Monday, November 29, 2010

Little Decorative Elements

Well...the day after Thanksgiving any trace of Autumn was replaced with all things winter-y and Christmas-y in our house. We had our fabulous, long time friends and family over to kick-off the holidays.
Besides the conversation starters I really enjoyed making the drink bar look just-so.
I LOVE TEA. I put out some tea labeled with glittery, silver-foiled snowflakes and placed them in front of our new Advent Calendar. It is a ginger bread house with little doors to hide the treats in. I just need to find small enough candy {wrapped} to put two pieces in each little cubby.
{For some reason, everyone just wanted to keep drinking wine, not tea...hmm.}
My husband found this little cutie for me years ago at an antique mall. It makes me happy every time I see it. I love how common it is to find animated kitchen items from this era with little faces and sayings.
The conversation starters {project here} were totally fun and allowed us to get to know each other a little better even though we have known each other for, like, ever.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Conversation Starters

We are starting our Christmas celebrations early this year. This Sunday {yes, the Sunday after Thanksgiving} we are having some long-time family friends over to our house for dinner and gift giving. I made some decorative fabric, ribbon and flower elements to put on place cards. But, instead of writing names I wrote questions. {which is kind of funny to me, b/c we have been close friends with this family since before I was born, and conversation is never a problem}
 I went through all my fabric scraps and used anything that had red and green in it. Some of the fabric I used was left over from the curtains I made for my 5 year old's room when she was born. Next, I raided my ribbon stash to see what I had in the red, green or white category. I used cardstock, paper & felt flowers and even some gems. {Out of the 12 of us, there will be only 3 men and instead of making them flowers I made them VERY manly bowties}

After all the pieces were glued together I adhered a 2" round circle of cardstock to the back leaving the outside edge of the circle un-glued. I cut a slit in the front of the placecard so I could put the bottom part of the back-side circle through. {make sense? I hope the picture can explain it better}

Then I added questions like
What would be your dream job if money was of no concern?
What was your favorite Halloween costume as a kid?
Where in the world would you like to travel? Live?
Have you ever kept a New Year's resolution? What was it?

There will be 4 kiddos between 2-9 years old, all girls, and I made theirs into tags attached to swirly pops. There questions are more like this:
Would you rather be a Rock Star or Movie Star? Why?
Would you rather be a Princess or a Fairy? Which one?
If you could have any animal as a pet what would it be? What would you name it?
 I plan on making any that are left behind into ornaments or perhaps add them to a wreath?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gnome Doubt About It...

...this is one of the cutest themes I've seen for a Birthday Party. My very good friend over at Yellow Whistle {here} threw a Gnome/Woodland Birthday Party for her daughter who was turning six and I had the creative privilege of designing the invitations, thank you notes, misc. decorative elements and bookmarks.

One of the games they played was a Gnome Hunt. They couldn't have cupcakes until they found it, so they were highly motivated. All the kids worked together to find clues that would lead them to the hiding Gnome.

Christina used the same elements for this garland that were used for the cupcake toppers and candy table labels. She stuck them to yarn with double sided tape. Totally cute!

She also found these little round wood pieces on Etsy and made necklaces for all the kids. Again, totally cute!

Christina came up with the idea to make bookmarks as one of the goodies for the kids. She found big twig pencils on Etsy and packaged them with the bookmarks and little adventure journals from REI. {She got the adventure journal as a freebie for her kids one day when they were shopping. She went back to see if she could buy twenty more and they just gave them to her. Niiiice.}

The Thank You notes were fill-in the blank so the Birthday Girl could personalize them to each guest and the gift they brought her.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Picky Eaters

I married a picky eater. My first born is a picky eater. I'm hopeful for my youngest. But, one of the things we all like in this family are chocolate chip cookies. Not just any kind of chocolate chip cookies...BB's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. BB is my grandmother and she has been baking these for as long as I can remember. They are almost always in the cookie jar in her house. And, if for some reason they aren't, we start panicking before we remember to check the freezer. We can usually find some hiding in the back in a coffee tin.
Today seemed like the perfect day to make some. I rallied up some help from the troops which is never hard to do for this task.

  *The Boss* especially likes to help by making the dough balls and flattening them with a fork.

The Glamour Shot:
Here's the recipe...
Pre-Heat oven to 350˙
• 4.5 cups of flour
• 1 pound margarine
• 2 cups powered sugar
• 2 tsp vanilla
Mix well with hand mixer {the longer the better}
• add 1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips {12 oz}
Roll into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press down with fork.
Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Here's what I've found out from making these - sometimes I only have butter, but margarine definitely tastes better. 20 minutes seems to be the magic number. Milk chocolate chips taste terrible with this recipe. Even my 5 year old thinks so.

While documenting this little baking project I found these hiding behind my pictures on the counter...this must be the spot my husband puts the headless dolls to be fixed. {compliments of our 2 year old}

The Paperbag Turkey

The Paperbag Turkey...filled with popcorn.

Everyone at our table brought something from home to add to the decor. We all forgot to bring a table cloth, but luckily we found one, that happened to be the  perfect color, in a cupboard at the back of the room. These beautiful brown and white plates were handed down, I can't remember if it was a grandmother or great grandmother. Either way, they were perfect with the table setting.

These were a couple of the other table settings that were my favorite {even though picking a favorite was hard}.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Time to Give Thanks

Now that Halloween is over it is full speed ahead into Thanksgiving. The MOPS group I belong to is having its Thanksgiving Tea this week and we are going all out with table settings and center pieces. These place cards and centerpiece were made using scrapbooking supplies:

 Here are some close-ups:

The centerpiece medallions were made with patterened and plain cardstock paper using various sizes of punches. They were layered with foam dots and glued onto a wooden skewer. Each skewer has two medallions back-to-back so you can see something festive from every seat at the table. Rafia and left-over orange ribbon from the felt pumpkin project were used {for some reason the orange ribbon is turning out yellow in the picture. It really is orange. Really.} The place cards were made with a textured orange cardstock and cut with scalloped scissors. Scalloped circles from the centerpiece were used and a chipboard initial placed on that. The names were written on some coordinating sticker labels I found in my stash, otherwise I was just planning on writing the names directly onto the cardstock.

I've also made a brown paper bag turkey for the to come later!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Felt Pumpkin Project

This lil' punkin was the perfect project for a Kindergarten Halloween party. The children needed a little help with lacing the ribbon, but they all really got into it...even the boys! The materials used were felt, corrugated cardboard, banana leaf paper, velvet corduroy ribbon & a plastic grocery bag.
The orange polka dot felt was originally a 12x12 square that was then diecut into a scalloped circle. The stem was a 12x12 piece of corrugated cardboard cut into strips. The leaf was die-cut from a 12x12 green banana leaf paper.

Here's how you do it:
Lace the edge of the felt with the ribbon, cinching it up as you go around to make the pumpkin shape. Before tying the ends of the ribbon, stuff with the grocery bag and then tie. Roll the corrugated cardboard and adhere closed with a glue dot to make the stem. Attach leaf to stem with a glue dot. Insert stem into opening on stop of pumpkin and fluff to desired pumpkin shape. Voila!
{This would also be a cute back-to-school project with green or red felt made into apples.}