Friday, December 1, 2017

Harry Potter Baby Shower


One thing I love doing is throwing my friends baby showers. It's such a great celebration of life and love, and is full of friends and family having great fun!

Earlier this year, I helped plan a Harry Potter baby shower for one of my dear friends, and I had a blast putting everything together. Hopefully I can help inspire anyone else looking to plan one too!

Most of my ideas and inspiration came from my Pinterest board here, so be sure to take a look!



Displaying jars of candy in Hogwarts house colors is a fun and tasty way to greet your guests!



A cute Hedwig adds ambiance, and works as favors for the little ones! (Owl sold here for $11)


I wanted to make some colorful potions for decorations, but didn't want to spend a ton of money. My solution was to look at my local thrift store for some unique looking jars, and then to fill them with dishsoap samples from the dollar store!


If you want to make them extra magical, add some glitter! I used some of the edible pearl dust that we also put in our pensieve punch in the blue soap, since it was more translucent than the purple or pink


I found some fabulous potion labels from Saving with Sarah, and aged them with tea. It's a super easy and useful trick that I used for the labels, and for the Hogwarts acceptance letters I made. 


Aging Paper Instructions:
Make some black tea or coffee, then line a cookie sheet with foil. 
Print out paper to be aged, place on cookie sheet, then pour tea/coffee over it. 
Soak for about 5 minutes (the longer they soak, the darker they'll be). 
Drain off the liquid. 
Place the paper in the oven at 200 degrees for about 7 minutes, or until the edges start to curl. 
Boom! Amazing aged paper!


I wrote custom Hogwarts acceptance letters for both the mom and dad to-be, and for the baby to come! I created my own letters using the free font Magik, the Hogwarts crest from the Harry Potter Wiki, as well as their image of Albus Dumbledore's signature


One craft I had always wanted to do was to recreate the winged keys from the first book. I already had a collection of skeleton keys, but you can find a variety of options online (Amazon sells a batch of 30 for only $8 here).


 I cut out rectangles of about 1" by 3" of cream colored tulle, then simply tied them in a knot around the key. I then used clear thread (you can also use fishing line) to hang them at different heights from an embroidery hoop (also found at my thrift store). 


We also sorted guests into houses as they came in by shouting the house name really loudly (RAVENCLAW!!), a la the Sorting Hat, and then bestowing small felt ties that I made from the tutorial over at One Sweet Appetite


They each have tiny hair clips on the back to attach to shirts without creating holes!



Some of our friends made bunting that spelled out "Welcome Little Muggle", which I thought was adorable.


A great interactive gift idea I came up with was a personalized ABC book! I designed and cut out 26 pages with letters on them (A is for...) and let the guests draw and color in their ideas!


You're more than welcome to use my documents for the ABC book itself here, and for the geeky suggestions sheet (since I know that all knowledge of the anything immediately disappears when someone asks).


After the shower, I took the pages home and laminated them. After binding them, I created a custom cover and presented it to the parents!


And what would a party post be without mentioning the food!


Butterbeer! (AKA Iced tea or any of the million recipes online) 
Plus some Quidditch googles (borrowed from my steampunk Tinkerbell)!


House cookies!


Professor Sprout's veggies, Polyjuice potion (made from green ice cream, 7Up, and some edible pearl dust), Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, and Ollivander's Pretzel wands.

There was also a rousing game of Quidditch pong!


Slytherin won, but only through some questionable strategies (true to house form).

Some Harry Potter themed gifts complete the party perfectly!

 


I hope that helped inspire you to create your very own magical Harry Potter party! Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Baby Geekling Announcement!



So we are so exciting to be welcoming a little geekling into the world late August 2016. Since we live in the age of adorable announcements for everything (I mean, engagements, weddings, baby pictures, you name it!), I felt like I should take a stab at it as well!

I wanted to do something that reflected both my and Jim's personalities, and our collective geekdom. I searched the internet for a while, but didn't find any geeky baby announcements that I really loved. I then realized that I really wanted to do something with books, since reading shaped so much of who I am today.

Jim and I collected books that meant a lot to us, and then I recruited my amazing friends Austin and Betsy, who did with my Cinderella photoshoot with me, to take the pictures. I think it turns out amazing!

Jim's stack (top to bottom):
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan (Actually mine, but added for height equity)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Very much his, he has read it more often and has more opinions of it than I do!)
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (Book 1 of the Wheel of Time series)
Macroecomics by Greg Mankiw
American Rifle: A Biography by Alexander Rose
Chosen By God by RC Sproul
Coaching Football's 46 Defense by Rex Ryan, Jeff Walker
Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion edited by John T McNeill
The Feynman Lectures on Physics by Richard Feynman
Jazz Fakebook (Sheet music for jazz classics)

My stack (top to bottom):
The Princess Bride by William Goldstein
The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien
The Return of the King by JRR Tolkien
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (Previously owned by my great-grandmother)
Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
Victory in Christ by John Bunyan
Andersen's Fairy Tales (Given to my grandfather by his grandmother)

Baby Geekling's stack (top to bottom):
Tales of Winnie-The-Pooh by AA Milne
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry
Fairies of the Garden by CM Barker (Given to me by my great-grandmother)
The BFG by Roald Dalh
Holy Bible (A traveler's Bible from 1860, and the foundation of all teaching)

Monday, February 1, 2016

What I Made In 2015

Hello All! It's once again time to look back over 2015 and see what I made this year!

Costumes
Gifts

Costumes:

Cinderella:


 

Pattern: Simplicity 1728, plus personal modifications

Materials: 1 yard satin for bodice, 1 yard for bodice lining, 2 yards interfacing, 3 yards boning for bodice, 5 yards satin for patterned base skirt, 30 yards organza for 5 circle skirts

Time: A little more than a month! Started February 8th, wore for the movie premiere March 15, finished properly for Denver Comic Con on May 25

This is the project I'm the most proud of. It challenged me on a technical level, and I learned several new skills! Based off of the blue dress Lily James wears in the 2015 live-action Cinderella movie, and made especially for the premiere, it's definitely one of my favorites. See my full tutorial here!

Agent Carter Gold Dress:

 

Pattern: Vogue 8470

Materials: 5 yards of gold lame fabric, 3 5/8 yards of lining

Time: About two weeks, working on it sporadically. Finished August 29th

Inspired by one of the many fabulous dresses Haley Atwell wears in the amazing 1940's style tv show Agent Carter, I thought this would be a great dress to make and wear for our anniversary! There are still some elements I'd like to tweak and add, but overall, I'm really proud of it! You can see my tutorial for it here.

Female Luke Skywalker (A New Hope):



Pattern: None, but inspired by Shorelle's amazing fanart of genderbent Luke

Materials: Thrifted tall suede boots, kahki pants, a blue lightsaber, and a bathrobe with a microfiber lining (much appreciated since the temperature was about 15 degrees that night!)

Time: A few days to pick off all the embroidery on the bathrobe, then one day to modify the robe and complete the costume.

Worn for the premiere of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, this outfit was completely thrifted from one trip to my local charity shop! The only things I had to change was removing embroidery from the bathrobe, shortening the overall length and lengthening the sleeves. I cut out pockets from some old purses I had, then attached them to a belt, and voila!


Gifts:

Game of Throne Crochet Plushies:



Pattern: Game of Thrones: Four House Sigils Set by i crochet things on Ravelry

Materials: Less than one skein each of red, grey, brown, bronze, tan, cream, and black yarn

Time: Worked on them on and off over several months, finished October 1st

When we found out that some very dear friends of ours were having a baby, we were overjoyed. I knew that they both loved Game of Thrones (in fact, the dad commissioned the Petyr Baelish costume for Halloween last year!), and wanted to do something special for their baby boy.

I found this pattern online and thought it was perfect. You can see the pattern and my modifications to the plushies here.

Galentine's Day Gifts:



Pattern: None

Materials: One yard of jersey or knit fabric, plus one piece of felt for the heart

Time: 1-2 hours

Made for my sisters in celebration of Galentine's Day, I appliqued felt hearts onto jersey fabric in contrasting colors, then made them into infinity scarves! A super fun and easy project to show my sisters how much I love them. See my full tutorial (and explanation of Galentine's Day) here!

Faux Taxidermied Animals:


  

Pattern: Piggy Lovey Crochet Pattern ($4.50)Crochet Bunny Lovey PatternGrace: Crochet Elephant Comfort Blanket Pattern

Materials: One skein each of light pink, dark pink, and grey yarn

Time: Worked on and off for a few months, finished May 22nd

I was commissioned by one of my coworkers to crochet some faux taxidermied animals for her baby's nursery. Since her colors were pink and grey, we went with a pig, a rabbit, and an elephant. The rabbit and pig actually have pipe cleaners built into their ears, so you can move into different positions.

Elephant Lovey:


 


Pattern: Grace: Crochet Elephant Comfort Blanket Pattern

Materials: Less than one skein each of light pink, dark pink, and grey yarn

Time: About a week

This elephant lovey pattern is actually one of my favorites to use. I made one as a gift for my coworker's baby shower, to match with her other animals, and was inspired by this post to add matching pink lines around the blanket. So you can see how versatile this pattern is, I included another lovey I made last year for another friend's baby shower, in different colors and with crochet hearts and a star as decorations, plus a scalloped edge.

Heart Pillow:


Pattern: None, just cut a heart shape out of fleece, and sewed two inches away from the edge so I could cut it for fringe.

Materials: Half a yard of purple fleece, and of pink fleece

Time: Two to three days

Some of you may remember the fleece football pillow I made last year for a little boy, complete with his name embroidered on it (courtesy of my new embroidery machine). Well, his sister loved it so much, she wanted a 'name pillow' of her own for her birthday! You can't quite see the embroidered name in the pictures, but it's there in pink thread on the purple side of her heart pillow. She was really excited about it!

Scrabble Names for Mother's Day:



Pattern: None

Materials: Letter tiles, Shadow box frame

Time: 5 hours

This was actually an idea I'd had for a while, and I thought that it'd be a perfect mother's day gift for my mom, since most of her children are scattered hither and yon. I ordered letter tiles off of Amazon, then played around in Excel to try and find the perfect configuration of names. I bought a shadowbox from Hobby Lobby, hot glued the letters on, then decorated the edge in silver sharpie. In case you can't read the inscription, it says "No matter where we are... we will always be connected."

Handmade Disney Mugs:

 
 
 
 

Pattern: Freehanded Beauty and the Beast Broadway logo, other inspirations collected on Pinterest

Materials: Thrift store mugs, ceramic paint marker or glass paint marker (*do not use regular Sharpies*)

Time: A few hours

One very exciting event from 2015 is that I become one of the officers for the Denver chapter of Geek Girl Brunch! Geek Girl Brunch is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, it's a bunch of girls who meet about once a month for geeky-themed brunches! There are chapters all over the world, so if you'd like a place to make new friends, I highly recommend looking in your area for one! I made these for our very first brunch, which was Disney themed. Despite the fact that there are 101 thousand pins on Pinterest that just say 'use Sharpies and heat in oven!' this does NOT work. It washes right off. Use ceramic paint pens from a craft store, which will make them dishwasher-safe!

Guardian of the Galaxy Cornhole Bags:

 

Pattern: Cornhole How To

Materials: 1/2 yard orange duckcloth, 1/2 yard blue duckcloth, resin pellets

Time: 3-4 hours

One of the stranger traditions out in Denver is the popularity of lawn games that have migrated over from the Mid-West. Something I would call 'bean bag toss' and consider a children's game is apparently actually called 'cornhole' and is a very serious adult competition during parties. One of my friends commissioned me to make custom cornhole bags that matched the colors of Peter Quill (aka Starlord's) ship, the Milano, to go with the cornhole boards he made. Once I learned all about regulation size and weight they needed to be, as well as the correct fabric to be used, it was a fairly easy project.

Fabric Organizer:

 

 


Materials: 3 pieces of 6' Slot Angles, 6 wooden 5/16" dowels 48" long cut in half, screws, washers

Time: One day to paint and let dry, then 2 hours to put up

After years of just stuffing my fabric in a variety of bins and bags and hoping I remember what I have, I stumbled upon this diy fabric organizer on Pinterest. I liked it because it was cheap, flat against a wall, easily accessible, and I wouldn't fall into the 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality with my fabric any more. One trip to the hardware store later, we spray painted the slot angles white, then when they were dry, Jim helped me install and assemble my organizer! I count this as a gift to myself. ;)

Waterproof Carseat Cover:



Materials: 1.5 yards of soft fleece for inside, 1.5 yards of polyurethane laminate (PUL) for the waterproof exterior, 1/4 yard cargo netting for the window, 10″-12″ of velcro

Time: 7-8 hours

One thing I wanted to make for the same baby boy who got the Game of Thrones plushies was a waterproof carseat cover, especially since the Denver winter can get very cold and wet! I loved this pattern since it was waterproof, but also had a window to check in on the sleeping baby. I bought PUL with a dinosaur pattern, and then found a super fun matching dinosaur fleece for the inside. Instead of buying cotton for the straps, I simply used some of the leftover fleece. The only thing I would change about the tutorial is fold the fabric in half and then half again, so you're dealing with a much more manageable size than the full 48" by 50".

Manly Apron:





Materials: 1 1/4 yard of main fabric, 1/2 yard for pocket, 3 yards twill tape

Time: 4-5 hours

My mom let me know that my dad would really enjoy a custom apron to wear when cooking, so I decided to make him one for Christmas! I found some really great fabric with the blue background and white triangle pattern, and some fun belt buckle style fabric for the pocket (perfect for wearing around the ranch!) You can see him modelling it above (I think he has a natural talent for it!)

Bobble Beard Beanie:

 

Jim and I modeling our enviable beards.


Materials: One skein beanie color yarn, one skein beard color yarn

Time: 5-6 hours

Earlier this year, I gave one of my friends several crafts to choose from for her Christmas gift. I had a feeling she'd enjoy the bobble beard beanie, and I was right! It was my first time making a beard, but since I had make an entire baby blanket using the bobble stitch years ago, it was pretty fun and easy! It's easy to tuck the beard up into the hat to wear as just a beanie, but also perfect for keeping your face warm!