It’s been a while since I’ve posted and the longer I wait, the harder it is to start up again so I’m just going to jump right in. The baby could come any day now so I’m going to aprovechar (take advantage) of the time I have now to catch up.
It’s been a crazy 6 weeks and we’re finally feeling settled into our new home in the Boston area. While Paul takes his coding bootcamp course during the week, I have been busy with a number of different projects. In addition to keeping myself healthy and well rested while getting ready for the baby, I’ve had a chance to catch up with family and friends during this exciting time.
My sister threw me a baby shower at her house a few weeks ago – the perfect excuse to work on creative projects and to see friends I haven’t seen since we left for the Peace Corps. Below are a few of the projects I worked on for the shower. The theme was the Disney/Pixar movie, “Up,” a fitting one for two people who love to travel and have adventures as much as we do. I also just love the balloon aesthetic and it was an excuse for me to try to recreate the house from the movie in fondant.
I saw this idea on Pinterest (of course) and thought it was really clever. I ordered the balloons online (it was a terrible company so I’m not going to recommend them) and then printed the invites at home on my laser printer. A few hole punches and a piece of contrasting ribbon finished the design and I stuffed the envelopes with a bit of confetti for fun. The invites weren’t too heavy or bulky in the end and a regular first class stamp did the trick. The invites directed guests to a website that Paul created (his classes are already paying off!) with more details about the shindig including a page for RSVPs.
Up House Cake
I took a cake decorating class a few years ago in Manhattan but we stuck mostly to buttercream frosting and marzipan. Since then, I’ve been trying to teach myself to work with fondant. I’m not so great with it yet but this was another chance to practice. I created a template for the house from Up in Illustrator and then I made the marshmallow fondant from scratch. I could have bought the fondant but I wanted the decorations to be edible and some boxed fondant just doesn’t taste that great. I colored portions of the finished fondant and then cut out the pieces using the template. While it didn’t turn out perfectly I think it’s not bad for a novice!
The image wall is an example of making do with what you have. I had lots of crepe streamers left from the parties we used to host at my nonprofit, Starting Artists, which I found in storage when we were preparing for our move. My niece helped me cut out long strips of each color and then my friend **Jena** helped me to hang the streamers from a horizontal string. It’s actually not that hard to do and the effect is really nice, especially against a window where the light can shine through. In front of the streamers I hung two more strings and attached images from the movie, from Paul’s childhood, from my childhood, and from our time in Ecuador.
Wilderness Explorer Guide Buttons
One of the characters in the movie is a Wilderness Explorer Guide, which is like being a Boy Scout. This inspired me to get out the button maker from my Starting Artists days and to recreate some of the Wilderness badges from the movie. I printed some generic ones that Disney had on their website and I also designed a few with more personal touches like the Peace Corps logo, a soccer ball, dog paws, and a baby’s rattle. We used these to bundle the plasticware as well as part of the decorations on a sash I also sewed myself. The best part was that guests could take the buttons home along with the favors.
Back in the Boston area after more than two years, we’ve been welcomed back to the Northeast by two snow storms already. The past few weeks have been full of happy reunions, culture shock, celebrating birthdays, eating our favorite foods, taking hot showers, and moving for the fifth time in two years.
Here’s some of what we’ve been doing in the past six weeks…
Moving from Ecuador
Arriving in Virginia
In the Workshop
Moving Once Again
Happy Birthday Paul!
Visiting Matt & Kerry
Let it Snow!
we landed in Quito to start our adventure as Peace Corps Volunteers! Now, two years later we are back in the States and reminiscing about the crazy, wonderful, surprising, challenging, and exciting time we spent in Ecuador. Here’s what two years looks like…
Enjoy, Mari & Paul