Friday, April 20, 2012

Favorite Things Party- Prize #3, 4, and 5

If you haven't seen this post and this post, check out the other prizes I made and what they're for. No reason to repeat myself again for anyone who might be following along.

So, picking up where I left off, I do have one more wreath to showcase, but it's not done yet, so I'll move on to the canvases. I like painting canvases and creating wall art. So I decided to do some sayings that would fit the Favorite Things Party theme really well.

My first one is this one:

I saw a similar painting done with black and white stripes and a red heart in the middle filled with buttons. That's a post for another day, but I made a similar one for my MOPS bake sale and loved it. I wanted to recreate it for the party, but decided to do rainbow colors instead of black and white and then did a white heart to contrast the rainbow. The buttons are white and clear, although the flash makes the clear ones look almost silver. This is an easy project to do with great results, and I'll explain the whole thing in a future post. I promise!

My next canvas was this one:

The colors seem muted in the picture, but they go in a gradient from pink to orange, yellow, green, blue, and end in purple- much brighter in real life. The top and bottom phrases are also in white. So far, the people that have seen this are already staking their claim on it!

And, finally, my 3rd canvas is this one:

I saw this quote used on someone else's favorite things party and loved how it fit in with the theme. Plus, I love the movie Elf and think this line is adorable from it. I incorporated the colors of the party and the chevron scheme. It was really time consuming, but I like it over all. I hope others like the cuteness of the quote or the movie it comes from too!

Favorite Things Party- Prize #2

As I shared in my last post, I needed prizes for my party games and wanted to share my FAVORITE crafts with my party guests. Since I love making wreaths and had many friends express interest in them in the past, I decided to make 3 for the prizes. This is wreath #2:

I used a real foam wreath form for this one (only $5.99 at Michael's, I believe)- makes a world of difference! I wrapped it in white cotton yarn, but unfortunately ran out with 1/4 of the wreath to go! It turned into a happy little accident because I ended up having a variegated cotton yarn that changed from white to teal to lime green in the same white and same texture as my original yarn was. I just started where I left off with the teal and then ended by spreading the green over the white that I began with. 

I already knew I was going to do felt hearts from the beginning, but didn't plan on having the colored yarn too. I cut my own heart free-hand on the felt and used a contrasting white thread to sew them up. Each heart is stuffed with the felt scraps left over from the heart. No need to waste! I glued the hearts on with hot glue, but felt I needed one more thing to tie it all together. So, I pulled out some little wooden letters to spell out the word "love". I painted them black and glued them on too. 

If I did it again, I'd shift the "love" and the hearts upward to the right so that the word doesn't overlap any of the green yarn. I think it would've been perfectly balanced that way. Still, I'm happy with the outcome! Not exactly what I originally planned, but that's the fun in making wreaths. The tend to change as you go along!

Here are some close up's of the details:

I owned all of the supplies (except for the wreath form) to begin with, so my total cost was only $5.99!

What do you think?

Favorite Things Party- Prize #1

My Favorite Things Party is just 8 days away! I'm so excited I can hardly contain myself! I've been working every free moment (which isn't much with a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old) to get everything done for it. There's so much I can't wait to share, but, so far, much of it is still in the prep stages- not much to actually show in pictures. However, I have several prizes for the games that I've completed and would love to show off!

We are playing two games at my party. The first is Bunko, which I shared in this post. There are 3 prizes for Bunko including one for most wins, one for most losses, and one for most Bunko's. The other game is similar to one played at baby showers where each guest receives an object upon entering the party (in my case, it's a penny). There is a forbidden word that guests are not allowed to say. It's one that's super common (like "baby" at showers) so that everyone is always on their toes. My word will be "favorite". I mean, how in the world are you supposed to share about your favorite object at a Favorite Things Party without saying the word "favorite"?! And, if you are caught saying the forbidden word, the person who catches you gets your object penny. The person with the most pennies wins a prize at the end of the party. It's a game that goes on for most of the party to allow people time to forget they are playing and slip up. Plus, the longer the game goes, the more likely that someone accumulates a significant number of pennies.

So, in having those 2 games, there are 4 prizes total. I was struggling at the beginning of my party planning to decide what "favorite thing" I wanted to bring to the party. I thought of all sorts of crafts I love to do, but couldn't narrow it down to just one. So I changed courses and decided to share my favorite crafts as prizes instead. Then I could do as many as I wanted, all different styles, and (hopefully) my guests would love their prizes. In fact, I ended up making 8 prizes total (2 for each winner) because I just couldn't quit!

Back in October, I helped out a friend by hosting a PartyLite party at my house. Normally, you just open up your house and allow the consultant to share their products, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity have creative food, favors, and prizes (all for another post someday). Anyway, long story short, I made 3 wreaths (my first ones) for door prizes that my guests fell in love with. Many were disappointed that they didn't win. And since I enjoy making them, I decided to make a few for the prizes at my Favorite Things Party. I wanted them to each coordinate with the color and theme of the party, yet be versatile enough to go in most people's homes.

This is the first one:

For this wreath, I used foam pipe insulation (a tip I learned from Pinterest). However, the tip doesn't really help when you discover that the insulation is all wonky and doesn't work right! It doesn't help to save money on a wreath form when the wreath turns out all cattywampus. So, I decided to stuff the insulation with tissue paper to help it have some substance to it. When compared to the real foam wreath forms, though, I hate this kind. The real stuff is just a million times better- heavier, harder, and perfectly round. By appearances, there is little to no difference, but once you pick it up, you can see the quality difference.

Anyway, I wrapped this one in gray yarn. I added blue, pink, and green pinwheels (you'll see LOTS and LOTS of more pinwheels soon!) with hot glue and made a few criss-crosses with coordinating yarn with glue in the back to hold them in place.

I wasn't sure at first how much I liked it, but I've grown to really like it. And, when my best friend saw it, she loved it right away. So, I'm hoping my guests feel the same!

Here are some close up's of the details:

I already had the pipe insulation from a previous wreath, but it normally is less than $1.50 for 6 feet of insulation. I also had the tissue paper, the yarn, the hot glue, and the paper and brads for the pinwheels. This made this wreath completely free! Even if you bought all of the supplies from the start, though, the whole cost would be less than $5 to complete.
What do you think?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Josiah's Mickey Mouse Party- Mickey Ears

One of the biggest hits of Josiah's party were the Mickey and Minnie headbands I made for each kid. I was in constant contact with the invited guests to make sure I knew who was coming and who wasn't. I LOVE making customized favors/gifts for friends and guests. Who doesn't love something specially made with their name on it?!?!

I got the tutorial from The Suburban Mom. This tutorial is perfect, and I can't think of anything noteworthy that I really did differently. One tiny adjustment was that I assembled the bow a little differently by wrapping the bow in the same ribbon and gluing it in place, rather than using ribbon to attach the entire bow to the headband. (You may be able to see the subtle difference in my picture compared to her's.) And the only other exception is that I also made tiny headbands for the newest little babies that were coming to the party. I found out the approximate size of the babies' heads, cut a piece of elastic accordingly, and used black felt to cover the elastic band. Then I glued the ears the same way I did the older kids' headbands.

Finally, for my own personalized touch, I used pink or red fabric paint to paint each kid's name on the ears. I tried my best to match the Disney font. And I made a few extra ones that were blank in case someone showed up that I wasn't expecting or in case an adult wanted one as well.

All of the guests enjoyed the headbands, from young to young-at-heart. My mom even insisted on having her own with "Nana" printed on the ear. Several adults took a blank one for them, and I even had a special request for some headbands for people who weren't even at the party. Two of my cousins had just returned from Disneyland weeks earlier. I was most worried they wouldn't appreciate the headbands, being the oldest kids at 7 & 9 years old. However, they were thrilled, saying that it was a reminder of their trip. They even helped model the headbands while I was still in the midst of production, helping me to ensure that everything was the right size for all ages.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Gender Reveal Party

In June of last year (2011), I was facing the half-way point of my pregnancy and eagerly anticipating the discovery of whether baby #2 was a boy or a girl. I had seen previous examples of gender reveal parties and knew that I couldn't pass up the opportunity to throw a special party, especially to celebrate my newest little one. Most of the parties I'd seen consisted of guests slicing open a cake or biting into a cupcake to reveal the hidden colored filling or batter. While this is an adorable idea, I'm always trying to find slightly new ways to do an event.

I started with pink and blue of every decor I could get my hands on!
We had pink and blue balloons, and some of them said "It's a boy" or "It's a girl" on them. I made signs to hang everywhere. I bought decorations for each gender. There were even pink and blue daisies on each table. Pink and blue was everywhere- down to the tablecloths, silverware, plates, and napkins. We even had kool-aid in both pink and blue for everyone to drink! I considered serving the foods that I had been craving, as a personal pregnancy touch, but I didn't figure that everyone wanted to eat salsa, pickles, and oranges. So, we ordered pizzas instead.

I strung the ultrasound pictures across the wall, but made sure to hide the gender revealing ones:

I asked all of the guests to wear pink or blue to showcase their guess for the baby's gender:

I, myself, stayed neutral and tie-dyed my own tank top blue an pink (didn't turn out as great as I hoped) and painted my toenails for the special occasion:

Finally, rather than having guests bite into cupcakes, I decided to have them bust open cupcake pinatas! I bought one girl pinata and one boy pinata. I filled each with lots of candy, and then one candy bar in each pinata had a sign taped to it revealing the baby's gender. This way, even when the pinata was opened, the guests still had to search for the right candy bar- more suspenseful in my opinion!

Surprise! Baby #2 is a boy!!! And we surprised everyone even further by announcing that we decided to completely change his name from the one we had been announcing all along! 
(Jaydon, my cousin, wearing the pinata as a hat.)

"You mean I'm having a baby brother?"
(Oh! How much of a difference 9 months makes! Josiah has grown so much!!!)

My best friend was just 3 months ahead of me in her pregnancy and she was also having a little boy:

Less than 5 months later, my baby boy, Micah James arrived! 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Favorite Things Party- Bunko Preview

If you've never played Bunko before, you are MISSING OUT!!! I think it is one of the most fun party games around.

To start, each person gets a score sheet to keep track of their points throughout the game. (There are variations to these rules, but this is how I play...)
(This is the one I designed to match my party scheme.)

Everyone sits at tables of four and each person is paired up with the person across from them (for this round only). You start with "ones" and the first person rolls 3 dice in the attempt to get as many 1's as possible. One "1" gets 1 point, two "1's" gets 2 points, three "1's" is a BUNKO and is worth 21 points. You roll until you no longer get any 1's, keeping score with every roll, and then you pass the dice to the person on your left. The only exception to this is if you get three of any number other than the one you are attempting to get (1's in this case), then you get 5 points, and you still get to keep rolling. The person to your left now attempts the same thing. Your partner's points and your's are combined together to create your team score. If you score a BUNKO, those 21 points go towards your team points, but only you get to claim the BUNKO as your own. This is important when it comes to prizes at the end. Just mark a tally on the BUNKO line at the bottom of the score sheet.

Dice are being rolled simultaneously at all tables around the room, as players at each table are trying to get as many points as possible In the meanwhile, there is a head table who is controlling the pace of the game. They ring the bell to start, and when one of the teams at the head table rolls either a BUNKO or achieves 21 points, they ring the bell again to end the round for everyone.

Each team will compare their points to the opposing team's points. The winners will place a "W" by the first column's "1" and each person on the losing team will place an "L" on their line. The losers then stay at their table, but one person switches seats so that they are no longer on the same team. The winning team of each table rotates to another table, also switching seats to have a new teammate. However, at the head table, it is vice versa. The winning team stays and the losing team moves on to the next table in the circle.

When the head table rings the bell to begin the round, everyone starts rolling for "2's". Again, one "2" is one point, two "2's" is two points, three "2's" is a BUNKO, and three of any other number is 5 points. The round continues as the previous one did. And, when the round is over, each table rotates and repeats the process for "3's", then "4's", "5's", and "6's". After all 6 rounds, you can choose to start at "1" again, and most groups seem to do this 4 times, according to the sources I found while trying to refresh myself on the rules.

Once your group has played as many times as their hearts desire, each person needs to tally their wins, losses, and BUNKO's. Then the host awards prizes to the person who scores the most wins, the most BUNKO's, and yes, even the most losses! It's a fun way to ensure that everyone has fun, and even the sucky players can walk away with a prize! Some groups play for money, where each person in the group contributes an amount and it goes into the pot for the winners. However, in my experience, the host just provides fun goodies (like thermoses or soap sets or cooking utensils).

The game is fast-paced and high energy, not to mention a total blast for everyone who plays. I've done it both as a youth group full of teenagers at church and as a women's night out with adult ladies of all ages.

Right now, I'm working on making the prizes for my upcoming party's BUNKO game. Stay tuned to see what I'm giving away!

Wreck This Journal

I found this journal from Amy's @ "Sometimes Creative" Favorite Things Party. This is my first book to own from Keri Smith, but I thought this idea was so utterly creative that I couldn't wait to order one! The basic idea is that people often don't want to write in their journal for fear of "ruining" it. So, Keri created a journal that's meant to be completely destroyed. The pages are filled with instructions on how to creatively "wreck" your journal, including tearing it up, poking holes in it, licking the pages, taking it for a walk, sleeping with it, and a whole mess of other ridiculously crazy ideas. It makes me creative little head go spinning with ideas on how to mess this journal up! My family, on the other hand, thinks I'm totally nuts. And my husband can't believe I paid money for something I'm going to destroy. But I'm stoked! And I'm going to document my wrecking process!!!

The first page I did instructs me to write my name in several different ways, saying this book belongs to me.

Next, I numbered every page... 1 to 184 (this furthered Jesse's thinking of how crazy I am!):

Then, I was told to crack the spine:

It's hard to document this, but you can see that the pages no longer lay flat:

And, my last project for the day was to trace my hand: