MY CREATIVE SPACE

While Emma (who’s blog this is) is at the beach I have again hijacked her blog. I don’t know what her creative space is like at the beach this week but I know she likes to join in with Kirsty as often as she can. Emma has been helping me with my son’s party preparation recently and this cardboard bunting has been in her creative space. Emma made this gorgeous bunting from a printable pdf (that she also bought for me) to use for my 2 year old’s truck party. I love the colours. Thanks Em! Hope you’re still having fun at the beach – although apparently she has very limited internet access so might not see this until she is back!
For more creative spaces you can visit here

Lou on behalf of (maybe not on behalf of as that suggests I have permission – you’ve got to forgive sisters though, don’t you?)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Growing up, our Mum put on the BEST parties around! My 2 sisters & I all had our birthdays within a four week period, so the party time of year was a big one! We always picked a theme and were very involved in our parties’ execution. I couldn’t help myself but to carry on the legacy when I had children of my own.

My philosophy on the celebrating of birthdays is to make it as fun and magical as possible without spending a fortune! It’s one area where I allow myself to indulge and go a little OTT.

So, to indulge my love of parties and because I haven’t had a chance to put any of my own parties on this blog yet and because I wanted to join in here and because I wanted to play around more with this mosaic maker, I thought I’d do a snap shot of photos from some of my kid’s parties over the last few years.

Goose’s 2nd birthday – LADYBUG theme

Goose’s 3rd birthday – BEE theme

Goose’s 4th birthday – RAINBOW theme

Goose’s 5th birthday – UNDERWATER theme

Bear’s 2nd birthday – CAR theme

Goose’s 6th birthday – PRINCESS party

You can see photos of little Frog’s 1st birthday with a PINK theme here.

Now that I have joined the blogging world and found some ‘party’ blogs – the ideas for parties have kicked up a notch to a whole new level….. and I’ll be remembering to take photos of every little detail.
Stay tuned for a ‘farm’ themed party in August…..
(which I’ll blog about in much greater detail).


AT MY HOUSE…

Playdough has had a comeback over the last week at our house. There are so many different recipes out there and all are really just a variant of the amounts, but using the same ingredients. They are all very quick and easy to make and I have never kept mine in the fridge – just in an airtight container.
I came across this no-cook playdough a few years back and we often use that.

NO-COOK PLAYDOUGH RECIPE

4 cups flour
4-6 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 cup salt
6-8 tablespoons oil
food coloring
4 cups of boiling water

Put all dry ingredients into large bowl.
Add oil just prior to water.
When water has boiled, add 4 cups of water.
Stir!
Tip out on bench and knead
(careful as it will be very HOT)

Addition: thanks to Lou’s comment, add water slowly to check consistency. I knead using LOTS of flour in case it needs it.


There are many things you can do to add a little fun twist to the usual playdough…

- you can add glitter – you may see the small amounts of purple glitter in our pink playdough (much more effective if you have more and larger glitter).

- you can add some essence – my daughters kinder used to do this all of the time – brown playdough with chocolate essence, purple playdough with blueberry essence, etc. and they swore that once the kids had a little chomp, it tasted so disgusting they didn’t try again!

- mixing colors - great way to teach kids what colors make other colors when mixed. eg. blue playdough + pink playdough makes purple playdough.

- burying little treasures in the playdough – the size of the treasure would depend on the age of the child. Small plastic farm animals to sequins or buttons might be fun.

What fun things have you done with playdough at your house?

PLAYDOUGH PARTY IDEAS:
(because I can’t resist a good party idea)
Playdough is a fantastic cheap and fun idea to have as a take-home gift at a birthday party. Put them in a ziplock bag or a nice jar with some fabric and ribbon on the lid. We gave away blue playdough with lots of green glitter for an underwater party. You could do rainbow playdough for a rainbow themed party or to match a color themed party, add sequins and sparkles to pink or purple playdough for a princess party, bury small plastic workmen in brown playdough for a construction party, or bury gold buttons/sequins for a pirate party. The possibilities are endless.

To play along or to see what is going on at other people’s houses visit Lou’s house.

Addition – The ‘cook’ method (that I actually used for the playdough in these photos) is as follows:

1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 cup water
coloring

Mix dry ingredients in saucepan & add water, oil & food coloring. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until it turns into playdough (takes about 3 minutes). Knead until smooth (on flour covered bench).

ALPHABET PARTY REVEALED

I was very excited when Holly sent me the photos from her daughter’s Alphabet Party. Didn’t she do a gorgeous job! I have always loved themed parties, particularly when you can do them yourself simply and cheaply, yet very stylishly as well. I think this is a great theme for a 4 year old, as that is the age where letters hold such excitement. They are starting to recognise their name and certainly the first letter of their own name can contain such pride.

Other alphabet features at the party were fruit leather letters (using cookie cutters), alphabet cupcakes, lots of alphabet books dotted around, alphabet jigsaws, alphabet colouring pages, a fishing for letters game and chicken noodle soup made with alphabet pasta.
If you would like to incorporate any of Holly’s great ideas into your own alphabet themed party, you can get the alphabet bunting from here, the alphabet circles pdf from here and the coloring pages from here.
For even more alphabet party ideas see here.

AT MY HOUSE…

Mondays are usually our home/catch up days.
Apart from mopping a muddy floor and drying LOTS
of washing after a wet weekend (oh the joys….)
we’ll be cooking up a wintery meal of thick vegie soup and
some apple & rhubarb crumble for dinner tonight with friends.
In my opinion the BEST crumble contains the following ingredients….

rolled oats, melted butter, brown sugar,
plain flour and shredded coconut & shaved almonds

I love a good fruit crumble when the weather gets a little cooler.
Amusing my kids at the moment is our dress up box. They like to put on different outfits while dancing to Justine Clarke’s Let’s Dress Up.
Op shops are by far the best spot to find gorgeous sparkly bags, shawls, scarves, necklaces & high heels – not to mention lacy lingerie (always great for a bride). Our kids are also lucky enough to receive a handmade dress up from Granny every year for their birthday.

Dress ups have always been big in our house, just as they were when I was growing up. Actually… we still sometimes get out our old dress up box at Granny’s house – which contains many vintage outfits that once belonged to Mum and some lovely wigs belonging to our Nana – just for fun. Kids and adults all get in on the action. Makes a dinner party just that little more interesting if you put a funny wig, hat or pigs nose at each persons place at the table…..

ALPHABET PARTY

I have wanted to do a party “inspiration board” for ages! A friend is hosting an ALPHABET PARTY for her 4 year old daughter in a couple of weeks time and was asking advice on printable pdf’s (my current favourite party idea!), so I thought I’d give it a shot!

Since I did the board, this alphabet party has arrived on kara’s blog, I have seen this gorgeous alphabet bunting from Giggleberry and an easy to make alphabet fishing game too. My favourite one of all would have to be this gorgeous school themed baby shower from one charming party which has some adorable vintage ideas you could use for an alphabet party! It even comes with some free printables!

1. JFlairGood’s alphabet cookie cutters for biscuits or party favors or cupcakes 2. fromsoul’s ABC party paper cups 3. Myrecipes.com alphabet cookies 4. gaddie & tood alphabet party pack 5. MiChiMaLAND’s felt letters 6. SouthHouseBoutique’s bottle bags 7. onecharmingparty.com artist party with chalk boards & alphabet crayons 8-10 Pretty Little Studio vintage alphabet bunting & flashcards 11. 1StressLESSTeacher ABC wands 12. lauraslefthook alphabet crochet pattern pdf’s 13. paperb’s packs of kawaii alphabet tissues! 14. kawaii goodies Japanese fabric with german boys & alphabet 15. This&ThatFromJapan’s alphabet ribbon/tape 16. The City Cradle alphabet invitation & free printable download 17. goldylocks alphabet printable alphabet circles pdf 18. Let’s Explore alphabet crayons for party favors or activity 19. RunningBugFarm’s alphabet beads for bracelets for party favors or party activity 20. Canadian Family french toast alphabet sandwiches 21. HelenRawlinson’s handprinted alphabet fabric 22. incywincytogs cross stitch letter buttons 23-24. Pretty Little Studio vintage alphabet bunting & flashcards


Addition – Absolutely gorgeous Free Printable Alphabet Bunting here and more alphabet ideas here.  Alphabet craft ideas here.  


Another Addition – free printable alphabet with adorable pics to match here.

Would love to know if you have tried an alphabet party or have any ideas?


FUN FOR THE FUSSY

Inspired by this post on Wild Things of Noosa, I thought I would share my favourite tip for getting kids to eat their food – it is certainly not a new concept (nor is it foolproof) but I need to be reminded regularly to give it a go.
It’s all about presentation.


Yesterday the vegemite sandwiches in the shapes of flowers were woofed down and it’s much more fun eating an eye or tree, instead of a piece of carrot or broccoli.
*As I can’t go past a good party tip – why not try healthy sandwiches cut in shapes, using cookie cutters, that match your party theme.
I have put this plate away for my kids for Christmas… the possibilities are endless!
Of course we don’t play with our food every day, because quite frankly, who has the time?!

Some more fun & healthy food ideas here.
Addition: Check out funkylunch where they take this idea to a whole new level! (thanks chic mother&baby for showing me)

‘UNDER THE SEA’ PARTY

When my 2 sisters and I were growing up, our mother was the birthday queen! We ALWAYS had a theme and had great fun in preparation for the big day. Our 3 birthdays were all within a few weeks of each other so “party season” in our house was a big one! Lou and I have followed that tradition with our own children. I may be slightly more obsessed, but that is another story!

On Sunday we went to our gorgeous nephew’s 4th birthday party. He had chosen an underwater theme and Lou did a fantastic job!

Here are some photos….

Very yummy fish cupcakes. When I asked my 2.5 year old if he’d like some fish cake, he said “oh no. that’s yucky mummy” until I convinced him I had not meant fish flavoured!

Personalised water bottles – fun way to get kids to actually drink water (instead of soft drink) at a party!

My seaweed wig (that I made for my daughter’s 5th birthday party last year).

Check out more photos of this party on Lou’s blog here and here.

My new favorite things for parties, are printable pdf’s. You can buy, for a very reasonable price, a pdf pattern for anything from party hats, cupcake wrappers, cupcake toppers, paper bunting, posters, etc, etc and they can all be used for anything and can be printed up as many times as you like. My favourite sites for party printables are:

www.partiesbyhardie.etsy.com (used in this party)

I’ll be putting more party ideas in this blog as time goes by because I really do love parties!
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