Sometimes I wonder why I have to do everything in excess. A perfect example:
While trying to come up with some decorating ideas for the upcoming BBQ, I came across Martha Stewart’s Tissue Pom Pom Tutorial. Easy enough you say. Correct. Except I ordered a ream each of hot pink and lime green tissue paper. Umm, that’s 960 sheets. That means I can make 96 of these giant tissue pom poms!
7 tissue pom poms done…only 89 more to go. If I’m to get them done by the BBQ (Saturday, August 7th), I’ll need to make at least 4 a day. What the heck am I thinking? LOL
Wish me luck, because I’m going to need it!
Sometimes I get ahead of myself. Case in point…Earlier last month, I threw my son his Birthday party even though he won’t turn 8-years-old until December 18th.
My reasoning was simple. Last year, only 6 kids showed up for his party, because most were either away for the holidays or had prior commitments. Jumping the gun this year paid off—22 of Joseph’s friends showed up for his James Bond 007 Birthday Party at The Children’s Workshop (aka Secret Service Headquarters…LOL).
I made cool James Bond party invitations instructing the attendees to RSVP or their message would self-destruct. I enclosed the invitations in brown kraft manila envelopes addressed to each “Agent” and stamped “TOP SECRET” in red ink.
Since I have a laminating machine, I made personalized secret agent ID badges for each kid.
Then I needed to come up with some Bond games. So I made some faux dynamite using paint rollers covered in tissue paper. I spray painted them red, then added black electrical tape, gold metal bolts, some colored wires and even a timer.
And let me tell you, it’s so much more fun to play Pass the Dynamite than a boring Hot Potato. The kids thought it was a BLAST!
Since I was feeling criminal, I also made a faux bomb. Using a Styrofoam sphere and a 2-liter bottle cap, I spray painted them with black chalkboard paint (don’t use regular spray paint as it will disintegrate the Styrofoam…lesson learned). Glued the bottle cap and a skein of red yarn to the sphere…and there you have Defuse the Bomb. I cut the length of the yarn to about 50 feet and had the kids literally tangle themselves up with it. The one who got the end of the “fuse” (aka yarn) won a prize.
I was tempted to leave the kids tied up in the fuse (aka yarn), but their parents were present (not that a few parents didn’t suggest I do so).
The kids drank fruit punch out of Martini glasses! And no, I didn’t spike the punch.
You can’t have a James Bond party without a little illegal gambling. So, of course, the kids played a little roulette!
Instead of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, I opted for Get the Bull’s Eye on the Body. I printed a free target at Target Printer and brought it to my local printer to enlarge on blueprint paper. Originally, I had planned to use a plastic dart gun, but the darts wouldn’t stick to the target paper. So we ended up using stickers with the kids’ names on them.
No Bond party would be complete without loot bags. I found so many cool things–cell phone flashlights, poker chip playing cards, whoopee cushions, glow necklaces, ID badges, million dollar chocolates, money notepads, play money, regular playing cards, flashlight pens, spy sunglasses, disappearing ink, light-up dice bounce balls, bomb bags, sequined bow ties, and mini Magic 8 balls!
Several parents told me their kids said it was the best birthday party they had ever been to (which, of course, made me BEAM!)
And like my Socialite Sister™ said, “Only you could make underage gambling and explosives fun!”
Dear Martha: Sometimes you are just so creative! I have to say I was quite impressed with the sewing-themed Christmas decorations (Whimsical Workshop) I recently spotted at my local Kmart store in NYC. Who would have thought to use a sewing tape measure with balls of yarn as tree garland? Too clever!
Not to mention your other garland of grosgrain ribbon, spools of thread and lots of button! Ingenious!
Love the mini wreath made with spools of thread and tied with a sewing tape measure!
I giggled when I saw your sewing basket ornament complete with knitting needles!
Loved the Button Christmas Ornaments, too!
And that flocked velvet ribbon with images of stitching and buttons—too cute!
However, my excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I realized my sewing room is PINK, Black and White. Seriously, I dislike anything RED for Christmas. The Chartreuse Green I can live with, but not the RED.
Looks like I’ll have to make my own sewing-themed decorations for my Pink sewing room. But Martha, thanks for the inspiration!
Can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner! Here’s a few things to make for the holidays!
I love this method to making stockings! How clever!
What a quick and easy project. All you have do is be able to sew a straight line.
With an embroidery machine, you can personalize it~
These socks are simple to sew. I’ve made dozens over the years.
Need a gift for your favorite Shutterbug? How about this neat Patchwork Camera Strap?
Love this easy Laptop Sleeve tutorial! I really need to make one of these for Marielle.
Hope everyone is doing well!
EDITED: WE HAVE A WINNER
True Random Number Generator Result: #19
Erica is the winner of the Silk Spider Web Rose Kit. Please email me at email@example.com with your full name and mailing address!
I’ve made dozens of tiny silk ribbon spider web roses, but I needed something BIG for the front of a Christening gown. And they say, bigger IS better, so I made these simple roses and thought you, too, would like to make them. As an incentive to get you to try this easy tutorial, I’m giving away a kit with all the supplies you need to make these roses yourself.
Ok…so let’s get started!
First let me say, you can make your silk rose as big or small as you want. It all depends on:
I made a quick video tutorial to help. Written instructions can be found below.
Laying the Foundation
Hoop some background fabric in your embroidery hoop.
Now decide how big you want your rose to be. Take any circular item such as a can, cup or small container. Trace it onto the hooped fabric using a pencil or disappearing ink pen. Mark 5 points in the shape of an upside-down star and your center point like this:
Thread your needle with matching thread. Come up at point A. Go down at point B. Come up at the center point (pictured below)catching the A-B thread:
Go down at point C creating a fly stitch:
Now come up at point D and down at the center point. Then come up at point E and down and the center point. Now tie a knot on the underside (don’t cut the thread off just yet). You’ll now have 5 spokes.
Creating the Rose
To make a fabric strip, cut into the selvage edge of the fabric and tear it to the other selvage edge. You want frayed fabric strips…adds more character…LOL. Take your fabric strip and secure one short end to the center of the star using the needle and thread. Leave your needle and thread on the underside of the hoop. You’ll need it at the end to secure your rose to the foundation fabric.
Now attach a safety pin to the other side of your fabric strip. This will enable you to easily thread the fabric strip through your spokes.
Start weaving your fabric strip over and under the spokes in a circular motion. Keep twisting your fabric strip as you create the rose.
Once you have covered all of your spokes, complete the rose by tucking the end of the fabric strip under the rose and removing the safety pin.
Using the needle and thread that is attached to the underside of your hoop, secure the rose with a few stitches.
Cut out your finished rose making sure NOT to cut your foundation spokes. Sew it to a garment, glue it to a hair clip or use it to decorate a tote. The options are endless. You can even create these roses directly onto your items.
Now, don’t think you can only make these roses with silk fabric. Try quilter’s cotton, chiffon, organza, cotton knit, velvet, beaded satin, spandex or even tulle.
Various Uses for Silk Spider Web Roses
Silk Spider Web Rose Kit Giveaway
To win the supplies you’ll need to make these roses, post a comment and I’ll use a random number generator to pick the winner on Friday!
I’d love to see the roses you make, so please post a link and share your pics!
H is for HANDMADE secret stash (black silk dupioni zippered case).
E is for EDIBLE–delicious Salted Caramel Sticks from Have It Sweet confections.
And Lady M™ added a little tag requesting I share it with Marielle. Fat chance. Sorry Myrinda!
A is for AROMA…my absolute favorite scented candle – Trapp’s Fresh Cut Tuberose!!! Funny thing is Lady M™ posted on Facebook requesting help in finding Trapp candles. I suggested she get them online where I buy my candles, but Myrinda insisted she needed them right away. LOL…now I understand why! She totally tricked me! I had no idea it was for ME!
Would you believe her husband, Chops, found this for me? Love that man! I wasn’t sure if it was A for Aroma or E for Edible, because it’s both! LOL!
T is for THRIFTED…OMG! I love this wire dress form!!! Lady M™ knows how much I LOVE dress forms!!! PERFECT!
A big, big THANK YOU to my West Coast Counterpart! Myrinda is just one of those people who really gets me. You’re awesome Lady M™!
UPDATED: RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING GUIDE FROM THE CPSC AT 1:23 AM TODAY!:
Nothing like waiting until last minute? Unbelievable!
Not sure how the rest of you feel, but this whole CPSIA stuff continues to mentally and physically DRAIN me! I spend a tremendous amount of time reading, bewildered, rereading, twittering, disseminating information, testing, retesting, and banging my head against the wall.
It has all knocked the life out of me. Some think it’s no big deal. But the reality of it is another story.
Read the latest 7 items from the CPSC from this past Thursday and Friday. Now before you get all excited and think you are off the hook, perhaps you should read some of the thoughts around the web:
(Note: Yes, I did eat the tires off my first carriage….LOL!)
Honestly, I don’t have a game plan yet. I rented an XRF gun to lead test my boys’ clothing line and everything else in my sewing studio (over $400/day). All fabrics, elastics and trims passed. Problems occurred with some snaps and zipper heads (thankfully I have lead-free substitutes). Not sure if the reflection of the silver on these items gave me false-positive results. So what I’ll need to do now is have these items in question re-tested by a professional (more $$$).
But the good news is I can continue to sell for the next year. Yet, unless the CPSC decides to allow component testing next year, my business won’t be able to survive the high cost of third-party lab testing. Kathleen of Fashion-Incubator sums up how I feel.
Received a HUGE box yesterday from one of our newest members of our little secret society, Mary the Craft Addict! So glad we let Mary come sit with us at the cool table…LOL!
Pure Valentine’s Day bliss! Mary’s mission was to spell out the word HUGS! However, each letter needed to meet a certain criteria (see below).
H is for HANDMADE tulle corsage heart.
U is for candle to USE.
G is for GOODIES to eat….mini moon pies!
S is for SOMETHING NEW to make me smile all day long.
Doesn’t Mary rock? Thanks so much Mary! You’re the best!
Mary was the lucky recipient of The Magic Box giveaway I had last year. She and I became quick friends! Over the last year, she and I have shared many phone calls–I can’t tell you how she cheered me on through the launch of Downtown Joey and my daughter’s transplant. She is simply amazing.
Oh and it gets better! Mary (of Georgia) is supposed to be up in my neck of the woods this weekend (Staten Island, NY). Hopefully we can have bunch together on Sunday!
In the meantime, I need to find a gown for a formal affair on Friday night at the Rainbow Room in NYC and somehow sew/embroider a zillion baby gifts for my dear friend’s baby shower on Sunday afternoon. Did I mention the kids are home due to snow/ice?
(Kidney Toy available from Tracy Beans)
Marielle and I returned home late yesterday afternoon from Philadelphia–just two weeks after her successful kidney transplant! Woo hoo!
It is great to be home, but the reality of what’s ahead is daunting:
Overwhelmed is an understatement. Seriously. So please be patient with me while I dig out from under all this insanity…
oh and did I mention my home is TRASHED! Thanks Mr. Diva…great job. Not.