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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Re: Boyfriend 22nd bday present (vaguely adultish) on: July 16, 2008 02:48:50 PM
I'm pretty fond of classic pin-up pictures, so I decided to give my boyfriend a collection of pictures of -his- favorite pin-up. I looked around for an inexpensive photographer and ended up having a good friend do it for free. We were lucky enough to have access to an old library with great wood paneling and a piano. Then my friend was nice enough to mess with them in Photoshop to give them more of a finished look. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.

If you want to go a little less classy (but maybe a little funnier?), you could give him something similar on a set of playing cards or a calendar.

If you're not comfortable photographing yourself, you could make him some classy prints of say, Alberto Vargas, pin-ups. You might be able to find something good on the pinupfiles.com (I think?), blow it up, print and frame it yourself. Think about a rasterbated image?

If you want to tie his birthday into his recent success with finishing school, perhaps get him some tools of the trade for finding a job? Maybe he would appreciate some nice clothes, pens, or just help circling the classifieds. You could always tie a dress shirt into a small cross-stitch project so that he has, I don't know, a little Zelda embroidered on the cuff or something.

I don't know if you've ever done a scavenger hunt sort of thing, but that's a really great way to tie together lots of little presents. The end present could lead to something sexy, but that's your call. It's kind of fun to work for your gifts. That's a really cost effective option too. I ended up doing that with homemade construction paper riddles that gave directions to the next gift and little things like a pack of cigarettes, a knit finger puppet, a PEZ dispenser, a box of crazy condoms, and a batch of his favorite muffins.

Hope something triggers an epiphany. Good luck!

2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Re: Another Boyfriend Birthday Gift Brain Block on: July 16, 2008 02:33:41 PM
I kind of broke down at the last minute and decided that I was actually going to spend a good chunk of money on this birthday. (Not that the usual craft supplies don't add up, but it's easier to overlook when you buy them here and there.) So, I bought him a Nintendo DS, which he had been talking about getting for a while. I call him that night and he tells me he bought one that exact day. What a jerk.

So I returned the DS and used the money to buy him a ton of accessories and games. It wasn't made by me, but one of the gifts was a cool metal lunchbox full of DS stuff. I also gave him some of those Nintendo perler bead coasters that are listed on here and a lot of Etsy sites. I'm planning on making the plastic grid cross-stitch DS case for a later present.

He seriously owes me a huge piece of jewelry or something now. Ha!  Wink

Thanks for all the suggestions!
3  COOKING / Dessert / Re: First Attempt at Baking and Decorating on: June 22, 2008 07:03:51 PM
Thanks! Good ideas on the icing. I will keep that in mind for next time. Smiley
4  COOKING / Dessert / First Attempt at Baking and Decorating on: June 21, 2008 08:07:17 PM
I got it into my head that I needed to bake my boyfriend a cake for his birthday (July 6. See post in gift ideas to help me decide what to get him!), but I got demoted to cupcakes, SO I baked a cake for myself. It's a three layer "Funfetti" cake separated by layers of orange flavored icing and covered in ginger flavored icing. I used a butter-based buttercream for the frosting and a shortening-based buttercream icing for the decorations.

Here was my first attempt at stacking the cakes. Just a second after I took the picture, the top cake slid off in a terrible icing-y mess. But I soon stuck in four plastic drinking straws and solved the problem. Don't worry, I shaved down the cake to be uniform and wiped off all the excess icing. (And then ate it. Cheesy )

The finished product! You can't see the lopsided carving from this side luckily.

Close up of the sunflower decoration. I don't know what is going on with the icing separation. I know it's gross looking, but it tasted about as good as buttercream can (I'm not really that into the sugar overload...).

The beau and I with our happy cake!

Hope the links worked for pictures. I'd love to hear your questions and comments. Go easy on me, though. It was my very first try at everything. Smiley

5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Another Boyfriend Birthday Gift Brain Block on: June 05, 2008 12:36:52 PM
As my first post, I thought I'd ask you all for some advice. Boyfriend's birthday is coming up on July 6th and I'm completely blanking on what to get him. I'm not sure where we're going to be that weekend or anything, so I need a tangible present will the potential for transportation (i.e. not just a bed full of rose petals and naked me. Tongue )

He'll be turning 23. He's into gaming, guitar, and the other usual guy stuff, but I'm running out of things I can craft. Right now he's on a pretty big Flysis/Air Rivals tear. He's also into the Something Awful forums, computers in general, cooking, Dungeons and Dragons, French, and linguistics. I was hoping I could fashion some sort of International Phonetic Alphabet knitting chart, but it's just too damn complex.

The biggest problem is that I've already bought/made so much for him: memory book, t-shirts, dice bag, magnets, more than enough plushies/knit stuffies, love coupons, Rubik's companion cube from Portal, embroidered boxers, dinners/desserts, etc. He likes cutesy things, but I figure I should get him something useful, not just sentimental. It is -his- day after all. Maybe some sort of elaborate birthday cake? Also, I'm trying to tone down the dork wow factor. This last Valentine's Day was specifically nerd themed.

I'm up for any sort of craft except like major woodworking, soldering, and crocheting. I just don't have the time or patience to teach myself passable crocheting in a month.

Any ideas? 
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