Woodlands Themed Birthday

Our daughter is lucky enough to share her birthday with Christmas Eve.  Since the day she was born my husband and I made the conscious decision that Christmas Eve was a day about her.  We make sure we do limited “Christmasy” things that day.  Some family members struggle to understand this and still try to organise family Christmas get togethers for this day but we don’t go.  Some people still get upset but its Poppy day and this takes priority.  It isn’t Christmas until the 25th so all Christmas stuff can wait.

We also have a party for her the weekend before her birthday.  We do it on the weekend because the weekend works for most people but again Christmas commitments usually limits the number of people who can actually attend.  I love planning kids birthdays.  Since she was born I have looked forward to her birthday parties and spend the whole year collecting more than enough party bits to make the day special for her.

Last year her theme was Ribbons, Frills and Bows.  The colours were pastel purple and pink. (Unfortunately a problem with my computer left me with only about 15 photos of the day out of about 100) Here is one that I managed to save thanks to Social Media. I must note that the cake is totally last minute home made.  My cake maker went into hospital the week before the party and it was a bit late to arrange another.

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This year the theme was Woodland.  The colours I chose was red with white polka dots.  I used Etsy to pick out an invitation that went with my theme. I recommend Etsy for all your invitation needs.  Especially if you want something a little bit fancier that what anyone can throw together in Word. The party itself was mainly family and a few friends so the food was basic finger food (cheese and crackers, sandwiches, chips) and then we had a little BBQ.

This is my food table set up….

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I also make this little sign to put at the front gate with Balloons.  Its made from an old fence pailing that I saved from my dads wood heap.  I plan on using this for all future parties.

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I also like to make bunting to suit.  Last years is now hanging in my daughters bedroom.  I think this one will find its way into my craft studio.

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I also make a special hat from the basic party hats that everyone else gets to wear.  This year I went a bit more simple because lets face it, it only gets worn for photos.  It is not practical for a two year old to wear a hat on a jumping castle.

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The last detail that I want to share is the the party bags. I made the tags from slices to tree branch and using a soldering iron, burnt in the names and added a little wood ladybug.  I figure these can be used as Christmas decorations too.

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I almost forgot the cake….This year I asked my dads friend to make a cake for me.  He was a cake maker in a past life and made the most amazing cake ever. It looked so real and no one wanted to cut it.  Unfortunately, he has told everyone that he won’t be making anymore cakes and he “doesn’t have the hands for it any more” and he did this one for a “Special Little Girl”.  I am still hoping he might change his mind in future. Or at least teach me how to make them. The acrylic name is from Ollie Room.

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Poppy had a wonderful day.  I haven’t decided on next years theme yet but our little Man is one this week so keep an eye out for his birthday post. If you want to see some more inspiration feel free to have a look at my Pinterest board – Poppys birthday ideas.  My Pinterest is Krisy5.

I am just waiting on Studio Calico scrapbooking kit to put together some scrapbooking pages of this day. So keep an eye out for this in coming blog posts too.

Just one final picture…She was a bit over photos by this stage but I promise she had a great day.

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Digital scrapbooking…my thoughts

I recently (a few weeks ago) downloaded the Becky Higgins Project Life app. For those that don’t know Project Life is a form of pocket scrapbooking that claims to simplify the process of scrapbooking and allow you to record your memories quicker thus taking up less time in your life. It does this by using pocket page protectors and pre printed journal/filler cards. All you have to do is slip your photos into the pockets along with your choice of cards. It really is simple and can be jazzed up with embellishments. I have hesitated to use it because I like traditional scrapbooking.

I’ll admit, it took me a while of procrastination to give pocket scrapbooking a go when a friend (Holly from Simplifycreateinspire.com) suggested it to me just before my daughter was born but I love it now. I guess I don’t like fads and wanted to make sure it was going to stick around before making the change and then finding you can’t purchase the products anymore. It turns out Holly has just been named on the 2015 creative team for Project Life so it’s fair to say she loves it and made me love it too.

The other thing is I like embellishing. I like the dimension it adds and the detail but it does take up space. It makes your albums thicker therefore you use more space storing your albums. I have the space at the moment but in five years there won’t be.

The other thing is with two children under two and another one due in the next 8 or so weeks I don’t get the time or really have the energy to spend a lot of time scrapbooking – alone! That’s another thing…the kids are happy to play at my feet while I sit on the couch and look at things on the internet or watch TV but try and do something else like cooking, craft or even cleaning and they change. Just the way that gizmos change into gremlins if you feed the after dark my children do this if they sense that you actually want to do something else other than adore them.

Queue digital scrapbooking…I’ll admit a lot of photos I take on my iphone anyway so I can sit and put together pages on one device while the kids think I’m just looking at things that won’t interest them. I can sit and use various apps to “embellish” all while still being within arms reach. Plus I can just save the pages and have them printed at a later date (when there are specials) into a slimline photo book that will take up a quarter of the space a traditional album would. They may be a bit dear to print but I think of all the savings on photos, cards and embellishments and its probably far cheaper.

So, while the kids slept after a tiring family morning, I sat down and gave it a go. At first I thought this is going to take forever. I kept pressing the wrong things and having to start over but once I worked it out it was easy. I managed to embellish too. The only catch is you can’t do too much fancying in the Project Life app. You have to save the card and then load it into whichever app you want to use, save it again and then load it back into the Project Life app. I used an app called “Letter Glow” as well as the Fatmumslim app called “Little Moments” to embellish this page.

So the verdict is I like digital scrapbooking through this app. It’s simple and effecting. It does the job and I have recorded a memory almost immediately before I forget. This being said I don’t love it – yet. I’m not committing to make the change to full digital just yet but I may have to cut back in my card collections soon to save them collecting dust.

I am going to give the concept of Project Life weekly memory preservation a go in 2015 using this app but I will finish my sons first year album the traditional Project Life way. As for the new baby well I have a few months to decide yet.

Here’s my fist page. Do let me know your thoughts.

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Naughty or nice? … Cheeky snowman poop

The other week I popped into my old office to see the old and new staff I used to work with. Being so close to Christmas I couldn’t turn up empty handed. So, thanks to Pinterest inspiration, I made some quick and easy Snowman poop books.

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So very simple yet shows you put in some handmade effort which, lets be honest to all the crafters out there is greatly appreciated at this busy time if year. All you need is papers, tape and a packet of peppermint Tic Tacs. I used my box of scrap papers for this little project as I have so much of it. All you do is measure out the size of the Tic Tacs and stick them in really.

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I did fancy them up with a bit of computer printed imagery on the front, a Christmas embossing folder and some Christmas stamps but as you can see I just hand wrote the message on the inside. In hindsight I probably should have printed that too but not to worry. Simple.

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Inchies and twinchies

Until recently I didn’t even know there was such a thing.  These are terms used for a recent swap that I participated in.  An inchie is an inch square of card decorated to a particular theme and a twinchie is two inches.  The idea is that a twinchie or inchie can be used as part of a bigger project, a card, added to a layout or used else where.

The first one I made was a twinchie to the theme of “Sewing”.  I stuck to my recent promise to myself and I stash busted.  Everything was something I had squirreled away. Measuring tape washi, button brads and handmade stamp from the Sweet Stamp shop designs.  I also included some sewing because well it fit with the theme.IMG_5050.JPG

The next was an inchie.  This was to the theme of “Ice-cream”.  I revisited embossing. And I love it. I am going to do this a lot more.IMG_5474.JPGIMG_5475.JPG

The final was a Twinchie to the theme of “Kiss”.  I used 20mm Pegs that I hand painted.

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Christmas Salt Dough Ornaments

Since my daughter was born with the exception of her very first Christmas as she was less than 12 hours old (Yep she’s a poor Christmas Eve baby) I have made a salt dough ornament of her hand print to hang on the tree. Actually we make one for each set of grandparents and my brother too.

This year with two kids under two and another due in March I was concerned that if I make one hand print every year for each child there will be no room for anything else on the tree. So this is what I came up with…layered hands.

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It works for us as they is just twelve months between each child so the size of hands for nicely. For the moment anyways.

The recipe is really easy 1 cup of flour to half a cup each of salt and water. Mix together and roll out flat like you would any other dough. You can also add food colouring at this stage to save on painting but I like the vibrancy of paints. I found thinner is better for quicker cooking but can be a bit more fragile if little hands get to the tree. Once mixed well press in your hand/foot/face….whatever tickles your fancy really. Remember to make your hanging hole at this stage (I just used a bamboo skewer) and you could also add textures and patterns too.

Then bake your creations in a low oven (100 degrees Celsius) for a few hours. You will notice the dry patches and wet ones as it bakes. Just keep cooking until it is all dry.

Once cooked, I like to leave for a few days to make sure it is super dry then paint in your chosen colours. This year we went a bit traditional with green, red and white. Last year we used silver and black. I used just regular acrylic paints. Then some petite alphabet stickers from Authentique and finally a thick layer of modge podge. Done. It’s super easy. You can use stickers to decorate too before your modge podge layer. Last year we used little holly stickers and just painted the name and year on.

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If you have any other Christmas ideas for capturing things like hand prints please don’t hesitate to share.

Christmas Tags

Each year I make our Christmas gift tags.  I know it is cheaper and easier just to buy them but I get some satisfaction in seeing the presents all wrapped and labelled with something I created.  Plus I am the only one that bothers to put in any effort and there is usually a comment or two on Christmas day about this and it makes me feel good.IMG_5342.JPG

This year, Pinterest was again my source of inspiration. Peanut Rudolphs.IMG_5345.JPG

To make these, yes, I did purchase a whole bag of peanuts just for the shells.  I spent the good part of an hour shelling the whole bag just so that I could get the best selection of shells.

I used Heidi Swapp colour shine to colour the shells.  It worked really well and it doesn’t rub off on your hands as I thought it would.  I am definitely going to invest in some more of these.IMG_5340.JPG

And here is another close up.

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More Christmas Tags that double as Christmas Decorations

Yep, this is another Pinterest idea. Cork Reindeers.

I found corks quite expensive and hard to come by.  Now I haven’t had a glass of wine in about three years due to back to back pregnancies but did you realise that most bottles of wine now have screw tops?  I didn’t but everyone I asked to collect corks for me made this comment.  I managed to get some seconds on ebay.  I like the fact that some of them are used and stained.

I used a packet of decoration hooks from the cheap shop to hold my corks together.  They were the perfect length and came pre-threaded with little beads to fancy the whole thing up.