Saturday, July 31, 2010

Personalized Mermaid Birthday Party

For Laurel's 5th party she was very into mermaids. I hate the traditional Disney Mermaid decorations, so I decided to make a Mermaid Laurel party. It started with a trip to Hobby Lobby to buy enough scrapbook paper to make the invitations. I bought flesh colored, hair colored, and a series of solid blue-greens for the fish body and coordinating patterns for the waves. I sketched the basic pattern out and then started cutting a pasting until I liked the way it looked.

Once it dried I scanned the original into the computer so that I could make the invitations. I just used MS Word for these, putting 4 on the front side. I made these into postcards, so for the back I made a paper crab and inserted some text with all the party info.

For the party itself I printed out the mermaid onto stock paper and cut the shape out and glued it to a skewer. Then I did the same with the some other aquatic creatures and stuck them all into the cake. I also printed out a rectangle shape with the mermaid saying "Thank You for coming to Laurel's party!" and used them to close the cellophane treat bags.

Lastly I framed the original Mermaid Laurel and gave it to Laurel as a present...all in all the memories last forever, and the cost was less than $10, including all the printing, the cake ingredients AND the goody bags. can't beat that.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Midnight Crabs

That title could mean so many things...what it meant for me was a sleepless night. So, rather than lay about, I woke up and made a paper crab. Sure...cause when you can't sleep you make paper crabs, right? (Oh...that gives me an idea for a string of paper crabs...) Digression (sorry it's now past midnight), I spent the evening making the invitation for Laurel's mermaid party. It took so much longer than I expected...which I should have expected because EVERYTHING takes longer than I expect. One of these days I'll just realize that and stop underestimating my time allotment. But, today is not that day. After finishing the front side of the mermaid invitation, Laurel and I went to bed. (the men had long since gone to sleep) So I crawled into bed, exhausted from the day...and...nothing. Just couldn't sleep. Every sound, every tick, rustle, shuffle, etc was like a marching band in my head. Ugh. I can't stand lying in bed not being able to sleep. So, I got up and decided since I wouldn't have time tomorrow, I should go ahead and make the crab for the back of the invitation. So I pulled out my scissors and started cutting. Thankfully the crab didn't take that long. And since I haven't pulled all the graphics together for the final print...the crab is all I'm showing right now. I had fun with this. My soon-to-be five year old had no expectations other than mermaids...and so she's thrilled with anything I produce. I love that for her (and because I can't sleep) I will make midnight crabs. I'm hungry.


That's right...SPOONFLOWER. More specifically, You can pretend to be Amy Butler for a day. You can import, edit and order your own fabric design. It's pricey, which is why (at least for now) I'm just playing with the design function...not so much the ordering. But look...they took a little design I did for Laurel, and with a mirrored effect gave it a whole new look! The potential of such a thing! I like the printed dolls on the homepage...just imagine how many dolls you could print out in one yard...suddenly the $18-$32 a yard doesn't seem so high. Especially if you plan well and designed 5 or more kids dolls on the one yard. Right? Right?!?!



I love how the mirror effect gave the picture a new life, and it's own pattern that was both geometric and organic at the same time! Oh the potential for wasted time is mind that is my warning to you. Have your own risk.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Clock is Ticking...

I have 9 weeks left in my job. That seems insane to me. I have worked for someone for 18 years, with little or no breaks in between. And now, here I am, with an end date scheduled...but no job to go to afterwards. It's liberating, and exciting...and a little scary. I absolutely can't wait to spend more time with my kids. I CANNOT WAIT! (and I know they can't son tells me every morning "no go to work mom") I also can't wait to be able to work on the house more. After the marathon of demolition we did back in the spring, it's been sitting there ever since. We have changed the plans, we have gone through multiple contractors that we could have sworn would be "the one." And we're still in the same contractor and no work done.

But, depsite not having posted in a while, I have done a little bit of sewing. Mostly just for summer clothes for the kids. I did a few more jean-to-skirt modifications, and I really do love them. They are cute and rugged, and it's a perfect use for those little bits of your favorite fabrics. Though, I can't get my girl to wear ANYTHING except the outfit that her Aunt Sue bought her. Think I'm exagerrating? She wears it for two days, I wash it, then she wears it for another two days. I don't think it's worth forcing her to wear something else, if she loves it, what do I care? She looks cute, she doesn't stink, what's the harm?

And despite being super busy lately with work, school and life in general...we were lucky enough to be able to take two mini vacations in a row. The first to spend Fourth of July with Jon's parents. The second was a beach camping-trip with my side of the family. I have some beach pictures below...what a needed break. It was great for the kids to just get to play and hang out with their cousins.

For the last two weeks I've been revelling in the change of summer produce in our CSA box...kale has been mostly replaced with corn, tomatoes and now OKRA. For people who know me, you'd think it was strange for me to be excited by okra, after all I am not Southern by birth. BUT, being of cajun blood, gumbo is injected into my very soul. I don't get to make it often (it's not Jon's favorite)...but with all of the okra and tomatoes I have...I just couldn't resist. So I have done something the last two weeks that would make most cajuns say I was crazy...I made vegan gumbo. Is there even such a thing? Who would have known it could be so good without some kind of chicken, seafood or sausage? This last go around I got a little braver with my roux, which I normally take off the fire before it gets as dark as it could. This time I held firm...and I waited and waited...and man was the pay off good. This is by far the richest gumbo I have ever made...and there is no meat! Crazy.

I ran across this blogger today while I was reading Amanda Blake Soule's blog.
If you've ever felt or known there is a better way to raise your kids, but didn't know how to get there...take a look. I think what she's doing is pretty awesome, and while I will likely "public school" my kids...this sure does give me things to think about. And for those of you who already do homeschool, or are thinking about it...take a look at this site. It's more of a life philosphy than anything...but I dig her philosphy.
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