Monday, April 19, 2010

Guest Post: Aprilween Capers and Crafts by Amy B

This past weekend, Laine and I celebrated our favorite holiday of all, APRILWEEN! Here to talk you through the festivities is our dear friend, first guest blogger, and hostessss with the mostessss, Amy B. Here's what she sent us:

Raspberry-blackberry Champagne punch

It all starts on my vacation to Portland, Oregon, on my way to the 24-Hour Church of Elvis.

I was wasting a few hours until a lunch date, and a strobe of pink and black caught my eye-- a Betsey Johnson boutique! I'd only touched a Betsey dress once at Dillard's, so to see a whole store of it, tangible and try-on-able, I was ecstatic. The saleslady was a little too good at her job, and when I told her I really didn't have a lot of money and was mostly day-dreaming, asked me if I had a camera so I could at least take away a picture of myself in my favorite dress.

The devil made me do it.

She brought me more dresses, some awesome rhinestone bow-tie shoes to try them on with, and kept things light, and an hour later I was leaving all of my spending money with her and taking two awesome dresses (on sale!) with me.

The problem with buying designer dresses is that 1) they need shoes and 2) someplace to wear them. I tried to remedy the situation while I was still in PDX, and bought a pair of vintage heels with silver/brown leaf applicques and small rhinestones. I haven't worn these yet, as they need some work done on the busted-out elastics.

Via some huge thrift shop on Division

When I got back home, I scoured eBay for a used pair of the shoes I'd worn at the store. Fail! I cannot find that pair anywhere, even on the Betsey site. I did a quick search on eBay and found something better-- silver pumps with a clear plastic upper. (Someone referred to these as stripper heels, but I think they're more like bridesmaid shoes.) I trotted to Hobby Lobby and found both sequined trim and shiny silver fabric, as well as some white lace ribbon to match the blue dress.

How to make a bow? I've been pretty averse to bows since I stopped wearing them in my hair, but Instructables had a pretty easy tutorial. The sequined trim looked too much like a clown accessory, so I stuck with the silver, white lace, and some red satin left over from a strange charity craft project. And voila!

Betsey Johnson knock-offs a la Hobby Lobby

Blue dress by Betsey Johnson and Lace shoes

Close-up on shoes

Cherry shoes!

You'll notice the over-sized cherry-- that is an Aprilween product. I had to wear my pink Betsey dress somewhere, so a party in my own home seemed a safe bet. Aprilween is a tradition beloved by my husband Justin and Sam King. A month warmer than October, this means no coats over your beautiful costume. So as not to eclipse the dress, I choose to simply adorn myself with a cherry hat and go as a cupcake (or a strawberry sundae, if you please). I made red satin bows for the bridesmaid shoes and did a simple papier-maché job on a balloon. Other materials included a coat hanger, electrical tape, red glitter and elastic. Also quite a few layers of decoupage.

From Portland, OR to Fayetteville, AR, it felt pretty perfect.

Pretty pretty please, with a cherry on top.

Dress: Betsey Johnson
Shoes: Palovio with adornments by A. Brown
Earrings: Forever 21
Hat: A. Brown

I am lucky to have friends who not only love costume parties, but the craft of costume-making and organizing. Case in point: the lovely Laine and Dolly of Purity and Danger put together a spot-on group costume of the cast of Heathers, including a whole set of croquet mallets, taper candle dynamite, lunchtime survey clipboard and two men in drag to complete the Heather triumvirate:

Veronica Sawyer and JD:

Heather Chandler:

Heather Duke :

Heather McNamara:

Laine and Dolly were also the perpetrators of the Being Sam Kingovitch birthday theme that ran parallel to Aprilween:

I also made Justin's costume, The Call Center of Cthulhu, which we came up with jointly. Three colors of green felt, two colors of embroidery and a little elastic:

and you get an Elder God who still doesn't know where to transfer your call:

As for food, I spent the majority of my time crafting costumes and putting up streamers. We hit up Aldi for some cheap salty and sweets, and broke out the punch bowl for some raspberry-champagne goodness. The only fancy thing was the trifle, brought by Laine and Dolly [Eds.--And prepared by our friend Andrew, who can make magical treats out of thin air!]

And muted streamers and balloons in honor of Sam King.

Thanks, Amy! This one goes out to you:

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog and love the fact that you have a copy of "Blankets" in your bookshelf!