DIY Wedding

Here are some more photos of the wedding we went to last weekend. I was pretty involved in the preparations (from doing all the flowers to helping the bride pick out a dress) and Jeff created the ingenious cardboard tube vases that held the flowering branches at the outdoor “altar” and did 101 other tasks behind the scenes. Here’s what we helped create:

The part that made me most nervous – making the bride’s bouquet. It was a rustic hand-tied bunch of white hydrangeas, Queen Anne’s lace, pink and green lisianthus, purple scabiosa, cream stocks, ivy and lime green puff balls. Against the bride’s eggplant purple dress, it was very pretty and I was very pleased with how it turned out.
What kind of boutonniere do you make for a groom allergic to most flowers? A green one. Thankfully, it looked great against his purple tie and shirt.
Jeff’s aunt, another cousin and I made the centerpieces out of thrift-store clear glass vases, greens from our gardens, mystery purple flowers from my garden, pink tulips and yellow ranunculus. The mantle was simple – just votives and ivy.
The groom cut wood disks for under the centerpieces. My mom sewed table runners out of sheer curtains the bride found at Value Village. A trunk from our maple tree (trimmed several years ago and stashed in the garage) became the place cards. And the wedding favours? S’mores ingredients for the bonfire that happened after dinner.

The groom fabricated the fantastic cupcake stand out of wood disks and a brass frame. The cupcakes were from Lynne’s Lovecakes in Chilliwack and they were delicious. The icing was the best icing I’ve ever had – light, smooth, not grainy and not sweet. They tasted as good as they looked.



The bouquet wilted during the heat of the wedding but perked up once it got back into water. It survived our day-long trip to Ikea and got home, 2 days later, looking fairly fresh.


I don’t have pictures but we also did two huge arrangements of Solomon’s Seal, pink snapdragons, green bells of ireland and a mass of other greens for the front of the “altar”. It was great fun… and I’m happy it’s over!


Thinking Outside the Box

Having creative family members is the best. My cousin-in-law and I were pretty creative cats this weekend, transforming this pile of paint cans (both full and empty), spray-painted cardboard concrete forms, and a box of scavenged moss

(with a little help from our mountain men)
into an outdoor altar for our dear cousin’s wedding.
I think we have every right to be pleased with ourselves.


Yesterday, Jeff and I both were feeling frustrated and rather down about the bathroom renovation. We’re having trouble finding floor tile we like, and I’m feeling more and more that if we tile the floor, we need to heat it as well. In addition, we found out that the quartz counter we chose (the only quartz option we really liked) is not available until sometime early next year. We’re researching another, more affordable counter option that seems very promising (these recycled glass counters manufactured in Victoria) but can’t get our hands on the colour sample we’re most interested to see.

To break us out of our bathroom funk (and get me away from obsessively researching counter options on the internet), Jeff installed the bath fixtures and declared it was time for me to take the inaugural bubble bath in the new tub. He lit candles in the shower niches; the candlelight made the tile sparkle and hid all the other parts of the room that are still a mess. It was all looking spectacular until I got into the beautiful bubble bath… and froze. It seems our fancy new thermostatic valve isn’t calibrated quite right- instead of regulating the hot water to keep us from scalding ourselves, it’s holding the water temperature well below tepid.
I’ll admit- it took me a few minutes to see the humour in all of it. But as Jeff hauled in several buckets of hot water from the kitchen, it all became rather hilarious. By the time the water was warm enough to enjoy the bath, Jeff and I had fallen into complete fits of hysterics and I could only wonder how long it will take before someone has to come and cart one (or both) of us off to the funny farm.
Here’s hoping we retain our sanity to fight renovate another day.
Art courtesy of Lonely People Art. They have an awesome Spider Man cow as well.

Painting with boys

Before Christmas, Jeff and I did a whirlwind few painting projects. While Jeff is a meticulous painter and we do have fun doing projects together, I’ve decided this is how men and women see paint colours.


Most of the week before Christmas, it poured rain here. Poured, and poured, and poured. For days. I have a hard time seeing pouring rain as festive, even though the cloudy and wet skies made an easy excuse to say indoors and partake of more holiday treats.

Delo’s amazing Snowflake Cake

Eventually, we had to face reality that our front walk and parking area had become a landscape of mini-lakes. When the sun FINALLY came out two days ago (along with unusual sub-zero temperatures here that I won’t complain about), we were ready for action. In the space of a few hours, a load of gravel, a load of bark mulch and two energetic rakers yielded some happy results.

Same old, same old

There has not been much to post over the past 4 weeks as life has continued in its busy routine. Jeff has been very busy with work and my highlights have been tackling the much needed “clean out the basement” project and completing a community cooking day with the women in our small group that left me with a freezer full of ready made meals (a very good thing). I chopped vegetables for about 6 hours but it is SO worth it.

Jeff’s dad had a birthday that required another creative cake…..

Jeff continued building a linen/shoe/mudroom closet

and we did this all fueled by caffeine.

And, I read a book that has had such a profound impact on me that I find myself recommending it to everyone I know.

One of my favourite authors, Barbara Kingsolver,chronicles her family’s year-long commitment to growing their own food and limiting almost all of their food purchases to locally grown items. Like me, you probably won’t rush out to join a crop share association or completely swear off CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) meats but you will be effected by what you learn. I certainly was.

My plan for 2010? Integrate vegetables into my flower garden (if you’ve seen my flower garden, you will know this is no small task) and hit the local farmers market each week. Small things, maybe, but increasingly important things to me. I guess I am a farm girl at heart, after all.