Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hats Off To A Happy New Year !

NYE Table 1

We don’t do a lot for New Year’s Eve and haven’t gone out for it in years. Still, I do like to make it festive and while I don’t switch out all of my holiday decor, I did re-do my Christmas table for New Year’s.

As a blogger for Oriental Trading Company, I had a great opportunity to have some fun with some of their party planning products, and to plan a party of my choice.  I went with a black and white Parisian theme, perfect for New Year’s Eve.

NYE Centerpiece 3

For the centerpiece, I decided to make a New Year’s Hat ( similar to the Snowman hat I did for Christmas) using a coffee can and scrapbook paper.

NYE Centerpiece

For this you will need:
  • Empty Coffee Can
  • Scrapbook paper ( Black and White Paper Pack, OTC)
  • Paper Straws ( Black and White Stripe, OTC)
  • Glittered cardstock
  • Mirrored Cardstock
  • Die cut letters
  • Adhesive
  • Embellishments
Measure and cut paper to fit around the can. Adhere with strong adhesive ( I used a strong double sided tape). Cut a larger circle from the glittered cardstock for the brim and hot glue the bottom of the can to the brim.

NYE Centerpiece 1

Once your basic “hat” is constructed, embellish however you like! I used some leftover ribbon, pipe cleaners, and a button. I used more paper from the stack  along with mirror cardstock and my Silhouette to make the signs that went into my hat.

NYE Centerpiece 2

In keeping with the hat theme, I made these mini top hat table decorations. You could also make these wearable by gluing to a headband.

Mini Top Hats:
  • Heavy Cardstock
  • Hot Glue
  • Embellishments
Mini Top Hat

I found the pattern here: Mini Top Hat Tutorial and cut the pieces out of silver glitter cardstock

Mini Top Hats

To finish off the mini top hats, I added bows made from ribbon leftover from Christmas and little pennants I made on my computer and adhered with the striped paper straws I used in the centerpiece:

NYE Pennant Straw

I also made little party hats out of these polka dot treat cones from OTC:

NYE party cones

NYE Table Decor 

I used some leftover tinsel garland to embellish. The galvanized pails are also from OTC and were perfect for holding napkins  and utensils (both from Oriental Trading Company). I used some Paris themed washi tape and gold vinyl to decorate the pails.

NYE Galvanized Buckets

And even though no one in my house will actually eat the black eyed peas, since they’re a symbol of good luck for New Years ( and they matched my color theme) I used them to weigh down my buckets.

NYE Black Eyed Peas

Wishing you all a safe and happy New Year’s Eve . Thanks for being part of the fun here at The Answer Is Chocolate in 2014, and looking forward to new adventures in 2015!

Oriental Trading Company products used in this post ( I was provided with products used in this post but ideas and opinions are mine)

NYE Table 1

Monday, December 29, 2014

13 Ways To Add A Pop of Vintage to Your Kitchen

I describe my decorating style as a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I like what I like and it's not all one thing. One thing I love is adding a touch of vintage here and there. Most recently, I made a new piece of Christmas decor out of a vintage grater. 

I shared this on Hometalk and was so excited when they asked me to curate a board featuring vintage kitchen decor ideas. Some of these are Christmas like this vintage holiday kitchen from House of Hawthornes

or non-seasonal touches like this Rustic Bucket Light from The Summery Umbrella

There are so many ways you can add a vintage touch to your decor; these are just a few. Hope you enjoy the board and visiting the featured projects! 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

From Our House to Yours

Sending out wishes for a very Merry Christmas and time spent with friends and family.  I'm going to take a few days off from the blog and enjoy time with Mr. Chocolate and College Boy. The BFF Open House Party will resume next week on New Year's so come prepared to party and start the New Year off right! 

Hugs and Chocolate! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Elf Bite Cookies and Snowball Pretzel Rods

Treat Packaging

The coming year will be one of change for the Chocolate house. College Boy will be graduating which seems unreal. The past four years have flown by like that. It seems like just yesterday I sent off the first care package of treats to him, and hard to believe this was the last batch of college Christmas treats.
Rolled Pinwheel Elf Bites

I saw a fun cookie idea on Pinterest that I decided to try. Mine don’t look nearly as spectacular as the originals but they turned out OK. You can see the inspiration for them along with the full recipe here: Salt Tree Family Food and Crafting Swirled Sugar Cookies

Pinwheel Sugar Cookies

Make the dough, divide in half and color half with gel food coloring. Then layer the doughs, and roll together jelly roll style.

Pinwheel Sugar Cookies Layer

Pinwheel Sugar Cookies Rolled

The original cookies used the dot sprinkles but I only had jimmies so improvise!

Pinwheel Sugar Cookies  Jimmies

Basically, you roll your roll in the jimmies, then chill, slice and bake. I am calling mine elf bites!
I also made dipped pretzel rods which resulted in my asking “why haven’t I done this before?” These were super easy! I used a sparkly Wilton candy melt and added little sugar "snowballs".

Dipped Pretzels 3

Dipped Pretzels

Dip your pretzel rods in melted chocolate ( I got my pretzels at Safeway), let set, then dip in melted candy melts. Decorate as desired.

Dipped Pretzels 2

I included some candy canes and continued the elf theme by cutting some elf stockings using my Silhouette. Embellished with washi tape and pom poms.

Elf Stocking Candy Canes

To package everything, I used these candy cane bags I found at Michaels, along with some candy cane striped paper ribbon I had in my stash.

Celebrate It Bags

Treat Packaging

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BFF Open House Link Party # 189

The Answer Is Chocolate

Happy Friday Eve all. Happy Hanukkah to those of you who started celebrating this week and ONE WEEK TIL CHRISTMAS! I need another week.  Let's get right to some highlights from last week's party: 

Still need a gift for someone? Check out this arm-knit ( yes I said arm-knit) infinity scarf. I've seen these all over Pinterest and much to my complete and total shock, College Boy texted us a picture of one he made! Visit Andrea at Scrapality for the details. 

Kathleen from Charm Bracelet Diva At Home shared this wonderful Christmas card display, another of her amazing flea market transformations! 

Have a Keurig coffee maker? Save the capsules and make ornaments (or package toppers)  like Bethany did at Pitter and Glink

OK this week's chocolate feature? WOW is all I can say: 

Peppermint Hot Cocoa Crepes from Honey Lamb and I. Who wouldn't love a plate of these?! 

Now on to this week's party !


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

MERRY and Bright Wreath

Merry Wreath DCWV

While taking down our Christmas decorations last year, I had to concede that the evergreen ( faux) garland I’d been using to decorate the railings had seen its last Christmas. I needed to come up with something to do this year and came up with this wreath idea that hangs on the railing you see when you enter the front door.

For this project you will need:
  • Wreath form ( I used one from Dollar Tree)
  • Fabric scraps (I used drop cloth scraps from a never ending painter’s drop cloth)
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Paper ( I used DCWV Sparkling Holiday Stack)
  • Glitter cardstock
  • Black Cardstock
  • MERRY die ( Savvy Stamps) or letters
First, prepare your wreath:

Dollar Tree Wreath

I cut strips from my never ending painter’s dropcloth I bought at Home Depot a few years ago. Using as you would ribbon, wrap your wreath form until covered.

Drop Cloth Covered Wreath

If you end up with an ugly spot well there’s where  you’ll glue your focal!
Here’s the stack I used. DCWV’s Sparking Holiday which I fell totally in love with and picked up at Michaels even before I knew I’d be guest designing for them. LOVE this beyond measure!

DCWV Sparkling Holiday

About 1/2 the papers are foiled. Pretty!

I chose a couple of papers for the medallion ( rosette, pinwheel, fan thingy) that would be the focal.

DCWV Sparking Holiday Rosettes

Cut into 6x6 sections and scored 1/2 inch folds using my scoring board. I found an image for the angel wings online, printed and cut a template from cardstock, and traced and cut from glittered paper in my stash.

DCWV Sparkling Holiday Medallion

I used four sections of the grey paper for the larger medallion and two of the gold paper for the smaller one. Layer as shown and use hot glue to assemble and adhere to wreath.

For the banner, I cut the shape from black cardstock , and die cut the MERRY letters. To make this really pop, I added these mirrored stars from DDCWV:

DCWV Adhesive Mirrors

They twinkle so much more than this picture shows.

Merry Banner

Where this hangs isn’t conducive to a great photo shoot ( and of course I forgot to take pics before I hung it …bad blogger) but I love seeing it twinkle as I go up and down the stairs.

Merry Wreath DCWV

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Altered Mailbox Christmas Card Holder

Santas Mailbox Believe

I had so much fun with this project that I hope you’ll bear with me because it involves all kinds of things that I love. The star of this is the glitter vinyl that I received from Expressions Vinyl in support of this idea!

I decided I wanted a new place to hold Christmas cards this year and what better place than a mail box? If you’re going to alter a mailbox, why not use a real mailbox? I’d seen some old ones in antique stores but they came with antique store prices. I looked online and found I could get a reasonably priced one at Lowes. Even better, when I got to the store, they had one that was missing parts and was half of what I expected to pay ($12) so I got mine for $6!

Altered Mailbox

The Lowes people were very concerned that I didn’t understand it was incomplete. I didn’t even attempt to explain why I didn’t care.

For this project you will need:
  • Mailbox  to alter
  • Acrylic craft paint (I used black , cream and glitter red)
  • Vinyl (As mentioned Expressions Vinly provided me with the vinyl used in this project.)
  • Embellishments
To start, paint the mailbox black. It helps that the flag was one of the thing missing parts so I didn’t need to remove it:

Altered Mailbox Base Coat

Once dry, dry brush and/or crackle with cream paint. To crackle, paint a coat of white glue ( I just used generic office store glue) and when almost dry, paint over with cream. Let dry.

Altered Mailbox Dry Brush

While your paint is drying, cut your vinyl.

Altered Mailbox Believe Vinyl

I found this “Believe” design in the Silhouette online store and cut it using my Cameo from red glitter vinyl.

Expressions Vinyl Glitter

I used the black and silver glitter vinyl to cut out the initials SC ( Santa Clause) and North Pole for the other side of the mailbox.

Expressions VInyl Silhouette

Santas Mailbox North Pole

To finish off my mailbox, I added a large glitter bow ( Dollar Tree) and had fun embellishing the flag for the mailbox with coordinating scrapbook paper from DCWV’s Candy Cane Lane stack :

DCWV Candy Cane Stack

This section from a page of tags in the stack was a perfect match. I added some sequins and snowflakes to complete. I used a couple more tags from the stack on the top of the mailbox. To cover the holes where you'd normally attach the mailbox to a post, I used self adhesive rhinestones and superglued the flag onto the box.

The completed mailbox now sits next to my altered coffee can Snowman Hat!

Santas Mailbox 1

Santas Mailbox 2

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