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Kezia & Steven.

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Kezia and Steven’s wedding was a beautifully laid back whimsical day. It started off in the stunning St Leonards Church in the seaside town of Ayr for a lovely personal ceremony with Kezia’s uncle being the marriage celebrant. Kez knew from the outset the day was to be so relaxed and had so many ideas and plans in her head and just came to me to help tie them all together and make her dream become a reality for them to remember forever. She also knew that as much as humanly possible that she would be involved in setting up the venue…so the day before the wedding, we met at the reception venue of Dalduff where when on arrival I found that Kez was already flower arranging and fairy light hanging!

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I love it when brides match their decor to their venue rather than bridesmaids dress colours or grooms kilt as this ensures a timeless and elegant setup – I can never stress enough to girls to try to go with this as I know it always provides a perfectly understated elegant result – for the church, Kezia chose ivory silk flowers with mercury mirrored glass pieces and some tall candlesticks but at the barn it was all really rustic and both these themes worked equally well in their chosen surroundings.

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Using rustic garden florals, plain glass bottles and lots and lots of candles, fairylights, paper pompoms and crystal garlands we set about accentuating the already gorgeous main barn building and little outhouses. Kez had made the table names & tableplan herself (wording which all contained “table” in them – she’s a genius of the English language) – the table plan looked perfect on my vintage mirror & easel with some paper rose garlands draped around the frame. Kezia had arranged posies in some glass jars and bottles which I sat onto log slices… the excess flowers and jars I dotted around the deep windowsills and antique dressers that sit in the barn.

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While Kezia & Steven were off having some photos taken at the beach and in the gardens their guests were treated to some sweet treats and drinks and it was reported that a few guests did indeed have several trips to the sweet buffet – it was such a glorious warm sunshiney day so the mocktails station drinks dispensers also went down well!

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After the speeches the guests enjoyed a truly delicious meal in the form of the Dalduff BBQ- Dalduff is locally renowned for the highest quality butcher’s meat, steak pies to-die-for and outstanding catering – there was no traditional wedding cake but instead an alternative cheesecake for all provided by another local supplier, the handmade cheesecake company. Fab idea and loved by all the guests!

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For the evening reception, a traditional Scottish Ceilidh ensured any extra calories eaten throughout the day were well and truly burnt off for those who participated in the Scottish dancing – the band were great at getting the guests up on their feet and an amazing hearty time was had by all… at the interval a traditional hog roast was served together with lots of delicious home bakes provided by family and friends and outside a fire pit was lit for guests to warm their toes and toast marshmallows to make s’mores with the cookies provided by Kez & Steven! A truly magical day making memories to last a lifetime. Thanks so much for letting me be a part of this!

Much love, Joanna X

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Gents Outfitters – Slaters Menswear

Bridal Gown – Maggie Sottero Designs

Bridesmaids Dresses – Ghost London

Florist – Sparrow & Rose, Glasgow

Cake – Handmade Cheesecake Company

Photographer – Fiona Reid Photography

Church – St Leonard’s Parish Church

Venue – Dalduff

Ceilidh Band – Stravaig Ceilidhs

Hair & Makeup – Lori Crawley at Urban Hair & Beauty

10 minute hack… Fur dressing table stool

There’s nothing simpler than a quick half hour hack and using this stool from IKEA together with a fur cushion – this one from bm stores is perfect – makes for a perfectly pretty dressing table stool on a budget.

Firstly turn the cushion upside down and slit across the middle, then insert the stool seat part and sew back together

Mark out where the screw holes are, pierce through and then simply assemble the stool according to the ikea instructions with the cushion intact on top of the plastic seat part.

Turn upside down and there you have it.. a cute little stool on a total budget….

Stool cost £4

Cushion cost £6.99

Would love to hear if this is a little project you might try. Happy crafting…

Love Joanna X

Pallet Shelving – quick DIY make.

A few months ago we took delivery of some new dining chairs. These were delivered on a massive wooden pallet and while I was signing for the delivery I was already planning in my head to make some little shelves using the timber slats! It came as no surprise to my husband when he was warned to leave it up the side of the house for me as I am always recycling or upcycling something/anything!

I firstly gave the boards a light sand then a couple of dry brush coats of Johnstone’s Satinwood paint that had been leftover from painting all our hall woodwork white. The first little shelf for under the stairs was simply two slats screwed into an IKEA bracket that was already there.

Next I wanted a pegrail opposite the shelf (not for coats but for seasonal styling aka faffing) so I marked out where I would position one slat as a little shelf above the pegs and marked where to drill and insert wooden dowels. Then I joined the two other boards together using a little metal plate.

I stuck the dowels in with a tiny blob of gorilla wood glue and slotted the shelf into place…. Next i screwed in these vintage black hooks equally spaced along the rail and that’s it!

Let the faffing commence!

Love Joanna X

Jute hanging lanterns

These little hanging lanterns are the perfect Christmas craft for adults and children alike, only take a half an hour to make and would make a pretty but very affordable teacher gift. All you need is a jam jar, ball of jute string, scissors and a tealight or little bunch of seasonal greenery!

Start by taking a piece of string and measure from the top of the jar down underneath and back up to the top of the jar at the other side….then multiply this length by 10. Cut eight pieces of jute string to this length. Separate into 2 lots of 4 then set them across each other as in pic below.

Arrange these pieces into a lanyard knot as seen below.

Separate each piece of string out into a wheel shape and start by attaching each piece to its neighbour by tying a knot, work your way all around the wheel and once you have knotted each piece, start again, staggering the knots as seen below ..

Every so often, pop your jar in the centre to ensure the knots are close enough together to be a snug fit to the jar when you lift it.

Lastly, secure the string tightly around the top of your jar by tying the final knots and either twist or plait the remaining string into a length suitable for hanging the lantern.

Pop in some seasonal greenery if you are going to use it as a hanging vase or tealight for a lantern…I find it’s just such an easy and satisfying little piece to make!

Happy crafting,

Love Joanna X

Christmas Lunch with the girls.

Tis the season and this year as in previous years I am gathering the girls together for a cosy relaxed festive lunch here at home that will undoubtedly last long into the afternoon and most probably until the husbands and kids start texting to ask what’s for tea! To say it’s been an extremely difficult year for me losing Mum and dealing with some other personal circumstances would be nothing short of an understatement; my sister Louise lives in Northern Ireland and although we are fiercely close that Irish Sea sometimes just gets in our way! I simply could not have managed to get through these times without the immediate physical presence and amazing support of my mum in law and girlfriends here at home so I find the Christmas season of reflection and goodwill is the perfect time to say a massive thankyou by hosting a little lunch. The girls expect nothing less from me than a themed table setting and for my decor this year I’m turning to nature for twigs & branches, pine cones collected from the lane outside my house and some freshly cut eucalyptus from the garden – For everything else, Party Pieces is my go to shop! These Festive Holly and Candy Cane ranges complement each other beautifully and for what I have in mind, they’re perfect!

The candy stripe straws and treat bags – which I will use for a little shortbread biscuit match in perfectly to the cute candy cane bunting – I strung this along the piano last week much to my husband’s horror 🙈 and added some simplistic seasonal chic by tying the Pine Berries Christmas pick around a plain wooden hoop using a red satin bow. I’m sure you all agree they look fab propped against the piano and even Ryan is warming to the decor now!

This year more than ever it’s been so lovely to have those who are always here for me through thick and thin, no questions asked, no matter what and who understand that sometimes all you need is for them to be there – thanks girls, for the many hours spent talking together drinking gallons of tea and coffee! You know who you are and I treasure you all.

Mum always made such a thing of Christmas and Louise and I have so many magical memories and photos to treasure forever. We have both continued on many little  family traditions with our own families and are now enjoying making our own memories with them – life must go on and although I can’t say I am looking forward to my first Christmas without Mum, I know that when I put up my decorations and trees this weekend with my boys around me the coloured tree lights we use for the kitchen tree will take me right back to my own childhood memories of decorating the tree in the downstairs lounge with Mum. We used to blow up coloured balloons and pop them onto the tree with the tinsel and lights; there were always chocolate treats on the tree too! Its these precious little things that you remember forever and that help to keep all the fond memories alive. Missing Mum so so much just now that I can  hardly bear it  but they say time is a healer and this is  another of those most difficult “firsts” we are all facing without her.  Family is everything!  I treasure mine always; no matter what  and take nothing for granted.

Thinking of all who have had a difficult year or who have perhaps lost a loved one too since last Christmas.

Thanks for reading,

As always,

Much Love, Joanna X

 

Also, many thanks to the team at Party Pieces for providing the lovely items for my little get together. X

Sharelle & Graeme.

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I first met Sharelle earlier this year when she made an appointment to discuss her wedding reception requirements with me.  Two of her future sisters in law had recommended me as I had styled their weddings in the past.  In our meeting Sharelle explained that she and her fiancé Graeme had booked an intimate wedding for just the two of them in Las Vegas with a reception being held back home in Scotland at The Gailes Hotel   meaning all their  family and friends could look forward to  celebrating with them.

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This gorgeous wedding chapel is part of the MGM Grand Hotel where the couple were staying in Las Vegas and is where they were married,  a live video link ensuring that parents and siblings could watch their vows being taken live.

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Various photo locations were chosen by  Sharelle and Graeme for their photos around Las Vegas at the Venetian, Paris, and Bellagio. Finishing with a window view of the Bellagio fountains they then had their wedding  meal at the Eiffel tower restaurant.  The photos are just stunning!

Sharelle definitely had the right idea as she got to wear her exquisite wedding gown twice, both at home and abroad – it was part of the Signature Collection from Wed2b – Graeme hired his kilt from Slaters Menswear and again wore it to both celebrations.

As a surprise for Sharelle, just a few weeks before they were due to fly to Vegas, Graeme’s sister Emily sent me a message to ask if I could style a little afternoon tea in the form of a chic hen party; this was for Graeme’s mum Dianne to host in her home as a lovely way to welcome Sharelle and her mum to the Dunlop family.  As pretty pink tea parties are so my thing, I was thrilled; I used some pastel pink vintage china together with various Team Bride pieces from Party Pieces – Dianne baked all the food which I heard was such a hit with all the guests that they each went home with a box of goodies!

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For the evening reception at The Gailes Hotel, Sharelle chose simply elegant pieces with a vintage feel and pastel colours; the lace lanterns echoing the lace of her stunning wedding gown.  To enable a soft touch of Vegas was with them on the evening, I made some table name cards with Vegas hotel names of their choice.   The guests were all treated to a video of the wedding in Vegas on the big screen then the speeches were heard before a fabulous evening of dancing and celebrating was had by all.  Family photos were taken by   Monument Photos who was also the photographer of choice for the  past weddings in Graeme’s family I had styled.

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I would just like to thank Sharelle and Graeme for choosing Vintage Venues to style their wedding and wish them all the best in their future as the newest Mr & Mrs Dunlop.

Much Love, Joanna X

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Venue (away)  MGM Grand

Venue (home)  The Gailes Hotel

Sharelle’s Gown  The Signature Collection at Wed2b

Graeme’s Kilt      Slaters Menswear

Photographer (home)   Monument Photos

Sharelle’s Makeup  https://www.facebook.com/ellisdewhurstmakeupartist/

Autumn Decor – bleaching pine cones.

I absolutely love seasonal decor; my most favourite time being late Autumn and Winter… I always turn to nature first for my decor pieces and love a little forage down the lane right outside our house for twigs, acorns, ivy and of course the all time favourite – pine cones!

Every year since we moved in I have collected these pine cones from the 200yr old spruce trees in the lane as when the boys were little I always took a stand at the village Christmas Fayre held in their school. I crafted lots of pieces such as hanging tealight holders, Cath Kidston fabric pouches for paper tissues, sweetie jars and bath salt jars etc…However, my best sellers every year without fail were my organza bags of pine cones tied with a large red gingham bow. I collected, washed, dried the cones out in the oven then oiled them with Christmas Spice festive oils.

This year however I have taken a different approach to preparing the cones as I have a winter wedding to style using some and thought the paler colour could be good with the other pieces I’m using. My friend Sarah suggested I try bleaching them (thanks Sarah, it worked! ) Here’s how I did it and the results are fab!

Using 1 part household thick bleach to 2 parts cold water I filled the basin with the cones and covered with the bleach mix… This should be left for 12-24 hours.

The cones will close up when the water soaks into them but once you take them out to dry (I pop mine on egg boxes on top of the radiators for a couple of days) they will open out again.

My style at home especially at Christmas is quite Nordic and these paler cones are perfect popped around the home in baskets, on wreaths, buntings, as place name holders… The possibilities are endless and all for the price of a bottle of bleach.

(I recommend wearing gloves and an apron and also popping a tea towel under your basin when working with bleach)

Happy foraging and styling.

Love Joanna X