Beatles Yellow Submarine Photo Prop Tutorial

If you’ve been around here for a while you know my sister and I like to go all out for the nieces’ birthday parties (ahem ahem). This year proves to be no exception. After some convincing and bribery we talked L into having what we’ve been calling an “Octopus’s Garden” Birthday Party. But really it’s more of a Beatles Bash/underwater fun extravaganza.

We knew we wanted a yellow submarine for the kiddos to take silly pictures with and then of course I had to make my obligatory birthday picture outfit. I went with this magnificently mod number. Fun fact – L was totally against having the ruffles in the front and after much reasoning and pleading I finally offered  her one solitary m&m if she’d agree she’d wear it for the picture. She said “Fine!” like it was some crazy arm twisting and after I had it sewn up she was in love and didn’t want to take it off. Which of course I knew she’d like it silly girl why won’t she just trust me to begin with!

To make your own yellow submarine photo prop pull up the original to have for a frame of reference. We used this one.

Then we used a cardboard we had saved from our last Ikea purchase and freehanded the basic shapes.

We decided we would make it more simple and just use a few colors: yellow, white, blue, red and pink which was a mix of red and white. And then I decided to outline it in black which I think added a lot. I highly recommend marking the color areas. I may have painted the white part yellow first oops.

After letting it dry we cut it out with the junkiest scissors I have since cardboard is great for wreaking scissors. We held it up for pictures but we’re planning on taping a few yard sticks to the back for the actual party to set up a photo station.

We’ll probably use this shot that my sister got on her phone (and of course I had TWO cameras out including my DSLR but of course this is the ONLY one where everyone is looking the right direction). And yes that’s the Egg Mad, Walrus and the octopus who owns the garden ;)

The Hunger Games Party

This weekend my friends and I had our Hunger Games party. I made 12 different types of breads to represent 12 different districts. I made a few fun Hunger Games banners using this font and hung a bunch of silver parachutes from the lights (I’ll be sharing the tutorial for that soon). Oh and yes that’s charcoal on the table. Costumes were encouraged, doesn’t Daniel make a lovely Haymitch?

Heidi was reaping Katniss, awesome right? I was Venia complete with gold “tatoos”. And Linda came as another Katniss complete with a gigantic bow, arrows, color appropriate back pack filled with the stuff that Katniss’s area back pack came with. Umm yeah awesome right?

We also had the male tribute from District 5 and Effie. There was a Prim, Buttercup the cat, a daisy, two Mutts and for a short period Lady the goat.The music maker was Foxface you can see his shirt below (it said Foxface on the back) and he kept on joking that he was just going to sneak into the party grab food and sneak out.

Heidi made this beautiful flaming cake, I was supposed to have a sterno but I kind of forgot to we resorted to a tea light. I made some sugar cookies in the shape of Katniss’s kills -bunnies and squirrels.

My sister made these awesome Fruit Cornucopias.  And the silver in the background are some adorable parachute party favors that Heidi made. We also had Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls that I pretended were groosling balls, “Lamb” and Dried Plum Stew with Wild Rice, Katniss’s roasted roots (white and sweet potatoes), Cheeses of all sorts of course courtesy of Prim’s Goat and crackers.

I had a cookie decorating station so that everyone could practice their Peeta style camouflage cookie decorating. That was a hit with the kiddos. Heidi made these cute awards for the costumes.

I also had a weapon’s making station with odd and ends and old packaging material where everyone could create deadly tools to use in the arena.

And I put out a scrabble board with “The Hunger Games” on it and throughout the night people added other Hunger Games words. Oh yes I made the naughties Mutts. They asked if it said “I love the Hunger Games” and I said, yeah something like that. It was so much fun!

Also if you haven’t gotten a chance to enter Heidi’s HG paper doll giveaway what are you waiting for?

Customer Appreciation Pic: Olivia the Pig First Birthday Party

We got back into town late last night and I’m still feeling all groggy. So while I get myself back into the swing of things I hope you enjoy these fun customer appreciation pics of this cutie in my Polka Dot retro style ruffle baby jumper!

This was from this little lady’s party last year (I know I’m so behind) and her mama ordered another outfit for her party a few weeks ago. But I realized I hadn’t ever shared these ones and they are so cool!

I just made her polka dot ruffler (the outfit in the first 3 pictures) but I think her party looked so stinking fun that I wanted to share all the shots she sent.

Seriously I think I need to do a costume change at my next party. Doesn’t everything look amazing!

And isn’t she the cutest? Love love love the ruffles and the fabulous boots.

And of course what party isn’t complete without a pony. Pure awesomeness, I can’t wait to see how her party went this year! Check out my other vintage inspired baby jumpers and more in my shop!

Girly Circus Birthday Party

Once upon a time a little girl turned 2. She had a super fun party but then Halloween orders struck and I forgot all about the pictures until she was close to turning 3 yikes! So before L has another birthday party next weekend here’s a little of what we did last year, it was super cute and yummy.

I made a fun birthday banner using a cool circus font that I found at 1001freefonts. My sister made all these really cool tissue paper pom poms and she hung them from her porch covering. It looked awesome.

Who doesn’t love food on a stick. The strawberries were so cute and my mom and sister just did a little round of tissue paper and a bow for the double stuffed oreos. With just a little cute tissue paper over chucks of styrofoam a quick and easy little stand was made. And I was so impressed with the kiddos, the strawberries were polished off super fast. They also made chocolate covered marshmallows on lollipop sticks too but they were melting so they stayed in the kitchen.

It was a good old fashion hot dog BBQ.  Hot dots, homemade buns, popcorn, potato chips and grilled zucchinni.

They made these stinking adorable “ice cream cone” cupakes. They were so cute. Cones with cake in it and frosting on top so they looked just like ice cream cones but they were really the biggest cup cakes you’ve ever seen (or ever given a bunch of preschoolers). Man she’s grown up so much in just one year!

My mom pulled out the cotton candy maker that she’s had since we were little and it was a huge hit. We just rolled up some colored paper for the handles and the kids drooled over the spun sugar.

I made a few games. Soda cans covered with paper and numbers. The idea was to stack them and throw a bean bag to hit them down. I also made a bunch of bean bags with numbers and thought the kids could throw those into hulu hopes. They were still a little too young for these games (they were 2-3 at the time) but I think this year it would definitely work.

In addition to the games we set up a craft table where the kids could make masks out of paper plates, feathers and other goodies. This went way better than the games. Seriously I think crafts at birthday parties are awesome.

Of course there was good old running in the grass, presents opening and hanging out with good friends. And last but not least they gave everyone cute sweet inspired temporary tattoos. Look how little Langdon was! Now he’s got a new brother, holy cow how fast things change with little ones and just one year.

And just in case you weren’t around last year to see my masterpiece of an invite, here it is again.  Next up, princess strawberry party.

Strawberry Princess Birthday Dress & Invite

Those of you who have been around here for a while know that my all time favorite thing in the world is to dress up my nieces and husband and take silly pictures of them. It takes a lot of work since I make their outfits, and then the photo, and editing so it’s mostly a tradition saved for birthdays and Halloween. But we all love it. The musicmaker was resistant at first but he has fun.

L’s birthday is this month and she wanted a strawberry princess party. When I asked her a few weeks ago what she thought about Uncle being her unicorn and holding a strawberry in his mouth she threw up her hands and yelled “forget it” it was quite hysterical. None the less I asked again the next week and she was fine with the idea. Almost 3 year olds right?

T was awesome. She told L that she looked so pretty, fluffed her sleeves and spread her skirt for her. What a great big sister. I felt like I had a sneak peek at what L’s wedding day will be like some day. When I told my friend Heidi this she said that she’d pay to see Daniel in a unicorn costume at L’s wedding. Bwahahaha.

I’m pretty proud of my princess dress. I made it kind of big because I feel like these girls grow a mile a minute and I’m hoping she can get some wear out of it. I put elastic in the back to add extra room for growth. I think the unicorn hat is goofy but does the deed. And even better they both were made totally from fabrics I had around that had no purpose yet.

 Any ways these are some of my favorite pictures from the invite ‘photo shoot’.

Star Wars Birthday Party

Our little friend Stryder is obsessed with Star Wars. And his mama the super crafty talented Jana of Stray Button went all out. She made the family costumes and had a bunch of kid activities. I was so impressed. The party was really fun and the games, unlike most party games, were accessible to the little guys. There were some great ideas that would be fun for any Star Wars birthday party.

First she had Jedi training. Each of the kiddos got a card and when they “passed” the training they received a sticker on their card. The first training was just like when Luke was training in the first movie. She made this awesome paper mache thingy on a string. It was fabulous.


At the next station the kids were supposed to move the objects with the force. She had this big plate and magnets underneath so it looked like they were moving it with the force. Clever eh?

For the last station the kids threw a bean bag into the death star. And she’s so smart she put a bowl in the hole so you didn’t have to go find the bean bag or move things to get behind board. She even had cute little prompts for the adults manning the stations to read.

When they completed their training they were rewarded with lightsabers. Just fun noodles cut in half with black duck tape on the ends. I think these homemade lightsabers were ingenious. The kids had a blast beating eachother  play fighting with them.

Her cake was adorable. A bunch of lightsabers, blueberries and characters. Isn’t she so cute?And I’ve never seen this kind of pinata before but it was awesome. Darth Vader of course but instead of trying to get 3 year olds to beat it open they took turns pulling on a string and one pulled the latch open. And what’s even better you can reuse it or have it in take just for fun later.

We split a gift with my sister, but I couldn’t resist and make him a Star Wars Lego Stormtrooper shirt as well. My tute on how to do freezer paper stenciling is here and here’s my new and improved tute.

(picture borrowed from Jo)

It was really fun, and the cutest part was that the dads (and the Uncles) seemed like they had their dreams come true in a Star Wars party.

Super cute Star Wars party. Great doable ideas and activities at Rae Gun Ramblings

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


Party Planning: Garden Party Colors

I know I said I was going to do a yellow and gray theme for my party/backyard summer decorations but I went to the fabric store to pick up some stuff and I really wasn’t feeling any of the gray and yellow prints. Then I saw the brown funky floral one (second from the bottom) fell in love and next think you know I was walking out with all of these. Yeah we already knew I had a fabric buying problem (see here. I’m really excited about these fabrics now lets see if I’ll actually get anything made before the party this saturday ;) Hopefully these with a few I had on hand will become table cloths buntings and pillow covers.

Pinned It and What’s Your Favorite Lovey Dovey Song?

 (fabric flags stiffened with elmer’s glue from Oh Happy Day)

Even though it’s quite a bit after the fact we’re having an anniversary party next week. Here are a few ideas I’m throwing around for decorating and eating and such. I think I’m going to go with a yellow and gray theme with some of the stuff intended for long term patio/backyard use. I ahem haven’t actually started making anything or settled on a menu yeah I know only a week a way I probably should have more things decided upon, I guess that’s what I’ll be doing this weekend. If you have any ideas I’d love to hear them.

(lemonade bar from Kojo Designs)

I love the idea of having a lemonade bar. How fun and cute would that be. I’m thinking berries, mint and watermellon puree.

(vegan smores from Vegan Lunchbox)

Also I’ve been trying to convince the musicmaker into getting a fire pit so that we can roast hot dogs and marshmallows to make ‘smores. We’ve got some vegan friends so I’m excited to try out this vegan smore recipe (if I have time to find/make vegan marshmallows) in addition to good old traditional smores.

(summer rolls by Fuss Free Cooking)

I’ve got the wrappers and I’m going to experiment with these this weekend. I’m thinking traditional (shrimp, pork, rice noodles, lettuce, carrots, cilantro) and vegetarian (asparagus, tofu, carrots, lettuce, rice noodles, cilantro) and of course my peanut sauce. Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions for stuffing.

 (pennant flags and tissue poofs by katelandersevents)

Also if I have time I want to put together a lovey dovey play list. I’ll need 4-5 hours of songs and I’m running out of ideas if you can think of any love songs -super obvious, old, new, super unusual, whatever- I’d love you to leave a comment because I need a lot more songs. Thanks in advance! A

Butterfly Birthday Party Part II: The Food

To me besides the company, a lot of what makes a good party is the food. We had loads of fun prepping the table and eating the food at T’s butterfly birthday. One of my favorite buffet decorations is actually not found on the table. I love hanging things from the ceiling. This time we hung butterflies that we cut out of scrap book paper that we used in a lot of the decorations through out the house.

I was lucky enough to snag some awesome tree clippings that I grabbed from in front of the local grocery store while they were trimming their trees. After sticking some more cut out butterflies on them I thought it made for a really darling centerpiece.

My mom made the cutest and most delicious vegan pudding ‘dirt’ cups topped with darling butterflies. She also whipped up this really tasty white bean dip. Seriously I called her up today to ask her to make me a batch because I’ve been craving it since the party.

My sister whipped up our trusty cowboy caviar and some pigs in a blanket, because all parties should have pigs in a blanket. At least that’s what Al Roker said when he suggested the specialty for Will and Kate’s wedding. Can you even imagine?

As if the pudding wasn’t enough my mom also made these cute dirt cupcakes. Do you see those butterflies and flowers? She made those too, aren’t they adorable.

We had two salad options, a Blue Cheese Avocado Cranberry Salad and for our vegan (and non-blue cheese eating) friends a Strawberry Pine Nut Balsamic Vingerette Salad.

The naughties helped to make really cute butterfly cookies (you can kinda see them in the first two pictures, they are on the top tier of the wire stand). I made some marshmallow pops. Seriously who doesn’t like a puffy marshmallow dipped in chocolate on a stick? Yeah that’s what I thought but my sister also made some delicious fruit kabobs and guess what the kiddos reached for first, the fruit, awesome huh?

Finally as an attempt to have some real food I whipped up some good old Mac and Cheese, birthday girl’s request, as well as a Vegan Creamy Pesto Pasta dish. So that’s the food. We had loads of fun gorging ourselves. I was thoroughly stuffed and had a happy tummy. Let me know if you want any of the recipes. And if you missed part one of the party you can see it here.

Butterfly Birthday Party Part I: The Fun

Little T turned the big 0-4 last week and we had a fancy butterfly party. Isn’t my hubby the best Uncle ever?! Oh how I love to dress them up and make insane pictures.

I made a bunch of felt butterfly wands that were passed out when people came in. (I love how they came out. I took pics of the steps so a tutorial is coming.) Get the full tutorial here.

While we had lots of fun making and eating food, today I want to share all the non-food related party stuff, because let’s face it the food deserves a post of it’s own.

This was the first party that the kiddos were old enough to try to do activities. We did two. The first was this cool butterfly craft. It wasn’t messy, I wasn’t scared of kids spilling glue, or getting ink or paint on my stuff and it was really fun.

If you want to do it you’ll need

  • paper plates
  • scissors (just one pair for the grown up)
  • double sided tape
  • adhesive googly eyes
  • pipe cleaners
  • foam sheets
  • foam shape stickers or other stickers

(this is the first one L made, I think it’s SO cute)
You cut the plates in half in a design and then help the kids take the pieces of plate to a long piece of foam. See how you’ll get the basic butterfly shape. Have them pick out and add the pipe cleaner and googly eyes and let them stick whatever else on it they want. You can curl the pipe cleaners too for a different look. This entertained the two year olds and the 10 year old (and one 30 something year old ahem Kelli).

Next we played ‘pin the butterfly on the flower’. The musicmaker drew a giant flower and we stuck it to the wall. The kiddos got these cool fairy butterfly stickers to use.

They had so much fun. They all took multiple turns and raced through the stickers. Some with so much more accuracy than others that we were reminded how we would totally peek when we played the game when we were young.

We sang happy birthday and opened presents. T squealed with delight opening every present in such an insane flurry that all of those pictures were crazy blurry.

And of course we enjoyed just hanging out, lots of grown up chatting, kiddo dancing and kid wrangling. I’m pretty sure Langdon is going to be a football player when he grows up.

All the kiddos were sent home with these flipping cute butterfly goodie bags that my sister and the naughties made up. All they did was by decorate clothes pins with googly eyes, pipe cleaner antennae and clip them to those small zip top bags. Thanks to BakedBree for the cute idea.

It was so much fun, it really makes me want to have more get-togethers more often.  Anyways check back in on Friday for the food post.

UPDATE: Click here to see the part II of this post, the food.