Highlight Your Wedding Day Style with Custom Invites 

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Our Wedding is now featured on SeattleBrideMag.com! 

A wedding invitation is an important step in establishing a theme for the big day. It is an opportunity for the couple to express themselves creatively, to highlight their personalities, and most importantly it is a chance for them to communicate to guests what the tone of their wedding will be. It truly is the events first look.

When it was time for Joel and me to send out our wedding invitations, I knew that the best way to get what I wanted would be to create them myself. I must admit, I was hesitant going into the project. I was aware that in order to create 200 invites, it would require me to repeat each step 200 times. It is amazing how something so simple, like brushing a bit of gold over a corner, can turn into an enormous task. After careful deliberation, I decided to put on a brave face and I headed down the DIY path.

I created a list of questions to help me stay focused and to form a clear theme.

  • Where is our ceremony taking place?  
    • outside at a barn in the woods, in the pacific northwest
  • What is our color scheme?  
    • black and white (with pops of grey, green, and gold)
  • What eras are represented?
    • current trends mixed with 70’s and 20’s themes
  • What is the decor style? 
    • bohemian, whimsical, natural, geometric, modern, with vintage touches 
  • What are the decor items specifically?  
    • Tribal rugs from Urban Outfitters, pillows, white furs, black & gold globes, gold geometric shapes from target, vintage green glassware, green foliage, modern calligraphy signs, white leather fringe, wood triangle wall, and a white cake with gold brushed at the base.

Keeping this list of questions in mind, I completed the following steps:

  • I selected an engagement photo of us in the woods.
  • I incorporated the modern calligraphy font.
  • I took the graphic from the tribal rugs and replicated it on the main invitation.
  • I designed a black wedding logo for the interior envelope that was geometric with a 1920’s style graphic.
  • I designed a similar graphic for the RSVP and printed onto translucent paper. Then I cut the ends of the paper to create a tringle shape when it was folded.
  • I added brushed gold to edges of the address labels and interior envelope.
  • I gold dipped natural feathers and tied them with a thin gold string.

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And phew! Done!

Hobby Lobby: Gold Beeswax Paste, 8.5 inch Brown Exterior Envelopes, Transparent Paper

JoAnn’s: Gold Metalic Thread, White Feathers

Office Depot: Full Sheet Avery Printing Labels

Amazon: Stamps!

Wedding Wire: Guest List, Wedding Website with RSVP & Registey Info

Pic Monkey: Online Graphic Design Program

FontSpring: Modern Calligraphy Font “Bombshell”

The Engagement photo and the two detailed images of the bridesmaids dress & cake were shot by @Brooke.A.Summers





DIY Wood Cutting Boards

Like most brides, I wanted to go the extra mile to set the scene at my wedding. As a kid, before my years as a florist and an interior decorator, I worked for a catering company. I suppose I was over-exposed to the standard catering set up, bar trays and piles of plates. I wanted my day to have a more authentic rustic vibe. One of the ways I achieved this was by eliminating the typical catering equipment. I didn’t have the budget to buy a dozen wood trays (averaging $30-$50 a piece), so I made them myself.

It was so cheep and easy!

I began with Top Choice 1 x 24 x 72 Kiln-Dried Whitewood Softwood Board from Lowes. It runs about $10 a board & will make 2-4 cutting boards. I also bought 1 x 12 x 48 boards to make smaller designs.

Cut the board to desired size. Our table saw was already being used at a renovation project, so I used a jig saw. The 1 inch wood is thin enough to make the cuts. I used a spare 2 x 4, clamped into place, as a guide for the cuts.

Make the octagon design. Set the chopsaw to 45 degrees, and slice. Repeat on all four corners.


Stain is a beautiful touch for decorative cutting boards only. I plan to use these boards as serving trays at our wedding, and then later as accent pieces in our kitchen. If you are planing to actually chop on these boards, I suggest skipping the stain.

Allow the boards to dry over night.

Clean the boards, and finish off with an organic oil. My favorite is an all natural butcher block conditioner that I found on Etsy. My tip for selecting wood conditioner is to read the ingredients (obviously), if the products are edible then you’re good to go.

Here’s a look at the finished product!

Check back soon for updates on where these boards are now.



Flamingos + Pineapples Party 


We’re celebrating my baby sisters 21st birthday in style! Summer might be coming to an end, but the party hasn’t stopped over at the Absten house.

Here’s a look back at some of the highlights from this Flamingo & Pineapple inspired August birthday bash.


No pool required. Wink

Purchased on Amazon for only $14.99 per Dozen.







  • 1.75 liter jug Simply Limeade
  • 1 liter Club Soda
  • 1 can frozen Dole Pineapple Juice 
  • 1 bottle Mango Pineapple Svedka Vodka (750 ml)
  • 1 box Mint
  • 5 Limes (give or take)
  • Pineapple slices

Combine lime juice & alcohol into a separate pitcher.

Tips: Don’t muddle the mint. Small leaf fragments can clog the drinking spout when serving.



  • 1.75 liter jug Tropicana Watermelon Juice
  • 1 liter Club Soda
  • 1 can frozen Dole Pineapple Juice
  • 1 bottle Peach Svedka Vodka (750 ml)
  • Half Watermelon Cut



  • Powdered Sugar
  • Coconut oil
  • 1 can Dole Pineapple Juice concentrate



Gold “21” Balloons: Hobby Lobby

Balloons & Tissue: Target

White Fondant: Fred Meyer

Gold Candles: Target

Hot Pink Cups: Hobby Lobby

Inflatable Flamingo Coasters: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B018WV96O4/ref=sxts1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471207429&sr=1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65

Large Inflatable Flamingo: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01F5XOQK6/ref=sxts2?ie=UTF8&qid=1471207429&sr=2&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65



Baby Gender Reveal Party: Tips for the New Trend


imageThis year has been a dream come true, the engagement, wedding, countless showers, celebrations, and… Babies! 

When we first got engaged, I knew that one of my bridesmaids would be expecting. However, during the course of my engagement, the number grew from one Momma to four Mommas! Four pregnant bridesmaids!

Time to party!…

I had the pleasure of helping my dear friend Angela throw her baby gender reveal party. If you do not already know, it’s the new craze that is taking Pinterest by storm. A co-ed, gender neutral celebration that includes the new Mommy, Daddy, family and friends. There is tons of room for creative interpretation. Once again, thanks to social media, the competition is heating up.

So let the festivities begin!

We settled on a “Tutus or Ties” theme for the party. Upon entering the party, the guests made a selections and displayed their votes proudly on their chests. 

I constructed the girl’s pins using layers of tulle cut into long strips. I  bunched then together with thread. The boy’s pins are made from colored cardsock that is cut & then rolled with a pen to create the 3D bow.

(Here’s a quick little clip of how I made them.)




Note: I choose to wear a tutu representing Team Girl. I’m usually right. Let’s see how I did!

At the center of the Gender Reveal celebration, next to the glowing Mommy, is the Pull-String Piñata. Hidden inside is a pile of colored confetti. Soft coral pink for a girl, mint blue for a boy.

I built the Piñata using two sets of extra large cross-stitch rings, a pile of gold tissue paper, metallic tablecloths, and more duck tape than I could count. To be honest, it was not an easy task. It took two full evenings to complete the ball. I considered the project a personal challenge and a labor of love. Fortunately, the time invested resulted in a quality product. The construction was so solid that I have actually been able to use it at multiple parties. 

The ball worked great and the feedback on Instagram has been wonderful. I have already had multiple offers to rent the ball. Success!

To create the cute ruffled look, I folded gold tissue into 4″x 5″ accordion layers. Then I cut the half circle shape at the bottom. The process was reminiscent of the paper snowflake garlands that I used to make in elementary school.


The confetti inside the ball had been pre-filled by a third party. A small 3″x 3″ flap in the top of the ball allows for easy access, and can be quickly sealed to contain the surprise.

My aunt Janine took on the responsibility. The night before the event I delivered a bag full of mint confetti, pink confetti, a little gold for shimmer, and one sealed doctor’s note containing the baby’s gender.


I was SO nervous as I transported the ball & hung it up. Just a warning, this feeling does not go away. No matter how secure your Piñata is. It is nerve-racking to be the one responsible for the result!

The Reveal Party was especially exciting because Angela & Tyler (Mommy & Daddy-to-be) had no idea what the gender of the baby was. We were able to see I their first reactions!

Ready. Set. Pull!



Congrats Hjelseths!

xoxo, Jill

World Market:

  • Jade Cupcake Stand 

Jo-Ann Fabrics:                 

  • Soft Coral & Gold Tulle              
  • Gold Saftey Pins
  • Cupcake Sleeve Supplies
  • Mint Blue Burlap Ribbon


  • Gold Pin-Stripe Paper
  • Mint Paper
  • Set of 100 Cute Straws        

Hobby Lobby:

  • XL Sewing Hoops
  • Gold Duck Tape
  • Confetti
  • Chalkboard 


  • Mint / Coral Tissue Paper
  • Coral Pink Izzy Drinks