Monday, July 27, 2009

Athene's Baby Shower

S: This past weekend I helped host a baby shower for my friend Athene. A great opportunity to be crafty and make some handmade decorations and invites!

Invitations. The idea for these came from Jenn. We used fabric, buttons, hot glue, and a sewing machine. Quite a bit of work but they turned out great!

Guest book sign and vintage ceramic baby bottle to hold name tags. I bought the baby bottle on Etsy and was going to use it for flowers, but at the last minute decided it would be a perfect name tag holder. The guest book sign has the same stroller as the invitations. Just a cute reminder for guests to sign the guest book.

Oh boy, a handmade baby banner. I used three types of scrapbook paper, stencils, and a little green ribbon to create a banner for the fireplace. I cut several circles of cream colored paper using wavy scissors. Then, using the stencils, I traced the letters onto the paper and cut them out with an exacto knife. I layered a blue patterned paper behind the cut outs and glued it down to a solid blue paper circle. I made a few holes with a small hole punch and strung green ribbon through for hanging. I also inked up the edges a bit with a stamp pad.

I made lavender sachets as the game prizes. Coordinated quilting bundles come in handy for so many projects! I made a basic square pattern and cut my cotton fabric, along with a thin layer of batting to give the sachets a little more volume. Turning the fabric wrong side out, I did a single stitch all around the edges, leaving a small opening so that I could flip it right side out and fill with lavender. I filled each sachet with lavender and then used a slip stitch the close the opening. I then stitched all around the edges once more, to keep any lavender from leaking out. These are great for closets, dresser drawers, or in the dryer in place of fabric softener.

Baby bouquet. These are really fun to make. I usually use white cotton onesies for the "flowers" but this time I used baby washcloths. I always like to add a gift tag, this one has a bird's nest.

The food! Thanks Kelli and Jenn for preparing all the wonderful food! Along with regular cupcakes, we also had gluten-free ones. I made a little sign so guests would know which ones were gluten free. Of course, I love all things bird, so it had an egg on it. I also got a great vintage table cloth in blue on Ebay for just $6!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bird Rescue

S: Yesterday afternoon Zach and I were working on our half bath remodel. As his faithful assistant, I went out into the garage to get him a level. The garage door was open and I saw something fluttering in the corner of the garage. At first I thought it was a leaf that had blown in then I realized it was a bird...and he was stuck to a glue trap! I starting yelling at Zach to "come help this bird!" Our home pest control service put the glue traps in the garage to monitor any bug activity. From what we can tell, the bird, enticed by all the bugs glued to the trap, flew in to our garage and got stuck! I put some garden gloves on (Epidemiologist Sarah says "Protect Yo'self! Birdies carry the encephalitis!") and held the bird down, he was flapping so violently trying to get loose I was afraid he was going to hurt himself. Zach grabbed some goo-gone and a pocket knife...we weren't really sure what to do. Zach ended up cutting off the excess glue around the bird and then we slowly peeled his foot and wing from the trap. He had lost a lot of feathers but as soon as I let him out of my hands he flew away into the neighbors tree.

Z: This situation has left me feeling like I should I receive a guest appearance on Brawny paper towels. You might wonder, "Why is there no picture of this climactic event?" And I will tell you "When the life of a frail wild creature is in jeopardy I reach into my pocket and pull out my man card, which happens to be a knife, not a camera." Sarah, in an unusual fit of desperation, began worrying about the birdie's broken legs and wings and the necessity of a vet. However, with three slices of my crappy knife (A freebie from some guy who got ripped off by cutlery corner), I had excised the bird from the viscous prison of glue and away he freely flew much to our delight in his well being. In defense of the brawny man's position, I admit that initially I took the more scientific approach and reached for the Goo-Gone because the oil based solvent weakens the viscoelastic properties of most adhesives by physical dissolution, thus rendering the glue trap not gluey. But sharpened metal prevailed and my Brawny self overcame my inner Bill Nye. Also this resulted in two new chest hairs.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A Sour Patch

The other week Zach and I went to the theater to see the movie Transformers. We both really enjoyed the movie, and the Sour Patch Kids we sneaked in with us. Sour Patch Kids are an essential part of any movie going experience, but cost about 2.5 times more at the theater compared to the grocery store. Obviously I have done my research. The only thing I don't like about eating Sour Patch Kids at the theater is the low level of light, which makes it hard to pick out the yellow ones and give them to Zach.

When we were leaving the theater, we noticed the windows around the entrance were painted with characters from various movies. To the left of the door we exited were the characters from Harry Potter. Our dialogue went something like this:

S: Those are really bad paintings!
Z: Yeah, I know. They don't look like the characters at all.
S & Z: on an on about how bad they were

As we walked out of the building I turned behind me and looked to the right. There, just inside the door was a man covered in paint, brush in hand, adding more artwork to the window.

Needless to say, we felt AWFUL. Lesson learned. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Needle Felting

I didn't know much about needle-felting until Zach bought me a needle felting kit last Christmas. Since then I've been experimenting and learning the process. Needle felting requires two things: wool roving and a barbed needle (made especially for felting). The wool roving is light and fluffy and reminds me of cotton candy. You felt the wool by stabbing it repeatedly with the barbed needle. This causes the wool fibers to stick to one another, or felt, and become dense. It's quite a long process.

Needle felting tools

My very first try I made a tiny bird with a little scarf. Then I made our cat, Cleo, which really creeped Zach out. After that a penguin.

Once I was fairly confident I new what I was doing, I made these:

Needle felted bear, bunny, and cat

They are currently for sale in my Etsy shop. Fingers crossed someone will think they are as cute as I do! Thanks to Zach for the magical Christmas gift that inspired these.