Wednesday, July 15, 2015

When Crafting Gets Engineered

Last week I was thrown into full craft mode when my friend who was taking the lead on planning/hosting a baby shower for another friend was stranded at an airport in another state and couldn't make it back in time for the shower.  Luckily she had already purchased some decorations and prizes for games. 

The original food plan wasn't working out so I had to come up with something last minute (read Friday night when the shower was Saturday.) I opted for something easy but also tasty and went with a Mexican theme. I stayed up way too late on Friday evening working on everything but I was so pleased with the way it turned out.  It was so much fun showering one of my favorite Alaskan friends.

The invite:
I designed the invites in Illustrator and had them printed locally. The most time consuming part was cutting out the elephants I inserted with additional details. I've removed some of the details like names and addresses, which is why the alignment looks so odd.

The food:
Since the food plan had to come together quickly, I utilized some pre-made items that I would normally make myself, namely guacamole & salsa from Costco.  I cooked up some hamburger meat and diced up chicken Nathanial grilled for me. The mom-to-be specially requested my Crunchy Asian Salad so we had that too.  I set up a taco salad/ nacho station and and quesadilla station.  My mom bought me a quesadilla maker when I was in college and it is used often!



My favorite food item was probably the fruit skewers I put together. I used an elephant cookie cutter for the watermelon.


I also made some jungle themed pretzel treats.



And finally got to use the beverage dispenser I got as a wedding gift.  


Sarah, my sister-in-law, sent me the best punch recipe!

The games:
After eating, it was time for games.  The biggest project from a time perspective Friday night was putting together an elephant match game. I traced and cut out elephants on sheets of scrapbook paper and wrote phrases associated with babies on the back.  When a match was picked, the winner got a corresponding candy prize (i.e. hospital bill was 100 grand.)  Except once I cut out the elephants, I realized they didn't look much like elephants. I knew I needed to draw at least an ear on each one, but the paper was too thick to be able to see my pattern.  My brilliant husband engineered me a solution!


Using my phone's flashlight inside a Pyrex dish, I was able to illuminate my pattern and draw the elephant's ear in a consistent spot on each one.

I wasn't sure how to adhere the elephants to the poster board so he came up with something for that too.  Double sided tape & the sticky part of a Post It.

That man is the peanut butter to my jelly. The ying to my yang.  The solution to my crafting?

I forgot to take a picture of the completed game so you'll just have to take my word for it that it was cute & well received.

After the matching game, we played a pass the prize game. I found a cute poem on Pinterest with lines like:
"We are getting tricky now - here's a real humdinger. Pass it to the one with the most rings on her finger."

Prizes were also awarded while presents were opened (9th present for the mom-to-be's birthday, 8 minutes in for the parent's anniversary.)

After gifts, another hostess led a baby food game where the guests had to guess what kind of baby food they were eating.

I understand now why people choose to make their own food.




This was my favorite set of guesses.

Other:
I wanted the mom-to-be to have something special to remember the shower by so I bought Horton Hears a Who for all the guests to write a message in.  I made a sign using the same graphics I used on the invite and provided some colorful sharpies.


I also used the invite graphics to make food labels since I always like people to know what they are eating.



I wanted to send each guest home with something too. I found cute treat boxes and filled them with animal crackers along with a note.



I made a colorful wreath for the door out of deco mesh but also forgot to take a picture of it. It was such a fun afternoon celebrating a sweet friend and her baby!


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