Oscar Party Word Find

Are you ready to test your skills against this year’s word find? My tester reports this year is much easier, what a relief after being truly diabolical in last year’s word find!

Oscar Party Word Find 2014Here’s the Word Find 2014 Answer Key to check your results. As always there are bonus words – can you find all twelve?

For more on how I make this word find, check out my previous post here.



Martha’s Chocolate-Champagne Truffles in Sparkling Sugar

I saw Martha Stewart’s recipe for chocolate-champagne truffles in sparkling sugar as I was looking about for new Oscar Party ideas and I thought they would be a perfect addition to the party – who doesn’t like truffles especially when they have champagne?!  Sounded like it would be a hit for the dessert table.

When I took a glance at the reviews, I saw that there was trouble in paradise.  Many folks complained that the truffles were soft and didn’t set properly.  The recipe does call for a substantial amount of liquid.  But I decided to dive right in anyway and give it a whirl.

Now, I did make modifications.  I didn’t really believe that yield of three dozen so I doubled the chocolate and the cream.  Taking into account the problems that other folks had with the softness of the truffles, I stuck to the recipe on the champagne and cognac.  That’s twice as much chocolate power to fight off all that extra liquid.

But it still wasn’t enough. Chocolate-Champagne Truffles in Gold Sanding Sugar

These truffles were soft and I needed to freeze them just to get them to set properly.  They were in the fridge until the last minute on party night.  I had covered them in gold sanding sugar, thank goodness because otherwise they would have been too sticky and soft to work with!

But the most telling sign is at the end of the night, I had plenty of these truffles left over and none of the other truffles I made from the Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  So my advice is to stick to Ree’s recipe!


Oscar Party Category Award Winner Game

Oh the Oscars are over?  Well guess what, I didn’t have a chance to get up all the posts about this year’s party so you’re in for more of the same!

Every year I like to create a new game for my guests to play (See some renditions from years past here: Name that Famous Dress, Name that Famous Quote, Name that Oscar Winning Best Picture, Name that Oscar Quote, Name that Famous Quote, etc.) and this year’s game was the easiest one yet!  I did a lottery style category award prize blow out.  Don’t get used to this one friends :) Oscar Category Award Winner Game

To create the game, I first brainstormed prize ideas for each category – Here’s what I came up with:

  • Original & Adapted Screenplays: Moleskine notebooks
  • Visual Effects: Sparkly red mini bottle of nail polish
  • Sound Mixing: Bellini drink mixer
  • Sound Editing: Earrings found on clearance at Target
  • Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film, Original Score, and Original Song: All these called out to me as $5 Amazon gift cards
  • Production Design: I figure this one is all about setting the scene so I got an inexpensive small metal owl at Hobby Lobby and spray painted him gold – instant tchotchke for a scene.  Plus, who DOESN’T want a gold owl?
  • Makeup and Hairstyling: Sparkly gold mini bottle of nail polish
  • Film Editing: A little pack of goodies to make edits on your life like a Tide pen, individual package of Wet Ones and correction tape
  • Documentary Short: Another notebook to “document” the things in your life
  • Documentary Feature: A notebook that was labeled “The long list”
  • Directing: A golden candle holder and candle….I figure the director is the guiding light of the film?  OK some of these were a stretch…..
  • Costume Design: Recycled from my house: a mardi gras style face mask that I got for a wedding a few years ago that, while beautiful, has just been collecting dust.
  • Animated Feature: coloring book and crayons
  • Best Acting Categories: Mini bottles of champagne
  • Best Picture: A sparkly gold evening bag (it was my splurge!)

Obviously you could go in a million different directions – the idea is to get a small gift for each award.  I tried to stick to about $5 for each gift and the recycling from the house was a win-win.

Then I printed the names of each nominee and tucked into some mini envelopes that I picked up at Envelopes.com.  The envelopes come in every color including a bright red and gold metallic, but I went with basic white.  I printed the category tags  and stuck them to the envelopes. Oscar Category Award Winner Game

There were individual bags for each present – the prize wall looked like a bonanza when the show started!  Good thing my Mother was in town to help me get the cloth bags all sewn before the party…..of course paper gift bags would work just as well. Oscar Category Award Winner Game

When the party started I handed out a few envelopes to each guest – there were over 120 nominees so each person got a lot of chances for a win.

As each category winner was announced people tore into their envelopes to see if they had the winner.  As the night wore on, people started trading envelopes to collect as many as possible for a given category – one person had six shots at Best Picture, but didn’t walk away with the prize.  Oh well, a good time was had by all!

Definitely a fun game/lottery and nifty way to spoil your friends at your party.


Oscar Party Decorations: Red Curtains for the TV

The first year I hosted my Oscar Party, I grabbed a length of red fabric, draped it over a curtain rod hidden in my TV cabinet and had the most fabulous red curtains on my TV for my party. Oscar Party TV Curtains

It was so effortless, so easy – no sewing – and what a fun impact. The TV immediately looked more dramatic.

Fast forward and these dang curtains have become one of my Oscar Party banes. I have spent forever fussing and futzing trying to get them to hang just right. So this year I declared, no more screwing around! (I declare that a lot, it usually doesn’t mean anything) I’m going to actually sew a  curtain that I can just drape on there and not have to worry about.

First of all, yes, I have a TV cabinet. I like to roll 1996 style in my house. Get over it. It’s beautiful, it’s solid wood and one day, when a 42″ television just isn’t enough anymore (remember when we were little and we thought we were cool if our TVs were 20 inches even though they weighed about 300 pounds?), I’ll convert it into a fab wardrobe by just adding a proper curtain rod. Until that time. I have a TV cabinet.

Now, if you’re a cool kid and your house is decorated all 2013-style and your TV just hangs on the wall you can make curtains for your TV too. All you need to do is install a curtain rod or depending on the size of your TV, just hang those curtains from the ceiling!

So I don’t have a proper pattern for these curtains, just a method. In reality, it’s all going to be done to your taste, so you’ll have to futz with it a bit when you’re planning it out so it will be perfect for your party.

Ok, here goes. The curtain is made in three parts: There are two equal length panels and one center swag.

To create the panels, measure from your curtain rod to the floor and add 8″-12″ depending on your puddling preference. Cut the two panels to length, keeping the width at just the width of your fabric (or narrower if you don’t want as much bulk). Hem three sides of your panels (->Lazy option, just hem the two long sides and fold the bottom under your puddled fabric….this has worked for me for years, but you feel free to hem if you are classier than I am).

Now for the swag. Measure the width of your curtain rod – this will be your top measurement. Add 6-24″ to the top measurement – this will be your bottom measurement.  For the math nerds out there, we’re creating a trapezoid for the swag. The addition to the bottom measurement depends on how deep and drape-y you want the swag so play with it to figure out it. For those with super large TVs, you may want to break this up and create multiple swags to cover the width of the screen – it’s up to you. Again, I’m keeping the height of the trapezoid at the width of the fabric – decrease the height for less drape.

Gather the top of each of the panels and the slanted sides of the swag.

Now, think about how you want to connect the panels and the swags because they are about to become fixed to each other. Do you want the panels touching?  Do you want some space in the middle? Figure it out then lay the panels right side down. The panels should be placed such that measuring from outer edge to outer edge of the panels is the width of your curtain rod.

Lay the swag right side down on top of the panels (The right side of the swag will lay on the wrong side of the panel). Pin the sides and top of the swag to the top of the gathered panels. It will be a mess of fabric, just do your best – this isn’t intended to be super accurate sewing here. Sew across the top of the panels,

Excellent! Now you have a panel swag-y thing. Drape the swag over your curtain rod, tucking all the yucky edges underneath and you’re almost done!

Now, since I have a TV cabinet (you’re jealous now, right?) I take a little piece of wire and thread it through the hinge on the door and then use that to hang a curtain tie back – in gold cording of course. But if you’re just workin’ with the wall, I think a few strategically placed Command adhesive hooks could work for you.

Tieback the curtains, futz, drape, swag, adjust and voilà!  Instant party presence.

I hope your TV curtains turn out just as spectacular!


Oscar Ballot Categories Printable

I’m working on my mystery game for this year’s party.  Well, it’s not really a game, but I’ll have to post all about it later.  Anyway, I found that I needed a little printable of each of the ballot categories.  These are the same size as the wine charms I posted earlier – print them out and punch them out with a 1 1/2″ circle cutter.

Use them as more wine charms or as adorable cupcake toppers… or for your own mystery game!Oscar Ballot Categories Printable–Martta