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Silhouette Necklaces and Portraits

There are so many projects you can do with silhouettes, in fact it's a very old, classic idea that you don't see very often anymore (especially in schools) due to large class sizes and lack of time. I do remember even my own teacher doing this for us in the second grade the old fashioned way, us having to hold still and sit in front of a projector while being traced onto a large piece of paper. And let's face it; in large numbers, this old process is not real practical.

So, for our busy life styles, and for a more modern approach, with yet the same result, this can be done by digital means.

Being that silhouettes are my favorite, I took on this large project with my daughter for mother's day gifts for over 60 children. So that they could be left with, hopefully, a similar memory that I have of elementary school, and so that parents could rekindle this very old but familiar craft.

         We would love to help you create some memories as well. If you'd like to buy a silhouette portrait please visit My Etsy Shop

Paris Themed Birthday Party

For my daughters 18th birthday we decided to go for the Paris theme, including all the pink and all the elegance we could fit in to one room.
Below are the cakes I made for this party.

Military Themed Birthday Party

For my son's last birthday we decided to give the party an entire army look....starting with the face paint.

And in the "Mess Hall" there were some classic turkey sandwiches for all our "fighters".

We added some green food coloring and fake flies to our water to give it a little more of an authentic feel.

 These signs were perfect to place all around the house- especially in the certain places the kids weren't supposed to be in.
 "Basic Training" was the obstacle course the kids had to get through while carrying/wearing heavy military gear.
Cakes I made for the party.
After the Obstacle Course
For this game I told my friend she could be the drill Sargent for "Drill Sargent Says". She really did have fun with telling the kiddos that drill Sargent said to get down give her 15 push ups and then 20 jumping jacks. The funniest part was the fact that the kids were completely willing to do anything she wanted them to.
The kids had a lot of fun with this game. We picked six kids to be the "wounded soldiers" on one side of the front lawn and all of the other children were standing on the other side in two teams. Then the relay race started: Each team would take their blanket, run to the wounded soldiers, wrap them up in the fabric bandages that were in the blankets, and carry them to the other side in the blanket. The first team to get three wounded soldiers to "help" won the game.
My neighbor let me borrow all of his military gear for the kids to get all dressed up in for this dress up relay race.
One more game that fit into the "Basic Training" category.
 For our pinata, we had all of the girls and smaller kids line up first and the bigger boys line up last. We didn't know that it would be the littlest girl there that would decapitate our pinata completely with the stick. :)

4th of July Porch Decor

Happy Fourth of July everyone! Get creative, be patriotic and decorate your porch to show your appreciation to all those who have fought for our freedom.

The bottom buntings are handmade from fabric I had on hand, all sewn to some spare ribbon. We get really heavy winds out where I live, but these decorations have held up year after year.

 We also had fun decorating the flower beds and planters...

Our dogs were having fun too. You can find similar hats like these on

Jungle Themed Birthday Party

My son turned seven this year and, monkey that he is, he wanted a jungle theme.
So we started by turning the house into "a jungle" with some streamers and fake trees. Then we also burned a CD of different jungle sounds that sounded so real, one of the kids wouldn't come in the house until he saw that it was only a CD.
 Face painting was done right when the kids arrived to the house- they got to choose between a tiger or a zebra- and then they got to eat.

The punch was a wild tropical flavor that we mixed up ourselves on a whim. It really was delicious.
 This was a game we made up called "Don't Wake the Monkey". One child would lay and pretend sleeping with a banana in front of them, then each child took turns, very quietly, and tried to steal the banana without the "Monkey" knowing. If they successfully stole the banana it was their turn to be the monkey and so on and so forth.
This game was very popular among all ages.
This handmade photo op served as a game too! When we were done taking photos with it, we gave the kids a ball and had them try to toss it through one of the monkey faces.
Here is birthday boy standing by the cake I made him. The trees and the fondant animals were all edible as well.
 In the photo below are all of the party bags we gave the kiddos and in the photo above is the candy that went into the party bags and the jars that also served as decoration.

Pencil Vase

This was a really cute idea that I got online and then changed it up a bit to fit what I wanted it to. When I finished the entire vase, I filled with flowers from the kids and gave it as a teacher appreciation gift.

The Inside
I found this vase at the dollar store- and made sure it was about 1/4" shorter than the pencils I was using (also a package from the dollar store).  Then I wrapped a line of double stick tape around the vase and then stretched two rubber bands above the tape.
The pencils were inserted between the two rubber bands, so that one band was on the outside and one was on the underside (flush against the vase.)
The Outside
 In my opinion the rubber band on the outside of the vase wasn't very attractive. So I covered it up with some red ribbon, and then some "ruler printed" ribbon.
The Finished Product
To gift this- find a cup that fits inside of your vase and can be easily removed. That way it will be easier to change or add water without getting the pencils wet.