Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Milkmaid Braid Tutorial

The Milkmaid braid is one of my favorite hairstyles to wear. I wear it a lot, and have had some people ask how to do it, which is why I decided to make a tutorial. Its simple, easy and versatile because you can wear it while you are dressed up or dressed down and it works either way. Once you have done it a few times, you can do your hair for the day in less than 5 minutes. This is also a great go-to style for dirty hair days {I have lots of those}. 

1. You will need: 2 pony holders. Either clear or a color that closely matches your hair, incase they show through. You will also need some bobby pins. 
2. Start with two regular braids. {I like to back-comb the crown area of my hair before braiding, but this is not a necessary step}. Make sure the braids are nice and tight {don't worry- they will loosen just enough after a few hours of wear}. You could also use 4 pony holders if you preferred, and fasten one on the base of each braid for extra security/tightness. If your hair is shorter, start the base of the braid up higher, closer the ears instead of the neck. 
3. Take one braid, doesn't matter from which side, and pin it to the top of your head. My preference is to pin it as close to my forehead as I can go, but you could also pin to the crown area. Don't worry about pinning the rest of the braid for now, just the tail. you might have to re-situate the braid if you don't like the position and you don't to have to take out a ton of pins for that! 
4. Now you have one braid up, one down. Take the tail of the second braid and bring it up to tuck under the first braid. You will likely need several pins for this part. 
5. When both of your tails are tucked into each other and pinned where you want them, you can now pin the other areas of your braids for extra security. Just be sure to pin INTO the braid, the same direction your braid is going, so all your pins are nice and hidden :) 
Voila! You are now channeling your inner milkmaid. Or your inner hippie. Or Dutch girl. Or bohemian chick....whatever you want to be for the day! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Vintage Airplane Baby Shower and Party Tips

A few months ago I had the privilege of throwing a baby shower for a sweet friend and the theme she chose was vintage airplanes. I was super excited at all the possibilities for this theme! She graciously gave me a lot of freedom in choosing color schemes, decor and favors; so this amateur party planner really had a hay day with it! I went for a 1940's World War 2 feel. I envisioned bombardiers, industrial metals, and brought in some natural elements with wood and burlap. I also decided to liven the mood with a "Big Band" station on Pandora for some back round music.

I really believe when hosting any event, its really fun to be dressed accordingly (or maybe it's just in my love for costumes and dress up that I will find any excuse to play a part!) I found a clearance grey dress that I thought was just perfect for the role, and I printed out a pair of Pan Am wings and pinned them to my collar. 

For the invitations I had my mom (a whiz on the computer, me..not so much) help me create an invitation PDF that looked like a boarding pass. "Atwood" was the last name of the mommy-to-be so we invited all of our guests to fly "Atwood Airways" to welcome the arrival of baby Carter! 

For the table-scape I used silvers (to bring in the metal feel I wanted), navy blue, neutral tans and ivory colors. I tacked a sheet of burlap on the wall and hung hand made bunting flags and paper pinwheels. I used both tissue and scrapbook paper to make these. I got a piece of sheet metal from home depot and leaned it against the wall along with fun airplane themed accessories. 
The "clouds" were the funnest part! I literally took an old pillow from my son's bed and cut it open. I fluffed out the stuffing in little tufts and tied them to twine, then taped them to my ceiling from various lengths. Voila! 

For the "In Flight Lunch" I bought a few family size, made to order sandwiches from my local grocery store and cut them into smaller pieces. They were displayed wrapped in red and white striped wax paper and tied with bakers twine. 
I bought a large bag of chips which were portioned out in sandwich baggies, printed out the "Thank You For Flying With Us" tags and folded them over the bag and stapled them. 
The "Cloud Pops" were just marshmallow on a stick dipped in blue candy coating and topped with silver sprinkles. 
I also found these old fashioned style Cracker Jacks at Walmart! 3 for .99 cents. I thought they were a nice touch for a low price. 

Lastly, I set up a small table labeled "Baggage Claim" where people could set the baby gifts and cards.

The silver plates and napkins were displayed in baskets with little airplanes embroidered to them. I found these on the clearance rack at K-Mart for 2$ each! 

If you are planning a vintage airplane themed party or shower, I really hope you found some of these ideas helpful! Thanks for stopping by :)  

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Roaring 20's Party Tips and Ideas

For quite some time now I have really wanted an excuse to throw a 20s party. I am so interested in obsessed with the era. After a few weeks of thinking about how fun it would be I decided I really didn't need an excuse so I just set the date! I started to fish for ideas online for costumes and decor and was surprised that I couldn't really find a whole lot. Not many of the photos I saw really seemed to match the vision I had in my head...I saw a whole lot of fake looking zoot suits, plastic guns and underdressed flappers. I wanted go for a more authentic, vintage vibe. I wanted Ragtime, Art Deco, silent film stars and the like. So I knew I might have to get extra creative with the lack of said internet inspiration.

 One of the funnest parts of a costume party, of course, is deciding what to wear! As much as I love and appreciate flappers and gangsters I knew I wanted to do something that was not so overused. I ultimately decided on Charlie Chaplin because, well, he's awesome. And it was really pretty cheap and easy to pull off. My recommendation is to always shop thrift stores and yard sales before going and paying full price for anything, AND you may be pleasantly surprised to find more authentic looking or vintage items as opposed to something cheesy looking from a costume or retail store. 

I have a big, home made chalkboard on my wall that I love. It has served me well for many a party. I went from the above picture (which truly saddened me to erase because it took forever to draw and I loved it) to the below picture. I tried to tie in the Art Deco here...I hope you can tell! I realize not everyone will have a chalkboard in their home, another idea would be to create this look on poster board.
Next, I took 3 black 8 foot long table cloths from the 99 cent store and stapled one on each side the of chalkboard. I took the third and swooped it over the top. I wanted this to look almost theater-like if that makes sense. I have been to several movie theaters that were built in the 20s that had this regal, Art Deco feel and I drew inspiration from that. Above the chalkboard were some various papers and doilies I folded and fanned out, then taped onto the wall. ALL of this came from the 99 cent store, as well as the gold colored charger plates. I drew on them with black Sharpie and stuck them to the wall with 3M Command Strips. They read "The Bee's Knees" and "The Cat's Meow", two popular sayings from the era.

Unfortunately I took this photo after everyone had arrived and things had gotten somewhat scattered around. But what I did here was push my dining room table under the chalkboard and put a gold tablecloth on it. Feathers were scattered and I used candle holders that I owned and set serving platters on them. I found some gold and black pieces at yard sales for cheap to add to the table-scape.

Oops! Someone had gotten into the cupcakes already! These cupcakes were pumpkin minis bought pre-made from Walmart. I thought they could pass for 'gold' in color so I ran with it. Forks were displayed in a wine glass set atop the lid of one of my candles because it was also gold so I made it work!

With the Prohibition being a major theme in the 1920's I knew I had to throw in some sort of boozy element and some cig's. Since this was a family affair I went with vintage labeled miniature Martinelli's (from the 99 Cent Only store! What a find!) and some candy cigarettes I ordered from Amazon. They were a hoot! (And safe for the kids to partake in as well) haha! 
Next is the photo booth. I considered an idea I saw on Pinterest, where someone had painted the inside of a refrigerator box red to get a photo booth effect. I have a small hallway in my house and I decided it would be a whole lot easier to staple red table cloths (again, all from the 99 cent store) to the 3 walls in the hallway. I LOVED the end result. I cost me 6$ and took about 10 minutes!

Here I used a candle display I owned and filled the bottom with gold ribbon and black feathers. The photo booth props I found at Target. It had an awesome variety of mustaches, glasses and lips for 5 bucks! These I will be able to use for countless parties in the future! 

Right beside the hallway I posted a vintage looking photo booth sign (one I found online and printed) I taped it on top of black paper and surrounded it with some cute paper doilies and things from the dollar store (the Washi Tape shown I owned already) 

Highlight of the night!

We also set up a "Poker Room" where all the guys partook in the imitation booze and smokes. Love these shots! 

Lastly, I tuned into the "Mugsy Spanier and His Ragtime Band" station on Pandora, plugged my phone into my speakers and cranked it up! It was the perfect finishing touch, I thought! 

If you are planning a 20s themed party I really hope these ideas where helpful to you! It really is possible to throw a fun and fabulous party on a dollar store budget (but it doesn't have to look it!)...all you need is a bit of creativity and some thinking outside the box. Enjoy..and I hope your shindig is the bee's knees!