Monday, December 18, 2006

Cutie Patoote Photo Purses!

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Thank you for reading the funniest, cutest, wittiest and prettiest blog in the whole wide world! I would like to thank my sponsor for making all of these blogs possible. Without them my mouth would be parched from the lack of latte’s and thus I could not type. Please visit their site for more of my decorating, crafty, baking and how to live life tips. And now our feature blog-entation!!!!

Call me crazy…most people do….I decided with little thought and big ambition that I was going to make all of my Christmas gifts this year. Well after consultations with the sewing guru’s I call, “My mom,” “Nick’s Mom” and “Milan’s mom,” changing my design twice and going $200 over budget, I finally got the ball rolling in creating the first of many project, “Cutie-Patootie photo purses” for my nieces.

Now don’t read me the wrong way. (Illiteracy is such a tragedy!) I enjoyed every stitch of time in creating these purses. I believe that to artfully create a unique piece of work that you must truly love the journey in creating it. I like to make everything fun. Out of the ordinary is always good too. I mean I got to do my yoga stretches while working on the easel I call my bedroom carpet. And, while not only gaining valuable sewing advice from the several women who helped me out, I got to sit and absorb their wise life advice at many a dining room table.

Now for what you all have been waiting for…. The recipe for the, “Cutie-Patootie Photo purses.” Make them with care, time and they will look like little pieces of sunshine!


You need:

1 denim purse
3 cute fabrics of your choice for the flowers
1 yellow fabric for the center of your flowers
Sewing Machine
Flower template
Transfer paper
Green Ribbon
Leaf buttons
Magic Stitch (fabric glue)

First step: Create a flower template that is about 3 inches in diameter with a 1 inch circle in the middle.

Second step: Trace the flower pattern to the fabric leaving ¼ of an inch for slits. Cut out the middle circle leaving ¼ inch for slits. Magic Stitch the ends back so they don’t fray.

Third step: Select cute pictures that you want to place in the flowers. Cute poses will add some flavorful spice! Size the pictures to fit inside the flowers. Make sure you reverse the image on the computer. When you iron it on the fabric it will reverse sides.

Fourth step: Take the transfer paper and put it in your printer. Press print and voila, you have images on transfer paper! You are so cool!

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Fifth step: Iron the yellow fabric to remove moisture. Cut out the pictures on the transfer paper separately (to save fabric.) Place the transfer image face down on the fabric. Iron for about 30 seconds. Remove backing.

Sixth step: Cut out images to be placed in the center and sew them to the flower.

Seventh step: Sew the entire piece to the purse. Carefully maneuvering around the petals

Eighth step: Magic Stitch the green ribbon to the flower. Curving it to give it a “stem like” figure. Sew petal beads to the edge of the ribbon.

Ninth step: Look back and applaud what a fine and creative chic you are!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Throwing your own Birthday Party Ettiquette !

My Birthday Bash….

So I almost didn’t celebrate my birthday this year. I know, seriously that’s like a leprechaun saying, “Bah Humbug” to St. Patrick’s day. I was going to play it cool like a stiletto wearing, prada bag carrying, skinny chic that is too cool to celebrate her birthday past 21 years old. Then I realized I am a sandal wearing, canvas bag covered in eclectic pins carrying, senorita who IS the epitome of “cool!” I am so glad I came to my senses because my 24 th birthday was like a Disney movie, colorful, creative and I didn’t want it to end! Here’s how it went down…

Hostess with the mostess ….

Unfortunately, my apartment, quaint and cozy as it is is not exactly entertaining material. I mean there are mini vans bigger than my living room. However, I found a classy Mexican food restaurant in Laguna Beach with amazing Pineapple martinis called Las Brisas. I thought it would be nice to add a personal touch to the dining table with cutesy little parting gifts. And I came up with “Madam Irvina’s Fortune Baggie’s” They are so cute! Am I clever or what??? This is how they are done:

You need:

*Hole puncher


*Miniature paper bags


*Scalloped scissors

*Colored pencils



*Your wit

To make:

1.) Pre cut pretty ribbons 5 inches in length

2.) Pre cut 1x1 squares with scalloped scissors

3.) Write “You…” on one side of the squares

4.) On the opposite side and the opposite end (so it flips over) write a cute saying like, “You....will be a hot mom!” “You….will marry a man who knows how to make homemade ice cream.”

5.) Crease the flap of the bags and hole punch over the crease

6.) Place two chocolate covered strawberries inside

7.) Slip the ribbon through the hole and the “You” card.

8.) Tie in a knot and voila! You have “Madam Irvina’s Fortune Baggie’s.”

They were a big hit! The girls savored these while they told funny “Irvina’s crazy and this is why” stories J

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Words of Wisdom…

You know how they say, “No one likes a tipsy bride.” I say likewise with the birthday hostess. Not that I was under the table drunk (What do you think I am 23?) It’s just hard to hostess everyone when you are half a beat slow from sipping. You catch me? Oh well, wisdom for the next 60 birthday parties to come. Next time I’ll save the martinis for post party unwinding with a few of the girls.

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It seriously has been the best birthday! I’ll never forget playing G.I. Joes with my nieces and nephews on my actual birthday night. I got to debut G.I. birthday girl; she was quite literally “the bomb.” Listening to my sister Kim reminisce that I looked like a hairy little monkey when I was born. Sweet, sweet sister she is. Opening the gift from my boss, The Cricut. (For those unrefined, non-scrap bookers out there who actually have a life, The Cricut just happens to be the biggest, baddest scrap booking toy ever!) Getting a message from my friend Will the following weekend saying, “We’re throwing you a party tonight for your birthday and uh it would be nice if you were here.” To getting a half fallen on the floor birthday cake from my friend Jackie. The three second rule applies to birthday cakes right?

Now here is a deep thought…(Oprah, you’ll like this J)Birthdays are simply a reflection of life. It’s better with close friends, delicious food, laughing hysterically and being delightfully surprised by all the gifts that come your way!


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My Big, Fat, American, Thanksgiving!


My Big, Fat, American Thanksgiving!


After one cute call from my niece, asking me if I would help her talk her parents into buying her a camera for Christmas. One reminder call from my brother-in-law, telling me my drink is getting warm and to get on the road because there is traffic. Three prayers for no fatalities on the 15 South and driving an hour and a half while making up stories in my head where all the cars around me were going, I arrived at Thanksgiving dinner at my sisters house.


My cute little family, all 30 of them! Nieces, nephews, sisters, half-sisters, brothers-in-law, my mom, my half sisters dad (my mom’s ex-husband,) his wife, her kids, her kids kids…just one big American family eh? Well it’s what I call “My Big, Fat American Thanksgiving.” It’s pretty crazy that we can all have a good Thanksgiving dinner together considering the scenario. My mom call’s our family, “Happily Divorced.” To say the least.


How did we do it? My hostess with the mostess sister Amy, the “Rachel Ray” worshiping, wine connoisseur, makes throwing a party for 30 look as easy as eating two servings of pumpkin pie. Here’s how she did it:


Reservation for a Party of 30….

We’re loud people who like to laugh and be with each other. In our family, every joke is so good you don’t want to miss it.  Knowing this my sister wanted to keep us together. She took her dining room table and lined up 3 other long tables side by side. She alternated the table cloths two gold and two ivory. There were 6 settings on the long sides and 4 on the short sides. Everyone could see each other and yet still be intimate with the people next to them.


Comfortable conversation couches…

 Have you heard of the color personalities? Well if you ever have or you ever do my sister Amy is a blue. She is all about having conversation with people and connecting. You can totally tell by her affection for couches. She has four sets in her home. Every where you go is an opportunity to sit down and chat.


Sleepy sisters….

Okay so one minute I’m playing poker and partying with the family, the next minute I am passed out. Maybe too much tryptophan in the turkey or one too many shots of Patron with my brother in law, maybe it’s being over worked at (no it couldn’t be that.) Whatever it was I was bloody tired. Good thing my sis has more than a couple sleeper sofas in her house. I woke up bright eyed and cheery ready, to get dogged by my family in the morning for not being able to “hang.” Hey there’s always next weekend.


When it comes to holiday entertaining, I’ve found that people beat themselves up until their running around like a head less turkey over the way things are “supposed to look” or the way their family is “supposed to be.” My family is incredibly unique, so who’s to say our entertaining shouldn’t be unique also. Think of what you want from your holidays and just do it. Is it seeing everyone at once at the dinner table? Having a comfortable place to chat in every room of your house? Having your entire family over for a sleep over? Whatever it may be, the thing to remember is each and every one of the people at your dinner table is there for a reason. It might not always look normal, but really how fun is normal? It’s your family which is far better than any fake bunch of models posing in Martha Stewart’s magazine next to plastic pumpkin pies. Besides those people don’t look very funny at all. By the way, whoever said once you become a mom you have to wear a sweater vest for every special occasion? Bad call!