Thursday, May 1, 2014

It's Party Time!

Somewhere along the way, I realized that I love almost all things crafty (though don’t ask me to paint a picture, or draw, I’m terrible at that).  This revelation was a shock to most people who knew me, especially my mother who, while extremely (reluctantly) talented in her own right, never enjoyed much crafting herself.  I still remember when I asked her to make invitations for my 8th birthday party and she drew what I thought was the most beautiful horse ever.  She claims to this day that the horse was hideous, but I remember it as being amazing. 

Where am I going with this?  Well, with work being what it is lately, I haven’t gotten to do much of my own crafting. However, there is one person who will always be more important than work… Milla.  The main reason for this is that she is ever so appreciative of what I do. After just a few of her decorations went up, she exclaimed, “I love it mommy!  I love everything you make for me!”  This promptly led me to furiously take on more projects for more affirmations.

This was the first year that I was going to do away with the St. Patrick’s Day theme because I figured she was old enough to tell us what kind of party she wanted.  However, after hearing that she wanted a Princess, Barbie, Ballerina party I decided that I would still incorporate some of the massive amounts of St. Patrick’s Day decorations that I have accumulated on account of having a St. Patty’s Day baby!

Here’s what I did… and I’ll start with the easiest!

Polka-dot cups
I thought of this one on my own and I’m kind of proud of it.  All I did was use my Silhouette Cameo to create hundreds of different-sized circles on a sheet of sticker label paper (like this) and randomly stuck them on the cups.  But you could also use a circle punch or vinyl!  It classed up the cheap-o-cups and made them super cute!

Floating Ballerinas
Next was tackling the ballerinas; not literally of course.  I found a free outline of a ballerina and then also a snowflake outline with a large center and used my Silhouette Cameo to cut several out.  To assemble them, all I had to do was place the snowflake over her body and it rested on her tutu!  Then I took fishing line and hung them from the ceiling.

Tissue Paper Tassels
I have seen these everywhere on Pinterest and always wanted to make them so I used this tutorial, but made it my own by using the Martha Stewart Fringe Scissors (cuts down greatly on hand cramping since you can create more fringe each time you cut). 

Coffee Filter Flowers
Now we’re moving on to the more time-intensive projects.  I had seen these everywhere and wound up referencing a tutorial but you know me, I had to find some shortcuts for it.  So first, I took a ton of coffee filters (I purchased a pack of 400 or so from Costco); and then I dyed them in my kitchen sink with several drops of red food coloring. Obviously, the more drops, the deeper the color.  Then, I put them out to dry (just like the tutorial told me to do) and waited days until I realized that if I separated them, they’d dry more quickly.  Shortly thereafter, my house was littered with pink, damp circles. 

The next steps were to fold them in quarters and staple at the bottom.  Then I shaped what would become the “petals” and varied how I did them.  I used my Martha Stewart Fringe Scissors on some and they looked like Chrysanthemums; then I used regular scissors and made waves which resembled Peonies and then I made zigzag cuts which looked like Dahlias. 

The next step was to open them up and “fluff” them.  Basically, carefully, pull apart the tissue petals.  Here comes my shortcut… the tutorial advised using floral wire to keep it all together, but I just used another staple.  Faster and easier, just my style. 

To hang then, the stapes definitely came in handy.  I wanted to hang them vertically from the ceiling, so I took a needle and threaded it with the fishing line and ran it under the front of the staple so that I could still move the flowers if need be, but they would also stay where I wanted them.

One of the Chrysanthemums

Tulle Pompoms 
The process itself is pretty easy; but the sheer number that I made was not.  First, I advise you to buy tulle on the roll.  This will save you from having to wrestle the tulle and cut it into strips.  If you are cheap thrifty like me, you will buy tulle by the yard at the fabric store and cut strips while cursing your frugalness. 

I then took a piece of cardboard about the size of a playing card and wrapped the tulle around until I got to the end of the strip.  It doesn’t have to be berfect, at all, it just all needs to be relatively taught.  Then I very, very, very carefully slid the card out (I wasn’t successful everytime and had to rewrap the tulle many times) and then I took fishing line (I should buy stock in it after this post) and tigtly tied a knot right in the middle.  Then I took my scissors and cut each side out and “fluffed” them.  Here’s a little tutorial I referenced.

To string them together, I did the fishing line trick that I mentioned above and just sewed right through the middle of the pompom and then hung them from the ceiling!

So that’s that.  Did I also mention that I made that banner and the mini-pendant lamp?  Yeah.  I may have gotten a little out of control.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Marquee me!

While perusing Pinterest, I saw something that I had to make (I say that at least twenty times a day).  She made it look so easy and the results?  Amazing.  Well, I'll agree that the results are pretty amazing, but easy? Mmmm... no.  

Check out her instructions here (because unlike some other bloggers, I truly believe in giving credit where credit is due and this was NOT my invention).  

Here's what I learned and I hope may help you in recreating this project...

Instead of tracing your computer screen (yes, she actually advises doing that), if you're lucky enough to have one, use your Silhouette Cameo/Portrait to cut out the letters with standard 12x12 scrapbook paper.  I used the font: Bready Regular Demo which can be found and downloaded for free here and I enlarged it to 900 font size.  Please note that you may have to weld certain letters - for example 'M'.  I did everything in capitals because I didn't want to have to deal with the dot over the 'i'.

Also, don't worry about using cardboard for the letters, just pick up a few extra pieces of white poster board.  So much easier to cut than cardboard!  Furthermore, if you have the smarts and ability to use your Cameo/Portrait, go ahead and use it for this as well.  I tried but the poster board kept slipping around and rather than throw the thing out the window, I decided to trace around the scrapbook paper letters. I then cut slightly inside the lines because you want to make sure that the poster board doesn't poke out from behind the pretty paper.

Other than that, I'd say the tutorial is pretty self-explanatory.  However, I will not gloss over the fact that it is super, duper annoying and irritating to determine where to place the 100 bulbs.  There's no mathematical equation that can be used because each letter is a different size.  So, I just had 100 small square pieces of paper cut out using my Cameo and then placed them around the letters until it looked about right.  The problem is that they're so small, that you start losing them and then have to count over and over and over again until you're sure you have exactly 100.  

I used the same lights she recommends which can be purchased on here.  Call me a helicopter mom, but I wanted to make sure that the poster board didn't catch on fire in my sweet girls bedroom right above her bed.

Peaches McGee loves her lights and will show just about anyone willing to go up to her bedroom.  She even erased the next 30 minutes of potentially irritating behavior by saying, "Thank you momma! I love how you decorated my room."