cards

golden tulle – engagement invites

When the party planning started for the future Mr & Mrs Millemann I immediately knew that I HAD to be involved in the invites (so graciously picked, customized and ordered by Krista’s soon to be amazing sister-in-law from Wedding Paper Divas). I just adore a crisp piece of paper, some envelopes and anything gold, which they obviously had to be.

Krista and I discussed her outfit for the party, months in advance of course (basic?). She mentioned tulle and I was smitten with the idea of incorporating tulle in everything. Did you know you can find hoards, I mean hoards of tulle on Amazon. Why yes you can. For great prices too. Not that I really know the standard price of tulle…but you can even find gold, glittery tulle in all sorts of sizes!

However in the end she went rogue and wore feathers but looked phenomenal so it was okay!

I ordered 25 yards of gold glitter tulle to cut into squares, gave them a napkin-style fold and placed them just inside the envelopes. Here is a look at the invites with a special little party inside!

materials

  • invitations + envelopes
  • choice of tulle
  • scissors
  • pens for addressing
  • cute washi tape for sealing
love the invites but really love the color of this box!

love the invites but really love the color inside of this box!

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the tulle!

the tulle!

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glitter!

glitter!

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check out that tulle!

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cheers to the future mr & mrs millemann!

taylor brass

brass blossom

“will you be my bridesmaid” gift boxes

When Chase popped the big question, one of the funnest things to think about — outside of spending the rest of my life with him of course — was the year ahead with an incredible crew of ladies. They are cousins, confidantes, partners in crime, and best friends, and they deserve the best.

But how to ask them to be a bridesmaid? While part of me wanted to text or call them immediately, I wanted to mark the occasion and commitment (and it is a commitment!) with something a little more special. They are and will continue to be so supportive, giving, and generous to me, so I wanted to at least somewhat return the favor from the start.

Googling and searching on Etsy didn’t return anything all that inspired…and with 11 bridesmaids, buying a $50 customized box that someone else makes without much in it wasn’t really an option.

I wanted to include items that had some kind of significance or than symbolized something, so I settled on:

materials

  • Ivory and gold polka dot boxes from PaperSource
  • Ivory tissue paper
  • Monogrammed mugs from Anthropologie
  • Le Pen pens in rainbow colors
  • Mini bottles of champagne
  • Christmas ornaments with stars on them
  • 3×5 photos from throughout the years
  • Pink satin ribbon
  • “Will You Be My Bridesmaid” cards from Rifle Paper Co.
  • Navy and Ivory cardstock/envelopes from Willow Papery

Each item connected to something in the first card on the box:

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outside of the first card

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front side of the first card

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back of the first card, which connects to the contents in the box

Box for “keeping my shit together,” mugs for “comfort”, pens for “writing my story” and “bringing color to my life,” champagne for “celebrating,” stars for being like “stars,” and photos for “amazing memories.”

Here’s a look at everything!

incredible boxes from PaperSource that I got for 20% off

incredible boxes from PaperSource that I got for 20% off

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the assembly line

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maybe my favorite monogrammed mug for Rachel

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starry ornaments from anthropologie

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the main parts

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I think everyone's favorite part was looking through the photos — probably mine too!

I think everyone’s favorite part was looking through the photos — probably mine too!

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the second card they opened, inside of the box

boxes ready for bows!

boxes ready for bows!

erica's

erica’s

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finished off with a satin (or silk) bow!

finished off with a satin (or silk) bow!

Thanks to all my favorite ladies for saying YES! You are the best, and I love you all so much!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

sending love

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Thus far 2015 has been a year (enter choice swear word…). A year full of raw emotions and simultaneous tears and smiles. As some of you may know my “boy” suffered a critical injury at the beginning of January. And while he is doing spectacular, and it will be A Positive Tale, it has needless to say been a rough year.

However in the midst of it all, when the road to recovery began to seem just the more manageable, “The Brass Blossom” officially turned one. So on February 9, Krista and I celebrated. It wasn’t necessarily the popping bottles, dancing on the table type of celebration you might imagine, but it was perfect. We went to a comforting and indulgent lunch at Cristina’s, split a glass of champagne and just talked.

It was a day that obviously marked a milestone for us. Over the last year we have poured our hearts, souls and Martha Stewart crafty selves into this blog. What started as an outlet in the middle of winter to surround ourselves with pretty things has become a part of us. It is something that we genuinely love and keeps us going in the toughest of times.

And during this tough, frustrating, yet remarkably hopeful time, one thing we knew that we wanted to do was send some love. Because regardless if it is two days or 15 days after Valentine’s Day, it is never too late to send a little love. It seemed only fitting that since our first-ever post was about valentines, we should send some again this year. These photos are a part of that effort, no matter the fact that they’re quite belated.

We will be honest. Neither of us are exactly hopeless romantics — we’re more like realists, something we have always related to in the other. But even realists like us know that in the suckiest of times, if nothing else, there is love. And love has gotten us through the last month and a half.

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So we are back. Or as back as we can be for now given the circumstances to send some Brass Blossom love near and far.

Huge special thanks to my mother or my “Craft Minion” as I commonly refer to her as. She got out her needle and thread and hand-stitched the top of our banner at like 9:00 pm one night. No questions asked. She is one devoted lady and simply radiates love.

Also, huge thanks to our friend Rachel who not only took the pictures of us awkwardly posing but also told us when we looked awkward. That’s a true friend, and we love her dearly.

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We love you all.

krista and taylor

 

brass blossom

hitched & antlered – idaho wedding gift inspiration

This past weekend Krista and I (plus the boys) attended an incredibly beautiful wedding full of love and a bit of rain. It was pretty much like an Idaho tsunami. But despite the rain, thunder, lightening, flash flood warnings and mud I have no doubt that true to the saying that “rain on a wedding day brings good luck”, the beautiful couple will have a brilliantly happy life together. The couple shared what they love about each other during the ceremony and I cried as hard as it was raining. Hiccups were involved.

The couple registered at a few local stores and had an online registry. Their online registry was perfectly reflective of their relationship as it included a double sleeping bag. While I thought of overnighting the double sleeping bag because to be honest, who doesn’t need one, I chose to buy a more personal gift from a local furnishings store, My House Furnishings.

I also picked up a bit of paper and card from our local favorite paper boutique, Willow Papery, to supplement what I already had in my wrapping cupboard to complete the project. Side note, one of my life goals is to transition from a wrapping and craft cupboard to a walk-in closet.

So I went to work and channeled their love and wedding invitation in my gift and wrapping. A look below at the process!

spoiler alert for the couple - Idaho attuned wedding present

spoiler alert for the couple – Idaho attuned wedding present

the invitation & spider mums that are brightening my table

the invitation & spider mums that were brightening my table during all the rain

ready to wrap

ready to wrap

love this subtly gold & white tissue paper

love this subtle gold & white tissue paper

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box wrapped in natural colored polka-dot paper

box wrapped in natural colored polka-dot paper

a blue strip of paper to tie in one of their wedding colors

a blue strip of paper to tie in one of their wedding colors

4 yards of yellow ribbon that i wrapped multiple times around the box (you can never have enough ribbon)

4 yards of yellow ribbon that i wrapped multiple times around the box (you can never have enough ribbon)

festive blue bandana tied around the yellow ribbon - their invitation included a few symbols reminiscent of a bandana

festive blue bandana tied around the yellow ribbon – their invitation included a few symbols reminiscent of a bandana

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tied, wrapped & bowed!

tied, wrapped & bowed!

ready for the wedding!

ready for the wedding & proof that the paper was dry at the beginning of the night!

We spent the night indulging in the couple’s love, amazing company, incredible food from the ‘the haven’ and a few drinks that led to some questionable dancing. The Idaho tsunami didn’t manage to dampen (pun intended) anyone’s spirits. Congrats, Riley & Maggie!

Krista & Chase inside the tent that thankfully kept us dry!

Krista & Chase inside the tent that thankfully kept us dry!

the boy & i (post stripping the sweater and jacket that were keeping me warm)

the boy & i (post stripping the sweater and jacket that were keeping me warm!)

taylor brass

brass blossom

beautiful wrapping for a beautiful person

happy birthday mom!

happy birthday mom!

Yesterday was my wonderful mother’s birthday. My mom happens to be pretty much the most awe-inspiring woman I know. Even if I wasn’t her offspring I would say this. Not only is she a full-time mother but also she teaches both Elementary School P.E. and Driver’s Ed. Yeah, she is pretty much the bravest person I know, literally. She could probably teach us all a thing or two, just don’t ask her for help with math.

I not so jokingly joke that I’m going to pawn off my children on her to raise. You know when they ask you what you want to be when you grow up in Elementary School? Well I have finally come to the conclusive answer (20+ years after Elementary School) that I hope to be half the woman that my mother is. She is ridiculously selfless, compassionate, nurturing and pretty much a total badass.

This year I wanted to get her a gift that was just for her to enjoy. So the boy and I got her a pair of neoprene socks for fishing, no joke. Within the last couple of years, my mom has learned to fly fish and recently become fairly obsessed. She will venture out solo or with a girlfriend for any bit of time on the water. Later she will glow as she tells us about the multiple fish she caught on that “little brown bugger with wings.” She is pure proof that all it takes is passion and determination to succeed at anything.

So here is a quick wrapping post that shows even brown neoprene socks deserve beautiful wrapping!

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pretty wrapping from Willow Papery

how cute is this little embroidered pig card?! my mom loves pigs which makes it that much better.

how cute is this little embroidered pig card?! my mom loves pigs, which makes it that much better.

wrapping box for the socks

wrapping box for the socks

fishing socks!

fishing socks!

first layer of light blue wrapping

first layer of light blue wrapping

adding a strip of another colored wrapping helps add dimension

adding a strip of another colored wrapping helps add dimension

two layers of ribbon to highlight

two layers of ribbon to highlight

the final touch of a single flower from a bouquet on my table

the final touch of a single flower from a bouquet on my table

the dinner party

the dinner party

the boy and I

the boy and I (my weekend love it will feature this incredible jumpsuit!)

For all of you Idaho locals, Willow Papery is an incredible stationery store to find great gifts and pretty paper and cards. It is the same store that Krista got the amazing swan paper for her diy placemats. A great stop if you are looking for a small gift or wrapping of any sort.

Happy birthday, Mom! I love you.

taylor brass

brass blossom

fun things come in pretty packages — wedding gift inspiration

beautiful wedding backdrop

beautiful wedding backdrop

My coworker and dear friend Kate recently married the love of her life at Galena Lodge. It was an idyllic, sweet and oh-so genuine and majestic ceremony with an incredible mountain backdrop. The excellent food, drinks and company didn’t hurt either. 🙂

I like to think I’m a planner, but sometimes planning ahead just isn’t in the cards. I needed to find a gift for a young, down-to-earth couple within 24 hours after returning later than anticipated from a work trip. And, they didn’t register. I know they said “your presence is your present,” but as fun as I try to be, let’s be real…they deserve something new and shiny to remember their special day!

I found these Moscow mule mugs at a local kitchen store squeezed onto a shelf in the glassware aisle. Whether or not you’re a Moscow mule lover, who can argue that you don’t feel infinitely cooler when you’re enjoying a cocktail from one of these mugs?!

I then called a local jeweler that I knew did engravings and was somehow able to talk them into finishing an engraving in about four hours rather than their standard four days. She is not taking her husband’s last name, so I opted for the first initial of their first names instead. Tip: never assume the bride is taking the groom’s name, always ask.

Then, the fun part — wrapping! I went to one of my favorite local boutiques, Willow Papery, to choose from their incredible wrapping paper, ribbon, tissue paper and card selection. Kate’s save the date and invite were in a simple and elegant blue and white theme, so I tried to continue with those colors. Of course, I couldn’t resist some gold detail and mint ribbon…

Here’s a look at the whole process.

shiny copper mug

shiny copper mug — impossible to not take an awkward photo

mugs with engravings — difficult to see

mugs with engravings — difficult to see

K for Kate

B for Ben

the goods for wrapping

the goods for wrapping

robins egg tissue paper protecting the surprise

robins egg tissue paper protecting the surprise on a bed of handmade tissue paper from Papyrus

I cut out the Moscow Mule recipe just in case and added a (gold) message on the other side

I cut out the Moscow Mule recipe just in case and added a (gold) message on the other side

yum!

yum!

my mom taught me to leave half the height of the package on the wrapping paper side

my mom taught me to leave half the height of the package on the wrapping paper side

the perfect fit

the perfect fit

double stick tape made everything look clean

double stick tape made everything look clean

three different colored satin ribbons in different widths added some color and dramatic lines

three different colored satin ribbons in different widths added some color and dramatic lines. I purposely made the ends different lengths — something different!

adorable greeting card from willow papery

adorable greeting card from willow papery

the final product!

the final product!

ready to celebrate!

ready to celebrate!

Congratulations to Kate and Ben! What a beautiful wedding.

cheers krista

brass blossom

diy 52 reasons ‘i love you’ cards

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When the boy and I celebrated five years of our “best-friendship” we were seniors in college ready to depart into the so called “real world.” Like I mentioned in our Idaho adventure of Getting Lost on the Lost, we have always attempted, or rather been forced to as broke college students, to focus our gifts and day around anything that doesn’t require oodles of money. So for our five years the boy and I brought a picnic to the gorgeous Sweet Cheeks Winery to enjoy a drink or two, the sunshine and exchange gifts.

The boy gifted me one of the more precious and thoughtful gifts that I have ever received. He gave me five, one for each year, mason jars and cards in increasing sizes. Each mason jar held a riddle about the two of us which was completed in the cards with pictures and other fun surprises. I still have the jars and cards sitting on my bookcase.

For the boy I made a card as well as “52 reasons I love you” cards. And naturally, I laminated them all. Anything that is laminated or labeled holds a sweet spot in my heart.

materials

  • a new deck of 52 playing cards (of course I picked camo)
  • labels that will fit over the value side (I trimmed them a bit after printing)
  • a printer & a computer
  • a binder ring
  • a hole punch

instructions

  1. Using Microsoft Word, choose the “Label Wizard” under templates. You can then choose your desired label size.
  2. Using the template you just created, type out 52 reasons that you love the gift receiver. I used various camouflage colors. You can make them as sappy, serious or funny as desired (examples below).
  3. Once complete, print out the labels.
  4. Attach the individual labels over the value (i.e. Spade, Heart, Diamond and Club) side of the card. Trim the labels as needed.
  5. Using a hole punch, make a hole into the same corner of each card. I chose to laminate the individual cards and then cut them out prior to creating the holes. I also kept my cards in order.
  6. Use the binder ring to hold all of the cards together, and gift away!
camo cards make this gift even more manly

camo cards make this gift even more manly

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I saved the best for last

I saved the best for last

laminated cards! sure to last a life time.

laminated cards – sure to last a life time.

binder ring to hold them all together

binder ring to keep the cards together

the front of the boy's five year card

the front of the boy’s five year card

too good not to share - the card I semi-homemade this year

too good not to share — the card I semi-homemade this year

There are quite a few tutorials online and all over Pinterest demonstrating this diy. And for good reason, as you can make it as simple or as detailed as you like. One of the best parts about this gift is that it is fun to read through the cards every so often and it serves as a small reminder of your love at that moment.

taylor brass

brass blossom

handmade birthday cards

handmade card

handmade card

I make handmade greeting cards whenever I get the chance — I’ve loved crafts ever since I was a little girl, and many times the card is a gift in and of itself.

There are two important parts to each card I create:

  1. A pretty presentation
  2. A sincere, heartfelt message

Each card I’ve ever made has been unique, but here are a few guiding principles if you’d like to give a handmade card a try for the next special occasion.

materials

  • card stock
  • elaborate printed paper found at a specialty stationary store like Paper Source
  • printed gift wrap
  • Le Pens or another nice, fine tip pen
  • Sharpies
  • A ruler
  • Rubber cement
  • A square or round stencil and a pencil
  • Any other fun details — ribbon, glitter, stick-on pearls or gems, etc.

instructions

 

  1. I usually pick one specific component that I want to incorporate in a card — a color, pattern, or accessory that reminds me of the recipient — and then work the card around that inspiration.
  2. I prefer using a circle or square shape, or occasionally a rectangle. I also often opt for a two sided card without a fold. That being said, trace a perfect square or circle using a stencil and pencil onto your paper of choice.
  3. Trace a slightly smaller circle or square on card stock — that’s where you’ll write your message.
  4. Add a nice detail on the front like “happy birthday” written in gold, the first initial of their name, or the age they are turning.
  5. The most important step, the message: My cards have a  bit of a reputation for making people cry, because I really think about who the recipient is. What do you love about this person? What specific character traits to you most admire in them? What do you hope for their future? What do you know they are capable of? Tell them. Tell them how thankful you are for them, how much you love them, and how you would literally kick someone’s ass to protect them.
my go-to birthday present combo — a handmade cards, prosecco, fresh flowers, and a pretty package

my go-to birthday present combo — a handmade card, prosecco, fresh flowers, and a pretty package

a card I made recently for my friend Kyleigh

a card I made recently for my friend Kyleigh

the most important part — the message!

the most important part — the message!

happy birthday card for Rachel from the other night

happy birthday card for Rachel from the other night

a birthday card for taylor!

a birthday card for taylor!

a card for one of my favorite people!

a card for one of my favorite people!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

made with love: handmade valentines

We know, we know…It’s a commercial holiday. However, we see Valentine’s Day as a great excuse to tell someone you care about them, which we probably don’t do often enough.

So, we watched The Bachelor (because what doesn’t say true love like The Bachelor) and got crafty.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset v-day Materials 2 v-Day materials 1 

MATERIALS:

  • card stock paper in various colors (try branching out from the typical pink and red)
  • specialty paper in various patterns (found at PaperSource or any other specialty stationery store)
  • glue (we like Elmer’s, none of that glue stick crap)
  • glitter glue
  • scissors
  • gold and silver Sharpies
  • fine tipped Sharpies
  • pencil
  • hole punch
  • ribbon
  • doilies
  • pipe cleaners
  • paper cutter
  • any other fun materials you might have around

For a few years now, Krista has reverted to that classic heart valentine with a ruffled edge. Think Billy Madison’s valentine from Principal Anderson, but with a slighty different intention…

KRISTA’S APPROACH:

1. Make two symmetrical hearts (one for each side of the scalloped paper). I rely on the old fold a piece of paper in half trick…works every time.

2. Trace a larger (about a half-inch) heart around my first heart with a pencil, and cut that out with a straight edge first.

3. Glue the smaller heart in the middle of the bigger heart

4. Scallop away — see how long you can cut continuously. It makes it easier.

5. Glue the second smaller heart on the other side.

6. Embellish!

To add detail, Krista relies on details like fine-point messages of “happy valentine’s day” or “xoxo,” bold and glittery polka dots or “XOs,” threading satin ribbon through hole punch holes, and of course the existing details in specialty paper. Often, less is more.

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Unlike Krista who was full of brilliant ideas during our crafting session, Taylor seriously struggled to find an approach to anything worthwhile.  Thus ensued her own personal craft session listening to country music to create an approach of her own…

TAYLOR’S APPROACH:

OPTION 1:

1. Make rectangular cards. Any size works and a little variety never hurts! Using a paper cutter really helps expedite this process. Definitely a worthwhile investment!

2. Fold top half of card down so there is about .25 inches of space showing the inside of the bottom card.

3. Using a pencil, lightly write a special message on the front of the card. Or, if you are feeling adventurous, just go straight for the glitter glue. If you have very fine glitter (Martha Stewart Brand is always a great choice) you can always use Elmer’s Glue to write your message and cover with glitter.

4. Add a little personalized touch to each card. I went for dots along the .25 inches of space, a cute little heart and an arrow.

5. Once dry, finish the inside with a sweet note!

OPTION 2:

1. Make rectangular cards. Again any size works!

2. Fold rectangle in half.

3. Create a heart template (follow Krista’s sage wisdom with the old fold and make half a heart for a symmetric look) from a thicker piece of cardstock to ensure best tracing.

4. Trace heart onto front of card and cut out. Get creative with placement.

5. Glue a rectangle the size of one side of the card onto either the back of the front (where you cut out the heart) or the front of the back (where you write your message) depending on where you are writing your personalized note and if you want it to show through.

6. Personalize away!

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SOME TIPS TO MAKE YOUR VALENTINES PERSONAL:

Your message depends on your audience, of course! Here are a few pointers for everyone special in your life:

  • Co-workers: Keep it to a basic “xoxo” or “happy valentine’s day” message
  • Parents: Include a simple proclamation of how much you love them and thanks for all they’ve done for you
  • Friends: Somewhere in between a co-worker and friend message :)…Maybe even a funny poem that plays off of roses are red and violets are blue like, “Roses are red, violets are blue…being hungover is only fun when I’m with you!”
  • Significant others: Be heartfelt! What do you love about them? How do they make you a better person? What do you think is now possible because of their influence? What are you proud of them for? What do you want to do later in bed? 😉 You can even try a poem. For example, Krista loves this one. Sometimes she removes the third stanza…

Stay tuned for our Valentine’s Day “cootie catchers” idea!

cheers! krista & taylor

brass blossom