Wedding Planning- “Free” Save the Dates

I have always loved the idea of saved the dates.

Well let me restate that.

I really love sending invitations or notifications for any of life’s big events.

So sending save-the-dates was fun.

And practical, in a way. I was so tired of answering the question, “When is your wedding?”

I didn’t want to spend a lot because there are so many other more important things that needed to be paid for.

I did some searching around the web for fun ideas.

I wanted something very informal and that gave a little hint as to the feel of our upcoming wedding.

After looking high and low, I settled on Wedding Chicks templates. has been great resource for me in all my wedding planning. Lots of free goodies, too.

Anyway, I settled on their mason jar template mostly because I have always wanted to use blue mason jars for my wedding, even before it was a trend. Ugh, trends!

Their free templates are so easy to use and require no large downloads, editing or heavy lifting, aka any non-computer person can do it.

Side note: Because I wanted to use the save-the-dates as postcards to save on postage, I did have to tweak the final copy in order to get it all to fit but it turned out fine.

I saved the front and back of my document; took it to a local printer in town. Viola!  80 “custom” save-the-dates for $15!

Then came the postage.

The “new and improved” postcard stamps from the USPS have a bright Hawaiian shirt on them. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

But bright Hawaiian shirts are not what I wanted on my postcard.

Most normal people would have smacked that stamp on there, and moved on with their lives but oh no! I can’t let a detail like that get by me. I have to fret about it until I come up with a solution.

I went to and created my own postcard stamp which in the long run cost me more than regular postage, but I didn’t care.

Common sense note: Because is an independent company not associated with the USPS, I did a quick Google search for coupon codes. Thankfully, I found a few good ones that worked! Yay, $ saved.

Here is the finished product. I loved the way it turned out except for the fact that one side was glossy.  I really wanted a matte finish all over but oh well.

How to preserve hydrangeas

I love hydrangeas.

I look forward to them blooming every year.

I mourn the loss when they all turn brown knowing that I have to wait a whole year before they bloom again.

But this year I decided I wanted to “preserve” them so I can enjoy them all winter.

I have never had good luck drying them but this year I was determined.

After a few Google researches I was convinced I could do this.

The best description I read was this article from Better Homes and Gardens; and more importantly, their method worked really well.

So now I had all my blooms dried and ready to go. Some were very brown and needed some help.

Of course, I could have just left them in their natural state which is pretty, but I really wanted some vibrant color.

I searched around online and found floral spray paint at Amazon. I know a lot of craft stores stock it as well.

Floral Spray Paint,
Unpainted flower heads
Lightly spray, moving quickly so you don’t get too much coverage. You want the flower to still look natural.
One down, fourteen to go.
The finished product truly looked like a fresh hydrangea!

After I was all done painting,

I started reading the instructions in the side of the can.

Why didn’t I read them ahead of time? I like to live on the wild side.

Good thing I didn’t read the can before I started. I would still be trying to figure out what “impervious gloves” are.

And these are always good words of wisdom.

Especially if you want to be really thin……or dead.

In case you were worried that I had to do all this painting by myself, don’t worry.

Poppi was very helpful during the whole process.

Happy painting.

Update: We used these dried flowers for my sister’s wedding in August 2012.

Everyone thought they were fresh:)

Retail Therapy for Friday- Old Time Pottery

I stopped into my local  Old Time Pottery in Greenville, SC this week for a random item I need for my wedding. (You can read my engagement story here.)

Disclaimer: I don’t frequent Old Time Pottery very often because they usually don’t carry the sort of items I am looking for.

Items such as this lovely thing.

A light-up martini glass yard decoration.

Lovely but not my cup of tea (or glass of martini, sometimes I crack myself up), thank you.

As I was looking around I spotted some things for sale

that had some great potential.

This needs to be a nightstand between two twin beds in a boys bedroom.
Would be great as a entryway piece for mail and such with hanging hooks above for even more organization.
The metal basket drawers even had places for labels. Cute.
Love these seats. Would look great with a wax finish or milk paint.
Tractor seat barstools. Love the whimsy.
This needs to be on my bookshelf. Whooooo will buy it for me?
This random person kept getting in my pictures. But these mirrors in different shapes have potential.
Unfinished mirror with beadboard detail. I can see this painted white in a bathroom. So cute. Huge and only $59.
These were very heavy duty and cheap! Great evening wedding decorations!

And where else can you stock up on Christmas decorations and flamingos in the same place?