Two of some of my favorite people were born in July. My friend Laura and my oldest nephew. I've known Laura for going on 22 years. Laura is one of those friends that basically always has your back. She's probably threatened to beat up every one of my shady boyfriends at one time or another, so when she met Mr. Bean and loved him, I pretty much knew he had to be The One. She inspires me to find joy in the little things in life - like the little chocolates you get with your meal on the airplane or the fruit tarts you find in bakeries all over France - as well as the mundane things - like cooking a pot roast. I don't know that I will ever understand why she thinks I am so awesome (because she really does tell people that I am awesome) but I hope I am half the friend to her that she is to me.
Laura has an understated elegance that I could never achieve. While I am loud and crass, Laura is quiet and refined. I love hot pink and bright orange, she loves pale pinks and blues. I love excess, she believes in moderation. When it came time to make her a birthday card, I decided to do something that was a little bit of the both of us: minimal with a little bit of drama.
My inspiration was basically a birthday banner. I didn't want to do a pennant banner because I wanted to challenge myself to think outside of my tiny creative box. I originally wanted to try a pop up card where when the card was opened, this banner pops up and basically screams 'Happy Birthday' at you, but it was getting late and I couldn't get it to work properly. Maybe another time. So, I decided to go with a party-in-an-envelope concept. In my head, it would be like an instant party.
Step 1. Pull the string.
Step 2. Start the party.
Isn't that kind of how it goes? Well, that's how it goes in my head, anyways.
For this card, I drew out all the letters by hand, then cut them out and sewed them together with my sewing machine. That's about it! The patterened paper is all Martha Stewart. The envelopes are from Paper Source. The kraft cardstock is Bazzill.
One of my other favorite people born this month is my oldest nephew. He is going to be 15 tomorrow. I can't begin to tell you how old that makes me feel. And short. Because he is probably 2 feet taller than me already. This year my sister-in-law decided to throw him a surprise party with all of his friends, so she asked me to make the cake. But, why eat cake when you can have a cupcake? That's my motto.
I tried not to make the cupcakes too childlike since he is 15, but I still wanted them to be cute. So, I took some of my Japanese washi tape and toothpicks and created some cupcake toppers.
Please forgive the color of the chocolate icing. I cut out some of the chocolate the recipe required because the grocery store only had semi sweet chocolate when I needed unsweetened chocolate. I was sweating it for a while, but luckily I only got one dookie comment from an entire crowd of 15 year old boys, so I'll count it as a success.
And, just in case you are interested - ok, really, I am trying to put off making dinner - for his cake, I made him a cupcake cake with 6 cupcakes and a ton of icing. I tried to decorate it so that it matched the cupcake toppers, but I doubt anyone noticed that. Since my nephew is a texting fool (he only uses about 20 minutes of actual phone time, but manages to send out about 25,000 texts a month....seriously), I thought I'd get all witty on him and put 'HB2U' in lieu of the much longer 'Happy Birthday'. Just trying to stay hip, you know. One cupcake at a time. Unfortunately, I don't think it worked. Instead of the high-fives and loud bursts of exclamations like "Your Aunt is sooo awesome!" that I anticipated, several kids asked what it meant. But, I look at it this way. Maybe I am just head of my time.....
Alright, well, I've neglected house, home, and husband this past week, so I've got my work cut out for me. Mr. Bean has been forced to eat sandwiches for dinner lately and I'm pretty sure the jig is up and he's caught on that it's not a home style version of the newest Quiznos sandwich.