Easy Personalized Party Theme

We just celebrated my Dad's 80th birthday with an open house.  I, of course, put myself in charge of the decorations because I love to make things and I love to decorate for special occasions.

My first idea was to make table tents featuring various snapshots of Dad through the years.  That idea was nipped in the bud because, as my parents so gently whispered, "photographs are for funerals".

Although I didn't agree with that idea I honored their wishes... but kept my mouth shut as to my new idea for fear they would axe that one too!

I decided to make story pieces for the tables that depicted the many things Dad has been involved in over the years.  For instance, he was a farmer for a while and raised pigs and sheep.

My parents honeymooned in California and drove there in their 1955 Chevy.

I used whatever I had on hand for the displays, baskets, boxes, plates, bowls.

All of the pictures were found on the internet.  I simply printed off two of each on card stock, making sure to mirror print the second one.  I cut them out and used double-sided tape to keep them together.  Toothpicks were slid between them to make them stand up.

A few flower embellishments here and there to coordinate with the red, white and blue color scheme and the decorations came together in a snap.

A little modeling clay worked great for this one.  The picture stood nicely in the clay and the flowers didn't go anywhere.

The mail box is held on top of the old Chevy hub cab with modeling clay, which by the way does not dry out, and is sitting on top of a toy goal post.

In all there were 15 different scenes.

Finally, sprinkled throughout the table decorations were the grandkids and great grandkids - all 19 of them!  I cut out two of each and put the pictures on the stems from the flowers I used in the other decorations; stuck it in a little clay and filled the cup with crushed chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs.

All in all it was a great day.  Everyone had fun reminiscing about the old days and remembering all the things Dad was involved in.  Best part was the cost... very, very little.  A few sheets of card stock, toothpicks, a little moss, etc. and a few bunches of silk flowers.

Next time you have a party, you can make it very special with very little effort or expense!


The Greatest Gift

Children are gifts from God and the greatest gift parents can give their children is dedication back to God through Baptism.  Yesterday we had the pleasure of witnessing the baptism of our youngest grandchild, Macy Quinn.

Macy was all dolled up for her special day.

Big sister, Lauren, and big brother, Chandler, took a few minutes before the ceremony to catch up on whatever it is that little kids chatter about.  Chandler told Lauren, "you look beautiful today".  Lauren replied, "I have a owie on my knee!"

Macy accepted her gift of baptism without a peep.  

Pastor Ryan at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church was absolutely wonderful.  He reminded all of us about the importance of spiritual gifts and included all of the siblings in the service.  Ethan was given the Baptism Candle and told to help Macy remember her spiritual birthday.  Lauren was handed the Baptism Certificate and was told to keep it in a safe place for her little sister.  Chandler was put in charge of the precious Baptism Medal for safekeeping.  They all beamed with pride to be included.

Left to right:  Drew with Macy, Kristen, Sponsors Aunt Sarah, Uncle Nate, and twin Uncles, Mark and Matt.  Front row:  Chandler, Lauren and Ethan with their special items from Pastor Ryan.

Oh what a special, wonderful day!



Been a while, huh?  I have a gazillion excuses, of course, but I won't bore you with them.  I'll just admit that I've been a bad blogger and confess that I haven't even checked in on my favorite blog friends either.  That's something I'm not very proud of and I'll try to do a better job.

I have another confession to make.  I tried to copy a crow.  Yep.  I found this awesome prim crow on etsy and tried to make my own.  Let me just say that my crow paled in comparison.

I'm still rather proud of my imitation, even though he does look a bit more like a mutant parrot than a crow.  As a matter of fact, he turned out so good that I wanted to make more primitive creatures because I love them so and I also love the way a little acrylic paint and a coat of Mod Podge magically transforms muslin into faux leather.

So, I did the right thing and ordered four patterns from Raven's Haven, including Edgar the Raven (the one I tried to DIY) designed by Stacey Mead, The Goode Wife of Washington County.  If you love prim, checking out her etsy shop is definitely a must.  Not only are her designs the "crow's toes", her patterns are wonderfully easy to understand and follow.

I haven't tackled the Edgar pattern yet, but I did use her pattern to make this adorable little dog.

The original pattern features cute little wings, but I decided to skip the wings and give him a bandanna scarf instead.  After all, if he's going to live here, he's got to be a farm dog, right?  He needs to be hanging to get the full effect of his chasing pose, but I haven't quite figured out where yet.  For now he just helps me cook and goodness knows I can use all the help I can muster in that department :)

The little fella looks a bit frisky though, don't you think?  I decided he needed someone to keep him in line and found the purrfect subject to fill the bill.  A cranky old cat, again, courtesy of Stacy Mead.

This old gal has zero tolerance for tom-foolery.  

Goodness, this is so much fun I can hardly wait to make some more!


Purple Cows & Birthday Treats

It's been a busy weekend around here.  Good thing I have lots of helps and helpers to get everything done!  My new cutting/trimming board arrived a couple of weeks ago and I was just itching to make something.  It is a Purple Cows brand and in my book it's the Crow's Toes.  Cuts, trims, perforates... perfect every time.

My first official project was making some labels for Ethan's birthday treat bags.  He's SEVEN now and very interested in helping.  He's especially helpful in the kitchen and doesn't even mind when Chandler steps in to lend a helping (but usually short-lived) hand.

Ethan was more than happy to help bake a cake to top off the spaghetti & garlic toast meal.  His favorite part was the frosting.

I'm pretty sure it was his Daddy's favorite part too... and Macy was amazed that licking the bowl was not only allowed but encouraged!

When supper was done it was time to package up the birthday treats.

And with a little help from Ethan, they were finished in no time at all.

All 24 of them!

Thanks to Purple Cows and Ethan, making birthday treats just a little more special was fun and easy!



Love is in the air and what better source for knowing what it means than those who know children?


The new products have arrived!  "Memory Mixer" and Crafty Secrets' "Creating with Vintage Patterns" and "Illustrations"  I'm having fun with the new stuff - but true to form for me... I like some features in one program and others in another.  End result... combine them!   

Christmas is over, of course, but you have to put the pictures together after they're taken, right?  Not to worry, I still have Valentine's Day on my mind.

I'm sure having fun!


Dinking With Digital Design

I just ordered another software program to dink around with.  I'm tired of the 100,000+ graphics I already have.  Seems I always use the same ones over and over and I'm truly bored out of my gourd with them.  Of course it will take a few days for the new program to arrive, so I played around with what I have.  And what do you know... I figured out how to tweak some of those same old - same old graphics!

For a change, I'm ahead of the season.  I have Valentine's Day on my mind already.

I like the looks of the old fashioned, Victorian, Retro - or whatever you want to call it designs.

There's just something about the old-fashionedness that I adore.  I also finally figured out how to format them so they can be used in a variety of ways... pictures, stationery, greeting cards, collages, etc. and so on.  That was quite exciting in and of itself!

Are you kind of getting the idea of what the rest of my house looks like since I've been playing around with this fun stuff all day?

While I love the old stuff, the new attracts me as well, especially when I can incorporate my little cutie-patooties in the design.  This one worked really well because the picture had a white background.  I'll have to scratch my head a little and figure out how to get the other 7 grandkids worked into something cool :)

I think I feel some Valentine Blocks in my future.