Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DIY Splat Bugs

It's no secret that we all get sick.  Some of us just seem to get more sick than others.  That's me at the moment.  I'm not a moaner and groaner by nature.  But.  Groooooan.  I'm sick of being sick!  If it's not the flu it's a migraine, if it's not that it's a sore eye, and then it's the flu again... Argh!

Anyway.  There's plenty of people way worse than me, that's a fact.  If you noticed I was missing in action, it's because I've been sick, sick, sick... but I'm back.  For today.  Then I'm off for school holidays.  Sigh.  I'm happy but it's hard being home with little kids when you're ill.

Chin up buttercup.  To craft; my sanity saviour!  The other day the girls and I saw a thing on TV and we all three went; "we gotta try that."  Our version ended up a little different to theirs but here's what we did....

To make a Splat Bug you'll need:

  • Gloopy glue (elmers glue / PVA glue / runny white school glue - call it what you will).
  • Googly eyes.
  • Sequins and glitter.
  • Baking paper (we tried it on the dining room table first - big mistake; it was impossible to peel the bug off later).
  • A disposable craft stick / paddle pop / icicle stick (again, different countries call them different things) to spread the glue out. 

To make a splat bug you need to:

  1. Cut a small piece of baking paper per child.
  2. Squeeze a medium sized blob of glue per child onto the paper.
  3. Use a craft stick to push the glue into a 'splat' shape - you want it to be spread out so that it's thin at the edges, but keep some thickness at the center.
  4. In the middle of the splat put two googly eyes.
  5. Over the whole thing sprinkle some glitter and sequins.
  6. Leave for a few hours to dry (boring I know - sorry!)
  7. When the splat is dry (you can tell by touching underneath the paper; if it's still wet the glue in the middle will feel wet and cold through the paper), flex the paper and the splat bug will pop off.

Once your splat bug is free you can take it outside to play, put it on different surfaces and splat it with fly-swatters, your hand, scare friends, decorate books, and so on... okay, so it's not your ordinary house fly; but then who the heck wants to willingly make one of those for their window sill?

Okay then; enjoy back to school month or school holidays; depending on where you are in the world; I'm off to pack bags and get some sleep... and generally well, feel like a splat bug.
See you in a week... or so...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Birthday Candle - Work In Progress

It's no secret that a birthday cake needs a candle, and when you're young enough it's nice to have a candle shaped like a number.  When you get older, it's of course much more discrete to pretend not to have heard the question 'how old are you exactly?' and merely smile, nod and blow out the single candle atop of your cake as you make a wish.  And make a wish you should; because in my opinion you're never too young or too old to dream the impossible!

...Back to candles; at my house we're big on experimenting with ways to trick up store-bought things to make them look you-nique.  There's almost always an easy way to do something different by yourself or with your kids that makes your family and friends feel good about themselves, and is super fast and affordable.

We recently bought a standard candle, perfect for a rodeo, space or circus party; all star-covered and sparkly, but not quite right for a fairytale theme which is going to be designed around the colour scheme of princess-pink, frog-green and golden (with just a hint of poison-apple-red).  To make it you-nique the girls and I went through our odds-and-ends jar and pulled out all the bits and pieces that were in the colours we wanted and then they helped me super-glue them in place.  The photo is shocking; sorry, I'll take something more glamorous when the candle is finished - it still needs glitter glue and smaller beads in between the big things; but you get the idea; plain + bling = pretty.

It's not going to be to everyone's taste, too shabby not enough chic perhaps... but to an almost-5 year old and her 3 year old sister it's divine; and they're the olny critics I really care about!

Now on a serious note while we're talking numbers and wishes and making people happy; it is very possibly just Y2K styled hype, but there is a nasty rumour going around that Feedburner is shutting down in October.  Admittedly, it is doing weird things for me at the moment - so - if you're following this blog via RSS feed (that means you get an email sent to your inbox from Partycraft Secrets) - it is possible that these will stop in October.  To be safe, you might want to consider 'following' this blog (it's on the right hand side when you scroll down) or 'liking' Partycraft on facebook over the next few days, so that if  the dire warnings come true, you have a link back to find me...!  If you're still receiving emails in October - phew! - carry on oh Crafty Friends of Mine!

(PS - If you have a blog of your own you may want to do some research into this confusing and conflicting subject and make up your own mind what to do.)

Best wishes for the weekend everyone and if it happens to be your birthday - happy birthday!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Frog Prince Biscuits

It's no secret that the motif of the frog prince is a cute one to add to any royal-themed party.  For little girls it conjures up the idea of a prince charming in hiding, just waiting for a kiss... and for little boys it's suitably icky in its own right just as it is!

My daughter Mimi would like a fairytale themed party later this year and we've been experimenting with food ideas that we might be able to use on the Big Day.  A while back I blogged about the Magic Mirror biscuits that we made by topping store-bought oval biscuits with blue icing and candy... well a couple of days later we made frog biscuits.

To make your own frog prince biscuits (click the photo to enlarge):

  • Buy or make oval-shaped biscuits.
  • Buy or make green icing - and spoon onto the biscuit.
  • Add sherbets or other small round candy for eyes.
  • Use an icing pen to make two dots and a smiling mouth
  • Cut up a "fruit-strap" (a flat sheet of pressed fruit) into the shape of a crown and stick on top.

Mimi told me that the Queen biscuit was super-sweet but that the King frog tasted like porridge.  As irrational as that is; I think I believe her!

Biscuits like these can be mass produced as party food, party-craft make-and-takes (that the guests create and then eat or take home), keepsakes, or class-gifts, and can be adjusted to suit any theme; spook them up for Halloween, cute them up for a Mermaid-party, or use them without a crown for an Autumn-themed schoolroom activity.

Next time you're at the local supermarket, why don't you have a look in the biscuit aisle for ready-made "blank-templates", and think of ways that you could turn bland into wow with the help of some icing and some candy; easy as.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Talk Like A Pirate Day

It's no secret that today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day... or perhaps it is news to you... I only just discovered the fact for myself recently.  Some clever bunny decided about 10 years ago that it would be a fun thing to do, and just like that, a new day was born... Wouldn't it be fun if governments around the world could declare this a holiday for everyone!

If you want to get into a Pirate-lovin' mood here's a few easy things you can do with your family to discover your inner-pirate and enhance your Pirate-talkin' day me hearteys:

  • Use Pirate Printpapers or remnants of wrapping paper, and rip them up, the more torn the better; then make a backdrop for a black and white photo - I chose one where my children are in boxes (sort of like boats - sort of) and then pop one last skull and cross bones on top of the picture to complete the look.
  • Make a Captain's hook using a plastic cup and fork by following the blog instructions I've written before.
  • Create mini pirate flag bunting out of black paper and stickers and hang it up as decoration.
  • Download a Pirate treasure hunt app for your ipad.
  • Cut up an old piece of cardboard to create a shark-fin prop to scare the kids.
  • Download the Pirate Ebook and the treasure chest template and fill it with (light-weight) loot...

Lastly, think of someone that you can reach out and help - in Australia, Talk like a Pirate day also raises money for children with cancer (click here to read more or donate); because there's nothing more powerful than the gift of giving...  best wishes,
Linda. x

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Paper Tole Tutorial

It's no secret that paper tole is a very old and sophisticated form of paper art, where 3dimensional images are created by layering the same image on top of each other, in parts, building it up so that there is depth and shadow and interest.  Now my little flower craft project is the cheats version if you will, forever interested in doing things the fast way, this is the 15 minute version of paper tole.

Here's what to do to make your own boxed flower picture (as always you can click on the image to enlarge it to better see the details):

  1. Download a free clipart graphic such as those on Graphics Fairy.
  2. Print the flower in it’s entirety onto white paper, take the mounting board out of the picture frame, trace it’s outer edge onto the poppy picture (or other) & cut it out (don’t trace inside the frame or your picture will be too small).
  3. Print the flower section of the graphic onto red paper (or other colour to suit your subject); you will need at least 2 copies. Cut it out so that you have 1 or 2 petals from each printout (retain the centre of the flower on all your cutouts as this will help you rebuild the flower) and assemble it without glue to see which layer looks better on top of the other.
  4. Cut small circles out of red foam (or coloured to suit your subject and paper) and slowly assemble the flower; placing one piece of foam between each piece of paper, and glue it all in place.
  5. Allow the picture to dry overnight and then carefully place inside a box frame.
The lovely thing about tole is that they are perfectly suited to modern box frames and digital printing; a wonderful combination of new meets old.

Lastly - I have three wonderful shout outs today:
Wow; busy, busy... have a great day everyone and stay crafty. x

Monday, September 17, 2012

Inventing Space (at your party)

It's no secret that homes come in all shapes and sizes.  One of the big decisions we often face when hosting a party is whether to have it at home or not.  Logic says you have to weight up how many people are coming and how much space you have.  Sometimes however, a little creative use of space means you can sneak people in where you least expect it.

At Lotti's ballerina party we hosted in April this year we converted the space under the stairs into to a play-dressing-room.  The result meant that we were able to maximise our space in a practical way, but also we were able to create a whimsical space that the children loved.

The photo shows the "dressing room" under construction (there's more pictures on the ballet tab above), but you can see that simply by draping coloured cloth, pinning streamers and some paper bells we created a fun kid-only zone.  The girls got under there to try on tutus and had tu-tu much fun!

You can do the same thing at your party or simply for a weekend play-date; converting space under stairs, on a pile of cushions behind the couch, even by concealing space under the dining table, you can make a secret cubby, a pirate-cabin, a mermaid-rock, a jungle-cave, an alien-planet and so on.

So go on; get creative at your next do and invent space!
Linda. x

Friday, September 14, 2012

Playing With Colour Changing Light

It's no secret that LEDs are a part of modern life... now don't go asking me what that stands for... I know, but I can't remember!  Ha ha.  The great thing about these Light-Emitting Diodes is that they often come in colour changing varieties.  My husband recently bought a couple of samples home for work and the girls had a great time playing with them.  They grabbed a couple of other 'torches' and proceeded to dance around the two lamps; one square one spherical as they went through a multi-coloured rainbow for them.

Now right about now you're wondering what on earth this has to do with celebrating classy craft, and I guess the answer is not a lot.  It was however a wonderful opportunity to let the girls experiment, play, explore, and at the same time sneak in a few discussions about more weighty scientific issues such as the way that the colour of their clothes seemed to change colour depending on the colour of the light that shone on it.

Light and colour are integral parts of art, and whilst preschoolers might seem 'too young' to understand the science behind the wavelengths that make the hues that we see, I'm of the opinion that they are in fact never too young to start learning anything.  If nothing else, you can always have an 'if not why not' conversation about what ever you're doing.

So my message for this weekend is simple; never underestimate your children, they're hungry to learn, so teach them... and if you don't know the answer to the question that they're asking; why not go find out for yourself as well as for them!

Best wishes, Linda. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Classy Art Downloads

It's no secret that hitting 'print' doesn't sound very crafty, but sometimes that's all it takes.  I know I go on a bit about how much I love classy craft, but that's because I'm soooo passionate about it.  I love watching my own children and other children do craft and that includes things as humble as the coloring in.  If you do a google search for "coloring-in pages" you'll find lots of options, and plenty of them themed around famous TV cartoon characters... great; hit print and away you go.  But why can't the things our kids color in be a little more educational and still be pretty and entertaining?  Why can't they be coloring in or collage-ing famous art works for example?  I wondered why there weren't more coloring-in pages that let kids get closer to Da Vinci, Picasso, or Monet's bridge over water lilly ponds for example... well there's a bit - but there should be more.
So I made some myself.

Over on my website there are 6 projects to download, they're free, you don't have to subscribe or do anything other than click and the pdf will pop up on your screen - have a look here.

Each project has a page of history; a brief explanation about the period of art and the artist whose art-project you've downloaded, and then the second page is the project for your kids to craft with.

So go on - help yourself.
Linda. x

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Best Free Ipad Apps For Young Kids

It's no secret that as mother's we are always looking for ways to keep our children entertained.  Of course I advocate craft, as often as possible.  However, as much as I love it, it's just not practical to be crafty with your kids all the time.  Nature walks, trips to the park, playing cards and doing puzzles are all great, but every now and then kids want to watch tv, and my way to avoid that for a little bit longer if I can is to hunt down something "educational" to do on the ipad.  Technology has to play a part in children's lives, from time to time, like it or not; it's their future.

I've spent many hours searching around for educational free-free apps; that's applications that are free to download and add free.  There's not many, but here's the ones that I like and my preschoolers enjoy.

I won't include links, since things in app-world seem to move so fast - but if you type in the name, you're sure to find it soon enough - any trouble, send me a note and I'll try to help you track it down.  Here's to hoping that by the time you find the apps they're still free-free...


  • Pirate Treasure Hunt (Education Services Australia) - In one week it's apparently "talk like a pirate day" and as I'm a big lover of pirates, so what better place to start!  This app has several steps to find the treasure; kids need to be school-aged or work with you to figure out a couple of the steps - but it's lots of fun solving the riddles to find the treasure!
  • Fairy Princess (fingerprint play) - it let's you pick the character you want to be (girl or boy) then you go through a series of short stories and adventures, solving puzzles, being asked to recall details of the story and so on; not bad.


  • Talking Dino (Education Services Australia) - this game lets you design and then animate your own dinosaur; it's basic, but noisy!
  • Colorama - the free download gives you over 10 templates to colour, and with graphics as well as coloured pencils, you can create almost vintage-feel pictures... be warned... it's addictive!
  • Art Maker (Kids ABC) - you can make pictures and animations, with some puzzles to figure out along the way; then you can either save the images or start again.


  • Jellybean Count - kids have to count the number of jellybeans in each particular colour and touch the pad in that colour with the right number of fingers; it requires a certain amount of coordination which is fun to watch.
  • Candy count (comigo) - is also not bad, you only get access to jelly beans for free, but the kids have to drag the colours to the matching jar, then sort the jars from least to most, and so on, so there's a few things to do which is great.
  • Counting Ants Lite (playtend) - it's rather slow and for little kids only, but my ones seem to enjoy watching the ants drive past, and the little interactions required of them seem enough for now.


  • ABC Phonics / 123 Writing - this lets the kids trace the letters or numbers with pictures and sound effects to help; it's simple but reasonably effective.
  • Pocket phonics lite - the free version only covers 6 letters, but that's about the attention span my children are prepared to commit; you trace the letter, say it, get cheered, then spell a word by listening to those letters spoken back.


  • Animal Circus Lite (joy preschool) - the app has a puzzle, sequence-guess, a pop the 'most/least' bubble game, and can be set in different languages for a laugh.
  • Tell time lite - again, even the basic version seems to give enough for my kids to think about.
  • Emma Zoo - spot the difference over several pages; there's not much time and the differences are often small; hard for the big kids as well as the small!
  • Creationary - based on lego, you have to 'roll' the dice then guess what lego shape the ipad is going to build; not as easy as it sounds.
  • Matching Zoo - like memory, it's sound effects are perhaps the best thing to keep children entertained!
  • Barbie I can Be - with three options to be a vet, pizza-maker or cupcake-maker, the roles might not be very aspirational, but my girls love that there are several steps and at the end they get a certificate with stars on it!

If you've found some other crafty apps on the ipad you'd like to share with readers; be sure to leave a comment below, or share them with me at linda(at)partycraftsecrets(dot)com.

Enjoy everyone;

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Trend Alert: Futurism meets Kitchen Drawers

It's no secret that sometimes the past holds difficult memories of woulda-shoulda-coulda.  I wrote today's heading, and uploaded the image, and then realised the date.  In Australia Sept-11 holds significance, but perhaps it can't be the same here as it is for our foreign friends (my thoughts are with you).

The future on the other hand holds it's own anxieties; will I, should I, can I?  Perhaps it's human nature that so many of us get trapped in the noise of our own heads spinning this way that.  Perhaps that's why so many self-help people advocate just living in the moment for a moment; enjoying life for what it is, right here, right now.

While trying to do just that, flipping through a glossy mag given to me by a neighbour, I saw a big heading "Trend-alert!  Futurism is Here!"  Fair enough.  I looked through all the silver shoes, strange oblong patterned shirts, and diagonal skirts.... much of it seemed oddly reminiscent of things people have worn in the past... but then I'm no style-guru so what would I know about future-trends!

If shiny silver is the sign of the future, I decided; I'll give it a go.  I took the necklace I was wearing off, placed it on the kitchen counter, and then and there, used some aluminum foil to wrap three of the black beads - and voila! - I'm reading to zip into cyberspace with my funky new age necklace!

Laugh all you like, but in less than a minute and for mere pennies, I'm on-trend ladies!

So then - are you prepared to see the lighter side in life and be brave enough to wrap any party of yourself in foil and send me a photo?
Haha - Linda.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Party Paper Lanterns

It's no secret that paper lanterns are beautiful things.  Originating in Asia, they were associated with festivals, hung outside stores to draw attention, or made to ornament temples, they are now used for parties or weddings on a regular basis, and why not; they are lovely, fragile, affordable things.

When selecting and hanging paper lanterns for your party (or simply decorating your bedroom) there are a few top tips to help you gain maximum effect:

  • Colour - as always, I advocate that you go with a colour-scheme with all your parties.  Pick 2, 3 or 4 colours for your party, and use these colours for everything from invitations to keepsakes, as well as all your decorations; paper lanterns included.  (Have a look at the "how to choose colour" guide if you need more help.)
  • Quantity or Quality - if you have one spectacular thing (such as a birthday cake) it's always good for it to stand alone.  For other items, such as paper lanterns, it's better to go with groups.  The western world loves symmetry; so you can go with even numbers, lined up in symmetrical patterns.  Asian etiquette on the other hand is to go with odd-numbers and uneven placement.
  • Decorate - try adding embellishments to your paper lanterns; attach paper flowers and curling ribbons on the base, or other fun ephemera on the top or bottom (depending on where you see the lanterns from).
  • Experiment - last of all; have some fun.  Try hanging one on top of the other, maybe in different combinations of alternating sizes and colours.  It's your party, so make it you-nique!

Whatever happens - have fun my friends.

PS - Page 4 of the free easy to download  "How to Host a Themed Party" ebook is dedicated to more of my top 10 tips for parties. 

PPS - this months newsletter goes out in a couple of days - so if you haven't signed up there's still time if you're quick!

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Family Photo

It's no secret that there is nothing more precious that your family - which is why you should take every opportunity you can to photograph them.

Not keen to risk an awkward family photo moment?  Understandable; we all have them (ah-hem) but there are other, classy, crafty, ways to capture your family together.

Last year for a 30 days of Gratitude photography-challenge (you can see the full results over on Flikr) I photographed my family by laying our hands one on top of the other.  OK, so it's far from studio-perfect; but so are we... and I think that Little Lotti's curled fingers refusing to lay flat are in fact perfect; they perfectly sum up who she is, or was in that moment!

Here's a couple of other creative ways you can photograph your family:

For your next party, whether you have a professional photographer there or not, be sure to remember to ask someone to take a family portrait; even set up your camera to take one on auto; we have a special family-album with nothing other than family photos in it and it's always a wonderful thing to see our family evolving over time, the girls (and the parents) growing older...

So go on; this weekend - take a photo of your family all together; it's a memory you'll treasure.
Linda. x

PS - if you're in need of a friendly how-to boost, pop across to the Partycraft Secrets website and download the 'How to Photograph Children' guide for a couple of quick tips and help yourself!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Parent Submission: Vintage Mermaid & Faded Pirate Party

It’s no secret that the mermaid party is one of the most magical party themes ever dreamt up.  Mermaids have of course been around far longer than Ariel, and, as sweet as she is, it's wonderful when parents throw a mermaid party that has no bold cartoon-colours in sight! 

One very lucky little lady in the United Kingdom had a “Vintage Mermaid and Faded Pirate” themed-party recently to celebrate her 4th birthday.  Her super clever mother showed that classy-craft really can be made yourself; her labour of love (surely many hours long!) reveals multiple ideas, any one of which is worth borrowing.

Filled with the soft pastel shades of driftwood, sand, seafoam, and blue-sky, the party is filled with hand made treasures, and included several ideas she credits Partycraft Secrets for inspiring as well as printouts from our Mermaid printpaper and party ebook including; a shark-fin prop, seaweed crepe-paper canopy, printable food flags, and a costume mermaid tail which was ingeneously used as a party game.  (As always, you can click on the image to enlarge it in order to see the details.)

There are lots of ways that you can see more of this amazing party, or get other ideas to inspire your own Mermaid-Pirate themed party: 
  • Visit the crafty mum's blog –
  • Pop across to the Pinterest “Mermaids love Pirates” moodboard I keep updating with new finds (including other images from the above party).
  • Click on the "Mermaids/Pirates” tab at the top of this blog to see a few happy-snaps from my daughter’s 4th birthday party.
  • Have a look at another clever mum's parent submission, from an Australian-styled Mermaid party, or
  • Click on the Mermaid or Pirate tabs in the label-menu on the right hand side of this blog.

As I say in my story ‘about’ Partycraft Secrets; the absolute best thing that has come out of blogging has been the opportunity to celebrate the crafty-successes of my readers – so to you, Crafty Mum Estelle; well done!

Linda. x

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hoarders Beware

It's no secret that I'm often losing things... including blog posts.  Blogger lets you keep drafts, so I have lots of them (107 as I type this - for better of worse).  There are ones that I have started but not finished, and ones that are complete, but are more relevant to a future season or holiday theme.  There are also ones that are simply a photo or a title to remind me to write or craft about something.  Bottom line; there are a lot.  People are often saying to me; "how can you post daily?" the answer is, I struggle sometimes choosing which blog post to post!

The problem with this approach is that every now and then posts go missing.  I'm not sure whether I go over my quota, or whether I accidentally delete them while deleting something else... perhaps 107 is absurd and I should do something else with my time... like mop the dining room floor... or iron... or not.

Anyway.  Today's post is a quick one about a giant cardboard box.  Sadly, I wrote this as a long blog post a while ago, but lost it.  All I remember is that the box arrived with a piece of furniture and that the girls had a great time standing next to the giant box, tracing their entire selves, then turning the tracings into people; Betty and Alice they named their shadow selves as I recall.  Beyond that I can't remember the details which is a shame... but you get the picture people; up-cycle everything, be resourceful, let your children make a mess, collect a little bit of everything, but not too much of any one thing... like draft blog posts... grrr...

Then again, to sound more glass-half-full; it's a good lesson to learn; it's much better to accidentally lose the blog version of your cardboard kids than misplace your real children!

Here's to keeping our kids inspired, safe, happy, and, well... just keeping them!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Decorated Cake Stand

It's no secret that almost every birthday party serves up a birthday cake (or cakes).  Many of those cakes are served up on up plate, platter or a cake stand.  The beauty of the cake stand is that it elevates the cake above the rest of the food on the table, turning it into an instant centrepiece, and showcasing it in it all it's spectacular beauty.  The more effort (or money) that has gone into a birthday cake, the more it deserves recognition.  Conversely, the most humble, and simple of cakes, can also be literally and metaphorically given a 'lift' by propping it up on something spectacular.

When my daughter Little Lotti turned 3 in April, her big sister and I hosted a 'First Ballet Lesson' ballerina party for her.  It was a very 'traditional' party scheme; all pink, white and black (in keeping with our house!), and that colour-scheme extended all the way through to the cake.  Of course, the black was more dark chocolate, but you can see what I mean when you look through the pictures in the 'ballet party' photo gallery tab above.  It was a simple store bought cake onto which we popped a ballerina statue and some round sweets.  I'm no whizz in the kitchen, but I am rather crafty with paper and scissors, so that's how I chose to utilise my time.

To turn a 'normal' cake stand into something special, something you-nique, all you need is;

  • paper doilies
  • ribbon
  • stick on gems
  • fabric flowers or other embellishments in styles and colours that would best suit your party theme.

To decorate a cake stand:

  1. Fold the paper doily in half and cut a semi-circle out of the middle.  When you unfold it you will have a round frame with an empty centre.  
  2. Now cut the doily into two sections - cutting along the fold lines - you now have a curved 'lace-ribbon.'
  3. With temporary-tac or double sided tape, stick each end of the ONE doily lace-ribbon to the cake stands rim.
  4. Now, without sticking any other pieces down, use the other half of lace-ribbon to work your way around the cake stand to test out how many more pieces you will need, marking the stand with small dots with a pencil.  You may be able to spread them out, or overlap them; only you can guess the best arrangement based on the size of your stand and the size of your doilies.
  5. Now repeat steps 1-3 as many times as required.
  6. Using the ribbon, wrap the cake stand and tie off (you can fix the ribbon in place with a couple of sticky dots if desired).
  7. Further decorate the stands to your hearts content.

Remember to have fun; the most unconventional designs are also the most 'whimsical' and whatever you do is perfect.
Best wishes,

PS - if you want FAST HELP - have a look inside the Ballet Party Craft Ebook for more inspiration for ballet party ideas.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fathers Day Paper Plates

It's no secret (at least for Australians) that yesterday was a special day for Aussie dads - it was Fathers Day.  I have two preschool-aged daughters who love craft as much as their mother does, so it was inevitable that to 'make' Fathers Day super-special for their dad, the girls would have to make him something.

While pushing the shopping trolley down the aisle at the local supermarket a couple of weeks ago, my eyes scanned the picnic products out of habit, as they always do... call it an occupational habit for someone obsessed with party planning!  There in the paper plate section was a packet of 15 paper plates with a blue check on it for less than $2; I snapped them up.  At the time I didn't know exactly what they would be for, but I knew they'd come in handy for something crafty.

A week later I came up with an idea, not dissimilar to the idea of making doilies into a portrait gallery.  This time however, the girls and I divided the plates up; 5 each, and then with a pile of photos that had Dad in them, and a separate pile of red, white and blue papers (as well as leftover pieces of printpaper from the Ballet and Circus printpaper packages), the brief was "put a picture of dad on each plate and decorate it."

Mimi (who is 5 in October) had a great time, and was very experimental with each of her plates (and a couple of mine).  Little Lotti (aged 3 and a bit) was more open-ended in her interpretation of the brief.

The result was a long sideboard photo-gallery that Daddy and his extended family all loved.

So the moral of the story, as always; even the most humble item can become classy when you look at it with imagination - and even the most humble crafter can create magic!

Take care friends; and remember to celebrate big and small things alike.
Linda. x

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