Sunday, February 15, 2015

Blue and Gold "Pow Wow" Banquet

I love Scouts.  I have 3 boys and plan on spending a lot of time in Scouts.  I am currently the Unit Commission, Scout Committee Chair and the Wolf Den Leader.  Did I say that I love scouts?

I wasn't in charge of the Blue and Gold Banquet this year, but it turns out that two of my best friends are the Cub Scout Committee Chair and Cubmaster, so I got to help plan the banquet.  

Feathers, arrows and all things tribal are kind of a big deal in decorating right now.  What a better theme to have for cub scouts, than a Pow Wow!!!

I designed the invitations in Photoshop elements.  We wanted to use blue and gold, but more specifically gold glitter and add other colors of blue.
For the envelopes, I cut a feather on my Silhouette Cameo and added a little washi tape.
Centerpieces on the tables were wooden tree slices.  We had mason jars with beads tied around the top.  Inside the jars were feather arrows.  Some were blue, others were white or natural color with gold glitter tips.  Along with the jars, we either had antlers, succulents or teepees.
We decorated this backdrop with craft paper and washi tape.  
I also made a few basic dream catchers.
I made a make shift teepee out of just 1x2 boards and some twine tied at the top.  I used old white sheets to cover it.  The leader who was presenting our Arrow of Light awards had the fake fire... it was the perfect touch.
Our main course was navajo tacos.  I didn't snap a shot of those.  For dessert we had donut holes with an arrow through them.
We also had teepee cupcakes with gold and blue sugar.  They turned out sooo cute!
We had a little "tee pee" trail mix snack.

We had a craft table where the boys (and family) could decorate a headress.
There was also a station where the boys could shoot the bow and arrows at a target.
And I really can't take credit for much!  My partners in crime really pulled this off and made it a fantastic night!!!

PS... my oldest son earned his Arrow of Light at the banquet and is moving on to Boy Scouts!!!  I'm excited to start on this new adventure.
PPS... red pants looks awesome with the yellow scout shirt!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Video Game/iPad Birthday party {Terreria, Madden, MInecraft, Crossy Road}

For my son, Joren's, 9th birthday, he wanted a "late night" video game party... meaning a bunch of little boys come over and eat and play video games all night.  Sounded good to me... cheap and easy.
I created the invitation in photoshop elements.  I found a blank iPad template.  I had him text me a fake conversation... I took a screen shot of it and put that on the invitation.  Then I put his 4 favorite games at the bottom of the screen.
Whenever I have a party, I like to decorate the dresser I have in my kitchen.  Because it was a hodge podge of iPad games as well as playstation games, I decorated with all things gaming.  I had a banner left over from Brenner's Minecraft party as well as the Steve head.
I also put out remote controls on the tables, Skylanders, stacks of games, etc.  Joren had bought a football gum dispenser that he just had to decorate with... it worked out great because Madden was one of his favorite iPad games as well.
Brenner made this "Eye of Cthulhu" giant cake ball... that's something from Terraria.  
 And Joren insisted that his cake was his armor on Terraria... He also insisted it was made of fondant.  So, I baked 3 tiny square cakes and covered them in fondant.   Then, I tediously cut fondant squares and stuck them on the cake.
 I used mostly green and black because that was the minecraft colors and seemed to go with everything.  I made some torches for the table and also had Skylanders in the middle of the table.
 For the party favors, I got these little square buckets at the dollar store.  We put zombies and light sticks in there (both from Terraria).  We also put coins because, well, most video games have you collect coins in some way.

Aside from the fact that having a bunch of boys at my house late at night when I'm tired, it ended up being a fun party!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Themed Bridal Shower

Before my cousin's wedding, we had a bridal shower.  It made complete sense to use the decorations I had been working on for the wedding to decorate for the shower.

Here is an overall view.  We hung the fabric garland and one of the banners on the window.
We used one of the table center piece groupings on the table.
 And we used one of the table runners we had made out of music book pages.
We just had a variety of sweets for dessert and for party favors, we put a few chocolates in a small cellophane bag topped with a doily and some ribbon.

 It was really quite convenient to use the same decor for both:)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Book-themed Wedding {LDS reception on a Dime}

I have 3 boys... I'm never going to be able to plan a wedding.  So, when my cousin got engaged, I jumped at the chance to be able to decorate for her wedding reception.
 I was asked to decorate this wedding reception as cheap as possible.  The reception was held in an LDS chapel gym.  If you aren't familiar with the LDS faith, many people are married in the temple in the morning, then have a reception at the local church in the evening.   This couple actually had both the luncheon AND the reception in the gym.  So, in decorating, I had to plan on decorating for both.  I came up with the idea of a book-themed wedding.  Jessie loves to read and so does her husband Adam. I did a lot of shopping at yard sales and thrift stores and did a lot of borrowing as well.
Jessie and Adam chose the colors of royal blue, silver and peach.   The centerpieces were different for every table.  They all involved a royal blue frame, a grouping of books, flowers and usually some sort of glassware.  We used white table cloths which we were able to get from a linen company for free (family owned).  We were able to borrow silver overlays for the tables and silver chair ties from a friend of the family.
 The flowers were mostly purchased from the Dollar Tree (to be honest, I couldn't find peach flowers any where else in St. George).   I bought all of the frames at yard sales for $1 at the most.  The spray paint was the expensive part, but I only think I used 3 cans for everything I painted.  I bought most of my books for 50 cents or less from thrift stores and yard sales.
 I had a lot of glassware, milk glass, candle sticks, etc.   I used what I had and bought anything I liked at yard sales and thrift stores.  I also borrowed a few things.   I bought peach and royal ribbon at the Joann or Michaels.  We used silver and blue mints on several of the tables as well.
I found small peach flowers on clearance at Tai pan and was able to get foam balls at the dollar store to make peach balls for the glass dishes.  I lucked out and found 16 small frames at a yard sale for $2.  I painted them silver.
In the entry to the gym, we had the guest book table.  I actually got the table for $5 at a yard sale and found the silver paint on clearance at Home Depot for $2.50.... score!  On top of the table, I made a paper table runner.  I taped book pages together on the back side.  Then I used this lace Martha Stewart punch to punch a lace trim all along the edge of the book pages.  The items on the table, were picked by the bride and groom.  They wanted their favorite books and their Dr. Who cookie jar.  They also wanted advice cards to go in the cookie jar.  Their guest book was made by Jessie's cousin, Sally.  I made the flower pens.  
I made the advice cards and a sign to let people know they needed to write advice.  They are a free download here and here.
Behind the table I made a "dates" chalk frame.  The frame was something I had picked up at a yard sale and painted silver.  The chalk board was from Home Depot... already painted with the chalk paint.  All I had to do was have my hubby cut the wood to fit the frame.  Then, I had to write on it in chalk.
 Along the wall when guests walked in, I had a photo display.  I hung white paper doilies with a photo in front of them.  They were hung on silver twine with silver glitter clothes pins.  I had the twine, bought a few doilies and found the glitter clothes pins on clearance at Joann.  I also made a banner that said "Once Upon a Time" out of the same Harry Potter book I used for Brenner's Harry Potter Birthday party (Jessie and Adam both love Harry Potter).  I had lace for the banner, and the book.  I only had to buy the scrapbook paper to cut out the letters.. and even some of that I had already.
The dresser itself was one I have in my dining room.  I already had most of the silver frames at home, or I picked them up from yard sales.  My sweet hubby cut out the book letters for me.  I had a scrap of chalk board left from the "dates" sign and I happened to have a frame that it fit in, so I used that to make a sign with their last name.
 We made a very simple backdrop for the happy couple.  During the luncheon, the couple and their parents sat at these tables.  During the reception, we took the tables down and the couple stood in front of the back drop.  The backdrop is just music pages taped to the wall.  I made the peach swag out of scraps of satin, ribbon, tulle, etc.  They are just looped over the ribbon.  Then I  made the other banners by folding the doilies over the twine and sticking them together with a glue dot.   Some have a flower attached too.
 My hubby also cut out these book letters.  The vase behind the ampersand was to hold her bouquet.  There is also another paper table runner on this table.
The other side of the gym was the serving table.    I used books stacked up with trays and platters on them.  I also put any other decor I items I had left over that we didn't use on the table.  The banner above the food table said "Happily Ever After"... food brings happiness, right? And there was nothing I could really do about the ugly blue curtain on the stage.
The photo booth was very similar to the couples backdrop... without the peach swag.  We used dictionary pages taped to the wall.  And we hung a frame from the basketball hoop above with twine.
 Next to the booth was a little dresser with the photo booth props in a vase and a sign I made in photoshop.
We used a hashtag so that we could easily search pictures people posted on social media.
And here I am with all of my girl cousins on the Williams side of the family.

Now... let's talk about organizing!  I am a school teacher.  Jessie got engaged at the beginning of the summer and her wedding was at the end, so it gave me the summer to work on the wedding.  However, she got married the Saturday before school started.  So, not only did I have to decorate for a wedding reception, but I had to set up a brand new classroom... super stressful week.  I knew this would be stressful and that I would probably have to rely on other people to do the actual set up.  I had to be super organized.  So, I (and my cousin Libby, the bride's sister) put all of the centerpiece groupings together ahead of time.   We took pictures of each center piece, labeled the pix and packed them in a labeled box.  

I also drew pictures of the gym with the layout of how I wanted to tables set up.  Everything was in a binder with the supplies they needed to set up.  While I was working all day Friday before the wedding, several people went to the church and had almost everything set up before I got off work.

Another great organizing tip, we actually not my idea.  Jessie lives in Salt Lake and I live in St. George and the wedding was to be in St. George.  So she set up a facebook group to plan the wedding.  Every idea that I had, I could post on the facebook group so she could see pictures of it and tell me her opinion.  That worked out really nice.

All in all, I think it turned out nice.  Yes, there are things I would have done differently, but it was a nice wedding on a shoestring budget.  I didn't completely add everything up, but I would say all of the decor came in under $150.... not that's amazing!

Also, I claim to have done everything, but my cousin Libby helped a lot and also my friend MinDee.  Thanks you two!!!

Oh, and I want to thank my friend Brandy for the pix!  She was the photographer for the wedding.  The pix that look good in this blog post are from her... the crappy ones are from my cell phone... lol.  I was too busy to get out my nice camera to take pix.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Harry Potter Birthday Party

My 10 year old son just recently decided he liked Harry Potter.  He made a goal to read all of the books before his 10th birthday party.  He made his goal and we planned a Harry Potter birthday party for him.
 As you walked to our house, I tried to have the porch set up like the train station.
I made a platform 9 3/4 sign for the door using my Silhouette.
 I set out vintage suitcases, a white Hedwig owl in a bird cage and even a broom.
I decorated everywhere with as many candles as I could find as well.
When you walked in the front door, I had a banner hanging that said Hogwarts. I made the banner from an old Harry Potter book.  I cut the letters out on my Silhouette using the Harry P font.
 In my entry I have a little alcove.  I made it into my Honeydukes candy store.
 We had jars of all sorts of Harry Potter candy.  I got the labels for the jars from Two Delighted.
 More candles, Harry Potter books and another owl.
I had empty treat bags so they could fill their own up.
 Just inside the house was the sorting hat.    I made the hat just by covering a witch's hat with brown fabric and hot glue.  I made a sort of pocket inside to put a walkie talkie and had my hubby on the other side of the wall assign houses.  I made the ties but just glueing felt stripes on felt ties.  When they were sorted into the houses, they were given the appropriate tie.  I got the tie pattern and tutorial on The Brilliant Crafty Type.
 I bought cheap glasses on Amazon and every kid had their own pair of Harry Potter glasses.
I had a table mostly just for decor with more candles, a quidditch cup trophy filled with golden snitches and some fake Quibbler magazines.  I got the free printable for the magazines on Just Sweet and Simple.
 I set up a table that was Olivander's wand shop.
  Brenner and I made wands for everyone out of wooden dowels, hot glue, seed beads and paint.  I think the best tutorial I found was here.
I copied a book of spells and made covers and book marks out of felt and ribbon.  I got the potions book printable on Just Another Day in Paradise.

Outside on the back patio I set up the potions class. 
 Brenner insisted that everything had to be edible.  So we got different liquids... juices and sodas. then we had different stuff to go in them like pop rocks, kool-aid powder, etc.  We got our potions class idea from Puddle Wonderful Learning.
I made a potions book with the recipes inside.
I had recently been cleaning up our science lab and came across some awesome old bottles.  I filled them with colored water and just had them sitting out for display.
I think this was the kids' favorite part of the whole party.
 After potions class, we played a game of Quidditch. My hubby and I made the hoops out of pvc pipe and small hula hoops from the dollar store. We pounded rebar into the ground then just put the pvc pipe over the rebar.
The team that won got to share the Quiddich cup and the "golden snitches (truffles)" inside.
 After quidditch, we came in the house for cake and ice cream.  
Brenner's cake was a snitch cake.   The cake idea came from Home Stories A to Z.

I had to have more cute owls in cages:)
 I set up the table with tons of candles. We closed all of the blinds and made it as dark as we could in the house.
Brenner loved his party. He planned everything and helped me make most everything too.