Happy Halloween, Precious!

Tomorrow is Halloween, my all time favorite holiday of the year, yay! Right now, I’m currently super duper sick, yay!

I’ve always loved Halloween, that’s why we got married in October, because it’s my favorite month. This was a bad idea, in hindsight, as we had to plan and deal with a wedding last October and it sort of make for a chaotic month, but this year has been great (other than being sick on Halloween)

I made some pumpkins! I used a foam pumpkin and made this Deathly Hallows scene for my husband, made with black construction paper.

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And then I thought it was time to make one for me. I of course chose LOTR. So I spray painted a fake pumpkin gold, printed out the One Ring script, and spent the next 3 hours cutting it out by hand. Literally, my finger went numb because of the way I held the scissors, and stayed that way for 24 hours, I was legit concerned. But it turned out well! I then modpodged it on, and I’ll have it forever, yay!

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So guys, there’s this great blog called Epbot, run by a woman who lives very close to Disney and Universal in Florid, and she goes there all the time and takes amazing photos of stuff there, has great DIY tutorials and stuff, and goes to amazing cons! Look at this cosplay she recently photographed at DragonCon!

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They’re the Argonath! Complete with river and boats! I’M DYING. THIS is what I will be next Halloween, and I’m wrangling in my husband because SHUT UP.

OK, have a great Halloween my preciouses!

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One year Later

Hello children. So we’ve just passed October 11th, which was my 1 year wedding anniversary! I cannot believe it has been a year, very crazy!

And what a year it has been. It’s been a hard year I think, probably the hardest I’ve ever had. I’ve lost wonderful family and my best friend, and natural disasters, mostly flooding, have plagued my family and myself these past few months.

But, good things have happened too. We moved to a bigger place and I have more room to work. And I hired a real employee to help me sew. My business has grown. I’m working with a company to get my stuff out faster. It’s been a mixed year, but anniversaries are a time to reflect back on the good things.

In honor of my first anniversary, I decided to finally do something with my bouquet!

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If you’ll remember, I made the flowers out of coffee filters and card stock. I then used a version of Anduil for the handle.

I of course kept it, and I’ve been wanting to mount it for some time. The base is a styrofoam ball with the flowers stuck in with heavy wire. I decided to take out some flowers from the back and cut the ball so it laid flat against a wall.

We looked FOREVER for a frame to put it in. I originally wanted a shadow box with glass, but the bouquet was so thick, even with half cut off,  finding one was hard. It’s also tall and skinny, so any boxes were either the right height but too wide, or the right width but a hair too short.

Then I had an idea! It does happen sometimes. I was at a comicon recently and saw this new version of Sting, it was so beautiful, all gold and silver, ug. It also came with a gorgeous wooden LOTR plaque, and I was like “oh shit, that’s it”

I got the pretty golden Sting and this lovely plaque as my 1 year anniversary gift from my husband! (Which means I bought it for myself and was like “THANKS FOR MY GIFT HONEY, IT’S PERFECT HOW EVER DID YOU KNOW?!) It’s very beautiful.

But I felt that the plaque was too small for my bouquet. So off to Ebay to search for Lord of the Rings sword plaques.

After bidding against myself a few times because I am dumb, I finally won THIS.

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WHAT. Jesus christ. So I bid on it (and like I said, against myself a few times because I’m apparently an 80 year old woman who can’t figure out the interweb) and I was like cool, a wooden plaque thing. And then it came in the mail and I saw that the top crown thing and the tree were metal! I had no freaking idea, the photo on ebay made it look like it was all painted wood! I paid $25 for this baby, and I consider it to be one of my greatest treasures. I don’t even care that I myself rose the damn price by bidding a few extra times, I freaking love it.

A quick trip to Hobby Lobby and I had 2 hooks to mount the bouquet on. I just drilled 2 holes into it and bam, ready to GO son

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OK can I just say it’s pretty. Yes I’m bragging. I just want to hold it up all Lion King style and shout LOOK WHAT I HAVE MADE. It’s actually really heavy with the hilt and plaque, but I’ll still go out onto my balcony and do it.

The white lace thing was my baptism cap that my mom kept. It was held together with just a few stitches and if you snip them, it becomes a handkerchief on your wedding day. I had it tied to the hilt as I walked down the aisle.

So, tadaaaa.

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Arwen’s Bedroom Banner is Done!

IT IS COMPLETED!

IN DIGITAL FORM, THAT IS!

Jesus Christ, this thing has literally taken me a year and a half to make. I FINALLY finished it tonight and the fabric is up for sale on Spoonflower! I did make a few revisions though

 

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(Watermark added because those tricksy Hobbitses are always trying to steal things)

TA FREAKING DAAAA. So I ordered a few swatches from Spoonflower ages ago and I finally got around to editing it just right. In my opinion, I highly prefer the Satin fabric to any other, which is weird because I HATE satin, but the detail and colors are much better, more richer, and you can see every detail. I also ordered a swatch in their basic cotton ultra, which is fine as well, though the detail and depth of color is not as crisp, and in suede, which was my least favorite. I had hoped that it would add a nice layer of texture, and it did, but the colors look more washed out, more faded, it wasn’t what I had imagined.

I also changed the leaves to a different design, which I like better, and lightened everything as a whole. It’s now a bit lighter blue than it was before, because the test swatches came back almost black, which I don’t want. I also changed the boat’s hull color a bit, but honestly only I will ever notice these things. I’d say she’s ready.

There’s a light gray border around all 3 banners, and I struggled with this, I hope people like it, but in the future I may remove it, and even offer other color variations of the whole thing, maybe a more silver-gray option, a more lavender purple, and my original darker version.

You will have to purchase 2 yards for 1 whole banner, as it is very large. 1 yard has the middle section and 5 rod tabs and the 2nd yard has the two side banners and 4 rod tabs (2 per side) as well as the worst sewing instructions this side of the 1950’s. I apologize in advance for how poorly I described how to sew the tabs on, but I do trust people to give up on me and just try their best. I know you can do it.

Here are the links:

Arwen’s Bedroom Middle Banner and Arwen’s Bedroom Side Banner

You will need a rod to hang the banner on, of your choosing, which needs to be no thicker than 2 inches in diameter and at least 90 inches long, at LEAST. The side banners are 25 inches wide each, and the middle is about 35. In the coming days I’ll make a smaller version that’s just 1 yard I think.

You must also add things to it! Little crystals over the small stars, maybe a sequin or a gold bead in the center of each flower on the bottom, some silver or gold rope trim around the entire banner, some beaded fringe on the bottom, ALL OF IT. Come on now. If you get it in satin, the white, gray, and ‘yellow’ really do shine like silver and gold. Guys, it’s awesome.

Here are reference pictures of the actual banner from the movie and when it was on display in some department store window

 

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It looks so velvety, so like…shimmery, I wish I could have made it like that, or printed it on velvet, but alas. The lines of the trees are also much more delicate than I could do, but there you have it.

Well, good luck children! You must post it if you do make it! It will be some time before I order one for myself, it’s the start of the Christmas season (yes, already) and I’m afraid I’ll be up to my ears in Etsy shit until January. Adieu!

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Unicorn Crowns

So I have a business on Etsy, I sell my book pillows. I craft and sew every night, I take like 1 night off a week as my ‘weekend’. Even though I craft all the time, there’s something to be said about making something because you have to, for your customers, and making something because you want to, for fun, or just for yourself.

I’m not terribly pretty. This isn’t a sob story, and it’s not about sympathy. It’s just the truth,  I’m not very pretty and I never have been. I’ve always known this, and I’ve taken great delight in making pretty things, because I feel like if I can make something pretty, it’s like…it was inside me, and it was pretty, so then I’m pretty…I don’t know. But hey, who doesn’t like to make something that looks good, right? Like, I think even beautiful people feel like that, so

I try to take a break from working and just relax, and I relax best when I’m making something pretty. I started making these unicorn crown things and I love them. I sell them on facebook groups (like Renfest swap shops and stuff, I feel like they don’t ‘fit’ in my etsy store, plus the facebook groups are divided up into targeted audiences already, so its perfect) and they do sell, but even if they didn’t, I’d still make them just to have in my craft room because I love looking at them! It’s very rare when a craft comes together so fast and just the way I imagined, and these so far have been wonderful to make. I don’t know, I just feel so satisfied and calm when they’re done, it’s just how I relax.

Here’s the first one I made

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It only took like an hour to make, top to bottom. They’re very light, you hardly feel them on your head when you wear them, like a pair of sunglasses. They can be bent too, so they fit any head.I just finished my second one last night

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This one has a little green crystal that hangs onto your forehead.

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So that’s just a little snippet into what I’ve been doing with my life. I don’t know where you’d wear one to, like maybe Renfest, maybe like a unicorn fairy thing? I don’t know, but they’re pretty and that’s enough for me for now.

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Lord of the Rings Baby Quilt Round 2!

So, while things have been a bit sad for me for the past few months, I cannot ignore the happy fact that so many of my friends and family are pregnant/having babies! I posted a while ago how I was designing a LOTR alphabet quilt, mostly for my own amusement, but I knew a few of these soon-to-be-mothers would like it. I finally finished designing the fabric! I, sadly, do not quilt, despite the fact that I make a living sewing things, so I had a lovely woman actually quilt it for me and oh my god it’s so freaking cute I can’t even

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I picked out 3 colors for the border that closely matched the squares, a light blue, green, and purple. I sent the fabric I designed and these fabrics to the woman who quilted it, with no instructions, I was just like “You know how to quilt, you do whatever you think is best” and IT’S SO CUTE. I love the border, it’s something I would have never thought to do!

The back is just a light teal and white fabric

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Yay!

So far I’ve had 2 of these quilts made by the same woman. I originally designed it for one of my best friends growing up, who was also one of my bridesmaids. Her baby was due on my birthday, July 27th, and I had planned to go down to Texas and see her, among other friends and family, on July 24th, but her baby came before I even flew down, so I got to meet him!

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Yay! I’ve also ordered my design on a minky fabric, which is crazy soft. I then backed it with other minky from Joanns and made a little soft baby blanket. Admittedly, it’s not as cool as the quilted version, but I just don’t know how to quilt (yet!) I now have it for sale on my shop.

Next up, I’m almost done designing a Harry Potter alphabet quilt in the same style! Ah, babies.

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Dealing with grief and death after a wedding

Today is the 2 year anniversary of this blog. Today, I’m also I’m 26 years old (or it’s the 5th anniversary of my 21st birthday, which sounds better I think) but apparently I started this blog almost exactly 2 years ago! That’s really weird.

I know I haven’t posted much since the wedding, but it’s been kind of a hard few months. We got married in October 2015, everything was great. About a month later, my mom called me to say that my cousin Michael had died. He could not make it to the wedding but his sister, my cousin, was one of my bridesmaids. I suppose technically  they’re my 2nd cousins, their mother is my actual cousin but since she’s so much older than me, and her kids are about my age, we grew up together and I’ve always thought of her as my aunt, and her kids as my cousins. He accidentally shot himself, he didn’t know the gun was loaded. This happened at his own engagement party.

So, a month after my family gathered together for my wedding, we all gathered again for his funeral.

While on our honeymoon in February, my parents call to tell me that my great aunt Sally, who has been like a grandmother to me, I spent my summers with her in Dallas, had aggressive cancer. While on our honeymoon I made plans to fly to Dallas to say goodbye. She died 2 months later. This was very hard on all of us, but in a way it was easier than Michael because  it was expected and she had lived a long life. I once again flew down to Texas for another funeral. Sally did make it to my wedding, and having her there was honestly one of the most important things to me that day.

The hardest thing to handle however, was losing my best friend and maid of honor just after Easter. It’s been about 2 months now and I still can’t even speak about it without breaking down. Today is my birthday and I can’t believe I don’t have a ‘happy birthday’ text from her, or that we didn’t go out to eat for dinner, or that she didn’t get me one of her weird birthday gifts that only she would get someone. Sometimes I don’t acknowledge that she’s not here, like I refuse to believe it. Like, my brain just deletes the last 2 months and I think ‘I’ll text her later to hang out’, or I’ll think of a joke and be like “Jill would love this!” and part of me knows she’s gone, but another part doesn’t recognize it.

How do I look at my wedding photos and be OK? How do I think back on that day and smile? She was in every aspect of my life, she’s in my walls, I see her in my clothes, in my hobbies, movies, restaurants, stores, Wal-mart, my memories, she’s everywhere. I dream about her almost every night and it’s always the same, she tells me that my real life is a dream and that what we’re in now is real, that she never left, that everything is OK. And then I wake up and it’s all true. I mean every night I dream of this. Sometimes I’ll actually go a day or two without thinking of her, somehow, but she’s always in my dreams, and I can’t get any peace. I think, it’s nice that I do get to ‘see’ her every night, but it hurts so bad, I just wish I could have peace.

She was my best friend, she got me better than my own husband, in a way that only a best friend does, and I know I’ll never ever have anyone come as close to me as she was. Of course there’s Brandon, who has been a huge help during all of this and my rock, I could never have gotten through these last few months without him, but there’s nothing like a best friend. She was like my other half. I feel like a tree, and I had my roots in her, and all of a sudden it was ripped away, and I know I’ll never recover.

There’s so much I want to say to her. That I’m sorry, that I took you for granted, that I wasn’t the friend you deserved, that I took advantage of you, that I never told you what you meant to me and I should have. But even if I could, I actually couldn’t tell you what you meant to me because I’d never find the words and I’m so, so, so sorry. That as bad as this hurts, I’m so glad I had the years together with you because they were the best times of my life. I’m so sorry Jill.

I don’t really have any advice on how to cope with loss after a wedding, I wish I did. I don’t know what to do with the photos of the people who are gone, or see the smiles of people who, in a few months, would lose a brother and a son, it’s like some horrible train wreck. I just want to scream at the people in the photos, at myself, of the disaster that is coming. Like, what do I do? It seems so morbid to celebrate it to me. I try to separate my wedding day from everything else, but it’s all a tangle. Maybe in like 10 years it’ll be ok, but it’s not right now.

My biggest regret, which I had only a few weeks after the wedding, but which recent events have only strengthened, is not having a videographer. I would give anything to have had one now. I didn’t cry a single tear the entire day, not one, until Jill gave her Maid of Honor speech. I don’t remember all of it, I hardly remember a solid detail of the entire day to be honest, but I do remember a line she said, and I hope to never forget it. She said

“May your love be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out”

and I freaking lost it. Like, full on ugly cried. I wish to god I had that on tape. Or video of my aunt Sally dancing, or anything. I have photos, but to hear them again, I would give anything.

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OK, so that’s why I haven’t been posting much. I’ve also moved, which is nice, because it’s like a new start sort of. I have an office now, so my living space isn’t filled with my work, so I can separate my work from my life (I work from home). One of my good friends (one of Brandon’s groomsmen in fact) just had a baby, another good friend just got engaged, one of Brandon’s close cousins just got engaged, my best friend and bridesmaid from high school just had her baby (I made the Lord of the Rings alphabet quilt for her in fact!) and my cousin Anna, who was also a bridesmaid (she’s Michael’s sister) is pregnant again as well, so there are many happy things going on in my life too. I just got back from visiting my family in Texas, I saw Anna and her family at her baby shower, which was a happy occasion so close after Michael’s funeral, which was nice, and just had a good week with my family. This Saturday, Brandon is throwing me a birthday party with all our close friends, and it’s happy occasions like that that I try to focus on now.

I don’t really have any advice on how to deal with grief after a wedding, as all I have done to cope is cry a lot. I try to keep myself occupied, I listen to books on tape as I sew, which does take my mind off of things while I listen, it helps me forget. I have found comfort in being with friends and family as well, though I admit that right after these events, I just wanted to be alone. But I suppose the only thing I can find solace in is knowing that on my wedding, as far as I know, and I like to believe, everyone was happy, and hopefully you can see your wedding day as a bright point in your life, as well as all who attended, and maybe that thought will give you peace.

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Our Disney and Wizarding World Honeymoon

We went on our honeymoon, yay! So while we got married in October, we did not take our honeymoon until February. This is because the wedding was in Texas and we lived in Kansas, so we had to take off quite a bit of time just for the wedding. After the new year, my husband got more PTO. We decided to do it in February partly because of this, and partly because who wouldn’t want to swap Kansas for Florida in February? As a Texan living in Kansas, I’ll tell ya, it’s cold here.

So! We booked our honeymoon with a travel agent, which took a lot of pressure off of me, which was nice, seeing as how I was planning a wedding from 2 states away and trying to run my business. We flew in on Sunday and left on a Saturday, giving us 6 nights at the hotel and 5 days of fun. We stayed at the New Orleans Riverside hotel in Disney World, which was recommended to me not only by my friends who had honeymooned in Disney, but by our travel agent, as it’s the least kid-friendly hotel, meaning there wouldn’t be as many kids there. Yes, I realize it’s Disney and it’s all geared towards kids, and I don’t mind kids, but everyone recommended it to us, so we went with it. It was great, our room was AMAZING. It was a ‘Magic Room’, and it had so many cool details! This wasn’t our exact room, but it’s very similar. Check out this page for more photos and a video of the Magic Rooms.

So cute!

We were at the Disney parks for 4 days, Monday-Thursday, then we hit up Wizarding World on Friday at Universal (which was the BEST PART). We used the Magic Bands Disney gives you and the Fast Passes were amazing. I had been to Disney World once before when I was 17, and my husband when he was 5, so it was sort of new to us. You get to book your fast passes 60 days out from when you arrive I think, and I thought the fast pass line might take like an hour to get through? I was so wrong, we arrived at our assigned fast pass time, went through the line and got off the ride within 20 minutes. It was amazing. It also helped that we went at the least busy time of the year, but still.

You can (and must) make dinner or meal reservations 90 days out to ensure you can eat at the places you want. We had a meal plan, and we used all of our sit-down meals as dinners. My #1 proudest moment was when I got us a table at Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, which is THE most booked and sought after restaurant in the parks. I know why, because OH MY GOD it was amazing. It’s like freaking being in the Beast’s Castle! It was gorgeous, and you MUST go. I had the Gray Stuff for dessert, it was delicious (tasted like cookies and cream)

Guys, I also met Merida. I LOVE Merida. I’m like obsessed. We met her the same day as the Be Our Guest restaurant, as she was in the Magic Kingdom park. The gates opened at 9 I think, and she met people from 9-12 (I think). I was the 2nd in line (though to be honest, sadly the line wasn’t that long anyways) and it was perfect. She was SO NICE!! I had her sign a journal I had of the tapestry from the movie. It was freaking magical. I’ll admit, I cried afterwards because I was so happy. Then, later that day, we were watching the parade and I was wearing my Merida necklace and the Merida on the float saw me and was like “Where did ye’ get that?!” She spoke to meeee!! I hope you can view this video my husband took of it! So amazing.

I also brought a tiny frying pan and met Rapunzel, and she signed it. I love it, I’m going to hang it up in our kitchen.

We had a ton of fun! The weather was a bit hot, in the 80’s, until the last day, Friday, when it was like 50 degrees and we didn’t pack for that weather. So, Wizarding World was cold, but still awesome!

The BEST part of the entire trip (well, for my husband, who loves HP like I love LOTR) was when we went to Olivanders to get our wands. In the movie (and books) Olivander gives Harry a few wands to try out, and he points and waves them and shit happens like shelves break and a bell rings, etc. Well when you go to Olivanders at Wizarding World, they send you into the room with like 20 people and they pick 1 person to try their wand out. You have to go through like 2 wands until he finds ‘your’ wand, and it’s great.

WELL. Brandon and I went in, and we had these “Honeymoon” buttons on that the cast gave us, and we had made shirts that said “I married a Slytherin” and “I married a Ravenclaw” (I’m a Ravenclaw, he’s a Slytherin) and this guy was perfect. He was a Slytherin too, and he looks at Brandon, and he goes “Married a Ravenclaw, huh? Don’t you think you could have done better?” and I go “I know he couldn’t!” and he goes “…Ravenclaws, think they know everything” oh my god it was so funny.

So he picked us to try out the wands! He gave me one and Brandon one, and of course they were not right. BUT. He goes “I wonder…”and he switched our wands with each other, saying stuff like “They both share Dragonheart strings, together they are powerful” and OF COURSE they were right for us now! Ug, it was amazing. Then he goes “The wand chooses the wizard, and these have chosen you, but you can of course choose any you want” meaning that if we didn’t like the wands, we didn’t have to get them, but Brandon was like jumping up and down and he’s like “WE HAVE TO GET THESE” so we did! They were the electronic kind that if you wave them in certain spots in the park, stuff happens. It was just so perfect. It was an amazing day.

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So that’s our honeymoon! I suppose that’s the last of the wedding too. It’s all over! No more wedding stuff (“until the divorce”, I joke) but it was a good ride. Waiting to take our honeymoon until a few months after the wedding wasn’t bad at all, and it really still felt like a honeymoon. It also helped me focus on the wedding before the wedding and not have to handle 2 things at once. I’d definitely do it that way again if I had to. Here’s a few more pictures below!

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