November 22nd, 2013
We never expected to still be in our rental for Leo’s first birthday. But because it took us so long to finish the design phase of our house build, we knew this day was coming and hosting a party was not entirely feasible. I’ve been stressing over his party for months now. Our rental is filled to the brim with cabinets, and boxes full of lighting, speakers, appliances, and personal effects. Having a party IN the house sounded like a really bad idea. But what else do you do at the end of October in Utah? Planning an outdoor party is even more nuts than having one in my crazy filled up space. And not having a party at all was just not an option, not for his first year.
I thought about hosting it at some sort of event facility, but that seems overkill for a first birthday party. I decided to just “make it work” and do a very small family party in our rental. One of my facebook followers suggested a construction party, and I thought it was an awesome idea because 1.Our lives, of course are in the middle of a huge construction phase, and 2. if the theme is construction, your house doesn’t have to look all fabulous and put together. And hey, that plywood and sledge hammer that is sitting on our front porch is now considered “decorations” Score!
What I didn’t expect, was that on the day of the party it would be 70 degrees outside. And so on that beautiful warm fall day (November 2nd if you can believe it), we had our little party out in the backyard. It was glorious to not have to worry about our crowded messy house, and everyone had a relaxing time sitting in the beautiful weather.
I tried to keep everything fairly simple because of the chaos we are constantly living in. The two things that I spent time on were the royal iced cookies, and the cone-shaped smash cake. Everything else was really simple and easy!
My main decoration was this awesome CONSTRUCTION ZONE sign that I found at an antique market. It’s an actual really old hand-painted sign. I love it and plan on hanging it up in the playroom in our new house. Anyway, I was able to use it as a really cool backdrop and so everything else came together pretty fast.
For the treats, I made royal-iced cookies. This was only my second time making piped cookies (the first time was practice for this), I think they turned out great! It’s a lot of work , but I’ve been wanting to learn how to do it, so this was a great opportunity to dive in (more pictures of those below).
The other treats are simple things like cheese-its (floor tile), sun chips (shingles), pretzels (rebar), and graham crackers (plywood), and starbursts (bricks). Most of our servingware is in storage, so I just used random plastic and glass food containers and went for that mis-matched construction kind of look.
For the cake I went super simple, and picked up a plain chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from Costco, and put little construction diggers and dump trucks on it with some crushed oreos (a few oreos go a LONG way). We still have 2/3rds of this cake in our freezer!
For drinks I got the Mexican made Fanta that kind of look like road barricades/cones. I had big plans to strip off the labels with some acetone, etc. but cooler heads prevailed and I just chilled the drinks and put them out.
Mr. Project was in charge of the real food. He made bacon-wrapped turkey skewers, pigs in blankets (half hot dogs wrapped in Pilsbury crescent rolls) for the kids, sweet potato fries, rolls, and a veggie tray (there really was one, it just didn’t end up in the pictures!).
Here is the sweet birthday boy holding his little construction hat. He’s the best baby… but he’s not really a baby anymore
Its a miracle that I actually got him wearing his hat – this kid hates hats!
Here he is with cousins Josh and Aubry – the oldest grandchild and the youngest grandchild in the family.
My awesome brother got him a little Cosmo (BYU mascot), he loves stuffed animals and so a tiny cosmo was perfect!
We also had a little favor table when you came in at the back gate. I bagged up the piped cookies as favors, and bought some orange bubble tape gum, and plastic yellow hard hats from Oriental Trading Co.
Here are the cookies up close:
And in their bags… so cute!
And while I’m showing close-ups, here are some close-ups of the big cake:
And while I’m showing cakes… I should show the cone cake that I made for Leo’s smash cake. I took pictures of the process. I can post that as it’s own post in a few days (how many times have I said that??). This was my first sculpted cake. It turned out pretty good but kind of got a little melty-lopsided in the sun. I used sugar paper for the white stripe and the orange square at the bottom.
Here’s the super cute birthday boy “digging in” He refused to touch the cone cake with his hands, but was happy to tear it up with a fork. Go figure.
So there you have it, our perfect first birthday party for our little Leo. I couldn’t have asked for a better day, and never would have imagined that we could host his party outside. So happy for the little things that make life so wonderful, like having family over for some cake and conversation on a nice warm fall day and celebrating the one year anniversary of a brand new life – little leo – whom we cannot possibly live without.
December 22nd, 2012
Firstly let me just apologize for not being around. I gave birth to my second son Leo on the 30th of October, and getting back into the swing of things with a toddler and a newborn is much more difficult than I realized. I think we are finally hitting our stride though and I feel like I’m figuring it all out, at least for the moment. I still need to compile some photos and tell my birth story for my family’s record, so that will be coming soon. But for now I just wanted to get a quick Merry Christmas posted (so you know I’m still around) along with a freebie.
As a designer, I like having complete flexibility with my tools including my die-cutting machine. I had been using a Cricut Expression in conjunction with the SCAL software in order to be able to cut any shape that I designed or downloaded, but I was never completely happy with the whole “work-around” for the Cricut (and their lawsuits towards 3rd party vendors), and so I finally caved and bought a beautiful new Silhouette Cameo which has an amazing free software suite that suits my needs perfectly especially in conjunction with my Adobe Illustrator software. My first project was this christmas banner and 3-d trees. The Cameo was so easy to set up with my MacBook Air laptop and everything just worked so smooth and seamless that I could hardly believe that I didn’t have any issues.
The paper I used is the All is Bright collection by Rhonna Farrer from My Minds Eye. I love how the patterns and colors are more subtly Christmas, which is just what I wanted for my decorations. I also wanted glitter letters and brainstormed several ways to get glitter letters on the flags. What I ended up doing was buying this double-sided adhesive paper - Grafix 9-Inch-by-12-Inch Archival Double Tack – you can also try the Silhouette Double-Sided Adhesive Paper. And I cut out “MERRY” from the Peony Pro Font and then attached the die-cut double-tack to the flags and pealed back the cover paper and poured glitter on it. It turned out perfectly and was pretty easy (the hardest part was getting the hang of peeling the adhesive paper backing.
I just love how the whole thing turned out, simple and elegant.
I also wanted to create some 3D trees out of paper. These are great because they stand up and only require one 12×12 sheet of paper to create.
To make one tree, you cut out 3 tree shapes, score them down the middle (I use this awesome Martha Stewart Scoring Board ) and adhere the wrong sides to each other to create a 3-d standing tree.
This is a super quick and easy way to decorate a small space or party table.
And lucky you, I’m giving away the cut files for the trees. Click the image below to download the ZIP file. The ZIP file contains a .SVG file, a .DXF (for the silhouette), and a .JPG file for those of you without a cutter.
Enjoy making some trees and have a wonderful holiday season!
I’ll be home with my family snuggling this little guy:
December 2nd, 2011
Hello dear readers it’s Angie Hinksman here and a very Happy Holiday Season to you! Today I’m going to share with you a little hybrid project, inspired by what is probably the most is talked about product this Christmas; the iPad2. I love the simplicity of the design of the iPad and I think that the included stand is pure GENIUS! Now, while my little Recipe Stand won’t help you surf the net, it’s certain to brighten up any kitchen table! You’ll need very few supplies (no need for specialist binding materials here, just paper, card and some basic crafting supplies.
To create the Recipe Stand and 6 recipe cards, you will need the following supplies:
- Recipe journaling templates – you can download the pdf file here
- Some plain co-ordinating paper or cardstock for printing the journaling cards. I’ve used some simple ’letterhead’ stationery for mine.
- Selection of 12 x 12 inch patterned scrapbook papers – I’ve used papers from Jen’s beautiful Stella & Rosecollection. You’ll need 2 for the stand and 1 sheet will 6 recipe cards. Cut your paper to the following measurements:
- 1 piece: 8.5 x 12 inches (just keep the off-cut handy, we’ll use this later)
- 1 piece: 6 x 12 inches (again we’ll use the off-cut later)
- 1 piece: cut out 6 at 4 x 6 inches
- Chipboard or very thick card. If you can’t get hold of plain chipboard, the back of an old note book will work perfectly! I’ve used the back of one of my scrap-pads. Cut your card to the following measurements;
- 2 pieces: 4.5 x 6.5 inches
- 1 piece: 2.5 x 6.5 inches
- 2 pieces: ¾ x 6.5 inches
- A ruler
- Cutting tools (such as a Stanley knife or rotary cutter and scissors)
- Adhesive (I’m using a glue stick and some double-sided tape)
- Cutting matt
- Rolling pin (this helps the glue stick well)
Instructions for the recipe cards:
Print your recipe journal pieces onto your paper and cut out. Glue these to the front and back of your 4 x 6 inch pieces of scrap paper. I’ve rounded the edges of mine, to keep with the iPad feel of the project!
Instructions for the Recipe Stand:
Place your 4.5 x 6.5 and 2.5 x 6.5 inch pieces of chipboard on your 8.5 x 12 inch scrap paper as illustrated. Align the top and bottom pieces with the edges of the paper. Place the middle pieces approx. ½ inch below the top piece. You want to have a bigger gap at the bottom (this will help your recipe stand close well). Use a pencil to mark where your placed this pieces, then glue them down. Use your rolling pin over the top then turn the whole thing over and use your rolling pin again. This will make sure your glue has good contact. Leave to dry for a few minutes then glue the sides down as shown.
Once dry, glue the 6 x 12 inch piece of scrap paper on top, as shown and leave to dry.
Glue the 2 ¾ x 6.5 inch pieces of card together as illustrated. Once dry, glue and cover with a piece of your left over scrap paper. Leave to dry. Once this is dry, glue to the bottom of the main piece(the bottom has the small piece of cardboard). Leave this whole piece to dry thoroughly (I left mine for about an hour).
On the inside of the stand, cut a piece of your left-over scrap papers in a strip: 2.5 inches x 12. Place this at the bottom of the stand so that it meets the edge of the ¾ inch piece. You’ll need to trim this down so it fits your stand. Using either a thin layer of glue or double-sided tape, glue this down. This will create pockets to keep your recipe cards in.
Once your stand is completely dry you will be able to fold it as shown. As you can see, the ¾ inch piece helps the Stand stay in place! Cut another little scrap of paper in a triangle shape to act as a photo corner to display your cards(mine is about an inch and half wide). Glue into place.
Finally place your finished cards in your pockets and enjoy! I think this would make a great gift andit is light and small enough to post to far-away family and friends. Why not invite some ‘recipe-loving’ friends over, give them each a recipe stand, filled with cards and have a recipe swap party. Now wouldn’t that be fun?
Have a great day