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Monday, March 28, 2011

Fabric Easter Egg Bunting

I've realized a long the way that I'm not much of a pastel fan.  I'm into either bright, bold colors or calm neutrals.  This causes a problem once Easter decorating season comes along, as most decorations fall into the pastel color scheme.

Since we're living somewhere that infuses Spring greenery and blossoms into their Easter decorations, I thought I'd jazz things up by making an Easter bunting that compliments our Easter Tree .

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Paddy's Day to you all!  The holiday snuck up on us this year but being of Irish decent, some festivity on this day is mandatory.

C and I whipped up these mosaic rainbows last night.  They go a long way to brighten up our living room.

We'll be feasting on Guiness stew tonight and listening to some Celtic harp music.  And what's a good Irish holiday without the blessing?

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

That's all I can muster for now.  I'll leave you a bit of Irish humor:

"Well, Mrs. O'Connor, so you want a divorce?" the solicitor questioned his client. 

"Tell me about it. Do you have a grudge?" 

"Oh, no," replied Mrs. O'Connor. "Shure now, we have a carport." 

The solicitor tried again. "Well, does the man beat you up?" 

"No, no," said Mrs. O'Connor, looking puzzled. "Oi'm always first out of bed." 

Still hopeful, the solicitor tried once again. 

"What I'm trying to find out are what grounds you have." 

"Bless ye, sor. We live in a flat -- not even a window box, let alone grounds." 

"Mrs. O'Connor," the solicitor said in considerable exasperation, "you need a reason that the court can consider. 

What is the reason for you seeking this divorce?" 

"Ah, well now," said the lady, 

"Shure it's because the man can't hold an intelligent conversation."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stash Bustin'

I'm joining the Spring stash busting challenge going on for the next month over at The T-Shirt Diaries.

I've been wanting to do this for a while now and have finally decided to jump in and commit.  It needs to be done.  The fabric and craft stores need to dwindle down and take up less space in this house.  I wish I could say with all honesty that I don't know how things got this bad, but I know.  I'll blame it on the fact that I've lived in places for the last 4 years that did not provide readily available supplies.  I was constantly finding the need for something I did not have and since I'm a "instant gratification" kinda girl when there's something crafty on my brain, I've begun overbuying.  This way, on the off chance I need something, I'll always have it stored away.

The problem with this is the sheer fact that with our transient life, one never knows what kind of storage options will be available.  So it's time to purge.  Starting March 22nd and going through April 22nd, I will not purchase another piece of fabric or craft supply.

Part of the challenge is fessing up to what we've already got.  Here's a few before photos.

I'm sure I can put a dent in these bags of scraps (have I really made enough in the past year to warrant all of these little pieces?),

and this palette of Pellon and 2 rolls of fusable interfacing (buying in bulk saves money and time because I have to wait at least a month for it to get here if I needed it.  I swear),

and really, truly, I have a mile long list of items in mind to use most of this fabric.

 Okay, as embarrassing as it is, I needed to show you the top which is piled with half done projects.  Do those count if I finish them up?

And this basket of felt.

I won't show you the embarrassingly large box on polyester fiberfill  because really, I don't think anyone can understand my need for 5 pounds of the stuff.

This of course does not include the 3 small canvases, two photo frames, and storage boxes filled with acrylic paint, thread, yarn, and scrap booking paper.

Don't I have the best husband in the world.  He's never even once complained about all of this stuff crowding the corner of our bedroom.

So here goes.  If you'd like to join along, head over to T-Shirt Diaries, sign up and pick up the button.  Robin is making this even easier by including a linky party and priiiiiizes.  Go on.  You know you want to join the cool (scary hoarder) crowd.  I double-dog dare you.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Flickr Group

I popped in to Flickr today and was delighted to find two photos of the Viking shirt.

boys in viking shirts

This one from Kelly.  I just love the size difference between each of these.


And this one from j. bkicklighter who used a button heart in place of the embroidered heart so she can change it out for a shamrock and other such festive notions during the year.

Thanks for sharing your photos, ladies.  You made my day!

Please make sure to add your photos to the Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Flickr Group if you've made something from a tutorial you found here.  I love seeing how things turn out and your variations.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Viking Hat

Do you knit or crochet?  If you do and you have a boy in your life, I highly suggest you get a hand on this pattern.

I purchased it from Mamachee, on Etsy, and sent it along to my  mother (since she crochets and I can't seem to wrap my head around the art.)

I think she did a fabulous job and I can't believe how quickly she finished it.  C is begging for one of his own.

The best part?  Little Viking S, hates wearing hats and has been thrilled to death to put (and keep) this one on.  Considering how much cold weather we have left, I think this is the BEST thing ever!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ben 10 Cupcake Toppers-Printable

free ben ten cupcake toppers

When I was planning for C's 5th birthday bash and went looking for cake ideas there were so many amazing Ben 10 cakes on Flickr, I was blown away.  If you have any talent with fondont, or just want to be amazed, go check them out.

I didn't think Ben 10 would have faired well in my sculpting hands.  Instead we went with green alien cupcakes and themed cupcake toppers.

Here's the printable:
Ben 10 Cupcake Toppers

Simply print and cut the circles out.  Glue them onto green, yellow, and blue card stock (glue only the edge of the circle and leave about a 1/2 inch space unglued at the bottom).  Cut around the circle, leaving a 1/4 inch margin or so, using paper edging scissors like Fiskars.  Once dry, slide a toothpick between the unglued space.

Ours played double-duty as decoration for C's school party bags.

Since this was his third celebration (is this kid lucky or what?) we kept the school goodie bags extremely simple.  One decoration, one piece of sidewalk chalk, and one piece of American chocolate.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Ben 10 Birthday Party

Some of you might be confused because my last post was . . . a birthday party wrap up and here I am posting back to back parties.  How, you might ask, does a mom get herself into the situation where she has to bang out two birthday parties in, technically, one week?  The answer is . . . I'm refusing at this stage of the game to skimp on the fun and fuse the two together.  Plus, my now 2 year old and 5 year old have (mostly) separate groups of friends.

So, week two was all about Ben 10.  If you're not up on the cartoon, don't feel bad.  I'm not too sure how big this show is in the States.  It's a Cartoon Network show so I imagine, if you don't get that station, you're probably wondering what it's all about.  Brief summary:  Ben 10 has this cool watch thingy that turns him into different aliens so that he can save Earth from evil aliens.

On to the party . . .

Decorations were kept simple.  A few tissue paper "fans"  which were enhanced with a Ben 10 image.

And a tissue paper garland featuring a hanging Happy Birthday banner.

We had a Ben 10 Alien Wall of Fame,

Alien Wall of Fame--please ignore the horrid photography.
and a few strategically placed streamers, balloons, and hanging aliens.

The goodie bags were colored paper lunch sacks.

I altered a picture of some Ben 10 Pez and added C's head to one of the dispensers.  I'd seen a similar, and much cooler Superhero version over at, Little Dash , and thought it was the perfect thing for our bags.

Inside each bag was a glow stick, alien slime tube, and Ben 10 stickers.  After our alien coin hunt the children added their chocolate coin plunder.

The games were a blast to put together.  We had 10 boys between the ages of 3 and 5, so we kept things active.

Our first game was "Alien Knock-down".  I glued images of Ben 10 alien villians to leftover goodie bags and lined them up in a row.

Each child had a chance to knock over as many as they could using 3 mini-frisbees.  We kept score and played until we had a clear winner.

Next, we played "Musical Aliens".  I used the pictures from the Alien Wall of Fame, which had been laminated, as our "chairs".  The kids walked around these while the music played and then raced to sit upon the nearest alien once the  music stopped.

Then we bundled up and ran outside for an alien coin hunt.  The kids raced around the yard collecting as many alien coins (chocolate coins with Ben 10 stickers) as they could find.

I love the chaos of this photo and the fact that we had nice enough weather to allow us to do a bit of the party outside.

After the children added their alien booty to their goodie bags, we played "Mummy Race".  Word of warning:  Not so successful with the 3/4 year old crowd.  Too many directions, I think.  In teams of three, they raced to wrap a team member as a mummy.  Then they relay-raced between cones.  The winning team was the first to have all team members seated.

Prizes for the games were Omnitrix bracelets and mini-Ben 1 figures.

We went with a green theme for the food.  The table was spread with green goodies:  cucumbers, green bell peppers, green grapes and . . .

green Goop (jello) cups to mimick the green, shape shifting alien Ben 10 can change into.

The cupcakes were red-velvet and decorated like green aliens or topped with Ben 10 themed cupcake toppers.
Ben 10 Birthday Party

I'm working on changing the document into PDF form and will post about it in the next few days along with a tutorial for making the toppers.

All I can say now is thank goodness we have a break from birthday's until June cause' I'm exhausted.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

How To Train Your Dragon Birthday Party

How To Train Your Dragon Birthday Party
The little S man turned two this week.  For this little one, next to the pirate, the Vikings may just be the coolest things out there.  When I watched how quickly he took over his brother's How To Train Your Dragon dress up costume this Christmas, I knew this would be his birthday theme.

The greatest part of choosing this theme was how easy it was to put it all together.  Vikings = simplicity.

how to train your dragon party

A simple table setting using my son's "How to Train a Dragon" toys, a few candles, wood and earthenware dishes, and some burlap and sheep skins we already had.

We started with a dragon craft.  I saw these TP Roll dragon heads over at  Arty Crafty.  I knew they've be a perfect craft for our party.  They are super easy to make but there's a Friday kid's craft tutorial here.

We played Feed the Dragons-   I made three fish-shaped bean bags that were super simple to sew.  I traced a fish template onto card stock and used that to create some blue spotted fleece fish I had laying around.  The great part is that after filling them with rice, they can double as boo boo bags and live in our freezer.  Each child got a chance to throw all three bean bags.   Since we had older children at the party, we kept a score board and the top players advanced until we had a clear winner.

We also played a thunderous game of Dragon Bowling.  I printed the free "How to Train Your Dragon" stickers from the HP Creative Home Studio site and then used my fabulous, Xyron XRN500 5 Inch Create-a-Sticker Machine.  I love this thing.  It takes any 5 inch or smaller piece of paper and makes it into a sticker and if you get the re-usable adhesive cartrige--no worries about whether it is going to come off if little children stick them someplace they're not supposed to.

We also used the stickers to decorate the goodie bags, which I didn't think were really all that impressive but apparently . . .

they were a big hit.  Inside the bags were "dragon" shaped sour, gummy candies, a mini Frisbee, a few dragons from a "How to Train Your Dragon" bucket of characters, and a few gold chocolate coins which the children found while pillaging the house.  

Two things that I think are great that I'd wanted to include but couldn't scrounge around here:

1.  Dragon Gloves by Family Fun.  Oh, how much time I wasted driving around the city looking for a few pairs of inexpensive, one size fits all kid's gloves.  Please observe a moment of silence for the brilliance that is the American Dollar Store.  
2.  Sticky Lizards (close enough to dragons, right?)  My boys love em' some sticky toys.  Not so popular on this side of the globe, I guess.

I tried to keep the food thing simple this year.

A veggie covered boat,

nuts, dried fruits, and fish (traditional Viking fare), dragon eyeballs; aka: pimento filled olives,

Viking boat mini-salami and real Swedish meatballs.  No really, they're truly Swedish.  I bought them at Ikea.  

While I'm a chocolate lover myself, therefore, chocolate Viking helmet cupcakes were in order.  I'm more than happy to oblige others their inferior vanilla cake variety.

so we had a vanilla Dragon cake with Almond flavored Buttercream icing.  And no, you don't need to adjust your computer's coloring.  My 4 year old was in charge of determining when the icing was red enough.  Um, yeah.  I'd call it pink too.

A few, little dragon plush toys served as game prizes.

Overall, I think the event was a hit with the birthday boy, and that's enough to make me happy.