Thursday, January 28, 2010

E-Stamping Tutorial

Stamps are fun, aren't they? Whether it's your monogram, motif or just for fun, it's pretty useful to have an easy way of transferring an image over. In the same way, it can also be useful to have an "e-stamp". Instead of importing or placing your image over and over while designing, you can just turn it into a stamp instead.

Once again, I'll be using Photoshop, but you can do similar things in the free program, GIMP if you don't have PS.

First, open up the image you want to make into a stamp. It's good to have a good resolution image that's fairly large, if you intend on making stamps of various sizes.
A good stamp has high contrast between black & white, and a clear definition around the image (i.e. no backgrounds!)

Now simply go to Edit -> Define Brush Preset and click okay. You can name your brush if you want.

That's it! Now let's go get that stamp/brush! (And open up a new document to "stamp on!")

Now just stamp away, in whatever color you like!

I turned the mons I designed earlier into stamps, so they are ready for instant use!

Try it out, let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Shrink-Rayed & Petrified!

Sak popped in the movie Fanboys, and went to town with the invitation cutting. Since we only have one paper cutter, and the movie had rendered the computer unusable for the next hour or so, I brought out the little wooden cake-topper people I had bought from Michaels a while back.

I started by sketching on them with pencil.

At first they had faces that looked like this:

But Sak said it looked too lecherous and creepy, so I replaced them with their current face, which is a little more kawaii (cute).

I only had white, red and black acrylic pants on me, so I painted as much as I could. For small areas and outlines, I used a black sharpie. The other colors: green, yellow, etc., were also done with sharpies. Lastly, I hot glued a little lace skirt to wooden-Penga. I'll still need to give them a shiny clear-coating, and a way to attach to the cake, perhaps a la Miss Pretzel.

Wooden-Penga is holding a paopu fruit from the game Kingdom Hearts. According to the game, two people who share a paopu fruit will have their destinies twined together, no matter what. Sweet, no? Wooden-Sak is holding a blue feather, which is the item you use to propose with in the Harvest Moon games.

Do you think Tamama and Keroro will feel a little put out if I don't use them though?
These DIY figurines are definitely fun, but I don't know if I can commit, there are still so many other things I could use for a topper. At this rate, I'll end up like my friend L., who displayed four different toppers because she couldn't decided which she liked best. And while there's nothing wrong with that, our cake is a little small and could easily topple with too many widgets on top!

Monday, January 25, 2010

For Posterity

Cake, flowers, venues...What else am I missing?

Oh, right! A photographer!

Though Penga-Mom did an excellent job with our engagement photos, she won't debut as our main wedding-day photographer. I'd like to say this is because I don't want her to have to work while she should be relaxing and enjoying herself - but this really isn't the reason. Penga-Mom is never, ever without her cameras, and to deprive her of one would probably give her an anxiety attack. No, she'll be taking pictures. As many as she wants; I'm not going to prevent her from doing what she enjoys most joy in life.

Instead, we'll be hiring a professional simply because we need a professional. Someone who knows how weddings work, where to get the best shots, and how to work a crowd. Simple, no? With that, I started searching around, through google, review sites, craigslist - looking for a certain style to catch my eye.

I can say I want a photojournalistic style. But there's more to it than that. There's a certain type of feel that each photographer tries to create in their pictures. I noticed a lot of wedding photographers have overly romantic vibes, which are probably the most fitting for, hello - weddings. But Sak wasn't feeling the overuse of Mr. Gauss' soap-opera blur, or the idea of draping ourselves all over each other like the cover of a romance novel. He thought a lot of it was rather corny, actually. And even though I love the blur, I don't think I could handle all our pictures being overly lovey-dovey. That's just not us.

But then I found Terra Photography, and a light turned on. An artistic, photojournalistic vibe. I could do that. As I read through the photographer's blog, I fell more and more in love with her style. (All photos are from Terra Photography's blog)
Okay, So I could never do this, but I think it's one of the most amazing engagement shots EVER.

Fisheye! *swoon* (I also love how this one reminds me of Katamari.)

Beautiful, romantic, even without Gauss!

I just had to add this one because it looks delicious! Taking pictures of the food is very important, I'm not even kidding! Especially if it's beautiful like this!

Walking through paradise into the light, such a dream-like shot!

Bold, vibrant colors. A copious use of perspective and creative angles. This was exciting stuff. I called Sak over to see if it passed his test. He decided that this was much better than the other "vibes" I had shown him, so I booked an appointment for our scouting trip.

We met with the photographer, Barbara Gibson, who kindly noted my strange need for the fish eye shots, and filled out our contract. The plan? We'll get ready in the early afternoon, run to a nearby beach for some quick first-look shots, and then run back to get the ceremony started! I'm extremely excited about the prospect of having some photo art to hang on our walls!

What kind of style does your photographer have? What kind of vibe do they capture in the lens?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

DIY Hair Flower

Well friends, throw me on the DIY hair flower bus, because I couldn't resist!

I loved the expensive hair flower I tried on at my hair trial, could I make something similar?

The pro-flower I tried on!

I searched around, and decided to use this tutorial by Mrs. Pineapple.

First, I gathered some supplies: a hot glue gun, a fake $1 rose from Michaels, a hair clip and an assortment of beads.
Next, I took the rose apart.

The reason I wanted to pull it to pieces was to get these plastic "structures" out. After I removed these, the flower "flopped" into place much more softly.

I glued the pieces back together, and finished by adhering some little beads to the middle.

Lastly, I added a clip to the back, again with hot glue. I initially tried with my favorite, 3 inch long clip.

However, the flower didn't lay quite right. I peeled it off and tried a smaller clip.

How's it look?

I think it came out alright, but it doesn't really look like the gardenia I tried on. It's slightly bigger, and not nearly as ruffly. Maybe next time I should buy a gardenia silk flower, and not a rose (good job, Penga). Or maybe I should just make another fabric flower like the kind I plan on putting on my dress. But at least I know that the method is sound, and it really didn't take very long - only a few minutes once the glue gun had warmed up!

Are you using a hair flower? Will you make your own, or skip the hassle?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cakie! - The Deal

Sak and I met with a couple of bakeries before deciding on who would create our cake. But when we walked into Satura Cakes, I knew right away it was the one.

Why? They use sponge cake. SPONGE CAKE.
(source) Your average sponge cake.

Sponge cake is amazing. Light, fluffy, and not too sweet - you can literally eat the whole cake without "feeling it". Suffice to say, if you want a cake with a guarantee that people will like - sponge is your man.

And although the sponginess alone was enough to seal the deal with me, there were several other factors that certainly sweetened the proposal.

First - our consultant, Kristy, was amazingly organized. She gave me a folder with all the details, and even a guide on how to properly cut the wedding cake.

Me: "Really? You really need a tutorial on how to cut a cake?!"

She told me it was mostly for the groom, since in her experience she's seen some mishaps - like the groom cutting the cake and feeding himself - or the couple cutting the Styrofoam dummy tier. Now I'd like to think that Sak is above all that, but I appreciated her sage advice.

Secondly, remember how I talked about all the different kinds of frosting you could have on cakes these days? Well, Satura Cakes one-upped me, and offered something I didn't even research. Fresh cream. Cool whip on my cake?! SOLD.
(source) Pronounced "HWIP".

Now what did we get, exactly?

A four tier, square cakie - approximately 4" high and 10" wide at the base. It's on the smaller side, since light and fluffy sponge cake can only take so much weight. The pyramid will serve about 67 people. In addition to the main cake, we'll be supplementing with sheet cakes in various flavors.

Flavors, you ask?

I liked ALL of them. ALL OF THEM. So we'll be getting one of each flavor. No joke. Four different flavored tiers, and different flavored sheet cakes as well! For "our tier" though, Sak decided he wanted the strawberry shortcake. He'll have to fight me for it, since I'm pretty sure I could down a 4 x 4" cube of fluffy whip cream strawberry goodness in a matter of seconds.
And finally, the design. Since this is a fresh cream cake, we could not go crazy with the design. Simple it is.

The red ribbon around the base will be an edible candy ribbon, since fabric and whip cream don't mix too well. As for the piping design? Well, you can call it cake envy, folks. Sak decided that if we were putting power poles on the cake, then we should also put some low voltage stuff for him. Thus his "design", an op-amp and a mosfet, was born. It'll be drawn around the corners with white piping.

And that, in a nutshell, is our cake. We'll be responsible for bringing the topper and power poles, which the bakers will add on last minute. Now that I have the dimensions, hopefully it'll be easier to settle on an appropriate topper!

How did you know your baker was "the one"? Did you incorporate everything you wanted?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy 100!

Hey there, Wedcon buddies!

Some of you may have noticed that Weddingbee is having a Valentine's Day card swap. I'll be participating, but in case I don't get any of you wonderful ladies in the random sample, would anyone like a card?

Your support, comments and blogs mean so much to me. It's so comforting to know we are all going through the same planning ups and downs, and reading about how everyone tackles the issues - both big and small - is incredibly insightful. I just can't express how much I love this little bride-blog community. So please let me send you a token of my gratitude? I'll try and make them as non-crappy-looking as possible!

You can send your mailing info to ...I promise I won't stalk you! ^_^"

(P.S. Can't believe I've made it to 100 posts!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Seeing is Believing

In the footsteps of many a destination wedding, I had no choice but to book our venues before seeing them in person. Luckily, however, we did get the chance to see them before the actual wedding day. And I'm happy to report, that in this case, real-life was better than the pictures online.

Follow me into our little secret Anela Garden, won't you?

We'll head over to the main house for some last minute prep (equipped even with emergency steamer).

Then we'll waltz over to the chapel..

...walk down the pre-decorated (yay!) aisle...

...and figure out how to position the shorts and talls (doesn't Penga-Sis look thrilled?).

After we say "I do", we'll come out for pictures in front of the fountain...

And beneath the wrought-iron gazebo...

And amongst the surrounding flora, of course!

Once pictures are done, we'll head over to the Manoa Grand Ballroom.

Up on the fifth floor, we'll enter the ballroom in style.

And naturally, we'll pay special tribute to our well-fitted chair covers!

I don't think I could have asked for anything more from our venue visits. The staff were friendly and helpful, and the views much better than any pixel version I've seen. Not to mention, those chair covers fit like a glove. If I hadn't come in person, I might not have known that the aisles were pre-decorated, or that there is a personal changing room at the ballroom. It was definitely worth the visit, and I look forward to coming back in July!

When you visited your venue, did it meet your expectations? Any surprises?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Floral Forum III

Me: "Dude, wait. Why are the the calla lilies so expensive? Can't we just go with anthuriums?"
Penga-Mom: "I don't really like anthuriums. "
Sak-Aunt: "Me either"
Me: "But we can get them in white. How much different can the be from a calla lily?!"
*Consultant lays some out on the table*

Me: "Oh. I guess they are different. But I still want the anthuriums."
*Collective sigh*

Well, we met with our florist. Between Sak, his aunt, and my mom, there were quite a few opinions to be had by all.

First, the bouquet -

Consultant: "What did you have in mind?"
Me: "I don't know. Tropical. Nothing that looks too much like a ball. Nothing round."
*Blank stares*

Wisely, she had me go through a ton of idea books until we settled on something I liked.


The answer?
White roses

Cymbidium orchids

White Anthuriums



One Penga-bouquet. For Penga-Sis, we'll take out the expensive orchids and replace the white roses with red ones.

Then Sak decided to throw me off my planning-ball.

Sak: "We'll need some boutonnieres too."

Say what?!

Me: "I thought you wanted a pocket square instead. You said flowers were girly."
Sak: "I changed my mind."

I think maybe someone was having flower envy, after seeing us put together my expensive bouquet? Whatever. His aunt decided to appease the future groom by ordering some white roses and babies breath to make him his own little flower arrangement. He's happy now, don't worry.

Finally, we got around to centerpieces. Remember how much I wanted ferns?. Well, I didn't let up, even through the rolling eyes. Here's a prototype:

I'm naming it my "tropics-in-a-box".
I don't remember everything that's in it, but it involved lots of small orchids and a ton of tropical leaves like Ti and Monstera.

An assortment of these, please!

Very rain-foresty. Almost prehistoric (just missing some tree-stars). And of course I persuaded our little party to replace some of the Ti leaves with ferns. Score!

Once that was all settled, and we had all balked at the estimate for a while, Sak handed over the deposit.

Flowers? CHECK!

What's in your bouquet? And how does your FI feel about boutonnieres?