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Friday, May 30, 2014

Father's Day Craft Ideas

As per my style, I used to come up with crafty ideas for Father's Day.  Now that I am divorced, I kind of just look over that Holiday as just another day.  But since the day is coming up, it's a perfect time to toss in some of the gift ideas I created in the past.  I can't remember all of them but here is a few that I was able to find pictures of.

In 2008, I created the above basket.  I pulled all the pictures I could find of my kid and his dad and prepared these little sayings as if my kid was thanking his dad for something to go with each picture.  I then purchased his favorite beer, ribbon and basket to finish off the look.
  • Birth Picture - Thanks for loving me from the day I was born.
  • Group Picture - Thanks for just being you.
  • Fishing Picture - Thanks for teaching me to fish.
  • Holding his son Picture - Thanks for always supporting me.
  • Jumping on Dad's belly Picture - Thanks for letting me walk all over you.
  • Wrapped in Blanket Picture - Thanks for keeping me warm.
  • Sleeping on Dad Picture - Thanks for keeping the monsters away.
I can't remember the rest of them because it's been such a long time ago.  You can use any picture and just come up with something cute to go with it letting the child thank his father for something creative and special.

In 2009, I just purchased a picture frame and took four different pictures of the kiddo holding a sign he colored.  After it was finished it said...I Love My Dad.
  • Picture 1 - Kiddo holding a picture of the word "I"
  • Picture 2 - Kiddo holding a picture of a heart.
  • Picture 3 - Kiddo holding a picture of the word "My"
  • Picture 4 - Kiddo holding a picture of the word "Dad"

This one I think was around 2011 when the little one was old enough to write.  I was showing my kiddo some ideas of what to do for his dad for fathers day and he jumped at the chance to make this.  It was chocolate...what kid wouldn't?  My kiddo wrote and taped all the candy to the board himself and was very excited to give this to his dad. 
"Dad, I wanted to give you a WHOPPing 100 GRAND for a Father's Day shopping SPREE but the money slipped through my BUTTERFINGERS.  It wasn't PAYDAY and a pet KIT KAT, a trip to New YORK, or an ORBIT around the MILKY WAY just wouldn't do.  So take a BREAK as I wish you MOUNDS of ALMOND JOY as you eat this and I hope it doesn't make you ROLOover and get sick.  If it does, I promise not to SNICKERs.  I love you to PIECES.  Your little GOOBERs."   
If I remember anymore, I will update this post in the future.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Harry Potter Office Party

One year my office decided to have a Halloween decoration contest, floor vs. floor.  I have always loved Harry Potter so when I was asked to help plan something because of my creative side...Harry Potter won!  We just so happened to have an empty office across from my desk so I spent my lunches for a week creating the below master piece.

Platform 9 3/4:

I used the door as my "train" and created it using brick wrapping paper for the background and plan red wrapping paper for the train.  I added the small touches of black and yellow to create the details.  I found the map and welcome letter online and printed on stone paper to give it the old look.  One year for Christmas my aunt bought the scarf for me and I had a few people bring in suitcases to finish the look. 


Inside the office, I divided the room in half with one side was Hogwarts and the other was Hogsmeade.  Upon entering the room you were greeted as if you had just stepped into Hogwarts as a new student.  We were all dressed as witches and one was even Harry Potter.
Sorting Hat:

It was short notice so the only thing I could find to fit my sorting hat idea was the Head from the Ned's game my son had.  I cut up little pieces of paper for each house and had the staff stick their hands inside the head and pull one out.  They could then read what each house was like on the wall.  I also printed off the words the Sorting Hat sang in the books.  It was a lot of fun to see my bosses stick their hands inside Ned's nose and pull out different houses.

Potions Class:

The first class was potions. I collected every bottle I could find and made old tags to glue on the outside. I filled each bottle with crazy stuff to make it look spooky.  For this "class" I also had a bowl filled with food coloring, baking soda and vinegar to create the boiling effect. I left some of the baking soda and vinegar out so the staff could mix together and make their own boiling potion.

Transfiguration Class:

For this class, I hit my local Dollar Tree store and grabbed some growing animal tablets.  I filled a bowl with hot water and had each staff pick a colored tablet and drop into the water.  They got to watch it "transfigure" into their animal.

Charms Class:

If you know me, then you know what a HUGE fan of Woody I am. He helped me out by becoming the charms teacher. The Dollar Tree had tons of magic tricks so I placed them around woody for everyone to try a charm trick for the rest of the class.

Care of Magical Creatures Class:

I used boxes and cut paper to make cages to hide the stuffed animals the girls brought in as our "creatures."  The cages on the wall is made out of paper as well and taped to the wall. I used an empty baby wipe container and made it look like a monsters mouth and filled it with gummy worms. The staff got to stick their fingers inside and try to figure out what creepy creature was hiding in there.  

Divination Class:

Professor Trelawney was away but she left the magic 8 ball to answer any questions the staff might have.  I think everyone had tons of fun with this old, but still a classic, toy.  So many questions were asked and answers given. 

Professor Umbridge's Office:

We were lucky to find a pink chair in one of the office's that I "borrowed" for the day.  One of the girls brought in all her cat figurines and I printed up the proclamations for the wall.  My son had a sword from his private costume so we used that as The Sword of Gryffindor.  One of the girls dressed in a pink suit and pretended to be the Professor.

Village of Hogsmead
On the other side of the room I was able to create what looked like store fronts out of large boxes. I cut out the bottoms and lined them on the table side by side. In each box I added tissue paper for curtains and used wrapping paper to create the inside of the store window.

Shrieking Shack:
I just used a dollar store pop out table topper as the shrieking shack with an added wanted poster of Sirius Black printed off the internet.

Ollivanders Wand Shop:
To make the wand boxes, I used pencil boxes I found for 10 cents each and wrapped them in black tissue paper.  I added a label I created to the top and also made an insert to tell you what each wand was made of. 

To make the wands, I used brown card stock rolled up and glued together.  I took a hot glue gun and created the handle shape with decorative crystals I found in a package sold at Dollar Tree.  We also put a fan behind the curtain to blow the hair of the staff members when they picked up the "right" wand for them.

Gringotts Wizarding Bank:
What is a store without money to buy anything?  Gringotts was easy to make with mint candy and fake money also sold at Dollar Tree.

Madam Malkins Robe Shop:
I added some of my old witches costumes to create this shop.

The Leaky Cauldron:

This station was the biggest hit of the party.  I had a table set up for the staff to "shop" for wizarding treats and made Butter Beer for each to take with them.

Most of the candy was also from Dollar Tree.  I made the Butter Beer with Cream Soda and butterscotch ice cream topper.

The party was a great success and my floor one first prize.  I had a blast planning and creating this Harry Potter party.  I hope you like my ideas and are able to use some of them for your own party in the future.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Gender Reveal Buck vs. Doe Party

This past weekend I hosted a gender reveal party for my niece.  This one was new for me since I’ve never heard of such a party but it seems to be very popular nowadays.  I was limited on time since she wanted to have it within two weeks.  Needless to say, these past few weeks have been busy.  I know my niece and she, like most WV gals, love the deer theme so I thought why not do a Buck or Doe party.  Finding anything for this theme was impossible so I had to create most of it.  I stuck with the original blue and pink colors to make it easier for decorations and such.

My first course of action was to design the invites so that she could hand them out.  I also created an online event page to make contacting guests a lot easier.  To make the invites, I started my search for camouflage backgrounds.  Once I found the one I liked, I copied the image onto a PowerPoint slide and then started to create the body of the invitations.  I printed four to a page on white card stock for my niece to hand out. 

Instead of a traditional guestbook, I thought it would be fun to create a wood scene and have everyone write their name on their guess as to what the baby would be (boy-blue or girl-pink) and then place in the wood scene to create a picture she could put in the baby’s book. I printed the stickers out on label paper and cut into strips to make it easier to stick on the picture.

As for the utensils, cups and plate, I created napkin wraps  to tie in the Buck or Doe theme and mixed the blue and pink together.  We had a cookout with hot dog, hamburgers, chips, dip, potato salad, pasta salad, fruit tray and veggie tray.
For the drinks, I went with blue Hawaiian punch and pink lemonade for the theme.  I also added 2-liters for those that wanted soda and bottled water. 

For the favors, I created the simple “He” or “She” chocolates bars using blue and pink sharpie markers.  As I was walking in my local Walmart, I ran across blue and pink marshmallows,  so I decided to make baby rattles.  I used a pretzel stick and added a small marshmallow on one end and the larger on the top.  I dipped them in white chocolate and sprinkled them with pink or blue.  I had so many of these that I added two to each favor bag.  This was not an easy one to make.  The marshmallows kept falling off and the sprinkles were everywhere.  I’m not sure I would attempt to make these again.

My niece loves cupcakes, so I decided to create a Buck and Doe topper with blue and pink icing.  What a mess this was but I think they turned out really well.   Make your cupcakes first and make sure they are completely cool before you put the icing on or it will melt.  I then but blue icing in one icing bag and pink in another (make sure to only fill the bags with half a can at a time).  I put both these bags into another one attached with nozzle.  As you squeeze out the icing the colors mixed together to form the swirls.

I found the Buck and Doe heart online and printed several to a page at the size I wanted.  Lay the page flat and put parchment paper over top of it.  Pour some melted chocolate into a bottle with a nozzle and start drawing the outline of your picture.  After one page is complete, put into the freeze to chill.  Once hardened, gently use your fingers to peel up the toppers and place onto cupcakes.  I made twice as many as needed because they break apart really easy. 
The Reveal:
When it came to the reveal, my niece talked about using a box with colored balloons.  I had another idea in mind.  Once I told her what I thought, she was excited to do it instead.  I made these once before for my son’s Mario party and called them Yoshi smash eggs, so I kind of knew what I was doing this round.  I took the eggs and cut a small hole in the bottom to drain the eggs out.  I put the eggs in an empty water bottle and used them for breakfast for the rest of the week.

After the shells are empty, I cleaned them out using hot water and soap and left to dry overnight.  The next day I filled each one with pink chocolate balls, sprinkles and a small piece of paper that revealed if it was a boy or girl.  To patch up the hole, use white tissue paper and glue to form a hard surface.  After one layer dries, repeat the process until the hole is covered well.  I used blue and pink tissue paper to decorate small plastic shot glasses to make a nice nest for the egg to be handed to each guest.  When everyone had their egg, my niece told them to smash them open. 
All and all this was a big party and tons of people showed up.  I had it outside because the weather was perfect and I didn’t want everyone smashing these eggs in my house.  I also only wanted to use edible fillings for the egg and not confetti because I didn’t want that to linger in my yard after the party was over.   

There was other things I did but forgot to take pictures because the past few weeks was so rushed and the day went by rather fast.  Hope you like my ideas and you use them to create your own personal touch party in the future.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cub Scout Father Son Cake Bake - Cat in the Hat

One of the things a cub scout looks forward to each year is the Father Son Cake Bake.  In our pack, the only rule to follow is that EVERYTHING on the cake must be edible.  Mothers are not supposed to help in this project and it is used as a bonding experience for the Father and Son, along with testing their kitchen skills and learning along the way.
For my son’s first cake bake (at 7 years old), he wanted to do a Cat and the Hat themed.  I did some research for them and they decided to try to build the hat out of different layers and flavors of cake and then use fondant to decorate.  Sounds simple you would think.
They started off by making 2 circle cakes each of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.  The allowed these to cool for several hours before layering them and using icing as “glue” to hold it all together.   They then rolled the fondant out and laid it over the cakes to make the hat.  This became a chore because the fondant was very thick and hard.  My son's dad had never used this before, and after this, never will again.  They then used edible paint (black and red) and took turns painting the fondant. 
My son had fun making the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 & 2, and the ham to go with the green egg gum we found at the store.   He shaped the characters just like you would while playing with play-doh and then used the black and red edible paint to make it come to life.    
On top of the hat, they created a camping theme by using fruit roll-ups and stick pretzels as a tent and used colored candy straws with cotton candy on top as trees. 
My son was very proud of his cake and the other scouts loved all the fondant!