Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oh Baby! Hosting a Baby Shower

Hosting a baby shower kinda reminded us of planning for the wedding.  There was tons to do and great reasons to try things that I've never tried before, and there was fun to be had. :)

As any sister might want, I wanted my sister's baby shower to be spectacular, because she's awesome and deserves nothing less. Unfortunately, there was a lot for me to learn since I'm not really what people would consider a "baby" person.  Which is why I'm grateful for the help of great friends and family who helped with many aspects of the baby shower to make it spectacular.  I could not have done it without them.

Anyway, I thought I'd share some things from my sister's dragon themed baby shower.

First were the invitations.  I decided to go with one of the many diaper invitations that I've seen on the interwebs.  I really didn't want to cut each one individually however, because there were going to be 60 invites created (we have a large extended family).  So, I used blue card stock, drew the design on the top of a stack of them, taped the whole stack together with some masking tape, and used my scrollsaw to cut them all.  A few things I learned from this:
1.  I really need to practice straight lines with my scroll saw (sigh).
2.  Be ready to assume that the top and bottom card stock will be ruined.  So whatever number of cuts you want, add 2.
3.  If you're really good (which I'm not, but maybe with more practice), this is an awesome way to cut a ton of paper to a design in one shot (can we say Christmas cards?).

The front of the cards had slits so that the tabs folded into them, closing up the diaper into a neat little package.  We added the buttons and the ribbon, and my personal favorite, the dragon tail (attached via a brad, so it swung a little).

In the inside of the card, we glued (tip: use stick glue, not craft glue) a printout of the shower information.   I don't have a picture of the envelop, but it had a cool castle printed onto them to add to the theme.

Next, I found some examples of fill-in cards online, and replicated them for motherly advice and wishes for the new prince.  We had a book donation (listed in the invite), with a raffle.  Each book received got a raffle ticket and we called the raffle number afterwards for a fun prize.  The two castles serving as book ends were two wooden bird houses (bought from Michaels), painted and with bags of aquarium rocks inside for weight (we'll figure out something better later).  I created feather quills (pens) for people to use to fill up the fill-in cards and the book donation removable labels.  Aside from the fill-in cards and book donation/raffle, one of the popular games we played was Gift Bingo (cards made by Emily).

Some of the decorations for the party.
1.  A cupcake tower of diaper favors.  We folded and pinned small squares of fabric into diapers, wrapped some jordan almonds or mints into a bit of tulle, and stuck it inside the diapers.
2.  A coat of arms researched and created by my talented husband which has the phrase "Consilio Et Animis" meaning "By wisdom and Courage."
3.  A diaper castle that I built with a working drawbridge. I used wipes packages for the fillers inside, a couple of bottles to hold the book roof up, a sewn receiving blanket for the base, and some washcloths to cover the cardboard drawbridge.
4.  Some really awesome soft fabric blocks made by Emily, my sister's BFF.
5.  We also used all the onesies for the onesie decorating activity for more decorations (see them hanging in the background).
6.  There were also a lot of balloons and crepe paper, and some store bought puffs, and a yard sign (and probably other things I'm forgetting).

One of the many new things I learned during this experience was learning to work with fondant. To me fondant is kinda like working with clay.  You can use tools to shape things and you can use a dab of water to put them together (not that you'd need to do that with clay). I found these year of the dragon cupcake toppers on a pinterest post.  The tutorial was perfect.  I made the dragon toppers a few days ahead of time and let them air dry.  We ordered a plain cake from Vons with the words "Welcome Baby" printed on, and before the party, we positioned the toppers right in. :)

One of the fun activities that we did for the shower were decorating onesies.  For this, we needed a lot of onesies (tip: get varying sizes (0-18m) so that the baby can use them for the year), fabric with Heat'n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive already on the back (ready to be ironed onto the onesie), lots of stencils for designs, fabric pens, cardboard (so pens don't bleed to the other side of the onesie), an iron and ironing board.  We bought a cheap clothesline and hung the onesies up with some wooden clothespins (that my sister glued fabric yo-yos to).  There were a lot of really creative onesie designs.  The cutie pi one was mine. :)

We also set up a photobooth.  We had a few onesies against the backdrop for decorations. Here's Elmer trying out the photobooth.

Lastly, we had a Baby Jeopardy competition.  Here's the board the Emily made.  Everyone had a blast with that game.

Hopefully these have helped you gain some ideas for any baby shower you happen to host in the future.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Piñata Contest: Lego Luchador

Hi guys.  This year has just been full of one hiatus after another.  I was recently privileged to host my sister's baby shower which happened last weekend.  That was the first time I've ever hosted a baby shower... so it was exciting, and nerve-wracking, but it all turned out great.  I'll post some pictures of the baby shower soon.  This post is supposed to be about the Lego piñata that my co-worksers and I created for this year's piñata contest.  Last year, we made an Angry Bird Piñata and won People's Choice award.  This year the theme of the contest was Lucha Libre, aka Spanish Wrestlers.  Our team decided to do a Lucha Libre Lego Man.

Meet Lego Luchador, the Flying Thurderbird.

The competition was pretty tense.  Here were some of the other piñatas.

I'm pleased and honored to say that we won one of four awards presented this year.  We won one of two Judge's Choice awards. :)  Congrats to the ladies in my team for another outstanding piñata. :)