Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine's Day Cards & Craft Ideas

What do you do for Valentine's Day?  As "Gifts" is defintely in the top 2 of my "Love Languages", I always hope for a good Valentine's Day.  John & I usually switch off who plans Vday each year.  This year is his year.  It is about 1 week before I am due with our 3rd child.  I am looking forward to seeing what he has in store!
By the way, for some great ideas for keeping a marriage spicy *all year*, I really recommend you follow Married Spice on Twitter!  They also have a Facebook & blog but tweet the most frequent.
How do you make Vday special for your kids?  The past couple of years, I have made little vday cards and passed them out in the diaper bags of Jesse's friends at church and Abigale's teachers.  We are not old enough for preschool so there is nothing formal as far as Valentine Exchanges.  For some reason, I can't wait for the days that does happen. 
This year, they are both more aware of the "holiday" so we will see how that changes things.  Abigale is also obsessed with bears and the giant bears with velvet hearts are very tempting to buy at the bargain price of $20 this time of year... Does she need it? No. Am I still greatly tempted?  Absolutely.  Jesse has already expressed that he wants to buy one for her.  Love that.  :)
I know I teach classes and create cards for a living but I do love the picture Vday cards and there are so many out there to choose from with specials galore!
Here are a few I found on Tiny Prints
This one would be super cute for Abigale and I love that color/design combo:
 I love this design and I know Jesse would since he is my Train-Crazy little boy!
The other option wold be to get a more generic design and use these for giveaway cards for our upcoming birth announcement of the new baby...  Hmm..
Check out all their Valentine's Greeting Cards!
 For lots of great cards for all occasions, follow Tiny Prints on Twitter and follow Tiny Prints on Facebook They often have specials to take advantage of!

What creative crafts do you have planned for this Happy Heart Day?
Here are a few ideas I am currently working on for Vday:
In MOPS, 2 weeks ago we made our version of these Martha Stewart Felt Fortune Cookies

The idea was to leave a note back & forth with their hubbies {naughty or nice} through the month of February.  You could also use them to leave little notes for your kids in their lunch box if you have that age range.  What we did as a quickie tutorial is coming soon.

In 2 weeks, we are making Massage Oil in MOPS.  A friend's husband works at Cracker Barrell and he was nice enough to collect 90+/- of their little {empty} maple syrup bottles for us to fill as our 2/14 Creative Activity.  I hope it goes over well and isn't too messy.  I am creating labels with My Digital Studio that the church print shop will print to make them a little pretty, too.
I also hope they actually use it with their spouse!  

For Abigale's birthday, I made these poms from Martha Stewart.  

It was a lot of time to just throw them away.  I was pleasantly surprised that in February's MS magazine, someone used the poms to make a large heart over their mantle for a party, then left it up all year.  I am not sure I will leave it up much past February, but I was glad to get an idea of how to use those poms a second time.  Pictures of the heart on my entryway to come.

As for kids crafts, I definitely hope I can make these foot & hand prints, either as a card for the grandparents or a wall piece. 

I also hope to make a keepsake item for myself and possibly my mom for Vday or before the new baby comes at least.  Still trying to decide if it would be better to frame them with recent pictures, instead of jewelry.  In my experience, polymer clay is not that sturdy *and* with 3 kiddos, not too sure how that would hang. Maybe 3 tiered?  Hmm..

Isn't this the greatest little idea and seems easy enough...although all those ideas on Pinterest often do.  hah.
Check out my friend Jennifer's fab little t-shirts she just made for her 2 little girls over at Family Musings!  Perhaps, Abigale might just need one before the month gets started..
As if I have nothing else to do, I am sure I will be gathering other ideas that I may {or may not} actually get accomplished for this little guy arrives on or about Februray 23rd!
Here are some of the other things I have gathered & pinned for Valentine's Day...more to come, I am sure.
Follow all my boards, if you like. I love the idea sharing!
Follow Tiny Prints boards on Pinterest.com, too, while you are there.
 I look forward to seeing & hearing about your ideas, too! 
Thanks for stopping by and love someone good this month!
~For writing part of this blog, I should receive 50 Classroom Valentine’s Day Cards for kids as Tiny Prints way of saying thanks~

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Argh Matey Jesse's Pirate Birthday Party

Jesse turned 4 on November 8th, 2011.  I love themes.  They inspire me!  I got inspired for this party when Stampin' Up clearanced the Pirate Party kit from a couple of years ago down to $2.99 last spring.  At the original price of $16, it was a bargain, and now they were practically giving it away!  
Little did I realize the Pirate theme was going to be so popular this year.  So much for being original.  
But here are my little spins on the theme and what we did for his 4th birthday party.

His Invite {created on My Digital Studio from Stampin' Up then just printed as a 4 X 6 picture at Sam's!}. 
Picture of Jesse was taken by Nate Mundell Photography at another Pirate {& Princess} party we attended a month prior.
First, our tradition is to go to Walt Disney World on our birthdays since we have passes.  Had to take a few "pirate shots" while we were there!

 I did a "Candy Barge" on a taller dresser and had bags for the parents to fill for the kids. I tried to get candy that was either wrapped in gold or jewel tones or sea related. 
The sign that read "Beware Thar Be Pirates" was made by my husband from a pallet broken apart and rough looking on purpose.
The banner hanging is 2 kits put together and then I embellished with chunky glitter to add a little something to half of the flags.  I also hung another of this banner over our sliding glass door that lead to the bounce house. Sorry, it's no longer available for purchase.
My mom made the costumes for my 2 littles.
 The "Pirate booty" came from random metal items mom or I had laying around, along with the wooden boxes and gauzy material. When draped together with the beads and such, it reminded me of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at the Magic Kingdom, which is the look I was hoping for in this area.

 The girls had headband bandannas with red polka dots and the boys bandannas had a pirate print.
The treasure boxes also came in that kit from Stampin Up.  Since I had so many kids coming, I put out tags for the parents to tape to the treasure boxes.  This didn't happen.  
And the boxes kept {mysteriously} opening to be pillaged.  
So I wouldn't recommend having the boxes within children's reach or untagged.  
If you want the name on it, put it on.  {What was  I thinking?}
I like to name the food served with the theme because I am that cheesy.  So we had "Submarine Sandwiches" {and yes, I know that subs are more current than the typical time period when we think of "Pirates" but go with me..};  Deviled Ships {Deviled Eggs that kind of resemble a boat thanks to the flag from the kit}; Pirate Booty ~of course; and Shipwrecked Salad made with Sea Shell Pasta. 

Pictured here is also the Salted Caramel Cupcakes {Salty Sea..get it?}.  I loosely followed the inspiration of this recipe.  But I used a normal yellow cake mix with a pinch of salt and used a jar of caramel ice cream topping for the filling.  I did use her recipe for the frosting.  Great stuff!
The Treasure Chest Chocolate Cake turned out pretty good despite me waiting to the last minute.
 I didn't really do games other than the "Search for Buried Treasure" using an under the bed type storage box filled with a bag of sand, beads, rings, & other small trinkets.
We asked the kids to wear pirate gear if they had it and some of the girls wore princess outfits, too.  We provided the bandannas & eye patches in case they didn't already have something. Dress up always makes it more fun and I love to incorporate that for the guests and {of course} the party honoree!

Friends let us borrow their home bounce house which gave the kids another outlet to play.  Highly recommend!
Jesse had a great time and I think the kids did, too.
Click Here for my Pinterest Board I used to collect my inspiration.
Let me know if you have any questions and thanks for looking!