piece of sheet music paper, I folded it into a fan and trimmed the edges. Then, I constructed a stand, which consisted of two different sized circles, cut out of heavy black
cardstock. For the smaller circle, I even used one of our wedding jam
mason jars as a template!
Making the table numbers...
I took the first larger circle and covered a side with glue, placed the sheet music fan in the middle and folded the edges up the front and back.
Making the table numbers...
Once the glue dried, I put another dab on the bottom of the fan and placed it in the middle of the smaller circle, which helped to keep the fan standing upright.
Making the table numbers...
We printed the table numbers on blue paper, cut each out in a semicircle, and affixed it onto the front of the fan... that's it!
Table Numbers
These table number cards were fun to create and looked pretty great with the rest of our wedding decor.

Up next: Wedding Craft #15: Just Married Sign

**Top photograph above is by Our Labor of Love

Monday, November 29, 2010

Wedding Craft #13: Library Books & Card Catalog Escort Cards

I take great pride in being a librarian. Not only do I love what I do, but I completely embrace the culture. I wear glasses. I love cats. I love old school librarian outfits. And although we're known for being a crabby bunch - I think we're awesome (and I don't think we're all crabby)! It should also be noted that Brian thinks librarians are awesome too. Remember this? I knew the librarian theme just had to be somewhat featured in our wedding.
Books and photos at our wedding reception
Our venue, Castle Green, made it so easy to incorporate our theme. The photographs and books above and below were all sitting on top of an old grand piano, which perfectly incorporated our love for music too.
Books and photos at our wedding reception
Luckily for me, I had lots of access to discarded books, making this all very doable. To give some of the books a whimsical, fluttered look, I folded every other page. Doing this kept the books to stay open and look so fantastic.
Books at our wedding
My real pride and joy of the librarian theme; however, was my card catalog. My dear librarian friend, Joanna, gave me her old card catalog! Isn't it beautiful? I just love these things.
Card Catalog Escort Cards
Once I had the card catalog, I knew I had to use it for the escort cards.
Instructions for the Library Card Catalog Escort Cards
I made a standard Library of Congress style call number for the cards, which read (and stood for):
BA (Brian & Annette)
417 (4/17 the day we got married)
.A17 (April 17, the day we got married)
2010 (2010, the year we got married)
At first, I got real nerdy and wanted to use the call number of an existing book - but I realized that only I (and perhaps the handful of librarians in attendance) would get it, so I opted for the alternative approach and I think it worked out. Each person was led to their table, which we referred to as chapters.
Decor at our wedding
Around the card catalog, we had more books and featured a number of vintage cameras and old photographs. The photographs below are of Brian's parent's and grandparents.
Decor at our wedding
And my parents and grandparents...
Decor at our wedding
Even our rings fit the decor. My engagement ring dates back to 1897! Brian and I both designed our antique-style wedding bands (mine is not pictured), which we had my uncles make. My uncles are so talented!
Our rings
For more photographs of our card catalog and library theme, go to my flickr page.

Up next: Wedding Craft #14: Table Numbers

**All photographs above are by Our Labor of Love

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wedding Craft #12: Silhouette Woodblock

Our wedding, our little table
Sure, it's super tiny detail - but those tiny details add up! At least I think they did at our wedding. Since I was already creating a screen for the guestbook quilt banner, I decided to get the most out of my screen, and add a large silhouette too.
Screen for silhouette woodblock
At first, I really had no idea what I was going to do. A trip to the craft store fixed that. I found these really cool slices of wood, which I then decided to screen print.
I'll admit it, I messed it up the first time. The ink got into the tiny sliver of negative space between our silhouettes the first time around. So, what did I do? I covered it with the same fabric I used for our favor tops, wedding quilt, and wedding quilt banner.
Back of silhouette woodblock
I paired it with a small gold stand I found for $2 and the whole craft cost around $6. Not bad, right? We still have it displayed in our bookshelf too!

Up next: Wedding Craft #13: Library Books & Card Catalog Escort Cards

**Picture of Brian and I by Our Labor of Love

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wedding Craft #11: Quilt Banner

Our wedding, as you walked into the reception lobby
As many of you already know, Brian and I featured a number of homemade crafts at our wedding - from the invitations, to the favors, and every detail in between. One common thread (thread!) was the fabric we used in a lot of the crafts.
Wedding quilt banner fabric
We used this polka dot fabric in the tops of our wedding favors and in our quilt guestbook, so I decided to make a banner using the same fabric. The first step was to make a screen.
Making the screen for the wedding quilt banner and some other details...
After making our wedding invitations, I became a screen printing machine.
The screen I made for the wedding quilt banner
Once my screen was all done, I organized the order of each color/letter and began screen printing.
Screening the fabric for the wedding quilt banner
Before I knew it, they were all done!
Freshly screened fabric for the wedding quilt banner
I sandwiched the letters and began to sew the top edges together.
Sewing banner triangles together
Then came the twine.
Adding the twine inside..
After sewing the top edges of each triangle, I placed the twine along the top edge and sewed the rest of sides shut.
Wedding quilt banner
A small detail for a considerate amount of work, but I thought it added some fun and whimsy.

Up next: Wedding Craft #12: Silhouette Woodblock

**Reception table photograph by Our Labor of Love

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Apple Pie

Apple pie, fresh out of the oven!
Did I also mention I'm thankful for apple pie? Fresh out of the oven, just in time for Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for so much this year, I don't know where to begin. My family, my friends, health and happiness, my job, my 2 minute commute to work, and most of all, my Brian. While we're off to see our families on Thanksgiving day, I wanted to do a little something special for our first Thanksgiving together. So, I made us our own little Thanksgiving over the weekend. We decided to change the usual Thanksgiving menu up a little, so our food for the week wouldn't be too redundant and came up with a fun little menu.
Thanksgiving Lunch (our first married Thanksgiving together)
What you see above is garlic green beans, cranberry sauce, rosemary mashed potatoes, sausage dressing, and steak. Believe it or not, I'm not a real dressing/stuffing fan. It's the oddest thing to me, because I love all the ingredients that went into my stuffing: bread, sausage, celery, chicken broth, and the such... but when it's all together, it's just not my favorite. Brian; however, loves it. So, I made my first stuffing.
Thanksgiving stuffing
I added some sage to it, which gave it a really deep flavor that I did quite enjoy. I was really happy with my dressing, mostly because Brian seemed really into it. One of my favorite parts of the meal was my little cocktail.
Cranberry/Lime Cocktail
I've been very into muddling fruit into 7-up, then adding a touch of Malibu. Since it was our thanksgiving meal, I added some of the cranberry sauce into my cocktail and it was quite tasty, indeed. I also added a squeeze of lime and lime zest - not too shabby. The whole meal was a hit.
Thanksgiving Lunch (our first married Thanksgiving together)
I also ended the night with a mini homemade apple pie (not pictured), which we shared over some coffee with our neighbors. It was a great night. We've got so much to be thankful for this year!

What are you all thankful for?