I started my business way back in 2006, with jewelry and accessory design, and I've always had a love for sewing. As I transitioned into more and more floral design, I had little, or no time to work on my jewelry and accessories, and I missed it, like, a lot. Alea was looking for someone to design a statement making feather bolero for an elopement shoot she was taking in PARIS, and I jumped at the chance to take part (I mean, hello, who doesn't want their work photographed in Paris?).
I have to say it was the creation of this piece that really got me thinking more seriously about getting back into making accessories, and focusing on designing for weddings and brides. It was such an inspiring experience, and the results couldn't have been more beautiful. Thanks so much for letting me take part Alea, I loved every minute of it!
xo ~ Emily
I'm sharing one more gift wrap DIY (since Christmas is only a week away, woop, woop!). For this one I wanted to incorporate this awesome vintage fabric. I found it in my grandmother's stash a few years ago, and was waiting for just the right project to use it on. Using it as ribbon on a gift for someone special seemed perfect. This gift wrap, much like the hand stamped version I shared last week, this DIY can be customized to match any theme you want. Just find your desired stencil and paint away!
Here's what you'll need:
Much like the stamped version you could do this project two ways. You could either wrap your gifts first, then paint them, or you could roll out your paper and paint it all at once. Just a note, if you are wrapping your gifts first, make sure you are using thickish craft paper, not thing wrapping paper. Otherwise your paint might bleed through.
Place your stencil onto your gift or rolled out craft paper. Load your pouncer or brush up with paint. Carefully fill in your design. Try to hold your stencil as still as possible.
Don't worry about being perfect, you want that hand made feel. Now let your paint dry completely. With craft paint it will usually only take an hour or two, but for maximum safeness I'd just wait overnight if possible, so you don't get any smears or smudges.
I wanted a rough edged feel for my fabric strips, so I went ahead and tore them instead of cutting them. I think it adds to the vintage/rustic look of the wrapping. I also used black velvet ribbon to compliment the gift tags I was using and colors in the fabric. I think velvet adds a wintery touch.
To make your package extra special, right before you head to your get together add some fresh greens. Evergreen will smell amazing and of course is perfect for the season. I added a sprig of rosemary.
Now it's time for giving! Thank you guys so much for tagging along with me in my little holiday gift wrap series, I hope you loved my ideas and got some inspiration for your own gift giving this year. Happy Holidays everyone!
xo ~ Emily
There's something magical about a winter wedding, wouldn't you agree? I think it's a time of year when you can really pump up the glamour with lots of sparkle, and metallics, without seeming too over the top. I felt so lucky, as usual, to participate in this inspiration shoot with EA Bride Magazine for their winter 2013/2014 issue. Our inspiration was a reference to classic 50's styling, with lots of ivories, mixed metals in silver and gold, and pops of fun red. Plus that blue wedding dress, I die! Pastel wedding gowns are one of my absolute fave trends for 2015. It feels amazing to be able to do what I love, and create magic like this with some of my favorite vendors.
Vendor List: Photography-Jana Marie Photography // Venue-Amigoni Urban Winery // Flowers and set styling- emmy-ray design studio // Linens and Props- Ultrapom Event Rentals // Model styling- Amani Skalaki // Catering- Moxie Catering // Cake: Iced Art // Short gown-Peppermint Pretty // Blue gown- Bridal Bliss Designs // Groom's Attire- Wedding Expressions by Geri // China- The Vintage Plate Company // Hair and Makeup- Ashley Backs Professional Hair and Makeup // Paper and Invites- Dumb Kids Designs // Models- groom, Donald Brezavar, bride, Kat Richardson, bridesmaid, Eileen Orloff
It's yet another holiday gift wrap DIY, and this is one I loved working on because it touches with my roots as a printmaker. This step by step uses brown craft paper (the perfect blank canvas) and spices it up. You can even match it to your holiday cards and gift tags. Yay! Now I know what you might be thinking, "Emily, ain't nobody got time for that". Well I assure you, if I do, you do (it's called wait til the baby is napping). Come on, I'll show you how easy it can be!
Here's what you'll need:
First we'll make our stamp. You can do any pattern under the sun. I was trying to match mine to the holiday card picture don the right, so I decided to use an aztec print theme. You can free-hand a design, use text (make sure to write it out backward), or find a design or stencil you like and trace it onto your rubber block. Whatever works for you!
Color in the parts of the stamp that you want to remain raised. This is so when you're cutting, you don't ruin your design (I know this from experience). Only cut the un-colored parts.
Begin cutting your design with your relief carving tools. It's pretty self explanatory, but if you need a demo, pop on over to this video. Watch your little fingers,and always cut away from yourself.
Once you're done carving, use rubbing alcohol, or hand sanitizer to clean the sharpie off your stamp. Then it's time to ink your stamp. If you're using a stamp pad, simply press the stamp to the pad, then add the design to your craft paper. I tried a white stamp pad originally, but the color did not show up white, it just made a dark brown, moist impression on the paper. No bueno., so I opted to try the ink. If you're using actual relief print ink, start by squeezing a bit of ink onto your piece of glass. Then spread the ink in a line with a piece of think cardboard, spatula, or a putty knife.
You can either press your stamp onto a pre-wrapped package, or you could roll out your craft paper and apply the stamp to the whole roll. Apply nice even pressure to the stamp, then lift one corner to see how it's transferring.
I remember doing this project with my mom as a kid, and we would roll the paper out in the dining room and stamp all over it, then let it dry, and wrap gifts later. If you are using a stamp pad you will probably only need to let it dry for an hour or two. If you are using relief ink, I'd give it overnight to be safe.
Once the ink is dry, it's time to add your trims. I used a combo of satin ribbon and twine on my package. I also added a fun little arrow that I DIY'd, or I always love tying an ornament to gifts as a special extra touch.
Now give your gift. Watch your friends ooooh, and ahhhhh, over your incredible gift wrapping skillz. They might not event want to open their present :)
xo ~ Emily
Having a baby is awesome. There are so many wonderful things about it, but one of my favorite parts of watching Eleanor grow up is experiencing everything for the first time through her eyes, including the holidays. She loves looking at Christmas lights, and everytime she sees ornaments she reaches for them. I know she's too little to remember any of it, but I hope to make this year, her first Christmas, really special. I thought our front steps was the best place to take some pics for our holiday card, and of course we all wore coordinating (but not matching) outfits. Thanks to my brother in law for helping us take these pics!
This pic is so funny, I think Eleanor's face says it all.
I love watching these two together, they have such a sweet father daughter bond.
When it comes to hand made projects I'm all about experimenting. I came across a wire wreath form for sale on one of my favorite home decor sites. The form alone was $25, and that didn't include any decor for it. I thought, hey, I'd love to give that a try, so I came up with this DIY modern wire and ornament wreath. I say it was an experiment because before I started, and as I was working, I had no idea how it would turn out, but I have to say, I loved the results. It's a little bit modern, a little bit messy, and a whole lot of colorful. Just my style!
Here's what you'll need:
Total cost: about $30
Start by spray painting your wreath form silver. Next it's time to start wiring your ornament. Start by wrapping your aluminum wire twice around the base of your ornament. You want to wrap them tightly, but be careful if you're using glass ornaments not to wrap them too tight or they'll shatter. Or you can go ahead and use acrylic or plastic ornaments and avoid this worry altogether.
Next twist your wire about 3 or 4 inches. Then bend the wire, and do these two steps again. You'll want to keep your wire as one continuous piece if possible. You'll essentially be creating an ornament branch.
Once you have enough of your ornament branches to cover you wreath form, play around with the configuration you'd like to use.
Before you add your ornament branches you'll need to add your lights to your wreath form. This was the part I struggled with the most. First I wrapped the string around and around the wreath form, but it was too much wire, and looked messy. So I decided to wire the lights to the outside edge, and was much happier with the results.
Now add your ornament branches. I clipped pieces of wire about 2.5 inches and bent them into a U shape. Wrap them around your ornament branches, and then twist them to the wreath form.
You may want to bend, and re-arrange some of the ornaments once they're attached to the wreath. Now it's time to plug it in.
As soon as I plugged it in, I think it really came to life. I love how the colorful lights reflect off the silver ornaments. Eleanor loved it too, it might be her favorite decoration in the house. Have fun making your own diy modern wire and ornament wreath. If you give it a try I'd love to see your pics (tag me @emmyray on instagram).
xo ~ Emily
I worked with Ashley long distance on her wedding, but if there's one thing that I absolutely loved about her it was her enthusiasm. She was such a joyful bride, from our mock up meetings, to the day of the big event she was nothing but smiles and excitement. When she saw the ballroom of the President all decorated for her reception she literally twirled in glee. Who wouldn't love that! For her and Duane's wedding Ashley wanted to keep her look classic, with an all white bouquet. The bridesmaids wore plum, and she wanted their bouquets, and the flowers in the ballroom to really pop with fun, bright hues of coral, pink, and plum. Touches of bold were a compliment to the beautiful space at the Hilton President, and their tuscan style head table was to die for. Plus they served brunch for dinner. Love it! Thanks Ashley and Duane for letting us be a small part of your day.
Their reception was at the Hilton President in downtown Kansas City. The space has a beautiful, classic vintage feel, but a neutral palette of creams and golds. Ashley wanted the flowers to bring color into the space, but also include pops of gold to match the room. She had a huge tuscan style head table which we created a runner of greenery and flowers for.
There are about a million more pictures I could've added but I'll leave it at that. Again a huge thanks to Ashley and Duane, we loved being part of your day!
xo ~ Emily
It's Christmas, woooooooohoooooooo!!!!! Does that accurately describe my excitement for this season? No, not quite, It's one of my favorite times of year. There are so many things I LOVE about it, decorating the house, celebrating with friends and family, but giving gifts is just the best. I really like making special gifts and then wrapping them up for someone to open. I like adding a special touch to my packages too, and each year I pick a different theme for all my gift wrap. I thought it would be fun to share a series of different wrapping DIY's this holiday season, and to kick it off is this modern black and white gift wrap with pops of bright red.
Here's what you'll need:
Measure and cut 1.5 inch strips from the card stock. Next measure out triangles with 1.5 inch bases, and then cut them apart.
I got a fun snowflake paper punch from Michaels Arts and Crafts, but this is definitely optional. I punched a bunch of snowflakes out to mix in with the triangles, but I think that this design looks good even without them.
Begin stringing the triangles and snowflakes onto your bakers twine. You can do this per package, but I think its easiest to just make a bunch all at once. Then as you wrap gifts you can cut and add the trim as needed.
Wrap the gift up in the black paper. Next add the black masking tape as a decorative accent. I added mine as if it were a ribbon that I had tied around the package, and then add the triangle trim on top of that.
Next make a pom pom, one of my favorite, easy ways to dress up a gift. Wrap your red yarn around your hand about 20-30 times. Then tie it around the middle and snip the ends. Trim any stray strings so you have a nice even looking ball.
xo ~ Emily