Monday, June 28, 2010

Laina's 1st Birthday Party

We had a great time celebrating Laina's first birthday party. It poured rain just before the party was about to start but then the clouds parted to a beautiful afternoon! Laina really enjoyed her cupcake (although she wasn't sure about the icing and really wasn't sure about everyone staring at her while she ate it...). She got lots of great presents including clothes, toys and some keepsakes like a silver engraved cup from "GG" aka Great Grandmother Elaine.
I tried to make everything I could from the cupcake picks to the happy birthday pennant banner to the shrimp & watermelon ceviche. The light was incredible that day which meant all the pictures came out wonky. Enjoy nonetheless. I also have some links to the areas I got inspiration from below:

Inspiration list:
Tom Kat Studio for the cupcake picks
Tissue Paper Pom-Poms from Martha

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Wedding Tree Guestbook

As far as I'm concerned, the wedding guestbook is useless. I've never once looked back at mine nor do I think I'll ever do so. If I don't remember that you were at my wedding (though my wedding was huge) then I'm certainly not going to remember if I see your name on a page in your haphazardly scribed signature/writing in a bound album covered with white satin and the obligatory white tulle bow...

So when a close friend was getting married, and she's already prone to non-traditional things, I sought out creative things that I could help with. One thing I came across in my blog obsession aka affair was a wedding tree. I first saw it here. And after suggesting it to the bride and obtaining her approval, she gave me full rein to make this happen for her day.

I got a Michael's Coupon for 50% off canvases and combined that with a sale that was already going on... and voila! I had purchased 2 large canvases for about $3.

Next, I worked on painting the tree. I searched for a tree that I liked and printed it out to scale for the canvas. Then using a charcoal pencil I traced the outline of the tree. Flip that puppy over onto the canvas and I had a good start for painting the tree.

I then went to work painting the tree. Estimating the number of "leaf"s I'd have to accommodate, I added a few branches here and there.

Pretty soon, she was a lookin' good!

I got a few pictures of the final product.

For the thumbprint "Leaf"s I purchased some ink in the colors of green, brown and a lime-ish shade. They worked really well.

Don't forget the pen to have them sign, I used a sharpie like this. And, also baby wipes for guests to wipe off their thumb afterward.

Overall, it was a hit! And I think it's truly a guestbook that they will be able to enjoy for years to come. Only time will tell I guess. :) 

If you want to see the rest of the pics from that day, you can see them at my personal family blog here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Camera Straps

After finding this tutorial from @PriddyCreations, I decided to make a camera strap cover for my boring Sony Alpha Camera Strap. Now I don't consider myself a professional anything, photog, sewer (seamstress, whatever you call people who sew) or cook. But I'm mildly good at all of them... well maybe not that far.

I can follow instructions. As long as I can find a tutorial written for a total idiot then I can sew anything. A good recipe that doesn't include too many big words or fancy ingredients is all I need to make a good dinner.

Photography has always been something that is not that easy. You have to have an eye for the right image. I have chosen just to shoot about 4,000 images to get one I like. But nonetheless, I have a nice fancy camera that I use regularly. I made this strap cover with limited trouble. She had good instructions.

So after feeling a little success, I got brave. I texted my cousin who takes BEAUTIFUL pictures you can see here. I secretly covet her talent. I asked her if she needed a new camera strap (forgetting to include the word 'cover') and she enthusiastically said 'Yes!' and that she really needed one that was long enough to sling over her shoulder. She is into wedding season now and will be on her Pregnant feet all summer. So, I figured i could easily adapt the tutorial from Priddy Creations and make the full strap. I used a dog collar for the straps and cut up an old makeup bag for the end parts that attach the straps. I think she really liked it. Go me!

I had to cut off my head so you wouldn't see the atrociousness of me without makeup.

Next up, I think I'll give the ruffle camera strap a try with the U Create June Challenge!

U Create

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Frozen Strawberry Jam

Strawberries are in season which means it's time to make a big batch of Frozen Strawberry Jam. After rave reviews from the family on this particular one, I've kept it in the rotation of things I make. Other ones, like the pear & cherry chutney have fallen by the wayside mostly because, in my personal opinion, it tasted like ass. Maybe I just don't like Chutney, or maybe it was awful chutney... either way, I'm giving away the last few jars to my friend (who for some reason liked it) and never going there again. There should be a guideline for people. "Try this recipe if you're weird and like weird things" instead of "this is the best recipe ever!" because the latter is just not true.

Ok, so this weekend I'm going to go buy a big mess of strawberries and put up the jam. I am one for following the recipe on the back of the package but I'm thinking I may try a little lavender or vanilla.... just because I think it sounds a little fancy.