Birthday Party Theme revealed

I debated a lot on Little Man's party theme this year, but considering we watch Toy Story A LOT, it was easy to finally choose one.  
The invitations are out...
Little Man will be partying in Toy Story style!!
I'll be sharing details of party crafts as they come!
If you have any ideas OR links to great Toy Story ideas, please share!  

Birthday Book

In case you missed my guest post at Lil' Luna last week, here is my tutorial for my birthday book!  

I whipped up this birthday book last week with birthdays on my mind.  I love any occasion to celebrate, but birthdays only roll around once a year!!  I think that sending a birthday card is an excellent way to keep in touch with the people I love!  I send birthday cards to some of my friends from preschool--no lie!  I also keep in touch with many of my first grade students by sending them birthday cards.  Lately, I've had a harder time keeping up with my birthday cards, and I definitely needed a cute and convenient way to keep track of all those birthdays!

I created the pages using thin cardboard squares.  (I actually asked Costco for the cardboard inserts they put into their picture enlargement folders to prevent them from bending.  Costco generously gave me quite a bit of cardboard!!)  The cardboard squares are roughly 7x7.5 inches.  I mod-podged cardstock to the front and back of each square.
I created this project thinking ahead to 2011!  (This would actually be a great Christmas gift or stocking stuffer!) I made a calendar for each month in 2011, and printed them on cardstock.  I mounted these on fun scrapbook paper.  I only used scotch tape because I wanted to be able to switch out the monthly calendars, year by year, without tearing the book to pieces!
I printed my birthdays right into my monthly calendars. 
I cut monthly headings out of coordinating cardstock using my Cricut and mod-podged them on!
I distressed just about every edge with distressing ink!  Then, I decorated my front and back covers and bound the whole book together with a book ring!  Don't you love those fun cupcake stickers?!  And I couldn't resist adding some fun ribbon embellishments to my book ring.
I absolutely LOVE having all of my birthdays at my fingertips in a fun and colorful way!!  
Let's spread around a little more birthday joy!  If you would like to make your own birthday book, I have created a set of 2011 monthly calendars that are blank.  I deleted my birthdays so you can add in your own friends' and family's birthdays.  You can download your own month-by-month 2011 calendars here.  You can whip up a birthday book as a fun stocking stuffer or a birthday gift bonus!  

ENJOY!  Happy weekend!

Transportation Card

I think we have established that my cards are not always traditional!  In my mad rush to throw together my husband's 30th birthday party, I wanted Little Man to have a homemade card to give to his Daddy.  But my active Little Man doesn't slow down much.  I knew I needed something to grab his attention--and FAST.

Little Man is such a... well, a little man!  He loves all things that move!  He hears every airplane that crosses the sky.  He always wants to sit on Daddy's motorcycle and say, "Vroom, vroom!" But far and away, he is wild about BUSES.  "Bus" is one of the only words he says crystal clear.  The other day, we took a detour to a parking lot just so he could touch and explore a real bus.
So during naptime, I threw together this little transportation card.  I wanted him to take ownership of it, so I had him color the pages to make a tiny book.  It was a hit!

I mounted each individual page on simple cardstock scraps.  You could definitely use cute patterned scrapbook paper though!
We included 5 pages after this initial cover.  I created them in Photoshop.  Here they are, all ready to be colored!
I couldn't get a good picture of the last page, but it's a little poem that says:
From here to there;
In water or air;
I want you to know that
Wherever we go…
I love you so!

Believe it or not, this truly is some of Little Man's best coloring!!  I only helped a wee bit! 
 I had to pry this airplane page out of his little hands, and it shows a touch of loving crumpling.
I just punched holes in all of my pages, bound them with a book ring, and tied a few ribbons on for kicks and giggles!  The very best part was how much Mr. Oopsey Daisy really did *adore* this card!  It was truly meaningful!

So do you have a little guy or gal of your own who would love to make their own transportation card?!  Well, I am definitely willing to share!  You can download your transportation card here.  
The download includes the cover, the 5 transportation coloring pages, and the ending poem.  I did not customize the download for anyone specific--in other words, it does not say "Dear Daddy."  So you could use this as a birthday card for anyone special in your child's life!
I hope someone else out there can use this!  I would love to hear your feedback!

Cowboy Birthday Party

I feel as though I have been teasing you with bits and pieces of my nephew's 3rd birthday party--a rootin' tootin' cowboy party.  We all came dressed in our cowboy gear, and my sister threw an absolutely amazing cowboy party for this handsome little guy:

 When we arrived at the party, we realized we were all "Wanted"!  Each guest was featured on a Wanted sign, hanging on a clothesline.

My little contribution, the rustic sign, hanging on the tree:
BB gun shooting...


Lassoing (of cardboard horses and birthday boys!)...

Musical chairs....
We loaded up these burgers, straight from the grill!

The AMAZING cowboy cake!  Check out that fringe!  And I love the bandana design.

We spread out a blanket for the birthday boy to open his gifts...
Opening up gifts, boots and all!

Playing around
When a cowboy doesn't have a cowboy to ride....

And when Grandpa helps him find a horse...

Everyone HAD to bring a cowboy hat to wear!  We were also given sheriff badges to wear.

Happy Birthday, Cowboy dude!

Happy Birthday Banner ~ Manly Version

I just had to share this little birthday banner I made last week.  My Dad is a busy stake president and had several meetings on his birthday night.  So my Mom and sister and I snuck over and  decorated his office door and left him several of his favorite treats before he got there.  He was very surprised!  

I did everything on the cricut using the Storybook cartridge for the shape and Doodletype for the letters.  I wanted it to be simple and not too cutsie... don't you love how the ribbon ties it all together?

I know, I know... I am banner obsessed. I am currently trying to decide on what kind of spring banner to make for my mantel.  So many options... so little time.  ūüôā

Thanks for stopping by... Happy Tuesday!

Photo Holder Tutorial

I have a great imagination.  That's a good thing.  But sometimes my big ideas don't turn out quite as stunning as I imagine them.  But I love how this wire photo holder turned out!  

The idea: I wanted some way to display 12 months with my little boy. I wanted 1 picture from each month of his life to show how he's grown up right before our eyes!

To go along with our red/yellow/blue star theme for his birthday party, here is what I came up with:

There are 4 stars, each holding 3 photos each, from his first month all the way up to his twelfth month.  So here is what I did:

I bought a package of thin wooden boards and 4 wooden stars, both at Michael's.  

I used a hefty amount of Gorilla glue to glue the stars upright on the wooden boards.  Some of them got a little tipsy and I had to lean them up against my kitchen appliances.  (I dream of having a craft room!)

Next I did my spray-painting on my third story balcony on makeshift newspaper.  (And again I dream of having a craft room!)

I don't know why I've been on a glitter kick lately, but I love glitter glue because I can apply it with a brush and it's not clumpy.  Just a nice touch of shimmer and shine.

Then it was time for Mr. Oopsey Daisy to get out his power tools.  He drilled 3 holes in the stars--1 in the very top point and 1 in each of the sides.  This is where I would insert the wire.

 The fun part was twisting the wire!  After experimenting with thin wire, I realized I would need something much more sturdy.  So I got thick wire from Ace--the stuff that really takes some muscle to cut!  After securing the wire in the hole with plenty of hot glue, I twisted the wire into funky shapes.  Every single one was different, but I made sure that the specific loopty-loop I made would hold the photo I had in mind.  (Horizontal and vertical pictures have different centers of gravity.)

Here is the final product!

So at the party, I threw out some gold tinsel-ish stuff (very official name!!) around the stars and stuck in the photos.

I seriously love how it turned out!!  

Birthday Book

One of my favorite things that we did for my son's birthday was making him a little birthday book.

In my family growing up, we had a tradition that as we would give our gifts to the birthday girl/boy, we would tell that person why we loved them.  I wanted my 1-year-old to know why the people in his life loved him, even as a baby.  So instead of just telling him, I asked each person at the party to write down why they loved him.  

The book was a cinch to make.  I used another one of the chipboard star books I found at Michael's and mod-podged some red, yellow, and blue paper onto the stars and distressed the edges. After the party, I typed up what everyone had written.  Now this will be a little keepsake for him...
I may do this every year for my kids to flip through and feel loved.

Birthday Name Banner

This has been such a cold, gloomy winter... but this weekend was just plain miserable here in Colorado.  So we spent our time cuddling up in blankets on the couch, sipping hot cocoa and watching the Olympics.  It was lovely!  But trying to keep my now-very-mobile son contained in our small apartment is tricky.  We are going a little stir crazy.  I am going to have to get creative this week for sure!

Anyway, I wanted to share the name banner I made for the birthday bash last week.  I couldn't let an occasion slip by without creating a banner!  But this one was really fun to make!

I love the dollar bins at Michael's.  I found some chipboard stars in a stash, and knew they were perfect.  I have a crazy thing for stars.  As a teacher, my classroom was decorated with stars.  They are just plain happy.  And for the birthday, I figured I couldn't go wrong with the primary colors--red, yellow, and blue.  I found some coordinating paper and mod-podged them on the stars.

Using my trusty Cricut, I cut out some stencil circle shapes for the letters of his name.  

I glued the letters onto the stars, and couldn't resist the bling-bling of glitter.  I really wanted the letters to stand out and... well, sparkle.

Now for the fun part!  I embellished the stars using buttons and Happy Birthday ribbon.  My husband complained that this was too cutsie for my very boyish boy... next year, he insists that I make him an airplane banner!

To hang the stars, I punched holes in the top points and strung it with twine.  I had to dab just a dot of hot glue to hold the stars facing forward on the twine so they wouldn't swing.

Just one more view...

By the way, isn't my parents' mantel lovely?!

Winter Olympics ~ Birthday Style

You've seen the gold medals... you've seen the torch... Now here are the details of the whole Olympic birthday party--the whole shebang!!

The birthday dinner began with an international cuisine.  We feasted on American hot dogs (my son's favorite of the moment!), French fries, Italian pesto pasta salad, Chinese green salad, Mexican queso dip, and German {Root} Beer.  (My husband thought he was so clever for thinking up that last one!)

Before the events began, each athlete had to check in.  Everyone was assigned a country to represent.  They each wore a sticker with the flag of their country.  (I chose the top-medaling nations of the Winter Olympics).  Of course my little guy represented the U.S.A. with the help of his Daddy.
Here is a run-down of all of the events in our Olympics:

We kept track of each nation's gold, silver, and bronze medals.  I was the referee of the night (that's why I am wearing black and white.)  With his Daddy's help, the U.S.A ended up with the most medals at the end of the night!

Although we honored the top winners of the night at our Medals Ceremony, the birthday boy presented a gold medal to everyone at the party as he unwrapped his presents.

We ate yummy Olympic birthday cupcakes.  I used M&M's to create the Olympic rings.  I just had to use a brown M&M for the black ring.  Not too shabby. My sister had the fabulous idea to strip down the birthday boy to his diaper and let him feast on his own cake in a small swimming pool.  My little sweetheart was a mess, but it was so worth it!

The whole party was so much fun!!  Watching my family participate in the suitcase relay was the highlight of my entire weekend.  The best part of course was watching the birthday boy!

By the way... I am so excited that the U.S.A. just took the lead in Olympic medals again with our latest gold medalists last night!  GO U.S.A.!

Going For Gold

This last weekend was a crazy weekend for our family.  Besides celebrating Valentine's Day, this sweet little boy turned one! He also started walking in the last few weeks--and that means tearing up our apartment in a big-time way!  Oh yes, and my entire family was in town for the occasion.  I feel like I am still recovering from all of the fun and festivities.  So this week I will be featuring some of my birthday ideas and crafts.
I was racking my brain trying to decide upon the perfect theme for the big birthday bash UNTIL I realized that on the very day of his birthday, the Olympics would begin.  Score!  So we had an Olympic-themed birthday party.... and it was a blast!  I will share lots of the events of the evening with you.  But to start with:  

What's the Olympics without a gold medal?!  Everyone at the party would definitely need to earn a gold medal.

I started out with some wooden circles that I found at Michael's.  The hardest part of the entire project was peeling off the **sticky** labels off of each circle.  Thank you, Goof Off.  

I found a package of wooden stars (also at Michael's) and used Gorilla Glue to glue a star in the center of each wooden circle.  Less is better with Gorilla Glue.  I always have to remind myself of that!  It easily expands.

I spray-painted the medals with a nice shiny gold, of course.

I found this patriotic ribbon at JoAnn's, and used hot glue to secure it to the back of each medal.

All done!  This would be a really fun craft to do with kids, especially with the Olympics going on right now.

At our party, everyone was a gold medalist!  Enjoy watching the Olympics (I am watching right now!)
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