Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Personalized Onesies

When Michael was in LA a few weekends ago I did a huge closet cleaning. I pulled just about everything out of my closet and craft cart and sorted and organized. For most of the weekend the apartment looked like an episode of 'Hoarders'. Of course it was all put away by Sunday night (well most of it anyway - I still have a pile of clothes to list on eBay and a pile of stuff that is destined for Goodwill).

I found 3 packages of onesies in assorted sizes (from previous craft projects). They were screaming for some fruit crate labels and vintage travel posters. I knew they would be a perfect gift for our friends having baby number two in just a few weeks.
I tried to tailor the travel sites to places our friends have visited - Nantucket, Alaska, Atlantic City, and California. And there are plenty of NYC onesies as well.
The vintage fruit crate labels are an old favorite of mine. The artwork is copy right free and just beautiful. The colors pop and I like the history with its strong California roots.
The birthday girl did get two custom onesies. I have seen several versions of the name tag onesie and thought it was really cute. Since I knew her name I could add it in with the label. And the 'first birthday' design is inspired by the NYC subway. Luckily the subway line markers are very graphic so it was easy for me to re-create the look.
For baby number two I don't know the name yet. The onesies have generic name tags and the parents can fill in the name with a Sharpie pen after the baby is born.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Giraffe Crafts - Part Deux

Try saying that 3 times fast...giraffe crafts, giraffe crafts, giraffe crafts.....

For the birthday girl I went a little wild with the giraffe party theme.

Using my newly minted quilting skills I made her a small quilt featuring some Alexander Henry zoo fabric. I "fussy cut" (a quilting term - it means instead of cutting the blocks to make the best use of the fabric I intentionally cut them to highlight part of the fabric. In this case I wanted each block of the zoo fabric to have a giraffe in the center) the zoo fabric and then pulled colors from that fabric for the other blocks and borders.

Because of the giraffe theme all of the other fabric was polka dot.

The back of the quilt was a yellow polka dot that reminded me of giraffe spots. I chose brown for the border to really highlight the theme from the back (giraffe colors) and I also thought for a little one it would show less dirt.

I found another use for my "KO" labels and made sure to sew one in to the back of the quilt.

I got BDO in to the the act by commissioning him to make a wooden giraffe pull toy. Using a cookie cutter as a pattern not only did he create the pull toy, a rocking toy, but two Christmas tree ornaments as well. He was nice enough to make two ornaments - one for the gift and one for me. He used walnut and just sanded it to a beautiful finish, no paint required.

The pull toy looked amazing. It truly is an heirloom piece. He was smart enough to make the cord untie from the bottom so until baby is old enough it can be removed - no choking hazard.

The little rocking giraffe was for me. It was a total surprise and I just love it. It's on display next to his rubber band racers from Christmas past.

The gifts were opened after the party. As soon as they opened our gift our friends gave us a call. They just loved it all and were so appreciative of the handicrafts. Now they are having a second baby - we'll have to work really hard next year to make sure the next little one has a very special first birthday.

Giraffe Crafts

I was asked to help make a giraffe cake for a 1st birthday party. I talked to a few cake people and looked through my books and quickly realized a 3-D cake wasn't an option until I learned how to weld copper pipes. But I did get an idea for a herd of giraffes cupcakes.

After months of trying to find the right cookie for the neck I settled on ladyfingers.

I started by trimming down and shaping circus peanuts. The circus peanuts were then attached to the lady fingers with yellow chocolate.

Once the heads were connected to the necks I dipped the entire piece in to yellow chocolate.

Some little heads looked more giraffe-y than others. Some kind of looked like a weird Snoopy...

Once the yellow chocolate set, I painted on spots, eyes, nose, and a smile with milk chocolate. The entire piece was dusted with bronze luster dust. I loved the shine the luster dust added. I did a heavy strip down the bridge of the nose to provide some shading.
I carried the cupcakes separately from the heads and then assembled at the site.
The cupcakes were vanilla with yellow colored vanilla flavored butter cream frosting.

The fully assembled herd looked quite impressive on the dessert table.

And for the birthday girl I used a little mini-pan to bake a baby giraffe cake. It sort of looks like a llama - but she didn't care! (And even if she did care she's only 1 and can't talk yet.)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On-Going Series: Unfortunately Named Businesses

Yes, you are reading that correctly. The name of this local produce shop is "U Don't Know Nothing Produce".

I don't even know what they are trying to say - they know produce and I don't? You haven't seen produce as amazing as this?

I shop there, I know produce, and there product is fine. It's middle of the road - not the cheapest, not the most expensive, not the freshest, not the least fresh. But it is convenient especially if I need to get cat supplies as our favorite little pet supply shop is right across the street.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Farewell Bobby Cox

Way back in February we bought tickets to the last Braves home games. Michael was right on top of the fact the Braves manager, Bobby Cox, was retiring and he wanted to be there for the last home games of the regular season.

Of course he wore his Dale Murphy jersey.

It was really nice weather, sunny skies and temps in the 70s.

At the game on Saturday they did a big pre-game tribute to Bobby Cox. They had former Braves players walk in wearing team jerseys. Michael was really excited to see Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and of course Dale Murphy. I was excited to see Hank Aaron - the real home run king.

It was cute, at the tribute Chipper Jones represented the current players. He gave a nice speech and then presented Bobby and his wife a gift from the team - an 11 day Mediterranean cruise. (The Braves organization gave them a new Lexus.) We were wondering what is was like in the locker room getting the guys to pay - do they pass around an envelope and see what they collect? Some of these guys make really money, are they covering for the guys that are just making the minimum salary? Of course I think we can safely assume the players wives decided on the gift and just told each guy to write a check for a certain amount.

It was a really nice tribute for a well respected figure in baseball.

Sunday we had great seats for the game - right behind home plate. We were so close to home plate we were behind the net that keeps things from hitting the fans sitting behind home plate.

The games over the weekend were critical for the Braves getting to the post-season. They had to win and the Padres had to lose. The did win on Sunday and it was really exciting.

But the Padres were still playing the Giants and until the game on the West Coast was over we didn't know if the Braves would make it to the playoffs or not. The stadium put the Giants vs. Padres game on the Jumbotron and many fans stayed to watch the game and root for the Giants. (Being from San Diego I am partial to the Padres myself, so I wouldn't root against them, but around all of those Braves fans I wasn't rooting for them either!)

While the West Coast game was on the Jumbotron there was also a free concert - REO Speedwagon! Talk about a great flashback to the 80's. They sounded great and had really good energy but they definitely looked pretty old. It was kick to sing along with the songs I danced too back in the day.

Even though it was sunny there was a strong cold wind blowing. We kept moving seats to stay in the sun and try to stay warm.

In the photo below the Giants game is almost over - you can see Michael full of anticipation...

And the Giants win! One of the few times you'll see Michael happy about another team winning a game.

The players stayed in the clubhouse and were watching the Giants/Padres game. When the Giants won and the Braves knew they were going to the playoffs they showed the players celebrating in the locker room on the Jumbotron. After about 15 minutes they came out on to the field and celebrated with the fans.

Michael had a blast being there with his team and the fans for this big game moment.
Unfortunately the Braves lost to the Giants and didn't advance any further post season - probably because Michael wasn't in the stands to cheer them to victory.