Ronald+Joy

When I look at my four sisters,

I really don’t know how I ever survived childhood.

Ha ha.

So much has changed, but we’re still a big hot mess. 

And I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. 

There’s no way I can explain or describe the dynamics of each relationship I have with each sister, but I’ll tell you this:

They’re individually so different in their own right.

And I love each one so much.

Today, it’s all about my our baby sister, Joy.

This girl. 

We used to “hate” one another … like big sisters versus little sisters do.

Just ask our group of girlfriends growing up.

She’s exactly 1 year and 11 days younger than me.

Room, clothes, friends, and the list goes on…

We were forced to share everything with much resentment. 

Everything.

This only added to our annoyance for the other.

And now thinking back on it, I never ever ever thought in a million years that I would be sad to share her. 

Like what? How did that happen?

Y’all, my baby sister is a married woman now.

Witnessing her during this whole marriage process was more emotional than I ever thought possible.

Listening to her talk about her soon-to-be husband with so much love, care, and utmost consideration was a prideful experience for me.

For me, the best thing about being a big sister is watching your little sister grow up in all ways possible.

Joy likes to say “Sisters by birth, but best friends by choice” and I couldn’t agree with her more.

I’m so proud to be her big sister.

My family likes to joke that she got lucky with Ronald, but I know the truth.

And it’s the truth that Ronald married a sweet and caring soul who puts those she loves at the top of her priority list.

I know Ronald is at the very top and just know they’re in for a lifetime of happiness.

So Joy asked me to handletter a few signs for the reception.

They turned out a lot better than expected.

Their florists from The Petaler Co did such a beautiful job executing Joy’s vision by incorporating natural arrangements of florals and greenery at the reception hall. 

Look at that gorgeous flower wall!

*A little hint for later on*

So when you have two crafty sisters,

Y’all remember Jill right?

Ms. CEO of OMAC?!

…it can be confusing for the two of them on certain responsibilities they each have.

Example Numero Uno: Bridal hangers.

Jill and I both thought the other would take it upon herself to make Joy a bridal hanger.

She looked at me and I looked at her when the photographers asked if there were nicer hangers…

Um no.

We both forgot.

But I was not going to just call it an “honest mistake” and continue putting on my makeup.

I quickly rushed around the cottage rental in search for prettier hangers or pretty ribbon.

Nothing.

I remember holding a plain metal hanger we happened to find laying around.

And then looking at Joy’s beautiful bouquet…also remembering the gorgeous flower wall  being set up from the day before.

Freakin’ lightbulb went off.

I hastily told the photographers to give me 15 minutes and bolted out the door.

Yep, that’s me collecting leaves to embellish the metal hanger.

I was determined to give my baby sister a one-of-a-kind bridal hanger.

She loved it!

I saw some palm leaves and remembered my paint pens I packed in my makeup bag for “just in case”.

I live for opportunities like this.

WithJules made me confident enough that day to pull off these lovely details (on short notice).

Thank you both Joy and Ronald for letting me be part of your beautiful day!

I’ll end this post with my sweet family.

Thank you for reading and following along,

with me

Jules.

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DIY: Wire Name Hangers

So the other day a friend asked if I still made “wire name hangers”.

Recap: I made one for my engaged classmate who was my Secret Santa. She loved it!  Soon after a group of my classmates and professors were planning a Dental Hygiene Mission Trip to Belize. I wanted to go so badly I and came up with the idea to raise funds by selling my “bridal hangers”.

I only had about 2 weeks to raise over $1,500. Unfortunately, I only raise $500 but donated all of it to their mission trip. The money was used to pay for the extra amount of luggage filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, fluoride, and more for the Belizean children.

Khang and I made that trip with my classmates and professors a year later and it’s still one of the most rewarding and life-changing times of our lives.

Back to my friend. Long story short-I was more than happy to do them for her. I get randomly asked about them every now and then, so I figured other people would find it useful if I did a tutorial.

They’re best for bridal parties, but I’ve made one for someone to hang their white coat on after getting her Doctorate Degree. The possibilities are endless!

So this isn’t going to be a step-by-step DIY because they’re are so many names. But I’ll give y’all advice to make it easier for those trying it for the first time.

Warning: You will most likely not get it right on your first try, but it’s okay! The supplies are cheap or at least the kind I use.

  1. Hanger- I get mine from Marshall’s or TJMax. Be sure to get the kind for straps to hang. Also make sure it’s completely wood.
  2. Wire- I like to use aluminum wire like the brand On A Wire. The 16-gauge is the size I use. Do not get anything smaller in diameter (higher the number than smaller the thickness) because it’ll be too think to work with. I haven’t seen them sell a 14-gauge in this brand but that would do too. 12-gauge will be thick and too “hard” to bend especially if it’s not aluminum. DO NOT BUY THE BULK-SIZE WIRE BUNDLE AT LOWE’S. IT IS TOO TOUGH AND YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BEND IT WITHOUT HURTING YOURSELF AND YOUR PRIDE!
  3. Small flat head screwdriver
  4. Tough scissors or wire cutting pliers
  5. Super glue- I use Gorilla with the small narrow tip. Do not use hot glue because it’ll easily fall apart.

First step is to sketch out the name without picking-up your pencil or pen. This is simply because you’ll use one continuous wire for the entire name you want on the hanger. It’s okay if you “overlap”-there’s a trick for that, but try to overlap as little as possible.

Check the wire in the package before you buy it. I bought one with this “curvy knot” and had to cut it off before starting on my name. Keeping the wire straight is essential to making it look good and this knot would’ve been hard to straighten out.

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Roll out about 4 inches and straighten. Constantly straighten the wire as you bend it to form your name. It’ll keep everything in alignment as you go and you won’t have too much for fix at the end.

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I’m spelling out “mrs. pham”. I like using lowercase letters. An easy way to figure out how to bend your letters is to google “bridal hangers” and it’ll show you tons of examples on every letter. It definitely helped me.

Here’s the “overlap trick”. If you need to retrace a line then just “turn” the wire so that the “second wire line” is behind the “first wire line”. As shown below.

I like to pull more wire out little by little because sometimes you’ll need the wire to curve for a letter like this “s” below and leaving the wire bundled up will make it look more natural when you roll it out.

You really just need to play around with the wire in your hands.

I could see the entire name curved up and wasn’t straight. . .

So I held both ends with either hands and gently pulled downward to straighten it out. See the difference?

Next, I marked where I would’ve like the “holes” to be. You want the holes to be even with each other. I tend to like it on the outside of the slot for straps. It depends on you.

Notice how high the “m” is because you don’t want the letters to be placed on top or above the hanger AND you don’t want to cut the wire too short that it doesn’t reach into the “hole” you’re about to make.

Check both sides and make sure it’s centered in the middle.

Once you mark it then screw a hole into the hanger on only ONE SIDE.

Bend the wire where needed and. . .

. . .place into hole.

With one side placed in the hole, check the other side and mark where you’d like the second hole to be. . . make adjustments as needed.

Once you’ve placed both ends into their respective holes. Check again for adjustments. If you like it then you can finally “trim” the wire.

This is how my final product looked like. Honestly, I made the letters too big for my liking. I aim to have both ends of the wire as short as possible.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about above^. See how short the end is? That’s how I like it. Sorry, I can’t show you the full hanger because it’s a gift from the bride to one of her bridesmaid.

And the bridesmaid might be reading this!

Sneak peek of 5 hangers 🙂

This tutorial is pretty tricky but don’t let that discourage you. I messed up on so many hangers already like the “mrs.pham” I just did! 

Be patient and try not to get too frustrated. It’s just bending wire 🙂

If you buy the On The Wire pack I mentioned above then it should be enough for 2 names depending on how long the name is.

Please feel free to ask questions!

Thanks for reading and following,

with me

Jules

 

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Calligraphy Handlettering Tutorial [Follow-up]

My cousin Thao-Vy asked me the other day if I had any advice to take her lettering to the “next level” after reading my previous blog about getting started with hand-lettering calligraphy.

So that had me wondering if other people had the same questions as well.

You can thank Vy for today’s blog.

My family and friends commented the most on this tutorial 🙂 They either told me they wanted to try it or they actually did try it out!

For those that did (you know who you are) THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY DAY!

So back to Vy, I told her to not be afraid to be dramatic with the thicker lines. If there is a drastic contrast between thin and thick lines, then it’ll look better, at least in my opinion.

Vy’s second question: Once I’m comfortable with pencils, what should I use next to practice?

Oh and I forgot to mention she sent me a photo of her practicing her lettering on the back of a receipt! That’s all it takes to get started y’all 🙂

Because of practical reasons, I recommend practicing on your mirror at home or an old picture frame. The glass is a different texture from paper and it’ll help develop your skills.

I like using water-wipe paint pens such as Motolow  or Chalk Ink. They come in many colors and tip sizes, but I’ve only seen them online. I would start out with white and/or gold in a 2 mm tip or smaller. They’re super easy to work with and can be removed simply with water.

If you’re impatient, like I was, and want to start now then I like lettering with Pen-Touch, which can be bought at Hobby Lobby. I like the 1.8 mm but the extra-fine tip is cool for detailed work too.

The downside to most paint pens at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s is that they are permanent/oil-based so you would need to buy something similar to Goof-Off to erase mistakes.

FYI: Dipping water or goof-off with a Q-tip will help greatly when you need to fix a small error.

Here are some photos of me playing around on glass with Motolow and Chalk Ink pens. I didn’t feel like smelling the Goof-Off so I didn’t use the oil-base pens.

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Shout-out to my sweet and always encouraging cousin Thao-Vy!!!

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Of course the best advice I ever received from my sister Jill, who is a professional calligrapher, was practice, practice, and practice!

You’ll get more comfortable with your lettering the more you practice.

Remember my cursive letters are just guidelines.

Discover your own calligraphy style and it’ll come naturally.

Thanks for reading and following along

with me,

Jules.

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Valentine’s Day: You Rock!

I la la la love sending some of the most important girls in my life something sweet and cute every year.

It’s kinda like tradition for us.

This year is special because I officially gained THREE NEW SISTERS since last Valentine’s Day so they’ve been added to the mix.

I’ve been planning this day since September, but my original goal didn’t turn out the way I wanted.

So I was perusing the web and saw this cute idea from the Honest Company, which was perfect because I recently collected rocks as souvenirs from Patagonia for my girls to begin with anyways.

Don’t you love it when it works out perfectly?

It also gave me an excuse to use my totally cool new Embosser that my best friend, Michelle, got me for Christmas! Along with the pens and powder!

She’s the absolute best.

The pictures explain pretty well so I won’t go into details, but please comment below if you have questions 🙂

A little gold paint added a nice sparkly touch.

Always always wait to fully dry.

Too cool right?! Be careful not to burn yourself. 

The powder was “copper” but after heating it, it turned this lovely rose gold tint.

Wrapped and ready to mail-off.

With a little calligraphy message.

I can’t wait for my girls to get theirs. Some will arrive after Valentine’s Day, but hey, who says it should only be a celebrated for a day?

This post is super late, but I got busy with travel plans. Maybe an idea to keep in mind for next year? You can even start collecting rocks for a whole year and give them to your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day 2018. He or she will definitely feel like they “rock”!

One of my favorite days to browse on Facebook and Instagram is on Valentine’s Day because I love seeing all the sweet and precious gestures people do to show their appreciation and adoration for their loved ones.

But honestly, can we celebrate “Love Day” everyday please? I know I try to 🙂

Thanks for reading and following along,

with me

Jules

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Weddingswithjules: Ngoc + Greg

My last post for 2016 and I’m incredibly happy it’s about my favorite Mr. & Mrs. Smith!

I’m sort of at lost for words because you had to have been there to truly witness all the love and laughter floating around not only between the bride and groom, but all their family and friends too.

Proud wife moment: Khang’s first ever video. I’ll admit I’ve watch it at least once a week so far. It’ll give everyone a better idea of what I’m trying to describe above. Enjoy.

The beautifully talented Moriah Elisabeth Photography captured their ahhhmazing wedding. There must’ve been pixie dust sprinkled everywhere because their wedding was oh so magical y’all.

When I went back to work that following Monday and my coworkers asked me how was the wedding…I started to tear up just thinking about how absolutely gorgeous Ngoc looked as a bride. She was glowing.

Just look at this already adorable family with their furbaby Rascal. I know my heart won’t be able to take it when they give us a niece or nephew (no rush!).

I was and still am beyond honored to have taken a tiny part in their wedding. So let’s get to it shall we?

When my sissy-in-law mentioned needing a few little details for her Santa Rosa beach wedding this past October, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.

I think I’ve made it pretty clear how much I love to work with my hands right?

I’ve learned this past year and a half that I absolutely la la love weddings (and all the planning). Maybe it’s because I had such a wonderful experience with my very own wedding this past June, but honestly it’s just that I love love.

 The saying “Love loves to love love” comes to mind <3

Ngoc and Greg were so so chill about details and only requested two things for their place cards: pops of color and a hint of gold. It worked out great because I adore the small details and just went with it.

The results turned out beautifully and they both loved it! Whew*

Ngoc called them “unicorn colors”. I totally agreed.

Two weeks before the big day, Ngoc asked me which menus(from minted.com) I thought would compliment the place cards.

Um. What?! Stop.

Of course I was more than happy to create matching menus.

After testing out a few designs that night, I decided to hand-paint and hand-letter a menu for each guest. A total of 80.

Ngoc thought I was crazy and said it was “too much work”, but I was tickled with joy the entire time.

Every ink stain and finger cramp was well-worth it.

I love calligraphy especially with this beautiful gold ink. I couldn’t get enough. In fact, I felt sad after all the work was done and I’m itching to do more.

They wanted to a few signs like a seating chart and welcome sign too. I purchase the frames at a variety of shops at the Antique Village of Denham Springs, La. 

Glass is hard to photograph. Here are my best shots in our backyard. Ha.

Okay okay, I’ll spare you more of my amateur iPhone shots.

Here are Moriah’s pictures of all my hard work. Pretty proud of myself and really happy with the way it all came together.

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I made each kid their own menu too. I do not play. 

I should mention both bride and groom are Mississippi State graduates.

They love their cowbells.

Two-sided wooden sign to signal the bride walking down the aisle…

… and to get the PARTAY started!

Technically I made these “Greg-on-a-stick” for Ngoc’s bachelorette party, but Khang convinced me to bring them to the wedding too. Such a good idea.

So that’s pretty much my little role in this lovely wedding. But there’s a moment I’d like to share. A moment I did not expect to happen.

Picture this: I’m in the middle of curling my hair and Van, Ngoc’s MOH, asks me if I’m too busy to help Ngoc. Duhhh, I say NO! Van and the bridesmaids are running a little behind but Ngoc needs to start taking bridal portraits on the beach…I rush out in my pjs with no bra, slipped on someone else’s flip flops, grab her dress train, and the three of us are out the door. No questions asked. 

So while Moriah is shooting away, I get full view of Ngoc in all of her glory and my eyes begin to water because she is just so damn beautiful. I’m trying to hold it in y’all, but then Ngoc asks me to jump in to take photos with her. Yeah, so I quickly become a mess. A complete mess. I take advantage of this sweet moment to tell her how stunning she looks and how I’m overjoyed with happiness for her and Greg. Luckily Moriah is there to capture it all. Thank you thank youuuu so much.

I’ll hold these images close to me forever.

There’s quite a number of engaged people I know and if there’s one piece of advice I can give is…there’s going to be some serious planning involved but don’t get so overwhelmed with your plans that you pass up “real moments” during your wedding day. Remember that a wedding is just one day, but a marriage is a lifetime. Start off your marriage not by over-analyzing the materialistic items but by creating lasting memories with family and friends.

Thanks for reading and following along,

with me

Jules.

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