Saturday, February 19, 2011

Art-Inspired Gift Wrapping

After enduring weeks and weeks of sub-par weather in Georgia, we finally had some awesome sunny days that reminded me why I moved here in the first place! One of my kids' favorite outdoor activities is chalk drawing, so they devoted an entire afternoon to honing their artistic skills in the driveway. I decided to capture some of their creations and use them in a unique way.

I first started off by taking pictures of my favorite pieces. This drawing was done by my oldest son...

and this one was made by my youngest son...

I'm currently in the process of planning both of my sons' birthday parties, so I've got birthday on the brain right now. That's probably the reason why I thought it would be cool to make gift wrap using their artwork.

To do this, I simply copied the pictures multiple times and created a .pdf file. I then had the file printed onto large sheets of paper at a print shop and my wrapping paper was ready!

I found a terrific tutorial that shows how to make gift bows from magazine pages - check out the tutorial here. I used the same steps to make a bow using the artwork wrapping paper...

When you stumble upon an amazing blog, do you spend hours looking back through the older posts? Maybe it's just me! Well right after I found the gift bow tutorial on the How About Orange blog, I discovered a tutorial for creating gift bags - here's the link. So I used my youngest son's masterpiece for this project...

So at this point I was in full gift wrapping mode. I found some takeout boxes that I use to hold favors and thought it would be fun to cover one in the artwork wrapping paper. This was really easy to do. First open the takeout box and lay it flat on the paper. Then trace the outline of the box, cut it out and glue the wrapping paper onto the box.

Thank goodness I ran out of paper - I can only imagine what I would wrap up next!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Angry (Love) Birds

My husband's new love, along with the rest of the country apparently, is a game called Angry Birds. I've never been a gamer, but I do appreciate the creativity that goes into some of these video games. Case in point - in Angry Birds players use a slingshot to launch wingless birds at evil green pigs who stole their eggs...hence the reason they're angry. I recently heard that the pigs were chosen as the enemy because the Swine Flu was in full effect when the game was being developed - very cool!

Since he loves this game so much, I decided to make my husband an Angry Birds-themed card for Valentine's Day. I took the same approach to making this card as I did for his Father's Day card (that was when he was in love with the Wii - see it here).

For the front of the card, I first found a picture of an iphone and then cut/pasted an Angry Birds Valentine's Day card that the video game developers created for Facebook users.

In addition to the Facebook card, the developers also released a new Valentine's Day version of the game this month. For the inside of the card, I took images from that game and added a caption.

Here's the real card...

To complete the gift, I also downloaded the Valentine's version of the game onto my husband's phone (for only .99 cents) - I know, how romantic!

I hope you have a fantastic Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

DIY Candy Valentine's Day Cards

I finally decided to start constructing Valentine's Day cards for the annual card exchange extravaganza at my son's school. But halfway through the construction process I had to stop and remind myself why I didn't make my life easier by just purchasing cards. And the answer is simple: I'm a crafter - this is what I do.

After a brief consultation with my client, it became pretty clear that he could care less what the card looked like as long as it wasn't too "girly" and there was candy on it. So I decided to let the candy be my inspiration for this card - Butterfinger Hearts.

Okay I'm going to admit that I did not put much thought into this design because, let's face it, the candy is going to trump even the most elaborate card out there. Both of my boys love dinosaurs, so I thought that would be a safe bet. The heart-shaped candy was what led me to make it a Stegosaurus. This card was super easy to make - just cut out a dinosaur shape, add googly eyes, a mouth and then attach the chocolate candy using adhesive dots. I saw a blog post where they attached candy onto a card using a low-temperature glue gun, so that's an option as well.

I started thinking about other ways to use the candy for Valentine's Day cards and just had to try them out. Here is an idea for a butterfly card...

And an idea for a flower card...

Here's a close-up of the flower...just arrange the chocolate hearts in a circular shape and attach a small piece of scrapbook paper in the middle...

I'm working on one more idea for a do-it-yourself Valentine's Day card that I hope to finish before the big day...stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Are You Ready for Super Bowl XLV?

Being a native of the great state of Wisconsin, I would be remiss if I did not dedicate a post to the beloved Green Bay Packers! This Sunday my home team will take the field in the hopes of winning yet another trophy in Super Bowl XLV. For everyone outside of the US, the Super Bowl is an annual sporting event in which two American football teams compete for the top honor. This Sunday it's the Packers versus the Pittsburgh Steelers - I can't wait!

A few months ago I created a post about hosting a football-themed can check it out here. So I thought I would create some new ideas just in time for the Super Bowl.

Football Vase

Okay I know it's a guy's game, but there's no reason why the party space can't look pretty! I turned a chocolate brown Blumebox into a "football" by attaching textured scrapbook paper, white ribbon and shoelaces to it.

Wisconsin is primarily known for its cheese. When I moved to Georgia, I first caught flack for being a Yankee and then I was labeled a "cheesehead" - both of which I am very proud to be! On game day it is not uncommon to see Packer fans wearing cheeseheads like this...

So I thought it would be fun to give the beverages a similar look this Sunday...

But upon seeing the cheesehead-ed beer, my husband pointed out a glaring error: Yuengling is brewed in Pennsylvania, home of the Steelers. Oops! It was the only beer we had laying around the house - it will definitely be replaced by PBR on Sunday!

Brats in a Blanket

Tailgating at Lambeau Field would not be complete without two things - beer and bratwursts. So I'm planning to serve a variation on the traditional bun version of the bratwurst by making them bite-size. You can find a great recipe for brats in a blanket here. I also made flags to dress up the brat platter by printing out Packers logos and gluing them onto toothpicks.

Less is More Decor
Given the fact that most of the people coming to the party will really be there to watch the game, I want to have subtle decorations that won't be too distracting - I admit that the green and yellow color combo can be a bit much. I came across a really cool tutorial for making a graphic design that would be perfect for the understated look I want. Here's my first attempt at it...

And here is one way I plan to incorporate the look into the party...

If you are one of the thousands of people throwing a party this Sunday, I hope you have a fantastic event!



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