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Birthday

In Birthday, DIY, Graphic Design, Parties, Silhouette on
January 31, 2018

Camp Ethan (aka 5th Birthday Party)

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you probably saw little sneak peeks of Ethan’s 5th birthday party decor in posts and Instastories! Birthday party over the weekend was a success! Last year’s theme was dinosaurs and this year’s theme was camping/hiking/adventure/the great outdoors/all of the above! I like to do things more uniquely (I blame it on the only child syndrome) so I thought getting his friends together for a hike at his favorite hiking spot would be special and different. It’s always a gamble with a winter birthday but we sure lucked out! Weather was perfect! 75 degrees of beautiful sunshine!

 

 

As guests arrived at the trailhead, Ethan passed out little scavenger hunt snack bags to his buddies. This simple DIY project was created using a regular home printer and small kraft bags. You can certainly use colored bags to match party colors. I created the design/list with a design software program, loaded the paper bag one at a time, and sent it to my printer. I loved the little mountain graphic so much that I decided to make it his party “logo” and used it throughout the party decor. A great way to create visual cohesion!

The hike portion of his party was a little crazy with 15 kids, of which 8 were 4/5 year olds running WAY ahead of the group! Then you had the “me-do-it” two-year-olds wanting to walk the trail but at half the older kids’ pace. Fortunately, we all hiked the canyon part of the trail together and all the kids did great scaling the steep canyons! At the very top is a viewpoint overlooking a lagoon and ocean views in the distance. Totally worth the hike up! The kids LOVED it!

After the hike, we headed to the party space half a mile away for some pizza, small bites, and of course cupcakes! In a previous post, I shared about a DIY doormat I created to greet our arriving guests. Welcome happy campers!

The majority of the party design and decor was incorporated in the party space, which was the perfect size and layout for our group! The kids played in the main party room while the parents had the option of also hanging out in the adjacent lounge area.

As with all of my parties, I start my planning with a focal piece (aka the main party table). I was inspired by super cute camping style wrapping paper by Averie Lane that I spotted at a local makers market. I knew framing these sheets would help “fill” the table in both directions, horizontally and vertically. When I saw the black and white buffalo check pattern, I fell in love with it! It is on trend and immediately incorporated that pattern into the design palette. The party colors were: black, white, various shades of green, and brown.

 

 

Party planning can get expensive so if you can get some stuff for free, dooooo it! For example, in December when we bought our Christmas tree, I picked up leftover cut tree slices in various shapes and sizes. On our frequent neighborhood walks, I gathered pinecones. All of these were great pieces that brought a nature element to the party decor!

 

 

One of my crafting goals this year was to learn how to make and decorate with royal icing. I don’t normally make cookies without a reason so this was the perfect (and also a little risky) opportunity to try it! Luckily, they turned out pretty good! I used Wilton’s Moss Green gel food coloring for the #5 cookies. With leftover royal icing, I added little dots which created a fun textural look. To carry the buffalo check pattern, I painted horizontal and vertical stripes using Wilton’s Black gel food coloring mixed with vanilla extract. Pretty and tasty cookies! Check that one off my crafting bucket list!

 

 

For the kids’ table, I kept the decor simple because A) the kids will undoubtedly make a mess within 7.32 seconds of sitting down and B) we would be doing a craft later and didn’t want to crowd the table space. I had the light bulb idea of having my printer print animal tracks on a table runner (cut from a $1.50 Michaels’ kraft paper roll) but alas, I am just full of great ideas that just aren’t possible. Apparently my printer can only print sheets, not rolls. LAME. Well, I ain’t letting that stop me in my tracks (ha!), so I grabbed a Sharpie and black markers and colored in my own animal footprints! Take that HP Officejet printer!

 

 

Sometimes the simplest decor pieces are made with stuff already found at home! I saw these cute paper tents on Pinterest and with the help of my handy hot glue gun, I glued a piece of scrapbook paper to trimmed bamboo skewers. So simple and totally fits the theme!

I have two Tolsby frames from Ikea that is seen used all the time for events and weddings. It’s a great way to provide information like menu items or table numbers and pull in theme elements. In this case, I didn’t have anything important to share with the guests. They are kids 5 years old and under after all! And they can’t even read! Ha! I used the frames as a way to pull in theme colors and another excuse to repeat the logo.

 

 

Last but not least, the party favors! I try to focus on this piece a lot for kid parties primarily because it’s very common to get goodie bags with party store items that I end up throwing away after a month. Confession: I have thrown away some favors right after getting home from the party. T-shirt party favors is actually the first thing that popped to mind for Ethan’s party. I think it’s because it’s all I remember from going to tons of summer camps as a kid. Shirts are from Jiffyshirts.com, which has a great selection, the best pricing, and fast shipping! I will definitely use them again. My Silhouette CAMEO cut out the decals which I then ironed onto the shirts.

While the kids didn’t wear these during the party despite my husband’s request, we did pass these out as kids headed out from the party. Again, I reused the mountain logo with a little modification and added “Camp Ethan” in very tiny font on the side of the mountain. I’m hoping these will last for awhile until the kids outgrown them!

All in all, this might be my favorite birthday party I’ve thrown for my kids. Loved being outdoor with Ethan and his buddies! Happy 5th Birthday E!! We can’t wait to see all the awesome things you do this year!

 

In Cardmaking, DIY on
August 28, 2017

Same but Different – One Statement Piece, Two Different Cards

 

Two of my closest friends were each celebrating their own special occasions…a 6-month anniversary and a birthday! So that meant it was card-making time!

I came across this adorable cut file by Lori Whitlock (Silhouette Design ID#62270) and this fun design by Megan Hardy Designs (Silhouette Design ID#195787) and knew I wanted to use them both for my friend’s anniversary card. Earlier this year, I  purchased the map patterned paper with no immediate plans for it. I just knew I had to have it. #craftersproblems but don’t you agree that the print is so dang adorable?! My friend and her hubby love to camp, explore, and ride bikes so it was a perfect background paper for their card. Even though the grey and olive green angled cardstock pieces were simple additions, not only did they pull in colors from the map print thus creating a cohesive look but they provided a framework for the remaining pieces. The “Love the Adventure” piece popped nicely against the grey and the bicycle was placed at an angle as if it was riding up an olive green hill. The heart balloons provided some counterbalance as well as color to the card.

Since I just adored the bicycle with heart balloons, I cut out those pieces again with my Silhouette CAMEO to see if I could create a different card…this time for my other friend’s birthday. This time I changed up the orientation and created the card to be upright. This allowed for space above (so I added more balloons) and below the bicycle (I added the sentiment ribbon) . The mint-colored scalloped circle plus two linear strips of pink washi tape reinforced the bicycle as the card’s focal point. Since there was a variety of color in this card already, I opted to embellish the card with a sparkly touch (gold sequin plus two tiny rhinestones on the “Happy Birthday” sentiment).

This was a fun card-making challenge! I learned that subtle differences in layout, layering, or embellishments can really create a different look in the cards even with the same statement piece (in this case, the bicycle with heart balloons). Although I did not intend to make two cards with the same statement piece, I’m so glad I did! Such a good exercise to expand one’s creativity. I wonder how many different cards I could have made with a bicycle and heart balloons?!

 

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In Birthday, Cardmaking, DIY, Silhouette on
May 17, 2017

Pineapple Shaker Card

 

A week ago, I arrived on the beautiful island of Oahu. I soaked up the sun and ate my way through Waikiki (I had no car otherwise I would have hit up North Shore shrimp trucks or Island Snow shaved ice in Kailua)! I felt my pants were getting tighter each day because I just kept eating and eating. #noregrets

Hawaii appears to be the place to be as my mother-in-law was also in town to celebrate her birthday! Um, can I go somewhere fabulous for my birthday every year? Sigh! Soooo, it was only fitting to make a fun tropical-style birthday shaker card! Shaker cards really take your handmade cards to the next level. Not only is it fun to shake as if it was a maraca, it looks fancy-schmancy (aka it looks like you spent hours on it but ya didn’t!).

Never made a shaker card? For those with a Silhouette cutting machine, follow along this tutorial to see how easy it is!

Supplies needed:

  • Download Silhouette Design ID #83612 by talented Amy Robison (whom I met on my Silhouette Summit trip!)
  • Download Silhouette Design ID #192829 by Daniela Moscone
  • Cardstock in green, coral, khaki, and white
  • Patterned cardstock (for card base) or feel free to use anything you have
  • Shaker filler materials
    • I used sequins in gold, silver, light pink light orange
    • Tiny rhinestones. I used a mix of Silhouette rhinestones and leftover ones I purchased from Michaels
  • Dimensional adhesive
  • Fabric or regular washi tape
  • Brown fine-tip marker
  • Clear acetate. (HACK: This is going to sound weird but it’s resourceful…I use the clear acetate that comes with dimensional stickers or clear stamps. Be sure to use ones that are truly clear and unblemished.)
  • Foam tape (I purchased this one which is available in many local stores)
  • Tape runner (this is my go-to crafting adhesive)

 

Make the card base:

  • This is a standard 4.25″ wide x 5.5″ tall card. So the card base measures 8.5″ wide by 5.5″ high and then folded in the middle.

Make the white cutout layer:

  • In Silhouette Studio, cut a 4.125″ wide x 5.375″ high rectangle. Then, drop in Design ID#83612.
  • Right click on the design and “ungroup” the various pieces. Delete the middle and left pieces. What you have left is the pineapple top (the stem) and pineapple bottom.
  • This step is optional: I modified the pineapple top by deleting (anchor) points near the bottom to give it a shorter “stem”
  • Next, move the pineapple top so that it rests right above the pineapple bottom (the oval shape). Right click to group.
  • Then, resize the grouped pineapple piece so that it would be almost as tall as the card.
  • Ungroup the pineapple piece and “cut” the pineapple top” and “paste” onto a blank Silhouette file. This is because we want the pineapple top to be cut on a different paper. *See last step*
  • Now, you should be left with just a rectangle and the oval-shaped pineapple bottom. This will be your “shaker window.”
  • Using white cardstock, send to Silhouette with the appropriate cut settings.

Make the background design for the shaker window:

  • I used leftover yellow scrap paper that was larger than the shaker window
  • Center your cutout layer on top of the card base to determine where to place the yellow scrap paper underneath. Once you find the perfect spot, use tape runner to adhere the yellow scrap paper to the card base.
  • Next, set your cutout layer down over the card base+yellow scrap paper. Hold down firmly so that the cutout layer doesn’t move.
  • Take the brown fine-tip marker and draw in pineapple design on the yellow scrap paper. Be careful not to run marker too close to the cutout layer otherwise marker will bleed onto the white cutout paper.

Create shaker window:

  • Trim the plastic acetate if necessary. Ideally, it should be 0.5″ larger than the cutout.
  • Apply tape runner to the inside perimeter of the cutout
  • Set the plastic acetate on top and press firmly. Tada! You’ve created your shaker window!

Add shaker filler material:

  • On the background design, glue on a few rhinestones and sequins. These will be static embellishments. Why?? The reason why I do this is because it keeps the card visually interesting. Otherwise, all the sequins are all bunched up on the bottom of the shaker window.
  • Next, cut little strips of the adhesive foam tape and place them on top of the plastic acetate, following the oval shape of the cutout.
    • TIP: Offset the strips about 0.125″ from the cutout edge so that you don’t see the foam tape from the front of the window.
    • TIP: Make sure to have the foam tape pieces touch from one end to another. This way the shaker filler won’t fall out of the window.
  • On the background design, drop in your filler materials. I used sequins of various sizes and colors.  Make a little pile in the middle of the background design.
  • Take your cutout layer that now has the foam tape and set it over the card base.
  • Press firmly where the adhesive foam tape is to securely close the shaker window.
  • Add adhesive foam tape as necessary at the corners of the cutout layer. This will make your entire cutout layer “pop” from the card base.
  • Once you have ensured your shaker window is secure, shake your card to see the filler material move around inside the window. Fun, right?!

Add final embellishments:

  • On top of the shaker window, add a strip of washi tape. I used fabric because it was a new material I wanted to try out and I like how it brings a different texture to the card
  • The circular “have a sweet birthday” tag was created using Silhouette’s Print and Cut feature. Adhere to card with dimensional adhesive to give it a layered look.
  • Next, cut and add two hibiscus flowers and tropical leaf from Design ID #192829 to tie in the tropical theme.
  • Lastly, remember when we saved the pineapple top (stem) onto a separate Silhouette design file? Cut the design using the same green paper as the tropical leaf. Use adhesive tape runner to adhere it above the shaker window (pineapple bottom).

 

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In Birthday, Cardmaking, DIY, Silhouette on
April 14, 2017

Hamburger Birthday Card

 

Here’s a fun birthday card I made for my brother-in-law. I’m always looking to create something different and a little whimsy so I thought…why not swap out a typical birthday cake with a hamburger! A delicious-looking one in fact! Hamburger cut file is from Silhouette’s Design Store (Design ID #10634).

This easy project was a great way to use up paper scraps. Did you know you can put all your scraps on the cutting mat and have the design cut in one run? YES to time-saving tactics! Just place your scraps in various corners/sides of your cutting mat and make sure the design is approximately in the same spot in Silhouette Studio®.

Now, I’m off to get myself a burger!

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