Annual Mandala Collections

I did want to take the opportunity to say thank you to all of you that have stayed loyal throughout the years. Although this site is only a year old, I have been working on bringing content to you for several years. I really do enjoy being creative every day, and I love even more to share it with all of you.

Each year, I have decided that I am going to create a Mandala Collection that can be sold as individual prints, or as a set of 3 or 5 mandala prints. I have done this for two years in a row and I am gearing up for my third year. But before I dive into that, I thought we would go take a look at the two previous years so that you can see what I am talking about first hand.

Mandala Collection I – 2017

Take a look at the posts for each one below, it will give you an insight into what was going through my head while creating them. This was my first year and I was not sure of how well I would do, or if this challenge would be too much for me. The theme of the first year was using black and white on gradient paper. These pictures do not show true justice for the design, but I promise you they look better in person.

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 1

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 2

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 3

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 4

Mandala Collection I, Mandala 5

Not too shabby for my first collection, if I do say so myself. I learned a lot of things throughout the year and was able to adapt the second collection into something a little different, and yet similar.

Mandala Collection II – 2018

The theme for the 2018 year was using mixed media and triangles. Each mandala has an organic feel to them and yet each one is adorned with sharp edges. This collection also looks better in person, and as soon as I can get a studio area set up with great light, I will take better pictures to share with you.

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 1

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 2

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 3

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 4

Mandala Collection II, Mandala 5

Mandala Collection III, 2019 – Coming Soon!

I would love to know what theme you would like to see in the new collection. Don’t be shy, I never throw an idea away. Comment in the section below! I look forward to hearing from you!

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.

Christmas Presents!

I know I know! Christmas is already over, but now that all the gifts that I made have been well-received I thought I would share them with you. Each year I love to give gifts that I have created. I love to create something that makes them think of me and the memories we have together when  they see them. They are also personalized so that they meet the needs of the person and their tastes.

Ok, I want to start off with one of my favorite type pieces. A very dear friend of mine went through a tough time and didn’t believe that they would get through it. However, after they rose from the ashes of that destruction, we started to talk about how they were like the Phoenix. Every year, I give this friend something that goes along with the theme of rising above your circumstance and setbacks. Each year is a new beginning. You can check out last years here. And the one for this year was a beautiful staff, since we are both nerds, that is designed after the Phoenix.

 

This was drawn with my black .03 Staedtler Pigment Liners, and colored with red, orange, yellow, grey and brown Steadtler Color Pencils. I then decided that taking the grey color pencil and rubbing it lightly over the outer edge of the paper gave the whole thing a new look. Overall, I’m happy with how this turned out and have already started researching phoenix ideas for next Christmas. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.

Onto the second gift, I was gifted a smaller lazy susan. It was made from bamboo, but had some apples painted on the top of it.  I wanted to do something very personal for my sister-n-law and her new husband. I knew that they would appreciate a handmade gift. So, I had my fiance’ sand down the top and it left a beautiful finish. Then, I started working from the inside out. Starting with the first letter of her new last name, “S.”

After surrounding the monogram with a very detailed mandala, I then erased my guidelines (still in the picture above) and put two clear protective coats on it. On the night we gave this gift, It was immediately put to use under the salad bowl in the center of the table.

The last, but certainly NOT least, gift that I made personally, was for my fiance’s parents. They have been such a wonderful blessing in my life and I wanted to give them something that represented family and unity. So, like the last gift, I chose to do a monogram again, but with my fiance’s parents last name letter “L”. But unlike the last gift, I chose to paint this on a black square canvas that I had.

I decided that using my gold paint pen from my table project gave this piece the life it was searching for. I absolutely love how it turned out and they seemed to as well. I am truly blessed to be able to share my talents with those around me.

Although these were not the only gifts I gave for Christmas, they were the most personalized gifts and I wanted to share them with you. Please let me know in the comments below, which was your favorite and why. I would also love to know any ideas you may like to see in the future.

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!

All About Paper!

There are so many different types of paper out there. How are we to know what is the best type of paper to buy for the project we want to do. Well, I am here to give a little insight into the different types of paper. Although there is not enough time in the day to go through every type of paper, I will go through some features of paper that you should be looking for, according to which project you want to complete.

FIBERS

What you may not realize is that paper is not just made from trees. A sheet of paper is basically mingled fibers from various resources to include, but not limited to cotton, linen, jute, hemp, rice straw, cellulose, and bamboo. Of all the things paper can be made from, cotton and cellulose are the main types that are available. Cotton paper is considered high quality and can withstand multiple erasings.  If the paper is made of 100% cotton, it can last 100 years or more. There are papers of less cotton percentage that will not last as long and can become fuzzy if manipulated heavily. Cellulose paper is paper made from wood pulp. This type of paper has an acidic compound that destroys or breaks down the paper over time. This type of paper does not usually last long and is biodegradable. There are additives that can extend the life, but these types of paper are usually the least quality.

WEIGHT

One thing to remember is that usually thicker paper can handle the wetter medium. Traditional papers are measured by weight using pounds or grams per square meter (GSM). Inconsistencies of the measurements using pounds have led to using the GSM more often.  When the paper is measured using gsm, the weight of the paper will not change when the size of the paper.  changes.

SIZE

Sizing makes the paper more water-resistant and keeps inks and watercolors bright. Sizing also affects the paper’s archival quality.  There are two ways to size paper, Internal and External. Internal sizing is done while the paper is still in liquid pulp form, while external sizing is applied to the surface after the sheet has dried. These sizing methods can be combined or done independently depending on the needs of the paper being made.

FINISHES

Rough paper is designed by not pressing the paper as it is drying. This paper is good for transparent watercolors or pastels.

Cold Press paper, which is the most popular, is a handmade paper created by repressing a wet sheet.  Machines can also make cold press paper by passing it between rollers. Cold press papers soak up the water quickly and have some texture to it which means it dries pretty quickly.

Hot Press paper is created by running a freshly formed sheet through heated rollers. This creates a very smooth surface that gives you more time to play and manipulate the color on the paper.

Drawing paper has different characteristics that depend solely on the type of media being used. This can include ink, pencils, crayon, charcoal, and markers.

FORMAT

Single sheets may require tape or weights to keep the edges down depending on which media is being used.

Sketchbooks are a great way to take your art on the go. Although this format is typically used for dry medias, there has been a rise in mixed medias being used as well. It all depends on what you want to keep in your travel case.

Blocks are stacks of paper that are glued together on two or more sides are adhered to a backing board. While only one sheet can be used at a time, this format keeps the paper stretched out.

Rolls are usually in economical sizes and can take a more rectangle shape depending on the needs of the piece.

COMMON TYPES

Copy Paper is best used for handwriting and printing. It has a medium weight and has a very smooth texture. I use copy paper for my sketching. It is thin enough that when I’m ready for a final draft or inking, the light from my light box will shine through perfectly.

Cardstock is a mixture between paper and cardboard. It is best used for card-making, paper crafts or other free standing projects. I have noticed that with cardstock, wet medium tends to bleed or feather out further from the original line drawn.

Construction paper is best used for kids crafts. It is lightweight and has a rough texture. It is perfect for a quick project like a paper chain or bulletin board, where the individual creations are not saved long term.

Tissue Paper is very thin, almost translucent and can be used to make a stained glass effect. Tissue paper is used is so many crafts as well as gift bags. The possibilities are pretty ingenious if you take the time to research projects it involves.

Art Papers are usually very high quality with special attention to archival techniques.  These papers are usually more expensive than any other type of paper and are for final drafts, photographs, and cover a wide variety of mediums.


Final Note: As I said in the beginning, creating a post that went over every type of paper would be too exhaustive. There are literally hundreds of paper types I didn’t mention but I hope to add different types of paper to my art review supplies in the future.  If you have a specific request for a type of paper, let me know in the comments below. 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!