March 31, 2011

Once upon a time an adorable baby was born, he grew up, got married, had two boys, and all of a sudden he was about to turn 30! 30, being a significant accomplishment, was worthy of mass celebration. Hence, his loving wife decided to throw him a surprise party, which wound up being a joint surprise party for two other friends of his who were turning 30 as well! True story.

The theme? Angry birds!
The location? A nearby clubhouse, thanks to our friends the apartment dwellers.
The event? Awesome! Few 30 year olds get themed birthday parties.

The invitation:

Angry Birds Birthday Card

I found a free vector file with several Angry Birds and Pigs here. I used a simple background and border and used this free font. I added the outline around the words myself though.
*Note: Names and Locations have been changed to protect privacy. No need to worry that three friends have the unfortunate demise of being named after The Three Stooges.

Here's another Birthday Card that could be used as an invitation or with a gift. 

The decorations:

Angry Birds Pig Piñata

We kept the decorations simple, using the piñata as our main decoration, and a few prints of the angry birds from the vector file. I also used the birthday invitation to make a sign for the doors. If I'd thought ahead I think I would have Laminated the images. The kids were thrilled to take them down and play with them!

Angry Birds Birthday Poster

Angry Birds Birthday Decorations

Angry Birds Birthday Decorations

The menu:

Angry Birds Birthday Food

In the game Angry Birds the birds smash Pigs that stole their eggs. As we planned the party the menu came together easily.

Pulled Pork & Salsa Chicken served with rolls
Fruit Salad
Veggies and Dip
Deviled Eggs
Fruit Punch
Cake Pops

 Angry Birds Cake Pops

I can't take credit for the awesome cake pops. My friend made them. She used different color chocolate chips for the different birds, and cut the tip off chips for the round noses, and then the same, but cut in quarters for the eyes. Little sprinkles turned out perfect for the eyebrows. She used edible pen to mark the eyes and noses, and Starbursts flattened and cut for the beaks. On the biggest pig, she used a Starburst for the crown! Everyone loved them!

Angry Birds Cake Pops

Angry Birds Cake Pops

Angry Birds Cake Pops

We got the idea for the cake pops here. (This is actually what got us started on the whole theme.)

Other Menu Ideas: Sugar Cookies, Rice Crispy Treats

The cake:

Angry Birds Cake & Cake Pops

Thankfully Costco came through and sold me an un-decorated cake. Did you know they would do that? I wasn't sure! The white frosting and edges are all them. I stepped in with the decoration of the top, add to that the glorious cake pops from my awesome friend and it was perfect!

IAngry Birds Cake & Cake Pops

Angry Birds Cake & Cake Pop

Angry Birds Cake & Cake Pops

To get the red bird shaped right I used a paper, cut circular, and traced the edge, then loosely followed the image from the birthday card.

Other Angry Bird Cakes:  Playable Angry Bird Cake, Cake Toppers

The activities:

The kids arrived and decorated their small paper bags to be used later for the piñata. We just had markers and stickers. If you want to go farther, you could fringe the tops of the bags, and have them decorate "the nest".

Of course, eating and socializing were the main event. We had planned to set up the Wii, but there was an important Basketball Game to be watched. (Heads up: There is an Angry Birds Wii game in the works.)

Angry Birds Piñata Slingshot

The kids enjoyed playing in the gym and were extremely excited to assist with breaking the piñata open. Needless to say, after some thorough bashing from the men with their slingshots, some good wacks from several kids, and further attempts on the part of the fathers, the pull cord was pulled and even then, it had to be picked up and shaken to get the eggs and candy out.

 Angry Birds Piñata Slingshot

Yes, that's right - the Piñata was stuffed with Eggs!

 Angry Birds Piñata full of Eggs!

The Piñata was originally a sports piñata. We covered the sides in green crepe, printed out pigs, taped them together and glued them on and then I drew the nest and eggs. It was pretty easy to do, and saved money that way. You can order Angry Bird Piñatas from Etsy though.

Angry Birds Pig Piñata Before

Angry Birds Pig Piñata

If you're planning this event yourself you might consider: Dodge Ball (Angry Birds Dodgeballs are soon to be released), some sort of game with the Angry Bird Plushies, or any other idea involving a Sling Shot!

I picked up my Sling Shots here, but with a little extra time I would highly recommend these ones for a large (age appropriate) group.

That's all folks. Feel free to comment about more Angry Birds ideas or share photos of your own party in my Flickr Pool Maggie Muggins Designs In Action.

Linking up to CSI's Party and Picnic's link party:


March 30, 2011

I finally had a few spare minutes to work out the problems with my blog. It looked fine in one browser, and then was all messed up in another, so I've spent a lot of time working to fix it. Here's where I confess something. I finally turned the blog over to my husband and had him fix it. What I had been working on for hours he fixed in 20 minutes! (Thanks Love.) It is handy to have someone who knows CSS in the house. We finally finished the new blog look last night! It's fun and colorful and finally looks complete with the background. Of course, I love change, so it may not last long!

For those of you who use a feed reader, here's what the site looked like:

Old Blog Look

I liked the color scheme, and the design, but I wanted my blog name to stand out more, and after a year it was time for a change.

And here's the new look:

Blog Makeover

I am loving the change! I added the phrase "creativity is born of necessity" because that is how I feel about creativity. I didn't become creative just because I decided to one morning, it was because I need to create. To save money, to have an outlet, to surround myself with beauty, to improve my life. Whatever it may be, I need to create. So I do.

I've been trying to improve features too, for my visitors. I've added the sharing tools to the bottom of each post, but for some reason I can't get them to show up. I'll continue to work on those little things and let you know when they're working!

Also, for those readers who have or would like to have my button on their blog - I've updated it. It's available in the side-bar, but I'm posting it here as well.

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March 21, 2011

I'm back with the rest of the tutorial today. My first attempt with the fabric interfacing actually went quite well. But we'll talk about that in a minute. Have you got a pattern ready yet? If not go back to this tutorial and learn how to Make Your own Stuffie Pattern in Silhoeutte Studio. That tutorial will help you to make something like this:

Silhouette Sock Monkey

Hello! So cute!

Now we're going to go ahead and cut out that pattern. I will confess, you really don't need to use the interfacing on the body. To me it seems a waste to actually use it on the body seeing as it won't be ironed on to anything. However, it does cut the fabric for you, so I'm going to leave that up to you.

NOTE: Please share photos of your projects made from my tutorials in my Flickr Pool Maggie Muggins Designs In Action. It's always inspiring to see what other people are creating!


1. Consider Multiple Cuts.
The pattern you created is already grouped into colors. Now you need to think of one more thing. Does anything need to be cut twice. The body needs a front and a back so that one needs to be cut twice. On the Monkey Pattern I chose to do the Hands and Feet on both the front and back - so that needed to be cut twice as well. See below - it is going to look so much better with the extra fabric on both sides instead of just the front!

Front & Back

2. Prepare the fabric.
Click on the object in Silhouette Studio, or the color group and look at the measurements (height and width). Add an inch to each of those measurements and that is how much of each fabric you need to prepare with the Sewable Interfacing. Prepare as directed on the package.
Make sure to pay attention of the direction of the fabric print as you cut it out and iron on the interfacing. You don't want to mess up and have one piece going up and one going down.

Fabric with Sewable Interfacing

3. Cut out the objects from each fabric.
*If you choose not to cut the body on the Silhouette, just print it and cut it out from a double layer of fabric (right sides out on both layers).
I had the settings as follows:  Speed - 3, Thickness - 33, Carrier Sheet & Double Cut selected, Pink Tip. 
Remove the backing from the interfacing before placing it on the cutting mat otherwise it's more likely that you will have shifting, peel back and a huge mess. Just a lesson I learned the hard way.
For each fabric, move the objects that you want to cut onto the mat and remove all other ones to the side. (Don't delete them, just drag them off the mat.)

Cut Next Set

NOTE: If the pattern is not perfectly symmetrical you will need to Horizontally flip the back, as well as those objects that are going on the back.

Cut Body

Flip for Back

As you peel back the fabric, be careful, cut the threads that weren't cut through, don't tug or you could make matters worse. Some fabrics frayed or were more problematic than others.

Monkey Mouth

4. Align and Iron on the Accessories.
To align the eyes and ears I used the negative to place it. The I carefully pulled it away BEFORE ironing.

Use Negative to Align Objects

Eyes & Ears Aligned

Because I used the Silhoeutte to cut the body it has an adhesive on the back. I placed it on Wax paper to iron the other peices on. Otherwise it would have stuck to the ironing board and that would have been a mess. It peeled of the paper easily.

You can play around with the accessories to personalize the pattern, or change the gender.

Sock Monkey Boy

Sock Monkey Girl

5. Sew on the Accessories.
Stitch around the edges of the objects you ironed on to secure them. (Yes. I was too lazy to change the color in the bottom bobbin. Just overlook that please.)

Sew on Accessories

6. Sew Body Front and Back together.
Pin right sides together and sew with 1/4" seam (or your preferred seam allowance) around the edge. Leave an opening large enough to pull the fabric through and stuff. On this pattern I left the opening on one side under the arm.
I sewed with the front of the body up so I could see where the ears, bow and mouth were from my stitches and make sure they didn't get caught in the seam.
(Sorry I missed getting pictures for 6-9. You can see photos on this pattern in steps 3-6.)

7. Check the Seams.
On both sides, check that your seams catch the fabric on both sides. Otherwise, you'll have to turn it back inside out or hand sew repairs right away.

8. Trim the Seams and Clip the Curves & Corners.
In tight spots (like arms and legs, trim the seam a little. On the curved areas, clip the seam very near to the thread, repeat a few times around the curve. Also, in sharp corners, clip all the way in to the seam ( be careful not to go too far). This helps the stuffie turn right side out better and the seams look better.

9. Turn the Stuffie Right Side Out.
On tricky pieces (ie arms and legs on this one) you may need to use a pencil or something that size to help push the piece out, or use a straight pin to grab at it and pull from the outside. Be careful not to push too hard, but be patient and careful as you go.

10. Stuff and Hand Stitch Closed.
Stuff your Stuffie, use a pencil if needed to get the stuffing into the smaller details. Sew the opening closed using a Ladder Stitch.

Stuffed and Sewing Closed


Sock Monkey Stuffie

I think I will have to make another one ASAP. My boys have been fighting over this one already!

Linking to:

Show and Tell green


March 20, 2011

Today I missed church. I hate not being able to go. I always have. But I was sick. And my two boys were as well. This afternoon, however, I took time to reflect on my Faith and how my relationship with my Father in Heaven and His Son has been going lately. I love them. I am so grateful to know who to turn to when I am down. Years ago as an EFY counselor I heard an amazing quote about Christ:

“We know that on some level Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It’s our faith that he experienced everything – absolutely everything. Sometimes we don’t think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don’t experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means that Jesus knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer – how it was hard for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student-body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked, and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.

“There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands about pregnancy and giving birth. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion.

“His last recorded words to his disciples were, ‘And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matthew 28:20.) What does that mean? It means he understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down’s syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children who ever come are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He’s been there. He’s been lower than that.” (Okazaki, Chicko N. Lighten Up [Deseret Book: 1993]: 174-75)

Sister Okazaki (who gives the quote) puts the atonement in such a way as to make us understand it’s not just about sin, but about all pain we can experience in this mortal life. It has touched me profoundly. To know that He understands me as a Woman, and that he can comprehend the pains that I suffer make his Atonement so much more meaningful to me. I love that I can turn my heartache and worry to Him. And boy, do I worry sometimes. But I can find peace through Him and I do, often.

The woman of Samaria

After sending this to my sister she (or her husband) replied with these scriptures:

(Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 9:20 - 22)

20  O how great the holiness of our God!  For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.
21  And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.
22  And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.

This one shows why: That in order to be able to fully judge us righteously he had to suffer as we have suffered in every single aspect.

(Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 9:5)

5  Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.

I wanted to share this with you because I see a great need for Women, world-wide to feel like they are understood. We all have that innate desire to be better and accomplish our goals. But often we fall short of what we think we ought to be. That is when we, as women, most need to turn to Jesus and let him help us.

March 17, 2011

The winner of this beautiful quilt is: #1!

I'm such an idiot. My brain was so set on the triplets that I forgot (don't tell her!!!) my other sister is expecting also and is having a girl :) Her name is/will be Hannah Skye. Fingers crossed. The sneak peak looks so cute - and dang it all you made it so I KNOW it's cute :)

Congratulations Natalie!

I will have the quilt finished ASAP and you'll all get to see it before it is sent off to one lucky little baby girl! Guess what? This is going to be my latest pattern!

Baby Girl Quilt Giveaway!

March 16, 2011

Silhouette has a Giveaway on their blog this week. The entry requires you to say why you are Lucky to Own a Silhouette! I wanted to share my answer with you:

I LOVE my Silhouette because IT ENABLES ME as a crafter. If I had to do anything that it does for me by hand, I just wouldn't do it. Instead - I have such potential with my Silhouette on my desk.

I've been so excited as I have prepared for today's Tutorial. I know many of you love your Silhouette, but are so overwhelmed with learning how to use it. Have you been excited about the new Interfacing, but not sure where to start? The Silhouette has a few patterns now, you can search for them in the design store using "Fabric". But today you're going to learn how to take some designs you might already have and turn them into a pattern.


NOTE: Please share photos of your projects made from my tutorials in my Flickr Pool Maggie Muggins Designs In Action. It's always inspiring to see what other people are creating!

Choosing the Design:

Not just any design in the Silhouette Library, or your own will work. Look at the design with an objective eye. 

1. Ask yourself: "Is there a good base shape?" The main image should have a substantial body and should be something that will look good larger and stuffed. Keep in mind that the size is limited. You can't go wider that the cutting mat! If you're not sure about the design, go ahead and follow the rest of the tutorial, it might help you think about it more and really decide if it's worth doing.

2. Don't only choose designs that have 1 object. The design I'm showing you today has several objects and for me it gives even more potential.

3. Consider your fabric choice as your only real limit. But if you want to use a fabric that can't be cut (ie. I wouldn't suggest cutting Minkee) on the Silhouette then you can always print the pattern and cut it out on your own.

For today's tutorial I chose the Sock Monkey that was a free download a while ago.  (sock_monkey_heart_C02783_1)

Creating the Pattern:

1. Change the Document Layout to the direction of the image. (I preferred Portrait for this design.) 


2. Open the image and ungroup it.


2. Group the objects according to the fabric you will cut them from.You can do this now or later, but I prefer to do it first.

Group by Color

3. Select all of the images in the design. You need to do this before resizing every time otherwise some parts will end up too small, or too big. Select everything using Edit-> Select All or typing Ctrl+A.

Select All

4. Resize the design so that your main pattern piece is the size you want it (without seam allowance, we'll add that on in a minute).


5. Select only the main pattern piece and go to the offset menu using Object->Offset or pressing the Offset button in the upper right hand tool bar.

Offset Menu

6. Offset the object. Click on Offset, then set the distance to your desired Seam Allowance (distance you will sew in from the edge of the fabric). I set the Offset Distance to 1/4" (0.25in). Then select Corner or Round, which will depend on the design. Click on both if necessary, to see which one looks better. For the Monkey I chose Round. Click Apply.


7. Select the original line of the object (the inner shape) and go to the Cut menu. Select No Cut. Now only the outer line will cut and the inner will be your seam allowance.

No Cut

Repeat steps 5,6&7 for any details that need to be in the seam. (I put an offset on the hands and feet details.)


8. Use the knife tool to remove offset on the details where it will not be included in the seam. For example, the top part of the hands and feet will not be included in the seam, so I select the little knife from the left tool bar and draw a line through the section I want to remove. The object is divided into two pieces at that line, delete the upper one. Repeat on all pieces don't need to have offset on a side.


Delete Cut

9. Your pattern is complete. Save it. You are ready to cut! To cut prepare the fabric with the interfacing as directed and then place the objects that you want cut from that fabric on the mat. Repeat for each fabric.


Come back on Monday to see the final product and for a tutorial on how to put it all together!