Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Saint Valentin a Paris, DIYer’s Cut

As mentioned in my last Ta-Da! Tuesday post, I had to break up the awesomeness that was bringing Paris to us into two parts.  Today I’ll go through the processes of what I made for the date, in as brief a manner as I possibly can.  So here we go!

Berets:

I thought it was of the utmost importance to sport a beret on our Paris date in order to get us into the spirit.  I had neither the time nor the money to buy some, so I decided to hit the Interwebs for some inspiration.  I found this link and followed it until I got to the whole “cut triangles into the fabric almost up to the seam” part.  I accidentally cut the wrong part (FYI, for super-beginners like me, you’re supposed to cut from the outer part of the circle towards the inner part, rather than the inside out), so I thought I needed a second opinion before attempting it again.  So I found this YouTube video as a reinforcement and had better success the second time around.  Instead of putting in elastic or using the stretchy part of a sweater like the video suggests, I sewed a ribbon into mine in order to make it adjustable.  For the hubby’s, I cut a triangular notch out at the back so it would help to stretch and slip over his head since I didn’t have his exact head measurements.

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Almost-finished hubby’s beret, pinned up and ready for its last seam to be sewn.

3D Eiffel Tower:

I found inspiration from The Vintage Farmhouse blog but tweaked a few things.  I was originally going to use one of the big boxes leftover from unpacking, but they had all since been recycled, so I took a trip to the craft store for one of those 3-paneled presentation poster boards (boy, did that take me back to elementary school science fairs!).  Obviously, I didn’t decoupage it in sheet music (though I was debating book pages for awhile) and didn’t add tissue paper, though it had quite a cute effect for what she was doing.  Instead of decoupaging anything on it, I practiced how to draw the Eiffel Tower over and over and over (and over…AND OVER…I should’ve taken a picture of the nearly-dozen index cards I practiced on.  I’m an absolutely horrible artist!  My dogs look like dinosaurs).  When I felt comfortable enough, I drew it onto the poster board then cut it out with an exacto knife.  Then I took the other two sides and formed a little trifold stand to prop it up.

“Couture” Burlap Background:

This kinda came about accidentally, but the result was so much more fun than if it had gone the way I originally wanted it.  I had seen a Parisian-themed printed burlap print on the JoAnn Fabrics website and was really wanting to buy that, but when I got to the store, I found they had sold out.  So I went back to the drawing board and saw other things that might’ve been okay, but I really had my heart set on the burlap because it made such a nice, neutral backdrop.  So I thought, “Why not make my own?” I had the idea to turn the whole creation of the backdrop into a “stop at a couture house”.  First, I just took some stencils and a black Sharpie and did a cute stencil at the top.  Then, as an additional flourish (and because I wanted to show off my newly-acquired Eiffel Tower drawing skills), I sketched the Eiffel Tower next to it.  Come Paris Day, I introduced what we were going to do with a “making of” video from Chanel’s couture line.  Afterwards, we sewed scraps onto the burlap to make a masterpiece.

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The stencil was straight when I started, but of course burlap stretches.  I still love the way it looks.  Also?  Contrary to what you may believe, the hubby actually made the masterpiece on the right.  I made the abstract weird sculpture thing on the left.  🙂  Yep, he won artist.

Props for the Photo Booth:

I found this link and drew inspiration from it to try and make my own.  Basically, I found lots of cute free clip art on the web, printed it out, and taped it to some wooden skewers.  Super-cheap and super-cute!  It added a lot of fun to our photo booth session.  (I also freehanded the moustaches, and I feel really proud of how it turned out!)

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Fondue Recipe:

Though we do own a fondue pot, I didn’t feel like combing the town to find the right candle thingy for it (the proper name escapes me at the moment).  So I used a modified version of this recipe that doesn’t require a fondue pot.  This, I think, was really the only oopsie of the whole date.  I was so looking forward to the deliciousness that was going to be the fondue.  The chocolate that I used was 100% cocoa, so needless to say, it was extremely bitter.  I knew hubby liked pure cocoa, so I got the purest cocoa I could find, which was a mistake when it came to fondue.  We added a bit of hazelnut syrup and some sugar water and a little more cream to sweeten it up and take out the bitterness, and it was okay, but it wasn’t out-of-this-world good.  It was disappointing…

Until the next day, when the refrigerated leftovers settled into a mousse-like consistency.  THAT was just heavenly!  🙂

French Onion Soup Recipe:

I pretty much followed this recipe to the letter, except I halved it because I was only cooking for two.  I also used three kinds of onions:  red, yellow, and sweet.  I used an Australian Traminer Riesling that tasted not very sweet when I had it by itself, but when reduced in the soup and combined with the sweet onions I put in, the soup ended up being a little too sweet for me.  Perhaps that’s the way real French onion soup should be (I’ve consistently found that the French onion soup I get at restaurants tend to be much too salty), but I think next time around I’ll not use the sweet onions and use a less-sweet wine.  It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t as good as I expected it to be.  The Swedish meatballs I made from it, though (see recipe in answer #4 in this post), turned out to be absolutely delicious.

There were many more little crafty flourishes that I added to the date, like making a sachet of Herbes de Provence, wrapping a baguette of French bread in a French newspaper, and the little chalkboard sign I made for the basket, but for the most part, I think I covered  the things that took the most time.  I hope you enjoyed!  🙂

To Your Own Flashes of Creativity!  🙂

Violet

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4 thoughts on “Ta-Da! Tuesday: Saint Valentin a Paris, DIYer’s Cut

    1. Thank you! It’s a lot of fun to experiment, and I’ve found that having to make do with what you have and not being able to just buy what I want brings out the creativity in us all. It’s like the scrapbooking of food. 🙂 Have you ever watched Chopped? Seriously. So much of my inspiration comes from that. I’ve found I really honed my skills over the last few years, because I don’t really like having the same thing again and again. One of these days we should get together and have a cooking day!

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