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Handmade Baby Shower Decorations

Handmade Baby Shower & Welcome to the World Party

One of my dearest pals, Erin, from Carosello recently had a precious baby boy.  Since she moved away from Tulsa last year, we didn’t get a chance to see her before Emerson was born, so rather than a shower in anticipation of her little fellow, we put together a handmade baby shower as a welcome to world party for him.

You know how I love to throw a party, and I wanted to share a few snippets of my party preparations here on the blog.  I was on a really tight budget for this party, so I used a lot of things that I already had around.  Sourcing from my home and shops is always a big plus when I’m trying not to spend too much.  Also, the husband and I spent the morning of the party driving around Tulsa foraging for flowers, which was one of the most fun things I’ve done in a long time.  I’m pretty sure this is going to be a new weekend habit.

Decorating for Carosello's Handmade Baby Shower

A few days before the shower, I started gathering some styling props and making a few little decor items.  First step was obviously to make some Fringey Streamer Garland from Jordan’s tutorial out of some sheets of crepe paper that I had around the studio.  I also cut some felt letters to make a sweet little Emerson banner that Erin could keep.  I just glued the letters onto a colorful piece of leather.  Easy-peasy and hung over a gold foil fringe backdrop that I snagged on Amazon.Banner for Carosello's Handmade Baby Shower

I wanted handmade favors and browsed Pinterest forever, but settled on making something that I carry in the shop.  Pocket mirrors!  I made these black, white, and gold, to match the theme of the party.  I actually cut the black and white geometric prints out of a book of old knitting patterns and then hand drew the gold hearts on them.  I wrapped them up in tissue paper and attached nametags with baker’s twine.

Pocket Mirror Favors for the Handmade Baby Shower

Table Decorations

Favors and Table decorations

Set up for Carosello's handmade baby shower

handmade table runner and place settings

To style the table, I layered tea towels, crepe paper, florals, and treats on the tables.  The black and white polka dot pieces were pieces of the gift boxes from AltSummit that I chopped up because they were pretty.  See, hoarding lovely things pays off!

Wall decorations

Foraged plants and deocrations

wnerinshower

handmade baby shower gift table

Floral Centerpiece and deserts

I brought over all of my succulents from the shop to add to the summer feel of the party and put some pretty candies in mason jars for everyone to snack on.  Since it was a mid-afternoon party, I kept the food simple; a lemoncello cake, berries, and sparkling lemonade.  I’ll share my ridiculously easy “recipe” below.  I also always like to have a pitcher with ice water and this time I added some berries for a little flavor and because they’re just so pretty.

Blueberry infused water

handmade baby shower drink table

handmade Baby Shower Drink Table

Found flowers and clippings make a beautiful and unique centerpiece

Handmade Baby Shower cake

Delicious Sparkling Lemonade

Handmade baby shower table setting

handmade baby shower cake

Here’s the recipe for the Quick Afternoon Punch that I made, as well as a quick list of what to gather, what to make, and what to purchase for you to use as a starting point for planning an easy afternoon shower or gathering.   Click through for the free Afternoon Party download.

I wish I had photos of everyone at the party, but I always get sidetracked and forget about that part.  I promise, we had fun.  Enjoy your parties!

Bing Rewards Update

I posted last week about Bing Rewards and my new obsession with getting gift cards for searching.  I’ve already earned another $5 Amazon since that post and used it today towards an order I was placing for a Father’s Day gift.  Woot!

Bing in the Classroom

Bing in the Classroom

Bing has another awesome program called Bing in the Classroom .  When you earn your Bing Rewards for searching, you can opt to donate them to a school of your choice to use towards Surface Tablets.  Bing also provides daily digital literacy lesson plans that inspire critical thinking for teachers as a part of the program.  The part of the program that stands out most to me;  Bing in the Classroom provides ad-free, safe search for schools.

I think ad free searching is a HUGE deal for kids.  Living in this hectic world, we get pretty inundated with ads all over our web browsing, scrolling text on our tvs, and just so much information.  It’s everywhere we look.  I know I feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information in the world on any given day, so I can only imagine that it’s even more intense for those little developing minds.  Even though I don’t have kids, I’m at that point in life where the husband and I have many conversations about our future children, and I’m happy to know that they will be able to search and satisfy their curiosity in a safe, ad-free space. Little minds are so hungry for information and I think the ability to search the internet is an amazing tool that I wish had been so far developed when I was trying to wrap my mind around big concepts, doing my homework, and just wondering how things worked.  And I also *know* that I would have gotten distracted by targeted ads trying to sell me on things, which is why ad-free searching is so awesome.  You can find out more details and pledge your support to ad-free searching at Show support for #adfreesearch! I’m required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site and Bing. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of payment, product or experiences.

Last Friday, we hosted our 5th Tulsa Etsy Craft Party at my little handmade shop.  Here are a few shots from our previous parties.   What a sweet community of makers we have here in Tulsa.

Tulsa Etsy Craft Party Tulsa Etsy Craft Party 2010 make:Tulsa and the Etsy Craft Party in Tulsa at the Philbrook Museum 2012 Tulsa Etsy Craft Party at the Philbrook Museum Tulsa Etsy Craft Party 2013Erin Wilson of Carosello with Hollyrocks at the 2011 Etsy Craft PartyDelicious handmade goodies for the 2011 Etsy Craft Party 

This Year’s Etsy Craft Party

The 2014 Etsy Craft Party theme was “Recapture: Bring new meaning to your photographs”, so we incorporated photographs into each of the projects.  We embroidered on photos, made photo coaster tiles, pinback buttons with photos, and a stamped photo stand.  

2014 Etsy Craft Party

My mom picked up these antique cardboard frames at an estate sale earlier in the week and we thought they’d make really fun favors for the party.  Some of them had handwriting from the owner, listing names and years, and although these were from the estate of someone else, the penmanship looked identical to my own grandma’s letters and notes, which made them special to me.  Hopefully they will be for their new owners as well.

Etsy Craft Party projects Etsy Craft Party styling and projects

I can’t have a party anymore without fresh flowers, so I put some at each project station and gave them away as some of the door prizes at the end of the night.

Etsy Craft Party attendees making projects Etsy Craft Party attendees making projects

We had a spot for everyone to drop off business cards to and also created a “let’s be friends” board, where each attendee could list their name, email address, website, and links to all social media.  We’re compiling the list and sending it out to everyone this week so everyone can go fan/friend/like/rss and connect with the other attendees.

Etsy Craft Party attendees making projects

I’m pretty obsessed with this easy photo stand project and will post a DIY tutorial soon, although it’s easy enough that you barely even need instruction.  I made a few, some with initials of people I like as little gifts, and a few for the shop that spell out MADE.  I think I might make some more of these to use as signs around the shop or at craft show booths.  I adore the #mydadisrad one that a creative lady came up with at the party.

Polymer clay photo stand at the Tulsa Etsy Craft PArty

I’m not gonna lie, it was a *rough* day.  My little shop got robbed that afternoon and rather than all those last minute party prep things, I was dealing with trying to recover our stolen money and police.  That’s a post for another day though… The party went really well and it’s always inspiring to meet new makers!  We had lots of lovely ladies join us at the party and we gave out lots of fun prizes from the shop.  I want to give a public thank you to Holly from Hollyrocks and Briana from Bifftastica for helping lead the projects and for always being so supportive of these crafty events.

We’ve had lots of requests for more craft parties and we are working on plans for another one soon for those crafty Tulsa folk.  What kind of projects would interest you?

Well folks, you may have noticed over on the husband’s blog that he has made the switch from Google to Bing.  For those that know him, this is a huge deal.  I have to take a little credit for pushing him in the Bing direction…

We first took the “bing it on” challenge together and I continually got Bing as my result.  I slowly began to switch over to Bing when I thought about it, but didn’t change my default search engine in my browser settings until I discovered Bing Rewards .  Yes, rewards.  As in, getting credits for something I do every day anyway and being able to use those credits for things I want.

I just signed up about a month ago, and by last week, I had already reached Gold Level.  It doesn’t take a lot of work.  Sign up for your account, I just signed in with Facebook. Easy peasy.  Then, you start to earn credits just by searching.  You can get 15 per day on your computer and 10 per day by searching from your mobile device.  Two searches = one credit.  So simple.  I pretty much hit my 15 credits a day every day on my computer without even thinking about it now that I have Bing set as my default search engine and just keep my account signed in.

My Bing Rewards Dashboard

Bing Rewards from my phone

One of my favorite things about Bing Rewards is the handy little Bing bar at the top of my search page that tells me how many credits I have and updates me when there are extra little fun credits available to earn.  A few of these seem to pop up everyday and will just have a little tidbit of info and when you click it, it pulls up search results to learn more.  And you get a credit.  And sometimes you learn something new.

My Sample Bing Search

There are also other fun specials like, double credits on Tuesdays in May and getting bonus credits when you hit Silver Level or invite a friend and they do some searching.

So, what can you do with all of these credits?  Well, there are a few of options… you can enter contests, “buy” gift cards, or donate your credits to schools or organizations.  So far I’ve entered a few contests for 40 credits, and thought about getting myself some Starbucks giftcards as treats, but since I’m doing my best to stop drinking caffeine, I’m opting for Amazon gift cards.  For a $5 gift card, you spend 525 credits, or, with your gold level discount, 475 credits.

How that breaks down:  Sign up for your account, set your default search engine to Bing, keep your account signed in, search, get free stuff.  How it’s working for me so far, I earn roughly 25 credits a day, 6 days a week (because I try to keep my Sundays tech free-ish), invited a few friends to sign up, and within my first 3 weeks, I’d entered a few contests with my points and have now just redeemed my first $5 Amazon gift card.

I’ve got a pretty long Amazon wishlist of things I likely won’t buy for myself, but with these gift cards, I feel like I can treat myself a little bit.  I got my first gift card today and ordered Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision, Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business by Kari Chapin, because I happen to be taking her 3 day course on Creative Live this week and am feeling super inspired (and because I loved her first book).  Getting $5 bucks off because I’ve been searching away this month is pretty awesome.

Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin

I love knowing that Bing is a company that’s engaged, supports events and organizations that I like (like Alt Summit) and they reward me for searching.

I’m required to disclose a sponsored partnership between our site and Bing. I have been compensated in exchange for this post in the form of payment, product or experiences.

Anyone who knows me or my brand well knows that high on my list of design inspiration is one amazing bearded fellow named William Morris. His quote, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”, has graced my studio walls in every creative space I’ve worked from.  It is a constant in my mind when I am working on a new design or product and I have adopted it as the ethos of my weather&noise mission statement. William Morris textile wallpaper designWilliam Morris Portrait Beard

William Morris

So, I’m gonna give you a little history lesson.  I mean, I just graduated from college, so I’ve gotta have an outlet for report writing somewhere. William Morris was an artist, textile designer, writer, and widely accepted as the Father of the Arts & Crafts Movement in England and America.  His writing inspired J.R.R. Tolkien and his design and pattern work inspired Liberty of London as they were starting to design and create textiles in the late 1800′s.  I’ll let you in on a little secret, I haven’t actually read any of his books yet, but a few are on my summer reading list.  In the description for News from Nowhere (1890) you can get an idea of Morris’ utopia and ideals:

“a classic work combining utopian socialism and soft science fiction. In the book, the narrator, William Guest, falls asleep after returning from a meeting of the Socialist League and awakes to find himself in a future society based on common ownership and democratic control of the means of production. In this society there is no private property, no big cities, no authority, no monetary system, no divorce, no courts, no prisons, and no class systems. This agrarian society functions simply because the people find pleasure in nature, and therefore they find pleasure in their work.”

Morris & Co

Morris grew up in rural England in the early 1800s, spending his days wondering the acres of forest that surrounded his home.  In his mid-twenties he moved to urban London and formed  Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co, a decorative arts company.  With the company, Morris and his partners hoped to reform standard British manufacturing and production practices and return to a system of well made, but affordable goods for the home.  It was at this time that Morris started focusing on pattern design for wallpapers and textiles, which is what made me fall in love with his work. William Morris Studio and Patterns

Later in Morris’ life, he developed an interest in typography, calligraphy, and preserving historic printing methods, which also makes me swoon a bit.  He spent his late years designing illuminated text for his earlier works of writing and learning the Icelandic language and about Scandinavian folklore.  Again, swoon-worthy. Morris’ tapestries were often made of fibers which he would dye himself, using vegetable dyes rather than of chemical dyes that were becoming popular in manufacturing.  And this was in the 1800′s before it was hip to go natural with things, quite the opposite in those days when modern manufacturing was becoming more and more about machines and chemicals.  Morris was also skilled at embroidery and after mastering the craft, he trained his wife and her sister so they could execute his elaborate designs.  Religious embroidery for vestments, sacramental cloths, and tapestries were a main part of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co’s revenue. Kelmscott Press William Morris's Press

Kelmscott Press

As his love of printmaking and typography grew in his later years, he founded Kelmscott Press, ”to refashion Victorian typography and to create beautiful books based on medieval manuscripts.  The press was founded in order to produce books by traditional methods, using, as far as possible, the printing technology and typographical style of the fifteenth century. In this he was reflecting the tenets of the Arts and Crafts movement, and responding to the mechanization and mass-production of contemporary book-production methods and to the rise of lithography, particularly those lithographic prints designed to look like woodcuts.”  Kelmscott Press became one of the most famous presses of the Arts & Crafts Movement.

William Morris & Co Arts & Crafts Textile Pattern Wallpaper

William Morris & the Arts & Crafts Movement

His deep involvement in the Arts & Crafts Movement is just one more reason to love Morris.  He fostered craftsman ideals by having apprentices, teaching his skills to many and working to form communities of makers and encourage society to support these skilled craftsmen.

“Because craftsmen took pleasure in their work”, Morris wrote, “the Middle Ages was a period of greatness in the art of the common people. … The treasures in our museums now are only the common utensils used in households of that age, when hundreds of medieval churches – each one a masterpiece – were built by unsophisticated peasants.”

William Morris died peacefully in October 1896 in London.  His family doctor pronounced that he had “died a victim of his enthusiasm.  The Disease is simply being William Morris, and having done more work than most ten men”. Want to see more?  Check out one (or all!) of these

 http://william-morris.com        //          William Morris Tile         //          Morris Society

  William Morris Pattern Wallpaper

Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy

The first exhibition devoted to William Morris and his influence on twentieth-century life, entitled Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy, is to open at the National Portrait Gallery in London this autumn.  The exhibit will focus on Morris’ far reaching politics, thought and design and will include portraits, furniture, books, banners, textiles and jewelry.  The collection highlights the element of anarchy within the ‘art for the people’ movement which demanded a total overturning of accepted values.  The exhibition extends beyond Morris’s own death in 1896 to show how his radical ideals developed through the Edwardian decade; It explores the ruralist revival of the 1920s and 1930s when leading craft practitioners – the potters Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew, the weaver Ethel Mairet, the hand-blocked textile printers Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher – evolved their own alternative ways of life and work in an increasingly materialistic age. I so deeply wish that I could go to London for the exhibit next year to see the work of the man that has shaped my aesthetic and my brand and to see some of his work in person and celebrate his life.  And that beard.  

With the start of the new year, I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions, goals, or whatever you want to call them.  The main change I want to make with 2014 is to let go.

Letting go is a pretty open ended goal without a quantifiable way to track, but I think it will help me in other aspects of life and business.

A few things I’m letting go of…

  • Big ideas that I don’t have the time, energy, or money to hold on to anymore.  This one might be the hardest..  I’ve had a very specific idea for a long time of what I wanted Made and make:Tulsa to be.  I have big ideas for things, and sometimes they just aren’t practical.  It bums me out a great deal to recognize that this place I wanted to create just isn’t going to happen, but I need to let go of the dream and focus on what my retail space and weather&noise are evolving into and just roll with that.
  • Critiquing myself based on other people’s successes – I think it will help me develop as a a designer and artist to stop focusing on what other similar businesses are doing, both right and what they are doing wrong.  Rather than trying to emulate other people’s successes in my own businesses, I want to just let things happen organically.  Also part of this, I want to make things that I like and I hope that people like them too.  I don’t want to create something based on a trend or with the idea that it will be “sellable”, I want to create things that I find beautiful and that reflect my aesthetic.  And I hope that people will buy them.
  • Past friendships that have ended in hurt – I’m not going to get caught up in letting them hurt anymore and I’m not going to keep my guard up so much this year.  Because, generally, people are good.  I’ve been fiercely protecting my feelings and not been very trusting of anyone these days and that’s just silly.
  • I am going to let go of thinking about where I thought my life would be when I was at this age.  I never did this until I turned 30, and I don’t really remember ever setting a timeline of life moments, but now I feel like I’m constantly worried that I’m failing at one or a handful of them.  Yes, I’m 31 and will just be finishing my degree this year.  I don’t have children yet.  It’s not exactly how I had it pictured all along, but there have been lots of accomplishments that I never could have planned for either.  Balance.

Did you make any new goals with the start of 2014?

 

 

WE’RE ON MARTHA STEWART AMERICAN MADE

Hello friends!  Exciting news in our little world!  We will be on the Martha Stewart American Made radio show tomorrow talking about all of our projects, Indie Emporium, our shop Made, make:Tulsa, and of course, weather&noise, our line of American made homewares.  We are so thrilled to be involved with the American Made movement and are continually inspired by the creative folk that we’ve met in the eight years since we started our little handmade business.Martha Stewart American Made

 

The Four Finger Fundraiser pop up sale started today!   Want to know what the sale is all about?  Here’s a snippet from the site.

We are raising money to support Jonathan and Amber Perrodin who own and operate Perrodin Supply Company, a small supply store in the heart of Northwest Arkansas. It is a mom & pop style business that prides itself on old-fashioned friendships and exceptional products.

Jonathan is the sole carpenter behind PSCo, and last Friday, February 22nd, Jonathan amputated his right index finger while working in their studio. In a moment, their lives changed. Now they are trying to figure out how to move forward with their business, but the damage to Jonathan’s finger has resulted in loss of time, as well as huge medical bills.

That’s where we come in! In an amazing show of support, handmade artists and makers across the states have decided to organize a fundraiser. Beginning on Monday, March 11th, donated goods are being sold in an online pop up shop, and all of the proceeds will be donated directly to the Perrodin family to help them with their medical bills.

There are so many amazing things to buy!  I want them all!  Check out the sale here.

perrodin 4 finger

perrodin_supporter_logos



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