EVENT: sweet baby girl / baby shower

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Theme:  Flowers
Colors: Purple, Teal, White, and Gold
Quote: Let Her Sleep, For When She Wakes, She Will Move Mountains

My husband came home to say that I had a prospective client (his co-worker) who would like for me to decorate their colleague’s baby shower.  Did I say yes?  You bet!  I was unsure of what the mother-to-be would like, as I was told that she was very easy going,  kept her interests pretty close to the vest, and that she would appreciate anything.

So it started out a little tricky, but I was up for the challenge. I came up with a simple sketch to pitch to my husband’s colleague, Shawn, to see if she liked it and sure enough…She loved it! She really liked the overall concept, (she nixed the balloons), but everything else she liked and was really excited about.

After our initial meeting, Shawn sent me an image of what the mother-to-be purchased for their nursery. It consisted of mostly flowers, and the colors were purple, teal, and white via Holly Pop Designs.

Let me tell you, I really truly wanted to make Shawn and my husband’s coworkers happy.  I wanted to make sure that the mother-to-be was blown away and truly felt loved on her special day. The stress led to more than a few “craft blocks,” where I just could not come up with how I would like the banner to look. Now that I had the theme established I couldn’t move forward with it. After many nights of little sleep and staying up until the wee-hours with lots of DIY, I came up with these:

What you see above were these:
– hand cut individual felt petals to form the flower
– hand painted the signs
– hand lettered the writings on all of the signage
– banners cut and strung together
– tried my hand in water painting the flowers for the “sweet baby girl”
– cut and made giant paper flowers
– repainted the frame to white (framed the invitation)
– hand calligraphy on the “let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains”

I came to the venue very early to set up the decorations.  The drawing I had envisioned did not exactly translate  to the space I was working with.  I saw a video my husband recorded of the venue, the 9th floor terrace of the building. The area was large with lots of windows. Much of the wall space was taken up by the vending machines, cabinetry, refrigerator/freezer and sink.  I had three hours to make this work, but three hours gave me lots of time.

 

 

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The result, everyone who helped out early, was so excited for the mother-to-be and her husband to arrive.   I wished I could have stayed to enjoy everyone else’s reaction.  I got word from my husband that everyone loved it and were blown away!  Even better news, the daddy-to-be just won the Democratic Primary election to be DC Council At-Large!

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Below is a slideshow of more pictures of the parents-to-be and guests:

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Note: The main table was a bit bare, because I could not stay to help put up the diaper cake and two cakes that they had for the table.

 

 

My personal favorites:

Everything hand cut, put together, and painted by me.

 

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Drew and used watercolors to make this beautiful guest sign-in board!

 

 

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DIY: money lei ~ for the graduate



https://www.pinterest.com/pin/460985711831760075/

Yay!! My cousin Peter just graduated from high school!  I wished him the best of luck as he prepares for college in the fall, and encouraged him to enjoy the adventure to come.  The first time I made a lei, it  was actually for his sister’s high school graduation a few years ago.  You can see the flower lei I have made out of carnations > DIY: pretty carnation lei.

Ever since I made that first lei for my cousin who graduated a few years back, I decided to make it a tradition.  I wanted to add a personal touch to make their special day just a little bit more memorable. So I thought, instead of a bouquet of flowers, why not a lei?  Plus this way they don’t have to carry flowers, but wear them!  I’ve gotten lots of positive feedback from my family and their friends.  So much so that I’ve made it my mission to make  these for my younger cousins once they graduate:)  For my cousin Peter, I decided to do a money lei (as opposed to one made of flowers) because who wouldn’t want to have money around their neck? And since I planned on giving him money as a grad gift anyway, this just seemed like a more creative way to do so.

I know there are a lot of versions for making a lei, so here is my own version below.

Gather your materials:

  • 30 dollar bills (it can be 30 of $2, 32 of $5, or however much you would like to give to your graduate)
  • 2 – 1/2″ spool of ribbon, color of choice
  • 1/8″ spool of black ribbon for the garland
  • 1 – 6mm Easy Tear Tape double sided, the smaller the better
  • 40 large beads for spacing
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun (optional)
  • Clothespin, to hold down the money (if you are doing this yourself)
  • 4 Cardstock papers, color of choice (not pictured)
  • paper clip – loop it to make into a needle like-thing.

One thing that I wish I did in advance was to look up the different ways/versions other crafty people folded their money.  My inspiration was from this website: Pam @Money Lei: How To Make Money Lei

After that initial inspiration,  I went to a youtube and specifically: Jack Toupus

He folded the money a bit smaller and said it to worry if it is not perfect.  So I definitely encourage you to follow his style!  First, fold the money in half, hotdog style.  Then turn the bill around, and fold the short end, accordion style.  Try to fold at the back of the dollar bill, so you can see the border (white part) as your guide.
I then put the strings in the middle, held together with a cardboard and clothes, so I can tie around the money easily. (I mean, you could use your teeth if you wanted to, but that’s unsanitary, lol! ) Afterwards, I cut small strips of the double-sided tape and put them on the edge.  Open the opposite side, like a fan, and press together the edge for them to stick.

 

Make sure to do the same with the cardstocks.  The size must be the same as your dollars. You can measure them out on your paper trimmer: 6″ x 2.5″

Fold them like an accordion-fan style.  The slimmer/smaller, the better looking the flower leis will look.  When folding the cardstock, they are thicker.  I highly recommend using a hot glue gun, instead of regular glue or double sided tape.

Now imagine how you want the look of your lei to be.  You can make it as simple as:

  • ABCABC (orange paper, money, blue paper, orange paper, money, blue paper)

Or complicated, or really, just a mirror image of half of the necklace, which was what I did:

  • brown bead, string in 5 beads
  • Set 1, four times
    • money
    • orange bead
    • money
    • blue bead
  • money
  • orange bead
  • blue paper
  • orange bead
  • orange paper
  • orange bead
  • blue paper
  • orange bead
  • Set 2, three times
    • money
    • blue bead
  • Set 3, two times
    • money
    • orange bead
  • Repeat steps going backwards (see above)..
  • Set 4, two times
    • money
    • orange bead
  • Set 5, three times
    • money
    • blue bead
  • money
  • orange bead
  • blue paper
  • orange bead
  • orange paper
  • orange bead
  • blue paper
  • orange bead
  • money
  • orange bead
  • Set 6, four times
    • money
    • orange bead
    • money
    •  blue bead
  • brown beads, string 5 brow beads
  • tie off with a ribbon

And here you have it!  It’s manly, well as manly as you can get (considering it’s a lei) versus flowers.   And everyone loved it:).  My cousin was a happy camper.

Family pictures:

 

But wait, there’s more!  

I’ve showed this to my client.  She loved it and I made a lei for her son.  Their school colors were maroon and mustard yellow.  Since Michaels did not have the ribbon I would have normally chosen, I’ve decided to use these:

  • 1/8″ mustard yellow riboon
  • 1/2″ maroon ribbon

Similar layout with the steps above, I just added an extra color of maroon.  I loved this also!

EVENT: a royal, peacock themed cocktail hour

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Theme: Peacock
Colors: Bronze, Teal, Turquoise, Purple, and Azul

I was super excited when I was asked to create some Cocktail Hour signs for my friend’s wedding.  When they reached out, the couple said that they would totally  understand if it was too much to ask or if I was too busy to do it.  Are you kidding? I love these two, and I said of course I would love to!

The “tricky part” was that they wanted me to come up with the signs all on my own, because they trusted my creativity.  While I was flattered by their confidence, I needed some type of direction. This wasn’t some weekend party, this was their WEDDING! And I wanted it to be something that they’d really love.

I needed some inspiration so I looked no further than my husband’s custom wedding attire (he was one of the groomsmen) which was teal and bronze.  That was my starting point and I built my initial vision around those colors.   Eventually, after much begging and pleading with them on what the theme and style of their wedding would be.. they gave me a sliver of info– – peacocks!  So I let my creative mind run with it even further.

To be honest, I found that making the wedding decor was very therapeutic for me.  I was really happy that what I was creating, would displayed on their special day.  It meant a lot to me to have this role in the wedding of two people that I really care about. Little did the bride-to-be know, that it was my goal for her to really love and be really blown away with my work. So I kept in contact with the groom-to-be, Raj, regarding my progress. I could not have been happier when I saw their reaction to what I had made. The look on her face (and his) said it all.  My heart swelled with satisfaction.  My mission – completed.

I recently took an expensive calligraphy class.  Was it worth it, heck yes!  The teacher, Michelle Fritz was an amazinggggg and patient teacher (www.meanttobecalligraphy.com). I wish I could afford to take her continuing class again *hint hint to my husband*.   If you live around the Washington, DC area, I highly recommend you take her 3-hour class!  You can also follow her on Instagram, her work is beautiful.

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So, with some light practice from her calligraphy class and viewing tons of videos and photos from Instagram (for inspiration), I came up with these signs below.  I love my Letraset Markers (found on amazon.com).

 

I also added some felt flowers, in addition to the  peacock feathers, to give it a nice romantic feel. The result, awesomesauce!

 

 

 
The day of the wedding:

 

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Here’s my outfit that the couple’s cousin was soooo kind to let me borrow.  Isn’t it lovely?  I wanted to repay her by making a nice sign for her family (So if you are reading this, the offer still stands ^___- ).  Oh yea, my son is on the right.. I had to keep him distracted, while I got ready.

Henna Art:
Beautifully drawn by Ayesha Shakeel www.facebook.com/uniquemendhidesigns

 

 

 

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Need me to plan and setup an event for you in the DMV area?
Would you like me throw an event just like this for you?  I can make this happen for your special occasion!  Feel free to reach out to me via merrylavenderevents@gmail.com or the form below.

 

Bon Voyage! Graduation Party


If you want to know where I get my inspiration from, it’s my auntie. If you think I’m crafty and have an eye for all things pretty..my auntie is that and more.

Recently I stayed at her house for a weekend. She was away with her kids (my cousins), for a sporting event. One of my cousins qualified for the state finals! Yay him!! During my stay, my son and I played in each room and some boats in her sun room caught my eye. They were big, and upon a closer look, they were definitely handmade. Knowing my auntie, she was the one who made these. I told her they were fabulous and she did a great job! I didn’t even asked if she bought it. I just knew.

She created these sailboats for a girls graduation party. She insisted that they were rushed, but since she’s so talented, her “rushed” still came out amazing. With her permission, I am going to share with you the process of how she created these sailboats!  They are pretty easy to make as long as you have some time and patience.

Materials:
– lots of hot glue sticks

– glue gun

– scissors

– ruler, pencil

– rope/twine

– fluted polypropylene “plastic cardboard” 36″x72″

– two different girth of wooden dowels

– drill (to drill a hole) *optional*

– grommets

– sewing machine, white thread

– miniature anchors decor

– alphabet stickers

– collection of seashells
Step 1:
Plan accordingly, and gather your materials. You can get your plastic cardboard at Home Depot.

 

Step 2:
Your hands will hurt from all the measuring and cutting is the boards. This was trial and error. Cut to the size of the sail boats. You can make the insides anyway you’d like.  Now get ready to go through bags of hot glue sticks! 

 

 

Step 3:
You will need to make hole in the middle of the boat, to anchor the wooden dowels as your sternum. Upon closer look, you can see many rectangles plastic cardboard a were used to make the wooden dowels sturdy. Glue as necesary.
  

 

Step 4:
Use your hot glue gun and apply the jute rope around the rim of the sailboats.  Snip off the excess rope.

 

Step 5:
Cut out a piece of paper, to see how you’d like the shape of the sail flags to look. Afterwards, use the paper as a guide, and trace them onto the fabric. Here, my aunt liked the patterned chevron look.

 

Step 6:
You can whip out your sewing machine and serge the edges for a clean look. You can forgo the sewed edges, if you do not have a sewing machine. Next, take the grommets and apply them to the three corners of the sails. Here, she used rope to tie onto the wooden dowels for a more realistic looking. Use the anchor decorations to spruce up the look of the sails boats.

  

 

Upon entering the party, the kids walked underneath the arched balloons. She created a flag banner for a warm invitation to the party!


  

Max’s 1 Year – Where The Wild Things Are

My original plan for my son’s first birthday was to have a space-themed party, but after I read him the book, Where The Wild Things Are, I knew I had to change everything.  For two weeks, my sole purpose was to DIY on the decorations. It became a routine, craft by day (at work, during downtime), and bake at night.

Here is one of the crafting projects that I worked on during the day:

     While I’ve always been a fan of streamers, I really fell in love with the fringe streamers. It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s actually really simple and easy. Plus I saved money by making this myself. All you need are large sheets of folded paper crepe. I purchased these from Amazon.com.


The fun is the unraveling part!

 

Next up, i wanted to create a personalized name banner to affix to his high chair.  I wanted it to stand out so it would complement his smash cake. However, having a one year old and doing things pretty much on my own, my plan did not go the way I had wanted.  However, I did find a place for this elsewhere.


Upon the entry way/foyer:


Over to your left you would see Max’s monthly pictures:


I wanted a have a craft station for the kids, so I got some gable boxes and lots of Christmas foam stickers from Michaels.  As you can see, the tablecloth is not straight.. Since my son got a hold this area and wanted to yank them off.  I promise, it did look nicer and clean!


Here are a few pictures from the Virginia party:


  


And here’s a picture of my family! This second party (pictured below) was held in Houston. I was able to fly some of my party props with me.  You guys, after looking at a lot of these pictures and the overall look.. I realized that no matter how great your decor is, it’s important to dedicate enough time to carefully set up the decorations. Time was not on my side.  I certainly needed extra time to set up the decor/props/items galore to make it perfect.  Am I happy with the turnout, sure. Could it be better, totally.  Am I hard on myself, def. Raise your hand if you’re a type-A like me? *raises hand*

  

 

DIY: Mustache and Lips ~ Oh My!

mustache lips


I created mustaches and lips for my guests at my own Gender Reveal Party.  If I was in a pinch and didn’t have the time, I would have spent $15 or so on Etsy.  However, during the early part of summer 2014, I had just moved to Virginia. I had no job, little $$$ and plenty of time on my hands for DIY and crafts. This ended up being a fun project, they were really easy to make, and personally, a bit therapeutic for me.

With four, $0.33-$0.59 cents each felt fabric sheets and a bag of $0.99 cent bamboo sticks – you can create your own do-it-yourself mustache and lips.

Few extra tools needed to make this happen were:
– Elmer’s glue
– Hot glue gun
– Scissors
– Blank paper and pen/pencil
– Patience

I started off with a design of how I wanted the mustache and the lips to look.  I cut out the silhouette and cut the shapes out onto the fabric sheets. I was able to make 20 mustaches and 30 lips!  This project was a lot of fun and doesn’t break the bank. It was well worth it!

Then I took the pieces that were filmsy and had to make them stiff.  So I took a piece of a to-go container, added 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of Elmer’s glue and mixed it.  Afterwards, I placed each individual piece, dipped them into the mixture and laid them out onto the wax paper.

To speed up the drying process, I put the wet shapes onto my patio, and let them bake in the sun.  I ran some errands and came back to the dried shapes.

Soon, I was able to apply the bamboo skewer sticks onto the corner/side of the shapes – by using the hot glue gun.  Because we had kids coming over for the party, I snipped the pointy-sharp stick with scissors.

Ta-da~!  Your very own DIY mustache and lips prop for silly photos.  So you decide: buy these for over $15, or do it yourself for under $4.50.

cut to the size as needed

 

How to stiffen up the felt fabric:

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1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of Elmer’s glue

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blue mustaches baking in the sun!

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pink lips photo ready, pucker up!

 

 

Guests having fun with the props!

Gender Reveal Party ~ Baby Medina


https://www.pinterest.com/pin/460985711831760075/

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decor3Even before my pregnancy, I knew that I wanted to have a Gender Reveal Party.  It seems to be an increasingly popular trend these days, and a new wrinkle to the traditional baby shower. In addition to celebrating the forthcoming child, you the get the added bonus of learning the gender of your child with family and friends (usually in some type of creative way).

For a while, I stored away ideas and inspiration on my phone and Pinterest. When I learned that I was pregnant, my excitement grew because I was able to begin work on all of the ideas that I had stored away. The big day was on August 31st, and I knew that in order for my ideas to come to fruition, I needed months to make them happen.

I wanted our guests to be involved so I created a Cast Your Vote table. I went onto tinyprints and ordered an invitation. I built my inspiration around this color and design.  The theme colors were sky blue, pink, and white.

 

Invitation ~ My inspiration for design.
Invitation ~ My inspiration for design.

 

 

My checklist of essentials that I wanted to have at the party:

– Cast Your Vote table
– Dessert table
– Old Wives’ Tales area
– Photo Backdrop (instagram style)
– Prizes for the winners who guessed the right gender
– Buffet table

 

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Cast Your Vote! I hand drew with chalkboard marker paint. I LOVE how easy these markers are to use and how smooth they write.
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Hand made mustaches and lips for photo taking opportunities.  I’ll have a separate post of how you could make these!

 

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Ina Garten’s very own recipe of Beatty’s chocolate frosting. I absolutely love her recipes, so fail-proof!
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Lovely sugar cookies, made by yours truly. I had a lot of patience this time, to slowly decorate the crowns and whales. I adore the M’s.
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Partial view of the homemade desserts table setup.
dessert table, cast your vote table, and divider table
Voila!

 

Old Wives' Tales area ~ I made these for people who needed help with deciding if they think it is a girl or boy.
Old Wives’ Tales area ~ I made this as a “resource” for people who needed help with their guess.

 

The party was a success!  I loved the facial expressions and all of the compliments that I received from friends and family who have attended.

Photo backdrop, painted and oil pastel by yours truly.
Photo backdrop, painted and oil pastel by yours truly.

 

DIY:: Mustache and Lips here.

 

 

As you can see, we are having a BOY!  We are thrilled to finally know what the gender is and to finally be able to decorate the nursery.

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Get ready… set…
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Go! BLUE!!!
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Super excited~

 

Homemade:
20140906-094805.jpg – Italian wedding cookies (I tweaked the recipe to make the cookies softer)
– Vanilla cake mix with Ina Garten’s chocolate frosting recipe
– Pink and blue rice krispies
– My cousin’s homemade crackled lemon cookies (divine!)
– Sugar cookies
– Red velvet cake
– Team Pink in a milk bottle – Muddy Buddies

 

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Would you like me throw an event just like this for you?  I can make this happen for your special occasion! Feel free to reach out to me via message.