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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Are You Ready For an Adventure?

Sweet Boy is really into the Indiana Jones movies so we decided we would have an adventure themed birthday party. I made the invitations from scrap booking paper and card stock. The interior read:

Gunn Productions Presents:
"A Birthday Adventure"
Starring Prof. ***** Jones
Premieres on September 19, 2009
At ***** (address)
The show will run from 11 to 1pm.
Call ****** to reserve your seat.
"Indy" inspired attire welcomed.

At the door we asked an important question and posted a few rules.

I had gotten the Indy themed party ware on clearance and the raffia and skulls at the dollar store.

Indy stickers, rubber snakes, passports and confetti rounded out the table decor.

The birthday boy ready for an adventure.

His sister showed up dressed at "Mutt", Indy's son.

I think that this crew could outlast, outwit and definitely outplay anything that comes at 'em.

The first game was "Mummy Wrap". Teams of two were given a roll of cheap tp. We had two rounds so that they could trade places.
Of course the yard was a mess right after the game, but when the kids were told that the next game of blow darts would start when the grass was once again green, the clean up was quick!

Sweet Boy demonstrated how a simple straw, a few q tips and a lot of hot air could become a weapon.

But of course we needed a target. Enter Tour Guide Gunn.

He was soon overtaken. (Word to the wise, set up a barrier.)

Next up was the search for the lost ark. The first clue involved a quick lesson on hieroglyphics.

The kids had to find their empty loot bag via their hieroglyphic initials .

I made these out of simple brown lunch bags, twine and a hieroglyphic sheet that I downloaded off of the internet. I then cut and pasted each childs initials onto the bags.

Here is a close up of one of the bags.

They had a total of ten clues and five rewards. Four of the prizes were contained in simple brown bags and the final prize was contained in an ark of sorts. Jungle critters, Whips (chinese yo~yo's), Crystal Skull rings, Fireballs and Indy's plane were a few of the prizes.

Next, it was time to eat. The kids feasted on:

Fried Snake Skins (bbq potato chips)

Mummy Dogs (hot dogs wrapped with biscuits)

Ants on a Log (celery topped with pb and raisins)

Top of the Skull Sandwiches with oooozy filling (pb&j)

Petrified Mummy Toes (carrots)

Camel Lips (apple slices)

Vine Juice (green punch)

This fun fare created shrieks of delight.

As always, Rudi the dachshund joined in on the festivites. He always chooses the messiest eater to sit under. :)

After lunch the natives grew restless and demanded cake.

The number 8 sparkler was a huge hit!

We decided to wash the jungle dirt off of the little cannibals with a hand grenade toss (green water balloons).

The party was a huge success and all of the wild beasts were completely worn out.

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A tub with a view

I try to begin my day with ten minutes of peace. This is achieved by taking a relaxing bath.
When we remodeled the master bathroom our contractor installed an inconvenient towel bar on the side of the shower. It has remained empty and this is the view I have "enjoyed" while taking my soaks for the past two years.

Recently, while I was redecorating Sweet Boy's bathroom I attempted to use what I already owned to fill up his towel bar. I selected some vintage and antique linens I had in the cupboard. I gave them a gentle hand washing, next came line drying, followed by a good pressing. At the final moment I finished placing the linens on his towel bar Sweet Boy came into the bathroom covered in dirt from head to toe. The decorator was immediately reminded that an eight year old boy would use those "show" towels in a dirt covered minute. The linens were soon replaced with towels much more suitable for such a boy.
Then I had an "ah ha" moment. Wouldn't the linens look nice on the towel bar that was never used? If I added an apothecary jar and filled it with all the lovely soaps I had sitting in a cupboard it would make for a very pleasant bath time view.

And so it does.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Alice in Wonderland Party

We recently hosted a housewarming party at the Fashionista's new home. The theme was Alice in Wonderland~ a favorite of hers. For invitations I decided to embellished some note cards I already had on hand. They originally looked like this:

A quaint tea party image, leftover scrapbook paper and Stickles glitter glue resulted in this:

I put the information on the back of the note card.

The divine Miss F is currently saving her pennies to purchase her dream dining set. So instead we placed two folding tables in the empty dining area to hold the food.

The drink area was set up in the kitchen. We made a favorite fruit punch and of course the Mad Hatter insisted upon tea.

I took plain polka dotted cups and mod podged a darling "Drink Me" image by Elaine Cox onto each cup.

Since this was Wonderland, a candy area was a must.

The sweets table also held fruit and homemade coconut cupcakes.

The centerpieces featured a 12 x 12 piece of scrapbook paper with rose images. It was topped with another piece of checkerboard paper. We then arranged red roses in clear vases. The Queen of Hearts would surely not approve.

Strewn all over the table were flowers, hearts, and other fun bits and bobs made from paper punches~ an easy way to achieve customized confetti.

We had several small guests in attendance and I wanted to make sure they were entertained so we set up a coloring area in the empty second bedroom. (Free images are available to download at Disney.)

Did you happen to notice I had a few new tags? You can now subscribe to Decor to Adore through Feedburner. The wonderful Cat of Paisley Cat Scraps is an absolute wiz at great graphic designs. Thank you so much for my tags Cat!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to decorate your first apartment on a budget

In the last post I showed you the Fashionista's new apartment. That was the good. Just so you could appreciate what we did a little bit more I thought I'd give you some ugly. The first thing to greet us was a screen door with no handle.

But don't worry, much of the missing hardware was found in a cupboard. Like ALL of the cupboards in the apartment, it had cow print contact paper. Nice. I spent a day chiseling it all off.

Every faucet and nook and cranny looked much like this: (Oh and yes, that is a dead bug, he wasn't lonely though, he had MANY friends.)

Cracks in windows really help to bring the blistering Arizona heat indoors.

In short, it was a dump. Most of our time and money went into getting the bones of the place restored. So once again it was time to get creative when it came time to decorate.
So, onto the How To's:
These old frames belonged to my great aunt. You can date them by the photo. The gold paint was peeling off.

A bit of spray paint and some vintage images brought new life to them. I love how they are reminiscent of a pocket watch. Perfect for the white rabbit who is always checking his.

The condo has generous sized walls. With no artwork budget we had to get inventive. This set of chipboard birds were at Michaels in the dollar section .

Using up leftover scrapbooking paper and mod podge we created a flock of cuteness. They are so lightweight that we just used peel and stick velcro to attach them to the wall.

Most of the projects for the Fashionista's apartment were created before school was back in session. The best way to entertain Sweet Boy was to enlist his help. I had this chipboard oval in my craft stash.

Once again leftover scrapbook paper and mod podge came to the rescue. A few wooden cuties and some vintage rick rack made a precious piece of artwork he was so proud of. (Yes, I helped.)

Once a month our neighborhood has bulk trash pickup. This is when my neighbors set out their broken and battered discards. You know what they say~ One man's trash....

Becomes another woman's treasure.

The shower curtain was made from a painter's drop cloth that was dyed. We then embellished it with some vintage Alice fabric.

Rows of rick rack, ribbon, and ruffles were also added.

To cover up the power box that was oh so conveniently placed in the center of the main bathroom wall I purchased a white artist canvas and added a few spritzes of pink, blue and lavender spray paint.

Once the paint was dry I then mod podged some pink doilies onto the canvas.
A few Alice images by Elaine Cox and chipboard letters completed the cover up.

What are your go to secrets when decorating on the cheap?