Brooch and Fabric Flower Bouquet

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Around this time last year I took on what was probably, on reflection, one of the most insane decisions I have ever made. As my entire wedding was done on a budget, and I was looking to cut costs in every way I could, I found the concept of spending hundreds of pounds on flowers (which would ultimately die within days) slightly ludicrous! As a result of my Pinterest addiction I'd set my heart on a brooch bouquet, but then having priced them up on Etsy, I knew they were way out of my price range, so, being the slightly mental person I clearly I am, I decided this was something I was going to have to DIY.

An entire brooch bouquet, even a DIY one, was also likely to be costly as a result of its current trendiness and the overall cost of buying supplies. It also made it difficult to decide which way to go with button holes and bridesmaids bouquets.

I stumbled across fabric flower bouquets and through a combination of various YouTube videos and a bit of guess work I was able to produce my own bouquet, two matching bridemaids bouquets, two flowergirl wands and eight buttonholes for around £40 in total! I was lucky to pick the fabric up cheap and the rest of the supplies came from eBay. Brooches were produced through a combination of family donations, eBay and charity shops.

For my bouquet I used a couple of different fabric flower types but in the main (and all the flowers in the bridesmaids bouquets) were peony style. The best (and easiest to follow tutorial) is this one from The Polka Dot Closet. I added a couple of rolled ribbon rosettes and various other styles in my bouquet as I wanted it to be quite mis-matched and you can find plenty of these tutorials all over the internet. I used a combination of colours within my bouquet, starting with a cream and a beige/gold fabric as my base colour, to match the ivory shades in my wedding dress and then the navy and pink picked out the colours in the bridesmaid dresses.

For the brooches within my bouquet, some of the smaller ones became the centres for my flowers. The larger heavier ones, I wired individually. I also used pearl beads and buttons for flower centres - some I hot glued in, some I stitched on. (This generally depended on how tired I was at the time!) I then glued a piece of matching ribbon to the bottom of each flower, glued the wire in the middle, before twisting it, and then folded the ribbon over the top. (This attached the wire to the bottom of the flower.) After  twisting, I wrapped floral tape over the top of the wire - this gives extra padding and stops the wires poking through later.

One of the tutorials I struggled to find on the Internet was actually how to form the bouquet. I didn't take photographs of the stages so I'll just try to explain. This is just the way I found easiest for me - there are other ways that you can trying, including using floral oasis.

Each individual flower or brooch was separately wired, so by the end I had a big bunch of them that was all wired up, which I then cut so they were more or less the same length. I began with the largest brooch as my starting point, and wrapped the wire around a piece of wooden dowling that I had cut to length. (I would suggest leaving this slightly longer than you think you need, as you can cut shorter at the end.) I also wrapped two or three flowers together in a bunch, before wrapping them around the dowling post also. I didn't glue anything at this point, and by just wrapping the wire it meant I could undo anything and change it. The wire also meant I could bend the flowers out to fill out my bouquet as I built it up.

Once I was happy with everything, and after cutting everything down to the length I needed, I wrapped wadding around what had now become my handle, to make it a bit softer, and then wrapped ribbon over the top, hot gluing as I went. The end is a little fiddly, but you can melt the end off with a flame and seal it up neat and tidy. I finished it off by hot gluing a lace collar underneath the flowers (it generally clings to the exposed wires you haven't covered with the ribbon) to tidy it off. I also tided on a ribbon to pretty up and embellish.

I used exactly the same method it make my button holes - just on a smaller scale and you don't need the wooden centre.

These types of bouquets really are a labour of love, but they are something that will last forever. I was able to include family mementos in my bouquet which made it extra special. You need to put aside plenty of time as the first couple seem fun but it quickly becomes very tedious - this is not something to do two weeks before you get married! I suggest getting a few girls over to help out - unless you want it to be a big surprise. I tended to do one or two flowers a night whilst watching TV, which took the chore out of it somewhat and then sat and formed it all on a weekend.

The brooch bouquet is quite heavy and doesn't have the same level of flexibility as the fabric bouquets do. They are also limited in terms of how big you can actually make them using this method - these are not going to be big bouquets.Also laying them down can make them go flat, so make sure you keep it stood up as much in advance as you can and ensure your bridesmaids don't just lay it down when they take it off you in church!

Are you are a fan of these types of bouquets? Do you think you might consider doing something like this?

90s Fashion and Beauty mistakes……..

Sunday, 8 February 2015

I love reading all those little Buzzfeed lists that get shared all over the internet, where you sit along nodding, thinking ‘yep that was me’. I saw one recently about things 90s girls did which inspired me to do one about the fashion and beauty blunders I made in my youth.

If your Mum was pretty cool you may have been allowed to get a perm. If she wasn’t you probably used crimpers. I generally spent most of my youth with the ‘sliding doors’ crop (which never looked right as I didn’t have naturally straight hair and although we seemed to have worked out how to add more kinks we couldn’t work out how to make it straight!) so crimpers were very early on in the 90s for me, but it endured the era!
Butterfly Clips
One of the trends I could rock was the little twists pinned with butterfly clips. Long or short every 90s chick worth their salt had these in their hair!

Hair Gel
Excess hair gel crossed both genders. Whether it was to spike up your crop, comb down your curtains or perfect your ‘flick’ the more gel the better. The majority of my friends generally sported the ‘face-lift’ pony tail with the two of the tiniest bits of hair to ‘frame their face’ hanging down the front, gelled within an inch of their life.

Tattoo Necklace
It never looked anything like a tattoo and even if I had a tattoo I was probably never going to have one like this round my neck.

Adidas Poppers
The epitome of cool – every non uniform day these bad boys would come out, because really you wanted the boys to pull them open to show your legs off! (The fact you could have just worn a skirt was never considered!) If you could get away with these for PE you were totally bad ass! I thought I was the schizz because mine were a lilac pair, teamed with my… 

Kappa Trainers 
Adidas and Nike were far too main stream, Kappa was practically designer! Also it had two nudey ladies as their symbol. Totally cool. The fact that this brand is now cheaper than Primark says something really.
Lip Liner 
Ahhhh the clear sign of any nighties girl was when her lip liner was ten shades darker than her Collection 2000 frosted coffee lipstick. It wasn’t a good look then. It’s even worse now. 

Blue Eyeshadow 
Of course, what went fantastically with your mismatched lips, was bright blue eyeshadow – to bring out the colour in your eyes obviously. If you had your hands on Barry M glitter powder too, well you may as well have quit school and become a make-up artist! 

Sun In 
It never worked, no matter what colour your hair was. If you were already blonde, it had a tendency to turn your hair green. If you were a red head like me it wasn’t even going to show up. 

Blonde Streaks 
What was it about the 90s that made us have an obsession about going blonde? Male or female, you were either blonde, or had streaks put in. Usually of the really yellow variety. I now realise that I was never going to achieve this look with a semi-permanent dye from my local Superdrug and it was going to take a lot of bleach to achieve anything like blonde. Now I realise I should have just embraced my natural colour all along! 

Mood Rings 
They changed colour depending on how warm you were and they made your finger green. Never a good look, But they made you look all boho. 

Jeans and Checked shirts. 
Now don’t get me wrong I rock a pair of skinnies and a fitted plaid on a regular basis but in the nineties it involved baggy ‘mom’ jeans and a large man’s lumberjack tied around your waist. I thought I looked like Claire Danes, in My So Called Life, all full of teen angst – in reality I looked like the 12 year old tomboy I was!

Luckily my lack of hair prevented me ever falling into this hair fashion trap – they were usually sported with a ridiculously high side pony.
Big Hats 
I did however partake in the trend for massive floppy Paddington bear hats – ala Blossom. (Was I the only one who tried to do the split jump thing at the start when the credits were on?) 

Blathering yourself in Impulse (or Charlie red) in lieu of having an actual shower after PE was never a great idea in terms of 90s teen personal hygiene. Added to the fact Impulse was not actually an antiperspirant you were never going to smell great! 

Can you remember any of these 90s fashion and beauty mistakes? Can you think of any others?

MAC Pro Longwear LipColour Review

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

When choosing my make up for my wedding, I knew I wanted a professional make up artist. I'm generally a bit rubbish at doing my make up (as you can see!) and I wanted something that would last all day and look good on camera. When I went for my make up trial I asked them to tell me the lipgloss they used, so I could purchase in order to top up through the day. In the end I didn't have to top up much (and generally I didn't have time!), but I have used the lipgloss regularly since.

I own MAC lipsticks but I had never bought anything from their Pro range before. This LipColour is designed to be long lasting and has two elements to it; the long lasting colour and a clear lipgloss to go over the top. This colour is called Unchanging, which is a pinky/purpley colour. Its a colour that can be worn everyday but also gives enough colour that its noticeable and not a completely nude colour.

The colour goes on well with the little sponge applicator. You have to wait for it to fully dry before applying the gloss. I have found it is quite important to ensure that your lips are soft and flake free as the main downside to this gloss is that when as it dries it can dry out your lips quite a bit, and start to go flakey. I have a tendency to rub my lips together a lot, and the more you do this, the more the colour starts to flake off your lips. If you frequently re-apply the gloss that does combat it. The clear lipgloss is starting to discolour a bit due to the transfer of colour, so I think after a while it might start to look at bit manky. The colour does last well and there is little or no transfer and its easy ot use  without the need for lipliner.

Overall I like this colour and gloss combo and I do still use it fairly often.. At £18 it's not overly cheap but I have been considering purchasing the more red shade in the range.

Have you used any of the MAC Pro range?
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