Homemade is well made

So we have been a little quiet recently which is a testament to working hard and being distracted by some nocturnal visitors!

Horus the hoglet

But we now have less than 6 days to go and by this time next week we will be married and all out hard work and preparation will be complete (and hopefully a success!)

Today we have been busy preparing the homemade breakfast bits! We have made homemade muesli and homemade granola and they look and smell fantastic!

homemade goodness

Recipe for homemade muesli

  • 300g rolled oats
  • 200g pumpkin seeds
  • 100g mixed nuts
  • 100g cranberries
  • 50g toasted coconut

Method: preheat the oven to 160 and line a tray with greaseproof paper put a layer of the oats pumpkin seeds and nuts and toast in the oven for ten minutes, mix the rest of the ingredients and voila! Store in an airtight container and devour with yogurt. Yum yummy yum.

Recipe for homemade granola

  • 300g rolled oats
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 4tbsp sesame seeds
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 100g cranberries (or other dried fruit)
  • 50g toasted coconut flakes
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp honey
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil
  • 125ml maple syrup
  • 2 egg whites

Method: Preheat the oven to 140. Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet ingredients in another bowl minus the egg whites as you need to froth these up with a fork first. Then mix the two together in a bowl and spread out onto a baking tray and leave a hole in the middle (don’t ask me why it just seems to work!) Then bake for 45 minutes but check after 30. You can always drizzle some honey over the top just before finishing to really stick it together. When finished leave it in the oven with the door open to cool then split it up and put in an airtight container. Add a fancy label and there is a homemade Christmas gift!!

Fancy homemade breakfast

A green napkin

We want to be as green as possible at our wedding but also create something beautiful and unique for our guests.

all the colours

As a self confessed fabric addict I wanted to make individualised napkins as an alternative to using paper napkins at the wedding.

I sorted through my fabric stash to find as many fat quarter sized pieces as possible then started matching them up in a crazy, colourful and personalised way!

ironed at least 20 times!!

They are all different in colours as well as sizes (whoops) I did a double top stitch and nearly tore all my hair out the amount I had to change the top thread and bobbin. Multiple colours seemed like a great idea before sewing!!

Folded perfection

I then trawled through the internet looking for the best way to fold them so that we could insert our wedding favours into the napkin making it a full favour gift if guests would like to take the napkins with them. If they do not I am going to make a huge quilt with them as a wedding memory.

I found this envelope fold and it works perfectly with the favours.

Completely green

We are really pleased with the finished result and it will add so much colour to our wedding table making this truly a hodgepodge wedding.

Recycled book pages and bird seed
Recycled book pages and wild flower seeds plus some cornflower seeds from the garden
Picnic basket full of colour! And the page boys napkin matches his shirt.

Sophie the niffler

I am a self confessed craft obsessive if I see something I want to try out I buy it and everything that goes with it! Rather than doing a taster session and seeing whether it’s for me I go the whole hog and buy everything and I appreciate I am lucky enough to be able to do this.

This means in our house there is craft in every room and I love this and I know it drives steph up the wall but it also makes our house our home.

When planning our wedding I started to look through what I had and stumbled upon about 10 packets of mini sparklers (my other confession being I love a bargain!) I remember these being reduced to 30p so I brought lots, I guess at the time I brought them for an occasion and over the years they have come out and brought us moments of joy.

Mini sparklers

So in my desire to have little creative items at our wedding I though it would be cute to have these in the evening.

Now my writing is rubbish bordering on illegible at the best of times and I have dabbled a little in calligraphy but don’t really have the stamina for it I think. I looked online for things i could copy and finally thought just go with it this is you and your writing at your wedding and that is what makes this special not being able to copy some gorgeous writing of someone else. As long as its legible!

Sharpie action

So here we have it in all my sharpie beauty ‘it’s time to sparkle’ after cutting out several cards from paper I have brought over the years and with steph looking at me as if I have completely lost my mind I created over 20 cards using only items I have in the house.

Carefully making a slit

I love my Swann Morton craft knife after doing a paper cutting taster and now use it for any paper cutting over scissors. I made a 2cm slit to slide three sparklers in and then secured with some sparkly tape that was in the draw.

bit of sparkle

I’m really pleased with the final result and I think it will be fun and although it is obviously homemade I hope we have some sparkly pictures to share!

It’s time to sparkle

Wild thing

Having completed a floristry course earlier this year for pleasure not for business or weddings it made me look at what I grow in my garden. Flowers cost a fortune rightfully so they are a luxury and take a lot of effort to grow.

After many discussions with my friend who has an allotment and likes to experiment we decided to give cut flower growing a go.

Strong little shoots

I invested in some seeds and plug plants from Sarah Raven amongst others and started sowing in February our spare room was full of little seeds in many pots. I also invested in some eucalyptus plants which arrived looking very sorry for themselves but have since recovered

Lots of lovely smelling eucalyptus

Although I would love to use cut flowers to recreate hand tied bouquets at a fraction of the cost, we also want to have wild flowers in jars at the wedding. So I decided to experiment today.

Full of wild flowers

I am really pleased with how it looks but worried that we are not going to have enough flowers for the wedding. I really wanted to be sustainable with the flowers as it is so easy to spend lots of money on something that is only for a day. By growing our own flowers we get to enjoy them in our garden as well as at our wedding!

Our wild wind beaten garden

However since doing my experiment I am now panicking that there is no way we will ever grow enough flowers (and keep them alive) for the wedding in August to fill one jar let alone 40! Plus I think they have to be filled well to create the most beautiful effect and the jar above has several flowers in there.

Gypsophila

We do have what feels like 50 pots as well the ground so hopefully there will be some staggered growth from now until August. We have decorated over 100 jars for candles and flowers so may have to buy some flowers or hopefully find a good wild patch somewhere!

Billy buttons

This is my pride and joy in cut flower growing. Steph brought some Billy buttons for my mum and dad for when they moved house and they were super expensive partly because of where we live and the mark up! However I looked online and found these plants I had 10 to start with and although they seem to be a favourite of aphids I have 9 plants with lots of buttons growing and these dry well so can be cut and kept yipppppeeee!

Jar of delights

Bauholz!

We are going common with our wedding entertainment and have been searching for ideas for unusual garden games as it would be rude not to use this beautiful house and grounds for the weekend (fingers crossed for sunshine!)

The beautiful Northfields house

In Germany it is traditional to play games at the wedding, ones which test your future of working together this could be sawing a log, hanging out children’s clothes or kidnapping the bride! As the last one would involve us both going missing for the evening and the other two are not easy to complete we have gone for common garden jenga. Although I think the German contingency have some secrets up their sleeve for the day!

Giant jenga!

Although we have chosen the wedding game that everyone has we have put the hodgepodge twist on it! Then it becomes a game we love to play and share with friends and possibly even little people for the rest of lives.

Introducing quotation jenga!

Our homemade sign

We think this is a great way to personalise the game and makes it more fun to play! We made the sign from a second hand 25p board we found, painted it with chalkboard paint and wrote with pens our made up rules.

Pull a brick and write a quote!

I brought the Oxford book of quotations secondhand also for about £1.99 it’s a little out of date but has all of the famous quotes in it and there is always Google for the kids!

“The truth is rarely pure, and never simple” Oscar Wilde

I look forward to playing this with Steph when we are old and grey in our joint nursing home and leaving it to our kids in the will making it sustainable!

A shower of petals

Going green and sustainable at a wedding we are discovering is an immense and thoughtful process. Everyday Steph and I discuss the problems with the climate and how our little footprint affects the world and this has made us rethink what we do and how we live.

We do try to live our best and cleanest life, we beach clean as we live by the seaside we try to avoid buying unsustainable foods and items packaged in plastic we pay for recycling (and we have a green council go figure!)

Reduced roses are always pleasing!

So today I popped to my local shop to pick up some items and saw these beautiful roses that were past their most beautiful stage. I chatted to the lady in the shop about flowers and she showed me some fresh ones (which were not as nice!) I explained I wanted them to dry the petals to make confetti for my wedding day and she was so sweet and found all the half decent ones and reduced them to 25p! Now sadly shop brought flowers always come in plastic but fear not this will be reused somehow.

Dynamic dehydration

Confetti originally was sweets that were thrown such as sugar plums, I don’t know how you would feel but mini missiles springs to mind! This comes from the Italian confetto meaning small sweet. Tradition in England and Germany is or was rice but we all now know this is not good for birds. Over the years things have changed and plastic or ribbon and paper have been introduced a big no no for our green wedding!

The beauty of dried petals

We decided we would dry out own petals for the wedding and I went old school with heavy books filled with petals weighed down all over the house eeeekkkk! This is really not feasible to create in large quantities so we investigated buying a dehydrator and what a revelation this has been! Not only can we make our own confetti but we are wasting less overrule fruit by sticking it in the dehydrator and creating super yummy snacks!

Hand tied bouquet

I recently completed a floristry course creating items like the above and through this had beautiful flowers in the house every week and decided that once they started to droop instead of throwing them in the garden waste they get a second chance to be beautiful and appreciated so all the petals are from flowers I have had at home or ones that are reduced and will just end up in landfill.

Paper cones of magic

We are making paper cones from old books on flowers and they will be filled with our beautiful homemade confetti! These will go in a basket for my beautiful niece to hand out for our guests for a tradition in our in many ways untraditional wedding!

Dried flowers book paper

With our home grown flowers for the wedding decorations I feel so proud of creating something beautiful for our special day that is recycled and being resourceful. We are saving money as a friend was quoted £400 for dried petal confetti and we are being kinder to the planet by not throwing paper or plastic but returning nature to its rightful place.

Softer than sugar plums!

Do me a favour……….

The question of wedding favours! It’s a tricky one as you don’t want people to think they have to take some tat home and then throw it in the bin. That is not sustainable! Also wedding favours can cost a fortune, we wanted to make a favour that meant something to us and represented our day.

For the bees

So here are our handmade wedding favours. We used paper from a beautiful book about butterflies that I found in a second hand shop costing £1!

Very old copy of the complete book of butterflies

I made a template to create the envelopes and Steph created hand stamped labels thank goodness we only have 31 guests!

A basket of bees

We are filling our bee envelopes with wild flower seeds so our guests can plant some seeds for the bees whether they choose to do this in their gardens or seed bomb somewhere urban that needs some colour and more importantly some bees!

And because we can never stop!

We had to include the birds! Another important part of our wildlife are birds. Using the same template we used a very ancient readers digest gardening book again for £1!

The very ancient and well loved readers digest illustrated gardeners guide

I really love this book and we are using it for lots of different parts of the wedding and I must find a use for the cover
Beautiful old book pages finding a new lease of life

We will be filling the bird envelopes with a mixture of bird seed to encourage all different garden birds into our guests lives.

The wild flowers will be exactly what we hope to have on the table outside and we really hope our guests love our wedding favours as much as we have loved making them. The bonus is they can be reused as an envelope for gift cards at Christmas double upcycling=happy Sophie and Steph!