Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Emma's 1st Birthday Party

My big girl turned 1!  I can't believe how fast this past year went.  Emma is growing up :o)  We had my family over for her birthday, a small gathering as not to overwhelm her.  We had a hot air balloon theme as I mentioned in a previous post, with bright, cheerful colored decorations.

For the garlands strung from the chandelier and across the wall I sewed paper circles together I cut out with a 2 inch circle punch.  I found the striped tablecloth at Ikea, and the striped party hats at Target along with the plates and napkins.  I deconstructed one of the party hats and glued pink polka-dot fabric to the hat and added some green fringe for a special hat for Emma.

I also made a small smash cake for Emma with a tiny banner hung between chopsticks with her name. 

She didn't do so much smashing of the cake, but a rather confused what is this sticky stuff on my hands?!

We did a little present opening:

And then some pictures in the backyard with balloons:

Happy Birthday Emma!!!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hot Air Balloon Decorations

Emma's first birthday is fast approaching, I can't believe it's already been a year.  The year has flown by, but at the same time it seems like Emma has been part of our family forever.  I decided to get a jump on decorations since free time is hard to come by with a little one beginning to walk around.  Since she is too young to tell me what she would like as a theme for her birthday I decided on hot air balloons because I think they are fun and year Emma I'll let you pick :o)

I searched the internet and Pinterest for hot air balloon party ideas and came across a lot of fun stuff.  I found a site that made hot air balloons out of paper lanterns.  Since we used quite a few paper lanterns for our backyard wedding that were sitting in the shed just waiting for another use I already had the basis for our hot air balloons.  I found some fabric in the colors I was using for the party and got to work sewing the balloons together.

I found the idea of using paper lanterns for the balloons on the Fabric Paper Glue blog.  I also used this cute hanging hot air balloon cut-out on Etsy for design inspiration:

I decided to make three hot air balloons with one larger balloon and two slightly smaller ones.  I first measured the circumference and height of the paper lanterns to determine the number and length of fabric strips needed.  I then measured and cut strips of fabric including enough extra for seams.  For the larger balloon I decided to try to imitate the design above so I cut strips to cover half the height of the balloon in different colors.  For the other two balloons I measured the strips to cover the length of the entire lantern.

I then sewed all the strips together so they formed a tube:

And sewed a hem along the top and bottom edges.  Here you can see the inside and the hem pinned:

I meant to use the top and bottom hems as channels to pass a string through to be used to gather in the ends, but that proved difficult.   The plastic needle I was using to shuttle the string through the channel would get caught at each seam where the fabric folded back on itself and snapped at one point when I was trying to work it through.  So I ended up loosely handstitching a string through the hems for gathering.

Then I slipped the fabric over the paper lantern and pulled the gathering stitches tight at both poles.

And here Emma is showing off the balloon:

Next I hung a small basket removed of it's handle using twine.  It took a little bit of work to get it level.  I also added decorative ribbon along the center seam of the large balloon.  Brian then helped me hang the finished balloons.  Or more like he hung them while I called out directions, "a little to the left, no too far, back a little".


Here is a view of all of them:

I figure after Emma's birthday part we can move them in to her room as decoration.  Now on to the next project for her birthday party :o)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Super Hero Cape

As part of my shower gift to the mom-to-be I made a super-hero cape for her older son.  He has to this point been the only child so I wanted to do something to include him in the festivities and to help make him excited to be a big brother.  He is really into Superman, so I decided to make him a similar style cape with his initial, "P", and "Super Brother" on it.

I bought some red satin fabric at Joann's for the cape and used felt I already had for the "P" emblem.  I also bought iron-on letters for the "Super Brother" part.

I first got to work on the "P" emblem.  I made a shield shape out of blue felt with a slightly smaller shield in yellow.  Then I drew a "P" on black felt to fit into the yellow shape and cut it out.  To give it a finished look and to hold everything in place I sewed a border close to the edge of the felt layers.

The red satin fabric I cut in a slightly tapered shape so the neck part wouldn't bulge too much when gathered for wearing.  I then sewed the shield on to the red fabric by stitching a border close to the edge of the blue felt.

Then I ironed on the "Super Brother" letters.  The package of letters I bought only had two "Rs" so I modified a "B" and the "Rs" to get 3 of the same "R" shape.

I had two pieces of the satin fabric so I sewed the right sides (shiny sides, the one with the writing) together leaving a large opening at the bottom for flipping everything right side out and two a 1.5" gaps at the top for stringing ribbon through for wearing.  I then topstitched around the the sides and bottom of the cape to keep the fabric from shifting and to close up the opening at the bottom.  I also stitched 1.5" from the top of the cape to create a channel to keep the ribbon in place.  I then strung 1.5" black and white stripe ribbon through the channel at the top of the cape for tying the cape on. 

And here we have the finished cape with "Super Brother P" showing it off :o)

My friend loved the cape and so did her son.  She told me he wore it for the rest of the afternoon :o)

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Super-Hero Themed Baby Shower

My good friend Samantha is expecting a baby boy in about a month so there was a baby shower to plan!  I along with my other good friends Vicki, Bonnie, and Monet all played hostess for the special day.  Sam and her husband decided to decorate the nursery with a super-hero theme so we stuck with that theme for the baby shower.  It was a co-ed party so we also decided the super-hero theme would be guy-friendly too.

I was mainly on decoration duty as it was something I could work on ahead of time as I'm an out-of-towner.  In a previous post I showed how I made tissue paper pom-poms in super-hero/comic book colors (red, blue, yellow, and black).  I also made a couple bunting banners out of comic books and poster board.  I cut pennants out of poster board in red, yellow, blue, and black.  Then I cut slightly smaller triangles from comic book pages that I glued onto the poster board pennants.

I then used duct tape to string the pennants together.  I found some fun red and white chevron duct tape in Target's dollar area, but only one roll, so I had to use red duct tape for the second banner.  I placed the pennants comic side down onto the edge of the duct tape to prevent creases (as I figured out after the first banner) and then folded the duct tape in half with the pennant stuck between.

And here are the two finished banners:

 I also made a "Baby Shower" banner, similar to how I made this Halloween banner, using comic book pages.

I found plates and cupcake wrappers at Michael's that I thought fit the theme.  Vicki baked and decorated some yummy lemon, strawberry, and chocolate cupcakes.  I also bought a cookie cutter from The Cookie Cutter Company that Bonnie and Monet used to cut-out sugar cookies and label with words like "Pow!", "Wiz!", "Bam!".  The cookie cutter is actually a spider web but I thought it would work for the action bubbles in comics.

Bonnie, Monet, and Vicki set-up a candy station for party favors:

............they also made a city backdrop for the food table..................

And Vicki made a super-hero diaper cake!

All-in-all, everyone had a good time and our friend Sam appreciated the love shown to her and her soon to arrive baby boy.  And us girls had a fun time party planning! :o)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tissue Paper Pom-Poms

A few of my friends and I are throwing a baby shower for another friend of ours with a super hero theme.  I was excited to have a decorating project to work at so I got going on some decorations right away.  I headed over to Pinterest to browse for ideas and came across tissue paper pom-poms.  I figured they were cute and I could make them in primary colors to go with our super hero/comic book theme.

I followed a pin to a tutorial by Martha Stewart (wouldn't you know).  I couldn't find tissue paper in the size she recommended, everything I found was either square 20"x20" or 20"x16".  What I did learn from this is it is best to start with rectangular sheets of tissue paper as square sheets resulted in pom-poms that were not as full looking.

So following the instructions I stacked 8 pieces of tissue paper together (either the 20"x16" or the 20"x20" cut into a more rectangular shape).  My first attempt, I didn't quite read the directions correctly and folded each individual sheet before stacking them together..............yeah, that didn't quite work out so well, my pom-pom wasn't very round or full.


I also found out it's important to fold the tissue paper across the longer length (i.e. so there will be more folds, not long folds).  Once again when I did it the wrong way my pom-pom failed to be the nice round and full shape I was hoping for.

After the sheets were folded (the correct way), I used floral wire to wrap around the center of the tissue paper, with enough excess wire for hanging.

I then trimmed the ends of the tissue paper to points.  You can also make the ends rounded for a softer flower like pom-pom, but per the super hero theme I wanted the pom-poms to look sharper, like "kapow!" poufs if that's a thing :o)

And here you can see how it looks when the folds are stretched out:

Lastly, I separated each of the eight layers of tissue paper to form the pom-pom.

And then I had a pom-pom:

...........or "kapow!" poufs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A "LOVE" Banner

For Valentine's Day I made a couple small banners to hang in the living room side windows.  I wanted something simple that I could do in between time spent entertaining Emma :o)  So I thought bunting with a few pennants would fit the bill.

I first decided how large I wanted to make the pennants and made a template:

I then used the template to trace four pennants on white fabric folded over at the top of each pennant:

I cut out each pennant through the two layers of fabric, keeping the fold intact (uncut).  I printed out the outline of  letters for the word "LOVE" (minus the "O") in a font I liked and traced them onto the pennants, then I filled them in with silver paint:

And for the "O" I cut out a heart from pink felt:

 Then glued it to the fabric:

Adding an embroidery back stitch to give it a quilted look:


 I then pinned the folded over fabric together, lining up the edges:

 And sewed the two sides together, the width of my sewing machine foot, thick enough to fit twin through for stringing the pennants:

Here are the finished pennants:

Then it was just a matter of stringing the pennants on twine and hanging the banner in the window:

I also made a banner for the other window:

A fun, simple project for the holiday :o)