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Yesterday prior to the fabulous Omaha Fashion Week Tuesday night runway show I had the pleasure of lending a hand in preparation for the Annual MCH Auxiliary Rummage Sale. I saw so many fabulous finds for the DIY bride. From beautiful candle stick holders to mini champagne flutes (so cute!) they have a little bit of everything and a lot if it is in bulk! The sale is held once a year so it is a collection of a years worth of goodies from households all over the metro. If you are on the lookout for the perfect pieces for your day be sure to check it out this weekend.

Rummage Sale

Where:
Washington County Fairgrounds — Arlington, Nebraska

When:
Thursday – September 16, 2010 — Time: 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Friday – September 17, 2010 — Time: 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Saturday – September 18, 2010 — Time: 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
BAG Sale Sunday – September 19, 2010 Time: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Proceeds to benefit the purchase of a OBIX® Perinatal Data System. This state-of-the-art technology enhances the entire patient prenatal experience for high risk mothers to be.

Happy Hunting!

There is something so satisfying about working with an artist to create a custom piece of jewelry. I love the idea of having something unique that represents your own personal vision. These ideals put my husband and I in quite the predicament when shopping for his wedding band. After countless visits to jewelry stores and looking at hundreds of rings we couldn’t find anything that was us. So we decided to find someone who could create our own. In the end the ring turned out amazing but the road to getting it wasn’t as smooth as it could have been. Here are my tips on how make your custom jewelry journey as smooth as possible.

Search out an artist who style matches the piece you are looking for. If a jeweler has something similar to what you are looking for ask them to make adjustments to a piece they already designed. That way the artist is still working in their aesthetic.

Be patient. If you are thinking of ordering a custom piece for a certain date, i.e. your wedding, plan months in advance. And then take that times three. Things always take three times longer than you think they will. Leaving yourself a cushion so things can be re-worked if they aren’t just right will ensure your end up with perfection.

Use pictures. We all speak in different language and many people are visual. By showing the artist a sketch they will have a better idea of what you are expecting.

Research your metals. This is especially important no matter where your purchase your ring.
In the end we ended up finding a fabulous etsy seller, L R Jewelry to create my husband’s ring. We are absolutely ecstatic with the results. If you are looking for something local there are a some great jewelers right in Omaha. Check out Goldsmith Silversmith or Perspective Jewelry Design Studio both are located downtown or Silversmith Jewelry & workshop in Rockbrook Village.

No, I have not taken my new last name to some strange place…even though if it involved a Godfather obsession my husband would love it. Anyway drum-roll please… I was recently invited to become a member of the Omaha Craft Mafia! And I am a little excited.

The mafia is an awesome and talented group of Omaha artists, designers and crafters. The leave the gun, take the cannoli types (unless its a glue gun of course). We are part of a larger network of Craft Mafia around the world. While we can’t be your go-to gals for the sinister acts carried out by more traditional mafias, we can be your source for all things handmade and creative in Omaha. Check out our blog for some nifty crafting tips and to meet the other wonderfully talented members. And stay tuned for our first show.

My husband and I love to go to the Omaha Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. We love wandering around the old market checking out what’s new and chatting up friends while they work their fruit and veggie stands. And my husband can get his sugar fix with a cinnamon roll the size of his head courtesy of The Parthenon.

While we were down there this past Saturday we stumbled upon Renee Gabriel Designs. I am in love with her bags.

They are so unique and funky. Plus since she has a little something for everyone’s taste, her small clutches would make an awesome bridesmaid gift. An added bonus, the size is small enough to be chic but still holds your camera, keys, and cell phone. If you can’t make it down to see her at the farmer’s market, you can purchase her designs in her Etsy Shop.

Flower girls, if you choose to have them, can be one of the most adorable aspects of your wedding. Incorporating children adds innocence and purity to your wedding day.

In looking through the mainstream options available for you littlest attendants there seems to be few other options aside from the generic white flower girl dress.. While there are many who would disagree, there something about dressing a young girl up like a bride that I dislike. Not to mention the prices of these mini-bridal gowns are astonishing. I am a strong advocate of color on flower girls. It is a great place to throw in an accent that you were too afraid to put on your bridesmaids. A five-year-old will have no problem pulling off orange where your bridesmaids may not.

I am loving the whimsical “tutu” dresses I have seen popping up in weddings.

These lovely versions come from Omaha based Piccolina Designs. Definitely check out her Etsy shop. They add the perfect playful touch to any summer event.

To keep this style from looking a little over the top at your cathedral wedding consider letting it peek out from under something like this white frock from J.Crew. Then let your flower girl change out of the top layer for a fun transition to the reception. While your at J.Crew.com check out the other offerings in girls everyday dresses. Many of these would make a fabulous flower girl dress without breaking the bank. And they will wear it again!

We are all guilty at one time or another of not being able to find exactly what we are looking for. Once you have an idea in your head, nothing else will do especially when it comes to your wedding. Couples want their wedding to be unique and personal making it extremely hard to just pick something off the rack. If you are spending hours upon hours searching for the perfect anything, I strongly suggest you check out Etsy.

Just about anything in every price range can be found on Etsy, making the site very budget friendly. Plus, the sellers are accessible. If you find the perfect bracelet but it is slightly out of your price range. You have the opportunity to contact the seller, you can ask them if they can do a similar design in your price range. Perhaps they can use crystals instead of gemstones? However, do keep in mind that these artists skillfully craft their products from top quality materials when asking for a scaled down piece.

Feel an important need to support local business? Etsy makes it extremely easy to find a local vendor that suits your needs with their Shop Local feature. You can search by city or state to discover a local business owner whose product suits your needs. A definite plus when using a local vendor they may allow local pick-up to avoid shipping costs and you might even be able to see the item in person prior to purchasing.

After combing through the plethora of products on Etsy you still don’t see exactly what you are looking for there is another option. The site offers a custom request opportunity through Alchemy. Here you can list a custom request complete with images for inspiration and your ideal price. Etsy sellers will then bid on your listing and you can select the one you would like to make the item. This is a great way to guarantee you will get exactly what you are looking for and be the only one to have it.

Of course, Etsy isn’t just a wedding resource. It is a great place to find just about anything.

After months of hearing about the fabulous graduation party being thrown for my soon-to-be step-daughter, I thought I knew all of the details—over a hundred people, enchiladas, Mexican dips, cocktails for the adults, and cake adorned with her favorite senior picture. Then, during the post graduation dinner, less than one week before the party I learned of one more small detail…I was in charge of décor! Fear set in, the internet is my best friend. It is where I spend hours researching the perfect theme and style for my events. Not to mention finding everything I need at the best price. With less than five days until the party I had no choice but to go local. Gulp!

I started at a local craft and party supply store. The chosen colors are maroon and gold, school colors. After digging through isles of not-so-hot “Class of 09” banners, plates, and napkins, I decide graduation theme is not the way to go. From the seasonal area I wander to the party supply area. After I discover all the great black, white and pink options they have, I debate over a color veto. Black white and pink are Erica’s favorite colors, after all. I find the gold and maroon selections. Gold table cloths, no maroon though. I go with gold and black plus some maroon napkins and confetti in the chosen colors. I decide to skip the predictable “Congrats Grad!” 3-D centerpieces. Instead, I decide to go with flowers for unexpected centerpieces.

Next stop Goodwill. After combing through isle of discarded coffee mugs and tarnished silver, I find what I am looking for tall cylindrical vases about 2 inches in diameter. They have two, one has the name of a local hospital etched in the side. Then I spot the jackpot, a pitcher set that has cups that happen to look like the vases. $11 for the set.

As for the flowers to put in the vases, I off to the local Sam’s Club store. Normally I would order flowers from 2G Roses or Sam’s Club website, but in a time crunch the Sam’s Club store would have to do. Once there I find a substantial selection. Not the maroon and yellow gerbera daises I was hoping for, however they do have a good selection of mums, lilies, carnations, alstroemeria, and roses. I decide on golden yellow spider mums, maroon carnations and red and white alstroemeria for filler.

Another request for the party was a banner. I had already designed these party announcement postcards.

Graduation Invite

A banner to match would be a great addition. Banner design, no problem. I fumbled through the elements I had from the postcard and put a 72×18 banner together. Printing the banner locally at an affordable price, big problem. Normally, for banners I like to use halfpricebanners.com. The have great customer service and turn out a quality product quickly. For my budget of under $20 they were not going to work on such short notice. Due to my time constraints, about sixteen hours until the banner needs to be at the party location, I head to Kinkos/FedEx office. I discover printing the banner in color on coated paper is going to run about $50…yikes! The black and white version would only run about $5. Then the manager suggested printing a couple of smaller, color versions for about $1 each in addition to the large black-and-white version. Very helpful!

The next morning I pick up the banners and head home to do some flower arranging. I used some river rock that I had on hand to weigh each vase down. Then I wrap each vases with a thick maroon band and a thinner gold ribbon. I split the flowers between the six Goodwill finds and two larger vases.

Flower ArrangmentsI head over to the party location to set up. Here is a shot of the finished product. I also added maroon to the tables by using maroon napkins as a make-shift runner. The smaller banners were mount to mat board to give them a presence.

MiniBanner

On short notice the party looked great and everyone had a great time. I have to thank one helpful manager at Kinkos. The lesson I learned from this one…I need to spend more time researching and getting to know my local resources.

How do you utilize your local resources?