Friday, September 30, 2011

Parent Submission: Magic Wand

It's no secret that Daddys are just as crafty as Mummys.  We were thrilled when Australian father of 3, Kieran, sent us an idea to try out.  It's a sparkly magic wand... ok... my version looks more like a magical feather duster (it's on my covet-list don't worry!)

Here's how to make it;

  1. Cut a square of clear contact approximately 10cm x 10cm (3”x3”) and gently peel off the backing, leaving the sticky-side up.
  2. Place a drinking straw in one corner and in the other corner stick feathers, coloured strips of paper, or Kieran suggested fake hair from a coloured wig.
  3. Add sprinkles of glitter, confetti, small pieces of paper, and even sparkle confetti if it’s small enough.
  4. Gently  roll the clear contact around the straw (starting at the straw side and rolling diagonally.) 
Go on... you've probably got all the materials at home; so try it out, it's perfect for fairies, princesses, and little angels.

Don't forget the other art and craft things for kids to make ready to download for FREE on our website.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How to make a paper hat

It's no secret that volunteer visits to your local daycare centre can be a little nerve-wracking.  Mimi and her cousin are both on school holidays, whilst Lotti still had her weekly day-care day.  Trying to find things for kids to do on holidays is tricky, and so too is trying to convince Lotti that she's not missing out on anything.  To make the most of it, I took Mimi and her cousin to day-care to help with a make-a-hat craft activity with Lotti and her friends.

Making hats is a fun and easy craft project when you're at home.  Making hats with 20 under 3 year olds is a little more challenging.  

* Every child chose a coloured strip (the full length of an A4 page and about 3cm / 1" wide),
* They decorated it with textas and crayons,
* Then we stapled the strip to cutout templates of hats.

(The template and instructions for the paper hats are on our Pages 43-44 of the FREE "How to host a themed party" Ebook. )

Trying to decipher made-up words was the hardest part of the morning.  I know what Lotti's bubble and squeak sounds mean, listening to everyone else speak babble was like attending a UN convention!

It was a real buzz to see a room full of pirates and princesses, sadly, we weren't allowed to take photos of 'other peoples children' so my photo of Lotti will have to suffice!

I highly recommend trying not just one hat; but 20!  Go on... get crazy-crafty!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Making a Mermaid Mirror

It's no secret that I'm slightly obsessed with cupcake cases, cupcake liners, paper patty pans... call them what you will; they're totally terrific.

Mimi's fourth birthday is fast approaching and we have finally agreed on a Mermaid-Pirate Party Theme.  In preparation, we've begun amassing Mermaid Party decorations (and a Pinterest mood board).  The first to be made was a multitude of mermaid lotus flowers, whose how-to tutorial I have blogged before.  They are a truly fabulous craft project for kids; they're fast, forgiving, bright and beautiful.  We added stickers of butterflies, and spotty-dots to the centres of many of them to make the activity last longer.  I cut cases up to look like daisies, poppies, and every other flower I could think of and the girls assembled and glued them all together in their own imaginative ways.

When we had about three dozen Mimi helped me stick them all around the mirror in our entrance hall.  "Oh Mummy," she said, "they are sooo pretty!"

I love rainbow craft (I made a Pinterest page as I've mentioned previously), and this girlie-girl craft project would work well for a rainbow, spring, mermaid or even fairy party theme.  I'm not sure which was my favourite aspect of it this kids craft; making the flowers with my girls or seeing their satisfaction when it was all finished!

For more inspirational images - pop across to our website and see what's inside our mermaid party theme craft ebook... and keep reading this blog for more pre-party preparation!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mood Boards are Always Happy

It's no secret that Mood Boards are magic; no matter how you make them.  In the past I have always been a big fan of doing them by hand; placing fabric swatches, magazine pictures and old birthday cards side by side.  Then digital versions such as the 'Collage' tool on Picassa made it faster and easier to combine a variety of digital photos and colour swatches.  Now I'm onto Pinterest.  It's a fabulous fun and fast way to 'pin' your 'interests' onto a digital mood board for continual reference and modification.  Add, delete, add more...

In the space of a couple of short days I've made several and I'm loving the many truly beautiful images of craft projects and more, that so many incredibly talented people have generated.

The first board I made was "My Favourite Colours" and you'll see plenty of candy pink mixed with baby blue; the sweetest combination there is!

Other boards you might like include:
White
Rainbow Craft
Crafty Monograms
Party Ideas...

and the list goes on.

Mood boards are always happy; but life is short, so now that I've collected some inspirational images I want to get off the computer and into the sunshine and start MAKING these glorious ideas!  Go on... get crafty - any which way you can!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Simple Shortcuts

It's no secret that being crafty can take time, and we're all loving shortcuts.  So, even though the cardboard box lid photo booth of my last post takes literally minutes to complete, here's a few no-minute options to create brilliant backdrops for guest photos at your next party.
  • Play equipment - perfect for a children's party; simply organise one guest at a time to stand on / inside the equipment and take their portrait.  
  • Beaded curtains - whether these are inside or outside, and regardless of whether the guests are in front, behind or coming through; they're fun.  Add a second one for extra interest.
  • Windows - be they cubby houses or real; ask guests to poke their head through and take a snapshot.
  • Bunk beds - for small groups of children, hang a sheet from the top bunk and have the children hide behind and pop out for a photo.
  • Curtains - stand guests in front of the curtain for uniform backdrops.
  • Tents or teepees - if you have one; use it.  
  • Blue sky - if you're blessed with sunshine on the big day, use it to best effect.  Green grass is another natural alternative.
  • White walls - if you can't find anything else to act as a backdrop, the white wall is always a winner.
  • Carpet - the final standby; little kids live on it, so photograph them against this neutral backdrop.

The idea of a photobooth is to create a consistent backdrop that allows all your guests to look part of the party, and the best backdrops are the ones that help you concentrate on the people in front.

Have a look back through your favourite portraits and determine which backdrops work best and decide if you can use them or recreate them for your next family get-together.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

La Photo Booth

It's no secret that Party Photo Booths are in fashion - and why not? They're fun, fabulous and make a family of photos out of an otherwise diverse group of people.

Why hire a photo booth if you can make it yourself?  OK, so our cardboard box lid may not be as glamorous as the hired version, or some of the phenomenal ones that people make from segments of wallpapered walls, complete with skirting boards and cornices... but... it's quick, simple, and family friendly. 

Inspired by Mimi's Mona Lisa hanging on the wall, we decided to frame ourselves this weekend.

Here's our "DIY photo booth how to":
  • Take a cardboard box lid.
  • Turn it over so that the top-branding is turned down, and you're looking at the plain underside.
  • With a texta draw a picture frame; as elaborate as you feel able.
  • With a craft knife (adults only please!) carefully cut a rectangle out of the centre.
  • Start photographing!

To complete your photo booth effects, choose a spot for everyone to stand; in front of a plain or decorative wall, a blue sky or leafy green backdrop - the key is preferably to keep the backdrop not too distracting so you concentrate on people's faces.

If possible, encourage people to stand straight, and keep the 'picture frame' straight; Happy Husband was the only one in our little family who managed this!

Lastly, with the use of basic digital software, arrange your photos side by side, trim them into squares, or place them in a strip movie-film style.  Whatever you decide; have fun... and send us the photos!

For more Photography How-To help, pop across to our website guides, or my short-cut blog post.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Art for Kids: Mimi Lisa

It's no secret that Mona Lisa has the world's most notable smile... and it's far more enigmatic than Julia Roberts'!

Back to craft.  After the success of the Michelangelo under the table artwork, I created another kids craft project that aims to put a smile on the face of parents, children, and the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci.  Before Dan Brown, Leonardo was famous for painting the Mona Lisa who, though not central to 'The Code', is nonetheless the subject of many conspiracy theories and speculations; who is she, why is she smiling, was he her lover, was she pregnant, where in the world was that crazy background meant to represent...?

The art project for kids that I created is a 2-part page; on one side is a conventional coloring page which requires artistic children to color-in and then add a smiley face.  The other side requires nothing more than a face to be added (I recommend a permanent / laundry marker so that it won't smudge.)

Mimi's version was so funny (PS - never laugh out loud in front of your children if you want them to maintain self-esteem) we decided to frame it in a beautiful neo-classical frame and hang it up.  Click on it for an enlargement to really appreciate the glory of it!

Next time you get rained in, click on the link for Paige and her Friends, and scroll down to Coco to download her project pdf... and don't forget to send us a photo of the results!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Craft Hospital

It's no secret that calling an ambulance to your home in the middle of the night is a bit scary.  That's what we did last night.  Little Lotti went to bed just fine... then woke up coughing... then struggled to breathe... so off to hospital she went.  She was released a couple of hours later diagnosed with croup.  Most immunised children don't even react if they are infected with the virus, but about 10% get sick... poor Lotti.

Upside; it passes generally quickly if diagnosed and the child is kept calm enough to control her breathing.  Today she's a different child; tired and grumpy from lack of sleep and a bit coughy, but no one but us would even know what happened.  She's blissfully sleeping as I type.
 
Downside; Mummy aged about ten years in ten minutes!

The 'funny' thing is that I was going to blog 'craft hospital' today even before all this happened - I promise - the photo proves it.  I have been using plastic jungle animals for a variety of ideas in the Jungle Drums craft ebook, including; tying cutlery to them as table settings, turning them into decorations, attaching bag tags and lollipops for keepsakes, etc.

My girls came the other day and picked them up, and with the aid of some green wool and masking tape proceeded to 'fix' all the sick plastic animals.  The crafty game lasted long into the afternoon and early evening, as my two little vets created a variety of ailments and remedies.

Here's hoping that string and tape are the only first-aid items we'll all be needing for awhile.  On that thought; I hear a cough-cough... better go!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ideas for Craft are Blooming

It's no secret that the Internet is self-referential; in other words, most sites link to another site, which links to more, and those in turn tend to link back to the original... or so it often seems.

You find a favourite art for kids site and it then refers you to their favourite collection of children's art projects site.  (Both of the websites I just linked to are brilliant by the way!) and there you find a link that sends you off somewhere else tempting... and before you know it, ideas are blooming everywhere in your imagination!

It's a great thing the world wide web... but it's also sticky... it's easy to find yourself all tangled up in the weave and warp of it all... and then all of a sudden... where was I?   What was I looking for?  But that's ok... because all great discoveries happen when you wander into the unknown, otherwise it wouldn't be a discovery!  My recommendation?  Keep a notebook handy.

Today's craft for kids project is from Mimi's preschool which recently held a wonderful 'Grandparent Day'.  While reading about hand-art I remembered that I hadn't posted this cute-as and easy craft project for toddlers.  Mimi traced her hand onto coloured  paper, and so did her grandmother.  Then the hands were cut out, and taped onto a straw.  They made a leaf together, stuck that on and wow; a lovely family-flower for everyone to treasure!

Why not make a whole garden-full at YOUR next family function; they'd make an impromptu and  spectacular centerpiece for the table, and then let people take them home as keepsakes; ah - nice!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Crafts for kids - down under!

It's no secret that we Aussies come from "down under" and that got me thinking about a crafty art project for kids that they could do under the dining table... look away super-clean mums, because this project involves the potential for mess... albeit on the underside of the table!

I created a coloring page based on the Creation Of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican (I'm lucky enough to have been there, and it IS as awesome as you expect, and some).  I've posted the coloring page on my website for you to use.

Here's what to do;
  • Click on the following link to launch the page filled with FREE Coloring In Art Projects, you'll need to scroll down to find it under "Jasper"
  • Download the free file
  • Print out Page 2 (the coloring in page) or use your own suitably themed coloring page
  • Tape or temporary-tac it to the underside of the dining table
  • Let the kids get under there and color it in!
Mimi got a real kick out of getting under the table - it was such a weird and funny thing to do for a nearly 4 year old.  Her little sister Lotti was totally bemused and kept asking me and Mimi "ok?" while getting increasingly excited at this new way of using our dining table.

It was a great learning opportunity to explain about how artists work in different ways, and even though she's not yet 4, she still did a great upside down job and announced excitedly, "my neck got so sore!"  She LOVED it and I know your children will love it too, so go on... try it!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Which Energy?

It's no secret that under the 'consevation of energy' law energy is neither created nor destroyed; it's simply transformed or moves place... Ok, so that's a bit intense for a blog post on a kids' party craft site!

It's all about energy in my life at the moment; finding the energy to get up in the morning, maintaining the energy to push the double-pram up the hill from swimming lessons, grabbing some spare energy from a cup of coffee to make it through the dreaded afternoon hours until our dinner-time boost... you know the drill.

I recently read some articles about increasing personal sources of energy, and in making notes can paraphrase the key elements into a nice little acronym for you; SWANEY - think of the ugly duckling that grows into the graceful swan, and then remember these words;
  • Sleep - get as much as you can!
  • Water - drink your 8 glasses a day.
  • Attitude - fake it til you make it.
  • Nutrition - eat lots of good stuff and minimise the rest.
  • Exercise - boring but true.
  • Yes - say yes, be positive, open yourself up to trying to create a new, energetic life for yourself.

I say start small - like Lotti loving a little mermaid treasure in the photo... I guess if you can't change anything else in the SWANEY arrangement - go for attitude.

If you're like me, you get little or no sleep, forget to drink while busily running after toddlers, and eat apple-cores and toast-crusts for breakfast, then energy often seems like an illusion... I understand - I'm there with you... the only advice I'm qualified to offer is "keep going"... we're all in this together!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Favourite Find: Bendy Bubbles

It's no secret that bubbles are brilliant.  The one hitch as I see it, is that we're forever misplacing the little plastic thing that you use to blow the bubbles.

As I searched the kitchen cupboard the other day for the 'real' straw, I came across my stash of crazy-bendy-straws.  At first I thought they were way over sized for the job... or were they?  We gave them a go, and low and behold; they worked a treat.  They were long enough that when Little Lotti tried to drink the soapy water she got bored half way up the straw and gave up.  Even better, when you dip-and-blow, you get a dozen little bitty beautiful bubbles - hooray!

So, in homage to the humble bendy straw, here's some more ideas on how to use them at your next party;
  • Attach invitations or Save-the-dates to them - perfect for 'spin-right-over-ballerina' parties or 'loopy-circus' events.
  • Arrange them in a vase for a vibrant side-table decoration.
  • Use them as individual place settings at a princess or fairy-party dinner table, filling a cup with other fun play-things and treats (pictured above).
  • Attach a bag-tag and give them out as farewell keepsakes, either popping out of a noodle-box or simply wrapped with a giant bow.
  • Invent games to use them on the day; such as blowing popcorn across the table for a soccer-match of sorts, or lastly,
  • Drink a cup of flavoured milk with them!
They're my favourite thing of the moment - yippee for bendy bubble-straws!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Truth About Fonts

TruthIt's no secret that I love quotes, books and fonts - I've written about them all before.  Today's, super quick post - it's Saturday and I've got some outdoor-life stuff to do with my family - is a quote from Jane Eyre;
"There are grains of truth in the wildest fable."

I love it.  I'm also loving the rather scratchy font "Porcelain" which you can find at this font site (scroll down on the web page to see it).  You have to work a little hard to read it - but that's half the fun - imagine the effort required to write with an old-fashioned feather quill... hmmm... a feathered-quill; another thing to add to my covet-list!

Off to enjoy the Australian Sunshine on a particularly glorious Spring day... and throw another basket of washing on the line... ahh... motherhood!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mr Darcy and Me

It's no secret that Mr Darcy's first name is... ah... maybe it is a secret; because even avid  fans of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" have to think a moment, or look it up.  (I'll tell you at the end of the post what his name is so you have time to remember!)

I recently had a dream (it's work-safe fear not); that Mr Darcy, Mr Rochester, and Heathcliffe all met for a dinner party.  They were all standing around the smoking-room fireplace chatting about things in a manly-man way, while in the sewing-room (grrr to old-fashioned distinctions) Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Eyre and Cathy Earnshaw were equally 'chatting' away.  Once you get the image in mind, it's oh-so irresistible to wonder what each set of people would converse about... now bring them all to the dinner table and invite yourself to the end of the table to partake of roast quails and spinach and dinner-talk.

Make the meal even more memorable, and let Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, and Emily Bronte to the table, and wow, now you really want to push your plate aside and just listen.

So it got me thinking about amazing dinner tables (like the one I photographed in the Vatican) and of course about party theme ideas.  Lists of creative party themes should include an Austen-Bronte Dinner Date.  There are some 10 books you could draw inspiration from, the titles, places, people, plots; all could become motivation for party decorations, keepsakes, and more...

So then; who would win in your opinion, in the best of men stakes; wild Heathcliff, fiery Rochester, or proud Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy?  Do tell!


PS - I also found a "personality quiz" that tells you which of Jane Austen's heroines you're most like.  Turns out I'm most like Elinor Dashwood, from "Sense and Sensibility" who embodies the 'good sense' component of the title.  What about you?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Flying high on Good Wishes

thank youIts no secret that nothing says "hooray" like a balloon... unless of course you're my friend's 4 year old son who has something of a phobia about inflatable things - but that's a whole other story.  Big balloons, balloon-dogs, hot air-balloons, even the occasional balloon-pendant (plenty exist - I promise) or my personal favourite; a model vintage hot-air balloon I found that you can hang from the children's ceiling - so covetable!  I love the beribboned glory of it. Whatever way you look at it; the balloon is a joyous symbol of freedom.      
And if you check out our new partycraftsecrets home page, you'll see that we've added our own ribbon-magic, which include pictures of our lovely customers enjoying our products!  

Why don't you send us your feedback on our products, projects or freebies, and as well as getting your Thank You printpapers, YOU too could be our next banner-boy or golden-girl!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Partycraft Secrets Free Printables to say Thanks

It's no secret that friends are what help you through.  It's been a tough few days (all migraineurs will understand) so today's posting is to say Thank You to everyone who lends a digital hand!


Thanks for sending me emails, posting comments or 'liking' me on Facebook, Flikr, Polyvore and more...

And to show I care; I'm going to do my best to send out Thank You printpaper packages to everyone who sends an email to PartyCraft Secrets, or posts a comment or project on Flikr or sends me any ideas that we can include on our blog, because sharing is caring!

As always, simply click on the 'postage stamp' image to see an enlargement of the designs I've made for the Thank You set; they're filled with rosy skies, fluffy clouds, hot air balloons, birthday balloons, and blue birds, in favourite shades of baby-blue, candy-pink and blue-ribbon.

So go on... look up all the posts labelled "call-for-comments" and drop me a line, or send me you ideas for what party theme I should make next!

And remember there's always plenty of other free things, mentioned on the FREE(CRAFT) page of this blog, or on our partycraft secrets website.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Migraine

It's no secret that migraines are bad news... if you suffer from them; I'm sorry.  I'm sorry because I know how bad they are.  I've had one for the last two days (feeling better this afternoon), but suddenly, now that I'm typing... I'm not up to blogging - sorry. 

(And sorry to my daughter Mimi who's pirate hat repositioning photo I borrowed, as it sort of looks how I feel!)

Til then - take care.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mermaid Party Table Setting

It's no secret... because we're going to give away one of our Party Craft Secrets:

MULTI-PETALED LOTUS
Tableware Project
  1. Buy multicolored cupcake patty’s in 2 sizes.
  2. If they are single-sided colored, carefully turn one green one inside out (by gently pushing the base upwards, and running your finger lightly around the inner circle), and place it inside another green one, right way round.
  3. Place two large pink (or red) patties inside each other, fold in half, and half again, (and again if you want to).
  4. Slowly cut a petal shape at the ruffled edge and unfold.
  5. Gently turn the two large pink patties colour side up.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 with 2 small yellow patties.
  7. Now practice twisting and stacking the elements together and when  you are happy, stick them down.
  8. For the plate, carefully cut a petal-edge around a pink or red plate and lay it onto a green (or blue) plate of the same size.
For more mermaid party craft ideas have a look at our mermaid party picture gallery.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

How To Photograph Kids

It’s no secret that pictures of children can be tricky to capture; the little cuties rarely stay still.  Who doesn't have a a dozen blurry-back-of-head-shots?

Here’s our top 'photographing kids tips' you can try next time you’re taking photos of your children at a party, the park, or just because you should:

Give them something to play with (when they’re engaged they’re standing still so the photos you take are more engaging).
Get down at their height (that said, photos from above are fun too because it emphasises they’re precious ‘little people’).
Photograph other people taking photos (it creates a fun paparazzi feel).
Make eye contact (of course some kids just won’t look when you say ‘smile for mummy,’ and that’s ok too; we still love ‘em... right?)
Feed them (this is another way of getting them to sit still – but be warned – you’ll get plenty of chompy faces and mess!)
Photograph children together (the ‘politics’ of the ‘pecking-order’ at playtime can make for fascinating photos.)

Surf the internet for more photography tips on how to take great pictures of children, or read the How To Photograh Kids guide on our website... go on... it's the weekend - get out there and take photos!

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Color My Idea

It's no secret that everyone has a color; squint into your wardrobe and you'll find your costume-color.  Squint at your lounge room and you'll find your easy-living color.  Now squint at your kids and get a laugh.  

Whether you're aware of it or not, you're forever picking colors to add to your personal color palette; the color of you new shoes, the last car you bought, the cereal box you instinctively reach for, and even the next shade of hair color you chose to brave.

At Partycraft Secrets we love color.  Color co-ordinating things is a quick and certain way of pulling a party together, making all your purchasing and crafting decisions easier, and it ensures that your party-photos will be a knock-out.


If you've followed our How To Host a Themed Party craft EBook, and the How-To Pick a Theme guide, then you've probably already established what the color scheme for your next party will be.  If you haven't, then pull out the inspirational images you've collected and do the squint-test; half close your eyes and stare at the pictures you've collected (or even the invitation you have selected).  What color(s) do you see most?  
Congratulations – you now have your COLOUR-SCHEME! 

Don’t be distressed if it’s not a “conventional” color scheme – remember, a unique party comes from original party theme ideas.  Whether it’s pretty pastels or bright bolds, color coordinate everything - right down to the candles you put on the cake. 

Still looking for inspiration?  Read our How-To Pick Colors guide or visit Pantone Color for all things color:

Color is everywhere, why not find out more about your favorite color and use it to shape your craft ideas for kids, activities for toddlers or card craft... go on... pick you color and use it everywhere... or limit the number of pencils and crayons you put on the kids' craft table and get them to make the next pictures to color all in your favorite hues for something you-nique!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Party Invitations on Flikr

It's no secret that there's a growing trend in party productions; posting pictures.  That's not to say that my parents and their generation didn't take photos of the awesome parties they held; they did... what they didn't do was publicise those photos.  These days it's totally normal to post your party photos on Facebook, Flikr, Blogger and more... want to remember what you looked like last New Year's Eve? (even if you shiver at the thought?) Just drop into the virtual world of social networks and you're bound to be posted somewhere on someones photo stream!

They say that if you can't beat it join it; so I'm joining the stream (or is that 'the deluge'?) of party photo posting and I have created a Flikr Group where you can post your favourite craft accomplishments for the classy crafty community to see.  Show us your best invitations, decorations, cakes, keepsakes, costumes or any other party items that you have hand crafted (or store-bought items which you have embellished.)

The first call for comments I've set up is for invitations where you can post comments and pictures about your best tips and techniques for inviting invitations - go on... share your success stories with the world!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Celebrating Perfect Party Perfume

It’s no secret that Coco Channel said “a woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.”  She was being rather dramatic, and it must be remembered that her job was to sell her signature perfume.  That said, there is merit in finding your party perfume personality, and then wearing the right scent for you.  

Perfume is a perfect pick-me up, and if you’re anything like me there are days when applying makeup comes second (third, fourth...) place to getting the children in the car!  That’s where a crafty-mum forgets the lippie and simply sprays into action; shpw-shpw, and that way even if you don’t look the best, you’ll still be smelling sweet as roses, patchouli, vanilla, poison, lemon, joy, lime, cheesecake, or whatever signature scent says ‘you’ whenever other people smell your perfume fragrance.

On the very last page of my e-book “How To Host a Themed Party” I recommend that the best thing you can do moments before a party begins is to snap a few photos, put on some perfume and smile... simple!

PS – for anyone wondering what my scent is, I’m a Gemini, so I’m changeable.  For children’s parties I always wear ‘happy-tones’ that create an aura of sunlight and soap-bubbles, and for more adult events, I go for ‘moody-tones’ of crushed roses and spices. 

What’s your perfect party perfume?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cake Toppers and Cake Wrecks


It’s no secret that cupcakes are the sweetest little treats in the whole wide world, and that a perfect cake-topper is better than the icing on the cake.  You don’t have to be a cake designer (or even be able to cook) to make spectacular cakes, big or small.   

When you embark on your cake decorating journey, always remember two things if nothing else;
  • Hygiene – your topper doesn’t have to be edible but it must be clean.
  • Photograph – believe it or not, Lotti has no pictures of her 1st birthday cake... I have no one to blame but myself and it makes me sad every time I remember that I forgot!
For some more decorating ideas on how to make your next birthday cake a creative cake here’s our top birthday cake ideas:
  • Cup cakes – little cakes can still pack a big punch by placing something special on top.  As our picture shows this can include; mini pinwheels, swizzle-sticks, cocktail umbrellas, and of course food flags using printpapers.
  • Character cake toppers – borrow from your party theme idea and use it to best effect here by placing dolls, printables or iced versions of the key motif onto your spectacular birthday cake.
  • Cake pictures - or a photo-cake is another way to go.  Many cake shops will turn your digital photos into an edible topping for your birthday cake.  For Mimi’s upcoming 4th birthday I’m intending to take a jpg of a favourite printpaper to the local shop and have that turned it to my cake topper... stay tuned!
And for the other end of the spectacular cake spectrum (and a recent blog post on ‘crafty cakes’) go to a party cake site called cakewrecks, which is in keeping with my recent craft-fail post, for good ideas gone horribly wrong.

So then - ensure you’re the hostess with the mostess and use any or all of our top cake topper ideas, or find more inspiration within our free resources on our website.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Super Circus Party Package

It’s no secret that the circus lives large in even the youngest of memories.  Whether it’s the colour, activity, danger, or the impossible things that both people and animals manage to do; going to the circus is top of the pops by a squidy-nose.

For a party theme it's fantastic too.  
Here’s some circus-things you can add to your next party;
  • Tickets – make your invitations into tickets; it’s a fun way to get the party started.
  • A clown – hire one, dress up as one, or add funny noses and wigs into your guests costume request; whichever way you go you’ll add hysterics in a heartbeat.
  • Popcorn – an easy addition to your next party, whether its at home or the park, there’s nothing like the smell of popcorn to create a carnival feel.
  • Colour  - the brighter the better.  Lots of red and white stripes is fun, but all the colours in the rainbow won't look out of place at this party.
  • Games – look to the carnival alleys for inspiration here; keep them simple, make them fast, and don’t worry too much about rules – just have fun.
So if you can’t decide on what theme to make your next party – go to the circus!

And if you need any more inspiration, pop onto our website – we’ve just launched the Circus Party Printables, and to celebrate we’re selling it for just $1.10 (normally priced at $5.50) – and we’ll keep it this low for all of September – so there's no excuse; go on... get crafty.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pirate Party Inspiration

It's no secret that the best thing about pirates is that they are friends with mermaids... so says my daughter Mimi.  That, and getting to dress-up as one and be photographed... and (she's still going beside me!) the 'Pirate Ship' (park) is great because you can go through the windows and climb all over it... and (stay with me) pushing the little people around on the toy-boat that you have to wind up the anchor really fast... and... (let's skip ahead to the summary);

Pirates provide;
  • mateship,
  • good-looks,
  • exploration / action, and
  • little people.
What more could you want as a checklist for a party?  Or any day for a bit of fun outdoors.
Turn all of these pirate-positives into activities for kids; hide and seek games, dress-ups, treasure hunts, fun photo-shoots...

It's official; Pirate (Parties) Rule the World... so go on... go wild this weekend and enlist the help of some Pirate Party Activities.

PS - she's still chatting away about how great pirate books are.  Which reminds me to hand out one last tip for the weekend; Books are terrific; you can use them as Save-The-Daters (simply write your details into a book plate), keepsakes (to say thanks for coming), even decorations (a stack of books on a side-table will help keep little brothers and sisters (and parents) busy while the party's underway), and lastly; they're fun to read before bed!    Enjoy the weekend people.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Easy to Make Craft

It's no secret that looking for party ideas can take a long time and leave you confused and demoralised.  That's why we believe that a one-click resource is the way to go.

We just sent out our first ever newsletter to all those who subscribed, and in it we included craft ideas, some interesting statistics (like our first follower on Polyvore is from Serbia), as well as a set of Fairy Happy printpapers, valued at $5.50 - for free.

All our ebooks, including the 'free' book are loaded with templates you simply hit print and then cut out.  The Jungle Book (coming soon) includes, for example, the 'feathered' headdress modelled by Mimi in the picture.  In reality it's simply a coloured printout which you cut out and then use a band of cardboard to staple into a loop, and voila - instant tribal headgear!  For more easy to make craft ideas for kids, including print-and-make crowns, pirate hats, and more, jump on line and check out all that's  - hooray for happy crafters!
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