Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Cut

It's no secret that scissors are handy, fun... and dangerous.

On the upside - you can chop things in half.  Craft is fabulous but fiddly, which is why it always helps if you can make many-things out of one-thing.  I've been finalising the FREE ebook templates and realised that by cutting the table name tags in half you can create two little gift tags.  Brainwaves always seem obvious in hindsight, but it's nice to realise that chopping something leaves you with more not less... unlike household budgets... or hair.

Now teh downside - apparently Mimi is entering the 'danger days' according to the preschool adviser.  'All' four year olds attempt to cut their own hair at some point; usually the fringe; and almost always badly.  With only weeks until her fourth birthday, and a house full of craft materials, I guess I have to resign myself to bad hair days ahead... I can't help but wonder if 'all' is true... any comments?

Until then... stay crafty.

(PS - the FREE craft ebook has arrived!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

In the detail

It's no secret that 'God is in the detail,' (or was it the Devil?)  None the less, without a doubt the thing which is taking up all my (work) time at the moment is dotting the i's and crossing the t's so to speak.  (or the i-for-ice-cream and t-t-tables as Mimi would say).

Of course I want everything I sell to you to be as near to perfect as possible, so I'm proofreading everything one last time before we go live on our website.  I wish there was a 'crafty' way to get around it all, but on the other hand, it's like a final farewell of sorts, one last look before I move on to the next party themes; Monsta-Surf, Happy Hideaway, Jungle Jive, Traditional Christmas and Super Circus... my mind is already spinning with the details and I have to keep reminding myself of baby-steps, walking before you run, and yada yada... I want to make a feathered headdress and watch my children whoop it up round the local park...!!  Soon, soon, so very soon... why does that ring a bell?!

(PS - all the above-mentioned party themes are now available to look at here.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jane Austen Pride

It's no secret that stories starting with 'when I was young' usually turn out to be dodgy.  Never mind.  When I was young, fonts were fabulous.  I remember lying on the floor, painstakingly tracing one letter at a time to make curly-whirly headings for my assignments.  I was particularly enamoured with anything 'Gothic' and Medieval Capitals were also swoon-worthy.  Children 'these days' have it so easy!  Now, they can jump online and select the font of their choice, download it free and away they go.

I met with the web designer yesterday.  I'm happy to report that we'll be ready to go live very soon, so we'll all be celebrating classy craft and perfect parties together in no time at all!  One of my to-do list items was to 'fix a font' and that's what's filled my morning; partly productively... partly not.

The big kid in me was lolly-hunting and just couldn't keep from getting pulled back into all my favourite charming-cursive-calligraphy creations.  My favourite (for today) goes to a font called; Jane Austen, based on her signature; very crafty!  Love it, Love it.  It gets our royal stamp of approval!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

party magic happens

party magic happensIt's no secret that we should all practice what we preach; so here's a Mood Board I made for a fairy party.  A mood-board is a graphic way of illustrating your ideas and emotions.  You can do this with words or pictures.  If you chose the pictorial way use magazines (yours please!) and cut out images that make you think ‘party’ or remind you of the party person and paste them onto a large piece of card. Alternatively, if you're more computer-inclined; go digital and make a computerised version of your mood.

The image on the right was made in Polyvore, the site I talk about in my FREE Ebook.  It allows you to create digital mood boards for fun, to share, and to sort out your inspirational ideas.  I'm still figuring it all out, but it's a terrific self-expression (time-chewer) regardless!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fairy Games

It's no secret that the fairy magic comes in handy any time any place.  When my eldest is having a meltdown or 'a moment' as we prefer to call it, we can often stop it, or at least slow it down by making a sprinkling motion with our fingers over her head.  The invisible chocolate-flavoured fairy dust seems to work a treat, and almost always gets a smile.  (Doesn't the word 'almost' in the context of stopping tantrums send a shiver down your spine?!)

Great news is that the Fabulous Fairy themed Ebook is now finished.  Every word, photo, craft template and project idea - phew.  As a part-time, work from home mumpreneur, doing everything on a shoestring budget, it's taken a lot longer than anticipated to pull everything together... but we did... I mean I did... thank you chocolate-flavoured fairy dust!

(PS - hooray - it's now available; check out the Fabulous Fairy Party Package!)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Family Fatigue

It's no secret that parents get tired of running around with their children, trying to get everything done.  There's even a term for it; family fatigue.  We're right up there with the rest of you and we're only a 'young' family... well the kids are at least.

We've got swimming lessons on Monday, organised playgroup on Tuesday, there's preschool / daycare on Wednesday, Nana's on Thursday, preschool / daycare on Friday again, then Saturday Happy Husband tries to take over for awhile (they're currently at the movies - god bless him; he's either mad or brave or both to take Little Lotti (2yrs old) into a place where she has to sit still and quiet for 90 minutes.... hope Mimi (3 1/2) reminds him to buy a big bucket of popcorn!)

No wonder then, that the best place to be in Australia, mid-winter as we are, is snuggled up under favourite bunny-rugs on the sofa in a dream-like state for long minutes at a time... half their luck... if only said-same bunny-rugs could jump into the washing machine, hop on the line, and then scurry, folded away into a drawer.... now who's dreaming!?

PS - if your eyes are good enough, you'll see the butterfly cushion from two years ago / last post, tucked up yet again, just behind Lotti's head!  Enjoy your weekend.

PPS - if you want to use craft to resusitate the family and find some fun activities for toddlers, keep reading this blog, click on PAIGE for more information, or download some FREE art projects for kids on our website.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Go the Flutterby to Sleep

It's no secret that children try your patience, but help your spirit soar.  After one of the best night's sleep in four years, I'm feeling all loved-up again for my two beautiful daughters... funny that.  Or not.  Depending on whether you're in 'that place' of sleep-deprivation, or out the other side where sleepless nights are a distant memory that makes you less generous towards the sad-sack mothers like myself.

My husband and I finished up a particularly heavy-duty 'go to bed' session with our youngest, when I remembered about a book a friend had mentioned, titled; "Go the F to Sleep."  We googled it, listened to Samuel Jackson's reading of it, and laughed (quietly so as not to wake the girls) until I had tears in my eyes.

In my happy-I-slept-state, I can't help but get nostalgic, and realise that like all things, this is just a stage we're going through, and that it was two years ago and only yesterday that we bought Little Lotti home and then months later laughed at her baby-doll antics as she learnt to roll around the floor... and then... ah... remember when... and then in an eye blink (when at last you're lucky enough to rest a moment)... gone... fluttered by and relegated to memory and photographic backup files.  Cherish it; the good, the bad, the sleepless nightmare that is perfect motherhood. x

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mermaid Party Craft Ebook

It's no secret that for as long as humanity has been telling stories, the mystical mermaid has made an appearance.  Part woman, part fish, these beautiful creatures have been calling to us with their siren songs. Their luscious long locks, enticing eyes and bewitching smile all add to their allure.

It's this magical tug at our collective memory that continues to make the Mermaid Party one of the most popular party themes for young girls around the world.

To help your young ones share in the fun, Partycraft Secrets has put together a package of printpapers and party craft projects that emulates the murky hues of fantasy which swim somewhere between fiction and folklore, as well as adding a quirky modern suggestion of what a mermaid might look like. Whether you’re holding a party for tiny tots, a swim meet or a poolside gathering of forever young friends, there’s plenty of magic craft to try.

So stay tuned - within a few weeks we'll be going live on our website and you'll be able to download your own perfect printpapers and projects to make a splash at your next party. 

(PS - You can now find more Mermaid Party Ideas on line!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Silence and I

It's no secret that silence is a rare commodity, one that should be worshiped, venerated, adored... It's certainly a non-event in our house most of the time.  Which is a good thing, and a bad one.  Good, because the sound of happy voices and running feet is a blessed one - bad, because, well, the sound of running feet and loud voices is often the prelude of a headache.

Waking up to images of Mrs Murdoch's fiery attack on the pie-man, my two daughters did their best to assassinate each other in the lounge room while I packed lunchboxes for their 'school day'.  Talk, talk, talk, wammo, talk some more about the morality of wamma, talk, talk, wrestle, wrestle, scream... ahhh... another day in paradise!

PS - be careful what you wish for - both the girls are 'gone' for now, and I have my peaceful house... and somehow it feels a little empty.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ballet Party Craft Ebook

It's no secret that one of the most satisfying feelings in our day to day existence, is the feeling of contentedness you get upon completing something.  Right now, my 45 pages of Beautiful Ballerina craft projects is giving me that warm-fuzzy feeling.  It is the first of the five Ebooks I'm making to be "finished" (as much as anything is ever finished to a manic perfectionist such as myself) and I'm really rather proud.

Dim the chandelier-light, hold your breath, and get ready to enter another world, one of magic, entertainment and action...  and remember, that just as it’s the ballerina’s job to tell a story through movement, your role as party-host is to convincingly set the scene for making magical memories, and that’s where we come in to help...  oh, I just love a ballet party

PS - you can now click to see all the details of the Ballet Party Craft Ebook or have a look through this blog for other posts about Beautiful Ballerinas

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Eye Sore

It's no secret that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture for a reason... because quite frankly it is torture to go without a decent night sleep, night after night, after night...

Little Lotti, bless her darling soul, is a poor sleeper.  I admit that poor sleep is primarily a result of poor habits (usually established deliberately or unwittingly by well-meaning parents).  I also accept that there is no point beating myself up over the notion that "I'm to blame" for this poor sleep, since I'm being punished more than adequately already.  Lastly, I admit defeat in trying to avoid controlled crying, or self-settling as it is more optimistically called these days.  As reluctant as I was to commence, three nights in we are seeing some results.

My photograph today is a close-up of one of my favourite plates (designed by the wonderful Fornasetti), of his famous female face overlaid with a navigator's map.  I've included it because the word mare (a sort of abbreviation of nightmare) and the web of lines over the eye sum up how I'm feeling at the moment... sigh.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Craft Secrets: The holidays are all in the bag

It's no secret that school holidays are routine-wreckers.  For ten or so weeks at a time, you travel along a well worn path (or relatively new one in my case), packing lunchboxes, organising drop-offs, racing through chores, and then blogging about your start-up business successes... then the holidays strike.

The children stay home.  The children no longer have the benefit of being entertained by other children or their beloved teachers and carers.  The children are now bored and restless.

Hooray for craft!  Without a doubt cutting and pasting is messy business, but it's time consuming!  It buys a bit of breathing space, a bit of sanity, a bit of blogging time!

The craft hit at the moment in our house is the little handbag template from the Princess Party Themed EBook.  I print and cut them, they help paste them and then I hand them over, and my two daughters Lotti and Mimi (two and three and a half) get to prance and preen with their tiny treasures for at least ten minutes unsupervised... just goes to show you don't have to wait for a party to celebrate!

(PS - you can now see more Princess Party Craft projects.)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Party Trick - Use old videos for streamers

It's no secret that you vow never to turn out like your parents... and then you do.  When I was a young girl I was mortified when my father used a chewed-up video cassette to make streamers for a party.  Oh the shame that something broken was being strung about my house!

Years later, recycling, up-cycling, re engineering, saving the planet, being crafty, or whatever else you want to call it, the notion of using something to make something all together different is considered both responsible and clever.

So it is with great pride (and yes apologetically), that I pass on the top tip from my resourceful father: if you carefully open a video cassette inside you will find a spool of shiny black streamers, just waiting to be cut up and strung about your house for the next Halloween or Pirate Party!

(PS - for other top party-craft tricks, turn to Page 4 of our Free Ebook: here.) 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Free Craft Ebook

It's no secret that parents are the best intentioned and busiest people in the world.  We want to host our children a birthday party they'll never forget, one their friends will talk about for weeks afterwards.  We'd be flattered if their parents were equally impressed, and most of all, we want our children to know how special they are to us.  That's why parties are so perfect; we get to spoil the ones we love and showcase our skills, all while eating yummy food!

As the mother of a preschooler and a toddler, I'm just like other well meaning, time poor parents and while looking for information on themed-parties, I realised that available resources were spread far and wide.  So I decided to create a single-source Ebook for each popular party theme, built around the use of Do It Yourself craft and the growing fad of PrintPapers. 

To get my Themed Party Pack business started I’m giving away the FREE craft ebook How To Host a Themed Party.”  This high quality Ebook will be my gift to you – it costs nothing, is hitch-free, now and forever.

There's two parts to the FREE ebook;

* How to CHOOSE a theme for your party with tips on how to select the most appropriate theme for your party person, where to find inspiration, and how to get inventive with old favourites.

* How To USE the theme to make your dream a sophisticated reality, with tips, how-to’s and ready-to-print projects and templates for party invitations, decorations, tableware, costumes, games and more.

Only thing I'm waiting for now is to finalise my webpage - and then I'll post it for everyone to use and enjoy, so stay tuned and; Go on... get excited and get ready to grab YOUR free copy!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Craft Secrets: Sticky Business

It's no secret that everyone wants their vocation to be a vacation... I figure I'm getting close; there's hours of hard work, no doubt, but at least in some instances I get to eat my craft creations!

My daughters think it's a pretty special job I've created too.  They love to go through 'The Box' which is filled with bits and pieces I use to make the craft projects; silk flowers, strings of beads, glitter balls, paper hats and and and... 

Mimi (my three-and-a-half year old daughter) treats each and every item with a deep reverence, Lotti (two) on the other hand prefers to see what everything tastes like which is an inconvenience to say the least; saliva and paper so don't mix!  Every time I turn my back she's into 'my' room, searching out The Box or anything else she can find, and it's hello pirate hat... m-mmm.... bye bye pirate hat...

Never mind, craft is all about having a good time, not being around for a long time... perhaps that's the main difference between art and craft?  Hmmm... something to think about!

(PS - see more Pirate Party Craft on the Partycraft Secrets website.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Still Life

It's no secret that a mother's work is never done, but sometimes I wonder if I would have signed up if I'd known just how realistic 'never' really was.

Little Lotti has been a poor sleeper from about day two, and we've just started the latest round of self-settling as opposed to co-sleeping.  I wouldn't dare blog a post about parenting and sleeping, and what works and what doesn't, because frankly, I'm not totally convinced that anything will with some children... mine included.

Mimi took until she was two and a half, nearly three, before we could kiss her goodnight and walk away.  Until then there was always some sort of patting, rocking, in-and-outting... now she's fantastic, "goodnight see you when the sun comes up" and out she potters twelve hours latter - bliss.  Lotti.. well, my mother always said if you can't think of anything nice to say; don't.

How I miss those days of quiet solitude where you could just sit perfectly still and read... right now as I type, Mimi and Lotti are racing up and down the corridor screaming at each other, and as cute as the pitter patter of tiny, excited feet is... I wouldn't mind turning them into statues from time to time!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Nibble Nibble

It's no secret that I'm passionate about crafting with paper.  After six years studying Architecture (and and other 3 getting my Masters), I designed, drafted and modelled out of countless pieces of paper and card.  As a student, every sheet counted, and every scrap that was trimmed off one project was used to prop up another.

This spendthrift behaviour continues today, as much for sustainability reasons as budgeting purposes, and it's been an added challenge I have set myself to make sure that every printable page in the Themed Ebooks contain as much usable content as possible; so that every sheet still counts and you get the most out of your printing-money.  Each Ebook also contains a P.S. on the last page for how to use your last little 'nibbles' of printpaper.

I look forward to feedback in the future about other ways we can improve in this area moving forward.

(PS - click for more Ballerina Craft Ideas.)
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