Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Contributor for Bird's Party & Coffee Filter Roses

I have some fun news to share! I am the newest contributor for Bird's Party Blog.  Bird welcomed me with this very sweet introduction.  Bird is one of my favorite party peeps. She is an amazing designer, stylist, and editor of Bird's Party Magazine.  I am so honored to work with her!

I had to celebrate my great news with some beautiful flowers...


Rather, I had to celebrate my great news by buying making some beautiful red roses. Can you guess what they are made of?




Yes, coffee filters, water colors, floral tape, and wire courtesy of this tutorial from Martha. 


See, no water needed and cost under $2 to make.

Linking to: 30 Days Handmade, Whipperberry, Tatertots and Jello

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Crepe Paper Ruffle Cups {Tutorial}

In case you missed this yesterday on Piggy Bank Parties, here's my tutorial for making pretty ruffle cups.

Crepe paper ruffle garlands make easy and inexpensive party decorations. I had an idea to embellish paper cups using this pretty ruffle, but with two boys I had to wait for a girl party to come along. I finally got to help a friend create a Pajama Glam Barbie party. We used hot pink and light pink ruffles on black paper cups to match the theme. Maria from Love and Sugar Kisses brilliantly discovered a way to make a no-sew version of the ruffle cups for her Piggy Ballerina Party, so today I will show you both ways!

Both methods create a darling ruffle cup (sewing method on left, no-sew on right) 


Materials:
Crepe Paper (2 colors)
Glue or Tape
Sewing Machine
Paper cup or glass bottle

Ruffle Cup Sewing Method Directions:

1. Gather 2 rolls of crepe paper together. Pleat about 3" of crepe paper at a time and slowly sew a straight line down the center of the pleated crepe paper. 


A closer look at the pleats


Sew as much ruffle garland as needed. Cut pieces to fit the cup or bottle. Attach with tape or hot glue. 
Fluff the ruffle if desired. 



Crepe Paper Ruffle Cup No-Sew  Method:

Add a line of glue around the center of the cup


Scrunch crepe paper into the glue to create ruffles by pinching. 


Add more glue as you go if needed

Embellish as desired...

For the Pajama Glam party I added Barbie confetti to the ruffled cups 

Maria tied tulle to her paper straws, I just love the way the cups turned out!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Boy Bash on a Budget Challenge {For Spaceships and Laser Beams}

When Spaceships and Laser Beams extended an invitation to party enthusiasts to participate in a Boy Bash on a Budget Challenge, I knew this challenge was for me because it included three of my favorite things... BOYS, PARTIES, and BUDGETS!


I will be creating a Vintage Fishing Tablescape for $20 or less. I chose this theme for a few reasons, one I really love the graphics in this collection by Spaceships and Laser Beams. It is really unique and offers many ways to work with it. 


The second reason, is well this...


All three of my boys love to fish!

Spaceships and Laser Beams will showcase the final party pictures from the 25 of us participating every Tuesday starting in April. If you have a brilliant (cheap) fishing party ideas, let me know! I might just be able to add it to the table!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kid Approved Healthy Apple Snacks {for Piggy Bank Parties}

I'm sharing a simple, yet fun and healthy snack idea over on Piggy Bank Parties today. It is a reminder to myself that not everything has to be beautiful, complicated, or perfect. 



JOY can be found in simplicity


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

{BEHIND THE SCENES} KATE LANDER'S BABY SHOWER

You've seen the gorgeous photos and read about all the amazing vendors who contributed to Kate Lander's ultra classic baby shower, now it's time to share a little behind the scenes look at what goes into a party like this. For example, can you find the stain on the backdrop? Or can you guess which dessert is too hard to actually eat? Nope, I didn't think so... but they are there. All parties have hiccups, but this party had very few  because of how well we worked together and executed Kate's vision.

All images courtesy of the ultra talented and cool as cucumber Liza Voll Photography

HIGHLIGHTS:

HELP WANTED: Many months ago Kate posted a request for design assistance for a special event. I had an inkling that it would be her own baby shower. I also knew the event was 500 miles from where I lived. I sent Kate my craft resume and nearly fainted when there was a reply email from Kate Landers in my inbox.

FIRST PHONE CALL: Can you imagine all the things that run through your mind as you wait for Kate to call you? I banished my husband to the basement. He was oddly amused by my sweaty palms, notebook, and open Google browser.

Kate's voice was calm and collected. The first half hour was spent talking about my projects. I babbled on wondering how on earth this event planning legend was interested in my projects. Her answers were thoughtful, thorough, and genuine. We then turned the conversation to the baby shower and she gave me a few projects to work on. We continued to communicate via phone and emails. Our conversations always started with a check in of my projects and the kids. The anticipation of meeting Kate was growing and I was truly looking forward to helping her with this most special and personal event.


TRAVEL: Yes, I traveled 500 miles to go see baby Noah and mommy-to-be Kate. I grew up in Boston so I love any excuse to get home and visit my family! Due to some eastern PA flooding I almost didn't make it out of PA, but we finally arrived in MA around 3:30am. 

FRIDAY BABY SHOWER SET UP: Kate gives me a huge hug and welcomes me in. Christy from Inspired Design arrives with a ginormous party kit and contagious smile. You can tell we all *love* doing this. We squeal over all the pristine Loralee Lewis printed goodies, the immaculate details on the fondant diaper bags by Lynlee and all the other amazing vendors who have labored hours on these meticulous creations. We quickly realize we have a lot of work to do! I really wanted to snap a picture of Kate's husband IRONING, but I refrained (heck, I had only been in a part of the Landers' Team a few hours now). Ryan is the most doting, darling, supportive party planner's husband I have ever met. He not only irons tablecloths, but lifts heavy objects, delivers endless supplies of Dunkin' Donuts coffees and McDonald's flurries, builds backdrops, and knows where all Kate's party boxes are in the basement. May we clone him?


SATURDAY- IT'S SHOWER TIME: Kate walks in wearing a beautiful bright blue dress and hair still in curlers. She is way more relaxed about crunch time than I expected. I am always a pre-party wreck! There are the usual last minute details to attend to such as beverages, food, desserts, wreaths, favors, and pictures.


Liza, our photographer arrives. The dessert table is not quite ready, but she is unfazed by this. She works around our scrambling and takes beautiful shots. Guests start arriving and Kate transforms from party planner to guest of honor. The moment Kate sat down in that big comfy chair, I knew the rest of the party was in our hands and she could relax and enjoy her day.


Kate's family and friends are warm and gracious as she. Everyone enjoyed designing wood blocks with baby wishes for baby Noah. There were many compliments on the immaculate desserts. Gifts were opened with thoughtfulness and care. Kate's friends and family showered her with Pottery Barn Kids and Layla Grace gift boxes that suited her classic and elegant style.


POST SHOWER: My favorite part. Kate stole precious time away from her family and friends to talk with Christy and I before we left. We chatted about our goals and motherhood. Kate offered us some valuable advice and presented us each with one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received. Kate gave each of us cake plates and signed the bottom. My "Kate Cake Plates" have made an appearance at all my parties ever since! It is a special reminder of the risk worth taking and the bond that passion and creativity can create among new friends.


POST SHOWER UPDATE: Baby Noah arrived safe and sound this fall. Mommy Kate, Daddy Ryan, and Baby Noah are all doing well. Of course Loralee Lewis created the most beautiful birth announcement for Noah. Kate, I cannot wait to see what you have in mind for Noah's 1st birthday. Team Landers is ready and willing!


See the entire Baby Shower feature on Layla Grace, and more details from Kate over on Kate Landers Events.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Peppermint Heart Sugar Cookies

Need a last minute gift idea?  How about some Valentine sugar cookies for someone special? I made Peppermint Sugar Cookies for my annual cookie exchange with friends over the holidays. They were delicious! The pretty specks of pink and red peppermint made me think that these would make such pretty Valentine cookies. I modified the recipe slightly below.


 

Ingredients: 
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup finely crushed hard red and white peppermint candies or candy canes
additional powdered sugar for rolling
heart shaped cookie cutter
white chocolate chips (optional)


Directions:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and salt). Set aside

2. Beat butter and powdered sugar with a mixer until fluffy, add an egg yolk and mix until blended. Add egg whites and peppermint extract and mix well. Slowly add dry ingredients in. Then add finely crushed peppermint candies and white chocolate chips (if desired). 

3. Form a ball with the cookie batter, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour. 

4. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and have a bowl of powdered sugar ready. 

5. Make 1 inch balls, roll in powdered sugar and flatten with palm. Use heart shape cookie cutter to cut out heart. Dip again in powdered sugar and place on parchment paper. Use a fork to make crisscross design. 

6. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees until bottoms are golden brown. Cool on wire racks. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Won a Skype Chat With Tori Spelling!

a Mickey/Minnie Mouse Party Package!

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Tori Spelling is one crafty, chic mommy. I adore her incredible eye for design (ranging from interior design, children's clothing, jewelry, and event planning), her incredible love story, and laid back approach to parenting.

This fall she started ediTORIal, an online site full of craft ideas, entertainment and style segments. To celebrate the season finale of her reality television show, Tori & Dean Home Sweet Hollywood, Tori hosted a scavenger hunt on her site where one lucky winner who answered all the questions correctly would win a Skype or FaceTime chat with Tori and her family. I made the hubby sit in total silence on the couch as we (well, I) watched the season finale of the show. I submitted my answers and had a good feeling about it. 

I saw the email that the winner was posted... my jaw hit the floor and suddenly I was jumping frantically around the room screaming "I WON"!

So her peeps are going to call my peeps to set up a date for our chat. 
In the meantime, I need questions people!

Send me some questions, comments, anything you would like to me chat about with Tori & family!

One other random fact: 5 years again a mentalist came to entertain the crowd at my husband's Christmas Party. He picked me out of the crowd to help with one of this demonstrations. As I was returning to my seat, he pointed at me and said "someday you will meet Tom Hanks". Wha...?

Wonder if the mentalist saw an image of part of a celebrity's name T-O.... TOri?

Hmmm....? 

Monday, February 6, 2012

{GIVEAWAY} Minnie Mouse Party Package by Shindig Diva!

This giveaway is now closed. The new winner is Kat!


I am totally smitten over this Minnie Mouse 1st birthday party by Tara from Shindig Diva.  Not only has Tara shared a bunch of fabulous tutorials on her blog about this party, but she has been kind enough to GIVEAWAY a complete Minnie Mouse Party Package here to one lucky reader!

Tara created a bright, dramatic, and super budget friendly backdrop using a black tablecloth and red tissue paper. She also used a red polka tablecloth, red polka dot ribbon, and black accents to tie her theme together. 

This is one fantastic DIY Minnie Mouse centerpiece 

.......................


Now for the GIVEAWAY!!! One lucky will win an entire Mickey/Minnie Mouse Party Package!

You will receive the following: 
Picnik collage

Want To Enter?

1. Become a fan of Shindig Diva on Facebook, be sure to stop over and tell Tara you are new fan from the giveaway . Leave a comment here on this post telling me you have done this. 

2. (Extra Entry):  Like Crossing the Bugger-Dixon Line on Facebook. Leave a comment here when you have done this, letting me know if you are a new fan or already a fan. 

Giveaway ends Friday, February 10, 2012 at 11:00 PM  EST. Winner will be chosen by random.org and announced on the blog Saturday, February 11, 2012. Winner will also be notified via email. so please be sure to leave your contact information if it is not already visible. Good luck!

Friday, February 3, 2012

How to Add a Pinterest "Pin It" Button To Your Blog

Have you noticed a "Pin It" button underneath pictures on some blogs? Ever wondered how to do that?

You will have to follow these steps for EACH picture you want add a Pin It Button. What is the advantage of doing this? First, it provides a quick and easy method for readers to pin your pictures. Second,  the Pin It button will show you how many times your picture has been pinned.
...................

Step 1: Head over to Pinterest and click the About button (top right corner), scroll to the Pin It Button option in the drop down box



Step 2: Scroll Down until you reach Pin It Button For Websites



Step 3: Type in the URL of the specific webpage the pin is on, for example my URL for this pin was:



Step 4: Type in the URL of the image to be pinned 
To find this, right clicking on the image and chose Copy image URL. Paste URL into field

Step 5: Add a description of the picture. The description you add will appear in the description box for the pin

Step 6: The URL information you added will now create an HTML Code. 
Copy this HTML code into your blog HTML code, directly below the picture you would like the Pin It button to appear under. 


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When readers click your Pin It button, it will automatically add your picture and your description to their Pinterest board. The BEST feature of this tool is that Pinterest will show you how many times your picture has been pinned on Pinterest!
I added a Pin it button to this picture just for kicks...

Wow.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

"I Dig You" Valentine's Day Dessert

Pluff Mud Studio has added adorable Valentine's Day circles to her shop. I immediately started brainstorming all the fun Valentine's Day projects that my boys could dig into. Head over to her blog to see the beyond cute way she used shovels and candy with these tags!


I am planning on surprising my boys with a Valentine's Day dessert


I layered chocolate pudding and special pink berry flavored Oreos to look like dirt


I hope they enjoy digging into their desserts,
because I really DIG surprising them!

"I Dig You" Circles are available and can be customized here
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