Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bridal Shower DIY

I am the proud Maid of Honor for one of my best friend's (and coincidentally she is also my cousin) upcoming nuptials! And one of my duties is to plan an incredible bridal shower for her! I've been perusing etsy and pinterest and googling to my heart's delight to try to find the cheapest way to create a fantastic bridal shower that doesn't look like it's been done on a budget! The plans really started to take shape after I came up with the idea of doing a crepe bar (which I have since discovered was hardly an original thought!)! With the food decided I found the ideas for the decorations flowed right along. I've been folding circular fans for the decor in my free time, as well as designing and making the invitations, and attempting to organize some activities, favors, and the rest of the menu and decor. But this blog entry is actually going to be just about the cake stands I made for the crepes!

I've been wanting to get myself a cake stand for quite awhile now. Just a simple and elegant white one. And while debating when and where I should purchase one of these I realized that cake stands would be a really cute way to serve the crepes at the bridal shower. I wanted two, one for each side of the table. The only issue was that I couldn't afford to actually buy cake stands to use. Luckily it was pinterest to the rescue! Someone had posted a picture that had a short tutorial on how to make your own using dollar store dishes. So I hurried my butt over to my local Dollar Tree and purchased a couple simple glass candle candlesticks and some plates (I also bought a few bowls after I realized what a cheap place the dollar store is to get some vintage looking glass bowls for a DOLLAR! YES!). Then I raced over to the Home Depot. The helpful associate pointed me to the perfect primer and spray paint for the job. Guaranteed not to come off of anything. This point was emphasized a few times and I was encouraged to wear old clothes that completely covered my skin and to make sure and put down lots of plastic. I forget what type of spray paint it was but I'm sure the folks over at Home Depot can help you discover it for yourself! I bought the primer, and I also bought a can of white for the base of the cake stand (otherwise known as dollar store glass candlesticks) and a can of yellow for the top of the stand (or the dollar store plates). After all the purchased were made all that was needed was a little time to do some spray painting and then to glue the white candlestick to the yellow plate!

This was such a simple project to manage and the result looked like something that you would actually want to buy, so I was very pleased! I recommend that everyone try this! I plan on using white doilies between the plates and the stand, because I'm not sure if you can serve food on something that's been spray painted? But if that's an issue for some of you then a simple fix would be to purchase a plate with the color that you want, or I've even been wanting to make some out of vintage plates for a unique look! There are many options and there's sure to be a perfect one for you!

This is what the candlesticks originally looked like that I bought
 at the Dollar Tree. I don't have a picture of the plates, but I just
picked the ones that had the best size/shape since I knew that
 I would be covering them with paint anyway!

This is the final product! I love the way they turned out! I thought
that the yellow and white had a nice feminine/vintage feel that will
 work perfectly with the crepes and with the rest of the decor that
 I'm working on!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii!

I was so fortunate to be able to go visit my best friend, Jeanine (aka Juniper), this past March in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, where she now lives! I've always wanted to visit Hawaii, and thanks in large part to my tax refund (okay, thanks COMPLETELY because of my tax refund--tickets to Hawaii are EXPENSIVE! Who knew?! Ha!) I was able to make the voyage over there! Hawaii is a beautiful place and I enjoyed it immensely. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit crazy while I was there (a little chilly and stormy). During my layover in Honolulu they were having (or at least this is what I was told) record storms. Nevertheless, I am not fazed by mere rain, I am from Portland after all.

The trip itself got off to a slightly rocky start (pardon the pun) with a near death experience! I got caught in a huge wave my first day in Hawaii, and was thrown between two large rocks (Everyone on the beach was freaking out and convinced that I was dead when I finally resurfaced). It wasn't until I got back to our towels that I realized (after a guy pointed it out) that I had blood running down my leg from three cuts that I have no recollection of getting. One of the cuts left a scar and I'm not gonna lie, I'm pretty proud of it! It reminds me of how fortunate I am! And there's no better souvenir than a scar!

Jeanine got quite a few days off while I was there and because of that her and I were able to do a little exploring during my week-long visit. I got my fill of laying on beaches, drinking cold tropical drinks, snorkeling, and best of all I got lots of quality time with her, her boyfriend Paul, their 3 dogs, and their landlord's dog, who they were dog-sitting for. I got to see parrots, LOTS of geckos, wild goats, turtles, crab spiders, and plenty of fish! I also got to taste Rambutan, Dragonfruit, and Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) for the very first time. I visited a lava tube, did some dancing, and went night swimming. I was able to enjoy local mangoes, bananas, avocados and coconuts (and more that I cannot currently remember). Let's face it, I am one very lucky girl!

String Lanterns

Years ago, while working as a HR assistant temp in a call center, I saw the most amazing/easy/genius/cheap decoration being used for company parties. One of the managers was a fan of DIY and this was one of her creations (that I have since seen all over the place). It's a simple concept really. She used round balloons to make hers, but I was too lazy to look all over for round balloons (at the time I was living in a small town with barely more than a Walmart). I used regular balloons, and though she thought that using regular balloons made this decoration look too much like an egg, I felt that it turned out just fine with the right paint on it. I've hauled this decoration with me through two different moves and had countless compliments on them. I've also had a LOT of people ask me how to do it.

This is a very inexpensive project. The only things you really need are balloons (your choice as to to the balloon shape!), some sort-of recipe for paper mache glue (there are all kinds of recipes available online if you do a google search), and a thick string or yarn. And of course paint if you choose to customize the look a little bit (I painted these gold, then spray painted them with gold glitter. I then filled each of them with some brown and white vanilla-scented potpourri.). I recommend getting as creative as you can! Nothing is quite as freeing as coming up with something unique that you are creating for yourself and that is exactly what YOU want and are picturing in your mind!

Step 1: Blow up the balloon to the desired size and tie off.
Step 2: Mix up a batch of your paper mache glue.
Step 3: Dip your string/yarn in the glue until it is coated.
Step 4: Wrap the string/yarn around the balloon every which way until it has the look you want (you need to wrap it enough for it to have a strong framework).
Step 5: Let dry.
Step 6: Pop the balloon!
Step 7: Paint/decorate it to your heart's content! :)
Step 8: Hang or display where you want.