Monday, April 30, 2012

april reads

this was another fairly slow reading month, that's for sure.  between bridal shower planning & everyday things, it felt like there wasn't enough time in the day.  and by the time i got in bed to read, i was ready to just sleep.  so this month was another pairing of books that were made in to movies.  i don't see myself going out to see hunger games in theaters though...  i saw the movie cloverfield years ago in theaters, and that was enough hand held shaky camera to last me a lifetime.  i'll gladly sit this one out until the dvd happens.  as far as the book went, i found it alright.  i didn't really get in to the storyline until the very end, but i do intend to be reading the rest of the series to keep up with it.
message in a bottle - nicholas sparks
the hunger games - suzanne collins

Friday, April 27, 2012

erika's bridal shower: the favors

this part of the bridal shower crafting i am so excited about.  hence why i saved it for last!  when erika asked me to be her MOH and plan her bridal shower, i knew instantly (thanks to pinterest) what i wanted to do for the favors.  for years now, quite possibly as long as i can remember, we have had a box of baby food jars out in the garage waiting to be used.  well, considering that the youngest person in our house is now sixteen, and i don't think she was still eating baby food last week, you can tell that it has been a long long time :)

inside of the jars, the plan was to have bath fizzies.  well, i made the bath fizzes as you can see, but ended up hated them.  they were a lot of work and turned up looking like crap.  if i hadn't decided to get fancy and beach themed with those and just left them in squares, i'm sure they would have been fine.  so that's when i resorted to the soaps.
 they went together easily, looked great, and i could incorporate both the pink and the orange colors of the bridal shower.  i ended up smashing up the bath fizzies in to the bottom of the jar (conveniently looking like pink sand) and then the sea shell themed soaps were able to sit on top of them.
the jar lids started out plain.  yep...  gerber all over them.  i sprayed them with some pink spray paint to get a base coat to cover the letters, and then once that dried, sprayed them with this super awesome glitter spray paint i bought at michaels.  i wish i had the name of the stuff... but it was just straight up awesome.  covered those lids like no other.  once the jars were full, and the lids were good to go, i tied a little orange bow around the outside of the jar  simple, easy, and love love loved how they turned out... though, i had to advise everyone in my house as well as at the bridal shower that they were NOT fruit snacks or jello... and eating them would probably turn out for the opposite of what they were expecting.  but they look so pretty!
what you need to make your own:
baby food jars (or any size jars, depending on how big or full you want to make them)
bath salts (i found the "recipe" from pinterest, which let me here to martha stewart)
spray paint
DIY soap whatnots (i bought it in the big block from michaels)
essential oils (i used pomegranate & vanilla... yes, it came in that mixture)
food coloring
coupons... it will help make that soap & glitter paint more reasonably priced
patience.  something i don't have when waiting for things to harden or cool.  fridges do wonders in helping the soaps set faster.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

erika's bridal shower: the games

introducing hunger games: erika's bridal shower edition.  okay, TOTALLY KIDDING (i just finished reading that book) but for reals that this is the post all about the games we played.  i wish i had more action shots of some of the games, but unfortunately i didn't think to multitask at that point.  there were a total of five games (technically four, but we split one in to two categories) that were played throughout the shower.  i will go ahead and post about each game in the order that they were played :)
the memory match candy bar game
this game came as a mention from lisa, who played this game at a baby shower.  with a few google searches, i was able to find a good amount of words & candies to make the game take action.  how i made it was 2 pieces of foam core, 40 blank cards sent through my printer, my cricut machine for the numbers, glue & velcro.  20 different words were printed on to the cards, and then spread out across the two boards.  the numbers were made using the "all mixed up" cricut cartridge and then run through my sticker maker.  rubber cement and super glue were used to hold the cards to the board, so that the velcro wouldn't pull the card off when opened.
this game seemed to go over really well once everyone started to warm up to the party games and get in to them.  there were some good laughs over figuring out what word would get what kind of candy bar, and big oohs and whispers when someone knew they had seen the word before.  definitely will be bringing this game back when erika has a need for a baby shower :)
toilet paper dresses
let me just tell you... once erika and i split these ladies up in to teams and handed off the rolls of toilet paper, they were planning and designing in an instant!  since we also had pink & orange streamers that didn't have a place to be put up for decorations, we allowed them to get creative and add some color accents to their toilet paper dresses. 
judging was no easy task, that's for sure!  and i'm super glad i didn't have to do it.  our fabulous three models (props to jessica, katie & angelica!) did a wonderful job showing off their gorgeous dresses, which will TOTALLY be runway ready for spring 2013
jessica's team won the prize for their one shoulder flowing creation.  what won erika over was the detail put in with the accessories.  she had bracelets, necklaces, and a HUGE tp ring on her hand.  if only it was real gems!
how well do the bride & groom know each other? trivia game
so i totally don't have any photos from this, but the results from this turned out HILARIOUS.  screams of joy when erika matched up answers with matt, and sighs when he said something totally bogus of what she didn't match up with.  what everyone else had to do is once the question was read, wait for erika's answer, and then guess yes or no to whether they thought erika & matt would match answers.  the first set of questions were about erika (where she was born, favorite food, first date) and the second half were almost all of the same questions, but about matt.  well, i guess i should let you in on some of the fun, so here are a few of my favorite questions with matt's answers :)
bridal shower bingo
pretty much a bridal shower staple game.  you can't have a bridal shower without playing this game it seems.  well, i may have not done it when i threw lisa's bridal shower, but at that point i was unaware of the world of bridal showers and all that jazz.  anyways, i made the cards in photoshop, and then had my dad print them off in color at his office.  i'm really happy with how they turned out, so that's that!
advice for the bride
the only other thing that wasn't exactly a "game" was the advice for the bride.  everyone was given a slip of paper to write wedding or marriage advice for erika.  i printed off one of their engagement photos, slipped it in to the cover of a photo album and then the individual cards could be put inside.  i glittered the edges of the cards in order to have them be a little more fun and a little less "blah" (as well as match her invites).  unfortunately, i don't have any photos of the book or the cards.  oh well :/
so there you have all the games!
tomorrow is the last bridal shower post, and that's the favors :)  maybe i'll post the photo of the gift i gave her a little bit larger (i didn't get crafty with the shower gift) so that you can see what it is :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

erika's bridal shower: the sweets

i apologize now. all of the pictures from the bridal shower are snapshots with my point and shoot camera, so they may or may not be 100% in focus. but that's why we love snapshots, right? anyways, on to the sweets! when i took on the task of erika's bridal shower, one thing she made sure that i needed to know was that she wanted a barbie cake. red velvet, cream cheese frosting. once it got closer, she also mentioned wanting chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. well, we made it all happen! last sunday we did our baking trial run, and probably spent about 6-8 hours baking. it was insane! we made regular sized cupcakes that day, and afterwards decided that mini cupcakes were the way to go.  the following thursday night, i made round 2 of both frostings, plus the red velvet cupcakes.  friday when i got off work, we began the final versions of everything.  problem was, between sunday when we did the trial run, and friday when it was time to do the real deal, california decided to basically double in temperature.  that might be a lie, but it sure felt like it!  we made the best of our situation, and knocked these treats out and decorated them friday night, left them in her fridge over night, and then they were good to go on saturday afternoon :)
the cupcakes were super cute, and the smaller versions made them so much easier to eat.  we had a LOT left over still, so i took a bunch home, erika took some home, and pretty much anyone that was still there at the end of the shower was given a small plate of them too.  the cake part was all box mix, but the frosting was our homemade part.  i had never made red velvet frosting before, so i had no clue what it was supposed to taste like when it was done right.  with the help of pinterest & a martha stewart recipe, i was told by erika that it was PERFECT.  the peanut butter recipe was off of memory, but turned out really good as well. for you lovelies, here are the recipies
cream cheese frosting
ala martha stewart
4 blocks cream cheese (32 oz)
2 sticks soft butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla (or 1tsp if you use double strength like we have)
peanut butter frosting
as decided by erika
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla (or 1/2 for double strength)
1/4 cup soft butter (i used 1/2 cup, because the stick was too soft to cut when i did round 2)
1/3 cup milk
the barbie cake went... alright... as far as the second round goes.  practice round, we had really thick frosting, and had to try and get it to soften up a little bit to do the detailing.  reality time, it was gooey and way too soft to do the stars like we had practiced.  she didn't turn out bad at all though!  i know friday night when we were frosting her, there was some excessive grumbling (mind you, it was also 10:30 at night) about the frosting.  but all in all, she looked pretty good!  the cake part was cooked in a pampered chef mixing bowl. and then set to cool while we were doing the cupcakes.  after round 1, we decided she needed a little "fancying" up so she looked like a bride instead of just a girl in a white dress.  i made the veil with a piece of netting i had leftover from the birdcage veil i made, as well as some of the orange ribbon left from her garters & the favors.  i threw together her "top" on friday morning using more of the netting as well as a piece of muslin.  not too shabby!  so many cupcakes were left over, we didn't even get to the cake... i think it went home with erika's future sister in law.  but overall, the directions were super easy to follow... the hardest part was the waiting to cool 3 hours before doing anything with it... with 2 very impatient girls in a toasty apartment.
click here pampered chef barbie cake directions!

Monday, April 23, 2012

over the weekend

the day of the bridal shower finally came, and it was over sooner than we knew it! with the help of erika's step mom delayne and her family, we were able to have some great food and a location that worked perfectly for her first bridal shower. everyone was pretty in to the games, and the trivia game went over fantastically!  the bride to be seemed to have a great time, got some fun gifts to start off her married life with.  i'll break down the detail stuff that were made for the shower over the next few days so that not everything will be all in one :)  so stay tuned for some pink, some orange, and some bridal shower crafty!

Friday, April 20, 2012

movie ticket shadow box

i stumbled across this idea awhile ago on pinterest, and thought it was AMAZING... so i had to make one all for myself. a quick trip to joann's, and i got the frame and paper all in one trip. now, it totally doesn't match the color my room is painted right now, but that's quite alright with me. it's sparkly, teal and pretty :)
the paper was originally 12x12, as all pretty paper tends to be, so i cut it down to 10x10 to fit my frame. the original shadow box appeared to be larger. or maybe just more rectangular. either way, i preferred the square frame format, since most movie ticket stubs end up being that shape these days anyways. (that picture totally makes my teal strip look crooked, but it's not... i used a ruler!)
the teal stripe was also cut from a 12x12 piece (i think it's 3x10) and stuck down to the background piece. i used my cricut to cut the ticket shapes as well as the lettering. ran those letters through my sticker maker, and they were good to go!
i got my brother to dremel a slot in the top for me so that for any future movie going experiences, i can easily just drop the ticket stubs in through the top to add to my collection. sure is useful to have brothers around that are handy with dremels too.
dropped my tickets in, ranging from 2008ish up to a few weeks ago. my wallet was relieved to have the stack cleared out. but that just means more movies need to be seen!
and there you have it! it was super simple on my part (since i didn't have to do the dremel-ing) and turned out fantastic! now i have a super cool piece of wall art to show off my growing movie ticket stub collection :)
original pinterest post: kirsten johnson
cricut cartridges used: mickey mouse font (for ticket shapes) alphalicious (for lettering)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

homemade fabric curlers

growing up, i always always always wanted a my size barbie. well, thanks to being exceptionally taller than anyone else when i was little, my size barbie wasn't even my size. well, it's taken nearly 16 years to get to this point, but i finally have my own personal "my size barbie"... and i'm sure my sister is going to love seeing me call her that. anyways, thanks to another pinterest find for me to try out, and a saturday full of nothingness, i decided to give these curlers and shot, and see how well they would turn out... and what i might potentially need to change for round 2.
i pulled the fabric from my scrapbox, and these were all on top since i had searched through there for baby shower inspiration that was changed abruptly. in a whole afternoon, i cut, sewed, turned, stuffed, and sewed 15 curlers together. the buttons had to be hand sewn on the ends, which went super easily.
i've had my sewing machine for 2 1/2 years now, and my mom has had her janome longer than that, but we both STILL can't figure out the button holer. so i had to pull out ye ol' kenmore and sew the button holes in the end that way. until it started to fight me. seriously. i was planning to leisurely sew button holes while watching footloose, not start a world war with a machine. mom was able to get them to go though. thank goodness.
wrapped her hair up in semi large chunks (as it appeared from the original blog post i saw these curlers from) and sprayed it down with hairspray. they all went in fairly well, and i think the tight squeeze of the buttons in to the button holes helped held them tight. then, she was off to bed to sleep the night away... i never found out how comfortable they were to sleep on though...
took the curlers out...
and it was beautiful. i should have left it like this. haha. just kidding. i'm sure she would have washed it out in two seconds if i did. i combed it out a bit, twisted the front back, and it led to...
this. not too shabby. there are a few things i would do differently for next time though. i would do a little bit smaller chunks of hair, which would hopefully allow for better "curls". the other thing i would change would be the type of hair spray used. this stuff was some mega hold spray or something, so the curls were pretty crunchy coming out of the curlers. hopefully that would help them lay nicer or something. i'm no curler expert, since the only way my hair really keeps curl is doing rag curls, so having someone else's hair to try it on is always a bonus. plus it's much easier than trying it on my own hair.
the original curler tutorial is listed here: life with monkey

Monday, April 16, 2012

weekend wips

a few things got done this week. here, there and everywhere. bridal shower mode is in full swing this week, since it's now down to 5 days until the shower. craziness! but i think if i lay out my list, check things off one by one, i'll realize that i have more done and ready to go than i actually thought i did. this past week was 95% bridal shower prep, and i'm warning you i took photos through instagram, even though i was planning to use my actual camera... so here goes:
favors: knocked these suckers out earlier on this week. my original plan changed from the fizzies, and at first i was planning to just eliminate them all together, i ended up using them in the base of the favors under the soaps. tied some bows on them, and they were all good to go. no really, i think they're adorable, but you'll have to wait until next week to see them :)
games: i'm down to just having to print out the cards for bingo & advice for the bride. though i may do the advice cards the same way i did the invitations, i haven't decided yet. the memory match game has been done for quite some time now, and i just need to buy TP for the dress game. yesterday while i was at erika's, in between baking & girl talk, i grilled matt with some intense questions (yeah right!) for the trivia game. got home and loaded, edited, and burned the entire thing to a dvd. check that sucker off my list!
cakes & frosting: this is what erika and i spent a big chunk of our sunday doing. we did a practice run of the cakes & cupcakes she wanted for the shower this upcoming saturday, and boy was it a good thing we did. we were able to gauge how well the barbie cake cooked (red velvet with cream cheese frosting) and how the cupcakes turned out (chocolate with peanut butter frosting) as well as whether we need to make any alterations to the process. we have decided to go with mini cupcakes instead of full size ones, thinking they'll be easier to eat, as well as potentially prettier to look at. oh, and cake barbie needs a veil. and a hairbrush to tame her wild hair. we also decided that when erika & matt move to roseville, we need to take another cake class together :) and i promise i will be taking most of my photos on friday & saturday with an actual camera, and not my phone.
unrelated: off of the bridal shower topic, i made curlers saturday and test ran them in aileen's hair. they seemed to turn out pretty well (full blog post on that probably sometime this week) but as goes the rest of the projects done this week, will probably need some alterations for the next round.

Monday, April 9, 2012

weekend wips

for being spring break, i would say things were very productive. i had a few drastic changes to make for certain projects, but they turned out 1000 times better than the original plans. reality has set in that the bridal show is less than TWO WEEKS away from today, and so i think my brain has entered psycho planning OCD check list mode.
wedding garter: i know the style and what not that are going to be used, and all that jazz. i need to get her measurements for it though, and then knocking that out should be no problem at all. not stressing about that at all.
bridal shower: 12 days away! AHHHH! okay, calming down now. i redid all of the favors, because the bath fizzies looked like crap, and the more i looked at them, the more i didn't like them. i was originally going to do half fizzies half soaps anyways, but i've now decided to do all soaps, and they look a million times better. they turned out fantastic, and i was able to alternate the colors of pink & orange between all of them. once i get the final rsvp list, i can start putting them in to jars and figure out if i need to make any more. other than that, i have to buy the TP for the dress game, print out the bingo & advice cards (those rely on rsvp as well) and make the trivia video. we're doing a cake/cupcake trial this weekend so i'm sure at some point i will be able to interview & record matt so i can edit it next week easy peasy. then at this point next week, i'll be down to the final count down... YIKES
baby shower: totally done. well, almost. just down to the hand sewing part, which is just about halfway done at this point. i ran out of big bang theory dvds to watch since we finished up season 4 last week, so i'll have to find something else to mindlessly watch as i am stuck hand sewing... my least favorite thing.
t-shirt quilt: front and back are DONE. i knocked out sewing the front together in one day, and then added the border on from stuff in my stash that i bought awhile ago to make a skirt or something. bought batting on friday, and then on saturday sewed together the pieces for the back - also stuff from my stash. the only thing i have had to buy recently for this project was the batting. which makes me super thrilled.
other stuff: i did a little cricut-ing this week for a project i saw on pinterest and was dying to make. i have to wait for my brother to cut a slot in the frame before i can show it off, but it turned out just as i had planned. whoot whoot!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

sf quick trip

on monday, i took a quick trip to sf to meet with a photographer from the [b] school to discuss second shooting opportunities. since jenny had to work and couldn't come with me, i opted against a lengthy stay in the city since i was alone. here are a few photos of random things and people, just because i could :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

weekend wips [& over the weekend fun]

well... here is what DIDN'T happen this week. sunday i was set and all game to go laying out the blocks from my t-shirt quilt to get them organized and ready to sew... until i found that SOME furball in this house had decided to mark them as his territory. yeah, i was NOT a happy crafter yesterday. i really wanted to do something crafty, but honestly could not figure out what... and when i did decide on something, i had to throw everything (and my hamm stuffed animal) in to the washing machine. dang cats. can't live with them, can't live without them... anyways, here is what did happen this week.
the wedding: well, i didn't do anything productive as far as MY wedding related projects go (aka the garter) but i did help the future mr. & mrs. bust out some wedding invites on friday night. after a whole lot of hole punch distance calculations & ribbon length testing skills... we went for it. matt was assigned the rsvp card envelopes - stamp, label, insert card. erika did the ribbon cutting, & i punched holes like a boss. she sure did enjoy trash talking my hole punches lining up, but i showed HER when i handed her the hole punch. after a few cards, my power of the hole punch was reinstated. but seriously, it was a pretty fun night of gossip, assembly & of course, the appropriate TLC friday being brideday shows :) the invitations look bomb by the way... she may thing they were pretty intensive & a crazy idea... but all the hardwork really paid off and they look fantastic! once i get mine in the mail, i'll be sure to show it off since they will have gone public at that point ;)
the bridal shower: i bought the final candy bar for the memory match game... and until yesterday early evening, i thought that would be the extent of my progress. lame, right? well, i couldn't let that be the end of it, so after i put together another bridal shower invitation, i headed out with my trusty can of spray paint and added another coat to the jar lids for the favors. once that dried, i took the can of glitter spray to them, and they look AMAZING. i ran out of daylight, so i'll have to spray them once more when i get home from SF this afternoon, but at least i can say i progressed. i'm sure since i don't work at all this week, i'll plan to work on the soaps part of the favors as well. we're also planning to do a cake/cupcake trial run at some point, so i'll be sure to share about that too!
the baby shower: here is where ALL my productivity went. as you know from last week, i cut and pinned a bunch of things together. well, monday i sewed everything, tuesday i bought the batting, & wednesday i pinned to be quilted. sent off to my grandma on thursday. i'm sure hoping she'll appreciate the size difference between the last project and this one. i just have to get past all my friends getting married with the big stuff to quilt, then it will be on to the much smaller stuff :)
saturday, saturday. what a busy saturday! things started off once jenny arrived at my house around 1:50. waited for amy to show up, and then drove over to kaseys to surprise her... well, here is the driving/surprise process...
after picking up kasey, we headed to fresh choice for buffet healthy food (and some gross cold roasted potatoes... but that's not important) after bruffins & rounds of across the table draw something games, we went to shane co. to pick up kasey's shiney rings. we attempted to see 21 jump street at century, but the movie started at 415, and it was nearly 430 at that point. drove over to blue oaks and got in just in time. well, to find out the theater was the size of my living room practically, & we needed to sit 2 by 2 in order to not be looking up channing tatum's nostrils. amy & i skipped to the loo (not literally) but came back to find that someone graciously slid over so we all could sit together.
the movie was HILARIOUS. partial stupid humor, but partial really funny stuff. the end was a little much, but still funny regardless. after the movie, we then voyaged BACK across roseville to outback steakhouse to have dinner with amy's parentals & brother & chris. forever and a day later sitting outside in the cold waiting for a table, we got seated. mmm pasta. came back to my house afterwards for some pictionary man, game of life, finding nemo & cat bonding time. over all, it was a pretty excellent spring break week kick off... or as betsy & i renamed it: "party for friendship week"
when it comes to modeling restaurant buzzers, i've really been working on my blue steel and magnum. i think the practice is really starting to pay off for me.