Guest DIY Bride : Krystal Longnecker from Pomona, New Jersey

Greetings!

My best friend Cathy was right when she stated that last month was “May Madness.”  There were so many events to attend and plenty of reasons to celebrate.  Congratulations to all those who got married, graduated and received their First Communions;)

Bride Krystal and Groom Nicholas : Photo credit Julie Dessario Photography

Bride Krystal and Groom Nicholas : Photo credit Julie Dassaro Photography

I have a guest DIY Bride today, Krystal Longnecker from Pomona, New Jersey, who got married on April 25, 2015.  She is a resourceful DIY Bride who created many of her own wedding decor & accessories.  After watching my tutorial on “How to make the Wedding Veil with Lace Trim” tutorial, she was even inspired to create her own lace wedding veil.  She put in the order for the DIY Lace Trim and created a special heirloom for her daughters.  She sent a beautiful message to me that I just had to share:

“I had so many people say how lovely my veil was but when they heard I made it myself after seeing your youtube video (you made it look so easy) they were in shock!  I can not thank you enough for giving me the wisdom, confidence, and affordable pricing for the material to make an heirloom for my girls to use on their special day, and pass on to their little ladies on theirs! You truly are a blessing”

Krystal, thank you for your kind words and may your beautiful veil made with love be passed on through many generations!

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Photo courtesy of Krystal Longnecker

I asked Krystal a few questions to find out about her DIY journey and got the opportunity to hear about her unconditional and unconventional love story.  Feel free to read…

Q) What inspired you to create your own lace wedding veil?  KRYSTAL: Since I have 2 daughters of my own and am raising my 2 neices I wanted something I could pass on to them.  Also, I couldn’t come to terms with spending $250 on a Mantilla veil that had no love, passion and finger pricking pain in it! :)

Q) How far in advance did you start to insure that you will be complete the veil by your wedding date? KRYSTAL: I started the day I got my veil kit February 11, 2015.  I finished the day before my wedding April 24th, 2015.  The only reason my veil took as long to finish is because I put it aside for about a month as I made my wedding album, centerpieces, and programs.

Q) What is your wedding theme/colors? KRYSTAL: Our wedding theme was Rustic and our colors were Mint and Burlap. We really used lots of colors, the pastel color wheel was our inspiration.

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Bride Krystal and Groom Nicholas : Photo credit Julie Dassaro Photography

Q) How did you meet your husband?  KRYSTAL: It’s a funny story actually. I met him in high school when he picked me up to go out on a date with his best friend. A week or so later he picked me up from high school again so I could go out again with his best friend and that’s when he touched my hand and said “You really deserve better than him. I really wish you would go out with me sometime.” My immediate response was “Do you see this?”, as I pointed my finger over me, “You have no chance of ever dating me!” Well I found out a week later my boyfriend was cheating on me.  Fast forward 2 years later… I am living at a friends and just found out 2 weeks before I am 19 weeks 6 days pregnant with my ex’s baby. I was on MySpace and up pops a message from Nicholas asking my AIM Username so we could catch up. We talked for a couple days and he asked me out to eat. I responded with, “Listen I am 5 1/2 months pregnant.” He responded, “And? What you don’t like to eat?” All I could think is no boy would date someone because she is pregnant with someone else’s baby…but a man would. We went out for the first time on Easter night 2006 and officially became a couple April 21, 2006. I guess the Lord had different plans than I did in high school and a great sense of humor.

Wow! The groom was very persistent in courting his Bride.  He did not let anything stop him from chasing the woman of his dreams.  Despite all the challenges, there were 2 beautiful blessings (Krystal’s daughters) and a husband who would do anything for his Bride.  I wish you the very best on your journey of marriage.

Below is the lace veil tutorial that inspired Krystal…

If you would like to see more photos from Krystal’s Wedding, you can click {here}.

Thank you for visiting!

Ann

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You are Mighty! Happy Mother’s Day

Mothers, you are Mighty and EXTRAordinary!

Thank you to all who emailed in photos….May ALL mothers around the world have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Hugs!

Ann

ps. Do you recognize my video clip for the bow tie tutorial?  Yup, it was one of my midnight filmings and before the editing.  My daughter woke up in the middle of the night looking for me and wanted me to hold her to sleep — so I held her and worked;)

The Judging Room : Elsik High School Design Competition 2015

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Abby Rey -Elsik High School Design Teacher, Rosalind Gaither – Sew Much Fabric

Yay! I’m on the news.  Okay, a speck of the back of my shoulder got on the news;)  lol!  Really, this was such a fun event for me.  There was fashion, youth, and community…how much more can I ask for?

At this time, I just want to thank two awesome ladies who made this happen — Rosalind with Sew Much Fabric and Abby, Elsik High School’s Design Teacher.  Because of their partnership, they were able to open doors and help support teens in the community that may not have been able to afford basic sewing supplies.  They are the people taking action and making a difference in our community.  I am so honored to be a part of this in some small way.  Feel free to watch a clip about Rosalind and Abby on channel 13 (and look out for my shoulder at 1:47 lol!):

http://abc13.com/education/businesswoman-teams-up-with-hs-to-save-art-of-sewing/675451/

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The Judging Room

I thought I would share a little about the Judges’ roles in the Design Competition.  I believe most of the audience attending the “Lights Camera Fashion Show” was curious as to how we came up with the winners.  All they saw were 3 ladies sitting at the front of the stage and at the end of the show, in a matter of 5 minutes, came up with the winners.  There is definitely more to it:)  Let me share my wonderful experience of being a Judge….

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The Judges {Photo courtesy of Mollie Vu Cagulada}

On the day of the show, I arrived at Elsik High School around 11am.  I had a reserved parking spot just for me — talk about feeling special:)

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Next, I checked into the school and was led up to the Judging Room where all the dresses were laid out.  This is where the Judges study and analyze the designer’s portfolio and garment construction.  We would check seam finishes, machine stitching, closures, hems, and overall construction.  This would take a couple of hours to view and study all the dresses.

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During this time, the Judges were well taken care of.  If there was anything we needed, Ms. Jeni took care of it.  Thank you Jeni!!!!!  Then around 2:45 we started interviewing each Designer one by one to learn more about them and their “Hollywood” themed inspiration.  This is my favorite part of the whole event – when we get to speak to the teens directly about their hopes and dreams for their future:)  After meeting with all the Designers, the Judges got together to discuss the top scores for the portfolio, garment construction, and interview.  Sitting in the room all day can turn you a little silly so here’s our silly selfie:)

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Michelle Barnes – Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Community Artists’ Collective, Rahill Raheem – Handbag Designer, Jeni Daniel – Natural Path , Ann Ngo (me:)

The audience starts to arrive around 6:30pm to enjoy the Mocktails and the “Lights Camera Fashion” Show officially starts at 7pm.

In order to choose the winning garments, we check the fit and look of the garment on the runway.  Then once again, the judges come together at the end of the show to discuss who should be the winners by summing up all the points for Portfolio, Construction, Interview, and Runway.

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The Judges discuss the winners {photo courtesy of Mollie Vu-Cagulada}

And there you have it, the winners are chosen:)

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First Place Winner {photo courtesy of Mollie Vu-Cagulada}

Fashion Show Winners

5th Place – Long Red Dress, 4th Place – Red & Black Lace Dress, 3rd Place – Black Fringe Pleather Dress, 2nd Place – Black Sequins Dress, 1st Place – Lilac Dress {photo courtesy of Mollie Vu-Cagulada}

Here are the special highlights from the night:)

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Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day:)

Ann

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You are a Princess : Girls Ministry

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You are a Princess. Photo from Pinterest.

It was quite eventful this past weekend.  I got to be a judge for a High School Design Competition on Friday (which I will share more later this week) and on Saturday, I got to speak to 27 beautiful young ladies about the importance of self acceptance and self love.  I know I mentioned this before, but I just love the Youth!  I love their energy, what they have to offer, and I see so much hope in them.  If possible, can I ask anyone who reads this to keep the teens in your thoughts and prayers?  Pray that they will accept their own unique self, their gifts and talents, and how they are meant to use their gifts to serve others.  I feel that if each of them realizes how special they truly are, they can make our world a better place.

Well, I got to share my challenging journey of self acceptance this weekend.  If I could share my story of faith and self love through music, it will be through my playlist below.  Feel free to listen:

If you know any teen(s) or young adults in need of prayers, please list their first name below in the comment section.  I would love to have our community keep them in our prayers.

To the beautiful young ladies this past weekend and to those reading this post, remember, you are perfect just as you are, you are loved, and you are the daughter to the One True King.  And to this, I bow down to you my lovely Princess.

Love,

Ann

DIY Baptismal Headband Tutorial : High School Design Competition

Greetings Everyone!  I hope you are enjoying this beautiful Spring season as much as I am.  It is raining a little today but as the saying goes “April Showers bring May Flowers.”  I love flowers so I don’t mind the rain.  Well, I have been working on a few fun projects so if you’re interested, see below.

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Precious Baby Halena

So how was your Easter Celebration?  I got to meet my beautiful niece Halena for the first time on Easter.  She just moved here from Canada and a few days after her move, we celebrated her Baptismal Vows.  I am very honored to be her Godmother.  As part of her gift, I created a special custom Baptismal Headband.  While designing it, I can also see this design on a Flower Girl Headband as well.  Here is how I created it:

Ordinaries: *Floral Ribbon, embellishments (rhinestones/cross), feathers, scissors, glue gun/glue sticks

Steps 1-4

(1) cut 3 flowers from the ribbon (2) trim off excess fabric (3) create 2 smaller flowers by cutting it down to resize (4) glue on flowers to the headband

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(5) pull off excess feathers and cut the stem, glue onto headband behind flowers (6) cut off the rhinestone stem (7) glue embellishments onto flower

And there you have it, a beautiful Baptismal Headband.  I do plan on creating a video tutorial for this.  However, it will be produced/film and edited sometime after my Midnight Blue Couture Dress is complete:) Stay tuned!

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Do you remember the Midnight Blue Couture Dress Project?  I know it’s been over two years but I had asked you to help me pick a color for the dress.  The majority of you graciously chose Midnight Blue – love the color!

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Well, I have revisited the project recently and my goal is to have it completed by the High School Fashion Show next week.  I was asked to judge the design competition presented by Sew Much Fabric and thought it would be the perfect time to complete and wear one of my own designs:)  Well, I am super excited and looking forward to seeing the creativity and skills the Elsik High School Design Students are coming up with.   It is always a lot of fun for me when it entails Fashion, Youth, and Community:)  If you are free Friday April 17th, join us!

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If you would like to see the progress of my couture dress, follow me on Instagram.

Stay dry and have a wonderful day!!!

Ann

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How to make a Wedding Veil (3 Styles) : Valentine

Greetings!

Although Valentine’s Day had passed, I wanted to continue the spirit of love.  I added elements of Valentine so that anyone who views the tutorial, will remember to do things with love.  I know, I’m a hopeless romantic:)  In this tutorial you will learn 3 ways to make a Two Tier Blusher Veil using a 54″ width tulle.  I broke it down into 3 different styles:

(1) Full veil : which has volume & fullness

(2) Drop Veil : it simply lays over your head and does not have a lot of fullness

(3) Separate Blusher & Train:  2 piece veil.  Both the blusher & train can be worn to the ceremony.   The long train can be removed and the Blusher can be worn as your main veil during the reception.  I will also show you how to reduce fullness or pouf from the veil during this portion of the tutorial.

Enjoy!

Detail breakdown of what you will learn in this tutorial:

{0:44} * Measure amount of tulle needed, measure blusher length & train length
{1:30} * Full Veil Tutorial
{2:30} * Drop Veil Tutorial
{3:01} * Separate Blusher & Train Tutorial
{3:40} * How to reduce volume or pouf from the veil
{4:01} * Reduce fullness for Cathedral length trains

I know this is a lot of information in one video, but if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

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I would like to thank the following people who inspired this tutorial as a whole:

* Carolyn: a Bride-to-be who wrote me a kind email and inquired about the lace trim from my “lace veil” tutorial.  Before I can even launch my lace to sell, I had several inquiries and had to put in an order for more (btw the lace will be available next week).  She also contemplated a blusher veil and had questions about the fullness of the veil.  I wanted to be able to answer all her questions in this one video.  Congratulations on your upcoming wedding Carolyn!

*JR Simon:  she is a Facebook friend that shared a video with me.  She thought I would enjoy watching a petite version of a couture dress being made.  Not only did I love watching the video, it helped me solve a dilemma.  While filming, I was unable to fit the large unfolded tulle into the camera frame.  So guess what inspired me to do a “small scale” version?  Yes, thank you JR Simon!!! Here is the video shared:

*Aunt Kimmie:  My lovely Aunt Kim from California made my 2004 wedding veil.  It was a separate blusher and cathedral length veil.  I got to wear both during the ceremony and removed the long train for the reception.  The separate Blusher & Train veil tutorial was inspired by her.  Many great memories.  Love you Aunt Kimmie!!!

aunt kimmie making my veil

*Noel Akbar: a talented 19 years old musician who wrote a sweet Valentine song.  Since it mentioned “Valentine” and “Pho,”  I couldn’t resist to share it in this tutorial.  I love Pho!  It is a special Vietnamese noodle soup that my husband and I love to eat, especially during cold weather:)   Thank you Noel for granting me permission to use your song.  You can follow him on instagram at snackbar23 or subscribe to his channel at noelsmusicpage23:   Listen to the full version of “Valentine Song” below:

And here’s a little more about Noel:

“I live on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. My love of music has kind of been with me naturally from a really young age. I was first inspired to write music after listening to artists like AJ Rafael and Jesse Barerra. I learned guitar after listening to them and began playing more.  My friends got me to start uploading covers and originals on YouTube. Ever since then I loved sharing my music and stories through my songs to the people who were willing to listen.  Right now I’m in school and I work so it makes it difficult to always upload videos.  I hope to continue doing what I do on YouTube and to perform more live and maybe even try out for a couple of shows.  It would be a dream to do what I love as a job. For now I’m going with the flow and working on my Music as much as I can.” — Wishing you the best with your dreams Noel!

May everyday be Valentine’s day for everyone!

Lots of love,

Ann

Sneak Peek : Be Your Own Valentine too:)

Near the turn of the New Year, I went birthday gift shopping for a couple of my friends and family.  As I was paying for the gifts, the sales person behind the counter asked, “What are your New Year’s Resolutions?”  I was caught off guard because one, I never had a sales person ask me that before, and two, I didn’t have any….yet.  I replied that I didn’t make any resolutions.  He was quite shocked.  At that very moment in my head, I quickly asked myself , “what would it be if I did?”  The song “Try” by Colbie Caillat came to mind.  I responded to him, “If I had one, I would like to just be comfortable in my own skin.  I want to stop comparing myself and accept myself as I am.”  He actually loved that response.  And you know, I did too:) I want to be comfortable in my own skin.

You will find that I randomly post songs on my blog.  They are songs that speak to me during that period of my life.  So I posted “Try” in the past.  You see, I went through a phase where I felt “less than.”  Social media and the internet world has been a love hate relationship for me.   In one moment, I can get inspired by the world of Pinterest and Youtube.  And in the next moment, I can feel that my work is not good enough or I am not good enough.

If you are anything like me, I love Pinterest.  I can search and pin away the alluring world of bridal and couture.  And let me tell you, it is a GORGEOUS world! I can get lost in it for hours.  The dreamy photos, the beautiful lighting, the gorgeous models, the details of a dress, and even the feel of the image is just breath taking.  I was so lost into it that it started making me feel “less than”:(   I began to tell myself that I needed a new camera to record, I needed better lighting, I needed this, I needed that…to the point where I found myself blocked from any creativity or from going forward with a project.  On top of that, I started receiving a wave of mean comments on Youtube.  Don’t get me wrong, I receive many lovely messages as well but for some reason, when you read a mean one, it tends to stay on your heart a little longer.  At first I was hurt (since I’m a people pleaser and highly sensitive), then it got to a point where I received so many that it became a joke.  I know this may sound strange, but now, I am thankful for the mean ones.  It made me look into myself and to the core of my existence.  It made me again ask myself why I am creating and producing tutorials.  And to be honest, I love what I do and I simply want to help others.

So even if my work does not meet others’ standards, I know I gave each project my heart and soul and no mean comment can hurt the core of my spirit.  It may sting a little but I’ll get over it:)  So although I am still on this journey of self love, I learned that I need to stop comparing, stop feeling “less than”, and that “I am enough.”  I need to love myself (not in the context of vanity), but in the context of appreciating and accepting my imperfect self.  Although there is always room to grow and improve, I need to know that “I am enough today” and that sometimes, I need to be my own Valentine too:)

So may you find self love in the healthiest sense and appreciate all that you are.   And if you are not there yet, know that “I love you.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

XOXO,

Ann

ps. Here’s a sneak peek of the next project:)

double tier veil