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Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in Arts, Autumn, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Busy B Boutique, Carnival Party, Children, Crafts, Crafts, Creative, DD Lish, DecoArt, DIY, Economical Activities, Family, Featured, Friends, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Happy Birthday Banner, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Homemade, Memories, painting, Pamela Rayburn Photography, Party, Photography, Precious Peanut Shop, Product Review, Reviews, Save money, Second Seed In Stitches, Shopping, Support Handmade, Tiny Chaos, Work From Home, Working Mom | 1 comment

THE BIG CARNIVAL BASH!

THE BIG CARNIVAL BASH!

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Our daughter recently turned the big FIVE years old. Since we haven’t really given her a big party (most birthdays have been celebrated with family), we decided to throw her a big carnival bash to celebrate her wonderful self. A carnival seemed fun, easy, and affordable. In reality, it was! My husband & I made most of the games with what we had around the house as well as some inexpensive shenanigans I found at craft stores and local shops. DecoArt sponsored some of the artwork which I used to create one of the games as well as the face paint pens (um, hello?! These were right up my alley!). It helped to have a handy hubby who cut wood & nailed things together for me ;). More on this coming soon…

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

In my quest to support handmade shops, I decided to incorporate different things into the party from both local and distant artisans. This is my new mission on this blog: To support handmade artisans.

Enter beautiful, amazing, wonderful people.

First, I found a phenomenal local photographer who was not only willing to come capture the party in all it’s glory, but she did so in such a swift and lovely fashion that we will likely have her photograph our family for years to come. Pamela Rayburn Photography is owned and operated by Pamela Rayburn herself. She is so kind and such fun to work with! But more on her later *hint, hint*. Just look at these gorgeous captures! (Locals, you should do yourselves a favor & look into booking her for your holiday photos!)

There were so many people involved in pulling this off properly (which happened just by the skin of our teeth!). My husband, as supportive as he is, allows me to get a little lot carried away. The kids were cooperative and had a ball dressing for the part on the day of the party and even lended a hand with decorations and games. My sister, Deidre of DD Lish yumminess, baked one heck of a cake that tasted even better than it looked, if that’s possible. My mom “voluntarily” was coaxed into cooking fresh, homemade tacos for everyone to enjoy (we did our best to serve healthy foods). My dad & best friend were roped into coloring in the signage I created that morning. My brother-in-law donated some grass seed bags from his company Crosman Seed Corp.

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Then there were the shop owners, artisans who donated their craft to put the icing on the cake!

Did you get a peek at the perfect dress & headband our little t was wearing? That was designed by me, and created in collaboration with Precious Peanut Shop. Julie was incredible to work with. But again, more on that later.

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

In case you haven’t picked up on my *hints*, these beautiful shops and artisans will be featured throughout the next several months as part of our Fall Frenzy: Festive Fall Features. Stay tuned!

Then there’s the bowtie on our son & hairbow on our youngest daughter. Would you get a load of this?! Tiny Chaos made this set of bows to add to the festivities. She is amazing.

Bow by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bow by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

We whipped up a photo booth with help from Busy B Boutique‘s Bethany Crocker and Nancy Topolski from Second Seed in Stitches. Bethany made some really fun photo props while Nancy crafted the “happy birthday” banner. Fantastic work-woman-ship from both ladies!! I can say it’s been so fun working with Bethany as we’re good friends as well as craft lovers. She even painted a few faces at the party. Talented Mama :)!

Face Paint Pens by DecoArt Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Face Paint Pens by DecoArt
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo props by Busy B Boutique Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo props by Busy B Boutique
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

I think those that attended would all agree that C&C Bouncers stole the show with their hoppity-hooping bounce house! Shari & Ted, owners of C&C, are working on opening a great place for fun in the Finger Lakes area so locals, get ready!

Bounce House courtesy of C&C Bouncers Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bounce House courtesy of C&C Bouncers
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

It was just SO MUCH FUN and rose beyond expectations of our little ones. They had smiles all day long, as did their friends and family. It is always so wonderful and almost dream-like to have so many loved ones all in one place celebrating alongside us! I think we’re locked into throwing a party like this for each of our children’s fifth birthdays, and we’re totally fine with that. We’ll have to do a little more ourselves next time, but live and learn, right?!

I’m looking forward to showcasing these wonderful shops and artisans, as I’m sure you will, too. Just wait to see what’s in store for you!!

From deep inside our hearts, THANK YOU to everyone who was a part of this awesome celebration. We all appreciate it so!!

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Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Arts, Children, Costumes, Crafts, Crafts, Crazy Mom-isms, Creative, DIY, Economical Activities, Etsy, Giveaways, Halloween, Handmade, Handmade Halloween, Handmade Holiday, Holidays, Homemade, peg dolls, Save money, Stay At Home Mom, sweet whimsy designs, sweet whimsy designs, sweet whimsy designs, Work From Home, Working Mom | 17 comments

Homemade Robot Costume & sweet whimsy designs GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Homemade Robot Costume & sweet whimsy designs GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Last year, our 2 year-old (at the time) was MAD about robots (or “Oobots”, as he called them). There was really no option in his mind when it came to dressing for Halloween.

Upon looking at our vast collection of old diaper boxes, crates left over from our summer CSA, and used toys, I decided to create his very own Oobot. I documented it well, however, our computer has since crashed & I have (hopefully temporarily) lost a few years’ worth of photos & videos. I don’t want to talk about that. Instead, I have decided to post this “how-to” make your very own robot costume without detailed step-by-step photos. I hope you get the gist.

Here he is, in his absolute glory!mars robot costumeThe box on his head is a diaper box spray-painted in silver metallic. Also sprayed were three large & three smaller vegetable/fruit crates (you know, the green cardboard) and a red plastic cup. The eyes are painted peanut butter jar tops which were super-glued around the edges to adhere to the box.

The box for the body was an amazon box repurposed with metallic silver spray-paint as well. I definitely used several coats to insure any printing was covered. The boxes’ squares were simply cut out with a pair of scissors. We added padding to the shoulders, as the costume was getting rather heavy & wouldn’t be easy to walk in come Halloween night.

I created a panel on the inside of the body with a piece of cardboard, slightly larger than the opening, covered in tinfoil. The panel was then Duck-taped to the inside of the opening. On the panel, I added a switch plate which I found at Lowe’s for under $1.00. I also grabbed a light switch for chump change along with four white caps & painted everything in a variety of colors from DecoArt Americana paints then outlined in metallic silver puffy paint. Target had some working blacklights in their dollar section, so I purchased two of them & attached them to the top & bottom of the panel with double-sided padded tape.

I also cut an “infinity” shape out of cardboard & covered it in tinfoil to begin the turn-key at the side. After cutting a small “x” slit in the side of the body, I covered a paper towel roll in tinfoil & sliced a slit about an inch long in 2 places to slide the infinity shape & make a key. So easy!

The “Marsbot 2012” was painted in DecoArt Americana Bright Yellow paint (2 coats) then outlined in silver glitter puffy paint. I asked my husband to screw in several plastic gears of various colors that were part of a board game no longer in use. They were loose enough to maneuver & everyone who came close enough would love to play with them! Our son was like a walking toy!!

Likely the most costly purchase for the costume was for the arms. We bought ducts from Lowe’s, costing a total of around $13 with much to spare. I cut pieces long enough to cover his arms and was sure to tuck in the edges to prevent cuts. We wanted to make legs out of the ducts as well but figured it wouldn’t allow him to walk…at all. Good choice, I think ;).

Everything was put together with silver Duck Tape. I just love all the colors and patterns Duck Tape now offers!

The back side had some fun things to see, too. We glued a Frisbee that he painted & some buttons to push.

This costume made heads turn & was the hit at our town’s Halloween Parade where our son won Best Costume for his age group. He received a plaque & was (& still is) so proud!! He marched around the parade beaming & waving to the crowd. He loved being a robot for a day!!

The costume stayed together pretty well, minus a few mishaps, but nothing tape or glue couldn’t fix! He wore it to several occasions & by Halloween night, we wished we had insulated the costume – it was a cold night!!

We can assure you the look of sadness was due to the cold weather & not the awesome costume he was sporting!

We can assure you the look of sadness was due to the cold weather & not the awesome costume he was sporting!

I always seem to raise the bar each year. I have decided this year that I will make costumes only every OTHER year, this Mama needs a break! It is so much fun, though, especially if your significant other is on board to lend a hand.

What are you whipping up for Halloween this year? What are your little ones going to be?! Share & enter to WIN a set of PEG DOLLS from my shop!!

ENTER HERE!!!

wizard of ozsuperhero avengersroyal princess setpeg doll necklace

artdisx

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive a shop credit totaling $45 & will include shipping. Contest begins October 14, 2013 at 12:00am and ends October 21, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, October 21, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. states within one week of winner announcement. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: I have not been compensated in any way to write this post or feature any companies in this post. All opinions are my own. It was completely my own doing and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :). 

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Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in All About Kraft, All About Kraft, Children, Crafts, Crafts, Creative, Economical Activities, Etsy, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Holiday Gift Ideas, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Preschool, Product Review, Quiet Book, Reviews, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom | 6 comments

All About Kraft – Review and GIVEAWAY!

All About Kraft – Review and GIVEAWAY!

Several months ago, I received an email from a sweet shop owner wishing to purchase some peg dolls for her little one. We ended up trading our goods because I fell in love with her shop, All About Kraft. Owner and creator Jessica is a stay-at-home Mom of one little one (& expecting a second child soon!) and opened the shop out of the love for her son. She created a quiet book for him and soon had inquiries from others to create for them. Isn’t that the best way to start a handmade shop?! Jessica considers her sewing and crafting to be her “me time” while her son is sleeping & allows her to relax and unwind. We all need our outlets, and All About Kraft has chosen to spread the love to others by expanding her creative outlet to her Etsy shop.

Mr. Potato Head Quiet Book

Mr. Potato Head Quiet Book

Mr. Potato Head Quiet Book

Mr. Potato Head Quiet Book

Tic Tac Toe Quiet Book

Tic Tac Toe Quiet Book

We have the Mr. Potato Head Quiet Book and the Tic Tac Toe Quiet Book which the kids really love! We tote it along on car rides, lunches and dinners out to eat, play dates, and especially during rest/quiet times. Believe me when I say they will keep your child quiet and busy for a good amount of time! Jessica had our custom books shipped to us nicely in no time at all. We were able to choose special colors which we took advantage of by selecting our son’s all-time favorite color of orange for much of the Mr. Potato Head book pages and pink and blue were our daughter’s choices for the Tic Tac Toe book cars. You can have a lot of fun with All About Kraft, so don’t hesitate to get creative. Jessica can handle it, for sure!

The shop has more than just quiet books. We really need to get ourselves some Super Hero & Princess Capes! What kid doesn’t love pretending with a cape?! I think her Toddler Messenger Bags are crazy cute and pretty sure my kids would, too.

all about kraft capes

all about kraft toddler messenger bags

Homeschoolers and educators and parents alike: take note. The shop has great learning resources like the Weather Felt Quiet Book and the Train Counting Quiet Book. I’d have to say the pièce de résistance has to be the Take Along Fabric Doll House and Dolls. If that doesn’t keep your child busy, I don’t know what will!

all about kraft dollhouse

all about kraft laundry room

What’s in it for you?

All About Kraft is giving away one (1) quiet book of your choice from the shop to one lucky winner (up to a $25 value)!

You can enter HERE

Good luck, and enjoy!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive one (1) quiet book of their choice from All About Kraft (up to a $25 value). Contest begins October 7, 2013 at 12:00am and ends October 14, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, October 14, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. states within one week of winner announcement. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: I have not been compensated in any way to write this post or feature All About Kraft in this post. It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :). 

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