Monday, December 17, 2012

Secret Santa Sharpie

It's crunch time and no amount of planning can prepare for those last minute holiday gifts you might need. This past weekend I went to a Secret Santa party hosted by my friend Joanne. I'm pretty certain she could publish all of Pinterest, yet swears she's never been on it. If that's true, I hate her for her super awesome creativity.

Why? Every year Joanne hosts a girl's night themed Christmas party and every year is a different theme. One year it was panties, one year movies, and this year recipes. We had to bring a recipe along with a wrapped gift that somehow went along with the recipe. We all had tons of fun doing it. I had a creamy chicken noodle soup recipe and decided to theme my present around the idea of comfort food. I found a super plush blanket in the agreed price range, but wanted to add something cute and fun with it. Wherever would I turn for ideas on a last minute gift? Pinterest!!

I'd been dying to make these Sharpie mugs and thought this was perfect. How cozy is a warm blanket and cup of tea? So I snagged some cute bargain mugs and my favorite markers and read several pins of instructions. Now here is the debate. Several posts say use normal Sharpies, and others say you have to use the greasy, paint Sharpies. I used the regular ones since I already had them and had no issues hand washing with a sponge after baking.

Here is what I made :)

I blanked out on what to make after drawing the mustaches and just made a very Rachel Berry-esque heart. I stuffed them with tea and travel size lotion alongside the blanket. Afterwards I found these and kicked myself. So many cute ideas!!!

The possibilities are literally endless!!!!!

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Photog fails

Does Pinterest make anyone else feel like they could be a professional photographer? I see so many pins on how to take awesome photos of my kid, cute poses, what camera settings to use, etc. How hard could this be?

When will I learn??!! Probably never, now that I have a kid. And I keep hoping one of these cute poses I find on Pinterest will actually turn out when I try with my super amateur skills.


My sad attempt 

My advice for future attempts would be to wait for your kid to sit up. This was super frustrating. He also had no interest in the lights whatsoever and just stared at me blankly. This always makes for a good picture. I also could not get the shutter speed correct with the focus. So it turned out pretty blah.


Cute, right? Here's my not so successful one:

Advice for future attempts: I think the baby in the inspiration photo is older. Moral of the story is I have zero patience and must try everything the minute I see it. Regardless of the fact that my baby may not be ready. Details, details. Also, my baby HATES being on his tummy. This was a key issue. Also, when we can get him on his stomach, he does this awesome skydiver form, and shoves, his arms behind his back. This would be great if a parachute were attached. Not great when trying to prevent face-planting into mirrors. This prevented him from holding his head up as high as the kid in the inspiration photo, another reason mine turned out horrible. Little details to look for. No amount of photoshop can fix this poor shot. Lots of Windex to remove drool and spit up from mirror, though. :)

Last one.



I actually like this one. It's taken in his little cradle which was actually mine when I was a kid. And he's wearing my favorite onsie I got at H&M. You can't see as much as his face like the inspiration photo but I love his body shape and all the browns in the photo. He looks like a little frog which is what I called him at our first ultrasound at seven weeks, my little tree frog. :)

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Monday, December 3, 2012

You Wreath Some You Lose Some

For years I have been wanting to make one of those ornament wreaths where you string ornaments on a wire hanger. Like here. I've saved several pins on the subject and waited all year to do this one. I stocked up on shiny silver ornaments, hoarded wire hangers from the dry cleaners and had the instructions memorized. There was no way I was screwing this one up. Ha.

Well, please allow me to share what NOT to do when making one of these wreaths.

  • Do NOT assume you have enough ornaments. It takes about a million. No kidding. There are at least 50 on mine and that was after two trips to the store and I finally gave up and just shortened the wreath circle. 
  • Do NOT take shortcuts. Out of five sets of instructions, four of them told me to hot glue the ornament tops to the glass balls. The fifth one said I didn't need to. This lazy gal went with the fifth one. FYI - those are not shatterproof, they make a huge mess which my dog is suicidal-ly attracted to, and the ornaments randomly pop off even after the wreath is made, not just while you are stringing. 
  • Do NOT use the large ornament balls. I thought this would take up more space on my wreath and the project would go faster. For one thing, it's not as cute in the end with the large ornaments. For another, it's harder to get the ornaments closer together to hide the hanger. And the third reason leads to my next list item:
  • Do NOT assume the ornaments will fit on your door if you also have a screen/glass storm door. This was possibly the most depressing blow. I finally finished the wreath, hung it on the door and then couldn't shut it! Project fail! I wished I had measured the depth between the storm door and the front door before starting and even purchasing ornaments. 

So here is my finished ornament wreath on our hall closet door. It was our compromise.

The places where it looks lopsided are where ornaments popped off and broke. :(

So I had to make a new wreath for the front door. And I was definitely over my obsession with Christmas Ornaments at this point. I had a foam wreath and yarn on hand so I decided to try a yarn wrapped wreath like this one. This project went soooooooooooo much easier than the last one. After wrapping the yarn, I just wrapped some holly berries on the wreath with the same color yarn and we were set. 

Now one of these days, I will be smart enough to stop when I'm ahead. But I get this project high and must...keep....going. I have more yarn, and an entire house to decorate...what else can I wrap? 

How about making paper cones, and wrapping them into Christmas trees? How cute would these be on a table? I started with a cliche green yarn tree. Worked great. Then I started getting creative. I found some red twine. This was harder to wrap tightly enough, but turned out quite cute in the end. Then I went too far. I have always been distracted by sparkly/shiny objects. In my box of ribbon I found silver metallic cord. I will say I gave this a good three tries and below is what happened. The cord kept twisting on itself and then popping off. I'm going to redo the third three with grey yarn, but I just need a wrapping break for now.