Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Owl Themed Baby Shower March 27, 2012

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:12 pm
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This past weekend Karla and I held a baby shower for our dear friends Tom & Kim. I mentioned it in last week’s post and told you I would show you all the fun stuff we created for the day. So here we are! The theme we chose for the party was owls. It was easy to choose because the new baby’s room will be decorated with owls. Tomorrow Karla is going to tell you how we did all of our planning to make the big day happen, but today I am going to talk about all the different ways we brought out the owl theme into the party.

The first place we were able to add to the theme was on the invitations. Because we already know the baby is a girl {yay!} we knew we wanted to incorporate pink, but we didn’t want it to be overwhelming. So we added a chocolate brown and an apple green to the mix. I already had an owl stamp so all we needed was some paper. {I think adding the hand stamp really makes the invitation more personal. Karla even had the inspired idea to stamp the envelopes too}.

When we went to the craft store to pick up the paper for the invites, Karla spotted an adorable owl patterned fabric. We already knew we wanted to make a diaper cake and decided it would be the perfect accessory to add. I read some advice online about how to construct a diaper cake and learned that it’s best to use size 1 diapers- apparently baby’s don’t stay in newborn diapers very long and it’s nice for the parents to have the next size at home already. The advice I read called for an anchor for the diapers so that they can stay in place. The first website I found, suggested a paper towel roll. I ended up going another route…

That’s right...Champagne!

I can’t take the credit though. The second site I went to, Alphamom taught me that tidbit and I couldn’t get over what a fun surprise that would be for the parents. I chose the actual diaper technique from Lollypop Diaper Cakes and wrapped the diapers around the bottle. Then had Karla help me tie a piece of yarn around the whole thing to keep it in place.

I kept building layers of diapers

After all the diapers were in place {I used 50 in all}, I took the cute owl fabric, cut it into three strips and wrapped it around each layer and tucked it in so it was molded to each layer. I used safety pins to make sure the fabric would stay in place and created yarn flowers to add some decoration and finish off the cake. What do you think?

Ta Da!

Another way we incorporated the owl theme into the party was through dessert. Tom & Kim LOVE cupcakes. Many a time they have called Karla and I and asked if we want to run downtown to get cupcakes. We knew right away that we would need to do cupcakes instead of a traditional cake. I knew I had seen an owl cupcake before so I hopped on Pinterest and searched for an owl cupcake we could create ourselves.

I think these are unbelievable cute {if I don’t say so myself} and believe it or not they are super simple to create! The idea is originally from One Charming Party. All you do is make a chocolate cupcake, ice it with chocolate frosting then add two Oreos for eyes, 2 brown Reese Pieces for the beady part of the eyes, and an orange one for the beak.

The favors were also a find on Pinterest. I just have to mention how badly I hate lame favors that everyone takes home and throws away. Karla was probably annoyed with how judgmental I was of all the favors out there. But there was one that caught both of our eyes right away!

Barefoot Wine! Aren’t the footprints perfect?

We purposely picked one of the Barefoot wine’s that came in a pink color since we know the baby is a girl. Then Karla brought up the idea of cute little tags to make them more personal. We found a punch we liked along with some ribbon and used the same owl stamp from the invitations to tie the theme in. On the other side of the tags we added the phrase ‘Woo Hoo’! This incorporates our excitement for the little one as well as the owl theme yet again!

Punch Punch and more Punching

Stamped Tags

That brings me to the end of our owl themed extravaganza. As I mentioned earlier, Karla will be sharing some more party details tomorrow so make sure to tune in!


One Craftacular Evening March 2, 2011

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 6:59 pm
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Last Tuesday, Sarah, Kelly and I had an opportunity to get our Martha Stewart on. If you haven’t noticed, the Uncharted authors like to craft. From scrapbooking to card making to holiday ornaments, we rock them all! Martha doesn’t have anything on us…well maybe $638 million, but really, who is counting?

Not me, I’m still hoping to win the lotto. But I digress. Occasionally, I help out with programming ideas for my sorority’s alumnae monthly chapter meetings. And I thought, why not do a craft and enlist some help! Enter Sarah, Kelly and our craftastic Stampin’ Up friend, Penny.

Penny and I met a few weeks before the chapter meeting to go over the craft. Together in her amazing craft room, we came up with a great game plan for the card we would make. The main theme would be to keep it simple.

The reason for simplicity is because my alumnae chapter’s median age is probably around 65. Naturally, we didn’t want something complicated and intricate that would take a lot of time. Instead, we wanted something that everyone could take pride in making while having fun.

After taking care of some “business” in the beginning of our meeting, we were all ready to craft. Penny passed around the card we would create so everyone could see what we were going to do. Apprehension rose into the room. But, when Penny broke down the steps of how to make the card, a collective sigh of relief went out.

Gradually, everyone became more comfortable with what they had to do and how they could do it. Murmurs of, “So that’s how she did that.” or “Well that’s not so hard.” resounded in the living room.

To help Penny out, Sarah, Kelly and I went around the room assisting when there we could. Individually, we worked with the ladies on how to use the scallop punch or how to tie the ribbon. It was a truly a treat to watch everyone complete their card. I think they were all a little surprised by what they could do and how much fun they had while making a beautiful card.

The Featured Craft: A Birthday Card


A Little Piece of Papercrafting February 4, 2011

Filed under: Sarah — Uncharted @ 6:25 pm
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First of all, I want to start this week’s blog entry by apologizing to those of you who read our blog for my entry last week.  I hope nobody saw it for more than what it was: a simple opportunity to vent and see if anyone out there ever feels the same way I do.  And it turns out, people do.  It’s always good to know you’re not alone.

Now, on to this week!  I’m posting late because I have had a lack of reliable internet connections in my life the last few days due to the blizzard that hit Chicago.  And because of this blizzard, I also had a lack of WORK to do.  Now, three snow days later, here we are!

On Tuesday afternoon at 1:00 pm when our principal announced that we would be having a snow day on Wednesday (mind you, this was the MIDDLE of my reading block with my class), I had mixed feelings.  It’s funny how when you’re a little kid and you hear ‘snow day,’ you jump for joy and cry out in happiness (yes, that did actually happen on Tuesday afternoon), yet as an adult it’s a completely different story.  I should have been happy to have a snow day, and I was happy…to have ONE, just not THREE.  You see, you never really realized when you were a student how much intense pressure your teachers were under to cover a certain number of concepts with you to a particular level of mastery by the end of the year.  So when I found out we had snow days on Thursday and Friday as well, pretty much all I could do was be cranky that I wasn’t going to be able to ‘fit it all in’ before standardized tests start in March.  Until I saw what made it through the blizzard and into my mailbox…

Some of you have seen that Kelly, Karla and I enjoy papercrafting, and have attended several Stampin’ Up events with my friend Penny from school.  Well, before I left for Denver 2 weeks ago, Penny was basically stalking me.  No, not in a creepy way, in a way that ended up being totally cool.  She was desparate to get in touch with me to let me know about a special offer that Stampin’ Up was having for new demonstrators that sign up.  So, after much waiting and drooling over the list of stamps, colored cardstocks and rich inks that I would be receiving in the mail, it finally came…just in time for my snow days!

I spent several hours holed up in my house wearing PJs and drinking hot cocoa, working on new card designs.  I’m getting really excited to organize a party with some friends to share them and see what they can come up with, as well!  So those of you who are reading this and live in the Chicagoland area and enjoy stamping and papercrafting, let me know, I’d love to make our first papercrafting event a real party, so maybe you’ll get an invite! 🙂 The card below is a thank-you card I created (in hopes of the snow melting and spring arriving soon…hey, the groundhog said so) to give my friend’s family for hosting a girls’ weekend for some of us at their Bed and Breakfast over the next few days.  The only thing I’m worried about is that I’ll start ditching my real work to continually experience the joy of papercrafting.


Creative Wrapping December 21, 2010

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:12 pm
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Sarah loves crafting, Karla loves baking and Kate loves shopping.  What’s my love at Christmas time?  Wrapping!

There is always regular wrapping paper and that ribbon you can make curlier with scissors.  I mean at least it’s wrapped, right?  But occasionally when I have some time I like to go the extra mile and really do a present up!  It’s a great opportunity to be creative.  Not that I have a lot of time available with a new job and tons of holiday events going on… but I enjoy the wrapping of a present so much I thought I’d take a little time this Christmas season to come up with three different ways to get creative with wrapping:

1.  Use something besides traditional ribbon.
In this case I used yarn with some pretty button embellishments along with yarn poufs.  I have a lot of yarn around my apartment (it’s the main element I craft with for my Etsy shop) so I might as well use it!  You could use many items…colored tape, twine, an old necklace, the list goes on and on.  I took a short cut and hot-glued the buttons and yarn poufs to the middle of the bows.

2.  Gift Bags are a great way to wrap strangely shaped items.

This plain brown bag is stamped and covered with a green metallic embossing powder.  I love the shiny look it gives off and it makes it look more store bought.  I also love the opportunity to make my own pattern.  You can do a repeating pattern like I did or do a single stamp.  This is a very fast project and looks like a lot of work to others.



3.  Tissue Paper Wrapping is an inexpensive substitute for traditional wrapping paper.

This is white tissue paper stamped with Brilliance Ink in the Peacock color and a whimsical stamp.  Again you can make any pattern you’d like!   It’s a very untraditional look yet could be considered Christmas-y.  I needed to use a few layers of the tissue so no one could see what the gift is.  Then I used a fun pom pom ribbon to tie the whole gift together.

What creative ideas do you have for wrapping?


Stampin’ Up Some Holiday Cheer December 16, 2010

My teacher friend Penny is a salesperson for the company Stampin Up.  I flippin love to craft and make things, so Penny and I became close over my first 3 years teaching at our school (almost too close, because our friendship cost me everytime I ordered something from one of the Stampin’ Up catalogs hehe).  Some of my favorite days at school were when Penny organized after school stampin’ classes in her classroom where we’d make holiday-themed cards.  At first, I never wanted to give my cards away, because they were so cute and I had worked so hard on them that I was afraid if I gifted them to anyone they wouldn’t appreciate the full effort that went into them! But I got over that.  The trick was to find people who are also crafty who truly understood the beauty of each “work of art.”

When I got Penny’s email about her holiday classes, I knew I had to get the girls to attend one!  There were several that sounded good, but the date that we were all available was for a class where you make 3 Christmas gifts with Stampin’ Up products.  Penny uses some ideas from the company, but really creates some amazing things using her tools and a lot of imagination.  When we got to her “stampin’ attic,” we were immediately excited for the crafting experience that awaited us.

First of all, you would never believe the craft room Penny has going on in her attic.  When I read that we would be having the class in her “stampin’ attic,” I sort of thought it was just a cutesy name for a room she used to craft.  But I was wrong; this room is MADE for crafting and nothing else!  I want one someday: the walls covered in organizers with drawers for every piece of crafting material a girl could dream of, and any remaining space adorned with cards and projects Penny has handcrafted.  It was my own personal slice of heaven.

This class reintroduced me to the familiar feeling of not wanting to actually gift my gifts to anyone because I loved them so much.  We made a cloth pin that I swear could sell for bundles in a boutique, an applique coffee mug with an adorable paper-crafted tag and cocoa/mocha mix inside, and a set of elegant red and white stationery in a handmade box with a satin bow on top.  Everything was a joy to make, and the best part about it was that over crafting we were all able to bond and conversate!  If only I had a glass of wine in my hand, again, a slice of heaven.

Hard at work on our gifts

I think I can speak for all 3 of us Uncharted bloggers who attended this class on Tuesday when I say we will certainly be going back for more stampin’. Now I just have to figure out who will appreciate this next set of crafty wonder…

The finished gifts 🙂


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