done2

Bunny Hair Bow

done1

Happy Easter everyone!  My daughter doesn’t go anywhere these days.  She is two and she is already developing her own sense of fashion!  Right now she is on a “princess” trend so she is all about dresses and hair bows.  When I made this Bunny hair bow for her she was super excited and wore it to the Easter party she was invited to last weekend!

My daughter is finally getting enough hair to use traditional hair clips, but this can definitely be made with the alligator clips that grasp onto baby fine hair as well.  I used a combination of sewing and hot glue for this one, take a look at how I did it.

Some of the supplies you will need are grossgrain ribbon in a white and pink… or whatever color bunny you like with a contrasting color for the inner ear. A spool of tiny pom-pom ribbon, some pink thread (or matching your contrasting color) a glue gun and two googly eyes. You will also need your clip and some fraying solution.

Start out by deciding how big you want your ears. I cut my ribbon about 3″ each for the ears.

Then stack your main color (in my case white) and your contrasting color (in my case pink). And form a tall loop.

Now place a small stitch at the bottom to hold the shape in place.

Once this is done just trip any fraying you see. This doesn’t need the fraying solution because it will be glued shortly.

Now form a bow with a length of ribbon that is your main color. I do this two ways. Either this wa or with that end that is in the front placed behind. You can see the difference at the end.

Place a small stitch to hold.

Now clip off two tiny pom-poms forming a “V” shape.

Now all your preparations are ready. Choose which clip you prefer and cover with your main color ribbon to blend in.

Here are all the pieces.

Stitch the pom-poms onto the bow.

Now dab two bits of hot glue for the ears, they go on first.

You will want to work quickly here.

Now add another dab of glue for the bow itself.

Now glue on the eyes and the little square of pink for the nose and you’ve done it!

Just be sure to go back and use the fraying solution on the ends of the ribbon that are exposed. This is a very important step whenever working with ribbon of any kind.

done2

Bunny Hair Bow

White grossgrain ribbon (or brown or gray etc)

Pink grossgrain ribbon (or blue etc)

Tiny pom-pom ribbon

2 googly eyes

clip

hot glue

fray check

scissors

finish1

Tab-top Curtains by: Natalia

done3

My mom is an expert in curtain making.  She doesn’t do it professionally although I have urged her to do so on several occasions.  She needs no pattern and often comes up with designs on her own.  So, we have always had custom designed and made curtains.  From when I moved out into my first apartment to now all I need do is pick out a fabric or two and explain what I was looking to achieve and she was able to whip it right up for me. The same has extended to my sister’s of course.  And I have to tell you, there is nothing that succeeds in making a home look more polished than beautifully hung curtains.

My sister Lindsey recently got married and they just bought their first home! Such an exciting time! New beginnings and a fresh start in designing and decorating.  So, she, as I and my sister Vicki have done picked out some fabrics and styles.  Today I am going to walk you through some simple cotton tab-top curtains my mother designed and made for Lindsey’s eat in kitchen.

First the fabrics:

My sister chose a simple sage green and beige checkered design for the main fabric and a plain sage fabric for the accent color.

The first step whenever making custom curtains is to take accurate measurements. You need to measure from curtain rod to floor or to the bottom of the sill, whichever you decide you want to do. In this case we are going right down to the floor. Then you need to allow for hemming. In this case, the bottom of the curtain will be the accent piece and it will measure 18″. So that 18″ doubled plus 2″ for a hem is added to the rod to floor measurement along with a 2″ top hem.

The first step is to sew the two pieces of fabric together.

Just using a simple sewing machine stitch. Be sure you have lined up the edges of the fabric. And be sure you are sewing the wrong sides of the fabric facing out so that when you see the fabric from the front side it looks seemless.

Then you have this and you can treat it like one piece of fabric.

This is how you make the tabs… picture by picture.  The first step is to get a length of fabric about 4″ wide by 6″ long and iron it down, then sew, then turn it inside out, iron again, pin it on the top of your panel and sew on.

Once all your tabs are in position, the next step is to make it so they pop out the top without seeing the rough edges.  In order to do this you create a back panel for the top with a 4-6″ piece of fabric.  As always start off with iron it, then pinning it to the top of the panel and sewing.  Once that is set, you put in a simple top stitch to keep everything in place and falling nicely.

Now to finish the last part of the panel, the bottom.  My mother always makes sure to give the curtains a custom look by adding in an invisible seem where you don’t see actual stitching.

 

done1

 

 

 

done2

Halloween Candy Bars

done1

Halloween has to be one of the most fun-loving holiday’s we have! I thought I would come up with a project to do with my kids that reflects that! And because it’s Halloween, there needs to be sugar involved in said project… Soooo, I took sugar wafer cookies (yum), chocolate (yum), and candy (more yum) and I put them all together in one super yummy festive treat!

All you need to do is pick up a couple of packages of sugar wafers (I got three flavors), two kinds of melting chocolate (or colorful melts if you like), and a selection of candy.  My kids LOVE m&m’s so those had to be there, then to make it extra Halloweeny, some candy corn of course and the rest were just random selections that suited my fancy!

This no-bake treat is inexpensive, easy and fun, let me show you how I did it…

Here are all the ingredients I used... You can swap any of this out, get creative, taylor it to your tastes!

Here are all the ingredients I used… You can swap any of this out, get creative, tailor it to your tastes!

I chose bittersweet chocolate because it helps to off set some of the sweetness.

I chose vanilla melts for the contrast in color.

Three different types of sugar wafers… the classic vanilla, chocolate and strawberry… but there are lots of different flavors out there, again, get creative!

I used sweetened coconut flakes, you could use unsweetened or even toasted if you want to cut some of the sugar.

Candy corn is a non-negotiable if you are making these for Halloween! Even if they are just on a few, it really helps to doll them up… Now, if you are making these for let’s say Christmas or Easter, you might use candy canes or peeps!

I chose mini m&m’s because their cute little size fit with the wafers, also, because they are small, we could get more color… and as I already mentioned, this is a family favorite!

I picked up a cookies and cream candy bar and chopped it up… My kids love Oreo yogurt and so I knew they would just love this one!

I reserved some of the vanilla chips for decoration.

I also picked up some peanut butter cups, um, yum… obviously if you are making these to bring into a school or somewhere there might be a peanut allergy, I would leave these out.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment. You want to place on something mobile so you are able to move your bars to a cool place to set up.

Place your vanilla melts in a microwave safe bowl and heat for one minute to start, then stir as well as you can.

Place in the microwave again for 10-15 seconds at a time, stir after each time… until you come to this level of melt. Then allow any random bits to melt with the rest of the meltiness.

just plop each sugar wafer into the pool one at a time. With the vanilla chips, I start with the vanilla so that if some crumbs fall in, it doesn’t sour the batch.

Gently coat and allow to drip so you don’t get over coverage.

Once they are coated, place on your tray.

Some vanilla crumbs did get in, but they really aren’t seen, so I continue with the strawberry.

While still warm, start sprinkling on candy.

Get creative, let the kids have at it, there is no wrong way to do this!

Once you are done with the vanilla chips, move on to the chocolate… I like to do one at a time because it only stays warm enough to coat for a short time. So, pop this in the microwave for one minute and this is what it looks like after that minute. Mix as well as you can and pop it in for an additional 10 seconds at a time until you get to the next level…

Once you are mostly melty, mix and allow the rest to naturally melt… You don’t want to over heat, then you end up with burned chocolate, no fun!

The real chocolate will be much more liquidy, making for a more even coating.

Again, just have at it with the candy.

I had some left over chocolate, so I used it to further doll up my vanilla bars.

done2

Halloween Candy Bars

Serves: 16

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips, melted

8 oz. vanilla chips melted, plus more for decorating

16 sugar wafer cookies

1/4 cup sweetened coconut

1 cup candy corn

1 Cookies and Cream candy bar, chopped

2 peanut butter cups, chopped

1/8 cup mini m&m’s candies

(use any candy you like)

Directions:

  1. Cover a cookie sheet in parchment or wax paper, set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate or vanilla chips (one at a time).
  3. Dip and cover each sugar wafer, gently.
  4. Decorate with candy.
  5. Set on tray to cool and set up.

 

done2

Pumpkin Spice Bedazzled Jacket

done2

Kid’s are expensive! From the moment they are born all they do is grow. At first they are in a size for literally days, then a couple of weeks… thank the good Lord that at least my kid’s are finally getting a few months out of a size at this point.  But, it is still not cheap to buy a whole new wardrobe every few months!  Hence the hand me down.

Big brothers and sisters have been handing clothes down since the beginning of time. If you have kids that are the same sex, you are golden.  But, what happens if you have a boy and then a girl or visa-versa? What happens is, it’s time to get creative and transform some of those clothes!  Hey, if you can save a buck, why not save it!

This cute corduroy jacket was my son’s and it was great for him last year, but he has well out grown it now… So, I broke out the hot glue gun, some ribbon and my handy-dandy new Bedazzler and had fun transforming a pretty basic boy’s jacket into a super cute and sassy Pumpkin Spice fall jacket for my baby girl! And I think it came out rather cute!  I get complimented on it everywhere we go!

Last weekend it was time for our annual hay ride and pumpkin picking, so she donned it and I grabbed some shots for you all to see… Take a look at how I did it!

Here is Lucas’ jacket pre-make over.

I start by using my bedazzler machine to add some sparkle to the collar.

Two plain studs and one jewel (orange).

Here is the pocket pre-sparkle.

I start with some ribbon right over the pockets.  I chose to secure it with hot glue because it’s a jacket and doesn’t require a ton of washing… But, were it a shirt or pants, I would have chosen a strong fabric glue.  

I repeat the same pattern from the collar on the pockets.

Isn’t it cute?

Add a touch of ribbon to the INSIDE of the cuff. you want to add a bit of girliness by flipping up the cuffs.

I even Bedazzled an "A" on the back for "Alaina"

I even Bedazzled an “A” on the back for “Alaina”

done3

Pumpkin Spice Bedazzled Jacket

Jacket

Pumpkin colored 5/8″ gross grain ribbon

Bedazzler

Bedazzler jewels

Bedazzler studs

hot glue gun and sticks

mono93

Autumn Wreath

mono91

Something about the fall gets me in an extra crafty mood!  We recently listed our home for sale and have been having house showings and open houses, so I thought what better time to freshen up the look of my entry way than now!  After all, it’s the first impression people get of your home. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something along the lines of a wreath…  Have you shopped for pre-made wreaths lately? Holy Cow! Talk about expensive!  I went to a “discount home” store recently and found them ranging between $60 and $185! And that’s supposed to be a discount! Get outta here!  So, I popped into my local craft store and for under $25 picked up supplies to make not only one, but 2 wreaths! (Don’t you just love coupons?!?)

Whether you are selling your home or just getting into the spirit of fall, this wreath is sure to spruce up your front door!  But, the technique I am about to show you can be used for any time of year… If you want to make a Christmas wreath, just change out the ribbon. If you want to make a spring wreath, go with some pastels… This is where you get to be creative.  And if you aren’t the creative type, no worries, just follow along and you’ll do just fine!

Here are the supplies you will need…

Once you have collected all your supplies and have your work space ready to go, you will be done in no time flat, I’ll show you how I did it!

Now it’s time to add on the ribbon.  We will start with the main ribbon with the fall pumpkins.

Now onto making your fancy bow…

So here is where we are at so far!

ribbon1

Once your main ribbon and bow are done, add on your secondary ribbon.  I wait until after the bow is done because I like to know exactly where to place the accents.

First I secure the ribbon to the back of the wreath.

So all I do here is go around in the opposite direction of my main ribbon and pop the accent ribbon into every other bubble opposite of the ones the main ribbon was in, like so… And then I secure in the back with pins again.

Now for my special little embellishment…

So here is what it looks like with out the monogram… still pretty!

done1

But… I went one step further…

mono92

mono93

Now my door will be beautiful straight through Thanksgiving! Yay!

 

Autumn Wreath

1 16″ hay wrapped wreath

1 spool 2.5″-3″ wired printed ribbon

1 spool 7/8″ sparkly gross grain ribbon

1 10′ roll 21″ metallic mesh fabric

1 box straight pins

1 sparkly acorn embellishment

1 wooden monogram letter

metallic craft paint, bronze

1 small disposable sponge brush

Secure the Batman symbol onto the fabric and press firmly.

Batman Pencil Case

done2

My son is starting to really love super heroes!  I think his new blooming love is super cute.  So when it was time to find him a pencil case to put in his new Superman backpack, I was a bit disappointed I couldn’t find one I liked.  Naturally I decided to make him one myself.  After thinking about it a bit, I decided to keep it very simple.

In less than a half hour’s time my son and my godson both had Batman Pencil Cases to carry not only their pencils, but crayons, markers, erasers and much more!  I must add, we are using this case as a pencil case, but it can totally be used as a snack bag or a lego travel case, a superhero party gift bag, a matchbox car carrier or a little girl’s pocketbook if you add a ribbon! Some felt sheets, some glue, a zipper, a sewing machine and scissors made for a super cute super hero pencil case.

Check out how I did it!

I pulled up an image of the batman symbol on google images and traced right on my computer being sure the symbol was about 7″ long.  Then I pinned the paper right to the yellow felt and cut out the outter oval first.

Fold the pinned fabric and paper.

Start cutting the middle to allow for cutting out the traced design from the inside.

Once the Batman symbol is cut out of the yellow felt, set aside and work on the case itself.

Use a 9″ zipper.

Pin the zipper down to the edge. Be sure to face the zipper in like so.

Sew midway in to the zipper edge. You will want to use a good heavy duty thread, like a quilting thread.

Once one side is sewn, pin to the next piece of felt.

Open the zipper and sew along the middle again.

Once both sides are sewn on, turn the zipper and sew the zipper horizontally to secure.

Once the zipper is properly sewn on, turn the fabric right side out and sew the remaining three sides. You will want to keep about 1″ from the edge all the way around. You want to start and end from start of zipper and end of zipper.

You will have excess fabric.

Cut off excess fabric around the three sewn sides.

You will have just a small trim all the way around.

Use a good fabric glue.

Because felt is the fabric here, be sure to put plenty of glue on the back of the Batman piece.

Secure the Batman symbol onto the fabric and press firmly.

Materials needed:

  • 2 black felt sheets
  • 1 yellow felt sheet
  • 9″ black zipper
  • fabric glue
  • quilting thread
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
done1

A Gift for Teacher – Sunflowers with a Pencil Bow Clip

done1

My 3-year-old son is heading to preschool today! Maybe if I say that a few more dozen times it will sink in… but, probably not!  I can’t believe my baby is going to school.  Sure the call it PRE school, but I am putting a back pack full of pencils and crayons on his back and dropping him off at the same school where I spent 6 years of my life being educated.  It’s school. Wow, yep, it’s not going to sink in.

On Tuesday, we went in with him to his orientation.  We sat in tiny little chairs and listened as the teachers told us about the rules, the do’s and don’t’s, the schedule and some of what our child will be learning on a day-to-day basis.  Lucas will be a new student and his teacher was just hired and will be new to the school as well!  So, we thought we ought to bring her a little welcome gift to brighten up her new classroom a bit.  Nothing too crazy, just a pretty bunch of sunflowers tied up in some tissue paper and ribbon and as a special little accent, we made her a Pencil Bow Clip to finish it off… She can obviously use it as a hair bow should she choose, but it can also be used for a number of other teachery things too!

I thought it came out so cute that I decided to make a couple for my daughter as well… Let me show you how I did it!

Here are my materials: yellow sparkly ribbon, tan ribbon and black ribbon, a clip, some frey check, a glue gun and some scissors.

Start by measuring your clip and how much ribbon you will need for your clip to cover it fully… My clip is just about 2″ long… so I need 7 1/2″ of ribbon to cover the clip inside and out.

Then, before you cut your next piece of ribbon, tie a bow with it and figure just how much you will need allowing for cutting off the ends with the additional ribbon added on later.

Turns out, I needed 12″ of ribbon for mine.

to make the bow, you will want to tie it ‘bunny ears’ style like so.

To make your pencil tip, you will want your tan ribbon and your black ribbon fused together using glue. Be sure to make the edges are a bit jagged… this will help with the effect of the pencil being sharpened.

Glue the black and tan pieces onto the yellow tip of one side of your ribbon like so.

Now cut the tip into the point of a pencil.

Here is what you are left with… the edges will still tend to fray if you don’t use some Fray Check, even with the glue.

Apply Fray Check to the edges or any cut ribbon.

On the other end, you will want to create an eraser. To do that you will want a small piece of black ribbon glued onto the end of the yellow ribbon, then a slightly smaller tan ribbon on top of that. Trim the two corners and then apply Fray Check.

Here are the materials needed to package up the bouquet: two pieces of colorful tissue paper, a plastic baggie to contain the moisture of the flower stems, a ribbon to secure the flowers and our Pencil Hair Bow.

Just place flowers in the plastic baggie, wrap in tissue and secure with ribbon... then add in the bow.

Just place flowers in the plastic baggie, wrap in tissue and secure with ribbon… then add in the bow.

He was so excited to have a gift to give his new teacher!

He was so excited to have a gift to give his new teacher!

Pencil Bow Clip Materials:

1 – 2″ hair clip

1 piece of 12″ yellow sparkly ribbon

1 piece of 7 1/2″ yellow sparkly ribbon

1 piece of 1/2″ black ribbon, cut in half

1 piece of 1/2″ tan ribbon, cut 1/4 and 3/4

hot glue

Fray Check

 

Flower boquet Materials:

6 sun flowers

1 plastic baggie

2 pieces tissue paper

1 2′ piece of ribbon

 

 

dec2

Surf’s Up Birthday Party

Following the party each guest got this image on a card thanking them for coming to his party!

 (image by Picture People)

My baby boy turned 3 years old this month! I honestly don’t know where the time has gone.  One day I was picking out fabric for the nursery and before you know it, he is a walking talking boy.  For his first birthday, I created a giant Candy Land game that the kids could actually walk through like a little obstacle course for a one year old.  For his second, it was all about his very favorite, Thomas the Tank Engine.  We are lucky that his birthday is in August and we (knock on wood) have always had great luck with the weather.  So this year, I decided he would have a Surf’s Up beach theme.  In order to create this, I knew I needed two things… a beach and water.

At the center of my design is a hand-made beach.  I approached the water on three fronts.  My parents offered to host the party and they have a yard large enough for everything I wanted to do.  They already have a pool, so that was water feature number one.  BUt, this is a party for a 3-year-old and if I wanted him to have fun while we still were able to host the party we needed to have more than that.  So we had a smaller scale kiddie pool as the second water feature.  And for the third , we ordered a giant bouncer with a water slide attached!  All of it was a hit.

But not only cool water activities does a party make.  We also had a big spread of food.  I actually kept it pretty simple for the food.  We served hamburgers, hot dogs and Salsa Lime BBQ Chicken Skewers hot off the grill. We did a couple of super simple sandwiches… My mom made her Chouriço & Peppers sandwiches, and I made some super fun “Crab Stuffed Crab” sandwiches.  On the side we served corn on the cob, Stacy’s Best Potato Salad,  Shells Pasta Salad and Veggie Straws (my kids favorite).  For dessert, cake and ice cream, Sand Dollar Snickerdoodles, a watermelon and blueberry salad inside a watermelon cut out into a shark and Shark Attack Jello.

In addition, we had some special activities for the little ones.  You can’t have a beach without sand castle building.  So I made a board for magnetic sand castles.  We had an extra little bouncer with a ball pit for the under 5 crowd that was shaped like a castle.  Instead of throwing a football on the beach, we had a football pinata.  And lastly we had a magnetic fishing game.

Oh, and I don’t want to forget to mention that my husband made up a great playlist for the party of the Beach Boy’s Greatest Hits!  Music is always important no matter the function!

I hope you enjoy taking a look at my party creativity…

To make the beach, I sewed 25 yards of fabric together and pinned it down with landscaping staples. I lined the beach with palm trees I made from pool noodles I wrapped in packing paper and green fabric mesh.

The kids loved it!

My sand castle board was a sheet of sheet metal a friend of mine procured for me. Then I grabbed a bunch of sand paper and some sparkly foam for fun and got to cutting. I backed each piece with some self stick magnets and walla.

Even some of the bigger kids had fun in the kiddie pool with the little ones.

Got to remember beach balls… this one is a giant!

The pool was a big hit of course… I neglected to take a picture of it, but with a party this size I though it important to make a “pool rules” sign. Mainly, no kids in the pool without adult supervision.

And there it is… the Bouncer/Water slide! The kids had a ball with this one!

And the little ones loved this one too!

This was the only thing I needed to cook during the party.

Crab Stuffed Crab sandwiches

Aren’t they cute?

All of m serving trays and bowls were beach themed.

We used sand pails for serving bowls where ever we could and conveniently they come with a little shovel to scoop out the goods… Here you see the Shells Pasta Salad, Stacy’s Best Potato Salad, and Veggie Straws. Also, decorating the table is original art work from my big 3-year-old! Painted shells and a lovely colored fish!

Shells Pasta Salad:  Cooked large shells pasta, mini motzerella balls, grape tomatoes and fresh basil.  For the dressing just a simple oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper with a touch of dried italian seasoning.

Shells Pasta Salad: Caprese Style Pasta Salad – Cooked large shells pasta, mini mozzarella balls, grape tomatoes and fresh basil. For the dressing just a simple oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper with a touch of dried italian seasoning.

Stacy's Best Potato Salad

Stacy’s Best Potato Salad

food16

Veggie Straws served as “pool noodles”… if you will notice my card holder… it’s just three wooden dowels cut to varying sizes and tied with rope as though they are little dock posts.

Yum!

Yum!

My sister and brother in law were assigned with the task of creating this bad boy... I think they did a stellar job!

My sister and brother-in-law were assigned with the task of creating this bad boy… I think they did a stellar job!

“Da da, Da da, Da da…” Shark attack jello… at the other end of that shark fin is a little spoon!

Did I mention we also had a snack table???

Fish as "Shark Bait"

Fish as “Shark Bait”

"Chum"  My own little Chex Mix... Chex Cereal with different gummie sea creatures mixed in!

“Chum” My own little Chex Mix… Chex Cereal with different gummy sea creatures mixed in!

"Beach Balls" Peppermint candies... the kind that are all puffy and melt in your mouth, yum!

“Beach Balls” Peppermint candies… the kind that are all puffy and melt in your mouth, yum!

"Surf Boards" aka sugar waffers... and I didn't get a good picture of it, but in the background you'll see I used Triscuits as "Rafts"

“Surf Boards” aka sugar wafers… and I didn’t get a good picture of it, but in the background you’ll see I used Triscuits as “Rafts”

Bring on the waves! Here is my 3 year old's Wave cake!

Bring on the waves! Here is my 3 year old’s Wave cake!

This was the first year he understood how to blow out his own candles! Yay!

How to blow one of the party favors is another story LOL

Having a so much fun!

Football Pinata!

Football Pinata!

Woah!

Fishing!

This game is just simple fish cut out of foam paper with a couple of paper clips attached… then I secured a magnet to the end of some twine and tied that to the end on half a real fishing pole… You could use a stick :)

img_0049_2

(image by Picture People)

Following the party each guest got this image on a card thanking them for coming to his party!

Following the party each guest got this image on a card thanking them for coming to his party! (image by Picture People)

All in all, the most important thing is that my boy had a blast at his birthday party.  It had been quite the build up… the entire month of July was filled with an excited almost 3-year-old telling everyone who would listen that his birthday was on its way!  We made sure he had a nice long nap just before the event and off he went, he was the life of the party! I hope you enjoyed seeing all my ideas… I have to give a big thank you to my parents for hosting this fun day and my many helpful family and friends without whom it never would have all come together!

 

I made a two tier cake designed by Lisa that contained two rainbows... as you can see the rainbows have pink in place of red... with some rainbow balloons atop the cake.  The top tier was covered in buttercream, but she wanted the bottow tier with raw edges to show off the rainbow colored layers.

“UP!” Birthday Party

ppl5

I had the pleasure of attending this little girl’s second birthday party this summer.  Her name is Kaedence and she and her mother and father are very good friends of our family.  Her mother, my girlfriend Lisa, and I share a love for designing and throwing a detail rich party aimed at making sure that not only the adults at the party have a great time, but that the little guest of honor and all her little friends especially have the best time!

Lisa chose the movie UP! for her inspiration this year!  She went to town on balloons and rainbows galore and added in special touches straight from the movie. Some of the touches were literal and some were a play on the theme…  But, first she set the stage with making sure the backdrop of the party would go right along with things!  Let me show you how she did it!

In keeping with the Up! theme, Lisa sent her husband, Carlos, up to the roof of the house with a helium tank and a bag of balloons to get started on this special project! (I think here is where I am supposed to give you a “don’t try this at home” or a “before attempting to scale your roof, speak with your doctor first” warning!)

A welcoming display as people cross the breezeway to enter the back yard. Lisa took Kaedence for a photo shoot before the party and painted an inexpensive frame to match!

She made sure that her landscaping and flower beds and pots were color coordinated with the rainbow theme!

She made sure that her landscaping and flower beds and pots were color coordinated with the rainbow theme!

Such interesting displays throughout the yard.

Such interesting displays throughout the yard.

My daughter was checking it all out!

My daughter was checking it all out!

There was the “Spirit of Adventure” with a “Happy Birthday Kaedence” burlap banner moving across it.

A waterfall.

A waterfall.

This guy.

Painted wine bottles were turned into "Grape Soda" centerpieces holding baloons.

Painted wine bottles were turned into “Grape Soda” centerpieces holding balloons.

I made a two tier cake designed by Lisa that contained two rainbows... as you can see the rainbows have pink in place of red... with some rainbow balloons atop the cake. The top tier was covered in buttercream, but she wanted the bottow tier with raw edges to show off the rainbow colored layers.

I made a two tier cake designed by Lisa that contained two rainbows… as you can see the rainbows have pink in place of red… with some rainbow balloons atop the cake. The top tier was covered in butter cream, but she wanted the bottom tier with raw edges to show off the rainbow-colored layers. (psst… check out the squirrel hanging out by the cake! “Squirrel!…”)

Even the top tier that was covered was rainbow inside! (psst... check out the squirrel hanging out by the cake! "Squirrel!...")

Even the top tier that was covered was rainbow inside!

She wanted to make sure that each piece was served with all 7 layers!

Food was all set up atop a balloon printed table covering.

Food was all set up atop a balloon printed table covering.

Fruit kabobs… super colorful!

There were fun activities to be had!

ppl4

The girls had lots of fun with these hoola hoops! And check out the birthday girl’s cute outfit!  Lisa made the tutu herself!

There was a picture booth setup with the waterfall behind it... Some of the props here are a wilderness sash and yellow ball cap, glasses and mustaches.

There was a picture booth setup with the waterfall behind it… Some of the props here are a wilderness sash and yellow ball cap, glasses and mustaches.

We had lots of fun with that!

Over at the gift table, there was a mailbox ready for cards...

Over at the gift table, there was a mailbox ready for cards…

And check out these favors! Each child got a little mailbox that Lisa hand painted with their name on it, they also got an adventure book and a candy bar… oh and a balloon!

 

new1

A plain chocolate bar served as “Snipe Food” for the kids to take home.

 

She painted the outside of each cloth book and it gave the effect of leather… and notice the little gold trim detail.

Just a little photo album, but kid’s can have lots of fun with this one all summer!

(Lisa, shown here on the right, is even wearing her take on a scout costume)

ppl2

ppl3

CamKaeLuc1

And everyone at the party received this special party favor... Little Miss Kaedence flying away wishing everyone a summer full of adventures!

And everyone at the party received this special party favor… Little Miss Kaedence flying away wishing everyone a summer full of adventures!

 

 

done3

Rainbow Popcorn

done3

A good friend of mine had an “UP” themed birthday party for her little girl recently.  To highlight the theme she had rainbows, balloons and colors galore!  I decided to bring along my contribution to her party by whipping up a batch of this super colorful Rainbow Popcorn!

Not only is this popcorn colorful, but each color has a different flavor because to color the popcorn I used none other than a rainbow array of Jell-O.  You could adapt this, of course, to any theme you would like… If you are doing a ‘Lemonade Stand’ birthday party, then just use the yellow… If you are planning a ‘Smurf’ theme, then just the blue… the possibilities are endless.  This is a great activity for kids to help with too!  It’s not complicated at all.

Here are all the ingredients you will need.

Prepare 12 cups of plain popcorn. I did it over the stove with kernels… You might also want to try a plain bag of microwave popcorn… well several bags. Then place 5 cups of popcorn into a large bowl.

Pour half a can of sweetened condensed milk into a small sauce pan.

Pour half a packet of your chosen jello color into the pan.

Pour half a packet of your chosen jello color into the pan.

Mix well to distribute color.

Put the condensed milk mixture over low heat.  If the burner is turned up too high, you'll get a burned pan like you see here.

Put the condensed milk mixture over low heat. If the burner is turned up too high, you’ll get a burned pan like you see here.

Pour the thickened liquid over the prepared popcorn.

Mix in until it coats all the popcorn evenly.

I prefer parchment paper, but if you don’t have parchment, you can line your cookie sheet with foil like you see here and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 175°F.

Once baked, let cool about 20 minutes and then break into pieces and place in bowl.

Once baked, let cool about 20 minutes and then break into pieces and place in bowl.

Mix in each color seperately.

Mix in each color separately.

Cook each color on low heat until thickened... about 10 minutes.

Cook each color on low heat until thickened… about 10 minutes.

Pour each colors thickened liquid over the prepared popcorn.

Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Bake at 175°F for 18-20 mins.

Place each color on the cookie sheet.  Bake at 175°F for 18-20 minutes.

Place each color on the cookie sheet. Bake at 175°F for 18-20 minutes.

done1

Break up all the popcorn… Place in serving bowl and toss!

Recipe for Rainbow Popcorn:

(serves 24)

30 cups prepared plain popcorn

3 cans sweetened condensed milk

6 boxes of Jell-O, in rainbow colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple)

Directions:

Turn oven to 175°F.  Prepare 6 cookie sheets (or alternate as you go along) with either parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Prepare fresh popcorn.  In a small sauce pan, pour half a can of sweetened condensed milk.  Then pour in half a packet of your chosen jello into the milk.  Heat over a burner turned to low for about 10 minutes until thickened.  Stir often.

Place about 5 cups of popcorn in a large bowl.  Pour thickened milk mixture over popcorn and immediately stir together with a wooden spoon.  Place on a prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 175°F.  Allow to cool about 20-25 minutes, then break up pieces and place into an extra-large serving bowl.

Repeat with each color.  Mix all cooled colors together. Enjoy!

*this is a Gluten-free recipe.

(Recipe variation… this popcorn has an intense Jell-O flavor, which kids love… but if you wish to tone it down a bit, use only 1/4 packet of Jell-O per mixture and add 4 drops of the matching food color to boost the coloring, for adults you could also sprinkle with kosher or sea salt just after baking to balance the flavor)

***This recipe is an adaptation of the Eagle Brand Condensed Milk recipe.