4KCBWDAY2 Maskot Project

Today we are supposed to pick a project, yarn or pattern that embodies the animal of the house we chose. I am a BEE people, choosing and finding ONE thing is not our strong point!

I thought of 2 kinds of projects that maybe reflect what kind of a knitter I am

1)The “idea still to be knitted” project

Rather than a yarn, button or pattern I have my tools of design
– my ever active brain that thinks up more designs than I could knit, but there are those that just grab me as they form in my mind and I have to knit them straight away. Often the idea comes to me as I fall asleep like Winter is Coming
– then I have my tool of the trade. A stitch dictionary, my pattern notebook, a pencil, calculator, papers with randomly drawn sketches as I have the idea and just have to jot it down and of course a faithful cup of tea
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And

2) The “I wish I had thought of that design” project

I have a photography friend Andre and he says there are moment when he will see a picture and think, wow I wish I took that image it is wonderful. I love looking at what other people are designing and having moment when I think, wow that is great I wish I had thought of that. This is both inspiring and humbling in a terrifying way as it makes me think I am such a small fish is such an experienced sea of designers.

But the ideas keep coming into my head and so I keep following their lead. I have always said I am an ideas person.

4KCBWDAY1 The House Cup

I am taking part in the 4 Knitting and Crochet Blog Week run by Eskimimi You can get all the info over on her blog.

Why the random letter to tag the post? If a unique sequence of letters and numbers is used then it is easy to google and find other people participating in the blog week.

Each day there is a topic, today is choosing a house. This is much like the Harry Potter houses and while we might have aspects of all the houses it is to pick the one we identify with most. To pick a house read all about them here

I am definately a bee: The House of Bee: Bees are busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest.
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While I am not attracted by bright shiny things in the sense of bling, I am distracted by yarn, patterns and ideas. This means that I always have a lot of project on the go at one time. These in the knitting world are known as WIPs ( work in progress) I have to have many sets of needles in sizes I use often as I will more often than not need to have more than one project going on a particular size needles.

I get bored easily and so I need to have different projects to keep me interested. I also have different project to do at different times. When I sit and wait for Rachel at swimming I need an easy project that does not require much thinking or counting, so a complicated lace pattern is out. I usually knit socks or a simple shawl.

Then for in front of the TV I like to have a project to knit, this can be slightly more complex than the simple going out project. I will follow a pattern in front of the TV or make notes on a design that I am working on.

I also usually have a complicated pattern that will require attention but these get knitted very very slowly as I don’t have that much uninterrupted time just to concentrate on knitting.

Besides these, there is usually the project I just had to cast on because I had a design idea and wanted to see how it would work. There are often present and gifts for people that added in quickly as I need them.

At the moment these are my WIPs

IMG_6806_medium2 I am nearly finished my design for a bigger Winter is Coming The original is a single 100g sock weight shawlette and is perfect for round your neck in winter. I wear mine all the time. Many people asked for the bigger version, the new season of Game of Thrones inspired me to work on the big version. I am 6 rows from casting off.

It has not been without its challenges but I think it is nearly done. When to write it all up from my scribbled notes and see if Clare my tech editor can make it pretty and

 

 

 

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MSH9_medium2This is a My Son’s Hero I am working on for a friend

This was my inspiration: I thought of my own boys and how every mom is her little boy’s hero. We learn to love getting stones and not flowers. We learn that while they can be rough, they need a safe place in their mother’s arms. We need the strength to help them grow into men with honourable characters; the space to let them learn, fall, get up and succeed. Every boy’s mom needs a cape to remind us of our important job. This is my modern take on a hero cape for moms.

I love this shawl, my own one is languishing in packet as right after I finished it Titus cut it.  I needed super powers of control not to kill him!

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These are Vanilla Toe Up socks by Carle that I am working on for The Geek’s birthday. You will note how he is being brave and letting me knit stripped socks for him and not just plain grey. This self stripe grey called Granite is dyed by Carle from Nurturing Fibres and I am really enjoying it. I am thinking of pushing The Geek’s boundaries with a colourful heel.

 

 

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This is my wedding shawl that I just ran out of time to finish and I think I have a new idea, I sketched something yesterday in the middle of knitting ( see I can’t focus on one thing for very long) but I am not sure whether to finish the plan I had for this and then start another project for the new idea. It is really not this colour but a much more pink and less orange. It just did not photograph well with my phone.

 

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IMG_8371_1_medium2I am totally in love with this Hippo called Happypotamus it is the cutest crochet hippopotamus ever! My Friend Heidi designed this cute toys which was released on Ravelry last night and is in the top 10 new projects at the moment. I don’t really know how to crochet. I have made some simple amigirumi Star Wars toys for the kids but they were just single crochet round and round. But this toy is so cute that I have worked through the African Flower tutorial on Heidi’s Blog. And am really keen to make more so I can make this hippo. I am quite proud of my crochet attempts for a beginner. I am going to use My Nurturing Fibres Kommetjie Club yarn for my hippo

 

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I wrote down all the projects I thought I had on the go first and then then went to take the photos. And discovered a few more Wips

This is a shawl I started with a totally different idea and then it morphed into something else. I had to stop when I got busy with wedding stuff but I am actually keen to get back to it.

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hairdragoncrop_medium2And of course my own Dragon’s Hope in grey which I am really looking forward to wearing this winter.

 

 

 

 

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So this is why I am a bee, and we will not talk about all the other project at the bottom of the cupboard that I have not looked at in years. These are just all the current ones I am actually working on now.

Pinky and The Geek wedding theme

This is a run down of the day and all the little things we did to make the day about us. We were pretty non traditional in many regards using and doing only things we liked from a normal wedding plan and adding things we thought were cool and geeky

We decided to do a first look at the beach so that Yme could see me before everyone else. He is shy so I know that in front of a lot of people he would be guarded with his reaction.
If click on this link it will play an animation of the series of photo of him saying “oh wow” that Andre put on flickr

I really loved this relaxed time together we had at the beach
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We then had a short 20 min photo session on the farm.
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We wanted all the photos done before and we wanted no line ups of pictures. I hate having to wait for the bride and groom to have pictures after a wedding. I once waited 3 hours, and I really did not want our guest to have to wait around for us. And The Geek is not very fond of pictures anyway. We wanted to greet and be with our family and friends straight away.

After the photos and before the service there was a lemonade stand that The Geek made and we had recycled glass jars that I had collected the months before. We used etching cream to etch all sorts of Geeky symbols into the glasses. We had all sorts of symbols like Pi, The Android man, Batman, Star Trek, Hashtag, Twitter bird etc We etched more than 70 glasses over many evenings. But it was important to include this Geeky element
to make this about us.
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While everyone was arriving and getting drinks and taking their seats, The Geek and I played cards in Carle’s office. It is one of my favourite memories of the day.

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The service took place under the trees and their was an eclectic mix of chairs, haybales, and benches.
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The Geek and I walked out together to the instrumental version of Pinky and the Brain with Rachel as a flower girl and Ghilraen my bridesmaid. I decided that my dad had done his bit in walking all 3 of his girls down the isle before and this time he could just sit and relax. Please note the pompoms in the trees that many of my Ravelry friends helped me make.

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The service and what we said I have already blogged about here but of course during the service there was even knitting

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And the odd burping competition between Caleb and Meelah!
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After the service and while we were signing the register the guests got paper planes handed to them and they could either stand at their seats or they could move onto the field below so that they could throw the paper planes. This was our more geeky version of throwing confetti. Ghilraen folded most of these planes and I was so chuffed that Andre got some action shots of her throwing one. The kids have light sabres as a sword salute as we walked out to Star Wars music. The safety glasses were a put on before we walked out as a joke, but people really do aim for your head!

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After we had greeted all our guests we had a big group photo
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I was not going to do any of the traditional flower or garter throwing – I did not even have a garter. But Carle mentioned that one of the ladies that worked for her Tumeka really wanted to catch the bouquet, so we called her down to come and stand in front of me and I threw the flowers just to her. She was delighted.

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Jo and her husband had an awesome coffee table, while The Geeks brother Jacques and his friends helped to hand out home made beer that Karl had brewed.

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Many many people helped to make all the food and there was a lot of comments about how nice the food was. We had it during the day so that it was a good time for the children. We wanted to have our kids involved and so a day time rather than evening wedding made sense. We are not big dancers and so a kid friendly wedding suit us better. We have kids, a lot of our friends have kids and we wanted them to be involved. I think children are left out of important ceremonies in life too often now a days.

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For a wedding register we had a tree printed and everyone put their finger print on it and signed their names. I had coloured ink pads and baby wipes all set up on a table

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Instead of traditional speeches I asked my dad if he wanted to say something but that it could be anything he liked it did not have to be a traditional wedding speech. He decided to do a talk to the kids about snails. And used some drawing he and the kids had done during a visit to their house. It was about the journey snails go on and how marriage is like going on a journey. It was lovely and my dad is so animated, he really captured their imagination

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I did the Thank You speech as The Geek really hates speaking in public

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We then had cake which I already blogged about here

All in all it was a magical day.

A special mention is needed of the beautiful tiara that The Geek got me. We love the series The Big Bang Theory and after Amy and the tiara I just knew I had to have one for the wedding. The Geek chose and ordered it all from Etsy himself.

Then Carle made the most beautiful necklace to match with beads we found on one of our Saturday journeys to buy wedding stuff.
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They are both things that I will treasure forever, made and chosen by people very close to me

What we said – wedding vows

I wrote about what I did not want to say in my wedding vows in this post so I thought I should do a post about what we did say.

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This is what we read to each other as our promises. I non traditionally went first as I was so nervous I needed to get my part done. I had mine translated into Afrikaans and surprised The Geek by reading them in his home language, with my strong English accent. But I think I did okay. I will post them here in English as not everyone reading the blog will understand the Afrikaans version.

Sally:
Yme, I choose you to be my husband, my companion on this journey, my partner in this life.
I will listen to you carefully, consider your ideas, and be open to the many things I can learn from you;
I will be your greatest advocate, whether your endeavors succeed or fail;
I will accept your strengths and faults as you accept mine; I will keep patient as we learn from our mistakes, and with you I will happily celebrate our successes;
I will remember to laugh when we need it most, and work to be slow to anger and quick to forgive;
I will strive to live consciously and deliberately so that our lives will be rich and that we might make a difference in this world;
I will take each year as it comes, but I will never take you for granted.
I will keep growing and changing, but I intend to always be someone who you can be proud to call your wife.

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Yme
Sally I choose you to be my wife, my truest companion, my cherished partner.
I will offer my strength as your advocate, your sounding board, your anchor and your shelter;
I will work to bring us together when we feel furthest apart. Your happiness is inseparable from my own;
I will encourage you to follow your passion and reach your full potential as you encourage me to chase my own dreams;
I will weigh the words I speak and the things I do;
I will strive to live consciously and deliberately so that our lives will be rich and that we might make a difference in this world;
I will take each year as it comes, but I will never take you for granted;
I will keep growing and changing, but I intend to always be someone who you can be proud to call your husband.

These were our vows that the wedding official read and we said ‘I do’

Do you, Yme, take Sally-Jane as an individual and as your wife,
to treat her lovingly and with respect,
in joy and in sorrow,
in plenty and in want,
in sickness and in health,
and to be a faithful, committed partner,
as long as I am able?
Yme: I do.

Do you, Sally-Jane, take Yme as an individual and as your husband,
to treat him lovingly and with respect,
in joy and in sorrow,
in plenty and in want,
in sickness and in health,
and to be a faithful, committed partner,
as long as I am able?
Sally-Jane: I do

At the end we got all the children up with us and this was read to all of us.

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Blessing on the family:
Yme and Sally-Jane, in addition to your new life as husband and wife, you have the joys of parenting to keep you busy! Rachel, Caleb and Titus, please join your Mom and Pappa.
Yme, Sally-Jane, Rachel, Caleb, and Titus, may you be filled with gratitude for the many blessings you share: being together, abundance, and well-being. Remember to speak kind words, to listen more, to respect differences, and to show patience. Rachel, Caleb and Titus, your parents will guide you to make wise choices, to keep promises, and to be honest. Remember always how much they love you. Yme and Sally-Jane, teach your kids to gently let go of hurts and overlook shortcomings, and to have hope during times of difficulty and change. Remember to see and nurture goodness within each other.

I am very grateful to our wedding official Dion Black of Wedlock how listened to all our requests and put up with my quirks and requests to change wording and vows and even the order of the service.

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Morning of Play Dough

I had a bit of a sad day yesterday so today I thought I would just make it fun for the kids and me and just enjoy stuff together. We built puzzles, I just gave them time and attention, instead of trying to juggle too many other things. I then made play dough.

All 3 had fun, Titus had to learn not to eat it :-D

I thought the things the older 2 made were so clever.

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Caleb’s mince, peas, carrots, beans and lettuce
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Rachel’s selection of cakes
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Rachel’s chicken, peas, carrots, lettuce, beans and tomatoe
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Rachel made a cake for Titus
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Caleb’s Cakes
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Rachel made a steak tartare, she watched the Mr Bean episode on You Tube and then we watched how to make it properly on You Tube last night. Hers has the capers and pickles and everything in it.
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The Cake

I had some grand ideas to make the cake myself, but the idea became more and more daughting, especially given everything else we would be doing.

My sister is a cake decorator in England and although they would be able to attend the wedding we chatted about the cake and she offer a lot of ideas. We decided that if I got the cake made, she would send some things to help me decorate it. This was she felt she could be involved in a small way.

We decided on a white 3 tier cake. I contacted Nadine from Jorja’s Cakes. I asked her if she could make the cake and add a tree up the side. I told her about my sister wanting to help and she was so nice and agreed to make the cake and only do some of the decorations. The job she did was lovely, the cake was perfect. I could never have got it all so smooth and professional looking.

My sister sent 2 little twitter bird toppers back with my Mom from the UK. And some heart cutters and coloured fondant. Ghilraen, Sarah, Heather and my Mom helped me make it look wonderful. Please note my lovely bunting around the cake table. I sat sewing them for weeks before, the ladies at my blanket tea also helped me sew some. They were here and on the chicken coop and at the farm house.

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We were looking for a knife to cut the cake and could not find the one that had been packed. In looking through her kitchen draws Carle found a big meat cleaver. Dad laughted and said it was perfect, the wedding was so non traditional that the cake cutting might as well be too. We hid it in a cake tin and the look on Yme’s face was priceless.

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Quick Easter Bag

This is really quick and you even have time to do it before tomorrow. I left things to the last minute as always and Rachel has been nagging me all week to make Easter Baskets. Then we saw a felt bag on Pinterest and decided a bag was a better idea. We did not have felt though, but quite advantageously we had some yellow material with little lambs. Rachel loves yellow and I know lambs are not strictly speaking Easter but they do fall into Spring, which is what the pagan festival Eostre was about this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. Down South we should really be having an autumn celebration like Halloween.

This is not the proper proper way to make a bag but I had limited time and did not want to sew the edge together and then sew the top seam together while this was in a tube, I just went with what was fast this morning. I did not measure a single thing. I just looked and saw more or less what size I wanted to there are not fixed measurements here.

You will need:

– Fabric. The type does not matter, I did not line it or make this bag for longevity. I used a light printed cotton, but a thicker fabric like denim can be used too.
– Pins
– Scissors
– Ribbons, ric rac, buttons or other decorations
– Iron
– Small safety pin
– Sewing Machine
– Over locker

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Fold over and pin the fabric to the size you want and cut, mine had a pattern so it was easy to cut without needing to measure and still get a straight line. You may need to measure and pin if you fabric has no design as a guide to cut straight.

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Open fabric and fold over a small fold on what will be the top edge of the bag. Pin in place

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Iron the fold down removing the pins as you go, this step can be skipped if you can confidently make a rolled hem without ironing.

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Fold over again this time a slightly bigger fold for the top as you will later attach the handle in this space so it needs to be a decent sized hem.

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Cut handles, remember they need to be folded in half and over locked so make them wide enough. The length depends on how long you want your handles. Make it long enough to cut in half to make 2 handles or cut to strips

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Sew down the folded over and ironed top edge
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We added ribbon over the row of sewing stitches of the top hem
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Sew second row, or other decorations like ric rac, different ribbon colours etc, we just used 2 stripes of the same colour ribbon.
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Now fold your bag in half, sew down the side and bottom seam to close the bag.
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I overlocked both the side and the bottom edges
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Now take the bottom edge and fold it over to meet the side seam
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Pin and sew across this line, you don’t need to do this step but it gives the bag a box bottom, easier for getting things in and out of.
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I used the side that I had already sewn to measure and pin the other side.
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Fold the handle in half lengthwise, with the right sides together and overlock.
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Pin the safety pin to one side of the handle, through only one layer of fabric
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Turn and push the safety pin through the middle of the handle tube ( excuse the messy desk behind)
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Keep working the safety pin through
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Until the pin pops out the otherside and you have successfully turned your handles the right way around.
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Iron flat and cut in half
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Attach the 2 ends of a handle with a square of sewing on the inside of the bag on the top hem, each one about 3-5cm from the side seams. Repeat on the other side with the 2nd handle
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And voila your bag is done.
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Caleb did not want a yellow lamb bag and not one can blame the boy so he took some boxes from the recycling and ask Pappa to make him a Robot Easter Bag.
Robot in progress with scale weight to hold it in place while the glue dried
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Easter Robot – with caterpillar track wheels and all
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Callie thinks he looks like Wall-E
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DIY wedding: Living Plants in recycled tins

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Being a Pink Haired Girl who is green at heart, I wanted to include elements of recycling and green eco friendliness into the wedding. Besides it is a great budget saver if you can make a lot of the decorations from stuff you collect. This blog is about recycled tins into plant pots for living decorations at a wedding or party.

You will need:

* clean tins
* Philips Screw driver
* Hammer
* Potting soil
* Small trays of plants
* Origami crane or other decorations

Step 1: Collect the tins
Collect tins of various shapes and sizes during the months leading up to the wedding/party.
If you want a rusted more antique look then leave them outside to the elements to get a bit rusted.

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Step 2: Make drainage holes
Use the star screw driver and a hammer and make a small drainage hole at the bottom of the tin so that that water does not collect around the roots after you have planted the little plants into the tins. I planted mine the week before to gibe them time to get used to their new environment and also so I had less to do closer to the wedding. No plants likes wet soggy roots so drainage hole are important.

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Step 3: Buy plants and potting soil

If you are really really adventurous you could get seeds and grow the plants you are going to use from seeds but I just went to the nursery and bought small flowers. The fun part is choosing all the colours and pants to suit your theme. We went with a multi coloured, but you can get flowers in certain colours. Bear in mind if the area you are going to use the flowers is in the shade or the sun and then match the flowers accordingly. Depending how far in advance your wedding is remember to look for plant that still have closed buds so that they will be open at the time of the wedding.

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Step 4: Planting

I planted about a week before to let the plants settle in, I used a small amount of potting soils in the bottom of the tin, then added the plant and filled the sides with more soil, press down lightly and water. Keep i the shade until the wedding and remember to water them.

Step 5: Add Decorations and Enjoy

There are many ways that you can decorate the tins, we added ribbons and rainbow origami birds on wire sticks
You can also paint the tin or decorate them in other ways that suit your wedding/party theme

There we used some on the logs next to the isle with little knitted and fabric birds to match our theme as we met on twitter
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Wedding Hair on the Big Day

I blogged quite a lot about what I was going to do with my hair for wedding.
At first I thought I might like it rainbow I then later had a vote on the blog to see what options people liked. It still surprises me that 111 people voted!

I went for a few hair trials and found out a lot about what I did not want.

In the end I (we, as we don’t really talk about the fact that The Geek has hair dyeing skills) did my hair colour at home. We have been doing it for so long that it was just easiest and cheapest for the budget. Since the vote for a light pink with blonde, which I really loved. I had been working on getting my colour lighter. I used Special Effects as always, but the Cupcake pink, and then mixed it with conditioner to get a light pink colour. I had been dyeing the roots with this as they grew out and letting the back slowing wash out and fade from the bright days of Atomic Pink to the softer shade on the day. It is amazing how much pink was left even after no having dyed that part of my hair for over a year.

weddinghairI then found the lovely Natasha who is a make-up artist, home school mom and blogger she normally does Make up for TV Commercials but she agreed to come and help me. She did my hair, my bridesmaid Ghilraen and both our Make-Up. What was even more amazing was that she came to the place my parents were renting at 5:30am to help us all get ready on time. I really love the way my hair and make up turned out on the day. We did a trial 2 weeks before and she really listened to me and captured what I wanted. I am always worried with someone doing my make up that it is going to be too much. I wear very little normally but Natasha was wonderful, she was very understated and kept me looking like me ( just on a really good day)

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Here I am signing the register and you can see the hair from the side. Please note the pen I am signing with. Carle’s attention to detail meant that she found a pen made from a knitting needle, and it was in pink! And of course the beautiful tiara that The Geek got me. But that and the necklace need a post of their own.
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Ghilraen and I together. I think we looked great
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Ghilraen’s Hair at the back
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Remember you did the best you could at the time

Looking Back

BenchI spoke to someone recently about past decisions. It made me realise that when we look back on things that we did in the past we can be so hard on ourselves. We think I should have done this, or if only I did it that way, or I made a mistake. We wonder about different outcomes if we had done something else. This is all normal, BUT what we forget when we beat ourselves up is how it felt to be the person that made that decision at that moment.

The Geek is wise in many ways. One thing he taught me that makes me look back differently is, a silly story he tells about being at the Coke Fest once, he had been there all day from 10am and it was now 11pm and he was tired and dusty, dust in his nose, his mouth and even his eyes felt dusty, he just wanted to be at home. As an introvert, I think he had just had his fill of people, noise, crowds and needed to leave. The only problem was that one of his favourite band Quorn was playing shortly. He debated whether to leave but he could not stay any longer. He made a mental note to remember how he felt in that moment because he knew that looking back one day he would be mad at himself for not staying. I think he is still a little sad that he did not stay but at the time he made the best decision for the person in that moment. I know this is a rather trivial decision but it illustrates a point well.

We forget, often when we look back, we are in a different place emotionally and sometime in different circumstances, We might be able to make a different decision now. We did the best we could at the time, and even if we made a rubbish decision we were different then. Some of the hardest decisions we made before gave us the chances to do and be who we are now. We have to be kinder to that person, he/she sometimes made very very hard choices and because of that we have chances we might not have had.

We will always look back, but I think we need to do it in order to;
– learn,
– to make less mistakes by learning from those we made,
– and to see how far we have come.

We need to use the chance to make sure that the difficult decisions that the person in the past made were for a good reason, we should use it to motivate us to do better and strive harder now.

Some decisions are just crazy hard. They stay with us forever but don’t let them haunt you, learn and grow, past you deserves you to do well now.

**Photo credit** The Awesome Andre van Rooyen