Robots Going Rogue on Your Wedding Day

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If you’re an out-of-towner visiting me while the sun is shining, chances are I’m going to cart you off to Sefton Park in Liverpool for a picnic – whether you like it or not. I’ve been living here for 4 years and can’t believe I have only just discovered this beautiful piece of parkland around a stunning (and rather humongous) lake. The weekend just gone by was spent with the family watching tiny ducklings hilariously racing each other along the footpaths, some very proud mummy and daddy swans – to a group of grey fluffballs, and a very efficient grebe couple building a floating nest. I find this the perfect place to chill out on a hot summers day. Here are a few snaps to show just how lovely it is.
Sefton Park, Liverpool

There are always events taking place at Sefton Park, a couple of months ago we had the circus in town, and there was a big funfair recently over the school holidays. What I like best are the gorgeous craft fairs with interesting and unusual finds. Having a little jolly around the park a couple of weeks ago I came across some very original and quirky characters that I have been meaning to share with you – the incredible Gizmobots!

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First of all I met Bang Tidy, who I learnt had been a barmaid since her creation in 1957 at a pub called the Frog and Underpants. She informed me that she enjoys wearing a splash of WD40 and entertaining her other half Bernard on their sheepskin rug while wearing leopard skin underwear. Following this slight overshare I felt it best to move on and mingle with the rest of the gang. I came across Budgie Boxer who likes to box budgies in Bermondsey, Brighton and Bickleswade. He told me that he loves a good disco, where he shows off his flashing lights to girly ‘bots. He went on to divulge a little too much information about his shady past stealing the chocolate bits out of hobnobs. Blimey! Being overwhelmed with all this colourful information (and giggling my head off) I decided to have a chat with Mark to find out where the idea for these little ‘bot creatures came from.

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As a child Mark enjoyed making robots and spaceships out of cogs and other materials that his Dad had lying around from his job as a clock repairer. Taking this hobby into adulthood Mark has created a whole range of Gizmobots – robots made from charity shop finds, car boot sales and scrap yards. Besides their quirky little personalities and looks, I was blown away to learn that some of the Gizmobots are actually functional and work as iPod docks, desk lights and even radios!

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As you can probably tell from the Gizmobot’s personal stories Mark has a wicked sense of humour. He told me that he uses an app’ on his phone to make house guests think the robots are talking or having flatulence problems! Watch out for the robots with a dodgy past if he ever invites your round for tea!

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I was thrilled to learn that Mark has been working on some Gizmobots for a wedding in a couple of months time. Once the wedding has taken place I can show you some pictures of this couple in action. Here’s a sneak preview for now (before and after a boob job! Ouch)…

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If you want to find out more about Gizmobots and maybe have a couple of them cause havoc at your wedding day then hop over to www.gizmobots.co.

Lots of handmade robotic love

Michelle xxx

Oh. My. Gosh!

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When you’re having problems moving house.

Oh my gosh, I’m back online! Please bear with me while my t’internet is incredibly slooow! I had the line fitted on Monday and apparently it can take up to 10 days for everything to be as it should. I’ve had an unwanted break from blogging due to moving (again… I’m a serial house mover), and it’s fair to say that this move has had it’s complications; gas leaks, bug infestations (I don’t even want to talk about it), the works. Topped off with the inability to blog, lets just say I’ve not been a happy camper recently (although my living standards have been comparable!). So having not been blown up in a gas explosion and surviving the bugs and beasts, here I am. Man, I’m soooo happy to be writing this!

I have several posts about creative and quirky little businesses coming your way and some real life ‘handmade’ weddings, so stay tuned.

(a very relieved, and pleased to be back in the blogosphere) Michelle xxx

Book Review: Handmade Wedding Crafts by Betty Bee

Being totally obsessed by crafts and all things wedding I have managed to acquire a fair few creative texts over the years. The most recent addition to my collection is Handmade Wedding Crafts by Betty Bee. Bursting with beautiful images, this book features 35 amazing DIY projects, including wedding decorations, accessories, favours, and more. The book is split into four chapters, each with a different theme. Choose from ‘Shabby Chic’, ‘Quirky Glamour’ and ‘Fabulous Vintage’ style ideas, or dive into the ‘Crafting over Cocktails’ section – full of quick and easy projects perfect for completing with friends.

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This book is packed full of original ideas from fabric and button bouquets through to china teacup centre pieces and confetti crackers. I LOVE the decorated guest flip flops, displayed in a vintage lampshade as shown in the image above. Another one of my favourite projects is the ‘Birdcage Veil’, super chic and very quirky. All projects have been created with busy lives in mind and are simple to follow even for the novice crafter.

There are helpful hints and tips about how and where to acquire the materials needed, such as asking family and friends to donate old items, scouring thrift stores and car boot sales. Betty also explores alternative ways in which your creations could be used. For example, in the ‘Bow-tie Corsage’ project she points out that you could also use the bow ties as hair fascinators or make them for all of your ushers to wear instead of the usual tie.

I often find that wedding DIY books are great for providing inspiration but don’t always give you all the nitty-gritty details necessary for making your own pieces. That’s where the book really stands out from the crowd. Not only is it packed with beautiful images and ideas, but it’s highly practical too, with easy to follow step by step instructions for each project.

I would highly recommend Handmade Wedding Crafts as a good starting point for couples looking for some inspiration and easy to follow projects for their wedding. If you’re looking to personalise your day then this book will help you to create beautiful items, make huge savings, and produce something unique.

As Betty says “Remember, it’s your wedding – you are unique so why shouldn’t your wedding be unique too?”

Have you read any DIY wedding books that you think other couples would find useful? If so, leave a comment below and share the handmade love. 

Michelle xxx

How to Use Etsy Treasuries to Style Your Wedding

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Image Credits: Cufflinks from Block Party Press, Firefly Lantern Wand by Bragging Bags, both on Etsy

There are tons of ways to create beautiful style boards to inspire your wedding day. Right now i’m working on a post to give you some ideas about the variety of tools available. You’d be surprised how many you haven’t even heard of! Pinterest seems to be one of the most popular ways for couples to bring their wedding vision to life, but it isn’t the only tool available, and might not be suitable for all of your needs.

If you’re big on ‘handmade’ shopping (you know I am!) and you have an Etsy account, you can create your own lists and style boards as you shop. How amazing – shopping and designing all in one place! Etsy allows you to create what are called ‘treasuries’ containing any 16 items that you love from their website. You can choose a theme to follow making your Etsy treasury very similar to a style board. Images are also clickable taking you directly to the shop. This is a great way of keeping your ideas together, and a reference to go back to once your wedding is styled and you’re ready to make that all important purchase.

Playing around on Etsy last night, I put together this woodland themed wedding treasury. Here’s a screenshot to show what it looks like on the site…

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You can see if the items work together to tie in with your colours and theme, and how much everything is going to cost at just a glance. Brilliant work! It’s just a shame that you’re limited to 16 items, but to be honest most style boards may start to feel messy and overcrowded if you add much more than this.

If you want to explore my woodland themed wedding board on the Etsy website then click here. For more information about creating your own Etsy treasury follow this helpful link – How to Create a Treasury. You will need to sign up to the site before you can get started, but it’s very quick and easy. Etsy also select some of the most beautiful treasuries to display on their front page. You never know, you might even end up being the star of the show!

Here are some of those stunning woodland trinkets close up. I created this collage with Google’s Picasa and will be showing you how simple it is to create your own collages in a future post. All the links to the products are displayed below, so if you see something you like click on the image credits to be taken through to the store.  There’s some pretty fabulous finds here…

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Image Credits: Ring pillow by Which Goose, Rustic Bride and Groom cake topper by Which Goose, Buttonholes by Lie to Fiore, Forest Fern Necklace by Ruby Robin Boutique, ‘We do’ Cake Topper by Melys Weddings, Gold Leaf Hair Combs (image of bride and groom) by Red Truck Designs, Burlap Birds wedding Cake Topper by Cotton Bird Designs, Spring Leaf Crown by Curtain Road, Burlap Table Numbers by Montana Snow, Gold Feather Hair Clip by Dreams by the Sea, Wedding Invitation by Ever After Papery, Clutch Bag by Red Ruby Rose, Burlap Hair Bow by Twinkle Mingle, all via Etsy

Lots of handmade love

Michelle xxx

Make-up DIY: Professional Tips for a Woodland Themed Wedding

Another wedding theme set to be popular for this year is the woodland themed wedding. In this stunning post, Frances Moore, sensational makeup artist answers a question sent in from a lovely bride-to-be and shows you how to achieve the perfect natural and dewy forest look for your special day.

Over to Frances…

Question: I’m going for a ‘woodland’ wedding theme look for my big day and want my make-up to be as natural as possible yet still create a wow-factor version of me. Is this possible?

Yes! The most important part before attempting to apply makeup is to make sure that your base is as perfect as possible.

Starting approximately 6 months before the big day you need to be putting in the groundwork and have a good solid skin routine.  If this is something alien to you, or if you have not changed your products for some time, then I highly recommend a skin consultation. I personally find Clinique to be the best.

Once your base is lovely and flawless you can start to apply a primer all over your face, this will ensure that your makeup stays put. Go for a clear, light primer like Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation. Start covering up any dark circles with corrector and then concealer. The concealer can later be used to disguise any naughty spots after you have applied foundation.

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For the Foundation you want to have a good colour match. Buy a good quality brand a week before your wedding to account for any change in pigmentation.  For example, if you’ve been on holiday and caught a light tan I would use Smashbox Studio Skin 15hr Wear Hydrating Foundation. This doesn’t contain SPF so it will help with avoiding flashback* on your all important photographs.

To hold the makeup in place use a clear translucent powder.  Use a bronzer to highlight around the face, down the neck and sweep across the cheekbones.  Add a little blush across the apples of the cheeks to create that outdoorsy look.

To keep a natural, fresh look for the brows simply groom them through and if needed, lightly pencil in any gaps using an eyebrow pencil or similar toned eyeshadow to your brows.

Next move onto the eyes. Keep it simple by first applying a primer all over the eyelid and up to the brow bone (Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original is great for this). Then sweep a natural tone matt shadow all over the lid (BB eyeshadow in Bone or MAC shadow in vanilla works well), then add a hint of colour on the crease of the lid and blend it across.  Here you can really go for the ‘woodland’ theme by going for browns, greens, ombre or even gold tones! Next use the coloured shadow to line your lash line, or for a deeper effect line with black or brown eyeliner. Curl the lashes and sweep through waterproof mascara.

If you want to go one step further & really create the WOW factor, then apply PAPERSELF false eyelashes in Deer & Butterfly.

Lastly, add colour to the lips using a natural toned lipstick, or just go for good old lip salve that has a hint of a rose or peachy colour.

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Images by White Cat Studio

Wow!! Thank you so much Frances! What fantastic tips! If you’re a bride or groom to be with a burning question then please write in and I will do all I can to answer it here for you on the blog.

You can find out more about Frances on her beautiful website www.francesmooremua.co.uk and if you’re super impressed by the stunning imagery here (‘cos I sure am!) then head over to www.whitecatstudio.net to see more!

Lots of DIY love

Michelle xxx

*If you’re not sure what flashback is (This is just me Michelle chipping in as I had no idea until now!) the following video by Wayne Goss should explain this for you…

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