Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Missing: Blog Header | Reward For Safe Return

I dunno where it went. I logged in and was prompted by Blogger to try the new "dynamic" view. And I did. And I liked. It made this somewhat anemic blog look full and healthy. I LOVE the ability to shuffle the deck, so to speak, with a click. Try Mosaic or Snapshot. Cool, right? But I can't find my header. If I can't sort a technological misstep in three clicks or less I tend to abandon the problem with a sigh. I hope that, like Bo Peep, if I leave it alone it will come home. But I'm not optimistic. The search shall continue... In other news I did a little photo-shoot today:
Some new party packaging is on the way. I love pink parties. As the mother of a freckly tomboy I can say that.With longing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Halloween stuff

What? Isn't it October yet?

I know I'm not living in the moment at the moment. Trying to wrap up holiday planning/ordering before we hit the beach for our annual family vacation - which could not be more inconveniently timed. But you've got to respect tradition, and we've been holidaying in November long before there was kids' school schedules or Christmas orders to consider. So throwing caution (and homework and sales) to the wind we are off for a couple of weeks at the end of October.

The problem with all this pre-planning is that I am living three weeks ahead of the rest of the world. Last week I caused panic among the soccer parents when I moved Thanksgiving up by a week. And today I discarded a winning roll-up-the-rim thingy because I thought the expiration date - October 2nd - had passed.

Slow down missy.

It's not even October and I am already moving past Halloween. So putting on the reins for a minute, the Halloween shop is open for business. New this year is a cute collection of personalized Halloween cards, including these family cards:

You might think a clear bag isn't so exciting, but there are hundreds of ways to fill and decorate these food-safe bags. You can buy the bags on their own and do your own thing, but we've come up with a cute personalized option:

Canadian Parents is running a giveaway contest featuring my Halloween cards. You'll have to visit their site the week of October 3rd to enter. Will post the link when I get it.

Happy Halloweening!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Hot Air Balloon Costume

This costume has it all: originality, charm and a very high do-able factor. Thanks to Rook No. 17 for the instructions.

Hot Air Balloon Costume DIY Instructions

Yarn- off white, 'bumpy' yarn
Old dress with straps that you don't mind cutting up. Works best with straps that adjust.(Like overalls)
4 Brown paper lunch bags
Knit hat
Kids scuba mask

1) I found a 36" balloon at First Impressions Party Supplies in Monterey. (I was told this type of balloon is typically used for car lots when they want to advertise a big sale..)
Note from the Rookery: our favorite online source for specialty and big ol' knock-your-socks off balloons is "Balloon Lovers Corner".

2) I bought a basket at Michael's craft store (half off!) and cut a hole in the bottom to fit around my daughter's hips.

3) I took an old dress with straps, and hot glued the bottom of the dress to the bottom of the basket. This way, my daughter could 'wear' the basket and it would stay upright.

4) I tied yarn to the basket and fastened it to the knot at the base of the balloon to make it seem as if the rope was holding up the basket.

5) To make stripes on the balloon, I used colored ribbon & carefully double taped them from top to bottom.

6) For sandbags, I crumbled and stuffed four brown paper lunch bags each with a plastic grocery bag (so it would be light) and hung them off the four corners of the basket.

7) To give my daughter an 'aviator' look, I dressed her in a jean jacket to hide the strapped dress, added a scarf and fastened a kiddie scuba mask (that I painted black) to a knit hat.

So there you go!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Life is better with photoshop

Flagrantly ignoring the apples we bought at the farmer's market Saturday, and also forgetting the dozen Cortlands bought on Friday's grocery run, we found ourselves at Albion Farms late this afternoon, inexplicably picking apples. A lot of them. It's not easy to quash the enthusiasm of city kids who encounter food growing in its natural habitat only during bi-annual trips to the local pick-your-own farm.

With more fruit than could possibly fit into the refrigerator's fresh bin, I piled apples high on a tray and plunked it in the centre of the table, hoping to spur healthful snacking while also offering something nice to look at. And then I took a picture. For no reason other than it's been a good long while since I've appreciated a non-human moment through my camera lens.

Here they are: apples au natural.

But doesn't this look much better? I fiddled around with adjustment layers > levels and added another layer to play with contrast. The higher contrast and intense colours add mood and drama to my humble photo.

This photo was my attempt to create an over-processed '70s look in the hipstamatic-style I've been admiring lately. This had many more steps but still only took about five minutes. The full tutorial is available at Photoshop Elements User.

Happy Sunday.

Insta Sleep-over Pads

Take five pillowcases and stitch together. Insert pillows. Ack! How do people come up with these ingeniously simple ideas?

Monday, September 5, 2011

New, Improved Halloween Design: 50% more scary

After my other Halloween designs were summarily dismissed by my 8-year old as "Cute - for a little kid", I knew I had to come with something that a Grade Three would be proud to give. I came up with this invitation design today:

Next up...something with a cat and a crooked fence.