Saturday, November 1, 2014

the (very furry) lion

My girl is still in love with all animals- big and small.  She asked to be a lion for Halloween, and shortly after I came across this picture (how awesomely boho is she, right?) and thought it would be something I could easily make.  Ahem.  "Easily".

Black shirt and pants from Target, very affordable.  Fur from Joanns, still affordable.  Even with the cutting advice from the sweet old woman at Joanns, I was not prepared for the fur balls floating around my house.  Also, I had to hand stitch the fur to the arms and legs because I wasn't sewing on the seam.  So I sewed the fur onto black ribbon first to keep the fur from unravelling and then handstitched.  

This is Lola's initial fitting.  I made her an extra collar roll since the shirt was a little low cut and I also didn't like how you could see some of the black along the neckline.  I mention sewing, but I never said I did it well...

This is how her face looks when she is telling me something very serious.

She also has a natural lions mane.

I bought the ears and tail from the store, but I ended up hot glueing some of my fur on them so they matched the rest of the costume.  Yes, there is fur permanently attached to my hot glue gun now.

I couldn't leave my golden ninja out of this post completely.  Ninja's are serious- No. 1.

And No. 2, they can be found in the jungle.  Being serious.

And here is how the final costume turned out.  It's not perfect, but it's cute because she's cute.


Happy Halloween 2014!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

a lego pirate party

Max loves LEGO.  He plays with LEGO's, sleeps with LEGO's, draws LEGO's, watches LEGO TV shows, plays LEGO video games... you get the idea.  So, that part of his 5th birthday party was a given, but the focus is ever changing. Spiderman, Iron Man, Star Wars, Batman, Pirate.  That is the sequential order, I remember it by heart.  His love of pirates was a combination of a real pirate- Peg Leg- visiting the kids on our vacation in Canada (wink, wink), and the Pirates of the Caribbean LEGO video game Max rented from the library.  Luckily, John's mom and dad saved a lot of his old LEGO's- including the whole pirate ship that goes for big bucks on Ebay.  I took some pictures of those pirates (inspired by this invitation), added text and Boom!  Invitation.  So I forgot to actually put Max's real name on the invitation (he was Capt. Two Hook in Canada), our real address, rsvp or our return address on some of the envelopes.  I like to keep everyone on their toes.

Let's talk decorations, shall we?  Yards and yards of red and white striped flags- check.  I have a thing for buntings, yo.  His very own LEGO pirate flag- check.  Tiny birthday banner- check.  Pirate LEGO's- check.

I just used that fusible fabric stuff to stick the white LEGO skull & crossbones to the black flag.  Curtain grommets and rope.

Oh, little pirate ship... I know it doesn't look like much.  Wonky, you might say.  I took all the LEGO's my mother-in-law had and gave them to John and kindly asked him to put together the pirate ship (we even had the old instructions).  He told me the next day that the set is 6200 pieces and he was only able to get 4 pieces together in the half hour he worked on it.  So I put the guys together, attached the flags to some tiny dowel rods I had and that was that.  If you squint and look at it from far away, it's awesome!

This was a new Pirates of the Caribbean set I found on Amazon, a surprise for Max.

Did I cut out all those LEGO skull & crossbones from black felt?  Yes.  Did I trace the picture with black marker on black felt?  Yes.  Because why make things easy for myself?

My 5 year old.

His shirt is from Zara and I used some iron-on transfer sheets to put the LEGO skull & crossbones on it.

This was our office/playroom transformed into LEGO-land.  I found a blank LEGO guy image online, printed him out at FedEx for $5 and put some pirate clothes on him- he was our "Pin the Eye Patch on the Pirate LEGO Guy" guy.  

I used this idea and made a place for the kids to actually play with LEGO's.  Max has SO MANY, so I filled the head with extra pieces that the kids could use for their own "masterpiece" to take home.

I checked out virtually every LEGO building book at the library.  Sure, they thought I was weird.

The food I can't really take credit for.  All ideas found on Pinterest, but I made the signs with the LEGO guys from Max's invitation.

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!  Or pirate ale.  Ok, it's apple juice.

Argh!  The one and only cutie that wanted to wear my lego stamped pirate head scarf.  It's ok.  They didn't turn out anything like these.

Reviewing the literature...

Master builders.

Pin the Eye Patch on the LEGO Pirate.  I didn't twirl the kids in circles, and they were pretty spot on with their patches!

He ended up with sunglasses.

I printed out this LEGO bingo game, which turned out super fun.  Max was excited because the sheets had Jay from Ninjago.  Oh yeah, did I mention by the time of this party Max moved on from LEGO Pirates to LEGO Ninjago? Yeah, that happened.

Lola totally cheated.

We had to play until every child got bingo...  I gave each of the kids a tiny bag of gold doubloons (chocolate coins)- leftovers from the party favors.

Then for the last game I used this idea and the kids worked together to build something.  Each one adds one piece.

 It didn't last long, but they were excited about what they created.  Whatever it is.

I'm the worst at cakes.  The worst!  Max wanted chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  LEGO toppers.  That's the best I can do.

These were the gift bags.  The LEGO guy I used for the coloring book was from here, just added text to the first card and created a little book with binder rings.  Those crayons were just awesome on so many levels.  They were easy to make.  Max and Lola helped me break each crayon and put them in the molds.  We even had a crazy science "liquid vs. solid" moment.  The control freak in me really wanted them all solid colors, but the kids had fun combining them, so...  The tiny bags are from Michaels, I did not make them.  But I did draw the LEGO skull & crossbones on them.  I also filled the bags with the chocolate coins.  Because no matter how cute gift bags are, the kids throw everything out until they get to that candy.  Am I right?

At the end of the night after everyone left I realized we didn't take a family picture so I made John set the camera up really quick.  I'm glad I did.

There are so many talented, creative, graphic designery people out there.  Much of this party is either blatantly copied from them, or inspired by them.  Here are some of my sources, but kudos to all who have thrown a LEGO party (probably 75% of the world thus far).

Source & Source | Source | SourceSource

Monday, June 9, 2014

a jumpy animal 2nd birthday party

A jumpy animal 2nd birthday party... that's a mouthful, huh?  When I was brainstorming a theme for Lola's party I just tried to think of what she likes the most.  Well, it's jumping- on our bed, on Max's bed, in her bed, at the gym, in the pool, etc.  And it's animals.  She brings her stuffed animals everywhere and talks about the zoo all the time, "Go to the city, see monkeys".  So the theme of the party, and since she was turning 2, was Lola's 2 favorite things.

I wrote a little birthday poem and had this super talented lady create the hand written invites- which were sent with multicolored confetti of course.

The gift bags were really easy- animal crackers, animal finger puppets from IKEA and bouncy balls (not shown).

I have circle punches and went a little punch crazy with the neon paper to create the garlands and Lola's birthday banner.  Super easy to just sew on the machine, but it took a while, so I was meticulous- storing them on an empty paper towel roll so they would be easy to hang.  Well, one little tug and it all fell off the roll into a 20 foot long tangle.  Swear word, swear word.  I ended up cutting it apart at the tangles and taping them together.  You couldn't really see it.

I love those animal balloons!  Super cheap from Amazon.  And you can't really see it, but I bought a queen size flat sheet and scalloped the long edges.  Another really inexpensive way to make a tablecloth.  However, they only get wider as they get bigger, not longer... so it was just a teeny bit too short for my crazy long party table.

But my absolute favorite were Lola's Schleich animals with party hats on.  Out of everything, that was the easiest, and most fun, project!

And no party is complete without temporary tattoos.

Lola did not want one.

There were some other good sports.  I love this picture!  So serious...

Yeah, that's more like it.

Cute masks for the taking.

My little monkey girl!

That decorating and stuff is all well and good, but the fun part was the jumpy house.  For shiz.

She loves reading her Year Book.  

We had a bit of brunch since it was still technically morning.  Yes, mimosas at a 2 year olds birthday party.  What?

I made these yummy eggs and homemade bagels, because I could pretty much make both in advance minus the cooking.

All was great, but the cake- not.  I tried to make this and really it should have landed me on this list.  It was like the leaning tower of shredded box cake.  My mother-in-law kindly commented that cool whip covers everything.  Well, it did!  But she helped me.  Cake decorating is just not one of my talents.  Cupcakes- or I'm going to need to pay the professionals from here on out.  But the animals made it cuter.

Confetti cake to match the theme, but she wanted chocolate too.

Isn't her dress just too cute?  The back is the best.

We just love this girl to pieces, can you tell?  She is amazing to me.  So strong.  Unafraid.  Silly.  Smart (seriously people, I'm talking baby genius here).  Challenging, funny, snuggly, loud, loving, bold and just plain beautiful from the top of her golden curls to her teeny toe nails.  I love her.

And then the family pictures that kids are seriously never willing to put up with.

My girl napping after the festivities have died down.  I know it's blurry, but so, so sweet.

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