As I mentioned last time Baby-baru's first birthday is coming up. I'm trying my best to prepare a little bit each day. Last week I made sugar cookies and froze them to ice later…unfortunately they were extremely delicious sugar cookies and they are no more. Honestly, I ate almost all of them. I just couldn't help myself. I found the recipe here at Sweet Sugar Belle. These were by far the best sugar cookies I've ever made so thank you very much for sharing. Her instructions are impeccable and I (obviously) loved them.
Today I worked on some more prep for the party, but this time I stuck to decorations. I figure I'll do my baking closer to the date so that I won't be as tempted to eat it all.
Baby-baru's party will be out of town so I didn't want to make a bunch of these and then have to store them and cart them around. I made one to try it out and then prepped a bunch more to be completed the day before the party.
(1) Buy some tissue paper. I bought 3 packs at the dollar store around the corner and have a whack of large and small balls ready to go.
(2) Take 8 pieces and begin folding in an accordion style (approx. 1 1/2 inch folds). I made some balls (like the completed one above) in one solid colour and others with mixed colours. I also decided to make some larger and smaller sizes. To do this I followed the same instructions, I just cut the accordion folded pack in half. Some folks are super precise about their pouff balls. I, however, am not. So my folds aren't exact and the papers aren't perfectly lined up. You're welcome to be precise if that's you, but time is short and they're tissue paper pouff balls for goodness sake.
(3) Some folks use pipe cleaners, floral wire, etc to do this part, but since I have my sewing machine I went with that. First fold your pack in half to find the centre line. Then sew down the middle of the folded paper. When I cut the thread, I left about 20 " of the top thread for hanging. Because I'm not completing the rest of the balls until just before his party I snipped the bottom thread and then twisted the top thread around the folded paper about 20 times so that it's neat and easy to store and unravel when the time comes.
(4) Cut the edges. I did a mix of rounded edge and pointy edge.
(5) The final step is to pouff the ball out by carefully separating each piece of tissue paper and fluffing it up. I didn't take pictures when I made my practice ball, but I think you get the idea. I'm not pouffing any of the other balls until party time. Until then I've got a nice stack that I can throw into his party box and check off my list of things to do.
And voila! A large tissue paper pouffe ball. I'll be sure to take pictures of the party so you can see all of them pouffed out.
And just so that you know. I made all of these, photographed them and wrote this quick blog all while Baby-baru had an hour nap = I'm giving myself a high five right now.
If you make one, be sure to send me a picture or post one on the Kokobaru Facebook page
It's hard to believe that almost a year has past since we welcomed our little baby-baru into the family. As his 1st birthday approaches I've been thinking of what I'd like to do for his birthday.
I've decided to do a DIY little party. I whipped up some invitations last night on Adobe Elements and today during his nap I made a little bean bag throw game…well part of it. Baby naps don't really last long enough for me to get an entire project done, but they do let me get bits and pieces done (as well as some cleaning and laundry, the real fun stuff).
Figuring I've talked about doing a tutorial for a long time, so I decided to take some pictures as I put it together and thought I'd share. Cause really, who couldn't use a cardboard monster cut out right?
Step 1: Don't recycle that big Ikea box sitting in the back hall!! Any box will work, it just happens that last week I picked up an ikea organizing bin system and the box was the perfect size. It came this |-| close to going in the bin this morning, but then I was like 'hmmmmm…I could use that for something'.
Step 2: Sketch out a rough idea of what you'd like to make. It doesn't need to be perfect because the paint will cover it all up. No stress.
Step 3: Paint away. I start with lighter colours. In this case I painted white, grey, blue, red, black. All the colours were ones I had in my kit, the only mixing I had to do was the grey. I didn't mix it thoroughly because I like the way it looks when there are different gradients of colour. Also, I suggest just squeezing your paints onto the cardboard and then painting them around. Saves some dish washing and with a piece this size it's a lot quicker.
Step 4: Cut out your monster's mouth. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted and decided at the last minute that I'd like to throw a few teeth in there. So I drew the mouth shape (ish) that I wanted and used a steak knife to cut it out. I left 2 teeth and painted them white afterward.
Step 5: Add some accents. I used a black sharpie to outline my little friend and then added a bit more dimension to him by doing a tad bit of shading. BE SURE THE PAINT IS DRY. Otherwise your poor marker gets all gummed up and it's just no fun. Patience is not my strong point, but this is one thing I wait for.
Step 6: Final touch ups/additions. In this case it meant adding the tiny whites of it's eyes. I'm fairly impatient, so as the black in the eyes dried I did the outlining, etc. By the time all that was done the blacks were ready for the whites. If you don't wait for the paint to dry when you're adding a new colour it can get all swirled together, which can be really cool, but can also ruin what you're going for.
Step 7: I haven't decided what I'll do for this part yet. Either build a simple wooden stand that this can sit in and that can be reused for future birthdays OR the super simple and easy way - reseal the sides and bottom of the box and just lean it against the wall. When it's full, just pick up and dump out. Yup, I just decided. I'm going with the super simple and easy way.
Et voila! The first step in a fun bean bag toss (or some other type of toss game). I'm still thinking on if I'll make bean bags OR if we'll re-use old newspapers and have them toss them in OR if we'll do a combo of things ie. try some bean bags, some old newspaper balled up and some newspaper made into paper airplanes and see which is easiest to get in. Obviously my little guy is happy just dropping any of his toys in, but there will be some older kids at his party and grown ups. Even if it doesn't get a lot of play, it's a nice little piece of decor for the party. That is, if it lasts until the party. Baby-baru has already shown an interest in this guy. No worries if he doesn't make it. Cardboard is easy to find and there will be more naps before his party…at least there better be.
The end. (for now)
**a) I've decided that I'm going to paint inside the monsters mouth next time I get the chance and the sides when I get the chance…I'll add a picture when I get it finished
b) If you make one, please send me a picture so I can put it up!
Making a custom order of any type is pretty terrifying. Maybe not for everyone, but it sure is for me. Especially when that custom order includes cutting up someones very special baby clothes.
I know that my standards are generally pretty high. I don't eat at restaurants often because I figure if I'm paying money, it better be equivalent to or better than something I can make at home (or my partner can make, as tends to be the case). I'm often dissatisfied with customer service because, well it's often not half as good as it could be. So when it comes to making something for someone else I can be pretty hard on myself. What if they don't like it? What if it's not what they had in mind? It's pretty hard to convey ideas since we haven't evolved to be telepathic yet and language can only really take us so far. I never want to let someone down (again - especially when it involves cutting up their precious baby clothes). So when I send a quilt off to it's home I'm always a little nervous and always totally overjoyed when I hear back that they love it (which up to now has always been the case, and fingers crossed things stay that way).
My most recent memory quilt was for an amazing family that loves sci-fi. I am personally a bit of a sci-fi nerd so it was right up my alley. We messaged back and forth about ideas, designs and as things started to come together the inevitable changes that come with actually seeing something that had before been an imagining. I sent pictures and confirmed colours and layout and then when it was as finished as it could be, I packaged it up and sent it to its home…waiting…to see if the recipient was happy with it…
Ahhhhhhh. Giant sigh of relieve and giant smile in my heart. I write this not to boast that I've done a good job, but to say how grateful I am for the kind words she shared in her review AND for the fact that she is so happy with her quilt (ok…maybe there's a little boasting going on…it feels good to do a good job doesn't it?).
Working on custom memory quilts has really become something I love and look forward to doing. The fact that I can do something I love, while making something special for someone else AND making that someone else incredibly happy…well, it's a pretty great feeling.
So thank you N.T. (you know who you are) and to the folks I'm currently working with.
Thank you for trusting me with your memories and for giving me the opportunity to do what I love.
Maker of things. Lover of colour and texture and contrast. Thinker & creator. Daughter, sister, partner, mother, friend. Mighty woman.