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New Etsy Shop…The Secret’s Out! {Mel’s Monday}

I know it seems as though (occasionally) I’m M.I.A. but I’ve been here all along behind the scenes working on a few personal projects that I’m hoping you’ll love. And one is ready for me to “officially” share with you today!

Well word is out on the streets that I may have a new Etsy shop eh? Well…it’s true! And I couldn’t be more NERVOUS and excited to share with you lovelies the little store I recently launched called Oceanside Designs!

I finally tapped on my creative streak’s shoulder and decided to join forces with it again (after bottling it up for a few years) and do something fun! I’ve always enjoyed giving gifts with personalization- think engraving, embroidery, scrapbooks, etc…and anything with lots and lots of pictures! After my own tea party bridal shower, I wanted to thank my sister for all her time and efforts she put in to hosting such a memorable event for me and of course the other awesome women who shared a role in making my wedding day extra special, better known as Jacin and Steph. =)

So during this “what the heck am I going to give them” conundrum, it dawned on me that all three of these special ladies were newlyweds! And rather than having to keep their wedding photos tucked away in an album or stored on a DVD, why not be able to display a few more of those bad boys on a daily basis?

Enter personalized ceramic tile photo coasters! Using ANY photos from weddings, engagements, parties, birthdays, world travels, you name it- I can personalize coasters, magnets, trivets or ornaments. And of course these make a great wedding favor or gift idea too, no?

Here are a few samples…

Wedding Favor or Save the Date Magnet:

Black & White Photo Coaster Save the Date Magnet

Personalized Save the Date Magnet

Personalized wedding favor coaster set. Of course these can include names, dates and/or location. If you’re having a destination wedding, why not take photos of your wedding location or city and turn them into a single coaster wedding favor or set of four coasters with the destination location and year for guests to take home as a keepsake?

Personalized Wedding Favors and Gifts

Personalized Wedding Favor Magnets

Save the Date Magnets (or ornaments)! Personalize your favorite photo(s) with your names and wedding date.

Newlywed Holiday Gift Personalized Photo Magnets

Custom Save the Date Magnet

Wedding photos of the newlyweds would make the perfect “First Christmas” holiday gift! Remember, we can work together to design something awesome like adding text (ie. names or a year) for extra personalization.

Photo Coaster Bridal Shower Gift

Personalized Photo Coaster

But these aren’t just for newlyweds because you can celebrate anyone of course. Collect photos from parents, grandparents, and friends and surprise them with their own set. Wouldn’t a “timeline” set be awesome? Imagine a set of 4 or 5 coasters with a photo from the couple’s wedding day, one from their 5th year, 10th year, 20th and so on? Hmmm…gives me another project idea!

Black and White Photo Coaster Set:

Black & White Photo Coasters Wedding Gift

Black & White Wedding Photo Coasters

Personalized Photo Coaster Set:

Personalized Engagement Gift Photo Coasters

Personalized Christmas Gift Picture Coasters

And of course there are those adorable pics you forced your pets, Bonnie and Clyde, to take!

Pet Coaster and Pet Trivet

Just a few ideas these make perfect gifts for:

*Thank You
*Wedding Favors
*Save the Dates

I have to tell you, my husband (ps. I love saying that word) and I own a small network of online stores so “selling” products is old news. Don’t get me wrong, the day we made our first sale was such an exhilarating feeling. But there is something very different about designing and putting an item together with your own hands- and sharing it with someone else. And because I work so closely with the people behind the photos, I get to hear their stories and share in their experiences, especially if they are giving these away as a gift. That is the part I love the most and am scared of the most- wondering and hoping that the person on the receiving end loves them too…or at least that it makes them smile.

Well hoping to put a smile on your face or someone else in your life, I’m offering you all (my extended family and always supportive circle of online buds) a little discount for your pre-holiday shopping. Use coupon code 15OSB11 until November 30, 2011 for 15% off!

It would be an honor to make something special for you. =)

Sooooo whatcha think? A great idea or bomb idea? Well I guess that could both be good options depending on how you consider the word “bomb.” Ha!

Whirly Pops Used as Wedding Props

Whirly pops are continuing to POP up on the wedding scene and used in such geniously unique ways. Recently sharing the vintage circus wedding of Renee & Jason and seeing their creative use of whirly pops as escort cards (which you can see here), made me think of all the other fun ways I’ve seen them used at other weddings.

The fun rainbow and swirl colors and amusing shapes make small children and adults (who most are really just big kids right?), smile with delight at the sight of one of these suckers.

Use them as a centerpiece as part of your tablescape. Or use these yummy pops as a wedding favor or on a dessert bar. Another cute idea is using a whirly pop as a prop in your engagement or wedding photos!

Image via Serendipity Photography

Left: Image via Once Wed Right: Image via Style Me Pretty

Image via Gemma Comas/Amy Atlas Events

Image via Once Wed via Raya Carlisle Photography

I couldn’t find any pictures, but thought it might be really cute to have your bridesmaids carry these in lieu of flowers. Would certainly add some flair to your event!

What other ways have seen these fun and delicious whirly pops used?

Welcome Bags for Your Guests

If you’re planning a wedding that may require some of your closest friends and family to travel a good distance to your destination, why not make them feel special by welcoming them with a welcome bag, tote, or basket?  It’s a simple little gesture that will show your love and appreciation for them coming to share in this memorable event with you and your husband-to-be.

I found this great collage of wedding welcome bags and baskets that I thought might give you inspiration to create your own unique and fun welcome basket that your guests will love.

Photo via MG Events via All Things Lovely

Photo via MG Events via All Things Lovely

You can use almost anything for your bag such as a crafty and cute paper gift bag, boat shaped weaved baskets, or big beach totes that they can throw over their shoulder and head straight to the beach to catch some sun before the big event!

What are some items you might include? Anything! Sky’s the limit, but your welcome bag for a beach wedding may include….water bottles (customize the label with a picture of you and your beau for a personal touch!), sunscreen, beach towel, a local map, and a few of your favorite fruits, cookies or candies that your guests can enjoy for the weekend! For those of you who happen to be in the New York area, you could always order pre-packaged or customized gift bags from Sara’s Gracious Goodies, who provides savvy gift packaging expertise and best of all delivery to your hotel location the day of your guests arrival!

Did you or are you planning to put together an Out-of-Town Bag as part of your wedding weekend?  We’d love to see your pics and hear about what you included in them!