Tuesday, January 26, 2010

fairies are afoot - a fairy-themed birthday party

a fantastical fairy-inspired arrangement

Maybe some of you have little girls who - like mine - are really into Tinkerbell. But I didn't want to do a blatantly "Tinkbell"-themed party for my daughters' birthdays this month. I think this way is a little more unique and fantasy-like. Plus I got to use lots of sparkly things. You know me and my sparkly things...I love them so.

My favorite thing was the garland...it was supposed to evoke images of woodland fairies...entwrined throughout it was pink fairy lights and tons of coloful and sparkly picks, birds, and butterflies.

I was able to find all kinds of fanciful picks on clearance after Thanksgiving and during the Christmas season. And the garlands themselves...fall decor once it had reached 90% off! You gotta love that.

I couldn't afford to buy new, brightly-colored candles for the event, so instead I pulled some out that I already had and went to work transforming them with scrapbook paper and double-sided tape. (I did not light them for the party - that probably would have induced fireworks of the non-celebratory type.)

 I bought just a couple of inexpensive bouquets from the supermarket, and was able to get my money's worth by spreading them out around the room and tables. Here they are mingled in with brightly-colored votive holders that I've had for years. The paper chain was made by my daughters!

My girls - ages three and five - made the paper chain. They are always anxious to "help" with the decorations...and this was a way that they could. I actually love it so much that it's been hanging in the living room for almost three weeks now.

On the mantel I placed a picture of the birthday girl...which I usually do at every birthday party. It was flanked by a huge arrangement of lighted branches (Christmas yard picks with LED lights - on clearance after Christmas - yay!). The vase was simply a clear vase, filled with Christmas lights, and then "dressed" in two "fairy" skirts from the dollar store that I layered on top of each other for a more ethereal effect.

Here's another shot of the branches arrangement.

I found that when I added gold branches with gold beads on them (more Christmas clearance) to my supermarket bouquets, they became much more "fairy-like". The cupcakes this time were pretty simple, just chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and sprinkles in the colors of the party.

I put butterflies everywhere I could! Man, I should own stock in Michael's butterflies by now. Even more so because my older daughter's birthday party is this coming Saturday, and it ALSO has a fairy theme - so now that Michael's spring decor is out, I keep buying butteflies. Must...stop...accquiring...butterflies.

In a later post I'll share pics of the custom invitations I made for this party and also the upcoming one this weekend. I will also have more pics of party decor to show soon!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

new cards...and the gift of laughter

Here's another card style I listed recently in my new shop. It's called "iris cluster" and features...appropriately...a cluster of irises. Well. My powers of description are just amazing, aren't they?

This one is called "Victorian monogram".

So I listed this one the other day, but I have to tell you a story about it. I actually made this design as a "moving-away" present for a friend several months ago. This is one of those very best friends that I've known since I was twelve, and we know just about everything about each other. Or, at least I thought I did, until she opened up her gift at the party...and said, "What's the D for?" And I said, "Well, it's for your middle name, of course!" (thinking, oh dear, does she not know how a monogram works?) and she said, "But my middle name is Jill!" at which point I came to the crushing realization that I had forgotten her middle name and given her a most heartfelt gift...with the wrong initials. My girlfriends laughed until they had tears in their eyes. It turns out my gift was more about the entertainment factor than the stationery. You're welcome...wait, what was your name again?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Introducing my new Etsy shop....Nest Ink

custom rhinestonte notecards - set of 6 ("three flowerss") - in my etsy shop NestInk

Here's just a taste of some of the notecard sets you can find in my Etsy shop, which is now up and running! Each one is my own design, hand-embellished with one or more rhinestones. Any of these designs can be totally customized - in the color and with the wording of your choice!


custom rhinestone notecards - set of 6 ("stately") - NestInk

custom rhinestone notecards - set of 6 ("Victorian monogram") - NestInk

custom rhinestone notecards - set of 6 ("modern flower") - NestInk

There are more designs in the shop, and I'm continuing to add more throughout the day, so please check out my new shop! And special thanks to Julia from Hooked on Houses who originally suggested the name "Nest Ink" for my stationery business...it's just perfect. (Her blog is two years old today - Happy Birthday, Hooked on Houses!) And it's hard to believe, but I asked for input on a name for my stationery business at least a year and a half ago! Better late than never, I suppose. I am so tickled...I'm almost giddy...it's like having a new baby...only a lot more painless!

Since it's a brand-new venture, I'd really love to know what you think. After you check out the shop, will you come back and leave me a comment? All feedback is welcome! And tell your friends. :-)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

no more waffling!

Just a quick update to let you know what I've been working on this weekend...setting up my Etsy shop! Finally...after all my waffling...I'm just making it happen. I've been having so much fun working out the details. I'm hoping to have it ready within the next week. The whole process is somewhat time-consuming, but so fun! I'll be selling custom stationery in no time. I do hope to get back into interior redesign very soon as well, but am trying to just take one thing at a time. (Which, by the way, isn't easy for me, since once I get an idea - or three - in my head, I prefer to jump headlong into fulfilling them, rather proceeding at a slow and sedate pace.) So for you faithful (three) readers I have left...you'll be glad to know...I am finally DOING something!

P.S. the photo above is my avatar on Etsy :-)

Friday, January 15, 2010

thanks for the free ticket!

I never win blog giveaways...and I've entered a few hundred or so...but my luck has changed. Did I win the $500 gift card to West Elm? Or gift card to HomeGoods? Or any other cash or frivolous prize? Nope. I won a free ticket to the A Woman Inspired Conference. It's an online conference - which I've never done before - about living an efficient and creative life with God at the center. I love it because (as you can see from my previous post) I'm in a transitional period where I'm quite desperate and more than ready to exercise my creativity again. I'm not entirely sure how it's going to work or what it's going to look like - and I suppose that's where this conference comes in. I'm actually quite excited about it because I feel like it's a little gift, just for me, at an opportune time in my life, so I have great hopes and expectations that I will find a nugget or two of inspiration that will flip my switch and turn on my dusty light bulb (a.k.a. inspiration). So a great big "thank you!" to Sandy over at The Reluctant Entertainer for offering these free tickets!

Just watch as I begin to transform before your very eyes...no longer A Mom Tired....but A Woman Inspired. ;-) I'll let you all know how it goes.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

happy new year!

So we're already ten days into the new year and things have been BUSY around my place. Fairies are afoot at my house this month! This is the crazy month of birthdays and birthday parties for BOTH my daughters. This year they chose the SAME birthday theme (can you say REJOICE?) which allows me to recycle some decorations. I can't wait to show you photos of my three-year-old's little fairiy party...but I'm going to be cruel and just tease you...as the photos are not quite finished being uploaded. I'm hoping to post them in the next couple of days.

Other thiings on the horizon for the new year: you know, I don't really have resolutions...just lists. To-do lists. (Can I get a "boring"?!)  For the purpose of my own clarity and also for a little accountabillity, here's what I'm hoping to accomplish:

- Totally re-do my bedroom...Like most moms I know, my bedroom is totally neglected and the bane of my existence. I'm not kidding. I'm talking cleaning, organizing, painting, and new furniture. (Do you think Ikea will accept Monopoly money? Cause unfortunately that's the only kind I've got at the moment. Hmm, note to self...find some money.)

- So, along those lines: find/make some money, preferably doing something I love. I'm really wanting to do a stationery shop on Etsy...it's just a matter of finding the time to sort out the details and get it set up. I'd also love to get back into interior redesign!

- Practice homeschooling. yep, I'm planning to homeschool my oldest next year for kindergarten and we're easing into it by doing some preschool-type activities here at home (I just pulled her out of preschool and now I have to make sure I replace it with some fun stuff.)

- Find more time to be creative. It seems like most of my creativity these days goes towards making my kids happy. That's probably how it should be, but it seems like a happy mom is important too. Must...find...time...to...blog, decorate, design, craft, create. My own creativity tank is pretty empty these days.

- Accomplish all of this while being SuperMom. I don't think that's asking for too much, is it?