Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Viewing Party

My husband is gone and I needed a goal... an activity to plan for and look forward to so I decided to host an Academy Awards Viewing Party!  I found a cute evite online and sent it out to a number of local friends and started planning my menu, decor, etc. right away!  It was a fun diversion to the snow we got here last week, not to mention the lingering cough my daughter has.  :)  It was a LOT of fun and the people who attended had a great time!  Here are some pics from the event and all of my 'over the top' fun decorations!
My little helper - she liked the cream cheese from the frosting!

one heck of a yummy Chocolate Cake!

What a wreath!  I used cardboard and craft paints - masking tape to get the straight lines but otherwise, freehanded the lettering...  ended up hot-gluing it onto a wreath form.  The wreath and ribbon were both from the Dollar Store

The Dollar Store was definitely my 'fave place' this last week.  I found so many great items to decorate with!  The popcorn buckets were fantastic and so fitting for the evening.  I also found shiny metallic star decorations:
Hard to see but the stars are hanging from the light fixtures - I also tied them to some of our table lamps in our front room.  I also cut out stars from cardboard boxes in our recycle bin and painted them gold using basic craft paints.  I stuck them onto picture frames, etc. using double-stick tape.  

Would you believe I moved all our furniture around for the party too?  Yep - 12 weeks prego and moving a TON of furniture around!  :)  It worked out great though - plenty of seating for great viewing and everyone was comfortable!

Another fun 'crafty' item I did was create pom poms out of tissue paper!  This is a Martha project as shown in this link: Pom Pom How To's

I found an image of the Oscar online and printed it out to put in the aqua frames below:
red carnations, plates, napkins and silver (used my Wedding China and the nice silver... why NOT?)

Dollar Store finds!  These popcorn 'buckets' were 2 for $1.... put rice in the bottom to keep them weighted and attached printed 'labels' for each utensil.  I made tent cards using this printed movie ticket image to show what each food item was and to label the favor bags too (see end of post)

Some of the spread...

...this was all the savory items
This was where the sweets were!

Spinach in Phyllo Triangles (thanks Mary!)
Spinach & Feta Hummus
Guacamole, Chips & Salsa
Crackers and three types of Cheeses
Caesar Salad with Chicken
Crudite with Green Onion Basil Dip
Peanut Butter Popcorn
Chocolate Brownies with Pecans and Girl Scout Cookies
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
Movie Theater Candy:  Runts, Sugar Babies, Gobstoppers, Sweet Tarts & Peanut M&M's

A few games - Oscar Bingo, The official Oscar Ballots

and Movie Trivia (which we didn't even end up looking at)
I had prizes for winners of the three games but ended up giving them out to people doing the bingo (which I found here: Oscar Bingo 2011)
Such fun!  I found three different DVD's (tried to get Academy Award winning pictures) and tied them up in gold ribbon with some fun plastic sunglasses
Here is my friend Mary's little girl Isla wearing the sunglasses Mary won:

Each guest was treated to a little favor as they left (some took home leftovers too):
Found these great paper sacks at the Dollar Store too!  I put in movie style candy and a bag of microwave popcorn....

A little something extra:

Peanut Butter Popcorn Recipe!
(this is a favorite of mine growing up - always a treat to have my Mom make it for us!)
1.  Pop three batches of popcorn with an air popper - set aside
2.  In a saucepan over medium high heat, stir 1/2 C. Sugar and 1/2 C. of Karo Syrup or Honey and bring to a boil.  (My Mom says she likes the flavor of the honey - I used the Karo since I didn't have much honey and was happy with the result!)
3.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 t. vanilla and 1/2 C. peanut butter (creamy or crunchy - you pick!)
4.  Pour over popcorn to coat

Eat and prepare to be ADDICTED!!!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Homemade Valentine's

I received a letter on Thursday saying that my daughter's school* would be doing Valentine's for a party.... we'd need to bring in 12 cards/Valentine's.  What?  Ok.... my plan was to head to the Dollar Store to see what I could come up with.  

I saw these cute cards and figured "that fits with my daughter's tomboy nature".  A lot of blogs are featuring this type of cards:
"Crap I've Made" blog Click Here to see the whole tutorial

Also super cute but getting my daughter to sit still to take a picture is near impossible....
"The Stories of A to Z" Click Here to see this full tutorial

AWESOME!  I loved that they were customized and would use up some of my fabric scraps!  The full tutorial for these is here.  These were THE ONES!


Here's my version:
I cut scraps from my fabric stash 9 inches X 3.5 inches

In the original tutorial she uses a serger on all four sides of the strips but I used pinking shears - this will keep the edges from fraying.... 

lovely pinking shear scraps!

Next I drew out hearts on natural colored canvas/duck cloth. Because my little one is too young to write her name yet, I just did it on her behalf.

This was definitely the LONGEST part of the project - attaching all the velcro!!!  
I used a very small zig zag stitch to do this part - it's how I attach velcro on my Pursewna bags too.  

Then I sewed on all the hearts - I just used a straight stitch...
(you'll notice - I just used the thread already in my machine - it's bright purple but a fun contrast to the different fabrics I used to make the bags)

Then using a larger zig zag stitch I sewed up the two sides - doing a small backstitch at the top since that's where most of the 'pull' will be when kids rip into them...

To fill the bags I purchased WalMart fruit snacks - they went into the 12 kiddo bags.  I had this secret stash of Dove Dark Chocolate hearts in my freezer (they're so good cold!!!) so I stuffed two bags with these for her teacher.

HOW CUTE?!?!?!

*I use the word 'school' loosely - she's 20 months and goes on Mondays for 4 hours - it's absolute bliss for Momma to have some time to herself and my little one - even though she ends up crying the first 5 minutes I drop her off, always seems to be very happy when I pick her up.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Decorating

I don't know if it was the sickness we had in our house at the beginning of February or the seeminly endless grey days outside but I was itching to get some color into our house!  I figured - what better way than to decorate for Valentine's Day!

There are a number of crafty blogs that I'm addicted to looking at each day and a number of them were really inspiring.  I used a lot of those ideas and incorporated them as my own.  I also used objects from around my house.  Here's a little look at what I did:

photo credit from Crap I've Made blog

This awesome canvas art inspired me to do this:

I already had these Ikea frames which I had painted a bright turquoise with craft store acrylic paint - I've just been rotating out different pictures for holidays, etc.!  SO EASY!

Here's another shot of this wall:
I have the super cute photo calendar displayed in my calendar holder and I have Dollar Store pink heart doilies up all over the house! 

I literally scotch taped these up to doors, kitchen cabinets and the wall.... easy and cheap!

I also did some decorating on my mantle:
Mantles are TOUGH!  Especially this one because it's 'triangular' shaped...  I am never super happy with what I put there but this time around I think it looks pretty cute.
(Garland from my Etsy shop:

Some cute family photos and an old Valentine decoration hung on a 'display' item - these were probably found at Ross or TJMaxx or Tuesday Morning... I think the frames are both Crate & Barrel

Candy in mercury glass apothecary jars... lollipops and conversation hearts (leftover from my Valentine's wreath in the previous tutorial!)  The apothecary jars are Pottery Barn from a few years ago.
A number of 'mantle displays' from the blog:  The Stories of A to Z inspired my design.

Altogether?  Pretty cute and festive for the holiday - now time to plan for St. Patrick's Day!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine's Wreath

I recently saw a really cute tutorial online on the blog Thrifty 101.  I figured since all the supplies were purchased at The Dollar Store it'd be a cheap, easy craft to try.  Besides, our house needs a little 'sprucing' for the holiday - these gray, rainy days are inspiring me to add some extra color inside!

My Supplies:
a styrofoam wreath (which I then wrapped using the ribbon I mention below)

Four bags of small conversation hearts

some glue sticks for your hot glue gun (I decided to stock up for future projects)

satin ribbon - with the size of wreath I got, it only took one roll (4 yards)

To make desigining my pattern easier, I decided to sort out the hearts ahead of time
(not sure it was hugely necessary...)

with all the hearts glued on - I'm not SUPER happy with my first try (pattern?  what pattern?) but
I have a second wreath to do later (I'll need more hearts though - seriously took almost FOUR BAGS
to do the one wreath!!!)  

the finished product - I am in love with the HOT PINK satin bow I tied on to hang it... 
the best part of the project!

Here's a link to the original tutorial:

Snazzy New Bag Ready for Shipment

This newest bag is one that I secretly want to keep... I am IN LOVE with this Anna Maria Horner fabric - it's beautiful!  This bag is for a local lady who received a gift certificate for her birthday.  She told me she's going to use it to hold her knitting supplies!  Hopefully she'll be inspired to carry it around with her yarn & needles all over the place - it's definitely a bag worth showing off.