Crafting Fix #11 – Pimp Cup it Up

As Maid of Honor for my sister’s wedding, part of my responsibilities besides fielding frustrating phone calls about the perils of planning a wedding alongside my mother is the Bachelorette party.

Me and Sissy Christmas 2006? at my Aunt's house

However due to my distant proximity to Ohio, I was not able to actually plan yet alone attend the festival of singledome and penis’.  So in an effort to extend my well wishes for an evening of strippers and shots of alcohol from plastic containers…oh wait I think we’re talking about my future bachelorette party here, let me rephrase that…an evening of wine tasting and fine dining with friends, I had to give a gift worthy of such a classy affair.

That means a pimp cup for the ages, obviously.  Lil Jon would totally approve.

I got the original idea came to me whilst wining it with a bottle of syrah one evening, having dug out a 21st birthday gift – a large wine goblet with an elaborate puffy paint design on it.  It was a great gift idea even though I rarely get any use out of it.  But a mere wine glass and puffy paint were not going to suffice my grandiose vision for a pimp cup.  No, this needed to be a alcohol chalice of epic proportions, literally.

Pimp Cup or a blank canvas...or both?

I hit the craft store and scored this gem in the floral section…not sure why it was there but it was totally worth the 12 dollars.  And speaking of gems, I also found a bag of rejected Mancala beads for a few bucks which won out over the more expensive rhinestones and beads.

Upon getting home I busted out my puffy paint menagerie and my trusty glue gun, fully loaded and got to work.

Tools of the trade
I started by lining the stem with the gems
puffy paint action on the bottom
more gems!
and more puffy paint!

more gems AND more puffy paint!

This pimp cup was certainly worthy of its Pimpstress.  You can’t spell “pimp” without glue gun, true story.

Crafting Fix #10 – This American Dress

Working in the garment industry has it’s perks – seeing things way before they hit the stores, dealing with fashion personalities and all of the eccentricities that revolve around that, seeing the strings behind the mass market puppets BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY sample sales!  At my latest sample sale I snagged this dress for 2 bucks!

   

Awesome right?!  Well kinda… First of all the dress was marked as it was previously a fit sample, also it was about 5 inches too short for my 5′ 8″ frame

At no point did I even think twice to abandon this flannel beauty, there was still hope!  I decided to convert the almost maxi dress to a bra-lette and maxi skirt.  This would alleviate the length issue and hopefully reduce the apparent sharpie tattoo on the side.

First I decided that I was going to use 1/4″ elastic to create a casing for the front of the Bra-lette.  There is smocking on the back bodice so I decided just to turn up the raw edge and stitch.

Determining my cut line based on the width of the elastic
The back of the bodice will just be turned up like so, and topstitched

Time to cut!!

SNIP SNIP

Now grab those pins, time to decide how long the front elastic is going to be…

Pin the elastic at one side and stretch across your dress form to determine the length.  I was using crappy dollar store elastic so I pulled extra tight knowing that it doesn’t recover very well.  Make sure it’s tight enough to stay close to your body, but not so tight that it’s uncomfortable.

Stretch elastic over the form, side seam to side seam, you can use your body if you don't have a form as a guide
Pin at side seam

Next move to the sewing machine.  Ensure to PULL the elastic when stitching so that it does its job!  I pull on both ends for a smooth line.  Stitch along the bottom edge at the fold of the fabric.  I added a second stitch row at the top of the elastic for aesthetic.

ensure to stretch elastic when sewing

Next it’s time to do the same but for the skirt.  I used 1″ elastic for the Waistband.  First cut the elastic to the length that you need for your waist or hips and stitch the elastic closed.

close elastic so that it's a circle a little bit smaller than your waist/hips

In order to not eliminate more of the length, I decided to forgo a casing and just turn the top edge over the elastic.  Pin the elastic evenly at each side seam, stretch and sew.  Once again I did two layers of stitching.

mark elastic equidistand at side seams so that elastic length is distributed evenly
finished waistband

And voila!  In just 30 minutes I had salvaged my plaid find!  Ready for a Sunday Funday out in EP.

Add a jean jacket or chambray shirt for the win!

 

Bonjour et Bienvenue à Mon Nouvel Appartement

There is no better place in the world than my apartment.  It is my home, my sanctuary and my crafting headquarters.  As with any chateau, mine needed a proper fete to celebrate its awesomeness.

It was hard to find a lot of good apartment-warming ideas online so I have compiled some of my secrets to share with you!

Theme

Picking a theme for your party is super important, it makes everything else much easier because the activities, food and decorations will all stem from here.  Because my place was christened “Chateau la Mere” from the beginning, nothing but a French, Parisian theme would do!  This part was really easy for me, however themes can be hard to invent and decide on.  First and foremost, think of what YOU would like – it is your party and your place, so you get the ultimate say!  I’m sure if I had a Minnie Mouse themed party my friends would have still left full, happy and satisfied (although I would have probably been the only one to dress up for it…)  So what I’m trying to say is let your imagination run wild, and do what is going to be fun for you and your guests.

 

Invitations

Okay so I had all of these fantastic ideas of cute invitations that I could send out to people.  But let’s face it… not only do I not know any of my friends’ addresses, who wants to pay for postage? Or pay for paper?  Hell, I don’t even know my friends’ email addresses!   Go green, and cheap, and do a facebook evite.  If you have friends that are decidedly “off the grid” then shoot them an email or give them a call, but sending an invitation online is an easy way to make sure that the people who you want included are not overlooked.

 

If you really cannot completely break away from a traditional invitation, think of making a graphic invite that you can upload to the electronic invitation to give it a bit more personalization.

Decorations & Supplies

I didn’t want to go crazy on decorations, I mean I’m all for going big but this is an afternoon party that I planned to last no longer than 4 hours so I didn’t want to get too invested.  I just bought some simple crepe paper and went to town.  You can buy this at the 99 cent store!  How great!

Crepe Paper Eiffel Tour on my front door

Keep your decorations clean and simple, but also try and tie them back to your theme.

More Crepe paper action, these streamers are still hanging in my kitchen!

Activities

Although this is a short party, I really wanted to make sure that my guests were properly entertained during their time at the Chateau.  Little activities and prizes make the experience just that much more memorable!  There are a lot of fun, quick games that you can play, but since this was a housewarming party I decided to avoid any cliches and just offer a craft (duha!!) and a photobooth experience.  Both are very simple and easy to set up.

The craft did set me back some cold hard cash because of all of the supplies I needed, so if you don’t want to spend too much you might want to avoid this.  Because of my LOVE of maps, and the fact that my kitchen is pretty much an homage to my obsession, I thought it would be fun for my guests to make their own state so that I could make a friendship map of sorts!

I turned my bureau into a crafting spot for my guests

I provided an array of felt fabric squares, puffy paint, pom poms, hot glue, feathers, beads… you name it.  I made my own state and taped it to the wall as an example as you can see in the photo above.  I also wrote out instructions of what to do on cardstock and posted it on the wall as well – just letting them know what all of the mediums were for, the rest was up to them!  You of course were able to take the states home, however everyone wanted for me to keep them so that I could do something (which I have yet to do!) awesome with all of them.  They are my keepsakes from the day!

SAY FROMAGE! my mocked up photo booth

For the photobooth, I simply taped up a sheet to my ceiling…which was actually quite difficult because my ceiling doesn’t take much of a liking to duck tape.  The sheet formed a barrier around my desk where I set up my macbook.  Guests were able to select their background of choice and then have at it!!  We got a lot of great photos, and afterwards I created a facebook photo album so that everyone could see their lovely faces :)

Bethany and Carey win best photo, for sure

Food & Drink

The Spread Station

This is where your theme really comes into play.  What would you eat if your theme was reality?  If you’re throwing a Spice Girls party have a station with a bunch of different candies – cause you know those girls were always hyped up on sugar (or life, one or the other…).  So since my party had a French theme I went very simple – I offered cheese and crackers purchased relatively inexpensively at Fresh and Easy; and I also offered home made crepes with your choice of nutella or jams to top them off.  Both options kept everyone full and happy for under 20 bucks!

The Sweet Spot

I LOVE dessert, so of course I had to offer some sweet options.  The cupcakes were both purchased on the cheap as well as home made by a friend, the cookies were sent by Mom (I’m loved, I know) and I bought a HUGE brick of chocolate that I just broke up into tiny pieces.  I had sooo much left over, but that’s what sharing at work the next day is for, right?

Les Boissions!

Fresh and Easy’s Big Kahuna wine is similiar to 2 Buck Chuck at Traitor Hoes, however it tastes better (in my professional wino opinion), is cheaper AND they all have screw tops!!  This was a great way to give the French experience on a budget.  I believe I spent more on the plastic cups than the wine.  I also offered a seasonal apple cider (this was in October, obvi) and a dessert wine.  My total for the beverages was probably around 20 bucks as well.  If you can stick to wine and beer instead of offering a variety of liquors and mixers, you will most likely save in the long run.

Final Tips and Tricks

Everything turned out great, and it was wonderful to see everyone that made it out!  As simple as everything looked, I actually spent a lot of time prepping and was more than exhausted when all was said and done.  I prefer to attend parties, instead of hosting them haha but I learned a lot and had a super awesome time so I’m glad it all came together.  Here is a rundown of some key tips for a successful housewarming party:

  • Be prepared to spend money and time, as with any party, but make sure you keep everything under control by setting a budget
  • At the end of the day select a theme that you LOVE, but just make sure that your guests will be comfortable with it
  • Don’t go crazy with the decorations, just add nice touches to tie in with the theme.  You don’t want to detract people from the beauty of your new place!
  • Play music in the background and have little activities for people to do when they fall in and out of conversations
  • Provide seating and tables.  If you don’t have these yet borrow some OR have your guests bring them – BYOC, bring your own chair!
  • SOCIALIZE AND HAVE FUN.  As the host it’s easy to get caught up in the preparation and making sure everyone is happy but remember this is YOUR party so take time to enjoy it before everyone is out the door!

Here Today, Here Tomorrow

Well hello there,

It was almost a year ago that I started this blog.

It’s hard for me to remember who I was, what I wanted, where I was going, what I was doing back then.  This past year has been a B L U R.  A lot of shit went down last year, but honestly, when does it not?  I remember the major details – where I went, who came in and out of my life, the health dramas, the changing of apartment and the changing of job. It’s crazy how when you’re in school time seems to CRAWL by, longing for the end of the Term and impending brakes.  Once that formulaic structure is removed from your life, it’s like a ball rolling down a hill.  Always trying to keep up with the pace, trying not to fall (at least too hard) … it seems much easier to miss what you are passing by.

I still feel lost and unsettled.  I still feel like I know where I want to be but struggle to enjoy the time that it is taking to get there.

But overall I have a pretty positive outlook on the past year.  A lot of growth, a lot of change, and if anything my unsettling feeling keeps pushing me to seek out where I am running to.

 

With the pace of things, I HAVE been crafting.  Nothing crazy, nothing like I was before, but things have been made my loyal subjects.  So don’t take offense to me posting my Halloween costume blog in the middle of February, but I have a short back log of things to get through before getting to the new.  Hopefully my creative road block will open up by the time that happens.  So thanks for stopping by, and be sure to come back.

 

xoxo

The Black Mamba

Decor-it Yourself – Mapping it out

I am in total nesting mode, and it’s not even funny.  I have been super ADD with my crafting and decorating as I am overly inspired to make this place my home.  For the first time, I really feel like I might be staying put for a LA hot minute (which means more than 1 lease term).

While I was unpacking, I was hit by the Muses when I came across my vintage map calendar.  It is two years expired but I held onto it knowing that I would find some way to re-purpose its awesomeness.  And then it hit me, why not give my white kitchen walls some life.

The first step was to cut out the maps around the image lines

Next I arranged the maps I liked the best in a collage and called on my best friend – double sided tape to bring it all together.

But the collage wasn’t enough, I had to pull out the paint for a little extra craftiness :)


A few foam squares later and I had the perfect piece to make my kitchen map-tastic!



Crafting Fix #9 – Domestic Goddess pt. II

Alright crafting friends and confidants – it is time for part deux of the Domestic Goddess crafting adventure.  Part I if you recall created the most amazing apron to bake in, harkening to the days of Don Draper.  But no good housewife can pull a fresh batch of cookies out of the oven unless she has the proper pot holders to do so!

To start I took the pot holder that I had and took some measurements

 

Next I cut 4 large squares and 4 slightly smaller squares (for where you slip your hand into)

Insert batting inbetween the top and bottom layers of the big square and the smaller one.  This is to protect your fabulous fingers!

Before stitching all of the layers together, I cut out a decorative heart out of my contrast fabric for added detail.

Next I sewed in a cross hatch pattern pattern to stich everything together.

The next step was to attach binding around the top edge of the smaller square, and then around all of the edges.  I cut the binding from an old tshirt in a coordinating color.  This is a great way to reuse your old ratty tees!


et voila!  Pot holder supreme :) Happy baking.

Crafting Fix #9 – Domestic Goddess pt. 1

My newly engaged sister is about to embark on several new chapters within the next year, one of those is moving in with her fiance.  Neither of the Petro girls have ever been known for their triumphs in the domesticity department by any means, so I thought it was only fitting that I give her a symbolic domestic gift for her new “housewife” phase.  Of course these gifts (yes this is a 2-parter!) will be more for show than practical use, but that’s not the point :)

 

For this project I dug into my pattern archives to find this amazing vintage apron Simplicity pattern

I chose the second one from the left

 

Sorry I don’t have any “in progress” photos, but after a long night at Jo Ann’s I decided to go with a classic gingham and contrasting paisley fabric.  I picked coordinating colors for the bias tape and after a few hours of sewing and questioning Simplicity’s construction methods (it’s sad when you figure out a simpler way to do it…) I came up with this:

 


And what is the perfect apron without the perfect oven mitts?!  Stay tuned for part 2!