Monday, January 19, 2015

Dragon Party

With a birthday right after Christmas, Kate has never had a big party. We decided to have one big hurrah for turning ten. And I decided to throw myself into party preparations as if I didn't already have a dozen things to do. (Might as well have fun with it, right?) First up, invitations, with a dragon based on Kate's drawing. I colored the dragons with my Inktense pencils and used double-sided gelli prints for the cards.

I came up with lot of ideas for decorations and party favors. (The kitchen table was a mess for a few days.) I painted a tailless dragon on foam board, for a game of Pin the Tail on the Dragon.

I got these little boxes for favors, and painted scales on the sides and dragons on top.

Stamped table runner (with a craft foam stamp that I made).

This was kind of an experiement--gelli printing right on gift bags. It took a couple of get the hang of it (I had some blank spots where the handles connect and had to touch those up), but it worked well and looked really cool.

I made a foam stamp with the kids' names, stamped the bags, and then gave them their stamps in their bags. (I wanted to make some other stamps for them too, but ran out of time.)

Garlands of gelli print hearts on ribbon. (I have not previously owned a glue gun, but got one recently for making stencils and textures for gelli printing. I think this the first time I've used it for anything else.)

Cupcakes by JoLee Watson (JoLee's Custom Cakes).

We put candles in two cupcakes and said they were dragon claws.

We had the party at the Star Center. Room for ten kids--eight besides Kate and Andy--and everyone that we invited was able to come! We'd never done anything like this but everything pretty much went off without a hitch (the only thing I forgot was a bag of clementines), and all the kids had a great time.

Root beer floats.

We had the kids make their own tails for Pin the Tail on the Dragon. (My sister Betsey did this one time--hers was Pin the Tail on the Duck--and I thought it was a great idea.)

Doug made this tail (which he later stuck on Andy).

Ellie set the dragon on fire.

The complete set of tails.

We had an hour in the party room and then an hour to play on the climbing equipment. The Star Center has some fun stuff.

A good time was had by all! It really was a fun party. Success!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dreaming of Summer

These came today. Can't wait!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


We spent the evening at our stake New Year's Eve party at the YMCA. (We took two cars so I could bring Andy home earlier while Doug and Kate stayed to swim.)   Andy loved the big rope swing--he got to go on it a few times before it got really busy.

It's been quite a year!  New cat, new flooring, some new opportunities.  We've had some interesting challenges to deal with as the kids grow and change.  We continue to seek the guidance and patience  to build a strong, supportive, healthy family.

I planted some more daffodil bulbs in late October, and they started coming up a couple of weeks before Christmas. Yikes! Maybe they'll go back to sleep as it gets colder.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Stamping Wrapping Paper

Since I've been making stamps to use with my gelli plate, it occurred to me that I could also use them for making wrapping paper. I got a big roll of white paper and a roll of kraft brown paper, and I've been having fun stamping them.

Kate's friend Kael had a Pokemon-themed party, so I made this wrapping paper for his present. I cut the shapes out of craft foam (Doug helped me get Pikachu's ears right), and glued them onto flooring scraps.

This was for a white elephant gift exchange.

(There were a few others--one where I used potato stamps--but I didn't get pictures.)

So, I ambitiously decided to make all our wrapping paper for Christmas. I started this well enough in advance that I had some time to find shapes and cut out all the fiddly bits. 

Doug cut some plywood blocks for me to mount the stamps on. (I used PVA glue and let it dry overnight.)

I use my brayer to roll out a layer of paint on a piece of plexiglass, and load up the stamp. Or sometimes I turn the stamp over and roll the brayer right on it. That works too. Since the stamps are unfinished wood I can't get them too wet when washing them off, but wiping them with a baby wipe seems to work well enough.

 I thought the Christmas tree stamp worked really well--probably because it's kind of triangular, and they fit together nicely in patterns.

Well, after that I had to do birthday paper too. These were a lot faster--mostly pretty basic shapes. (The cat was adapted from a tattoo I found online.)

I used some other stamps that I had already made up, too. I'm not sure how long all the stamping took me--maybe an hour or a little more. When you've got this much paper you have to have enough room to spread out all the pieces to let them dry, but overall it's not that much of a hassle, as long as you're not trying to do it at the last minute the day of the party. I'm sure I'll be making more in the future!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Six and Ten

How quickly they grow! Doug and I have been saying to each other for a while now, "Can you believe Kate's going to be ten?" Well, the day is upon us and we still can't quite believe it. Double digits!

We didn't have panettone this year, but Doug found something called a Mayorca that we stuck some candles in.

And Andy is six!  (This is also somewhat hard to fathom.) He was so cute trying to blow out his candles.

Present time!

Grumpy cat!

We got Andy a few books.

Minion gloves! (I saw these at Target and thought they were cute.)

Kate puts together her Lego Mixel while Grumpy Cat supervises.

Andy, in dire need of a haircut.

Reading with Dad.

Wiz Wuz!

In the afternoon we went downtown to the Tacoma Children's Museum. Here we are waiting to ride the Link.

Andy loves the little train! (He was reading the advisory panel--"Cover drinks! Hold handrail! No smoking!")

At the museum, Kate found a dragon friend right away.

Water is always fun!

Andy makes glowing letters.

We went to El Sabor for dinner, and then stopped by Baskin Robbins, where a nice gentleman offered to take a picture of all of us.

Here's another blast from the past--Betsey found this picture of my tenth birthday. (I believe that's a squirrel cake.)

Happy birthday, kids!