Short Stories. Photos and pictures. Poems even.


The Keys


The one, who holds the key, can unlock my heart.”

She always loved keys. She made a beautiful shadow box with old keys she has from family and who- knows- from where.  It would make a good theme for her wedding! Keys open many of doors, keys open hearts! We agreed. The favor keys were ordered. ( These keys are bottle openers.)

During the process the idea of them as a favor, changed. The Groom’s mother saw gorgeous Godiva boxes. Chocolate, The colors like made for this wedding! The Bride favorite sweet. After Salmiakki Aakkoset, of course. Those not in the know,  that is Finnish licorice candy.


So the keys were repurposed as place cards. It went like this: First the keys were separated from the boxes. The name tags were printed with computer. The itty bitty purple ribbons that came with the keys were used as a name tag hanger. The chrome color rings were spray painted bronze to match.

A board was made of a picture frame, also painted to match, covered with white linen, keys hanged up hotel-room-style, as the Bride loves to travel.

The board was represented upon tent entrance. Great for outside weddings, the wind has no say on this one! And we loved the results!

place cards

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place cards and favors for the wedding

 “The one , who holds the key, can unlock my heart.”

I started to post about the  wedding of my daughter. Over four years ago! I’m so far behind, sorry. However the topic is always fresh and I wanted to share some ideas we had.

As a party favors my daughter had decided to give out keys that also were handy as bottle openers. She loves and collects keys. The items were ordered. The keys were bronze, great for her party theme. But the key rings that came along were chrome. Weird.  So what to do; we sprayed them bronze with rust-oleum! In the box were little short ribbon, same color as bridesmaid’s attire as a bonus.

esine, pullonkorkin avaaja, avain, pronssinen, avainrengas, irma weisel

place cards

While repairing the keys  Mother -in-Love called. She was shopping with her friend and just saw beautiful Godiva chocolate boxes! The ribbon color was the same as the Bridesmaid’s dresses. It was embellished with pearl like the Bride’s sash. Can she purchase them for the wedding? Of course, we wanted her to be as excited about the event as we were.

But were we to do with the keys now? And almost the same minute the idea hit, let’s make them to place cards! That worked well since the wedding was outside, so 1. No flying place cards in the wind and 2. Our family loves travel! We created a board for hotel room keys! Name tags were attached to the ribbons and the oval labels were ordered from Gartner #86224 and printed at home. We bought picture frame from arts and crafts store, painted it with the same bronze paint. We badded the cardboard and covered it with white linen. Got furniture nails from hardware store to hung the keys. Voila! The place cards were done!

place cards

place cards

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The board was sitting pretty on an easel and was easily read. Everybody loved the idea, especially the wedding co-coordinator, who did not have to run all over the lawn fetching the cards blown away with the breeze! Mission accomplished.

place cards


The Dress 2/2

The one, who holds the key, can unlock my heart.”

 In August, a beautiful lace dress was found at the local bridal store. Lacy from top to bottom! I Eyelash lace. It looked great on her! Some slight adjustments, a tuck here and a let there was needed. The length was perfect. The gaudy decoration on the front of the dress was not for the Bride, she requested it to be removed. That gave us a $200 discount.

(These pictures are taken before the adjustments.) But she wanted something MORE! Nobody at shop was there to help us, to talk to. An old Italian seamstress was measuring the fitting, but we had hard time understanding what she said. The Bride wanted to have her shoulders covered. The seamstress was against it. Wait, isn’t this the Bride’s DAY? The Bride’s CHOICE? The Brides DREAM?

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Disappointed that her needs were not met she broke into tears at the cash register. The Dress was right but it needed something more! “Did we do something wrong?” the girl asked surprised. The Bride could not say anything through her burst of tears. “Yes, we are not experienced wedding dress shoppers, we needed help. There was no one!”  A sweet black lady was called to rescue, how about a sash? YES! How about this? The Bride was getting an understanding, soft-spoken help. Yes and no. $650 was way too much for it as nice as it was. So we put the deposit down for the dress only, dried the tears in the car and left mostly satisfied. The thoughts were now put towards the missing pieces; the sash, the shoes and the veil.

anri sash blog

Close by us is a covered market place, a Flea Market, if you will. There is a shop that is run by a Russian mother and son, wedding dresses, confirmation dresses, veils, heard pieces, you name it. Yes, they make them also to order! Great, after a long search, the Bride decided on the sash with a single flower with pearls, please-remove-the-diamonds, and long, long belt of silk running as long as the beautiful chapel length of the dress. Later she found a beautiful bolero on-line, (see photo below from the catalogue) with the same lace and she later made her own veil. Shoes were bought, with request to have heels lowered. Easily done, they said. In reality, never done but paid for it. But no money lost, the removed piece of diamonds from the dress was eventually included in the delivered clothing bag!

Tulip Bridal

The total ensemble was stunning on the Wedding Day! Just wait!

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The Envelopes

The one, who holds the key, can unlock my heart.”

As you know, I love calligraphy. Not the very fancy one (since I cannot do it)!  I was contemplating to use the nib and ink-well, but decided against it. It might get too messy, so the technical pen came out for that reason.  As color, the jet black. No  specific font,  I just let the pen take me there. I wanted it to look home-made, not printed. I think I succeeded on that part, laughing out loud!

It is very hard to narrow the total guest list. Did we remember everyone we like to/should? Naturally more invitations go out than expected amount of guest, when Bride’s mother’s entire family lives overseas. We guesstimated  about 60-80 guests, it did actually came close.  Stamps, airmail stickers and into mail, waiting for replies!

We were so excited!

While waiting for the replies, we were back to finalize the wedding gown and the bridal party attire. And my dress!

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The Invitations

The one, who holds the key, can unlock my heart.”

The Invitations left early to allow overseas guest to make their final travel plans. Save-the-Date cards were mailed out already in March. The Bride selected the Invitation kit from Michael’s Arts & Crafts store, and we worded it together and printed them at home. Traditional text, of course. After all she was getting married in Princeton, a town with long history and beauty.

The lace was in order! I was talking with my dear friend and neighbor Gisela, asking what might be the best venue as obtaining the lace. “Go no further”, she said and pulled out two big Tupperware containers full of lace. Wow! “Take what ever you want, I don’t know what to do with them all.” It was such fun selecting them! I finalized with several different romantic designs.   The bridesmaids and the Bride’s closest cousin got the fancier ones.

Antique lace for the close family members, however making sure that nobody in the same family got the same!  This was my favorite, soft and old. It needed a prewash in lavender sented water and a quick press with the iron. The others were also ironed depending the need.

The lace was cut long enough to wrap around the entire invitation pocket. I clued first the left front only on the fold side and let it dry. I then turned it around and clued the back side edge and trimmed excess.

The silk ribbon was first made to size over a cardboard template so that I didn’t have to play with it once sliding it over the lace; then the Invitation was slipped in. Looked nice, I thought. Romantic like it should be!

The hotel info, driving directions, and  reply envelopes were inserted. Now to the Envelopes and we’ll be ready!


The Bridemaids

The one, who holds the key, can unlock my heart.”

We all got together on one early spring Saturday and went to “Bridal Town”. I thought it was a town with several bridal shops. Nope! It was a converted farmhouse with huge warehouse of dresses. In the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania. How do people even know about these places!

We had fun! Color galore! Try to fit four different size girls into a same style dress! Laura is mother of three, short with shape. Jen is tall, with the statue of a noble women in a Dutch painting. Kim, exotic girl. And Mila, a petit Latina. All with their individual fashion preferences. So, all we could do is have fun! I was glancing at Mother-of-bride dresses. How glittery do I dare to go? How about cleavage? But we did not buy anything there.

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To an other shop. A chain store. We were hesitant, how would we fare there? Not bad! A dress was found, it fit all and needed only shortening at the hem.  Unbelievable! The color was not exactly what the Bride had in mind, slightly more purple, but she was pleased. Lapis it is! And it looked beautiful on all of the girls! Hooray!

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The Dress 1/2

“The one, who holds the key, can unlock my heart”

The Bride knows what she wants. Brides always know, they have been planning their weddings for years. Since they were 12 years old. Romantic. Lacey. If it involves a groom, OK then. But he will enter  into the picture much later. “I will be the most beautiful Princess!”

My princess wanted lace. Nothing too contemporary nor silky. Lace! She started her search. First with her best friend. Then a little bit on her own. She found THE dress. The fifth one she had tried on.

“Mommy, you have to come a see it! It’s beautiful!” We drove hour and half  where she lived. Went to the shop. The dress was cute, lace shoulders, puffed skirt. I looked at it, the front and the back. The top part was really appealing and suited her well. Short of like Audrey Hepburn era. The bottom appeared to be too plain, to my liking. Too simple for people to watch, when she’ll walk down the aisle, I said.  I did not break into tears of joy, like mothers do in the romance novels.  I thought she should look further. It did not make her look special or unique. Just a pretty dress.

“Why did you have to come, if you don’t like anything? Why do you always have to crush my dreams?” I had no answer.  An akward moment. I don’t know why I am like this, a bad mother.  She did not speak to me for hours. Just like when she was 15. “I will be a  thousand times  better mother than you!” And suddenly my green eyes were snake eyes. Ugly! A bad mother.

I cried for that day and I cried for the memory of those teenage years.  They were not tears of joy that day.