Taylor, Lily, and Sawyer – Summer 2014

I got a chance a few days ago to take some quick pictures of the kids, and I wanted to share them here. I try to take semi formal shots of them each season, but sometimes it’s a bit like the cobbler’s children having no shoes. But the other day a free moment and happy kids happened at the same time, so I grabbed the opportunity that day and again the next, even if Lily’s hair was a little in the awkward stage of growing out tousled and Sawyer was more interested in everything that wasn’t the camera lens. I needed to capture Lily with her second missing tooth and Sawyer with his cheesy little grin and Taylor and her gorgeous eyes. I can’t believe how much they’ve all grown, especially Taylor, who is so very pretty and now an eighth grader! Man I love these kids!


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Crafty Birthday Party: The Activities

Fair warning, this post is going to be LONG. I planned a ton of activities for this party. And we got to almost all of them. We had planned to do Sharpie tie dyed shirts, but about half the girls forgot to bring a shirt to dye. We were also going to do nail polish pendants, but we really just ran out of time and energy.
We had the party at our church’s family life center, which was such a blessing and terrific for the space and amenities, but it’s not my favorite place to shoot pictures, so excuse the industrial background.
We started out just letting the girls mingle and have fun. They picked out their party favors and chowed down on the food. A few of them had to come late, so we waited on the crafts until they were all there. My mom did such a great job with the food and decorations.
I made this cupcake banner courtesy of inspiration found here.

Gratuitous shot of my awesome nephew LB.

              Taylor                                    Lily


After the food and presents the girls dove into Taylor’s monstrous collection of nail polish for mani-pedis. A couple of months ago I found a bunch of pedicure flip flops for like 40 cents a pair so I stocked up for the party.
After the nail polish, the girls did chocolate facials. These were SO simple, just coconut oil and cocoa powder. They all said it made their skin super soft, and of course it smelled amazing! I had enough left to package some up to send it home as parting gifts the next day.
While the chocolate facials were setting, I had them making lip balm.
Then I let them dive into my bag of leather remnants, and they cut out leather earrings.
Next they made Shrinky Dinks. This was maybe my favorite activity of the night just because of how entranced they all were by the process. Most of them had never seen them before, and they couldn’t get enough of them! Did you know that you can buy a 50 pack of the sheets for $22.00? Such a better deal than paying $6 for 10 sheets at the craft store!
Then they painted little canvases mounted on magnets.
Next up were bottle cap pins. Images purchased here, here, and here.
Doesn’t that little hipster squirrel just slay you? That whole sheet of images was awesomesauce!
Next (yes, there was more!) I let them dig through my bag of satin remnants to make singed satin flower hair clips.
The last activity of the night was the photo shoot. They were looking a little tired by this point.
All of these accessories were found at the Dollar Tree, and we had enough scarves and sunglasses to send one of each home with each girl.
DSC_0561So this is what I look like at 5:30 in the morning after hosting a bunch of newly minted teenage girls! Keepin’ it real, folks.
After that I put them all to bed and popped Frozen in the DVD player. The next morning I fed them fruit, pop tarts, granola bars, cereal, and milk. All in all I think it was a huge success!

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The Party

Guys, the party went SO WELL! We ended up having 9 girls counting Taylor and Lily (my two), which was a good number, enough to feel like a party, but not so many they were hard to handle or keep entertained.

I want to spill all the details, but I’m going to spread it out over several posts. First of all, the party favors:

I made four different things for each girl to take home (and of course they got to take home all the things they made while they were there).

To start with I made simple rolled rosette necklaces strung on satin ribbon. This was pretty much a free craft for me. I had everything on hand except for a few colors of the satin ribbon. But since it’s all of $0.49 a roll at Walmart, I only had a couple of dollars in it. I won’t waste your time with a tutorial on rolled rosettes, because there are about 100 craft bloggers out there who have already explained it much more clearly than I ever could. Basically it’s just twist and glue. 🙂 One thing I did differently than most was to back mine with suede instead of felt. I made a few of these for Christmas and did that, and it just kind of gives it a nicer feel.

For the bails, I just used jewelry pliers to twist a head pin into a loop on one end and a smaller, double rolled loop twisted perpendicular to the first loop on the other end. Then I just glued the larger loop between the back of the rosette and the suede, then threaded the ribbon through the smaller double loop, tied the ends, and called it done!

I also found these cool wrapped rings on clearance at Hobby Lobby. I bought a couple of sets, one in pinks and oranges and one in blues and purples. I can’t remember exactly how much they were, but I don’t think they were more than a couple of bucks a set, and there were 11 rings on each card. I just strung each one on a ribbon.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you all about the leather hair bows!

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Crafty Birthday Sleepover Party Favors

Friday my oldest, Taylor is having a crafty birthday party sleepover. She won’t turn 13 until the 24th, but my SIL is due with her baby 4 days later, so we wanted to schedule it a couple of weeks earlier just in case.

So I’m going to be the mom of a teenager. Gah! But let’s not focus on that. Let’s focus on the party! We’re not really big on birthday parties in this family, but we did this last year and it turned out so well that I really wanted to do it again for her big 13th.

I’m planning on having the girls make a number of crafts themselves, but I’ve also made up a few party favors for them to take home too. I’ll have some tutorials and tips coming in the next few weeks, but for now I have a few sneak peeks:

Some simple leather hair bows

Rolled rosette and wrapped washer necklaces.

Little boxy makeup bags,
I mostly crafted from my stash, so I don’t have very much money in any of it. I can’t wait to show you guys everything I’ve got planned!

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