Saturday, July 31

Red, White & Summer Free Downloadables

Here are a few downloadables from the party if you want to create your own summertime party...

Thank you Notes
Here are some simple little thank you notes that emulate the red and white bunting from the party.

Thank You Notes

Food Labels
These are just basic cards that you can write your own menu items on.  Attach with red clothespins and you are set.

Food Labels

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Monday, July 26

Embroidery Hoop Food Guards

I can't claim credit for this idea.  It came from the ever-fabulous Martha Stewart.  The only thing I can claim credit for is spray painting the hoops red to match my birthday party.  However, I am now a huge fan and will be using this for all outdoor gatherings.

Cost... minimal. Effort... minimal.  Keeping bugs off your food... priceless.

  • Embroidery hoops
  • Red spray paint
  • Cheesecloth
  • Remove the screw from the embroidery hoop
  • Spray paint both hoops, covering completely
  • Replace the screw
  • Cut two pieces of cheesecloth larger than the embroidery hoop.
  • Place the cheesecloth, double layered, between the two hoops and tighten until secure
It's that easy!

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Sunday, July 25

Red, White, and Summer Birthday Celebration

Well, our month long of celebrations has finally ended.  And the concluding event was a birthday celebration my husband threw for me.  It started a little hectic as the weather was not cooperating.  We planned the event for outside, and the morning of the party, we knew there was a 40% chance of thunderstorms at 5pm, exactly when we were scheduled to start.

     4:00pm:  Start setting up outside. 
     4:30pm:  Winds pick up and begin watching sky nervously
     4:45pm:  A few drops fall, so move everything inside
     5:00pm:  Guests arrive, reminding me why we were having the party outside
     5:30pm:  Realize that outside is beautiful and everyone pitches in to move the party outside

Perhaps it is because I am a July baby with ruby red running deep within me. Perhaps it is because red, white, and blue prevail this time of year. Perhaps it is just the image of red and white picnic blankets. Whatever the cause, I wanted a playful red and white party that embraced summer. Thus, this party was born.

It was a great night.  The kids had a great time on the playset while the adults relaxed on the deck.  The menu was simple... a Burger Bar.  My husband fired up the grill and we put out a variety of ingredients so that everyone could have their own custom burger.  We even included a few suggestions to help folks out.

Suggestions for Burger Creations

I was allowed a few hand-crafted details, but only a few.  After all, my husband was throwing this party.  Some of those additions included red clothespins with food labels and wrapping the utensils and napkins in fun polka-dot paper (Michaels) and a little red and white baker's twine (Paper and Parcel). 

Bouquet from my Mother that matched perfectly
(Funny enough, the other bouquet on the table was from another friend and also matched.  I apparently inspire sunflowers, which I loved!)

Cucumber Water and Lemonade to beat the heat

Celebrating Summer... blueberries and watermelon, plus some peppers and onions for the burger bar

Vintage Paper Straws from HeyYoYo

Red bicycle on top of a lemon pound cake  (Bike from HeyYoYo)

"Ant" cupcakes in fun red gingham cupcake wrappers (from HeyYoYo)

Sunflowers inside

Red and White Pennant Banner hanging inside (meant for outside but ended up inside due to the weather)

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Friday, July 16

I interrupt these regularly scheduled posts to offer my overdue thanks to several lovely ladies.

The Sew*er, the Caker, the CopyCat Maker was so wonderfully sweet in mentioning me in her awards for "Blogs with Substance."  I am so jealous of her sewing skills (isn't this red and blue shirt adorable), cake decorating skills (I want this cake for my husband... plus thanks for validating that marshmallow fondant actually works), and her Kid Wash.  Don't know what a Kid Wash is?  Well, you can read all about it on her blog.

Straight Stitches recognized me for "the versatile blogger" award.  Once again I am so envious of people who can actually sew.  This continues to be the primary skill I need to learn.  And besides her adorable creations, she has such a sense of humour in her writing.  Case in point... her lovely floor candlesticks and their practicality in situations with recently mobile children, a situation I am struggling with daily as my little one gets closer and closer to crawling.  (And as a final side... hooray for Virginia)

Stepping Thru Crazy also recognized me with "the versatile blogger" award.  (Sarah, if you are reading this, I so want those blue ballet flats in your header)   I LOVE this ladies tank she created.  (Have I mentioned that I REALLY need to learn how to sew?)  And her house sign... too cute, particularly since it is flanked by my beloved red geraniums.  She has so many diverse projects that you can never get bored.  And she does it all with three daughters.  Absolutely amazing.

Thank you ladies so much for your recognition.  I greatly appreciate it and can offer no excuse for my tardiness in expressing my thanks.

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Wednesday, July 14

Happy Birthday To Me

This is what greeted me for my birthday today.  Those cupcakes... pink champagne cupcakes my husband made.  A little parade of pink fluffiness greeted me when I walked in the door tonight, accented by a beautiful floral bouquet my mother had left for me.  I am one blessed woman.

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Tuesday, July 13

Red, White, and Summer

For those of you wondering when this became a party blog, this is my life these days.  In exactly a one month period we have my husband's birthday, my daughter's birthday, our wedding anniversary, and my birthday, not to mention Father's Day and the Fourth of July.  Needless to say, we have had a number of cakes (or cupcakes) recently.

Generally my birthday celebrations have been low key due to summer plans.  Don't get me wrong... they have been wonderful birthdays.  But last week my husband and I were talking and I decided I wanted a party this year.  Since that was two weeks before my birthday (and since we left on vacation the next day), it will be a relaxed gathering.  The rules:  I can dictate the theme and ideas, but my husband is throwing the party and I can only do as many "details" as bring me joy and not stress.  I am a blessed woman.

Here's the inspiration:

Row 1:  Martha Stewart Classic Lemonade;  Poms from Etsy; Red Gingham Oilcloth; Bicycle Cake Topper from HeyYoYo
Rows 2&3:  Chocolate Dipped Rice Crispy Popsicles from Twig & Thistle; Evite Picnic; Martha Stewart Pretzel Sparklers; Martha Stewart Classic Burger; Red Stripe Paper Straws from HeyYoYo
Row 4:  Paper Flag Bunting from Etsy; Red Balloons; Firecracker Flowers from BHG; Red Polka Dot Oil Cloth

I'll share more as it comes together in the next week.  I hope you are all having a lovely summer (or winter, depending on your hemisphere).

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Sunday, July 11

Apple Red Beauties

I have a current love affair with red.  Just look at these Apple Red beauties.  They are part of a project coming up soon.  I had great fun spray painting them this afternoon.  And after enjoying the glorious red of the clothespins, I found myself looking for even more red around me.

This is an easy project.  Just spray paint one side, let dry, flip and paint the other side, let dry, and done.  Loveliness to enjoy in so many ways... maybe hanging clothes, maybe for other purposes.

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Friday, July 9

My Dancing Princess

Forgive me today, but today is a sentimental post.  My baby girl just went to her first ballet class tonight.  I am so excited.  You see, here is a little background on me... I love to dance.  I danced all growing up and through high school, finally settling on jazz as being a friendlier style to my body build than ballet.  Pre-children I took some adult dance classes.  And even last summer I took a Latin Broadway jazz class in my third trimester (quick secret... all the hip moves were great for working out the pregnancy soreness in my back).  I think all the pirouettes then are the reason my baby boy still loves being spinned.

So, it was with great excitement that I took my newly three-year-old to her first ballet class today.  She was riot.  At the moment, she loves dancing.  I am sure the day may come when she tells me that she doesn't want to dance, and I'll accept that day and encourage her as she finds her own passion.  But in the meantime, I am loving watching her twirl in those leather ballet slippers with her tutu swirling around her.

Fresh off of a boating vacation, I promise to bring craft projects back soon.  Until then, have a lovely July...

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Saturday, July 3

Twirling Tutu

My Twirling Tot

This is the last birthday-related post.  However, I realized that I never shared the birthday girl in her "birthday tutu."  She wore this over her swimsuit when her friends arrived.  She wore it later with an orange and white tank top.  And she's worn it many times since to play around the house.

I had no idea how easy making a tutu was... just tulle and elastic, and absolutely no sewing.  I looked at a couple of different tutorials to come up with my own design.  However, one of the best tips was Treaure for Tot's cutting method.  I made my tutu a little longer, about 13".  I cut my cardboard guide to 13" and then only cut one end after wrapping the tulle.

Summertime Swinging

Twirling and Watering the Garden

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