Saturday, April 21, 2012

Baby 2012 giftbags

Before the party, I made all the moms goody bags.  My original plan was to crochet everyone a baby hat.  I got a little burned out on making hats for all my nieces and nephews for Christmas.  I felt like making blankets instead which was easier in that it required less looking at patterns, but not as far as how long it took.  To make it easier on myself, I only used three patterns and just did some variations (to keep it interesting for me and to make everyone's blanket unique).  The hard part was coming up with ideas for gender neutral blankets.

Here are examples of the three kinds of blankets I made (and they're all my attempts at gender neutral).  The first is just rows of double crochet.  Those ones usually ended up being the biggest blankets because I always start with too big of a chain.
The second one is a big granny square.  One of the granny square blankets I made had nine little squares I'd made previously crocheted together.  I made a shades of blue granny square, that patriotic one, and the sock monkey inspired one below.
The third pattern is one I found online called the brain dead pattern.  Once you get the hang of it, it's just as mindless as the other patterns I used.  The example in the picture is made with a variegated baby yarn.  I also made one with girly colored stripes.

The other item I made for each mom was a clip on strap to turn any blanket into a nursing cover.  I suppose you could use it to turn a cloth napkin into a bib as well.  I got the pattern from this site.
I used some pink and blue flannel I got from the remnant bin at Joann's, some neutral colored ribbon, and drapery clips from Ikea.  Ikea seemed to have the best prices I could find for clips.

My pregnant self making nursing cover straps
The last item I put into each bag was a small bundle of newborn diapers tied up with a ribbon.  That's a fun way to give diapers because then everyone can oooh and ahh at how small newborn diapers are.  You forget so quickly!

For the gift bags, I used plain white gift bags and made mini posters to decorate the front sides of the bags.  Here's the file for my bag fronts.  I printed them out two to a page.

Baby 2012 Congratulations

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Monday, April 2, 2012

BABY 2012 Party

I know a lot of women having babies this year, maybe you do too? For some reason 2012 is a very popular year to be having a baby. Most of my pregnant friends are having second, third, fourth, or even fifth! babies and most have both genders already so they probably won't be having showers. I wanted to have a girls night to celebrate all the new babies coming this year. This being an election year, I thought it would be fun to have a pink, white, and blue campaign theme. This would work well for a regular baby shower too.

For invitations, I used a patriotic themed evite. For decorations, I started out with some pink, white, and blue paint chips. Using a 1" circle punch, I punched out many paint chip circles.

I sewed them into garlands, alternating pink white and blue and hung them from the ceiling with regular old scotch tape. I used a few of the three colored chips and cut them into flags. They probably would have looked nicer if I had made all the edges straight or cut them with a shaped pair of scissors. This garland ended up a bit heavier than the little circle ones and I had to knot the ends of the string so they wouldn't slip out of the tape holding them up. I had a few pieces of pink and blue paint chip flags left over and I used them for food label cards.

I made three posters for the mantel.

I've included them as pdf files below (vote pink, vote blue, and undecided). I also printed the same design out 6 to a page and used my 3" circle punch to make buttons out of them. I taped on a safety pin to the back of each. For the finishing touch, I bought pink, white, and blue balloons and filled them up with helium.

Baby 2012 Vote Pink

Baby 2012 Vote Blue

Baby 2012 Undecided

For food I tried to have pink, white, and blue items.

My girls helped me make candy coated pretzels with patriotic sprinkles. I got some pink wrapped candy and some pink and white m&ms after Valentine's day. I bought some regular m&ms and sorted out the blue ones. I also bought some cookies and cream hershey kisses which are wrapped in blue foil.

I made pink lemonade, had water with lemon slices in a large white pitcher, and I made a foamy blue punch. My family didn't care too much for the blue punch.

I had found a recipe online that looked good but couldn't find it again when I went to make the punch. Perhaps winging it wasn't the best idea. The food table was filled out with other appetizers, mostly stuff from the frozen food section at the store, and other items a few people volunteered to bring. One of my friends made that gorgeous cake with pink and blue fondant dots and a green fondant bow.

I figured we would mostly just eat and chat, but I did plan one little activity.

I set up a ballot box on a table near the door and asked people to write on strips of paper either funny/weird advice they had been given about pregnancy/babies, or funny things kids had told them about the same. We read them during the party.

At the end, I sent all the moms to be (and two who had already had their babies) home with a little gift bag.

I made each one a crocheted blanket and a nursing cover clip. I also included a little bundle of diapers tied up with ribbon.  You can read more about the gift bags here.

It was a very fun evening!

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TDC Before and After