Halloween Around Here

{cuties & cute pumpkin}

I love getting our place fall ready.  Halloween decorations are some of my favorite, and this year I got started on October 1st so we’d have as much time as possible to enjoy them, because often I feel they come down too quickly after going up.    With our limited space (it gets really cozy in here) I like to focus on smaller decorative details, so I display quirky collections, like my Edward Gorey books/illustrations, and lots of pumpkins, I’m a sucker for them.  While October has again gone by quickly, we have already been able to fill our fall with wonderful seasonal activities and foods.    Last night was spent making a home cooked meal, rich with autumn flavors, and finishing one last Halloween treat I’ve had on my Must Make list (Can’t wait to share tomorrow!)  This time of year never goes unappreciated. Hope everyone has their costumes already for tomorrow’s Trick or Treating!

{skeleton malbec}

{remember Scary Stories?}

{creepy Edward Gorey card deck}

{… & his books}

{masquerade}

{♥}

{pumpkins & plants}

{fall foliage}

{vintage lights & paper wheels}

{black cat}

 

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Paper Flowers

{materials}

Here are those cute easy tissue paper flowers I made for Alli’s birthday party.  I love this project for three main reasons. First, you can play with so many fun colors, which everyone knows I can never get enough color.   Second, you can find so many versatile ways to decorate with them. And the third reason…no glueing required! (I tend to make a mess with glue)  In the past I have always made larger bouquets of these delicate paper flowers but, I decided to play around with the size and found that the smaller ones were quite cute.  By wiring the smaller paper flowers to wooden skewers I was able to cluster the flowers and create an ideal way of displaying them. I would recommend practicing making larger flowers first, they are just easier to work with as you figure out the steps (the smaller the flower the tighter the folds are to work with) However, once you’ve got it, it’s a piece of cake.  I have explained the steps I took below but here is a video that might show the process more exact.

  • Tissue Paper, in various colors
  • Scissors
  • Wire (I used thin jewelry wire for my smaller flowers and gold pipe cleaners for the bigger ones)
  • Wooden Skewers

1.

Start by cutting the tissue paper in squares.  For each flower you will need 6 squares cut to the same size. I found quickly that it was much easier to cut the squares to size if I kept the paper stacked together from the packaging and did it all at once before any of the sheets got separated.  I cut squares in several different colors in the same sizes, but also played with the sizes of the squares, the bigger the square the bigger the flower.

2.

Fan fold the paper then cinch the paper at the center with the wire.  Twist the wire together on the bottom side and at the middle of you fanned paper.  This creates your flowers two halves and the “stem”.

3.

With the fan folded flat in on itself, cut off each end in a rounded manner, so that when splayed out (as above) the paper has a scalloped look.  If you forget this step, which I did once in my frenzy of folding, the flower will be very boxy.

4.

Starting at the inside (twisted wire “stem” on bottom) peel away the first layer of tissue paper, separating it from the other 5 pieces, and gently pull it towards the center.  Repeat this step with each individual sheet, bringing each one toward the center and around the “petals” in front of it.     I suggest doing this one side at a time, so after finishing on the first half, repeat the same steps on the second half.

5.

Violà!

6.

The last steps, attaching the flowers to the wooden skewers, doesn’t take much explanation. I simply tied the flowers on tightly to the end of each skewer, then taking the long ends of wire, wrapped them around the skewer multiple times above and below the knot.

7.

8.

I repeated this step 2x as I found 3 flowers (2 small, 1 mini) enough to conceal the end of the skewer and their wires, and  this achieved the aesthetic appeal I was going for.  But even one flower on a skewer looks cute too so play around.  Also, if you have trouble wrapping/tying the  wire around the skewer (it can easily slip) I see no reason why a hot glue gun wouldn’t do the trick just as well (but like I said above, I just like to avoid really sticky/burnt fingers).

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner I might be making some more of these soon, nothing says fiesta faster than bright, vibrant florals, tart margaritas, and dancing.

Have fun with this project and hope everyone is having a fantastic Spring filled Saturday!

Pizza Party

{getting set up}

One of my best friends, Alli, celebrated her 30th birthday this week, a year worth commemorating with close friends, amazing food, and a youthful attitude as you wave good bye to your 20’s and welcome (hopefully) your 30’s.   When we started talking plans a while back, the ideas we threw back and forth were quite extensive and elaborate, thus more $$$.  But as her birthday approached, and plans still had yet to be solidified, the feeling that perhaps we were making too much out of what should be a relaxed and easy evening, arose in both of us.  Uncle’s Pizzeria opened at it’s new location in Old Town Fort Collins a few month ago, but Alli has been raving about their food since before the move. However, the location change placed Uncle’s right behind Alli’s work making it even easier for her to become a huge fan and familiar face with the staff and owner, Garrett.  It was Alli’s idea to simplify most everything by having her birthday dinner here.   Immediately I volunteered to decorate and bring a little pizzaz to the pizza party, and that is exactly the inspiration I used, a pizza party from back in the day, a little through back to all of our youths with an elegant and charming spin, making it oh so appropriate for us adults and our inner child.    I let the color palate be broad, but bright and full a spring hues.   I wanted the decorations not to take themselves to seriously,  just allowing them to provide fun, amusing, and whimsical eye candy for the table and guests.  I have learned, as many bloggers before me have shared, that gold spray paint can make anything look more fabulous and chic.  Who knew that children’s toys and tacky mini vases could turn into little treasures when covered in a healthy dose of metallic gold. I originally got the idea from this Heart-of-Light post (I also was inspired by this nifty little DYI), but quickly realized, as I dug threw the toy bins at the thrift store, how many more things would look awesome gold, like treasure trolls! Never would I have thought that I would revisit these tacky naked dolls again…until they were gold.  Or the mini gum ball machine my friend Alexis helped turn into a terrarium for the table. Magic.

I’ve been obsessed with simple tissue paper flowers for years.  They are so easy to make and create a colorful, festive vibe wherever they are used.  I didn’t have any original plans for the flowers when I started making them, i just started snipping away, making all sizes and colors.    Eventually the smallest flowers got wired to wooden skewers and placed in each gold mini vase, while the larger flowers (decided upon arrival) served as chair decorations. The birthday girl’s chair was extra adorned making her a floral throne.    Guest loved them so much most got snatched up at the end of then evening, I love when paper becomes so precious and appreciated.  (Flower Tutorial Tomorrow)

Everything else was a cinch.  Uncle’s turned out to be the perfect location for our grown-up pizza party, with their clean, natural, and open ambiance, and pizza that is quite spectacular, my favorites of the night being the Margarita and the Braised Pork pizzas.  Yum.  We ended the night with Alli’s homemade Chocolate Butter Cream Frosted Cake and goodie-bags. I filled the bags with retro candy, cheesy trinkets, and I made these  + more gold!   It was also wonderful to have very little clean up (thank you to Kate who took wonderful care of us all night), because there really is nothing like a wrecked kitchen or home to take the fun out of a party.

Everyone had a great time and I’d like to check this party off as a success! Happy Birthday Alli and I hope this year brings you the most exciting adventures and  great happiness! xo

{I love using herbs as center pieces, at the end of the night the host, or guests can take them home. This cluster contained Lemon Balm, Mint, and Rosemerry}

{an easy way to add color + fresh cut Lilacs}

{mini terrarium}

{good company + good laughs}

{homemade birthday cake}

{goodie bags}

{after math}

{end of a wonderful evening}