gold

golden birthday party — pineapples, party hats, “tags” & a cat suit

Mia and Tag on a tag...duh

Mia and Tag on a tag…duh

Meet Mia, my co-conspirator on this lovely affair.

When our best friend, Kacie, moved home after living in Denver and Boulder after college, we had so much to celebrate. Our wolfpack had (at least mostly) reunited, it was her 27th birthday, and Kacie and her boyfriend, Tag, had just gone into contract on their first home.

Kacie turned 27 on the 27th, which if you don’t know, means it’s her golden birthday. Judging from our average readership age, your golden birthday may have come and gone already, but keep this fun excuse to really go for it in mind for your friends and family.

Thankfully, all things gold are Kacie’s favorite, just like mine. We had so much fun hatching this borderline surprise party plan. Here’s a look!

INVITATION

the paperless post invite that we sent the the birthday girl at the last minute

the paperless post invite that we sent the the birthday girl at the last minute

Envelope

decor

  • Gold letter balloons that spelled out “GOLDEN GIRL”
  • 40″ number balloons for a 2-7
  • Regular gold balloons
  • Gilded pineapples, a brilliant idea of Mia’s
  • Glitter champagne bottles, another brain child of Mia’s
  • Gold votives
  • White flowers in gold vases
  • Photos of Kacie and some of her favorite people
  • Gold striped and pineapple straws
  • Gold rimmed cups and plates
  • Tags made of Tags 😉
  • Costumes that also played into the dĂ©cor
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before and after!

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Conveniently Mia’s aunt is also the very talented lady behind Tara Bella flowers, so the blooms were stunning. I reused a few props from a birthday party last year, including the “k” and a dino friend or two

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These 40″ balloons from “bargainballoons.com” were just that! They were almost more of a rose gold, but that was fine by me!

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dino and polka dots

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the whole dĂ©cor shebang — balloons, pineapples, votives, photos, and a dino

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more dino

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I found these napkins at local favorite boutique The Gardens…so good

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the company

 

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hostesses and bday girl

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the gang

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#stillgotit

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late night casino love

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the following day included some epic skiing, all decked out in gold.

the following day included some epic skiing, all decked out in gold.

Such a fun couple of days!

cheers krista

 

brass blossom

best of april – love bugs, sea to pdx, new finds & being better

If April is any indication how this year is going to go then it is all going to just fly by. Quite honestly, I was pretty depressed to return to Seattle at the end of March to begin another quarter of school. Seattle must have sensed my darkness because April was full of so much light, love, sunshine and happiness.

This springtime in Seattle has truly been incredible. But as much as I have been loving the spring washing away the winter blues and wandering around the pacific northwest, I am ecstatic to be returning home this summer to complete an internship in Idaho! Cheers to moving onwards and upwards and to being closer to all of my love bugs.

Here is what I adored this April!

1. love bugs in seattle. The boy and Miss Maude Pod came and visited me for a long weekend and I don’t know if I have ever been quite so excited to have visitors. It was so much fun showing them around the city and we also spent a night on Whidbey Island. The island was fairly deserted and was just the calming atmosphere that we needed.

We explored several beaches and Maude had the best time sniffing new smells, trying to drink the salt water and chasing sea-gulls. It was perfectly relaxing and oh so much fun!

we found a "maude" bench!

we found a “maude” bench!

mornings with bae

mornings with bae

first time beach explorations!

first time beach explorations!

proof casey also came...

proof the boy also came…

my baby forever

my baby forever

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love bugs <3

love bugs ❀

pretty much our life motto

pretty much our life motto

potato tacos!

potato tacos!

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sunset drinks with these two cuties

sunset drinks with these two cuties

when you cant pick just one, or two...

when you cant pick just one, or two…

2. new finds. Don’t get me wrong, I love Grad School but one thing I do not love about Grad School is my negative income. It really doesn’t lend itself well to my slight problem with online shopping. Let’s just say it has effectively put it on hold (for now…). But I did manage to capture two finds in April that I am just loving!

The first is a pair of leggings from Vie Active. The boy got me a few gifts from there a while ago and I have a credit that I have been meaning to use. So when they came out with these leggings I just couldn’t resist! They are now sold out but I have another pair of leggings from them and love both pairs. Truth be told though I haven’t ever really come across a pair of leggings I don’t like…

love the bag they send with the leggings (perfect for sweaty clothes or bathing suits)

love the bag they send with the leggings (perfect for sweaty clothes or bathing suits)

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The second are these perfectly simple gold stud earrings that my mom got for me as a present. She happens to be the best mom on the planet and gave me these as a just because gift. I wear them in my second hole and love that they are simple enough for everyday wear and I can leave them in all the time. And just like leggings, you cannot go wrong with gold!

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perfectly gold and simple

perfectly gold and simple

3. wandering the pacific northwest. April was a month of some serious adventures. It literally was so nice and sunny almost everyday that I felt that I had to get out and enjoy the sunshine and weather. Also chances are I will probably never have mostly three-day weeks ever again so might as well take advantage!

This made for quite a few epic adventures including hiking Mailbox Peak and Lake 22, venturing to gorgeous tulip farms and a trip down to Portland to spend time with some of my favorites! And a huge thank you to Mr and Mrs Howard for hosting us! Pictures pretty much say it all…

mt rainier looming from the top of the peak

mt rainier looming from the top of the peak

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tulips <3

tulips ❀

love the rogue tulip

love the rogue tulip

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the gorgeous lake 22!

the gorgeous lake 22!

it wouldn't be an adventure without a handstand

it wouldn’t be an adventure without a handstand

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portland brunch (so nom)

portland brunch (so nom)

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love these ladies!

love these ladies!

our evening spread

our evening spread

and of course cupcakes to top the night off!

and of course cupcakes to top the night off!

4. crystal lamp. I actually received this Crystal lamp as a Valentine’s gift from the boy’s mom (thank you again!) and was immediately intrigued by it. It is perfectly peachy-pink (great Valentine’s gift) and is made out of Himalayan salt. FYI so you don’t have to, I actually licked it to make sure…it is real salt.

The supposed benefits of the lamp include: cleaner air, reduced allergies and improved mood. And I truly think the lamp works. It emits a soft amber glow and is a perfect soft lighting. I turn it on when I get back to the apartment for the day and love getting into bed to watch a show with it’s glow. I would most definitely recommend one if only for a pretty bed-side table decoration! (Pretty sure they are all over Amazon!)

himalayan crystal salt lamp

himalayan crystal salt lamp

5. it’s a good day to be a good day. Maybe the universe was trying to tell me something but I just felt like I kept running across great articles about “getting better.” I loved this article on focusing on one thing everyday. That one thing being “Get Better Today.” It really resonated with me because I think it’s so hard to really just live in the present and be mindful but if you at least try to focus on getting better today then it brings you back to the present and result in daily improvements.

And to top off that amazing article here is another (mostly pictures) about Marceline. She is a little pugger bugger who has the misfortune of wearing a cone of shame and figures out how to make the best of it and feel better!

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Cheers to (almost) summer and continued sunshine!

taylor brass

brass blossom

golden tulle – engagement invites

When the party planning started for the future Mr & Mrs Millemann I immediately knew that I HAD to be involved in the invites (so graciously picked, customized and ordered by Krista’s soon to be amazing sister-in-law from Wedding Paper Divas). I just adore a crisp piece of paper, some envelopes and anything gold, which they obviously had to be.

Krista and I discussed her outfit for the party, months in advance of course (basic?). She mentioned tulle and I was smitten with the idea of incorporating tulle in everything. Did you know you can find hoards, I mean hoards of tulle on Amazon. Why yes you can. For great prices too. Not that I really know the standard price of tulle…but you can even find gold, glittery tulle in all sorts of sizes!

However in the end she went rogue and wore feathers but looked phenomenal so it was okay!

I ordered 25 yards of gold glitter tulle to cut into squares, gave them a napkin-style fold and placed them just inside the envelopes. Here is a look at the invites with a special little party inside!

materials

  • invitations + envelopes
  • choice of tulle
  • scissors
  • pens for addressing
  • cute washi tape for sealing
love the invites but really love the color of this box!

love the invites but really love the color inside of this box!

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the tulle!

the tulle!

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glitter!

glitter!

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check out that tulle!

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cheers to the future mr & mrs millemann!

taylor brass

brass blossom

to love & be loved – glittering gold engagement party

On New Year’s Eve 2015 I co-hosted, along with seven other fabulous women, an engagement party for one of our favorite couples. The happy couple got engaged in early Fall and happens to be comprised of my lovely co-author Krista and her boy, Chase.

We all consider Krista to be one of the loveliest women that we know. She is kind, loyal, a realist and always by our sides. She is the one we can always count on and always the one to celebrate us in her perfect way. So we knew that we needed to go all out, for not only her but Chase too because he is equally special to us and makes Krista oh so happy, which is really what matters….

So here is a look below at our NYE party to celebrate the future Mr and Mrs Millemann!

decor

You know the saying “less is more.” Well in this case we went for “more is more.” More balloons, more glitter, more gold, more flowers, more votives, more candles, more tulle, more golden ducks, more, more, more. It was New Year’s Eve after all and we were celebrating our of our all time favorite couples…

Since this party wasn’t only about Krista with all the gold and glitter, (Chase, you matter too!) I took on the task of making as many gold origami ducks as possible to decorate the room since they are both avid Ducks. Go ducks!

We were fortunate enough to rent out the “back room” at ZINC for the evening (side note: if you are looking for a phenomenal party spot to rent out in Ketchum, this is your room!). We decked out the perfectly neutral room in the following:

  • 150+ handmade gold origami ducks
  • gold origami duck entry
  • gold and white balloons with hanging “goldilocks”
  • gold votives
  • white flowers (hydrangeas and calla lilies)
  • gold glitter tulle
  • NYE party hats
  • homemade shot skis (more details below!)
the gilded room

the gilded room

the entrance to the room

the entrance to the room (huge shout to my always willing mother for stringing the ducks together!)

go ducks!

go ducks!

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obviously more is more

obviously more is more

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you can never have enough ducks

you can never have enough ducks

tulle + ducks + white flowers

tulle + ducks + white flowers

a new year's eve party isn't complete without party hats!

a new year’s eve party isn’t complete without party hats!

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an "M" for the future millemanns

an “M” for the future millemanns

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so much gold, so much glitter, so much tulle

so much gold, so much glitter, so much tulle

custom shot skis

custom family shot skis

Krista’s brother, Drew, and I made these custom shot skis for the happy couple to keep FOREVER! We gathered a retro ski that belonged to both of their fathers and went to work. Drew used a drill press to make custom holes in both of the skis that fit glass shot glasses. I then painted each one with a black rectangle and wrote the family name and their parent’s wedding anniversary. I shed a few tears and essentially Drew did all of the work while I simply played with the puppies…

Cheers to the prettiest shot skis of all time!

tulle makes for the best bows

tulle makes for the best bows

the "detwiler" ski

the “detwiler” ski

the "millemann" ski

the “millemann” ski

all lit up

all lit up & ready to party!

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menu

Since it was NYE and celebrating Chase and Krista, we knew we needed a plethora of delicious food. We decided to go with some healthy, comfort food catering from the Haven as well as order quite a few flat breads from ZINC. We additionally supplemented with a few cheese plates and desserts (since you can’t go wrong with more of either of those!) Our spread included:

  • pigs in a blanket
  • sautĂ©ed brussel sprouts
  • chicken skewers
  • antipasto platter
  • crostini platter
  • assorted flatbreads
  • cheese plates
  • homemade popcorn
  • gluten free cookies
  • local beer, red wine, white wine and of course champagne!
the spread

the spread

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copious amounts of cheese & classy pigs in a blanket – what more do you need?

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gluten free cookies (a single cookie monster ate about 85% of them throughout the party…)

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the company

You know a couple is truly loved when you receive a quarter more RSVPs for an event than expected. Friends and family came from near and very far (shout out to Mendoza coming from LA and Chris and Katja from Bend!) to celebrate and smother Chase and Krista with love. The company at this party was truly an outstanding group of brilliant, fun loving and good hearted people. The type of people you want to party with every night.

Cheers to Chase and Krista!

the future mr & mrs millemann

the future mr & mrs millemann ❀

the brass blossom does engagement party

the brass blossom does engagement party

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the skenes + jenna

rach & anders

rach & anders

the bride and two of her maids

the bride and two of her maids

love this guy <3

love this guy ❀

guests from so far!

oregon family! thanks for coming from so far!

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good looking idaho people

brilliant photo angle (cred: casey hawkes)

brilliant photo angle (cred: casey hawkes)

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no words

no words

taggart & kacie

taggart & kacie

the bride and (almost all of her) bridesmaids

the bride and (almost all of her) bridesmaids

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toasts & cheers!

toasts & cheers!

the detwiler clan <3

the detwiler clan ❀

the millemann clan <3

the millemann clan ❀

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when things started to get dicey (aka even more fun)

when things started to get dicey (aka even more fun)

shot ski time!

shot ski time!

clearly i was paying attention & didn't pour the majority of my shot on the ground....

clearly we was paying attention & didn’t pour the majority of our shots on the ground….

#fail

#fail

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for the win!

for the win!

the always classy detwiler women

the always classy detwiler women + the best photobomb

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legs, legs, legs

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how any good party ends....

how any good party ends….

Cheers to the future Mr and Mrs Millemann! We all cannot wait to continue the celebrations!

taylor brass

brass blossom

“k” birthday — gold dinos, fondue and g&ts

I saw the following picture on Pinterest about a month ago and totally fell in love with the concept of having gold dinos as a “theme” for a party. I was so in love with this idea that I couldn’t spend the creativity on just anybody. Lucky for me, the end of March brought the perfect occasion.

As I mentioned before, many of my friends celebrate March birthdays. When one great friend came home for her birthday, we hatched a plan to have a co-birthday party with some other birthday girls whose names start with “K.” And so the “K” party, complete with gold dinos, fondue, and some gin and tonics was born. He’s a look!

decor

 

The dĂ©cor was “fierce” (ha) but feminine:

  • An assortment of plastic dinosaurs spray painted gold. I found the dinos at the drug store after realizing that large replicas of the prehistoric creatures are kind of crazy expensive. I opted for the smaller, cheaper ones and just bought more.
  • A handmade happy birthday sign
  • Big gold and clear balloons
  • Gold letters spelling “YAY, K”
  • Gold votives
  • Tissue paper confetti in blues and pinks
  • Handmade “holey” paper
the scene

the scene

happy birthday sign

late-night dino stacking

late-night dino stacking

it almost spells kayak...but it doesn't.

it almost spells kayak…but it doesn’t.

gold dinos

gold dinos

more gold dinos

more gold dinos

hand-cut tissue paper confetti

hand-cut tissue paper confetti

t-rex was the fan favorite of course.

t-rex was the fan favorite of course.

menu

 

The menu was simple and straightforward and of course featured lots of cheese. We enjoyed:

  • Cheese fondue with apple, bread, sausage, broccoli and roasted potatoes for dipping
  • Arugula salad with strawberries, red onion, and feta
  • An orzo and arugula salad by Kacie
  • Goat cheese toast points from Rachel
  • German chocolate cakes in mason jars with fresh berries and whipped cream
  • Gin and tonics and champagne
fondue circle

fondue circle

bar cart

bar cart

bar cart

t-rex getting in on the g&t action

t-rex getting in on the g&t action

german chocolate cakes in mason jars with fresh berries and whipped cream

german chocolate cakes in mason jars with fresh berries and whipped cream

the birthday girls making a wish...in their birthday crowns

the birthday girls making a wish…in their birthday crowns

the company

 

it was a great mellow night with great friends and of course a little cards against humanity. Happy birthday, ladies! I’m so lucky to have you in my life.

a little march madness in the "background"

a little march madness in the “background”

love the boy's facial expression in the back

love the boy’s facial expression in the back

xole with her party favor dino favorite and a nice tag photo bomb

xole with her party favor dino favorite and a nice tag photo bomb

par par stretching it out

par par stretching it out

"k" ladies

“k” ladies

dinosaur party

the birthday girls got some bubbles and glow sticks — great party gift/immediate favor!

the birthday girls got some bubbles and glow sticks — great party gift/immediate favor!

a little blurry eyed by the end of the night :)

a little blurry eyed by the end of the night 🙂

the dino stacking was actually pretty impressive

the dino stacking was actually pretty impressive

cheers krista

diy – string-art state boards

Idaho state string-art!

Idaho state string-art!

One blustery fall day two years ago I became suddenly determined to create a string-art Idaho board all in one day. I rummaged through a pile of scrap wood and found a perfect piece of plywood that I stained, hammered and tied, all in one-day. After that epic adventure, my enthusiasm wore off a bit, but I wanted to recreate a few more state boards for birthday gifts.

The Oregon and Colorado boards that I made eventually became horribly belated birthday gifts but I figured it’s the thought that counts, right? These boards make perfect birthday gifts, secret santa gifts or even just an easy DIY gift for yourself (because everyone needs to gift themselves once in a while). And the best part about these is that they involve two of my favorite craft essentials: gold & glitter.

For all you glitter haters out there, or if you live with someone who doesn’t think glitter is the bee’s knees, (especially after you spill it all over their new work backpack), I have a life-saving tip for you and your relationships. You can somewhat seal glitter to any surface if you spray a clear gloss finish over it once dry! The clear gloss allows you to enjoy your glitter on any surface all while keeping it contained. Now all of the boyfriends and husbands all over the world can rest easy next time you bust out your glitter…

required materials

required materials

instructions

 

  1. Find a suitable soft wood board for the state that you want to make. A bit bigger than 8.5×11 inches on all sides works perfectly.
  2. Sand the sides and edges of your board to make them as smooth as possible.
  3. Find a paint or stain that you like and paint/stain the top and sides of your board. I did three coats of a darker wood stain and let each coat dry before the next.
  4. Print out your state of choice on a piece of printer paper (8.5×11 inches) or trace from a larger atlas type book.
  5. Break out your ruler or eyeball it and make marks all the way around the state print to mark where to hammer your nails in. I make my marks between .25 to .5 inches apart depending on how large the state outline is.
  6. Once dried to your desired color/stain, center your paper with your state of choice on the board.
  7. Using small nails with a larger head (to hold the string), hammer in the corners of your state to hold the paper down.
  8. Starting at one corner, hammer the nails individually at each marking to complete the outline of your state. To assist in holding the small nails, use pliers to hold the nail as you hammer.
  9. Once your outline is complete, create a heart or other shape of choice on the part of the state you/your friend is from.
  10. Once again, hammer in nails to outline the heart. Attempt to make these nails a bit closer than the outline nails as you will use each of these over-and-over.
  11. Tie your string onto one corner of the outline of the state. Thread string around  one of the heart nails that is relatively directly across and bring back to the next nail in the outline of the state. You will use only one continuous string for this entire process so make sure you have enough.
  12. Double wrap string around this outline nail to ensure it will remain if a string comes loose along the way. Thread string to the same heart nail so that it now has two loops around it.
  13. Continue wrapping around the outline nails. Each heart nail will have many loops on it. Move on to the next when it gets quite full and as you move away from that nail on the outline.
  14. Once you have completed your state in string, tie off the string on the same nail that you tied onto. Trim the excess string as necessary.
  15. Decorate the sides as desired! I painted each side gold and then covered with gold glitter. To “contain” the glitter, I sprayed each side after it was dry with a clear gloss finish.
  16. Hang or display your board to show your state-pride!
stain, paint or enjoy the natural wood of your board

stain, paint or enjoy the natural wood of your board

 

paint/stain as many coats as desired. the type of wood will also contribute to how dark the stain will dry.

paint/stain as many coats as desired. the type of wood will also contribute to how dark the stain will dry.

mark along the outline at ~.5 to .75 inches to mark where to nail

mark along the outline at ~.25 to .5 inches to mark where to nail

 

nail each corner down after your paper is centered

nail each corner down after your paper is centered

pliers makes holding the small nails much easier

pliers make holding the small nails much easier

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once finished with the outline of the state, outline a heart at the desired place

nail down heart. once finished with all your nailing, pull off the paper to see your handiwork!

nail down heart. once finished with all your nailing, pull off the paper to see your handiwork!

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tie off your string on a corner and move around the outline from there

looping to the heart nails that have several loops on each nail

looping to the heart nails that have several loops on each nail

double wrap the string around each outline nail to make it more secure

double wrap the string around each outline nail to make it more secure

keep wrapping! make sure you have time to dedicate to this as it is difficult to take a break

keep wrapping! make sure you have time to dedicate to this as it is difficult to take a break

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tie off the string on the nail you started on

finish the side of the boards as desired. glitter or leaving them plain both look great

finish the side of the boards as desired. glitter or leaving them plain both look great!

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if using glitter, seal the sides with a clear gloss finish

Colorado state string-art for a very belated birthday gift

Colorado state string-art for a very belated birthday gift

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Oregon state string-art as another very, very belated birthday gift

off in the mail in padded envelopes!

off in the mail in padded envelopes!

TIP: Use a softer-type wood for the board. The first couple of boards that I made I used plywood because it was readily available to me. It was very difficult to hammer into and my mom (who is brilliant I might add) suggested I use a softer wood. Using a soft wood made it so much easier to hammer into and cut the headache and project time down.

taylor brass

brass blossom