Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Venue Vetting

In the north east, we continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy. My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the storm. It was scary when Sandy made landfall on Monday night, but luckily, I am ok and my building is intact. So, as promised... I'm back this week with Wedding Wednesday.

We were last thinking about the venue and painting a vision for the ideal venue. The next step is to make a decision, so you can also set a date. Once you have a date, everything else is set towards the goal of that date, including all of your vendor interactions. So it's really important to vet through your venue options by asking the right questions.
  • Ask every question you can think of about the numbers... How much does it cost? What is the per person rate? What is maximum capacity? What is the minimum guarantee? What's included in cost? What are all the extras and how much? How much are gratuities or taxes? How many hours for set-up, photography, ceremony, cocktail, reception, post-reception/pack-up? How many chairs and tables? How many staff members? How many weddings are held at the same time? How many menu selections are included?
  • Ask for a full tour and walk through of the wedding flow to see if it's in line with your vision. Ask about the bridal suite and the behind-the-scenes areas. Ask about alternative ceremony and reception locations within the facility if you have any part of your day outdoors.
  • Ask about the wedding agenda and make sure it's in line with your plan for the day.
  • Ask about the payment plan and all of their policies. Make sure you walk away with a clear understanding of how much and when payments are due and don't forget to cover all policies include vendor restrictions, if any.
Come back next week for another installment of Wedding Wednesday.

Thanks for stopping by today and stay safe!
- KRAFTY pearl

Monday, October 29, 2012

Spotlight on SEI: Hooray & Anticipation

Hi there! While we are bracing for a hurricane here, in NYC, let me share some cheeriness here on my blog. Today, I'm over at the SEI blog to share a card for a super duper special little boy who recently turned one.

Materials used: SEI Field Notes, Vanilla Sunshine, cardboard elements stickers; foam squares

I absolutely love the stickers from the SEI Vanilla Sunshine collection. You can use them for any kind of card, especially when you couple them with some SEI cardboard elements stickers to give it some texture. Check out how I made the card on the SEI blog.

Another project I shared on the SEI blog a couple of weeks ago is this "Anticipation" layout. This layout is pretty special to me because it documents just moments before my husband and I got married. Have a look at all the details here.

Materials used: SEI Vanilla Sunshine, Field Notes, alphabet stickers

Hope you've enjoyed this card and layout. Don't forget to check out the SEI blog for more inspiration!

Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Friday, October 26, 2012

SEI + My Etsy = A Collected Look

Hiya! Here to quickly share a long overdue SEI layout. You often see me mixing various collections together for a collected, eclectic feel. The beauty of SEI designs is that it's so easy to mix and match colors and patterns!

Materials Used: SEI Desert Spring, SEI Field Notes, SEI Promise Me, tissue paper, Singer 160 sewing machine

Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mama Elephant Highlight: Basic Borders

Wedding Wednesday will return next week!

Today, let's take a close look at Mama Elephant's Basic Borders set.

This set is a must-have. I love the polka dots and and diagonal stripes. You can make your own washi tape, borders, background, and ribbon with this set. Here I made ombre stripes to look like washi tape:

Materials used: Mama Elephant Basic Borders, Polar Pals; SEI Field Notes pattern paper, Bazzill cardstock, ColorBox Cat's Eye Inkpads, Copic Markers, Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black

A closer look: I love the variation you create with these Basic Border stamps. Combine with different colors from ColorBox Cat's Eye Inkpads to design an ombre look. I created a greenish neon lights look which compliments the sentiment, "merry and bright", perfectly.

Hope you've enjoyed Mama Elephant's first release! Don't forget to check out the projects from the other Mama Elephant design team members here:
Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mama Elephant Highlight: Trifecta

On this terrific Tuesday, we continue to highlight Mama Elephant stamps. One of my favorite Mama Elephant stamp sets is Trifecta!

This set is seriously the most versatile stamp set I've ever seen. You can do so much with the triangles as a background, as pennants, as arrow heads, as little trees, and even little roof tops!

Materials used: Mama Elephant Trifecta, We Click; CTMH Inks, SEI Tumble Dye spray, Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black

A closer look: Inspired by Van Gogh's impressionist paintings, I created a sun-drenched sky with funky roof tops and a masked cloud. I then framed my little work of art using the faux Instax stamped on wood grain pattern paper.

And just in case you didn't see some of my other ideas for this set, here's a look at some of my other projects. Click on the picture to see the original post.

Triangle pattern as a background and for masking shapes.

Triangles turned upside down to create mini trees.

Hope you've enjoyed these projects and don't forget to check out the projects from the other Mama Elephant design team members here:
Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mama Elephant Highlight: Polar Pals

Good morning! On this brisk (NY) Monday morning, I'm sharing a project made with Mama Elephant's Polar Pals.

Tell me these little creatures are not the cutest stamps ever. Best of all, they fit really well with the snow globe from the Mama Elephant Believe in Magic set. Give that a try, or use the cute banners to create a garland look like this card I made here. You'd think this set is just for winter or holiday-themed cards, but you can also very easily create a birthday card too.

A closer look: Create a festive garland look using any of the banners for a cute birthday card. The possibilities are actually endless given the star and heart banners and all the different words too!

Hope you've enjoyed this technique and don't forget to check out the projects from the other Mama Elephant design team members here:
Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mama Elephant Highlight: Good Times

TGIF! It's been a long work at my day job, but I've been able to complete all my highlights and posts as soon as I get home every night. We end this week with a look at Mama Elephant's Good Times set.

Mama Elephant's Good Times is truly one of the most versatile sets I have ever seen. From the cool and current sentiments to the three perfect balloons and cute icons, this set is a must have!

Materials used: Mama Elephant Good Times, Believe in Magic; Tsukineko Delicata Ink in Golden GlitzSinger 160 Limited Edition sewing machine

A closer look: When I say versatile, I really mean it. The balloons when turned upside down make perfect ornaments! I used the ribbon stamp from the Good Times set. I also used the reindeer and stars stamp from the Believe in Magic set which fits so well into these balloons/ornaments. I added some stitches to the card to finish off the ornament card.

Don't forget to check out the projects from the other Mama Elephant design team members here:
Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mama Elephant Highlight: Geotagged

I hope you're enjoying all the Mama Elephant highlights so far. We're taking a look at the Geotagged set today.

Like all of the other sets, this is perfect for cards and layouts alike. The map of the United States is pretty darn awesome! I adore the suitcase with polka dot print and the super cute and detailed luggage stickers.

Materials used: Mama Elephant Geotagged, Basic Borders; CTMH pattern paper, Martha Stewart medium balloon punch, CTMH Inks, Tsukineko Delicata Ink in Golden Glitz, Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black

A closer look: I created a clustered embellishment from the suitcase and polka dot pattern stamps. I matched the colors to the houses in a photo I have on the layout. That's one of my favorite things about stamping -- being able to pull colors from photos into stamped embellishments.

To add just a bit more variation to the layout, I used the suitcase stamp and polka dot pattern and masked it under a balloon wood grain pattern negative. Give this stamped embellishment technique a try!

Don't forget to check out the projects from the other Mama Elephant design team members here:
Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mama Elephant Highlight: Nursery Deco

Wedding Wednesday post here.

I'm back for the second time today to share another super cute and versatile Mama Elephant stamp set, Nursery Deco.

As you saw in this blog post, the set can be used to create a really meaningful title and background in one. But I also mentioned how it can be used to make a super cute baby card too. I immediately fell in love with the cute teddy bears and giraffes when I first saw the set. Don't you just love how cute this set is?

Materials used: Mama Elephant Nursery Deco, Good Times, Geotagged, Believe in Magic; CTMH Inks, Copic Markers, Tsukineko Delicata Ink in Golden Glitz, Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black

A closer look: I started this card by stamping the cute little bear in a Good Times balloon. I then started to create a celebration backdrop filled with more Good Times balloons, cute pennant banners in varying shades of blue. To give it a bit of sparkle, I added Good times bows, Believe in Magic stars to appear as confetti in a balloon, and a Geotagged mini tag using Tsukineko Delicata Ink in Golden Glitz.

Don't forget to check out the projects from the other Mama Elephant design team members here:
Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Wedding Wednesday: The Venue

Happy Wednesday! Now that we've touched on ways to organize your wedding thoughts and notes. The next step is to think about the venue. The venue is an extremely important part of the day and it really sets the tone for the rest of your decor and vision, including your dress, your colors, and everything in between.

There are a few questions to answer:
  • Is it a small and intimate or is it large and festive?
  • What do you envision as your backdrop?
  • What time of year will it be?
  • What is your budget?

Our decision: Given our guest list, our wedding was on the larger side but it was important to keep it feeling small and intimate. While my groom didn't have a preference on the backdrop, I always envisioned getting married in a clean, lush green garden with sprinkles of bright, colorful flowers.

Photo credit: Cly Creation

I also envisioned seats on the grass... an understated, down-to-earth,  backyard-like, yet classic wedding.

Photo credit: Cly Creation

Once you've fully answered the questions, you'll be able to narrow down to a list of places that's just right for you.

Next week, I'll post a second part to the venue topic covering the different questions I asked my venue that helped me make my final decision.

Come back at 9am for another Mama Elephant highlight!

Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mama Elephant Highlight: Believe in Magic

Hi! We continue today with a closer look at Mama Elephant's Believe in Magic stamp set.

Here's the thing, who doesn't love a snow globe? Seriously, especially one where you can build on your own! And the best part is this set works so perfectly with the Mama Elephant Polar Pals set. It's also perfect with the Mama Elephant Trifecta set!

Materials used: Mama Elephant We Believe in Magic, Trifecta, Polar Pals, We Click; CTMH Inks, Tsukineko Delicata Ink in Golden Glitz, Memento Ink in Tuxedo Black, Bic Mark-it Markers

A closer look: I created two snow globes and used the Trifecta triangle patterns to create the look of trees in one of them. I added "Cheer" and "Merry" from Polar Pals which fits perfectly in the globes as well. Then I used the base of the snow globe to create a brick pattern into an abstract tree, topping it off with the "XOXO" starburst label from the We Click set.

Don't forget to check out the projects from the other Mama Elephant design team members here:
Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mama Elephant Highlight: We Click

Happy Monday! Back again with a closer look at the We Click set by Mama Elephant.

As you can see, it is perfect for a faux Instax look with a clothespin, washi tape, and more. It makes me smile just looking at how cute and perfect this set is. I combined it with Basic Borders (also by Mama Elephant) for a scrapbooking layout.

Materials used: Mama Elephant Basic Borders and We Click, Heidi Swapp chipboard alphabet, American Craft Zing Embossing Powder in gold, CTMH ink pads, Kaisercraft clear overlay, watercolor

A closer look: I stamped out polka dot patterns and striped patterns using the Basic Borders stamp set. I then stamped the Instax frames using the same colors and cut the frames out to frame a picture, ephemera, and a clear overlay. To give it dimension, I used metallic embossing powder to give it a bit of shimmer and foam adhesive to raise the frames.

Hope you enjoyed this layout and don't forget to head over to the Mama Elephant blog right now to check out what the rest of the design team has created!

Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mama Elephant Design Team & Giveaway!

Best. News. Ever. I'm so happy to announce that I'm on the Mama Elephant design team! Check out the official Mama Elephant design team announcement here to check out all of the talented ladies.

To celebrate this great news, we have a giveaway for a $20 Mama Elephant gift certificate! And you have a total of 4 chances to enter for the giveaway if you comment on my blog 4 times:
  1. Leave a comment on this blog post.
  2. Like/share Mama Elephant on Facebook ( and leave a comment letting us know.
  3. Tweet about us and comment letting us know.
  4. Blog about Mama Elephant and leave a comment with a link to your blog post.
There are even more chances to win if you visit the Mama Elephant blog and the other design team members' blogs, so don't forget to check all the blogs out!

Winners will be announced on the Mama Elephant blog on the morning of Monday, 10/15. Good luck!

I'm sure you've checked out Mama Elephant by now, but just in case you haven't, here's why you should: the designs are fun, fresh, clean, and amazingly versatile. The best part is that you can use them for cards or scrapbook layouts!

Materials used: Mama Elephant Nursery Deco, Memento Ink in London Fog, K&Company Actopus to Zelephant Wood, Bazzill Cardstock, CTMH Embossing Powder, Making Memories Sticker Tape, Washi Tape

A closer look: When you first look at the Mama Elephant Nursery Deco set, the immediate thought is to make a really cute new baby card. But as you can see, you can do a lot just by repeating the alphabet sign stamp. It is absolutely perfect for scrapbooking. The layout actually spells out "San Fran Love" when you piece all the red letters together. To create this look, simply stamp the alphabet sign lined up with 2" photos in a design that works for you. Then using a darker embossing powder, apply with a glue pen by tracing the letters you want to highlight. Heat with a heat gun and you're done!

Don't forget to check out Mama Elephant to see who's on the rest of the Design Team and for more details and chances to win a $20 Mama Elephant gift certificate!

Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mama Elephant Grand Opening Stampede + 10% Off!


Hello! Do I have exciting news for you today?! My pal, Kryssi Ng, has launched a brand new stamp company with her pal, Angela, called Mama Elephant and I am so happy to join in the blog hop! If you're here from the blog of Cristina Kowalczyk, then you are right on track with the Mama Elephant Grand Opening Stampede. If you happen to have stumbled upon this post, start here.

About the company: Mama Elephant is owned and operated by two childhood friends from NYC. We are so happy to bring the collaboration of our aesthetics to Mama Elephant! Our stamps are designed with card makers and scrapbookers in mind! Our stamps are carefully curated to provide optimal versatility with a wide variety of styles - cute, whimsical, bold, graphic, and fun!

Here's one of the eight sets in Mama Elephant's first release, Trifecta.

Don't you just love this stamp set? Here's a layout I made with the set.

Photo Credit: Loretta Tong

Materials used: Mama Elephant Trifecta stamp set, Martha Stewart medium balloon punch, American Craft Zing Embossing Powder in Gold, Colorbox Chalk Ink in Tangerine and Yellow Citrus, Ranger Adirondack Lights Ink in Shell Pink, Colorbok alpha stickers, K&Company Actopus to Zelephant Wood, Bazzill Cardstock, velvet ribbon

A closer look: To create a geometric background with lots of floating balloons, I masked the background with balloons and added the pattern color strip by color strip. I then took the masks and used them for more dimension. To round it all off, I added a wood grain balloon and a gold embossed balloon. I love how these techniques combine to create great textures and dimension.

Don't forget to visit Mama Elephant to get your hands on this perfect set of triangular patterns and more. Plus, buy your favorite sets today and get 10% off the whole store! Use coupon code: GRANDOPEN. Today only!

If you're lost, here's where you are:
Now hop on over to Vanessa Menhorn's blog!

Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: Getting Organized!

It's Wedding Wednesday! As my first official post since the announcement, I thought I'd start from the very beginning... When I first got engaged, I had no idea what we were about to plan. First, we really tried to give ourselves time to absorb and just be an engaged couple.

Revisit this project here.

We both mentioned in passing conversations that it'd be nice to have an autumn wedding. A couple of weeks passed by and suddenly, it dawned on us that we only had 9 months to plan a wedding. While that sounds like a lot of time, I felt overwhelmed by all of the different wedding checklists and timelines we had signed up for, which often made me feel I was really behind. The checklists are comprehensive and extremely helpful in identifying every possible detail.
However, not everything applied to me, so I created my own list based on a combination of these lists and went about it at my pace. I knew it'd be too hard to keep absolutely everything online or a spreadsheet because I'm not always connected.

I received an extremely sweet gift from my Matron of Honor to help me start my journey. She even picked one with the colors I had mentioned would be shades of my wedding colors.

Organization that worked for me: I used this notebook to jot most of my projects, plans, and notes down. But I wasn't always so organized, so I also carried around a smaller more flexible notebook made of several sheets of plain white 8 1/2 x 11 paper folded in half. As time went on, the method that worked best for me was to put small quick tasks such as "buy something at the local craft store" on my sheets of paper, while more permanent notes such as those from conversations with vendors or vision brainstorms went into the notebook.

So if you're like me and you like to write things down, I recommend finding yourself a notebook that makes you smile... because you'll be carrying it everyday leading up to your wedding!

Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: A New Series!

Hi, friends! My blog has been greatly neglected because I've been planning a wedding! Now that I'm married, I am back with a weekly series inspired by that very special day. Every Wednesday, I'll share a post about my wedding planning process... from the not-so-fun vendor vetting to the super fun, but incredibly time-consuming hand-crafting DIY work. Hopefully I'll provide useful info and how-to's to brides who are in the middle of their own process.

So come back next Wednesday to read about my trials, tribulations, compromises, and decisions leading up to this very special day!

Photo Credit: Loretta Tong

Thanks for stopping by!
- KRAFTY pearl