Oh [Mini] Christmas Tree!

I absolutely LOVE Christmas, December, the Holidays, everything related to this time of year. Unfortunately, my family doesn’t feel the same excitement, so the past few years it’s fallen completely on me to bring the Christmas cheer to my house. I believe the last Christmas tree I put up was in 2013, but that’s also because I haven’t spent the holidays at home the past few years, so it didn’t make sense to put up a tree if I wouldn’t be here to light it/take care of it if it were real. Last year I hosted Friendsmas and tried to make up for the absence of a tree with the decor, which I think I got away with. This year, I will most likely not be home for Christmas or New Years, but I did want to have at least a bit of holiday cheer at home. Let’s get to work!

I bought a small white tree a few years ago when I was still working at an office to put up in my cubicle, and had mini ornaments in the colors that were “in” that year – purple, teal/blue, pink and green. I used that same tree last year at Friendsmas for the gift table so there was at least some semblance of the Christmas staple present, with a few red ornaments. This year, the obsession with rose gold has been extremely real, but my search for mini ornaments in that color had very little results… Until I remembered, “hey, I’m a crafter!” I found one set of mini ornaments from Target that were a metallic color scheme that included “caramel, silver, and gold,” and I decided let’s make this right. Since the pack was only $3, what did I have to lose?

I ordered the ornaments as well as a gold star topper online and went to pick them up at the store. I have gallons of rose gold paint at home working on items for my best friend’s bridal shower/bachelorette/wedding, so I needed nothing else. I got creative with my placement of the items to spray with color, and got to work! I let everything dry for about an hour before touching it, decorated my mini tree, and placed it on my kitchen table. Voila! A little bit of holiday cheer is here, and Mariah Carey is on all day. I love December ❤

Last but not least, I found this set of copper string lights at JoAnn that were down from $19.99 to $11.99, and now my little tree is properly LIT! 😉

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Making The Most Out of Late Gift-Giving

With Christmas just around the corner, this post might be very timely for you, so pay attention!

As I imagine it happens to many of us, the gift I ordered for my friend didn’t arrive in time for her birthday. We’ve all been there at one point or another – whether our fault or not – and it sucks. It happens to me a lot more frequently than I care to admit, and I’m working on it. Amazon Prime has made me overconfident to the point I think if I order a gift five minutes before I leave to the party I’m attending it’s going to arrive on time (and I’m not talking about Prime Now. #JustCrazy).

My friend’s birthday was December 2nd, but the gift didn’t arrive until today, December 5th. I didn’t notice the delivery estimate until after I’d placed the order, and I’m assuming Black Friday/Cyber Week orders trampled all deliveries. I didn’t want to be empty-handed since I’d actually see her ON her birthday, and I know I could’ve just told her what I got her or gotten her a card, but I wanted to make it a little extra special. So…

I got my friend a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9, that comes in a very unique and pretty color I thought she’d love. I looked up the packaging, and I decided that it would be cute to make a little imitation box. Do you remember in elementary school when they taught us how to make 3D cubes and other figures with construction paper? That training came in handy for this! I went over to my trusty PowerPoint, pulled some images from the interwebz and used shapes to create some tabs where I thought I’d be making the folds, and printed it out – #FixItMoment: I forgot to print on thick card stock, and printed on regular paper. Since I didn’t want to re-print, I just glued the paper to the card stock with a glue stick and called it a day. #ItsHandled. Also, since you can’t really gift a Polaroid camera without film, I got her a pack of black and white film to play with! Which also came in today… so that got a little cute box too.

So that’s it! If your gift is late, your friends and family will understand regardless, but going the extra mile so that you don’t show up empty-handed and getting them excited about what you got them in a cute way can always give you extra brownie points 😉

 

Hosting Friendsmas 2016!

Back in 2012 when the world was going to end, my friends and I decided to throw an end-of-the-world ugly/tacky sweater Christmas Party on the night it was all supposed to go down – December 22nd, 2012. We had a great time, and it was one of the last times we “raged” like college students – most of our party time nostalgia goes back to how rowdy we were in 2012, so that was the last chance we got to show it that year.

Funny enough, the party became an annual thing, but it has evolved a lot from that first rager-style party, to a more sophisticated dinner/gift exchange situation with close friends. This year, it was my turn to host, and I really love to host events at my house and entertain my friends. The best part is, last week during my office Christmas party, I won a $300 gift card, so I was feeling all types of ready to splurge on this party. Let’s look back at what I put together for this fun night!

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The invite! 😉

First of all, I decided not to put up a tree this year (again) because I’m leaving on the 23rd to Colombia, so there was no point in doing that, but that also meant I had to go the extra mile in creating the Christmas ambiance. Also, there were 11 of us total, and I was not going to move the big tables like I did for Friendsgiving two years ago, so with my newly acquired raffle gift card, I purchased a folding plastic table from Costco, which we already had one of. I also got an extra two chairs, since I had 10 at home. So sit down set up? Check.

This is crazy but, from previous set ups from other events years ago, I have two hollow cardboard columns in the garage that were already covered in red and silver fabric, so that decided my color scheme for the party. I brought out the two columns and put them by my mom’s room to block the door, and added a table there which would be where the gifts would go for the exchange. I didn’t put  up a big tree, but I did have a small white tree I used to use in my office cubicle, so I decided to add that to the table.

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I made “snow” out of packing peanuts! Also included the candle favors with a little ribbon ❤

Within my fabric collection I found a piece I did not even know I had, which was long enough to cover the length of both tables stretched out lengthwise, and it was a beautiful red with silver polka dots, keeping the theme cohesion throughout.

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For the silverware/cups/plates – I got the nice-looking plate set from Costco that is white with a silver rim and looks almost like china from afar, but it’s plastic. I got silver plastic cutlery, festive napkins, and for the cups I ordered these acrylic stackable stemless flutes from Amazon that were the hit of the party!

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For the food, since it was 11-12 of us, I decided to get Olive Garden’s buffet catering for 10 people (there’s always more food than necessary), and it was perfect. No cooking, they deliver and set up, all for $115.

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The delivery guy from OG did the buffet line set up and they included the trays, tongs, even brought plates, napkins and cutlery for all!

For the final touches, I got some white and red roses to create thin centerpieces, using some silver leaf stems I had from decor in previous years, and I also got a small candle favor for everyone that smelled like gingerbread cookies!

For the gift exchange, I set up our Secret Santa on Elfster, and everyone walked out happy with gifts they had included in their wishlists. I’d say this Friendsmas was a total hit!

Christmas & New Years Without My Craft Room :(

Lately, when I leave my house I feel a little bit of anxiety… for being away from my craft room, out of fear I’ll need a tool or something else I may have in there while I’m away. Or if I have an order in progress, I’m afraid of my house catching on fire, not because of my house, but because of the order. I know, I need a therapist lol, I’ve just really grown fond of being there and all my crafty possessions.

With this in mind, you can imagine when I go on an actual trip out of town, I may or may not go as far as caressing the walls on the way out, a little bit like this…

So when I left to Colombia for my prince’s birthday and to spend the holidays with the family, I took some coloring pencils, all my sketch books, some photo booth props I pre-made (for the birthday, Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve), and that was it. Basically, anxiety to the MAX.

Then, my family decided that Christmas Eve would be celebrated at my grandma’s house, where we barely have some lights here and there, but no tree, or nativity, or garlands, or pretty much anything to make it feel like the season. With very little time and zero knowledge of places where I could get supplies, all while trying to not spend much money, my mom asked me to transform the house into a Christmas town. Want to guess how long I had to make this happen? SIX hours. Want to guess how much I missed my craft room and supplies? Manic depressive mode FULLY ON.

So… I ransacked my grandma’s closets and boudoirs looking for possible decor, grabbed my coloring pencils and my agenda, ripped out some pages, and tried to make a semi-cute garland. On ruled paper. I died a little inside. But hey, true creativity comes not exclusively while in the optimal environment. On the contrary, the true test of creativity is when you “make do” with what you have. Chopped style!

Here’s a little gallery of the transformation I was able to pull off for Christmas at my grandma’s!

So all in all, thanks to some last minute rentals, my foresight to bring the props and some bibbidi bobbidi boop magic, the Christmas town transformation was successfully pulled off! But just imagine what I could’ve done with a tenth of my supplies?

Moving on to December 31st… For New Year’s Eve, we were going to my grandma’s sister’s house, so thankfully I wasn’t in charge of decorating, but I still wanted to pitch in for the festivities, so besides making props (which everyone really enjoyed!) I wanted to make a garland I had seen… where do you think? Pinterest, of course. I don’t know what possessed me to make the props yellow and black, but they seemed like a good color palette for NYE, and so I wanted to also make the garland in that combination so that it seemed orchestrated. I got some tissue paper and got to work (toggle over the pictures to see instructions in each caption!)

So that’s it! Even though I missed my craft room and supplies TERRIBLY and I wish I could carry my entire stash on me, Mary Poppins style, I’m still happy with what I was able to accomplish on the fly 🙂

HAPPY 2016 EVERYONE!!!!