Day: February 20, 2018

case for making.

I learned how to make my own watercolors! Talk about taking my crafty skills to the next level. When I discovered Pinta PH I became interested in learning about making watercolors by hand. Then, I discovered Case for Making – and handmade watercolors is what they are all about! I quickly signed up for one of their watercolor making workshops. When I arrived to class these beautiful pigments were all lined up on the workshop table. AHH, I couldn’t wait to get started. Our instructor (and shop owner) Alexis shared her watercolor making wisdom and demoed one of the colors – fluorescent magenta! The watercolor base is a propriety mix of distilled water, gum arabic, and honey. You gradually add the base to the pigment and mix and smash until you get the right consistency. For the fluorescent pigments we also used a few drops of rubbing alcohol to get the pigment to mix well with the base. We each got to make two colors for the entire class. Each pigment behaves differently so it was …

butterfly in the sky.

I was lucky enough to see the monarch butterflies while they were at their overwintering site at Ardenwood Historic Farm in Newark. As part of “butterfly season” the farm hosts monarch butterfly info sessions in December and January where you can learn all about monarchs, their life cycle, their migration patterns, and how we can help sustain their habitats and food sources. I probably learned about the life cycle in grade school, but hearing about the different stages from an Ardenwood docent was a different experience and I learned so much! After the lesson, docents take you out to the overwintering site to see the butterflies in person. Butterflies in the sky! And they’re up in this tree, I promise! I’m not one for insects, but butterflies are a definite exception. Monarch butterflies are fascinating! They migrate from Canada down to California or Mexico (depending on what side of the Rocky Mountains they reside) and back. It takes 3-5 generations of butterflies to complete the full migration loop. Each generation lives for 2-8 weeks, but …

find your center(piece).

As part of golden anniversary decor, my parents requested that I incorporate their party favors into the centerpiece arrangements. Challenge accepted! My parents have an awesome garden. Not only is it filled with a bounty of fruits and vegetables, they’ve got a pretty great succulent collection as well. They decided they wanted to give succulent planters away as their party favors. My Dad made a mix of soil, perlite, and rocks, and they planted a succulent snipping for each of their guests. They cared for the baby succulents for two months prior to the party so the plants could grow into their new pots. I ordered business cards from Moo and used them as favor tags. Like our desert plant love pun? “I will never desert you.” (Yea, you like it.) The tags shimmered with gold foil, as did the twine. There were eight tables to be decorated. My sister, niece, and I brainstormed for weeks and we finally decided on using round mirrors to bring all the centerpiece elements together. We stacked smaller mirrors and …

donut worry.

Next up in work parties: a baby shower donut bar celebration! We picked up plain and sugar donuts, plus donut holes. No need to make fancy glazes; we shopped the ice cream topping section for ideas. Caramels and hot fudge work well; also, crushed nuts, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, crumbled cookies, and sprinkles. We also served cold brew coffee and iced masala chai with a few milk varietals to wash down the sweets. The coworkers got to creating their one-of-a-kind donuts! Of course we needed appropriate signage and decor as well. We put up a “Donut worry, Sam” sign for the dad-to-be, plus creepy baby photos; and scattered large paper sprinkles on the table. And we can’t forget the cute baby gear presents! Enter butt paste and nasal aspirator! My work party crew and I are getting really good at this social event planning thing. Looking forward to planning our next celebration!

anniversary cake.

We own this fun cake topper that we used for our wedding day. Hubs and I decided we would use it every year on our anniversary which means we will always have some kind of cake. Winning! Since we were in Portland for our one year anniversary I ordered a cake from the cutest local cake shop I could find: the Cakery. The Cakery is part of the Baker & Spice family and features artisan cakes and delicate sweets. They also sell baking tools and accessories – think cake stands, cookbooks, sugars, aprons – and celebration goods like cards, candles, and matches. You can purchase cake by slice, ready-made cakes, or order ahead with special inscriptions. We ordered a six-inch Mocha cake. It had four layers of devil’s food cake brushed with an espresso syrup, covered with buttercream and topped with a decorative flower. It was moist and rich and made for some fun photos. Yes, I brought a cake stand from home. Mission celebrate with cake accomplished! Happy chocolately anniversary to my boo. 🙂

hello kitty! 

I did it! I went to the Hello Kitty Cafe truck…finally! But it was completely on a whim. My parents were in town and heard about the Japantown Cherry Blossom Festival so we went. And we found parking! And we explored. And I saw the famous pink truck. And I left my family to stand in line. Ha! I was expecting a long wait considering the line length, but it went by fairly quickly. On the menu: Hello Kitty decorated cookies, mini cakes, macarons, and donuts; plus shirts and mugs. Deciding among the available desserts was easy: get one of each! We tried the donuts first (too sweet, but so cute!) and had the mini cakes for my birthday (triple layered and delightful!)! I sent the macarons home with my parents to give to my sister and niece, and the cookies keep for a little longer so we’re saving those for later. 😉 Where my fellow Hello Kitty fans at? Have you been to the truck or cafe? Share below!  

olympic crowns.

I found a bouquet of leaves at Trader Joes and I had to buy them. I wasn’t sure what I was going to make at the time, but it had craft written all over it. I knew we were going slacklining in a few days and I was totally feeling the Olympic spirit so I decided to make “olive leaf” crowns for everyone. Materials and tools: Stems of leaves, flexible/soft stems are best Floral wire Floral tape Wire cutters Pliers Scissors How to: Overlap stems and wrap along the stem with pieces of wire. Use the pliers to position the wire ends so that they are hidden / they don’t poke you. Keep adding stems and wire wrapping until you make a circle of leaves. You can add additional stems/leaves for a fuller crown. Wrap floral tape on top of the wire to secure and cover the wire. Add a little more floral tape to the pokey areas. Tahdah! Crowns for all! The view from up top. I’m a newbie to slacklining (just my third time), …