From the Sweatshop

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Priya's 13th Birthday

My very sweet neighbor Priya wanted her 13th birthday party to be crafty.  One problem:  Priya's mother avoids shopping and crafting at all costs.  One trip to Michaels was enough -- they were in need of a professional.  Perfect!  Planning and teaching crafts to 13yos is my kind of thing.  Priya and I had a planning meeting and then went on a little shopping trip to Joann to choose supplies.

The crafts . . .

. . . decorating locker frames . . . plastic frames + puffy paint + paint pens

. . . covering corkboards . . . corkboard + fabric + ribbon + buttons and flowers and beads + hot glue

. . . decorating tin buckets with springs and feet . . . bucket + paint + hot glue + feathers and pipe cleaners and flowers and puff balls and beads

. . . and later decorating composition books (didn't get any photos of those).

The girls were all so busy creating they extended the party into the night.  They had a great time and made some great crafts.  Happy Birthday Priya!  I loved helping with your party.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary

So when I started planning Mom and Dad's 40th Anniversary Party I was looking for a theme.  I asked Mom what flowers they had in their wedding . . . BLUE daisies.  Maybe they were a lovely choice in 1970, but I don't do blue daisies.  Daisies are white with yellow centers.  Like this:

And this:
And this, and this, and this:

Brad and Melissa made beautiful daisy cookie sandwiches.  (I hear it took Brad awhile to do it right.)

The menu:

Apricot Glazed Chicken Skewers
Salt-roasted Beef Sandwiches with Red Bell Pepper Aioli
Blanched Veggies with Parmesan and Balsamic Reduction
Greek Couscous and Bean Salad
Wheatberry Salad with Raisins and Pistachios
Caprese Skewers

Chocolate Cake Pops
Daisy Cookie Sandwiches
Vanilla Cupcakes with Whipped Creme Fraiche

Congratulations Mom and Dad!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rachel's Bat Mitzvah

I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work on this project with Rachel and her family.  About a year ago they asked if I could create the centerpieces for the tables at Rachel's Broadway-themed Bat Mitzvah party.  Each table had a different show as a theme:  Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie Get Your Gun, Mary Poppins, Hairspray, Wicked, and for the kids --- The Wizard of Oz.

Centerpiece details . . .

Annie -- the inspiration was Annie's red dress with the white sash.
  • red table runners with a white ribbon going down the length of the runner
  • red painted terra cotta pot with a white ribbon and bow
  • orange gerbera daisies to emulate Annie's orange curls

Fiddler on the roof -- think Sunrise, Sunset
  • sunset colored overlay for the tablecloth (pink to yellow)
  • silhouette of the fiddler made of foamcore, spraypainted black and coated in black glitter
  • sunset colored pot
  • peach carnations
  • four orange light orbs

Annie Get Your Gun -- wild, wild west
  • navy and yellow bandana overlay
  • cowboy hat
  • yellow flowers

Mary Poppins -- carpet bag, umbrella
  • a beautiful tapestry-style fabric as an overlay
  • The Disney Store carries a Mary Poppins umbrella, complete with the parrot-head handle
  • small glass vases filled with tulips and the extra tulip leaves wrapped around the stems

Hairspray -- huge cans of hairspray flank the stage in the final scene of Hairspray, think pink, glittery, totally over the top
  • Halloween was a great time to look for bright, glittery fabrics -- a hot pink glittery number made a great tablecloth overlay
  • battery-powered light strings under the fabric added light, as did
  • four pink light orbs
  • a large can of hairspray was easy to create with two large tomato cans spray painted purple and glittered pink
  • a terra cotta pot spraypainted white was the lid
  • pink and white carnations topped off the can 

Wicked -- green and black
  • the table overlay was a shiny black fabric made of little squares
  • a black broomstick (found at Halloween) was a perfect centerpiece surrounded by green and black glitter tulle
  • three small vases of bright green-dyed daisies and 
  • three green light orbs completed the theme

Wizard of Oz -- inspiration was easy: yellow brick road, Dorothy's ruby slippers, lollipop guild
  • green table runners with yellow brick road fabric meandering down the table
  • terra cotta pots spray painted red and dipped in red glitter
  • primroses flowering with lollipops

All in all a huge success and such fun to plan!  Thanks Rachel and family!
And thanks to Nat for helping me set up!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ethan's Mario Party

Check out this snazzy mustachioed bunch.

Nine kids in hats and mustaches -- it was too cute.  Thanks to my friend Jamey and National Karate I had the perfect place for Super Mario Bros. inspired games.  And just to be clear, its "bros", not "brothers" according to my boys.  I had a great time making things for this party:  Mario and Luigi hats for the guests, a Bowser costume for Pete (complete with spiked turtle shell and a hat with horns and a red mohawk), and a colorful pennant garland.  We had our very own Princess Peach, who came with her own costume from a dance recital, and a Koopa Troopa that was perfect in a TMNT shell from a Halloween clearance a few years ago.

Games included two obstacle courses where the kids could earn gold coins and stars.  The coins were hidden in balloons, around the room, and given out randomly by the cast of characters.  I had no idea 1st graders would have such excellent hula-hooping skills!  Toward the end of the party we totalled up the coins and stars and the one with the most got to choose from the prize bin first.

The cupcakes looked like spotted mushrooms.  I don't think any of the hungry, sweaty kids looked at them long enough to notice.

Thanks much to all of my helpers:  Chrissy, Lauren, Nate, Christina, Pete, Luke.  We all had a wonderful time!

Posted by Picasa

Valentine's Day Party

Bingo, crafts, pizza, cookie decorating -- What a great time we had at this 3rd grade class Valentine's Day Party!  The mood for the day was set when the kids arrived at school to find their room decorated with felt heart garlands and pink tissue paper puffs.  

The kids were very busy (and quiet!) with their crafts.  Making "lovebots" using empty cans and a variety of old toys and recycled bits and pieces was a very popular craft.  

Sewing was also very popular, a lot of the kids made little heart pillows with felt and other fabric scraps.  Fortunately we had a lot of moms around to help.
The "snowcupid" station was so cute!  Love the feathery wings on this one.
YUM!  Happy Valentine's Day
Thanks AP and parent volunteers!
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 14, 2009

Joyful Pink Ballerinas

Emma's 5th Birthday was perfect!

The girls were in awe of the very lovely Lauren.

We kicked off the party by decorating tutus with flowers, feathers, and heart stickers. 

Lauren taught the girls some important ballerina moves and danced with them to a fabulous selection of Disney princess songs, Hannah Montana, HSM, and some Jason Mraz.  The looks of adoration and concentration were so precious!  The girls tried so hard to be just like Lauren.


After all that hard work the girls needed some cupcakes and ice cream and a little creating.  We colored angel ornaments and created snow-ballerinas.  And then some more dancing!

I hear that all of the little ballerinas slept very well that night.  Thank you Lauren for doing such a great job teaching ballet.  You are one of my very favorite people!

Happy 5th Birthday Emma!