Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Layout Therapy

“Legs tangled tight, wrap me up in a DREAM with You…”Scrapbook Therapy 12-2010 (4) (1005x1024)We are past due for some scrapbook therapy. Of course November and December have kept me busy with the holidays but I’ve been doing my best to keep on crafting. I have been back and forth on whether I will create a complete scrapbook of our wedding pics (because there are soooo many!) but either way I can’t help but be inspired by all the special photos.

12-15-10 028 (768x1024)I decided to recreate the first scrapbook page I ever made of Chase and me by using one of my favorite wedding photos. The original layout was based on lyrics from the song ‘One Year Six Months Ago,’ by Yellowcard. I started by picking some patterned and textured papers that meshed well with the colors and ‘feeling’ of the photo. Read below for more about this recreation…

The TAG: Believe it or not but the base of the tag is from a light bulb package (I find scrapbooking supplies everywhere :) and is Scrapbook Therapy 12-2010 (12) (1024x768)adorned with black chipboard letters, more patterned paper, a few brads and finished with a little hand stitching. The title was completed by adding a metal frame which I backed with pretty paper and metal Y-O-U letters which I filed to make look more rustic.

My JOURNALING: I did the first draft of my journaling on a Scrapbook Therapy 12-2010 (14) (1024x725)piece of scratch paper to make sure spelling and spacing were okay and then I printed the final version on vellum paper. I used a clear drying glue to attach it to the layout and then added some fiber ribbon to help frame the text.

DETAILS: The majority of the letters on this layout were stamped on. I like the look of different fonts and letter styles, especially on a page where the text is a main feature. I also added a leafy floral rub-on to create a bridge between the bright picture and background paper. Lastly, I want to mention that some of my ideas for this layout came from the cover of the November/December 2010 issue of Creating Keepsakes – love the layering of papers and the use of ribbon to create outlines!

Here is the original ‘Legs Tangled Tight…’ layout which I made sometime in 2004. The paper was a big inspiration to me in this layout also and I kept it simple so that the picture and words would be the focal points.Scrapbook Therapy 12-2010 (7) (1024x1024)Scrapbook Therapy 12-2010 (9) (768x1024)



Scrapbook Therapy 12-2010 (10) (1024x768)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Count your Blessings, 1.2.3...

One of my favorite parts about getting married (besides marrying the most wonderful man in the world!) was realizing how blessed we are. I've listed a few things below that were amazing blessings on our big day but the list goes on, and on, and on...

1. Family

When it comes to planning a wedding, family is everything! Chase and I were fortunate enough to have two ridiculously supportive and helpful families to help us get ready for this {once-in-a-lifetime} event. My parents were gracious enough to spend about a year manicuring their home and yard to get ready for the reception. And, I may be one of the few and far between, but I am a bride with really awesome in-laws! We both having loving siblings who have adopted each of us into their families and we were so blessed to have them be such a special part of our wedding.
Each picture below tells a meaningful story of the love in our lives.
*These photos of my family make my heart feel so full*
Top Left: A photo of mine and Chase’s immediate family (a good lookin’ crowd!)
Top Right: My Grandma Walker giving my dad a kiss. So precious. She was the first to support mine and Chase’s relationship… she was ready to let me wear her wedding dress the first time she met him. It must be said though that my grandma is very old fashion about love. Her and my grandfather married after 2 weeks of dating and they were married for over 50 years! I am forever grateful to both of my grandmas for the examples they have been to me --- strong women and very committed wives.
Bottom Left: My new dad(in-law) with our nephew, Andrew (Jenn and Mark’s baby #4). Andrew is a beautiful little boy and it is so sweet to see Dan holding him in the midst of all the wedding chaos.
Middle: The newlyweds with their flower girls and ring bearers… starting from left is Dane (Jenn & Mark’s baby #3), Evelyn (my devilish little niece), Caden (Colt and Lydia’s handsome son), and last but definitely not least is Emily (Jenn and Mark’s baby #2… geez, they have a lot of kids!).
Bottom right: My mom helping me put my dress on. Such an epic moment in my life. My mom has always been around to help me through good and bad times and I feel blessed a million times over to have her as my mom.  ~ love you Mom! ~

         Chase_Bernie210  Chase_Bernie666
We did miss a few very important people that day but we know that they were there with us, watching us from their special places. They were definitely a part of the details. I rode in Grandpa Mac’s restored Chevy station wagon which my uncle drove for me. And Chase’s Grandma was truly in everything… her favorite color was purple and she’s the only person I know (beside myself) whose would dress from head to toe in purple. I’m guessing she appreciated our choice of wedding colors.
To recognize our grandparents’ presence at the ceremony, we wrote notes to each of them which we put on open chairs in the front row of the ceremony. We later gave the notes to my Grandmas and Chase’s parents. One of the hardest parts of the day was reading those notes… it’s amazing how time doesn’t fill the gap of them not being there.
They will always be a blessing in our lives.
2. Friends
3. Amazing Photographer
4. Time be continued

Cake, Cupcakes & Cookies...
{some of the *sweet* stuff we served for dessert at our wedding}

I must admit that the cake was not on the top of my priority list but it was something I wanted to be crafty and unique. I’m not a huge fan of traditional wedding cakes and displays but I had NO IDEA of what I wanted… until I consulted my super duper dessert expert friend, Lydia from Elle Cee’s Cake Boutique (she’s amazing!). Lydia opened up a whole new ‘dessert table’ perspective for me and she helped me realize that the dessert can be as personal as any other part of the wedding. So, after doing a little online searching (the magazines are all so repetitive…) I really liked Amy Atlas’ ideas and the idea that half the success of a good cake/dessert table is finding the right way to display the yummy sweets.

This leads us to my next point. Once I realized all this about the dessert table, I somehow came up with the idea to use my parent’s old kitchen hutch. It had been in the house I grew up in and seemed like such a great personal touch. My dad thought I had crossed over into crazy bride land but he later realized what a great idea it was! We dug the hutch out of storage and it was a perfect fit for our little hometown, rustic celebration.

Wow, I didn’t realize how much I had to say about wedding desserts… but I will keep typing b/c it’s so fun to reminisce. Since I am a HUGE advocate for eating candy and sweets, I liked the idea of offering a variety of goodies, especially since I only wanted a very small, simple cake. We had our family friend, Kelly Hansen, make the desserts and she was so great to work with. I think I finally decided on the cake design about a week before the wedding, eek, but she was very patient with me. As you can see in the pics above, the cake is super simple but it totally fit my vision (and I would include Chase’s ‘vision’ in this but he’ll even admit that he didn’t care about the cake). Instead of a cake topper we had Kelly make a heart out of fondant with our initials which matched some of the homemade wood signs we used to decorate the road. The cake filling and cupcakes were stuffed with berries which was from a cake recipe that Chase’s mom gave me (omg, yum!). Of course we had to have chocolate covered strawberries since Driscolls is one of the only (and best!) companies that has special, extra grande berries for dipping.

I think cutting the cake was a turning point for me in the night. I had been a little overwhelmed by sticking to the timeline and all the attention so when we finally got up from the head table to walk over to the cake hutch I realized that it was time to start having fun! We had a sweet cake cutting… I seriously threatened Chase before the wedding to absolutely NOT shove cake in my face and he listened (another reason why I love him so much!). The cutest part though was at the very end when Chase licked the cake cutting knife! I made sure no one used it to cut the cake after that… oh well, it was our wedding, he should be able to lick the knife if he wants. I wouldn’t change a thing about our dessert table or the way we cut the cake… but I would do it again if I could!

A little bridely advice about the stuff that goes with the sweets ---Cake toppers don’t have to be limited to two little people but can be something super personal. Check out Etsy for some neat ideas. And don’t forget to find a cake serving set… it’s traditional to have your names and wedding date engraved on the serving utensil but again, you can do whatever seems best for you and your new spouse to be. That’s all the *sweet* talk I got for you tonight.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We Have Style!

Fun news – our wedding is featured on www.styleunveiled.comimageYeah! Of course I think this is super cool because I like that others will be able to see some of the unique details from our special day. I hope other brides (and grooms) can use our 'real wedding' to get ideas for their wedding. Happy viewing!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Long time no blog...

...but I'm back and ready for some layout therapy. I went back to work and it is amazing how fast my days pass me by now. Starting this week, it's my goal to get bloggin' again.

So, I'm into my early college years and here's a little collage of my 'Dorm Life'. I started it a few weeks ago when I was at a crop night and I finally finished it last night by adding the title, some white brads and a little black ink bordering. I loved the yellow, flower patterned paper and used the orange corrugated paper to add texture. I feel like there is something missing, maybe an extra embellishment, but with the large pictures I was afraid the page would get too busy. I want to start adding rustic, creative embellishments and accents to my layouts. Happy Crafting...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oh, how absence makes the grow fonder!

My wonderful husband is away this week on a business trip to New York and I miss him. Sometimes if feels good to get a little alone time but a whole week without him makes me realize just how much I love being with him. I spend my days looking forward to him coming home from work, making dinner with him (like yummy homemade pizza), and watching our favorite reality cooking shows... Chopped, Next Food Star Network & Hell's Kitchen.

Now that we're married, we are often asked, "How's the married life?" and it really is great! I love being with my husband and my favorite part of everyday is when I get to cuddle with him as we fall asleep. Oh how I miss him!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rehearsal Dinner Invitations

The Evolution of an Invitation

I love making invitations for special events especially when it involves weddings! Last week I put together the invitations for my cousin's wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
STEP 1: The Sketch
I started the sketch after going to the craft store and picking up some paper and stamps. I wanted to use cardstock for the background, print the text, add a couple of embossed stamps in the middle and decorate with patterned paper.
STEP 2: Trial and Error
I put the text together and did a few practice prints to make sure the spacing was correct. I ended up using less stamps than originally planned because I was afraid it would be tough to wrap the text around the stamps. Looking back, I think I would've been more daring and stuck to my original idea.
STEP 3: The Final Touches
After printing the text, I embossed the '&' with green powder, added the torn patterned paper to the top and bottom of the card. STEP 4: Pass 'Em On
Send these invites to guests about 3-4 weeks before big event to ensure that all the wedding party will be available to participate at the rehearsal.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thank You Notes

The wedding is two months past, the bridal party has moved on with their lives, activity at my parent's home has settled and while I'm not busy planning the big event, now I'm busy getting all the thank you notes sent out. It has felt like an overwhelming project to me (guess that's a given when you invite 300+ people to your wedding!) so instead of looking at it as the total number notes I need to write, I've been trying to do a few at a time but I still have a ways to go. Which brings me to a very important question... Is there a deadline for sending wedding thank you cards?
I started worrying that I've missed the proper time slot to thank our guests so I looked on a few websites to see what the etiquette is for sending thank yous following the wedding. According to the websites, it looks like I have about two more weeks to get them out. While we all would agree that the notes should be sent out as quickly as possible, advises that the "notes should be sent within three months of receipt of gifts on formal stationary." As for The Pink Book, it states that thank you notes should be handwritten and sent within two months of the date that the gift is received. Lastly, Thank You Note Samples explains that wedding gifts "should be acknowledged within two months of your return from your honeymoon."
I actually like writing the thank you notes because it gives me a chance to reflect on the memories I have of each guest at our wedding and how they have shown their support and love. Now that I have answered this question of etiquette, I better find some pens and get writing!

Ultimately, my final advice on sending wedding thank you notes is:
1. Use the list you created when opening your gifts and remember to keep track of who you've sent cards to so that you don't forget any guests
2. Hand write your notes and keep them personal
3. Mail them within 3 months of the wedding date
4. Send Thank You Notes to all guests that attended (whether you received a gift or not)
5. Try to keep the stationary formal... but I really like the picture cards too!

A few more words on the Thank You cards we chose... I ordered the thank you cards before the wedding from Sealed with a Kiss, the same company we ordered our invitations from. We chose a simple, monogrammed white card that will be great stationary once we're done using them as wedding thank yous. I also ordered return address labels to use on the envelopes... the first thing I bought with our new name :)

A little more scrapbook therapy

--getting MY WISDOM TEETH pulled--
For the most part, my scrapbooking is usually done in chronological order. I'm finally out of the high school days and almost into college stuff... which will be a fun change since h.s. collages mostly consisted of newspaper clippings while college days provided me with lots of interesting pics and crazy stories. Featured today is a two page layout of when I got my wisdom teeth extracted during the summer of 2003. It was actually an ok experience for me... I'm sure the drugs had something to do with it. I also have an amazingly hilarious video of me after I woke up from the surgery.
As for the layout, I wanted to make it amusing but still use a clean way to display the pics. I found inspiration for this layout in my September 2008 issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine (p. 40). The orange banner in the middle with white lettering keeps the page fun while the small embellishments around the border give it a touch of sophistication. Best of all, I saved my teeth and attached them to the layout.
See you next week for some more layout therapy...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Janell's Bridal Shower Invitations

My fav cuz is getting married in September and next month her bridesmaids are throwing her a very royal bridal shower. She loves pink and zebra so it's only fitting that's what I put on the 75 invitations I made for this very special party.

How It's Made: The backing is a pre-cut 5x7" black cardstock which fits nicely in an A7 envelope. I printed two columns of text on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of pink of cardstock which I cut to fit the black background. I then added some star embellishments which I cut from pink and zebra print paper using my sizzix (yes, I'm old school and still have a sizzix). The final touches are the pink brads on the star cut-outs. As for the registry card, I also printed this on pink cardstock and attached to the invitation with a pink paper clip which I had tied a black polka dot ribbon (I had wanted to use zebra ribbon but couldn't find the right size).

Interested in ordering handmade invitations? Just email me with the type of event, quantity needed and any special requests. Email:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wedding Gifts

Chase's Favorite: Nexgrill from Mom & Dad Renois (got it at Home Depot) and we bbq on it all the time now... great excuse to have friends over!

My Favorite: My new Dyson vacuum from Mom & Dad Renois... greatest vacuum ever! But a close 2nd is the new juicer from Alice and Luis

Our Favorites---
Most Thoughtful: Gift card to the Ritz-Carlton from Britt and Nishan... we know where we're going to celebrate our 1 year anniversary :)
Sexiest: Stripper pole from my cousin Laura... seriously, she gave us a stripper pole!
Yummiest: Snickers, Lindt chocolates and peanut butter M&Ms from the Corzine family
Handmade: A precious green and purple quilt from Monica
Personalized: 'R' wine glasses from Val & Aaron... the first batch we received had a broken glass so instead of exchanging them, Pottery Barn sent us a whole new set so now we have 11 personalized white wine glasses... the more the merrier, right?
Other Greats: The wine cooler from Albie and Marli (now if only we could find a bar to put it on), coffee maker we bought at Macys with our gift cards, the wok from my cousin Craig - it makes amazing stif fry, all the great bar gear - Rabbit wine kit and cocktail shaker from Dick and Dana and the ice bucket from the DeRoses, and the new washer and dryer from Mom and Dad Walker!

Biggest Upgrades: *Absolutely the towels from the Tassey family, Eric & Tammy and KJ & Clint - we were still using the towels Chase got for his birthday from his mom when we were in college *The Oneida silverware from the Donohoe family - we were using an old set that I had inherited when I moved into a new place after my sophmore year of college *Last but not least is the drain stopper - we don't have a garbage disposal and we were in desperate need of a new sink stopper... guess it's a good thing we got about five of these goodies (from Target).
Two of my favorite things about getting wedding gifts are 1. Everytime I see something in my home that someone gave us for our wedding, I think of that person - such a great reminder of the people in our lives and 2. I was thoroughly impressed at how thoughtful the gifts and cards were from our single, male friends - I always thought only guys w/gfs and wives knew how to shop and write sweet sentiments but the boys proved me wrong with their exceptional gift giving skills.

THANK YOU to everyone for the awesome gifts and most importantly for the love, support and ridiculously fun wedding!

Gift Giving Advice for Guests-- Buy stuff off the couple's registry lists and if you can't do that then give gift cards. Also, put the card on the inside of the gift wrap or tape the card to the gift like it's going to be dropped out of an airplane - otherwise, the bride and groom might be giving someone else the credit for your gift... which reminds me, who gave us the steam mop? I love it so thanks!

Gift Advice for the Bride and Groom-- As you open your gifts, make a list of everything you receive and who it's from so you know what to write in your thank you cards.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wedding 'Bible'

This binder was my lifeline for the months leading up to our wedding and now it needs some serious TLC. I will slowly sort through it and as I do, there will be much to blog about. So much good stuff - Flowers, DJ, Budget, Gift Ideas, Videographer, Rentals, Pictures and more!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A little scrapbook therapy

I talked to my good friend Lindsey the other night and she turned me on to another blog that does a themed entry once a week. Since I have prescribed myself some scrapbook therapy, I think a weekly layout would be productive & healthy for me and hopefully fun for you.

On my scrapbook table right now - Getting my wisdom teeth pulled! Look for the layout later this week.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Save the Dates!

We sent our Save the Dates out shortly after the 2009 holidays so our guests received them about 4 1/2 months before the big day. I know all the wedding timelines say that StDs are supposed to go out 6-8 months before the wedding but it definitely took longer than we had anticipated to get them designed and collect all the addresses. We used our engagement photos from our first shoot for the front of the postcards which were designed by Sophie from the Mike Larson Team. We mailed them as postcards, without envelopes, and I used some silly polar bear stamps (the only 28 cent stamps I could get at the Watsonville post office). We ran into some problems with writing on the back because the glossy finish would not allow any inks to dry on it so... I had to print all the addresses on clear labels which took a little longer than I wanted. In the end, I think they turned out great and I love the idea of sending out Save the Dates so guests can get one more taste of the bride and groom's personsalities.

Quick Tips for SAVE the DATES: 1. Start on guest list asap and start collecting guest addresses 2. Put a return address on StDs so if they find their way back to you - you know you have the wrong address 3. Stamps for postcards are only 28 cents (vs. 44) 4. The cutesy wedding stamps are hard to find at the post office but you can find them online at, just remember that these can be $$

Friday, July 9, 2010

New Name.New License

So, I can't quite figure out the sense in this one... I plan the wedding (which usually falls in the lap of the woman) and once that stress and chaos is out of the way, then I'm the one that has to go to the DMV, Social Security office, call the bank, update credit cards, change my voicemail, the list goes on! Well, it was officially worth it yesterday when I received my new license in the mail - Bernadette Marie Renois! Chase was all smiles when he got home from work and found it in the kitchen (conveniently located where he puts his keys ;) All the hardwork just became completely worth it. Next time I get a ticket, it will be as Mrs. Renois!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Crafts and Drafts Meetup

I'm Embossing!

Now that I'm getting more involved in card making and all the scrapbooking magazines have great ideas for embossing, I took my weekly coupon to Michael's and bought a Martha Stewart heat gun and embossing kit. The kit includes three embossing powders, embossing stamp pad and stamping block.

I'm in love with trying to emboss cards and using different stamps but I still need to practice how much embossing ink to use and how to keep the process clean. I'm hoping to get an embossing pen (if it even exists) so I can use it to add small embossed accents.

The card, right, started with a pre-made card that has a floral print on the paper and is blank inside. The accent is a piece of tan, rustic paper layered with white vellum. The vellum is stamped with the bird using a green embossing powder and accented with silver deco ink. I added some light blue rafia which I accented with staples and added an 'xoxo' embellishment. This card would be great to give to a loved one, family member or friend.

Check out the Heat Gun -

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Time to Blog!

The wedding is over and I'm going through withdrawals!! My friend Lydia, from Elle Cee's Cake Boutique, has been quite an inspiration to me the last couple of months... I used to be an avid journal writer, even when I was in grade school, and since college I've gotten away from it. Lydia has advised me that I need to get with the times and blog! So, here I go! (Thanks Lydia! ;)

Where do I start? Here's my first mission... during the wedding planning process, I had hoped that I would journal about all the emotions, planning details, reactions, up/downs, etc. as they happened but I didn't :( So, before I forget about all of the 'little' stuff, I'm going to blog about it, in detail, from start to finish. I can start with this - I absolutely loved planning our wedding! It has made me realize some of my passions for event planning and crafts, and I hope to build this blog into a site for other brides to get ideas, help, or relief in knowing that all the stress, chaos, excitement, anxiety... is part of the process so enjoy it!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Getting ready for my bridal shower & I know THANK YOU cards will be a must!