Saturday, January 15, 2011

DIY: Message board!

This project is so easy, it shouldn't even be called a "project".... it will take you no more than 2 minutes, depending on which route you take.  If you are like me, you have lots of extra frames sitting around with old artwork in it from when you got tired of it or (in my case) moved! The best thing about this project is that it doesn't permamently claim the life of your frame: simply use it like this until you want to put a picture or print back in it.  I got this idea from two sources, first, Real Simple magazine (where they use a gorgeous textured white paper) and, also, my brother's super, awesome, creative girlfriend, Nicole (who used fabric in hers instead!) Need artwork for an empty wall?? Find three coordinating scrapbook papers and put them in identical frames and, ta da! Instant art!!!

-old frame (or new!)
-pretty paper or fabric
-dry erase marker

 Step 1: Find the paper/fabric you want to use inside of your frame.  I personally had an orange wrapping paper I wanted to repurpose, which worked well in my bedroom!  If you have seen any of the gorgeous scrapbooking paper available out there, you will probably want to get yourself some of that.  Fabric would be a little trickier because you would need to use spray adhesive or double sided tape to adhere it to the cardboard backing that comes with the frame.  Or I suppose you can tack it to the other side of the cardboard with glue or tape.... will just be a bit more difficult to get it to lay flat.

Step 2: Trace the cardboard inside the frame onto the back of your paper or fabric.
Step 3: Cut it out and slip it into your frame!

Write a to do list, shopping list, or quote with a dry erase marker on your glass... I have too many chalkboards with to do lists, etc., so a quote worked well in my bedroom, with lots of other blue and orange art work from our honeymoon hanging on our grey walls =)
This is the one featured in Real Simple... I think a light colored, textured paper would work best so the writing is more prominent, much like theirs!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Finn's Classic Vintage Birthday Party

Because I have gotten SOOO many of my ideas for Finn's party from other blogs, I decided to do a whole post dedicated to his cake and party decorations, etc.  Hopefully someone else will follow suit and use some of it!

 Here is the cake table! I used primary colors as a central theme on top of the the vintage stuff. 
 Most of what I used, Finn already had! The only thing I had to do here was make the cake and buy coke in glass bottles!
 From the back... old soda shop straw dispenser for the cokes (because I thought it classed things up a bit), cokes (from Walmart!), sock monkey from a craft fair, and Hubley cars from the 1930s that have been passed down in the family to Finn!
I am pretty sure these alphabet blocks are from Hobby Lobby.  Finn's grandma painted them and used them to store baby goodies in for a shower before he was even born.  We also used the big yellow block as a prop when taking his monthly pictures.  I thought it would be fun to put out pictures of Kevin and I on our first birthdays to compare to our little dude now.  It made for some good conversation.  The party favors got stashed in the red block.  They came in red, yellow, blue, and green balloon bags with a slinky, playdoh, stamp, and homemade crayons, finished off with the same red and white polka dot bow I used on just about everything. The sock monkey jack in the box is from Target.  They have all sorts of the old Fisher Price toys, too!
 Finn and I (he supervised) made teddy bear crayons for the kiddos.  I got crayons and a silicone candy mold at Hobby Lobby ($2 total).  I scored the crayons with a razor blade to get the paper off, broke them in pieces, put them in the mold, and then kept putting more small pieces in as they melted in the oven.  Super easy!  I have to say, they remind me a little of the Grateful Dead bears...

Teddy bear crayons
Dick and Jane banner
I bought two Dick and Jane books on Amazon to make four 6.5 foot banners to put across entryways into each room.  I thought it was a nice touch instead of streamers, especially since I spent $12 total.  The red and white polka dot ribbon was all from Walmart and was dirt cheap! 
Schylling nesting blocks

Another Amazon find.... plus, they double as the most adorable nesting blocks on the planet.  I used them in the middle of the food spread on the dining room table.

This has to be my favorite, most thought out project of the party.  I took monthly photos of Finn with the same GIGANTIC blue blanket (so that there was nothing else in the background), and used alphabet blocks to spell out his age.  Seeing the milestones in snapshot moments like this was amazing.  Once again, I used red and white polka dot ribbon strung through yellow, blue, and green index cards that I glued the pictures to.  Of course, the same alphabet blocks said "Happy Birthday, Finn!" on the mantle. 

Finn got a polka dot bow tie, too (and a 50s looking hairdo that didn't last long) to give him the classic American boy look =) I made it from directions I found after some poking around on various blogs. 

Now.... THE CAKE!
 This was my simpler version of the party cake, which I made for his actual birthday.  For both cakes, however, I used Duncan Hines lemon cake mix. 
 I decided to try fondant, even though I don't like sweets myself and rarely bake.  I used multiple videos I found online to get the general idea.  I bought Wilton's premade white fondant and in primary colors for the squares.  This is what the top looked like after I covered the buttercream with the rolled fondant.  Eeeeks!
 The top was super bumpy and bad bulges all over the bottom... apparently I was not aggressive enough with pulling the fondant out to smooth it.
 Watched one more video to try not to screw up the bottom tier, and VOILA! Much better!
 I rolled the white fondant by hand into balls to use a border (mostly to cover up the flaws).
 I cut the primary colors with square fondant cutters and wet the backs to stick them on the cake....

ALL FINISHED! Can't wait to try it again... Any guinea pigs?!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


"Twenty-eleven" just sounds weird. I'm not sure what to make of it and I didn't make any lofty New Year's resolutions, just to be as nice and happy as possible =) Sounds simple, right?

On a more crafty note, I have Finn's big 1st birthday party coming up Saturday and could not be more excited about it! I made one thing that I ordered online for all the kiddies, but it looks like it won't come on time and I am all sorts of sad about that.  Harassing customer service via email to see about getting some sort of credit.  There goes my first resolution of the new year, shucks! I also have some other cute stuff I am making on top of attempting my very own fondant cake.  I watched plenty of DIY videos on the world wide web about it, so let's pray I don't end up at Busken ordering one at the last minute.  Pictures on all of that to come after the fact!

My first "business" project of 2011 was inspired by garnet, the January birthstone.  My birthday is the 24th!! I have always hated garnet, because it looks like some horrible brownish stone and is boring.  BUT! I bought a garnet/brick colored felt that has some hints of black running through it and have been DYING to make a necklace with a chain.  Turns out all I had to do was cut a preexisting chain with needle nose pliers and then do what I always do with my roses and attach them to both sides.  I also made a pair of matching earrings, after a previous customer thought of the idea for a necklace she bought, too! Enjoy =) I know I do!