Mermaid Birthday Party!

I had the most amazing time working with my best friend and future daughter-in-law to create an underwater adventure for my daughter, who turned 9 this year!  I am always very teary-eyed when I see just how much my babies have grown each year, but this year especially has been tough as she is starting on her journey out of the babyface. With each picture I take of her, I notice that she is getting older and older.  So, for as long as she will let me, I will make her birthday parties memorable! This year, the theme is Mermaids. She chose this theme because we will be building her a room of her own and she wants it to be all mermaids. So she asked her friends and family for mermaid decor and art supplies, and boy did they deliver! So, let’s dive into this adventure together.

THE INVITATIONS

We searched everywhere for invitations that would live up to the standards she was searching for with this party. After searching high and low, we came across these blank cards with a shimmery cover that we both felt looked like mermaid scales. We then let our imagination move forward when she found this sparkling teal washi tape. But we weren’t done yet, we looked in the duct tape section and found the colors she had been looking for and in the design, she was looking for.  I had no clue how all of this was going to come together, but as soon as we got home, we started brainstorming.

The first thing we did was add a strip of the mermaid scale duct tape to the inside of the card. The thing we noticed when we did this was the natural feel of duct tape with the pattern we chose, made the entire scales come to life and feel realistic as you slid your fingers across it. We then decided to write “You are invited!” on the sparkled teal washi tape. The one thing I will say is that none of my fineliners would work on this tape, I’m not sure if it was because of the texture on it or what the deal was, but the only thing I could get to write on it was a bullet tip sharpie.

I then let her choose from a large number of colors for the actual information text on the invitation. She chose this beautiful shade of purple that really just made the invitation perfect. We ended up making 30 of these and giving them out to all her classmates and her other friends.

THE DECORATIONS

Typically I go all out on the decorations, but I didn’t get that far this time. I hung up a Happy Birthday banner that I had already saved from a previous birthday celebration. I also had many balloons. I hung outside on our lamp posts for people to know where the party was and then bouquets over the gift table, the food table, the adult table and the craft table. Other than that, there were some loose balloons around for the kids to play with.

We searched everywhere for mermaid stuff and we couldn’t find it anywhere. The few decorations I did find, I ordered off Amazon, I had a tablecloth, plates, napkins, and a centerpiece. There wasn’t much but we accomplished a lot with the little we had mixed with what I had left over from previous parties.

THE FOOD

Let’s start out with the basic essentials that I didn’t put much effort into at all. There was, as always, a fruit tray, a veggie tray, two types of chips, sugar cookies, and hotdogs. Those were straight out of the packaging food I offered. Typically, I overdo it with food, but I had no leftovers at the end of this party, so I am glad that I did offer so much. Now onto the things I did work hard on.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

These were so super yummy and a huge hit. I grabbed two bags of pretzel rods from the store and I also purchased CadiQuik chocolate. After heating the chocolate I started to dip the pretzels into the chocolate, white and milk chocolate, and then laid them out on wax paper to harden before I decorated them with colorful candy melts. I highly recommend getting the candy melt squeeze bottles, it made these projects so much more smooth.

Cream Cheese Clam Cookies

These cookies were so yummy and quite easy to make. First off I made the home-made cream cheese icing which consists of two sticks of butter, three 8oz packages of cream cheese and 6 cups of powdered sugar. Let me just tell you, this icing was a hit and I’m really happy that I learned an easy way to make it because we ran out of icing for the last few cupcakes and improvised with this icing.

The assembly is quite easy. Lay down a vanilla wafer, squeeze on a layer of icing, close it with another vanilla wafer and push in a Sixlet pearl on one side. They turned out amazing and were a big hit as well.

THE (CUP)CAKE

The cake, or in this case, the cupcakes are always a huge deal for me. You can read about why I prefer cupcakes over cake here. I wrote about it on my mom blog if you’re interested. Moving on. Yellow cake and chocolate (some cream cheese) icing. The most interesting thing about these cupcakes is the candy melt mermaid tales that were sitting on top of them.

As you can tell, they came out amazing. I was actually surprised at how easy they were to make. I had purchased some silicone molds from Amazon that came in a 4 pack to include two smaller and two larger molds. In total, I had 41 cupcakes to decorate. We decided early on that with only four molds, it would take us all night to get all the tales made, so we would only do 20 tales and leave the other half of the cupcakes decorated with sprinkles and candy pearls.

Using the squeeze bottles I mentioned above, we squeezed the candy melts into the molds and let them sit in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to harden. We then popped them out of the mold by folding the mold backward which allowed the tale to slide out without a breaking.

After all the tails were done, we decided that dusting them with edible glitter would just make them look so much more realistic, and it didn’t take barely any to make them shine. We wanted to make sure that each tail was different from another so we started to have fun mixing colors and designs as well.

THE ENTERTAINMENT AND CRAFTS

As far as entertainment is concerned, we allowed the kids to go outside and play until their little hearts were content. After presents and cake though, we started on a painting project. The kids were all excited because they could have something to take home. I purchased a six-pack of plaster underwater sea creatures for each kid to choose and decorate. I had paints and glitter glue as well so that they could personalize them completely.

These pictures are of my toddlers’ painting, they had a blast and I really enjoyed that this project was fine for kids of all ages. Once they were done, I placed each piece in a plastic cup for them to take home so that they would have the chance to dry and not get messed up along the way.

Overall, the party lasted about two hours and everyone had a great time. This is a theme that I can see myself doing again in the future for sure, but we will have to see what comes my way. I love the challenge that my kids present to me when they decide the theme of the party because I love the look on their face when I achieve their dreams with creativity.

I would love to know what your favorite part of this party was in the comments below. If you would like more details on anything you see in this post, please don’t hesitate to ask me and I will create more of a tutorial for you.

2017 Year in Review

Happy New Year!

I want to create a special post that sorta sums up my year for 2017. You know that although I had been blogging since 2016, I only got my own website in 2017. Boy have I been blessed with this outlet to share my creativity and inspire others to do something creative every day.  There are several things that I am going to discuss, to include my subscription to Sketchbox, My first Mandala Collection, Christmas Gifts I created and my favorite creations of the year. So grab your cup of coffee or your favorite beverage and lets get started!

SketchBox

For those of you that don’t know, Sketchbox is a monthly subscription box for artists to try out different mediums. I have really been excited by everything that I have been able to create using the products I have received through these boxes. Some of my favorite products include a watercolor sketchbook, a full sepia Copic fineliner set, and last but not least watercolor pencils, this is only to name a few. If you would like to go back and review my unboxing posts you can visit them by clicking on the links below.

May  

June

JulyJuly Grab box  

August

September

October

 November

December

Mandala Collection I

For me, this was a huge accomplishment.  I wanted to start a collection of the mandala that was similar and yet different at the same time. For this collection, I chose to draw my mandala on gradient paper with black fineliners and a white gel pen. I was so happy how each one came out so different than the ones before.  Prints of these will be available in my shop once I get it all online. Stay tuned for this special collection. Each one of these mandalas are so special to me. I wrote a different post for each one, which you can visit below:

Mandala #1

Mandala #2

Mandala #3

Mandala #4

Mandala #5

Personalized Gifts

One of my favorite things to do is create something beautiful and personal for my friends, family, and co-workers. I truly enjoy the look on their face when they realize it is not only an original, but there are no others like it in the world. I want to share these few gifts with you.

Personalized Parties

Every birthday that happens in my house is a reason to celebrate. With the birthdays spread throughout the year, we are able to party all year long! Starting in February with my two from my previous marriage celebrating, then moving to my youngest two in June, oldest two in July and 3rd oldest in November. Mix that in with all the holidays and we rarely don’t have a reason to bust out some exciting party decorations. But also, because we have so many celebrations, It’s important that we get creative with them all, most of the decorations were homemade. Check out the following posts about my under the sea themed party for my youngest two.

Under the Sea

Octopus Guard

Sea Sponges

Jellyfish Mood Lighting

Furniture Painting

The absolute highlight of my year was creating a beautiful work of art for my mother. She brought this table to me and gave me no restrictions other than she wanted a Charity Original painted on top. Painted?! I’ve never painted anything detailed like the creations I have made.  Check out how this table progressed by clicking on the links below:

Scallopped Table #1

Scallopped Table #2

There are several other projects that I completed this year for Christmas Gifts to include a 12×12 personalized mandala painting on canvas, a monogrammed lazy susan and a phoenix staff for my best guy friend. All of these projects were special in their own ways and were hard to keep a secret for as long as I could since I love to share my progress pictures with the special people that received these gifts.

My Favorites of the Year

 

Final Thoughts

I do want to send out a special thank you for all of you that have supported me this year. I couldn’t have done this without you cheering me on. Special thanks to my fiance’ who has stuck by my side while I have spent the long hours trying to make something out of nothing. I love each and every one of you and I can only hope that in 2018, we will see a lot more growth from CraftyArtistKC. Help me make this year a good one by sharing my site with your friends family and social media accounts. I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Let me know in the comments below, what was your favorite project or post from this year!

Searching for Snail Mail Pals!

I would love to take the opportunity to have a snail mail pal that would be up for exchanging gifts, ideas and letters. What prompted this? I was signing my name at a check out when the cashier, watching very attentively said, “awe man, I wish I could read and write in cursive!” I immediately told her she could with some practice. She then laughed it off like I was telling her to climb Mt. Everest!

So this got me thinking. Even I have been slacking in my penmanship, something that I once took so much pride in.  As a fix on this, I decided it was time to get a pen pal. Someone to provide something other than a bill in my mailbox, as I will do the same for theirs. I’ve tried several sites that promise it but I never get a response back. I don’t want to spend a lot of time and energy on something that won’t be appreciated.

How can you help? Do you know someone who is searching for the same thing? Would you like to have a Snail Mail Pal? I want to gather volunteers for this endeavor. I want to find a creative outlet for those of us who are starving for creative inspirations. If you are interested in this, shoot me an email and lets come up with a good solutions for this need in our world.

Lets beautify the world, one letter at a time.

Makeup Organizer for Renters

Have you ever gotten to the point in your life where you are just ready to settle down and create a home where your kids can actually grow up in the same home? Well that is where I am. I want my kids to be able to create life-long friends that move to different schools with them. I want them to remember the first time we bought a home and how we made it our own. This dream is very important for me.

My kids are my life, and I want to give them their own space and not have to worry about landlords not letting us paint or put holes in the wall or whatever the case may be. I want to be able to rip up carpet or change things. I love that I am a diy’er, but I love even more that my fiance’ is extremely handy. He can do electrical, plumbing and carpentry. He amazes me all the time.

Speaking of which, the picture is something that he created for all my makeup supplies for our bathroom. I told him what I needed and he supplied it. How amazing is that! He knew that I was struggling with a makeup bag and my brushes kept falling on the floor. So I asked him for an open top shelf so that I could put all my brushes in there and keep them sorted. He placed some Plexiglas on the front so that I could put decorative beads depending on the colors of the bathroom decor. He’s so smart!

Everything that we have done for our house we rent is removable. I can’t wait until I actually get to choose whats the best way to store things myself. I know that our true DIY skills will come out finally!

Let me know what you think about this Makeup Storage Unit. How do you store your makeup and beauty supplies? Let me know in the comments below!

My Creative Gene Giver

Let me first start off by letting you know that my mother is one of the most talented painters I’ve ever had the opportunity to hang out with. She can draw pretty much anything and her hand-lettering is to die for, seriously! You will hear me talk about my mom a lot and that is because she and I are an amazing team when it comes to party planning, painting, home decorating, and teaching. She has skills that are unmatched for sure. So let me get to the project!

For this project you will need:

  • A wooden stool or bench of your choice.
  • Sandpaper
  • Washcloth
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paintbrush

I got my bench from Hollar.com . If you sign up through this link, not only do you earn a $2 bonus, but so do I! I spent $4 on each stool. They came perfectly packaged in their own boxes and seem quite sturdy. Believe me when I tell you that my 2 and 3 year old will put these through rigorous testing. I sent them home with my mom, and they came back better than I could even imagine!

First you want to sand the area you are going to paint. This insures that you have a smooth surface to work on. After you have sanded the paint area, you want to use a washcloth to clean up the wood. I would just dampen the washcloth to make sure you get all the dust before you begin. After you have created your design with pencil, it is time to start painting. Be sure to let each layer dry before adding another so that you do not gunk up the paint. After you are happy with your design, I would suggest a clear coat sprayed over the top to keep the pattern from chipping or wearing off prematurely.

As you can tell, my Madi loves animals and Miles loves trucks, so it only seemed fitting to design theirs accordingly. Once my kids saw these, they immediately wanted to sit them down as snack benches. They have done really well with only messing with their own bench because each of their names are are them.

Let me know in the comments what your favorite part of this project is. I look forward to creating with you!

 

Under The Sea Themed Birthday Party!

So, I want to start out by saying that I take a lot of pride in my family. I always go out of my way and make every birthday party big because I didn’t get that growing up. My sister’s birthday is 8 days before mine so we always shared a party and it was never anything grand in today’s terms.  I love my humble beginnings because it taught me how to appreciate more today. I am now at the point in my life where I have birthdays in pairs all over. 2 in February (currently 8 F, and 17 M), 2 in June (currently 2M and 3 F) 2 in July (currently 20M Twins) and 1 in November (currently 17). I even throw a party in there for myself in July (19th) and it’s usually a bunch of friends and family (kid-friendly party), and we bbq, play games and just have a great time hanging out with each other.

Since I started having kids, I always promised myself that I would give them the memorable themed parties I had dreamt about. The wonderful thing about these parties is that I do as much as I possibly can, by myself. I don’t hire in an event coordinator, or a cook, or whatever. I start planning out the party MONTHS in advance. I know that life happens sometimes and I don’t want there ever to be an excuse why I couldn’t give more to my children. So let’s run through this process together. I will link up some of the items that I did to those blogs posts for the details.

First off, I bought a lot of my decorations from a website called Hollar.com. You will see me mention this website throughout my blog posts. It is an amazing online store where you can find everyday items for less.  This is a staple in my party planning and I sprinkle the purchases throughout the months leading up to the party. However, I would give every order at least 2 weeks to deliver, so watch that date when you are ordering close to party time!

Ok, let’s get started! When I decided on the birthday theme, I knew that I needed to start collecting blues, greens and white! Those are universal colors so I knew I wouldn’t have a hard time finding them. So I started out with the basics to include table cloths, balloons, and swirls. I tend to purchase solid color decorations that can be used over and over again, to build up my party inventory!

After I gathered all the supplies up, I started putting on my creative hat to design theme specific items. I started with the outdoor water sponges. These sea sponges were fairly easy to make and they are still holding up long after the party. You can see the step-by-step process here.

After I got the outdoor games setup, to include water sponges (pictured above), sandbox (birthday gift) and kiddie pool, I decided to turn my attention to indoors. I started with the gift table. I wanted to create a guard of some sort for the gift table. That is always a big focal point in the party and I wanted it to be noticeable. You can see the tutorial here.

After the guard was done, I moved to the mood lighting in the kitchen to go over the food table. What a better way to create mood lighting than a blue light coming from a jellyfish. I took the light over the table and hung ribbon, swirls and streamers to act as the many tentacles. You can see that tutorial here.

Next, I wanted to work on the birthday banner. I knew that my wall was going to be underwater so the logical banner would be a school of fish.  I really like the way the banner turned out and it was personalized not only to my kids, but to the party theme. You can see that tutorial here.

After I got the focal point, banner, done on the wall, I wanted to create more of a scene behind it so it didn’t look out of place at all. So, I had my kids help put googly eyes on some paper fish, I twisted streamers for seaweed, and my mom drew some under the sea characters to sprinkle around the house. I couldn’t have been more happy with the outcome. It was better than I could have imagined. I don’t have tutorials for those things because they were just simple little touches that brought the whole room to life.

Next, I turned my attention to the living room. I knew that most people would hang out in there, so I wanted to extend the theme in there. I sprinkled some of the school of fish my kids made throughout the room in little groups. I also made bubble balloons out of white balloons and blue ribbon. I also enlisted the help of my kids to create a faux fish tank and then I created fish out of paper lanterns. I didn’t have the time to create the tutorial for the fish but it is pretty much patterned paper cut out to the shapes of the fins and large googly eyes attached as well. These lanterns actually had the ability to light up which would have been awesome if it was a little darker in the room, but I didn’t turn the lights on for this event.

A silly play on words poster was created to greet all the guests as they came in the door. My mom happens to be extremely talented and we work well together on creative projects. She surprised me with this adorable poster board after I made a mention about how adorable it would be to have a seahorse for each child represented.

Now to move on to one of my favorite things about birthday parties, the food! Anyone who knows me knows that I love to make an abundance of food. If you look at the feature picture of this post you will see the food table once the food was added to it! At the party I had so many themed foods to include the following:

  • Black Olives – Caviar
  • Potato Chips and Goldfish – Fish and Chips
  • Sugar Cookies – Sand dollars
  • Cheetos – Coral
  • Grapes – Seaweed
  • Strawberries and Watermelon – Mermaid Munch
  • Gummy Worms – Bait
  • Sandwiches – Submarine Sandwiches
  • Pretzels – Driftwood
  • Punch – Ocean Water
  • Tootsie Pops – Octopus (Tutorial here)
  • Green Pepper, Cucumber, Carrots – Octopus Guarded Veggie Tray

This brings us to the #1 themed party treat, the cupcakes. Now, for the first time since as long as I can remember, I had a bakery make the cupcakes. All I needed was 1/2 chocolate and 1/2 vanilla with whipped icing sprayed blue to look like water. I was going to take care of the actual decorations on them. I didn’t make a tutorial for the cupcakes because I was completing them last minute. This is the last time I will rely on a store to complete them. Not only did I not get the amount that I asked for, but the white cake was really dry. Its way easier just to do it myself.

So onto my decorations. I bought candy eyes, gummy worms, fruit slices and chocolate melts. My intentions were to make the chocolate cupcakes shark fins, and the vanilla cupcakes octopus. So, I melted the chocolate and cut crescent moon shapes out so that I could push them in the tops of the cupcakes. I mixed the chocolate melts with white chocolate chips to get that beautiful grey color. I then used the gummy worms as tentacles for the octopus, attached candy eyes to the fruit slices with a little tube of icing I had, and had little octopus staring at you.

Overall, my kids had a blast, which is all I can possibly hope for. I love that I am able to do all of this for them to remember for years to come. Next year’s theme?! Stay tuned to find out. I typically decide just after the February birthdays.

I would love to know what your favorite part of this diy part was. Let me know in the comments below!

Octopus Lollipops

The materials you will need for this project are:

  • Tootsie Roll Lollipops
  • Tissue Paper
  • Assorted Colored Pipe Cleaners
  • Googly eyes, or eye stickers
  • Stickers

(Optional) Items you need for the display stand:

  • Styrofoam Cone
  • Craft Spray Paint – Be sure to get the type that states that it is safe for crafty foams.

 

The first step for this is to cut out the tissue paper into little squares. You want the square to be big enough to cover the lollipop and be able to twist beneath it on the stick. The second thing I would suggest is to cut each of the pipe cleaners in half. You should be able to do this with regular scissors.

Put the lollipop in the middle of the square and fold the ends down around  and down to the stick. Then take the pipe cleaners and wrap 4 pipe cleaners around the stick so that the two ends are roughly the same size. Then twist each pipe cleaner end to imitate tentacles.  The final step is to attach the eyes to the top of the lollipop.

Now I had a dilemma where I need to display them somehow. I saw a pinterest photo but it wasn’t linked to any tutorial or blog, so I decided to try it. I purchased a styrofoam cone and spray painted it blue. After it dried I stuck each of the sticks into the foam in no particular order or arrangement. I just placed it high enough on the cone that the stick wouldn’t break through the bottom.

I would love to know your thoughts on this project in the comments below. I would also love to know if you have ever tried this project yourself and I would invite you to link the results as well.

Fish School Birthday Banner

The birthday banner, in my opinion, is one of the most fun things to create for my kids birthday parties. I love to make it themed and personalized. Every year I create a new banner, but this year’s was too adorable.

What you need for this craft:

  • Pre-cut paper fish shapes.
  • Alphabet Stickers

For the alphabet stickers, I went to hobby lobby and found white glitter letters. They were all lowercase which I felt added a sort of whimsical and childish effect that I was wanting.  Please be sure to plan out what you want the letters to spell out when you choose the stickers. Maybe you need four a’s and only three come in the package, which means you would need two packages of stickers.

I enlisted the help of my daughter, who was all too excited about this project. I love that she is to the age where she is appreciative of the time and energy it takes to complete creative projects. She is such a huge help. I asked her to hand each letter to me in the order that I needed it and I stuck it to the fish shape. I needed almost all the fish and there was no room for trial and error.

 

I loved how happy each fish seemed to be to carry out this task. I had thought of several ways to keep this banner together. One of my ideas was to get a thin rope and string it through the eyes of the fish to make it seem like they were caught. But the more I thought of that idea, the more I thought how morbid that would be for a toddler’s party. So my second thought was to make it a school of fish. So I draped rolled plastic table cloths across my walls and then attached to fish to the table cloth with tape.  I did not tape the fish to each other, each one was independent of the others.  The way I decided to place them so it would be centered was to start with the center fish on the two phrases and work out from those centered letters. Once I added the other underwater creatures, I was amazed with how the banner turned out!

I would love to know your thoughts on this project. Let me know in the comments below. If you try out any of these projects, I would love to see, so shoot me an email or link them in the comments below!

Jellyfish Mood Lighting

First off, let me say, this project turned out way cooler than I had imagined in my head. Sometimes we complete a project and we impress ourselves with the results, this is one of those projects. When I presented this project to my daughter, initially she was unsure about just how it would turn out, but she knew she wanted to be a part of it. As I was looking around my house for the things in my home I could use to turn into something magical, I glanced up and saw the shape of the lamp was the perfect shape for a jellyfish. The fact that this jellyfish would hang over the food table is just that much more incentive to do it.

As you can see, I moved the lamp over so that it would hang directly over the table  for the party. We attached swirls, ribbon (curled with scissors) and streamers. I wanted it to look full so we used all different lengths and colors to create the look we were going for.

IAs you can tell, it truly did look like a jellyfish. I stood there turning the light on, and turning it off, but I felt like something was missing from it. I went to the store and purchased a blue lightbulb. I knew that this would give off the ambiance that I was trying to portray. I could not have been happier with the results. Below you will see a picture of the jellyfish alone with the blue light and then how it looked once all the decorations were up. The movement created by the fan on the other side of the room just made it pop that much more.

I would love to know what you think about this project in the comments below. If you decide to try this project, please link your picture below. I love looking at what others can create when a seed is planted!

Octopus Guard

In June, I had an Under the Sea themed birthday party for our two youngest. It was a blast. One of the fun stations at a birthday part is the gift table. We happen to have a great table set up in the corner of the room, so it was the perfect place to design this station.

What you need for this project is:

  • Streamers
  • Scissors
  • Permanent Marker
  • 1 Tissue Paper Honeycomb Ball (whatever size you want)

The first step to this project is the cut out 16 streamers of whatever color you wish. I used 8 blue and 8 white strips so that once I twisted them, it gave off a cool effect.  I took one streamer of each color and taped the ends together so that every tentacle had a double sided streamer.  I opened the honeycomb ball and taped one end of each of the streamers to the inside cardboard. I taped four on each side so that when I started to spread them out, they didn’t all look like they were coming from the same place. Then I hung the honeycomb ball from the ceiling.

I then took each of the double sided streamers and started to spread them out. Twisting the streamers, gave that effect I was looking for.  I wanted the end result to look like he was hanging out in the corner watching over the treasure below. After I completed each tentacle out where I wanted it, I drew eyes on the packaging for the honeycomb ball and cut them out. I attached it with tape and it stayed pretty good, but I would also suggest hot glue to attach them if you want to be sure that they stay put.

Overall, this guy turned out fantastically and my kids were just amazed at the size when it was all done. He was the life of the party and a big hit with the guests as well.  Have you ever attempted to make a creature out of nothing? I would love to hear your thoughts on this project in the comments below!

Sea Sponges

Usually when you have a summer party, it inevitably involves water of some sort. Well,  I decided we were having an Under the Sea Birthday Party for my two youngest, whose birthdays are both in June. I wanted to have something that they could play with. We had a sand box and a small kiddie pool, but each of those couldn’t support the masses of the birthday party guests as well. So, after tirelessly searching on Pinterest, I came across these magnificent sponges to replace water balloons. I do not like water balloons for several reasons:

  1. I hate filling up each one and tying them off, especially when they either break in my lap or once I try to lay it gently in the tub with the others.
  2. The broken balloon pieces all over the ground. I have small children and a dog that literally eats everything. I don’t want either part to ingest these small pieces.
  3. The balloons themselves never pop when you want them to. Instead they fall as casualties to the ground after bouncing off its target, in the hand of the thrower mid aim,  or random objects caught in the line of fire.
  4. You use so much water in the process of filling the balloons.

This is why I felt these were fantastic alternatives. So, let’s get down to how they were made. For this project you will need the following:

  • Sponges (dollar store sponges are the best for this project)
  • Rubber bands
  • Scissors

The first step is the take out all the sponges from the packages and  cut them into strips. Looking over all the tutorials, there is no right or wrong way to do this, however, in my experience, cutting them longways into four strips worked out the best. After I cut them all out, I separated them out into color piles.

I then chose to pick out 12 strips. You can use less strips, but I wanted full sponges for the most splash:toss ratio. I tried different amounts and honestly 12 is the best. So I lined them up in non-pattern form of 12 strips.

I then squeezed the center and tied a rubber band tightly around the center. After I tied the sponges, I spread out each of the ends to make a perfect circle.

After one was complete, It was quite easy to finish the rest. The total project took less than 20 minutes. Be aware that I had made four full sea sponges out of 12 sponges of various colors. Depending on the amount of sponges you need, plan on using 3 sponges for each sponge ball.

The benefits of using these are as follows:

  1. They fill up with as much or more water than a water balloon.
  2. Hands of all sizes can handle them.
  3. They do not break easily.
  4. When they do hit the ground, They don’t gather a lot of dirt because of the shape. Only the tips touch the ground.
  5. One bucket of water lasts the entire party.

When I reviewed them with the kids after the party, it was a unanimous YES! for making more of these in the future. The good thing about them is that once they dry, you can place them in a bucket in the garage for use the next time you want to have fun with water!

Have you ever tried alternatives for water balloons without wasting water? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

Knot an ordinary blanket.

So I got this gift for my daughter for Christmas. She was all about this gift, using pieces for her dolls beds and pillows. Time and time I told her that if she kept using the pieces, she wouldn’t have enough for a blanket. “I won’t lose any momma!” She says with confidence. 

Fast forward to last week when she pulls it out asking me to help her make this blanket. So I sit down and request the color of her choice. Now each side of these felt squares have 12 knots to be tied. I decided that the best way to make this good from both sides would be to tie a knot then flip the blanket over and tie the next one. This would ensure six knots shown on each side of the blanket for each edge of the square. This is working out beautifully I think. 

I am starting to get into the groove of the knot tying when I shortly realize this is going to be a fairly small blanket. I ask her if she can find any more pieces and she shrugs her shoulders assuring me that I have all the pieces.  

 This is my 3 year old daughter, at least she will be in 2 days, and as you can see, we do not have all the pieces. This blanket was supposed to be for my eight year old. So, the solution I think is to either buy more felt or figure out a good border. 

This is where I need your help. What solutions do you have to finish this blanket off? Let me know in the comments below!

Spring is here!

I decided it was time to add some color and life to my very dull and lifeless front yard. I added flowers to my pots and positioned my gnomes to greet and welcome visitors. Beyond that, I finally added the bird bath to the decor. It needs a fresh coat of paint and one day I will tackle that job, but for now, I’m just glad it exists.  My mom bought me a daisy which is the motivation it took for me to go get the rest of my yard together. I planted it surrounded by petunias. I can’t wait for everything to grow more during the rest of the year.

I had plenty of help with my babies running around and my fiance’ putting up the wall for the raised flower bed. I could not be more pleased with how everything turned out. I am going to buy some ground cover for the base of the flower bed, but until then, it’s housing a second flower pot. I decided to purchase flowers that bloomed all year long and that do great in direct sun. Can you see that there isn’t much shade in my front yard? I needed flowers that were going to stand the test of time.


And I’m not sure if you can see, I moved the fairy door my mom painted bright colors to the flower bed so that she had a fresh supply of water and shares the company of my many gnomes.  I am very anxious to actually have my own home one day because I have been put on restriction, not being allowed to buy any more gnomes because they keep getting broken. Before, I didn’t really have any place to put them, Now I have a flower bed that I am putting them in along with all the painted rocks I do to brighten things up. I have one more project and that is to paint a very bright colored mandala on the top of the bird bath, I’m thinking that I will do it in blues with some embellishments of yellow and orange!

In this picture, I am showing you the flower I put in the back yard. I am very nervous about putting flowers in the backyard because with toddlers, you never know if they will leave them alone. Not to mention I have a dog that peed on the pot I had out at the end of the patio last year and it slowly killed the flowers. So, I have moved these two pots closer to the house and hopefully will have the flourish over the year.

Have you done any gardening? Let me know what your favorite part of the remodel is.

Bookmarks!

Well, I decided to make some bookmarks. For my first attempt, I think I did a good job. It was really difficult to decide exactly what I wanted to do so I just gathered up some supplies and experimented.

Supplies:

  • Cardstock
  • Stickers
  • Sequins
  • Glue
  • Glitter Glue
  • Washi Tape

This was my first one. I used washi tape for the border, 3 skull stickers, and sequins. For added texture, I used a silver metallic marker to make dots in the background. I did this bookmark with someone in mind, but until I modgepodge a beautiful backing, I couldn’t possibly give this away.

The second bookmark I made was more artistically challenging.  I decided not to use any stickers, but instead draw some flowers. The border was especially fun to do. I used metallic markers and then I added a little glitter glue to add some sparkle.

All in all I think they turned out pretty cool and I can see myself making more of these in the future. The only thing I would change is that I would like to cut them in half long ways because they seem to wide for a normal bookmark. I would also like to add words to them or quotes that promote healthy reading. I am also hoping that these bookmarks could be used in artistic journals as well.

Have you ever made Bookmarks? What supplies did you use? Do you have a favorite word or quote that you would like me to try on a bookmark. 

Acrylic Rock Painting

Have you ever done this? Have you ever drawn or painted on a rock? Rock painting has so much history and I love how every painting is completely different that anything I’ve witnessed before. I love how just different color dots and strokes can turn something into a story. This is the first time that I have tried this and I think it looks pretty rough. I used Acrylic Puffy Paint to do this, which wasn’t the best idea, but it gave the rock some pretty gnarly texture, which I end up really liking!

These two were just the progress pics. I started out painting the top half of the rock black so that I would have a good surface for the other colors to show up on. In the end I think it was a good idea because the other colors really pop. Now you can tell on here that working with puffy paint is not very nice. If there was an air pocket in the puffy paint pen, it splattered out over the rock. So, I just tried to go slow and when something smeared or changed, I just changed it all the way around the mandala.

There is the final product. I really like how it is textured. I outlined the black paint with a few dots just to add a little more flavor. This rock was about the size and shape of a common mouse for your computer. I picked it up on the side of the walk and I had been holding onto it for about two weeks and just decided today was the day.

Let me know what you like and dislike about this project and if you have ever had any experience with rock painting.

Meet Fred!

So my daughter surprised me today with the most awesome clay sculpture she has made to date. My daughter, who is 8, made this creature in art class at school.

She knows I can appreciate all types of art, but this truly did impress me. We are riding in the car and she says, “Mom, look what I made you!” I grab this mystery object from her hand and immediately confess my love for him. “His name is Super Monster!” I nod in agreement of this very fitting name. “And when he is not being super, his name is Fred!”

I immediately burst into laughter with her as we both realize the silliness of her imagination. I love him, I tell her, I truly love him. So, take a look at this beauty with his super fantastic sticky-note cape!

Have you ever received a gift from your child with a silly story attached? If so, I would love to hear about them in the comments below!

Mickey/Minnie Birthday Party

Ok. Here are some of the crafts that I decided to do for my kids birthday. Madison and miles are a year apart. So they will almost always have a combined party. I do not feel bad for them because my sister and I are a year apart and we always had our parties together. Now we live in different states and I only wish I could celebrate with her yearly. Let me apologize as this is a media heavy post.

Ok. In the picture above, I made the names banner using ribbon, cardstock, alphabet stickers and a double line punch. The double line punch was to make slits in the cardstock so I could run the ribbon through. Honestly, I did this the morning of the party. I like the way it turned out and because it is multi colored, I am able to change out the ribbon with the birthday theme. Yay!

 

For my front door, I made these adorable outlines using my circle cutter. I printed the words out on construction paper, then cut the circles out. I printed Minnie’s bow out on construction paper as well and just cut it out with scissors. Although I worked hard on this and everyone complimented me, I had a few tips to make them better. First off, I would suggest that you use cardstock instead of construction paper, as it will hold up better and the colors are brighter. Secondly, dress up the lettering with some outlines or doodles.

Oh yes, the cupcakes. I decided a long time ago that cupcakes are a better option than cake at a party, and it’s easy to send guests home with the extras. For these cupcakes, I bought red and white, and pink and white polka dot cupcake liners. I baked over 25 chocolate cupcakes and 25 strawberry cupcakes. The decorations were pretty easy. I used chocolate icing in the can to make things quick and easy. I then bought candy bows from the bakery section at Wal-mart. The ears are just mini Oreos, which proved more difficult to find. I finally found them at Target. Putting these together put a huge smile on my face. I loved every minute of it.

As you can tell, the cupcakes were a huge success and worked well for miles first-year smash cake. I got many chocolate kisses during this time as we all huddled around him watching his delight as he was allowed to get messy.

Onto the photo booth. My amazing boyfriend made this photo booth frame so that I could decorate it. I used a red plastic table cloth, cardstock, black foam board, alphabet stickers, and black poster board. I think it turned out great and we had a lot of fun using the mickey mouse club photo props I purchase online. For Mickey’s hands, I printed out the design on regular paper and backed it with poster board so that it would hold up.

Here is just a close up of the sliding glass door leading to the back yard where the photo booth was set up. I just used window paint for this. My 7 yr old helped out too. It was a bonding experience for us both!

I also used styrofoam balls from the craft store with wooden dowels to support them in the traditional Mickey mouse shape and filled them with dum dum suckers.  This took well over 1000 suckers just in case anyone out there wants to attempt this. But I like the way it turned out.

All in all, it was a fun party with family and friends.  What was your favorite part of the party? Let me know in the comments below!