Category Archives: Crafting

mightier than the waves of the sea is his great love for you

Last week, I shared this painting I made for the baby’s nursery on social media. I had a ton of people ask for specifics on how I made it or for me to do a tutorial.

mightier than the waves of the sea

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Unfortunately, I did not take photos while I was making it and I do not claim to be an expert on palette art, or painting for that matter :)  However,  I will share a simple breakdown of the steps I used to create it. I was inspired to make this piece after seeing this item on etsy.

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First of all, find I friend who tears apart large palettes and makes them into canvases :) I am lucky that my friend Allison of Peabody & Sassafras agreed to make me a blank palette. I am not one of those awesome girls that knows her way around an electric drill or a toolbox, so I don’t know how successful this would have been if I had tried to do this step myself :) Thanks again Allison!

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From there, I cut letters out of card stock with my cricut and attached them to the palette using my xyron (which made the letters into stickers). If you do not have these tools, you definitely can still do this with some extra effort and time. For the letters, you can try cutting them by hand (tracing a font printed from the computer) or you can find a local scrapbooking store that allows people to pay for a chunk of time to use their die cutting machines. For attaching them, you want to be careful with what you use. You want them to stick well so that the paint doesn’t get under the letters, but you also want to be able to remove them without leaving behind any residue. For this reason, I wouldn’t suggest hot gluing them. A simple glue stick may do the job, as long as you press down firmly. It may leave behind a residue though.

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Once the letters were attached, I painted the wood. To give my paint a washed out, chalk paint-like feel, I watered down my acrylic paint a bit. I drew on the waves with a pencil before I painted. I was careful that the letters stayed put in all areas while I was painting.

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Once the paint was dry, I pulled the letters off carefully and that was it!

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I am so excited to have this guy hanging on the nursery wall, both as a prayer that my son will grow up knowing & trusting in this and also as a reminder to me during those long nights with a newborn :)

Isaiah & Samuel’s Star Wars Birthday Party

As I have been planning Isaiah’s 6th birthday party (coming up at the end of the month!), I realized that I never blogged his 5th birthday party. Oops! Yes, it’s almost been a year, but I want to still share it. Better late than never, right?

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Isaiah and one of his best buds, Samuel, both wanted Star Wars parties for their birthday. Rather than having two of the same themed party 3 weeks apart, my dear friend Holly (samuel’s mom) and I decided to combine forces and have a joint birthday party. It was so much fun planning a birthday party with a friend and we were thrilled with how it turned out.

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The birthday boys, all dressed and ready to party:

 

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Luke & Yoda:

 

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Hudson killed me in that Yoda costume (that his head was WAY to big for):

 

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A big focus of the party was having all of the food be Star Wars themed. We got lots of ideas from scouring Pinterest and then came up with a few of our own as well.

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Geoff, Samuel’s dad, made all of the fun labels. We got the free printable for the lightsaber napkins here.


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Boba Fruit:

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Leia buns:

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Vader Tators:

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Falcon Ship Dip:

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Pizza the Hut (instead of Jabba the Hut… I know, kind of a stretch, but just go with it):

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Ewok snacks:

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Yoda Soda: (recipe found here. We searched all over for the lemon lime Kool-Aid or Hawaiian Punch- I ended up finding it at Wal-Mart)

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Holly made the cute R2D2 cups (modeled by a cute little Luke), using a free printable we found here.

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The dessert table:

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I made the banner (The V means “Happy Birthday episode V) and it can be custom ordered through my shop.

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How stinkin adorable is the cake that Holly made?

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The little peg dolls are from Bubba’s Basics (who will be at The Queen Bee Market!!):

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We made marshmallow stormtroopers (so easy- found the idea here) & I found the big Yoda marshmallow pops at Michaels:

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To make them stand up, I got a cheap tray from the Target dollar section, put a piece of styrofoam inside and spray painted it all black. Then just stick in the pops and they are ready to go!

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Holly had the Williams Sonoma Star Wars cookie cutters, which are awesome, and Isaiah and I made the cookies together.

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I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe, which is great for things like this because the cookies don’t spread out while baking.

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We also had Han Solo Rolos. This one made us giggle.

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Geoff let us use all of his awesome childhood Star Wars toys as decor:

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Each guest got to pick a pool noodle light saber:

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They also got a Jedi Training certificate, which Geoff & Holly made personalized for each child:

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For favors, we put together little buckets for each child. Since it was around Halloween, I was able to find black buckets in the Target dollar section & I just spray painted over the jack-o-lantern faces. We filled them with big glow sticks that looked like light sabers (also from the Target dollar section), Star Wars pez (which we had to hunt down online), Star Wars fruit snacks (sold at Stater Bros), coloring sheets we printed from the web and little R2D2 crayons.

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We made the crayons using a silicone mold we found on Amazon. We chopped up old broken crayons and then baked them in the molds. It was tricky getting them popped out without breaking those little legs- Holly was way better at that than I was :)

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I loved Abby’s Leia costume:

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We did a couple of games. The first was attack Darth Vader (aka my husband) with the foam lightsabers. I think this was their favorite :)

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We also had a meteor shower. The adults threw crumpled up balls of foil at the kids and they had to deflect them with their lightsabers:

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For the last game, we tied a balloon on each kid’s leg. They had to try to stomp on the other balloons and pop them before someone else popped their own. We told the kids that their balloons were death stars and they had to try to get rid of all of the other death stars :)

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Geoff & Holly made a death star pinata by covering a soccer ball pinata that was on sale with foil.

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We forgot a blind fold, so we made the kids where a jedi robe backwards while trying to hit the pinata :)

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We had so much fun planning this party and the boys had a blast, which is the most important thing to us. On his 6th birthday last week, Samuel told his parents that the highlight of being 5 was his Star Wars party. And that, my friends, is why we do what we do. Yes, it is fun for us crafty moms to plan detailed birthday parties, but we do it for our kids. Because they remember those details. It’s all about creating memories for them. I still remember little things about the parties my mom threw for my childhood birthdays and I hope to create the same treasured memories of celebrating my boys.

InstaFriday!

How is it Friday already? Crazy! The quickness in which the weeks go by is one of the reasons that I snap photos of my kids like crazy and is also one of the reasons that I do Instafriday every week. It’s a little online scrapbook of sorts.

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This week was packed with lots of summer fun and family time, which I am so thankful for!

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One of my favorite little orange county families made it down to San Diego last weekend and we got to have brunch with them, which made me a super happy girl.

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Places Hudson has a time out: outside of brunch in hillcrest.

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Places Hudson has a time out: Home Depot.

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We made fresh juice (watermelon & strawberry) into popsicles and they were so tasty! (One of the items on our summer fun list)

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Date #24 out of 50: Dinner at Karl Strauss, thanks to a generous gift card. It was a night of deep conversation, sharing our hearts, grappling with matters of cancer & God and reminiscing about the story He’s given us. The waitress probably thought we were breaking up or at least fighting- at one point we both had tears rolling down our cheeks when we told her that the salad was delicious and that we’d like to order the brownie sundae.

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I love every minute with this guy. That I can share my heart openly with him while I am processing hard,  big things and that he knows what I have been through and how that affects the way I perceive things.

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Also, I hate cancer. It’s the worst. While I am thankful for how God has used it to shape me and those around me and that I have seen many blessings come out of my experience, my heart breaks as I watch others face it. More on that in another blogpost to come someday.

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Later in the week, we had Date #25 out of 50: Cooking the menu we picked out from our cookbook date (#20, you can read about it here). Here was our menu:

tomato scallion shortcakes with whipped goat cheese

champagne risotto

balsamic & beer braised short ribs

peach dumplings with bourbon buttercream sauce

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Everything was absolutely delicious, with the exception of the champagne risotto. Not our favorite, but not terrible either. We forgot all of the veggies we were going to make. Oops.

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Isaiah disappeared into the craft closet for 10 minutes the other day and, when he came out, he had made this yoda mask. Without any pattern or help. Makes this crafting mama proud :)

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It was a busy week for work as well, filling a bunch of wedding and birthday party orders. These sweet cupcake toppers were part of a set going to a first birthday party that was modeled after Hudson’s balloon party.

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One of my customers orders custom name banners to give as newborn gifts. I love this idea! It’s so fun for me to search for the perfect paper to match the baby’s nursery. I also love hearing all of the fun names!

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More with Isaiah the crafter: I suggested he make flags to put on his bike for the 4th of July parade. He make French flags. At least they say USA, right? :)

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We had such a wonderful 4th of July! I started off with a little crafting:

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Then we joined in our friend’s cute neighborhood bike parade:

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Holly even hopped on her son’s bike and got in on the fun :)

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Hudson rode in his wagon for a bit, but his favorite part was getting candy thrown at him from a sweet elderly couple in a golf cart.

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After some BBQ, ring toss games, sack races and lots of sweets, we headed back home. While Hudson napped, Isaiah and I got to go on a little date to Old Poway Park. We rode the train, watched a civil reenactment, toured a house from the 1800′s, where Isaiah got to play a pump piano and then we did some crafts and coloring. I don’t get many opportunities to go places with just Isaiah, so this was such a treat.

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Later that night, we got together with friends for a BBQ and then hiked up a nearby mountain (more of a large hill) for fireworks. It was a really fun way to experience fireworks- we saw 9 different shows all around us! The boys are always up for an adventure, so hiking up a mountain in the dark was right up their alley.

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Watching fireworks was also one of the activities on our summer fun list. Isaiah loves getting to check off the activities. I love it too because he is starting to get more confidence in his reading and is going over the the chart himself and can always find the circle that he is supposed to check off.

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Fridays are Daveed’s day off, so with the holiday, he actually has a 3 day weekend! Working on Sundays, this never happens! We took advantage of that with a trip to the San Diego zoo today (also on the summer fun list). It was our first time there and, even though we only had a few hours, the boys loved it! The hippos and the tiger were definitely the highlight of the day.

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Speaking of Daveed working on Sundays, I don’t have a picture of this, but he preached on Sunday and it was wonderful! I love hearing him share what he is learning in God’s word. What a great job he has!

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I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend! We are having our summer party tomorrow, so you can bet I will be posting lots of pictures from that over the weekend (you can follow along- I’m courttoney on instagram).

winter party 2012

For those of you who may be new to my blog, I am excited to share with you about our seasonal parties! My husband and I host a party every season to celebrate the food, music & ambiance we love about that time of the year. You can see more here (including links to most of the seasonal parties over the past 5 years).

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Winter is always one of my favorites because we have a soup potluck. Our friends are pretty good cooks, so we always have a delicious array of soups to try, along with winter-inspired appetizers, salads, bread and dessert (which was all chocolate this year- apparently that is the most fitting winter dessert!)

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For decor this year, I wanted to spend as little money as possible, while still making the setting beautiful. My 5 year old and I had cut some paper snowflakes around Christmas time and they were still hanging on our sliding glass doors while I was gathering inspiration for the party. I decided to add in some doilies that I had in my crafting stash and, in 5 minutes, I had a pretty backdrop of delicate snowy-ness. I filled tables with tons of candles and other elements I grabbed from around my house and from my dwindled down wedding planner supply shelves in the garage. My husband grabbed some flowers at Trader Joe’s and that was that :) It looked dreamy while still being simple.

 

I threw some doilies on the wall and make a quick garland to hang on the fireplace. I made some quick tags so that everyone could label their soup- after the first year I learned that was necessary, as well as reminding everyone to bring their own ladle :)

 

I was having so much fun with my friends that I completely forgot to take any picture with my good camera. This happened at our fall party too. Oops. So all I have to share are the photos I posted to instagram, which is better than nothing, right?

 

Later this week, I’ll share my husband’s winter playlist. We like to send our guests home with a mix of songs that remind us of the season.

Instafriday!

There are still two hours left of Friday, so I am sneaking in an InstaFriday post just in time :)  Linking up with the lovely Jeannett at Life Rearranged to record some of my favorite moments from the past week (errr… two weeks… because I missed last Friday…)

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So, after the washing machine breaking, the shower shattering and my whole family having strep throat, I was ready for a break. Thanks to my parents and my wonderful neices, the hubs and I got to sneak away for two nights to Big Bear with one of  my husband’s best friends and his wife. It was my big gift to my husband for Christmas and was SUCH a needed break- we had so much fun! Snowboarding together also counted as date #2 out of 50 in 2013 (for more info on that, check out my last instafriday post).

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After a great day snowboarding, resting & reading, we had a tasty dinner to celebrate Sean’s 30th birthday

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Back home, our house decided to kick us down again. Plumbing issues. Like water coming from the ceilings in the bathroom and no toilets flushing issues. When my husband was out of town. And I was supposed to leave for the weekend in an hour. 9 hours later… the plumbers were gone, everything was fixed, and I was scrubbing crap off the walls with a toothbrush. Literally. So I definitely deserved these before falling into bed:

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These two sweet faces were so good that day- which helped me retain the ounce of sanity I had left.

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My husband is the sweetest and left me this note the other day:

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And after finishing reading Gone Girl today, I am extra thankful for my amazing husband. And that I’m not crazy. All good things.

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This kid got his first loose tooth last week. I got tears.

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We had our winter party last weekend. I’ll post more photos and details on Monday, but here is a sneak peak for now:

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Father-son carrom game. Melts me. And, yes, that is Isaiah’s favorite new shirt. (thanks grandma!)

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I got to recreate the suite from Hudson’s first birthday party for two customers. Such a fun set of banners, mini banners & cupcake toppers. One of the birthday boys even had the same name as my hudson! So random.

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Date #3/50 in 2013: a mellow, at home dinner after the kids were asleep (mainly due to the fact that my husband now had major bronchitis. a week after having strep throat. fun times). My hubby is an incredible cook- he can throw together a pasta like no one else I know. This was a bolognese sauce he made from scratch, including bacon, caramelized onions and aged balsamic. It was so good! After we had dinner, we sat around talking for the rest of the evening. Such a sweet quiet night together!

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I made the largest happy birthday banner I’ve ever made: over 18 feet long! It was a special order for the OC  mart mix’s anniversary celebration.

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Hey dude- no drinking & driving.

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Any time it rains, Isaiah requests hot chocolate. Even if it’s 80 degrees and just barely sprinkling. At his request, my husband made the best hot chocolate and whipped cream from scratch last night. Seriously the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. Apparently, I should have just titled this post “let me tell you how rad my husband is”.

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And- with that- I’m off to bed. Trying to fight off the bronchitis mr amazing husband passed on to me :)

Happy weekend!

What I Love Wednesday: My favorite online paper shops

I have always been a paper lover- from the time I was 7 and would love stopping at the paper outlet on our way to the desert, I have always found joy in scouring shelves of beautifully designed paper.

 

Now, I have way too much of it. Boxes and boxes of scrapbook paper. Good thing I use it as part of my job :)

 

Today, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite online resources for buying scrapbook paper. As much as I love spending an hour browsing the aisles in a specialty paper store, the reality of that happening in this stage of life with two little boys is very slim.

 

Paper Source is one of my favorite stores in the world. However, they have a larger supply of scrapbook paper in their stores than they do online. However, they are my go to source for solid color card stock for my products. I love their color options and it makes it easy that I know what will be in stock and what to expect.

 

In searching for great patterned paper over the years, I have happened upon Two Peas in a Bucket and A Cherry on Top. Both have a great selection of crafty goodness. Lots of patterns to choose from and both ship very quickly.

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Locally in San Diego, Paper Tales in Point Loma is awesome and Cool Scrapbook Stuff in Poway has a pretty good selection.

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Do you have any other favorite online paper shops?

 

What I Love Wednesday: Martha Stewart Cricut Cartridges

Hey Cricut users! Did you know that you can use the Cricut Cake cartridges with any Cricut machine?

 

What makes this so awesome?

 

Martha.

 

I could pretty much guarantee that I would love just about anything with the Martha Stewart logo on it. Not that I am obsessed with the woman herself, but the style that goes along with her brand is just so me. No matter what the product, the style is always great: simple, elegant and crafty.

 

That is why I was so excited to figure out that I could use the Martha Stewart Cricut Cake cartridges with my normal cricut! The cartridges are awesome- they all have great shapes, borders and fonts included and I think that they are cuter than most of the normal cricut cartridges (not so scrapbook-y). I’ve used them a bunch for everything from a lacy border used as a napkin wrap for an event, mini pennants for a banner, to balloons used for a million things for Hudson’s birthday and holiday shapes used for Christmas cards and halloween banners.

 

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And because the cake cartridges are less popular than the normal ones, they are cheaper- hooray! In fact, I just saw that on cricut.com the seasonal cartridge (which I love) is only $14.99 right now!

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**This post is not sponsored by Martha Stewart or Cricut- just me talking about something I love. Although, if Martha ever wants to send anything my way, I’m in :)

Hudson’s 1st Birthday Party: A colorful balloon party

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For my son Hudson’s first birthday party, I wanted to keep it simple, but fun. He is a fan of balloons, so we had a balloon party in colors of cherry red, tangerine, pool blue & a minty green.

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The invitations, which I handmade, had balloons on strings popping off of the card. I loved how they turned out!

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For lunch, we served balloon shaped sandwiches, balloon kabobs (grapes on a skewer), cherry tomato balloons (stuck onto pretzel sticks) and cheese balloons (circles of cheese stuck onto skewers), along with salad and fruit.

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For the dessert table, I made a mini cake for Hudson and had mini vanilla cupcakes, balloon shaped rice krispy treats and cookies, popcorn balls and white chocolate dipped jumbo marshmellows. I painted boxes that I found in the target dollar section and filled them with cotton balls to resemble clouds. I put styrofoam in the bottom of each box so that I could stand the treats in them. I also modge-podged a few jars to use as containers.

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A really special detail to  me is the high chair he ate his cake it. It was actually my childhood high chair- I did not even know that my parents still had it! My mom dug it out of the garage and had it painted to match the party. So sweet!

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 At first, he wasn’t so sure about the cake, but he eventually dug in and loved it :)

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I always like to have a couple activities for the kids, so I cut a bunch of balloons out of paper and the kiddos decorated them with glitter, stickers and markers and then chose a fun ribbon to tie on.

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We had the party next to a park, so we also had some balls/lawn games available to play. For the little guys, I put a bunch of balloons and bean bags inside of a play pen and let them go to town. Hudson loved it!

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My major DIY project was making balloon centerpieces out of fabric, paper-mache style.

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One big lesson I learned is that you can never have too much helium for a balloon party. We thought we had enough and ran out really early on when setting up for the party. My sweet husband had to run out just before the party started to get more. Another lesson learned: when you string a garland of balloons on an outside pergola and it’s a bit windy, chances are they will all pop at some point or another. :)

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Also, a heads up, mini balloons will not float for long- even when filled with helium. We learned this the hard way- ha! The mini balloons were so cute flying above the tables while tied down to little bean bags I made, however, within 10 minutes they were all down on the table.

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Ha!

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As favors, I painted clothespins and had the kids pick a balloon or two to take home with them. I love repurposing decor as favors!

 

I wanted to do something special along the lines of a guest book. I had guests guess what they think Hudson will be when he grows up. They wrote their answers on little balloon cutouts and I am going to keep them in his baby book :)

 

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We are so blessed by this sweet boy and I am such a proud mama. I love you Hudson!

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A huge thanks to Jackie Wonders for the gorgeous photos and Classic Party Rentals for the tables, linens & kids table & chairs. And a big thank you to our friends Geoff & Holly for letting us use their community clubhouse.

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All banners and similar custom party hats can be ordered through my shop. Just contact me :)

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This party was featured on On To Baby

What I Love Wednesdays: Fancy Schmancy Hole Puncher

Over the next couple of months, I am going to share a few of my favorite crafting tools for What I Love Wednesdays. First up, the fanciest hole puncher you’ve ever seen:

 

Whenever anyone sees me bust this guy out, they give me a confused look usually followed by a “what the heck is that thing?”.

 

It is a crop-a-dile.

 

 

What does this contraption do, you ask? It is a handy multi-use tool. It has two different sizes of hole punches and multiple settings to use for brads and eyelets. It is my go-to hole puncher. I don’t use it very often for eyelets because I just don’t use them very often, but it works great when I do.

 

The hole punches cut through super thick materials- I’ve used it on thin wood sheets, fabric mounted onto card stock, plastic and for over 10 sheets of card stock at once. It is easy to use and really well made- that thing is solid. I’ve had mine for over 6 years (big shout out to my sis Heather who gave it to me as a birthday present), use it multiple times a week and it is still in perfect condition.

 
I highly recommend it if you punch a lot of holes :)   You can buy it on Amazon or at craft or scrapbooking stores.

Remember that time when I was on an infomercial?

This is definitely a first.

 

I am in an infomercial.

 

Yep.

 

The good people at ProvoCraft asked if I would be willing to do a short demo and wedding table set up for an infomercial for the new cricut mini. After saying, “Are you serious?”, I jumped on board right away.

 

It was such a fun and interesting experience. The film crew was amazing- I can definitely get used to being called “the talent” and having a hair & makeup stylist and a wardrobe stylist making sure I look up to par.

Keep an eye out for the infomercial- I don’t have exact times and channels that it will air, but it is all over the place. If you are flipping channels and see the cricut on TV, chances are that is it :) My segment is about 6 1/2  minutes in.

 

You can also see the whole 28 minute spot on YouTube here.

 

Here is a look at the DIY project I (very quickly) demonstrated.

That lace backdrop is made out of 7 1/2″ paper squares, cut on the cricut mini and joined together with wire loops. It would look super cute as a photo booth backdrop or behind a cake or dessert display. As I say in the infomercial, “there really are endless possibilities”. Ha! :)

 

I also designed details for two different wedding reception tables using the cricut. Table numbers, chairbacks, escort cards, menus, vase wraps, etc.

 

 

I also made some fun details for a trio of cakes: wraps for the tiers of the main cake (yes- they are paper!), a monogram topper, mini bunting for another cake and I cut a stencil and then stenciled on the monogram in edible glitter on the third cake.

 

Add in some labels, a flag and banner and you have a wedding infomercial set! Disclaimer for my designer/planner friends: I cannot take credit for the napkins in glasses, overlays or chair sashes :)

 

My husband laughed for a good 5 minutes at, what he called, my “infomercial voice”. It is pretty funny.

 

Thanks to ProvoCraft and Raymond Entertainment for having me be a part of it. It was an honor!