Thursday, December 20, 2012

yarn & wire monograms | handmade ornaments & gift toppers

As promised, here's the tutorial for making the yarn wrapped wire initial ornaments we made at the holi-diy event at Anthropologie on Tuesday night. 

First, gather your supplies: plastic coated steel wirequick dry tacky glue or a hot glue gun, yarn or wool roving, and pliers. 

Cut a piece of wire about eight inches long and bend it into the shape of the letter you want to make. You may need to use the pliers to get sharp corners so use them to help you form the letter. Cut a length of yarn about four feet long. 
Squeeze a line of glue about an inch long onto one end of the letter. 

Lay the one end of the yarn along the glue, with the end pointing in towards the letter. In the above image, I'm holding the end of the yarn and the length extends off the 'E.' This allows you to hide the end once you start wrapping the yarn.

Begin wrapping the yarn around the wire, starting at the tip of the letter and continuing towards the bend. 

Keep wrapping! Continue until you get to a place where the yarn might slide off. Add a dab of glue, wrap, and hold for about thirty seconds. If you're using hot glue, definitely do not hold the yarn in place! That's for tacky glue users only. You may need to fuss with it a bit to get it looking right.

Wrap until you get to the end of the letter and repeat - glue, wrap, and hold. Trim the yarn, or leave the end hanging if you like that look.

Add a loop of yarn (just cut a few inches and tie it off) so you can hang your new yarn monogram on the tree! E is for Ezra, of course!

Or add the letter to a gift. It definitely makes personalizing each package easy!

If you're really ambitious you can make a word. My needle nose pliers got a workout when I was trying to form the word "joy!"

You can even make a word garland. I hung the word "peace" over one of my chevron canvases and added a few more lengths of yarn so I could hang our Christmas cards with little clothespins. If you were at the workshop Tuesday night or if you make any monograms from the tutorial, send me a picture! I'd love to see how yours turn out!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

HAPPY HOLI-DIY | a recap of my craft night at Anthropologie

Last night was so much fun - I hosted an event at Anthropologie (you may have heard about it, ha) and to top it off two customers thought I worked there because I "dressed like it" and I had a "great outfit." Two of the greatest compliments of my life right there. Oh, and my mom and aunt came out to support me and they were like my personal fan club so that was nice, too. Hopefully everyone who came to the event had as good a time as I did! We made initial ornaments that do double duty as gift toppers, and a few industrious people even made enough letters to make a word garland! Check back tomorrow for the tutorial. Here are a bunch of photos of the event... much thanks to Matt who stopped by for a little while to capture these images for me. 


Most of all, thanks to Anthropologie for having me and to everyone who came to the event! Hope we can do another one real soon :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

HAPPY HOLI-DIY | a craft night with Anthropologie & me!

I have such fun news to share today! I'm excited to announce that I'm partnering with Anthropologie and hosting an evening full of crafting and snacking at my local store in Garden City on December 18th. We'll be making yarn monograms which can be used as ornaments or gift toppers, so come on by and craft with us! 

There are two one-hour sessions and space is very limited so if you'd like to join us, email soon to reserve your spot at the workshop! Please include your preferred session time in your email. Hope to see you there! 

Monday, December 3, 2012

a chocolate chip cookie celebration | happy birthday to my husband

Last week I hosted a chocolate chip cookie taste off in honor of Matt's 28th birthday. It was quite possibly the best birthday party I've ever hosted. I got the idea from You Are My Fave and used the invitations from there, too.

We had eight entrants into the taste off and almost all of them were classic versions of the chocolate chip cookie. My favorite part about being the host was the questions I got to answer, like this one from my friend Karissa: So if I bring slice and bakes, should I send you the ingredients list and cooking instructions? That was a joke that I didn't get (Matt is vehemently opposed to any and all forms of store bought cookies and Karissa knows it); thankfully no slice and bake cookies were entered in the contest. Another good question: Are we limited to one batch per couple or can we each enter a recipe? There's a back story to that one - my friends Keri and Josh had a dispute about whose recipe to use (they're married) - Keri's famous "Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies" or Josh's "Sweet and Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies" (or, as Keri called them, "Variation on Toll House Because My Wife Wouldn’t Let Me Copy the Recipe Cookies"). Here's a quote from Keri: "I'm glad there can be spousal competition, because I thought marriage counseling was going to be necessary if we had to narrow it down to one recipe."  This is the kind of dedication our friends brought to the party. It was awesome. And Keri won, by the way. Here's her winning batch of cookies...

I highly recommend having your own chocolate chip cookie taste off. Soon. In fact, I may need to have another one.

P.S. I made this for Matt's birthday cake, but doesn't  this one look incredible?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

tea with Rose | Seven Stars

This stop on our tea tour was an unexpected one - Hillary and I didn't plan on meeting up until that morning, and the place we planned on having tea was closed! So we headed to nearby Seven Stars. Seven Stars isn't really known for its tea, but I love it just the same (the veggie sandwich! the chocolate croissants!) and ordered a hot cup of lemon ginger as well as a ginger biscuit. I usually stick with a hot chocolate (perfect for croissant dunking), but on a tea tour one orders tea.

So I shared my tea with Ezra, and he ate the entire ginger biscuit that was meant to be shared. Lemon tea is one of my favorites and this cup didn't disappoint. Now to decide on a place to visit next month. We've decided to meet for high tea somewhere... I'm thinking either Besos or The Spring Seasons Inn, if they're open. Any recommendations for us?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ezra turns 2! | a school bus birthday party

I've been putting off writing about Ezra's second birthday party because I was overwhelmed by the amount of pictures that Matt took, but I finally sorted through them and chose some of my favorites to share here. We held Ezra's party on a Thursday morning because of some weekend scheduling issues that couldn't be resolved, but it ended up working out quite well. The party was school bus-themed because Ezra loves watching the neighborhood children getting picked up in the morning right outside our house every day. After Matt's return home from work, I think it's his favorite part of the day.

Matt started snapping before I had everything completely set up, and once the toddler party guests arrived my carefully staged dining room was quickly dismantled (as it should be at a party!) so there aren't any pictures of the full set up. The paper products are all from Target (plates found in the dollar section and the rest are Mara Mi), and I borrowed the yellow striped tablecloths from my mother-in-law.

They're hard to see, but I made little flags for the cupcakes out of white and yellow ticking. A matching garland hung from the two shelves in the dining room.

I replaced everything that's usually on them with a few things that coordinated with the party theme - yellow tulips in a mint julep cup, an embroidery hoop displaying a square of school bus fabric (Kokka Beep Beep, in case anyone is wondering), a wind up school bus toy, a framed illustration of a bus, the silver E from Ezra's room (it made an appearance last year, too), a wooden school bus I found on Etsy, and a candle. Yeah, the candle didn't have much to do with anything, but I needed something to fill the space. Of course pom poms were involved (will I ever stop making them?).

We served banana bread, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, cinnamon rolls, and mini bananas.

Drinks were kept simple - just water and apple cider.

I found these cute school bus wrappers for Hershey's chocolates, so of course I printed out a few sheets and Ezra and I spent an afternoon cutting and sticking them on. (Of course I was in charge of cutting so don't anyone get worried. Ezra was in charge of the glue dots.)

Lucky for us, my dad works part time for a bus company so he was able to drive a school bus over to the party and take us for a ride! I was beyond ecstatic when his request was approved because I thought it would be the perfect party activity and I knew Ezra would be excited to ride with his Grandpa.

We rode over to a playground near our house and let the kids burn off some energy for a while. 

Obviously it's very difficult to take a picture of twenty toddlers and preschoolers with their moms.

After about twenty minutes we all piled back on the bus and headed back home for birthday cupcakes!

Ezra had been waiting for this moment since he woke up. He had been practicing blowing out the candles since his friend Amelia's party. You know, just blowing on anything or nothing after half singing "happy happy!"

I think Ezra ate the frosting off of three cupcakes and left the rest. He basically ate cupcakes for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and dessert that day. What can I say? A boy doesn't turn two every day.

A week before Ezra's party I decided to make a child-size photo booth prop. We didn't do a fancy backdrop, but the kids had fun pretending to drive the school bus around our house.  

Babies got in on the action, too!

We sent everyone home with yellow school bus crayons and little school bus coloring books I made using Microsoft Word and free school bus coloring pages. Apparently I didn't get any photos of the books and crayons... just the bags. Oops!

Two and a half weeks later and Ezra is still talking about the 'coo bus' ride with his friends. And the frosting. He certainly hasn't forgotten the frosting. Thanks to everyone who celebrated with us!

P.S. I'm happy to give the cupcake flags and garland to anyone who's local and can pick them up! Just send me an email...
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