amandajocrafts

January 8, 2013

On A Favorite Things Party.

As promised, here are the details from the best ever favorite things party!

I am very blessed to be part of a group of seven friends who are so very dear to me. We’ve all been friends since high school, and through college, and now the “real world,” we’ve really stayed close. We thought having a favorite things party with all of us would be the perfect way to celebrate Christmas!

Our party has a Christmas theme to it, from the wrapping paper and gift bags to the decorations. We made a corner of the room into the food and gift area. In order to make it look particularly festive, we wrapped the card table with wrapping paper, wrapped the frames (which normally have pictures of the Rat Pack!) with wrapping paper, and hung Christmas bulbs from the ceiling.

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The gift table got a festive streamer on the front of it.

party - presents table

At the fireplace, we hung tissue paper balls on either side, and (the piece de resistance!) a “Merry Christmas” banner my friend Keri made. Doesn’t it look so professional! (and adorable!)

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We all brought our favorite appitizers and desserts. Six layer dip, queso dip, cookies, brownies, devil’s food cupcakes, and mozzarella sticks. A vast majority of this got eaten!

party - food

To start off the night, we played the Favorite Things Game. It’s just like Scattegories–you have a list of favorite things to fill in. Then, you go around and see what everyone had for an answer. If you had the same thing as someone else, you cross it off. The person with the most “unique” answers (answers that no one else had) at the end of the game wins!

fav things

(I can tell you, this took a long time to play–we kept getting distracted by everyone’s favorite things! And then, when we got to the book question, we spent a half hour talking about good books we should all read ūüôā )

Then, for the best part of the night–our Favorite Things! We had seven people, and we each brought 3 $10 gifts, so we each got three gifts. To pick, we wrote our name on a piece of paper three times and put them all in a cup. Once they were all in there, we each drew out three pieces of paper, and we received gifts from those people.

Here is a list of what everyone’s favorite things were:

  • Hanging out with all of us: this was a goody box with things we all loved to do together! It included a coupon code for a free RedBox movie, an old-fashioned Coke bottle, a mini-bottle of wine, a travel game (either Apples to Apples or Uno), and M&Ms.
  • Staying warm! This one was a gift bag full of super cozy Old Navy fuzzy socks, and a pair of fuzzy slippers, as well!
  • Staying warm, again! Yes, two girls had the same favorite thing–we really are quite alike! This one had a mug (either dogs, cats, or birds on it, because she loves animals), a pair of socks, and her favorite tea.
  • Nail Care Kit, and then some: This one embodied quite a few different favorite things! It was her favorite nail polish brand in one of her favorite colors (OPI, dark purple), with a buffer block (4 different sides to the block, for filing, buffing, shining, etc.), and cotton balls. It came in a wine glass (because she likes drinking wine), which had a quote from J.K. Rowling on it in puffy paint: “The stories we love best live in us forever.”
  • Cake Pop Maker: This one is pretty self-explanatory ūüôā but for backstory, the girl who brought it is a fantastic baker, and she loves making us fun treats!
  • Wine Glass: She loves drinking wine, wearing shoes, and the color pink…so the wine glass had a pair of pink shoes painted on it! Pretty perfect combo here!
  • Writer’s Essential’s Kit: Yes, you guessed it, this one was mine :). I finally picked what I wanted to do! (Click here if you want to see what other things I was considering.) This one had a pen, a mini-notebook (courtesy of¬†skeldesign on Etsy) and a mug (because you need a hot beverage to write your best!). On each mug, I wrote a different quote about books using a paint pen that you bake to make it stay on. (Look for the tutorial soon!)

Here are all our favorite things together:

party - gifts

What a wonderful night, and what wonderful friends!

December 17, 2012

On a Crafty Weekend!

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 11:36 am

I got my craft on this weekend!

First, after a stalled-out Etsy shop (slow times happen to me at the weirdest times!), I got two orders in two days! The first was a pair of fingerless gloves, which are always fun to make.

The other was for a custom kitten! Not just any kitten though–there’s a bit of a story behind this one. Apparently, there is (or was) an online game called “Glitch.” The developers are taking the game down, and someone was interested in having a crocheted version of the cat character from this game, called “Heli Kitteh.” They showed me a screen shot from the game of the kitten, and I got to work! The recipient loved it, and I already got another order for it!

Also, I can’t post pics yet because I also did this craft for some relatives who have not received it yet (don’t want to spoil the surprise!) but I did 10 gifts for everyone at my office, AND baked cookies for them! Due to a miscommunication with the notes on my cookie recipe, I misjudged how many cookies the recipe would make, and instead of getting 160, like I expected, I got 260 cookies! (Needless to say, there are a LOT in the freezer now!) All of that took up most of the weekend, but it was certainly worth it–I love my workplace and everybody I work with, so I was more than happy to share the joy!

Finally, I wrapped all the finace’s gifts! He has a nice little pile under our tree now :).

Have you been crafty this weekend?

December 13, 2012

On DIY Mania…Post-Christmas.

Let’s all just start by admitting that Pinterest is addictive.

Helpful, yes. Interesting, yes. A fantastic way to share things with my best friends regarding style, wedding, and clothing ideas, even though they’re states away? Yes.

However, it also awakens a (not so latent) need to always be creative. I want to make everything. And so the DIY Pinterest board began.

Since it’s Christmastime and I certainly won’t have the time for myself before the big day comes along (let’s ignore the fact that I go back to school in January, and therefore probably won’t have time after Christmas, anyway), I have a little¬†list of DIY projects for myself once¬†the¬†new year begins. (And side note, 2013, really? Where has the time gone? In my head, when I calculate years that have passed, I¬†still always assume it’s 2000 for some reason.¬†2013 just sounds strange…like we’re all in a sci-fi movie….which is making me want to watch Firefly…getting off track now, I know.)

So, here’s my DIY list for the new year:

Crochet Hook Holder

This really does not look that hard, although there was no attached tutorial in the pin I found. I have a sewing machine, seems like you buy some material, a little lace, and go to town! (Ask me if I feel this way when I actually attempt it. My sewing machine and I do not always see eye-to-eye.)

Knitted Lace Socks

(Pattern here.)

I have had these on my pinboard…well…just about since I got a Pinterest account. I actually took a step forward and bought the yarn for them the last time I was at Michael’s, but with the push to add items in my Etsy shop for Christmas, I just haven’t gotten around to working on something for myself. (In that respect, my scarf hat is still right where it was when I last blogged about it, as well. I know…it’s going to be spring before I get my act together. The fiance keeps telling me I have to actually do something for myself for a change. Gotta get around to that :))

Canvas Shoes

These just look really cool. Another Etsy blogger, the awesome Vivid Please, supplied a tutorial for these awhile back, and darned if I just haven’t gotten around to it. I will in the new year, I swear!

Mason Jar Herb Garden

 

I’d like to do a variation on this. My fiance and I get a lot of tea in the really pretty tins you see at Trader Joe’s and Giant Eagle Market District, and I won’t let him just throw the tins away because they’re so cute! (Yes, I have a cute clutter problem.) I think this would be a great way to reuse them, and a great alternative to having them sitting on a table somewhere, because we are just out of room!

Well, that’s my list for now :). I’m trying to keep it manageable so I’ll actually get to it! If you want to check out everything else I’ve been thinking of, come on over to my Pinterest DIY board.

Do you have any DIY lined up?

December 5, 2012

On Prepping for a Favorite Things Party.

Yes, like Oprah ūüôā

As I mentioned in my last post about the Harry Potter party, my friends really like being crafty. We routinely have themed parties, and when we all lived in the same state, we’d scrapbook together often. This year for Christmas, we decided a favorite things party would be the perfect twist on the traditional grab bag and we could have lots of fun in the process :).

In short, a favorite things party is where you bring your favorite things! For us, we chose to bring 3 $10 favorite things (as in, we bought/made three of the same gift, spending about $10 on each one). We’ll pull names out of a hat to see who gets who’s gifts.

I had a smidgen of trouble coming up with my favorite thing. These are my oldest, dearest friends (we’ll be celebrating our deccenial friendaversary this year…..long story) and so nothing I pick would really be a surprise. In addition, although I was supposed to bring MY favorite thing, I certainly wanted the recipients to enjoy it, as well! And, of course, I wanted to be cute and crafty.

However, I ended up deciding on something I’m really excited about, and you’ll get to see it after our favorite things party! For now, here’s some things I ended up NOT picking…just in case you’re looking for ideas yourself!

1) A book.

(I nixed this because I wanted to be more creative, but reading is certainly one of my favorite things!)

– Book (Perhaps The Night Circus?)

– Bookmark

2) Pamper Your Hands

– Nail polish.

– Hand lotion. My favorite scent is Bath and Body Works’ “Twilight Woods”:

– Nail file

3) Crocheting

(Had to nix this because the coupon for a tutorial wouldn’t have been effective, as I live states away from the rest of my friends at the moment!)

– Yarn

–¬†Crochet Stitch Markers

– Coupon for crochet lessons from your truly

4) Pittsburgh

(My home town. Need I say more?)

– I didn’t have the details of this one quite figured out, but I thought perhaps a mug and ornament that both had the city skyline (or the Steelers!) on them.

5) Organization Lover

– Made a DIY to-do frame, using the tutorial here:

– A 2013 calendar, with photos of my friends and me in it.

6) My Friends

(Cheesy, but they’re my favorite, too!)

– A 3 4×6 opening frame with pictures of us inside through the years of our friendship.

Have you ever done a favorite things party? What would be your favorite thing?

September 17, 2012

On Hooded Scarf Update #1.

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 9:53 am

The hooded scarf is coming along swimmingly! It’s been about 10 days since I first posted that I had started this project, and it’s actually been going pretty fast! (If you’re curious about it from the get-go, check out my first post here.)

I try to devote a little bit of time every evening to knitting for myself (and I really do put it on my calendar in that way: “knit for myself,” because it’s too easy to end up using that time for things in my Etsy shop!)

My fiance and I finish whatever else we’re doing by a certain time, and then take about a half hour together to watch reruns of Frasier and do some knitting. (Yes, he knits, too! I taught him how :). He’s making a knitted tie in a thin, black cord-type yarn with really small double-pointed needles. Maybe once he’s done, I’ll get a picture of it!) It’s a nice opportunity to wind down at the end of what is always a busy day, and it feels rewarding to treat yourself to some crafting for yourself.

Here’s how far I’ve come:

This pattern starts by making the entire scarf part, and then connecting it to the hat part later. On the far left is where the first¬†pocket will be; you do three sets of the pattern and then one knit row, so that it folds over and the pattern stays on the correct side. For about two weeks of work, I’d say that’s some progress!

A nice close-up of the pattern:

I love the way those middle circles are working out. They pop out so nicely against the background, and since the yarn is really soft, they give a great texture.

And here’s my “artistic” shot:

I just love working with this pattern and this yarn! Now that I have the pattern down pat, I barely have to look at the directions at all. On the flip side, I “try it on” every night just to see how it feels because I can’t wait for it to be done–and it’s great! So soft, and so warm. I think, when it comes down to it, it’ll probably be done right when it needs to be: just in time for winter.

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