Posted in art projects, craft projects, Decorations, Getting Organized, kids, Painting, Teaching, Uncategorized

Day 6 of Beginning Art Class

 

See here for details:
Teddy Bear Party: https://www.thespruce.com/terrific-crafts-for-a-teddy-bear-picnic-4057042?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=mobilesharebutton2

Missed a Day? Check out these also:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

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Posted in art projects, craft projects, Decorations, Getting Organized, kids, Painting, Teaching

Four Popular Art projects Your Child could Do Today: Day 4 “Savannah Animals”

Day #4 for Beginning Art Class:
Giraffes Can’t Dance: http://www.deepspacesparkle.com/giraffes-cant-dance/
Arm Giraffes: http://www.preschoolactivities.us/giraffe-craft-idea-for-kids/giraffe-handpint-craft/
Lion Manes: http://onecrayolashort.blogspot.com/2016/01/african-lions.html
Zebra Stripes: http://playcreateexplore.blogspot.com/2013/03/Zebra-print-shaving-cream-marbling.html
How to Draw an Elephant: http://artprojectsforkids.org/draw-elephant/

Ready for more?

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 5

Day 6

Posted in Decorations, Painting

“Believe” Pallet Messages

These are such good messages so I decided to make my own!

I’ve seen these lots of times on Pinterest
Like this one for example:
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And I always thought they were so clever
And when my husband brought me these two pallets
I thought, okay, we are doing this!
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They are a little different than the pallets I’ve seen before
They are both smaller and rectangles
instead of the normal square ones
They were also a bit beat up
And so I thought that would be all the better
Since maybe that would add to the “rustic” quality
And I wasn’t planning on repairing them
Which is what I should do if I was going to use them for something else

Okay, so first, I’d like to tell you that I did some cool tracing trick
And there are many that you can use
Where you print papers, trace them and then paint them
And I’ve done that also
But to be honest, I just really didn’t want to spend that long
And my printer was out of paper anyways, so hey
I just did it, freehand and there you go

I painted them in black at first
Figuring that if I messed up, I could always paint it all black
And I thought of painting it a color first
But again, I kinda liked the pallet color and roughness
So I painted the letters in black first:
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Then I painted the letters in the two different colors
I love the “double message” idea of these!imag0021.jpg
Then finally I went back and put a dot-border around each letter
Using the opposite color to accent each one
It helped define the letters a bit better,
Especially if the letters tended to blended together
(like the L and the D in “world” for example)imag0023.jpg
Finally I sprayed them down with a clear coat finish
And I hung them up on the fence!
I put four big nails on the fence in a line
So that the beam of the fence would support them
They were a bit heavy so I figured I would give them a little extraimag0026.jpgimag0028.jpg
Personally I like the blue/yellow one better,
It’s contrasted better with the wood color
But I like them both hanging on the wall
Definitely gives the fence and the yard a bit more spunk
These are hung behind where the swing set is
So hopefully my kids will read them and remember them 🙂

Posted in Decorations, Painting

Painting the fence!!!

Why paint the fence?

Because it can’t get any uglier 🙂

I’ve always wanted to do something with it
Most people make decorations
And I have done that on other fences
But this fence is right by the pool
And I was always at a loss for what decor should go here
I don’t have a huge collection of “water” things
And so it has sat for years
Big ugly fence. 🙂
Which is fine I guess
The only reason I care is that we VERY OFTEN
Are in the pool
And VERY OFTEN take pictures of kids and parties
In the pool
With the ugly fence in the background
Many times I have looked at pictures of the pool area
And thought: I should put SOMETHING on that fence
Anything really…

So then one day my friend Karen sent me this:

Painted Deck Project

And besides LOVING her backyard garden and playhouse
(I was like, okay, we are friends now, I like her)
I read this, (as you should too haha)
And I thought, hmmmmmm……..
What an interesting idea…. why not just paint it????
My husband has a LIBRARY of paint supplies…
And I have a huge ugly fence as a canvas…..

I copied the style… kinda…
I didn’t really PLAN anything per se
I just kinda drew it on
And then painted it…and repainted it
Until I liked it
This took several block amounts of time
First a couple hours to outline it:

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Then another couple hours to just COLOR it in:

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Then the hardest part was doing the DESIGNS on each flower
This made things more complicated because I would do it
And then hate it and paint over it and redo it…
This part took the longest

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Then finally, I painted green vines to twirl around the whole thing
And kinda tie it together I guess
That way it wasn’t just random flowers there
Even though it kinda is…haha…

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These are the individual flowers before the vines:

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And finally: TA-DA!!!!!!!

A few things interesting things:

The texture of a fence is very interesting to try and paint, it’s not smooth anywhere…

Creativity seems to breed creativity…which is good you would think…until doing one task gives you an idea for 5 more…and this projects seems like it might go on forever…lol

Posted in Decorations, Getting Organized, Getting Started, Throwing Parties

8 Ways to Make your Party Better

When my husband and I were dating
One of the conversations we had was this:
Let’s be the people that have parties all the time
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Now we don’t drink, do drugs or “party” in the “traditional” sense
But we do have great parties anyway
And I can honestly say that now 10 years later
We are the people that give parties all the time
And since we have four young children
These are not cocktail parties 🙂
These are birthday parties, Halloween parties, and BBQs 🙂
Someday I imagine we will graduate to “Older” parties (lol)
But until then, we throw an amazing birthday fiesta 🙂

Since I have four kids, I also ATTEND lots of birthday parties
And lots of other activities and events kid related
And so next is my list of things that I think make up a good party
These are things that I do WELL when the party goes well
And these are things I have NOT DONE and regretted it later
So please don’t think this is a “I do these perfectly” list
But rather a “This is what I SHOULD do” list
And maybe what YOU should do and learn from my mistakes and successes?
Right?
Alright, here we go:
costumes
1. Prep the Venue
My house has permanent nails on the patio ceiling
What are these for?
These are for hanging lines of balloons and sparkly hangers
They have been there for years
You know why?
Because I assume I will have a party this week
And again in a few weeks or months
And I plan things/adjustments for my house
Based on “This will come in handy at the next party”
Do you?
Having a party go well is actually much dependent on the history
The first time it’s an experiment and everything is unexpected
But the next time it should get easier
And especially if your venue is your own house
As many parties are?
You can build on prior parties! Lights, decorating, flow of people
Those are all things you KNOW about your house and your yard
And planning for those things gets easier if you build on the past

Every year (except for last year) we throw a Halloween Party
And every year I get asked: How do you throw a party like this?
The answer is simple: I don’t.
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I threw an OK party the first year
And a better party the next year
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A slightly better party the following year
And at year NINE, it’s becoming more and more of a process
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The party is a built thing
And something I construct and add to every year
I didn’t buy all the decorations the first year, or the second…or even the third
I didn’t USE certain areas until many years later

So you’re saying: But I don’t throw a Halloween Party every year
Yes, but do you have kids?
Do you plan on celebrating their birthday every year?
Then you have years of parties to plan
Welcome to the party planning club 🙂

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2. Plan your Time
The clock is ticking
The party is in an hour
And the reality is you can only do so much
At some point, the guests will arrive
And prep time will be over
So you need to work out a list of priorities:
What can be done DAYS before?
For example: Balloons can be blown up the day before and hung
(As long as the weather is not too windy)
What HAS to be done the DAY OF?
It’s probably not recommended to make the cupcakes a week in advance…
And if you clean everything a week before, it’s probably not going to last
But buying the cups and plates can be done anytime?
And the hot dogs/hamburgers can be frozen…but not the buns…
The difference between a good party and an OK party hinges on these things
And I think so many times
(And I include myself in this group)
we think “Eh, it’s just a birthday party, no big deal”
But again, great parties hinge on planning
Even small ones

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3. Plan for Anxiety

Your guests are apprehensive about coming to your party
Some of them don’t really want to come
But they will anyway.
Some of them will want to leave early
And some will
And some people won’t be attending a party of yours ever again
Because of the last time they came
And I’m sure there are people who say this about my parties too
So the best thing you can do is this:
Plan for Anxiety
Think of what makes you feel nervous about parties you attend
And think what the people coming to your house will need
Are there little kids in attendance?
(their parents will be grateful you provided them with something to do)
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Are there young parents coming?
(they might be grateful for appetizers, swim diapers and sunscreen they forgot)
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Are there older people coming?
(they might appreciate a soft chair and a quiet place to watch)
Will there be nursing mothers or diapered babies?
(at some point they will be asking you for a quiet room alone to take care of business)
You as the host need to plan and EXPECT these issues from your guests
And be ready to handle them,
Even to handle them up front
Your guests will be relieved.

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4. Plan the Entertainment

Again, this sounds silly. Entertainment?
It’s a party, of course they will be entertained!
It’s a party! Everyone will be….partying!!!
But seriously:
How are you really going to ENTERTAIN your guests?
Say we are having a swim party
Not everyone will want to swim
What will they do?
And not everyone will want to swim ALL the time
What will they do for a break?
Not everyone likes the noise and chaos of a party
Where can they go to escape the craziness?
You got a bounce house and games for the kids
What will the parents be doing? (besides being bored to death)
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Dinner is in an hour
But my kid is starving and cranky, what do you have now?
I’m being supportive but I really don’t know anyone
Introduce people. It’s a dying art. People need this so many times…

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5. Plan for the Baggage

We all know that kids require a lot of STUFF
When attending a party, the first thing I worry about is:
Where is our “CAMP” going to be?
Where will I put my bag/our towels/the diaper bag?
So that I know where it is and my kids know where it is
(so that we don’t lose shoes, underwear, toys, etc at your house)
Where will we sit comfortably?
Where will I change clothes?
Where is the bathroom?
Where is the food?
Where can I sit so I can talk to people and enjoy myself?
These are all problems that I think very often take a backseat to the cake and decorations but are some of the most important aspects of your party
People need to know there is a place for them
Both physically and socially
At your party
So often I’ve been cramped into some bench or a hot corner
Or turned around awkwardly on a couch corner trying to talk to someone
Thinking to myself: When will this party end???
Plan more seats, plan nice cool corners
Plan spots where parents can sit and watch
And myself, I have never thought I do the best job on this
I ALWAYS think I could do more
And at every party I am eyeing different areas
Trying to figure out how to make the seating and gathering better
And it’s never perfect
Because people are awkward and weird
But the better the atmosphere caters to comfort
The better everyone will get along

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6. Plan The Decor:

It sounds silly to say this
But your decorations should scream:
PARTY!!!
And if they don’t
If all you can manage is a few streamers?
Your party will instead scream:
I don’t really feel like partying and neither should you
I have been to very few parties that I felt had enough decorations
Very few….especially birthday parties…which is sad really…
Most of the time the decorations say:
I don’t want to have this party, but I guess we have to…
Party people!!! Blow up more balloons!
Get out the dangly things!
Run lights!
Make it seem like a HUGE DEAL
And everyone will follow your example
Be happy
Play loud music
Have lots of balloons
Eat a piece of cake
And enjoy yourself

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7. Plan to have things handled

When people come in the door for a party
They want to know a few things almost instantly:
Where do I put this (thing I brought)?
(In my experience, it’s like it will burn their hand off if they don’t have a place to put it the second they walk in. So have the “drop off” very close to the door so they can set it down and move on with their lives)
The next things they want to know are these:
Where is the food? (Appetizers help lots)
Where can I get a drink? (coolers front and center)
Where is the bathroom? (arrows or signs?)
Where is the party? (sound easy but you’d be surprised,
many people will feel “lost” in your house
even though common sense would tell them
to just walk toward the party sounds.  
Also, people don’t want to just walk into your house,
they feel they need permission so this is where you come in
(even though you’ve already invited them to the party))
These are all issues you need ready answers for when people walk in
If you don’t, just fake it
No one wants to feel like asking for a drink is an inconvenience or an annoyance to you
Nor do they need an apology from you about the state of the bathroom
Clean your bathroom, don’t make excuses, handle it.
And while you are at it, make sure there’s enough TP in there 🙂
(thanks ahead of time from all of us)

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8. Plan for a Contingency Plan

What happens if something happens?
What if the food isn’t ready?
What if you run out of drinks?
What if something catches on fire? (lol)
What if someone gets overheated/too cold?
What if someone gets hurt?

Now outside of calling 911 for emergency
And a ready first aid kit
The minor emergencies are going to be handled by YOU
And every party needs an errand runner
Be careful about who you choose
(the birthday boy can’t go run errands or that messes up other things)
And be careful what you assign out
(if your assign someone who is super late to bring the appetizer you’ve just defeated the purpose of appetizers)
But be ready to handle issues and disasters and last minute needs with ease
And remember that as HOST
You cannot be the one to run out for ice
Someone had to be the Captain
And you can’t be both Captain and Errand Runner at the same time
(unless you want to run away from your own party…)

And most importantly…. Have fun!
The Host sets the tone
Enjoy what you have created