Thursday, July 30, 2015

July tea party

This months party was really really easy to pull together. As I said a the beginning of the week, I grabbed stuff that I had until there was a sort of place setting that I liked the look of, and then I made decorations to go with that. In this case the yellow teapot and bumble bee honey pot really got me going on a honey and flower themed tea party. 
The background was a grid of paper hexagons, a bumble bee pinata and some paper flowers. All very quick to put together but I will do tutorials for both soon. 
For the place settings I layered the white plates, floral bowls and then added the saucers and overturned teacups on top of them. I wanted to save the middle of the table for the tea service, as it were, plus I liked how the bowls looked with just the scalloped edge peeking around.The tablecloth is a polka dot sheet from the thrift store and the napkins I made forever ago when a favorite rose print sheet died and I wasn't ready to throw it away entirely. I used my same gold flatware again because gold just of course the yellow tone matched the setting so well.
The melamine sugar bowl and pitcher were from a set I found in a junk box on the corner when I was in college. Most of the multi colored teacups have been appropriated for all manner of other projects but these two were so nice I kept them around for whenever I happen to have a tea party (not often enough in my opinion) and of course they go so well with my yellow tea set (found by my mother) and the bumblebee honey pot (same-she really is the queen of thrifting!)
The little hexagon favor boxes were decorated with yellow paper and pink ribbon (filled with honey candies) and the extra large paper flowers were intended as placecards (I was going to write guests names on the leaves) but I liked them so much as is that I left them blank. However they would of course be simple to use in that way. The cake topper was a paper base with crepe paper and mini bees made out of tiny pom poms. I'll do a tutorial on this as well.
The cost broke down as such:
yellow crepe paper...............................................................................$2.50
yellow and pink construction paper.....................................................$3.00
black pipe cleaners...............................................................................$2.00
hex boxes.............................................................................................$5.00
Once again, I have tons of general crafty things, glue, scissors and various dishes, so by using stuff I have this was very inexpensive. Even if I'd purchased everything new though it wouldn't have cost a lot more. 

I will try to get to the crafts from this one quickly, and until then I'm brainstorming ideas for the next party. Any ideas?

Monday, July 27, 2015

July party.... setting up

It looks like this months party is going to be right down to the wire again, but it's a good one, and there's lots of stuff to show and a few really fun projects. First though I just wanted to chat about how I come up with this stuff (since people tend to ask where ideas come from).
Sometimes I have a specific overall vision fully formed that I want to enact, but usually I have just snippets, or even better, nothing. Zilch, a big fat goose egg. In that case I have some methods that work well for me to jog my creativity. Obviously looking at visual inspiration is nice. I read a lot of blogs, look at books and pinterest. However, I'm very much a hands on person, so I've found I do best actually pulling stuff physically. In this case, for getting together a party setup if I'm feeling stumped, I started by looking at what I had in my house. I started in the kitchen cupboards with my yellow teapot and teacups. Then, since I have some sweet pink melamine tea accessories, I looked at what else I had that was pink or yellow and dragged it all out to the table to look at it. I laid it all up until it seemed like a good collection of things, enough to set a table with, and then I just stuck with that.
So picking through things I have to form a direction, and then using that as my inspiration for everything else. I stuck with these colors for the rest of the decorations which made decisions all the more easy, and just made sure everything else I created or added matched. For me this is the most effective way to create something when I have nothing,

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

a not-so-secret indoor fort

The evolution of my over-couched living room is continuing. The fort has been installed! It's been years since I made any sort of fort, and there is much debate as to whether this particular structure is a fort or a tent (the height and lightness of it seems to veer people towards tent, but I'm not too concerned as to it's categorization) but regardless, it's been so much fun to hang out it. I was thinking of how I would rig a fort in this space and I realized that I could string lines from one side to another using the picture moldings and that really opened so many new possibilities for me. I pulled out my stack of sheets (I tend to grab them at thrift stores when they have cool patterns to use as tablecloths or to cut up for fabric) and some big safety pins and got to work.
I rigged up a large wall along the back of the small sofa, as well as a partial wall across the bar to create more of a compact 'room' and then piled in all of the blankets and pillows and soft cozy things I could round up. 

Somehow the heart pinata made it's way in here. and the floor, couch and window seat were all covered in layers of blankets, just to make everything softer. However my favorite feature is the 'ceiling' a pretty white scalloped tablecloth which I then had the inspired (if I do say so myself) idea to layer some Christmas lights under). The lowering of the ceiling adds to the coziness, as does the lighting. I have definitely taken some very comfortable naps in here, and just founds myself sitting and enjoying some people watching with my tea.
And while it's not very easy to capture well in photographs, here is how it looks at night. Pretty much fulfilling a childhood dream here. My roommate laughed when he walked in, he really isn't surprised by any of my strange fancies anymore, and I think he's been enjoying the novelty as well. Eventually I will have to take it down, the old couch is on it's way out and the living room will have to return to normal at some point but for now I am all about the fort. Does 

Monday, July 20, 2015

old couch and playing don't touch the floor

After two years of not being a fan of the couch in my living room (it's everything Emily Henderson says is bad in a couch, see here) which is too big for the living room, and far too beige and slipcover-y for me, it is on it's way out. I asked my roommate one day if he was attached to it and he said he doesn't think he's sat on it in years and that I was free to do what I would with it, and that night I started working on evicting it from the apartment. Unfortunately, due to some disappointing craigslist rudeness (someone was supposed to show up to take it away and then never did, nor did they bother to call and thus I was sitting at home for two hours on a beautiful day waiting) the old couch is still in the living room for a week, while the new couch has arrived, and therefore I am suffering from an abundance of couches. So I've been playing don't touch the floor (otherwise known as Lava) on my way to the kitchen, and the other day I set up my camera to take a bunch of pictures and capture my journey. This was the only one where I didn't look severely strange so I'm ok with sharing it here.
Next I am going to set up a fort or tent of some kind, again, capitalizing on the amount of surfaces and cushions that I have in the space. I am thinking that I might be able to rig some sort of walls and ceiling using the picture moldings and actually make a sort of 'room' in the front by the windowseat. We shall see how it turns out and I will be sure to document the final product of that as well. In the meantime, I am just really really excited that the couch is in it's last days in the apartment.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Muni people halfway done

Just a quick update to the muni people project. Since I am halfway through I hung up all twenty-six drawings together to see how they look (clearly I favor green) and to get excited for the second half of the project.

Monday, July 6, 2015

six months of parties

So 2015 is halfway over. Not sure how that happened but I will try not to dwell on how little I felt I have gotten done, and rather focus on what I did do. I was working on my next party setup and realized that I have now done six little table settings this year and I thought it would be neat to see them all together to see how different, and how similar they are. 
Working with just a corner of my living room, and a regular table and chairs, it seems I was able to come up with very different feeling setups, and all using primarily things that I already have on hand (hoarding validation) and keeping my budget low. All of them are quick and pretty easy to put together and they could be used for a variety of occasions. All told really making me exited to throw together some more in the second half of the year.

June muni people

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June party favors

For favors I wanted to continue the flying/mail themes from the table setup.

First I cut the envelopes out of red construction paper and edged them in red white and blue striped wash tape. 

Next I drew paper airplanes on shrink dink (or oven bake shrinking film) and baked them. If they were going to be pendants make sure to punch a hole in the film before baking. They could also be made as pins.
The were very simple to make and looked cute on the table as well. Also I think I need to start using shrinky-dink more, it's super fun stuff.