Monday, September 30, 2013

Halloween Books...

My love for children's books, is more like an obsession.  I have been collecting children's books since before I ever even had any kids.  If I could choose any job in the world (other than being a mommy) I would be a children's book illustrator/ writer!  Of course, that's a far-fetched dream, seeing how I lack the artistic abilities, so I enjoy other talented folk's work instead.  ;)  My more realistic dream is to one day have a library like my mother's.  You should see her collection.  It's fabulous!!  :)  My 6 year old's closet is already reaching it's capacity to hold all of the books I've accumulated over the years... and my bookshelf in the playroom has reached it's limit as well.  But, the way I see it, you can never have too many books.  :)
     For each different Season/Holiday, I love to take out and display my books that go along with that Season, or Holiday... Today I'd like to share with you a few of my favorite Halloween books!

At this moment I have them displayed in this fun wire basket.  I'd like to make an actual box, to fit them better, with more room to grow over the years, but this'll do for now.  :)
 Today I'm only sharing 5 of my favorites, I have many, many more.  Let me know if you're interested in learning more of my favorite Halloween reads!  

"Cinderella Skeleton" by Robert D. San Souci, Illustrated by David Catrow
Such an absolute darling take on the "Cinderella Story" and the illustrations are just lovely!!

"Boris and Bella" by Carolyn Crimi, Illustrated by Gris Grimly
This was a new find for me last year.  I am in love with Gris Grmily's artwork!!  I have one other book illustrated by this artist.  The storyline is fun too.

"Room on the Broom" by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
This is probably my daughter's absolute favorite.  So Dang Cute!!  Enough said.  ;)

"Scary, Scary Halloween" by Eve Bunting, Illustrated by Jan Brett
This has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl myself!

"Little Goblins Ten" by Pamela Jane, Illustrated by Jane Manning
Oh, I just LOVE this one!!  You just need to read it for yourself. Well, all of these that I've listed, for that matter.  ;) 
What are some of YOUR favorite Halloween books??  I'm always on the lookout for one I haven't read yet, I'd love to hear some that you and your kids love to read.  

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Halloween Decor...

I love decorating for Halloween!  But when it comes to Halloween decor, I'm definitely more of a "cutesy" decorator vs. a "spooky" decorator.  I love anything with an old, or vintage feel, and even little creepy crawly things.  (Fake ones, for decoration only.  Not the real deal of creepy crawly's)  I mostly don't like anything with blood and guts, things like that.   ;)

This was my Halloween mantle from last year:
 And this is it today:
 There aren't many big changes, just few.  But I like to mix it up a tad from year to year. 
 I got the adorable "Halloween" banner from an etsy shop.
 I can't remember where I got all of the other little nicknacks.  Things I've been collecting over the past 5 years or so...
 I do remember, however, that I got this darling "Raven Tonic" apothecary jar from Rod Works, a cute home decor store here in Utah.
 The wreath, I made last year, with my sister.  Inspiration was found on Pinterest, you can view it HERE.
And here's a better detailed picture of my own:
 I used a straw wreath form, and wrapped it up with burlap ribbon.  And embellished it with fabric and burlap rosettes.  And of course the raven and little beaded spider.  The little spider is a find from my sister, I don't know where she found it.  The raven was purchased from Amazon.  The tiny "spooky" banner was cut out of painters cloth and the letters were simply drawn on with a pen.
 I seriously love these Martha Stewart window clings!  (found on Amazon) I used one on a ceramic plate last year for my mantle as well.  (Pictured in top photo)
 I kept the shelves on my entertainment center pretty simple, again with just a few nicknacks I've been collecting over the years:

 This was the plate I used last year with one of the spider window clings:
 I thought this tiny autumn wreath looked adorable hanging in front of it this time around.

My corner shelf is holding a few of my absolute favorite things:
 My "grateful" sign that took me a few years to complete, due to procrastination.  ;)  The idea came from my ever-so-gifted SIL over at Catherina's Creative Corner.  I am completely SMITTEN by hers.  But so glad to have mine finally finished.  I love to keep mine up year-round.  :)
 I got this cool witches hat from a seasonal boutique here in Utah.
And the framed embroidery work was made by yours truly.  :)  I found the pattern from an etsy shop.  I started obsessing with embroidery just a couple of years ago.  I hope to finally finish some Christmas pillows I've embroidered this year.  But it's quite possible that they may get put off for one more year, as I am currently working on a large project:  revamping my Master Bedroom!  I'm INCREDIBLY excited for it's reveal!  It's undergoing quite the make-over, clear to painted ceilings.  :)  I can't WAIT until it's finished!!  (both because I've never had my own bedroom decorated how I've wanted it, my whole married life, AND because I'm sick of camping out in the play room.)  haha!

Linking up to:  Thrifty Decor Chick

Monday, September 9, 2013

Little Boy Sail Boat/ Whale Party...

 The cool vintage whales were digital art that I purchased from THIS etsy shop.  LOVE her stuff.  I just printed them off my home computer unto some nice card stock, backed them with some decorative scrap paper and put them in some 5x7 frames.
 The paper sail boats I folded myself, stuck a dowel in the larger one, and a toothpick in the smaller one for the smash cake, and the sails are just folded paper glued to some jute string.
 Cake inspiration was found HERE.  I made my own sail boat using a cereal box (my sister drew out and cut the shape out of the cardboard, and taped it all together for me.)  I then mod podged paper from an old book onto it and painted the edges, and added buttons.  I hot glued some small dowels together and cut out the sails and flags from fabric.  I hand stitched the "S" and other details.  So the wet frosting wouldn't ruin this boat, I covered the bottom with plastic wrap before placing it on the cake.  (I wanted to display it in my baby boy's room when the party was over, because this boat took some work.)

 This "ONE" banner was a no-sew project.  I just cut a bunch of ribbon and strips of fabric and tied it onto some jute string.  The banner part I cut out of painters cloth, and painted the "1" with some acrylic paint.  After the paint dried, it wrinkled up the fabric a bit, but I didn't mind it.  If you were picky about the wrinkles, then I would suggest cutting out your number with fabric and sew it on like you would with any appliqué.
 The party hat is made out of paper.  I just googled "party hat template", and found a pattern to cut out the shape I needed.  The #1 I printed from my computer and punched out with a scalloped circle punch, and behind that I just folded a piece of paper like you would make a paper fan, and taped the ends together to make a circle.  The pom pom on top I made from yarn... (Just wrap a  whole bunch around two or more fingers (depending on how large you want it) and have someone help you tie off the middle nice and tight; cut the looped ends, and wala, a pom pom!  I then glued some wide ribbon for the straps to keep it on my baby's head, and called it good.  I didn't feel like any further decorating of the hat was needed.

 I got this idea for the "First Year Banner" from one of my many very talented sister-in-laws over at Catherina's Creative Corner  I hung it on the wall using clear command hooks.
 The burlap banner behind it, was another no-so project.  Cut the little flags out of burlap and hot glued them onto some jute string.

The little sail boat jello cups were such a fun idea, found HERE.  And the "Live Bait" are swedish fish.

Butterfly Party...

I know I haven't been very elaborate in explaining all of these parties I've hosted, I'm really just trying to play catch-up; so if there is anything that I missed, or you have questions about anything, please ask! :)

 Decorations for this Butterfly party were fast and simple.  My (then 5 year old) daughter helped me make all of the garlands.  We just used a butterfly punch on some old book pages and colored scrap paper and I ran them through my sewing machine.  I hung them in my windows using command hooks (on the sides, not the glass) and a string going across.
 My sister found these awesome huge gummy butterflies at Winco.  They weren't just pretty, they were also very yummy.
 Strawberry cupcakes with just a little cream cheese frosting.  I attempted to pipe the icing to make them look like little flowers.  I don't know what they look like to be honest, but I still thought they were pretty.  Haha!  The butterflies on these cupcakes were cut out of homemade marshmallow fondant using butterfly shaped fondant cutters.  (found on amazon)
 Pink raspberry lemonade was also served.
 The goodie bags for the guests were also quick and simple: again using the butterfly paper punch, and stapled on a folded paper doily and a "Thank You" tag onto a brown paper lunch sack.  Inside the bags were simple goodies like a "flying butterfly" (sort of like a paper airplane, but shaped like a butterfly) candy, a small notepad and tiny colored pen.  All found at Zurchers.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Mermaid Party...

This has to be one of my absolute favorite themes I have done to date for my little girl!  I was so thrilled with how everything came together for this one.  You just can't go wrong with mermaids.  :)

 As I have mentioned before, I am NOT a cake decorator, but somehow I got pretty lucky when making this cake.  I was more than thrilled with how it turned out.  The bottom tier isn't real cake; it's a cardboard circle shaped box found at Hobby Lobby.  They make actual "cake dummies" but I didn't know they existed at the time.  I used buttercream icing to frost the cake, and those are real (dried) starfish and sand dollars on the  cake (picked off before eating of course) the little tiny pearls are edible though.
 white chocolate put into seashell molds and dusted with edible pink luster dust:  All of these little goodies were set in raw sugar (to look like sand)
 Clam biscuits made from cookies, white chocolate covered raisins, and pink icing:
 Sand dollar cookies (snicker doodles with slivered almonds):
 Sea foam floats, I can't remember the recipe for these, I'll have to go back and look if anyone is interested...
 bubble pops (cake pops)
Strawberry cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  Toppers I made in photoshop with some mermaid clipart I purchased on etsy.
 The guests didn't go home empty handed, the favors included: Mermaid wands:
 Bubble bath:
 a jar of "mermaid pearls" and necklaces: