Tag Archive for 'birthday'

Birthday Crowns

I don’t think I’ve ever shared my birthday crowns here. It started with this crown in 2012

Today I made an #upcycle paper crown  for a coworker's birthday.

I made it for a coworker’s office birthday, with materials from the building (big sheets of flat cardboard, paper scraps from the printing presses, adhesive, a sharpie and a stapler). I snapped this picture of myself wearing it, because I was so proud of how it came out.

Madame Alyn's Lid

The inspiration came from the artist Alyn Carlson, pictured above, and her beautiful paper hats. She actually has a book out now and I need to get it!

mailart 129/365

I’ve been inspired by her before, with this series of mailart postcards. You can see more here.

But back to the birthday crowns. I liked that first crown so much I knew I just had to make more.

Erica crown

I wish I would have been better about documenting them as I made them, but here are a few more that I made. This one was for my best friend.

Ann's birthday crown

Here is an expectant Ann (of A Beautiful Party), wearing her birthday crown. I think she was just a week or two away from her due date with her daughter Maybellene, and we were singing her Happy Birthday and I think she was just about to blow out her candles.

Last night's project, a custom requested crown. It's bee a while since I've made one.

This one was a commission, and I can’t remember what it said all the way around. Something like “Your Wonderful Highness”.

me in crown

Of course I had to make one for MeSelf!

2.11 capsule machine

It currently lives on top of my gumball machine.

Progress photos of the most recent birthday crown I made. I'm particularly proud of this one and it fit @shealwayslovedlarking perfectly!

And most recently, I made one for my friend Courtney (of She Always Loved Larking) for her belated birthday party. Here is a progress shot of the crown before I stapled it together.

Courtney birthday crown

And a picture that Ann took of her wearing her crown surrounded by all the beautiful parti-ness.

Emily Neuburger facebook birthday crown

Thank you Emily Neuburger, of Red Bird Crafts, for sharing my crowns on your facebook page too!

I love making crowns as they are super low pressure. I think the scrappiness and playfulness really make the crown.  It was also really fun to put together this post and see how they have developed over time.


Provisions of Food 52 Turns ONE!

Happy Birthday Provisions

I’m a proud vendor of Provisions at Food 52. I’m also excited to announce that Provisions is turning one today! To celebrate, we’re offering 10% off, with code ProvisionsPartner  Here’s to many more years together! The coupon is valid 8/5-8/11 and can be used on my Gold and Silver Garlands or many other wonderful products by other wonderful makers!

How do you like the birthday present I wrapped and decorated with the gold and silver garland, pictured above? I had the vision for the picture earlier today while I was at work and was itching to get home and put it together. I’m pretty proud of how it came out!

Now I have to jet off to Food 52 and see what new goodies are speaking to me!

Promised Birthday Post

First, because inquiring minds want to know what happened with my craftastrophe… Half of the resin pieces were bad. The resin didn’t harden all the way and is just gooey. Fortunately my contact from the Book Shack is great and understanding (Aussies are always friendly, laid back folks, in my estimation) and I am going to try a few things and see if they can still be saved. I was afraid I was going to be so upset, but I’ve handled it as a learning experience and realize it’s not the end of the world.

It’s exactly one week later so I thought I better get on with my birthday post I promised earlier in the week. It’s a long one!

Celebrations actually began on Friday. My sister, Matt and I took the day off from work to take a trip into the city. Not having to work on Friday (a thing I dearly miss) was an excellent birthday present on its own. We had plans to drive into Chicago to go to the Shedd Aquarium and finally see the Jellies exhibit, something we attempted last winter, but arrived to a 2 hour long wait. outside. in the winter. in the rain. without umbrellas. And so we turned around and went all the way back home. But not this time. This time we bought tickets online beforehand.
Friday was 9.21, which is Nikki’s birthday, my friend who passed away in February of 2011. As usual I see the numbers 921 every where I go (hello, our new street address), but especially on September 21st. Of course it pops up on the clock twice a day, but of all the minutes of the day I always just happen to look right at that minute. Also, I was taking pictures and looked to see how many pictures were left on the card and it told me I could take 921 more. All of this is just to say that her birthday was one day before mine and sometimes we’d celebrate together, and that she is still with me, and naturally that I miss her.

We went got the Shedd and I naturally forgot my camera in the car, so pictures were taken with either my sister’s camera or my camera phone. We made due. AND I was even able to make this video from the Jelly exhibit.
It was really awesome and I had a great time, although I do have to share with those interested in going: beforehand I thought the exhibit would be much bigger. I had hoped the tanks would be huge and the jellyfish would be huge and that there would be benches where I could sit back and just watch them in their magnificence. In reality, the tanks were mostly no larger than 2 feet across, and if you go during a high traffic time, forget about being able to watch them up close. Fortunately we realized if we hold out until the water show (just outside the exhibit) is going on, there were much fewer people in there.

I took tons of video of the rest of the aquarium as well, but here are a couple highlights.

What’s up with these guys? They looked like cartoons and I couldn’t believe they were real. I betcha there’s a guy who’s job it is to sit under that tank and stick those guys up and down at random intervals.

And here is the Caribbean Reef, a long time favorite. I could just sit there all day and watch as the fish go by.

I took the above picture while enjoying a tidepools exhibit that was open from the top. There was a sign that said “do not touch” which led me to say “but I wanna pet a starfish”. A few minutes later we went down a set of stairs and right there was an exhibit where you could pet starfish. Yes, I pet a huge giant starfish and it was slimy and rough at the same time.

A week before our trip my sister suggested we attempt going to Superdawg. Since we were going other places I thought I should check out locations for photobooths. I remember someone telling me about a photobooth just outside of the city. Looking down the locator list I found the first one outside of Chicago, in Lincolnwood at a golf and games place and just by chance it looked like it was nearby Superdawg. Perfect.
9.21 at photobooth photo.JPG
The photobooth was perfect. It was a cold and rainy last day of summer and it appeared that the place was closed, but as luck would have it the booth is just outside. 9.21 photobooth

The pictures are black and white and last frame was over exposed at the bottom, but that’s the kind of thing I love. I was pretty excited about this booth and wish there was one just like it near me. I think this also crosses off another item on one of my yearly lists about visiting different photo booths.
9.21 Superdawg
Next on to Superdawg. I have been wanting to go to this place ever since seeing it on Hot Dog Paradise on the Travel Network. Robyn Fun Fact #29: I hate cooking/food shows in general, but I LOVE restaurant/food shows on the travel network or where they visit and eat extreme/novelty foods (hello, Man Vs. Food). I think it’s based on my love for roadtrips and stopping at quirky roadside attractions (see, giant ball of twine).

Like kismet, Superdawg was literally right off the same street as the photobooth!  We weren’t sure what to expect. We arrived right around 5:30 which could have been a disaster, but again as luck would have it, it was a super rainy and cold day so there were only a couple of other cars when we arrived.
9.21 Superdawg drive-in 9.21 Superdawg

We pulled in, ordered our dawgs and enjoyed! My sister said the dawg was even better than Portillo’s. Even Matt who is vegetarian enjoyed his meal of grill cheese, delicious fries, and sides of fried onions and veggies. In true Matt style he put the fried onions on his sandwich.

From here we went home and I was utterly happy after crossing off several things I’ve been wanting to do for a long-long time.

Saturday, my actual birthday, I woke up and immediately went to get my hair chopped. Also, I made myself a crown, as you can see. Inspired by artist Alyn Carlson‘s beautiful paper hats, I have started making crowns for people on their birthdays, so why not one for myself?

My family usually goes out to dinner for birthdays and they asked me where I wanted to go. The place I wanted to go didn’t open until dinner time so we waited and a half an hour before they opened we called to make reservations. Turns out it was homecoming weekend in all the surrounding towns and they were fully booked for larger parties. I had no desire to go anywhere else, and figured I’d rather just have people over to our house. My mom picked up a party sized chop salad from portillo’s at my request and we ordered pizza and played games. Also between what Matt and my mom bought, I had something like 4 birthday cakes. My nephew helped me blow the candles out.

I was also showered with a generous amount of birthday presents. For time sakes I’ll just note a couple.
9.21 new handmade bag

My sister made me this amazing bag. She helped me pick out the fabrics. The lining is more of the floral pattern. I’ve already had compliments on it. She made the bag using  this pattern from Erin Erickson.

Also, I got a macro lens for my iphone.Which allowed me to take pictures like the flower above (which were also a birthday gift) and the close up of my paper spiral jewelry below.

Then, after almost everyone left, my sister and I walked over to a nearby park and let go of a paper sky lantern. I’d bought three of them from Think Geek, but we just did the one. It really is a 3 person job. 2 people to hold it, light it and balance it while it fills and another to photograph/film/document it, so my pictures and video were very lacking. It was just the last thing to finish off a perfect birthday.

Birthday Presents – Fuji Instax 210

10.5.11 instax
For my birthday I got some AWESOME presents. For real awesome, not just “yay, socks and underwear” awesome. I’ll have to post a couple separate posts to share. My brother and sister in law got me the Fuji Film Instax 210. I’ve been wanting one of these forever, but could never justify spending that much.

10.5.11 instax shot
People, it.is.so.awesome! It’s an instant camera, much like the beloved old days of Polaroid instant. The only (itty bitty) downfall (for me) is that the pictures are rectangular, where my heart really lies in the square format. Thinking about that, it’s kind of funny because in art school we were always ushered away from using a square format because it is harder to create balanced compositions, but I’m a rebel. Back to the camera, did I mention it’s awesome? Because it is. It comes with a lens to take close up pictures. What I would have done for one of those on my old polaroids (shaking fists towards the sky). If you are unfamiliar with instant fuji film, they also have pull apart films that I use on my Polaroid Colorpack II Landcamera. They have a second smaller Instax camera that comes in white and takes itty bitty baby instant pictures. I preferred the larger just because I already have my Polaroid Pogo Printer, which prints tiny digital pictures from your camera or phone.

When Polaroid announced that they would no longer be producing instant film I went into hoarding mode. Sadly, I still have packs left because I was afraid to use them all up, but the film is going bad because they are all REALLY expired. I realized with this new camera, only 2 pictures in, and I’m already being waaaaay to cautious about using the film.  I need to lighten and loosen up and have some fun. I need to take pictures and enjoy my birthday present.

Instant film aside, I realized the other day that it was a good thing that I’d fallen in love with instagram and taking pictures with my iphone because since we moved I couldn’t find our battery charger. If it weren’t for camera phones, no pictures would be taken during this time. A few weeks ago I broke down and just bought regular batteries at the store to tide me over. Next thing ya know, Matt uses them, AND the batteries from my camera, to put into his wii-motes. Yesterday after hunting (for what felt like hours hours) through boxes of storage in the basement I finally had a meltdown. That was all it took for Matt to go to the basement and 10 minutes later return with the battery charger, sigh. Well, now I can take pictures AND Matt can have friends over to play Super Smash Bros.

Future Robyn

Yesterday was a great day! I usually take my birthday off so I don’t have to worry about people making a fuss at work. But this year, with having already taken off plenty days for the move, I decided to go in and use my day off later. I went to work and hoped that it would be a day like any other day in the office. Everything was going great and no one said anything. I’m sitting in my office in the afternoon when I hear “So this is where you work?” I turn around to see who is speaking, and realize it is my best friend Erica and she has this HUGE thing of birthday balloons. Oi. Talk about being embarrassed. Then naturally, the rest of the day everyone is coming in and wishing me happy birthday and asking about the balloons. It’s not that I don’t like my birthday, it’s just that we don’t “do birthdays” at my current employer, which then makes any to do seem kind of awkward. At my previous long term job it was a different story. Birthdays were huge and they went all out and bought cake, ice cream, balloons, a live plant as a gift, and they ALWAYS “tricked” you into coming into a room where everyone would be and they’d sing to you.

It's the anniversary of the crash of oceanic flight 815 AND my birthday! thank you #crabica for the balloons!

Here is a picture I took with all the balloons.

The balloons were wonderful and best friends know just how to make a gal feel loved. After work we had over friends and family. We ordered out pizza and my sister brought pie from Baker’s Square, which I ordered specifically because I haven’t had any in years and have been wanting it for a long time. Afterwards we played the Game of Things which everyone always enjoy and which always ends up being a source of hilarious catch phrases later. After everyone left, Matt and I put on the original Tron movie with Rifftrax. In one scene there was a screen capture that said “sept 22” which was the date we were watching it, AND my birth date.

What are the chances? I made Matt pause it so I could take this picture. And while we are speaking of September 22nd, and if you are a Lost fan, you might remember that it is the anniversary of the crash of Oceanic Flight 815.

Earlier this week I read about a writing exercise on Elise’s blog The Argyle Wale, where you imagine yourself in your ideal future and list out the circumstances or qualities that you would have. I thought that this practice would be perfect for someone who just turned one year older. So here it goes:

This is how I’d like to envision my future self.

Robyn has a business license, making Robayre super duper official with all green lights set to go.
Robyn has updated her whole website and touches is up quarterly, each year.
Robyn has a schedule and updates her blog regularly.
Robyn’s artwork is licensed, produced and available commercially.
Robyn has no qualms about approaching stores to carry her items.
Robyn’s original pieces are sold in a select group of galleries and gift shops.
Robyn makes what she wants and what she wants to make is in demand.
Robyn’s etsy shop can’t stay stocked and the items that are listed sell out in a short amount of time.
Robyn is approached to sell and feature her artwork on websites, galleries and in stores.
Robyn started a monthly art/craft group with workshops and classes.
Robyn is surrounded by other like minded (art/design/craft) entrepreneurs.
Robyn eats a nutritionally balanced diet and has the energy to get things done.
Robyn is physically fit and carries herself with confidence.
Robyn has a wardrobe she is proud of and reflects her personal style.
Robyn’s home a creative reflection of Matt’s and Robyn styles.
Robyn rearranges and changes out the furniture and artwork in their home quarterly.
Robyn has a smart phone that doesn’t break the bank ;) ha, ha, yeah right
Robyn has time to do all the things she wants to do and doesn’t feel stressed about it.
Robyn goes on fun adventures with her friends and family.
Robyn keeps journals and scrapbooks to remember said adventures.

Okay, I could go on and on forever, but I think I’ll stop now otherwise this post will never be published. Maybe I’ll come back and update it if I think of things that definitely should be added to the list.

September 21st


Today would have been Nikki‘s 30th birthday. Earlier this morning I left a post on her facebook page sharing a little message. I want to share the story here but in more depth.

I originally met Nikki through my friend Tom. To know Tom is to know a very vibrant character. He’s saucy and always has the best stories to share. When he started dating Nikki we hadn’t seen him for a couple weeks and then he springs on us “come meet me for dinner. I want you to meet my new girlfriend.” We were all kind of surprised because he refused to ever call the previous girl he dated a “girlfriend”. We don’t see him for a few weeks and BAM, he was already in a committed relationship.

A big group of us went out to the Junction – a local family restaurant/hangout. Nikki was so quiet and just painfully shy. I don’t think she made eye contact with anyone and I have this memory of her almost hiding behind Tom, like he were a security blanket and we were a pack of rabid, starved wolves. To be honest, we kind of could be that way when it’s one person against a big group of people that all know each other and have countless inside stories and jokes. But to be honest, I can be just as shy and awkward, I just had the comfort of my close friends on my side. Much later, unbeknownst to me, Matt would inform her that we had already classified her as a “dud” after that first meeting. (smacks hand to forehead)

It was probably a few weeks after initially meeting her and we were at Otto’s, a local bar. Side note: Otto’s was the place that Tom and Nikki met for the first time, and it was on her 21st birthday. I was sitting next to Nikki on a bar stool. Conversation was still a struggle and I think she had already given up any hope of making friends with Tom’s friends. In fact, she was into talking to some random person next to her when I overheard her say when her birthday was. It was one day before my own. I’ve always had a thing for people who share (or are near) my birthday. It might seem silly to some, but I felt like it was some sort of a sign. Right then and there I got off my chair and told her I had to give her a hug and I knew from that moment on we would be friends.

Pumpkins 2003-2010

(Nikki put this collage together last fall. The thing I love about it is that the top two photos were probably taken by Matt or myself. The missing years were probably years we forgot to take pictures, but we always carved pumpkins together every year.)

And we did become great friends. It was true that we were very different, but in other ways she and I were so much alike and shared so much in common. I knew things about her and felt like no one knew me in the same way she did. We both loved dragging the guys out and having adventures as well as creating and keeping traditions. Having birthdays so close and celebrating together was just one of the many traditions. My birthday will always be tied to hers. I miss her like crazy and always wish she were still with us. From things like the songs that pop up on the radio every time I’m thinking about her, and the box turtle my family just brought home, to the address number of our  new home, I know she is still around.

A special day

Last week was my sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday Chris! I hope you had a great birthday and will have an AMAZING year ahead! She has always been a supporter of my artwork and is ALWAYS there for me when I need help, or an opinion and guidance.

For her birthday she wanted to go to the Museum of Science and Industry. It was an awesome day. I haven’t been there since I was in elementary school and could have spent a couple days there before reaching everything they have to offer.

Unexpectedly, I was also able to (semi) cross off two items on my To-Do-List for 2010. At the MSI now, your tickets to get in become a “sci-pass” where you can record the activities you participate in and then access them online later. They had a sound booth that was similar to the storycorp idea, where you could go in and interview other people. I went in and recorded a short interview with my sister, which was one part of number 23 on my list.

Number 12 on my to-do list was to get an old-timey picture done. In my mind, that meant REAL old photograph techniques, like daguerreotypes, as mentioned in a few posts ago, rather than some quick digital pics that have been converted to grayscale or sepia tone. That being said…  MSI had a photo studio set up where you can take quick digital old-timey pics in an old car, so we played.

I’m the one in the back with the straw hat on, my sister is next to me and my brother in front of me, and his friend Chad next to him. The portrait woman was cracking up at Chad’s leg sticking out.

I have some art to share, as usual. This was the fourth grass painting in the series. I know I always say it, but it has to be said again. I LOVED this painting. It has a watercolor look to it, but it’s acrylic on canvas. It went to my sister for her birthday. I also made her the brooch in the above picture (orange and aqua at the top right).

I also made her a ring, and then made this one for myself. I used this tutorial  from Makeitdo, that I found through the craft blog.