Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Halloween Assignment for A Thanksgiving Give-Away!

So I was thinking...

I pretty much LOVE Halloween. Not of the scary parts of it, but I do love getting the kids dressed up and I love checking out the costumes of the kids who come to the door, too. I have this thing about trying to dress my kids in a theme. Surprising, huh? When Ave was a baby she and Tate were Danny and Sandy from Grease. Then last year I was trying to get a theme together, but since Beckett was due less than a month before Halloween, I didn't know whether to plan for a boy costume or girl costume. Tate desperately wanted to be a I thought Avery could be a dalmation and the new baby could be a fire hydrant...ha! Someone told me that was cruel, so in the end, they all ended up being something different. I'm not going to tell you today what they're doing today...I'll save that for later, but definitely are all a group. And if I can bribe Tate into it next year, I've already got something cooked up for that, too!

Anyway, back to the reason for this post. Costumes give me ideas for party themes and for the images that I draw for some of those party themes, so I want your pictures! I am going to give you one week to send me your pictures of your cute little ones in their costumes. Next Friday I plan to post a slideshow of all the pictures so we can all get ideas for next year's costumes. Then I'll draw a name from all those who sent pics in and the winner will receive a Thanksgiving banner that will soon be available in my shop. Now, the smart thing would be to post a picture here of the banner you'll win, but that would mean I would have had to have MADE it already, and with all the orders I have the paper is still sitting here staring at me. But I will have it made by Friday and post the pic of it when I post the winner!

Now, I know some of my faithful readers don't have kids to post pictures of or your kids have long outgrown dressing up. That wouldn't be fair, would it? So here's what YOU should do. Send me a picture of either yourself from this year if you're wearing a costume or find and scan a picture of you in your favorite costume from when you were little. Make sense?

So for may post a picture of your kids (here's a pic of my kids and my nephew from last year):
Or a vintage pic of your favorite childhood Halloween costume (that Cabbage Patch Kid is me in 2nd grade!)Didn't my mom sew the BEST costumes?! She made that huge yarn wig!

So start snapping those pics and send them to me @'t forget to include your name, your child's name and what their costume is. Happy trick-or-treating!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today we'll add a little red...

I told you I've been doing a bunch of hot pink and orange parties...and I've shown the first two to you in the past few days. Today I have another one for you, but this time we're going to throw red into the mix. Zoe's mom liked the cupcake that I had used for another project, but wanted to add strawberries to the theme. No problem!
Beth said from the beginning that she wanted everything to be very bright. So with that in mind, I found the paper and got to work. Here is where we started....with the invitations:
Once those were in the mail, I got to work on the rest. LOVE how these turned out...The banner...
The cupcake toppers...
Her crown (won't she look like the cupcake queen?) and the hats...
The door sign...
Can't wait to see the pictures when this one is done!

Okay...the pumpkins are carved and I am right now in the process of finishing Avery's everyone else ready for Halloween? My friend Kelley informed me we are dressing up as '90s prom queens...THIS should be not depending on how bad it is) next week!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So I've made a decision...and you may not like it...

Let me begin by saying how awesome it has been to experience basically almost instant success with this whole PD&P thing. I never could have imagined that it would take off this well so quickly. I mean, I had a pretty good idea that if I used this kind of stuff, that others would, too. But I didn't imagine myself being 14 custom orders deep! So thank you to everyone for challenging my creativity and keeping me busy!

Now I know you're worried that I'm going to say I'm quitting. Don't worry...I'm not quitting, just getting ready to take a bit of a break. You see, Christmas is Eric and my favorite time of year. We try to squeeze every minute full of activities that we can...then when the kiddos go to bed just take some time to be together. Not that we don't do that all year, but we try really hard at Christmas to be present with our family and makes some good memories. So during the past few weeks I have been getting nervous. As soon as the kids are in bed I am working trying to get all these orders done...and let's just say my house isn't as clean as it used to be and on more than one occasion my husband has had to search the unfolded baskets of laundry for socks and underwear! :) Then there's Avery's birthday in December and I'll also be planning my friend Leah's baby shower that is the first week in January. Plus I want to get some business items in order so that when I start up again I'll be better organized and spend less time doing what I need to do to get your items to you in the quickest time possible. AND it has pretty much been decided that I'm going back to teaching next fall and I only have this year to be home with the kids. All that added with all the thinking I've been doing since my friend MaryKay died made me come to this decision.

I will not be working on any custom orders during December. If you have a party in December or early January that you would like custom items for, you will need to order them by November 15. Any custom orders taken after November 15th are not guaranteed to be mailed until January 15th.

Now, you ask anyone and they'll tell you I'm HORRIBLE at saying no when it comes to others asking me to do things for them. Completely and utterly horrible. And the thought of missing out on some orders or disappointing people is already making me more than a little uneasy. But this time I am going to stick to my guns....for my family...for my sanity...and for these huge bags developing underneath my eyes! :)

What a boring post, huh? I better throw in a couple pics of the fam to make it a little more interesting...

Did I mention Becks learned to walk last week?And here are the kids at the pumpkin patch:And for those of you who I know read GOLDENSHOP's blog and read her entry about me sending her a pic of it snowing here on Sunday...
Yes, that's snow and my nice facial expression is due to the extreme winds that accompanied it. It all melted when it hit the ground, God Bless America. But I'm guessing there will be some padding under those costumes for warmth on Friday night!

Back later with more deor!

Monday, October 27, 2008

That Funky Puppy

Another hot pink and orange theme today...its the same paper as the pink and orange theme last week...but this time the customer was having a puppy theme for her daughter's second birthday. This was PERFECT because my college BF wanted to have a puppy themed birthday for her daughter Paige, too! So I could draw one dog and kill two birds with one stone.

Quinn's mom wanted something modern looking, not just any old dog. I found one I sort of liked, but it was the wrong colors and just not quite right for what we were doing. So I drew this one, which I just happen to be a little proud of...isn't he cute?!I experimented with the colors and personalized it a bit for each of the two year olds are a few more I experimented with:Can you I tell I like him?

Anways, both Quinn's mom and my friend CJ loved the dog, so we went ahead. Quinn was having hot pink, orange, and brown for her party, so this is how her items turned out:

The banner...
Quinn's hat...
The cupcake toppers...
And the confetti...
So for Paige's party we were going to use the same paper, but since she didn't already have anything else planned (and CJ is so laid back and cool that way, she just lets me do what I want!) I found some paper that had hot pink and orange but added some aqua, which I know CJ loves and Paige looks adorable in. I made her some invitations in which we incorporated some pictures of Paige taken this fall.
Here are the invites:The rest of Paige's party pics will be posted after November 15th!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Party time again!

Okay...back to the ever going party which is my life! But first I want to say thank you to all of those who left comments, sent an email, or just said a prayer on my or MaryKay family's behalf. The wake is tonight and funeral tomorrow, so I know it is going to be a hard couple of days, but I am hoping since I got some of my moping done I can celebrate what a wonderful woman MK was and how that can make all of our lives better.

So anyway...back to the party...

I love the colors hot pink and orange together. So much so that I found an outfit for Avery's birthday that is hot pink, orange, and purple and have had it since the beginning of May. That's not weird since her birthday's not until December, right? :)

Apparently the pink and orange combo is the new "in" thing! I am currently working on 4 projects with that same color scheme! So needless to say you'll be seeing a bunch of papers used a few times, but all in a little different way.

This mom was planning her daughter's first birthday to look like this picture from Hostess With The Mostess:
She also had a few other items already bought such as these invitations from tiny*prints:and a picture frame, so she picked a font that matched what she used for those. It was fun, because she made her order right after Beckett's birthday and ordered some things that she obviously saw on my blog entry that aren't regular things in my shop. For instance, she ordered a high chair bunting (coming to the PD COLLECTION soon!) and matching ribbons to tie on her cake plate.

She didn't really have a "theme" per say, so when I was making a couple of the items I needed a little inspiration. This mom had seen Rachel from Golden Shop's stuff on this blog, too, so she had ordered a bib and a hat from her. I asked Rach what they had used for the bib, and she sent me this pic:
This wasn't Kate's ACTUAL bib, they changed it a bit with fabrics and design, but was the example they used to create it. So I drew a cupcake with flower frosting to add in a couple of places. Here is how Kate's stuff turned out:
The Banner
Somehow when I put this banner together, two backing circles got switched around in "birthday", but it is now fixed so that the two different hot pink polka dots are not right next to another circle just like them! Can I play the lack of sleep card?!?
The High Chair Bunting and Confetti
The Napkin Rings and Favor Tags
The Door Sign and Cake Plate Ribbons
More hot pink and orange tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

For MaryKay...

Sorry for my lack of entries. I have tried several times in the past few days to write about a party, and as much as I LOVE the stuff I'm trying to write about...I just can't do it. So here it is, totally personal, unrelated to anything a stranger probably cares to read about, but I don't care. If I don't say it, I won't be able to write anything else.

My friend MaryKay died on Saturday. I can't even write it without bursting into tears. It wasn't sudden, she has had an incredibly long 12 year battle with breast cancer. I actually met MK and her family 6 years ago when I was 23 and just starting out teaching. I couldn't get a full time gig and was teaching 2nd and 3rd grade reading and math half time. Eric and I decided I should look for another job. I wanted something that I enjoyed and that didn't make me "think" much. I figured I did that enough at my "real" job. So I grabbed our local paper and started reading the Want Ads to find something fun. I found a few that were interesting that I circled before coming to one for a part time nanny postition in a nearby town. I thought playing with kids sounded like the perfect job. Then I called and talked to MK. She was very blunt. She said that she had breast cancer...that she had for almost 6 years already and that it had spread to her brain. I remember her saying that she didn't want to be the only one responsible for making sure the kids were okay, even though she was sure she could. She said she couldn't risk doing it.

This wasn't quite what I had originally been looking for...a fun, no thinking kind of extra job. But I couldn't say no. Something inside was telling me I was perfect for this job and that God dropped it in my lap on purpose. I wasn't sure then whether that was for them or me, but it didn't matter. I set up an interview the next day and arrived at their door more than a bit nervous. I don't know why, but I wasn't expecting her to be the one to answer the door, or for her to be completely bald. She had just had brain surgery, so she was not only bald, but had a fresh 5 inch scar across the back of her head. After going in and chatting with MK, her husband Duff, and kids Anthony, 9, and Maddie, 7, for a while, MK told me that she hadn't worn a wig in years. She said that the only reason she would do that is to make other people feel less uncomfortable and she was kind of done with that whole thing. Now that's my kind of woman! They also told me that she had found out she had cancer when she was 30 and her kids were almost 2 and almost 4. They were the NICEST family.

We were all smiling by the end of that interview, which probably only lasted about 20 minutes. They said they would call the next day, that they had a few other people to interview, but I think we all knew it would be a good fit. You know how when really important things in your life happen you can remember what you were wearing? I know what I was wearing that day.

I only stayed with them for a year because I was offered a full time position at my school teaching 3rd grade in addition to being pregnant with my first baby. I won't go into too much more detail, because frankly I could write about that year forever. How much fun I much I hard it was to see people suffering like that. But I'm not going to. Instead, I'm going to copy the letter I wrote MK last week. That pretty much sums it up:

Dear MaryKay,

I have to type this for fear that I may not be able to get it out otherwise...I hope it finds its way to you on time.

When I was at your house visiting last week I left feeling like I hadn’t really said what I wanted, knowing it may be the last time I saw you. I was struggling with how to say goodbye...and if that was even what either of us needed.

After some more thought I have decided that goodbye is not at all what I needed to say. I know I will see you again. Of that I am sure, my dear. I figured out that what I have been needing to tell you is thank you...for so many things.

First and foremost, for sharing your family with me. Six years ago I was clueless to who the Davidsons were...but boy am I glad I picked up that Shakopee paper and found your ad. The year I spent with you was one full of fun and sad times both, but spending so much time w
ith Maddie and Anthony was something that will always be so special to me. They are great’ve done a wonderful job with them.

Secondly...thank you for so totally changing my life. When I worked for you, I was the time I didn’t have kids, but how you were dealing with the cards you’d been given was an inspiration. I saw you on days you were pretty sick, but you always had a good attitude. You tried so hard to never let your illness get in the way of spending time or doing things with the kids. I always admired your strength and outlook on life. As I have become older and had my own children, you have no idea how that attitude and parenting has affected how I am with my own kids... Tate, Avery, and Beckett mean the world to me, and although I hope I have many many years to spend with them, I try not to take for granted one second. I try to show them the good things in life and laugh often. That is one thing I’ll always remember...your wonderful laugh. We laughed a lot the year I spent with you (usually at something Maddie had said...that girl, I tell ya).

I am now approaching 30 in a few months...the age you were when you found out you had cancer. Tate is 4 and Avery is 2, the same ages Anthony and Maddie my heart breaks for you every time I think of it and what a long journey you’ve had. But then I remember that you always told me what a gift it was that you saw Anthony get on that bus, and Maddie, too. What a gift these “extra” 12 years have been, though painful to your body, so healing to your soul. Your children have grown to an age where you know they will remember who you are...and they’re going to be okay. You know that now. You did everything you could to make sure of that.

I am going to try not to make this any know I never had a lack of words, but I want to keep it short because I know you’re tired. Please just know how much I have loved knowing you and your family. Not a day goes by I don’t think of you...the kids picture still sits next to my bed. Thank you, MaryKay.

Love you all,

Yep, that's pretty much it. And now she's gone. She beat it so many times doctors stopped predicting, but we all knew it had to end some day. Although I haven't seen them as much as I would have liked in the last few years it was just inspiring and comforting knowing she was still here...and that the world still had SO MUCH HOPE. Even the last time I was at her house she was ready to go, to be done suffering, but said something about "If a miracle happens, she'd like to stay in the house they were living in for about 20 more years." :)

Why doesn't knowing someone is going to die make it any easier? if this wasn't long enough...if you want to read anything more about MK or donate anything to cancer research (It IS Breast Cancer Awareness Month!), visit her website:

because in MaryKay's own words...Cancer Sucks.Remember I said at the time I didn't know whether God helped me find that want ad for me or for them? Now I was both. Thanks, MK.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

B is for Baby in Blues, Greens, and Browns

A couple months ago I wrote about this banner I made that is available in my shop. A client wanted the same sort of banner, but in a different color scheme. She loved the saying and the font, just needed blues, greens, and browns. No problemo! Here is the invitation she wanted me to match it to:It seemed to have many of the same colors as I used for Beckett's birthday. So I got some of the same papers and a few different ones to make the banner and some cupcake toppers that she requested. Here is how they turned out:Sorry for the short entry today, but I had to do it quickly while the two older kids are nicely playing and Beckett is asleep. More tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Use your banner again!

If your anything like me...its a good thought that you'll use your banner again next year...but then you come up with different colors, a different theme, or some reason that you need a new one.

So here in lies my problem. I calculated that if from now until the time my kids were all graduated and left my house I could have 54 banners laying around at my house. I do NOT need 54 banners. So a couple weeks ago after Beck's birthday I decided to try something.

I figured that since the banner had basically not been technically used any more than any other banner that I send out I was going to sell it for half price in my shop. I figured it was a win/win...I got rid of the banner and someone got a great deal on one! Apparently it wasn't a half bad idea, because it sold in 1 day! So here is what Beckett's banner looked like when WE used it:And here is how it looks after I repurposed it for Evan's first birthday:So if you're looking for a good deal on a banner, watch for a hot pink, orange, and purple banner in early January after Avery's birthday!

Now I know you're thinking...that doesn't help me reuse my banner. I know, I know. But here's what I did for my nephew. My sister wanted to use the banner I made for Jack's birthday to hang in his room. This was Jack's baseball banner at his party:
I reprinted the letters in Jack's name in a new font and took off the extra circles and here is Jack's new banner to hang above his new big boy bed:
I can easily reprint and cut you letters to repurpose your own can change the entire saying or just change the name and age to use it for another person's party. Contact me if you're interested!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Need a good laugh?

Okay...this has absolutely nothing to do with partyware, but it is just too funny not to tell. So happy Monday, people!

First, I am going to show you a pic taken last year of my husband and'll see why in a minute, but after reading the rest of this entry you be the judge:On Thursday Tate and I walked to the mailbox and when he got there he kept yelling that he wanted to get the mail. I kind of sighed, because I know what usually happens, but I said yes anyway...only to have him drop the entire pile about two steps later as I thought he would. No big deal, though, we just started to pick up the pile.

Tate picked up the TV GUIDE magazine and a bunch of those annoying post card type things fell out. He started to grab them and when he picked one of them up he said "Hey, this looks like Dad!" Now let me pause here for a moment to say that my husband currently was growing facial hair as a requirement for a bachelor party...don't EVEN get me started! Anyway, I was anxious to see who it was. This is the card Tate showed me:
I started laughing and said..."OOO...Patrick Dempsey....Daddy will like that!" So we kept picking up the mail. Then he said..."and Mom, this looks like you!" as he was picking up another envelope. Guess who it was?
Are you kidding me? I googled her and she was born in 1941, which means she is 67 YEARS OLD!!!! Eric gets McDreamy...I get Martha Stewart. Hardly fair. My friend Kelley now insists on calling us Patrick and Martha.

I HAVE always looked good in stripes...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Calling all volleyball "fans"!

A couple weeks ago I made these fans requested by my client Shelley for her daughter's first birthday party. I thought they turned out so cute (and Shelley said people loved them, too) that it got me thinking.

If you're a regular follower, you've heard a bunch about my sis Kasey this fall. She is a senior in high school and her volleyball "Parents Night" (does everyone have those, or just small town MN?) was coming up. They honor the parents by calling them down to the court to stand with their daughter at the beginning of the game. The kids usually give their parents flowers, balloons, or candy. But I thought I could make something a little different this year. While I was laying in bed one night, the whole play on words with the fans popped into my head!

So Miss A, the long standing VB coach, always has some sort of theme and makes the players dress in some crazy garb to take a picture for the invitation to parents night. This year the theme was some sort of 50s thing. I had Kasey send me the pics of each of her teammates wearing their 50s blonde wig and holding their hot pink dice. These girls cracked me up with some of their poses! I popped in each girls' name and picture and made two fans each.

So here are the fans for the girls' biggest fans!
Wish I could have been there, Kas!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Well...since this stuff was cut on September 6th, it was WAY OVERDUE in getting done and listed...but I have been so dang busy with orders that I feel too guilty to work on something that no one has bought yet. But if I didn't do it now, then Halloween will be over and this paper will still be sitting here.

The pics are no where close to as nice as the ones my friend Darcie took of my first collection, but they will frankly just have to do. Imagine taking them with a one year old hanging from my right ankle and my other two hanging from my left and asking for the 3 billionth time when they can EAT the cupcakes forgive me for bad lighting and less than perfect angles.

But now (finally) available in my shop,

The Trick or Treat Collection

Pieces can be bought separately or together in a package.

Now just to find the time to finish up those costumes...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Welcome to the Bahamas!

Remember how I told you my sister keeps me in business? Well, as I was paper shopping the other day I got a call from Rachel asking me to help her pick out a style of digital picture card from Etsy so that her friend Darcy (the one that I did this bachelorette party for a couple months ago) could have welcome cards to lay on each person's bed in their hotel at their destination wedding. I said, "Why don't I make something up?" Have I ever told you I apparently like overloading my plate? I get some sick high off of it. Anyway...I told her she better tell me right then so I could get the paper for it since she needed them in just a few days.

She told me the colors for this Bahamas wedding were purple, orange, turqoise, and yellow. So I got some paper and made some cards up. We didn't even tell Darcy until afterwards because we knew she'd feel bad that I had done it on such short notice. Let's just say she was a bit stressed getting last minute details ready for the wedding while trying to hold parent-teacher conferences at school where she teaches 5th graders! Let me just say...been there, done that, and I'm glad I could help!
Thank God she loved them...they're probably sitting on those beds right now since all the guests are leaving MN early tomorrow morning! Congrats, Darcy and Joel!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Finally a teen birthday!

Alright, here is the post I was going to post this morning, but got sidetracked with my HWTM feature. Just an update on that...I already have an order for the circus banner and 20 hats along with a few other items...I'm thinking of making it a collection for my shop if I can just find the time! The circus theme seems to be popular, so hopefully I can get it together!

So, although I love doing 1st birthdays, I have been dying to do some products for someone older. Something more sophisticated. So much so that I had already purchased paper for my sister Kasey's 18th birthday. That ended up being a good thing, because I had a last minute request to make some products for an 11 year old's birthday.

Kendra's mom said she wanted to make sure it wasn't babyish since Kendra was in that "tween" phase...she said maybe zebra or something. My mind immediately went to the hot pink and zebra paper that I bought for Kasey's birthday which is coming up in December. I told her I knew exactly what I'd use. She had to leave the font and design details up to me since she needed it on the fly, but she said she trusted me, so hopefully Kendra loved the outcome!

Here are the banner and cupcake toppers she ordered:
So there you go, Kas...a bit of a sneak peak of what your birthday will look like! :)