Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wedding Photo Booth

The wedding has come and gone. I'm still exhausted and now buried under the mountain of tax paperwork I ignore all year! I'm going to share more wedding tips in the coming weeks but today, I wanted to share some pics from the wedding photo booth.

The ampersand and photo booth signs add a fun element to the wedding pics!

The photo booth was all the niece's idea. The groom didn't get it. Neither did the aunties or the in - laws. We all thought it was our girl being her goofy self. Boy, were we ever wrong! The photo booth was the hit of the event. People didn't want to dance to our perfectly fine DJ because they were dancing in line at the photo booth! WHO KNEW??? (The bride, apparently!)

Edzel Fuertez provided our photo booth and also provided additional photography services at the wedding. He and his team were just AWESOME. The bride and groom  purchased frames, removed the glass and backing and as people got their photos taken, Edzel's team placed them in the frames as a gift to the guests.

The giant ampersand was made from foam board. I could only find heavy wooden ones on Etsy, so we made a lighter version. It's 18" tall!

But that wasn't all... They showed up with all kinds of props: funny glasses, boas, parasols, hats etc. The bride made sets of lips and mustaches from fun foam and dowel rods. I made a giant ampersand and signs. I took the artwork from the wedding invitation and made rubber stamps (duh, that's my day job). I used the same artwork and created words: Bride, Groom, Mr., Mrs. Ms., Dr., Rev. I really wish I had made ones that say 'You' and 'Me' - but I didn't think of it til too late! See tutorial below.

It was a beautiful and most memorable evening! 

 The lips and mustaches were a big hit too!

Sign Tutorial
  • Print signs on heavy photo paper at Office Depot and trim them to size. 
  • There seemed to be a run on 1/2" thick foam board when I was making these... so I had to make do with 1/4" ... but used 1/2" if possible! Cut foam board pieces an inch larger on all sides on scroll saw or with xacto.  Because I wanted them sturdy and could not find the thicker board, I cut two matching pieces on my scroll saw. 
  • Stamp the front with swirly rubber stamps all around the edge. If using thinner foam core, only do this on one side. 
  • If using thinner foam, hot glue two pieces together.
  • Insert kitchen skewers into the middle of the bottom edge of the foam. You can remove the stick, just make sure you allow for the hole. 
  • Take ribbon to match the width of your foam core (3/8" - 1/2 ") and   sequin pins  or SHORT straight pins. I used the sequin pins when I was pinning ribbon and short straight pins for beads. Pin the ribbon in a few spots close to the skewer hole but not covering it. 
  • Pin beads through the ribbon close to the front edge of the sign. I alternated beads pinned on the front edge of the ribbon and sequin pins to hold the back edge of the ribbon and worked in this manner all around the sign to the other side of the skewer hole. Trim ribbon from bolt and place final pins.
  • Put hot glue on the pointy end of the skewer and insert back into hole. Let set up. Trim other end with wire cutters to desired length. 
  • Wind 1/2" ribbon (use the darkest color from your wedding color scheme... hands are always dirty and you don't want the signs looking grungy!) down the length of the skewer. Tuck and roll at the bottom and go back up the skewer securing with hot glue. 
  • If desired, hot glue beaded garland down the skewer. 
  • Use iridescent pull string ribbon to make a bow: Cut 1 yard (I used 1 1/2 on the bride and groom signs but less on the rest). Pull the string, making sure you are holding onto both tails. Wrap string around the bow and tie a knot. Repeat. Trim string, hot glue bow in place.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Win for the Not so Little Guy

Almost every type of designer in this country has felt the pressure imposed by someone copying their work - namely by Chinese manufacturers who can make "the same*" product for less. Just this week alone, I have been beseeched by Chinese manufacturers via my Artfire shop to allow them to make beads for my shop!

DO MY BEADS LOOK LIKE CHINESE CRAP???  Yes, I know, I've always been a bead snob. I can spot cheap Chinese fakes a mile off! And I've always had an eye for genuine Swarovski crystals. I can tell the difference between Swarkies and Czech! And most certainly Swarovskis and Chinese knockoffs!

Interestingly enough, Swarovski has fought hard to protect it's image and product over the years, getting patents on certain cuts and even developing their gross packs to not be resealable (Thieves were stealing the packages from jewelry stores that legally sell in smaller quantities, filling the packs with Chinese knockoffs and reselling as genuine!) . And they recently took it to court against a Chinese company violating their Intellectual Property! [The bold red italics below is mine. I LOVE THAT PART!]

From the Swarovski Elements site:
An infringement recently occurred in China: the company namely Yiwu Yongyang Ornaments Co., Ltd. stood accused of producing and distributing flat-back stones imitating SWAROVSKI’s patented XILION cut design. A civil litigation was filed by SWAROVSKI and lead to a settlement in which the defendant admitted engaging in an act of plagiarism that constituted infringement of SWAROVSKI’s registered design patent. The perpetrator was obliged to destroy the goods in question in the witness of the plaintiff; pay a substantial monetary compensation; and issue a public apology that included a statement of intent never again to infringe SWAROVSKI’s design rights.SWAROVSKI’s pursuit of justice was wholly based on the unfairness of plagiarism. SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS take years of costly research and development to produce innovations. Protecting SWAROVSKI’s business partners worldwide from the knock-on effect of such acts of theft is a key motivator for prosecution.

Win one for the not so little guy! More companies need to do this!!

*You all most certainly know that Chinese lampwork is NOT the same as true artisan lampwork right??? It's not cleaned, not annealed and breaks easily. Remember, with art glass, you get what you PAY for! And thanks to the Chinese, you are paying less and less and real ARTISTS are struggling to survive! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Wedding Ballarina

I finally finished the ballerina for the candy table at the niece's wedding. it was slow going as the wire was hard on my hands. I was using a coated wire to match the red crystals and didn't want to use wire tools on it to avoid scratching.

I think it came out really cute: