Tag Archives: diy

May the Birthday Be With You

17 Aug

I rarely actually have the lavish budget or the extra hours during the week (or months, depending on the size of the event) to pull off a beautifully detailed, high maintenance gala. (Oh, what I’d give for a chance to do a no expense spared event…)

Sometimes though, it’s actually the last minute, pull a rabbit out of the hat, ideas that just execute so well. For N’s birthday, I really wanted to plan and design a fantasy Star Wars table setting. Unfortunately, due to (inset excuse here), I found myself scrambling the night before the party to figure out something, okay, anything. And that’s when I found these over at Toy-A-Day:

And Bingo!!!!!!

I googled Star Wars Paper Toys and came up with hordes of sites that feature Star Wars paper craft, from origami Yoda to intricate Death Star models. Since it was already pretty late in the game, I settled on the easiest ones I could find.

We’d decided on a brunch and to make things really easy (read; to give the hostess a chance to enjoy some yummy mimosas) we set up a waffle bar along with fried chicken, french toast, muffins, bacon, fresh fruit and coffee.

For the tablescape, I simply covered the table with “space” (as in outer) pattern fabric we had left over from a previous Halloween party and scrunched up yellow fabric to use as a runner using fabric left over from my mom’s birthday tea.  Some free form folded white paper napkins resembling little spaceships / airplanes added a little something different and something to safely throw at certain people 😉 Then I arranged the little paper cutouts my Mom and I had cut and taped the night before all around the table.

For the centerpiece, I took a cactus in a little terracotta pot and arranged some flowers around it to cover any exposed dirt. Then I wrapped the pot in the same fabric as the tablecloth and set a big round vase over the whole thing to try to give it more of an out-of-this-world feel. As you’ll see, the fabric kind of got away from me, oops…

If I had had more time and resources, I’m sure it could have been much more impressive, but, I have to admit, I was pretty stoked with the results. And the food – well, I think a picture of my plate will say it all 🙂

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Sweetheart Sundaes

10 Feb

Who says a dessert bar should be for a crowd? I say it’s the perfect, unique opportunity for you and your V-Day buddy to indulge in this seriously sweet sundae bar created by Eat Drink Chic

Not only does the site provide some (potentially sticky – in a good way) vintage dessert inspiration for V-Day, they even offer template downloads for all the labels and signs. This way you can spend less time fussing over the fonts and format and spend more time

a) finding the perfect toppings

b) browsing Amy Atlas Event

Atlas is undoubtedly the creator of the most stunning dessert bars ever! Just look at this perfected showstopper;

I didn’t even realize just how much I loved her designs until I popped over to her website and found tons of dessert buffets I’ve ogled in the past without realizing they all originated in the same great mind.

Featured on Creative Party Place!

1 Feb

My modern red, black and white bridal shower is being mini-featured today, along with several other adorable baby showers, on Shannon Dow’s Creative Party Place! The site displays some amazingly creative diy hostess parties and is one of my favorite blogs to peruse for ideas.

Shannon Dow is also a fab blog template designer who runs Eight Crazy Design. (*Hint* you can pick-up some free handwriting fonts from her page.)

Winter Whimsy; A Tablescape Challenge

2 Jan

This last year has been a lesson in evoking joy amidst dearth, a course in moderation. I’d always understood moderation as a lack, a void in place of what should be. The glass is half empty mentality prevailed in the face of the daily barrage of what we have all had to adjust to; the recession, job losses, tight budgets, cuts and, in some cases, losing it all. Though I’m not exactly an optimist exemplar, décor has acted as an outlet of cheer for me.  I’ve injected joy into my life through tablescapes, cookies, parties and décor, hoping for temporary relief and the anticipation of future pleasures. What I’ve imparted from the year is this; Creativity burgeons, especially where there is lack, even on the most austere canvas.

All the pretty snowflakes:

Very budget friendly, a little time consuming. Especially if you need to make around twenty to decorate the perimeter of a room. If you have fingers, paper, tape and a stapler, you can make these.

3-D Paper Snowflake

We needed to sit around twenty-six people, so we decided to have one long table. Instead of decorating them all the same, I created three different themes. Here’s the first:

N said this lotus napkin fold looks like little mistletoe.

I made the little Christmas trees using card stock, stick-on jewels and Martha’s tutorial.

This mini-vase is an ornament with the top removed. I stuffed it with a few branches of holly and a little pine. A sheer red ribbon hid the rough edges of the opening in the ornament. The base is a napkin ring.

The second table is much less traditional than the first. You’ll see I used the little ornament vases for continuity throughout the tablescapes and it really tied them in together despite how different they were.

For this napkin bow, I just tucked the ends of the napkin into the napkin ring.

This time, the bases for the holly arrangements are candle holders.

Martini glasses filled with ornament balls were extraordinarily easy to make and added a little flirty fun to the setting.

The last table could really double as a New Year’s Eve setup.

For the napkins on this table I used a French napkin fold topped with an inexpensive ornament from Michael’s.

The containers flanking the vase are actually ornament boxes. Found objects around the house often provide me with unexpected inspiration.

For a finishing touch, I hung over-sized ornaments from the ceiling. It’s kind of difficult to tell from the picture how good they looked in person.

And finally, here’s our dessert bar:

Now – Bring on the New Year!

Tablescape for a Fabulous Fall Feast

10 Nov

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Last Sunday we invited all the parents over for a thank you dinner. Each time we come up with a crazy party idea our parents go above and beyond in helping to decorate, cook and temper our last minute madness. The Creepy Carnival was no exception and we really wanted to thank them for all their hard work. The most difficult part was coming up with the menu. When you’ve got two old school mama chefs it can be a little intimidating for an amateur to impress them. I settled on a mix, Burberry Rice for the Persian side, a vegetarian spinach and mushroom quiche for the vegetarian and a lemon chicken for the boys. I got some of the recipes from one of my favorite sites, allrecipes.com Check them out if you haven’t already done so, they have a plethora of amazing dishes and a recipe for the best damn chocolate chip cookies in the world!

My mom and MIL brought some flowers,  two fall mix bouquets and fresh daisies frm my mama’s garden so I centered the table scheme around them.

I took apart the first bouquet to create a runner from the leaf stems. I’m a huge fan of tone on tone and I loved the red leaves in this arrangement.

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The little red “berries” were also cut from the bouquet and I used them to embellish the serve ware. I wrapped brown ribbon around a white napkin, attached the “thank you” cutout, left over from a bridal shower earlier this year, and then slipped a leaf under it. I think the “berries” really completed the look. (I really have to take a floral arranging course so I can find out what all these gorgeous flowers and fillers are called!)

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We also found some mini pumpkins, on sale from Halloween, for seventy-five cents a piece. I attached a thank you cutout to them, rubbed the tops with a little pearl powder and then arranged the squash and mini carnations around them.

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These votive holders are actually napkin rings, I just slipped some tea lights  into them.

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Here’s the Burberry Rice, a yummy mix of tart and sweet.

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Thank you for visiting sentimental sublime and happy holidays to you and yours!

Creepy Carnival: The Party

10 Nov

Well, our party came and went. Why can’t we have more dress up holidays? I petition we adopt Carnivale too. I had a really great time with my amazing fam and some awesome friends. Here’s the last installment of our Creepy Carnival.

We hung our dolls and bears, from nooses, from the huge tree at the center of the space. My parent’s neighbor saw it before the party and he’s now convinced that we may have some deep seeded psychological issues. You start hanging mutilated dolls and stuffed animals from trees and suddenly you’re crazy. I don’t get it. ; ) We’d wrapped the tree in colored lights first and we have spotlights, installed long ago for party purposes, so the area isn’t too dark.

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No creepy carnival is complete without a strong man cutout and ours is the grotesque “Great  Fausto.” First we took an old piece of plywood and cut out a face hole with a jigsaw. We painted the board, let it dry and then sketched and filled in the figure. Here he is halfway done:DSC_0011

Once he had dried, my hubby sketched and cutout the “weights” for his barbell on thin wood with a jigsaw. Then we painted and attached them to the board with nails.

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For the finishing touches, he painted on the border and sign. I think he came out really great.

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The carnival booths were a little tricky. They were constructed using two 8 ft. beams of scrap wood wood horizontally and three 6ft. beams vertically, to form a frame. Then we attached two 3 ft “legs” to prop up the frame and attached metal spikes to the 3ft. legs to secure into the ground. I forgot to take a picture pre-decoration, but I think it’s pretty obvious from the picture anyway. The tricky part was trying to attach the wood with screws. The wood was so thick that none of our drill bits could insert the screws. So first, we had to drill a hole and then insert the screw. So we sat there on the grass, with an extension cord and two drills, switching out the plugs each time, forgetting it to do it at other times wondering why the drill wouldn’t work. We were almost done with two of them when my dad walks up to us with a power strip in hand. Yeah. Can you hear the circus music? I think I was useless for a good five minutes from laughing so hard.

Once we assembled the booths, a little creaky and uneven, but erect, we had to decorate them. Our first idea was to staple butcher paper onto the fronts and paint that. So we attached the butcher paper and it looked horrible. Luckily we has some blingy red fabric and we attached that over the butcher paper. Unfortunately, the blingy fabric was see through and it still looked pretty bad. By this point, we were a little tired so we gave up for the day. The next day, I brought along some red fabric. We attached the solid red fabric (we used small nails and duct tape for that btw) and them draped the blingy fabric across it. Success!!! For a finishing touch, we installed multi-colored rope lights around the visible parts of the frame.

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We hung the prizes around the borders, set up the games behind them and we were the proud owners of carnival booths!

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We created a mini graveyard:

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And here’s a last minute idea for holding the cotton candy and caramel corn. We took a long branch, creating a “tree” with a plastic pumpkin on top and then attached shorter branches using hemp rope. Clothes pins tied to rope and dangling from the “branches”  served as dispensers, I guess you could call them, for all the goodies.

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The gift bags were filled with carnival tickets, to play games and for a raffle, beads, to hand out to the person with the best costume and glow-in the dark bracelets for fun. They could also be used to stash some candy to take home.

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I think my biggest disappointment was the dessert bar. I’d really wanted to create risers, but didn’t have the time, so I kind of scattered everything around last minute. The crows hanging out in the background are silhouettes made from black construction paper.  The jars (moved here because someone was looking at one) were my specimens from an earlier post. The tree in the middle was store bought (on sale, hee hee) years ago. I printed out pictures of circus “freaks,” two small copies of each, spread rubber cement on the back of one copy, placed a 6″ string of black yarn on it and then  placed the other copy over it, creating a double sided ornament. The looked pretty creepy hanging from the tree.

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Here’s a picture of our Grimsley. I think every single guest took a picture with him. 🙂

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We’d also hung streamers around the dessert bar and had over a hundred balloons hanging out all over the place, but, I forgot to take pictures…oops (I have to get better at that!)! There are a few more pics I need to yoink from friends to post and I’ll try to do that soon. Can’t wait for Halloween next year…

Creepy Carnival Sneak Peek

9 Oct

I’m so excited that we decided to throw a Halloween party again this year. In the past we’ve done some really fun themes. One year we had a “Dead Man’s Pirates Party” where my hubby designed and made a big walk-in cave out of paper mache and a dungeon out of wood. Another year we did a “Halloween in New Orleans” complete with a creepy graveyard and tons of Mardi-Gras masks. This year we are going to have a “Creepy Carnival.”

My hubby is also a diy’er, and this is hands down his favorite holiday. So he’s already planning some great budget friendly projects that I’ll be posting as we go. (Yikes, we only have a little more than 3 weeks!) We’ve already run a muck at the Dollar Store and bought a bunch of creepy looking baby dolls and stuffed bears for decor. For the dolls, we let them soak in tea and coffee to give them a weathered and dirty look.

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They look creepy just sitting in the bucket, yuck! Then we painted them with some leftover acrylic paint and burned a few.

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For the bears, we’re trying to give each one a distinctive look, but it’s harder than it looks as you can see from the pictures. So far,  for one, we burned and painted him (I had old oil paint laying around so we used that) another one was slashed and resown, minus some stuffing. For the zombie looking bear we pulled out some stuffing, painted the eyes white and made his fur look wild by cutting it in random spots. We haven’t completely finished with the bears but here’s a little sneak peek.

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This weekend we’re going to try and tackle some more projects so hopefully I’ll have an update soon.

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