Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fabulous Products: Artistic Cookie Favors

I've already shown you some of the remarkable work done by Sabrina, the incredibly gifted owner of A Cake Dream, when I showed off her amazing Swarovski accented cake.  But she does so much more.  We've all seen cookie favors, but look at these (literal!) works of art.

A Cake Dream used the amazing artwork of the artist Karen Sloan of Wall Flower Studio to create these edible masterpieces.

Wouldn't those make absolutely gorgeous favors, or a fabulous addition to a dessert table?  Are you using scrapbook paper to create some of your decor or invitations?  How about a coordinating cookie?

And who could possibly resist these gorgeous chocolate-covered oreos?

Think beyond the cake when you're talking to your baker.  I love consumable favors anyway, and these are truly spectacular examples of what can be done.  

Monday, November 29, 2010

New Product: The Rhinestone Napkin Rings are Now Available!

Just in time for the holidays, our new Rhinestone Napkin Rings are now available on our website!  I created them out of frustration with the napkin rings I was able to find commercially.  They're so pretty in concept, but I was always unwilling to bring myself to spend so much money on nice designs made with really low quality materials.  I started experimenting with the Swarovski product and pearls I have on hand for designing tiaras, and came up with these beauties.  They add so much sparkle and style to any table setting.  

We're also introducing a new product model on our website with this product:  rentals.  Love the idea of 150 of these glittering on the tables at your wedding, but don't have the budget to purchase them (or the need for 150 of them after the wedding)?  No problem--select our rental option!  

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fabulous Product: Black Friday Edition

I've been wanting these black amethyst cake stands for years now.

Alas, I did not buy them when they were readily available, and I haven't been able to find the set for almost two years now.   I tried to convince myself that I didn't really need more cake plates.  Silly, silly me.  I have wanted these exact plates at least half a dozen times in the past couple years, and I've always regretted not buying them.

That's why I was so happy to find these custom cake plates made by Sarah's Stands.

They're available up to 22" in diameter, too.  Do you know how hard it is to find large cake plates like that??  Those large sizes are often needed for wedding cakes, and they are incredibly rare.  

I would buy one (or more!) of these gorgeous custom cake stands and use them all the time, but I understand that I'm not like most people.    My husband teases me about my cake stand fetish regularly.  ;-)  Love the look but don't want to foot the entire bill for the cake stand?  Most cake decorators I know are passionate about great cake stands, too.  Send your decorator the link to the shop, and see if it's something he or she would like to have in inventory, and just rent it for your wedding.  It's worth asking, at the very least!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wedding Pie, Possibly the Finest Thing in the World

As I'm up to my elbows in flour and the kitchen is a disaster and there are magnificent smells coming from the oven as one of the pies bakes, I had a thought.

Who says you have to have a wedding cake?  Fellow pie lovers, unite!

I love cake...as an art medium.  I love gorgeously decorated cakes.  I love decorating cakes gorgeously.  I'm a big fan of cake, really.  But if I'm going to eat a sweet treat, pie wins every time.    And I'm clearly not the only one.

Amanda and Nick chose to serve pies made from their cherished family recipes:

I particularly love the old family photos of the honored family members baking!

Just to the right, you can see that they had recipes out for each pie, beautifully printed, complete with a picture of the family member from whom the recipe came.  What a wonderful way to incorporate missed loved ones, and honor family history!

And how cute are these miniature pies?  The only thing better than a slice of pie is a pie all to myself.  Plus, miniaturized anything amps up the adorable factor.  Those toothpick banners are the perfect finishing touch, and a great way to incorporate the color and theme of your wedding.  Photo courtesy of Sweetwater Portraits.

Obviously, wedding pie would be perfect for a fall or an orchard themed wedding, but I think it's perfect for any season.  

Now, back to my own baking!

If only I didn't have to wait until tomorrow.  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Wedding Cake with Swarovski Crystal Style

I was first contacted by Sabrina from A Cake Dream when she was looking for some advice on Swarovski crystal elements, and how best to mount them on wire.  When I learned what she was up to--creating a wedding cake with Swarovski elements in the centers--I knew I had to see the pictures.  I already put Swarovski crystals on everything else that will hold still long enough--of course a Swarovski wedding cake would be spectacular!  I wasn't disappointed.  Just look at this incredible cake!

Gorgeous photos of this remarkable cake courtesy of Samantha Shay Photography, LLC, from a photo shoot at Exquisite Bride.

Just goes to show you, Swarovski crystals and rhinestones aren't just for tiaras and accessories.  If you're interested in getting this look for your cake, contact us.  We're happy to supply you with Swarovski components that are a perfect match for your accessories, so you can give them to your baker for inclusion in the cake design.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Emergency Wedding Day Kit: Essentials to Pack

You know the concept.  The little bag full of emergency supplies.  Things you might need on the day of the wedding, to help remedy and disasters that might happen.  Each list should obviously be customized for each bride, but here's a good place to start.

  • Band-aids.
  • Safety pins. Some people recommend a sewing kit, but I find that safety pins pretty much cover all those needs.  Plus, I've done some very creative things with them when working as an assistant to a wedding photographer.  Very handy things, safety pins.
  • Snacks!  Even a bride with the very best intentions to eat on her wedding day can easily get swept up in the business and chaos of wedding prep.  Carry a granola bar, nuts, some sort of substantial, portable snack in the emergency bag, just in case.
  • Money.  Throw a $20 in there.  You might be sending a bridesmaid out for coffee, need to tip someone.  Who knows what might come up, but it's best to be prepared.
  • Tide To-Go pen.  They're not perfect, but they do a surprisingly good job getting rid of stains in a pinch.  Similarly, white chalk can cover up an offending spot if there's an unfortunate spill before the wedding.
  • Bobby pins.  Someone will need a bobby pin or two at some point during the day.  I always have a pocket-full whenever I assist wedding photographers and have always had a need for them. Every single time.
  • Clear nail polish.  Handy for stopping runs in panty hose, painting on earring posts for people with nickel allergies, glue for stray beading on the dress, and of course, manicure touch-ups.
  • Emery board.  This one has only the one obvious use, but if you need it, you'll be really glad to have it.
  • Any makeup you might want for touch-ups through the night.
  • Imodium.  It's not a pretty thought, but nerves can work a number on the digestive system.  Best to be prepared, just in case.
  • Pain reliever.  Again, just in case.  Walking down the aisle with a headache is not a fun thing, even if you're a bridesmaid.  
Add or delete as needed, but this is a good place to start.  I used pretty much all of those items at one time or another on my wedding day!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fabulous Product: Colorful Crinolines!

I can't tell you how much I wanted a lavender crinoline to go with my wedding gown (which had a lilac sash) when I got married nine years ago.  I loved the idea of seeing flashes of color as I danced the night away.  Alas, I couldn't find anyone offering such a product back then, and had to make due with boring white.

If only designers like Ann Swank from Swank Underpinnings (what a perfect business name!) were around when I was getting married. Look at this beauty!  What a fun, fun way to have "something blue" in your wedding wardrobe!

The petticoats are custom-dyed, so the color possibilities are nearly endless.  Already have a crinoline?  Swank Underpinnings will dye it for you, for an incredibly reasonable price!

I love the personality that pops of color add to a wedding, and this is one of my very favorite ways to do it.  Let's hear it for pretty petticoats!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fabulous Product: Printable Customized Wine Bottle Labels

I love love love weddings where even the smallest details have been thought through.  Details like replacing the wine bottle labels with custom labels.  I never even conceived of such a thing back when I got married, but brilliant designers like Print Your Party did, and made it an incredibly easy DIY project for brides.

First, all you need to do is remove the existing labels from the wine bottle.  A little soaking and a little scraping will usually do the trick.  If there are any stubborn sticky bits, pull out the can of WD-40.  Really.  Spray it on, and you'll be able to scrape off the remaining sticky residue with ease.  That stuff is magical.  I once fixed my KitchenAid mixer with only a can of WD-40 and a rubber mallet.  It's a good idea always to have a can around.

Then print out your custom design and glue it on.  It's even easier if you print it out on label paper.  How incredibly simple is that, for such a great effect?

While you're visiting the Print Your Party shop, be sure to look at all the other customized printables to coordinate with your wine bottles.  This is the kind of product that makes putting together an amazingly well coordinated wedding possible--or dare I even say, easy.  


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Product: Tiara Recycled into Christmas Ornament!

Yesterday I talked a bit about our restringing service.  We can take your wedding tiara, take it apart, and create beautiful jewelry appropriate for everyday and special occasion wear.  But we can also do other things with your pearls and crystals.  How about turning it into a Christmas ornament?

I love hanging all the ornaments on my Christmas tree, remembering the stories behind each one.  What a wonderful memory to conjure when you put this special ornament on your tree!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Restringing Genuine Pearl and Swarovski Crystal Tiaras

A tiara made out of real pearls and Swarovski crystals is a quality product that can be an heirloom passed down through the generations.  But what if you don't particularly want to store a tiara for a few decades until it might be worn again?  Did you know that here at Tradewind Tiaras, we offer a restringing service?  Just one of the many benefits of ordering a tiara made from such exceptional materials!


...turns into this!

Have your tiara restrung into a beautiful piece of jewelry instead, and wear it for each anniversary, special occasion, or just whenever you want to remember that amazing day, and how you felt so beautiful and cherished.

Watch for a very special new idea we're launching related to this one in tomorrow's blog post.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Inspired Idea: The Handkerchief Invitation

Invitations are important.  They set the tone and give a glimpse of what's to come.  If you were lucky enough to receive an invitation to Yougna and Jacob's wedding, you'd have no doubt that their celebration would be something truly special.  

So what did they do?  She knew that her guests would need a map to find their celebration, and had the inspired idea to make the map into a gorgeous, custom-printed fabric map, sewn into a handkerchief.  Extra hankies are always a good idea at weddings!  

The pictures were also taken by the amazing Yougna, also a photographer.  No wonder she has such beautiful artistic vision.  

The idea is incredible, yes, but the end product is so spectacular thanks to the design work of Kelli Anderson.  For more great information on the involved, impressive process behind creating the design, check out Kelli Anderson's blog.  It's full of great details and insights for anyone considering a project of this sort.  

Bravo, Yougna!  Projects like this make me want to get married all over again!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Now This is a Bachelor Party I'd Love to See

What an incredibly fun idea for a bachelor party invitation, from Grace Printables:

What fabulous photo opportunities this party would have!  If your groom is anything like my husband (and most men I know), they're not much into party planning, but they do appreciate the effort when it's made.  The brilliance of this party is that it creates a fun, unifying theme, while still allowing the party to be as loose and unstructured as the groom and friends might wish.  Best of both worlds!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quick Tip Regarding Care of Real Pearls

Do your wedding accessories include real pearls?  That wedding tiara, grandma's strand of classic pearls for your "something borrowed," perhaps?  Real pearls need slightly different care than the artificial pearls found on most wedding accessories.

We use only real pearls in our tiaras.

Genuine pearls are a natural material, and are vulnerable to chemicals, skin oils, and other elements in the world around us every day.  For the most part, this is inevitable.  When you're wearing a pearl necklace, the pearls will obviously come into contact with skin oils.  In fact, that's part of what makes pearls turn a deeper ivory color as they age, and why new pearls won't match a set handed down through the generations.  But it is a good idea to protect the pearls whenever possible, so they'll keep their gorgeous luster and nacre for many, many years.

As a general rule, don't spray chemicals around your pearls.  Put your perfume on before your necklace.  Add your tiara after your stylist has given you that final spray down of hairspray.  Use common sense, and your tiara and accessories made with real pearls will be an heirloom that can be passed down for generations.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fabulous Product: Customized Galvanized Tubs for Beverages or Centerpieces

Sometimes I stumble across something so fabulous that I feel the need to plan an entire party around it.  The gorgeous customized galvanized tubs from Brody and Ma definitely fall into that category.

They're obviously fabulous for filling with ice and beverages.  But why stop there?  How about using a smaller one as a floral container for a centerpiece?  Filling a tub with inexpensive flip flops for the ladies who want to keep dancing, but have reached the end of their tolerance for high heels?  Filling a bin with toiletries and emergency needs and setting it out in the bathroom (sewing kit, lotion, mouth wash, hair spray, etc.)?  

Since fabric is used to embellish the tubs, the options are basically limitless, and you could easily find something perfect for any wedding scheme.  What a gorgeous way to carry the theme through all of the decor!

And best of all, they're really a great deal.  I have a very strong DIY streak, and as soon as I saw these I started googling wholesale galvanized tubs.  Between the cost of the materials and shipping and handling (not to mention labor!), I'm definitely ordering from Brody and Ma whenever I have a need.  (Need?  Who am I kidding.  I'm just looking for any excuse at this point.  LOVE.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fabulous Products: Shoe Clips to Customize Your Ensemble

Somehow, it seems when you're shopping for something specific, it's impossible to find.  You might find all sorts of other marvelous things while you're at the shops, but not the thing you're looking for.  Shopping for wedding shoes took me months, and though I liked my shoes, they weren't quite what I wanted.  I settled.

Why not take matters into your own hands?   I'm not suggesting cobbling your own footware, but rather embellishing it.  Even if you don't have a crafty bone in your body, there are a wide variety of beautiful shoe clips out there that can add just the right something special to a basic shoe that's the right height and is comfortable for a night of dancing, but doesn't make your heart flutter.

Check out these ethereal flower shoe clips from Etsy seller ClaudiaBradley:

Fabric and Pearl Flower Shoe Clip
 Don't those just beg to be worn for a wedding?  And for only $14, what a deal for such added panache!

Or how about these silk beauties from BBCBridal:

They'd look perfect on the bride's shoes, or as a unifying element for all the bridesmaids (I was never into forcing bridesmaids to wear the same shoes.  I was delighted to have one of my bridesmaids wear leopard print flip flops, in fact!)

Or how about these sparkly, feathered clips from designer Nylora?  

What a fun way to add that something blue!  And I love how this picture shows how versatile shoe clips are.  Don't feel like they have to be positioned at the toe. 

Are you a DIY sort?  We here at Tradewind Tiaras have been known to sell Swarovski elements at cost so that a bride can make a pair of custom shoe clips that will perfectly match her tiara.   We're also happy to design something for you.  Have an idea?  Just ask!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Just How Many Tiaras Does a Tiara Designer Wear? A Mini Contest

Today is my 9th anniversary!  I started this company 10 years ago when I was planning my own wedding.  I'd found the perfect gown--a gorgeous sample Vera Wang gown with a lilac sash that fit me absolutely perfectly.  It was a dream!  And a bargain!   But I balked at paying $535 for a tiara to go with the gown I'd just bought at a huge discount.  I've always had a strong DIY streak, and the tiara designing began.

Tradewind Tiaras was a full-fledged business well before our wedding date rolled around, and in the days before the wedding, I just couldn't decide which design I wanted to wear.  I'd made too many designs I liked!

So I took them all to the salon the morning of my wedding.  Made the decision only when I was absolutely forced to.

My pile of tiaras at the salon.

How many tiaras did I have with me?  Make a guess on our facebook page and the first person to get it right will get a pair of genuine pearl and Swarovski crystal earrings absolutely perfect for holiday parties!

DIY Project: Homemade Hot Cocoa Favors

Looking for the homemade hot cocoa favor/gift tutorial?  It's at its new home at Tikkido.com.

Homemade Cocoa Favor