Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The 40/50/70 Party Details

Andy and his family members are celebrating some milestone birthdays in 2011-2012. His sister turned 50 in June, his dad turned 70 in November, and Andy will be the big Four-Oh in January. We celebrated with a joint birthday party for all of them a few weeks ago.

We started off at Second City, then headed to the new Pump Room for some cocktails, and wrapped up the party with an amazing dinner at Mastro's. I mean, amaze-balls amazing.

I made some place cards from old family photos.

I had to take these pictures at work so that Andy wouldn't see them, thus the unattractive background.


For party favors, I ordered one of Andy's favorite desserts in the whole city, frosting cookie sandwiches from Sensational Bites.

I packaged them in custom tie dye boxes.

I photocopied some tie dye material that I had around the house onto card stock to make the box tops, using different sections of the fabric for variety. I paired the covers bottoms made from plain card stock in the party colors. I used my fun new toy, the Martha Stewart Scoring Board, to make the boxes. I used my Silhouette SD to cut some 40-50-70 banners to hold the boxes shut.


The cakes. I was HORRIFIED by the cakes. I provided the baker with the mock-up and example below, along with a big note that they should look modern and elegant, not psychedelic or groovy.

{Source: Brooke Weeber flickr}

This is what we received:

I was livid! They look like total sh*t. Psychedelic sh*t. And I paid an extra $40/cake for that design. To add insult to injury, the restaurant didn't set them up as the table centerpiece as I had requested, so they were still frozen when they were served. At least I didn't have to look at them for the entire meal.

Tragedy in Tina Town aside, the evening was a smash!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Art Nouveau Garden Wedding Projects

Two of our best friends got married back in October!

Because the bride is insane, she made all of her own floral arrangements at the last minute. Apparently, people are more talented and stronger than me. Look at her bouquet!

{Source: Tyler Core Shoots People}
While I couldn't help with flowers, in true, I-wish-that-I-was-still-engaged Tina form, I helped the bride-to-be out with some other projects. Basically, I said, "Give me whatever you don't want to do yourself." I took a few vacation days and spent them in crafting bliss. Here are a few of the projects that I worked on.

{Source: Tyler Core Shoots People}
I'm so pleased with the programs, which quite literally came to life in about two hours the day before the wedding using some scrap paper that the bride had.

{Source: Tyler Core Shoots People}

{Source: Tyler Core Shoots People}
I didn't "make" these bells, but I did pick them out to decorate the church and reception hall. I added the ribbons in her wedding colors.

{Source: Tyler Core Shoots People}
I made a few Welcome signs for the church and the hall.

The bride bought me a Silhouette SD in the spring as a thank you gift for helping her out. I had hoped to use it on some of her wedding projects, but her invitation design was too intricate to cut en masse. I surprised her with a bride and groom banner. The groom's family friend offered to help me hang them and spent about 20 minutes manipulating them and taping them to the awkward chairs with my green painter's tape. I didn't have the heart to move them.

{Source: Tyler Core Shoots People}

Each guest was greeted with a chocolate. I wrapped them in tissue paper and a slim piece of paper with a "thank you" message and the instructions for the couple's flickr page.

The bride found these great images of old Chicago posters. We used them as table markers for the place cards.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Orange You Glad You Didn't Move?

My friend recently redecorated her apartment in an attempt to talk herself out of moving. Her renovations could be published. Think orange and blue paint, reclaimed wood wall units/workstations, and closet doors re-purposed as magnetic chalkboard walls.

I wanted to give her a small "house re-warming" gift that wouldn't take up space in her newly detoxed apartment. She also loves the color orange, so I wrapped up some Halloween hot chocolate that turns orange from Crate & Barrel, some orange marshmallow Peeps, and a monogram mug from Anthropologie. I used some scraps from around the house to bestow some orange bliss on the outside too.

More circles from the Circle Surplus

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Mail Order Winter Coat Boutique

Winter arrived in Chicago with medium-ish force this week! We had a pretty first snow and our first frigid temps. I had promised myself last season that I would buy new winter coats and boots this year - no matter what size I was. I stretched my last two coats waaaaay too long. I was cursing myself this week for not doing it sooner.

I have no doubt that one of these would have been Slender Tina's Winter Coat '11:

{Source: j. crew.com}
Believe me, it is *tough* to find plain, tailored ANYTHING for plus size women. Everything is bejeweled, shiny, and patterned. Which makes sense given that my biggest challenge since packing on the pounds is finding clothes that draw attention to my girth AND MAKE ME LOOK BIGGER.

But I digress. I have no idea why I went to the Talbot's site, as I've never set foot in a Talbot's because I'm not 60. But they had me at these two pictures:


Orange! Green! Jewel tones! Now *this* is back in my comfort zone. And even better, they were offering 50 percent off and free shipping on outerwear. I ordered four coats and vest.

So many options! Two of the long ones have to go back, but the short black will hopefully be a keeper for weekends and when I travel to slightly climates for work in the winter. Unfortunately, I'll be gone this week when they arrive. Booo!

I also ordered this puffy Calvin Klein coat from Macy's, as down coats aren't even negotiable for Chicago winters.

Next I'll be ordering new boots. We're supposed to have a wet one, so I think that I'll buy some big guns.