Tuesday, April 4, 2017

pink flamingo pinata tutorial...

It's almost summer again and summer brings FLAMINGO SEASON! Well, I'm not sure if there's an actual flamingo season but in the world of shopping and parties it's almost FLAMINGO SEASON and I wanted to share the pinata that I made for Olivias 1st birthday last year.

I don't have any photos of my own first birthday, so although we don't have any friends and family here to invite over, I still wanted to make her birthday memorable enough to get her some good photos for her baby album. So of course, I became OBSESSED with making her a pinata. I looked online and there was no way I was going to pay $100 for a pre made one. I mean...it's just paper!
And a few other things:

  • Cardboard
  • Glue sticks
  • 2-3 Party streamer rolls
  • Wire hanger (for hook)
  • Tape (I used packing tape)
  • Glue gun
  • Sewing machine
  • Box cutter
  • Scissors
Well, since we used to place a ridiculously large amount of online orders (mainly formula, and baby stuff) we had plenty of cardboard boxes for the pinata base. I realized that a flamingo is really just made up of lots of circles and used a basic string and pen makeshift compass to draw them and shape out the flamingo. I used a box cutter to cut out the shape and then traced it onto another piece of cardboard so that I have two identical flamingo outlines.
Note: I had to use 2 pieces to create the head and just taped them together. It's okay if you have to do that. Once it's covered, you can't notice it. Just make sure the pieces overlap where you tape them.

Then, following the grain of the cardboard (where you see the lines or ripples) cut out lots of strips in the width you'd like your pinata to be. I used my 3" ruler and a box cutter for this. These strips are going to be taped all around the pinata, so you'll need that much.

I taped the 3 inch strips all the way around the outside of my pattern and then placed the second piece on top and taped that up too.

I made sure to leave a flap opening on top for the candy to go into, as well as an overlapping flap "door" on the bottom. Since my baby girl would not be hitting the pinata, I decided to make a door that would open with a ribbon when pulled.

Once the pinata shape is all taped together, I went on to sewing my streamer. I didn't like how flat the streamer was, so I decided to run it through my sewing machine with a basic stitch to pleat it. All you have to do is mess with your tension a little and run it through a straight stitch and the paper will pleat as loose or as tight as you'd like.

I did this for 3 rolls of streamer paper. I also decided to fold the streamer in half just so I could have lots of small ruffle layers.

Once the paper was done, it was just a matter of gluing it on. If I had to do it again, I would glue the sides first so that the edges would be better hidden, but I began on the main body, so I just followed that through. I used a glue gun for this.
Quick tip: Use a silicone mat under your glue gun for easy clean up!

After gluing on the paper it's all a matter of cleaning up the edges. I just cut the edges with scissors. I ran out of crepe paper and covered a few discrete parts with basic craft paper. I also cut the eyes and beak out of basic craft paper and glued that on.

My last step was making the pull door thing on the bottom so for the candy to drop. I ran out of supplies and patience and will to live by this point and just painted the bottom of the pinata.

In the end I absolutely loved the pinata! She's the prettiest pink flamingo pinata I ever saw and totally worth the 2 weeks it took me to make it. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

engagement story...

Errol and I have been together now for over four years. We live together, have a child together, and I am a stay at home mom to our amazing little creature. With everything that has been going on in our lives, getting married hasn't been the easiest of things. Or really one of the things on our to do list at all. 
My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, told she was clear, and then passed away from it in the matter of 2 years. Errol was working on his masters degree (which meant that I rarely saw him). And I was working a full time job and attending school full time. To say that we lived together would be really in terms of technicality, because we saw each other about 3 hours a week and by "saw" most of the time that meant we were just sleeping under the same roof at that time. We were blessed with Olivia 2 weeks after he finished his masters and we moved out of the state 1 week after I was out of the hospital. Two different states to be exact. I went to my mother and he went to work. After my mother passed away I went to live with Errol for 3 months before we had to move to Dallas for 6 months and then move again to Arizona. Needless to say, planning a wedding was NOT going to happen in between all of that. We are now settled in Tucson Arizona (for now) and it was the perfect time to begin our lives. I'm glad Errol thought so too. 

As we were planning for our trip to see my family in Mexico for Christmas Errol kept telling me that we should spend the night in San Diego. I thought it was weird, but I did miss the ocean. Everything special that has happened in our relationship has happened near the sea. On the first night we met Errol asked me to meet him at a beach later that night. I did, and we sat at a lifeguard tower all night and talked until the sun came up. After that, we drove to another beach and did a little hike. Our first apartment together had a tiny view of the ocean that we drove to whenever we had any spare time and enjoyed the sunrise, sunset, or a jog...this was about four times a week. So, we pretty much lived at the beach. If there was time off, a birthday, anniversary, or anything in between, we were at the beach. The first piece of jewelry that Errol gave me was for my birthday and it was a charm bracelet with golden starfish, sea horses, and shells.

After a 6 hour drive with a toddler through the dessert we finally arrived to our beautiful California coast. My heart sinks to my stomach every time I see the ocean but especially in California. You never know what you had until it's gone. The first stop we made was to a playground to let our grumpy little Olive get out all of the energy that she had been bottling up strapped into that car seat for so long. After that, we took a little walk over to a tiny beach next to the playground and that's where it happened. Errol was talking lovey dovey things like he always does (and because I'm not a fan of cheeseball things, I was half way ignoring him of course). Before I knew it he was down on one knee with a ring in his hands. I don't even remember if it was in a box or not. All I remember is that I was freezing my butt off but it was the most beautiful gesture he had ever done. I had my beautiful daughter, my man, and now MY RING! He liked it!! So, he put a ring on it. 

After that we spent time as a family admiring the ocean and playing with our little Olive. Checked into our hotel on Coronado Island and (of course) ordered room service. This has been turning into a habit of ours. Ever since we had Olivia, it is so much easier to just order room service and let her run around in the room while we enjoy our food instead of trying to restrain her wildness in a restaurant while lots of people stare at us and judge the way that we cannot control the tiny beast. It was amazing and magical and everything I wanted it to be. We explored the island that night and the next day and then headed down to Mexico the next day to celebrate Christmas with my family. I couldn't ask for a better gift than the gift of family and knowing that soon Errol, Olivia, and I would be united under the same last name.