Monday, September 9, 2013

 Presto.... A Magic Birthday Party

All of my kids have been so lucky, they all have fantastic friends.  One of my daughters has a friend that she is particularly close to.  After talking to her mother, who also happens to be my good friend, we decided to have the two girls celebrate their birthdays together. 
We decided to celebrate these girls with a...  

Of course we asked the girls first.  We wanted to make sure they would be ok with that idea.  
They were thrilled and so excited!
My daughter acted like it was pretty much the best plan... ever.  
 So we had a double birthday party! It was a fantastic way to have a party and I would do a double party again in a heartbeat!  Double trouble and double fun.

I cut two top hats out of black card stock. With the sewing machine I stitched them together to create a pocket for the invite.  The invited guest would pull the rabbit by it's ears out of the paper hat to read the invitation.
What is a magic party without a magician???
We hired magician Paul Brewer from Utah Magic.  He did a FANTASTIC job!  Because we did a double birthday he brought two rabbits (one for each birthday girl to hold). He brought a bird as well. He did ballon animals, gave magic wands to the kids and was hilarious.  Here is his info for anyone looking for a fabulous magician in Utah.
Utah Magic

We couldn't have a magic show without a stage!  Just like my bed table I used white cardboard and markers to create this.  I just connected the entire thing to our entertainment center.
I made two signs introducing our two birthday stars.  I had them printed up and then mounted them on black foam core.  I cut holes through the foam core and added lights… A magician must have her name in lights! 
After the magic show it was time for cake and ice cream!  
We made each child their own individual 
Magic Hat cake! 

To make the cakes we cooked several sheet cakes.  Then we cut them with a large circle cookie cutter.  We used this one.. Wilton Round Cookie Cutter.
We stacked three cakes and frosted them.  Then we rolled them in black sanding sugar.  For the top we purchased large sugar cookies from a local bakery.  They also were frosted and dipped in black sanding sugar. They then were placed on top of the stacked cakes. And voilĂ  we had magic top hats! If enough people are interested I'd be happy to do a tutorial for this.  (The cake was really good... so I wouldn't mind an excuse to make it).
I made bunny toppers.  A magic hat is not complete with out a rabbit!  I took pink swirl Whirly Pop lollipops and attached the bunny body, face and paws to it.  I slid the stick down into the center of the cake and then placed a white gum ball on the back for the tail.  
They looked so fun and whimsical on the tables!   
If you wanted to do something like this I would recommend having a little take home bag for the cake.  There is no way an 8 year old girl could polish off one of those cakes herself.  So you'll want to send the leftovers home for her to share or snack on later.  Also The kids pulled out their suckers and set them with their other goodies to take home.

I used two round tables.  One for each birthday girl!  Each table had one of the girls name in lights. The tutorial for doing this is found at the amazing Oh Happy Day blog.  Here is the link… MINI MARQUEE SIGN WITH LIGHTS
We also added glitter to the inside of each letter.  The photo's don't do these justice.  They look cute here but in real life they were stunning!

The felt owls were such a hit at my daughters Night Owl Party that I couldn't resist doing it again.  And honestly… I have a couple of party's I'm planning right now with more hand sewn felt gifts. They do take time.  But felt is so inexpensive and the kids just love them… and I love creating them.  
So it makes it worth it.

We took a a piece of wood board and cut a 14.5" circle out of the center.  We created a top hat on top of the hole with black cardboard.  (It took two pieces of cardboard).  Then cut a top hat rim out of black foam core.  The rim is about 2.5" wide. We just attached it to the black cardboard with a glue gun.  The hat sits about 13" tall.    We took two card tables and spread them apart.  We placed a wood board with the giant top hat in the center.  Then we added tablecloths and fabric to hide the tables.. as well to give room to my husband to hide under there.  (Again this is something I probably could do a tutorial for).
While the kids were eating their cake and ice cream we moved the table where we wanted it, in front of the stage.  My husband hid under there with 14 stuffed bunnies until the kids were ready.  
He deserves a high five… it got hot under there!

Then we brought the kids back over to the stage area.  They each had their magic wands with them too.  We taught them a new magic spell.  When you said it in front of the hat, and then tapped the hat 3 times a magical friend would appear.  Each girl took their own turn.  They came up one at a time and said…

Create a special friend for me!

Then they tapped the hat three times with their wand.
My husband at this time would slowly push a bunny up through the hat.  As soon as the ears started to peek through the girls would squeal!  Like my owls, we did adoption cards.  So after the guest collected her bunny, I would read the little poem or ditty I had that matched up to the bunny she received.  Then they would take the time to name their bunny.  Taking suggestions from all the other girls if they needed a little help.  
We had a lot of happy bunnies!
Before we moved onto the next guests turn we would take the time to fill out their card.  Taking the time with them individually makes the kids feel special.  
I made 14 bunnies.  Here are all the bunny personalities I came up with…
Funny Bunny
Magic Bunny
Book Bunny
Ballet Bunny
Garden Bunny
Country Bunny
Dust Bunny
Snow Bunny
Sunny Bunny
Snuggle Bunny
Chocolate Bunny
Tipsy Bunny
Honey Bunny
Each child also got a black top hat filled with what they need to be magician!

Each kit included…
A Posh Bow Tie
A Ritzy Magic Wand
Spiffy White Gloves 
(These are cotton parade gloves I purchased at gloves-online)
Swanky Black Top Hat
Magic Tricks and treats 
(A cellophane bag filled with a few magic tricks and treats)
Dapper Magician Moustache

One little girl tried to wear all of her magician gear to church the next day.  Her father told me how crushed she was that she couldn't wear it all the time.  I've also had many parents tell me that their daughters sleep with their bunnies every night.  It's funny… there is nothing particularly special about a felt bunny.  But receiving it at a party, adopting it and it having it's own personality is special to them.

I do have all of the printables as well as the bunny pattern available on etsy.  This party is done with pink (it was all girls).  But incase you need a more gender neutral color scheme… or your not a fan of pink, I also have it available in a Red/Gray version.  Here is a link to my etsy store if you'd like it…

Happy Birthday Ride! 
I sure adore this little girl!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

 Back To School Treats

My kids started school in July… yes July.  Our little part of the world is overflowing with children. They can't all fit in the school at once.  So we have now adopted a year round schedule.  I'm reserving my opinion about it until after the school year ends.  Summer was crazy short, but we will have nice little 3 week breaks throughout the year.  Time will tell.  

So three weeks ago with a hug and a kiss off they went!   
This photo (above) makes me giggle.  Scooter was more excited about her new backpack than anything.  So we had to have a backpack photo.  It looks like a cheesy back to school retail advertisement.

The toughest part?   My Momo.   
He started kindergarten.

I'm not sure if it is that sending my BABY to school made me realize how old I really am.  Or that my house is too quiet and my little buddy isn't by my side.  (It's most likely a combination of all of the above).  But I am a bit heartbroken. Thank heavens it's just half a day.  I really don't know how I'll cope next year.

Anyway I wanted to give them a little back to school treat.  So upon returning home that first day I had caramel apples for them.  You know because apples are associated with knowledge and teachers and school… does anyone know why that is???  But true to form I couldn't just leave them be… they had to have a bit of zhush! 

So in case you'd like to do something similar for your own littles… or even present one to your child's new teacher, here is a link to download the pdf!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

 Panda Valentines

I adore Valentines Day!  
And oh how I loved it in elementary school!
 Making pretty boxes. Selecting She-Ra valentines. Carefully picking out which valentine pun on the cards best suited the boy I had a crush on.  Making sure I took extra time to write his name on it and sign mine with an extra heart or two.  Yup… loved it all!  

When Scooter, my oldest,  first started school I had both her box and Valentines thought out a month in advance.  And then came child two… and then three.  After multiple kids needing boxes and Valentines year after year the magic was a bit um… lost.   Last year Scooter used the same box she had used for the two years previous.  Yep, three years in a row with the same box.  Every year we would dust it off and perform a little light surgery and reattachment to a few hearts.    However this summer while cleaning out the basement my husband came across our immortal Valentine box and said "No more".  
It was thrashed.  
Poor… sad …valentine box .  
It was time we parted ways.  

This morning my girls reminded me that they would need boxes on Valentines (ahem… in two days).  So I pulled out a couple boxes and stared at them.  I kept hoping some fabulous idea would come.  5, 10, 15 minutes later…I then looked at the boxes and said "Nope …I've got nothing."  (I have no issues talking to inanimate objects).     I then thought "This box thing is not doing it for me."  They are hard to decorate (only so many things come in rectangle).  And they can be a pain for little hands and arms to cart around.  
What if we used a bag?  
Now a little something about me… when I change the rules of the game, even just an itsy bit, the creative problem solving side of me comes out.  Light bulbs tend to come on.  Then I get all giddy.  
And that is exactly what happened.  
So Momo and I ran to the store and got supplies, and when the girls got home this is what we made…

 We used the reusable grocery bags.  These are from Target (I wanted red for obvious holiday color coordinating).  We glued furry fabric to the front and back of the bags.  Then I made a template of the panda pieces on card stock.  We cut and glued away.

I forgot to take a photo of the back, but we put a little heart for a tail. 

You really could do this for any furry animal.  Monkeys, bears, kitties, dogs, foxes, monsters.  
(I can think of valentine play on words to go along with everyone of those…. 'Cause I'm Bananas over you).  
Now everyone knows that when you take what should be an oval shape and cut it as a heart it immediately becomes valentineized. 
Do you remember in elementary school cutting hearts out of construction paper and putting them together to make an animal?  I clearly recall a valentine elephant I made.  Small heart for the head, large heart for the body and I used Red Hots for his eyes.  
Same general idea.  

Now here is the ironic part.  I was all excited to be using something different… not a box.  But the weight of everything made it so the bag wouldn't stand upright.  So I had to put a box in it to get it to stand up.  (I used cereal boxes, the big type from Costco.  I keep them around for projects).  Here is another ironic part… you wouldn't have to use a bag to make these.  A box would do just fine. I sure do like the panda bags though.

And the nice thing is they could use them for other things too.  Even if it's just to pack some toys for long car rides.  

Well I'm off.  It's late and apparently it's crazy hair day at school tomorrow.  Nothin' like packing in as much as they can in one week.

I hope you have a beary happy valentines, 'cause your the cat's meow, you're so doggone cute, and I like you so much it's scary!

Here is a photo of my girlies on Valentine morning with their bags.   They were pretty excited!  Do you see the photo bomb in the window?  LOL.  Momo mopes every morning when they head to school.  He is crushed again.