Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Obsessions and GSD

Happy Halloween!!  I'm going to get a last minute post here for October.  We look a little miserable here, but trust me, we were greatly rewarded for our efforts with lots and lots of treats.  

So, I think I spoke too soon last month.  I am technically back in Blogland, but I am trying to research anything and everything I will need and need to know for Baby Bean.  This has consisted of lots of internet searches as well as lots of emails asking my friends where the heck to start.  My friends are professionals now so they have given me so much awesome information.  Yay to having awesome friends.  However, any sort of crafting has come to a halt at the moment.  But, I am just enjoying the last few weeks of it just being me, Mr. Bean, and the Fred.

My obsessions this month will be short.  Mostly because I have to finish up some stuff so I can leave early and buy some candy for the handful of trick or treaters we'll be getting, but also because I will have a November post up shortly.

{image via Cicada Daydream}
GeoCentric by Michelle Engel Bencsko.  I am pretty obsessed with this fabric line.  I can't really say much else.  Except that I'd like to marry it.  That is all.  I love all of the patterns, all of the colors.  I even love the name.  Check out Cloud9 Fabrics if you want to purchase this for me.  Check out Michelle's blog here.

That's it. Told you it was short!  This month is GSD month at the Bean household.  Getting Stuff Done.  My FIL has come over to help us hang lights that I bought months before we were pregnant.  Replace light plates and outlets that have been begging to be updated since 1982.  I'm exaggerating here.  Our house was built in 2001, but the builders used the cheapest, ugliest possible materials they could to put this house together.  We are seeing the floor in the guestroom now as I'm finally getting my books down to the minimal only-keep-the-ones-I-love stash.  Getting rid of books is hard for me to do because I am, at heart, a lover of books.  I love my Kindle, but man, I love to hold a book.

I haven't started purging the craft room, but that will come in time.  Right now, I just need to finish up filling a few more boxes of donations.  For a while there, you couldn't tell if we were moving in or moving out, but I think we are getting to the point that you can tell we are going to stay for a bit.  And that is a good feeling.

We got the baby's room painted. The closet is ripped out and repainted, waiting for the elfa shelving sale at Container Store.  The crib is in the room and will be built this weekend.  Her new ceiling fan is hung.  Please see the above comment about the ugliest, cheapest materials used on the house.  I know I'm somewhat behind in the nursery department, but I'm feeling pretty good about where I'm at in the GSD department, so that's all that matters to me.  

This weekend I will be attending Quilt Market.  I am going to try to remain focused and only by what it necessary.  And by 'necessary' I mean only what I need.  And by 'only what I need' I mean only what I can carry in one bag and not pass out from holding it for 5 hours.  Wish me luck.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

September Obsessions

Hello, Friend!  I think I'm back!  I think I've caught up enough at work that I feel more comfortable slacking off and blogging a bit. So, here I am!

There isn't much to catch you up on.  The last few weeks have been really just a lot of working and cooking and cleaning and purging.  I am feeling like a normal person again, so I've actually started cooking again.  The smell would get to me too much to ever finish what I started, so I've been avoiding the kitchen the last few months.  Mr. Bean is relieved because he prefers home food and is not a fan of eating out constantly and he is always too tired when he comes home from work to cook himself.  So he is grateful that he doesn't have to worry about dinner anymore. I am just grateful that I am not as sensitive to smells anymore.

I feel like I am forever saying that I am purging and cleaning, but I think the end is near.  I guess I have always had enough room to keep my purging pretty minimal since I have always had two spare rooms to still hoard stuff.  But now that Baby Bean will be occupying one of those rooms, I had to really get down to the nitty gritty and get rid of a ton of stuff.  My mom is the cleaning/organizing/purging extraordinaire so she has helped me a lot.  I am proud of what we've gotten done so far, but there are a million little things to still go thru.  I aim to finish that up by this weekend so we can paint her room.  Oh, did I not mention that?  We are having a girl!  When we found out, Mr. Bean's first words were, "First we buy the crib, then we buy the shotgun."  :)  So I think you can guess what kind of daddy he will be...

I can't wait to get her room painted so I can start making things.  I am a procrastinator at heart, so I know my list of things I'd like to make is more of a wish list, but I will definitely keep you posted on what I do make.  This is a craft blog, after all.  Not a Pintobean update blog. Word?

This obsessions post will be short because I really haven't been reading about anything other than baby stuff lately.

{image via Dotmmo}

Gardens of Time.  Thanks to Sharmee, I am absolutely addicted to this game.  She told me she was addicted so I downloaded it to see what all the fuss was about. And now I am obsessed.  The part that they get you is that you are limited on your energy so you can only play a limited amount of time.  In order to get more energy, you either buy more gold or you wait it out.  And trust me, it feels like forever when you wait so it is mighty tempting. But, man, is it worth the wait.

All Cause of You by The 88.  So I am a bit embarrassed to admit this, but if you promise not to judge, I'll tell you.  While I was home one day with a bad bout of morning sickness, I started watching Blue Lagoon: The Awakening.  I am a sucker for teen romance movies.  Like Geek Charming.  Please don't judge.  You promised you wouldn't.  Anyway, BLTA was a mini obsession of mine for a few days.  The movie itself could have been a bit better, but it satisfied my craving for a good teenie bopper love story.  However, the soundtrack rocked.  I went crazy trying to find a proper soundtrack listing and apparently other people on the world wide web were doing the same thing.  Some other awesome songs:  I Do by Dave Thomas Junior,  December Days by Tim Hanauer, and No One Here by The 88.

That's all I've got for this month!

In other news, I've started up a website.  Pintobean Creates.  I haven't done anything with it yet, but that is in the To Do day...  And I apologize for the Papyrus font on there.  Mr. Bean typed it all in for me as I've got to figure out how to actually make a website so I can get that started.  He knows not what he does.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

August Obsessions and Other News

Hello, reader!  I'm sure you noticed that I took an unexpected hiatus from blogging.  Or maybe I am thinking too much of myself and you didn't.  But, I did, and I'm sorry I dropped off the face of the internet.   It was a little burnt out-ness, a little busy-ness, and a lot of tiredness and morning sickness....or as I like to say all day sickness.  Yep, Mr. Bean and I are having a baby!!  Baby Bean is expected to make his/her debut around January 27th, 2013.  As much as I would love to say 'that sounds so far away', Mr. Bean and I are hoping time slows down a bit because we have a lot to do before then and we are already wondering what we got ourselves into.  In a good way.  

I know we shocked quite a few people with the announcement.  I think most people gave up on us, but that made the surprise that much sweeter. We wanted to do something special to make the announcement to Mr. Bean's parents, but knew to keep it simple because they aren't extravagant people.  So, I made some cupcake toppers and a cupcake banner with the news.  They were definitely surprised and over the moon. I think my FIL calls me more now than he ever did Mr. Bean or Billy Bean. My FIL is a man of few words, so Mr. Bean is always surprised when he comes home and I am talking to his dad.

I am overwhelmed with the amount of love and support we've received from friends and family.  Especially Mr. Bean's family.  I get calls/texts/emails all the time from friends, uncles, aunties and cousins just checking to see how I am feeling.  While I don't always feel like talking - the morning sickness has been worse for me in the evening - I can't tell you how much I appreciate their thoughts and kindness. I know the "highly anticipated" - as my MIL says - Baby Bean will be loved wherever we take him/her.  And that means the world to me.

Now on to my August obsessions.

{image via Ben Gilman}
The Olympics.  I missed July's obsessions post in a big way, but I can tell you the only obsession I had. Because it carries over to this month's obsessions list: The Olympics.  Mr. Bean and I LOVE the Olympics.  I pretty much cry every day at least once.  Love hearing the athletes' stories.  Love seeing the athletes getting their medals. Love hearing the national anthem. Love the competition.

{image via Gloss and Glam}
butter LONDON.  And speaking of the Olympics, my friend gave me this Heavy Medal Collection from butter London as a gift.  Too cute.  butter LONDON is an eco-friendly nail polish line that I'm quickly becoming obsessed with. I have used all three colors and can't decide which is my favorite yet.  But, I think I will have to start stocking up on other colors because me likey.  Find out where you can buy their products here.

Bob Dylan.  I have had an ongoing obsession since about April that I haven't shared since I haven't blogged much.  Mad Men.  I started with season one on Netflix and am now down to the final two episodes of season 4.  It took a few episodes to grow on me, but I was definitely intrigued with the clothes and the furniture so I pressed on to total obsession.  It's a pretty scandalous show and sometimes I find myself yelling at Don Draper hoping he'll hear me, but I can't wait to get started on season 5.  I also love the music the show plays as the closing credits roll.  Heard this song on one ep and have been listening to Bob ever since.  

That's all for this month.  I promise to start working on some more posts!  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Everyday I'm Rufflin': Part 2

Before we started the wedding planning process, I introduced Julie to the greatness that is The Inspiration Board. I spent hours pulling images from the internet to create inspo boards and color schemes for every event for Julie so she could see what I envisioned all these years for her entire wedding weekend.  Luckily, she trusted me.  She knows I am all about the details.  And, luckily, she loved everything.  When we started out, Julie didn't know what an inspo board was.  At the end of it all, she has recommended it to all her friends that are planning their own weddings. Me so proud.  

When I think of Spain, I think ruffles, lace and wrought iron.  I wanted to keep to a literal translation of Spain because it was an Indian event.  I figured if I didn't go all in-your-face Espana, then the whole Spanish theme that Julie wanted would have gotten lost in the sea of salwars and punjabs.  I also wanted a touch of a rustic look since that was the on-going theme of Julie's entire weekend.

The details for the mehndi were pretty fab if I do say so myself. I, once again, convinced my dear friend Mandy to do some dirty work. I really don't know what I'd do without Mandy. Between Julie, myself and Mandy, we knocked this party of out the ballpark.

The location was a spot I'd been to for a friend's sangeet/mehndi night over 6 years ago. It is an old city hall and fire station in a cute part of town.  I saved it in my mental Julie file specifically for her mehdni.  But, I had forgotten about it until Julie started asking me for ideas for spots because she needed a place close to all her events.  Luckily her questions jogged my memory because it was kind of perfect.  Very charming.

After we sent out the invitations, the first order of business was the backdrop, which you've seen already.

I worked on the backdrop when I wasn't working on other things with Julie and Mandy.

The second order of business was the centerpieces.  I fell in love with this photo shoot back in 2010 when Merci featured a tablescape by Rock Paper Scissors.  I'd tucked the idea away for an event, so I selfishly pressured Julie into letting me do this for the mehndi.  Imagine how thrilled I was when I discovered Rock Paper Scissors posted a tutorial on them.  Best.Day.Ever.  Julie wasn't totally convinced because she knew it was going to be very labor intensive, but since cost was a big factor, I talked her into it.  I also was thrilled because even though I'd loved the idea from the get-go, it was a huge coincidence that their photo shoot decor was for a Spanish modern event.  It was meant to be.  Love when that happens.  

I caught a sale at Hobby Lobby and bought all the paper in different shades of oranges, yellows, and red.  I also pulled from my own stash of cardstock leftover from my wedding.  Mandy was our designated tracer.  I had planned for only 50 of them, but Mandy squeezed in an additional 18.  68 in total.  And since I am all about 'more is more', I was ecstatic.

I know Julie felt that her time was best spent on other things than cutting paper, so I only made her cut about a third of them so she could see them at the event and know it was all worth it.

Between Mandy and I, we assembled them all.

Julie and Mr. Bean kept telling me that even though I kept the costs down, I have to look at what our time was worth.  But the impact was pretty amazing.  It was worth it to me.  And I think Mandy agrees.

I had them placed everywhere I could in the space. Every where there was a table, I made sure there were flowers.

The third order of business was the food table.

Since the night was supposed to be an informal event, I didn't spend a lot of time on the banners, but the crafter in me definitely wanted to include a big welcome for everyone that came into the space.  Unfortunately, there was not a good place to hang it, so I had it hung on the food table.  I was hesitant to keep all the banners in Spanish since it was an Indian function, but Julie said to keep it authentic and even came up with the idea of saying "Bienvenidos" instead of just "Welcome".  Too cute.

I stitched rolls of yellow and red crepe paper on my sewing machine to resemble ruffles to use as decor anywhere I could on the food and dessert table.

All the wrought iron decor was literally taken off my sister's walls and off her shelves at home. I literally walked around her house one weekend and took pics of her inventory.  Lucky for me, she could see my vision for everything.  I kept it simple for the most part and excluded any glass so nothing was broken.  She and my BIL were kind enough to drive it down 5 hours for the event.  There is nothing like free decor.  If she hadn't been so sweet as to let me borrow it for this event, some of it might not have made it back.....just sayin'.

I had the paper flowers placed all over the food table and included my new favorite decor item.  A roll of burlap ribbon.  I'm kind of obsessed with burlap anything, so it had to make the table.   

I have a wine crate obsession.  I begged, borrowed, and stole 5 wine crates for this event.  I am not proud of myself.  OK, maybe I am.  

The food table was really festive looking.  I wish I could have decorated it with everything I wanted to, but ultimately, I kept it simple and nothing of my sister's was broken so I can't complain.

Last, but definitely not least, was the last order of business: the dessert table.  I envisioned this dessert table when I was raiding my sister's house.  I am proud to say it looked even cuter than I imagined.

Priti wowed everyone again with her cake-abilities and made some dulce de leche flavored cake pops in red, yellow, and orange for the event.  She's great at creating some insane flavors and colors to coordinate with your event.  These were amazing.  As usual.   If you are in the Dallas/Frisco area, hit me up.  I can  put you in touch with her.  She'll be glad to work on your event with you.  You can see more of her work here and here.  

I used wine crates to give the cake pops some height so they could really show off their cuteness.  I just think food tastes better when it is presented well.  Not that I had anything to do with how good these cake pops were.  :)  

I definitely wanted to include the ruffled crepe paper on the cake pop display.  That was actually why I spent the time to ruffle crepe paper.  The bins for the utensils and the front of the food table was just bonus.

For the banners, I cut the tops of some red heart paper doilies and attached them to jute twine.  Instead of food labels, I made miniature banners to match the other banners and attached them to twine as well.

I don't have a better close up of it, but I draped some rope around the wrought iron.  You can see it here.  It is actually old sari fabric that was made into a rope.  I bought these at the Quilt Festival last year specifically for Julie's mehndi.  I had the color scheme already in my head even then.  

I included some flowers where I could.  You can see the food label banners here as well.  

Again, here was another banner and the sari rope.  Postres in Spanish means desserts.

We included some mango and pineapple empanadas from a local bakery on the dessert table as well as churros.  If you've been to Spain, you know churros y chocolate are a must.

I kept the actual food labels simple with some cardstock left over from the invitations and used the scraps left over from the red paper heart doilies to embellish it.

Unfortunately, I never got a shot of the favors at the event, but I will include a post on all the gift wrapping for the wedding shortly.

All in all, I was extremely proud of this event.  I am usually second guessing myself on every detail and I have to bug my friends and my Seester about everything I am unsure about - which is everything.  I constantly berate myself and constantly worry what people will think.  If it will look cheesy.  Or cheap.  But this time I think I was too busy with all the other details of the wedding to bother myself with second guessing.  So I am proud that I just did it.  It wasn't until the night before the mehndi as I was packing it all up that I thought to myself, "Oh, sh*t.  What am I doing?  Is it enough?"  It was probably the largest event I've styled on the smallest budget.  And besides the money talk, I put a lot of work into making this an event people would be talking about.  And they did.  The biggest compliment I heard was from a friend of the groom that said, "This is not a typical mehndi party.  Nothing about this is typical." That's exactly what I wanted to give Julie.

If you are still with me after this long post, here is the thank you portion of my post.....I can't get by without thanking everyone that helped me.

Thank you, Sarah, for taking pics of all the details you know I wanted.  You're awesome.

Thank you, Julie, for trusting me to pull off an event like this. Your mehndi.  For your wedding.  Crazy.    Also, thanks for sticking it out and cutting those petals.  I purposely didn't give you a ton to do because I was afraid you'd call the whole idea off :) but glad you didn't.  I hope you see it was all worth it.

Thank you, Bhavik, for all your work. Not just that night but all week.  I know it sucks to be a brother when your sister is getting married because you get stuck with so much of the grunt work, but you are awesome for putting up with all of us.  Thank you for always having kind words for me.  I'm sorry I always cry, but you and your family mean the world to me.  Thanks for letting me be a part of it all.  Love you.

Thank you, Seester, for helping me set up and keep sane.  I know we were under a time crunch - which I don't always handle well - but you kept me focused and kept me from losing it.  You are always the best at making me laugh at myself.  And thank you for letting me raid your house for your decor.  You really should just let me keep it all....for my next event.  :)

Thank you, Priti.  You are crazier than I am. :)  Thanks for helping me set up while I was frantic. Thanks for trusting me to display your work. Your cake pops were amazing.  As usual.  We make a good team, me and you. :)

Thank you, Mandy.   I secretly call you for help to get a chance to see you.  I know you stretch yourself thin with all your activities, but you always manage to squeeze in time for some hard core craft labor when I ask it of you.  And you always stay enthusiastic about it - which even I have a hard time doing sometimes.  I really don't know what I'd do without you. 

June Obsessions

I cannot believe it is already June.  I didn't really obsess over too much this time around.  I haven't really been playing around on the internet lately.  I've mostly been catching up on TV and cleaning out the Bean house.  I try to do a good spring clean every year, but sometimes it turns into a summer clean.  This time around, I realized I've let my house go the last few months so I am spending some time reorganizing.  It is a slow process but I think it will be worth it in the long run.  Now, on to my latest obsessions.
{image via Container Store}
Shelf Dividers.  I am a closet neat freak.  I say 'closet' because I tend to jump from completely organized to insanely messy if I don't have enough time to put everything back exactly where it is supposed to go. So Container store is kind of my guilty pleasure shopping spot.  I could spend all of my life savings at Container Store.  Sometimes during lunch, my mom and I will just go and walk the aisles and dream of a perfectly organized Container Store home.  Since I'm doing some reorganizing, I've been hanging out at Container Store a lot more.  These shelf dividers make me smile.  I swear I invented these in my head years ago.  It drives me crazy when my towels and linens get thrown around in the closet.  The shelf dividers maintain my sanity.  It keeps all my towels from spilling over onto my teal towels and my tea towels separate from my napkins.  I couldn't be happier.  They come in tall as well for that very top shelf.

{image via Fat Quarter Shop}
Mod Century by Jenn Ski.  I've been reading Jenn Ski's blog for a several years now.  Love her mid century aesthetic and I am a huge fan of her artwork.  And her home.  It's Mad Men pimp.  She's now got a fabric line out thru Moda.  And it is pretty fantastic.  I'm going to need 5 yards of every one of those prints, please.

Next to Me, Emeli Sande.   I heard this the other day and couldn't stop singing it in my head.  Love it.  You'll have to click thru to You Tube to hear it, but it's worth the trouble.

That's all I have this month.  I hope everyone is staying cool. It seems like every time I make peace with the summer humidity, it gets hotter and more humid.  Bleh.  But, hopefully, Mr. Bean and I can take a break soon and head to the pacific northwest to cool off.  Hopefully that's very soon.  

Monday, June 4, 2012


I promise I will return to the crafty posts shortly.  I have been busy at work and lazy at home which has been a good combo so far.

I turn 35 this month and it doesn't make me cringe like I thought it would 10 years ago. Maybe that will happen when I turn 40.  Because just typing 40 makes me kind of cringe.  I thought I'd share some things with you that I've learned over these 35 hard-headed years of mine.  From being a bad judge of character.  From being a good judge of character.  From making a lot of mistakes.  From watching my friends make mistakes.  From watching a lot of reality TV.  There are a lot of life lessons to be learned from reality TV.  That should be #36 on the list. This is a growing list, so maybe when I turn 40 I will have a few more to share with you.  But for now, here are 35 things I've learned in 35 years.

 1.  The truth always hurts.

 2.  Listen to your friends.  They see things you don't want to see.

 3.  There is a reason why he is called your first love. There will be others.  Let go and then just be patient.

 4.  Life is short.  Never take your friends or family for granted.  You never know when they will be taken away from you.

 5.  Jealousy = immaturity + insecurity.   

 6.  Some people will never change.

 7.  When you are young, you have a long list of things a guy must be in order for him to be The One. The older you get, the list becomes things the guy must not be in order for him to be The One.  When you meet The One, all lists go out the window.  

  8.  Make sure everything you have on your (above) list of are things you can live up to as well. 

  9.  An Oprah gem:  Kids need to think that you care before they care what you think.  This can also say people need to think that you care before they care what you think. 

10.  'Should of,' 'would of,' 'could of' never gets anyone anywhere.

11.  You can learn a lot from a dog....

    (a).  Always be happy to see your loved ones no matter how long it's been since you've seen them.

    (b).  Even a bump on the road can be a good as a good pillow for a cat nap.

    (c).  Always see the fun in things. Make time to play.

    (d).  Loyalty is underrated.

    (e).  There's nothing like a good walk.
    (f).  There's nothing like a good nap.

    (g).  Love like a dog loves.  Unconditionally.

    (h).  When someone keeps pulling at your tail, don't be afraid to snap at them.  Translation:  You should aim to be the bigger person and turn the other cheek, but at some point you need to just stick up for yourself and not let them keep walking all over you.   

     (i).  Stay hungry. Stay foolish.  Steve jobs said it, but dogs live it everyday. 

12. 'When people show you who they are, believe them.'  Maya Angelou knows what she is talking about.

13.  What goes around always, always, always comes around.

14.  A smile can do wonders.

15.  Your relationship will never mature if both of you choose to keep acting immature. Grow up or get out of it.

16.  If you don't treat him that way, then you shouldn't let him treat you that way.

17.  Self confidence is more beautiful than anything you can buy. Wear it. Show it.

18.  Self respect is better than anything he could pretend to give you.  Respect yourself enough to know when you don't need him in your life.

19.  You can forgive someone, but that doesn't mean you have to forget what they've done to you.

20.  Another gem from Oprah:  You teach people how to treat you. 

21.  Relationships should be simple. You shouldn't have to explain it. If you have to explain it, it's not the right relationship for you. 

22.  If you can't introduce him to your friends, then you are not with the right guy.

23.  Take ownership of your mistakes and say you are sorry.  It's not that hard. 

24.  You are not entitled to anything.  Earn it.  It makes you appreciate what you have in the long run.

25.  He can't read your mind.  Actually, no one can.

26.  Parents actually know what they are talking about. Take their advice more often.

27.  You deserve to be happy everyday.  A gem from Ronnie of Jersey Shore. 

28.  If he tells you he doesn't see himself ever getting married, he really means he doesn't see himself ever marrying you.  See #1.

29.  Regarding worry: All you have is today. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow isn't here yet.  From my pastor, Ben Young.

30.  Believe in something.

31.  If it's not working, you can't always fix it.

32.  When you are always giving and he is always taking, you are the one that always end up empty handed.

33.  'Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.'  A quote by Carrie Fisher that has stuck with me. 

34.  Haters gonna hate. 

35.  Be yourself.  It may take a while to figure out who you are, but once you find out, just be. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Everyday I'm Rufflin': Part 1

Julie and I have talked about her wedding events on and off for several years.  She spent a semester abroad in Spain and met two of her best friends there.  When she said she wanted a Spanish themed mehndi night, I thought it was the perfect way to start off the weekend....celebrating some of Julie's journeys while celebrating her new journey as a Mrs.

Over the years, I've filed away several ideas for a backdrop for the mehndi. All of them were extremely labor intensive.  But, I don't mind putting in a little elbow grease when the time calls for it.  So I just kept them filed away in my wish list for Julie's wedding decor.  I had all materials listed out and the cost breakdown for a beautiful backdrop I was going to make for Julie's mehndi when I came across a photo shoot one day while clicking my life away on the internet.  Suddenly all the elements we discussed these past few months came together.  Love when that happens.  I needed that backdrop for Julie's mehndi.  I wish I could post a pic of the photo shoot, but I never saved the source info so I am hesitant to post it without giving proper credit.  It actually wasn't a Spanish themed photo shoot at all.  It was just pretty and the backdrop just caught my eye.  I showed it to Julie and she was won over. Since she wanted to keep costs down for that event, I told her I could make it myself in the colors we chose for the mehndi.

When we went to India, she and I poured over tons of bolts of fabric at a sari matching store and picked out the colors we wanted.

We chose 11 different shades of colors in our color scheme.  I brought this fabric back with me from India in a backpack along with a large wooden elephant for my seester.  Actually that is the elephant in the background.  It looks like all pretty and cute here, but after a couple of hours of carrying them around, I felt like I was in an Iron Man competition.  It took me a few weeks to forgive it. But we worked it out and now there are no hard feelings.

When I told my idea to Anita, she cleverly sent me a DIY link of how to make it. I won't make this a true DIY post because there are plenty out there - I was just going to wing it and then beg her and my grandma for advice - so I will just show you all the pretty pictures of the process.  There are a ton of pictures but I didn't want to play favorites.

I didn't actually follow any one particular DIY.  It was more long brainstorming sessions with my mom and of course, Anita. After this little project of mine, I am surprised Anita still answers my phone calls.  Probably because she knows I know where she lives. I am not above pulling a Single Married Brown Female stunt when I need help.

The Cutting Process.  6 Hours. I am always scared to cut fabric.  Especially when I know that if I mess up, I cannot fly back to India to get more fabric.  So, I had my Seester help me get started.

And notice I made her start the cutting for me. Tnanks, Seester.  I probably did this the long way - pun intended - but I wanted to make sure that every row was exactly the same width.

The Hemming Process.  14 1/2 hours.   I discovered the narrow hem foot when I was trying to find a shortcut to hemming.  I had about 280 feet of fabric to hem. Not only am I not fond of hemming, I am horrible at it.  The two probably go hand in hand, but I wanted the hems to look perfect, so I played around with this hem foot for about 3 days so I could get used to it.

Look how perfect it looks.

And how narrow it is.  I felt like a professional.  

Yeah, that was just some gratuitous shots of the fabric. The colors were fun to work with.  

This was the final product.  There were 17 rows total.  I was tempted to just leave it at this because I was just so proud of myself, but I forged ahead.

It was here that I realized that they shorted me on fabric.  I was shorted an entire meter of fabric on one color and about 2' of fabric on 2 other colors. So, after first my mental breakdown, I made peace with the fabric man and moved on.

Besides, look how pretty all the thread looked together.  It was hard to stay mad.

The Ruffling.  4.5 hours.  This ruffle foot made my May Obsessions because of this little project of mine.  If I hadn't discovered it, I know the few hours I spent ruffling would have doubled, if not tripled.  Total life saver.  Anita and I made a play date of it and played with it for a couple of hours and I spent two days getting used to the the different settings.

More gratuitous shots of the ruffling process. This was probably the most fun part of the entire process.  Besides talking to Anita about it all, of course.

As I finished ruffling each row, I just layed them on top of my ironing board.  

I felt honored to be in the presence of all those ruffles.  I kind of wanted to sleep in them.

The Back Sheet.  9 hours.  I don't have any snaps of the back sheet because they were pretty boring to look at.  This is where I attached all the ruffles. To make it the size I needed, I basically quilted pieces together. To cut down on costs, I asked Julie to give me some old bed sheets from her parents' motel. In hindsight, I would not do that again.  I spent quite a bit of time squaring off the sheets as they were not the same size. Washing them had taken it's toll on the size.  The biggest challenge I had was space.  I do not have a huge home and we were storing most of Julie's wedding stuff in my house. And - the second biggest challenge - I assumed the bed sheets were both king sized.  One was a queen and one a king.  I was not amused when I discovered this after I spent quite a few hours stitching it all together.  It took several more hours to lengthen and square it all off a second time after I added the length and width I needed.  I only hemmed the sides during this part of the process and waited to hem the bottom after I was done stitching the ruffles on.

The Pinning Process.  11 hours.  This process involved another mental breakdown.  I discovered that each color was a different width.  I knew there was going to be a minor difference in measurements simply because of the conversion of meters to yards (to feet to inches).  After I cut the rows, I never measured all of them. Only the dark red. I assumed they were the same width: 8 3/4".  Biggest.Mistake.Of.My.Life.  And that says something.  They were each between 1/2" to 1 3/4" different from each other.  Hence my second mental breakdown.  The way I planned to pin it all together wasn't going to work.  So I had to measure and pin it all the way across about every 4" to make sure that each row showed 7" of fabric.  If I measured it every 6", it wouldn't stay straight.

It took over 350 pins for this top half.  And you can see my pimped out set up.  I grabbed anything I could that had any weight at all to help me keep everything layed out properly so I could keep my lines straight. Including some of the items we were including in the welcome bags. :)


I cut the back sheet into two pieces once I was done pinning the ruffles down on the top half.  Anita had just finished making a quilt, so when I asked her how I was going to stitch all of this on my little sewing machine in my little sewing area - the weight of it intimidated me as well as the size - she recommended cutting it in half and then quilting the two pieces together after I was done stitching it all.  This was probably the best idea she's ever had because all of that fabric was not easy to maneuver.

The Stitching Process.  14 hours.  This process took a lot longer than anticipated.  And when you get to sewing, time flies by a lot quicker than you want it to.  I went really slow since it had more pins in it than a JoAnn's and because the back sheet kept gathering and pinching.  So it was a lot of pulling and tugging to get it all straight while keeping the back sheet flat.  I had to rip out quite a few seams and start over.  The third mental breakdown.

But, it looked like a peacock was coming to life in my craft room, so the third breakdown didn't last as long as the others.

The top half after the ruffles were stitched.  If you want a size reference, that is a full size bed.  It spilled over the sides of the bed about 2' of loveliness on each side.  

And the bottom half after the ruffles were stitched.  I went ahead and hemmed the bottom of the back sheet here.

BTW, if you want to know what those hot pink post-it notes are for, it was my way to track everything.  A post it note was pinned to each row and contained the row number, the fabric color number I gave it and the thread color number.  I also included the row's number in it's color, like "1 of 3."  Meaning the 1st row of this color out of 3 rows total.  

The Finishing Process.  5 hours.  This process involved stitching the curtain rod pocket and stitching both large pieces together.

I jumped the gun and screwed up the right way to do the curtain rod pocket.  It was definitely a make-it-work moment. I had to revert to some ghetto sewing techniques, but it got done.  

Not to shabby, though, eh?

The Party Process.  Still going on.  
{Thanks for the awesome pic, Sarah}
The finished product.  This is my beautiful friend Kelly standing in front of the backdrop the night of the mehndi.  The final dimension was roughly 8' wide by 10' high.  Or as I like to say 8' of love and 10' of sweat. After it was all said and done, the cutting and sewing process took me 63.5 hours in total.  I started it in February and finished it in April, a week and a half before the wedding.

I'm not going to lie.  When I finished it, I sat down on the floor, rolled over, and cried like a baby.  Like an ugly baby.  It was the ugliest, ugly cry face ever and I kept it going for about 30 min.  Mr. Bean didn't know what to do with me.  He kept asking me why I was crying.  When I could talk I told him it was because I was just flat out proud of myself.  The size of it alone made me feel like I had accomplished something big.  And seeing that very first picture I posted next to this picture of Kelly makes me feel like a proud mama.

I think most DIY-ers know that often times the brainstorming and research and planning often takes longer than the actual making.  This process was no different.  I had so many mental breakdowns hiccups. And so many learning lessons.  And so many ah-ha moments. I didn't keep track of that time because when you work on something of this scale, it basically occupies your mind night and day.  And your friend's, too, if you have a friend like Anita.  So, thank you, Anita, for allowing me to put you on my speed dial thru it all.  But, man. It was all worth it, wasn't it?

There are a million more pictures of the mehndi to come.  This one just got it's own post because, well, it deserved it's own.  :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Obsessions

I'm working on a crafty post for you, I promise.  But, I figured since it is officially May that I would start the month off right with a post on my latest obsessions.
{image via Amazon}
OPI: Samoan Sand.  I thought about this as I was getting my nails done for Julie's wedding.  I don't typically get manicures because I get antsy with the all the small movements and poking and prodding.  I feel like I am being restrained and slowly tortured.  Like the torture where they just drop tiny droplets of water on you until you go insane.  I know.  Dramatic.  But I really do get sort of a claustrophobic get-me-out-of-here feeling when someone is doing my nails.  Anyway, I usually do my own nails and I used to be forever searching for that perfect everyday nail polish. This has been my go-to nail polish for at least 5 years.  Probably twice that if I really thought about it.  One coat on top of a clear base coat always does the trick.  I used to buy countless bottles of nail polish trying to find that perfect shade of a neutral-but-not-too-pink-and-not-too-tan-and-not-too-white.  This is it. I always have at least 3 bottles at home for fear of it being discontinued and any time I see it in the stores, I pick up another bottle when I can because it is often sold out.  So, stock up.  If it gets a little old/thick, just add a drop or two of nail polish remover into the bottle and shake it up.  It's just like new.  

{image via Sew Mama Sew}
Summersville fabric designed by Lucie Summers for Moda Fabrics.  I am 100% obsessed with this fabric collection.  I have been eyeing it pretty much everyday.  I will add like 40 yards of it into my cart and then dream of all the things I want to make with it.  *sigh*   I don't know if I can pick favorites, so the only answer is to buy out Sew Mama Sew's stock. I want it all. And I want it now.

{image via Amazon}
Ruffle Foot.  Seeing ruffles makes me giddy.  Making them....not so much.  I was asking my mom if there was a shortcut for making ruffles and she practically disowned me she so disgusted.  You'll see why I was asking in my next post.  But then I found this ruffle foot and I became her second favorite daughter once again.  I didn't know there was such a contraption but man, did it save my life.  It makes ruffles in half the time it usually takes.  My aunts and my grandma were even impressed. Now I kind of want to ruffle everything.  Just doing what I can to make the world a cuter place to live....

White Stripes.  Icky Thump.  When I have a big project to work on, I always rely on my good friends The White Stripes to keep me going.  With all the wedding stuff going on, I've had the Icky Thump album on repeat for about a month now.  Especially this song.  There are very few bands I can listen to over and over again and not get sick of them.  Love me some White Stripes.  While we are on the topic...have you heard their cover of Jolene?  Kind of fantastic.

That's it for May!  

Monday, April 30, 2012

Still Here

{Scooby, one of our guard dogs at my office}
I'm still here.  I haven't been able to relax after the wedding like I thought I would. I have sat in front of my computer at home many times so that I can get a post ready but as soon as I sit down my neglected shows that have been sitting on my DVR for the past 3 months keep beckoning me and I am too weak to ignore them.  But, I will start working on a post for you this week.    

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It is finished

Well, my friends, it is finished.  Julie's wedding was this past weekend.  If you've been reading my blog recently, you'll know that her wedding has dominated my mind, my time, and the Bean household. It was a long, awesome weekend.  Ultimately, I felt much like this as I was leaving the reception Saturday night.  What an amazing feeling

Over the next few posts, I'll be sharing some of the details that I (and others) made for the weekend.  I've been holding out on you so as to keep everything a surprise.  I am so, so, so excited to finally share all the details with you.   Just give me some time to recuperate.  I realized I am not as young as I used to be when I woke up Sunday morning.  But, I would totally do it all over again....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April Obsessions

The countdown has begun.  My friend Julie's wedding starts next Thursday. I've been basically running on coffee fumes the last few days as I aim to get everything done by this weekend so I can enjoy Billy Bean's visit for Easter Weekend.  Sometimes when I wake up sore from working all night, I wonder how I get myself involved in these situations.  But then I remember. Oh yeah. Because I love it. In two weeks, I'll be going thru withdrawal, so I'm not complaining.

I've haven't had much time to myself lately but I figured I'd share the two things I've been obsessing over lately.
{image via Costco}

Cannoli.   This obsession popped up out of no where. It started out as an innocent, lazy Friday night.  I didn't have time to cook so Mr. Bean looked up a new pizza place that delivers and decided to order a couple of cannoli as well.  Ever since then I cannot stop thinking about them.  My first cannoli was in NYC at Ferrara's.  Mr. Bean and I actually stood in line for these cannoli and had just started asking ourselves why when we got the chance to bite into one.  Deliciousness.  I don't know why cannoli don't get more love.  The crispy shell and the creamy inside.  Yum.  And they just look so cute all wrapped up in their flaky blankets. If you want to be hardcore, order some from Ferrara's.  They ship.  It's pricey but worth it.  Me?  I keep looking at their website everyday wondering if I should commit to a dozen.  Because I know I'll eat them all.

{image via IMDB}
Downton Abbey.  I've heard people talk about Downton Abbey here and there, but I don't like picking things up after it's been on a few seasons.  And then one night my life was forever changed.  I was flipping thru the TV guide looking for something to listen to while I was doing some repetitive craft work for Julie's wedding and decided to check out Downton Abbey on Netflix.  I thought I would check out the first episode just to see what it was all about but then I watched the second episode. And then the third.  In one night.  And now I am absolutely obsessed. I even had Mr. Bean pretending not to watch it.  So.Good.

Alright, that's all I have this month.  I gotta get to work.  I can't wait to show you all the things I've been working on these last 3 months. But, until then, I think I'm going to go look at some pictures of more cannoli online. I know. I'm a simple girl with simple thoughts. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Turning Neon

I want you to meet my friend Sarah.  She's kind of a big deal.  We met, oh, 23 years ago?  She was 9.  I was 11.  She and her sister Kelly had a collection of Keds any kid would die for. And don't get me started on their school supplies.  They were the envy of the school, I tell you.  Well, maybe not the entire school, but after seeing Kelly whip out the most awesome pencil case we'd ever seen, me and my seester pretty much knew we'd all be friends for life.  

Sarah is always armed with amazing ideas.  Her creativity astounds me.  She and I tend to egg each other on when it comes to the "more is more" quotient, so when I was crying about not having time to do anything for the shower, she offered to help me.  And I couldn't love her more for it.  When I told her I was thinking of doing a neon color scheme, she jumped on board with lots of office supplies in hand.  Literally.  She flew from Seattle with a basically a carry-on of goodies for the shower.  

Julie wanted a shower that was "fun" and not ultra feminine, I took advantage since I've always wanted to throw a party filled with stuff from Confetti System. Luckily, Sarah loves them, too.  I say 'luckily' because she and Kelly spent a quite a few hours making CS style tassels for the party.  Sarah and I share a passion for large balloons, Geronimo style so that was a must at this party.  And we were also in love with this photo shoot.  So, put them together, add Sarah, and this is what happens.... 

The dessert bar.  You didn't think I'd have a party and not involve Priti, did you?  Yes, my friends, Priti put on another insane display of desserts. O.M.G.  The things this woman can do with desserts makes me speechless. And if you know me, you know that hardly ever happens.   If you need to take a moment please do. And take your time. The backdrop was pretty fantastic.  When we put it up, we all sort of got giddy.  

The champagne bar.  Julie loves champagne cocktails so this was a DIY champagne bar. Check out the detail over the windows if you can get beyond the sunlight.  Sarah's idea.  Looks like the invites.  She's a clever one, that Sarah.  So we took it to the tables as well.  More is more.  

The food table.  Sarah made the awesome artwork with artist's tape.

The whole set up.  I'm still giddy.    

The balloons.  I can't take it.  They are too cute. 

A full shot of the dessert bar.  Look at all the color!

And another shot of the dessert table.  Priti, me love you long time.  

Pink velvet cake push pops.  Seriously.  And chocolate bark.  And don't forget the chocolate cake shooters there on the bottom right.  Can dessert get any cuter than this??

Brownies and Prit's famous cake pops.  I'm going to need to get a napkin.  I'm drooling again. Pretty soon, I'm going to start drooling everytime I see Priti.  

Let's get a better look at those cake pops.  Peanut butter chocolate chip.  Would it be cheesy to say 'amaze balls'?    

Petits fours.  Need I say more?  I've always wanted to attend a party where they serve things on little spoons.  I can check that off my bucket list.  

It's never truly a party without food labels. 

It's never truly a party without wrapped plasticware.  Martha would be proud. 

The decor outside. She texted me a picture of these while she was at Home Depot and asked, "Am I crazy?"  I was like "Crazy awesome!!!"   These are neon flags that you might typically see on construction sites.  Just not as cute.  But for this party, it lined the pathway to awesomeness.  

We couldn't leave the living room untouched.  Sarah came up with this awesome idea to cover up Kelly's existing artwork and make something that fit our color scheme a bit better. Too cute.  

Closeup of the fireplace.  Love. 

My seester was in charge of getting flowers for the event.  And, yeah, they were kind of awesome.  

We decorated the dining table with flowers, paper rosettes and streamers.  Once again, my friend Mandy was involved in the labor portion of this as well. I'm pretty sure between her and Sarah, if they never see another score board again, they could die happy.  

Kelly has a beautiful buffet, so this was our ode to the post-it note wall.  This is also where we kept the favors and prizes for games.  Julie is hardly ever seen without a shawl, so for the prizes, I bought some brightly colored shawls that went with the color scheme.  

The favors.  Julie is always all about her lip balm, so we packaged up some lip balm for everyone to take home. 

The photobooth.  Julie is the queen of the camera.  She is known for her love of taking pictures.  So we had to include a photo booth.  Sarah spotted this fabric that I had in my archives stash and it was kind of perfect for the backdrop.  Sometimes you need a second set of eyes to help you see that you have a fabulous party in the making with stuff you already have around the house.  

Go on over to Sarah's blog to get the nitty gritty on all the supplies! 

I can't forget to thank my seester.  She always has to hear my woes and insecurities and everything else that goes with the pressure of planning an event.  So, thanks for always listening to me, Seester.  And thanks for the awesome flowers and staying up later than you probably wanted to help us set up.  You are my better half.  

Thanks again, Mandy.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to overstay my welcome with your craft labor pretty soon.  But, I hope it's not until after the wedding.  

HUGE props to Kelly for letting us take over her house.  She was a good sport about us taking over her living room and dining room and kitchen and office and making tassels and cutting tape and well, she was a good sport about everything.. And she was 7 months pregnant at the time. So, thank you, thank you, thank you, Kelly.  You are a rockstar in my book.  

Thank you, Priti.  You really outdid yourself with this one.  I always love working with you on parties because I know that you care about the little things just as much as I do.  And whether you can make amazing cake balls or not, that puts you on my top 10 list of favorite people ever.  But the cake balls help.  Just sayin'.  ;)    If you happen to be in the Dallas area and you want to make your party fabulous, contact me and I'll put you in touch with Priti.  She does more than just desserts.  I think her work speaks for itself.  

Thank you, Sarah.  I cannot really tell you how much I appreciate how much you helped me.  I kind of owe you my life.  Or at least my craft room.  You started out as just being Kelly's little sister, but over the years I feel like you've turned into my little sister.  Love you.  When are you moving back home?  We could make beautiful parties together....