Category: Random Craft

A Hot Air Balloon First Birthday Party

My littlest kiddo turned one this week. ONE! When I my first kiddo turned one, it seemed to take a long while to get to that first birthday. But on this last kiddo, it feels like he was a newborn just last month. So this is my last first birthday 🙁 It’s a little sad for me, but we went out of babyhood forever with a bang 😉 My little guy had a Hot Air Balloon First Birthday. And here are the pics!

I’m going to start with my most favorite part of all, the photobooth! I loved this photobooth. It was SUPER easy to make and really fun to take pictures in.

To put it together, I bought a 3 foot balloon (I actually bought several for the decorations) and a hot air balloon net. Then I bought a basket big enough to fit a full grown adult (sitting down) and all I had to do was tie the net to the basket handles. The wall behind it was painted light blue already, so I didn’t have to have a backdrop. I did add some white 12 inch balloons tied together with some fishing wire and tacked to the wall with thumbtacks. I also used the fishing wire to tie some white balloons to the bottom so you didn’t see the floor from the right angle (at this angle, you could totally see the floor, but check out the next picture).

Hot Air Balloon Party |

This is my grandma in the photobooth after most of the guests had left and we were goofing around. The whole prop was next to a window and the shadows here kind of were strong because it was late in the day, but the party was in the morning and the light was much better then.

Hot Air Balloon Party |

The photobooth, like I said, was my absolutely most favorite thing of the party.

So on to the rest! The decorations were also fun to do. I bought some cool paper lantern hot air balloons and put little people finger puppets in them. So simple, but looked good:

Hot Air Balloon Party |

Around the rest of the house, we had a couple of large 3 foot balloon like the one in the photobooth and we attached them to several baskets with the nets. Some of my older kiddos’ dollies made for hot air balloon riders 🙂

Hot Air Balloon Party | Hot Air Balloon Party |


For the dessert table and cake, we set up a swag on the wall made from a simple red plastic table cloth accented with balloons. For the table, we served fruit, popcorn in mini popcorn boxes (similar to these), mini cupcakes, meringues, chex mix, alfajores cookies (soft, crumbly cookies with dulce de leche inside), and mazamorra morada (a sort of purple maize pudding; it’s not super sweet but has a fruity taste to it). Here was the set up:

Hot Air Balloon Party |


And here’s a detail of the cake, made by my awesome friend at Sweet Party Treats! She makes delicious desserts and this cake was just perfect. I made more use of those nets and 3 foot balloon to make it look like a hot air balloon:

Hot Air Balloon Party |

And I painted some kokeshi cake toppers of the birthday boy and his sisters in the balloon:

Hot Air Balloon Party |

Lots of fun was had as we had a bouncy house and a magician/face painter/balloon twister come in to entertain. It turned out perfect! At the end, when we all were going home, we gave some fun favors to take home too.

The whole lot of them took up much more space than I thought, but here were a lot of them:

Hot Air Balloon Party |

And here they are a little more close up. I used mini popcorn boxes (similar to these), for the “basket” part and put some holes on each side, using some baker’s twine to attach it simply to a balloon. Inside, there were people finger puppets (there are six to a family pack! A grandma, a grandpa, a mom, a dad, a girl and her brother), a small bottle of bubbles, a pack of crayons, and an mini activity book that I designed. On the front of the mini activity book was a coloring page of the birthday boy’s face (I offer custom coloring book portraits on my etsy page here), a hot air balloon maze, a word search and a hot air balloon coloring page. My older kiddos loved them 🙂

Hot Air Balloon Party |

In the end we were tired but happy. It was a great send off to that first year. Here’s to many many more for my big birthday boy 🙂

Today I used:

A Gingerbread House



Some friends and I got together for a fun gingerbread house party where everyone brings all kinds of candies and cookies and decorates a gingerbread house without the distraction of kids (although I had to take my youngest kiddo with me). All the different people meant an insane variety of different candies and sprinkles. My friends came up with some amazing creations and I spent most of my time just piping the roof– errr, I’m really slow! But I am happy with the results. My favorite thing, besides the roof, were the little mushrooms! So cute.

Some of the candies I used were Smartie gumballs, white sixlets, snowflake sprinkles for the house front, candy cane swirls, chocolate/cookie mushrooms, chocolate mint drops, reindeer cookies, tropical Mike & Ikes and Chiclets for the path, and coconut flakes for the snow!

Today I used:

Carving, Carving

Seems like all I’m doing is carving food lately. This was from Monday’s lunch. It was not the main but it was a side of a half apple. I was really inspired by it’s shape– where it was bigger at the top than at the bottom. A definite skull.


Then yesterday, we carved our pumpkins. Or maybe I should say that I carved our pumpkins. The kiddos are a little small to carve their own but not too small to pick out their own stencils. So they picked out plenty complicated ones for me and I ended up abandoned, carving them in my backyard once it got too cold and uncomfortable for them. My middle kiddo did take pity on me and come out to keep me company for all of five minutes in those three hours, but thems the breaks. Here are our pumpkins! Don’t think too much of me, though; I sometimes make my own templates for pumpkin carving but this time I used other peoples’.

pumpkins TARDIS rarity pony1 bat

Here are the templates I used:

  • My Little (Random) Pony
  • My Little Pony Rarity — I can’t find this anywhere for the life of me… I think I printed it out from my phone but now I can’t find the source. Will update later with it :-/
  • Little Bat
  • TARDIS (This one I had to download into Illustrator to print because the template isn’t on the website anymore)

A Sushi Chef & Baby Ebi Sushi



I didn’t think about posting this because I just made it for Halloween but then a friend mentioned that I should put it up because some other babywearers could get ideas from it 🙂 So here is my costume for this year. I was a sushi chef and I covered a mei tai in white felt and stuck a giant shrimp on it and so my littlest kiddo became an ebi roll. It was great for a costume for him because he was just in a onesie and some (sushi print) pants and when he got tired, hot, or antsy of being in the carrier, I just took him out quickly and let him do his thing. Then when he was sleepy or hungry, back up he went 🙂

Tiny Terrariums

Passing the time during summer requires a bit of creativity. As I was passing our sink, I found some little glass jars that had a previous incarnation as creme brulee holders and decided that we would do some little terrariums in them. Nothing big, nothing fancy, just with some stuff we had around the house. We took the jars, filled them with dirt and we happen to have a mature spider plant with little offshoots that we carefully took off the plant and placed them in our wet dirt. My kiddo is an avid rock collector and had found some interesting ones so we each used some of her collection to add some rocky interest. Then, we went around the house looking for tiny things to put in them. I had imagined a dinosaur-themed one so I found a teeny dino to put in. The kiddo wanted a fairy garden instead and so she has a fairy and a bird (the fairy, she said, is an animal fairy). It was a cute summer project and it took up some time/provided entertainment so I’m calling it a success 🙂

I think this might also be a good activity to do at a birthday party or at a playdate!


My dinosaur one: terr2

The Fairy Garden: terr1

Rainbow Ants!

Our kiddos’ world is basically made up of rainbows and unicorns (at least, that’s all they draw!) and although I’m sorely lacking in the unicorn department, I can deliver rainbows. This next “experiment” was kind of on a whim. We’re having work done on our backyard right now and that has increased ants in our house by a lot. This is unfortunate as I cannot live with ants everywhere. So I woke up this morning to a trail of ants to a leftover plate with some peanut butter on it, I decided it was over and I put a drop of sugary liquid ant killer in the middle of the (disposable) plate. They flocked to it and loved it.

And then I got an idea.

I had seen pictures before of a photographer who had set up sugar water with food coloring and the ants who drank it up had turned colors in their clear abdomen (abdomens?). I think he had some massive ants at his disposal (he is in South India) but I only had tiny little American house ants and no macro lens, save a macro lens adapter for my phone’s camera. So I took these pics with an iPhone. Ta da! Rainbow ants (eating rainbow ant killer — sorry, guys!)

The green drop drinkers turned green:


The blue drop drinkers turned blue:


The orange drop ones turned orange… sorry for the craptastic pic, every time I touched the plate they would freak out and scatter.



And there were some defectors. Here is a green drinker gone over to the orange:


And here he is again!ants1


What we learned: 

  • I learned that killing ants can be done in an interesting way.
  • K-Kiddo learned that ants store their food in their abdomen(s?) and then we talked about how they go back to the nest and pretty much spread the food around… and I let her know we probably won’t be seeing them much again.

Today I used:

Rainbow Roses

These last couple of weeks, the kiddos have been at home on summer vacation. We had intended on doing a lot of different projects and such but there were issues (an emergency root canal for me!) and so we didn’t do as much as I was hoping to do. Still, one of the things on the list were rainbow roses. When I was buying my mom flowers for Mother’s Day, I came upon these rainbow roses and thought, hey, I can do that! I thought it would be a fun project for the kids too. So here is how to do it:

How to make Rainbow Roses

I wish I had taken pictures of the whole process but it was hard to try to keep three kids entertained/included in the process and try not to cover everyone in dye. Basically what you have to do is:

  1. Cut the stems of the rose into several parts (I cut them into three parts because I wanted to use three colors).
    • One Crafty Tip: I cut the stems with a straight cut first underwater — this keeps air bubbles out of the flower’s stem, which can inhibit the uptake of dye. Then I took them out to cut on a cutting board with an exacto knife into three equal parts. I cut around 4 inches of stem. Put the rose back in the water.
  2. The next step is to prep your dye. I used regular food coloring that you can get at any supermarket (baking aisle). Some people put their dye in short, disposable cups (like the little paper dixie cups) but I figured the dye would be more  concentrated in less water, so I used teeny weeny soy sauce containers like this:
    I used plastic wrap to keep them all together. I also used a large glass container to keep the roses upright, as you’ll see below.

    • One Crafty Tip: Remember to buy containers that have a wide enough mouth to fit the stem.
  3. Wait. The Kindergarten Kiddo saw our first flower taking up the dye as we were cutting our second flower. It was very fast! The following results were from overnight.
  4. When your colors have been achieved, submerge stems underwater again and cut above your original cut. Place roses in fresh water and enjoy!
    • One Crafty Tip: You will see some of the dye leak into the water from the stems. It didn’t bother me any but if it does, I think the only way to avoid seeing it is to use an opaque vase.

So I started with white roses:


The plastic wrap stems:


These roses were supposed to be blue, yellow, and magenta but for some reason, I didn’t have very good luck with the magenta taking well:


A close-up of my “best” rose:



You can see some of the leaking dye here:



These two were our less successful roses. The one on the left was supposed to be pink and purple (as per two giggly girls) and the one on the right was supposed to be red, white and blue but for some reason, none of it took (I did this rose twice, so it might have been the rose).



Stuff we learned (AKA, more Tips): 

  • The girls ended up learning about how water is taken up from the stem of the flower up into the petals. K-Kiddo even saw some green petals and concluded that the yellow and the blue colors mixed to get green.
  • I learned that the red dyes weren’t taking very well. Not sure why. I had two different types of red dyes (all from the grocery store) and still they weren’t very successful, especially in the ones that were supposed to be blue/yellow/magenta.
  • Young roses with less woody stems took up the dye much better than the bigger, woodier roses (the “patriotic” rose was a little bigger and woodier than the others). The fresher the rose, too, the better.

So there you have it! Rainbow roses. I think I might do it again although it gets a little pricey buying white roses… maybe we’ll try daisies or carnations next.

Today I used:

New Mushrooms! And spores.

So, remember when we grew mushrooms? Well, we grew some more! Back to the Roots sent us another pack of mushrooms to grow and it became really eager to grow because it started sprouting before we were ready. So we opened them up and dunked them in water and then a week or so later, it really bloomed! And I let them go for a bit to let the smaller mushrooms catch up to the bigger guys. And then I kept finding a find dusting of white powder on my kitchen counter. I thought someone had gotten into the flour? Maybe the preschool kiddo. I cleaned it up and then later on  I found another fine dusting.  Hmm… then I saw it… the mushrooms were sporing! So I thought it would be interesting to photograph it. Here are our sporing mushrooms!

spores1 spores2

After this, we picked them and they’re ready to eat now. These are huge compared to the other ones we grew and we can’t wait to eat them!

Today I used:

My Little Pony: Skeletwinkle


For some reason, the kiddos being on spring break makes me feel extra crafty 🙂 I think it’s because my husband has also some days off and I’ve pawned… um, lovingly put him in charge of the children sometimes. So I had time to play around with some different crafty things (hence the dollhouse furniture, the sharpie eggs, etc.) One thing I had lying around was some Sculpey, which I had originally bought for some dollhouse furniture. Sitting around with my youngest kiddo and my eldest kiddo, we played with the clay stuff and I was trying to amuse her and I made this one. Of course, the five year old in me did a little dance when I saw that it actually resembled a My Little Pony. And so I selfishly kept it (but made a little one for her) and painted it for myself. I still have to get on painting the little one.

Edit: She has a name! Skeletwinkle 🙂

And some in-progress shots:



The Dollhouse Furniture Continued…

I’m bound and determined to get some of the more fun projects done with Kindergarten Kiddo around this week. So I tried to finish up the furniture in their dollhouse (see previous dollhouse kitchen post here) … only to be put back in the dollhouse furniture making business a half-hour after these pictures were taken… obviously I need to make these things more Preschool Kiddo proof 😛 Among the casualties were part of the stove and the utter annihilation of the bunk bed.

The whole dollhouse:

Living room, now with art on the walls and a TV (with TiVo!)dollhouseliving

Bedroom with bunk bed, wall portrait, desk with chair, nightstand & lamp:

Le Toilet! Literally, a toilet, a “Jacuzzi tub”, wall mirror and sink: dollhousebathroom

Oh well, at least I have pictures. Back to the workroom.