raori

living handmade


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Stacy’s beautiful Wedding Photo shoot in Thailand

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A few years ago I tailored a wedding gown for Stacy in Denver. Her and her (now) husband are Wedding Photographers, so they went to Thailand to shoot some stunning pictures showing beautiful Stacy in her raori dress. You can check out the result on her website, and here are a few of my favourite shots I would like to share with you. Photos courtesy of Gillespie Photography. Thank you Stacy for this lovely adventure with you 🙂

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My wedding invitation package

If you read my blog, you know how much I love to draw. One of my favourite things to draw and illustrate are customised wedding invitations. Above we decided to go for a Chinese theme with red lanterns and a color scheme of green and red with the party and dinner invitations secretly hidden inside a center opened pocket. If you’re interested in this very different and personal wedding invitation, you can buy my wedding invitation package (which contains your own personal “logo”, theme based illustrations and wedding couple caricatures, hand written text all over, itinerary and framed and signed originals!) Please contact me for prices and details.


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DIY – Japanese wishing tree

When I remember my life in Japan I think of romance, love, beauty, silence and calm … There is beauty to be found even in the smallest of things. In almost every shrine you can find wishing trees, which is a tree or a wooden structure where you can write a though or a wish on a piece of paper and tie it around a branch. The overall effect when hundreds of people tie rolled up paper is stunning: it looks like a blossoming cherry tree!

When we got married, we knew we wanted a tree like that, rather than the common guestbook, like with everything I show you, it was easier than easiest to make 🙂 Instead of throwing away the tree after the wedding, we keep it at home as the house-guestbook where we let our guests wish for something or write whatever they feel like. We have been trying to find a good storage for it over the years and now it’s permanently hanging tied up from the ceiling of our staircase, looking as gorgeous as ever.

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You’ll need:

* a branch that looks like a tree

* a pot full of rocks (to hold the branch standing)

* silk paper (can be stored in a basket hanging from the tree)

* red pens (make the paper shift in pink-red and white when folded)

Write dreams, thoughts or wish for good luck, roll the paper flat and make a neat knot around the branch, make everyone else do it too and your tree will soon be full of pretty “leaves”.


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DIY – little love box

My husband is one of those men who doesn’t want anything for his birthday. So every year I find myself totally lost. I do know however, that he likes handmade things and he really appreciates sweet thoughts (like eloping without the kids for a small weekend or a handmade bag or some very nice sushi for dinner or… well, you get the point!) When I ask him if there is something special he wants, most of the time he tells me: “oh, just give me a kiss!”And this year was no exception, but this time it gave me an idea….
I’m gonna show you have to make “a love box” !! A sweet little something, super fast and pretty much free to make. A little paper box filled with love! In my case, I have written some thoughts on long strips of pretty paper, thoughts that I have about him … oh, I won’t go into details, but it goes something like: “I love looking into your beautiful eyes, I could stare at them all day…” stuff like that.
Here is how I made the box:
We have a lot of different cheese here in Belgium, and many of them comes in pretty wood or paper boxes. That is exactly the kind of “garbage” paper box that we’re looking for here. Something that is made to be thrown away, but brought to life. (I love that!).
I flipped through my huge pile of old design magazines and found this Belgian graffiti fashion shoot that I thought had potential for my little project. I grabbed a Pritt stick (glue) and started tearing small pieces of the photo shoot pages. It was the background I really liked. First I glued the entire top of the box, started to add small pieces, and as I moved on, I glued on the pieces instead before I tacked them down.
The edge of the box was beige brown and I thought it would look better white, so I painted it with fast drying acrylic paint before I continued to glue down my ripped pieces. I found a nice drawing of a man I thought looked like Max and some women that I liked, I glue the man on the top, cut out letters for “Max” and glued the women on the bottom. For a great finish and longer lasting quality, you could add a layer of Mod Podge on top of everything, but it’s not necessary.


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Making a wedding dress

There is something very romantic and sweet about making a wedding dress for someone… I’m always so happy to be given that honor. It’s also a lot of nerves involved when I make a wedding dress; it has to be perfect for that big day! There is no room for mistakes on white silk and lace…
When I make dresses like this to measure, it’s really “old style”. What I mean is that this is how clothes used to be made at the tailor’s; a sketch, a photo, choosing the fabric, maybe trying on something similar, but not being able to see the actual garment until it’s finished. There is certainly something exiting and beautiful to make clothes like this. It makes me think back on the long history of my profession and why I love what I do so much! I think the best part in working “old style” like this, is that the bride can decide fabrics, style, feeling, length and fit all by herself (with my counseling of course!) This particular dress was custom made for Stacy in Colorado. You can check out the photo shoot she made with the dress in Thailand on her blog.


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Making the Burning Burta Maxi dress

This is how I make my favourite dress, the Burning Burta maxi dress. I looooove this dress, each piece is made to order and measure made, so there is always a new challenge for every dress I make. The cutting out takes a long time on my knees!! (my cutting table is not big enough), but the dress is quick to put together, using French Seams and Haute Couture hemming, see the sewing tutorials above. This particular dress is for a raori girl in Australia. I cut the lining and the main fabric at the same time as the pattern pieces are the same size, saving me also a lot of time. I always add the seam allowing onto my pattern pieces, it’s so much easier to add patterns notches as well (markings to match up when you sew). I never use pins for straight lines, I just make sure the markings add up. Oh, normally I iron the fabric before I start as well 😉
If you want to check out this dress in my shop, click here.