Fourteenth: Showers of Happiness

Brielle will become Mrs. Maffett in just two short months. Her friends and family showered her with love in Virginia and New Jersey. I always say the best gifts are handmade and don't always come wrapped. Time, talent, and ideas from the heart are the gifts that will last a lifetime.

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It was time for me and my assistant designer, Chappy, to get started on the gift we wanted to make for Brielle and Alex.

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Many who know my assistant often find her sleeping on the job. Chappy couldn't resist stretching out on the handmade beach blanket we were in the process of making for the "couples shower" to be held at their new home in Richmond, hosted by Brielle's bridesmaid, Irina.

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My children grew up enjoying many days on the beaches of Martha's Vineyard on an oversized and very comfortable reversible beach blanket. The first one I made for our family lasted thirty years. I thought this would be the perfect gift for Brielle and Alex. I sewed embroidered patches on one side (including one for Paisley) leaving room on both sides for any future additions to their family. 


Brielle and Alex bought a beautiful home in Richmond in the spring to begin their married life together. Brielle's dear friend, Irina, decided to throw them a small shower and housewarming party a few weeks after they moved in.

Brielle and Irina met in 2011 when Brielle was interning at a law firm in Richmond. Irina was Brielle's supervisor at the time. They became great friends and today Brielle is an attorney at that same law firm. They see each other everyday at the office and not only that...now they are neighbors!

Brielle and Irina met in 2011 when Brielle was interning at a law firm in Richmond. Irina was Brielle's supervisor at the time. They became great friends and today Brielle is an attorney at that same law firm. They see each other everyday at the office and not only that...now they are neighbors!

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Brielle has a flair for decorating and making a home feel warm and cozy.

The party setting was beautiful even with the forecast of rain.

The party setting was beautiful even with the forecast of rain.

Irina and her mom made this incredible seven layer cake for dessert! It was so delicious!

Irina and her mom made this incredible seven layer cake for dessert! It was so delicious!

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Brielle has become great at entertaining guests. You always leave a gathering at their home feeling completely satisfied with the food, drink, and conversation.

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Alex happened upon the first gift of the night. It is something always needed and these days quite expensive!

Alex happened upon the first gift of the night. It is something always needed and these days quite expensive!


I have mentioned on previous blog posts how amazing it is to meet other creatives in the world of art and design. Somehow, I continue to cross paths with incredibly talented people. Meet Tina Gilland--she is a wife and mommy, and works full time while also pursuing her other career and passion as a paper florist. I met her three years ago when she came into my shop to buy a baptism outfit for her baby boy, Tyler. Recently she contacted me and asked if she could share her love of paper flower design with our small town by decorating our store window displays at Headpiece.com.

Tina's parents owned a handbag company when she was growing up. When she was younger, she spent much time at the family business cutting lining, gluing, and adding studs to leather pieces. Tina studied Fine Arts at NJCU and then continued her education at William Paterson receiving her degree in Accounting.

Tina's parents owned a handbag company when she was growing up. When she was younger, she spent much time at the family business cutting lining, gluing, and adding studs to leather pieces. Tina studied Fine Arts at NJCU and then continued her education at William Paterson receiving her degree in Accounting.

When I saw how incredible her talent was, I told her she could decorate our displays however she liked and granted her full artistic expression. Many people in town have stopped and taken photographs of her more than life size handmade paper flowers.

When I saw how incredible her talent was, I told her she could decorate our displays however she liked and granted her full artistic expression. Many people in town have stopped and taken photographs of her more than life size handmade paper flowers.

Tina invited us to see her craft in action.

Tina invited us to see her craft in action.

I asked Tina if she used a cutting machine. She explained it actually takes less time for her to cut each shape by hand.

I asked Tina if she used a cutting machine. She explained it actually takes less time for her to cut each shape by hand.

Tina designs her own flower patterns and shapes.

Tina designs her own flower patterns and shapes.

The flat petal shapes are intricately sculpted by hand to create a beautiful 3D flower. Her flowers are made to order and can ship anywhere through her Etsy Shop-- Made Pretty with Paint. Her customers buy her designs for use as decorations for baby nurseries, weddings.....and of course bridal showers!

The flat petal shapes are intricately sculpted by hand to create a beautiful 3D flower. Her flowers are made to order and can ship anywhere through her Etsy Shop-- Made Pretty with Paint. Her customers buy her designs for use as decorations for baby nurseries, weddings.....and of course bridal showers!

"Making these pretty paper flowers make me so happy! I have a new favorite each time. I really enjoy working with people and helping their vision to come to life." ---Tina Gilland

"Making these pretty paper flowers make me so happy! I have a new favorite each time. I really enjoy working with people and helping their vision to come to life." ---Tina Gilland

Tina's artistic creations made Brielle's bridal shower more spectacular than ever! I wish we could have kept them up forever. Check out Tina's Instagram @madeprettywithpaint to see more of her amazing work!

Tina's artistic creations made Brielle's bridal shower more spectacular than ever! I wish we could have kept them up forever. Check out Tina's Instagram @madeprettywithpaint to see more of her amazing work!

Simple joy and happiness can always be found in the beauty of a flower!

Simple joy and happiness can always be found in the beauty of a flower!


Brielle's shower wasn't a surprise having to travel from Virginia... but the decorations and some of the guests were. We kept Brielle cooped up inside while we prepared. She couldn't wait to see who and what was in store on this very special day!

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Brielle's third grade teacher, Barbara Chertoff, gave her a great writing skills foundation which helped her to succeed in law school. Brielle was so happy to see her.

Brielle's third grade teacher, Barbara Chertoff, gave her a great writing skills foundation which helped her to succeed in law school. Brielle was so happy to see her.

Brielle's Oak Knoll classmates and teammates surprised her on her shower day. Lauren is also engaged and Christie is married and expecting a baby girl in December.

Brielle's Oak Knoll classmates and teammates surprised her on her shower day. Lauren is also engaged and Christie is married and expecting a baby girl in December.

Brielle's in-laws-to-be came from Pennsylvania to shower her with love. Candace married Andrew, Alex's brother, on May 6th. This was Kristin's second celebration at the Hunt home and Mimi's first. They are such fun people we know this is only the beginning of many to come.

Brielle's in-laws-to-be came from Pennsylvania to shower her with love. Candace married Andrew, Alex's brother, on May 6th. This was Kristin's second celebration at the Hunt home and Mimi's first. They are such fun people we know this is only the beginning of many to come.

Abbey is Brielle's adorable flower girl. She was so delightful and helpful to the bride-to-be. She may also have a future in art as demonstrated with her beautiful illustration inside Brielle's shower card.

Abbey is Brielle's adorable flower girl. She was so delightful and helpful to the bride-to-be. She may also have a future in art as demonstrated with her beautiful illustration inside Brielle's shower card.


Brielle was so surprised to open this beautiful present from our dear friend, Mary Bott. I think Mary was also surprised to find out that one of the buildings depicted in this artisan glasswork design was actually Alex's office building! Brielle absolutely loved this gift and couldn't wait to show Alex.

Brielle was so surprised to open this beautiful present from our dear friend, Mary Bott. I think Mary was also surprised to find out that one of the buildings depicted in this artisan glasswork design was actually Alex's office building! Brielle absolutely loved this gift and couldn't wait to show Alex.

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This gift wasn't just a gift for Brielle and Alex. It was a gift for those who traveled from afar to be with Brielle, and for those who couldn't be here on this special day. It was a gift for Jeff and me. It made us think of the nest of family and how life begins and ends. It was special, emotional, and appreciated more than ever. It was handmade by our neighbor...Roy's neighbor, Leslie Leonard.

I remember the bow hat thingy at my shower! This moment brings out creativity and always a smile or two! Thank you Mallory (Brielle's cousin) for your millinery mastery! 

I remember the bow hat thingy at my shower! This moment brings out creativity and always a smile or two! Thank you Mallory (Brielle's cousin) for your millinery mastery! 

The efforts of Brielle's maid of honor, Aubrey, shouldn't go unnoticed. 

The efforts of Brielle's maid of honor, Aubrey, shouldn't go unnoticed. 

I loved Aubrey's handwritten "wishing well" poem. I am so happy to see this classic tradition finding its way back into the happy celebration for the bride-to-be on her shower day.

I loved Aubrey's handwritten "wishing well" poem. I am so happy to see this classic tradition finding its way back into the happy celebration for the bride-to-be on her shower day.

The final surprise for Brielle was to see Alex on the big screen. The pressure was on! How well do they know each other? Those who witnessed this event will surely agree they are a good match for each other.

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When it comes to uniquely delectable desserts we are connected! My sisters are gifted in the creation of specialty desserts such as home-made artisan ice-creams and hand decorated cookies. We can always call on my sis-in-law's niece, Kara Schnaidt, the owner Kara Kakes in Franklin Lakes to create something delicious and different for any event. My dear friend, Dolores Nagle, a.k.a The Baking Diva on Youtube makes desserts that are not only delicious, but also very entertaining! All contributed to the beautiful potpourri of desserts for Brielle's bridal shower.

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Tina and Dolores prepping for their final dessert display.

Tina and Dolores prepping for their final dessert display.

Not only does Tina create flowers outside of your wildest dreams, but she also makes beautiful cake toppers and paper flower cake designs. Kara Kakes baked this tasty and beautiful naked cake in our favorite champagne flavor...and Tina designed the "Wow!"

Not only does Tina create flowers outside of your wildest dreams, but she also makes beautiful cake toppers and paper flower cake designs. Kara Kakes baked this tasty and beautiful naked cake in our favorite champagne flavor...and Tina designed the "Wow!"

The Baking Diva delivered cake pops in the shower color scheme that sinfully melted off the stick.

The Baking Diva delivered cake pops in the shower color scheme that sinfully melted off the stick.

The Baking Diva's champagne dip kept with our classic bridal shower theme. It was also sinful!

The Baking Diva's champagne dip kept with our classic bridal shower theme. It was also sinful!

Judy, my youngest sister, surprised Brielle with her favorite almond cookies decorated impeccably.

Judy, my youngest sister, surprised Brielle with her favorite almond cookies decorated impeccably.

Kara Kakes also created specialty cupcakes in coconut, cannoli, and strawberry shortcake flavors.

Kara Kakes also created specialty cupcakes in coconut, cannoli, and strawberry shortcake flavors.

...and to finish off this beautiful day was little Abbey assisting the future Mrs. Brielle Marie Maffett in cutting the cake.

...and to finish off this beautiful day was little Abbey assisting the future Mrs. Brielle Marie Maffett in cutting the cake.


So much love and thought was put into Brielle's bridal shower day! I can't believe we are just eight weeks away from celebrating their wedding day. A year of thought and ideas have been compiled to make their wedding day full, unique, bright, and happy. That is all a mother... and a designer could wish for. See you next month! <3

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Next month on the Fourteenth:

Wedding Details