Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day and although many cannot find enjoyment out of our American made up Holidays, I however love them. Father's Day is such an important day because it's just a time to tell Dad, or whoever may have been that older male role in your life, how much you appreciate and love them.

Thankfully for me, I have an amazing Dad who I love and adore. Although it took us quite a long time to be able to fully build a real relationship, I am forever blessed for who he his. The one thing that I always appreciated about my Dad is that since I was young, he has been a pretty successful guy. He has done very well for himself and provided a good and enjoyable life to those around him. The amazing part however, is that my Dad is extremely humble. That is something that I truly respect about him. Whether you were the most powerful and richest man he knew, or you were the janitor at his place of work.... he would treat and talk to you no different. I love my Dad and am thankful for all of his support over the years.

This year, I wanted to do something special for Father's Day. As I looked around the store trying to decide what to get him though, I found myself honestly just becoming annoyed. Every year it seems as though the stores try to get you to buy the same exact things. A tie, a grill, some tools.... the same old stuff. After coming home, I tried to think of other things we could give him as a gift this year that wasn't a total cliche. Then.... after some planning and strategizing, we came up with a perfect idea. I can't take all the credit on this one, because my kids really did all the work!

After taking over a 100 or so pictures to make sure that we had the right angles, I uploaded them onto my computer and resized to create the above images. I then sent the file to Kinko's and had it printed on to a Canvas which cost me $95. This included the print on canvas and having it mounted.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cran Judy-Ann

Think back to your 21st birthday and what are the things that you are most excited about? Of Course. You are now legally allowed to drink and buy alcohol. If you are the "ideal" 21 year old, you have not experienced too much in drinking and are pretty new to this whole world of mixed drinks. So often the main question that stumps many new drinkers is the simple "What would you like today?".

I often laugh when I think about a story that my Brother-In-Law tells about his experience in ordering his first drink. He, like many others was a good ol' boy. He honestly didn't drink until he turned 21. Let me set the mood for you. He had just turned 21 and he pridefully walks into a bar with his head held up high. Excited to order his first real drink, and anticipating that they will ask for his ID so he can whip out that license and prove his age! Here we go..... he sits down and begins to look around. Oh wait a minute..... He needs a man drink. Not beer, not wine, but liquor! It wasn't long until the sweet older woman came over and said, "What can I get for you today". Without even thinking, he says very confidently "I'd like a jack and crown please!". You can imagine the smile that came upon her face as she heard this adorable youngin' just order a glass of Jack Daniels mixed with Crown Royal. For the rest of the night, the bartender made it her mission to introduce him to a multitude of different drinks, explaining what liquors compliment what mixer.

This story is what inspired me to do my next project. A very close family friend was turning 21. She is one of those girls that just has a lot of spunk to her. You know, sweet and spicy as I like to call her. Anyways, her 21st birthday party was coming up and I needed to do something different. She isn't the girl that I could just buy a bottle for and say enjoy. She was a girl that I needed to bring to the bar and have her try every drink known to man kind until she found what she liked. Instead however, after looking around, I came across a picture on Pinterest that had a bucket, that had small whiskey bottles and cigars nicely presented.

What a fabulous idea! I loved everything about it. The creativity, the options, the customization that could be done. This was it! Later that day I went to the craft store and came home with the following.

*1 Oval Black Metal Pail (as shown to left)
* 2 Large Packages of Tinseled Pipe Cleaners
*2 Large Packages of Colored Pipe Cleaners
*Alphabet Stickers (Found in Scrapbooking)
*Number Stickers
*Decoration Stickers (I used Candles & Swirls)
*Glitter Spray paint
*Medium package of decor rocks / gems
*Large square of Styrofoam
*21 Wooden Thin Dowels or Kabob Sticks
*21 Assorted 50ml. sample liquor bottles
                                                               *Long Tinsel Swirls 
                                                         *Bunch of Color Assorted Silk Flowers 
Step by Step
  1. Take the pail on a covered surface and put it upside down. Use the glitter spray paint and evenly coat the pail to add a sparkled effect. You can use as little or as much as you'd like.
  2. Using an exacto knife, cut ovals out of the styrofoam square. Layer the styrofoam ovals into the pail. You will want about 3 layers in the pail to be able to uphold the weight of the bottles. 
  3. After the pail has dried from the paint, Decorate the pail with the stickers that you have chosen. (For mine, I put wrapped around 21 candles from front to back, and scattered the swirls to add extra decor. You may also want to use a ruler to help center and space the writing on the front. 
  4. Organize your color patterns and figure out what colors you'd like to stick with for the main theme.
  5. Take one tinseled pipe cleaner and one colored pipe cleaner and begin to tightly wrap around the wooden dowel. (If you want, you can try to match the bottles colors). Begin wrapping about 2 inches above the bottom of the dowel and continue your way up. I used 4 pipe cleaners per wooden stick. 
  6. Once you get towards the top, choose the bottle that you would like and begin to tightly wrap around the neck of the bottle. You will need to wrap it around once, then tie in between to make sure it's tight. The tighter you can wrap it the better the bottle will hold. 
  7. Repeat step 6, another 20 times. 
  8. Once all 21 bottles are wrapped and tied to the wooden sticks, you can begin to put them into the pail by pushing the stick into the styrofoam. You can arrange the bottles many different ways according to the overall look you are going for. 
  9. After you are satisfied with your arrangement, you can add in some tinsel swirls for an additional decoration.
  10. Arrange the silk flowers around the rim of the pail.
  11. Lastly, take the package of the decorative rocks and empty them into the pail to cover the styrofoam and add additional weight to hold the dowels in place.
..... And there you have it. A perfectly unique 21st Birthday gift!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Imagination and The Tooth Fairy

One of my favorite things that I absolutely love and adore about children, are their wonderful imaginations. I feel like it's something that as we become older, the less we use, and it's honestly quite sad if you ask me. Almost anyone can remember the time when they dressed up as a little princess and danced around a room pretending they were in a magical ballroom, or dressed up as a knight with a styrofoam sword pretending to fight away the fire breathing dragons. How many of our parents have some kind of picture of us as children, with a cape on our back that immediately gave us superpowers?

The thing I love about my two little ones, is that they have the most amazing imaginations. I often do my best to encourage their little minds to work as much as possible, because I know how precious imagination is. For instance, my 4 year old son will often tell me that he "snuck out of the house while I was sleeping and drove around really fast with his Batman friends". Although I'm not sure how much I like this mentality for when he's older, for now I think it's great. 

Going along with imagination...... enters the Tooth Fairy. Oh the infamous Tooth Fairy who steals our money and quietly sneaks in and takes all the credit. Well, when my daughter lost her first tooth she was ecstatic because she couldn't wait to see what this winged fairy would bring her. That night, I sat down and began thinking of ways to be creative instead of just putting a dollar bill under her pillow. From there, I put my thinking cap on and began to search the internet until I came across the most wonderful idea...... Money Origami. Still giving her the dollar bill that is expected from the Tooth Fairy, but making it just a little bit more special for my little princess. 

This was what I came up with for the first tooth. Surprisingly enough, it was very simple. Often times you may need to pause the video to catch up however the instructions are very detailed. 

                                                                    The Puppy Dog
For the Puppy you will need:
1 Crisp Dollar Bill

The Heart Holding Quarter

For the Heart you will need:
1 Crisp Dollar Bill
1 Quarter

You can imagine how thrilled my daughter was when she woke up in the morning to find this under her pillow. From that point on, the excitement won me over and I have continued to make these for her when she loses a tooth. These are some of the other ones I have also done. 

The Butterfly

For the Butterfly you will need:
2 Crisp Dollar Bills
1 Colored Pipe Cleaner


Once I became pretty comfortable in making these (you can laugh but origami has never been my thing), I decided to go for something a little bit more complex. 

The Star

For the Star you will need: 
5 crisp dollar bills


The most recent one I have done honestly just seemed like a fun thing to give my little girl. I'm not going to lie you though, this one took me MUCH longer than I would have hoped it to! The end result however was worth it. 

The Box

For the Box you will need:
2 Crisp Dollar Bills
Small Candies to Fill Box

The Peacock

For The Peacock You will need:
1 Crisp Dollar Bill