Sure it is a lot easier to hit the party store and buy a pre-prepared theme birthday party kit, but it is a lot more fun to make a party theme yourself. I admit I perused the internet looking for party hats and goodie bags that fit the bill for my daughter's 1st birthday, but nothing seemed quite right. Then I contacted a few Etsy vendors that specialized in custom party gear that didn't bother to write me back. Left with nowhere else to turn I decided to take matters into my own hands. Sure it was a whole lot of work, but the end result was exactly what I wanted. Today on I Love to Create we have part 1 of a 2 part series on how to create your own custom party decorations!
Every good party needs a theme and for this particular birthday I decided to work with Tallulah's middle name, Fawn. I started to go with cherries and powdered wigs since she shares a birthday with George Washington, but that seemed a bit obscure for a 1 year old. Fawns are perky and fun and more importantly between my mother and I we had a ton of them to decorate with. First things first I had a logo designed by Autumn Leah Designs. Doesn't everyone have birthday logos designed? From there all that was left to do was plaster the birthday logo on everything.
Is there anything cuter than kids in party hats I ask you? You might remember from my escapades making fabric covered crowns and pipe cleaner tiaras that I am a firm believer in the idea that a decorated head makes everything more festive. Making your own customized party hats is easy as pie with a little Collage Pauge, colorful pom poms, Tacky Glue, decorative trim and blank party hats available at the party store.
Those of you with an eye for detail might have noticed that I spelled Tallulah wrong with the blocks. I needed to steal an L what can I say. I also went to Home Depot and scored several feet of astroturf to cover all the tables with. I was going for a green grass feel with all my fawn and deer.
I ordered a whole slew of colorful resin fawns from Buzzard Brand. I made souvenir magnets for all the families that attended the party using various plastic cabochons, the fawns and Liquid Fusion Glue.
The little green baggies are filled with fawn shaped soap. Ordered the molds from Bake It Pretty and the soap supplies are Soapy Love.
Cupcake toppers make the party, I'm a firm believer in that. You might recall the set I made for my baby shower. It seemed only fitting that a year later I would make them for Tallulah's 1st birthday party. Using small wooden sticks, card stock, scalloped edge scissors and Acid Free Aleene's Tacky Glue I had a batch of colorful toppers in no time. I tweaked my original logo in photoshop to get the different color combinations and printed them out onto card stock paper.
I'm a bit notorious for taking a theme and running with it. I might have gone a little fawn crazy, you be the judge.
My amazingly talented sister Hope Perkins, who has a deer fetish of her own, did some creative window work for the party. The sliding glass door had a polka dotted fawn on one side and a gnome for the wee ones to pose in on the other.
After making a black cat banner at Halloween I caught a bit of banner fever. Using sticker letters, scalloped trim, cardstock, paper clips, hole punch, Aleene's Tacky Glue Glue Stick and hole reinforcers I made a custom Happy Birthday Tallulah banner that censored the Burt Reynolds picture that lives in my living room.
Remember this is a two part series. Tune in next Thursday for more birthday fawn, I mean fun. So what do you think did I go overboard? What kind of custom party decorations have you whipped up? I need to start planning for next year.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I know, I know I have been MIA for the last week and a half. I have good excuses and you will hear all about it tomorrow in pictures and craft projects. In the meantime I thought I would make it up to you with a good old fashioned bribe in the form of a book giveaway. Actually, since I was gone a really long time I'm going to give away two copies of one of my favorite new craft books, Make!: Over 40 Fantastic Projects with 16 Exclusive Designs by Cath Kidston. If you are not familiar with UK sensation Cath Kidston answer these questions: do you love polka dots, applique or embroidery? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you are going to want to read on and enter to win!
Back to those questions I just asked you. I personally answered "yes!" in a very loud excited voice to all three. That is one of the many reasons I was so super duper excited about this book. The projects range from wearables to home decor and even a few paper and baby projects. I j'dore the layout of the book and the adorable pictures. One of my favorite parts of the book is that all the illustrations that Cath uses in her designs are available for you too! That's right there is a handy dandy section in the back with pictures for you to scan in and use as templates for all your handiwork. Speaking of handy there is also a how-to applique and embroider guide with the book.
Picking a favorite project from Make! is like Sophie's Choice I love them all. The embroidered Boat T-shirt caught my eye because it reminds me of a shirt my mother embroidered for my father in the 70's. In my eternal search for the perfect alphabet illustration I think I may have found it in the appliqued Alphabet Pillow. You know I love making cards so the cheerful Greeting Cards will be getting made.
So how do you score yourselves a copy of this fantastical book? You have one week to leave me a comment letting me know where you get your craft inspiration from. Cath Kidston gets her inspiration from a vintage-inspired English country look. I get lots of ideas from the color combinations in vintage fabric. Where do you get your ideas? Blogs, a walk in the park, books, a closer look at your trash or recycling bin, magazines - inspiration can come from pretty unexpected places I'd love to know where you get yours. Next Wednesday I'll choose two lucky winners!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
As I mentioned yesterday I'm a little obsessed with the whole initials carved into the tree thing. So much so that I had to try my hand at it. Since it is Tallulah's first Valentines Day I decided I would make her a carved tree softie. Who says initials in trees are only for couples, what about moms and babies? So cozy in for a sewing, dying, painting, pillow kinda I Love to Create.
Tulip Fabric Markers
Tulip Soft Fabric Paint
Tulip Fabric Dye
Sewing Machine & Stuff
Like most of my craft projects this plushie started in one direction and ended up completely different. My friend Noelle was sweet enough to give me some fabric that looked like woodgrain. However, in the end I decided to make my own. Using a black Tulip Fabric Marker I drew a woodgrain pattern onto white cotton fabric. You can make the pattern as detailed as you would like.
Once I had the wood pattern drawn onto my white fabric it was time to make my tree trunk brown. Follow the instructions on the package.
Using green fabric (if you had more white fabric you could always dye it green) draw a circle or more random pattern for your tree top. Cut out the fabric and pin right sides together, stitch leaving a small slit, turn right side out stuff and hand sew the slit closed.
Do the same thing with your tree trunk and then sew them together.
PAINT YOUR INITIALS IN THE TREE
Once the pillow was completely stuffed and sewn I painted a heart with the words: "Mom + Lulu". Now Tallulah and I have our own sweetheart tree!
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
For being out of town 5 days last week I feel like I got a lot accomplished in the studio. I do have to give thanks where thanks is due, so a big fat shout out to my husband Chris for busting his toosh while I was gone and painting my peg board. What was once a plain white wall is now aqua-rageous. I spent all afternoon Sunday hanging jewelry back on my new and improved peg board and even adding a few custom shelves that I am patting myself on the back for.
Let's start with the obligatory before picture of the peg board. You can see more before pictures on Volume 5 of Operation Craft Space Clean Up.
Feast your eyes on this bad boy. All bright and shiny, complete with shelving and organized by jewelry type.
I thought the TV tray magnet boards were good, but I might love my new game board shelves even more. I had been hoarding some vintage board games (Junior Executive, Mork & Mindy and The Bionic Woman) to make into shelves. I never found just the right spot for them so they have been sitting dormant in a locker waiting. Then this weekend Craft Zine maven Rachel Hobson posts pictures of her studio and there on her peg board was a wee little shelf made from her copy of the Sukie Iron On Book and inspiration hit. I couldn't get my hot little hands on those game boards quick enough!
For those of you that sell things, how do you organize your product? I obviously use peg board (and a few shelves) to hold the jewelry that is for sale on Naughty Secretary Club. Do you make your product when an order comes in or do you make a bunch ahead? If you answered the latter where do you store those things while they wait patiently for their forever home?
My 5 day get away to McKinney, was a fruitful one in the thrift store department. I found a metal file folder and a new retro floral suitcase. Both will make great storage solutions in the studio. There are two in the picture because I also found another one in a closet that was mine when I was a child. It even still has a little Amtrack tag with my name on it from the family vacation we took to see grandma one year via train. Adding those babies to the collection!
My goal for next week is to get busy with my label maker. I'll keep you posted!
Monday, February 08, 2010
Have I mentioned lately how rad my mom is? So rad that her Record Bowl Bags are featured in the current issue of Haute Handbags.
Friday, February 05, 2010
Did you hear the rumors? I have actually started adding new jewelry to Naughty Secretary Club. The plan is to add something new everyday in February. Notice how I chose the shortest day in the year! All the goodies are handmade by yours truly and one of a kind, so once it's gone it's gone. Take a peeksie now and again to see what I have been up to.
Thursday, February 04, 2010
I am currently spending the week at my parent's house with Tallulah which means craft party in the USA. Last time I was here visiting my mother was on a shell mosaic bender, this time around it is all about the recycled robots. No piece of metal is safe around these parts. I witnessed her tear apart an innocent vegetable steamer for her art with the ferocity of a hungry jungle cat jumping on it's prey. Of course, I too caught junk-bot fever and had to join in the fun. One vintage can of Dr. Scholls foot powder later I too find myself looking at silverware and tea balls in a whole new light.
Liquid Fusion Glue
Nuts, Washers and Bolts
DIVE INTO YOUR JUNK DRAWER
You might be surprised by what you have lying around your own house to use on your robot. If you are low on supplies it's nothing a quick trip to the thrift store can't fix. Look for old tins, metal measuring cups and spoons, defunct cameras - what you use on your robot is completely up to you.
The fun part is deciding how you are going to put together your recycled rubbish robot. Some parts were glued in place using Liquid Fusion Glue like his little red bottle cap hat and google eyes. Other parts like the arms made from olive picks were attached by drilling through the tin then attaching with nuts and bolts.
Just when I finally get my studio clean another hobby comes along. Of course it involves hoarding random junk, which I need like a hole in the head. Since when has that ever stopped me? I do after all have a few empty plastic bins left from all my organizing and cleaning begging to be filled up with metal junk for future robots.
I can only take credit for the Dr. Scholls Robot, the rest of the awesome creations belong to the amazingly talented Fredda Perkins, AKA my mom. However, I fully intend to raid my own junk drawers and make a few more the minute I get back to Austin.
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Last month I conquered cleaning my studio, this month I am determined to get it organized. I am finding the key to getting organized is finding the right storage solution for the right job. Sure I have just as many clear plastic bins as the next guy, but I have a few other fun things helping me sort my craft supplies. Like for instance this vintage wooden soda crate holding all my craft paint. Used to hold magazines, but not anymore.
Why would I let this blue beauty hide in the bottom of a silverware drawer when it could be out loud and proud holding my paintbrushes and paint markers.
This drawer started life holding meat in a fridge, wound up in the trash where I found it, lived as a planter in my yard for years and is now holding swag in my studio.
Down the shelf from the meat drawer is a weenie dog butter dish and a lime green planter now reclaimed as office tools.
As mentioned in Operation Craft Space Clean Up Volume 4 I transformed a couple of old TV trays into a magnet board.
Directly above my spiffy new magnet boards lives a myriad of reinvented office storage solutions. I love using vintage kitchen tins around my office. A children's tin toy washing machine holds pens and my metal files. You might recall my wallpaper covered tin and customized ice cream carton which now sit on a shelf and hold random odds and ends.
I told ya, I love those old kitchen containers.
An unusual item in my studio soon to be replaced is the old door I revamped into a work table with the help of some pink Ikea table legs.
Underneath my worktable lives my suitcase storage. Some of the suitcases are studios to go when I teach classes, others hold vintage cookbooks and postcards one is the lap top case I made.
Old teapots and cookie jars without lids make great storage solutions for colored pencils and pens. How could I pass up the groovy ice bucket that probably made cocktails at a key party? It now holds office supplies on my desk.
In my search for perfect studio organization I am eyeballing a few books. Got any favorites on the topic I should look into?
First up is Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art by Rice Freeman-Zachery. This book intrigues me because it looks like more than a book with just pictures of studio spaces. I gather there are plenty of styduio spaces to look at, but also tips and tricks about how to find the time create.
Next on my short list is Art Making & Studio Spaces: Unleash Your Inner Artist: An Intimate Look at 31 Creative Work Spaces by Lynne Perrella. I have Lynne's book Alphabetica: An A-Z Creativity Guide for Collage and Book Artists (Quarry Book) so from my experience thus far I'd like to think this would be a good book. 31 different studios to snoop through does sound good!
There is not one, but two versions of the next book. First there is the original Where Women Create: Inspiring Work Spaces of Extraordinary Women by Jo Packham. I have blogged about Jo before because she featured my bathroom and old living room in her book Kitschy Crafts: A Celebration of Overlooked 20th-Century Crafts. I have actually flipped through this book before. There is a part 2 to this book coming out this spring that is high on my amazon wish list called Where Women Create: Book of Inspiration: In the Studio and Behind the Scenes with Extraordinary Women.
Last, but not least is Organizing Your Craft Space also by Jo Packham. The title alone sounds like it is pretty applicable to my current situation.
Do you own any of these books? Can you recommend them?