31 October 2013


The cute kind of Halloween crafts, nothing gross or scary going on with this crew. I saw this paper plate craft here and needed to do something for my daughter's kindergarten class. After class, I had some left over so we took advantage and crafted up a bat storm! All it really took was some paper plates and construction paper. I like paper eyes better than googly eyes for some reason. You end up with a cute variety of expressions with paper... just in where the kids choose to place the eyes.

Paper Plates: Circle Black (Bats), Square Green (Frankenstein), Circle Orange (Pumpkin).
You could also do White (Ghost), Green (Witch)... on and on and on.
Construction Paper: Black (for all three), White (for all three)
Ribbon: Green (for the pumpkin stem)
Glue Stick

Frankenstein: Cut black hair the width of the plate, about 3" tall, and zigzag one of the long edges. This is the hair. Cut 2 quarter sized white eyes, and 2 dime sized black eyes, Cut a strip of black about .5" tall for the mouth, length can be as long as you want. Cut 2 bolts that are shaped like chunky "T"s. Glue the hair on first, then the white eyes, then the black, then the mouth strip. Last, tape the bolts to the back. Frank is done.
Bat: Take one full sheet of black construction paper, fold it in half (the short way) and cut both wings at the same time. Draw first, from the bottom right corner, up to the fold (midpoint) and rounded down to the mid point of the left edge of the paper. Then start 2" down (this flat edge is where you tape the wing to the back of the plate) and draw the two concave sections, meeting up at the corner starting point. Cut 2 quarter sized white eyes, and 2 dime sized black eyes. Cut 2 small white triangles for fangs and 2 larger triangles for ears. First tape the bat wings to the back, and secure them a bit with glue. Flip the plate back to the front and glue the white eyes, then the black. Glue the fangs then tape the ears to the back. Bat is done, and his wings can flap a bit which is fun.
Pumpkin: Cut a 3" strip of ribbon and a black mouth any variety of smile or non smile you want. Cut 2 quarter sized white eyes, and 2 dime sized black eyes. Glue the eyes and mouth on and then fold the ribbon in half, tape the end to the back and secure it with a staple. Done. These are cute hung by the stem.

23 October 2013


Downton, Season 4 will air January 5th. Sherlock Season 3 starts January 19th. Call the Midwife, Season 3 will be in Spring of 2014. Just a little while more to wait for these fantastic shows, thank goodness for the fillers and repeats. I'm always up for a repeat of these shows, or the opportunity to catch up on those that I haven't seen yet. Right now, I'm really enjoying The Paradise. Better than Mr. Selfridge, in my opinion.

Have you ever watched The Last Enemy, again with Benedict Cumberbatch. it's on HuluPlus. I'm also catching up on Call the Midwife Season 2. There's always something from BBC that keeps me entertained. P.S. wasn't Silk amazing?!?! And there will be a Season 2 (hooray!).

22 October 2013


A playroom. I never thought it was necessary until toys were splattered about in every room. I realized the reason for all the fuss. A place where everything goes at the end of the day.

Before we moved to this home it was the Master Bedroom, so it's quite a decent size. When we moved in we made it our daughters room (remember the hodgepodge? and the dress up closet?). Now our girls share a room so this room is turning into the happy, sunshiney play place. A place for friends to come and play. P.S. I WILL fit the treadmill in here too. I'm determined.

This is the style sheet I came up with while planning.

From the color palette above, the far right is the closest to the wall color we chose (Valspar, Mino's Eye). My husband painted the room while I was out of town on a girls trip. Oh, how I love him. I married well.

We already own several items, the egg chair, kitchen, and shelving from IKEA, The Pkolino Little One's table and chairs. We have a few vintage globes laying around, oodles of vintage Fisher Price toys and paper mache hot air balloons. We have a cloud book shelf, a Jonathan Adler lamp and a vintage yellow table for the dress-up accessories. We also already have a Mr. TTT Bop Bag and the Wish Come True toys by FriendsWithYou. Mr. TTT is a signature piece in this room. He's always smiling, no matter how much he gets knocked around. I found a wire storage basket from Urban Outfitters to hold all of the kitchen goods. I also bought a white white shag rug for under the kitchen table. I'm making a rag rug (which may kill me) for the dress-up closet. A beautiful letterpressed calendar from Lab Partners still hangs in this room, and I have an adorable These Are Things map that needs to be hung.

For the wish list: A cute tent or teepee with white lights all around and a yellow pouf so big people can sit at the kitchen table with the littles. In the future, if I come across any kind of It's A Small World items, more vintage FP toys, or FriendsWithYou doodads... they will find a happy home in this room.

17 October 2013


My little one loves two things: 1) Cinderella and 2) Yellow. So we had a Cinderella party with a few of her friends for lunch and dress-up.

I was really wanting to keep this simple and less expensive because I'm great at spending too much time and money on birthday parties.

I started with yellow and blue... yellow because that's her favorite color and blue for Cinderella's dress. I had some garlands and decorations from past parties. It was fast and easy to make a Happy Birthday banner and incorporate a bit of Mary Blair style. I also used her influence for the invitations. I found some Lucite blue crystals at Michael's for cheap-cheap, bought a slew of balloons, made my usual 36" balloon tassel out of ribbons that I had stashed, BOUGHT the cupcakes this time and made sure they were mini's to cut down on the mess. I was doing good, fast and easy. The lunch was easy too because honestly, three year olds eat like birds.

Melon Balls
Skewered Cheese and Ham Chunks
PBJ Sandwiches Cut with Crown Cutter

Streamer Backdrop
Old frame with cut-out No.3 (glittered)
Lucite Crystals from Michael's
Mary Blair Castle (large to hang, tiny for cupcake topper)
Happy Birthday Banner
Puff Ball Garland
Glitter Puff Garland
36" Balloon Tassel of Ribbons
No.3 Photo Wall
Yellow Roses

I had a simple white table cloth, with white paper doilies, yellow plastic plates and vintage crystal cut glass dessert plates. I took those off for lunch but used them for the cupcakes later. I had some plastic forks, napkins, canning jars, lids and straws on hand. The star wands came from Target's party section.

At each table I filled a blue box with dollar store puzzles and Cinderella goodies. I made little tags for each girl and tied a balloon to each one. So when they left they would get a party favor box, a balloon and a craft.

Prep Ahead:
6" Doilies - Dye these blue before hand by simmering on stove top with some food coloring. Try not to simmer too long, the longer they're in the water, the more fragile they are along the lace edging.
Wood Peg Dolls
Craft Paint (Lt. Blue, Yellow, White) - I used shimmer paint for the blue body and white shoes, regular craft paint for the yellow hair. When painting the hair, I globed it on in the front a bit for bangs.

During Party:
Variety of Markers (Black, Pink, Blue) - Thin is best. Black for necklace in the neck-indent, Pink for lips, Blue for eyes and headband.
Hot Glue Gun and Sticks - I maned the hot glue gun for safety.
Mini Blue Sparkle - I hot glued these even though I bought the sticker sparkles. The sticker didn't stick to the round body.
Blue Doilies & Glue Sticks - Glue the doilie-skirt together. To make it more secure add a touch of hot glue but be careful not to burn yourself. See pattern below for connecting the skirt (at the first circle along the bottom). Use this as a visual guide (no need to print it out): Match up the circular areas where the "x's" are to create a skirt. If the circle doesn't fit around the peg, cut a bit more center circle until it does fit. Once the skirt is glued together and fits around the peg, take it off, then hot glue around the peg at the ;) crotch area and then slide the skirt on to keep it in place.
Yellow Mini Pom Poms - Hot glue to the back of her head for a bun LAST.

P.S. This is the sweetest bunch of princesses ever. They arrived in their favorite princess dresses and played so well together, adding crowns, hats, beads and shoes from the dress-up closet. I adore these little sweeties. They also danced and watched a bit of "Cinderella" before their fancy luncheon.