Friday, May 13, 2011

Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

Definition:  To have one's cake and eat it too is a popular English idiomatic proverb or figure of speech, sometimes stated as eat one's cake and have it too or simply have one's cake and eat it. This is most often used negatively, meaning an individual owning a thing, and still attempting to benefit from or use it. It may also indicate having or wanting more than one can handle or deserve, or trying to have two incompatible things. The proverb's meaning is similar to the phrases, ‘you can't have it both ways’ and ‘you can't have the best of both worlds’.” 
Source (although not the most accurate source out there on the World Wide Web, it works for this fun-natured post)
I came across this post in one of the weekly DIY emails I receive and instantly fell in love, as I have with a few of my little (or big) project ideas. How cute are these cake stands? Naturally, cake stands make you think of cake, and cake makes you think of the phrase “have your cake and eat it too”. I completely understand why and how the figure of speech is used negatively, but in this case I think it can be switched around to be positive.  Hear me out…
“meaning an individual owning a thing, and still attempting to benefit from or use it”- Um, yes please! I love finding things I already own around the house and figuring out a way to re-purpose it (whether it gets some DIY love or not) to get more (or better) use out of it than I was previously.
“may also indicate having or wanting more than one can handle or deserve” – Let’s be honest, my husband doesn’t think I need to purchase/create/DIY/or even inherit another serving piece for as long as we both shall live! I already have way more than I can handle store and deserve am thankful to have received, but I will always welcome more and the hubby… well, he will smile and tell me “a happy wife makes a happy life”. J
“or trying to have two incompatible things” – Such is the DYI motto, at times. Taking something (or some things) and making them more practical/fun/meaningful, even if those separate things may not “fit” together at first glance.
After you see my short-but-sweet tutorial below, you will most certainly believe that when it comes to DIY cake stands ‘you can't can have it both ways’ and ‘you can't can have the best of both worlds’… I promise!
I mentioned in this post that I found some cute, and super inexpensive, plates and candle sticks with cake-plate-making on the brain while I was bargain shopping in March. After I gathered all of my supplies I just knew I wanted to make them for part of our Mother’s Day gifts for our moms. I had already purchased some fun spring/summer spray paint colors for other projects and picked up some epoxy at the same time, so when you add in the plates & candlesticks - $0.99 each (plates) & $1.99 each (candlesticks), this was a really cost-effective gift. *Fun fact – the plates I found are branded on the bottom with the Independence Ironstone logo. If you Google it, there are tons of pieces and entire sets for sale. While it isn’t reselling for huge amounts of money, it is neat to know I found plates that have some history. *
The first task was to glue the plates to the candle sticks. I was nervous to use epoxy for the first time ever, but the directions on the box made it really quick and easy and it worked like a charm! If you’re nervous like me, just ask your hubby or significant other to stand right next to you; the moral support works wonders for Nervous Nelly’s like me! Anyway, the epoxy was amazing and it took a matter of minutes before these two objects were "stuck like glue", as my beloved Sugarland would say.

The second, and last, task (I told you this was a quick and easy project) was to spray paint the bottom of the plates and candle sticks. I took a large piece of cardboard in the backyard and just sprayed and sprayed until I thought it looked coated on every nook and cranny. You definitely don’t want any of the paint to get on the top side of the plate, and I saw suggestions of using painters tape to keep the paint off of that side, but I felt like my plate was flush enough against the cardboard to do the trick, and I was right. I found out I had a couple little specs of paint on the top of the plate (once it dried and I was able to turn it over), but I just scraped them off with my fingernail and was good to go! I followed my trusty instructions from the Eat Drink Pretty blog and washed the top of the plate off with hot, soapy water (this will never be dishwasher safe, but most of my serving pieces aren’t - and even if they are, I feel better about hand washing them anyway) and they were complete!
When I gave my mom (I will be giving it to my mother-in-law next weekend, so I hope she doesn’t check the ole’ blog before then!) the blue one last weekend I told her I had spray painted the bottom (better safe than sorry, so I wanted to disclose as much information as possible) and let her know that there is no paint on the top of the plates, so cakes, cookies, snacks, etc can all be served off of this surface. If they decide they want to be extra cautious (in the event the food is placed on the outer rim of the plate instead of just in the center), they can always place a cute napkin or doily on the plate before setting out the food.

So, what do you think?! I’m so in love with it that I’m now on the hunt for cute plate and candle sticks/coblets/bowls/etc to make a few more for my own collection. I have already made one platter out of another plate and mini bowl I found at Savers last month (a full Bargain Shopping – April 2011 post to come soon). The plate is from Nell Hill's , and I just love the color, so I decided to simply glue the two together with epoxy and leave them as-is.

Loving the small plate (with dots that go so well with our dinner and serving ware) and the mini clear “stand”; I can’t wait to use it during our next party. It’s totally normal to plan a “girls’ (wine) night out” simply to show off my new serving dish, right?! Yep, I thought so!
Enjoy having your cake and eating it, too, friends!

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Note"-worthy Birthday Gifts

I turned 27 on April 13th. Crazy! Two weeks after that, my sister, Jeannie, turned 25 on April 27th. It has always been fun for us to have our birthdays exactly two years and two weeks apart. I don't know about all of you, but I love gift giving. I love it ten times more than gift receiving! I have birthday and Christmas gift ideas running through my mind the day after I give them their gifts and just hope I am able to remember them for 364 more days. I'm a dork like that!

Anyway, so when it came to my sister's birthday, I knew exactly what I wanted to get her... stationary. It may sound weird, but we're a big stationary family. We were taught from a very young age that when we are given gifts, we should show our appreciation by sending a hand-written thank you card and it is something that has stuck with me my entire life. It stuck so hard that I don't think it even came as a surprise when my bridesmaids were given personalized stationary as gifts for being in my wedding. And, as far as I know, the gift was a huge hit! There is just something about seeing your name in perfect and fancy writing on a pristine note card, and then being able to express you gratitude for a gift or kind gesture, or just sending a simple hello to bring someone a smile. Love! I'm sure my Mom has given us stationary from numerous places over the years (we always received different styles, fonts, colors, etc for various birthday and Christmas gifts growing up - and she even gave some to my husband for his college graduation, since it's perfect for job interview thank you's and follow-ups!), but the brand that always comes to mind is Embossed Graphics. Maybe she'll comment on this post and let us know her favorite places to shop for stationary - thanks in advance for that, Mom! :) This stationary can be purchased from various vendors online (and at Statements, a gift store for all you KC peeps) and is my absolute favorite! I just recently purchased this Somerset Wardrobe set for myself a few months ago from and just love it.

Since I have always been so pleased with my stationary from EG I was planning to buy the same set for my sister, until I came across this new (or new-to-me) online store for all things stationary-cards-business needs and couldn't get enough of I decided to continue looking around for a couple days before placing my order and signed up for the email list, only to find some amazing deals in my inbox over the next 24 hours. I was so impressed with the options, prices and production time (I had read online that even if you pick the slowest shipping method - which claims it could take up to a month to receive your order - that it will really ship within one week) that I couldn't pass it up. So, I set out to make the following two sets of stationary for Jeannie. Once I got through the process of picking out the design, personalizing my order and getting ready to purchase, I was prompted to create FREE (and matching!) return address labels for each set. Bonus! So, enough rambling from me; I want you to see what I created. The first is a basic card for Jeannie to send out thank you cards or special notes to family and friends. The second is so fun and something I didn't even know you could do - a personalized-to-every-family-member card for Jeannie and Chad to send out as a family thank you or, possibly, a thank you card from one of their boys. They were so much fun to create and hopefully something they can use for years to come (since the little "people" are saved in my vistaprint account forever) Love love love them!

Jeannie Wohletz - I love the fancy font and the pretty swirly flowers for my girly-girl sister!

The Wohletz Family - I just can't get enough! It was so fun to see Jeannie's & Chad's faces when
they saw how much these caricatures actually resemble each one of the Wohletz family members.

So, what do you think?! I had these wrapped and sitting  hiding in our master closet for at least two months (I told you, they came way faster than I thought they would) before her birthday. And let's be honest, I had to hide them not because I was scared someone would see them, but because I needed them out of sight/out of mind so I wasn't tempted to give them to her early! And when I was finally able to give them to her last week... she LOVED them!

PS - If you happen to try your luck  design skills at vistaprint, don't forget to sign up for the email list first AND don't forget to search Google for any possible coupon codes that they have out there for all to use. Happy gifting!

PPS - A big thank you to my wonderful parents for instilling such a great traditional and habit in out lives. I am still so grateful! Love you!