23 April 2012


I'm pretty sure my husband doesn't want me to throw another party ever again. He's patient with me as I dedicate our home and much of my time to planning and preparing for our daughters birthday parties. He likes to get involved, within reason. He designs adorable party invites and I'm always grateful to have one thing off of my to-do list. And I'm as patient as I can be as he asks me, without fail, "how much more have you got planned with this thing?"

With our oldest daughter turning four, I decided it's time to move on from a family birthday gathering to a friend party. She wanted to invite a few friends from school, a couple from church, her best friend, her cousin and some neighborhood friends. 16 kids total (Yeecsh).

She wanted a POLKA DOT theme. I asked her about colors and she said, "blue and purple". Once I found an outfit, I based the color palette around it and started planning the invite, food, cake, decor and favors. Below is my style guide for shopping and a few photos of the party.

THE FOOD: anything round I could find. Melons cut in round shapes and stacked large to small. Tomatoes, Carrots, Cucumbers, Grapes, Blueberries in round clear containers. THE CAKE: I ordered Cake Pops from Kate's Pop Sweet Shop via etsy for the kids. I don't feel confident with my baking skills so I am usually sweating through the whole process and praying it all comes out ok. I made a three layer vanilla cake with blue frosting with tissue puff skewers on top and a circle punched number four. I also found some circle sprinkles that helped the bottom edge. It was a cute cake. THE DECOR: I made circle danglers by using a Fiskers circle punch and sewing them in strips. I used dart balloons to create a small wall of color. I bought a 36" balloon online and made the tassel with ribbon, fabric and tissue paper. I really wanted Craspedia Billy Ball flowers but instead I opted for simple yellow tulips. I wanted to use bamboo forks and colorful plates. I have a stash of bottles from previous parties and got some dot straws on etsy and put them all in a large round yellow tin, filled it with ice. I made some yarn pom pom garlands and tissue pom poms for decor around the house. THE PARTY FAVORS: I originally thought about sewing dot baggies for candy but opted to go simpler and got craft bags and some washi tape. Filled them with dot candy, a dumdum wrapped in dot fabric and tied with twine, some blue foil wrapped chocolate balls and some purple sixlets. I circle punched a "thanks for coming" and hot glued it to close the bag as washi tape doesn't hold very well sometimes.

My daughter really wanted to paint at her party. She loves crafts so I got some wood letters, the first letter for each child invited. I spray painted them white and got a variety of colors from the color palette and circle sponge applicators and let them create their own letter art. Of course, aprons were a must ;)

A huge thank you to my husband and all of the moms for helping to make the party go smoothly. Thank you Nicole for jumping in and taking a few photos.

Maybe we'll do this every other year? We'll see if I can stop myself.

12 April 2012


My process for decorating a room starts with finding one thing; a wallpaper or fabric and then creating a color palette, patterns and accessories around it. This has worked great with our girls baby rooms (Nina's has been featured on Apartment Therapy and Modern Musings), but for some reason with my oldest daughters "grown-up girl" room, I was feeling the flop.

First off, I fell in love with a paint color. A salmon. I still had our enormous vintage gold frame that I turned into a bulletin board with pale yellow linen backing. So the color palette started with those two colors. My daughter loves blue so I added a teal but I had a hard time finding fabrics in my crazy color palette.

Then we got bunkbeds for her to eventually share with her little sister. Big. White. Chunky. We hung onto some of our functional, modern, white IKEA pieces like the book shelf, chair and light. So... no real theme, crazy color palette... I was trying to salvage items from her baby room and I just couldn't make it work. I needed a small wall shelf for all of our Friends With You toys. I painted it teal to see if that helped tie in the colors.

I'll tell you what, the room is a hodgepodge of randomness and it's driving me crazy. After my husband did some work with San Francisco's Lab Partners they gave him an adorable calendar with a "festive fleet of flying contraptions". Then I bought this super cute handmade balloon by Zoe Howard Jacobson (the one with the face). So I focused on A Day at the Fair theme. I made two other hot air balloons and embraced the crazy color palette I had roped myself into. Teal, salmon and yellow.

For her Christmas present, we created a dress-up closet with a yellow Victorian dresser, a teal floor cushion and a white cloud bookshelf. This whole area is still a work in progress to me. This is why there are no photos, I'm too embarrassed to show what it all looks like now. Plus I hate the blinds. One day, this room will come together. I foresee this happening perhaps when she turns 14? Oi.

Until then, I'll continue to create random bits of fun things that have nothing to do with anything and I'll remind myself that it's ok. This is a kids room, it's meant to be fun and messy and a bit crazy. And then I'll really try to convince myself that there doesn't really need to be a "theme".

Below are the two hot air balloons that I made, and Zoe's cute little balloon that I will forever cherish. Also a robot that I made trying to tie the colors together. This was before the Fair theme. I need to give credit to Abby Snow for her robot design. I swiped it and made about 6 robots over the last couple of years for gifts. Mine are a bit different, but her cute little guys got me started.

11 April 2012


City Creek opened the end of March. We chose to check it out on a Sunday for some mellow window shopping instead of attempting a shopping excursion among the craziness of opening weekend. Although it's a bit of a bummer that it's not open on Sunday, it makes for a lovely family outing. All of the fountains are going and I know for a fact that the kids enjoyed it this way much more. They could run around and squeal with delight. And I was able to get a few shots of my favorite patterns and textures. Tiffany's was my favorite.

07 April 2012


I think I'll use this garland for an upcoming birthday decoration as well. The colors work for multiple occasions.

Ever since I saw 36" balloons with tassels on Geronimo, I have been putting tassels on everything possible. I like them at the end of felt ball garlands. I also like to mix felt balls with pom poms. If you have the patience and don't mind destroying your skin a little to make felt balls, knock yourself out. Here's a tutorial. I bought a ton of wool roving and started to make them and quickly found that the job sucks. I don't have the patience for it and my skin can't take the soapwater soak for 10 minutes per ball. So I buy the balls on etsy now. Pom poms are easy enough to make and you can buy a little tool here. My friend, Nicole makes darling wreaths and offers a tutorial on her site. I string them all together, space them and put a dab of hot glue on each side of the felt balls to hold them in place. Then I make the tassels with a variety of ribbons, slit fabrics, lace, and yarn, all about 14" in length. Fold the bunch in half over the garlands end piece and wrap thread around the folded end to secure it. Then tie a knot around the tassel on each end with the garlands end piece. It takes about an hour or so to make. It's easy and I love how delicate it looks. Happy Easter.

Materials Needed:
Scissors. Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks. Felting Needle (or Large Needle). Clover Pom Pom Maker. Felt Balls. Yarn for Pom Poms. Tatting Thread. Strips of Lace, Ribbon, and Material in a variety of colors.