Pumpkin Everything

Fall is one of the most beautiful and tasteful times of the year! The leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping and every coffee shop is serving some kind of yummy pumpkin themed latte.

One of my favorite fall memories is carving pumpkins with the family – dad’s was always scary, mom’s was always happy, my sister’s were always artsy and creative… and then there was mine.  Let’s just say carving pumpkins was not my forte so I was super excited when I found some awesome ideas for decorating pumpkins that don’t involve carving at all!  Here are some fun ways to get festive this season without the mess and frustration:

Glitter Pumpkins

Simply use craft glue to create your desired patterns and sprinkle on some loose glitter! Be sure to use newspaper to collect all of the excess glitter.

Monogrammed Pumpkins

With basic stencils you can create a custom monogram for your pumpkin. Simply outline with craft glue and sprinkle with loose glitter - Or fill in your stencil with paint for a different look.

Painted Pumpkins

Get creative with paint! Go scary or funny or turn your pumpkin into a Captain America shield.  The options are endless.

Ribbon Pumpkins

Pick up some colored ribbon and apply with craft glue to create various patterns and looks!

In addition to decorating with pumpkins, fall is the best time of the year for making fresh pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars and everything in between!  One of my favorite fall treats is my sister’s famous Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.  The recipe is simple and I usually double the batch:

 

1 C SugarPumpkin Choc Chip Cookies
1 C Canned Pumpkin (8 oz.)
1/2 C Butter
2 C Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 C Chocolate Chips

 

Beat the pumpkin, butter and sugar first. Add other ingredients saving the chocolate chips for last.  Drop with a teaspoon and bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes and top with your favorite cream cheese icing.  Enjoy!

Shabby Chic Wedding – DIY Ideas

8/23/2014 was my big day! My mother and I spent months shopping antique stores, running back and forth to Michael’s, and scouting the perfect venue but our hard work finally paid off!  My goal was “Shabby Chic” and I think we nailed it.

A big thanks goes to The Booking House in Manheim, PA for being the PERFECT event space with their beautiful staircase, exposed beams, gorgeous chandelier and original brick walls.  We were one of the first weddings to take place here and they could not have been more helpful!

Tons of people asked about our decor, where we found things or how we made them so this blog is dedicated to all of the other brides who are looking for the perfect Shabby Chic wedding, but may be on a budget. Without further to do…

DIY Burlap Pennants

DIY Burlap Pennants

Burlap is a must-have for any shabby chic theme. We purchased our burlap from a local craft store and used a regular fabric marker to achieve this look.  We sewed the top of the pennants over, creating a simple way to string them together with twine.  We found attaching a safety pin to the end of the twine made it easier to get through each pennant.   I found something like this at Michael’s for almost $40 – our version cost less than $10.

DIY Ring Bearer Pillows

DIY Ring Bearer Pillows

Close Up

Close Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the same burlap we used for our Mr. & Mrs. sign, I made two little ring bearer pillows.  My mom sews often so she had some lace leftover from other projects I was able to use for trim.  If you don’t have lace on hand you can purchase some from a local fabric store for less than $5.  I wove some twin into the top of the pillows and secured with a knot so that we could tie our rings onto the pillows with a simple bow. I purchased the stuffing for the pillows at a local fabric store for less than $5. You can find these kind of pillows on Etsy for upwards of $20 or DIY for less than $10.

We wanted to use Ball jars for the centerpieces at our reception but I wanted them to be vintage – not the new ones you can find at any old craft store.  This took some time, hunting them down at local antique shops, but eventually we collected 16 blue Ball jars.  Over the course of 3-4 months we spent about $100 on all of the jars but they were well worth it!  We used some of the jars to hold our favors which were also DIY. We wanted to do something sweet that would look pretty so we purchased jumbo pretzel sticks from Costco and bulk chocolate wafers from Wilbur Chocolates in Lititz, PA.  With pink and white pearl sprinkles the pretzel sticks were a huge hit!

Antique Blue Ball Jar with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stick Favors

Antique Blue Ball Jar with Chocolate Covered Pretzel Stick Favors

In addition to the mason jars we purchased some antique glass to accompany our centerpieces.  These little bottles and vases were inexpensive and we found most of them at local antique shops.  Instead of having our florist create lavish arrangements for each table, we saved a ton of money by working with a local Amish lady who sells cut flowers by the five-gallon bucket.  We had her fill two five-gallon buckets with flowers of my choice and then we simply divided them among our tables to achieve a beautiful, country yet shabby chic look. You’ll also notice the hat box in this photo – this was an antique yard sale find that we used for all of our cards at the reception.  It only cost my sister 50 cents!

Antique Vases and Bottles Added a Splash of Color and Character at Each Table

Antique Vases and Bottles Added a Splash of Color and Character at Each Table

Another way we saved money was by creating our own programs, invitations and menus. You can spend countless dollars on stationary from websites like Minted, Zazzle or Etsy but at the end of the day no one is going to say, “Wow, my favorite part of that wedding was the programs!” Luckily, I have a background in graphic design so this part was fun for me, but as long as you have an eye for detail and a good sense of style you can achieve the same look.  Pictured below are our programs and menus.  I had the programs printed at Staples and I purchased ivory, sparkly card stock from Walmart for the menus which I printed on my own.

Programs for the Wedding Ceremony

Programs for the Wedding Ceremony

Menus for Each Table at the Reception

Menus for Each Table at the Reception

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving money on our decor and stationary allowed us to book the honeymoon of our dreams and pay for our first choice photographer.  We were able to achieve the shabby chic look we wanted by making smart purchases and taking our time to find the vintage items we really wanted like the blue mason jars. Here are some additional photos from the big day!

Bridal Party at The Booking House

Bridal Party at The Booking House

Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Kline

Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Kline

Web Design Highlight: Keep’em in Stitches

In April, Keep’em in Stitches website went live! It took weeks of photos, pricing and design to achieve the look we wanted, but it was well worth it.  Here are some of my favorite photos from the website and be sure to visit www.keepeminstitchesknitting.com to see the end results!

We used GoDaddy to host the site and all of the graphics, photos and content were created by HighleyDesigned.  Keep’em in Stitches owner, Jean Risser, is my aunt so it’s been lots of fun growing closer with her as we work on developing her business strategy and long term marketing plans.

Keep’em in Stitches was recently invited to join the online initiative, Shop Lancaster, so we are very excited about the added exposure the business will receive.  Stay tuned for more information on where to buy Keep’em in Stitches adorable handmade products and accessories.

 

Homepage Graphic

Homepage Graphic

Delicate Baby Headbands

Delicate Baby Headbands

Criss-Cross Applesauce

Criss-Cross Applesauce