Monday, 30 May 2011

Planning Mason's 3rd Birthday - Gathering my thoughts...

We (Mason & I) had a discussion about his birthday which is coming up in September - I know, it's over 3 months away but those months go quickly! - and when given a bunch of options decided he wanted a super hero party.  More specifically Superman , Spiderman & Batman :)

Last night I spent a little bit of time looking up ideas for cakes and invitations and there are some great ones out there!  Clearly I'm going to have to incorporate red, blue, yellow and black... no problem (ha!)

Here are a couple cakes & invitations that are fantastic (but I saved the best for last... ):


Friday, 27 May 2011

Baa Baa Black Sheep Toddler Backpack

I'm often inspired to create things when I can't find what I'm looking for in stores.  Last year I saw a little girl with a cute animal backpack and wanted something for my little guy.  When I couldn't find anything I liked I went to work creating my own.  At the time I was (and still am) in LOVE with felted wool and ended up creating about 10 different ones and gave a lot of them to family & friends as Christmas presents. 

My felted wool toddler backpacks
Everyone who's seen them has gone crazy over them but they're an insane amount of work - some of the faces alone take me 3-4 hours to do because they're all hand-sewn.  So I thought I'd test out an easier and faster craft felt version done entirely using the sewing machine.  I think it turned out pretty well!

My Baa Baa Black Sheep Toddler Backpack
(c) Jacs Of All Trades 2011

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Go Bananas for Guilt-free Ice Cream

I came across this post a little while ago that said you could create 'ice cream' from plain old frozen bananas.  I found the idea intriguing and bookmarked the site.

Last night my baby girl had a fever and I thought it might be a perfect time to test out whether bananas could be a delicious (healthy) cold treat.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Wall Graphics - 3 DIY Options

I love Facebook.  It has allowed me to reconnect with fabulous people who I've met throughout the years.   One of those people is an old friend of mine from high school who just moved into a new house with his family. He sent me a quick message yesterday asking if I had any ideas/tips for painting on a kids wall.

Here are the three easiest ways that I know of:

1) Using a projector to create a mural

You can use one of the old-school projectors that your teachers used to use.  Or if you have a projector at work, you can hook it up to your laptop at home and project straight onto the wall that way too (this also skips the 'creating a transparency' step).

This is the least expensive method (provided you don't go out and buy a projector!) and the primary benefit is that you have complete control over the creative because you can use any image that you like.  The drawback is that it can take a lot of time if your mural/images are detailed and if you aren't comfortable painting it may seem a little daunting.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Hand-painted Birthday Card (no artistic skills required)

We had a birthday party yesterday morning and the night before I realized I hadn't made the card! I'm not an artist, my drawing and painting skills are pretty rudimentary but I try not to let that get in my way when I'm doing things!  This is my quick and non-artistic way to create a hand-painted card for a little boy.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Kid-Bits Craft: Handprint Flower Bags

I was at my friend 'A's place right before Mother's Day, she always has amazing ideas and she did this really cute craft with the kids that completely inspired me.

I love the idea of having a piece of your little ones with you, but it's hard to find ways to do it that don't look silly on a grown-up! 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Avery's 1st Birthday - Final Update!


I've missed posting so much over the last couple weeks!  Unfortunately, the work that has kept me away isn't done so it's likely my posts will continue to be sporadic for the next while.  However, while I had a little time tonight I thought I'd show you how things turned out.  I don't have many pictures and the ones I do have aren't great quality - but they'll do :)

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Last Minute Mother's Day Gifts

I've been living in bookkeeping hell for the last while (it turns out our bookkeeper last year was horribly incompetent) and then found out this morning that the situation is worse than we thought.  In any case, my limited amount of free time to post fun things and to get ready for Avery's party is going to become even more limited (yikes!) but one of my sisters is coming to stay with us for a week (isn't that incredible?!) to watch the kids so that I can work on the bookkeeping thing... somehow I'll have to find time to get the rest done too although I know the postings will take a back seat to everything else, so my apologies in advance.

Since Mother's Day is only a day away I realized that I need make something for my Mom!  I tried a kid craft tonight based on a great idea that one of my friends came up with using kids' hands.  However, it's still in the beginning stages and I won't know if it worked until tomorrow.... which will be too late for you to try it too.  With that in mind, here are a couple ideas that I'll likely choose from if mine doesn't work out!

Fresh Flowers
My mom loves flowers.  Rather than buying a bouquet and giving it to her straight from the store, I prefer to do a little rearranging and put it in a vase/container of my own.  It doesn't have to be a big bouquet, just a beautiful one.  (Ikea & Dollarama have pretty and inexpensive glass vases)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Planning Avery's 1st Birthday: Part 4 - Party Favours (Girls)

We have 5 little girls (not including Avery) ranging from 3 years to 6 years coming to the party.  I wanted to have party favours that would be equally appealing for all the girls and I think I've found the right mix.

For Mason's 1st birthday I put together little loot bags that I thought were cute.  In retrospect they were like any other party favour - trinkety toys in a bag that were fun for a couple minutes but would likely get thrown out when the kids got home.

Since then, I've tried to put more thought into what I pick out. For example last year I made personalized shirts for each little person who came to Mason's 2nd party.  I don't know if they got worn (!) but there was at least more time and effort put into them as well as a higher chance that they would be used afterwards.

For this party, I tried to do the same thing - choose party favours that have a little more intrinsic value.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Cake Decorating 101 - Part 7: Advanced Decorating Techniques

Last but not least!  Here is another set of videos that demonstrate some great decorating techniques that I have yet to master, but when they're used properly they create spectacular results.

Intricate Piping & Lace Extensions