The feature on LilSugar.com !

Wow, it’s been awhile!!

Hi everyone!  I am super excited to back post today, on September 25th I was notified through Etsy that a blogger blogged about one of our knit items in my Etsy shop!  Not gonna lie, it was a big day.  Smiling.  So hard. Still.

The blog is called LilSugar, is geared toward parents and mostly moms, and is pretty interesting to look through.  So if you have a moment, check out her post!  Big thanks to Sarah Lipoff!!

Kids Custom Pencil Scarf @ www.lisaBbowman.etsy.com Kids Custom Pencil Scarf @ http://www.lisaBbowman.etsy.com[/caption%5D
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Neapolitan Cake, & my Mom’s birthday

Verbatim.  Me: Mom, what we should serve for your birthday, cake, pie, something else?  Mom: Cake.  Specifically cupcakes.  Me: What flavor do you want for these cupcakes?  Mom: Oh I don’t know…

And I said (in my head) WE WILL HAVE ALL THE FLAVORS!  And, Neapolitan cake was to be made.  I know I am not the first person to attempt colored or layered cakes, so this is not new.  But, I have to say it turned out cute enough that I wanted to show it off.  And, yes, yes you can do it too.

Starting off with 3 cake batters, Strawberry, Chocolate and Vanilla, I made an 8″ round of each.  I had SO much leftover batter that I thought I’d attempt the cupcakes as well, since they were specifically requested.  During their cooling, I made a Vanilla Bean Buttercream, as well as a Strawberry Buttercream, and a Milk Chocolate frosting.  I’m such an overachiever.

From the photos of the cake you can see that I layered the chocolate on the bottom, put down some of the Vanilla Bean Buttercream, then layered the Vanilla, put down some of the Strawberry Buttercream, and placed the Strawberry layer on top, and covered the entire thing in the Milk Chocolate frosting.  The assembled cake then went into the fridge while I started on the cooled cupcakes.

In my humble opinion, the candies you see on the tops of the cupcakes were proportionally too big.  I searched high and low for the old school Brach’s Neapolitan candies, they are the perfect square shape and I would have used those to decorate the cake and cupcakes.  Couldn’t find them to save my life – gone are the days of the Brach’s candy dispenser displays at grocery and drug stores.  Le sigh.  So, in a crazy what-are-the-odds kind of day, while with my daughter at Michael’s we spied the old school Neapolitan candy bars!!  Snapped up 4, and took home to cut up.  I knew I needed a piece to top the cupcakes, but couldn’t decide how to decorate the cake.  I had a ton of Strawberry Buttercream, but not as much Vanilla Bean or Milk Chocolate frosting left to use.  So, we came up with what you see in the pics below – I think it turned out super cute.  I failed to get a pic of the inside of the cupcakes, but it was exactly how it should be, as I had layered each type of batter on top of another.  They all tasted sublime too – a fresh Strawberry Buttercream is divine, by the way.  You should definitely try it out.  Even for a chocoholic like myself it warranted multiple tastings right out of the mixer bowl!!!

The Baby Shower

Holy Moly, I did a LOT of prep for my sister in-law’s baby shower.  I won’t lie though, it was a lot of fun to do.  I enjoyed all of it.  My husband thinks I spend too much time doing things for free… I respond with “I’m honing my skillz”.  I mean, you have to hone.  Otherwise you don’t have a portfolio to show anyone to actually GET work with.  Just sayin.

So, please enjoy the photos below.  There are a few that you may have already seen, so I will just link previous posts to them as they appear.

For the shower we had place settings decorated on a few tables and a buffet style lunch.  We also had a fun “Things that go pop” candy station table, with things like pop rocks and popcorn.  Just to poke fun at my sister in-law mostly, and have an excuse to pig on candy.  🙂    I tried to keep the theme from the baby shower invitation as much as possible for the decor, so you will see baby blocks, trains, and a few specific zoo animals.  I was able to pirate the actual image from the shower invitation from Papyrus’ website, which is probably a copyright infringement of some sort.  I can’t endorse it, but have at it!

DIY Baby Shower Kisses favors

I previously did a post on making your own personalized Hershey’s Kisses favors, while I was making things for a bridal shower.  I thought they turned out so well, that making them for a baby shower sounded just as cute.

You can view the original post here for a list of materials and specifics.

So, after searching the internet for cute zoo animal images, searching for cute polka dot patterns and pirating an image from the Papyrus website (from the shower invitation) – I had filled up about three different templates to print out.  There were 8 different stickers I landed on.  Eight may sound like a lot, but once the kisses are either in a bowl or scattered on a table, it’s wonderful to have more than one or two images to look at.  After printing a lot of sheets, I cut and punched till the cows came home.  I bought 2 big party sized bags of kisses, and got to work.  My sister in-law surprised us the same day with a visit, so she even helped with the ‘peel and stick’ process.  It took about two solid days, but we got through all of the candy and even managed to not eat very many in the process.  WIN!  Oh, and the candies turned out amazing too.

 

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DIY Baby Shower Paper Buntings / Banners

In my humble opinion, you can’t have a shower without a few banners or buntings.  You can’t.  You also must have onesies, everywhere.  In this case, it was my sister in-law’s baby shower.  She’s having a boy, so right off the bat I knew I needed a ton of blue stuff.  So off to Michael’s it was!

I’m kinda in love/obsessed with kraft paper these days, especially after throwing a bridal shower last month.  I previously bought a pack of letter sized kraft, so I already had kraft paper on hand.  For crafting.  Krafting?  LOL.  Assorted ‘dollar’ blue ribbon spools in the same shades of blue were picked up, as well as rustic garden twine.  I found adorable jolee’s stickers in baby shoe shapes, sticker letters, some adorable glitter letters in a teal-y blue, as well as “special delivery” balloon stickers.  I also found some really sweet packs of assorted papers, I’m pretty sure they were Shabby Chic label which I usually don’t care for – but I liked these even though some had florals on them.  I figured the shower really is FOR my sister in-law, it was okay to be a little girly with my blues.  So I justified.  The paper was square shaped, and I couldn’t immediately decide how to use it.  I knew I wanted to make a large sized bunting, so I cut large triangles out of kraft to spell out “baby zilli” with spacers on either size and to separate the words.  After cutting the triangles, I figured that I could glue the square blue paper sheets at an angle to cover about half of the kraft triangle.  I then applied the glittery sticker letters, and the baby stickers to the spacers.  After I laid out the entire banner, I decided the only way to apply the triangles to the twine was to sew it onto the paper triangles.  I used a super basic zig zag stitch on a really wide setting, and it turned out fabulous.

After finishing the large shower bunting, I had scraps left over that I was determined to use.  So a smaller banner was in order, for a special candy table that one of our party planners saw at another shower.  The table was to be labeled “Things that go pop”, and be filled with things like pop rocks, popcorn, ring pops, etc.  I used the scrap kraft, but discovered I could literally cover it completely by folding the patterned shabby chic paper over it.  So the kraft ended up being a stiffener in this case.  I’m okay with it.  I alternated paper patterns, and applied colorful sticker letters in alternating colors as well.  After sewing the first bunting together, I decided to sew this smaller banner together onto some of the blue grosgrain ribbon I picked up.  This turned out fantastic, until I realized I had sewn the letters backwards… which I then laughed at and ripped apart.  Only to be put back together in the correct order.  🙂  Don’t drink and craft, folks.  After finding out what candy had been bought, I opened up MS Word and put together a matching table tent for the “things that go pop” station table.  Pretty cute, if you ask me.

P.S. The “things that go pop” banner is on sale now at my shop on Etsy.com – Odds & Ends by lisaBbowman!

Baby Shower jam favors

I have a confession to make.  I’ve been crafting.  A lot.  I blame my sister in-law for this particular craft attack.  My sister in-law is due in late June, so we decided that a mid May shower was most appropriate and didn’t interfere with her law school schedule.  Yes.  Pregnant and in law school.  She’s amazing.

So when it came time to discuss shower themes and things, we had a dedicated group that volunteered for different projects and objectives.  My sister in-law really liked my other sister in-law’s wedding favors, which were small jams with the couples names’ on them.  It just so happened that my Mom’s orange tree just exploded – so orange marmalade was volunteered.  We found small 4 ounce Ball jars at an OSH store, and filled those.  I didn’t want to spend much more money if I could help it, and thought that there had to be a template out there for the standard labels that Ball jars come with.  Well, I was wrong.  There are plenty out there that you can buy, and that other folks have designed – but I found no straight templates.  So, I found a MS Word blank template online that was formatted for a 2.5 x 1.5″ label.  I played around with the formatting and put the train design from the invitation in the background.  And by golly, they turned out cute and I didn’t pay a thing to use the labels the Ball jars came with.

I finally decided on accents after trying out a few things on a sample jar.  I bought dollar ribbon at Michael’s in the same blues but different designs.  I also found very small “It’s a boy” charms in their baby section, which were 20 for $1.99 and the price was right 🙂 .  After tying a nice looking knot, I think they turned out pretty great.

TheJoyofSew.blogspot post

Hi everyone!  I am super excited today, I was notified through Etsy that a blogger and shop owner from the UK blogged about one of my stationery items in my Etsy shop!  Not gonna lie, big day.  Smiling.  So hard.

The blog is called the Joy of Sew, and is pretty interesting to look through.  So if you have a moment, check out her post!

Stationery set of 5 Sewn notecards by lisaBbowman on Etsy.com!

Stationery set of 5 Sewn notecards by lisaBbowman on Etsy.com!

The Bridal Shower!

And just as quickly as it started, it seemed like it ended – we all had a load of fun.  The food was amazing, the decor looked great and I was happy with the favors I doled out. 🙂

Here are the photos as promised, that I said I would provide in order to make all my latest DIY posts make sense.  Please feel free to email me if you’d like to know anything specific that I didn’t cover in the post.  Enjoy!

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ITEMS SHOWN IN SLIDESHOW:

Handmade Paper Party Garlands, post from 3/29/12

Personalized Candy Favors, post from 3/24/12

Personalized Teacup Candle Favors, post from 3/11 & 3/14/12

Personalized Matchboxes, post from 3/17/12

Planted Moss & Succulent Table Centerpieces, post from 10/17/11

Handmade Paper Party Garlands, DIY

I really had no idea that I’d do so many DIY posts, but that’s the way it is sometimes!  So, if you have kept up with my last few posts you’d know that I’m getting ready to throw a bridal shower.  Those that haven’t, go ahead.  I’ll wait.  🙂

This shower will be nothing too fancy, and somewhat small and intimate.  I have most of the favors completed, as well as my gift wrapped and ready.  I’m starting to clean the house, plan the menu and design a seating area in my family room where we’ll be stationed for most of the party.  In doing all of these things, I thought I needed some ‘shtuff’ for the walls and ceiling, as it’s not super festive yet.  I found a few images on pinterest and pinned them to my bridal shower board to try.  The original image inspiration for this party garland is here.  Unfortunately I don’t have a graduated circle cutter or anything like that, but I do have some Creative Memories blades and templates, so I used those.  I chose a bridal themed paper sheet from Paper Source, regular Kraft paper (on hand from the tags I made for candle favors), and a pack of gorgeous shimmery Blush transparent rose printed paper also from Paper Source.  You’ll notice that I cut each image out of the bridal sheet – (insert sarcastic voice here) this was the plan all along and had nothing to do with keeping the costs low.  After cutting what felt like a bazillion circles and ovals in different sizes and in different papers, I sat down at my sewing machine to string them together.  I also had on hand a large scalloped heart punch that I bought for Valentine’s Day, so I punched a few things out with that as well.  I made one horizontal garland with the hearts, and plan to string the rest of the garlands vertically from that.  I promise to take a ton of pictures during set up so that you can all see what I have been working on really come together!

Personalized candy favors, DIY

In event planning, I admit I may be a bit over the top or anal retentive.  Whichever describes the situation, I guess!  I was always taught that a good party has some kind of candy, SOMEWHERE.  🙂  So for the bridal shower I thought I’d look up the personalized M&Ms, because I had ordered them years ago for a friend’s baby shower and they were a huge hit.  I found the website, did a little of the “create yours” section, only to realize that I had to buy a minimum of 3 bags, at a total cost of $41.97 without tax and shipping.  I also know I would need more than 3 bags based on the fact that each one is only 7 oz.  I don’t know about you all, but my wallet hurts these days – so these are kinda out of the picture now.  No matter how frickin cute I made them.  Le sigh.

SO, I decided that there had to be something cheaper I could make.  I found an image on Pinterest of personalized hershey’ s kisses and put it on my board, and decided to try it out today.  It took a bit of trial and error, but I got it right AND now you can do this too!  (PS, the site I found the original idea on was priced at $27.00 for 100 candies without tax or shipping.)

1.  Go to staples or office depot, get Avery labels that are 1 inch circular mailing seals.  (short answer to your question of why mailing seals, because it was the right size and was white.  You can make these any color.)  $7.99 for 600.

2. Go to Michaels and grab a “recollections lever punch” in petite.  They should rename it to the hershey’s kiss punch.  For real.  $3.99 or $2.89 with a 40% off coupon.  Yup.

3. Go to CVS or wherever you can get a “party size” bag of Hershey’s Kisses.  $7.99.

4. Get home with your bounty, download the Avery template for the seals, it should be #5247.

5. Design your template however you wish, fill with color, add a photo or text, whatever your heart desires.  For me it was the bride and groom’s wedding emblem on a white background.  Be aware that you should make your image smaller than the circle because it is too big to affix to the kisses, you will be punching them out of the sheets in a later step.  Copy and paste your first circle to the rest of the sheet, print!  It took me about 15 sheets to do the entire bag.  Minus the four I ate.  Don’t hate.

6. Cut the sheets up into rows, this will be easier for the punch to center on your design.  The seals are actually too big for the kisses, thus the need for a punch.

7. Turn the punch upside down so you can see what you are punching, and punch away.  These are small, so I had a small container on hand to put them all into or risk them running away.

8.  Peel and stick to your heart’s content!  Invite people over to help, bribe your eight-year old or just do this while watching the tube.  It’s a mindless activity.  🙂

Congratulations, you are done!!  And you have something that people will remember for a very, very long time.  All at the total cost of $19.53.

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