Birthday wrapup (a little late)

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in altered projects, Blog | 2 comments

Molly turned 11 in January and requested a small party at home. I started my research a couple of weeks before, searching pinterest for ideas for a fun tween party. The requirements:  party was at home, couldn’t be girly (no make-up/spa/manicure/glittery/pop-music themes) and it had to be indoors since it was January in New England (snow, brr!). Most ideas that I found fell into the girly or outdoor activity categories. Since she’s a big reader  I thought it would be good to have a book/reading party but quickly found that theme is mostly geared toward little kids so I had to wing in on the activity front. I did find LOTS of awesome decorating ideas however – book paper crafts abound!

My biggest inspiration came from the blog “Me and My Insanity” – she threw a book club birthday party for her daughter’s 11th birthday- she made a spectacular cake among other things. I focused on decorations and party games since that’s what the kids seem to notice more.


I  was inspired by a tutorial for an interchangeable book page wreath and created one for the party (I switched out the center later for Valentines day). I set it on a plate stand on the mantle flanked by letters that spelled READ.


I purchased the A (and @ sign) and the D, but my husband and I made the R and E. The R was cut from an old book and the E was made from a cereal box and some paper mache (that was quite a messy project!):

I also had Molly’s favorite books standing up around the room as decorations. I got a little carried away with the book page projects – there’s so much inspiration out there! I made a couple of garlands with punched paper and a sewing machine – quick and easy:


Molly wanted brownies and ice-cream rather than cake so I made little flags for the brownies from book paper (I did mention that I got a little carried away, didn’t I?) :



I searched for some age-appropriate activities for the parties and came up with a few that sounded fun. First they did a craft where they decorated fabric book bags with stamps, fabric markers and buttons. The first had lots of fun with this:

bookcraftbagdecorating jillian

The next activity was a yankee swap book game – based mostly on this post. I collected a number of second-hand books and wrapped them in brown paper so nobody would have any idea of what they were getting. I had enough books so that each girl got to go twice. They had lots of fun stealing books from each other – the books they ended up with went into the decorated book bags are they took them home as their party favors.


After the brownies and ice-cream and singing happy birthday, the girls were ready for the final activity – a scavenger hunt! I wanted to do a book-themed hunt but given that I didn’t know if all the girls had read specific books we decided to go with more generic clues. They had a lot of fun trying to figure them out and dashing through the house to find the prizes.


Each clue was associated with a specific girl and she was the one who got to keep the prize so they all worked together. The prizes were books cut into the shape of the initial of their first name. My husband really got into that project!


The girls all had a great time and it was an inexpensive and fun party!



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Happy St Partick’s Day!

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Blog, layouts | 2 comments

Tommy arrived to breakfast wearing orange this morning. The horror! I had to explain that was not done on St Patrick’s day – it had to be green! Then I made the kids sit while I tried to take photo. It doesn’t get any easier the older they get – why is that? Or is it just my kids? Probably.

In any case – Happy St Patrick’s day!


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Inspiration Challenge #121

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Blog, Inspiration, layouts | 4 comments

Bet you were wondering what happened to me and my ad challenge. Well, I have to say, this winter has pretty much sapped my enthusiasm for many things, and scrapping suffered. Even Calvinball didn’t kick me back into gear. Today is a glorious day however, and I’ve gotten so much done that I think I might be back in the swing of things. I’ve got a new inspiration piece today:



And here’s my interpretation (pretty close to the original, although I was looking through my stash for a bow that I’m sure I had but I can’t find it):


I’ll be back later in the week with a few of my Calvinball layouts. I’ve made two new ones today. Not sure what my total is, there’s probably no point counting since I’m so far behind but I’m happy to be creating again.


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Happy non-mushy Valentine’s Day!

Posted by on Feb 14, 2014 in Blog, cards, Jillibean Soup, Projects | 1 comment

Just a quick drive-by with some valentine’s projects the kids and I have been working on. I think this is probably the last year for class valentines for my two and we kept it simple. One big requirement for Valentines for these tweens is that they couldn’t be mushy or mention love.

Tommy was obsessed with Rainbow Loom for months so we have oodles of the bands around the house. I knew this would be a good opportunity to use some of them up. Tommy picked a loom-connected phrase to put on the Valentines and I printed them up using a fun font. We made 20 fishtail bracelets (I helped to speed up the process) to go with the cards so everyone in the class would get a bracelet.  We mounted the cards on some Jillibean Soup Soup Staples to give them some heft. I love the way they came out:


We adopted a similar approach to Molly’s cards. We found a bunch of glow-sticks tossed in the back of the closet – a hold over from a birthday party perhaps. After searching for an appropriate phrase to go along with them, Molly finally picked “You brighten my day”. Definitely not mushy :) We printed them out on cardstock and mounted them on 3×4 Jillibean Soup Soup Staples rectangles. After she wrote them we taped a glow-stick to each one with decorative tape.


Happy non-mushy Valentine’s day!

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Inspiration Challenge #120

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in Blog, Designer Digitals, Inspiration, layouts | 1 comment

It’s Tuesday, time for the inspiration challenge and I’ll have to admit that I haven’t been feeling very inspired of late. Nothing popped out at me this week so I went back to an old standby to find something to work with this week – the Designer Digitals weekly challenge.  This was from a while back – November I think, but it spoke to me today so I went with it!


I must admit that I’m on a big of an Anthro kick lately so that might have helped. Here’s my take – I think it worked really well with my less-than-stellar photos (I took these from inside the house, too cold to go outside with those kids!):


I loved how the inspiration piece had those colorful photos but it works just as well with snow photos, right?

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Inspiration Challenge #119

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Blog, Inspiration, layouts | 1 comment

I perused Pinterest for my latest inspiration -it’s based on a web design and it’s prety clean and simple. I’m guessing it’s not that new though since the hexagon shape is a fad/trend that been around for a while but I decided to use it this week:


And here’s my take. Look, another white background! :o


Next time I’ll try to use a different color background…or will I?

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