Tag Archive | MOH

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Get Slagged Off

This post starts with a Scottish vocab lesson.  While I’m pretty sure “slagging off” is not exclusively a Scottish phrase I’ve only ever heard Mr. Sword and his mates use it, however maybe Miss Jackrabbit can enlighten us about the rest of the UK ?  When I first met Mr. Sword I was always caught off guard with his weird phrases (for exaample: knackered = tired, baltic = freezing cold), and this one was no different.  To slag someone off is to insult them.  Who knew?  It always sounded way dirtier to me.

After attending to the cake, we made our way to our lovely sweetheart table to get royally made fun of during the toasts.

More crazy Mrs. Sword faces!

More crazy Mrs. Sword faces!

These crowns in front of our table were a great addition and given to me by a friend of Mom Sword.  We ended up sitting in front of the wrong crown for the firsts half of the evening though, oops.   I was convinced I was in front of the queen’s but I was actually sitting in front of the king’s.  Sorry Mr. Sword, you were right!

The toasts at our wedding were phenomenal.  I feel like this part of the night can be very nerve-wracking for brides and grooms because it’s a part you have no control over.  We weren’t worried and not only were the toasts lovely and heart-warming, but they were also wicked funny and full of jokes at our expense (said with love of course!).  I won’t include the full transcriptions here because it would get too long but I do have one video to share at the end of this post.

Up first, Dad Sword!

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His toast was beyond funny.  He made fun of Mr. Sword for being a Bears fan (I come from Viking country after all!) and told a story from when I was little about how I’d cry every time he left the room and how much he got a kick out of that.  Dad Sword told Mr. Sword I can be a bit clingy and asked him if I cry when he leaves the room as well?  I laughed so hard.  Mostly cause it’s true.  😉

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Traditionally only the FOB does a speech but Mom Sword didn’t want to let Dad Sword have all the fun, and she nailed it with her 15 second quip informing Mr. Sword, that after years of me calling her with life’s stressful problems, it was now his turn to deal with it all and guess what?  TAG, YOU’RE IT!

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Seems to me she’s a bit too excited to pass on the torch!  🙂

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Next up was my lovely Sister, MOH Big Eyes who said some really sweet things including what a saint Mr. Sword is to not mind that I put up personal detail after personal detail about him on my blog.  She also made fun of me because the first time Mr. Sword and I met and exchanged phone numbers, I told him I don’t call boys, boys call me.  I swear I didn’t mean it in a rude way, just that I was too nervous to call him but I guess it didn’t come across that way!  And now it’s a source of entertainment for everyone in the family.

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Our Best Man S gave the best Best Man speech in the history of best man toasts.  He was hilarious and slagged off Mr. Sword a good amount, but then he ended with a poem that was absolutely beautiful.  We actually had many guests rave about this toast and we ended up paying our videographers extra to have the whole thing on film.

Best Man S is also the reason we needed to have a screen and projector set up in the reception room!  HIS TOAST HAS VISUALS HIVE.  The speech is about 8 and a half minutes but I guess in Scotland they can go on as long as 30 minutes, and anyway, I think it’s totally worth watching if you have time.

Did your family and friends knock their toasts out of the park too?  Are you comfortable getting slagged off and made fun in front of everyone you know?

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look!
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!
Posing with our flower girl!
True Scotsman indeed!

Ceremony
People processing!
Bridal cry/laugh walk!
Ceremony readings!
Vows and handfasting!
Receiving line!

Reception
Cocktail hour!
The pretty details!
Grand entrances!

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A Highland Fairy Tale: We Cuddle With a Cutie

After our families had left the lobby to finish getting ready for the ceremony, Crystal was able to snap a few more pics of Mr. Sword and myself indoors.  By this time, I had fully thawed and was happy to continue smiling for the camera.

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We decided to switch things up and move locations and I’m so glad we did because I love these next few pics.  So romantic and bridal looking.  And for reference, this location is a tiny hallway near a window on the second floor of the hotel.  Nothing special about it in real life but a great spot for some lovely photos!

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On my photography shot list I had also made time for a mini photo shoot with Littlest C, because well, she’s pretty damn important.  I’m pretty sure I was picturing her as my flower girl before I’d even met Mr. Sword!

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We went outside and Littlest C got to wear her beautiful jacket.

MOH Big Eyes and Littlest C

MOH Big Eyes and Littlest C

The next three pictures tend to make me tear up!  Notice our matching tiaras?  🙂  I had this idea for a pose that we should both hold her flower girl basket and I’m so glad they turned out as well as they did!  If you are taking pictures with your ring bearers or flower girls, I recommend getting down to their height level, it makes for better photos!

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I love how much we look-alike (even though we’re obviously not blood-related) and I’m just reminded of how grown-up and beautiful Littlest C looks!

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Did you see the purple petals?  Those were cut from fake flowers I purchased at JoAnn’s when shopping for boutonnieres.  So easy, and so much cheaper than real petals!

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Did you take extra pics with any of your little ones?

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Lose Two Bridesmaids to an Elevator

When I last talked about the elevators at Embassy Suites I mentioned how painfully slow they were, but turns out that was the least of our lift related problems.

After arriving back at the hotel we were all so grateful to be inside and desperately tried to warm up fast.  BM L Dawg even grabbed a coffee from the hotel lobby; you gotta do what you gotta do!  At this point it was almost 2 PM and at 2 PM on my Day of Timeline it stated that we should be doing the “Family First Look.”  My vision for the family first look was that Mr. Sword and I would make our entrance into the lobby by coming down one of the elevators in a triumphant reveal of our wedding day attire to the clapping and smiles of both of our families.  That was the way it went in my head anyway.

Because it was already 2 PM instead of finding my hair and makeup artist, Laura, on floor 2 for a touch-up like I should have, I grabbed Mr. Sword’s hand and we proceeded to walk up the entire 8 flights of stairs in our kilt and gown to the very top floor to avoid being noticed on our way up (remember the elevators are clear and out in the open).

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This took some time because I was terrified of falling backwards down the stairs (a normal life fear for me but especially on this day) and to be honest I still couldn’t feel my feet after spending 2 hours outside in 33 degree weather.  I had told Crystal we would be waiting on the 8th floor for her cue to come down the elevator for the big reveal.

Well once we got up there we waited, and waited, and waited some more, and Mr. Sword watched from above for a cue that never came.  At first I was jut slightly agitated, but after Mr. Sword called Honor Attendant H for an update only to learn no new information, I started to get frantic.  I did NOT want to get behind on my schedule and I was getting married in less than 2 hours!! Cue panic!  This had to happen now or never!  What was going on down there?  From what I could see (when I finally allowed myself to peek over the railing) Crystal was setting up her lights for the family photos but it looked like everyone was there and ready to see us.

Apparently, not everyone was there.

I got so frustrated with all the waiting that I grabbed Mr. Sword and pulled him into an elevator, shouting something about how they’re so slow that I was sure everyone will be ready by the time we got to the first floor.  But then I quickly realized I was going to ruin things if I rushed our big moment so I pushed the button to stop at level 7, riding the elevator for exactly one floor.  Clearly I was losing my ability to make calm and rational thoughts.

FINALLY, Mr. Sword gets a phone call (his cell phone was in his sporran thankfully) and he’s told that my Sister/MOH Big Eyes and BM L Dawg are stuck in an elevator on the same side of the hotel as us.  (Each side has two elevators for a total of 4 in the entire hotel.)  WHAT?!?!?  Stuck in an elevator??  Are they OK??

Poor Big Eyes and L Dawg had gone to see Laura on the second floor for a hair touch-up but somehow ended up stuck on level six with, get this, a non-working elevator telephone, and without their cell phones (hello pocket-less bridesmaid dresses).  At least L Dawg had her coffee! The photo below was taken when the elevator was back on the ground floor.

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We peered over the edge and could see them waving through the clear glass.  That’s when I started to calm down (just a bit), and realize the silliness of it all.  They both started dancing and our videographers started filming them and we soon we were all laughing.  Everyone on the bottom floor was pointing at them and Sister Big Eyes and L Dawg were being such good sports waving back.

My thoughts came fast: How long were they stuck?  How was I going to take a family photo without my sister?  Who can fix this and is that person in the hotel?  Is this going to ruin our elevator reveal moment?  I mean come on, I was still the bride!  🙂

To Be Continued…

(photo is personal)

Did you have any mishaps on your big day?  What did you do about them?

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Risk Hypothermia Posing All Together

Pardon my bragging, but after putting everyone together, somehow our bridal party looked even sharper!  It was pretty amazing to see my vision come together and to have it validated through photos.  Our Highland Fairy Tale was alive and kicking and I can tell because these pictures exude beauty, drama, and warmth even though we were all freezing in reality.

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To digress for a moment, I have to say one of the hardest parts of wedding planning is choosing a bridal party.  It’s so entirely different from choosing a Save the Date design or a unique guestbook.  It’s wrought with emotion and entitlement, and can often cause a lot of stress.  We were lucky because, after a lot of thinking, we chose to surround ourselves with only family and the closest of friends.

Unfortunately, I had a few hiccups early on and I can see why people choose to avoid the bridal party altogether!  That was never an option for us, and I’m so happy that these are the faces of our wedding.  (Note my two amazing honor attendants are in these next pics, one at each end!)

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After relocating to the parking garage… I love that my “outdoor” pics are under a bridge and in a parking garage, haha… it was time to get a photo with each of my lovely girls (Mr. Sword had one taken with each of his guys, but we never received them for some reason, grrr.)

Sister/MOH Big Eyes and I had a quick photo session of just the two of us pretending to love each other and then hate each other, as it is with sisters.  Do we finally look alike?  🙂

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We HAD to get a fake “we wanna kill each other” shot.

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And back to love.

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What follows are my favorite pics with each of my girls.  My recommendation?  Remember to take these individual ones because these are the ones you (and they too) are likely to frame.  It’s a great time for hugs and one-on-one time as well!

BM L Dawg

BM L Dawg

BM Jo

BM Jo

BM Wee Sis

BM Wee Sis

Honor Attendant C Fri

Honor Attendant C Fri

Honor Attendant H

Honor Attendant H

I also wanted to get a photo of the me with the best man and Mr. Sword with the MOH.  Such sweet shots!  And these two totally rocked their posts, going above and beyond.

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We also snuck in a few more couple portraits in the garage for good measure.

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But after that we had to get one last sword photo as a group!  YES!

These folks are truly some of the best people we know and through their kindness, support, and laughter they made our wedding day insanely amazing.  We love you guys!

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All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Did your vision for your bridal party come true? Did anyone else stress over their bridal party at first?  Would you take photos in a parking garage (yay for urban settings)?

Next up, we go back indoors, FINALLY!

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!

Obligatory How I Found My Wedding Dress Post

Since I kept Evie (remember how I named her?) a secret from all of you until after our wedding I figured it’s only fair to explain how I found her, and most of all share photos of our alterations journey together!

To recap, I bought her at the Wedding Shoppe, Inc., back in June of 2012 with Mom Sword, Sister Big Eyes, Auntie B, and BM L Dawg in attendance. There were some tears and I had the “this is the dress” feeling so I considered it a successful day! After a week of disappointing appointments and knowing I was heading back home to Chicago in two days, I was so thrilled to have found my wedding gown!

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This dress is the epitome of glamorous in my eyes.  It’s sexy on top and fit for a princess on the bottom.  It’s dramatic and a little crazy (like me) and it was actually really easy to wear all day!  It was very comfortable and my favorite part was lifting up the bottom of the dress and feeling like I was being swallowed up by the ruffles.

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Naturally everyone wanted to get in on the lifting of the ruffles, or make fun of me, either way I didn’t mind.  I’d found my dress!  So you can imagine my surprise and frankly, disgust, when I first tried it on again in October.  It was so wrinkled and ill-fitting (hard to tell in the photo below), and it was far from glamorous.

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This is one of the few pictures taken from my first fitting and there’s no need to go into all that again.  You can tell by my face in the mirror that I am NOT happy.

Fast forward to my fittings with our family friend L, a five-pound weight loss, a steamed dress, and you’ll see me as a happy bride-to-be!

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We ended up taking in the sides where it hit my legs and everyone warned me that dancing would be difficult but I’ve always preferred my clothing to be body hugging and I’m here to report I danced the entire night without a problem in my tight fit and flare gown!  🙂

The second fitting (first time looking at alterations) was where we discovered the veil I’d borrowed from Mrs. Archer didn’t match my ivory dress at all (I was so sad)!  Luckily, L had a bit of ivory tulle lying around her sewing room and she ended up making me the beautiful veil you’ll see in all of my photos.  We did something a bit different by making a small poof at the top of the veil to sit behind my tiara. I can’t wait to show you guys the way it looked in the professional photos!

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I chose to do a three-point bustle.  It was pretty simple (or so I hear), the most difficult part being finding where the hooks were located.  The best part about having a jagged, ruffled bottom was that I could bustle my gown for our rainy pre-ceremony photos without wrinkling my dress, which was then un-bustled for the ceremony and then bustled again for the reception.  Phew, that’s a lot of bustling!

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Sister/MOH Big Eyes practicing the bustle days before the wedding!

Sister/MOH Big Eyes practicing the bustle days before the wedding!

I practiced walking down the hallway and family friend L told me to remember to keep my head up anytime I was walking, she said it’s so awkward when brides stare at the ground the whole time worried about tripping on their dress.  The many layers of my gown made walking tricky at first but by the end of alterations it was the perfect length.

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I could stare at the back of my dress forever but alas it’s time to say goodbye… for now… I am so incredibly LUCKY that I get to do a wedding gown photo shoot with my sister after her Big Day in June. I can’t wait to wear Evie in some warmer weather and take some cool shots next to my lovely sister.  And don’t worry I’ll definitely be sharing our Rock the Frock Sister Shoot with the hive!

(all photos personal)

Did you go through a love/dislike process with your wedding dress too?  How did your alterations go?  Who else is obsessed with RUFFLES!?!

Showered in Chicago

As you can probably guess from the title of my post, I had my Chicago shower this past weekend.  Although I mean it both figuratively and literally, because we had a whole day of rains showers to match my event!  It was a wonderful afternoon and I’m so grateful to all of the beautiful ladies who came to celebrate with me!

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When I first got engaged early last year Boss Lady told me she wanted to throw me a LLLL shower here in Chicago for all my Chicago peeps, and I was so touched!  I know bridal showers are a bonus as not everyone gets one, and I was thrilled when she made the generous offer.

Boss Lady is also Mom to my flower girl Littlest C.  Littlest C was so adorable at the shower, I heard she helped set up, I saw her greet and talk to guests, and when she wasn’t bonding with Sister/MOH Big Eyes she was being the cutest, most adorable and mature 6-year-old ever!

Miss Sword, Littlest C, and Boss Lady

Miss Sword, Littlest C, and Boss Lady

The LLLL stands for Ladies Linen and Lingerie Luncheon.  Like the name implies you aren’t limited to buying off registry because sexy late night outfits and panties are encouraged as well!  I received lots of beautiful and clever gifts, and some awesome pieces of lingerie.  I think the raciest one was given to me by my mother!  AWKWARD.

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Boss Lady had the luncheon catered and the food was amazing!

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Boss Lady decorated the space with gorgeous purple and white flowers, and made the sweetest treat bags for everyone.  They included a nail polish from Victoria’s Secret, scented drawer fresheners, and adorable hankies.  All in different colors.  So clever!

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She really put together a classy event and I’m so lucky so many of my friends could make it.  Mom Sword and Sister Big Eyes were also in attendance having flown in from MN for the weekend.

This was taken at my church the morning of the shower, apparently it's the only pic I have of the three of us!

This was taken at my church the morning of the shower, apparently it’s the only pic I have of the three of us!

NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT CAKE.  I have to give a shout-out to my friends S and A for bringing the most amazing cake I’ve ever seen!!!

S and A are the sisters on the left.

S and A are the sisters on the left.  Can’t you tell?

Isn’t this thing adorable???  It’s got a tartan sash and a little sword.  I mean, COME ON.  I’m in love.

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The tartan sash definitely looked more purple in person than it showed in photos!

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Another shout-out goes to my girl M for coming up with the most unique shower game I’ve ever played!

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She actually printed out status’ from Facebook and had everyone guess if Mr. Sword or myself had written them.  Hilarious, smart, and perfect for our social media crazed era!  Of course most of the longer posts belonged to yours truly, but I think I was the only person who got 100%, go figure!  🙂

Mr. Sword showed up at the end of the shower so he could carry gifts to the car and help me thank everyone for coming.  I mean, most of the lingerie is a present for him anyway, right!?!

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Finally my favorite photos have to be from my sneaky Sister Big Eyes.  She was in charge of taking pictures during the shower and she decided to surprise me with an abundance of my famous “Miss Sword” poses using her own mug.  I definitely laughed out loud when I saw them on my camera later that night!   🙂

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Did you just have a bridal shower?  Has anyone played the Facebook status game before?  Isn’t the cake just perfect??

Tartan Washer Necklace DIYT (Don’t Invest Your Time)

It’s time for a “How To” on the necklaces MOH Big Eyes and I made for the women in the bridal party.  I say this with the utmost sincerity, please do not try this at home.  In fact, don’t ever attempt to make jewelry out of wool.  It’s just a bad idea.  Wool is not a good medium for creating pretty, dainty things.  But DO make the necklace, just use different fabric.

THAT SAID, we did the best with what we had.  And I think our necklaces turned out absolutely gorgeous, thanks to Sister Big Eyes and her ingenuity.

There were a lot of ideas thrown around over the past few months regarding bracelets and necklaces and the tartan fabric.  The question was how could we gift the bridal party a piece of our family tartan?  (The men will get to keep their bouts even though they’ll never have another reason to wear them.  They’ll probably just hold on to them for sentiment’s sake, HA!)  Ladies of the Sword bridal party feel free to read on about all the frustration love that went into your jewelry!  🙂

Let’s start with the inspiration for this necklace.

image via Pinterest

image via Pinterest

If you click on the link to Pinterest you’ll find lots of ideas and versions of this beautiful necklace.  Most fabrics will move a lot easier than wool.  Two things to note about working with tartan fabric, 1) It is very stiff and doesn’t bend well, 2) It frays badly immediately after being cut.

Great, now that you’re excited, here is the step-by-step version of how we made our very own washer necklaces with our tartan fabric.

STEP ONE:  BUY YOUR SUPPLIES.  You’ll need enough washers for each necklace and Sister Big Eyes says odd numbers look best, so we figured about 7 per necklace plus quite a few extras.  We also decided we wanted to paint the washers, so picked up ivory and forest green spray paint.

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Then we visited JoAnn’s to buy ribbon to add to the necklaces so they can be tied around the neck, and interfacing to put on the back of the fabric to prevent it from fraying as much.

STEP TWO: SPRAY THE WASHERS.  Optimal conditions would be in Bismarck, ND when the temperature is below zero so your hands want to fall off and directly before it starts snowing so your first batch is completely ruined.  OH WAIT, those were our conditions but maybe you live some place warmer than the tundra.  In that case, just spray them on a piece of cardboard or a paper bag.

We tried using both the ivory and the green washers with the tartan but in the end we felt the darker green color looked better than the lighter ivory color.

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STEP THREE: LAY OUT INTERFACING ON TARTAN FABRIC, CUT TO FIT.  Sister Big Eyes looks like she knows what she’s doing in this picture but truthfully none of us had ever used interfacing before.  What is interfacing you ask?  To quote Wikipedia, it’s “a textile used on the unseen or “wrong” side of fabrics to make an area of a garment more rigid.” (Thank you Boss Lady for the giving me the idea.)

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STEP FOUR: GET SILLY IRON INTERFACING ONTO FABRIC.  While Sister Big Eyes was working hard, cousin and BM Jo and I were having our own fun.

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Tartan headband anyone?  5 dollars please.

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Even Fibonacci wanted to help out!  Hehe.  BM Jo sent him downstairs wearing this:

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STEP FIVE A:  LAMENT ABOUT HOW MUCH EASIER THIS PROJECT WOULD BE IF YOU USED RIBBON INSTEAD.  Celebrate Christmas with your family and take a break from the necklaces until you’re back in Minnesota.

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STEP FIVE B (aka the real STEP FIVE): CUT THE TARTAN INTO STRIPS. I don’t know exactly how long we made ours because it took some trial and error and it depends on how low you want your necklace to hang.  No matter what fabric you use don’t forget to factor in extra fabric for looping it through each washer.

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STEP SIX: ADD ANTI-FRAYING GOOP TO EDGES.  While the interfacing did help, the tartan still began to fray and separate immediately after it was cut so we decided to do both.  This was my job.  That and taking photos of every step of the process!

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STEP SEVEN: SEW RIBBON ON TO EACH END OF YOUR STRIPS.  Sister Big Eyes did this part as well (shocking I know) and she did a great job.  The length of ribbon doesn’t matter too much because if you have too much you can just make a bigger bow at the back of your neck.

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It’s best if the ribbon is the same width of your cut strips of fabric.

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STEP EIGHT: LOOP TARTAN THROUGH EACH WASHER.  Honestly, I have no idea how to explain this because I didn’t do it (worst tutorial writer ever!), but I think you thread it through the first washer, then the second washer and then back again through the first washer so they lay close to each other.

I know I mentioned earlier that we were going for seven washers per necklace but in the end it was more important to make the washers centered in the middle which meant some of them have one extra or one less washer.

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STEP NINE:  WEAR IT.  For some reason we don’t have anyone wearing the finished product necklace.  In the below picture MOH Big Eyes is wearing her bridesmaid dress and a necklace that has the original (unpainted) washers, and after that is BM Jo wearing a prototype necklace that does not have ribbon or interfacing.

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Overall I’m really pleased with how they turned out!  And I can’t wait to see all the bridesmaids and honor attendants wearing them with their dresses!  I’m so happy that each girl will get to take home a piece of the Sword family tartan as well.  Based on the photo above I’m thinking the girls will be able to wear them again with regular clothing.  Win win!

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I also want to take this opportunity to thank the world’s best Maid of Honor, my little sister.  Without her I don’t know where I’d be, and I’m so grateful for all of the work she has done to make our Highland Fairy Tale a dream come true.

And I truly hope I can help her waste her time on an equally stressful craft for her wedding in the near future.  Much love Sis.

(all photos personal)

Do you like the tartan necklaces?  Would you ever make a necklace with washers?  What wedding craft did you spend way too much time working on?