Happy Summer!

Last Day Of School 2014

Happy Summer, Everyone!

(To check out the original post on how I made her First Day Of School sign click HERE.)

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Art Party Centerpieces

For Annabelle’s 3rd Art themed birthday party, I made super easy Paintbrush Centerpieces.  As promised, here is a quick tutorial.

Paintbrush Centerpieces

First I took four square glass vases and different colored paint chips.

Paintbrush Centerpieces Before

These are the same vases I used for centerpieces for Annabelle’s Sesame Street Birthday Party.

Sesame Street Centerpieces

I traced the sides of the vase on the paint chips and cut them to size.  Next, I glued the chips onto each side of the vase.  (I used a few glue dots so I could easily remove them after the party.)

Paintbrush Centerpieces With Paint Chips

Then I took super cheap paintbrushes I bought at Home Depot.  You know the kind of paintbrushes you can’t actually paint with because the bristles come out?  Yeah, THOSE cheap ones.

Paintbrush Centerpieces - Glitter and Paint

Then using different colored paints and gold glitter, I dipped the tip of each paintbrush in paint and immediately in glitter.  Then I set the brushes aside to dry.

Once dry, I placed five brushes in each centerpiece, using glass beads I had on hand to keep them in place.

Paintbrush Centerpieces - Blue

The result was super easy (and cheap) Art Party Centerpieces!

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Annabelle’s Art Party

In July, little Annabelle will turn FOUR.  I know all parents say this, but I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone.  I have just started planning her family party and I realized I never shared with you all the details from her third birthday bash.

Annabelle’s 1st birthday party was a Garden Party.  Her 2nd was Sesame Street themed.  And her third was an art party.

As you know, she loves crafting away with me, so I thought an Art Party would be the perfect way to celebrate her turning the big three.  I shared her invitation with you awhile back, now here are a few highlights from her big day.


We have a large covered deck, where we set up the tables, the food and a crafting table for the kiddies.  Her party was right smack in the middle of a heat wave, so it was HOT.  Crazy hot.  I was afraid the crayons on each table would melt.

Crayons On Each Table

Thankfully our family and friends are amazing and battled the heat to help us celebrate.  As guest walked out onto the deck, Annabelle’s easel displayed a sign that read “Thanks for getting crafty with me”.  I decorated it with pictures of Annabelle painting.

Thanks For Getting Crafty With Me

I also hung pictures of Annabelle crafting throughout the party.

Pictures of Annabelle Crafting 2

I mounted each picture on different colored cardstock.

Pictures of Annabelle Crafting 1

Spilled paint cans made of plastic table clothes decorated the deck.

Spilled Paint Can Decorations

We drilled a hole in each paint can (which I found at Home Depot) and hung the pail on a nail.  Then I taped the plastic table cloths inside the cans and drapped the “paint” along the deck, securing it in place with nails.

Spilled Paint Can Red

They were really simple decorations that added huge splashes of color to the deck.

Instead of giving Annabelle’s little friends goody bags full of silly things that would probably end up in the garbage, I wanted to send them home with something special.  So I had aprons made with each child’s name on.  I hung them on the deck on a long ribbon using clothes pins that Annabelle had painted.

Close Up Of Aprons

I loved that they doubled as both decorations and gifts for the kids.

All Aprons Hanging

My hope is that each child gets a lot of use out of them helping cooking and crafting.  For a few of our friends with babies on the way, we had  “Our Little Masterpiece” onsies made.

Our Little Masterpiece Onsie

Both the aprons and the onsies were made by Lacey from Sew By L.  You can check out her sweeter than sweet shop on Etsy.  The aprons were already listed on her site, but the onsies were a custom order.  Both came out adorable and Lacey was lovely to work with.

A few framed quotes about art decorated the tables.

The Earth Without Art

This one is my favorite…

Every child is an artist...

For a little photo op fun for guests, I set up a frame with a sign that read “Be Your Own Materpiece”.

Be Your Own Masterpiece

I framed a few pictures of Annabelle posing with the frame so guests would know what to do.

Ab With Photo Frame

Using the same glass vases I used for her Sesame Street party centerpieces, I made paintbrush centerpieces for each table.

Paintbrush Centerpieces Pink

I’ll share a post about how I made these soon.

Paint Brush Centerpieces Blue

To keep the art theme going, I used paint chips to label things like plasticware, sunblock and bug spray.

Bug Spray Sunblock

I glued the paint chips onto paint stirrers.


On the deck I set up a kid’s table with different crafts.  We had:

Sand Art…

Sand Art

Here’s Annabelle getting into it…

Annabelle playing with sand art

We had Sticker Art and Water Painting…

water painting and sticker art

Off the deck we set up a kiddie pool, water table and a place for Chalk Art.

Chalk art

And then, of course, there was PAINTING!

T-shirts and canvas lined up

I got a large canvas for each child and a large white t-shirt for them to wear while painting.

Annabelle's T-Shirt

I wrote their name on the shirts on the back so they would look like jerseys and you could see all their names while they painted.   (I’ll share a how-to post on the shirts soon.)

Annabelle and Michael In Painting Shirts

I thought the t-shirts would be another cute thing for each child to bring home.  Annabelle wears hers all the time now when we are painting at home.

Annabelle Painting

When planning this party, this was the moment I was most excited for.

Painting 1

I was nervous that the kids might be too distracted to want to stop running around to paint.  But they loved it!

Painting 2

Every single child got into it and let their little artist rock out.

Sophia Painting

Mike took this picture of me giddy with happiness watching them all paint.

Me giddy

Leading up to Annabelle’s party, I started collecting egg cartons to use as “pallets” for the kids.  I cut each carton in half and gave each child six different color paints.

Paint Brushes and Egg Cartons

Annabelle was so into it she wanted to cover ever single inch of her canvas with paint, including the sides.

Ab Painting the side of the canvas

When all the little artists were done their canvases had gone from this…

T-shirts and canvas lined up

To this…

Painting 3

And just because I didn’t want anyone, including the adults, to leave without getting a little paint on their hands, I made Annabelle a Thumbprint Friendship Tree.

Thumbprint Friendship Tree

I had seen the idea on Pinterest  (a lot of people are now using these trees in lieu of a guest books at weddings) and thought it went in perfectly with the Art theme.  I found a bunch of trees I liked online, blended them together, and then free handed the tree and branches.

Next to the tree I set out two different colored green paint, wipes…

Give The Birthday Girl A Thumbs Up

… and a few signs so guest would know what to do.

Please leaf your thumb print


I tried to carry the art theme through to the food and drinks.  Here’s the sign displayed at the bar…

Creative Juice

Simple rainbow themed appetizers…

Eat A Rainbow

For lunch, as with Annabelle’s 1st and 2nd birthday parties, we ordered BBQ.  We’re just suckers for BBQ for an outdoor summer bash.  Here’s the menu:

Food For Starving Artists

The picture on the menu is of Annabelle painting the menu’s backdrop.  Yes, it was messy.

For dessert, or sweet inspiration as I was calling it…

Sweet Inspiration

… we had paintbrush rice crispy treats and fruit.

paintbrush rice krispy treats

And this amazing cake, made by Annabelle’s Aunt Janeen.

Art Party Cake 1I could not believe the amount of detail she put into it.

Art party Cake 3

She even made a little easel on which she displayed a lamenated copy of the pictures from Annabelle’s invitation.

Art Cake 2Absolutely gorgeous!  Thank you, Aunt Janeen!!

Art party Cake 4

Finally, I set out supplies so the kid’s could “make some edible art”, i.e. decorate cupcakes!  Messy, but so much fun!

It was an amazing day and our little artist had a blast.

ab painting canvas

Now off to plan her fourth birthday party!

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Featured: New Jersey Family Magazine

Hello lovely readers.

Long time, no blog.

Sorry for my (very, very) long absence.  I’m happy to be writing again just in time for summer!

With Father’s Day just a few days away, I wanted to share with you a project Annabelle did for her daddy that is featured in June’s issue of New Jersey Family Magazine.

NJ Family Magazine Feature

It’s a sweet little handprint craft that reads, “Thank you for always being there to hold my hand.”  Here’s a picture of the craft itself and the link to the original post.

Father's Day Handprint Craft

And if you’re looking for more gift ideas, check out this post.

Happy Crafting!

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Toddler Made Canvas Stenciled Bag

This year, for Halloween, Annabelle and I made a trick or treat bag to match her purple butterfly costume.

Stenciled Canvas BagI figured it would be a nice craft for us to do together and that after Halloween, she could use the bag for other outings.

Ab with Butterfly BagAt Michael’s I picked up a canvas bag, a butterfly stencil and three different shades of purple paint.

Butterfly Canvas BagI put the the different colored paints out for her with little sponge brushes.

Sponge BrushesThen I held the stencil in place so she could paint, letting her pick the colors as she went.  I told her to tap the brush instead of sweeping it along the canvas.  She was really careful to stay in the stencil and she kept repeating “tap, tap, tap” softly as she went.  We even used the inside of the stencil to make a few of the butterflies.

Canvas Bag BackI love how she mixed the different shades of purple to make each butterfly.

Butterfly DetailWith Christmas right around the corner, I’m thinking these would make really sweet gifts for a grandma or aunt.  They could use the bag for grocery shopping, running errands, etc.

Happy Crafting!

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Organizing Tip Of The Week: Make Your Bed

Tip #7: Make your bed every morning.

I’ve written about this tip before but it’s so easy and makes such a difference, I thought I’d throw it out there again.  Making your bed each morning takes two minutes.  (Three if you’ve got a lot of fancy-schmancy pillows.)  Yet, it’s one of those quick and easy tasks that completely changes the state of your bedroom.  Instantly your room appears more orderly.  It’s a simple (daily) two minute transformation.


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Spooky Soap

Because of allergies, Annabelle’s school has strict policies on bringing food in for the kids.  So for Halloween, I needed a non-food treat for her classmates.

May I present Spooky Soap…

Spooky SoapI found the idea on Pinterest, originally from Milk and Cuddles blog.  She made her soap with spiders inside.  I used bouncy ball eyeballs as my spooky element.  (You can head on over to Milk and Cuddles to see exactly how the soap is made.)

SS Close-upI wrapped each Spooky Soap in a plastic bag and tied on a little tag that read, “Happy Halloween!  Frightfully Yours, Annabelle.”

SS PackagingI made the tags in PicMonkey and then printed them out in Word.

SS Tags In WordThen I mounted them on black cardstock and tied them with black curling ribbon.

Spooky Soap Wrapped and TaggedAnnabelle loves the soap.  It took her four baths, but she finally reached the eyeball and has since not stopped bouncing (and chasing) it.  She was very excited to share the soap with all her little friends.

This year marks the first Halloween that she one, picked her own costume and two, is excited to go trick or treating.  Here’s my purple butterfly all dressed up and ready for some treats.

Annabelle Halloween 2013If you’re looking for more non-food Halloween treats, check out the adorable Glow Stick Brooms Alex over at NorthStory made.

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

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A Little Spooky Inspiration

Hello lovely readers.  Happy October!  I apologize for my blogging absence.  Life has simply needed my focus at the moment, so blogging has been set aside for a spell.  I plan to be up and blogging again very, very soon…

Until then, I wanted to check in with all of you and offer up a bit of spooky inspiration from past Halloween projects.

Last year Annabelle and I made this adorable handprint spider

spider-handprint-2012And  footprint ghost.  How cute are they?

annabelles-footprint-ghost-2012How about some pumpkin painting for some messy holiday fun?  What kid doesn’t love finger painting, right?

painting-pumpkins1If you’re looking for some super simple DIY decorations, here are a few that I whipped up last October.  A little halloween word art


And a framed BOO! (Both of these projects could easily be done for any holiday.  How cute would JOY be framed for Christmas?)

boo-framed-and-finishedWith Annabelle’s help, I also made crazy cheap centerpieces for our dining room table (using at home items like rocks and rice).  The spider web under the rock centerpiece was made with glitter and glue!

halloween-centerpieces-1Last year I hosted a Halloween Party and went in search of frightful food ideas.  Below are the dishes I ended up making.  All were surprisingly easy! (I linked to all the ones that were Pinterest inspired).

Spider Web Black Bean Hummus (This spider web could be done over any dip.  I bet guacomole would look properly icky!)

A Pumpkin Cheese Ball

Black & Orange (a.k.a. cantaloupe and black berry) Fruit Salad

Pumpkin Rice Krispy Treats

Graveyard Pudding Cups

And finally, Spooky Oreo Faces.

And what’s Fall without a little Spiked Hot Apple Cider?

Happy October!!

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First Day Of School!

Wishing everyone a very happy first day of school!


P.S. You can check out how I made Annabelle’s First Day Of School sign here and see her pictures from last year here.

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