Medical/Scientific Wine Charms!

I promise this blog will not be totally about wine charms, but last night while celebrating my birthday early, I decided to try my bottle cap charm idea and it turned out WONDERFULLY! I'm so excited, that I have to share it with you!

I have been collecting bottle caps for a while for an art project that I never got around to doing, so I'm going to use them for the wine charms! Instead of showing the beer brand on the cap, I'm covering them with various things: magazine ads, anatomy atlases, catalogs, road maps, etc. I can also flip them over and put an image on the inside to differentiate them from other sets. My mom went through her jewelry box and sent me some old broken necklaces and shells. I have plenty to work with now!

This first one comes from the 2006 Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) member salon catalog (i had an extra one). A great way for me to share my profession with my wedding guests! I will also have the catalog available for the guests to look at if they are interested in seeing the full illustration from which their wine charms were designed!

Illustration source:
How a Pandemic Strain Emerges

Alice Y. Chen -- A.Y. Chen Illustration & Design

*Note* If you're in this catalog and DO NOT want your illustration made into wine charms, please email me. I will credit every illustration on the card that goes along with each set of charms. On the other hand, if you WANT a set of charms made from your illustration, just let me know! :-)
Also, if this is totally inappropriate and infringes on copyright, please let me know! I think these illustrations make amazing charms and would spark great conversations!


My "Secret" Handmade Wedding Favors!

This project has been approved by the hubby-to be, which makes it official! I will be hand-making wine charms for each guest!

I am unsure if there will be a set of 4 for each guest, or just one. (It depends on how fast I can make them!) Here's the fun part--these charms will be made from things I find around the house, such as old jewelry, beads, buttons, old keyboard keys, etc! The samples I made are from an old computer keyboard and a broken necklace! I am so excited to really get started making these!

Today I was alittle too excited when I started because I had an accident with the superglue! (hint: it was all over my hands!) So I guess I'll be peeling that off for the rest of the weekend. :-)

If anyone has any cool suggestions for everyday items that would make cute charms, please let me know! The more ideas I have, the better!


Recycled wedding favors!

Toni, one of my bridesmaids shared this website, Do It Yourself Weddings, with me and it got the creative juices flowing! It has lists and links to different crafty projects from favors, invitations and programs to centerpieces and garters! One of my project ideas is to make my own garter! I would love to have a variety of pieces of clothing from each of the women in my family incorporated into the garter. When I go home in February, I will be attacking my grandmother's attic to see what treasures I can find!

Another project from the website that I really liked was a wedding invitation made from a champagne label! So unique! I may consider something like this if we choose to do any save-the-date cards.

Handmade Wedding Invitation

After spending a few too many hours researching this, I came up with a great idea for wedding favors!! It's using things found around the house and each will be unique and handmade by me! I can't wait to get started, but I will leave you in suspense until I have a few samples to post! One clue: it's something to use when you're drinking wine. :-)

Here are a few more links that I have found helpful.
Esty.com Buy & Sell Handmade
Eco Etsy


The dress.

Sorry for the week-long hiatus. I just recently started a new position with Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, so I've been adjusting to the crazy schedule I will now have!

First, I MUST share an awesome link that I found!
I've come across many different wedding contests, but this one takes the cake! Toilet Paper Wedding Dresses! If I were savvy at sewing, I would definitely make my own dress, but I can't even imagine the skill one must have to sew toilet paper!

So since we are on the topic of dresses, I have been running into issues. I have been trying to find eco-friendly ideas for wedding gowns such as second-hand dresses, organic fabric, Craig's List, eBay, etc. Most of the pre-owned dresses I have found that are in my price range are just (to put it nicely) not my style AT ALL. I have found GREAT sites like PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com and WoreItOnce.com. I am still looking at these sites in case "my perfect dress" appears in the listings, but the artist inside of me REALLY wants to design my own!

My mom found a bridal shop in Ft. Dodge, Iowa that can copy any style of dress and add unique features. So, I have just started researching organic fabrics. I'd like my dress to be very simple and comfortable, but it's hard to find stores that carry organic fabrics so that I can TOUCH them! :-) (I know I live in Chicago, it should be fairly easy, so I will keep trying!)

If anyone has any links or suggestions, please send them my way! I know that this is going to be the toughest part of the wedding planning, but I am hoping to learn a lot!


Biodegradable silverware and garbage bags!

First off, we found a fabulous caterer! The family business Lidderdale Country Store will be catering our reception! Not sure what the menu will be, but I do know it will be delicious!

Uncle Bill and my dad are working with us to be as green as possible. I know there are real plates and silverware available to use, but I hate having to make someone do all those dishes, especially since we will have a lot of guests. So we've been looking into biodegradable table service. I've found a few websites that seem do-able, but we'll definitely have to make room in our budget if this is what we want to use.

The first site I came across was Branch: sustainable design for living They offer compartment plates made of 100% sugar cane fiber (bagasse), a byproduct of the sugar refining process. They also have silverware and nice looking cold cups. This site however, does not offer samples for sale. I'd like to see the durability of the products before I buy a case of 500!

My mom then brought up a good point. How horrible is it to have biodegradable silverware when you throw it into a PLASTIC garbage bag! So I searched around and came upon this site: The Biodegradable Store. They have biodegradable garbage bags of all sizes, as well as silverware, plates and cups. They also had a "heavy-weight" option for the silverware AND samples available! I may go ahead and order a sample of the plates and silverware. I'm just curious to see what compostable corn silverware is like!

I know the biodegradable option may be adding more of a cost to our budget, but if we can save in other areas, I'd really like to do it. Does anyone have any other sites they have come across, or other suggestions? Or are there any dishwasher volunteers out there? :-)


Reception site: Konferenz Centre

The Konferenz Centre is where we will be having our reception and is located directly across from the Hausbarn. We have rented the entire place which contains Hansen Halle (a large events area), Roten Bar Tavern, and a Dining Room area with a fully-equipped spacious industrial kitchen.

The attempt to be "green" in this case is that the ceremony and reception are at the same site. We will be encouraging our guests to carpool not only to be environmentally-friendly, but also because the parking lot is not gigantic. There is also a discussion about the possibility of a busing system for guests from the hotels to the ceremony, but we haven't worked out those details yet.

Another "Green" factor is that the money needed to rent the facility goes to the Manning Heritage Foundation to help with the preservation of the Hausbarn and Heritage Park.

Here are a few pictures of each room of the building.

Hansen Halle

Roten Bar Tavern

Dining Room

Reception Site: German Hausbarn

The Hausbarn is a unique structure that consists of living quarters for not only the family – including bedrooms, sitting, dining and cooking areas – but also areas for housing livestock, farm equipment and feed.

Originally constructed in 1660 in the village of Offenseth in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, the Hausbarn was given to the Manning Heritage Foundation in 1991. The Hausbarn was dismantled in 1996 and shipped to Iowa. Groundbreaking was held in Manning in June of 1997 with Princess Elisabeth of Ysenburg and Budingen, Princess of Schleswig-Holstein, Sonderburg und Glucksburg as an honored guest.

In July of 1999 master carpenter Martin Peter Hansen arrived from Germany to lead a group in the reconstruction of the Hausbarn. Professional thatchers from Germany constructed the roof using reeds grown near the Baltic Sea. The roof has an estimated lifetime of 75 years.

We will not be having the reception in the Hausbarn itself, but it will be open for touring after the wedding ceremony! Thanks so much to the Manning Heritage Foundation! For more detailed information about the reconstruction of the Hausbarn and its history, check out the Foundation's website: www.germanhausbarn.com


Trinity Lutheran Church

Originally built in 1884 with a rural congregation, the church closed after economic hardship in 2006. Instead of seeing this beautiful church sold or dismantled, it was agreed to move it to the Heritage Hausbarn Park in Manning, Iowa.

On June 6, 2006 the church was transported over 11 miles of rolling Iowa hills to its new location. It took 4 hours to move the building and contents fully intact!

Watch a video of the church being moved, as featured on "Monster Moves"!

I had originally wanted an outdoor wedding because I personally feel closer to God through nature, but this church has such a unique history, that I couldn't pass up!

The church is available for non-denominational Christian events and open to the public for touring. For tour and rental information, contact Marilyn at the Manning Heritage Foundation office 712-655-3131


First post!

This blog is dedicated to my attempts at making my wedding as environmentally friendly (and wallet-friendly!) as possible! Some of the planning has already started to fall into place and I am so excited to begin the details!
I will post links to the many "green" sites that I come across during my wedding research and I hope to receive lots of suggestions from everyone out there!

My next post will detail the plans that have already been booked. Thanks for following along! I look forward to your comments and input!!!!!!