#MyBestFriendsWedding Chapter 5: The Bridal Shower

Ok guys, so by this point I’ve shown you the invitations and the place tiles, and I’m going to try to make this as short as possible so – welcome to my best friend’s Moroccan Bridal Shower!

AH! The first big event I’ve been preparing for for MONTHS as Maid of Honor finally came and went and I have to say, mishaps and all, it went so well and the most important part is that Michelle loved it and had an awesome time! Michelle’s mom and I planned it together and she was a crucial part in all of it turning out as nice and great as it did, so thank you Marta for all of your help and support with it! Some behind the scenes info:

  • Michelle had mentioned she wanted a Moroccan themed bridal shower before she was even engaged, so I knew that would be the theme, BUT it usually comes with an extremely colorful scheme. When I started my Pinterest board, I tried to focus on the ideas that had the most white, orange and pink to make it more bridal. And then, Michelle fell in love with rose gold, so that became the main accent color next to the white.
  • A few months into the planning, Michelle said to me: “you know I want people to actually come dressed in Moroccan attire, right?” and I was like no, I did not know that, but we can absolutely make it happen! And so we did, as almost everyone came donning their best kaftans and headpieces ❤

With this all said, let’s split the party in sections so that I don’t keep you reading for three hours:

  • The Backdrop: I’m openly admitting, I was in over my head with this one and at the end of it all, I had to let it go. Even though I started the research months in advance, I could not find a backdrop that I liked until one day, I found an image that I liked as inspiration, but it wasn’t there yet. Then I had the idea of hand-painting it onto a canvas with the Moroccan door architecture style and I was like YES THAT’S IT, THAT’S WHAT I WANT! So I ordered the canvas, designed it, cut out a stencil, got to work with the paint… and then realized it was going to take me much longer than anticipated, and I didn’t even know if it was going to come out well and I had other things left to do. So, with all the pain in my heart, I had to scrap the idea, and I ended up buying simple curtains and called it a day. Textbook definition of over-committing. It was fine and no one knew the original idea, but such is life!
  • Custom Glasses: when Marta and I were looking into tableware, I didn’t want to have plastic cups because they would cheapen the look, and then I remembered the acrylic stackables I used for my Friendsmas party a couple of years back. The problem was, people don’t usually keep track of their cups at parties, so I decided to use vinyl to put their names on it, solving the missing cup issue and also adding a favor they could take home! Win, win!
  • Décor: all I will say here is that I depleted Home Depot of their rose gold spray paint (but good thing rose gold/copper is in because I was definitely able to find TONS of things that were already rose gold, and in some cases, Moroccan too!)
  • Favors: I found these jumbo tea lights from IqraMehndiDesigns on Etsy. She was so great to work with and made the order to fit our color scheme beautifully. Did I mention she’s all the way in Bulgaria and thank God for planning with due time, because it takes two months between making and shipping these to arrive?!?! After the timely arrival, all we did was put them in boxes with filler, a ribbon and a tag 🙂
  • Food & Desserts: Marta took care of ordering the food from a Mediterranean restaurant and it was very yummy! I also asked the groom’s mom, Mayda, to make her infamous Greek salad which is always a hit at parties, and it absolutely was! For dessert, we ordered baklava, and also had some delicious “bundtinis” from Nothing Bundt Cakes, as well as some Ferrero Rocher chocolates, which you guessed it, we sprayed them rose gold too 🙂

DSC_0113

  • Games: I asked the rest of the bridesmaids to help me figure out games that were fun, and we came up with: wear the ring and don’t say bride/Michelle, how many kisses in the jar, Michelle trivia, and find the groom (a picture of Brian hidden somewhere in the party, which he hid himself and it was hilarious!) The prizes were baskets filled with a small bottle of Rosé, a picture frame, a notepad, and a pen – all rose gold of course.
  • Guestbook: since Michelle didn’t want to have a traditional guestbook at the wedding, I thought it would be cute to get her a photo book with pictures of her whole relationship with Brian, and ask guests to fill it with advice for her. She absolutely loved it and it wasn’t a big expense since Shutterfly constantly runs free album offers, so all I had to cover was shipping (plus a few extra bucks for a specific theme that had rose gold, of course).
1

The digital proof of the guestbook cover ❤

  • Setup: from the moment I started thinking of the party, I knew that I wanted it to be in my backyard because I had a very specific vision of the table setting around the pool, with a tent for the weather + vibe. It all came together so nicely and Michelle kept telling me she thought the layout was genius, and she loved it all! With a little math figuring out table sizes and organization, it all worked out great!
  •  Snapchat Geo-filter: after Michelle’s engagement party, her sister Andrea was like “we forgot the filter!” and ever since then, I had a mental note to do it for the bridal shower. I worked with DesiPaperThings on Etsy to bring it to life, of course, in white and rose gold.
  • Welcome Sign: I had spray painted my silver easel to make it rose gold for Michelle’s wedding, so I figured we could use it for the shower as well. And because repurposing is queen, I recycled a canvas from a “Paint With a Twist” party that I didn’t like by using gesso to flatten the surface, and with the stencil I created for the failed backdrop I turned the whole thing into a welcome sign 🙂

Of course, I also made props, including a big frame. Marta brought over a portable speaker for the music (we used a Latin music Spotify playlist). We made frosé as the signature drink of the event, and everyone genuinely seemed to have a great time ❤

Because I really try not to make everything seem perfect as we tend to do in social media, here are some of the things that didn’t go as planned (but of course we didn’t let it tamper with the day):

  • Restaurant forgot falafels, which Michelle was looking forward to the most
  • The weather: the amount of wind we got that weekend, we’ve seen only for tropical storms. It was INSANE. The setup was a mission, the tent people got there late because they had to buy sandbags for everyone they set up that day, and it was madness. We also got some rain the morning of while we were setting up the linens, but thanks to the unruly wind and the sun that came out later, everything dried off in time for the guests’ arrival.
  • A table flipped: the wind was so crazy that one of the tables flipped AFTER we had set it up with plates/place tiles/cups (and we used bottles of water and the tiles as weights to prevent things from flying off, but this entire table fell into the pool). Michelle’s dad helped us fish everything out of the pool, but a couple of the place tiles remained under water until the next cleaning… Action shot of the fishing out!

DSC_0003

ALL IN ALL – amazing time, so happy with how it all turned out, and I know Michelle enjoyed it so: Mission – ACCOMPLISHED!

Check out this 1-minute video slideshow that showcases the whole event in just 60 seconds 🙂

Advertisements

Quickie Crafts: Cake Toppers For Marcel’s Birthday

I can’t remember if I’ve gone into much detail about this, probably not, but I should come clean about something: I cannot for the life of me learn Photoshop. I don’t know what it is, I’m pretty good with software and tech in general, I’m eager to learn how to use such a powerful tool that could take my work to the next level and possibly make my life easier… yet for some reason, I simply stare at the layers, close the program and open PowerPoint.

That’s right. All of my digital work gets done exclusively on PowerPoint. Obviously, PPT is extremely limited in comparison to Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator in what it can accomplish, but I’ve been riding the wave with it, making it work for my needs and milking every tool available until I get the result I’m looking for.

One of the things I’ve gotten good at with PowerPoint is photoshopping people’s heads onto random bodies or objects. I did it once at SAP for an office birthday, and my dear friend Renata asked me if I could do it for her husband Marcel’s birthday, which just so happens to be today! All she asked was to make them funny. I’m heading out there now to help Marcel + 3 other friends and their birthdays, and I’m bringing the cake toppers, courtesy of PowerPoint. Check them out!

Marcel Popeye

Marcel’s head on Popeye’s Body

Pask

Pask absolutely loves cats, so I turned her into one for the day

Joao

Renata’s nephew Joao was born today, so he will forever share a birthday with his uncle Marcel!

Guy

A new friend of the group gets to be Johnny Bravo today

 

And here’s the final look, on the cake! 

20171226_151443000_iOS

Not bad for PowerPoint, right? I know, there’s the issue of pixelation and a lot of restrictions but instead of being frustrated, I’m finding ways to get it done. I will try to use Photoshop or Ai at some point, but today was not that day. Gotta go party!

Making It vs. Buying It… What Gives?

The “why buy it for $7 when you can make it for $92 worth of craft supplies?” meme runs my life. I have a very hard time just buying something when I KNOW I can totally make it myself and it will turn out almost identical to the original. The satisfaction of seeing something made by me next to something that is produced elsewhere is so tempting, that I find myself having a dilemma on a weekly (if not daily) basis. “But isn’t it more expensive when you have to buy all the supplies and you probably won’t use all of it?” you say?? Nonsense.

My most recent and blatant example of the ridiculous journey I was about to embark on to make something instead of buying it was for my best friend’s bachelorette that I’m planning. The destination for the bach is New Orleans. Woot! What’s synonymous with Nola? Masks. Should I buy them? Honestly, even if I found really cheap masks, like at Walmart, they’re still not cheap enough to include in the bundle of items I’m making for the girls, and it’s a hard expense to justify. While browsing Pinterest for inspiration, I came across a pin that listed very easy instructions on how to make a mask with just puffy paint and tulle! Ooooooooo! Jackpot! What could be easier than making a mask out of puffy paint? In this particular instance, the paint and tulle I’d need would actually probably come out cheaper than buying the masks anywhere, so that part of the plan was solid. What wasn’t so solid was the amount of time it would take me to make the masks, which I was ultimately ok with, but after making one and trying it on, I knew there was a fundamental problem with them: puffy paint stretches, but only so much… I knew the masks would last 2.5 seconds before one of the ends snapped, and I didn’t want to be all proud and mighty giving the girls things I’d made myself, only to have them fall apart on Bourbon five minutes into the night. This is what the project was looking like:

After 3 puffy paint masks, I decided to take a look at Ali Express, and hoped to find something extremely cheap that would surpass the flimsiness of the puffy paint mask structure. Surprisingly, it didn’t take long to find really cute lace masks for really, really cheap. Like under $0.60 each cheap. I thought about it for all of 6 seconds when I immediately decided that in this case, buying was a no-brainer. My saving grace through this process was also that I began planning this practically before my friend even got engaged, so I’ve been doing things with plenty of time, and I didn’t have a problem placing an order for items that would take about a month to come in from abroad. With shipping, 13 masks came out to $11.04 dollars! Yes, all of them! TOTAL! I know.

Absolute steal, absolutely worth it, and unquestionably cheaper than buying all the materials you’d need to make the mask, which if you didn’t own, you’d need:

  • Big tube of Puffy Paint
  • Tulle
  • Parchment paper
  • Printout model of mask
  • Clips
  • Ribbon

As a crafter, I did of course have all those things in hand, so my expense to make the masks would’ve technically been zero, but realistically, that money had already been spent, and in this case, the outcome wouldn’t have been equal to or superior to the purchased product.

Today, buying wins!

Halloween 2017 DIY – Two On The Run Costumes & Winter Is Here!

You know I’m ALL about the DIY life for Halloween costumes. Do you remember this one? I’m still super proud of those two costumes, but this year was a whole new ball game, on a much tighter deadline.

My bff wanted to keep it simple but cute, so she decided she wanted to be a unicorn, but like the chillest unicorn ever. Horn from amazon, and a shirt by yours truly that said “I’m a unicorn, DUH” for anyone who dared ask. Done.

Her sister went shopping for one idea, and changed her mind during the shopping trip. She came to me with a yellow shirt and some felt and wanted me to turn her into a pineapple. Done.

Cut up the shirt. Drew the peaks. Made a crown out of felt, a headband and some poster board scraps.

I had been thinking about my costume for a while, but decided to pull the trigger the week of Halloween. My red hair was finally in its full glory, and my Game of Thrones fever was (is!) as strong as ever. I also just happened to have a burgundy statement necklace and a newfound love for makeup. Melisandre, you’re up. DONE!

Red hair? Owned. Necklace? Owned. Makeup? Owned. Robe? $12 on Amazon.

And that’s all folks! Another DIY Halloween in the books. Start preparing early for 2018, for the night is dark and full of terrors and you don’t want to show up in the same costume as everyone else…

Winter Is Here – A Proper Game Of Thrones Watch Party (**Minor Spoilers!**)

Up until last year, I wasn’t interested in Game of Thrones or any of the events that came to be on the show (#RedWedding), but with all the social media ruckus about Mr. Jon Snow, it peaked my curiosity just enough to watch the first episode of season 6 to find out whether or not he’d make it through… Except that, as avid watchers know, we don’t get an answer until the last moments of episode 2. By this point, a few other interesting things had happened, and let’s just say I’d found a new favorite thing to do with my Sundays at 9pm. I watched the rest of season 6 without any prior knowledge, something that came in handy with the episode “The Door,” because while everyone was distraught mourning the death of one of their favorite characters, I wasn’t anywhere near the level of attachment everyone had built over the prior 56 episodes. #HoldTheDoor crisis averted.

Needless to say, I was hooked but also a little lost – as much as I picked up on things, there’s way too much ground covered in 5 seasons that cannot be deduced during 10 episodes, especially not on this show. But I also didn’t want to get hooked… So, I let months go by until I couldn’t wait any longer and I finally binged seasons one through five in a week, then re-watched season 6, feeling the proper things we’re all meant to feel (#RedWeddingVictim)… and this brings us to yesterday.

7.16. The date that has been tattooed on our brains for months as we anxiously awaited season 7 (not to mention it started at a later date and coming with less episodes than any prior season… see, it’s like I’ve been here from day 1!), and this time I was on time and part of the gang! I had been victimized by George R. R. Martin, David Benioff and Dan Weiss along with millions of others, and I was ready to continue being a masochist, but I wanted to do it in style. Thanking the old gods and the new for Pinterest, see below my Night’s Watch approved watch-party, which I must start by saying I was not willing to spend any money on. Everything you’re about to see was whipped up from items I already owned. I know, I’m a crafter and not everyone has these things handy, but I’m proud to say the only money I spent specifically on this party was a grand total of $6.40.

It all started with an Iron Throne

But then when I placed the throne against my TV station, it looked weird. It needed a better backdrop. So…

I wanted to make a banner with all the house banners, but once I was done with it, it was longer than just half of the TV station… more red fabric, to the rescue! (FYI this is where I spent my $6.40, printing the banners!)

And the whole shebang –

Some other details –

I had all of this planned out and then one of my friends who was coming to the party suggested we make shirts for ourselves. You know I don’t need to be asked twice…

And what I think was THE BEST decor item EVER, and will forever be grateful to Pinterest for providing this amazing idea –

That’s all folks! Hope you enjoyed seeing this watch party come to life 🙂 I’ll leave the decor up for the remainder of season 7. Have you done something like this for your own watch parties? Any ideas for upcoming episodes? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Big Props Need Love Too – 80s Gala Rockout \m/

Every year, I feel like there is a theme around a certain new craft/element that keeps reappearing throughout different orders. 2015 was the character letters, 2016 was vinyl, and one of this year’s big contenders were big props. I’d never really made big props before, but it has become a staple of many orders this spring, starting with the big engagement ring, the truck car prop, and now this – totally 80s standing props!

I got a request to create some big 3-4 feet standing props for a school gala that was 80s themed, which one thing is if the people are holding the props, and another if they’re going to have to stand on their own. That’s a much scarier prospect. And so, it begins.

Since the theme was 80s, I got asked to do a Rubik’s Cube, a boombox, and the old MTV logo from back in the day. I figured the Rubik’s cube would probably be the most time consuming since I’d have to measure out and cut a lot of parts, so I started with that one. Oh and one more thing – I decided that a totally 80s thing to do would be to add glitter to the mix to make them pop!

 

The MTV logo and the boombox were pretty standard, I just drew on a poster board inspired by images I found online (logo and boombox for reference) and I used neon and pastels to go with the decade theme.

 

Once they were all done, it was time to make them stand and take some nice photos! They’re placed by my door, that’s how big they were!

 

 

 

Big props and 2017, together like PB & J!

Riding Sturdy: Grand Finale!

Aw man! Such a thrilling ride it’s been with this order – from the moment I got the call, to tackling the making of the ramp, the little truck boxes and finally the big truck prop… So you know, the end will be no different!

Before I show you the final pictures of everything, let’s talk about the pickup. When I was asked to make the ramp, I told birthday boy Mateo’s mom that I didn’t want to go too big because 1. Transportation and 2. Fitting it through doors/doorways. She said that wouldn’t be a problem. So when I was looking for the materials, I ran the size by her (4 x 8 ft.), and she said yes, so I proceeded. She mentioned she had a big car, so I didn’t give it much thought. After the initial building of the structure, I felt I had to confirm with her that this wouldn’t fit in a standard SUV, and she should borrow a van or pick-up truck because otherwise, this monster ramp wouldn’t make it out of my house.  She was thankfully able to find a friend with a truck, and we were good to go… on to a few more hiccups.

On the morning of the order pickup (just a few hours before the party started), Mateo’s dad showed up with a friend and a pick-up truck, and as soon as they both saw the ramp they said “WOW” and their eyes bulged out a bit as they turned to see how they’d make this work. As soon as I saw the truck, I could see the bed wasn’t long enough for the ramp to fit with the latch closed… So I started panicking internally a bit. The one good thing about the ramp, is that it was surprisingly lightweight. When they carried it and placed it on the truck, it looked like this –

It. Reached. All. The. Way. Down. To. The. Latch. AHH. Thankfully, I had the rope I bought to bring the wood home with me from the store, and also some bungee cords. They tied it down and promised to drive slowly. I later found out it took them an hour and thirty minutes to get home. That’s a promise well-kept! The big truck prop didn’t fit (anywhere really) but we managed to squeeze it in the sedan they brought along by folding the top lights a bit. Remember how I didn’t glue the flag out of fear it would make the fit even worse? Best idea I’ve ever had.

But don’t relax for one second because now the best part starts – as they’re making knots securing the ramp, I hear something about an elevator ride… and I ask “wait, the party isn’t on a ground floor?!” And to my shock, no, it wasn’t. The party was on a sixth floor. Guys. When I tell you I nearly fainted upon hearing this, I’m not kidding. You mean, a structure I’ve never built before has to not only survive 3-5 year old children, but it also has to fit into an elevator? Had I known this from the beginning, I would’ve gone for something much, much smaller. To make the rest of the long story short – the ramp made it! After unsuccessfully trying to bring it up the stairs (due to length clashing with angles/turns), they figured out that even though the elevator threshold was low, the inside was more giving and they could slide it in. But – one more hiccup, for the ride – the elevator door-frame at the 6th floor was slightly thinner than where they packed it in, so they had one last struggle getting it out.

Thankfully, I saw pictures and videos of the birthday boy, Mateo, and all his friends having a great time sliding down the monster trucks, and we all lived happily ever after. And finally for the long-awaited pictures –

The Monster Ramp

The Monster Truck Boxes

The Monster Truck Prop 

Hope you enjoyed going on this journey with me! Stay tuned for more crazy craftventures ❤