Hello, April!

I hate it when a month goes by, and I’ve failed to post anything on my blog. Not that anyone reads it. Anyway, after so much rain (unusual for San Diego), it’s finally getting warm. Like, REALLY warm. It feels like Summer already. It’s been in the 70’s all week. I have lots of time to prepare for Easter, since it’s so late this year, and I’m glad for that. We don’t go to church, or have family get-togethers anymore for Easter, but I do have my 3 kids to celebrate with, and so I like to find cute things to make for them or do with them. I also can’t resist all the pretty seasonal goodies at Target, JoAnn, Michael’s, etc.

So, on that note, here are some cute Easter/Spring things I’ve come across on the web. Gotta love the Internet!

1) adorably chic & simple bunny cupcakes by One Charming Party

bunny cupcakes by One Charming Party

 

2) grass clip art for goody bags (or anything, really)

grass clip art/flower meringues by Martha Stewart

 

3) These clever carrot pouches by Betz White

 

Completely doable and totally cute! Besides the cotton candy, you should already have all the supplies needed. Happy crafting!

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Tastes in art

I am by no means artistically inclined, or an art aficionado. But I do know what I like. I like symmetry. I like classical art. I like Renaissance art. Basically anything painted up through the 1800’s, I’ll like. I don’t like modern art. I don’t know why… most of it just looks messy to me. Or maybe my intellect isn’t sophisticated enough to appreciate it… I don’t know. What I do like, however, that I believe falls under the modern art category, is mixed media. I find it very appealing. Certain types of collage work, too. Maybe I like mixed media because it includes many elements, all representing the many crafts I’m interested in; print, sewing, needlework, photography, papercrafts, etc.

Here’s something I just found that I really like, via Kayte Terry’s blog, this is love forever:

Eleanor Wood’s mixed media collages

I also love Wyanne’s art, this is one of my favorites:

the quiet night holds secrets

I love all the pretty, whimsical art featuring women that I find on Etsy. I can’t imagine life without Etsy, actually. I hope they’re able to stick around forever.

A Safari Birthday

My son just turned 3, and I threw a Safari-themed party for him. I wanted everything to still be sort of cute and baby-ish, as opposed to life-like (since he’s still a toddler, but not for long!), so his invitation had a cute giraffe and lion on it. I sent the invite by email, because I had created it in photoshop, but not the way you’re supposed to – I’m totally clueless – and so it wasn’t looking good in terms of being able to print out quality invitations. Oh well.

I tried to have “rustic”, non-fancy food, something you might actually be able to eat while on safari, so the menu consisted of:

trail mix
Chocolate Turtle Chex mix
watermelon & cantaloupe
white bean dip w/pita chips & bread
lemon chicken kabobs
Filipino BBQ pork kabobs
vegetable cous cous

The only activities I had were decorating your goody bag with stamps, playing with the puppet theater (that I got a few days previous at IKEA on sale for $1.99!), and hanging out in the safari canopy I made. It was a featured craft in the June/July issue of Family Fun magazine. But all the kids wanted to do was play at the playground, anyway, since we were at a park.

I never figured out exactly what to do about the cake. I originally planned to ask a friend of a friend who works at a Costco bakery if she would hook me up, because she and my friend would sometimes decorate cakes however they wanted, for their own parties. Costco doesn’t allow this, but they somehow were able to. So anyway, I never got around to asking her, and ended up making it myself. My first idea was to buy some cute animals I’d seen at Toys R Us, that were only $6.99 for 6, plus a nice tree. But the set includes a tiger, which aren’t native to Africa, and I’m really a stickler when it comes to details & authenticity. I also really wanted a giraffe and zebra on the cake, and I just never found the right set of animals. I wanted at least a giraffe, zebra, lion, and elephant, and they had to be cute & friendly looking, not too life-like. Since I’m no genius with the fondant or the frosting, my only option was to make paper animals with my Cricut machine. I did, however, want to try to at least put some frosting leaves on the sides of the cake. I borrowed a leaf tip from a friend, that she had just acquired from her grandmother. The decorating set was from the ’50’s! It’s the metal kind, where you put the frosting into a canister and push down to decorate. Needless to say, the tip didn’t fit properly in my plastic decorating bag, but I tried anyway – first at my friend’s house while picking it up, where it worked ok, and then the next night, after frosting the cake. Where it didn’t work ok! For some reason, the last bit of frosting I had dyed green and placed in the bag became so runny that it was impossible to work with. I did pipe on several leaves, hoping it would work, but it was such a disaster! Frosting was coming out of all sides of the hole, the decorating tip fell out of place, and the leaves just looked awful. So I said screw it! I wiped the leaves off as best I could, and made some paper grass with my Cricut.

I had no idea exactly how I was going to place everything, but I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. Besides my very crooked, mediocre cake. Oh, and I’m so glad I saw a cake on coolest-birthday-cakes.com that had 3D palm trees on it, made with cereal straws. Also very glad I was able to find them, after going to 4 different grocery stores. That was a genius idea, they work very well, and look quite realistic. They’re also yummy!

Happy birthday, baby!

leaf banner

safari cake

safari cake-candles

under the canopy

safari goody bag

A miniature sleepover

My eldest turned 10 last month. *sigh*

She said she didn’t want a party, because “no one has parties anymore”. ?? Which really ticked me off, because lately (well, actually, probably for the last few years!) all she wants is to be EXACTLY like her classmates. “Mom, can I have a —? So-and-so has one.” Or, “Mom, I want a sleepover. So-and-so AND so-and-so are having one!” And on, and on and on. I tried to explain that she should really be herself, that it really bothers me that she has to copy everyone. But a child wants what a child wants, and I’m ok with whatever – within reason.

So a little grudgingly, I acquiesced. But I wouldn’t let her get away without picking a theme. I have to have a theme. So we settled on “miniature”. She has this American Girl book, “Tiny Treats: Fun Foods to Make and Eat”, that has some really cute ideas and projects. That was one of the inspirations for the mini theme I got stuck in my head a long time ago, the other was this project on the DIY website: mini treasure chest.

mini-envelopes2

mini-envelopes

I used a tag craft punch for the mini banner:
minibanner

minibanner2

I decided this was the perfect time to try some mini burgers; I originally wanted the ones from Jack In The Box, because they looked so cute, and the commercial cracked me up. But we went with the ones from Burger King instead.

miniburgers

I made mini cupcakes for her to share with her class, as they are allowed to do that on their birthday, but sadly, forgot to photograph them. I saved some for each child that was going to be here during the sleepover, including my little ones, and this is the only photographic evidence left:
birthdaycandle

A very blurry close up:
minicupcake

One teeny, tiny cupcake would hardly suffice, so I was going to make a chocolate cake while the girls played, but we decided to go for an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. I had a $3 off coupon, which we get by email before everyone’s birthday, as part of their birthday club. I did want one of their tiny, round cakes, to go along with the theme, but they’re supposed to feed only 2-4. So that was out. Big sister chose cookie dough ice cream+chocolate cake.

cookiedoughcake

The next morning:
sleepover-breakfast

Ach, the mini cardboard suitcase saga… these things are expensive, and not widely available. Only online, as far as I saw, and no one likes to sell them individually – maybe 2 or 3 vendors do. These are from Kate’s Paperie in New York.

minisuitcases

I recently discovered we have a Japanese “dollar store”, in the Convoy/Kearny Mesa area, where everything is actually $1.69. Unless marked otherwise. So many cute things! It’s called Marukai, or Daiso Marukai. I was so happy they had lots of tiny things to choose from.

minifavors

These bookmarks are from Target, on clearance:
minibookmarks

I bought an envelope template ages ago, you can choose from 6 different tiny ones, all on one plastic sheet.

envelopefavors

finished-suitcase

openingsuitcases2

openingsuitcases

Now onto the next one!