Monday, April 16, 2012

CASEd card leads to gift inspiration

Hi everyone!

I'm going to hang my head in shame, I haven't done a final birthday party post because I don't have one single photo of my girls in their birthday outfits together (note I didn't say not one single good photo, I don't have one single anything of them together) so I need to get them all dressed up again soon to take some cute shots and get some good ones of the embellishments I added to Lily's top. You were probably getting sick of all that bright pink & orange anyways right?!?!

Today I want to share with you a card and frame I made for my mother in laws birthday. I was having the hardest time coming up with a card for her, nothing felt right... I have several cards in various stages of completion on my table but none of them was "it". Then I saw that Silhouette posted a simply gorgeous card by a blogger named Suze (here is her blog and card). It was perfect!

So this is my CASEd version of her card, it's hard to tell but the front is layered and I love how perfectly my Cameo cut out the thin lines of the top design. Doing it again I would have used a glue pen to attach it, I ran it though my xyron but those lines were so thin that it was a total pain to get it clean looking without any little glue globs. The bottom layer is simply a image I found online (soft cream florals) that I did a print & cut with. I loved the cream on cream so much I decided to make a matching frame.

This started out as one of the $1 frames from Michaels. I gave it a quick single coat of cream acrylic paint, once that dried I put on a layer of Rangers Rock Candy. Then I went over that with some distress ink (I think it was antique linen), I decided it needed to be a bit lighter so I then did a quick white wash (just water & white acrylic paint sponged on). It's hard to see in the photos but it has a very shabby chic vibe going on with the cracks showing etc. Since these frames don't come with anything to protect the photo I cut a piece of acetate and used a corner chomper to round the edges and put that in. Easy peasy!

I also rarely make matching envelopes (I'm just lazy & yeah ok, cheap) but this set couldn't go in a plain white envelope so I quickly made a matching envelope) I also did a print & cut for the inside of the card.

The flowers were cut with my Cameo and the quilling is one of my first attempts so be kind :) I'm really looking forward to incorporating quilling into my cards and projects, my 8yr old is learning with me which is so much fun!

Thanks for looking and enjoy your day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pinwheels & Pom Poms Part 3... Yum!

Next up on the posts about my daughters birthday party I thought I'd show you some of the treats I made. It was just a 2 hour "sweets & treats" party so I didn't want to go crazy and just wanted a few cute/tasty (and preferably party theme colored LOL) snacks.

Here is my Aliya, I still don't know how she's already 8!!!

Dip just about anything in chocolate and it's good right? Dip it in colored candy melts and add some sprinkles and no kid can resist (I swear my daughter would probably try a brussel sprout if I made it pink and covered in sprinkles... well maybe not).

So we had coated marshmallows (some on a stick... because everyone knows that the only thing better then sprinkles is something with sprinkles on a stick), chocolate dipped oreos, dipped pretzel sticks, 2 kinds of homemade cookies (pinwheel sugar cookies & jam thumb prints which are so stinking good I could eat a whole batch w/o blinking), a little "make your own snack mix" area, cupcakes, and the cake (and some cheese/crackers & fruit kabobs & drinks of course).

Here are a few shots of things (mostly taken w/ my cell phone while I was making them). I don't even like marshmallows but those strawberry ones dipped in chocolate were REALLY good!


Though they are looking a bit rough (was working on them around midnight the night before the party) the sugar cookies are sooo good. I'll post the recipe for them & the icing soon, I tried so many roll out recipes before finding this one and it's just wonderful. They roll out so easily, keep their shape, and taste really good. These got a bit brown on the tips but were still really yummy. I had to have pinwheel cookies for the party, guess what NO ONE makes... a pinwheel shaped cookie cutter. I bought the pastry cutter but it didn't work well (the folded over parts didn't cook enough) so I instead cut a template and cut each cookie by hand. Ugh. 

Then I had to ice them, normally I use a baby spoon and carefully ice this type of cookie but knowing I needed two colors to get the pinwheel effect I had to pipe the icing, in a genius moment I realized I could use the squeeze bottles I bought and didn't use for the candy melts for icing... OMG I will never ice these another way again, it was perfect! They are a bit messy but like I said it was late and I was really tired. 

The cake.

Oh what a hot mess the cake ended up being. I opted to use my favorite little cheat, buy a Costco sheet cake and cut it up and then use the marshmallow fondant on it. The problem is I haven't done this since Aliya's 5th birthday and apparently Costco cakes have changed in 3yrs (or the NJ ones and MI ones are different) but it just didn't work. The cake was much thinner and floppier. I didn't measure correctly so it didn't fit on my platter correctly. It basically turned into a floppy mess and was too warm so the fondant just flopped too. Also I should have really found something to put under it so it would have at least had the illusion of height. Oh well. 

Thank goodness I had made the gum paste pinwheels, they were the only redeeming thing on the cake and pretty much saved it. There is a pin on my pinterest board for how to make them but basically its the premade gum paste, colored (I did some swirly color combos too) and then just cut into a square and made into pinwheels. After they dried I took some vodka & coloring and darkened up the folded portions & middles.

The good news is that little kids see past obvious hot messness (like that word?) and my daughters both thought it was totally awesome LOL 

One last post coming up so I can show you the adorable shirt I embellished for Lily, those pinwheel hair clips, and the party favors (which involved cutting vinyl). 

Oh one more thing before I go, remember how I said poor little Lily didn't even get a 1st b'day cake? Well I'm happy to report she's finally had a smash cake of her own... but was dignified enough at the old age of 2 to use her spoon instead of her fists hehee (taken on her actual b'day and that little tongue licking off the frosting cracks me up!)

Thanks for looking! 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pom Poms & Pinwheels Part 2

You can't have a pom pom & pinwheel party without lots and lots of pom poms and pinwheels right? I decided to do a mini pom pom garland, medium & large pom poms hanging, and then using pinwheels as a decorative garnish. Originally I was going to just make all tissue paper pom poms but then realized if I made them from tulle they would last (and last until the party better too since I wanted to make them in advance). I found several tutorials for making pom poms (both using tissue & tulle) and you can check my pinterest board here if you're curious: Candi's Pinterest Birthday Board. For the garland ones, what I found worked best was using a plastic embossing folder and wrapping 7 times, then I just cut up the sides and tied tightly with some embroidery thread. I made 80 of these little darlings and strung them on fishing line, I LOVE THEM!!!

Next up were the medium sized ones, I made these out of tulle also and this time I made 2 circles of cardboard, cut a hole in the middle big enough for my roll of tulle to fit through and then wrapped them, trimmed around the circles and tied together (wrapping 4 times overlapping which gave me a fullness I was happy with). I love the garland but I really love the puffiness of the medium sized ones too (oh who am I kidding I love all the pom poms!!!) Also ignore that hateful fixture, we're renting this house so I can't replace the fixtures, gut the kitchen, and tear out the tile & carpet like I want to <wink>

If you're curious I searched around for the best price of shimmer tulle, I came across and I couldn't be happier with my purchases from them. They are in the middle of some revamping right now (they sell on amazon, etsy, ebay, and on their own site and had all different stock lists) but I highly recommend them from whichever location you purchase, I will absolutely be buying from them again in the future (I can see many tutus in my little girls future LOL).

I also made medium and large sized tissue paper pom poms following Martha Stewart's tutorial, I don't love them as much as the tulle ones and I think in the future it would be worth it to me to go all out and make giant tulle ones instead but they are quick/easy/cheap.

The pinwheels... well I had visions of making tons of amazing paper spinning pinwheels... didn't happen. What I ended up with was buying some quilting quarters (I hope that's the right terminology, I don't sew) and then I used the iron adhesive sheets (again forgive me for blanking on the real name, steam 2 steam or something like that?) and attached 2 types of fabrics back to back so I would have double sided pinwheels. Then it was just as simple as cutting them out and a few snips and a brad in the middle (I used my crop a dile to make the holes) and some double sided tape and they were stuck to the walls.

I also made a quick pillow cover and some felt pinwheels so my sofa didn't feel left out and the little girls who attended received felt pinwheel hair clips (soo quick and easy to make and just adorable!) you just cut out 2 squares of felt (I like to do slightly smaller for the top one) and snip the 4 corners, fold your corners in and sew a button to hold them in the middle (I used plain clear buttons, colored with my promarkers and then covered with stickles... I just love making custom buttons that way!). Opps I can't find a good photo of the hairclips, I'll add one to the final post on the party. I also realize 1/2 of these pink & orange photos look awful, my DSLR just seems to hate the combo and I can't capture the true colors no matter what I try!

Thanks for looking, I'll shoot for getting the 3rd and final post up in the next couple of days! It's the yummy one with all our tasty treats :) 

Happy Easter

I know I know, I haven't even posted part 2 & 3 of the birthday photos yet... Easter just snuck up on me. Our house is a mish mash of pink & orange pom poms and Easter decorations. I told my girls we'd celebrate Easter all month since I haven't even cut any of the amazing decorations I wanted to yet. That said I did whip up a couple cute cards to send out for Easter.

The first was a card kit I got for free,  from Shery K Designs and can be found here: Free Easter Card Kit. I did a super simple print and cut for the eggs, grass, and bow and cut both of the basket parts out of brown and then just used some distress ink to color the cross hatch portion darker. I just love doing print and cuts with my Cameo for when searching for the perfect patterned paper would take too long. I don't know whats going on with the orange portion, IRL you couldn't see the blotchiness.

My 2nd card is my favorite. No matter how many times I see this sentiment/design I crack up. I bought the bunny shape in the Silhouette store and then made the bite marks by overlapping a few circles where the bites would be and using the modify tool (just select all your shapes and then subtract and it will remove your bites from the larger bunny shape). The background is a print & cut, using one of the free patterns in Studio, I also love the ability to color match so I made my own little embellishment by color matching some circles and then printing/cutting out the Happy Easter sentiment and tossing a 1" epoxy shape over it. The speech bubbles were even easier, just a quick off-set of the text gives you a nice custom bubble shape and I simply welded a little triangle I drew to the bottom. I used textured cardstock for the bunnies but I wanted something more, I ran them through my xyron and flocked them... I love how they turned out due to the fact it was textured cardstock... normally I'd say stay clear of fuzzy chocolate bunnies but these are too cute <wink> the card needed one last little touch, Trendy Twine to the rescue! I just love the twisted lime twine, the name makes me think of margaritas (yum) and the color screams Spring to me (plus there is a sale going on this weekend, snatch some up!).

Happy Easter everyone! I'll try to get the other parts of the party posted tonight/tomorrow! Off to pry the chocolates and marshmallows out of my daughters mouths, we don't need a 9am sugar rush (at least not before my coffee rush!)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pom Poms & Pinwheels Party Part 1

Hi Everyone! It has been such a crazy week since my last post, I'm happy to say I got about 75% of what I wanted done for the party actually done and everyone had a wonderful time yesterday, especially my 2 little birthday girls! I think I made enough things for weeks of posts but I'll break it in a couple parts so that I don't drown you at once in photos or drag on the posts for weeks LOL (though I am going to be a tease and put a photo of the sweet table here right now, I'm evil like that)

So here is part 1: some of the paper projects. You've already seen the banner but here is another shot of it actually hanging on the wall, so hard to photograph since it's made from shimmer paper & glittered. I used my ribbon from my last post to hang it and 2 pinwheels from the freebie file from svgcuts.

Next up are the birthday hats for my girls. I had intended to make one for each of the kids who came but time ran short and I decided they would just get ripped up so it wasn't worth the effort. They are also cut from the bling cardstock and the hat itself is from svgcuts recent release "happy birthday to you" which also includes the awesome cupcake I made for my mom recently, and an awesome tiered cake (which I need to make) and 2 cute cards. If you don't already own the kit, yes you need it.

Lastly for today, but certainly not least, is the adorable ... well I'm not sure what to call it LOL we'll just go with "table or wall decoration". It was inspired by the ridiculously awesome Tamara over at HappyLifeCraftyWife. Her's is to die for, I mean come on... then again all of her creations make me swoon and yes I openly admit (in a totally non-creepy/non-stalker type way) that I wish she was one of my best friends so that I could hang out with her and hope some of her awesomeness rubbed off on me. So this is my simpler take on her creation, done with our party colors.

The backgrounds of the cutouts are digital paper I created from shapes using the Silhouette Studio Designer Edition (I'll do a video post on how quick and easy it is to make your own custom color digital papers with some of their background shapes soon). The tricky part was that 3 of my letters had cut outs that needed to float. My solution was to cut 1" pieces of small dowels and use glue dots to hold them in place, it worked perfectly and after a week of being up they are still holding steady.

The whole thing is just shallow boxes and then I cut the letter shapes out of the lids and lined them with paper. Few little cut embellishments and the extra "Happy Birthday" glued on and it was done. I really wanted to make svgcuts 3d letters but this was so much faster and easier and I think just as cute.

I hope you enjoyed my party part 1 and I'll be back tomorrow or the next day to show you more, of course here is another sneak peak showing the double sided fabric pinwheels I made and the tulle pom pom garland, and up in the top left one of the giant tissue paper pom poms <grin> just wait, I have tons more LOL: