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Under the Sea AKA My Baby’s 6 AKA I Wanna Be Sedated

11 Feb

My first-born turned 6 last Sunday and I’m having feelings about it. I am in disbelief at how quickly he’s growing up. I wish I could hold on to every moment, remember every silly joke and the belly laugh the follows, and hold him in my arms like I did when he was tiny…but I am also incredibly proud of the little man-child he has become. His kindness, his generous heart, and his loving spirit are daily reminders that growing up also means growing within.

He asked for a “Under the Sea” party theme this year and he even reminded me on Wednesday that if I didn’t start decorating soon I would run out of time (totally my son!) I like making the party look and feel homemade but I don’t have a lot of time now that the shop is open and I work 6 days a week so I chose a few simple crafts that would make a big impact with little investment.

I employed the use of a few rolls of crepe paper and created a homespun water wonderland for his Birthday lunch. I was thrilled to find our favorite local toy store, Just Kidding Around, carried the Djeco paper fish decor I saw on Amazon the night before. I added some handmade yarn pom poms as bubbles and hung them from our chandelier. They also provided the fishing game we used as part of our scavenger hunt.

Paper Fish and Yarn Poms

Paper Fish and Yarn Poms

I am a huge fan of Beistle festooning…what a festive name!…so I used 3 colors of it to create “waves.”

Crepe Paper & Festooning Seaweed & Waves

Crepe Paper & Festooning Seaweed & Waves

I also saw a cute jellyfish craft online that inspired my crepe paper jellyfish. Instead of their suggested muffin cups I used coffee filters and layered them to be fluffier. Tape, coffee filters, and crepe paper – can’t get any easier than that.

Paper Poms and Jellyfish

Paper Poms and Jellyfish

With a bag of candy melts and an ocean-themed mold from the craft store, I created quick Fish lollipops.

Fish Lollipops

Fish Lollipops

For his cake, I colored each layer of a white cake a shade of blue, colored the icing blue, then scraped a tool along the surface once frosted to emulate waves. I added a few Swedish Fish and some Pearl Dragees to complete the look.

Make a Wish!

Make a Wish!

I used two bamboo skewers, some bakers twine and a bit of felt to quickly stitch the cake bunting.

Homemade Fishy Cake

Homemade Fishy Cake

I stopped by my local fave, Rock Paper Scissors, to pick up two yards of themed fabric to use as a backdrop and table cloth. It adds to the theme without committing time or energy to a project, and it is reusable for a future craft!

A little yard of fabric goes a long way

A little yard of fabric goes a long way

His “other cake” was a chocolate fish I stumbled upon in the Valentine’s Day section of Target the week before. I added a number 6 sparkler and sang the Persian version of Happy Birthday as I brought it out to him.

Chocolate Fish (the hole is from the "6" Sparkler)

Chocolate Fish (the hole is from the “6” Sparkler)

Hunter’s expression when he came home to the decor was priceless! 🙂 He even got his wish…a new pet fish!

His Birthday present: Max the fish

His Birthday present: Max the fish

We had a wonderful time celebrating his special day! It was more low key than previous years – if you’ve been following the blog awhile, you know I really toned it down from my months of prep back in my SAHM days.

I am still correcting myself when people ask me how old he is. Six seems so “old” …where did my chunky monkey go?

Hunter at 6 months

Hunter at 6 months

He will always be my Hunter Boo…even though he has already planned his wedding, named his children, and decided where he wants to live when he’s 30. I am one lucky momma!   

Procrastination Project – Vintage Camping-Inspired Art

19 Jan

While it may be obvious that I am a MAJE procrastinator I like to think of myself as more of a creative sort with ideas to spare and time to, well, not spare…so “real” tasks are sometimes put off until my right brain urges are sated.

I’ve been eyeing the white expanse of wall in my sons’ vintage camping themed room…a vast blank canvas awaiting a personal touch. I considered vintage pennants from Etsy (already have a pennant garland) or something wooden and nautical (more on this later) or an oversized map (already have this in the playroom) and then it came to me…I wanted something kitsch and whimsical and playful and remembered how fun it was to draw with chalk markers on the black Kraft paper I use in my Etsy shop, {verdigreen} to wrap customer orders. Here’s an example of a {verdigreen} holiday order, wrapped & bowed with upholstery ticking:

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For this project, I began by cutting a massive square of black Kraft paper — didn’t really measure it — and then using my no-fail Uchida Broad Tip White Chalk Marker to create a design as I went. I wouldn’t recommend doing this, but since I am not a pre-planner when it comes to my doodles I hoped for the best since it was only paper and I could start over if I needed to. This is what I ended up with:

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I tacked it on the wall and framed it by nailing four vintage yard sticks around it, then carefully cutting around each yardstick to remove the excess paper. It is the lazy-man’s art project…perfect for a tired mom of toddlers who wants a major change with little effort. 😉  **note – funky photo angles are a result of their bunkbed being in the middle of the room…hopefully you get the picture. literally.**

The wall looked much better but was still lacking the over-theming-Azie-touch so I found a super inexpensive wooden child’s oar, taped it with painter’s tape and “wrote” the word CAMP on the paddle with mailbox decals, then spray-painted it with four different Krylon colors. Once dry, I removed the tape and stickers and sanded it to create a less-than-perfect vintage-y look:

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After I added it to the wall, I sat back & admired my quick handiwork then Googled to see if anyone else had thought of it and found this. Wh-wh-what? Oar decor at Pottery Barn Kids for $29?? Well…I like my color scheme better but that is really affordable for PBK! The benefit to painting your own is personalization – you can negative-space a name and choose your own color palette.

Now that their room is *ahem* almost complete I s’pose it’s time to face the bane of my existence…the fitted sheet fresh from the laundry. (scanning room for empty walls)

Procrastination Project – LEGO Jar Head

17 Jan

Tonight I was assigned Recycling Duty (dragging our weekly mega bucket of recycling to the icy curb, flattening all the Amazon & Fresh Direct boxes then tying with twine) because hubs is on a business trip. Due to my OCD/Sensory-Issues/Preference-To-Not-Touch-Icky-Things I stay far away from this chore under normal circumstances. It took a bit of prepping and pep-rallying to get into trash mode and prior to that shift in mentality I spied a few lonely *clean* glass jars.

Within 2 minutes I transformed the jars into LEGO Minifigure heads for my son’s upcoming LEGO-themed Birthday party. All it took was a quick brushing of yellow paint on the interior and an easily doodled design with black paint pen on the exterior to complete the look. It’s a shame the project didn’t take longer as I was hoping to prolong the inevitable (putting on my big girl pants and taking out the trash).

Please note that if you are doing this with a “used” jar (i.e. marinara sauce jar) then wash & dry the jar thoroughly then clean it with alcohol to ensure the paint affixes to the glass. 

LEGOhead

Prior to posting this, I Googled to see if anyone else had a “Jar Head” moment and learned someone had this very idea using baby food jars which are a more accurate shape. Her method was different and I like the look of interior painted glass better (although her idea of spray painting is much quicker if you have several to paint.) I prefer the size of these canning jars versus baby food jars because they are more practical for my needs, such as holding silverware on the party food table, but the baby food jars she uses are great as favors or Kid-Assisted DIY.

In my Google search I also came across this Etsy shop full of beautiful painted jars in home decorator colors and in my quest to promote fellow Etsians I wanted to share. Happy Painting/Shopping! 🙂

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