Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wedding Planning Wednesday - New DIY project!

With only a little over 3 months left until the big day, I've been up to my elbows in DIY wedding projects! Right now I'm working on the tables and the centerpieces and I thought I'd share the yarn wrapped table numbers I just made! This was such an easy way to make cute table numbers on a budget and although they are time consuming and a little imperfect, I love the rustic, handmade feel they have. I won't bore you all with a tutorial, because 1) I think it's pretty self explanatory and 2) there's probably about 100 of them already out there if you need them, but I will tell you that I bought the numbers, letters, and yarn at JoAnns and one jumbo roll of ivory yarn got me through all 13 table numbers!

Inspired by this photo on Pinterest, I also wanted to make yarn wrapped signs for our table, the dessert table, guestbook table, and the bar. I really wanted one letter to pop so I used a shimmery, champagne colored yarn to contrast with the ivory letters and I love how it turned out. I also used the champagne to make the '1' for our table stand out!

Next time I'll show you guys how I'm sprucing up those mason jars to use as vases for our flowers! Everything is slowly but surely coming together! Yay! Happy Wednesday everyone! XOXO

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Favorites: Birthday Wishlist!

Hello everyone! It's been awhile since I've done a Friday Favorites post! My birthday is coming up in a few weeks and since everyone in my family has been bugging me and asking me what I want, I thought it would be fun to do a little birthday wishlist!

I don't like big or fancy gifts... My favorite type of presents are small, silly, or sentimental things that I know people put a lot of thought into. I have a bunch of stuff favorited on Etsy or Pinned that I wouldn't normally buy for myself but that I would definitely like to have! Here are just a few of the items I'm currently crushing on...

Santa didn't bring me my Kate Spade iPhone case, so on the birthday list it goes! Polka dots are my favorite thing in the world and I adore anything Kate Spade!

I've had my eye on this bag from Etsy for ages. It's the perfect shape and size and you just can't go wrong with black and white stripes! I love!

I need a new makeup bag, yo! I have an adorable one from Olive Blue but it's just too small for all my stuff. I absolutely adore this little chevron cosmetic bag. It's the perfect size and you know I'm crushing on that print!

I'm a huge nerd, and if you get me anything at all to do with Harry Potter I'll be the happiest chick on the planet. I don't think there's anyone in the world more obsessed than me! I pink puffy heart this key chain from Etsy! It belongs to me!

I need the Harry Potter cookbook! Enough said.

I love mugs and I love Harry Potter, and I especially love this quote from Harry Potter. And the best part? When you pour in a hot drink the mug changes to white and the words change to 'Mischief Managed'!! AHHH! Need!!

Along with Harry Potter, matryoshka dolls are obviously another obsession/collection of mine and I'd be happy with pretty much any matryoshka gift. I adore this sweet little necklace from Etsy. Too cute!

I love to bake, and weird, kitchsy bakeware always makes me happy. This mini tiered cake pan from Amazon is so cute and fun! Mini cakes for everyone!

I die for this mustache jar! I go nuts over random, funny, and clever stuff like this and I want it so bad!

I'll stop there and save you from the rest of the Harry Potter and mustache madness! Birthdays are so fun and although I'd be happy with a cupcake and a kiss, it's fun putting a little wishlist together! And please, feel free to print this list out and show it to Mando ;)  Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend with your loved ones! XOXO

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Happy Friday everyone! Just popping in to announce all 3 winners of our Celebrating Handmade giveaways! Thank you so much to everyone who entered and to those who are supporting handmade and small businesses everyday! It's so important and I hope you will all continue to do so! And now, without further ado, the winners are....

Giveaway #1 - Lace Garter from Krumpets Designs - Winner is Stacey! Congratulations!!!

Giveaway #2 - Polka Dot Bowtie from Dana Eckert - Winner is Jessica! Congratulations!!

Giveaway #3 - Pair of Engraved Stemless Wine Glasses - Winner is Alana! Congratulations!!

Yay, congrats winners! I'll be in touch with all 3 of you shortly to put you in contact with the Etsy shop owners! Thanks again to everyone who entered and thank you to the 3 ladies who supplied these fabulous prizes!! And don't worry if you didn't win... I have another giveaway coming soon! Happy Friday everyone! XOXO

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wedding Planning Wednesday - Wedding Registry!

Last weekend Mando and I went to go register for the wedding! Because we are planning to buy a house with my mom in the near future, I knew we didn't need much. She literally has every single gadget and appliance known to mankind. I'm talking ice cream maker, waffle maker, espresso machine, blender, food processor, bread maker. You name it, she has it (in stainless steel Kitchen-Aid no less!) and lucky me, I get to inherit it! We decided to register for just fun, wish-list items so we headed to Macy's Home to look around.

As soon as I saw the Martha Stewart baking collection, the idea of us 'not needing much' went right out the window. There were so many pretty cake platters and beverage dispensers and ruffled pillows and perfect white plates! At one point, Mando was just shaking his head and laughing at me as I was scanning everything in sight including the Kate Spade bow glasses and matching cake cutter set. It was fun until I went home and looked at everything I scanned. Yeah, might need to edit my list. It's a little ridic! But that's the fun of registering, right? To pick out all the things you could not or would not ever buy for yourself! It was a fun little wedding tradition that I'm glad we got to partake in. So many things about this wedding and engagement have been non-traditional sometimes it's nice to do those little things that everyone talks about doing. I don't think either of us really care what gifts we get, but we got to enjoy that experience together!

Tomorrow it will be 4 months until the big day! Craziness! We are over our heads with meetings and emails and planning and buying but I have some fun DIY wedding projects to share with you soon! Happy Wednesday everyone! XOXO

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Valentine's Day items at Mama Matryoshka!

I don't know why, but Valentine's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the glittery pink hearts and cheesy romance. It's more of a fun, silly holiday around here. This year Cayden will get his first Valentine's box which is a tradition between Mando and I. We decorate a shoebox and fill it with candy and small gifts for each other. Just simple and fun and I'm so excited to include Cayden this time! Expect to see yummy dessert recipes around here and maybe even some Valentine's Day crafts!

I just added some new Valentine's Day decor over at Mama Matryoshka including garlands, cupcake toppers, and even some fun new photo props! I'm always accepting custom orders so if you have something in mind that you don't see let me know! Now until February 14th you can take 10% off any custom order using code 'HOLIDAYLOVE' at checkout! Enjoy and spread the love! XOXO

Friday, January 6, 2012

Celebrating handmade, day 3!

This is the 3rd and final post of my celebrating handmade series. Make sure to check out post 1 and 2 for other Etsy shop reviews and fun giveaways!

Hands down, the hardest gifts for us to buy were the gifts for our groomsmen. Men are hard to shop for already and these 3 guys are SO different! We really wanted to give them something sentimental but practical. We went back and forth for weeks and suggested everything from custom converse to cuff links to vintage shaving kits. Finally I took my question to Twitter and a friend of mine suggested pilsner glasses. I was originally hesitant to buy anything to do with alcohol (like a flask or shot glasses) because 2/3 of them aren't big drinkers, but I know all of them drink beer and Mando loved it so I quickly warmed up to the idea! I hopped on Etsy to see if I could find some nice, personalized glasses and I found GlassGirlJen. I was really impressed when I read about her engraving process... She uses an old school technique called stone wheel engraving and it's actually really interesting. Here's how she describes the process:

Stone wheel engraving is an age old art form of glass engraving that is not commonly practiced in the world today. With newer technologies such as laser engraving, sandblasting, acid etching and machine engraving, stone wheel engraving has become a dying art. As a stone wheel engraver I spend time shaping my wheel using diamond and stone dressing tools to create different effects on glass. Some I create for a smooth surface, some thick and some thin depending on what lettering and designs I'm engraving.... As I engrave onto the glassware I make cuts into the glass working by hand both upside down and backwards. I sometimes draw guidelines onto the glass however no stencils or templates are used. There will be variations in the lettering, spacing and designs of stone wheel engraving, this is the beauty and character of the art and the one-of-a- kind original piece of customized glassware.

I love that this is a family business and that she is the third generation to continue this art. She worked beside her mother for over 15 years developing her skills. She has a big selection of wine and champagne glasses, mugs, and even trays in her shop. They are all customizable and would make fabulous gifts! Here are a few of my favorites:

 1, 2, 3

Working with Jen was a pleasure. She answered all of my questions about her product quickly and was more than happy to make our custom pilsner glasses. She shipped them quickly and I was beyond excited when I saw them in person. The initial she engraved on each glass is so clear and precise, you'd never guess she did this using an older form of engraving. I love how unique they are and I know the boys are going to go nuts over them!

Now for the good part! One of you lucky readers have the chance to win a pair of gorgeous 21 oz stemless wine glasses with a custom name or monogram, or the cute Mr. and Mrs. pair as shown below. These would make a great wedding or anniversary present, housewarming gift, or something special for the wine enthusiast in your life! Entry is easy, just make sure you follow my blog via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment telling me what you'd do with glasses if you won!

This giveaway is open to US residents only and it will end on Friday, January 13th. You can also find Jen at her website, her blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Good luck!

I hope you all have enjoyed my little celebrating handmade mini-series! As you can tell, it's something that's so important to me and also to our economy. Coming from someone who has their own handmade business and was raised by a woman who owns her own business, I cannot express how important it is to support these companies! Sometimes it can be really easy to run to Target for a last minute gift (I'm guilty of this too!) but next time consider buying local or handmade! You never know what difference you're making in someone's life! XOXO

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Celebrating handmade, day 2!

In case you missed yesterday's post, I'm doing 3 days of celebrating handmade and featuring some of the Etsy shops we've been buying from for our wedding! This is day 2. Make sure to check back tomorrow for the third, and final post! You won't want to miss it!

It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to give as gifts for our ring bearers. Since we have 5 (Yes, FIVE! We have a lot of little boys in my family and I didn't want to exclude anyone!) I knew I had to find something that would work for several age groups and also be budget friendly. I wanted to give them something useful too, so I started thinking about what they were going to wear on our wedding day and bowties came to mind. I couldn't get Mando to wear one, so why not my ring bearers? I thought they would be a fun and unique gift and the parents could re-use them after the wedding as well! Once I had the outfit planned out I started my search for the perfect bowties. My sister found Dana Eckert on Etsy for me and I contacted her to see if she was up for the project. Not only was she excited to work with me, but she was very knowledgeable and quick to respond (if you've ever planned a wedding, you know how important that is!).

The ages of our ring bearers will be 15 months, 22 months, 2.5 years, and two 9 year olds. Those are huge age differences so I was excited to learn that Dana's bowties range from sizes 6 months - 9 years. I sent her a photo of the color I was looking for and she found a fabric that matches perfectly and shipped out the bowties in no time! I was so excited when I got them because not only are they adorable, but super well made! I'm pretty sure they'll last a long time even with toddlers wearing them! Here's a picture of how they turned out... I'm obsessed and can't wait to see all my favorite boys rocking these on our wedding day!

Here's a little bit of background info about Dana and how she got started on Etsy:

Growing up in a family with my mother as an artist, it seemed only natural that creativity would be an essential on the daily activity list in our house! I started sewing at a super young age of 9 years old, and have always kept it up. Sewing was a way that I could create and make items that are “just me” and pattern making is a craft that I learned to do through the years. My grandmother and mother were super experienced sewers and taught me the skills needed to make anything as professional and beautiful as your imagine would let you!

How did start up my Etsy Shop? After years of making handcrafted gifts for friends and family, a woman in the grocery store suggested that I start selling my dresses….so I did! It has given me the freedom to work from home, and jump on any new inspiration that may appear!

I reside in a small little town in Ontario, and am so pleased to able to do what I honestly enjoy doing! Having so many wonder and loyal customers has enabled me to continue doing what I love- and be inspired by all requests and feedback that everyone brings to me! I am for sure a lucky girl!

Don't you just love the personal stories behind each Etsy shop? It makes me even more happy to support these small businesses! Now one of you lucky readers will have the opportunity to win one of these adorable Dana Eckert polka dot bowties! The winner can chose whichever of the colors they like below and the size they need! These would be perfect one-of-a-kind gifts or keep them and use them to dress up your little one on Valentines Day! To enter, just make sure you are a follower of my blog via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment telling me which color is your favorite!

Follow Dana Eckert Designs on Twitter @DanaEckertDesigns or on like her on Facebook here. The giveaway is open to everyone worldwide and will be open until Friday, January 13th. Good luck everyone! I know you will fall in love with these sweet handmade bowties like I did! XOXO

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wedding Planning Wednesday - Celebrating handmade, day 1!

Happy 2012 everyone! I hope you all had an amazing holiday season with your loved ones! We had a great time being home and spending time with each other... that's what it's all about, right? Now that it's a brand new year though, I'm ready to dive back into wedding planning, blogging, and making new fun items for Mama Matryoshka! This first post of 2012 is one that is super special and important to me and I hope you all enjoy what I have in store!

One of the things I've been really passionate about during the entire wedding planning process is supporting local, handmade, and small businesses. My wedding planner is just starting up her own business and same goes for the company doing my cake and dessert table. I'm more than happy to hire them and help grow their businesses and I think it's so important for others to do the same. We have also been buying items from local shops and flea markets and using antiques instead of buying brand new. Also, the majority of the decor is either handmade by me and my sister or bought handmade from Etsy. Not only are you supporting a small business, but every item is unique and one-of-a-kind! This is so important to me and I know our wedding will reflect that. To demonstrate my love for handmade, I wanted to do a fun 3-day series celebrating handmade! I'll start by featuring a beautiful Etsy shop and doing a giveaway!

I was so excited to come across the Etsy shop Krumpets Designs on my search for our bridesmaids and flower girls gifts. I really wanted to give them something beautiful that they can wear and that goes with our vintage/burlap and lace theme. After telling her a little bit about our wedding, she custom designed 3 necklaces for my bridesmaids, and 2 matching headbands for the flower girls. Her vintage inspired pieces are so gorgeous and well made. She makes amazing garter sets, bridal hair pieces, and even ring bearer pillows! I just love her aesthetic... here are a few of my favorite pieces and a little bit of background info:

1, 2, 3, 4
Krumpets is a way for me to express myself and to bring the excitement and fun to others lives. My absolute favorite thing is to see others faces light up when they open their product, or see something I have made for the first time. I started out as a young married college student into photography. From there, all the creativity and craziness started. It was amazing to see how a photo can change from adding accessories, and putting a little bit more time into it! Every time I look at a photo, it represents a moment in time that I wont forget. That is what I want to bring to others. Amazing products that make their precious moments last a life time.

I have been married for 15 years! I have 5 beautiful kids who inspire me to be creative. I spend every free moment making things for my kids and others that I love. Every day is a new day to create and experiment. I love to be able to take something "usual"...and make it extraordinary!

 Here are the beautiful necklaces she made for my bridesmaids, headbands for my flower girls, and the garter set for me! I love them so much I'm ordering a matching hair piece to wear on the big day! The quality is unbelievable and they look even better in person! I'm SO excited to give these to my bridal party!

Now for the fun part... the giveaway! The winner will receive this beautiful magenta lace garter. It would be perfect for the spring bride or anyone who wants to fancy up a little bit for their husband!

The giveaway is open to US residents only and will end next Friday, January 13th. To enter, just make sure you are a follower of my blog via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment telling me your favorite item from Krumpets Designs! And be sure to leave your email address as well so I can contact you if you win! You can find her Etsy shop here and Like her on Facebook here.

Good luck everyone! And make sure to check back in tomorrow for day 2... I have another Etsy giveaway for you coming up! XOXO