Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shutterfly Christmas Card Giveaway*


I may or may not have spent the wee hours of the morning browsing all the Christmas greeting cards on Shutterfly.

But I couldn't help it.  There are so many beautiful cards that I was happily imagining my family in all those layouts.  Of course, in my lovely daydreams, my children were frolicking about, WANTING to be part of the picture-taking process.

I mean, look at this angelic little girl.  Surely she gave her parents no grief as she skipped along looking impish.

And aren't these girls so close?  All wrapped up in a warm red blanket, glad to share their air and space with each other (and such lovely girls, too).

But this is my favorite one of all.  Especially with the little sister kissing her brother, and in another photo looking up so innocently at the camera.  Interesting that this is also my favorite card layout.  I love the colors, the fonts, the layout, and the styling of the big family letter. 

Maybe I'll just have to go round up my kids and trick them into taking some family pictures.  Wish me luck!  Once I've herded the kids to a nice photo op spot, and get their adorable faces into print, I can insert the pictures into my fave holiday design, which is the "With Love Blue Christmas" card.  I'll use both color and black-and-white photos. I don't think sepia tone would turn out right; it would wash out the card. And matte prints is a must. ALWAYS matte print. Don't believe me, ask my dad. : ) (the photographer)

Well, I guess you can't use matte print if you put the pics on mugs.  But you can on pretty much everything else, like on the cards and calendars.  I hope.

*To get 50 free prints, post a shout-out to Shutterfly via your blog after signing up here.  (And yes, I have most shamelessly used my blog to promote a website to get free stuff.)    : )

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Pirate Birthday Party

After Tami sent me this link, and I browsed a bunch of awesome pirate party ideas, I really enjoyed working with the kids to have a fabulous party.  With a TON of help from both Tami and Hope (especially Tami in even just getting me to act on all these cute ideas), we actually pulled it off!  

And, (cough cough) I'm only 3 1/2 months late in posting it all.

It started with staining a lot of paper with tea, then letting it dry.  Crumpling it up to make it look old, and then using it for various different things, from paper sails and the invites, to name tags for the pirate food.

Bryce made the invites himself.  I love how he used the curly font, drew the map going from the ship clipart down, and the pirate lingo he used.  They each said:  "To Buccaneer [Ryan], Ahoy Matey! Ye are invited to Bryce's Birthday Party if Ye Dare!"

We emptied out a bunch of IBC rootbeer bottles (ahem.  We drank them all), washed them out, and put just a little bit of sand in each one.  We also made name tags for all the kids with pirate names, which was quite a bit of fun.

Then we rolled up the invites and stuck them in the bottles, corked them, added the name tags and raffia, and I am extremely proud of how cool they turned out!

The cake was another venture all itself, not to mention all the pennants we sewed and the flags we painted.  The boys all got to help with each thing we made, at least to some degree (I didn't let them help out much with the cake).  I got the cake idea from family fun, and did my own thing to make it look how I wanted it.

I've tried to organize the pictures, but blogger is not being very friendly, so they're in haphazard order below, sorry!

Finished Cake with Shark Bait (fishy crackers), Pirate's Loot (candy), Peg Legs (cheetos), and Cannonballs (whoppers) behind it

The grub
Reading Clue #2
Digging for the treasure where the last clue directed.

Tape the flag on the treasure map.

One of the two pirate flags we painted

Getting into the spirit of things

Pirate ships

Pirate ship ring toss

Reading the first clue; Rob did it all in this great pirate voice.  Each clue led to part of their pirate getup, from flags and hats and eyepatches, to swords and loot and such.

Arrrgh Mateys!!

Ye scurvy mates

Walking the plank

Water balloon wars!

Ring toss!

Running to find another clue!

The end of the treasure hunt, where the buried treasure lay hidden

Finding the hats from Clue #2, and reading Clue #3

The squirrelly birthday crew 

Walking the plank and into the pool
Water balloon wars
Pirate beanbag throw
Birthday boy is about to "cut" the cake!
Cannonballs (whoppers) & Peg Legs (cheetos)