Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Cheap and Easy Abstract Art

Over a year ago, I decided to try my hand at some mid-century inspired art for my fireplace.

{Photos from Casa Sugar}

It seemed simple enough and I excitedly picked up a canvas back in the fall. And then it sat there for six months. As I always do in the spring, I got a bug up my butt to get my apartment in order and decided to finally give it a try. I followed the advice I read on Oh Happy Day! and practiced on a small canvas. It looked like total crap. Then I remembered a decoupage canvas that I spotted in HGTV Magazine while on a flight:

I may not be able to control a paintbrush, but I could tear up paper, right? The next day, I ran to Paper Source and bought every color of tissue that they sell. Then I went to town with some Modge Podge.

The big orange piece reminded of that giant fat cat photo,
so I tried layering some big pieces on it. Ha! He's still there.

And here's the finished product:

As cheese as it is, I totally love it! It brings some much, much needed color to that dreary, light-less corner. Even Andy was surprised by how it turned out. He admitted to some doubt when he arrived home from the gym and saw me standing in a pile of shredded tissue paper.

You can see some of the inspiration that I pinned here.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Easter Birthday to You

We celebrated three birthdays on Easter...


...with Easter bunnies and party hats!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

40th Birthday Tea for LP

My bestie planned an afternoon tea for herself in honor of her birthday back in January. I snuck in a little early and did it up right with party hat menus and flowers in her favorite colors. And, of course, plenty of cute and embarrassing photos, courtesy of her mom and my old snapfish account. They showed off her perm and puka shell necklace, cheerleading days, and mall portraits of years gone by. But this one was my favorite:

These menus were a m*&%#$)! @%*' labor of love. They started out as party hats and several late nights and tearful fits later, I ended up with these square cards.

For her gift, my friend and I pitched to give her a few things to help in her persuit of her favorite things:

Also, because I'm insane. I whipped some personalized stationery for her 10 minutes AFTER I was supposed to be getting in the shower. (I am probably being dramatic on that.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gondola Place Cards

We celebrated Gnocchi Night this past Saturday. I watched the Rick Steves episode on Venice the weekend before, so I was in a gondola mood when I made these place cards.

These went through SEVERAL variations before I settled on the final product. I tried using shredded crepe paper for the seats, which led to this conversation:
Tina: "Does this look like an opulent gondola or a submarine on fire?"

Andy: "It looks like a Viking ship that is in serious trouble."

Tina: "Damn. What do I do to make them opulent?"

Andy: "I don't know. But not that. Put these on. They'll help." <hands me my glasses>
I finally gave in and cut some boring seats, but wanted to do something special for the birthday guests. I was trying to tie some paper balloons to them (Harder then it sounds. Believe me.) when it hit me. A  FULL OF BALLOONS! Now *that* is a world that I want to live in. I just need to learn Italian to make it happen. And take someone to Venice for their birthday.

Gnocchi Nights Past: 2011, 2012

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Homemade Stationery Gift Set

I drew my sister-in-law's name in the family grab bag this Christmas. She asked for a personalized stamp, which I scored on sale. Since I had some extra change, I decided to gocco print some stationery for her. BUT, I didn't know which name to use - her first name, which she uses at work and with friends, her middle name, which she uses with family, or her formal name, which she uses with her students. So I decided to do all three! I checked with a friend for reassurance that it wasn't tacky to gift someone with inkjet printed note cards, and then hopped on it. I L-O-V-E how everything turned out. This was one of my two fave gifts we gave this season.

I assembled everything in a storage box from Paper Source.

I used mini file folders to organize the designs.

I think that receiving such a cute card from your child's teacher might soften the blow of hearing that he/she is an asshole, no? Ha!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bachelorette Party Invites

These bachelorette party invitations are from my friend's party in the fall. I had the idea, but a while later went on pinterest and saw that many other people did as well. Like everything.

The bride is an artist and we were taking a painting class, so I wanted to do some watercolor invites. BUT, my not being an artist threw a loop in that plan. I took a watercolor painting I had from a friend's 4-year old daughter and photocopied onto fine white paper for the cover. Then, I printed the details on plain green paper, cut both pieces on the Silhouette SD, and glued them together. Pretty cute!

I also made some "wine charms" to match.

Our class was at Bottle & Bottega. It was nice, but I felt too rushed to really do anything. And I think that you need the right crowd, as the process stresses out people who don't consider themselves creative.

My painted went through three variations before I lost interest. I still need to work on it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!

Happy 2013, Everyone! I hope you enjoyed a happy, safe holiday season. Andy and I toasted the season's end in what has become our NYE tradition -- surf and turf and some good wine. Andy upped the celebration this year by deeming "yoga pants" and "make-up free faces" acceptable dinner attire. (I didn't even ask! Love him!) I may not have dressed myself, but I did dress the table!

The color-scheme was inspired by my new vase from Crate & Barrel, which was my present in the family grab bag. The theme was cheap, easy, and low-effort.

Five minutes before dinner, I decided we needed place cards. Not bad for last minute!

Andy said this was his favorite table of the season. Hooray!