Friday, December 23, 2011

Tutu Cute

After all the commotion around here with E's 1st birthday a few weeks ago and Christmas this weekend, you'd think I'd take it easy. Or at least finish that crib teether guard that I've been working on since OCTOBER. More on that later.

But, alas, the elves have been hard at work putting together a little something for my adorable niece. She's a big fan of the Disney princesses and Minnie Mouse, so I wanted to make her a couple tutus for Christmas.

First up is a Beauty and the Beast Belle tutu. I used 2 yards of shiny yellow tulle and some gold ribbon for the tutu body and about 1/8 of a yard of shiny yellow stuff for the swag.

To do the swag, I just bunched up the fabric and fed it through a couple of the slip knots at the top of the tutu. (I used the basic no-sew slip knot method - Google it for tons of tutorials or visit my sister-in-law Holly's site) To finish it off, I glued some red roses at the same points where I fed the fabric through. It helped secure the roses and keep the swags in place. I used Tacky Glue - hot glue would probably work well too.

To make it easy to knot the tulle onto the ribbon and to satisfy my OCD need for symmetry, I tied the ribbon to two chairs to help space things out. This really helped to ensure the knots were tight and all the embellishments were evenly placed.

 Second, I did a Minnie Mouse tutu. I found a roll of red tulle at Hobby Lobby, and also added in about 1/2 yard of sparkle tulle and a few different kinds of red, black and white ribbon. I've seen tutorials using both rolls of tulle and tulle off the bolt, and I have to say that the rolls are much easier to work with. But if you want fun sparkles, you typically need to buy it off the bolt.

 I love how these turned out! I'm adding in a couple red hair clips and voila - instant princess party. Everything was on sale so I'm sure I did both tutus for less than $20. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Time for Tea and Sweets

My beautiful daughter is turning one this week and we had a birthday bash for her over the weekend. One of her favorite toys is her little singing teapot, so we decided to have a tea and sweets party. And of course I'm in love with the turquoise and pink combination so I couldn't resist splashing the house with color.

Thanks to my good friend Pinterest, I had lots of ideas for baking and decorating for the party. It could be said that I went a little overboard, but how many times does your precious baby girl turn one year old? (I'll try to add links for all the projects and recipes soon!)

First, the food. We started off with a massive sweets table, including cake, cake pops, homemade peppermint patties, rocky road fudge, raspberry almond jammies, peppermint-chocolate marshmallows, caramel brownie cheesecake, snickerdoodle mix and sugar cookies.  Oh yeah, and tea, coffee and punch.

I also put together these great candy machines using a flower pot and a glass bowl. They were really cute and so cheap and easy to make! I filled one with chocolate and placed it on a table for a centerpiece and filled the other with gummy cherry slices and placed it on the sweets table. For the tablecloths, I took advantage of some great after-Thanksgiving sales at JoAnn's to get some pink and blue felt. We cut a simple scallop pattern to make an easy runner. I think we covered all the tables for less than $10 and they looked so much better than those cheap plastic tablecloths.

For the favors, I filled baby food tubs with chocolate pieces and added a ribbon and a tag. For the kids, I put together some treat bags with animal crackers.

I made some tissue paper pom poms for above the treat table and photo backdrop and also made an adorable garland banner using scrapbook paper and some photos of my daughter. We made a tutu for her high chair using tulle strips found on clearance at hobby lobby. We knotted tulle slips onto pieces of elastic and affixed them to the high chair using binder clips.

Not so simple and easy were the ribbon topiaries. Well maybe they were easy, but they definitely were not quick. You take a styrofoam ball, loop a bunch of ribbon into little circles and use straight pins to stick them in place. Then stick a dowel in one end and stick it in a styrofoam block in a box, or bag on the bottom. They took much longer than expected and my poor thumbs were so sore from sticking in hundreds of pins.

Side note - at Hobby Lobby, in the ribbon aisle by the fabric, look on the bottom shelf. You can buy a bag of 15 ribbon remnants - 2 yds long each - for $1.99!  I really like how these turned out and they were a nice centerpiece for the extra tables.

Finally, we really like documenting milestones in our daughter's life, so we put up a photo backdrop (using the same felt as the tablecloth and the same tissue poms as above the table) and asked our friends to take pictures with the birthday girl so she could celebrate the day for years to come. We also laid out some of the photo books from the past year so people could flip through and see how much she's grown. And, we put out a matted photo frame where people could write their birthday wishes. (Thank you Auntie Janet!)

We had a wonderful day and it was so fun to see all of our family and friends come together to celebrate! (And a special thanks to Holly and Lily Bella Photography for all the great photos!)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sprucing up the House

Our shutters and paint were peeling and fading, so we decided to spruce things up a bit. We're still working on a few things, but it's looking much better these days....