archive for the ‘pARTy’ category

sunday afternoon bookmaking

Monday, November 9th, 2009

jenn and lisa came over yesterday afternoon to make some books for holiday gifts.

lisa's papers

the food: jenn brought butternut squash pizza. the recipe is here, oh dear god, it is so good. lisa brought enough crab dip to feed 12, and we did our best to eat 4 times our share. i made an apple cake, from this recipe from a friend to knit with via a friend in kansas (hi leslie!). we were too full of crab dip and pizza to dig into the cake, but i did eat a large piece of it after they left and i can tell you it is yummmy (extra m added on purpose).

jenn's papers

the books: i pre-cut the book board, and i provided packages of 8×8 archival album refill pages from the martha stewart line available at michaels. jenn and lisa met for lunch last week and picked out their papers and book cloth at our local paper source. so all we needed to do yesterday was cut the paper, eat, glue, pour wine, and assemble.

the books!

it was a good way to spend a sunday afternoon.

nite lites

Monday, September 21st, 2009

maddie and lisa picking out beads
at a recent outing, my friends lisa and steph both mentioned needing to buy nite lites for their little ones’s rooms. i barged into the conversation with “no! don’t buy one! come over to my house and make one!” long ago, we made nite lites at a pARTy, and i still have a ton of glass and all of the necessary supplies.

on saturday lisa & her almost 3-year old daughter and steph & her 16-month old son came over and we had a mini nite lite pARTy. you’d think that 2 little ones + hot soldering iron + sharp glass + little beads + a little tequila would equal disaster. but we did good and no one got hurt!

lisa's nite lite

lisa used an opaque glass that has a pink iridescent layer on the front. i think her original idea was to make a diamond shape, but it ended up looking like a house, which i love. she decorated it with glass beads on loopy wire.

steph's nite lite

steph also used an opaque glass — this one with blues and greens swirled together. she topped it off with 2 ceramic beads and a sun charm on loopy wire.

there was talk of putting the finished lites in places other than the kid’s rooms… more can always be made!

wet felting pARTy

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

i had a small pARTy last saturday afternoon, and we did some wet felting in the back yard. the number of attendees was small, and the amount of finished projects? even smaller. it turned out to be a beautiful day to be outside and chat, but not a great day for us to get a lot done.we did try, though!

wet felting pARTy
heather wanted to try making a bowl. first, we placed roving around the outside of a bowl.

wet felting pARTy
then we sprinkled it with hot, soapy water, and rubbed the fibers together with bubble wrap.

wet felting pARTy
we added more roving, which adhered, but didn’t really felt. but i like the looks of the bowl. here it’s drying upside down. update from heather: it’s dry, but floppy. anyone have any good ideas? 

wet felting pARTy
anna tried nuno felting: adding felt to silk. it was rough going, and involved a lot of bubble wrap friction.

wet felting pARTy
here’s where anna left the scarf. i really liked how it was coming along, but it took a lot of work to get there.

wet felting pARTy
i felted a couple of soaps. and heather and i felted a stone.i think wet felting is a tough one to do as a group. it takes a lot of work, and a lot of water, and on a nice day, it’s easy to get distracted. maybe once the weather cools down we’ll find the patience it takes to work with wool.

pARTy roadtrip!

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

st. paul -> lawrence
pARTy is going on the road! as you read this, i am driving to lawrence kansas, to bring pARTy to my friends jackie (smoothpebble), melinda (my purple crayon), and aimee (artsyville). i’m so excited!

the plan: arrive thursday night, find some wine. go for a run friday morning thru lawrence, see what it’s all about. maybe meet aimee for coffee/tea, then maybe a photo outing with jackie and melinda followed by dinner and wine. if we don’t drink too much wine, we’ll do some bookbinding (and maybe some screen printing!). then on saturday, aimee’s hosting a pARTy at her house and we’re going to make soap and lip balms. more wine! then i’ll drag my sorry ass out of bed and drive home on sunday.

while i’m not looking forward to driving thru the entire state of iowa, i know it will be worth it! i’ll have pictures for you next week… happy end of week!

oh, and welcome home to my little sis! she’s coming home today from her 9-month-long honeymoon/road trip around the states. and i won’t be home to greet her, cuz i’m finally getting outta here! welcome home.

pARTy : refillable books

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

pARTy : refillable books
i hosted a pARTy last friday, and we made refillable books!

they are pretty simple: front/back/spine boards covered with book cloth and decorative paper, half-moon envelopes on the inside covers, and 3 signatures of 8.5 x 11 paper secured inside with elastic cord (the signatures can be removed and replaced, giving the book a long life). i thought it’d be a great introduction to covering boards for bookmaking for the newbies, and a refresher for those that have been attending since day one. we had a slow start, since i wanted everyone to have the chance to pick their paper and book cloth combination: once decisions were made all of the pieces were individually hand-cut. but the assembly went pretty quickly, and wow, look at all of the beautiful books!

and we ate a lot of cheese!

(papers from snow & graham, eieio studio, paper source, and paper works)

xmas pARTy

Monday, December 15th, 2008

xmas party
last saturday i hosted our 6th annual xmas pARTy. we made christmas gifts, ate a ton of cheese and sugar (jenn brought cake and cupcakes!), and drank wine. it was a wonderful day.

the image above is just a sampling of the gifts that were made: jean and kathryn painted photos on blocks of wood, jackie made salt scrubs, jenn made some halfeaten gingerbread men (using elsie marley’s great tutorial),  i knitted a scarf, and kristen, anna, jackie, and kathryn decorated grono lights. so many handmade gifts, hooray!

pARTy : mobiles!

Monday, October 27th, 2008

mea culpa: i’ve taken the post down, out of respect for, and as an apology to, frazier & wing. our pARTy mobiles were created with a key aspect that is also used in the frazier & wing mobile, and while it was never our intention to outright copy, or claim the entire mobile design as original, it could be easily interpreted that way. i sincerely apologize.

a little more fabric printing…

Monday, October 6th, 2008

heather's towels
my friend heather couldn’t make it to my printing pARTy, so last saturday i brought the pARTy to her. she printed a bunch of towels (all above) using leaves, freezer paper stencils, and a drafting template. they’re beautiful, and will be christmas presents, but i hope she keeps at least one for herself… her husband joined us and created a cool design and stenciled it onto a sweatshirt with freezer paper:

jeff's sweatshirt

but the best project of the day? a shirt for her son. we had her son, who’s 2.5 oops, he’s 3.5 years old, draw on freezer paper. he drew a simple monster, which was pretty dang good for a kid his age. then he scribbled all over the paper. heather cut out the monster, and decided to cut out a scribble, too. we asked her son what color he wanted (green), and he even did a little printing:


(he’s mostly nekkid to avoid getting paint on his clothes.) we let it dry, and when we finally pulled off the freezer paper, we were amazed at how awesome it turned out. really. it rocks:

THE shirt

it’s my favorite printing project to date. bravo, my favorite little guy (and mom)!

printing on fabric : august’s pARTy

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

last friday’s printing pARTy was so much fun! i only wish i had more space… it was tough for 7 of us to find room to spread out our projects, and deal with plates of fabric paint. but it was still fun! we ate lots of cheese. we drank wine. and we printed lots and lots of flour sack towels, a few tote bags, a t-shirt, a clothespin bag, fabric for curtains, and managed not to make accidental designs on the clothing we were wearing.

lots of pictures after the jump!


printing pARTy

Friday, August 15th, 2008

printing party
tonight i’m hosting pARTy, and we’ll be printing on fabric. inspired by lotta prints, we’re going to create stencils using both acetate and freezer paper… we’re going to print with leaves… and i’ll have my carved linoleum blocks out for those that want to try block printing (we won’t be carving new ones, that’s for another night). i ordered hemp tote bags and picked up a bunch of flour sack towels from target, and some participants are bringing extra goodies like fabric for curtains and clothing that needs a second life. i’m really excited about all of the options, and i can’t wait to see what everyone makes! i’ll post our finished projects next week…

happy weekend!

pARTy : painted photos

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

pARTy : painted photos
click the image to enlarge

last friday the girls came over for pARTy, and we made the great pieces above by painting photos on blocks of wood. i think there was a little trepidation when i first described the project, but i couldn’t be more amazed by the final pieces!

each person picked out a few of their favorite photos (important: my friends are the original photographers of the photos — they have not stolen/borrowed anyone else’s), then i worked with them to figure out what highlights, lowlights, midtones, negative space, etc. to paint. there was also an option to add a secondary accent piece. anna has a great post with pictures that show more detail — check it out!

wanna make your own? a tutorial is after the jump, along with details of each piece! but first, check out all the cheese we sampled while creating:


ok, that’s it for me. my brain is already on vacation, so i’m taking the rest of the week off from blogging. have a great 4th of july weekend! click the link below for a painted photo tutorial.



Friday, June 27th, 2008

june pARTy
tonight i’m hosting pARTy, for the first time since february’s light pARTy. we try to do pARTy every other month, but it’s hard to schedule a night that works for all of us. we did take a field trip to birdie’s and learned how to dye wool in may, but it’s been 3 months since we’ve gathered at my house.

so we’re finally getting together tonight for cheese, wine, and art. i won’t reveal the entire project, but it involves cut boards, photos, and acrylics. i’ll post our work next week!

have a great weekend! i hope you are able to create, spend time with friends, and enjoy some wine.

wool dyeing party

Monday, May 19th, 2008


yesterday a bunch of us drove 45 minutes west of the twin cities, to join my friend birdie for a wool dyeing party. as i mentioned in an earlier post, birdie has 8 sheep purely for their wool, and she has plenty of wool to share!

around lunch time, jackie, my sis, heather, anna, anna’s mom june, anna’s sister ellie, kathryn, kristen and i all gathered at birdie & ed’s hobby farm on a sunny but breezy day. first birdie taught us how to card the wool:

carding wool

we all had the chance to card. we went through a whole pillowcase of wool, which birdie says represents only 1/10 of the fleece from one sheep. it really is amazing how much wool they carry around.

birdie and her husband ed had the fire started before everyone arrived, so it was nice and hot when we started mixing the dyes. everyone had a chance to help weigh the wool and measure dye ingredients:

mixing dyes

adding wool to the mixed dye

once the dyes were mixed and the wool was added, the jars and pots were placed over the fire to set:

waiting for the dye to set

while the dye was setting we ate salads, fruit, and yummy cheese toast. birdie also made us rhubarb cobbler, with rhubarb from her garden. she told us she burned it, but don’t believe her — it was sooo good.

after about an hour over the fire, the dyed wool is rinsed and laid out in the sun to dry (the orange/rust/terra cotta dye is my favorite):

drying the roving

at the end of the day, we got to meet the sheep! they’re a bit timid, but definitely have personalities. they raced into the barn and then peeked out at us through the barn window…


outside on a sunny day, in the company of wonderful and talented women, eating good food, learning how to dye wool… the makings of a fabulous day. and we got to take some roving home! thank you so much, birdie!

pARTy : lights

Monday, February 25th, 2008

pARTy : lights
last friday was pARTy night, and 5 of my wonderful friends came over and we decorated ikea grono lamps. i am in awe of the creativity — the lights are just amazing! it’s always so fun to see what my friends come up with when we get together to create. (i just wish the photos would do them justice!) i’ve got detailed descriptions of the lights and more photos after the jump…



Friday, February 22nd, 2008

lights for pARTy
it’s friday and tonight is a pARTy night! i haven’t really had a pARTy since last july. there have been a few creative events since then, but not a true pARTy, so i’m looking forward to tonight. friends, cheese, wine, and lots of art supplies!

tonight we’ll be customizing lights using ikea’s grono lamp. most attendees will be working with 2 lamps, and i’ve got a bunch of ideas to get everyone started. i made my own light last fall: it’s titled fisch, and i assemblaged pages from a german art history book with cut outs of a paul klee painting onto the glass. it looks a lot better in person than it does in the pictures. i’ll post pictures of our new creations next week!

happy weekend!

4th annual xmas pARTy : dec 1

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

this saturday is the 4th annual xmas pARTy, where we gather at my “studio” (a.k.a dining room/kitchen) and create our xmas gifts. while pARTies in 2007 were few and far between, we still have fun stuff to make: soaps, lip balms, glass ornaments, collages, jewelry, paper bead bracelets, books, salt scrubs and more. all supplies will be available, and the studio opens at 1. yay!

make salt scrubs!

Monday, October 29th, 2007

salt scrub
salt scrubs are easy and inexpensive to make (considering the cost when you buy them at the store!). a few key ingredients and a neat jar or two and you’ve got a great gift or an indulgence for yourself. how-to and recipes after the jump…


make lip balm!

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

heather's peppermint lip balms
making your own lip balm isn’t as hard as it sounds. you just need the right recipe and a few key supplies. anna recommended that i look at not martha’s post about adventures in lip balm, in addition to pointing me towards a great supplier, majestic mountain sage. that helped me narrow down the approach, and jenn helped me calcluate the ingredients from percentages to measurements. everyone made lip balm at the last pARTy, and when heather and i made soap recently, she also made a bunch of peppermint lib balms in shades of pink. lip balm recipe and details after the jump.


make soap!

Monday, October 8th, 2007

i spent last saturday afternoon with my friend heather. at our last pARTy, we made handmade soaps, salt scrubs, toothpaste and lip balms, and heather wasn’t able to make it. so I brought the pARTy to her! we made 5 different kinds of soap and she made a ton of lip balm (she’s getting ready for xmas!).

soap making is really easy when you use a glycerin base, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money or buy special supplies. for around $50, you can make enough soap to last you a year and still give plenty away.

all the supplies are from majestic mountain sage. i had ordered everything from them for the last pARTy, and was really happy with the quality of the supplies and the speedy delivery. for our afternoon event, rather than using a big bucket of glycerin soap base (which was difficult to scoop and measure), i ordered the glycerin in 2lb blocks: 3 blocks with cold cream (for an opaque result) and 2 blocks with olive oil. the blocks are much easier to work with!