Our much-loved friend Andrea had a birthday recently and we happily joined the celebrations!
The Saturday evening began with a small cocktail party at her apartment, followed by some drinks and live music at a really fun place.
I didn't want to be all "camera-in-your-face" at the cocktail party, so missed some shots I would have liked to have taken, particularly a close-up one of the delicious charcuterie board she assembled, and the big bowl of fruit-filled sangria. There were also balloons and a beautiful arrangement of flowers that her parents had sent her.
Here is the Birthday-Lady opening gifts.
↑ She is looking at something from our mutual friend Isabel. You'll see what it is in an upcoming post because she and I made the gift together! Here's a clue : it has to do with the bead stores I wrote about in this post. ↑
↑ From us. ↑
↑ I crocheted her a cowl scarf that she has since said is now her favourite scarf. Cue the good feelings ... it's so good to make someone something they really like. ↑
We also gave her a few scented soy candles from our local candle shop, Yummi. Upon smelling them she said they reminded her of clean laundry, which was pretty bang-on considering the scent was called "White Linen".
There are more pictures of the gifts at the end of this post, including a quick tutorial on how I made the scarf and a look at the gift-wrapping.
We added a snack to the food table -- some savory mini muffins and some of Nick's Homemade Pizza Sauce for dipping. I've been getting into savory baking lately and haven't yet decided on the final recipe for these mini muffins. They were tasty, with all 24 of them consumed and everyone seeming to like them, but I felt a bit of tweaking would make them even better. Once I have that done, I'll post the recipe, at Isabel's request.
At around 11 we headed out to 3030 Dundas West, a restaurant/bar/night club in The Junction.
↑ See the 3030 there on the right? That's where we were heading. ↑
Nick nor I had never been and both now agree that we wish it was in our neighbourhood, complete with the same crowd of people who were there! The vibe was really friendly and there was an excellent live band, with no cover-charge.
We had a blast, and were glad to see our pal enjoying herself with all the nice friends who came out to honour her.
↑ Me and two Andreas! ↑
As I admired the great original paintings on the walls, I was thinking to myself, "I know this artist". Then it came to me ... it was her work hanging in the bar when we went our for my birthday last year (written about in this post.) Back then I was disappointed about not getting the name of the artist, but this time I did. She is Tenille Rose Will.
The eight person band was called The Funk Frequency, a Prince tribute act. They were awesome, really keeping the party going.
By coincidence, as I was making my way closer to the band to try to get a good picture, I literally bumped into a friend of ours, who was there with another of his friends, who was friends with the singer in the band. This was a surprise, considering neither of us was anywhere near home. This guy is one of the nicest people I know! He's the dog-dad of those three adorable chihuahuas be baby sat last year, written about here.
All in all, it was a really great and memorable night, one worthy of the fun and loving person that Andrea is.
If you're interested in the DIY parts of this post, please continue reading!
About the scarf: I used one -- 150g, 312 yds -- skein of Lion Brand Scarfie yarn, in the colourway 205 Cranberry/Black, that I found at Michaels, but the same volume of any chunky weight yarn will work for this project.
The Scarfie yarn is an acrylic / wool blend made in Turkey, which is dreamily soft and cushy and a real pleasure to work with. While I knew the red/black colour combo was the right choice for Andrea, I have my eye on a couple of the other colours it comes in, namely the kelly-green one and the turquoise. It's lovely stuff, indeed.
Using a 5mm hook, and rows of 6 shells each :
- Chain 33, and begin the first shell in the 5th chain from the hook, "two double-crochet stitches, one chain, two more double-crochet stitches". Repeat 5 more times, skipping 4 chain stitches between each (so going into every 5th chain stitch). Finish the row with one double crochet into beginning chain of previous row.
- Continue until all the yarn is used up - you'll end up with a strip of work that's about 56 inches long and 6 3/4 inches wide. Leave a tail of yarn that's long enough to stitch the ends together, forming a long loop.
Here are the candles we also gave her, purchased at Yummi. Their pure soy candles come in quantities of 6 and are offered in several different essential oil based scents (although I was told by the salesperson that they contain some synthetic scent elements as well, but fewer than in most scented candles.)
For the layered gift wrapping effect : Wrap the box in a solid colour and then make a band from the printed wrapping paper, by cutting lengths that are 4 inches across. Tape them together until you have a piece long enough to go right around the gift. Fold a 1/2 inch edge under, on either side of the strip, and then attach that with a single piece of tape under the package. Then, measure and cut a length of 1/2 inch gross-grain ribbon, long enough to wrap around the box, leaving an overlap of about 2 inches. The ribbon is taped on at the same place that the paper band was, to keep things neat. The bow part is made separately, following this method that utilizes a hair-comb to make a gift-bow, tying the loops with a short length of more narrow ribbon in the same colour. Then, the bow is attached to the ribbon band, using the ends of the narrow ribbon to secure it. This gift wrapping method allows for a greeting card to be tucked right under the paper band.
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