Engagement Story #4!

Are you ready for another story? Here's the fourth entry in our "How'd Ya Get Hitched?" contest, submitted and narrated by Jamie about her proposal from Jimmie. They chose my lemon lovebirds wedding cake topper to illustrate their engagement story. (Cake topper photographs by Jill Heupel!)

My fiancé Jimmie and I had been dating for about eight months before we got engaged. He is in the army and was away at training for deployment. While gone he had come with this master plan to ask me to marry him and had asked some of my friends to help out. Well I am very inquisitive and my friends are not the best at keeping secrets so about a week before all was supposed to happen I had figured out the whole engagement. But I didn't tell anyone cause I still wanted it to happen. So the week before I was getting ready for that Saturday getting my nails done and what not knowing I was getting engaged. Then a death in his family happened the Tuesday before and the funeral was scheduled for the Saturday everything was supposed to happen. So all plans were canceled and I literally had no idea the engagement would happen, especially not thinking the next day. The next day after the funeral we went to church and went out to lunch like every other Sunday. We came to my house and had bought a lot of stuff for a super bowl party we were having that night.

As we got to the door Jimmie said "I forgot my phone in my car, you go inside and I will go get it." So I went inside with my hands full of stuff and to my surprise there were rose petals everywhere and my roommates to greet me. They had me follow the ribbon around the house to different puzzles or clues such a jigsaw puzzle of a photo of us, putting pictures in order of events and a huge card he had made saying why he loved me. After all the clues I was sure he was downstairs ready to propose. But when I went back downstairs he was not there but a note saying “Get in the car and don’t ask questions” I went outside and my best friend from out of town was there with her car. We got in, she drove as my roommate blindfolded me and would not tell me where we were going. As we drove they asked me questions about Jimmie and I’s relationship and if I got them right they would go faster and slower if I was wrong. We finally reached our destination and they took the blindfold off. We were at Opryland Hotel!! I was given a map to go find him (the hotel is huge). Finally I arrived at a gazebo with rose petals and candles and most importantly my man. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. After the celebration there we went back to the house and to my surprise our super bowl party was actually an engagement party as well. It was the perfect day and I couldn’t have been more surprised and happier.

Are you a currently engaged couple wanting to win a custom cake topper made by Bunny with a Toolbelt? Let's hear your story!! There's still three weeks to enter the contest! Click here for details.


Engagement Story #3!

Okay we have a contest! This is the third entry in our "How'd Ya Get Hitched?" contest, submitted and narrated by Nicole about her proposal from Simon. They chose the giraffe cake topper set to illustrate their engagement story.
Our engagement story is fraught with a number of false starts which had my fiancĂ© all stressed and convinced that I knew what he was up to. But I was clueless. I mean, I knew we’d eventually get married (we’d been together for 8 years), but I was still surprised when he eventually popped the question.

Around January 2009, Simon was talking to a friend who convinced him that it was time to propose. Simon called his parents to ask them to bring an old family ring when they would be visiting a few weeks later. They came to visit and brought the heirloom ring, but they also started hounding Simon (behind my back) about asking that weekend—it did happen to be Valentine’s weekend. But Simon wanted a more private setting, so he waited, much to his parent’s chagrin.

He was working up the courage when some good friends of our got engaged in a really showy way (a surprise performance at a SXSW show). Simon didn’t want to steal their thunder or have their big engagement overshadow ours, so he waited some more. All the while his parents kept pestering him.

He decided that he’d ask on my birthday, which was coming up in May. He planned the whole day for me—a trip to a park for a picnic and a hike, dinner at my favorite restaurant, and a birthday party with friends and cake afterwards. He carried the ring around with him all day, but the hike was hot, not very scenic, and we got lost—so the moment wasn’t quite right. Then we went to a nearby swimming hole. It was fairly crowded, so we swam to a more secluded area but then got covered in leeches. Yes leeches. Not very romantic.

Later we went to dinner, which was lovely, but the restaurant was crowded, so Simon didn’t want to ask inside. Afterwards we went to walk around the restaurant’s garden (they grown all their own produce). Right as he was about to ask, I got swarmed by mosquitoes and ran back to the car. A second attack of blood-sucking creatures in one day while foiled Simon’s plans. I later learned, too, that the birthday party was supposed to be an impromptu engagement party, but over three months after getting the ring, Simon still hadn’t found the right moment to ask.

A week later we went out hiking again. This park was nicer, the scenery better, and things finally lined up. We came to a clearing and decided to rest for a moment. After a few sips of water and a snack, I was ready to keep going, but Simon started acting goofy and I knew something was up. He got down on his knees, pulled out a beautiful antique ring (which I knew he couldn’t afford), and asked, “do you want to get married?” And what was the first thing I said? “Where did you find that?!” (And then I said yes.)

So sweet! I love hearing these stories! Are you a currently engaged couple wanting to win a custom cake topper made by Bunny with a Toolbelt? Let's hear your story!! There's still three weeks to enter the contest! Click here for details.


Meet the Juror!

Hello again Beautiful Person! It's time for interview number three for the 2011 Bunny with a Toolbelt Engagement Story Contest! Next up is Steve Sharp who has married dozen of couples through his business A Beautiful Ceremony NW.

Bunny with a Toolbelt: What was your path to becoming a wedding officiant?

Rev. Steve: I started my business when my daughter Dionne asked me to perform a wedding ceremony for her best friend. Soon after that, another couple who felt that participating in a wedding ritual held no meaning for them asked me to put together a simple ceremony that would enable them to legalize what they considered a very private commitment. The groom came to me after the ceremony with tears in his eyes and said “Now I get it—There's something about making a public promise that just changes everything”--and that's when I started to see that I could offer people a valuable service by helping them create their own personal rite of passage into a new part of their lives.

Bunny with a Toolbelt: What do you like best about your job?

Rev. Steve: As Reverend Steve I regularly get the chance to be right in the middle of an incredible burst of joyful energy and faith in the future, which is a great antidote to all the doom-and-gloom of world events. Being part of this industry enables me to meet interesting people like Hilary who have created their livelihood by using their natural talents to help people celebrate a momentous occasion. It's one positive, sociable group of colleagues!

Bunny with a Toolbelt: Awwww shucks! Thanks Steve! Would you mind sharing your own personal engagement story?

Reverend Steve: When I met my wife Leslie, she was living on a houseboat on the Columbia River, and as a lifelong fisherman I thought of her as an especially wonderful creature I was determined to pluck from the water and bring home. When I proposed to her at a restaurant (on the river), I slid out of the booth and got down on one knee to propose. At our wedding I recited a favorite Richard Brautigan poem to her called “My Catfish Friend.”

So I have a few contest entries waiting in the wings....will return to post them after you've let these interviews sink in. Click here to see the contest rules--and don't delay if you want to be eligible to win one of two custom wedding cake toppers!!


Meet the Juror!

Hello again Beautiful Person! I'm back to post interview number two for the 2011 Bunny with a Toolbelt Engagement Story Contest! Next up is Kimberly Farris aka Gator Bride.

Bunny with a Toolbelt: How did you start your business? Tell me about what you do specifically that makes your business unique?

Gator Bride: My business actually started, in the very beginning, from a cake topper I commissioned from Hilary! Way back in Spring of 2009, I commissioned two little toppers, one a knight (for the groom), and the other a gator (for me, the bride), after our alma maters. That summer I started a wedding blog, Gator Bride, to have a place where orange and blue lovin' college Gator gals could come and share their Gator weddings. I also documented my wedding planning process there too (which later had me blogging as Mrs. Dolphin on Weddingbee).

From there I launched Gator Bride Designs, a wedding stationery design company for the modern DIY bride. And now, our newest venture, is in wedding videography with Gator Bride Videography!

One of the things I (and my husband) pride ourselves on is providing affordable modern design, and non-cheesy wedding videography, to budget brides!

Who knew so much would develop from such a cute little wedding topper?

Bunny with a Toolbelt What do you like best about being part of the wedding industry?

Gator Bride:I love how the wedding industry is constantly changing and evolving. Every few months there is a new wave of brides, with new ideas, new definitions of what a "wedding" is, they are constantly keeping us, vendors, on our toes! I also love the energy of the wedding industry. Everyone is so happy, excited and chomping at the bit. It's wonderful!

Bunny with a Toolbelt Tell me a story about one of your favorite interactions with another human that came about because of your wedding connections.

Gator Bride: Favorite interaction? Hmmm. This is tough! Through my wedding stationery design company, I've interacted with so many wonderful brides. I think for me, something that makes me feel so amazing, is when brides tell me how much they love my designs and send me pictures of my designs in action at their weddings. That is one of the biggest rewards- helping someone's dream come to life, and seeing it so beautiful placed.

But really, I guess my favorite interaction was the interaction that started our wedding videography company. I had blogged about a few videos we made for our friends/families weddings, and expressed my absolute love for capturing weddings. A few days later I received an e-mail from a local bride asking me if we could capture her wedding! She didn't have much of a budget for videography, so she couldn't afford a professional videography (as they are several thousand $), but didn't want a random guest doing it either. So she hired us! We jumped at the opportunity, updating our gear, practicing every weekend, at every event we could get our video lovin' butts to. And, it paid off. The bride was overjoyed after receiving her highlight reel. She was so incredibly happy. And you know what? That's what it's all about for us. The pure joy our client's receive. I just love it. :)

Bunny with a Toolbelt: What's your own personal engagement story?

Gator Bride: Our engagement story isn't all that exciting. No really, it isn't! My husband and I had been together 7 years before he proposed (since high school). I knew it was coming, as we had picked out the ring together, on a whim, one afternoon. I just didn't know when. My husband kept stringing me along. I never knew when and how he was going to propose. Then, on Valentine's Day, after dinner, he did it.

We were at his apartment (at the time we were living in two different cities), and he got super nervous. Now, at this point, I knew something was up because my husband is never nervous. He started talking about how much he loves me and how he always knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. And then he said those magic words, "will you marry me."

Which I had no idea why he was nervous in the first place, as he knew I was going to say yes. I picked out the ring, for goodness sake!

In the next few days, I'll post the final interview with our third esteemed juror! Click here to see the contest rules--there's three weeks to get yours in!!


bunnies on bikes!

If you're in Portland, and if you have a bike, you really don't want to miss the annual Bunny on a Bike Ride! Artist, bike enthusiast, and event planner extraordinaire Carye Bye will lead the group yet again in a ride that will have a few fun surprises along the way. Here's a picture of me that was used for the poster about five years ago and that's my cousin Tripper above! Grab your bunny ears and click here for more details.


Meet the Juror!

Hello Beautiful Person! I'm going to post some interviews with our esteemed jury for my Engagement Story Contest! First up is Rebecca Amblin from Origin Flowers! But first, an announcement--I decided to change the deadline to the contest until May 15th, after Crafty Wonderland. (Look for me at booth 145!) And now on to our interview:

Bunny with a Toolbelt: Tell us a little about your store and attitude about the wedding industry:

Rebecca: I own the flower shop, Origin Flowers, in the Arts District between 15th and 16th and NE Alberta St. It has been my very great honor to be there for some of the best moments in the lives of the people that live, love and shop Alberta Arts. My job is very much like solving puzzles. Usually by the time I meet a bride, the dress has been bought, the wedding colors are chosen and the venue is booked. My job is to factor all these variables such as what season, or when in the day the ceremony will take place, how many folks might be attending, any themes and the budget of course, and then turn it into a ONCE IN A LIFETIME floral event.

I know I might have taken a very creative process and made it sound a bit cold and mathematical but for me designing a wedding is really very much like painting a picture.Each wedding is a new chance for me to see the way 2 people come together, start a new life, and have a party to celebrate it.

Bunny with a Toolbelt: Tell us some stories of your favorite challenges from customers.

Rebecca: One of my favorite clients came into the shop on the recommendation of her friend whose wedding we had done the year before. This was several years ago and Martha Stewart was talking everyone into "pink on pink with pink accents" weddings which is what we did and it was very natural and springlike with buckets of dewy peonies and wispy greens. It was one part fairy tale and one part garden party. And it was also very, very pink.

So this new Gal comes in with her Sweetheart which was less usual 10 years ago and I admit I thought we'd be doing another pink wedding on Sauvie Island- which I love.... but still.
So this very lovely woman and her fiance tell me they were asking around and the friend that recommended she use us said I could do ANYTHING! and they had sort of a less traditional flower idea. The groom fairly admitted that the other wedding scared the hell out of him:" it was a lot of pink" after all.

It seems they met on a scuba trip and were going diving for their honeymoon and as much as possible wanted the reception flowers to look like life under the sea. Well, no one had ever asked for that before! So I had to re-examine all the flowers I had worked with and we came up with very cool arrangements of green dianthus, pincushion protea, lyco greens and I painted manzanita twigs in coral colors and red to frame the cake table like a reef. I guess it's a very long twisting way to say it was FUN to work with them.

I've put flowers in KFC buckets. And I have also frozen them in sub-zero ice to melt slowly as the flowers seem to magically rise out of the blocks in the heat of the summer sun. I just plain and simple like the difference of events, from client to client and from season to season.

Bunny with a Toolbelt: What brought you to work in the wedding industry?

Rebecca: As to floral training. I lived in Japan for some years and must have failed nearly every Ikebana class I ever came across there. I love the structure and formality of formal training but in the end my American exuberance for color or kinetics always put my instructors' hair on end. I think the Asian aesthetic is very obvious in my work but I'm sure there are 15 folks in Japan right now screaming "not me" were they to read this statement.


Wedding cake topper contest - entry #2!

Hey Beautiful Person! Remember our wedding cake topper contest? (Click here for details!) We have our second contestant to tell you their engagement story, Courtney and Michael! To illustrate their story, they wanted me to include images of custom University of Florida gator toppers I've made, since it's their alma mater too! (You can see all the sports cake toppers I've made by clicking here.) Take it away, kids!

Michael proposed in his apartment on a random sunday evening, with the sounds of his roommate microwaving a frozen dinner + an espn commentator reviewing the week's sporting events drifting through the air. when i said yes, he gave me the ring and a birthday cupcake -- not because it was my birthday or my favorite cupcake-- but because it was 'the only one left that looked good, at the only cupcake store open on a sunday.'

as the microwave timer beeped and as i pulled off the unnecessary birthday candle, i realized it my perfect engagement.

together for more than 5 years, i had ample time to think about our proposal. we dated long distance for 3 of the years [while michael was in d.c. for law school + i stayed back at uf law]. while apart, i would daydream [probably way too often!] about being finally being back in the same state and marrying him. however, that sunday evening it was the last thing on my mind.

i had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad [work-related] week. law school, the bar exam and all other general life frustrations paled in comparison to the week. and after feeling like i couldn't get anything right -- feeling like despite my very best effort l was just going to fail -- he showed me that it didn't matter. he was going to be there for me each & every time i feel like this. it was an amazing gift.

i know from the outside, our engagement seems to lack fanfare, glamour and romance. each couple has a wonderfully different path. to me, choosing to marry michael -- choosing the one human on the planet to be my ultimate life partner, to be my sounding board, and to be my picker upper when i fall down-- was enough fanfare. michael + i are so different [i seriously once made a venn diagram of our interests and the only place our circles overlapped was pizza, jeopardy! and the beatles (you know, the 'big stuff')], yet we work together. our path led us to that sunday evening last october, with its espn-created background music + celebratory cupcake. michael was there for me that day - and will be until the end.

Stay tuned this week for interviews with our three jurors! This contest is open for another 12 days, so get your entry in for a chance to win one of two custom wedding cake toppers made by yours truly!!


meet Japaniphant

I made this special critter to support relief efforts in Japan since they've given so much to my life and inspiration for my artwork. 100% of profits from the sales of Japaniphant items on CafePress will be donated to Unicef's relief efforts for children affected by the disaster. Take a look at some of the cool stuff you can get!


artist's spotlight :: margoblog

Oh happy day! I've been interviewed in Margoblog - click here to read!


question: will you marry me? answer: woof!

Here's a few of the custom dog wedding cake toppers that have come across my workbench this year:

Hey--don't forget we're having a little contest right now and the winner gets a free custom wedding cake topper! We have only had one entry so far so if you're a currently engaged couple, send me your story! Details: Click here for details!

tante netty

I'm thrilled to be included in an exhibition at Tante Netty, a new "offline blog gallery" in Einhoven, Netherlands! They asked Share Some Candy to pick their favorite blog posts from their handmade category, and my blue sky elephant made the cut! Here's a few images from their opening.


get your easter on

I made a few bunnies this year--grab 'em while they're still in my Etsy shop! I also have a few birds on eggs left. Click here to see what Easter goodies await you!


anchors aweigh

Here's an unusual commission I got recently--a customer saw my sports-themed wedding cake toppers and wanted a model of them in their boat. It was a bit of a challenge to get the shape just right, but I liked the results.

Hey--don't forget we're having a little contest right now and the winner gets a free custom wedding cake topper! We have only had one entry so far so if you're a currently engaged couple, send me your story! Details: Click here for details!