Saturday, June 20, 2015

JoAnne's Baby Shower

When our friend JoAnne found out that she was unexpectedly pregnant last fall, the reaction from us friends went quickly from shock to delight and excitement. With our youngest kids in their last couple years of elementary school, most of us haven't been around babies for a while. Let's face it: at our age, our conversations focus more on peri-menopause than Pampers. We were even more excited when we found out that JoAnne was having a girl, after having two older boys. 
It was just a matter of weeks before we started planning the shower. Actually, I'm pretty sure our friend, Laura, called dibs on making the diaper cake before JoAnne could get the word "baby" out of her mouth. We settled on a French theme, since JoAnne was considering a few French names for the baby, with a pink, black and white color theme (actually Blush and Bashful, according to the guest of honor). The "Bébé Soiree" was on! 

It wasn't hard to divide up the work. Susan, the master organizer, offered to host the shower at her house; Sara took over the bulk of the food prep; Ginny was head of procurement; and Laura did the diaper cake. 
That left me with invitations, cake and favors. I decided that an occasion of this stature and importance merited proper paper invitations and not just an email. I found some cute pink and black scrapbook paper, pulled out my old paper crafting stuff and pulled together a simple layered invite. Favors were easy: store-bought macarons in cello bags with tags that I made to match the invitations. The cake was a little more challenging. We went back and forth on this after JoAnne was unfortunately diagnosed with gestational diabetes. But again, I decided that this baby shower required a cake. Besides, why should people have to go without cake just because of her bad luck? Ignoring my last big cake-baking endeavor, which ended with one layer on the kitchen floor, me screaming so loud the kids heard me from the garage, and an emergency run to the store for more cake mix, I decided on a pink champagne cake with raspberry jam between the layers and champagne buttercream frosting. Thankfully, polka dots went with our French theme, because that's pretty much the only thing I know how to pipe. With the cake decided on, the only thing left to do was figure out a cute UL piece to add to the decor.     

The thing about JoAnne is that she has a huge sense of humor. And also a potty mouth. I'm sure you're shocked to hear that a good friend of mine would (gasp) drop the occasional F-bomb, but it's true. In fact, she's gotten quite adept at circumventing the UL censors to create some unique custom designs. I knew that a cute little "Sweet Baby" sign just wouldn't be be quite right for this occasion. I also wanted to make something that she could use in the nursery after the baby was born. Suddenly, it came to me. Inspired by this book, I came up with the perfect idea. For the front of the tile, I used a damask embellishment in Cotton Candy behind the words "Bonjour Bébé" in one of my favorite UL fonts, Adore.


For the back of the tile, I wanted the same elegant look so I didn't change the fonts, colors or design. The wording, however, was something a mom or dad would utter at 3 a.m. when the precious little one just would not quiet down and drift off to dream land. It's possible that I had to submit the letters for this design in a little bit of a different order than you see here.

The pretty "Bonjour" sign was displayed right on a table in Susan's living room, along with the diaper cake and some other decorations. Halfway through the shower, I quietly flipped it around and waited for people to notice. Needless to say, there were plenty of laughs...and a little relief that JoAnne would be the one staying up with a crying newborn soon, and not the rest of us.

Doing this shower for JoAnne was an absolute pleasure. Her baby couldn't be sweeter; she is pink and perfect and has several adoring Aunties fighting over which one of us gets to hold her next. The sign will be go in her soon-to-be-Uppercased nursery and most of the time, it will be flipped to the side that says, "Bonjour Bébé."  Most of the time. Go the fuck to sleep. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Father's Day Hand Print Project Party

I've come to really enjoy the project parties I've been holding at CReATE Studio in Westlake Village. So far, they've been adults-only evening events.  But last week I held my first "Mommy And Me" project parties where little ones got to create adorable Father's Day gifts.
We started with the Uppercase Living white square boards, applied the "Best Dad Hands Down" expressions, then added each child's hand print. That's when it got to be really fun. Not having really spent time with toddlers for a while, I had forgotten a few things about how they operate. They quickly reminded me.  From choosing paint colors, to sitting down at the table (or on the table, in one case), to actually opening their little fists, they are in charge. I heard little voices saying "I do myself!" more than a couple of times.
The project took the perfect amount of time: the kids were able to complete it, eat a cookie, walk to the park while the paint dried, and pick up their finished projects, all within about an hour.

Raven made three projects: one for her Dad and the others for her grandfathers. 

Mom adds names with a Sharpie. Someone is watching to make sure she's doing it right.

Colton was so proud of what
he and baby sister Sienna made. 
Liam wasn't too excited about
the paint on his hands, but he
sure loved his project!
Between the paint, spray bottles, and lots and lots of cookie crumbs, our projects could have been disastrous. But the moms (and a couple of grandmas) kept their cool, the kids rose to the occasion, and we ended up with finished projects that will make some lucky dads and grandpas very, very happy this on Father's Day.
Since I wanted to take each of those cute kids home with me, I'm going to have to come up with another Mommy and Me project idea pretty quickly.  Can't wait to create with this fun little people again soon!


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