Friday, March 30, 2012

World Party Day Part 2: El Diamante (o un diente) / The Diamond (or a tooth)

Welcome to Part II of our World Party Day party-making tutorial! Maybe you've guessed what we're making from reading Part I (if you did, you are cool and smart!) but we're going to make a Piñata.

A few years ago, Lilian made one for her birthday party in the shape of A BUTT and it was total genius. So I asked if she would show all of us how to make one. This time we are making one in the shape of a diamond. 

*Note that we encourage the use of scraps you may have lying around. If you don't have certain things on our list, please feel free to improvise with whatever you have (or you can buy new of course). Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! 

The recipe is as follows:

Recipe for 1 Piñata

You will need:

A balloon
A 36"dowel or any stick like thing
Shipping or packing tape
A newspaper 
Some cardboard 
Some cardstock  
Colorful Paper or wrapping paper
A skewer
Twine or rope

1. Cut up a whole newspaper into strips. 

2. Blow up the balloon. The larger the balloon, the larger your piñata will be. 

3. Start building the structure of the diamond by breaking down your dowel or stick into four pieces and taping it to your balloon. You can make your diamond as short or as long as you want. We went with long here.

4. Cut down your cardboard/cardstock into rectangles and triangles and tape them to your balloon to form the angular top of the diamond. Do not tape anything over the very top as you will use the space to pop the balloon at the end.

You can make the diamond as exact as you want it to be but we just eye-balled it. You can tell we were not very precise in the last image where our diamond went a little 'toothy'.

5. Set toothy aside. 

At this point, make sure you are working on a surface you don't mind getting messy. Or lay down some extra sheets of newspaper or brown paper for easy clean-up.

6. In a large bowl, mix enough flour and water until you get the consistency of cake batter.

7. Going strip by strip, dip your newspaper pieces into the flour mixture, squeezing out any excess and start papier mâché-ing your diamond. Lay the first layer by placing the strips horizontally across the diamond. Your second papier mâché layer will go vertically. Make sure to do two layers over the entire structure.

If you feel like you are losing the angles of the diamond, fold pieces of thicker paper and lay the folded parts where you want your corners to be and spread with a thin layer of the flour mixture to make it stick. 

8. Let your piñata dry overnight !

9. Gather all the paper you want to cover the piñata with. You can use, crepe paper, wrapping paper (shown above) but we went with various electric colored paper (also shown above). 

10. Cut your paper into at least 3.5" wide strips and then cut fringes into them. 

11. Starting from the bottom and working your way up, tape your fringed strips onto your piñata.  We covered each section of the diamond with different colors -- this is another good way of emphasizing the angles of the diamond. Ours still looked toothy but thats OK. As proud parents of toothy, we love and accept toothy exactly the way he or she is. 

12. Before you cover up your piñata entirely, make sure you cut a hole towards the top of one side so you have an opening to stuff the candy into. Also, don't forget to pop the balloon inside and punch holes into the top to string the rope through later on. 

We popped the balloon at the top center of the piñata and we punched holes in the sides (shown below with arrows). 

13. Cover the rest of the diamond with paper. Clean up the edges of your fringe with scissors. Again, to emphasize the diamond's angles.

14. Pour the candy into the hole you cut in the side. Attach your twine or rope to your skewer with a little tape and then thread it through the piñata. It may be a little tricky. Once threaded, you can take the rope off the skewer and tie the rope securely to the piñata. Make sure to leave enough rope to hang your diamond tooth from the ceiling.

Et Voila! You have your own piñata hecho a mano (handmade!)!

Extra credit: Fringe crowns for your guests made from left over paper strips!

• • • • Need some tunes to go with your piñata party? • • • •
Lilian made an 80's 90's Mexican teenager party mix!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

World Party Day Part 1: Dulcelandia

Dulcelandia, a Chicago chain of Mexican candy and party stores, is a wonderful, beautiful place. I think it may even be my happy place. As an adult, going to a candy store isn't at the top of my list but when you walk into a Dulcelandia,  it really makes you feel like 'a kid in a candy store' again. Not having grown up eating Mexican candies, everything was new, interesting, colorful, exciting! When I walked in, I kind of went crazy. I didn't know where to start. I wanted to taste everything! 

I really love the flavors of Mexican candies too. You will find candies that are sweet, sour and spicy -- a winning combination.

For World Party Day, Lilian (whose studio I wrote about here earlier this week) and I decided to join forces and put together a fun & crafty & also a little bit of a messy tutorial for you all but you'll have to see what that is in PART II. 

So Part I of our tutorial involves going to a candy store and preferably a Mexican one. But any candy store will do. One of the many candies we got were lollipops in the shape of a tall glass of frothy beer! The mock foam top was even effervescent when you ate it! *so genius*

Or you can get chicken shaped pops! When I pulled it out of the package, I thought maybe it looked more like the Venus of Willendorf than a chicken but I eventually got there. It isn't actually chicken flavored but more like a general fruity flavor.

So fill up your basket with all the candies you desire. You will need a lot plus more to snack on on the way home. 

To be continued..

Monday, March 26, 2012

Studio Tour: Boyfren Girlfren

If you are a long time reader of this blog or my twitter or my other social media outlets, you may have seen me talk about Lilian Martinez before. She is a talented designer, founder of a company called Boyfren/Girlfren and a good friend. We do many things together and it is fun!

Last week we got together to work on a project (to be written about here later this week!) and took the opportunity to snap some photos of her studio. Its hard not to be inspired by her space. Her and her husband are amazing thrifters and makers and create little thoughtful compositions of objects throughout their home. Also, they have a great collection of plants and their place gets so much light. How could I not get all snap happy?


Friday, March 9, 2012

Chicago House Friday

Its Friday. Lets get this party started.

Jamie Principle - Your Love

DJ Tone - Breathe Again

Vincent Floyd - Your Eyes

Monday, March 5, 2012


1st row: an egg / library books / gold dipped jade bands for AHC (soon!) / work desk / morning scene .
2nd row: sassy signage / evergreen / paczki! / mei / winter trees.
3rd row: dried roses / view of "golden area" / lemon meringue pie / ice shards washing up on shore / sky.
4th row: bunny chilling / mini road trip / sliced oranges / kitchen still life / using mei as a table.

Last summer I decided to ditch my iphone for a phone I could use with a cheaper plan. I didn't think I'd miss it that much and I mostly don't except I'm so jealous of all of you instagram people! I've been waiting for instagram to come to android but in the meantime, I've discovered this great little app called "Vignette". It doesn't have the social qualities of instagram but you can create some really nice images with it and share it directly from the app to whatever social media you like to use.

I've never actually used instagram before  so I can't really compare the apps but Vignette has a lot of cool filters, effects and crops you can use. Most of the time, a filter can go really over the top, so you have to adjust something elsewhere but its kind of fun problem solving and working within these constraints.

I'm still playing around with a lot of its features but so far I'm really enjoying it. Give it a try!

I've mostly been showing these on twitter so follow me if you want to see them pop up from time to time.