Monday, November 10, 2014

October Crafternoon

In an effort to get back on the crafting bandwagon, I decided to plan a monthly crafternoon party with my Mom. What is a crafternoon, you ask? Basically, it is an afternoon of crafting! To me, that sounded like the quickest way to get back to crafting, while surrounding myself with loved ones, and having the opportunity to eat yummy things. On the invitations I sent, I wrote: "crafts, food, fun!"

For October's crafternoon, we made easy luminaries out of mason jars. Basically you cover the outside of the mason jar with strips of colored tissue paper (using Mod Podge or glue to seal the paper) and then add a face with black tissue. After the glue is dried completely, you can place a tea light inside the jar and light it up!

I pre-cut the face shapes (eyes, noses, and mouths) for my crafternoon guests so that they could just focus on gluing. I kept the parts separate on paper plates, that way they could just grab and go!

The luminaries can be monsters, pumpkins, ghosts, vampires, witches, cats, you name it. Any Halloween character could make a fun and festive lantern!

It's important to let the glue dry completely and only put the paper on the outside of the jar, because the fumes from wet glue and any paper is flammable! I didn't have any problems once the project was completely dry, but I did have a scary moment trying to light the candle with a damp jar (Check out the burnt paper on the inside of the jar on that Frankenstein monster). Be warned! ;)

I think everyone had a lot of fun. I already have my plans for a November crafternoon set, so I will be sure to share more photos on the project and the party closer to the day!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Colorado Trip, Part 2

Well, it took me long enough to get to part 2! Hopefully the beauty of these photos from my Colorado trip make up for my tardiness. I know I'd love to be back here right now!

My favorite stop on our trip was Lake Dillon, pictured below. It was a beautiful sunny day, with just a hint of Autumn chill in the air. Truly amazing to behold.

Unfortunately, we couldn't stay at Lake Dillon forever, but the drive back down through the mountains was beautiful, too. How do you like that camper on the hill? That was a fun shot!

We also visited a ranch in Castle Rock, Colorado and saw these cute animals!

If you ever visit Castle Rock, Colorado, I highly recommend a shopping trip to The Barn. Yes, the Outlet shopping in Castle Rock is great but The Barn is one of my favorite places to see. There are so many artists and vendors with their own booths inside, and outside they have even more to see like vintage signs and tin letters.

I also loved this display. It really was perfect for the Fall!

I hope you enjoyed seeing even more photos from my trip to Colorado! It was a wonderful trip and nice to relax with family.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Colorado Trip, Part 1

My Mom and I recently got back from a vacation in Colorado. We went a few years ago, but it was nice to go back for another visit. We spent most of our time in Castle Rock, which is a city south of Denver. While in Castle Rock, we visited my mom's sister, and had a lot of fun. The weather was spectacular and I was able to get so many good photos.

We also traveled to Denver to visit the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens. If you don't know Chihuly, he is the famous glass sculpture artist who created the beautiful glass ceiling of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. In Denver, the sculptures added to the already charming gardens. I don't even know if there is that much more to say. Hopefully the pictures speak for themselves.

Chihuly's sculptures were so colorful and the construction for each piece was amazing. If you can get to the Denver area, I highly recommend visiting this exhibit before it closes in November. I heard from locals that they also light up the sculptures in the evenings and I bet that would've been just as beautiful!

It was nice to take a trip away after the difficult year that we have had. The beautiful art and landscapes that we saw were so restorative and it was nice to have some healing quiet time. We didn't have to work, or do housework, or do anything that we didn't want to do! It was fantastic and I am so glad that I got to spend the time with my mom.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Party of Ice and Fire

When I say that J is a fan of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series by George R.R. Martin, it feels like an understatement. If you do not know the book series (that I'll abbreviate now as ASOIAF), you may be more familiar with the title "Game of Thrones," which is the first book of the series, and the name of the show on HBO.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan too, but J is a little more extreme. I wanted to plan a surprise birthday party for him and decided to use the book series for an "Ice and Fire" party theme!

A Song of Ice and Fire Party

I started by assembling a table with some food and decor centered around the ASOIAF theme. That included a Weirwood tree made from a real tree branch. I painted it white and attached some red leaves that I cut out of paper.

In the living room, I put some crow silhouettes on the wall next to J's "Winter is Coming" poster. I also created a "Happy Name Day" banner from letters printed on kraft paper.

Some other touches included a skull with molten crown a la Viserys Targaryen and a crow that were displayed on the table. I wanted to make the crow have three eyes, but didn't get a chance to do that before the party. It would have been easy to attach a doll eye or black cabochon to this crow to make it three-eyed like the creature in the books!

The birthday cupcakes represented ice and fire! I used rock candy and blue cupcake liners for the ice cupcakes, and topped the others with orange and yellow candles for the fire cupcakes.

I also got a little creative with the idea of house banners from the ASOIAF series and made one for J.

All in all it was a great party and I think J was really surprised. It was fun to use ASOIAF as a party theme! There are so many things that can be done with it. I was glad to have a reason to get back into the swing of crafting things.

Game of Thrones Party

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Life is funny sometimes. Just when you think everything is fine, something bad happens, or the oppositejust when you think everything is terrible, something good happens. My family has had one heck of a year. After J lost his mom in May and we lost my paternal Grandpa in June, my maternal Grandpa died at the end of July. It was a shock. In August we held our breath. It is hard to move forward with so much loss, and I feel that there are still good days and bad days.

I haven't done much crafting these past few months. When we moved into our new (tiny!) place in March I wanted to make a dedicated crafting area. Thanks to a sale at Target I found the perfect desk for it, so now I hope to get back in the crafting mood. Even though summer has ended, I am looking forward to brighter days ahead!

Monday, July 14, 2014

In Loving Memory

This is definitely the hardest blog post that I have ever had to write. I am deeply saddened to share that recently we lost my boyfriend's mother and my grandfather.

Just four days after my last post, my boyfriend's mother had a stroke unexpectedly and died two days later. She was only 52 years old. Although we did not have a funeral, we had a lovely memorial service. I only hope that it brought J some closure. The loss of his mother has been very hard on both of us, but I am so grateful that we have each other. We try to take each day one at a time to work through our grief.

Just one month after the loss of my boyfriend's mother, we suffered the loss of my Grandfather. He was diagnosed with cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) in April and died in June. It was extremely fast, and very difficult to endure. His death was a major blow for our family. Even though we were trying to prepare ourselves from the time he was diagnosed, it all went way too quickly.

I volunteered to give the eulogy for my Grandfather. It was difficult for me to write and to read, but it also made me feel good to be able to express my feelings during his funeral service. The hardest part of losing both DeAnna and my Grandpa is the loss of a future with them. If we ever get married, or have children, they will not get to be a part of that, and that is overwhelmingly sad.

Losing these special people from our lives is the reason for my absence from this blog as of late. DeAnna and Grandpa were both supportive of Craft E Magee, and I know that they would want me to be strong and continue to blog and craft because it makes me happy. I only hope that I can continue to make them proud.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Simple and Sweet Treat Bags

At the Mother's Day brunch we had recently, I made simple goody bags for guests using just tissue paper and cellophane bags. These are the easiest goody bags to make, and are easily customized for any party theme!

All you need is some tissue paper that matches your color or pattern party theme, clear cellophane bags, and string or twist ties.

Fold the goody bag items in the middle of the tissue paper leaving the top part open. It is easiest to follow the folds already creased into the tissue paper.

Next place the folded tissue paper with treats into the cellophane bag (open end up). Close the top of the goody bag with a twist tie, string, or yarn. Finish with a nice bow and you are all set!

Whether it's for a kid's birthday party, a Holiday, or special occasion, these simple bags are perfect for guests. These goody bags can be filled with candy and stickers for kids, or stocked with fun items for adults, like the shaving lotion and shampoo that I included here.