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....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Back to the Hotel

Hello, there!  I wanted to show you one last detail of Julie's wedding invitations that we are quite proud of and then I promise to move on.  This was definitely a product of a brainstorming session between Julie and I. The problem?  How to include the hotel information with the invitations without it looking ugly/ghetto/cheap.  The solution? Make something awesome.  What else did you expect??

Julie's mind is a spreadsheet. That's how she thinks.  That is how she works. That is how she stays organized. She asked me if including a spreadsheet of all the hotel info would look ugly. I bluntly told her yes. So she challenged me to come up with a better way to present the information.  I accepted the challenge. Only, when I saw the information, the best way to present it was with a spreadsheet.  Boo for it having to be functional.  So, I kept thinking about it and then came up with this idea. Kelly and I did something similar for her wedding programs, so I just adapted it to Julie's spreadsheet and voila! Pure genius. OK, maybe I'm going overboard with the genius stuff, but I think it is pretty clever.  Yay for it being able to be functional and pretty!

We entered the spreadsheet onto an 8 1/2 x 11 paper so we'd get two to a page.

We then used a score board and scored the paper.

Cut it in half and patted ourselves on the back that it actually worked.  I was pretty particular that all the folds coincided with the beginning of a column so there was no folds over text.  Functional? Check.

Then it came down to the making it pretty part.  I bought cardstock that matched the outer and inner envelopes.

I then used my Silhouette to write "Hotel Information"on them in the same font we used on the invites.

Now, I realize the Silhouette has it's own sketch pens. And now they have come out with metallic sketch pens, but I didn't want to pay the price of those sketch pens and to have to wait for them to be shipped to me.  Especially because I didn't know how far the ink on one sketch pen will go, so I didn't want to get into the guessing game of how many sketch pens I needed.  I am also OCD and didn't know if the gold sketch pen would match the gold in the invitations, so I bought gold pens that best matched the invites, and used my own pens.

I also realize that the Silhouette has a pen holder. But, for the price, again, I didn't want to have to pay for it and then have to wait for it to be shipped to me.  So. This is what I did...

If you see a sketch pen, it looks like a short, fat pen. That is because the carrier that holds it only holds things that are about 1/2" wide. So, I basically took some thick cardstock and rolled it around my pen until it fit the carrier snugly.  Then I taped it pretty well together.

When I put it inside the carrier, I taped it to the carrier as well. I've used a sketch pen before, and the cap of the pen always pops off or loosens a bit as the Silhouette is working, which makes Pintobean very angry. So I've become accustomed to taping pens to the carrier just to prevent it from messing up whatever it is I am working on.

The only trick is to get the pressure of the pen right since you are not using a pen holder. This is probably where it is smart to have the pen holder, but I'm not really known for taking short cuts.  Yes, I can admit that, Anita. ;)  However, the pen pressure isn't an issue unless you find that the pen is not actually touching the page -- in that case just tap the pen down before you tape it to the carrier -- or unless you are working with really thick cardstock because it has some give to it when the pen hits the paper -- you will know you have it too low when you see the ink blotching.

The time sucking aspect of this is....the Silhouette is not designed to "print" fonts.  It "outlines".  Meaning, it simply just traces the outline of the letters you are working on.  So, basically when you are using the Silhouette to write or "sketch" words/letters, it traces the outline of the font.  Translation:  You get empty gaps between the lines that you will need to fill in - unless you like that look.

I enlarged the lettering on the previous pic so you could see what I am talking about.

So, once they were all printed, I cut them down and used the same gold pen to fill in the gaps.  Then let them sit overnight to dry.

Then I cut just solid cardstock the same size. So, essentially I had the front and back of what would be little hotel info booklets. I then pasted the cards to the spreadsheets.

For some added cuteness, Julie was trying to figure out where we could use these paper clips she found.

I made sure we found a place to use them.

And that, my friends, is the story of how the cutest hotel info booklets ever were made.  Oh, and do I need to mention that I rounded all the corners?  Because that's kind of my thing.  Rounded corners.

Are you not entertained?!?  That quote is a family fave.  Had to use it.

I have another really fun post in the making.  Just be patient with me.  I'm going to really lay this one on thick...  

Friday, March 16, 2012

The invitations. Pardon me while I ramble.

{Invitation shop in Navsari, Gujarat}
Julie's wedding invitations are out!  Such.A.Relief.  I feel like all the big items are done.  Now it's just the details.  Or is it more appropriate to say, all the huge items are done and now all that is left is the big items?  Either way, I felt like I had just finished my last final when we finished the last invite. 

So, before I left for India, Julie basically gave me free reign on the invitations since we were short on time.  Since I am such a paper person, I took this job pretty seriously and went to India armed with my own fonts.  I sort of hate the fonts that always seem to be used on Indian invitations.  Here you have these beautiful invitations on amazing paper and then they go and slap some Times New Roman in italics on them. So, I narrowed my font choices down to my top 10 faves for Julie to approve and took her favorite with me to India. 

Invitation shopping wasn't exactly the awe inspiring event I thought it would be.  I've seen some beautiful wedding invitations in my time so this was secretly the one task I was dying to get to, but the three places I was able to visit didn't have anything that left me speechless like I'd hoped to blog about. I had dreams of custom made invitations, but those dreams were shattered pretty quickly when Julie's parents saw how expensive it would be. :")

I wanted something elegant, but something a little different. I also wanted something colorful, but the one invitation I fell in love with was the one invitation that lacked color. But I figured we'll make up for it with the wedding. :)  So, while I didn't come back waving a flag of valor, I am pretty proud of them. They look kind of awesome.

Forgive the bad photos. I've tried to take pics in all kinds of light and the shimmer on the invites just do not allow good pics.

The inner envelope caught my eye out of the stacks and stacks of invitations I went thru because of this gold embellishment. It looked really modern next to the traditional invitations I was seeing. After visiting three vendors, the invitations were all looking the same or too typical, so at the end of the day, these stood out to me. I sent a snap of them to Julie and she loved them.    

We had a girls night one night and knocked out the bulk of the invitations. So I took advantage of the extra hands and had Mandy and Melanie round all the corners. Yes, details are important to me.   

The inside cards for all the events are all staggered like most invitations are. I originally wanted different colored cards for the different events, but the options this vendor had were not what I had in mind. And at the end of the day, the colored cards would not have looked right with the invite.  So, I left it alone.

We went with gold ink as opposed to the brown ink it originally came with because I felt the gold ink would give it a bit more glam.  And it does.

We took some time to address the outer envelopes. I rigged up my Silhouette with my own metallic pen, some cardstock, and some crazy taping skillz and got it to address a few of them for us.  I'll explain this a bit more in the next  post as I've already received a few questions about it.

I was on a roll until the third night of invitation assembly, so at the end of the day we had to settle for hand addressing the bulk of them. But, Julie lucked out there. As Kelly put it, Julie is really lucky to have friends that basically practice their handwriting as a hobby. So between Kelly and myself, we finished addressing the invitations that were left.

Before I left, I also had Julie send me images of a ganesh that she liked just in case I saw anything I wanted to have custom made with it. Came in handy because this invite did not come with a ganesh on it already and I didn't want the job of deciding which ganesh to go with. So I had them add the ganesh on the corner of the invite.

I am very pleased with the quality of the invitations. It makes me giddy to see them. When Julie brought them over for the first time, I got a little misty eyed. I love the invites, but I also love seeing her name on a wedding invitation. *Sigh*

Huge props to a preggars Kelly, Mandy, and Melanie for being apart of the invitation committee.  We couldn't have finished in 2012 without you guys. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

March Obsessions

Since I haven't done a proper obsessions list in a while, I've had quite a bit of time to obsesses about quite a few things.  I'll share a few of them with you here.

{image via Staples}
Martha Stewart at Staples.  Um, I don't know about you, but I kind of think Martha rules.  And now that she's conquering office supplies, she's not only my BFF, but also my idol. I haven't bought out Staples just yet, but trust me, I will.

{image via The Toxic Avenger}
The Toxic Avenger.  I got a heads up about this musical from my friend Laura.  She texted me during the intermission and told me that I had to come see it.  Within a few minutes, I texted Mr. Bean and ever so discreetly told him he better take me to see this or I wouldn't cook for a month.  He surprised me with tickets a few days later.  What a guy.  *Blush*  Anyway, it was down right hilarious.  Mr. Bean and I couldn't stop laughing.  Try to catch this show if you can.  Oh, and for American Idol fans?  Constantine is in it.  I didn't really care for him before, but I'll admit when I am wrong.  He was pretty awesome in it.

{image via Amazon}
Honeycomb paper.  I have always been slightly obsessed with honeycomb paper party supplies.  It often comes across as cheesy, but that's only when you don't do it right.  I discovered you can buy sheets of this stuff in Seattle.  And I kind of don't know how I could live without them in my craft supplies.  Because it's kind of awesome.  Just look at what crazy cute cards you can make with it. Obsessed.

{image via Amazon}

Candy Cane Joe-Joe's from Trader Joe's.  I have always been obsessed with anything peppermint.  And I've always loved a good Oreo cookie dipped in milk.  I discovered these cookies in Seattle and I instantly realized that it was the one thing I was missing in my life.  Love, love, love these cookies.  I believe they are a seasonal item, so when we get our Trader Joe's this year I will be first in line with these in my basket. 

The Black Keys.  Between work and Julie's wedding stuff, I've pretty much been on my iPod 20 hours a day.  The Black Keys have been getting me by.   Listen to Countdown and you'll see why.

I have tons to share, so I will try to post of it next week.  Until then, I've got a big project to star tonight and I. Can't. Wait.