I hope the first couple days of spring have been happy on your end. It’s supposed to snow in Denver this weekend (boo) so I guess that means we’ll be forced to stay inside and curse at the teams that screw up our brackets. And I better start planning Beck’s 1st birthday for real (1 month!). Here are a few more posts you might enjoy.
Monday is the last time I’ll be teaching the Alt online class, Bringing Home the Bacon When Your Blog Isn’t Huge – $15 for an hour with me spilling my secrets!
I was trying to come up with a way to create an accordion lantern (thoughts like this keep me up at night, my life is so hard) and could not figure out how to fold paper in a way that would work. And then I remembered seeing a paper plate display at Anthropolgie a while ago and instantly drove to Target and bought four packages of paper plates and three bags of chocolate chips (irrelevant). The result would make great decorations for a spring party.
To make your own you’ll need:
- Rit dye (food coloring or Kool-Aid would work too)
- uncoated paper plates in two different sizes (I used 38 large ones & 30 small ones for each lantern)
- nail + hammer
Step one: Dissolve dye according to package instructions in a large bowl. Dip each paper plate in dye (soak longer for more vibrant color), then lay out on paper to dry. Treat yourself to an ice cream cone while you wait for them to dry completely.
Step two: Stack up several of the plates and punch a hole in the middle by hammering a nail through. Repeat until all of the plates have are punched.
Step three: String twine through the holes (I used a large needle) to connect the plates. Simply alternate the direction and size of the plates to create a more lantern-like look. Knot tightly at the bottom to secure.
Step four: Hang-up and party.
It’s the official first day of spring, hooray! The fact that it’s no longer winter instantly changes my mood. We enjoyed a warm day here last week and when I came inside I realized that I didn’t hate everything and everyone. Spring, I welcome you with open arms.
PS Make one of these springy garlands to celebrate.
Today’s Easter treat is from Alana Davis of Humunuku Shoppe. This salty/sweet snack would be equally as great for a place setting, neighbor gift, basket filler, favor, or my breakfast.
To make your own chocolate nests you’ll need:
- 12 oz of your favorite white chocolate
- 4 cups of pretzel sticks
- your favorite egg shaped easter egg candies (I’ve used the Easter version of Peanut Butter M&M’s)
1. Slowly melt your white chocolate on very low heat either over a double boiler (be careful not to get condensation in the bowl, as it tends to make the chocolate seize up). Or in the microwave on 50% power, 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each interval until smooth.
2. Pour melted chocolate over pretzel sticks and stir to coat evenly. (You can use a wooden spoon to break some of the sticks into smaller pieces)
3. Using a spoon and fork, form birds nests on parchment paper.
4. Add three of your egg candies to look like little birdie eggs in your nest.
5. Let the chocolate set for a bit until firm. You can put it in the fridge for a few minutes to speed it up, but don’t leave it in there too long!
6. Package and decorate anyway you like. I’ve used flat cellophane bags and black string.
As long as you don’t go with mincemeat, a piece of pie makes a pretty perfect party favor. Even better is when it’s packaged cute in a wedge shaped box. You can see my post about how to easily customize your own boxes right here on Julep.
For the record, I didn’t have the faintest idea that it was pi day yesterday and it’s purely coincidental that that’s when the post was published. I didn’t want you to think I was a geek.
Easter is just a couple weeks away! Here are:
- 25 awesome non-candy basket fillers
- Dapper clothes for baby boys and springy dresses for baby girls
- 15 of the prettiest dyed eggs you’ll ever see
- Entertaining ideas for your annual brunch
And best of the week of course!
Before Beck was born I had high hopes that I would be a champion documenter, or at least not be the mom who forgets the things I’ve already forgotten. To make up for my lack of journaling, every couple of months I consciously carry the camera around with me for one entire day and capture Beck in our everyday routines. He looked awfully cute in new clothes from Tea yesterday so I decided to have the camera be my accessory. Here’s bits of yesterday (thanks for indulging me):
I share this because I know I’m not the only admirer of candid children’s portraits like those on You Are My Wild and I’ve wanted to learn how to take similar photos of my own kids. I know my photos don’t even compare to the talent of those photographers but I will tell you the more I do this exercise, the better I get. It forces me to play with perspective and I like seeing the personality that comes through in a day full of photos. Try it out for yourself, I think you’ll be a fan.
Today’s post is from Sharon, the party genius behind Cupcakes and Cutlery.
Do you ever feel like the word “birthday” is just too dang long? And we all know that the most important part of celebrating a birthday is the cake anyway. So I came up with this Happy Cake Day banner. This banner has two parts, the napkin flowers and the message. Of course this banner can be made with just paper but I really enjoy using fabrics in my party decor. The options of textures, color and patterns are way better than what you can find at your local craft store scrapbook section. Similarly, the napkins give you a crazy amount of options and are inexpensive. I’m going to focus my tutorial on the fabric message part as the flowers are pretty much the same as making tissue poms (see a perfect napkin flower tutorial here).
For this banner you will need:
- your wording printed out on card stock
- a small section of fabric (I think I bought a 1/4 yard and used WAY less than that)
- Super 77 (or other spray adhesive, but I’ve tried others and I think this works the best for this)
- gloves (so you don’t permanently stick your fingers together)
- drop cloth to work on
- string for hanging the words and making the napkin flowers
- various napkins in whatever colors and patterns you like
- masking tape to hang the banner and flowers
The way I make the message part of the banner is by starting with card stock letters and then adhering them to fabric. I am not talented enough to freehand the letters so I use the font called Blackout in Midnight mode (most type has bold as an option, well this font has midnight and 2 am…) You need to remember to reverse the letters so that they print backwards. That way, when you stick them to the fabric, the fabric ends up on the correct side.
Be sure to do this part outside as the spray adhesive would literally stick your cat to the wall. And it stinks like crazy. The glue, not your cat. I don’t even know your cat. With gloves on, spray the correct side of the letter and glue it to the backside of the fabric. Take a minute to press and smooth out the letter on the fabric. Once they are all on the fabric go ahead and take a minute to step away from the fumes. They really don’t need too long to dry but you do want to make sure the fabric doesn’t fall right off.
Next cut out each letter and then punch two holes at the top so you can string your message. A normal hole puncher will get through the fabric and card stock but not cut the fabric all the way around. Use scissors to trim up the back side.
Slide your message on to the string and then get ready to make a bunch of napkin flowers. As many as you want. Again, see the napkin flower tutorial here. You can also make tissue poms for a similar look.
I prefer to not put an even amount of flowers on each side but keep it more artsy looking. The easiest way to put them up is with masking tape. The flowers are pretty light so they should stay put. That is how I knew it was time to take the banner down. I would find flowers on the ground or they would fall on my head when I was sitting under it. I have a problem with taking banners down after they go up. They’re just so festive!
I’ve also made this banner with leopard print letters and green and pink napkins. Super cute and girly. This would also be really fun to do for Mother’s Day brunch. And I think the paper flowers are just the right piece of wall decor for spring in general.
See more from Sharon on Cupcakes and Cutlery
Most of the items are from one of my favorite shops for cute toys, My Sweet Muffin (I like that it carries brands that are sometimes hard to find in the states like Maileg). I’m in love with the bunny in the striped pants and I’m guessing he’ll be Beck’s favorite too. That or he’ll just want to stick the entire plastic egg in his mouth.
I’m available for Easter Bunny hire. Also tooth fairy. Santa is special order only.
girl’s basket sources: mini pom pom flower, Maileg mini rabbit, wooden instrument set, Shinzi Katoh lunch box set, crayon rings from Target, rabbit night light, tin Easter eggs, fairies finger printing art set
The color palette of these items perpetuates my spring fever. As if I needed help with that. A spring Target commercial came on and I started crying. And it wasn’t because their creative team is so brilliant.
The one day a year where everyone pretends they’re Irish is coming up here are:
- Cute green clothes that will insure you don’t get pinched
- Lucky diys (rainbows galore)
- Ideas for your St Patty’s bash
Tis the time of the year where I want to banish all winter clothes and only allow color, florals and full skirts into my closet. I made an executive decision that the solstice scarf from Ash & Anchor would be the first purchase in my seasonal purge and surge and it’s been the perfect spring wardrobe pick-me-up. I actually make a little appearance in their lookbook sporting the pretty little thing. Bet you didn’t know I moonlight as a model, did you?
photo of me was taken by Jennifer Little