Saturday, October 4, 2014

ReBash: where event decor lives on

I'm so excited to announce a venture I am working on with my good friend Jessica from Everyday Shine! Since we both love to decorate with pretty things, plan parties, and reduce/reuse/recycle, we will be holding an event in April that combines all of these things. 

ReBash is a wedding trade show with a unique spin - it's a place where brides, wedding decorators or party planners can go to sell or buy gently used event decor and props. The event will take place at 918 Bathurst in Toronto on Saturday April 18, 2015. 

Interested in renting a table or buying a ticket to the show? Check out our new website for all of the details. Can't wait to see you there!

sage's 4th birthday: a FROZEN party!

It seems a bit far away now that it is Fall, but I wanted to share my daughter's fourth birthday party, held way back in the middle of July. Yes, in the heat of the summer, my daughter requested that she have a Frozen party. It has been Frozen mania this year for sure, and my girls have been no exception - they love the movie, the songs, the dolls, and pretty much Frozen everything. Luckily Pinterest was alive with thousands of amazing inspirational Frozen party ideas.

Here is the watercolour invitation I painted and designed. They were tucked into vellum (icy!) envelopes.

I tried not to go too heavy on decorating with the Disney characters themselves - partly because there was so little available in the stores at the time. But also because it's more of a creative challenge when you aren't using ready-made store-bought party props. I tried to focus more on creating a wintery/icy feeling in July. I couldn't resist adding Olaf here to our welcome sign though...just to get the kids a bit excited!

I'm happy to say that pretty much all of the decor used for this party was quite inexpensive or re-used from another party! The big crepe paper fringe garland backdrop was inspired by this wonderful blog post on one of my favourite blogs Oh Happy Day. The crepe paper rolls were under $2 each, and yet they made such a big impact. The blue polkadot tablecloth is from my baby shower when I was pregnant with Sage.

My brother and sister-in-law got married the week before Sage's party and they used Baby's Breath for their centerpieces. There were many flowers left over, and they graciously donated them to Sage's party for a perfect snowy effect. The mason jars have been used for many events. The table runner was created with dollar store doilies, taped together.

Of course, the yearly list! Printed as an economical black and white 'engineer print' at Staples - under $10 for a huge poster size like this - and taped to an existing frame.

How awesome are these snowballs?! They were Christmas presents for the girls last year, purchased at Mastermind. They worked so well with this theme and were especially fun when my uncle instigated a massive snowball fight.

Snacks included a giant Snowball Tower of marshmallows (thanks to Auntie Melanie for constructing it), Snowman Arms (pretzel sticks), Ice Crystals (rock candy), and gorgeous cupcakes by Mary Tsatskas.

Sven's Snacks (personalized carrot dippers) and Snow-covered Raisins (yogurt raisins) were on the munchie table too.

Big fringe garland inspired by Oh Happy Day. Giant silver '4' balloon from Party City.

I found these free Frozen printables online and couldn't resist taping them over our gallery wall down the hall.


Gotta have a little bathroom signage, right?

Large '4' made from favourite photos of Sage from the year.

More photos from the year taped to our chalkboard pantry door, and pretty paper fans in perfect colours found at Dollar Tree.

Love these cupcakes by Mary Tsatskas.

I couldn't resist adding some signage here and there using quotes from the Frozen movie.

We didn't serve water, just melted snow...

...and some of Kristoff's flavoured ice.

When you are both host of the party and the photographer, you miss a lot and I didn't get a good photo of the wading pool we had set out in the backyard, were I plopped in a carrot and 2 buttons and a sign that said 'some people are worth melting for.' Also missing from the photo reel: a photo of our snow-growing science experiment, and our epsom salt snow paintings.

But I did have help from a friend with this photo, thankfully! Thanks Geoff Owen.

Filling lootbags is a lot of fun! These contained an ice pack, homemade peppermint snow dough, a freezie and a 'do you want to build a snowman?' kit.

How I love planning kid's parties! And reusing and recycling old event decor and making it new again. Which brings me to my next post...

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

finley's second birthday: a ladybug garden party!

Finley is obsessed with ladybugs. She talks about them all the time. She has a beloved Skiphop ladybug backpack. And a few months ago a small wooden craft ladybug fell on the floor in my bedroom beside my desk. I didn't have the heart to pick it up, because it became Finley's muse. She would visit it every day before her nap, just to say hi. So a ladybug party for her was inevitable.

The party was pretty low-budget, which meant I had to get creative. I decided to not go crazy with ladybug motifs, but to decorate mainly with polka dots in red, black and white, and kraft paper for that gardeny feel.

I designed the invitations and had them printed at Staples (note they are available as a DIY printable in my Etsy shop). I love the look of the clean, stark polkadots with the rough brown kraft envelope.

 Our porch decor just happened to match!

I crafted antennae for each little guest out of cheap headbands from Walmart, black pipe cleaners and electrical tape.

Jumbo flowers were made out of tissue paper. Easy decor and very effective! The picket fence was cut out of white card stock, and some inexpensive letters from Michael's were spray painted gold.


Grass cupcake liners held chocolate cuppies, topped with 'dirt' (cookie crumbs) and cute edible ladybug toppers from Sweet Sarah's Boutique.

One more look at the paper flowers because they are just so pretty!

This large 'Finley at 2' poster was printed in black and white at Staples for $8! You just have to ask for an 'engineer print'.

Instead of flowers, I opted for cat grass in dollar store pots. Vinyl (wipeable!) polkadot tablecloth fabric is from IKEA.

I was able to reuse a lot of decor items from Sage's first Picnic Party. I love being able to reuse! And I of course love paper straws.

Washi tape purties up some plain old cups.

Polkadots on the wall.

Kate Spade polkadot puffs found at Chapters! They went perfectly with the red puffs I ordered for the Picnic Party (that arrived a week after the Picnic Party due to a mail strike at the time).

Remember the little wooden craft ladybugs that Finley fell in love with? I had a bunch of them, and some mini terracotta pots hanging around too. I wasn't sure what to do with them so I made some of these weird wee things.

Favourite photos from the year posted on our chalkboard door.

Lootbags, the best part! I love putting these together. This is the girl's version - the boy's version swapped out the hair clips for a creepy crawly bug toy.

I had plans for the kids to make a ladybug craft, and to play pin the dot on the ladybug. But they were all having such a blast just playing with toys in our basement. We just went with the flow, and didn't push any of the activities. Still we all had tons of fun!

Thanks for checking out Finley's Ladybug Garden Party! Up next - Sage's 4th freezing cold Frozen Party next month, in what is usually the hottest week of the year. Stay tuned.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

free printable: father's day card

Father's Day is a bit early this year! Usually it's closer to my sister's birthday on the 21st, and it really snuck up on me. I just created this card for my hubby, an amazing father to my two girls. 

Need a Father's Day card in a pinch? Feel free to download this one and print! The card is 7" x 5" when folded, and will print on letter-sized card stock. Just follow the trim marks to cut, and fold the card stock in the middle.

Enjoy and Happy Father's Day to the wonderful Pops out there!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE PRINTABLE CARD (for personal use only please).

Monday, May 26, 2014

and just like that... newborn baby turned 2! Hard to believe this post was written two years ago, and that the little bundle is now a little girl, full of thoughts and quirks and sweetness. Happy birthday to my second born, Finley. An awesome girl, a complete joy.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

ode to my grandma

On Wednesday, April 16th, 2014, my grandma passed away. I want to say a few words here for her, because as far as grandmothers go, this one was pretty special.

Always beautiful and elegant, and so well-dressed, she was wearing heels until her final weeks at 90 years old. My grandma created a magical world for us when we were kids, and 'fairies' were always leaving us little presents or notes. She had a strange gift for finding four-leafed clovers and could always pick us a few from any clover patch.

I can thank her for any artistic genes I may have received. She was the original Martha Stewart, and could sew, knit, decorate, paint, or sculpt anything really. My grandma was a fabulous cook too, and her presentation of any dish was stunning and usually included a cherry tomato, or some sort of vegetable, carved into a little flower.

She was a story-teller, and a master at word puzzles, often beating her computer program at Scrabble.

She was a successful, independent woman. At a time when it wasn't the norm, she went through a divorce and worked to support herself and her two daughters. She did well for herself too, even putting her kids through university.

She was a fireball, clever and so witty - even during her final weeks she had us very amused with her funny little quips. 

She was caring and took care of everyone else. Up until January of this year, she was dropping by with a ready-made meal to help out.

Such a talented, interesting woman. And such a good friend. One day I hope to be a grandmother just like she was. She will be, and already is, very missed.