With the ARC II completed, figured something quick and different might be in order for my Sunday. Especially since today, I have some things I need to complete for work. 😦
Given that it’s the height of summer….perhaps something of the outdoor kind is in order. So I decided to turn something that I haven’t touched since my wedding day.
When BK and I got married in 2011, we wanted to get married at the Mount Vernon Inn just outside George Washington’s famous estate (we are both history nerds…and 18th century history are one of the eras we can agree upon). Because of the location…and the fact we came from huge families….and that we were paying the bulk of the wedding ourselves….we had to be creative in terms of stretching our funds. Of course, that meant doing alot of smart purchases and DIY’ing as much as possible. Including the decorations.
The arbor was actually a kit I found on eBay years ago…and which I had almost forgotten I had until I was scouring my bins looking for glue (was in the middle of another wedding DIY project). When I saw the kit, I knew immediately where I wanted to display this. At this point, my DIY funds was getting low, so I really had to make do with what I had on hand. I couldn’t even drive to Michaels to get a tube of acrylic paint or a glue stick.
But in the end, I made a white arbor with oak planking, while autumn vines wrapped around the posts (since we were getting married in October). The bride and groom figures I actually got as a wedding topper kit someone was selling at the OffBeat Bride forum (I got the topper kit in exchange for some invitation supplies I had that I didn’t need anymore). If you know someone who’s getting married, definitely recommend this site for inspiration — saw AMAZING and creative ideas that brides and their SOs made for their day.
I thought the finished product looked okay, but photographer extraordinaire Sarah Culver (and her husband Zeb) of Sarah Culver photography made the arbor look beautiful. Heck, it’s been almost three years now, and the wedding photos Sarah took still make me cry. So Sarah, in case you see this, please know that you’re one of the few people on the planet who can make me cry on the spot. All you have to do is put one of your photos in front me and watch the waterworks. 🙂
But I guess that’s enough of living the past. Onto the present, my fellow readers!
It took some finagling (aka, removing the vines), some regluing (a few side posts fell off), and alot of patience (aka, dusting the crap out of whole arbor). But after digging around my bins o’ crap, and waking up BK’s & my 1:12 scale counterparts…..the arbor now has a new purpose. What used to mark our wedding….now has become a favorite outdoor spot for the now married couple. 🙂
I was going to take the pics in my dining room/crafting station. But with the sun out and the humidity still reasonable (the Washington DC metro area is ATROCIOUS for its summer humidity. Thanks founding fathers for choosing a former swamp to become our nation’s capital!) – figured I’d better take the whole setting and take the pics right on our patio.
The vines (used both the insta-fern and small leaves kind) were an impulse purchase from Kitz Miniatures (this is a must to-go place for most miniature supplies). Most of the plants were things I bought on clearance from miniature shops, or via eBay. The worn out patio table was purchased from a nearby miniature shop. The patio chairs were actually part of a unfinished patio set I got from one of Manor House Miniatures‘ weekly sales deals. I really only wanted the chairs, so the table that came with it got stored away for a future use.
For the chairs, I sanded them first to remove any rough spots before painting them with red craft acrylic paint. Sanded it again to smooth it out, then repainted another layer. Once that dried, I took sandpaper and cheap nail file and started scuffing it to make it look like it was all worn out from years of use. Then the while thing was sealed using my now favorite wood sealer.
I ended up resealing the whole arbor with more of the beeswax polish…just to protect for years to come. Then I got started on decorating it.
On the photo above, I used an empty planter from Manor house miniatures and filled it with extra leaves from the vines I used. The flowers were actually these tiny paper flowers from MulberryCrafts (an eBay seller).
Once the decorating was done, I had to rouse BK and my 1:12 scale counterparts to model the new arbor for me. They were a little cranky getting waken up early on a Sunday morning. But they agreed after I promised to get them some mocha lattes and croissants at the local coffee shop down the street…
Thanks for checking this out! Maybe if I get the coffees quickly enough in all of us, I will try to post an update on another miniature item from my wedding day…
Want a hint? I actually wrote about this in July 2011….