Homemade invitations for a pineapple-themed dinner party

 

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I firmly believe that one’s 25th birthday should be celebrated in a big way.  Not only does 25 years mark a quarter of a century, but I see it as an important mile marker in the transition into “adult.” Postgrad life can be tough learning how to handle big-time jobs, real-life bills and grown up relationships. By turning 25, you have a couple of these years under your belt, and you’re no longer considered a rookie.

So when I made plans to visit my best friend in Florida for her birthday celebration weekend, I knew a party had to be planned. First stop, the invitations!

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I wanted to pick a theme for the party – mainly for the decorations – that was simple. The party is going to be a casual event with friends: dinner, cake and a few games. I wouldn’t be surprised if after dinner we simply sit around, tell stories and laugh. So I decided to pick a simple icon that would stand as the theme of the party, and I selected the pineapple.

For the invitations, I made flat, felt pineapples to place like a letterhead. I cut out the two pieces of felt by hand, and then using black thread, I stitched the design (as well as attached the two pieces together). Once complete, I used Elmer’s glue to glue the felt piece to the card stock.

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I bought the card stock at Paper Source, and simply wrote out the information by hand. I’m so happy with how it all turned out. Now with these in the mail, it’s time to plan a party!

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Fabric “Fishing” Set for Pretend Play

Let’s talk about how cute this is for a second.

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One of my favorite memories from my childhood was going to the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta. My mom must have loved that place because it seemed like we went all the time (to my joy). Though the dinosaur in the lobby was cool, I adored this children’s exhibit dedicated to nature (I mean, it had a tree right in the middle of the room!)  And though my memories are vague in the details, I distinctly remember “fishing” in the room’s pretend pond. I could have played there all day, everyday.

This memory came to mind when I was trying to come up with a gift for my 3-year-old nephew, and it couldn’t be more perfect. He loved fishing when he was at my parents’ house earlier this year, and I can see it providing hours of endless playtime.

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Another pro: I can use scrap fabric. I made my own template by free-handing the fish shape on card stock and cutting it out. I didn’t take the time to make sure the template was perfectly symmetrical, but it all worked out in the end.

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After using the template to cut out the fabric, I sewed on two eyes, one on each piece.  Then keeping right sides together, I sewed the two pieces of fabric together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, stopping short to leave a hole for stuffing.

IMG_0625Once complete, I flipped the fabric right-sides out, and used polyfil to stuff the fish. Now the keys to “fishing” are the magnets. I found mine at Hobby Lobby, including these magnet hooks. I added a little stuffing to the fish’s “nose” before adding the round magnet. Using the hook magnet, I made sure the right side was facing out for the two to attract. (If the magnets repel each other, just flip the round magnet to the other side.

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With the magnet in place, I finished stuffing the fish and used a whipstitch to close the hole. I then repeated this process with three more fish. I didn’t create a fishing pole. My mom is actually delivering this gift for me, and I knew a pole would not fit in her suitcase. But I found this cool idea online. But let’s face, poles can turn into swords, and all you really need is a piece of string.

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Celebrating Christmas in July with Yarn-Wrapped Ornaments

The folks over at Patience Brewster reached out to me last week with a question: How are you celebrating Christmas in July?

I loved the line they used in their email, “Though we do flourish when the sun is high in the sky and the flowers are blooming, our minds are always on Christmas!”

I’ll admit, I have a hard time thinking about Christmas when it’s 100 degrees outside, but looking through Patience Brewster’s Christmas line, I was inspired by the colors she uses. Despite winter being a cold, dark-colored month, Patience uses bright, bold colors that remind me of summer.

So I reconsidered the question, and I have an answer.  I celebrate Christmas in July by making the projects I ran out of time to make last year, like these yarn-wrapped Christmas ornaments.

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I had all of the materials to make this project because I had purchased the Styrofoam balls last December. Alas, you can only do so many Christmas crafts before the magical days finally arrives. (I understand why Santa needs all year to prepare.)

This project is also a great way to use leftover yarn (which I have by the basketfuls). Otherwise, you’ll need Mod Podge, a paintbrush (for the glue) and a knitting needle (which I used to poke a hole through the ball.)

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Using the knitting needle, I guided a long piece of yarn through the hole, and then brought it back around the ball to knot at the top. And as you go about gluing on the rest of the yarn, try to keep these pieces out of the glue. When you’re done, tie the two loose pieces together to be the string that attaches the ornament to the tree.

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Starting in the middle, I painted the Mod Podge along the circumference, and then I slowly wrapped the yarn around the ball, gently pressing the yarn into the glue. Though you can continually work until you’re done, I think it’s beneficial to occasionally stop and let the glue dry, especially if you get too much glue on your fingers. (I find it helpful to let them dry as they hang. My chandelier proved to be the perfect drying spot.)

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For the more colorful ornament, I applied the yarn in pieces instead of continuing wrapping it. This version definitely takes longer (and if you’re like me and dislike glue, it definitely requires more patience).

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I think I’ll let these decorate my gardenia bush for a little bit before I store them away with other Christmas ornaments. But thanks to Patience, I definitely have Christmas on my mind. Once you start to think of Christmas ideas, it feel like the opportunities are endless.

My Farm-to-Table Birthday Dinner Party

The word that best describes the night is magical, and it really, really was.

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Last week, I turned 24, and to celebrate, I hosted a farm-to-table with a group of wonderful friends in my own backyard. It was the best birthday I’ve had in my adult life.

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My roommate Elizabeth and I have been talking about hosting a farm-to-table dinner for weeks. To serve a meal sourced exclusively from local ingredients. And then when my birthday entered the horizon, we decided it was the perfect occasion to turn our idea into reality. With the tables I had purchased for the Woodlawn Street Market, we turned our backyard into the most magical place on earth.

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We kept the decorations simple and embraced a mixed-matched theme. I had purchased the white tablecloths for the street market, and the burlap table runners came from my grandmother’s 80th birthday party. I have an assortment of cloth napkins that I had purchased from prop sales at work. And we used every chair in our house (plus a few from Elizabeth’s mom).

My dear friend Stephanie arranged the flowers using jars I had lying around the house. I love how elegant the simple arrangements look, using only sunflowers, spray roses and baby’s breath.

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I don’t know what this says about Elizabeth and I, but we had to borrow plates, knives and chairs to accommodate 16 people, yet we had more than enough wine glasses. We set out drinks and appetizers for when people arrived, keeping the main courses inside to avoid bugs. I made a yummy white wine sangria, my friend Leah brought rum to make Dark ‘n’ Stormys, and (since my mother always say you should have a yummy, nonalcoholic option) I had lemonade and cucumber-lemon water. And then several people brought a bottle of wine.

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As people arrived, we mingled on our back porch, and we have a nice stone patio at the base of the porch steps. To combat the bugs, we had tiki torches lit on the deck, and we set up a couple of these mosquito coils from Off. (We found ours at Target.) They worked great. Highly suggested.

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The food – oh the food – was so crazy good! I prepared a bbq pork shoulder from Morning Song Farm in the slow cooker. Elizabeth made cheese grits with McEwen & Sons grits. We also enjoyed potato and green bean salad, yellow squash casserole, feta and artichoke tarts and so much more!

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We ate, drank and talked for hours. It was spectacular. And then we ended the meal with a personal favorite: Edgar’s strawberry cake. Perfection! I couldn’t have asked for a better night with wonderful weather, delicious food and amazing friends. I vote this becomes an annual tradition.

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A huge thank you to Stephanie for taking these pictures throughout the night!

Woodlawn Street Market, Round 2

Love of Felt hit the streets once again at Woodlawn Street Market this spring. The market was a big success, thanks largely in part to my mother who drove over to Birmingham to spend the day with me.

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This time around, I actually made some investments. I purchased 6-foot long tables, table covers and baskets. I did some research online of other maker’s set ups. And I put some thought into where each item should be displayed. (Like one blog suggested placing your top selling items  closest to the aisle to better grab  the attention of a walker-by.)

I’m almost too embarrassed to post a link to my first market set up, but for the sake of learning from one’s mistakes, I’ll share. (Don’t judge too harshly.) I think it’s safe to say I’ve improved leaps and bounds at my second time at bat.

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Notes I made for next time:

  • Make a sign with the shop’s name to hang in the back. (This time around, I simply ran out of time. I wrote “Love of Felt” on one of my small chalk boards, but I think a bigger sign will make a huge difference.)
  • Use the back table to create a center of focus. Again, I think a sign will enhance this, but I may also purchase more crates to place on the back table to add different levels of height.

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Before this market, I spent a good amount of time seeking advice online. I really liked this post from Catshy Crafts. I took her advice about mocking up my display at home a few days before, and I’m so glad I did. It helped so much having a game plan going into the morning. Plus, it helped me realize details I was missing. I snapped a few pictures of the mock up to help me remember.

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Lettuce Turnip the Beet

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A friend recently gave me a card beautifully illustrated with a head of lettuce. It read, “Lettuce always be friends.” I laughed at this for an embarrassing amount of time. It then led to a Google search for “vegetable puns,” and my world was opened to the plethora of puns the world has to offer!

I then made this banner. My thought is that it can help decorate my display the next time Love of Felt goes to market. Who knows, I may even put it up for sale.

Wine Bottle Christmas Decor

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World Market is a dangerous place. My roommate and I spend an hour last night wandering through its aisles, collecting an array of fun things for our home and our stomachs. Knowing I had a Christmas party to attend this weekend, I grabbed a bottle of wine for a hostess gift and turned to find a display of fun wine bottle decorations – like little scarfs, Christmas sweaters, etc. all sized down to fit a wine bottle.

Miniatures are simply the cutest! I picked out three different items that I was very tempted to buy. But I held back when I realize (like I often do) – I could totally make this!

And though I didn’t end up knitting a miniature scarf, I decided to make a pom pom one. Super easy and cheap to make. And as you know, I love making yarn pom pom. (See video for tutorial.)