Friday, September 28, 2012

[diy] wedding 'guest book' questionnaires.

Actually, I had another idea for a guest book, but that will be revealed later as a 'wedding album' instead. It required a bit more time and effort. So I made these instead with the help of Photoshop and a printer. Quick and easy. Plus these 'thought-provoking' questions gave way to some pretty interesting answers. It's amazing how many people wrote down their own birth date when asked the date of our first child. Haha! Oh yes. these were way more entertaining to read than the traditional wedding guest book with the generic comments!
By the end of the night, every inch of these questionnaires were filled with what I would say 90% creative responses. A lot of the guests were having fun with these! I love how much they were loving it! Definitely a unique guest book alternative if you're looking for a fun wedding twist!

besos ... jin.

{First picture by me; Rest by Mrs. BaoTran Gia Pham of Red Fly Photography.}

Thursday, September 27, 2012

[diy] handmade linen wedding bouquet.

I had every intention to sew my bouquet. There were so many cute ideas on the web, but none really inspired me until I saw Bonnie's handmade fabric bouquet from her December 2010 wedding. It was love at first sight! And perfectly fits the personality of the wedding that I was going for! So I hit up Bonnie, an ol' college friend of mine and a fellow indie bride, and shortly thereafter she responded with a slew of indie wedding information.

Bonnie, you're awesome!
 

Bonnie didn't have a template for me to follow (her mother kinda winged it as she sewed along) so I scoured the internet for similar templates. 

Here's the template that my bouquet was loosely based on. Of course, my version ended up being a floppy and much bigger version of a pansy, which was mainly due to limited fabric and not enough time to make actual life-size pansies. I had to cover the entire styrofoam ball pronto, hot-gluing every inch of that sucker, and this was what I came up with. Huge pearly centers added the final touch to my over-sized pansy. 
In hindsight, I should have used canvas or duck cloth, something with more weight and stiffness, which probably would have held the flower shape better.  I made my linen bouquet a week before we got married. The day after the wedding, the shape of the flowers totally went wonky. Blame it on humidity or careless storaging or both, they just went wonky. But salvageable. Had to get it all spruced up for a little girl's upcoming birthday. She gave me a little sass for not throwing the bouquet at her during the bouquet toss (which btw I had used real flowers for) and stomped over immediately afterwards to tell me so! Haha! Later, her mother said she had practiced catching all week. Now how could I not give these to her? Totally adorbs! She had worked so hard for them!
Anyways, it was fun while it lasted!  A lil 6 year old name Nattie has it now. =)

besos ... jin.  

{First 3 pics by me, the rest done by Mrs Baotran Gia Pham of Red Fly Photography}

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

birthday photoshoot // surprise birthday balloons.

So my addiction with Pinterest has brought out the girly in me and I suddenly want to do all these insanely cool DIY projects that I can't afford. Like all the time. You can see how this could be a problem ... for Vince. Hah! Fortunately I can afford this particular balloon idea and the only person I could really do this kind of stuff for is my sister. So last week, I patiently waited till her birthday rolled around the corner. Then I pounced.
Talk about a real birthday surprise the moment you open your eyes, waking up to a bunch of balloons with snapshots of memories attached to the strings. It was a nice idea ... in theory. Just a few small problems foiled this plan. I couldn't exactly execute on keeping the balloons alive throughout the night and I wasn't about to invest in a helium tank. Plus, I ain't gonna lie, I couldn't wake up early enough to get the plan rolling. =X
So the next best thing was to wait til later in the day to set up the big birthday balloon surprise.  With a few tweaks worked in. Like surprising a fully awake JoJo instead of a sleepy one. And ya know what? Sister was still surprised the second she opened the door to her master bedroom! Wide-eyed and in awe!
That's JoJo and her 'Whoa!' look. 
That's Pablo the MinPin and his 'What do you mean it's not my birthday??' look. 
 There's something about colorful balloons that brings the kid out in ya! Wee!
Love this moment! Caught her taking it all in while gazing at the pictures. 
Yup, that dog is still wondering if it's his birthday. I think he thinks it is. 
I think that feeling of waking up to such a surprise would have been priceless! Ah well, maybe y'all have better luck. Although I have a sneaking suspicion that owning your own helium tank may be involved.
She was so surprised, she fell asleep! Happy Birthday JoJo and Happy Unbirthday Pablo!

besos ... jin.

{Pictures by Jin Chu Ferrer of Contradiction of Sorts.}

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

happy seven years!

 Picture by Jin Chu Ferrer of Contradiction of Sorts.

Who knew it would take Hurricane Rita and a ridonkulous 19 hour evacuation mission from Houston to Austin to get things rollin'?  That was 7 years ago, today, and ever since then V and I have been riding one heck of a rollercoaster, hand-in-hand and eyes wide shut, from country to country, adventure to (mis)adventure, small dreams to big dreams. Yep, we gots quite the unconventional courting ritual throughout the years, but hey, keeps things interesting! Here's to 7 more years of the little moments, amusing whimsies, nonstop laughter ... anything and everything!  And especially looking forward to tonight's home cooked dindin paired with vino while our fave indie tunes plays in the background. Ok, this happens most nights, but isn't everyday spent together just as special? ;-)

besos ... jin.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

[diy] wedding photo booth backdrop + props.

Yes indeedy, we set up our own photo booth.  My 5DII. Vince's printer, lappy, computer screen and light stand. Extra gear from our dear friend, George.  We had the equipment and we went for it, using the extra money we saved on handmade and vintage photo booth props, as well as other aspects of our wedding. With the technicalities all up to Vince, I set off on a mission to creatively set apart our photo booth from any other trendy photo booth themes that were hot on the wedding circuit. 
The backdrop is pretty much the heart and soul of our photo booth. It's my baby. I knew I wanted something fun, whimsical, eclectic - and so I took the pinwheel idea that I had done for my good friends Ray and Carmen's baby shower and went crazy with it. Like, crazy-crazy. Practically bought out Texas Art Supply's paper crazy. With the help of Miss Hanhsters, one of my bffs from college, my vision of frolicking in trippy pinwheel surrealism came into fruition. And you know what? I wanted to make more, more, more! 

Er, Vince had to put a stop to the madness. 

... still wish I could have made more. =X
Before y'all say anything mainstreamy about these props, let me tell you guys a short story.  I had planned to make these for a photoshoot I was asked to do back in September 2010, but time being the bane of my existence (again!), I ended up buying these off Etsy.  Inevitably, photoshoot never happened and the couple moved to NYC, but since I had these already, I figured I'd used them for my own wedding. 

Who knew these suckers would be the new wedding trend for 2011?

So I was a bit bummed out.  Everybody had these for their photo booths! Then came along the vintage cam idea. 
Behold! My prized vintage and vintage-ish camera collection. 

All thanks to Ebay and Urban Outfitters. It was this or an Alice in Wonderland theme, but I had these already, so why not? Prop collection, complete!
We wanted the pictures to print out polaroid-style, but we ran into a few problems. One of them being unable to provide guidelines for people to cut along, so some of the pics looked like they had a white even border instead. Ah well. They were still a hit. People loved writing on these and hanging them up on our clothespin tree!
The weight from all the pictures made our left branch turn around in place! 
Creating the photo booth has got to be one of my fave wedding DIY projects. And judging from the pix the day after, it looked like everyone had fun!  Photo booth zanyness at it's finest!

besos ... jin.

{First four pics by me; The rest by Baotran Gia Pham of Red Fly Photography}

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

[diy] wine bottle wedding centerpieces.

Using wine bottles as centerpieces was kind of a no-brainer since we have a deep, undying love for the red. Borderline addiction, really. So it was fitting for V and I to incorporate it into our wedding. Not only were wine bottles part of our centerpieces, they were scattered about the entire venue, from the dessert table to the photobooth to the welcome table. Even our open bar offered 3 kinds of vino from one of our favorite Texas vineyards. If people didn't know that we love wine thismuch, then they found out on that fine November day. ;-)
So here we are.  Feast your eyes on 150+ wine bottles.  Amassed in a very short time.  

And yeah, we needed them all.

Wine bottles came from various sources: personal collection, engagement party, wine lounges, fellow winos, a friend going through a divorce. (Thanks, Long! You don't have a drinking prob. Not at all!)
Collecting the wine bottles was the insanely easy part.  Then there was the not so insanely easy part. Removal of the wine labels. We've tried all the popular methods circulating the internet: baking, steaming, ammonia soak, boiling, baking soda bath.

Nada.  Even James, the pyromaniac bro-in-law, attempted to burn them off.

After a month of unsuccessful massive cleanse trials, one clear winner did pop up eventually.  Like, why wasn't this method suggested in the first place??!  Oi.  Mind boggling.  So OxiClean to the rescue (discovered on YouTube by JoJo), albeit a little late to the game, but that's okay.  And coupled with Hanh's potent Goo Gone spray, holy cow! The process became a thousand times easier!   

Of course, this was before Miss Sorida the Sommelier gave us heads up on the special wine label remover they use at the restaurant. >.< Shnikies.
On to the branches, which were gathered from an overgrown lot across the street from our condo. Practically right on our front step.  How nice. Hey, why buy them when nature so kindly provided them?
 Free wine bottles. Free Branches. Free is good. ;-)
Ah, then there were the table numbers, which were cut from paper we had found at Michaels / Hobby Lobby then tied onto the bottles using twine. If I had more time, I would have liked to go for a more eclectic numbering idea. But of course I needed to allocate time and attention to other important DIY projects. Le sigh. Where is the gift of time when you need it?? 
Same goes to the paper flowers adorning the branches.  I wanted to do a fancy shmancy paper flower arrangement, but seeing as to how I needed roughly 100 of these, it didn't seem efficient to slave hours upon hours for something that ended up being a last minute DIY project. (Due to laziness, part indecisiveness.)  

You can see that time management and planning are not my strongest assets. >.<
Anyhoo, I had used this template to make the tissue paper flowers. Adding pearly centers made for nice finishing touches. 
In the end, everything about my centerpieces did not go according to plan. The eclectic, urban, surreal Alice in Wonderlandish idea - yah, never happened.  I didn't even have time to go antique / flea market shopping for tea cups and vessels to flank these wine bottles!  C'est la vie. But hey, I'm still pretty happy with what spontaneously transpired at the last minute. With that said, don't wait til the last minute! 

besos ... jin. 

{First pic + Last two pics by Baotran Gia Pham of Red Fly Photography; Rest done by me}

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

[diy] wedding cake toppers.

One fine (slightly overcast, slightly rainy, but eventually kinda sunny) November day, almost a year ago, V and I got married. In true Jincent style, no less. ;-) Before the process of wedding planning, I knew I wanted an unconventional wedding - full of laidback tones, fun vibes, a touch of frivolity, Alice in Wonderlandish whimsy - with our creative personality unhindered, shamelessly throwing tradition (well, most of what I could get away with) out the window.  Swoosh! So in a quest to be THAT offbeat bride planning an 'unbridaled' DIY wedding in a world of fine bridal foofy foofs, I created a DIY album on Facebook (cheekily named 'I DO!' It Yourself Bride) to keep track of most of my never-ending wedding DIY projects. (In hindsight, I may have gotten a bit ambitious ... maybe.) The album got immensely popular, with friends I haven't heard from in 10 years suddenly commenting away to friends of friends messaging me kind words of how I became a creative inspiration to them to people I've never met cheering me on and asking for tips/advice. Now nearing that one year anniversary, I thought it would be fitting to post to the world my wedding DIYness for the next couple of months. And to see just how delirious I was in cramming thismany lovingly-made-by-hand craft ideas for a wedding of roughly 250. This kind of ambitious planning was really meant for a wedding of 50. Oh well, maybe my next wedding. ;-)
First up, DIY bride + groom cake toppers. Thankfully various sellers on Etsy offer mini DIY cake topper kits for a fraction of the price. Not only is it way cheaper, you can also go crazy on the customizations of your little people. You'll just need to dedicate some time and a bit of creativity. 

FYI: Err, lay off that glass of wine. *Ahem* Found out the hard way. =X
Pre-made bride and groom pegs go for ~$50-$70 on Etsy.  The really fancy ones break the $100 mark. Wow. For cake toppers??! Why not save a bit of money and do it yourself?

 Painting the little people only took a couple of hours. So easy!
 Voila! Now let's talk accessories. We gotta spruce up the Mini Vince + Mini Jin! 
Here, I slapped on a vintage-ish faux diamond flower button (Hobby Lobby) to keep things interesting and tucked in a bit of mesh. All secured down with a hot glue gun. Done and done. Instant birdcage veil. 
  
The mini Diana F+ lomo cam (Ebay) added the final touch to the Mini Jin. Originally blue, I painted it hot pink to match my own life-size Diana F+ and hot-glued a tiny strip of black ribbon for straps.

 Yeah, that mini dSLR is a 1/6 scale model of the real thing. Complete with 3 detachable lenses, removable lens hoods, and a tiny T-rex to model the goods. All cop'd from Photojojo.
Cuteness overload, I know.  Again, black ribbon was hot-glued on for straps.

 And finally, our cake topper set-up isn't complete without a few of Jincent's favorite places.
 Here are a couple of wedding day photos of the cake toppers in all their glory. 
I ain't gonna lie, we look good.
Hope this inspires you to make your own personalized wedding cake topper. It'll add a unique twist to your wedding cake (or wedding cupcake tower, if you're like us!) Besides, a lil extra moolah in your pocket ain't hurt nobody. ;-)

besos ... jin.

{Last two pics by Baotran Gia Pham of Red Fly Photography; Rest done by me}
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