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New blog

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If you’re getting this post via e-mail, that means you’re a subscriber.  Hurray!  BUT, now that I’ve got a new new address ( and have forwarded all my blog details there, some of you might need to change your subscription to the new one.  Hurroo.  Sorry about that, you guys.


I’m Kind of a Big Deal!

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Like this guy.  Actually, a HUGE deal.  Wanna know why?  BECAUSE THE PENNY WALL IS BEING FEATURED ON DESIGN SPONGE TODAY!  For serious, I think I should quit my job, you guys.  I could probably power the world with my excitement at this point, so that could probably earn me some dough, right?

And as a special treat, I will gift you this picture of our new acquisition and our still-kinda-new-acquisition, Ted.  It’s a rusty, old ampersand!  And Ted.  And Ted’s fox tail.

Craft Fails

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Ugh.  I know I didn’t post any tutorial yesterday.  I took the day off of work because…I wanted to.  Who doesn’t like to take a day off?  I figured I had FOUR FULL DAYS to finish up my “art project” and all the remaining decorations I’m working on for the art party.  Wrong.  It was a weekend of sickness.  Ryan nicely passed along the Spanish Influenza, aka, his cold (I’ve been watching A LOT of Downton Abbey.  You guys, I would have bet my life that Cora was a goner).  Add that to blog design and utter, utter craft failure.  FAILURE! 

This is the overall sentiment for the weekend:

Don’t I look beaten down and sad?  (Side note – Ryan HATES this picture of me as he says I look so “negative.”  Exactly…)

First – my Yudu hates me.  Apparently.  My art project came to a screeching halt when I couldn’t get the ding dang image to burn onto the silk screen.  I realize that if you’ve never done silk screening, this makes little to no sense to you.  The worst part (besides the deflating feeling one gets from utter defeat) is that it’s because of the supplies I used.  You see, Yudu sells their own supplies from paint to [all sorts of stuff].  I worked around one very expensive aspect (emulsions) and it’s been great.  I figured I’d give another aspect (transparencies) a generic try as well.  Nope.  They don’t work.  And I tell you that without any reservation.  I know because I tried a million (five) different variations.  I won’t even go into it because it is too painful to relive.  So, when I looked up online why on earth it was hating me so much, it (the internet, not the Yudu) told me something about light coming through other transparencies and blah, blah, blah, they’re not as good, blah, blah, blah, you should just spend the money on the Yudu ones.  GAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!  So, I’ve ordered the EXPENSIVE transparencies (which I will now treat as gold leaf) and will give it another go.  If it doesn’t work, I’m going to take a hammer to it.  This time, I mean the Yudu.

Second – balloons  hate me.  As part of the decorations, I’m making some of those string ball thingies.  This time, I tried to drudge the string through the glue to see if it would work better.  It was messier and I don’t think it would become as sturdy as it did when I brushed the glue on.  Honestly, I don’t know, though.  You know why?  BECAUSE THE BALLOONS KEPT DEFLATING!!!!!  When I originally did ALL MY EXPERIMENTS on the string ball thingies a while ago, balloon deflating wasn’t even on the list of “things to think about while attempting this project.”  It didn’t happen.  Once.  I did two balloons first with the drudging through the glue process and by the next morning, the balloons were half the size and the string was all droopy.  The next day I did two more with the brush-on glue technique AND THE BALLOONS DEFLATED AGAIN!  I’ve got a new batch of balloons now, so hopefully it was just the bag.  Maybe some doucher poked a tiny hole in every single balloon in some random bag of balloons at Party City.  Little did he know he’d bring a girl to her knees in exasperation. 

Third – my blog re-do hates me.  Ok, that’s not true, but the rule of three…  I honestly feel sorry for the nice girl who is helping me with the blog.  I change my mind so much that I can only imagine how stressed she must have been (or may still be).  Especially when you only give someone a few words/colors/fonts and send them on their merry way to build your dream.  Needless to say, I changed my mind about a thousand times and just ended up making my own header to send her which she wonderfully tweaked and made awesome.  It’s just about done, so hopefully you’ll all be able to see it next week.

My weekend and “vacation” in a nutshell…  Ugh (see picture above).

Party Friday – Glass Markers!

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Glass markers?  Is that a “thing?”  I guess it would be wine charms.  But you know what I mean.  Things to mark your drinking glass when you’re in an environment that is swimming with drinking glasses.  Maybe it’s just me, but I kinda sweat things like that.  The thought of drinking out of someone else’s glass is pretty gross.  I even feel a little icky when I get a clean glass that still has the last person’s lipstick on it.  I mean, I know the glass is technically clean.  It’s just that lipstick these days is practically indestructible and some can only be removed by sandblasting or something.  (Side note – how is that possible?  Is it safe to wear something that you are inevitably ingesting (you know you are), yet will only wash off a glass with elbow grease, exasperation and mild swearing?  It really can’t be healthy.)  SO, if I’m throwing a party (which I obviously haven’t done in a long time as I haven’t posted a “Party Friday” installation in months [insert sadness here]), I try to make sure everyone is able to mark their glass.  Maybe, deep down, it’s only for myself.  Regardless, here are a few ideas to facilitate this without trying to mentally keep track of everyone’s different lipstick shade.

Chalkboard paint.  Brilliant.  There’s actually a tutorial for this here.  Just throw some chalk down near the glasses and done. 


Fancy pants!  The only problem I see with these is that after a drink or two (OR A THOUSAND!), I’d be all “Wait.  Was I the silver square sparkle or the round square sparkle?  Or the gold circle??  Crap, I’ll just get a new glass.”  I’d wind up blowing through a couple (OR A THOUSAND!) glasses that way.  But they’re so sparkly!  And they’re DIY, so here’s how you make them.

OR, if you’re like me, you can take miscellaneous objects and put them on stickers.  I did this for a party a while ago.  I put them in a bowl for people to wade through so that they could pick something they liked.  That way, throughout the evening, I would be able to shout-sing “Encarnación!!!!!!” as I  grabbed my Nacho Libre glass off a table and headed for the bar.  I’m immature…

Blog Facelift!

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Okay.  I’ve kept this under wraps as long as I can (not even a week).  HIP SOIREE IS GETTING A BLOG FACELIFT!  Like, professionally.  Not just me, Photoshop and several all-nighters trying to figure out how to implement HTML code into WordPress.  Oh, and also…Hip Soiree will be moving to a new address.  I got my own domain now, peeps!  No, not as that is apparently taken (even though it has no content).  Funny story, though – in requesting the name “Hip Soiree,” the web hosting company gave me SEVERAL options since it was taken.  My favorites were “ThighParty” and “ThePelvisNight.”  Now I kinda wish I’d taken ThePelvisNight.  I’d probably get a lot of traffic since porn is so popular and stuff.  I’ll announce the new name when the site is up and officially operational. 

SO, that being said, I’ve got two things to say.  One, if you’re a subscriber, you’re going to have re-subscribe to the new website (thanks for nothing, WordPress), and TWO, I’m having an Oprah-like giveaway!!!  And when I say that, I don’t mean I’m giving anyone a “CAAAAAaaaaaar” [said in an Oprah sing-shout].  BUT, I’m willing to take some suggestions.  Maybe a project I did in the past?  A choice of something Yudu’d?  Sorry, but I can’t agree to a quilt.  I’m excited, but I haven’t taken a turn to Crazy Town. 

What do yo think?

Braided Extension Cords

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I just saw this on Design Sponge and I had to post about it.  Why?  Because it’s something near and dear to my heart – the hiding of extension cords.  I hate them with a passion.

Again, “why?” you ask.  Because living with someone who has a lot of AV “equipment” means a lot of cords.  Everywhere.  And the most frustrating times are when a cord has to run from here (being one side of the room) to there (being the MIDDLE of the room) which means a cord might have to show.  GASP!  (If you could picture the word “gasp” as a facial expression, it would look something like extremely wide eyes filled with equal parts of irritation, slight desperation and dread.  At least that’s what mine looks like when Ryan has to break cord-related issues to me.).  If you want surround sound and you live in an apartment, you apparently need cords on all walls, ceilings and floors.  Okay, I’m exaggerating.  But you do need cords running along baseboards and/or under carpets.  Sometimes up walls (but that was for my hanging light, you guys, so…).  Sorry, but I’m not wild about those options.  You can still see/feel them.   Yes, feel them.  In fact, you can see AND feel the one that runs under the carpet from our bedroom into the living room (thanks, cable guy) as there’s a huge bump in the carpet.

So, maybe I should just give up and make it a design element:

The cords are inside vacuum cleaner tubes that you wrap with yarn and then braid together.  Cool, right?!  Downsides – tripping (I can see myself somehow become entangled and killing myself) and Ted, aka Sir Chewsalot.  That cat will chew and bite on just about anything.  But, if you’re interested, here’s the tutorial.

Oh, and here’s Ted straight off a Chewscapade.  He’s worth all the chewing.  My little ginger…

Feed Me, Seymour!

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Or should I say feed me, Ryan.  Right?!  This is the ACTUAL cat grass Ryan planted.  From seeds.  It’s not plastic grass even though it looks like it because it’s so perfect.  I’m both impressed and a little irritated.  Why can’t I make things grow like this?  Do plants just hate me?  I think they might.  I mean, this thing is so hearty that I’m a little afraid I’m going to wake up one morning only to find the carpet has been replaced with a lush covering of grass.  Or, in a Fringe-like incident, it will become a grass person and try to enact judgment upon me for all my plant killing.  I’m a little melodramatic…  Oh, and I forgot to mention that, even though you can’t really see it in the picture, it actually has DEW on it every morning.  DEW!  DEW!! (I wish I could make that caps lockier to show you how my voice went up ANOTHER decibel).  I told him that if it grows any larger, I won’t need to make a curtain because the grass will eventually block out the sun.

Side note – notice the change to a planter instead of the paper plate and plastic container.  He’s a keeper, that one!