Monthly Archives: June 2014

Finding the Perfect Wedding Band

I love my engagement ring. It’s different, sparkly and breaks the traditional mold of a single band with a single diamond. This however, proved to be rather difficult in finding a semi matching band.

I started the initial search at chain jewelry stores. Why? They would have an incredibly vast selection and were always open. I hated everything. Not to mention, I couldn’t justify the price for the quality! See exhibit A and exhibit B.

In fairness, it’s not all horrible, but it was not what I imagined myself to wear everyday. I came to the conclusion that I might need a custom ring which would cost thousands of dollars. There was no way that I would be able to afford that pre-wedding. It would have to wait. This conclusion shocked a few folks. But I was honestly okay with it. And then I walked into Pacheco, a local Cambridge jeweler that had multiple 5-star reviews online. I pass this shop every day on my walk to work, and literally never stepped foot inside until now.

The two clerks (one of whom I assumed to be Pacheco himself) were incredibly friendly. We initially walked in to ask about bands for James. When I mentioned my ring was difficult to find a mate for, one of the clerks looked it, said “no, that is easy!” and whipped out the PERFECT pairing. I braced myself for the ridiculous price. If chain jewelry stores had to charge a lot, this place must be expensive. I was shocked at how reasonable and affordable the piece was. When I asked about having some customizations made, I expected them to tack on at least another thousand dollars. Not the case at all.

Not to sound cheesy, but this September, James and I can actually have a ceremony with rings involved. He did not walk away so lucky, but he was dazzled by the gold bands and saddened by the more expensive price tag than the Tungsten bands. That said, we’ll be back! You can’t put a price on something you have to wear every single day for the rest of your life.

A few months ago, James and I were looking at cake toppers on Etsy and I found a set of rabbits. I joked that we should get said bunnies, which was immediately retracted when I stumbled across these beauties: Guinea pig cake toppers. Oh. My. God.

As many of you know, James and I adopted a guinea pig named Squeaky last summer. She was timid, shy and didn’t want much to have to do with us. Fast forward 11 months later and this piggy LOVES us. She begs to be picked up and cuddled. She falls asleep in our laps and purrs (which sounds more like a grunting angry noise, but who am I to judge?). We adore Squeaky. It happened – we wanted her to be a part of our wedding. Of course her physical presence wouldn’t be permitted, so we decided to channel her in spirit.

Which leads me back to: Guinea pig cake toppers!

The pair on Etsy were a whopping $120. When you are trying to save pennies and DIY as much as possible, this is a lot of money. The less expensive guinea pig cake toppers on Etsy were also not up to par with what we wanted. It was time to show James the big guns and bring out my sculpting skills, a talent I have not needed to use in at least 16 years.

These little guys were incredibly easy to make, took less than an hour, and saved me, after I purchased supplies, about $110. Here’s how to do it!

Supplies:

  • Sculpey clay in assorted colors (I chose white, tan, black and pink) – available at Michaels, AC Moore and Amazon
  • Tin foil
  • Toaster oven (or regular sized oven, but it’s the summer and that’s a hot endeavor)
  • Chop stick
  • Spoon

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 275 F. Line a small baking tray with a piece of tinfoil.
2. Make the guinea pig bodies:

Pull a sheet of tinfoil off that’s approximately 7″ x 12″. Crumple it into an oval shape. Repeat if you’re making more than one. If you aren’t happy with the shape, you can add smaller scraps of tin foil and build on the base.

3. Cover the body in clay:

Roll a piece of clay out in the preferred color and mold it around the tin foil body like a burrito. You’ll have extra clay, which is fine. In some cases, use it to smooth out uneven surfaces, in others, remove and set aside. The end result should look something like this:

Use the spoon to help smooth out finger prints. Part of the charm is that these are DIY, so I wasn’t too worried about making them seamlessly smooth.

4. Decorate! Add eyes, nose, hat, rose, ears, feet, spots, whatever you please! Use the chop stick to help adhere and to mold if needed. You may prefer not to use it which is fine to.

5. Place your guinea pig on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 275 F. Check after 10 minutes to ensure that it’s not burning.

6. Left your piggies cool (about an hour) and you’ve got the perfect cake topper!