{Tutorial: How to Make a BMO Adventure Time Costume}

BMO_CoverIMG_0254Okay, this adorable little thing is BMO, pronounced “Beemo”.  If you’re not familiar, he’s from the cartoon called Adventure Time.  Ever heard of it?  My son is 8 and decided at the last minute that he didn’t want to be a devil for Halloween anymore because all of the costumes that we looked at online were either too scary or too babyish for him.  So, with the school Halloween dance only 2 days away, we started brain storming.

I have no idea how we came to this decision, but he just had to be BMO.  I don’t even like my son to watch the show because I find it sort of weird in a trippy kind of way.  But he sneaks it sometimes.  Besides, I was not in a position to argue with the kid since I had next to no time to prepare.  And to think that this year I’d be able to get away with a store bought costume.  BUT NOOOOOOOO!

I really didn’t mind though because I was in desperate need of a creative release and this was just the ticket.  Do you ever get like that?  All stuffed up and frustrated with ideas and creativity but no time to release all of that wonderful energy?  It makes me cranky.  So you can imagine how sitting behind a desk all day long can have an impact.  That’s why it is SO important for me to have an outlet.

My son and I headed down to the basement to look around for some supplies.  We lucked out and found the perfect box.  I had to empty all of our air filters out of it, but we NEEDED that box!

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I had leftover white primer and aqua blue spray paint from my summer patio set project:
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I had plenty of craft paint to work with, but to save myself some time I used a 40% off coupon at the craft store to buy a pack of 40 multi-colored sticky back foam sheets.  These things proved to be a God send!  I was able to make several of BMO’s details out of them instead of using paint and there are a ton left over for future projects.  The sticky side is surprisingly sticky!   
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Also, I sorted through my bag full of plastic caps and pulled a few out to use as the cool little knobs and buttons on BMO’s front.  If you’re wondering why I have a bag full of plastic caps…I started collecting them after I saw a gorgeous wall mural made out of nothing but paint and different colored plastic caps at my yoga studio.  One day I’d like to do a smaller scale version of it with my kids. IMG_5073

Okay, so let’s get down to the step-by-step of this project!

{STEP 1} Use a pencil and trace where you want the screen and arm holes to be.  Note that BMO’s arms come out from the middle of the “O” in his name.  Cut out the holes very carefully using a box cutter or exactoknife.

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{STEP 2}  Prime with a coat of white primer to cover the dark lettering and logos on the box.  I knew I didn’t have much blue paint so I didn’t want to risk these dark spots showing through, so I mostly focused on those areas.  IMG_5066

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{STEP 3}  Use a small angled paint brush and black craft paint to outline the screen and arm hole openings.  Allow to dry thoroughly and add a second coat if you think it’s necessary.

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{STEP 4} Use a round sponge brush to stamp circles on each side of BMO where his speaker areas are.  An easy way to configure the dots was to do the center dot first, then one to the left and one to the right of it.  So you have a straight line of three dots.  Then, the bottom two dots and top two dots are placed half way between the dots from the middle row.  Does that make sense?  This way you aren’t trying to free hand a circle of dots.  Allow to dry thoroughly and add a second coat if you think it’s necessary.

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{STEP 5}  Using a hot glue gun, adhere your plastic caps to the front of the box, using an image of BMO as a reference.  He’s got one big round button, a smaller green one, and another black knob under the screen.  I cut the blue triangular button and the yellow cross shaped button out of the sticky back foam.  Again, this stuff is really sticky!  Love it!

 

 

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{STEP 6}  Cut out one long skinny oval and two shorter ovals out of sticky back foam for the “slots” on BMO’s front.  Then cut out 5 more skinny ovals for the vents on BMO’s back.  Cut out 4 small circles, and a bunch of strips to configure the two “hatches” that house BMO’s batteries and other stuff.  In one episode they showed the inside and it contained a bunch of stuff that made reference to The Wizard of Oz.

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{STEP 7} I free handed the letters by drawing on the reverse of the sticky back foam sheets and then cut them out.  However, if you don’t want to be that daring, print out some block letters in a large font, cut them out, and use them as a template to trace around.  Stick those babies on and you’re just about done!

{STEP 8} Use a black sharpie marker to outline all of the knobs and buttons to make them POP!  This step really makes everything stand out and gives it dimension.

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{STEP 9}  I used duct tape to tape a square of very sheer light blue organza fabric to the inside of the box to simulate BMO’s screen.  If you don’t want to do this step, having your adorable face in the screen is just fine!  Keep in mind that if you’re going to be out at night trick-or-treating with a little one in this costume, think about skipping this step.  My son’s school dance was indoors and I didn’t think his safety was too much of a concern, but come Halloween night, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do.  I might remove the screen altogether or I might cut a hole in the top so his head peeks out of that instead.

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{Step 10}  This is also an optional step, but BMO has quite a personality and many fascinating expressions.  So if you want to add some personality, get creative!  My son saw this mischievous looking mustache face and insisted on it.  The sticky back foam stuck right to the fabric perfectly.  I had to make that darn mustache three times!  The first time, my daughter grabbed it when the sharpie marker outline hadn’t completely dried and smudged the hell out of it.  Then, a couple days later she pulled half of the new one right off of the costume!

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Here is my son, in all his glory, trying it on at home and then at the school dance!  NAILED IT!

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BMO Costume DIY

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

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{Tutorial: How To Make Chocolate Mustache Lollipops}

One Cozy Nest ~ Mustache Lollipop Tutorial“I Really Mustache You a Question…..Will you be my Valentine?”

This tutorial will show you (and your kids!) how to make these yummy and silly Valentine’s Day treats to hand out during their class party. The first time I made these lollipops a few years ago, I actually made them for adults and let me tell you…they were a huge hit! I made them for my husband’s 30th birthday party, which had a mustache theme…a Mustachio Bashio, if you will. All the guys grew out their mustaches (as well as they could, anyway) and the girls all donned fake ones that I cut out of black and brown felt. It was quite the sight seeing all the girls with facial hair.

Since mustaches are still all the rage years later, especially with the kiddos, I thought I’d make these tasty treats for my son to give out to his 1st grade class for Valentine’s Day last year.  These, or any chocolate candy lollipops, are easy to make and are spectacular to use as party favors, gifts, and stocking stuffers!

Supplies Needed:

  • Mustache lollipop candy molds (Michaels and Amazon.com are great sources)
  • Color printer and white printer paper (card stock is preferred though)
  • Red cardstock paper or construction paper if you don’t have white cardstock
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon and/or twist ties
  • Clear plastic cellophane bags (usually come with the twist ties)
  • Dark chocolate or milk chocolate melting wafers (I used Wilton brand)
  • Microwave safe bowl (large)
  • Large stirring spoon
  • Long white lollipop sticks

One Cozy Nest ~ Chocolate Mustache LollipopsI always choose to buy the dark chocolate as opposed to the milk chocolate flavor when using these wafers because I think it tastes better. The milk chocolate has a strange “fake chocolate” taste to me.  Are these wafers gourmet chocolate? No. However, they are easy to use and great for these types of projects. I’m sure there are fantastic recipes out there for homemade chocolate, but for my busy mom life, these are A-OK for me!

One Cozy Nest ~ kid cutting bag

  1. Involve your kids as much as you can, always with safety in mind.  My son used his safety scissors to open the bags of candy melts and poured them into the microwavable safe bowl.  I love my Pyrex bowl!One Cozy Nest ~ melting chocolate wafers for chocolate mustache lollipops
  2. Melt your wafers in the microwave according to instructions.  You can also use a double boiler on the stove-top if you have one.  Always make sure water cannot get into the bowl of chocolate because that ruins the consistency completely.  Be careful you don’t burn the chocolate. I melt them in stages. I heat them up for a minute or so, then stir, another minute, stir, another, stir. That way, I know I won’t burn them. The stirring part is another step where your kids can help you out.  My son loves stirring things. He’s 7 now, so he’s now able to do more “grown-up chores” like measure and pour things while I’m baking/cooking. I have found that stirring is something even my 1 year old daughter is able to do, with supervision of course.  It makes them feel accomplished and teaches them great skills.
  3. While you’re checking on the chocolate, get your kids to set out the lollipop molds on a flat surface and also get the sticks out of the package so they’re ready to go.chocolatesqueezebottle
  4. If you have a chocolate squeeze bottle like I do, then great. If not, don’t worry about it. Using a spoon to get the chocolate into the molds works just as well, but tends to be a tad messier. Fill your squeeze bottle with warm gooey, melty, chocolate and fill up each mustache so that it’s level with the surface of the rest of the mold.squirting_chocolate
  5. Have the kids gently place the stick into mustache, give the stick a little twist to coat the entire end of the stick in chocolate, then rest the remainder of the stick into the space provided.
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each mustache.
  7. I like to speed up the process by putting the entire mold in the freezer or refrigerator to allow the chocolate to set nicely. I’d say a ½ hour is great.
  8. After you are sure the chocolate has set, gently lift the lollipops out of the molds and set them onto a sheet of tin foil or parchment paper to await their plastic bags.IMG_4872
  9. The kids can help you put each lollipop into a bag that gets secured with a twist tie. The bags usually come with twist ties, but you could also secure them with pretty decorative ribbon.pasting_on_cardstock
  10. Visit Anders Ruff Design (a two-mom design team), and print out their FREE mustache Valentine printable onto white cardstock paper. Regular printer paper could work as well, but I found that the cards were too flimsy, so I chose to paste them onto pieces of red cardstock that were cut a little larger than the cards.  Make sure you print out enough for all the kids in class, including the teacher and any aids!  If your kids are school-age, have them use their safety scissors to cut the cards out.
  1. I had my son fill out the names and sign his own, then he punched a hole into the corner.
  2. String them onto the lollipops and secure using either the twist tie or a nice decorative ribbon.  I used red and white bakers twine that I already had on hand.
  3. Enjoy!

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{One Cozy Snow Day ~ Valentine’s Day Burlap Banner}

tutorial_burlapvalentinebannerI love snow days.  I really do.  For as long as I can remember, I have loved seeing those first few flakes flutter down with the hopes of getting snowed in.  Most of my friends hate the stuff, but I don’t.  Aside from the dangers of driving in it and the hassle of shoveling it, there’s really nothing I have to complain about.  I admit…I’m pretty lucky.  I work for the government and today, the Governor called a state of emergency and closed all offices.  We were supposed to get a “crippling blizzard” named Juno, but what actually arrived were about 5 or 6″.  No biggie.  My husband does the shoveling, and my father-in-law owns a snow blower and lives a few houses down, so I never have to do any of the hard labor.  I get to play in the snow with my kids, make hot chocolate for them, and bake cookies.

My son and I went to a hill at the end of our street this morning and had loads of fun literally throwing ourselves onto our sled.  A few times he was actually on my back.  I think I pulled a few muscles and I am certain that I’ll feel it in the morning.  I’m getting too old for these kinds of shenanigans.  They say kids keep you young.  I say kids make you blatantly aware of just how old you are.

Anyway, snow days mean I also get to craft!  This is the best part because it’s rare for me to have spare time to break out a bunch of craft supplies and cover my entire kitchen table.  So here’s how I made this cute banner, just in time for Valentine’s Day:

One Cozy Nest ~ Burlap Valentine's Day Banner

One Cozy Nest ~ Burlap Valentine’s Day Banner

You will need:

  • straight edge and cutting mat
  • burlap fabric or garland
  • scissors and rotary cutter if you have one
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • twine
  • acrylic paint (white & red)
  • glitter (red)
  • glitter glue (gold)
  • red felt tip pen or marker
  • small piece of card stock or cardboard
  • wide paint brush
  • narrow paint brush
  • paper plates

    wide brush, narrow artist's brush, and a round sponge brush for making polka dots

    wide brush, narrow artist’s brush, and a round sponge brush for making polka dots

  1. Use your scissors or your rotary cutter and straight edge to cut the burlap into 3.5″ X 5″ sections.  Always cut an odd number of pieces.  I made a couple different lengths of banners, some had 5 flags and some had 7.  I used burlap garland that came in a roll from my local Michaels craft store.  It was hemmed on both long edges already, so it’s perfect for this project because there’s less fraying of the burlap.
    Ashland brand burlap garland

    Ashland brand Burlap Garland, from Michaels. 5″ wide, hemmed on both edges.

    rotary cutter, straight edge, cutting mat

    rotary cutter, straight edge, cutting mat

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    burlap pieces, measuring 3.5″ X 5″

     

    hemmed edge of garland

    see how the edge is hemmed so nicely?

    2.  Use your wide bristled paint brush to white wash the strips of burlap.  I squirt little puddles of paint onto paper plates for easy clean up.   I first tried using a wide sponge brush, but it resulted in too many thick globs of paint.  The look you want to achieve is s light white wash.  Dab your brush into the white paint and then get most of it off by dabbing it onto the paper plate in another area.  Then drag your brush along the surface of the burlap in one direction, over and over.  Repeat on all of the pieces of burlap and allow to dry.  You can use a blow dryer on the warm setting to speed it up, but since you’re only applying a little bit of paint, it will dry pretty quickly…about 10 minutes or so.

    white wash the burlap

    white wash the burlap using a wide paintbrush and white acrylic paint

    3.  Draw a tiny dot about an inch from the bottom edge of the burlap in the center.  Use your scissors to cut a notch, starting from one corner and ending at the dot.  Repeat on the other side.  You’ll have a nice triangle shape notch at the bottom of your burlap.

cut a notch into the bottoms

cut a notch into the bottoms of your white-washed burlap pieces

4.  Cut out a heart shape from a piece of card stock or cardboard.  Using a red felt tip pen or marker, center the heart onto each piece of burlap and trace it all the way around.

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trace a heart shape onto each flag using a red pen or marker

5.  Using your narrow paint brush, fill in each heart with red paint.  You can brush it on lightly, as we did with the white paint, or you can fill it in completely, like I have.

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fill in each heart shape using your narrow paint brush and red acrylic paint

6.  Before the paint dries, carefully sprinkle your red glitter onto the heart.  Use your finger to spread it around and press it into the paint.  The wet paint will act as a sort of glue to hold the glitter on.  An alternate technique could be allowing the red paint to dry, then brushing the red heart with glitter glue (I like Martha Stewart’s brand), then sprinkling the glitter on that.  My technique was just easier and quicker.  Allow the glittered hearts to dry for about an hour or so.  You may want to give them an extra shake once they dry to make sure you get all of the excess glitter off.

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carefully sprinkle glitter onto the wet red paint, spread it around with your finger

 

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shake the excess glitter off onto a paper plate

7.  Optional:  Use gold glitter glue to draw an arrow through your heart.  Allow to dry for several hours.  It goes on puffy, but will dry flat.  Whenever I use this stuff, I let my project dry overnight.  For this particular project, I assembled the banner completely, then added the gold arrow and set it aside for the night.

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allow glitter glue to dry for several hours or overnight

8.  Now you’re ready to assemble your Valentine’s Day banner!  Heat up your glue gun and get your twine ready.  You’ll need 2″ of space between each flag plus several inches on each end of the banner to tie to whatever you want it to hang from.  I simply taped mine to a little shelf I have in my kitchen, but you could also attach it to a door frame, a window frame, flower box, wall, mantle, etc.  My example banner is 7 flags long so I cut my twine about 75″ long.  For a 5-flag banner, you’ll need 60″ of twine.

8.  Find the middle of your twine.  This is where you want to glue your middle flag.  If your middle flag has a gold arrow on it, use this one.  Lay your flag face down and lay down a bead of hot glue all the way across the top edge.  Then, holding the twine taught with your two hands, press it down into the line of glue, holding it there for several seconds.

lay the twine down on top of the hot glue strip

lay the twine down on top of the hot glue strip

9.  Leave 2″ of space between each flag, making sure you glue one flag on each side of your middle one, continuing in this manner so your banner is balanced.

leave 2" between each flag

leave 2″ between each flag

10.  You can make different variations to this banner by using a small round sponge brush to make polka dots.

One Cozy Nest ~ Burlap Valentine's Day Banner

One Cozy Nest ~ Burlap Valentine’s Day Banner

you can use a small round sponge brush to create polka-dotted flags as well

you can use a small round sponge brush to create polka-dotted flags as well

These banners will be available for sale in my Etsy shop, One Cozy Nest and at Church Street Art & Craft in Mt. Holly, NJ.  Drop me a line and let me know what you think of my tutorial.  Happy Snow Day!

As Always, Stay Cozy!

Mandy

{Back in Busy-ness}

 It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do anything crafty.  But my upcoming wedding has the wheels turning a bit.  

Here, I turned some ho-hum Ball jars that I bought at a yard sale early this summer into a rustic, vintage style vase to hold flowers for my wedding.  I already had lots of lace scraps, so all I needed was a hot glue gun, a roll of burlap from the craft store, and some vintage (or store-bought) keys.

I’ve also been collecting nature-themed books, especially anything about birds, and any that are aqua blue or orange, my colors of choice!

I also decorated my front porch with pumpkins, mums, and a hay bail.  I gave my two urn planters a makeover because they were looking a little too shabby.  So, I took a can of Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint, and went to town.

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Here’s a side by side.  What a difference two coats of spray paint can do!  While I spray painted, I tied up the flowers with a bungee cord because I’m not ready to part with these lovely pink and purple blooms just yet.  HOWEVER, their days are numbered…I plan on putting these white pumpkin topiaries in them.

Here is how I made them:

I bought foam pumpkins at the craft store when they were 50% off.  Two of each size in large, medium, and small sizes.

Then I used a hacksaw to saw the stems off of all but the smallest pumpkins…..they go on top, so they need to keep their stem.

Then I used a utility knife to cut holes in the top and bottom of the medium and large pumpkins, but only the bottom of the baby pumpkin.
I then fed a 3/4″ wood dowel into all of them, feeding them onto the pole like giant marshmallows!!  Yummy!  I had to trim the dowel to fit inside my urn planters.  Last step is to put them in the urns and add some foliage and lights.
Photos of the final project coming soon!
As Always, Stay Cozy!
Mandy

{Celebrating with Cupcakes & Fondant}

Baby Agnes turned one in May.  Um, what?  Yes, I said it.  She’s one already.  We spent the whole year in shock that we had a girl and now we’ve moved onto the phase where we’re shocked that she’s one already.  There’s nothing like a growing child to show you just how quickly the time passes.  They are like living, breathing scrapbooks or time capsules.  You look at them today and your memory plays a movie in your head of the days that have passed.  Jeff and I spent the whole weekend singing “Happy Birthday” to her over and over.  Poor child.  We also kept saying things like, “Remember when she used to fit in our arms like this?” and “Remember when she just laid there on her playmat, not able to really do anything?”  Now she’s cruising the furniture like nobody’s business, climbing up on the couch using anything close by as a step stool (including dad’s face), and taking just one single step unassisted before hesitating and sitting back down.

Jeff and I took off from work on her actual birthday to spend the day with her.  Since the weather was crappy, we didn’t do much of anything besides get things ready for the next day’s party.  Luckily, the forecast for party day was perfectly cool & sunny.  I love the month of May.  We all enjoyed having birthday tea on the playroom floor using the new tea set we bought her, even Grandpa.
She likes to share and tries to very forcefully jam the spoon into your mouth.  Then she chucks the cups and saucers over her shoulder in a very Mad-Hatter way.  I originally wanted to do a rainbow theme or a Mad Hatter Tea Party them, so I almost bought her this top-hat by LilBirdsCouture on Etsy to wear for the big day.  
{$24} Pink Lemonade Vintage Inspired Birthday – Mini Top Hat Headband (or fascinator)
But, Jeff practically insisted on a May Flowers theme, and I agreed it was easier and more fitting for the time of the year.  I’ll re-explore the Mad Hatter theme for when she’s older and has real girlfriends to invite for tea.  
That night, Jeff made dinner and we celebrated with the Grandparents and some cupcakes.  I spent the rest of the night decorating more cupcakes with homemade chocolate icing that I made with Ghirardelli cocoa powder and a mini cake that I covered in fondant.  Screw making my own cake batter.   When people rave over them, I always tell them the batter is from the box.  I’m not one to take credit for something I didn’t do.  Mr. Hines and Mrs. Crocker are my friends and they do quite a fine job in this busy mother’s opinion.  Can I, and have I made my own?  Yes.  Maybe one day the negative stigma over boxed cake mixes will be a thing of the past.  What’s your take on it? 
Oh, and while at the store, I also picked up a box of this blue velvet cake mix just for the heck of it and mostly because it’s my favorite color. I don’t care when or how I use it, but I can’t wait.  Maybe some tri-colored cupcakes for the 4th of July or something like that.   
The little flowers on the chocolate cupcakes are made out of royal icing, which dries rock hard.  It’s the cement for bakers.  I made a big batch of these flowers a long time ago after my mom sent me a birthday package full of Wilton cake decorating supplies.  She used to be a cake decorator at a local arts & crafts store called Lee Wards.  Michaels bought them out.  I remember going in there as a kid and seeing her decorated cakes hanging up on the wall.  I was like, “How do heck do they stay up there?”  I didn’t realize they were fake.  Anyway, royal icing decorations keep in an airtight container FOR.EVER.  This is the third time I’ve used them and I still have a bunch left.  I recommend making a ton if you have the time, so you’ll always have a stash to make your cupcakes pop. 

People call me crazy when I do creative stuff like this, but this is my therapy.  This is my yoga.  This is my xanax.  This birthday cake for my daughter’s 1st was the first time I experimented with covering a cake with fondant.  The design was inspired by the Cake Boss and thanks to his TV show, I felt like a real pro.  “I’m not a professional cake decorator, but I learned how to be one while watching TV.”  I had a little extra help with this Cake Boss kit that I bought at Michaels.  I didn’t buy the pre-made fondant like the book suggests because I made my own a while ago (fondant keeps for a long time too), and used it to make the ears, eyes, eyebrows, and nose of a fox cake that I made for my sister’s birthday.  
I had a huge chunk of it leftover, so I brought it out and added my own Wilton gel colors to it to match the colors in my daughter’s birthday decorations.  
This stuff is like play-doh for adults.  So. Much. Fun!  It probably helped that I had a few drinks while making the cake.  I’m not a drinker so a little goes a long way with me.  As you’re rolling it out, you’re supposed to periodically lift the fondant sheet up and dust your table with more powdered sugar.  Well, I didn’t.  I blame it on the alcohol.  

It ended up sticking to the mat in a very big way so I had to scrape it off with a bench scraper and start over.  Oh well, lesson learned.  You’d think all the cookie dough I’ve rolled out would have taught me that lesson, but no.  I like to learn things the hard way.  Over and over.  Ironically, I also blame my calmness about the above on the alcohol.  I should drink more often.  I really should.    

I displayed the cake on a boring clear glass cake stand.  I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect vintage cake stand like this one sold by SwirlingOrange11 on Etsy:

{$295} Turquoise Blue Milk Glass Cake Stand, Opaque Blue Milk Glass Wedding Cake or Cupcake Pedestal

So far, I haven’t been able to find one at the price I’d like to pay.  When I finally find the one, though, I may just have to bite the bullet and pay a little extra. 
The cupcake stand is also a Wilton product.  I used a 50% off coupon at JoAnn Fabric so it cost me about $10.  It collapses so it stores nice and compact on a shelf in my basement.  The nice thing about it is that the tier surfaces are slanted outwards so the tops of your cupcakes are displayed, not the sides so much.  You can also attach ribbon, lace, or any other decorative trim to the sides to add another element of design to your cupcake display.  I haven’t done this, but if I ever do, I’ll probably use sticky scrapbooking tabs or something to hold the trim on instead of hot glueing it.        
For the party decor, I went to Party City and bought the standard party stuff.  Cups, plates, napkins, tissue paper hanging thingies, paper lanterns, and helium balloons.  I wanted to add a little personalized touch, so I printed out one picture from each month of Agnes’s life and hung them in chronological order.  I used a strand of pink & white baker’s twine and mini wooden clothes pins to hold each photo.  It was so hard to pick my favorite one, but the experience of going through all of those photos was a nice way to reminisce about the year. 
I saved the triangles of scrapbook paper that I cut out for her baptism decorations, seen above, and hung them in between each photo.  The big tissue paper pom poms can be made yourself, like I did here for Agnes’s baptism.  I used all the tissue paper that I got in baby shower gifts.  The pom poms for her birthday were store-bought because I was feeling lazy and wanted to focus my energy and time on her cake.  Call me cheap, call me frugal, call me a hoarder, but I save all of it.  I flatten it out as best I can and store it in my basement with the hundred and one gift bags I’ve received over the years for baby showers and birthdays.  You have to understand too, that I’m an environmentalist by profession.  I do care about not wasting resources, so when I can, I try to recycle things, especially paper.  When I need to use the tissue paper, I’ll iron it on a low setting if I need to and if I have the time.  Otherwise, it gets shoved into a gift bag, crinkles and all.   
Well, the party was a success, and everyone enjoyed the cupcakes and mini cake, especially Agnes.  I was able to really enjoy myself and the weather, thanks to everyone who helped that day.  Jeff manned the grill, and Grandma made the sides.  Everyone pitched in and helped clean up too, which is always so helpful.  Happy Birthday to our sweet, happy-go-lucky, baby girl who has put smiles on all of our faces since the day she was born.

{Tweet, Tweet!}

This is the latest creation my craft group made for the upcoming Spring season.  With the exception of the silver German glass glitter, all of the materials were gathered from either the dollar store or the dollar bin at the craft store.  The glitter can be found at a lot of places online, but I got mine from Etsy.com.  It’s pure silver and is made from actual little shards of glass, so you want to be careful not to get it all over your workspace.  I glitter things over an open plastic tub like a rubbermaid shoe box-sized container.
First we used mod podge to decoupage vintage sheet music from a hymnal to a paper machet bird form.  This, to me was the hardest part because of all the curves on the bird.  You had to use such tiny, sometimes pea-sized, scraps of paper.  Once it was dry though, my sister added beads for eyes on all of our birds.

Next was the moss.  As we broke it apart it released a very earthy dust and it was kind of strange in a way.  We had a little clear plastic bowl and just spread hot glue in small areas and smashed the moss to the glue.  We did this inside and out, making sure to cover all of the plastic.

My sister had gathered some branches from a neighbor’s lawn and we glued little flowers onto them to make them look like springtime blooms.  The branches were hot glued onto the nest and then our bird was placed on the edge.  We also made little tiny pennant flags that read “SPRING” and glued them to branches as well so that Mama bird had something to celebrate with.  

Finally, we added some colored eggs and a spring-colored ribbon to make the Mama bird happy.  A lot of us thought the eggs would look stunning glittered in silver so that’s just what I did when I got home.  I didn’t stop there, though.  I also glittered the bird’s beak and tail, the pennant, and the centers of the flowers.  I think she came out quite pretty!

Happy Spring everybody!  Credit for this craft idea and execution goes to my wonderfully talented sister, Tracy.  You can read her blog here.  She’s pretty awesome.  🙂

As always, stay cozy!
Mandy

{I Heart You}

One of my Craft Night companions, Pat, came up with a brilliantly crafty idea. She took a previous project, mentioned in the last post, and gave it a little Valentine’s Day spin!

Using the cover of Martha Stewart’s magazine as inspiration, she decided to make hers out of paper cupcake liners. Martha’s was made from real flower carnations. Pat’s can be used over and over again! Thanks for the great idea, Pat. For mine, I used four different varieties of liners all in shades of red and white.

I cut out a piece of cardboard into the shape of a heart then covered it with some cute striped fabric.  This is the back…not that anyone will ever see it, but I couldn’t leave it plain brown cardboard, now could I?

I glued the edges of the fabric around and then started hot gluing the liners to the form, starting at the border.  I used the eraser side of a pencil to press into the center of the liners, then used my hand to fold the sides down onto the pencil.  I squirted some glue onto the end and again, used the pencil to press it onto the cardboard form.  The pencil saves your fingertips from getting burned too! 

Here is the finished product.  You’ll have to forgive me for the quality of the photos.  I took them with my iPhone so the colors are way off.  The finished product looks more pink than red.  You can see I added a silk rose as an embellishment as well as a red polka-dotted hanger. 

As Always, Stay Cozy!
Mandy

{4th of July in January!}

If you talk to any creative type, they’ll tell you that they have tons of unfinished, half-started, well-intentioned projects lying around their house.  Well, I’m no different.  Case in point…my wedding day scrapbook.  I was married for about 8 years and have been divorced for over 2.  While I don’t forsee myself finishing THAT project (ha-ha!), I have the itch to finish a lot of others! 

As us homebodies do, we like to hibernate in the winter inside our little caves.  I’ve got plenty of time to craft now that the cold, cold winter is settled in.  So, I pulled out this project that I’ve had half finished since last summer.  One of the Craft Night projects at my sister’s house was making wreaths out of patterned paper cupcake liners.  

Mine was a take on “stars and stripes”.  I couldn’t find starry ones so polka dots would have to do.  Well, I underestimated how many liners I’d need so I had to quit early.  Since I ordered them online, it wasn’t like I could run to Michael’s or AC Moore to grab more.  They do, however have a nice selection there, so if you’re interested in doing this project, they’d be a great resource.  Months later, even after I ordered more, they just sat in their package on my craft table.  When I finally finished the wreath portion, it sat un-decorated for yet more months!! 
Finally, this past weekend, I went in my craft closet to find something and there it was….staring at me…mocking me.  “You’ll never finish me.”  So I grabbed it, plugged in my hot glue gun, and dug into my vintage button and ribbon collection.  One nasty hot glue gun burn later, here you have it! 
As Always, Stay Cozy!
Mandy

{Blogs, Blogs, and more Blogs!}

This week, I’ve had the high honor of being featured in two, yes, TWO other blogs written by fellow Etsy sellers! To me, this is such a huge compliment and I am always so grateful. So let me thank them both in today’s post…

First, the lovely Audrey over at Pink Sunrise featured my handmade felt heart brooches.
Audrey is a knitter and she also sells supplies on her Etsy shop. She also designs banners and avatars for fellow Etsy sellers. Check out her stash of supplies, like this pretty ribbon:

Next, the talented Emily over at Tea and Laundry featured my vintage green bingo cards.
She plans on using them in a shadow box for her daughter’s room. I have a young child too and I can remember how fun it was decorating his room. Emily’s favorite things to make and work with are jewelry and paper goods . Check out her adorable resin charm!

Thank you Audrey and Emily, for making me and One Cozy Nest part of your day.

{Latest Project ~ Puffy Felt Hearts}

Last night, I was finally able to escape to my craft room and get creative. After a trip to the craft store with my sister and a well needed therapy session, I made these three puffy felt hearts. I used some of my long neglected vintage fabric stash, buttons, and embroidery thread. After making these, I discovered that I really like hand sewing! It’s relaxing and theraputic and when you’re done, you even have something like these cute hearts to show for it. I turned them into little pins you can wear on your coat or sweater by sewing a little pin onto the backs. Check them out in my Etsy shop, One Cozy Nest.

My sister has also been a busy little thing over at The Vintage Sister Studio. Just look at her adorable Valentine’s Day nest head.