Tissue Paper Tassel Garland Tutorial

diy tissue paper garland
Tissue Paper Tassel Garlands – the ones taking over Etsy and blogland, are a great way to add a  little extra charm and whimsy to any holiday or event are so simple and CHEAP to make at home! You can customize it to any size and color and they easily mix in with other decor. 

abaltissuepapertasslegarland1

I’m here to share a tutorial, perfect for any party, bridal or baby shower, or holiday decor. These garlands are everywhere these days and I never knew how easy it was to make my own.

Awhile back I decided to make a garland for my best friend’s bridal shower that I hosted earlier in May. Just for curiosity sake I did a basic search on Etsy to see how much it would be to buy one. As soon as I saw that they would cost me around $30.00 I knew there was no turning back. I was going to make my own! I was not going to pay over $15 for something made out of tissue paper and something that would potentially arrive to me bent or torn.

Making my own was the only way to go! Here is the one I made for the shower on display at the Mimosa Bar! It got rave reviews and many people just assumed it was purchased. 

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That way I could pick out the perfect colors as well and make it exactly how I wanted it to look. I created a video as I know I learn best visually, especially on small scale paper projects. Please be in touch below in the comments if you have any questions!  

What you will need:


tools needed

  • Tissue paper in various colors
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • String/Twine/Ribbon/Cord to string the tassels on to be hung from.


ablatissuepapergarland3

Some Tips:

  • Make sure to cut all of your strands in the same width.
  • Use the ruler to hold up the already cut tassels so they are out of your way. 

ruler on paper

  •  After rolling up the tasselled paper you have to twist the middle part. (this section was hard to see on the video). Simply twist the paper and wrap the twisted portion around itself until it forms a loop. Then secure the loop together with hot glue.
  • The metallic paper looks AWESOME but is extremely hard to cut. It easily tears on its own, almost instantly (think of a thin pretzel or chip bag that tears open down the side after you rip it open). What I did to make it easier: tape the top and sides of the paper down as I was cutting the strips.
  • Evenly measure out the distance between the tassels on the cord.

If you make your own, I’d love to see pictures of your garlands! Please share on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram with #ablatasselgarland


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ablatissuepapergarland2

This post was originally published as a guest post on Mr. Thomas and Me
xoxo Katie

Make Good Choices and Other Advice From My Mom

words of advice from my mother  My mom is my best friend. 

A decade ago that statement would have made me cringe. As a teenagar my mom was my mom. She was my biggest critic, making me second guess my choices constantly. She was a person to keep secrets from, to roll my eyes at, and to groan about with my friends. After any sort of disagreement or hormonal temper tantrum I’d stomp upstairs, slam my door, and cry, “You don’t understand me! You don’t care how I feel!”

Then, just as quickly as backyard bbq’s and sun burned shoulders revolve into cozy scarves and raking leaves, I stopped seeing my mom as my mom. My teenage female hormones dissipated, I went away for college, and almost overnight she transformed from being my mom into being a person.

advice from my mom, mother's day

Her stories, lessons and words of advice were more relatable. I now listened with a more serious heart, knowing that these words were coming from experience, from love. I learned to lean on her more as a friend and to let her lean on me in times of need as well. 

I reflect on those times where I swore she didn’t understand me and see that, in reality, she understood me all too well. Who else could know me better than the woman who shaped me into who I am, who has stood by me since my first heartbeat in her womb? I’m grateful for her criticism, her rules, her boundaries, her stories, her advice, her desire to let me learn. 

I’m still learning.

But I know that I can’t imagine a day without her in my adult life.

happy mother's day advice from my mom

Yes, of course she taught me all the things mothers are to teach their children: how to bathe yourself, how to tie your shoes, how to have good manners, all those basic survival tips. But she has given me so much more. She’s given me a positive and lifelong mentor for all arenas of my life. How to be a good friend, a good wife, a good mother, a good employee, a good human being.

I see her or talk to her nearly every day and can’t imagine not. I call her up frantically for advice on anything from cooking to relationships, to helping me choose which dress to buy. We share the ins and outs of our friendships and our family issues. And I hope I’m as good of a friend to her as she is to me. 

Countless times a day I find myself listening to her voice in my head, guiding my decisions. From our days of reading Charlotte’s Web in bed to dealing with mean girls at school to my fist boyfriend and to planning my wedding my mom as been shaping and molding me into the best woman I can be. 

In honor of Mother’s Day I wanted to share some of my favorite words of advice from my Mom:

Make Good Choices

To this day my Mom says this line to me as I’m leaving for a weekend or big event. Every time I left the house has a teenager or even in my twenties my mom would kiss me and shout this over my head as I trotted out to my car. Back then I’d roll my eyes as I’m driving away thinking, “What does SHE know about my choices? I ALWAYS make good choices!”

No Katie, you don’t. I can think of MANY times where you didn’t make the right choice. And my mother’s guilt was always in my head. 

Isn’t this what all mothers hope for their children? That they raised them well enough that they know when to do the right thing out in the real world? That against the odds they will stand up and know when to make the RIGHT choice?

It Takes All Types

My mom would always say this whenever I was being critical or judgemental of anyone that was different or “weird”. And she’s right. We all work together to make this world work. The world would be incomplete without the anti social science guys and the stuck up mean girls. Yes even that weird old man that we see every weekend at the market without any teeth that is always humming and talking nonsense. Acceptance was always a priority in our home. 

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, Don’t Say Anything At All

Oh how I wish more people would hear my mom saying this every time they say something mean about someone or something or just plain complain. Focus on the positive. Don’t say mean things just to be mean. 

Be A Good Friend

Even when your friends aren’t being good friends. Even when you feel like all you are doing is giving. Even when it’s not the “cool” thing to do. My mom always pushed me to be kind first. 

Get It Done Today

I’m a procrastinator, always have been. Yet, whenever I listened to when my mom said, “Just do it and get it over with” I never regretted not putting off a project, errand, or annoying task. Why waste time mulling over having to do something when you could do it, get it over with, and move on to something you actually want to do?

Always Be On Time

My mom is NEVER late. She makes her scheduled commitments a priority. This shows people that your are dependable, loyal, and committed to the date. Now most of the time I’m always on time (except for work, somehow I manage to be late for work). But, with always being on time comes the horrible fact that you’ll be completely annoyed whenever anyone is late to meet you. 

And on a less serious note: Nude Underwear is Always The Best Choice

Okay, Mom you are correct. Even though I still prefer pretty colors and patterns, nudes go with everything and are discreet and classic and remain hidden under most fabrics and colors. (They also remain hidden under pale pink bridesmaid dresses at my wedding, but that is a story for another time and place).

What can I say? Mom, you’re always right!

Mom, on this Mother’s Day and on every other day I hope you know how much I respect and love you as both my friend and mother. Thank you for being the best role model for all my relationships. I can’t wait to see what else I learn from you in the future. My heart will always belong to you, forever entwined, since our first moments together. 

words of advice from my mom

 What have you learned from your Mother?

xoxo Katie

 

“Love Birds” Bridal Shower

It’s Wedding Season!

This past Sunday I was honored to host my best and oldest friends Bridal Shower. As soon as she got engaged I began planning this day, wanting every detail to be perfect and precious. I was experiencing some post wedding blues at the closure of my wedding celebrations, knowing that I had her shower planning to look forward to made me so happy.

Love Birds Bridal Shower Kay Marie the Bride
Love Birds Bridal Shower, bridesmaids
Everything about the shower except for the time and the venue was kept a secret. Do you know how hard it was to keep all my ideas, planning, and crafting under wraps for the past year? With the help and major support of the other bridesmaids we pulled off a beautiful shower with many happy guests and an extremely happy and blushing bride. 

My best friend, Kay Marie loves birds and all things little and precious. The only logical theme to me was “Love Birds”. I wanted to evoke a whimsical rustic feeling with teal and orange being the main colors. With the theme in place, everything else soon fell into place.

Love Birds invite, bridal shower
We held the event at an art gallery which provided a romantic yet eclectic setting. The art that was presently displayed in the gallery was all Beatles themed. Although not woodsy or bird related, I was still please. I mean, who doesn’t love The Beatles?

Love Birds bridal shower art gallery room
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It was fun to pick out all of the specific linens and decorations and to really design the whole event. Every last detail was carefully selected with love. Check out these precious bird candles I found to use as favors. They were THE perfect color!

Love Birds favors bridal shower

I created a “Mimosa Bar” allowing guests to create their own mimosa’s mixing juice and fruit. This was so fun to plan and was a hit with everyone! I’ve never opened so many bottles of champagne in my life! 

Mimosa Bar bridal shower
Mimosa Bar bridal shower
mimosa bar bridal shower

I love my DIY tassel garland displayed behind the mimosa bar. So easy and affordable to make! Look for a tutorial soon. 

One of my fellow bridesmaids is a fabulous chef. She selfishly volunteered to plan the menu and cook all of the food. She came into town on Friday and I and another girl acted as her sous chefs all weekend as she took over my kitchen. Even though it was a lot of work, the food was all delicious and had that extra special ingredient, hand-made by a close friend. Everyone was raving about the food. 

The menu included  minted berry salad with candied walnuts, a chocolate fruit display (a la edible arrangements), caprese skewers, cheese, brie en croute, spinach dip, meatballs, crab cakes, mini mac and cheeses, Quiche Lorraine, macaroons, lavender lemon cupcakes and shortbread cookies. 

Bridal shower food
love birds bridal shower food
love birds bridal shower desserts
love birds bridal shower cupcakes and bird cookies
bridal shower cheese

We entertained with several fun games and activites including an “Off Limits” bracelet game, our version of The Newlywed Game, and a Wishing Tree. 

off limits bridal shower game

wishing tree bridal shower, love birds theme

wishing tree love birds themed bridal shower

wishing tree, bridal shower, advice cards


It was a beautiful day and three days later I’m still glowing from it. I always find it so heart warming and wonderful to have all of the women you are closest to in your life gather together for you and support you. There was so much love in the room on Sunday, it was truly . Kay Marie you are loved. I’m so excited for this next stage of your life!

Here are a few more photos of this fabulous day! 


kay playing the newlywed game at bridal shower
playing the newlywed game at bridal shower
maid of honor and bride at bridal shower
bridesmaids posing at bridal shower
bridal shower
bridal shower stuf muffin dog shirt
bridal shower gift
bridal shower gift
bridal shower gift
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bridesmaids and bride being silly love birds bridal shower
bridesmaids at love birds bridal shower
Love Birds Bridal Shower
love birds bridal shower
love birds bridal shower
Bride and Mother of the Bride
Love Birds Bridal Shower Garland
love birds bridal shower, bride and groom
xoxo Katie

My Writing Process (part of a blog tour!)

inspiration

A little while ago my blogging friend Amanda, from Notes From  Newlywed,  asked me to take part in a little writing theme that has been making its way around blogland lately, the Writing Process Blog Tour. Similar to Home Tours that allow you to peak into people’s private homes and get ideas or tips or to learn something new, this blog tour allows fellow writers to take a peak into other writer’s minds.  The idea is to learn about various thoughts on writing and the writing processes and to be introduced to new blogs and writers. 

I’m always happy to talk about writing, reading, and words with people who share my enthusiasm so I was very happy to participate. Writing has been a part of my life since my teenage years. Whether it’s keeping a journal, writing poetry or stories, or studying as an English major in college. I can’t imagine a world without books and writing.

We were all asked the same questions about writing and here are my answers:

What am I working on?

Other than writing for this blog, I do some freelance editing and writing for a small publishing company as well as the writing I do for my full-time job. At the publishing company we are currently editing the final touches to a non fiction book on how to fundraise for non profits. The book is written by a developement  industry veteran who currently teaches at NYU. It’s been interesting to get to know him and to learn all the ins and outs of the industry. He has some great and hilarious stories involving mob members, celebrities, and other awkward situations.  As a former employee of a struggling non-profit, I’m learning so much of what went wrong. Once the book is published I’ll share a link to buy it on Amazon – if you work/volunteer for a non-profit or if you job has anything to do with fundraising I’d recommend it!

At my full-time job my day is full of a lot of technical and promotional writing. Although this may sound boring, I work for a consulting company that specializes in creativity training. We teach people how to think more quickly and creatively on demand by giving them easy to use creativity tools. These easy to learn skills can very easily change the way your brain processes and thinks. It’s really amazing to watch the changes happen in our clients work and personal lives. Since I love the work, the technical writing is fun and I do get to be a little creative. 

In my free time I write this blog. My most favorite posts are those about trying to be the best you that you can be, like finding and using your voice, respecting your own dreams and goals, following your bliss, and celebrating you! I love writing reflective and sensitive pieces. Behind closed doors I write poetry and a little fiction as a stress reliever and hobby.  I use writing as a way to work through thoughts and issues. My blog has proved to be a very cheap form of therapy. In all honesty though, I hope I am relating to others in my writing and giving them that satisfying “me too” moment. 

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The genre that is lifestyle blogs? Is there such a “genre”? I think not.

I think we all have our own individual voices and that is what makes blogging so appealing. No matter what “type” of person you are you will find a blog or blogger that speaks specifically to you. My blog tends to be a little bit more serious and reflective. I’ll never be one of those funny bloggers. I don’t set rules for myself in this place. In blogging I try my best for my writing to sound like my speaking voice as I like my writing to feel like a conversation I am having with you over coffee. I don’t write for everyone. I write for myself and for those that can relate to me. I truly hope to build a community with those that do. Some may not care for it, and that’s okay! 

Why do I write what I do?

I write to connect. Words make the world a smaller place. There is always at least one other person out there that can connect with the thoughts you are sharing. Your words may make them feel inspired, angered, uplifted, or happy. I write to feel human – to document my never-ending journey or learning and growing.

I’ve always been fascinated with words and the power they have over people. Words give us the power to inspire, to not feel alone, to connect with strangers, to provide hope, to believe in love and to change the world.

How does your writing process work?

I have a similar writing process for all the types of writing I do (creative, blog, technical, non fiction). I have a long list of ideas or thoughts that I want to write about. If I need inspiration I can find it by going for a walk, listening to music, or browsing the internet, but the most common way I find inspiration is through reading. I try to read about 2 -3 books per month. Once I have an idea my next step is to  find my writing spot for the day/afternoon/night.

First, I need complete silence, no music, no TV, no background noise. I can get very nit picky about this! Once I’m in a quiet space, I start with pen and paper. Always on pen and paper. I either curl up in bed or on the couch and write out my thoughts, usually just little snippets. I then try to find the main theme of what I’m thinking. After I have my theme I construct an outline of how I’m going to structure my post, article, story etc. Then I simply let it flow from there.

Somedays it takes me a whole month to craft and polish a post. Others I write on the spot and throw it out there, errors and all as it was something I needed to simply put out there. I never guarantee perfect grammar or spelling all the time, I’m only human, and this is only a personal blog.

That said, my favorite posts are those that I take time to craft and mull over. I follow the advice of Coco Chanel. She famously said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”   I try to do that with my writing, omitting and rewriting until I feel my writing is ready to walk out the door. Brevity is an art form and one I struggle with. My blog challenges me and I strive to continue to develop and strengthen my writing skills over time. I’m so thankful for all my readers who have come along on this adventure with me. 

Continue Your Tour!

Now I’d like to pass the torch onto another writer. Please continue your blog tour withAllie at Everyday Adventures 

allie 


and Lisa at Two Martinis

lisa

and hear their thoughts on writing and their writing process.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on writing and writing processes. Please share them below to start the dialogue. 

xoxo Katie

 

(free write) May Day! Celebrate!

Happy May! I’m celebrating with a little free write day. In other words, read my rambles and thoughts about life lately.

 

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Today is the day we’ve been waiting for!

Ryan is headed off to school to take his last final examination of the semester. After today he’ll be off school for four whole months! He’ll still be going off to work every day, but will be home in the evenings and our weekends will be study free! This Spring semester has been one for the books. The stress levels in our house have been through the roof the past 2 months. There were days that I thought would never end, arguments started over grumpiness and tiredness, doubt, and loneliness. Marriage is beautiful as it allows you to share the weight on your shoulders with someone else. Yet, as I would help Ryan carry his stress I would catch myself thinking, how are we going to get through another day? I remember laying in bed in tears just staring at the calendar thinking May 1 seemed so far away.

And today we’ve made it! He only has one more year until graduation. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel. He’s been getting quite a few A +’s and I couldn’t be prouder. Time to celebrate!

easter

May 1 always holds fond memories of celebrations for me. May Day memories include an annual celebration of running naked around the flag pole on my college campus green. Wait? You don’t celebrate that way?

Yes, it’s true. My tiny private Maryland liberal arts college, Washington College, had a May Day tradition which started in 1967 when an English professor took his students out on the green for class. They drank wine, ate strawberries and later, undressed and danced around the May pole. When I was a student in the early 2000’s the naked events died down from their heyday in the 60’s and 70’s. Yet, per tradition, every April 30 at midnight, hundreds of students would gather around the flag pole, disrobe and dance, play ultimate frisbee and other games. The following day you would still see quite a few naked, or half-naked, enthusiasts, playing music, porch drinking, or lying in the green. Students would come to class in robes and towels. It was a festive day! 

Here, Professor Lamond talks about the invention and popularity of May Day on campus. 


As my senior year approached and more and more people had digital cameras, the amount of naked partying decreased. Sadly, technology took over. Too many people were afraid of pictures being taken and placed on the internet. One example where the internet did ruin all of the organic fun! 

So every May Day I have to smile and think of youth and freedom and the best years of our lives, college. 

Speaking of celebrations earlier this week a group of girlfriends got together at my Mom’s house for our monthly cocktail party. Another stressor of the past month has been my Mom’s surgery. An April 4 she had serious foot surgery, leaving her incapable of putting any weight on her foot for 8 weeks.

Her spirits have been low, can you imagine being stuck in bed or in a chair in your house for the entire Spring? She hates having to rely on everyone to do everything for her, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, or simply pouring a glass of water. My Pop-Pop has been spending the days with her and I’ve been taking care of her after work and on the weekends.

On Tuesday, the girls did not disappoint. We did what we do best, gather when needed.

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We decided to have a pajama party and dress in our sweats, like mom, and we stuffed our faces with the best food and drinks. We can always depend on each other for a good laugh, cry fest, or hug. 

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cast2

maggie

We celebrate getting through the first month with one more month to go! We have our trip to Jamaica to look forward to!

What are you celebrating this May Day?

xoxo Katie