Monday, September 14, 2009

hey, hey {for the} monkeys

Anyone remember that theme song from "The Monkeys" sitcom way back when...or am I dating myself? ;)

For the last couple months I've been planning a little surprise party for my hubby's upcoming 50th birthday {when I was first entertaining the idea, my heart sister, Kathy, offered the use of their home, so how could I refuse?!?), and coming up with a design theme proved to be more difficult than anticipated. I had always thought there'd be a LOT of selection {since SO many people have milestone'd think so anyway}, but I was really disappointed with what little I found. Then Kathy found THIS, and since I thought it was quite a bit more fun and colorful than the other two rather generic and droll options, I went with it. {I mean, having a moniker of stampmonkey and a certain 9-YO daughter who is known to climb as well as any monkey, it's not as if monkeying around is an unfamiliar concept to our!} ;P

So if you don't mind I've got some pics to share with you --not very good pics, but pics nonetheless.

Here's the invitation I came up with:

I did some masking for the party hat and had intended to add another one on top of it popped up for some dimension, but time got the better of me and I had to call it good at what you see here. The balloons were a lot of fun {and if you believe that one, I've got a wheel that spins straw into gold in my basement I could sell ya!}...good grief --now I know why people usually just draw the strings in! lol

I was trying to be frugal so chose not to go the traditional bakery cake route, so when I ran across a recipe for banana cupcakes last month AND this brown sugar buttercream frosting recipe {the hubby LoVeS brown sugar}, I thought they'd pair together nicely --and bananas and monkeys go hand in hand, right? ;) The cupcake batter tasted really yummy, but of course I didn't try a cupcake until the party --I didn't think a recipe from Bakerella needed to be tested...and they probably don't, but obviously my baking skills did-- my cupcakes were kinda dry and crumbly {and I'm sure it was something I did rather than the recipe itself, so don't let my efforts dissuade you from giving it a try}. The frosting totally made up for it though {at least I thought it did -lol}; it was absolutely delicious! Kinda hard to go wrong with any combination of cream cheese, butter, and sugar! Of course I ran out of time to pipe on the icing {I know, so what's new? lol}, so I just had to slather it on and call it good. Truthfully, I don't think anyone but me even thought about it. ;)

And after finding out that the cutest cupcake topper was just a tad too pricey for the budget, I opted to make my own. NOTHING AT ALL like that cute handmade, handpainted monkey I pondered for weeks --darn!-- but they worked {especially since no one really cared anyway -lol}. Here's how they came out {yep, Last-Minute Lucy was my name, again, last addition to having a shorter week than usual because of Labor Day, along with a sore back and its accompanying chiro appointments, I opted to take the easy way out and not go with any cute little monkeys}: And here's a shot of the cuppies in all their glory resting on Martha Stewart tiered stands at the party, complete with the birthday candles {that had to be separated due to the fact that my "centerpiece," which was to have been a giant cupcake-shaped cake, Wilton pan style --the one that looks like something Attila the Hun might have worn to battle-- had some rather unfortunate and ultimately insurmountable issues...again, I'll take complete credit for that}. But we won't talk about that. It tasted pretty good {at home} though. So, again, not quite what I'd envisioned {and no one really you see a trend here with that?...not sure if it's a good or bad thing}, but it all worked out okay anyway.
I sponged the edges of the white inner circle, but it really doesn't show up at all in these pics. ;( I tried and tried but just couldn't get a good one to share with you. Sorry.
My mom used to make a delicious chocolate-banana cake with about eight different layers --I think next time that's what I'd do {I'm pretty sure it would be a HUGE hit with most people and there'd be no need to make the cuppie toppers with that either -lol]...though unless it's for his 75th, I can't see myself doing this again. But even then, I seriously doubt monkeys would be the theme. ;) Hmmm, maybe I'll just have to make the chocolate-banana cake for us pretty soon just because....

The party was on Sunday, and I can honestly say I'm glad it's over...and I'm sure Kathy is too -lol {thanks again, Kathy --I truly couldn't have done it without you...and Dan too}. Not to be mean, but never having thrown a surprise party before, I didn't realize how difficult it would be to get things done given the limited snippets of time that I have WITHOUT having the hubs catch on. But it was a BIG surprise to my guy {likely because his birthday isn't for a couple weeks}. The look on his face when he realized it was for him was absolutely priceless, and the way he is still smiling whenever he thinks about that day makes me so very happy and definitely makes all our effort very worthwhile. ;D

With all we've had going on lately I feel like I've been running around at full speed just trying to make it through each week {I'm sure you know the feeling}, and so now that the party's over, so to speak, and my chiro appointments are becoming less frequent I'm hoping to get back to my regular routine now....with more stamping! I've got a few really special birthdays coming up in the next couple weeks {*wink wink*}, and my list of cards to make that's as long as my arm, and Christmas is practically right around the corner {did I really just say that?! YIKES!}.

Thanks so much for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by again soon. Until then, many blessings to you!

Economy boosters (just doin' my part -lol!):

Changito Party invitation:

Cardstock: Kraft (SU!), Cranberry, (ret.) Key Lime, White Daisy (CTMH)

Patterned Paper: Complete Boy stack (My Mind's Eye)

Stamps: Changito the Monkey (Stampendous), U R A Hoot!, Birthday Bash (Cornish Heritage Farms),

Ink: Jet Black Staz-On (Tsukineko), (ret.) Key Lime (CTMH)

Other: Tags Trio die, Small Pinking Circle Nestabilities die, Small and Large Classic Circles Nestibilities dies (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provo Craft), embossed zigzag border punch (Martha Stewart), mat pack (SU!), piercing tool, sponge (CTMH), waxed linen thread (unknown), foam mounting tape

Cupcake Toppers:

Cardstock: White Daisy, Key Lime, Crystal Blue, Cranberry (CTMH)

Stamps: Cupcakes (Hero Arts), Cookie Alphabet (Martha Stewart)

Ink: Cranberry, Key Lime, Crystal Blue (CTMH)

Other: Small and Large Classic Circles Nestibilities dies, Small Pinking Circles Nestibilities die (Spellbinders), Cuttlebug (Provo Craft), sponge (CTMH), Ultimate glue (Crafter's Pick), toothpicks, foam mounting tape


Elise said...

Ohhhh, crackers! My whole comment just disappeared! I hope it doesn't pop up somewhere, unexpected! Doh!

Hi, Christi! I just came by to thank you for your sweet and funny comments on my blog... AND I am swooning! I adore your monkey invite and SCRUMPTIOUS cupcakes/decor! I love your work! FABULOUS!

And just to "sister-up" with you, I happened to sing the Monkey's theme song while walking my girl child to school today!!! HA HA HA! I was trying to get her to walk leg over leg as I sang... She must think I am such a prolific songwriter with all of the jingles and theme songs I have stuck in my head! Doh! So, I am now a huge fan o you! Great stuff on your darling blog! Yee HAW!

Jeanne said...

I used to watch the Monkees, so if you're dating yourself, so am I and gleefully! The show may have been kooky and silly, but that theme song will forever have a place in my heart and put a big ole grin on my face.

I am SO thrilled for you that you managed to pull off a surprise party for your hubby and he didn't have a clue. I've never thrown one, so can only imagine how hard it must be.

Again, you are way too hard on yourself in regards to your creating talents I'm in awe of what you did create and it was all done in love. Amazing!

Hugs to you Christi, for always making me smile when I come visit!

travelingmama said...

This post is yummy AND cute! Happy b-day to the hubby!

monica said...

ooooh, super cute cupcakes/toppers/card mama! im glad the party turned out, but i wish i was able to be there =[ i know how happy you were to pull that off, and i can just imagine the size of bill's smile =D now back to my and miss you! xoxo

Susan (rainy) said...

How fun!! What a cute theme. Everything looks fabulous. And I'm sure the cupcakes were delicious, too.

Sharon (notimetostamp) said...

Hi Christi -- how nice to *see* you!!! And, YES, I surely remember the monkeys! What a fun party you have come up with -- darling invites, cupcake decor, etc. You have one very lucky DH!!! But I'm sure he knows that!!! TFS!!!

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

ALL of this is soooo cute! We're doing a monkey theme for my daughter's 2nd birthday party next weekend - I'm off to check out those recipes you used!

Stacy said...

oh WOW, super crazy cute! Hmm, I may have to CASE the card, I think I have that stamp somewhere....finding it could be a problem!