Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fourth of July Festivus

Although we really don't have space for another thing (sorry Mr. B!), I thought our little abode needed some red, white and blue lovin' in celebration of the upcoming holiday weekend.  I absolutely love the 4th of July.  To me, this holiday signals that summer is in full swing, and that is a VERY good thing in my book!  Friends, BBQ, cocktails, fireworks, festive attire, time off work . . . can't wait until we move into that "big girl" house one day and have space to host a 4th paaaartay!  

Patriotic centerpiece rigged from flag goodies found on sale at Michaels Crafts and sparkly red tissue paper.

Festive coasters with our "B" monogram from the one and only Third Coast Sisters. . . forgive me for the sales pitch ;-)

Petite red floral arrangement in an all-American mason jar with a little red and navy ribbon bow.  Whole Foods seems to always have these rose, gerbera daisy & hypericum berry bouquets in various colors.  I  used the yellow variety for the Doublemint Party.  I think they make perfect and affordable DIY floral arrangements!

I am a total sucker for wine that is bottled with clever labels.  Check out these two lovelies I snagged at Whole foods, both right around $10/bottle.  Jam Jar  is a "sweet Shiraz" (I will let you read up about that one).  As advertised, this wine was definitely sweet for a red . . . almost too sweet for my taste, but I'd imagine that some would really enjoy it.  Love the red and white gingham foil!  I spotted this Jam Jar at World Market as well.  I also fell for the Charles & Charles "Red 2007" wine's label - maybe an imaginative stretch since I am in the holiday spirit, but I think it looks like an American Flag.  We haven't uncorked this bottle yet, so I will save you from my amateur review! ;-) 

As a finishing touch, I spruced up our hallway ledges with these homemade flags, inspired by a craft project on Paper Source's blog.  I exchanged the plain cardstock for blue & red damask and red & white polka dot patterned paper I found at my dear little store.  

Thanks for stopping by!  Enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Card-Making Project of the Weekend: "A" Stationary

I went to write a thank-you note last week and realized that all of my personalized stationary is outdated with either my (lovely) maiden name monogram on the notecard or an old address embossed on the envelope.  I recently gave some of my homemade stationary sets as gifts, but neglected to replenish my own stash.  What a great excuse to make a walking trip to my favorite store for materials, and also add a dose of creativity to my Saturday!  I love the fresh combination of pink and orange pastels for summer and was completely sold on this color palette once I laid eyes on the paper I used for the envelope liner.  Check out my new "a" correspondence cards! 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bridal Shower Favors - Blue & Yellow

Mary commissioned me to create favors for a wedding shower dinner she is co-hosting for her friend Elizabeth.  Mary requested that I use a blue and yellow color scheme to go along with the everyday place settings on the couple's registry. 

The minute I saw this brilliant blue paper from Paper Source, I fell in love!  The paper's scattered white dots remind me of champagne bubbles . . . what is more celebratory and festive than some bubbly?!  I designed the "Cheers" logo in Publisher and stamped and embossed champagne glasses in gold. A tiny gem embellishment on each favor is meant to imitate a bubble and create a bit of 3D sparkle.

Coordinating blue bowls with the couple's initials at the bottom . . . just in case guests want a sweet snack during the sushi dinner.  I found these bowls in the dollar section at Target.  Hopefully the bride doesn't discover the Hot Wheels hologram underneath the paper, ha!

Finding the perfect blue and yellow candy was a small challenge.  For the blue hues, I used Dove milk chocolates and a delicious cookies and cream version of Hershey's Kisses that I found only at Target (believe me, I scoured CVS, Walgreens, Jewel and Dominick's to no avail!).  Both of these chocolate candies are wrapped in complementary blue shades of foil.  To tie in yellow and also add a nice contrast to the chocolate candies, I chose a local Chicago classic, Lemonheads!

Best wishes, Elizabeth and Adam!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cupcake Birthday Cards

Since I couldn't go a weekend without some sort of craft project, I made a batch of birthday cards using an idea I saw on Martha's site.  I used the Martha Stewart Crafts cupcake punch from Michaels and leftover scraps from the papers I used for Lauren's shower to create these cupcake birthday cards.  The adhesive gem "cherry" on top is the crowning jewel!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lauren's Bridal Shower - Pretty Purple Tea Party

We kicked off Memorial Day weekend with a bridal shower celebration honoring the sweet bride-to-be, Lauren!  The shower was lovely and so, so much fun.  Unfortunately, I didn't have much luck capturing the decorative details as the lighting in the room didn't agree with my little digital camera and unimpressive photography skills.  Good thing the really important details can't be captured by a camera anyway:  smiles, hugs, joyful tears, and happy memories.
First, a picture of the mother-of-the-bride, my mother-in-law and co-host, the beautiful Lauren, and me!  You can't tell from the picture, but Lauren's dress was adorable and matched the purple theme!

So, about this "purple theme" . . . Lauren's key wedding color is eggplant, so I decided to lighten up the shower with a spectrum of purple shades.  We ordered the main invitation from Wedding Paper Divas, and I created a coordinating enclosure card with registry information and directions that also matched some other details of the shower.

Shower guests were greated with paper lanterns, pinwheels and poms hung from shepherd's hooks.  I purchased the lanterns from Michaels, and learned how to make the Poms from Martha's tutorial.  The pinwheel tutorial is also somewhere in the "Martha universe" but I couldn't find it this time around (I made similar pinwheels for our wedding).

An absolutely gorgeous bouquet anchored the placecard table!  Complete credit is due to my mother-in-law and her work with the florist.  I've never seen so many purple flowers - hydrangea, roses, lilacs, sweet pea.  So impressive! 

The placecards were set on a mirrored table, so the pictures are a bit overwhelming.  I wrapped plain glass votive holders and matchbooks in various combinations of six coordinating patterns of purple scrapbook paper I found at Michael's.  I love the vintage feel of these patterns, and how they worked with the afternoon tea format of the shower.  These votive/matchbook cuties would also make affordable wedding favors.  

It's difficult to see, but I made confetti out of the Michael's specialty paper with a small, scallop circle punch.

A shot of the lovely tablescape (before the tea sandwiches and scones were set).

I used large rubber stamps on the vintagey specialty paper to create the table numbers.

I used simple paper doililes to dress up the menu cards on each table.  Eggplant and lavendar cardstock and purple "pearl" stickers tied in the color scheme.

I created a "Lauren & Cesar" banner to frame the gift table.  I alternated plain lavendar cardstock and a variety of the purple-hued specialty paper for each flag.  After some color-editing in Microsoft Paint, I used a 3-inch punch with these letter templates from Martha.

Favors for our guests were Swirlz cupcakes in chocolate, carrot and banana nutella (YUM!).

I placed each cupcake in a takeout box and created labels with the "Cheers!" message and the couple's names and wedding date.  I couldn't resist using these adorable purple labels from Paper Source.  Each box was tied with a sepia-toned photo of the happy couple.

Guests were asked to leave messages for Lauren in her "bucket of wisdom."

And, last but not least, every bride must be "hazed" with some sort of a shower game, right?!  We played "20 Questions" as a way for guests to test their knowledge about the bride and groom and their relationship.  The "winners" were rewarded with bottles of champagne (you can't see it, but I found bottles with purple foil at Whole Foods!).


Best wishes to Lauren & Cesar!  Can't wait for the wedding!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mary's 27th Birthday Bash

My dear friend Mary celebrated her 27th birthday in May.  Some of her closest gals met for dinner to celebrate.  Since her birthday was just about a year from the date of her bachelorette party in 2009, I couldn't resist commemorating that weekend with an "Eagle River Reunion" theme.  (Her cousins hosted her bach party at their cabin in Eagle River, WI, and we all had the time of our lives!).  The blue and green colors seemed to fit the theme - think beautiful blue lake and sky and fresh green grass and trees . . . ahhh, paradise.  Check out the details below!

We toasted the beginning of Mary's 28th year on the patio at Piccolo Sogno.  The outdoor seating at this restaurant is fabulous!  It makes me feel like I am on vacation in Italy.  Always a good thing!
Here is a view of the (crowded) tablescape . . .

Since my on-site photography skills leave much to be desired, I captured some pictures of the favors before the event.  I filled my favorite plain jane cello bags with delicious chocolate peanut butter fudge from Eagle River's very own Tremblay's Sweet Shop.  YUM!  Good thing this party planner ordered extra :-) 

In order to spice up the goodie bags, I included a map of Eagle River and the surrounding chain of lakes, as well a picture of the birthday girl on a recipe card for "Skip and Go Naked" cocktails (also known as "Summer Brew").  These drinks brought us many fond memories last May!

Spider Mums are my new favorite flower!  They are hearty and affordable and last forever!  This little arrangement is still alive and kickin' 3 weeks later.  I used a tip from the May 2009 edition of Martha and made a lattice pattern with scotch tape on the top of the little votive holders I found at World Market.  The tape helped keep the flowers in place.  And finally, a coordinating green bow and matching coasters from Third Coast Sisters completed the look!  I used three identical floral arrangements for our table. 

Thanks for stopping by!