Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I Saw the Sign, Part 2

I made some more signs for the reception with stamped letters on vintage maps!

{personal photo}
I went ahead and decided to not paint the frames for these signs, a decision largely driven by the ever-ticking clock, but also influenced by your suggestions :)

I found this 2-sided frame at Goodwill that I plan to place at the bar; on one side, it will say "eat, drink, and be married!" and on the other will be a list of alcoholic beverages available to encourage dancing.  Observe:

{personal photo}

{personal photo}
Did you make menu signs for your bar?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, October 29, 2012

Something Something Corsages, Part 2

The last time you saw the corsages, they looked like this:

I finally got around to finishing them!

Originally, I wanted to find stretchy beaded bracelets, have each woman wear 3 or 4 of them, and attach the flowers to the stacks to create the illusion of single bracelets with multiple loops.

Only I couldn't find stretchy beaded bracelets ANYWHERE.  Maybe I didn't look too hard, or maybe I didn't look long enough, but I couldn't find them!  No matter- I decided to make them myself :)

I have a ton of floral wire for a project you haven't seen yet, so I set off to my good friend Michaels and snagged some jewelry making supplies.

This is a big ol' container of pearl-like beads in various sizes.  I bought 2 of them.  Turns out, I didn't need that matter, it's better to have too much than not enough!

I finished each bracelet with a clasp, a jump ring, and a length of chain, to make it adjustable.

Well, okay, so maybe 'bracelet' isn't an entirely accurate word.  See, the process of attaching the aforementioned closures was, well, tedious, so I didn't want to have to do it 20 times.  Instead, I created essentially necklaces that can be worn as such or wrapped several times around the wrist to create that layered look I'm going for.

I was really going for random with these- I didn't want there to be any discernible pattern in the way I strung on the various sized beads, I wanted to literally just grab beads out of the container without really looking and put them on in whatever order I grabbed them in, so that each piece of jewelry was completely unique.  Turns out, I really am slightly OCD and my brain has a really difficult time with the concept of random.  I was singing along to Adele while I worked to make the whole process slightly less tedious, and I would look down at the end of a song and notice that I had, indeed, been stringing beads in a pattern- 3 little, 3 big, 3 little, 3 big, or something like that- without even noticing!  I didn't undo anything, but at such a point I would purposefully choose a bead to screw up the pattern and try to force myself to un-pattern the rest of the design.  Apparently being random is a lot harder than it sounds.

On one of my pretty much weekly trips to Michaels, I stumbled upon this spool of amazing ribbon.  It has maps on it- just like our cardbox and ring bearer book!- meaning it fits perfectly with the "adventure" part of A Geeky Adventure.  Clearly, I needed this ribbon.  I didn't have an exact plan for this ribbon quite yet...but I needed it.  No worries- I've found a use for it!  After all, I need a way to connect the flowers to the bracelets...

Raise your hand if you watch Project Runway.  C'mon, admit it, you totally do- even Mr. Geek watches it with me, though he calls it Project Runaway in an effort to retain his Man Card.

You know how there's always that contestant that has ridiculously complicated designs, and when Tim comes around just before the end of the day, she's got gorgeous drawings and a bunch of fabric pinned together on the form?  And Tim lauds her for where it's going but points out that something's missing, and she says, "Oh, well I'm also doing a blazer, I just haven't started it yet."  And all Tim can say is

{image from Lifetime}
Inevitably, the next morning, our hapless designer does not have time to sew together her gorgeous blazer, and she has to result to the dreaded hot glue gun in lieu of a sewing machine.  A snooty competitor will scoff that "this isn't a craft project" and be shocked when she isn't sent home, but, in the end, the judges will admit that this is a design competition, not a sewing competition, and said snooty competitor will find himself resulting to the glue gun before the season is over when he, too, is down to the wire.

Why am I recounting this scene we see time and time again on one of my favorite competition shows?

Because I, too, am resulting to the dreaded glue gun instead of putting on my big-girl pants and dragging out the sewing machine once more.

the offending tool
Screw it.  Nobody will know the difference.

I cut a length of this awesome ribbon, and where I should have run a line of stitches, I used hot glue, instead- this way there's no scraggly ends.

To attach the ribbon to the flower, I once again relied on the dreaded hot glue.  WHATEVER, Y'ALL.

And here's ANOTHER cheat- these amazing little velcro dots.  They're technically not recommended for use on fabric, but again- WHATEVER, Y'ALL.

To assemble the corsages, I simply wound the bracelets into three loops, then slipped the ribbon in and closed the velcro.

Here's how the finished product looks.  I love that these are completely adjustable- there's a length of chain for the clasp in case it needs to be tighter, or it can be wound a fourth time for particularly skinny wrists (like mine!).

What do you think?  Did you have corsages for the special women in your life on The Big Day?

Much love,
The Geeks

*all photos personal unless otherwise specified*

Monday, October 22, 2012

Geeky Bout-torial Part 2

The last time you saw our boutonnieres, they looked like this:

{personal photo}
I know you've been DYING to see these things finished, so I'm finally happy to be able to oblige :)

I wanted to attach the LEGO minifigs to the center of these flowers, but I didn't want it to be permanent- once The Big Day is over, you should be able to take the little dudes off and play with them!  So rather than reaching for the hot glue gun, I decided to use something I have spools and spools of around here, leftover from another project: floral wire!  It's thin, light, and malleable, so it'll do a good job holding these guys in place without looking bulky, and when everybody goes home they can simply snip the wire and remove their LEGO.

{personal photo}
First, I poked a hole in the center of the flower with an awl (a pointy thing you use a lot in leather working).  If you don't have a pointy thing, you could always use sharp scissors.

{personal photo}
I cut a length of floral wire and wrapped it around the minifig until I was satisfied that it would be secure.

{personal photo}
I passed both ends of that wire through the hole in the center of the flower.  To turn these flowers into boutonnieres, I purchased some of these pin backs on a craft supply shop on Etsy because I could not find them ANYWHERE in craft stores.  (This is the first time my dear friend Michaels has ever let me down!)  Those holes are a convenient place to pass the ends of that wire.

{personal photo}
Those holes are also great for hot glue.  Once everything was lined up, I lifted the center of the pin up a little and shot in a bead of hot glue, then pressed the pin firmly against the fabric.  The hot glue smooshes between the pin and the fabric, creating a connection, but it also seeps through that hole and eeks onto the outside of the pin back.  Once the glue hardens, you've got not only the sticky bond of the glue, but also a mechanical link created by the solid piece of glue.  Observe this cross-section:

engineering + Paint = knowledge
So this is hardly an unbreakable bond, but it is pretty darn sturdy.

All that's left to do is twist the ends of the wire together tightly, snip them short, and bend them flat against the pin.

{personal photo}
Want to see them all together?

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Before I started this project, I asked Mr. Geek to pick out a LEGO character that represents the personality of each of his attendants.  Instead, he sent a Facebook message to everyone and asked them to choose a character.  *facepalm*  Just a heads up to anyone who wants to reproduce these- you canNOT buy individual characters at LEGO stores, though they do have little bins where you can assemble your own minifig with a limited selection of bodies, heads, hair, and accessories.  We scoured Amazon and E-bay for these guys, most of which were $5 or less- but a couple were upwards of $15, depending on how "rare" they are.

So we have, starting from the top of the pyramid:

Han Solo is the groom, because Mr. Geek is just so effortlessly cool :-P Mainly it's because he has a tendency to respond to "I love you" with "I know," because Star Wars is awesome, and because if I'm a headstrong princess, he's the only person that will tell me when I'm being a pain in the ass.

"Lizard Man" is GM L, because...he has a pet lizard.  This is literally a little man in a lizard suit- there's a cut-out in the jaws of the lizard for the dude's eyes.

Indiana Jones is GM E, because he, too, is a pretty awesome teacher- only he teaches science classes at a magnet high school in Louisiana, and as far as we know he's never done any treasure hunting.  (He does take some pretty awesome pictures, though.)  It's appropriate that he and Mr. Geek would both be Harrison Ford characters, as they look alike and could be mistaken for brothers.

Next we have "Jungle Boy" for GM J because...I honestly have no idea.  This is what you get when you have goofballs making decisions.  I guess that's why he went with this one, though- because he's a goofball.  If you can't tell, Jungle Boy is wearing a loincloth and holding a monkey.  Yeah.  (J is a super fun guy ^_^ I'm hoping he leaves the loincloth at home for The Big Day, though...)

Hermione is Mr. Geek's honor attendant, which is definitely fitting, as she'll have to wrangle these boys for me and keep them in line all day.

Iron Man is GM C, because he's a pilot, and who wouldn't want to be Iron Man?  The moment Mr. Geek asked people to pick their characters, C claimed Tony Stark- the guy takes his super heroes very seriously :)

The last row starts with Luke Skywalker as my dad because he, too, is a pilot in his spare time, and he's been known to save the universe when necessary.

The nurse (well, technically the character was labeled a surgeon, but don't tell anybody) is Mr. Geek's dad, because...he's a nurse.  Boom.  Done.  I love that he's holding a little syringe and x-ray!

The baseball player is for one of the tiny attendants, my baby cousin A.  His dad, my uncle, played baseball in college, and A has a good arm on him, too :)

Finally the race car driver is for Mr. Geek's other tiny attendant, his nephew J.  Little J loves the movie Cars- at least, he did when we bought these.  Kids' favorite things change on almost a daily basis, but I'm hoping race cars are still cool in his eyes on The Big Day.

So...what do you think?  If you had to pick a LEGO character to represent you, what would you pick?  (Check out the characters on the official site!)  What are your groom and his attendants wearing on their lapels on your wedding day?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

War Paint

So, this happened this weekend:

{personal photo}
That's right- I splurged.  Oh boy did I splurge.  There's always one item you go a little overboard with when wedding planning, and I decided make-up was an acceptable item for a bit of ridiculousness, for several reasons- I'm doing my own make-up on The Big Day, meaning I need the best quality equipment to ensure a good job; I've never owned real make-up brushes before, so I might as well grab some of the best; and make-up is something that I can actually use after the wedding day is over, so I'm looking at it as more of an investment, not just a splurge.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

{personal photo}
So here's my fresh face.  Well, sorta.  My fresh face with some awesome airbrush face paint at Busch Gardens!  I have mild-ish acne which really only flares up around that time of the month, but otherwise I have your typical combination skin- oily T-zone, dry cheeks.  Make-up tends to look shiny on me by the end of the day, and eye make-up typically gets all creased and nasty.

Lately I've been using Maybelline Fit Me! concealer, blush, and powder (I don't use foundation typically).

Maybelline products // image via Miss Makeup Lover
To solve the creased eyeshadow problem, I've been using Revlon Colorstay shadow and IT REALLY WORKS, Y'ALL.

Revlon products // image via Vampy Varnish
My everyday look is a bit of concealer (mainly on my crazy eye-bags), all-over powder, and enough blush to give some color to my vampirish pale skin.  Most of the time, the only color that goes on my lips is a Chapstik with a subtle sparkle to it- but sometimes I go with a nude or pink lipstick.

{personal photo}
For fancy-times, I add the eyeshadow- I use the pink and black palette and apply it exactly like the directions say on the back.  (I'm no artist, but I can follow directions!)  I really dig the retro look, so I only line my top lid, and I go for volume as opposed to length with mascara.

{personal photo}
So, Sunday afternoon, I had an appointment at Sephora for a complete consultation which lasted a good hour.  The consultation was free, but I had to purchase at least $50 in products or gift cards- which was obviously not difficult to hit.  I described what I was looking for in the make-up itself- something that wouldn't make my oily skin too shiny, something that would last a good 8 hours, mascara that gives volume (as I'm not confident in my ability to apply false lashes myself)- and what look I was going for- something that channels the '40s with a cat eye and a bold, red lip, but otherwise a subtle color palette because it's a daytime event.

Here's what I got:

{personal photo} // outside, in the shade, with flash

That is a RED lip if I ever did see one.  AND I LOVE IT.  I also love what the foundation does to my skin tone- it's beautifully even, no pores, no shine.

{personal photo} // outside, in the shade, with flash
Here you can see how very painted on that lip is.  I do like the definition that the lip liner gives, and I like how big and pouty it makes my lips, but I think on the big day I'm going to stick to the natural shape of my lips instead of exaggerating them quite so much.  My top lip does tend to disappear when I smile, so I'll probably define the bow like it is here, but I won't make the bottom lip this full.  This is a beautiful stain that all the sales ladies were crazy about- I believe the brand is called Hourglass, and the liner is Urban Decay- with no gloss.  Should I add a gloss, do you think?  I kind of like the matte color.  I really like how this picture shows the way the blush makes my cheeks look like they're glowing, and not like I'm wearing blush.

{personal photo} // outside, in the shade, with flash
Although the concealer and highlighter make my skin tone beautifully even, it was applied a little heavy-handed.  She told me I don't need to use quite this much for everyday wear, but that a crazy amount is necessary to look good in pictures.  It certainly didn't feel like a lot of make-up- this stuff is light as a feather- but in the mirror I thought it looked like an awful lot.  I can't decide now, looking at the pictures.  My gut reaction was to go lighter for the big day, but now I'm thinking it doesn't look quite so thick on camera.  What do you think?

{personal photo} // inside, with flash
(We went back to my place after the appointment, I changed, and we went to dinner and a movie.  I figured I should use this face for a proper date night!)

The eye make-up though...

I like the subtlety of the shadow- it's all browns and creams, and I only ever use greys and whites, so that's a nice difference- but the liner is a little intense.  I'll probably skip the bottom line- or at least go not-so-dark- and while I absolutely adore the cat eye, I think I'll make it thinner.  Mind you, my attempt at a cat eye with a pencil liner looked like crap in our e-photos:

{photo courtesy Emile Frey Photography}
so it's going to take some practice to get to something this professional looking, but I still think I'm going to go for a thinner stroke to lighten things up a bit.

Finally, here's the end-of-the-night shot, after a good 8 hours or so (and a delicious turkey burger at The Counter and Argo which was a FANTASTIC movie, you should all go see it!)

{personal photo} // inside with flash
So, I got a little shiny.  The eyeshadow stayed put and didn't run at all, though.  The biggest disappointment was the lip stain- it started wiping off the moment I took a bite of my burger.  That will definitely need to be re-applied throughout the festivities!  It didn't get all dry and cracked like other stains do, so I appreciate that.

All in all I'd say this make-up trial was a success!  Now I'm just going to need to practice a few things before The Big Day...

Did you do your own wedding make-up?  Did you let a professional teach you how?  Are you more of a bronzer or blush kind of gal?  How do you feel about bold red lips?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gifts for My Girls

Yay for three-day weekends- they were made for wedding planning.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a whole lot of crafting done this time around- but I did tackle one project.

But first- Geeky Gals, don't read this post!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The OTHER Other White Dress

Previously, on Our Geeky Adventure:

-I found my wedding dress in one trip (Mr. Geek best keep away from that link if he knows what's best for him)
-I found a getaway dress, but it took a little longer
-I'm a little obsessed with ModCloth

There's one more white dress I need for The Big Day.

Well, technically it's for the night before.

Our rehearsal dinner is going to be in the parish social hall so we can get to the eating pretty much immediately after the rehearsal.  It's going to be very laid-back- Mr. Geek will be in jeans- but I just can't pass up another chance to wear a cute dress.  Enter: ModCloth.

Ice Cream Anytime Dress via ModCloth
That's definitely a good name for this dress- the fabric reminds me of vanilla ice cream!  I tried it on as soon as it arrived the other day, and I was a little worried it would make me look a bit...frumpy.  I added a skinny black belt over the elastic waistband and that worked- gives it more shape.  I'm thinking of wearing it with black tights and tennis shoes, maybe a sweater if it's really chilly.

So what do you think?

Did you wear a white (well, close enough) dress to the rehearsal?  Is your rehearsal dinner going to be more cocktail party or pizza party?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Something Something Corsages

(Not gonna lie, y'all, this close to The Big Day I kind of don't have time to come up with clever titles for posts.  My apologies.)

Remember those boutonnieres I sewed for Mr Geek, his attendants, and our dads?

{personal photo}
I also want to recognize our mothers and grandmothers with corsages- but not almost-wilted flowers, shiny ribbon, and itchy elastic corsages.  Much like the fabric boutonnieres, I've put together fabric corsages, and I'll be attaching them to bracelets for the ladies to wear (and keep forever!) but these won't have LEGO minifigs in the center.  Instead, I added extra "petals" to make them floofier (as that's the technical term for it).  Wanna see?

{personal photo}
I used the same tutorial from Make It and Love It (one of my all-time-favorite blogs!) with a few alterations.  For the bouts, I added "leaves" underneath as a base to attach the petals to.  For the corsages, I wanted the focus to be on the floofiness (there it is again) of the petals, so the base is a single circle of green fabric.  To achieve the floof, I sewed three layers of petals of varying sizes, one layer at a time.  The first layer was the same as the bouts, and the extra layers were slightly smaller.  For those of you wanting to reproduce this look, be warned- you end up with A LOT of fabric with all of these layers, especially as each layer is comprised of folded pieces.  Take your time sewing the circles, or you might break your needle (I avoided this, thankfully!) and to achieve maximum floof, keep your stitches as close to the center as possible.

{personal photo}
The purple flower is for my mom and the reds are for Mr. Geek's mom and the grandmas.  You can still see some green peeking through the center in some places because it's kind of difficult keeping the petals pinned in place as you sew- especially the smallest ones on top that don't want to cooperate and stay folded...I'm considering finishing these off with bling-y buttons in the center to cover the mistakes, but I really like the way they look right now.  Once I have the bracelets done, we'll see if there's enough time to add bling :)

Did you have corsages for the important women in your life?  Have you ever made fabric flowers?  What's your favorite pattern to use- or did you invent your own?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, October 1, 2012

Citizen Bride

Our wedding is the first weekend in November for various reasons, including the fact that it's a holiday weekend (Veteran's Day).  We plan to make the drive down to Alabama the Monday before with all the Wedding Crap, as I've named it, so there's plenty of time for last-minute preparation and (hopefully) some relaxing.

Those of you playing along at home will probably notice that the Monday before our wedding is the day before Election Day here in the good ol' U S of A.  As in, we'll be out of town on Election Day.  Absent, if you will.

As much as I would like to be truly apathetic about the state of partisan politics in this country, this truly is an important election, and I firmly believe that everyone should educate themselves and then VOTE not because we have the right but because we have the responsibility.

So Friday I mailed off my application for an absentee ballot, which will hopefully arrive soon, so I can fill it out and mail it back in before we leave for the wedding!

Fall brides- did you have to make arrangements to do your civic duty because of your wedding date?

**please note: this post is NOT intended to spark a political debate, it's merely a "Hey, this whole wedding thing is really affecting EVERYTHING, isn't it?" remark and, as I know other people get married in October/November, I'm wondering if anyone else experienced something similar.  So please, DON'T say anything about your preferred presidential candidate in the comments- I'd like this blog, of all places, to be free of political ads.  Also, major apologies if the above YouTube video is preceded by a political ad- they're like nasty, deadly viruses, infecting everything with a screen...