Monday, September 24, 2007

Getting Things Laid Out

I am getting some of the tables and things set up in the house to see where everything is going to go and it looks good! Not sure how I am going to seat closet to 50 people in my living room but we will see! I have 20 chairs on reserve from a rental facility - but I am hoping that I get enough chairs from family to suffice. I started laying out some of the decor I have gathered over the last month to see how it all fits together.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Made My Cakes!

So, I finally convinced myself that it was getting close enough to the shower date to go ahead and buy more supplies...some of the many things I got today included diapers for the diaper cakes. I have read all sorts of articles on how to make them and Saturday I sat down and put myself to to the test. With a little tape, some twine, ribbon, and wire to make two gorgeous decorative diaper cakes....It was fun! I could do this for a living! Want a diaper cake? Let me know...I would love to make more! Anyways I used the metallic adhesive embellishments from the scrapbooking store and applied it to the ribbon and used my shredded paper as "icing". Looks cute...I would like to make two more and I have enough diapers...but I may need to save them for the Diaper Decorating activity.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Found Honey Comb!

So, I have been searching and searching at grocery stores for honey comb to serve on a little dish at the baby is edible, but I doubt anyone will eat it (their idea of a shower is mints and cake...mine is Japanese icecream and honey comb) but at very least it would look darling and mesh with my theme. Well, on my latest heath kick to take the stairs, park far away from the entrance, and take walks on my lunch break - I strolled around Monument Circle downtown and noticed people carrying bags of plants and sweet corn. This only means one is Wednesday and the City Market is open! So I perused the outdoor aisles and low and behold there was table from Hunter Farm Honey...the very place I was going to have Matt drive me out too to buy a slice of honey comb...but there they were and there was my honey comb - not to mention the cutest little wooden honey dipper! So happy!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Birds and the Bees Game

Perfect for my theme!

Coed Baby Shower Game: Where Do Babies Come From?

Just about everyone had a wacky idea of where babies come from when they were a kid, and if they didn’t they know of some silly ideas that a friend, cousin, or sibling had. These wacky ideas can make for a great baby shower game for sure. Where Do Babies Come From is a great way to start your baby shower as it will get everyone relaxed, laughing, and able to open up to having a good time.

How To Get The Laughs Started
You’ll really only need scraps of paper and a pencil for each of your guest, the more the merrier for this gut busting game. Instruct each of your party guests to write on a piece of paper where they thought babies came from when they were little. Then, instruct each of your party guests to read their answer to the question of where the little guys and girls come from. It’s inevitable; every guest will be laughing by the time each shower guest has read his or her story!

To make the game even more fun, each of the ideas can be put into a bowl or container of some sort. Then, the expectant parents can read each idea aloud to the other party guests who will then have to guess who wrote what. The person with the funniest or most outlandish idea of where babies come from will win a prize! This is a simple game that takes almost nothing to play, but will leave a lasting impression on each guest!

Baby Shower Game Ideas

So, I think I have been WAY too much time trying to find great shower ideas. There just is not a lot out there about baby showers - not a lot of websites or blogs. No, what I mean to say is that there isn't a lot great shower blogs or websites...just mediocre - hum-drum stuff and tons of it. I don't want hum drum....I don't want blue baby bottle candles or safety pin cookies. Arg!

But here are a few cute ideas for shower activities to keep everyone entertained that I have gleaned by the many resources I have looked at and read.

A "Send a Message to Baby"

Each partygoer is given a thin piece of cardboard and a thick felt marker and is asked to write a greeting, a wish, or another special message for the baby. The host then takes a picture of each guest holding up his or her greeting (a Polaroid instant or digital camera, for immediate results, makes this the most fun). The photos can then be assembled in an album or saved for the baby book. As he grows, the little one will surely get a kick out of seeing familiar faces and receiving the messages sent to him by close family and friends before he was even born. (I actually read about a version of this where people write on slips of paper and then all the paper is put into a wine bottle and sealed until the child's 16th birthday - I really like that idea) Both are good.

Advice Book
A new mother will definitely need advice on taking care of a baby. Place out a pretty journal for guests to write advice to the mother. This keepsake will be invaluable to the mother as she starts raising her kids.

Guess The Candy Bar or Guess what it is?

Pass around disposable diapers that have had candy bars melted in the microwave. Label the diapers and hand the guests a sheet of paper to write down the numbers and which candy bar is in each diaper. (alternative game can be played by not limiting the contents to melted candy bars)....this game is kinda iffy but has a good shock factor to get people talking

Diaper Decorating

Take cloth diapers and use fabric paints, iron-ons and markers for the guests to create diaper masterpieces. They can put cute sayings on it like," This side down" or "Momma's present goes in here"

Decorate onesies

Provide a table to decorate onesies for the baby. Have supplies like iron on designs, markers, paints, and decorative items for guests to use. You can tie dye some onesies or provide onesies in different sizes and colors to make it with.

Provide a card style cookbook for guests to decorate and fill with their favorite recipes.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Burts Bees Favors?

Many great bee products. Might have to shop around to see what kind of prices I can find.

I Found Bees!

I had only a half day at work today and since I got off early I thought I would swing by Hobby Lobby and pick up more packets of those cute bees I found there. Guess what? They were gone! Arg! GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I depressingly walked around the store picking up paint and little wooden eggs to physically make bees and then came the whammer - they did not have any wooden or tin hearts or anything to make the wings. Blah! But my trip to Michaels was much more successful. In fact, I was able to take everything back at Hobby Lobby! I found little flat wooden bees already painted and cute! I also bought wire to twirl and glue onto the backs so that they can stand up and look like they are flying around the table and around the house...cute! Pic soon to follow. And the image below is how my bird nest favors are turning out...quite nicely!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

This Party Is Going to the Birds...Quite Literally

Yes, so I haven't even posted my latest decor yet and already I can see I am in trouble with an overpowering bird theme. There is the adorable white and blue bird feeder I got from Flower Factory, my oh-so-cute bird nests with little blue almond eggs (which came in the mail yesterday!), my bird nest center piece, the three little paper mache bird eggs I bought and will paint to be large robin eggs...oh and check out the cute vase I found...perfect for something I am sure! :)

Top pic is of the little flower pots I painted for some of the game prizes (which will be baby spider plants). Other prizes will be the honey soap and maybe a candle. In the background you can see part of the bird house will be used as decor...either on the table with the food or somewhere.

Wooden Honey Dippers

Cute little craft item I found to help juice up the bee side of my theme. I am overwhelmingly bird at the moment....bird nests, bird eggs, a bird house....I need more bees! So I think I am going to buy those honey soap favors and set them out as decor as well and I will probably buy a few of these honey dippers...and I am going to buy little eggs and paint them as bee bodies and nail on little rustic hearts to the backs as wings (saw someone do that in a craft store...and I found all the supplies I need onine...just need to shop around for the best shipping prices).

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Instead of messing with tubs and messy scoops of ice cream to go with our cupcakes - we are going to have chocolate mochi ice cream. A kind of japanese ice cream. They see it at Trader's Joes...packs of six for $2.99! Not too bad!

Customized Baby Gift

Go, Martha, Go! This woman is amazing. I wanted to have a present for the mommy-to-be besides the shower I am throwing for her and this is perfect! On the front-page of Martha's website she has a video about customized baby gifts where she using stamps to personalize onesies. I found a bee stamp I like at Archivers and now I am in business!

Winged Cug Tags

Martha is good for so many, ideas, crafts...God love her! And here is another Martha-inspiration for the shower! Winged cup tags to help everyone identify their drink! But mine are going to look like the ones below with a name printed on each one. I will print and cut out each one after I get the list from Laura of all possible attendees. And of course I will have some blanks ready for any one last minute show-ups!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Robin's Egg Soaps

I would really love to get some of these for the shower. But they are so expensive! We will see. I found two really versions of the little egg soaps so far.

1. (picture on the right)
2. (picture on the left)

I like the one on the left better but they much more expensive...but they come in the best packaging! The jar matches my theme perfectly! :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Sweet" Prize Idea

Since I am doing a few traditional games at the shower, to get everyone mixing and mingling and talking...I need some prizes. And of course, I want to stick to my theme. Bath and Body works always has great stuff and right now they have a sale on their luxury hand soaps by Savannah Bee Company. But, I cannot decide whether I want to use them as prizes or buy them for my guest bathroom and by the kitchen sink or as decor. Maybe I can do a little of both! The soap looks like honey and may mostly be - I haven't read enough about it yet - I was just excited to find something with my theme!

Apothecary Drink Jars

For my husband and I's housewarming party in late April, we served lemonade in a large 2 gallon apothecary jar with sliced lemons and limes inside and ice. It was a hit! Everyone drank it up...the lemons and limes added a gorgeous touch not to mention a great taste to an otherwise ordinary drink. For Laura's shower I am playing off that idea but sticking to our color scheme. I am serving iced tea in one with sliced lemons and whole red raspberries and in another jar I am serving Iced Blue Lemonade Kool-Aid - an old childhood favorite of mine with whole blueberries and sliced lemon mixed in. I am also going to use the jars to hold balled melons with mint garnish!

Baby Cakes....Cupcakes!

For dessert at the shower in lieu of our birds and the bees theme I found more Martha-inspiration! Her Baby Blue-bird Cupcakes. I may make the little birds into just little blue eggs..forgoing the eyes and wings. And maybe intersperse the coconut and icing eggs with chocolate shavings with my blue Jordan Almonds.

Oh Nuts!

For the bird nest favors I am been on the hunt for Jordan Almonds in blue. I have found white and a pastel multi-color pack. So, I have turned to my trusty resource in a pinch - the web! In addition to Jordan's own website (which I found confusing and hard to navigate let alone hard to order off of) I also found a great online resource for candy and nut favors with decent pricing - Oh Nuts!. I was able to order two pounds of my robin's egg blue almonds for $6 but the shipping cost more than the order...$7! Hmm..but I want them and cannot find them anywhere so I went ahead and placed my order!

Have My Cake...But Don't Eat It!

I am going with one of the more traditional baby shower decor items, the diaper cake. But, true to my nature, I am doing it my way and with a modern twist. Many great websites have been my inspiration. Here is the basis of my design for the diaper cakes, but instead of yellow and pink coloring and yellow orchids, I think I am going to go with blue hydrangeas and some sort of white flower and of course brown and blue ribbon and brown crinkle paper! I will post mock-ups when I get to the level of production. So far I only have the diapers.

Above is the ribbon I will be using for the diaper cakes..I think I want to make two.

Above are some little decorative items for the cake...cute little metallic sticky scrapbooking words that say "sweet baby" to put on the ribbon and little wooden cut-outs that the mommy-to-be can use later in the nursery if she wants. She is going with a dino theme for most of the baby's stuff.

Stocking the Staples

Now, Factory Card Outlet may not be good for a shin-dig like this, what with all the plasticky doo-dads and cheesy decor, but what they are good for a the staples. Plates, napkins and cups in solid colors and large quantities. If this was going to be an intimate affair with only 5-12 attendees then sure I would jump for the designer dinnerware, but talked about the numbers and she is expecting upwards of 40 people. The focus on this shower is not the plates - but I did find great colors to match our palette! Chocolate brown plates and baby blue napkins!

Bee-ing Optimistic

If one cannot find bird nests in any of the craft stores...what is the probability of finding bees? With my naive understanding that craft stores stock all crafts no matter the season and not thinking and maybe birds nests and bees are a spring theme and here we are in the midst of the fall season not the mention the early emergence of holiday items sneaking into every store - I was let down yet again. I had a little more luck with the bees than I did the birds nests - at least I could find bee themed items. But what I could find did not necessarily meet my expectations. I am not looking for googily eyed bees, not looking for cartoon bees, no looking for abstract bees...just a bee please. Like the ones I found at Hobby Lobby, but maybe made out of wood with little hearts nailed on for wings like the one lone bee I found clinging onto a cute bee hive made of coiled twine at a local craft store called Creations. I about let out a yelp when I found this great little bee - only to find out that he came as part of a package...a hideous doll was supposed to be holding him and the hive...and the dealer would not budge on selling them separately. So, I looked closely at how it was made in case I break down and just make my own. I should have snapped a pic for future reference. I can always go back - I doubt he leaves the store shelves any time soon being attached to that frightful doll.

I did find a bee stamp from Archiver's the scrapbooking store that will work perfectly for my idea for a present to match the theme of shower and I have some ideas on how to make my own bees. In addition to buying small wooden eggs painting them like the body of a bee and nailing little metal hearts to the body - I am thinking of also printing out an image of a bee and sticking them around the table settings and one the diaper cakes. And I am still one the hunt...I have not yet ventured out to Old Time Pottery or any of the cutesy stores on Mass Ave or up in Carmel or Broad Ripple. Plus I still have time. This is exactly why I am starting full-force now, because in a month when the shower actually takes place I do not want to be stuck not being able to find the decor and favors I want and having to settle for the norm.

Another thing I found at but they did not have a bee in stock - was creative hole-punches. Which may be a way to go for me instead of printing and cutting out a ton of bees by hand. I found this great one online at Paper Source.

A Buzz in My Ear

All my trips around town in the hunt for a perfect nest was not all to no avail. I did finally find a nest - though not the one I wanted and I did find some materials to fabricate the look I am going for. But most importantly, I got inspiration for more great ideas for the shower!

While perusing the aisles of Hobby Lobby I came across the wedding favor supply aisle - here I found birds, but not birds nests. BUT next to the cutest little birds - (made with blue and brown materials - the palette colors for the shower) I found the cutest little bees. And then it hit me. Bird and Bees. The birds and the bees! And that became my shower theme. Marvelous!


So the hunt for the perfect nest for the baby shower favors has begun. I absolutely loved the pic of the favor that Martha made so I wanted to mimic it as close as possible and with as many craft stores as there are today how hard could it be to find a nest just like that one? Not to mention the plethura of online resources at our finger tips. Even if I cannot find a nest like that surely I can order exactly what I want from some sort of floral supply company online right?

Boy, was I wrong!

First stop was Joann Fabric. Yeah, I know the keyword there is "fabric" -but they also carry TONS of other stuff - but apparently not bird nests. I did find the ribbon I wanted though for my diaper cakes...another post there. And I found some nest type materials...spanish moss and brown shredded crinkle cut paper.

Next stop, Michael's and Hobby Lobby. Both conveniently located next door to each other. Hobby Lobby - no luck -but I did find bees!

So on to Michael's, where alas! I found a bird's nest - but was not what I wanted at all. It was fabricated from a light tan straw like material - not anything like the dark twigs that made up Martha's mock-up. Not to mention that they were priced at about $1.20 a piece and with an estimated 40 guests..that puts me out of my budget for a nest I do not even like.

But all was not lost. I did find little .20 cent grape vine wreaths. They have a hole in the middle...but I think I can use them to fabricate the nest I want. So I bought some burlap too...If I can hot glue burlap circles to the bottom of the wreaths and then stuff the wreath with spanish moss I have a nest that at least looks similar to what I want! Haven't actually tried this yet...but that will be another post.

Choosing the Theme

After choosing a palette of colors and an overall look or design as a foundation - it was time to think about theme (which probably should have been the first thing I thought of...but not how my mind was working with this event thus far). I, again, wanted to steer clear of traditional baby shower motifs, but still wanted something darling. The blue I had chosen for the invite closely resembled a robin's egg blue and the chocolate brown a bird's nest and with Martha's inspiration the two melded together! Later the theme somehow took a turn towards the oh so clever them of "the birds and the bees"...I think the inspiration for that came from a trip to Hobby Lobby in which I found little decoration birds next to some little decorative bees...but we will save that story for another post.

Pictured to the left: Martha Stewart's Bird Nest Wedding Favors

And so it has begun

I spent day one designing the invite. Laura is pretty sure she is having a bouncing baby boy so I wanted to go with "boy" colors of course. And what is more mod than dark chocolate brown and robin's egg blue?! Then, to make the event more about Laura and not just about her little one on the way I choose a more generic design - steering clear of the cliche baby buggie, bootie, teddy bear designs you find lining the shelves of the baby shower invitation isle. And here is what I came up with. The starting block of the shower - the invitation.

The Beginning

Well, this all started because our dear friends Matt & Laura have upped and gotten themselves pregnant - God love them! :) To welcome this little one into the world, they have been pretty busy...not to mention going to school full-time on top working. To take a little stress off of her shoulders I am planning her baby shower - which she so graciously bestowed upon me...I am sure she is second guessing herself now that I have gone off the deep end with the idea and have driven her crazy with wanting the "list"!

What I have noticed most so far in planning this is the sheer lack of modern, classy, and chic ideas for baby showers. You would think that in the year of 2008, with Martha Stewart and all her glamor and all the crazy-all-out million dollar 16 year-old birthday party bashes you hear of that there would be a booming market out there for classy - nicely designed baby showers. But no! There isn't I have had to scour the net and the bookstores for anything even remotely updated and modern about throwing a baby shower with glam. I have found some great stuff from a few - there's Martha Stewart of course, Hostest with the Mostest and a few others with great ideas to help me along. But for the most part the pickings have been thin.

So, to lessen my frustration and to keep all my ideas in one handy location instead of on 20 scrap pieces of paper, 2 notebooks and my online google docs account...I thought I would post a cute blog about designing a baby shower. Yes, designing - not just planning a shower...but designing it as an experience. I am after all a graphic designer...nay, that word itself is so constraining...I am what you would call a Visual Communicator. I design mainly print pieces but I believe in total design. Not stopping at the invitation but looking at the minute details to design an experience not just a pretty piece of paper.