oscar party 2015

IMG_7102

 We.  Love. The. Oscars.  You know this.  Planning on throwing an Oscar bash?  We highly recommend that you do (they’re the best).  Here are a few of our favorite ideas for this year.

IMG_7329

Every Oscar party needs giant balloons, right? We ordered ours online, filled them up at the store, and stuffed them into our tiny car.  Learn from our mistakes and bring a van. This year, instead of champagne, we set up a bar cart so guests could make their drink of choice.

IMG_7048

IMG_7046

IMG_7055

IMG_7125

IMG_7174

IMG_7260Aren’t these balloons just everything?

IMG_7345

A red carpet is a must! We stuck ours under the bar cart for fun #shoestagrams.IMG_7221

Inside we set up a simple buffet.  Popcorn, movie candy, little appetizers, et voilá. Recognize those film strips?  We made them a few years ago for our first Oscar party and love them still.  The piñatas are a score from Party City.

IMG_7202

IMG_7198

IMG_7223

IMG_7310

IMG_7265

Don’t mind us, we couldn’t resist a balloon photo op in the street.

IMG_8303

IMG_8304

For a simple photobooth we hung our star garland, also from our first Oscar partyon the wall.  Other easy options could include gold foil curtains, large gold stars, or red butcher paper.  To give them the “photobooth look” we used the Party Party App by A Beautiful Mess.

output_9ZikvX

 

xoxo, Keya and Erica

no-weave wall hanging

3 (2)

Okay, first I’ll admit that I started this project the weave-way.  That is, I made my own loom out of a carefully-carved cardboard box (genius!), wrapped some twine around my box creating, what looked to me, like evenly spaced strings….or whatever you call them.  I proceeded to weave my yarn in and out, creating cool tassels and textures, just like all those pictures you see on Pinterest.  With each passing day, my cardboard box started to soften and cave in, and i would pull the strings tighter, which in-turn caused the cardboard to cave more.  Sometimes when a project is not going right, you have to just set it aside for a while and ask yourself, “do I go on or do I start over?”  In this case, I needed to re-strategize and start over.  Turns out, it was one of the best decisions of my life – with inspiration from Kipi, I was able to get the same effect I was looking for WITHOUT spending money on a loom.

ingredients:

a piece of plastic canvas (found in the needle-work section of most craft stores)

a piece of driftwood (found on most beaches) 

twine (thin enough to string through your canvas)

an assortment of yarn (I chose 5 different types including some mop-ends)

sharp scissors (I bought a brand new pair)

IMG_8728

1. The first thing you want to do is figure out your pattern.  There is a ton of inspiration out there to get you started.  Once you have a general idea, you can begin!

IMG_8735

2. This project is all about “tassels”.  So begin by deciding the length of your first row of yarn and start cutting strips that are twice that length (they will be folded in half).  I suggest giving yourself extra room for trimming as well.  Once you have cut a few strands, you can use your twine to tie the strands together in the center and create a tassel.  For thicker yarn I used about 5 strands per tassel (folded to make 10), and the thinner yarn I used about 10 strands per tassel (folded to make 20).

IMG_8749

3. Once you have your tassels, you can begin stringing them through the canvas (equal distances apart – about 5 boxes), and tying the twine at the back of the canvas in tight knots.

IMG_8762

4. Because there is no weaving involved, this project is all about layers and textures.  I highly suggest creating lots of layers.  Instead of doing one row at the top with  Yarn “A”, create a short row and then a longer row underneath before you move on to Yarn “B”.

IMG_8767

IMG_8790

5. Also keep in mind, you never want your canvas to show through so make sure you build your second layer underneath the first, the third layer underneath the second, …etc.

IMG_8821

IMG_8826

6. As you create rows, you can begin trimming the ends of the yarn into straight lines using very sharp scissors.  Trim off small amounts each time until it is at the desired length.  This step is kind of like plucking your eyebrows, don’t go too crazy because these strands won’t grow back!

IMG_8835

7. Once you have all of your tassels tied, you can snip off the excess twine at the back of your canvas.

IMG_8836

8. To attach the driftwood, use a long strand of twine and string through the canvas and around the driftwood, tying a tight knot at the back of the canvas.

IMG_8837

IMG_8839
IMG_8847

9. From here, you can begin stringing the twine through the canvas and around the driftwood at equal spaces apart.

IMG_8872

10. When you reach the end of your canvas, make sure to tighten each loop so the canvas is taught against the stick before tying your final knot at the back of the canvas.

IMG_8884

And voila! No weaving required!

IMG_8917

 

2

 

happy crafting!

xoxo, keya and erica

 

watercolor pineapple print

IMG_5048

This little print is so cute and easy to make, and will make the perfect summery addition to my kitchen walls.  I’m thinking of making a few more of different kinds of fruits and veggies to hang with it.  As long as you’ve got watercolors and paper, the total cost of this project is the frame, which makes it a really affordable way to decorate!

tools:

pineapple stencil  (this is the link for the stencil that I used)

watercolors + paintbrushes

watercolor paper

wax resistant sticks / pencil

frame

spray adhesive

white card stock / thick paper (measured to size of frame)

how to:

     First you’ll want to select and print out your stencil of choice.  I wanted mine to have lot of detail for the pineapple leaves, but I think that a simpler stencil would be really cute as well.

IMG_5925

     Once you’ve cut out your stencil, place it in the center of your watercolor paper and make a thick outline with the wax resistant sticks.  I tried this project a couple of ways, just outlining the stencil in pencil and with the wax.  I personally like using the wax because it holds the paint inside of the stencil marks and creates a darker outline around the design where the paint is trapped. Also, make a thin line between the fruit of the pineapple and the leaves to prevent color bleeding.

Untitled Export

     Mix your watercolors to your desired color.  I wanted my yellow and green to be bright.  I mixed a few variations of each, but ended up mostly using the pure yellow.  I used more variations of the green to create the effect of multiple leaves.

IMG_5926

     So the picture below was kind of my trial and error run, and I’ve got some tips to share from it!  I found that the final project turns out a lot better if your paint in layers.  First by finishing the yellow portion before painting the leaves; this will help prevent the two colors from bleeding into each other, as you’ll see in the picture below.  (If this happens, then quickly dab at the paint with a paper towel to remove it, and paint over the problem section.)

IMG_5957

     Another tip is that the thicker the wax outline the better.  I thought that I would be able to freely run my paint strokes over the edges of the outline and that it would remain, but that didn’t really work out.  So the next time around I did the thicker outline and I was much more conscious about getting too much water on the wax and was much happier with the results.

     Paint a light coat of paint first and let it dry.  Then paint a second or third coat depending on your desired color. Have fun making the paint thicker in some areas and lifting your paper to let the paint run and blur.  This creates the pretty watercolor effect.  For the leaves I brushed arching stroked from bottom to top with varying colors, letting them dry in between.

     Once your painting is dry, it is time to cut it out.  If your outline isn’t exact enough, place the stencil over the top, and outline once more in pencil.

IMG_6043

     Spray the back of the pineapple with spray adhesive and gently lift and place onto your card stock in the center.  Let dry and place in your frame!  I wrote “piña” on mine, and to make it fit, I placed my pineapple slightly above center- this part is up to you!  There are so many ways to interpret this craft depending on what you want to make!  I’m thinking tomatoes and watermelons next… Clearly summer is on my mind!

IMG_6056

xoxo, Keya

homemade soy candles

IMG_5487

Lately I’ve been obsessed with burning candles all. the. time.  In the past I would purchase a candle here and there and leave it out as display, but almost always forget to light it.  So my candles would pretty much last forever.  No longer!  So it seemed necessary to start making my own since I can make about five big candles for the price of one nice one.  I chose soy wax because it is sustainable and slow burning.

IMG_4442

Upon researching candle making, I found quite a few rather technical videos about how to make the perfect candle.  Apparently candle making is a big thing?  Anyway, while I wanted my candles to turn out well, I also wasn’t interested in buying a gazillion different tools.  So here is my rather bared down candle making how to, using things that I had around the house.  I wouldn’t recommend using any precious kitchen tools in case the wax is hard to remove.  Notwithstanding, I was able to remove all of the wax from the bowls and spoons I used.  I washed everything before the wax had a chance to dry completely and poured boiling water over the difficult areas.

tools:

double boiler

candle container

soy wax (1 lb. ~ 18 oz melted)

wicks

wick tabs

hot glue

popsicle sticks/straws

essential oils (optional)

oil-based color chips/crayons (optional)

1.) Cover your work area with wax paper to protect the surface.  

2.) Wash and dry your candle containers.  I used some antique mason jars that I just love.

IMG_4446

3.) Thread your candle wicks through the wick tabs and fray the bottom end.  Place a tab of hot glue on the bottom of the tab and attach it the bottom of the candle container in the center.  Trim the wick so that it extends above the candle (you can trim it shorter later).  Alternatively, if you don’t want to buy wick tabs, you could just hot glue the wick to the bottom of the container.

IMG_4443

4.) Attach a popsicle stick or straw with a piece of tape to the wick in the middle of the container.  This is to ensure that the wick doesn’t fall down while pouring the wax and also that it stays in the center of the container.

IMG_4458

5.) Melt your wax in a double boiler. (I recommend buying pre-flaked wax, but if you purchase a block, shave it or break it into chunks before melting to ensure a more even melt).  If you don’t have a double boiler, you can make your own by boiling water in a pot and placing a smaller pot or bowl over the pot.  You do not want to melt the wax directly over stove.  Be careful and stir continuously while melting your wax.  You want it to melt, but not boil.  Wax has the potential to combust if it reaches too high a temp.  Once it’s melted remove it from the heat. If you have a candy thermometer, place it in the melting wax and when the wax has reached 170-180 degrees it is done.  Add your essential oils at this point.  Read the directions on the bottle to see how much to add.  If you want to color your candles, now is the time.  Add color chips or crayons until you have achieved your desired color.

**Most important** NEVER leave your wax unattended while melting and be constantly monitoring the temperature- do not allow it to boil.  Once it has melted remove it from the heat immediately.

IMG_4461

6.) Carefully pour your wax into your candle containers over your protected workspace.  Try to avoid the wick.  I recommend transferring the hot wax to a container with a spout like a liquid measuring cup to make pouring easier.  You can fill your candle as much as you like, I got pretty close to the top with mine.

20140207-181226

7.) Let candle dry overnight.

8.) Trim wick to a quarter inch above the candle and light!  Enjoy!

9.) If you spill wax on the outside of your container (which, um, I might have done…) it’s not the end of the world!  Try to wipe of all much as you can while the wax it still hot after pouring without disturbing the candle.  Now this next step depends on what kind of container you’ve used, but worked really well with my mason jars.  I placed my candle in  a pot and filled around the candle with water.  Then I removed the candle and boiled the water.  Once the water was boiling I placed the candle back into the pot.  Let the candle sit in the water for a few minutes and them remove and wipe down.  All the wax comes off in the water!  This might melt your candle a bit so let cool and re-harden after before lighting.

 

After burning for about two weeks:

IMG_5490

xoxo, Keya

oscar movie ballots

bYPjsyfh

One of the best parts of watching the Oscars is filling out your ballot, tallying up your correct guesses, and then comparing your score with everyone else.  If we can’t be nominated for an Academy Award we need some kind of competition, right?  Last year we made these simple ballots and had everyone fill them out before the show started.

ingredients:

black card-stock (1 sheet per person)

gold sparkle card-stock (1 sheet per 2 people)

printed oscar ballots (1 per person)

oscar stencil

how to:

Print out the official ballot, (you can find it here), and glue it onto black card-stock which you can find in the scrap-booking section of your local craft store. You may have to trim the card-stock down to fit your paper.  Next, cut out Oscar statues from sparkly gold paper and glue these onto the back.  We used a cookie cutter as a stencil but you can also print out your own online.

ballots

What will your votes be this year?

xoxo,

keya and erica

oscar star crowns

ericaedit

With just a few days until the Oscars, we have to admit it kind of snuck up on us.  Even though we’ve spent the last 6 weeks dedicating any and all free time going to theaters and checking off all the nominated films, we were not really ready for the actual event.  So while last year was all about planning a huge party, this year is all about doing a few simple things to make the night special.  This may be the easiest project you could do and it will add a little sparkle to your night (which is always a must)!

IMG_7462

We found small rolls of this gold star garland at Michael’s in the gift wrapping section with all the ribbons so you should be able to find it at your local craft store.  Wrap it around the top of your head once to get the correct size and then wrap twice more.  Cut the garland leaving about an inch of extra room then use that to wrap and secure the 3 layers together.

Make one for yourself or all of your friends and you’ll feel just a little bit more glamorous.  We plan on wearing ours with our pajamas and curling up with some popcorn.

crownedit

xoxo,

keya and erica

oscar drink stirrer

IMG_5344

How cute are these?!  Easy to make and the perfect way to step up your Oscar party (or you know, on the couch pajama viewing sesh).

ingredients:

cute straws

gold glitter paper

hot glue

Oscar stencil

IMG_5257

To make:

1.) Copy and paste stencil onto a word document and shrink to desired size (mine is a bit under 3 in. tall).

2.) Print and cut out stencil.  Hold stencil up to straw to make sure that it is a good size.  You want to be able to have an inch or so of space at the top of the straw, and room for it to fit into your glass.  Resize stencil as necessary.

IMG_5263

3.) Outline stencil on back of gold glitter paper.  Cut out figures.

IMG_5270

4.) Place a thin line of hot glue down the center of the backside of the figure.

IMG_5264_3

5.) Place straw on hot glue about an inch from the top of the straw.

6.) Let dry and you’re good to go!

IMG_5348

xoxo, Keya and Erica