Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Wrap the Perfect Present!

Or as my old sweatshirt said, Yo Santa, Wrap it Up!:


I’ve been wrapping presents for so many years that I’ve gotten this jazz down to a science. The hardest part will be explaining it. Cause it’s hard to cop skills, you know? I’ve always been a creative one, always scoping out projects to work on. So it comes as no surprise that I would love to wrap presents. Nor should it be news that I love making them pretty, and fixing them up way more extravagant than necessary for something that will be ripped to shreds faster than you can say Merry Christm. Mhm. So I’ll try my hardest to help you wrap your thoughtful somethings to make the outside look just as nice as the contents inside.

Here goes nothing! Step One: turn on Christmas music or a Christmas movie, and pour a glass of wine.


Then place your present on the wrapping paper, front of your gift facing the ground. Pull the end of the wrapping paper roll up to the top of the present about 1/3 of the way across and tape in place. Pull the roll of paper up and over your taped end and make a fold or cut where it crosses over the taped edge to mark where to cut. Then cut all the way across your paper.


Pull your new cut end over the taped edge.


Tape the paper in place.


Here’s where it’s a little harder to explain. Pick an end of the present to start on, and press the end of the paper down to the bottom of your package. See where I have that flap in the middle fold where the paper doesn’t perfectly line the bottom of the present? Press your paper down to crease it like I did then pull the paper back out and just cut a straight line across your crease and around your entire end if it’s uneven. Press the paper back down so it should show a perfect white square on the floor/table and make a crease down each side like shown.


Take the right creased side and fold it down towards the center and press it down to a crease. Repeat on the left side.


If you have anything hanging off the edge of your perfect triangle, like I did, fold it over out of view. No one will be the wiser.



Then fold your end up and tape in place. Repeat on the other side. You have now, hopefully, wrapped a present with paper.

Now onto the ribbon:


Cut a really long piece of ribbon. As long as you want since whatever excess you have can be curled. Using the halfway point of your cut as the center, wrap the ribbon around the BACK of the present then bring it to the front and cross your left side over your right to make an X.


Now pull your NEW left side up, and your NEW right side down. They should now be crossed over like a tie. Tie a knot and feed one of the ends behind your knot and tie again. Just do what you can to make it secure.

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Then simply curl your ribbons with the blade of your scissors and tie more on if you’d like for fullness.

If you want, you can cheat your way through all that ribbon mess and tape the end of your ribbon to the back, wrap the ribbon around the front and tape it, then go back around the front and tape it in the back again. Then plop on a premade bow or just add curled ribbon to the front.

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Or if you’re like me, add some flair of the alcoholic persuasion. What? It matched the ribbon! ;)

If this was too confusing, PLEASE let me know. I may make a video to make it a little easier to comprehend! Hopefully next Tutorial Tuesday will be easier, and not done at 11:41 pm Tuesday!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Roomboard: Under the Boardwalk!

My brother-in-law’s brother's wife (was that easy enough?) asked me to send her the link to the bathroom I made with the fish decal with the mirror bubbles. I decided to do her one better, I made her a room :) She and her husband wanted to do an ocean mural, but thought they may be moving to an apartment. So I tried to find ways to be apartment friendly, but still give them their ocean-like feeling.

Let me break it, break it down:
1. I actually started the room with the paint color. Normally I save that for whatever strikes me with the overall room, but this color “Sanctuary” by Ralph Lauren not only SOUNDED like it belonged in a nursery, but it looked like it too! You may note it looks a lot like the last nursery I did. What can I say, I think it looks good in baby rooms!
2. From there I picked a bedding that was the colors of the ocean, and boyish without being TOO boyish (The crib color/style just came with the bedding). I decided to put fabric on the wall behind the bed that looked like a sail, making the crib like a ship. Ahoy Matey! I told Melissa I wanted to get a little more creative than just the fish idea, so I turned a kids fishing rod into a mobile with little dangling fish. Then of course, the other wall decoration is my beloved fish idea.
3. For the curtains, I chose these wavy design ones to give the feel of the waves of the ocean, with the color of the sand. Fittingly, I placed this awesome boat shaped bookshelf in front. Design wise in an actual room, there are better places to put a bookshelf, especially close to the rocker for easy access to books when feeding or rocking baby, but theme-wise, it stuck here.
4. I chose this rocker (which could use a matching footrest! I just didn’t want to over crowd the picture) not just because of the clean look, but the colors and overall style reminded me of the upholstery in a designer yacht. Just me? Maybe, but I thought the room needed a touch of luxury for mommy and daddy! I chose a rustic, aged bedside table to go with the look of the old ship.
5. For the lighting, the name of the wall lamps are actually “fishing lights.” They just look like something that belongs on a pier, but much more chic. The table lamp is a basic white lamp that has rope tied around the base. Great DIY project!

I also updated the picture because they wanted a wall mural of an ocean, which sparked the whole theme of the room. But instead of slapping down all that cash for a wall mural, I found this rug at Bed Bath & Beyond for $70 (don’t forget your 20% coupon by signing up for their e-mail list! that makes this rug just $56!)


Although most apartment bedrooms come carpeted, there's no reason you can't have a rug to define a space as well! There's always the option to hang wall mural, but this one's just easier to put down, and more mobile for when they take the plunge and buy a house!

Hopefully Baby Busse will drift off to sleep in no time in his new calm, ocean retreat! Although I had hundreds more ideas “swimming” through my mind, I had to stop here before it just got cluttered visually online. Should Melissa choose to use my ideas, I’d be glad to come up with/post more!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Deck The Halls!

After a little procrastination, I want to finally share our Christmas decorations. We didn’t go all out this year, in fact, we didn’t even get to the outside decorations! But I did put out a few of my favorite things inside to inject little hints of jeweltones.

IMG_1239You can see the pillow covers I sewed to match the purple and blue jeweltone decorations we have.


I got these shiny trees from Target last year on 75% clearance. I switched out the picture in the frame for one of our engagement shots by the wonderful Erin Murphy :) The pony head and the shiny frame (that I got at Diversity Thrift for $1! I love that place) work with every seasonal decoration we put out, so you’ll just keep seeing them! And I love my white tree :D

IMG_1235 I got this bowl from an aunt. I saw it at her house and asked if I could have it. I must have been one persuasive little kid! I filled it with white flowers and silver ornaments. Simple, but adds nice texture to the table. I got these damask candle holders from target 2 years ago. They match the curtains perfectly.

IMG_1230 The poor painting used to have our last name in letters on it, but several parties of it falling later, it’s just a painting. This is our first year with a (fake) fireplace, so we finally had a place to hang the stockings other than the tv stand :P


I took leftover fabric from the wedding to make a snowy look on the fireplace, then added a bunch of blue, purple, and white decorations.

IMG_1226 I wanted a Hippopotamus for Christmas :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Family Photo.

Our first year in our house, we sent out pictures on our Christmas cards. Because we’re cliche, not arrogant :P We didn’t do it last year, but this year we decided to do it again. Here’s the first year’s shot, when we just had Cooper:


Man, our hair looked awful! And cooper was half his current size!

Well this year we have another cat to have in the photo. I’m sure you can see the slight struggle with just one kitty. It was much harder with two. Since Drew gave them catnip, we had one mellow cat, which was Cooper, and one majorly hyper cat, Rupert. After many tries, we finally got one good one. I’ll be sure to post it after it’s been mailed out so we don’t ruin the surprise. But here are the awesome outtakes:

Poor cats. But since Drew had to have the cats in the picture since they’re family, we tried the best we could to include them. And after uploading these, I realize Drew is sitting the same way in the ones I’m holding the cats as the first year we did these. Some things never change!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Grand Illumination.

The Grand Illumination at the James Center is a tradition that's been going on in Richmond for 25 years now. I happen to be lucky enough to work there, so I get to play with the deer day and night. However, I'd never attended the illumination because something always conflicted in the schedules. So this year we decided we just need to do it at least once.

Santa and the Ice Princess with the Varina High School Band.



Somehow, Vlasic was apart of the grand affair, so I decided to take the oppotunity to pose with the Vlasic guy (bird? stork? what the heck is he?) and, well his pickle. It's a Vlasic!

Rockin Around the Christmas Tree.

Although we haven't been able to find time to put up the outside lights, we were able to decorate the inside of our house. Most importantly, the tree!

We've held on to all kinds of Christmas decorations for years, but we decided to donate a bunch of things that have just sat in the attic every Christmas to charity. Hopefully someone will enjoy the things that we didn't.

Next up, trimming that tree! I just had to have a non-traditional tree. I ended up painting a picture of a tree our first Christmas living together 2 years ago. I'd been eyeballing this white pre-lit tree for ages, so Drew drove to target after Christmas and picked it up 75% off, and drove it home top down in his Miata. Yes, in winter's freezing cold temps. That's love, baby.

Drew had to do the top of the tree honors. Since, you know, I'm short.
Of course, with a new holiday, it means a new table setting. I just used some old Avon cups, black martini glasss, potpurri and a matching candle holder/salt pepper shaker set on top of left over fabric from the Barbie wedding dress I sewed.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tis the Season.

To throw a party! Before we got married, we both had two very long last names. Since we've been living together for almost 3.5 years, but hadn't been married most of that time, we coined ourselves "Wiltschaeffer" to make invitations easier, and make us feel more complete as a family. So last year we threw our first annual Wiltschaeffer Christmas Party, and tried to cram about 25 of our family members in our poor little 864 sf house. Somehow, we pulled it off, we got family together that never met, or hadn't seen each other in almost a decade. It was mostly to unite the families before our wedding, but I enjoyed having everyone together so much I wanted to do it again. All I had to do was pick a date and get Drew on board ;)

The beginnings of a delicious spread. We've gotten a bunch of mismatched plates over the years, and finally have enough to hold all our different foods!

Don't mind my parents, the party hadn't started yet. At least, I hope it didn't with gloomy expressions like that!

Finally they dove into the food, and the happiness followed.

Well, unless you're Chris.
After people dove in. I thought we had too MUCH food, we ended up having just enough!
And then the nieces get their energy. They're always the life of the party, and I love it!
A mostly failed attempt at a cute picture of the girls in front of the tree, I decide to join in. Note I had to show off the latest dream house to the family in our "one day" home in the country. We won't be using the builder showing in the picture though.
Dylan enjoying Drew's Xbox Command Center. Luckily I kept my grandparents sofa for lounging!
The girls still running around :)
Much happier, Chantelle!
I decided to join in the ballerina moves.
Finally, it's time to say our goodbyes. It was fun, and we had just enough leftovers to have our friends over to keep the party going late into the night. In fact, a week later we're still trying to finish off the food!