Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I wanted to make some sort of favors for my experimental party, so I kept an open mind at the dollar store. As soon as I saw these tiny acrylic boxes I knew that whatever I filled them with would be super cute, and then in the next aisle I found chocolate covered sunflower seeds in blue and green. Super quick and simple to make, but I think it adds a little something special to have something to give to guests when they head home. Of course now I'm thinking of all the other things that I could put in these boxes....

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

a party experiment

I was talking with some people when I was home last month for the holidays, about Pinterest, and about how beautiful things look that that might see there, but how they are unattainable they feel due to time and expense and the like. So I thought about it for a while, and fell down a bit of a Pinterest wormhole in the name of research, and when I crawled back out again I decided to see if I could do it myself.
Of course I had to set myself a few guidelines so I didn't have a party-splosion on my hands, therefore I decided to do a 'dinner party' set for four people and to use only things that I already had, plus a budget of 20 dollars for supplies, and one afternoon for execution, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand this is what I came up with.

After all of my research, and then putting little scene together, I had a few conclusions. First, color makes everything look more festive, and in fact sticking with a single color or even a color family can become it's own 'theme.' Second, things like backdrops, party favors, place cards, even a special cocktail, can be pretty simple to create, but make it all feel a little more special. And thirdly, twinkle lights are never a bad idea.

So, as to how this all came together, I started by looking through my cast off fabric box and grabbing this teal crushed velvet for a tablecloth  then went to the kitchen and looked at my dishes. Clearly there was a green thing going on so with that in my mind, I took off to pick up additional supplies. I stopped at both my favorite dollar store (excellent party source) and an arts and craft store, and picked up a big fake plant, mini acrylic boxes and treats for favors (I'll try to have pictures of those tomorrow) twinkle lights, and a big pack of green construction paper. And on my way back to the apartment I foraged a few pieces of greenery off of a willow tree around the corner.
The construction paper became the leafy backdrop as well as some super simple place cards, I cut the leaves off of the plant ( they looked less offensively fake to me once they were taken out of their plastic dirt filled pot ) and layered them along the middle of the table with some of the willow. Finally I stung up the twinkle lights for some softer light and a bit of an outdoor patio feel ( I think bistro/globe lights might be even better, however these were at the dollar store and I was trying to keep the shopping as simple as possible ) Overall setting the table itself was super quick, the only thing that was very time consuming was the backdrop and it wasn't that bad. I think it would be neat with oversize leaves as well which would be much quicker.

As to the budget, it shook down a bit like this:
fake plant...................$3
favor boxes................$3
twinkle lights.............$5
construction paper.....$4
This doesn't include glue/scissors/ribbon as I already had some things on hand. Most people probably have lights from the holidays that could be appropriated, and real plants could have totally been subbed in for the fake leaves. All of this is flexible, which I guess was the idea of this whole thing. As to time, it was about three hours, including shopping (and I was actually watching Downton Abbey while I made the background so it may have gone a little bit faster otherwise).
So...... overall it was a super fun experiment, one I think I might need to continue doing (maybe a series?)
I'll post the rest of the photos tomorrow, the favors and cocktail specifically, and maybe a tutorial for the backdrop as well. Hope everyone had an excellent long weekend, and here's to a nice short week!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

spice shelf

So I had this leftover shelf above the stove from when I moved all my dishes over to the other side of the kitchen and I sort of didn't know what to do with it. Should it have past and olive oil and that sort of stuff? should it have dishes? Should I just take it down. Then during my wild fit of cleaning after new years (hey it happens) I realized that it would be awesome to have spices up there so I didn't have to rummage around in a drawer for them every day. This of course prompted me to clean and organize my spices and add new labels and even build a little riser for the shelf so that I could have two rows of jars visible while I'm cooking. So far I've been using this system for two weeks and it's worked great, I've even been more bold with my spice choices (maybe it's encouragement from the big 'yes' sign) though I've still got a few jars that need to be filled so, any suggestions?

Monday, January 12, 2015

utility crafts

This is just a really quick project I did to fill a practical need. I live in an old quirky apartment and my bedroom has big french doors that open up onto the living room ( I think my room was actually the dining room originally?) and I normally leave them open during the day. However, one of the doors swings shut slowly if it isn't blocked by something. For over a year I would shove a pile of books in front of it every day to keep it from swinging but eventually I tired of that and began looking for a proper doorstop, something pretty that would also, in fact, stop the door. Turns out that's not very easy. So one day in a fit of frustration I grabbed a cheap utility doorstop at the hardware store and took it home to see if I could do something with it. Turns out that meant adding an elephant and spray painting the whole thing gold (surprise). The best part is it totally works, cost me all of three bucks and it makes me smile. Now if only all projects were that simple.....