Monday, July 22, 2013

Alice in Wonderland Crop: Madhatter Tea Party

This past weekend was a whirlwind for me. I ran the Lunar Rendezvous 5K Saturday morning and then rushed home to host a 14 hour crop with some amazing women in my home.  The theme?  Alice in Wonderland.  I liked the movie as a kid but fell in love with it in 2010 when it came out again.  I really enjoyed putting this on together.  Right now I am just sharing the pictures.  I'll put together the how to's and supply list later this week.

No Madhatter Tea Pary would be complete without top hats.  I made these top hats using my Silhouette and a cut file from the Silhouette store for a 3D leprechaun hat.  You may recognize the stand as party of my centerpiece from the Breakfast at Tiffany's party. I looked for ways to display the hats in a box or something but the headbands and the bulkiness of the top hats made them fall over.  I finally gave up and just put them on the accidental good idea.  The frame has a quote from the movie. It is the exchange between the Madhatter and Alice. He asks if he has gone mad and she says yes but all the great ones are.

I love decorating for parties but I try to keep to a tight budget.  I try to buy things on clearance or on sale.  Dollar tree is one of my favorite stores. You have no idea how much you can get from the dollar store if you learn to think outside the box.  I also use my 50% off coupons at Hobby Lobby and Michaels and I always start out in the clearance section.  That is where I found these mugs. They are tea cups per se but we don't drink tea in our house so I bought coffee mugs.  I wanted a colorful party so I bought them in colors I knew I could use in my home everyday.

They were a dollar each at my Hobby Lobby in the clearance section.  the saucers (I wish I took a better picture of those) are from Tuesday Morning. Again they were in the clearance section (4 of them for $3.00). The feathers were $1.49 each at HL on sale.  All the flowers came from the Dollar Store.  The cut outs inside the top cup were from Cloud 9 Designs. Hurry she has them on sale for $1.99 for the whole package, She had a 3D hat, teapot, teacup, clock invitation...just go see.  I have about 7 frames that I bought from Ikea for about 1.99 each.  I keep them around and change out the displays. For this party I used digital paper from Rhonna Farer Urban Junque kit from Twopeasinabucket. I can't find it there anymore but it is beautiful colorful paper.  In MyDigitalStudio I created quote pages using Urban Junque.  Here is a close up of one.  

Frames with quotes are a great inexpensive way to decorate a party.  

I also saw on Pinterest that someone stacked three mini top hats that reminded me of the lopsided of course I had to make them. Behind them you will see the vase my husband gave me for mother's day and it has dollar store flowers inside it. 

Surrounding the parameter I had the evil Queen of Heart's soldiers.

I made these guys from foam board that I found at the dollar store and cardstock.  I just love them.  Again, I used my Silhouette and cut out the hearts, letters and feet.

I forgot to mention Goodwill...another great place for finds. I found these little white cups there.  All 5 were $1.60 in total.  As soon as I saw them, I knew I wanted to stamp faces on them. I have a set of faces from PeachyKeen.  I love their stamps.  They turned boring white cups into cups with character.  

And finally, while at Tuesday Morning I came across this teapot and I couldn't resist.

You guessed it.  Alice in Wonderland Teapot and Sugar bowl.  Now I don't usually buy anything over $5.00 for a party, unless I plan on using it again but I just couldn't resist. It was perfect.  As luck would have it, one of the gals at the party was going to throw a tea party for her daughter and she bought it from me at the end of the night.  I also gave her all my Alice in Wonderland specific decorations to use at her party.  I am glad they are going to a good place to be used and appreciated.  As opposed to my bonus room that has become the storage place of parties of the past.  I kept the sugar bowl as a souvenir.  And I sent each person home with their own mini top hat.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Breakfast at Tiffany's Crop

This past weekend I through a Breakfast at Tiffany's crop.  I had so much fun doing the decor for this one!  Of course my first source for ideas was Pinterest.

Each person received one.  This one is actually in a Tiffany blue box.

Similar to the one I saw here.

I had a family emergency the weekend before so I didn't have time to paint the boxes properly, so at 4 am the morning of the crop, I found some acrylic paint in my scrapbook stash and mixed a few colors to come up with Tiffany blue.. (here's to not throwing anything away even when you haven't used it in years). So here is my version.

The box on the left is an actual box that is Tiffany blue that my husband bought me years ago to go with my scraproom.  ( I have a wonderful husband who buys me things for my birthday that I will actually love and use.)  The box on the right is a box I purchased at Hobby Lobby for $1.49 and painted.  I stuffed the bottoms with the plastic bags from the table liners, then I put tissue paper on top.  Each box had three sizes of bling, a tiara from Party City and either either some of my costume pearl jewelry or some pearl strand I found in the ribbon section at Hobby Lobby.  Here is a close up of the inside.
I also found this cute wedding gown cut on the Silhouette store.  It wasn't quite what I wanted so I tweaked it just a bit.  Once I had it just like I wanted, I was able to cut three per 12x12 black cardstock.  I then used the same technique that I used at the baby shower, to make the dresses stand up.  You can see the how to HERE.
I also pinned this wonderful centerpiece that I had to try. I couldn't find the directions to it and I have not done a floral arrangement before so I did my best.

Here is my version:

And no, I did not paint my art niche for the party. It just so happens that the color I chose as an accent color throughout my whole house is Tiffany blue (see previous posts).  I took apart a Christmas ornament for the bling on the branches.  I bought the flowers at, you guessed it, Hobby Lobby. And BONUS they were 50% off.  I already had the vase and the branches.

I also made a Tiffany Blue punch.

I used Blue Hawaiian Punch, a large can of pineapple juice and pineapple sherbert....oh and spike with your favorite liquor if you want.   

Everyone was given given a Tiffany blue gift bag for their trash, a Holly Golightly mask, a tiara and a luggage tag.  Cheryl, the creator of our scrapbook group found them at Michaels.  They had Holly Golightly on one side and we decorated the back side with our names.

I look forward to these crops each month. Sadly, I will not be hosting again until July.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon I will finish the race

  Tax day.  If you asked me yesterday in the morning what I would have journaled about, I would have said about my dread of the tax day.  But by the end of the day, my focused had changed.  No longer was I worried about taxes.  Now I wondered about the Boston Marathon and all those people injured.  Or worst... those that were killed.  I have feared running...can I finish, did I train enough, am I going to be the last one in?  But never, never in a million years would I have thought "Am I going to die?"

And I still won't.  I am a fighter I am an American and we know no fear but fear of The Lord.  NO other shall control me.  So tomorrow I will run for Boston. I will do my best to matter how slow or how short...I will run the race that is set before me.

No one will take that from us.  Let the media speak of fear but we speak of hope and strength.   I will run today with Boston on my mind.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Dresser Redo

Leave it to me to take on more than I can handle.  This is my first real make over of any furniture.  So what did I decide to do?  Well, I decided to take all my bedroom furniture and an armoire out to my garage and paint them all at once.  At the time of the decision, it made sense.  They all needed to be primed and most pieces were being painted the same color.  And on top of it all, I decided to blog about it. I made a promise to myself a few months ago that good or bad, I was going to blog my results of things I tried. Ouch!

One of my  first pins on pinterest was this one from Censational Girl:


I must have pinned it the first time about a year ago. I say the first time because I have pinned it several times since then.  (You know that awkward moment when you just finished pinning 4 or 5 things only to discover that what you were looking at was one of your own boards, so you basically repinned yourself?  yeah been there, done that)
So this is the first piece that is complete.  I know, I know very Martha Stewart like.  I didn't even realize it until I put in the drawers. (You may have noticed that we also painted the walls...finally.  After 7 years of the same builder off white, we committed to Maison Blanche from Sherwin Williams.)

I followed Censational Girls advice and used her technique.

I first removed the handles and filled the holes with Elmers all purpose wood filler and sanded it.

(Yes, I was scared when I saw my drawers in this state). I am not sure if it is suppose to look this bad at this point, but YOLO!!!.    Once I did this I primed my with Zinsser red can (yeah  just look for the red can.  It comes in red, gold and blue and Censational girl prefers gold then red but we only have red in the local stores
Now, I do not know if they are suppose to look so smooth but there they are. (Can you see all the pieces of furniture back there?  I count eight drawers in this shot alone. I primed each piece twice, sanding between coats.

After priming, I painted the dresser Swimming from Sherwin Williams and I don't remember the white color but it is a pure white. I'll update this post when I find it.  After painting, I used Minwax  Polycrylic in Clear Gloss but my husband didn't think it was glossy enough so we sprayed it Lacquer High Gloss clear from Rustoleum.  It gave it a little shine but not like we wanted it.  After further review and research, ok so one day while mesmerized by Pinterest, I discovered this pin.

So my next project will use this paint from Benjamin Moore. It is a water based paint that acts like an oil...who knew?

Then came the scary part....I had to drill holes for the new knobs. I have a tutorial for that also.  I love the knobs I found at Home Depot from Martha Stewart.  They are substantial. That is to say, they are heavy and feel like quality pieces.

And yes, I did discover after I put the drawers in the dresser that the knobs are not center on the vertical but only on the horizontal.  I measured them 6 inches from the bottom of each drawer, per a suggestion in my research. I think they should be center...oh well.

 Maybe it is more Tiffany Blue?  I have more pieces to finish and share. Pin It

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My DIY elephant

Well if you were to ask me, you would open wide and try to fit the whole thing in your mouth.  You would remain lady like and not choke.  Oh, you know you will choke but you try anyway.  That is how my "Yippee! I am finally getting a new mattress became "Oh no, what have I done?"

You see, 17 years ago, before I was a mother or a wife, I purchased a queen size mattress.  Oh, how life has changed since that first night I slept on it.  The things we have shared.  Those late night prayer sessions when I was looking for guidance.  A soft place to lie when my daughter was little and slept with me because of the monsters under her bed.  The late night conversations I shared with my husband. Yes, it has served me well.  But time has not been nice to queen.  She has become lumpy and unreliable.  She gives me pain at night and no rest.  So after many years of debating on whether or not we should get a new bed, we finally take the plunge and buy a king bed.  And that is the start of my horror story of how to eat an elephant.

Let me set the scene and  introduce you to the main characters in my story:

The old  mattress:

My old bed frame:

The wall in my daughter's room:

The master bedroom

The dining room

The bedroom furniture

Do you see where I am going with this?  Do you see the elephant in the room?  Over the next few weeks I will introduce you to each character individually.  I will share the good, the bad and the ugly...and there is plenty of ugly.

And remember, it all started with one mattress purchase.
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Lollipop Topiary

Pinterest has been a lifesaver. Well maybe not a lifesaver but definitely it has added flavor to my life.  I saw this lollipop topiary on Pinterest and had to try it.

You can see the original pin HERE.  But it didn't give any directions on how to do it, so I thought I would create one.  Here is a list of items you will need:

  • 6 inch styrofoam ball
  • big bag of dum dums or other lollipops ( I bought mine at Sams)
  • a chunky candlestick (mine came from Goodwill and that I switched candle holders)
  • hot glue

Insert lollipops into stryrofoam ball.  Leave room at the bottom to hot glue ball to candle holder. (I just kept inserting lollipops and then every once and a while I placed it on top of candle holder to see if I needed more lollipops)

Once you have all the lollipops inserted in the ball, hot glue ball to candle holder.  You may have to hold it for 30 seconds just to make sure it holds.  

It is extremely easy to make and took very little time.  I watched TV while I made mine. I would have spray painted my candle holder white but my daughter wants it in her room and wants it to remain black.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How to make Candy Jar for Candy Bar

I finally did it!  I hosted my first event in my home!  It only took 7 years but I finally did it!  Sure I have hosted family gatherings,  like Thanksgiving, and two church gatherings. But those I did when I first moved into my home.  I use to say it was because I didn't know any better.  My house wasn't decorated enough, painted enough, pretty enough etc.  But you know what?  It is never going to meet my standards and I had to come to terms with that reality...or my perception of reality. I read a blog post once about not waiting for your house to be ready for guests because it will never be ready.  That the most important part of hosting people for a gathering or for the weekend is to make them feel comfortable and at home. It was a great article.   If I find it again, I will update this one with the link.  I read it years ago, but it planted a small seed.  A seed so small that it took years for it to break through the ground and finally bear fruits.

I decided to use Pinterest for ideas and I fell in love with Candy Bars. Not like a Hershey's candy bar but a bar much like an alcohol bar but filled with candy instead of spirits.  But I knew I didn't want to break the bank so I had to improvise.In this video, I will show you how I took two vases from the dollar store and made my own candy jars for a Candy Bar.  I originally saw a similar idea on Pinterest, using mason jars. Those can be seen at  However, I didn't have any mason jars so I bought a few candle holders for the tops.  These candy jars are so easy to make and inexpensive.

Supplies needed:
- candle stick holder (dollar store)
-  wider candle holder jar or bowl (dollar store)
- strong liquid adhesive ( I used E6000 which can be found at  most hobby stores)
- candy (optional)
-  candy scoop (optional)
-  any items you want to use to decorate jar (optional)

Make sure both the top and bottom candle holders are clean and dry.  Put glue on both holders where they will connect. Since the glass in not porous, wait 2 minutes and then put the two items together.  Make sure the top is center.  Allow to dry for 48 to 72 hours before using.

If you like this video or found it helpful, please click the  "Like" button.  If you would like to receive notices when I have uploaded more videos, please click the "subscribe" button.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

And the Award for Breast Supporting Bra goes to...

the Oscar goes to Moving Comfort Juno bra.  Yes, it's Fluffy and I am about to get my run on again.  Now, I was expecting to get a new sport bra or anything new for that matter but my sister works at a running store and invited me to a bra fitting.  (was that a run on sentence?  If it was, well then I'll just say I am warming up for my run tomorrow. )

I have heard of runners being picky about how and where they carry their phone or their water when they run.  Put it in the wrong place and you feel out of balance.  Put them in the right place and well it is like not carrying it at all.  Well imagine carrying two large balloons on your chest that you can't decide to leave at home, or hold in one hand or the other or wear around your waist?  Ok, Ok, maybe sometimes they can hang down to your waist naturally but that is a different topic for a different day. Where was I? Oh, yes....things that make you feel out of balance and no choice of where to put them. 

Well that is the struggle us fluffy, big chested gals have to endure.  We are limited in our choices of where to put them. It is amazing the amount of clothing we are willing to wear to keep them in their place. One "sports bra", one regular bra and another sports bra on top.  (true story)  Some come to accept the limited support that this layering effect gives or they just succumb to the lie that they are too big to run.   Trust me, most women are not too well endowed to run, they just aren't dressed for the occasion.   Buying a bra for running is not a fashion first kind of thing.  First comes the support...function before beauty.  It's not going to feel like slipping into a cozy pair of jammies and fluffy bunny slippers.  No, this thing has to be strong, firm and unforgiving.  It needs to be able to take all the jarring you can give it and still at the end of its day, hold its shape and be ready for another round tomorrow.  It cannot grow tired too soon and give in. No it must endure.

This is why I love Moving Comfort.  They know women. They know women of all sizes with all size breast.  But the best part, they don't just create great bras, they go out of their way to help women find the right bra for them...on an individual basis.

 Today I went to a womens only even at Tri Fit Run in Galveston, Texas.  Deb, from Moving Comfort, spent the day there fitting each woman for a bra and making suggestions on the best bra for each person.  She had all styles and all sizes on hand for everyone to try on.  But you didn't just try on a bra.  She evaluated the fit on you and adjusted the straps so that it fit you properly.  It reminded me of new parents that take their car seat to a local fire station and the firemen help them place the car seat properly into the car so that it is safe for the newborn when they come home in their first car ride from the hospital.  Well, Deb makes sure that when you take your first run, your boobs will be comfortable but more importantly, safe.

But wait there's more!!!!!  I was so excited because not only does Moving Comfort make great supporting bras, they make them in beautiful colors.  So you get fashion and support.  I got the Juno bra.  And I was so excited that it came in more than black and white, that I bought the Aqua one also.   It's hard to find a company that believes that fluffy gals like to look just as fashionable as their non fluffy friends. 
And thank you Deb for making the adjustments so that it fit perfectly. We both left happy campers...I mean runners.

So next time you need a new sports bra or if you never had one, go to your local running store and found out when their next all girl bra fitting gala will be and make sure you go.  If they aren't having one...find another running store or ask them to host one.  And remember, your bra should never have a birthday.

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