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Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 | 0 comments

Spooky DIY Halloween Party Decor

Spooky DIY Halloween Party Decor

We’re throwing a small Halloween cocktail party this weekend for some neighbors and friends. So, I’m making some spooky DIY decor with my kids ahead of time. I’ll show all of the final party decor, including the tablescape, spooky appetizers and ghoulish cocktails when it’s ready for showtime. But these crafts I made with the kids needed to happen days in advance. Paper Mache Crows and Spiders We started out by looking at photos of crows on the Web. I also used this paper mache bird-making tutorial as inspiration. We crumpled up newspaper to make the main body shape and used masking tape to secure the sides. When I realized the complexity of making the crow, I suggested that we also make spiders. Those were infinitely easier for Nadja (age 4) to accomplish. We ended up with assortment of both crow and spider bodies. We mixed glue with water to make the paper mache paste. And then layered strips of newspaper around the bodies. We let the bodies dry...

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Posted by on Sep 6, 2012 | 0 comments

A Little Girl’s Homespun Butterfly Birthday Party

A Little Girl’s Homespun Butterfly Birthday Party

My friend Anne threw a sweet butterfly themed birthday party for her daughter to celebrate her 4th birthday. When she told me the theme, I pictured everyone galavanting about in her backyard near her actual butterfly garden. It rained buckets that afternoon so I was worried about how she’d pull it off in a smaller indoor space. Turns out, the entire party was planned to take place inside, so the weather didn’t matter at all. She did a fabulous job with the decorations, food, and activities – everything homemade. Incidentally, many children came wearing butterfly wings and antennae. Along one wall, she had drawn and colored a flower meadow. Then, the children were given cut-out butterflies to decorate and tape in the scene. She had made a dozen or so butterfly balloon animals ahead of time that the kids carried around and tossed back and forth. In one corner, she had set out a craft for the kids to make with beads and pipe cleaners. They threaded the pipe cleaners and...

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Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 | 2 comments

A Wild and Wonderful Winter Birthday Party

A Wild and Wonderful Winter Birthday Party

My oldest son turns 6 years old today. Of the many things I love about him, I think it’s so cool he loves to do projects around the house with me. In fact, he uses DIY Del Ray as a verb — “Mommy, are you going to DIY Del Ray this?” So of course I was excited when he said he wanted to have his birthday party at home. This meant that together we could plan the food and games, make the decorations, and “DIY Del Ray” the whole event. Since the party is in January, a winter wonderland theme made the most sense. Our plan was to decorate with cut-out paper snowflakes, make a snowman-shaped cake, and have other games and activities related to winter. Pretty simple. Space is an issue so we had to keep the guest list short — just a handful of friends and of course Jack’s best bud, his little brother Calvin. This would also be the first year for the dreaded drop-off party....

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Posted by on Nov 25, 2011 | 2 comments

Designing a Personalized Birthday Cake with P.S. Cakes

Designing a Personalized Birthday Cake with P.S. Cakes

Del Ray resident Sarah Savarie runs a home-based business called P.S. Cakes. She makes luscious cakes and cupcakes and she just created these adorable turkey cake pops for a client. I know how scrumptious Sarah’s cakes and cupcakes are first-hand because Sarah’s daughter Bea and my daughter Ana are in the same Brownie troop and we made pre-ordered cupcakes as a troop event. When Sarah said she’d have time to make Ana’s eighth birthday cake (triple layer no less!), she recommended that Ana design her own cake using fondant. There are several ways to make fondant, but essentially it is an edible icing that has the consistency not unlike play dough.  It is pliable and can be used to make figurines, letters, or you can use it to drape a cake for a smooth, clean appearance. Ana was so excited to spend time with Sarah and her two daughters on the morning of her birthday party, learning how to design a cake step by step. Sarah had made the...

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2011 | 0 comments

It’s Time to Party! Orange, Blue and Teal 1st Birthday

It’s Time to Party! Orange, Blue and Teal 1st Birthday

One year ago, my son Henry was born.  He was 3 months early and had a loooong road to recovery.  Now he’s a healthy little baby whom we’re so proud of. Saturday we hosted an open house for his 1st birthday to show our appreciation for the many people who helped us through those difficult months.  I also used it as an excuse to hone  my DIY party skills using a blue, teal and orange color palette.  Below are shots of the party.  Enjoy! Balloon walkway — so easy and fun to do! After the party the kids had a great time with them. Birthday banner and first glimpse of the food stations: Our fun balloon garland. We took a needle and threaded string through the balloons — so easy! The food mecca. It’s hard to find orange and blue food so of course I had to rely on goldfish, cheese balls and other fantastically terrible food for this party. The cupcakes are compliments of our fantastic friend, Jill Agudelo....

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