Tag Archives: special event

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 🙂

Creepy Carnival Update; Specimen Jars, Gruesome Bears and Demons, Oh My!

15 Oct

Well, our projects are creeping along now!

A couple of days ago I finished my specimen jars, not bad huh?

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The cost was – free! (I sound like such a cheapskate huh?)  Well, I really did have all the elements at home, so why go out and buy stuff, right? So, I found some old jars  and sprayed the lids black. As I’m sure you guessed I used red and yellow food coloring for the water in the jars and filled them up about halfway using warm water. Then, on to finding stuff to put in the jars. This part got a little interesting and I really began to realize how much easier it was coming up with ideas for specimen jars when I was five!

Coagulated Virgin's Blood

Sun dried tomatoes packed in oil for the “Coagulated Virgin’s Blood.”

Hobgoblin Testicles

Dried limes for the “Hobgoblin’s Testicles.”

Demon Embryo

Wild caperberries for the “Demon Embryo Sacs.”

Faerie Hearts

Faerie Hearts

Dried (and now re-hydrated) cranberries for the “Faerie Hearts.”

Carnivorous Ectoplasm

Globs of dried hot glue for the “Carnivorous Ectoplasm.”

It took a little experimentation to figure out what would work, and I’ll admit that most people probably don’t have wild caperberries or dried limes hanging around. Details.

For the labels, I used Power Point, mainly because I like that I have tremendous creative control and few formatting issues. That and I’m too lazy to figure out how to do it in Word. Microsoft Clip Art had all the designs I was looking for, just type in “swirls,” “flourishes,” or “decorative elements” and you should get some pretty cool designs. I recolored some of them too.  The Blackladder font Arana Muerta’s Witches’ Kitchen suggested worked out great. I tried to use her tutorial, but I was too impatient to let the ink dry for more than 10 minutes on the plain paper and the ink kept running during the tea soak. Luckily, I had a few sheets of antiqued paper from Michael’s so I used that instead and skipped the soak altogether. I had to do a few test runs on plain paper to determine the right size for the jars and the “Faerie Hearts” label is still a little too big, but I accidentally printed that on my decorative paper. Since I’d run out, I was stuck, but it doesn’t look bad enough for a drive to Michael’s. Then I sprayed all the labels with some matte clear coat for acrylic paint and cut out the designs. Using a glue stick, I carefully coated the backs of each label and stuck them on the jars.

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Demon Embryo Specimen JarCoagulated Virgin's Blood

Hobgoblin Testicles Specimen JarsCarnivorous Ectoplasm Specimen Jar

We also finished decorating the bears and it really was a bit tough coming up with ideas on what to do. Plus, it feels a little creepy ruining the cute bears, but hey, it’s all in the name of Halloween, so I guess I’ll just have to bear through it. (Yes, I know, that was horrible.) I’m kind of worried they look a little too similar, but there’s really not much else I could think of other than tearing them, bloodying up their faces and bodies, burning their fur and painting their eyes. We even re-sewed a couple with yarn (thread was invisible on their fur) and decapitated one. That sounds so bad. So here are our gruesome little bears:

Gruesome Bears

And my hubby created some shadow demons, or demon shapes cut out from the cardboard that was behind some old framed posters he didn’t want, painted black. There’s a  big white wall in the space and with some lighting adjustments, these should come out really great. He’s planning on making three more and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

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I forgot to post this last time but we found these decorations at the Dollar Tree to give away as prizes for the carnival games too.

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Phew, now on to this weekend, we still have A LOT to do.

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