Saturday, September 25, 2010

Classic Fairy Tale baby shower

Linsey and I threw a baby shower for our friends Emily & Charles today. We started out with a generic "pink and green" theme - then Linsey suggested a "fairy tale" theme, so we ran with it. Emily loves classic toys and vintage-y things so we skipped over the girly fairy princess stuff and stuck with the classics.

The Brother's Grimm were the main source of inspiration (Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Hansel & Gretel, Frog Prince....) with a few others mixed in. We tried to keep it simple and cheap... (I mean inexpensive... not that Emily isn't worth a million bucks cause she is - but all 3 of us are yard-sale-bargain-shoppers so we were all on the same page here haha)

Anyway - enough chatter - here are a few of the pics. (waiting on a few more from Charles)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thrift Finds

I loooooooove thrift and antique stores.... like border line obsessed.
Right now I'm trying to build my collection of milk glass, funky glass wear, and stuff that can be used in party decorations.

I've keep seeing these little tiny covered cake plates in photographs so I've been on the hunt for my own... and Friday I found one!! (well actually I found two at an antique store but didn't care for the $24 price tag - I'm CHEAP) So this little $3.50 find was right up my ally. It originally had a wooden brown base, but I decided to give it a softer look with some aqua spray paint (that I got at a yard sale for .25 for a FULL can - Ah-Thank-You)

I put an apple next to it to show you how petite and tiny it is - I just LOVE it and can't wait to put a little cupcake under it or something.... I don't know what but I just love it.

And then the start of my milk glass collection (sorry it's just thrown in my china cabinet right now)

The milk glass will make it's debut appearance at a baby shower I'm throwing next Sat - stay tuned for pis of that ;)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Poshing a Tank

I snagged this little brown tank at a consignment sale for .50cents or something.... (maybe .25) thinking I'd use my new fancy sewing machine to embroider on it. Um, didn't happen.

Anyway- I also got this pair of killer cute pink cord shorts and it's the perfect weather for AC to wear them... still hot, but more "fallish" weather. Yesterday I put her in the pink shorts and brown shirt and just felt like it was a boring outfit, so today I got fancy during nap time and made her a brooch to wear :)

Just followed a little tutorial I saw online to make the rosettes... (cut thin strips of fabric, knotted one end and then just wrapped around in a circle) and put them together with little fabric leaves. All attached on a stiff felt backing - BOOM instant cuteness in about 20min!

Check it out! All made with scraps... didn't cost me a dime (except for the shirt that is).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sneek Peek

...of my Halloween decorations. This is the first year I've ever decorated for Halloween... yes, I'm admitting it. Every year I'm too cheap to go out and buy stuff - so I tell myself I'll wait until after Halloween and get some stuff on sale. I did that 2 years ago then forgot to put it out last year.

And this year??? Well naturally I didn't like anything I bought in the 'sale' - so I started from nuthin.

I decided to go with a "vintage" Halloween theme... kinda haunted house-ish. And actually - everything here I had in the house already - except for the orange candles in the candelabra (.88 cents each!!) - so my whole mantle decor cost less than $6! That's my kinda decor.

Ok - enough jib jab - here is the work in progress....

"Eye of Newt" - still have to work on this one...

This *will* be "Toe of Frog" - but I was just trying to get it filled until I can go out.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The "Borrow Basket"

I have a lot of friends who are having babies.... A LOT. Conveniently we have a lot of toys that Anna has outgrown... a lot. A few of these things I just loved and wasn't ready to be 'done' with them... but also don't have the space to store them. So what do we do?? Pass them off to a friend!!

And this is how the "Borrow Basket" was born.

I snagged this super cute laundry basket at Target for $2.97 and then started loading up our leftovers. Topped it off with a little tissue paper pompom (left over from AC's bday) and some ribbon - and then came up with this little poem to explain the borrow basket...

Here's a little group of things
In which we had to spare.
It's stuff we've used and know you'll love
So now we'd like to share.

And there are two more stanzas after this.... but I'm thinking about "selling" the rest of this poem on etsy for a couple of bucks, so I'll just leave you wondering for now.

Anywho - I think she liked it - I know I liked having a place to 'store' these items for the next year (hehe sorry J&R, but little Britton will love them)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Party Hats & Bibs

I kept seeing all these cute party hats on etsy but none that really nailed it when it came to matching Anna's color scheme, so naturally I made my own.

I worked with a few different party hat templates before mastering the PERFECT party hat. (you could also go to the dollar store and snag a pack for a buck - but I prefer the hard way when it comes to pretty much anything)

I had SO much fun making Anna's hat - I just kept going. I made one for Anna Kay (aka "The Other Anna") who was doing a purple & pink princess party and then one for sweet little Anders who was having a "Mod Monkey" themed party.

And no - that's not the only circle shape my sewing machine does.. I just happen to like it ;)

Anna's Pink Lemonade

"Mod Monkey"

Pink & Purple Princess

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tissue Paper "Carnation-Pom" Monogram

I made this fancy tissue paper letter "A" for Anna's 1st birthday party - inspired by an element at a shower thrown by Heavenly Blooms Florist where they featured a large letter "K" for Kate's baby shower. I was trying to be budget conscious, so I found a way to tweak the very popular 'tissue paper pom-poms' to create a carnation look. The whole project only cost $5... not too shabby if you ask me.


  1. Cardboard or Foamboard (or styrofoam) to make the letter template.
  2. Tissue paper (probably around 24 sheets depending on how big your letter is and how big your carnation-poms are.
  3. Floral wire or trash ties to hold the carnation-poms together.
  4. Hot Glue

Here's how to make it:

Cut the cardboard, foamboard or styrofoam into the letter or shape you wish. Although I used styrofoam for the big pink "A" let me STRONGLY recommend using cardboard or foamboard... styrofoam is expensive (I had NO idea it was that pricey) and messy and also I couldn't find a piece in the stores big enough for my project - thank goodness my dad had a piece that came from something he bought. For the teal letter "K" I used an old cardboard priority shipping box.

Take 8 sheets of tissue paper and cut them into 4.5"x5.5" rectangles (or have fun experimenting with different sizes to fit your letter or your needs. For the smaller teal letter "K" I used 3"x3" (ish) squares and it took 16 sheets of tissue paper. For the big pink letter "A" I used 4.5"x5x5" (ish) rectangles and it took 24 sheets of tissue paper.

Tip: To cut the rectangles I laid all 8 sheets on top of each other and then folded and cut down the seams to make it easier. If you try to just make straight cuts they start sliding... and it makes it tricky. Also try using an exacto knife.

Fold your '8 layer sets' of tissue paper like an accordion.

  • For the big pink "A" I used about 3/4" folds.
  • For the little teal "K" I used about 1/2" folds.

Note: It just has to be approximate - don't go pulling out the ruler ;) You can play around with fold sizes too. The more folds the more ruffly your flowers will be but dont make TOO many folds because it will be hard to "fluff".

I used floral wire to tie up the centers, but you can also use trash ties or just regular wire. I just twist once or twice and then fold down the edges.

Note: When you are folding, make sure the folds go horizontal across the most narrow side. For example - if you used a 4.5"x5.5" rectangle.... your finished folded accordian should be 4.5" wide NOT 5.5".

Use your fingers to pinch the center to hold in place and slowly and carefully "fluff" the tissue paper layers up one layer at a time starting by pulling the part closest to the center. Working from the center out helps to separate the layers where it's the tightest. Towards the last layer it will get pretty tricky, so I start folding the bottom layers down and then fluff them back up to the top. It helps to really get them good and separated.

Be very gentle when you do this - the tissue will rip - but if it does it is OK.... just rip that layer and be gentle with the next layer. I had about 10 of my flowers missing multiple layers but you couldn't tell at all!!

Once they are fluffed - just pull out the hot glue gun and start gluing! Depending on the size you used - you may notice that the carnation-poms aren't perfectly round and have gaps on either side - this is NOT a problem and sometimes works to your benefit!

Note: You will notice more of a gap if you used square dimenstions of tissue paper... or if you folded the wrong way if using a rectangle. Because I used 3"x3" squares I had a bit of a gap on either side, but it helped since this letter was so small - the pom poms could fit together.

Tip: Try to avoid fluffing from the outter most part - sometimes if you start too close to the edge the paper will rip. If it does rip it is OK.... just continue ripping that part off and be gentle with the next layer. I had about 10 of my flowers missing multiple layers but you couldn't tell at all!! And actuall- if you want more of a carnation looking edge you will PURPOSELY rip the edges to make it a little les clean cut.

To hang it - I just took a piece of ribbon and hot glued it to the back and then hung it on a wreath hanger or a hook. I thought it would pull away from the styrofoam (another reason not to use styrofoam...) but it's held up so far for a month ;) I tried to get fancy and cover the back since I used a priority shipping box and I planned to give this to a friend - but no one will EVER see it ;)

Tip: I recommend you spray paint or just paint the letter you cut out to semi-match whatever color your tissue paper flowers are. That way if there are any gaps it will not show. For the letter "K" in the example I just took some spray adhesive and laid a piece of tissue paper on top. It was a quick cover just so the cardboard wouldn't show.

Another Tip: if you use styrofoam (again - prob not my first choice - it's just all I had) you will want to trim around the edges with ribbon or something otherwise it will have unfinished edges.

The Finished Product:

Yes it may take a while to do -but the result is AWESOME. I was originally going to use real carnations like I saw in the photo - but I wanted to do it pretty cheap and wanted it to last. The whole project (Pink "A" from birthday photos) cost me about $5 and now it's hanging in Anna's playroom.... the teal "K" in the demo cost less than $1 (used about half a big pack (came with 25 sheets) of tissue paper from Target that was $1.49 - I already had the cardboard and ribbon)