party hats

party hats (11)

Today I’d like to share the party hats that I made for my son’s birthday party.  I used the same festive party themed paper that you saw in the invites, pinwheels, banner and cupcake toppers.  The patterns on this paper are so amazing and they are perfect to make bright & colorful party hats.  It was my first time making a party hat and I really enjoyed making them.    They are quick & easy and look so adorable on all the little kids.

party hats (15)

5 Quick Steps to make a party hat: 

  1. I used a hat from last year’s party as the template to trace the shape of the party hats.  If you don’t have a spare hat there are plenty of them online for download.  I traced on the inside so that I didn’t have to worry about the pencil marks showing when the hat was completed.

Inside of the hat:

party hat_supplies

2. Cut out the shape & then use an exacto knife to cut the slit where the paper will be inserted to close the hat.

  party hat_supplies (3)

3.  Adorn with rick rack or ribbon.   The rick rack sticks secured well with glue dots.    For variety I used both ribbon & rick rack. 

The paper ribbons were part of the Life of the Party collection called ribbon dollies.   There were three different spools.     It was nice because the back side was already sticky.  Unfortunately they didn’t work completely as I would have hoped with this shape because the hat is graduated.  The paper ribbons would work best with  with a complete circle or flat surface. 

Thank you to my dear mother who gave me her huge scrap bag of fabric rick rack to use on the hats!  She makes baby blankets for all the new babies in the family so she had a great leftover selection of colors to choose from.    I really like the pattern & texture given by adding the fabric rick rack. 

party hat_supplies (4)

4.  Add a colored pom pom to the top, using hot glue to adhere. 

party hats (23)

5. Add string-cut small holes in base to attach the string.  Thank you Cally for helping me attach all the elastic!  


Here are individual photos of some of the hats:

(listed by the paper name)


party hat_indiv


Ice Cream Headache-

party hat_indiv (1)


party hat_indiv (2)

Popcorn Poppin-

party hat_indiv (3)

Orange Whip-

party hat_indiv (4)

Confetti Cake-

party hat_indiv (5)


party hat_indiv (6)

House Party-I made this cute hat with a red pom pom for the birthday boy because red is his favorite color.   As I mentioned with the banner, this pennant banner print is my favorite from the entire collection so I thought it would make the perfect hat for him.   However, he didn’t want this one and so he selected the one he liked.   Reminded me that we can never “plan” how things are going to go when parenting.    One of his sweet friends (Roman) had his eye on this hat and loved wearing it during the party. 

party hat_indiv (7)

How You’ve Grown –  hat selected by the birthday boy.  Such a fitting name for someone who’s grown so much in 4 years! 

party hat_indiv (13)


party hat_indiv (9)

Play Fair-

party hat_indiv (10)

Block Party-

party hat_indiv (12)



  • pattern paper-Life of the Party Collection paper pack (BasicGrey)
  • paper ribbon dollies – Life of the Party (BasicGrey)
  • various fabric rick rack
  • elastic cord sting (0.03)-recommend getting this one size larger so it won’t fray
  • pom poms (assorted colors)


  • exacto knife
  • hot glue gun
  • scotch tape to reinforce the seam
  • glue dots

cupcake toppers

cupcake toppers_a (85)

I’d like to share some cupcake toppers that I made for my son’s birthday party.  This was my first time making these and I had so much fun!  They are so quick to make and you can do them so many different ways. 

The hardest decision I had was selecting the final size I wanted for the circle, two inches or 2 1/2.  I settled on 2 inches because I knew that they wouldn’t be too big for the cupcakes.  We were having regular size cupcakes and I didn’t want the toppers to take away from the actual cupcake. 

I used the same festive Life of the Party Collection paper that I used for the invitations, pinwheels and banner.

cupcake toppers_a

Cupcake toppers can easily be made with extra scraps of paper.  I was thrilled to have a use for the leftover stuff from the banner.   I had more than enough paper choices because I just needed 2 inch circles.

I used 7 of my favorite color schemes (9 patterns) from the patterns seen in the banner so that the designs would vary.  For the text that’s on the white paper I used Word and created a template.  I added a circle shape to the document and then defined the size of the circle, adding a border that’s slightly smaller than the punch allowed me to have the blue outline around the outside.  Having the blue line makes it super easy to know where to line it up inside the punch.

cupcake toppers_a (64)

Next up I’ll share more colorful party decorations… can see a HINT below in this picture! 

cupcake toppers_a (14)


  • 1 1/2 inch circle punch
  • 2 inch scallop circle punch
  • hot glue gun
  • mini dowels (Woodsies 2 5/8 tall)
  • text created in Word
  • white cardstock
  • pattern paper-Life of the Party Collection (BasicGrey)

happy birthday banner

birthday banner_april 2012 (13)

Today I’d like to share the colorful birthday banner I’ve made for my son’s upcoming party.  I used the same Life of the Party paper that you saw on the invites and pinwheels.

birthday banner_april 2012 (12)

I used 12 different patterns of paper across the pennants (18 total triangles).

I love that I had the opportunity to use so many of the different patterns at once.  The patterns really make quite a statement when you see them all together for one presentation.

I alternated the big patterns (lots of colors) with the smaller ones (single colors) to let each piece shine.

The pennant pattern you see here on the “G” pennant below was a big source of inspiration for this banner and made me decide to use this shape for the paper.

birthday banner_april 2012 (10)

Below is a close up of the yellow ribbon that is on the top of the banners.  It’s a beautiful elastic ribbon with a ruffle on the bottom half.  Due to the elasticity it wouldn’t stay put with the tacky tape by itself so I had to hand stitch across the top of the yellow ribbon onto each pennant.   A staple would have worked too but I didn’t have a yellow or white staple.    I did use a silver staple to attach the banner paper pieces with the navy ribbon that goes across the back, holding the entire thing together.

birthday banner_april 2012 (7)

I hand cut the triangles and made them larger than I did for Matthew’s banner.


  • 7 inches wide (across the top)
  • 6 inches in height
  • navy cardstock letters are 3 inch upper/lowercase

I put “Happy Birthday” together on one string because I like how it looks when it’s long enough to fill the entire wall.  I kept Gavin on a separate string so that we can hang this in is room after the party.

birthday banner_april 2012 (1)

Banners are so easy/fast to make, I encourage you to make one for your next celebration!  It’s a great way to get excited about an event and remember the special moment once it’s passed.


Supplies:  pattern paper-BasicGrey, navy ribbon, yellow ruffled ribbon, Terrifically Tacky Tape-Provo Craft, staples, Navy Cardstock-Bazzil, letters-three inch die cuts, glue dots

Merry & Bright

Sharing another holiday layout that I completed this winter. 

merry & bright

This layout is based on One-Page Sketch #16 found at Sketch Support.  When I saw this sketch I immediately knew I’d do it because I had this great holiday paper with many beautiful ornaments.

I rarely do one page layouts so knew I’d turn this sketch into a two page spread.  This was an easy sketch to expand to two-pages.  I love that this layout offers the use of so MANY photos (I’ve used 19 in my layout)!  Also, I like to have a photo of our tree in at least one layout each holiday and this layout offers the vertical 4×6 to showcase a tall tree photo. 

I tried the We R Memory Keepers sewing tool for the first time.  It was fairly easy but did take me a few tries to get the hang of it.  I think I’ll get better each time used to how hard I need to push to make the holes. 

I raised the cardstock ornaments up with pop dots adding some dimension.

 merry & bright_a


  • Moved the large solid (green pattern paper) close to the center edge of the layout so that it would be continuous onto the second page.  It didn’t work as well with so many photos for there to be the white space. 
  • Added a third row of photos to be able to get more of the many photos taken on this day.  (19 total here)

Christmas Day 2009 (11)_v2

Supplies:  Pattern Paper & Ornament Stickers-Crate Paper North Pole Collection, Stitching tool-We R Memory Keepers, Cardstock-Bazzil

party pinwheels

I’ve been busy preparing some fun decorations for Gavin’s birthday party and wanted to share the pinwheels first.

pinwheels (72)_a

I used the same “Life of the Party” (BasicGray) paper that was used from the party invitations.  This paper is really great for pinwheels because it’s two sided, the front has a beautiful pattern and the backside is a solid bright coordinating color.  With pinwheels you see both sides and these pinwheels really show off this great collection.

This is my first time making pinwheels and I choose to do 6 inch squares.  They turned out quite large though so next time I’d like to experiment with varying the sizes with 2, 3, 4 & 5 inch squares.

pinwheels (8)_a

I’ve placed four pinwheels in each square vase and added sand so that I can vary the heights.  I am going to have two of these pinwheel vases on each table with third vase holding circular happy birthday sign.  (want to make sure the centerpieces  are in groupings of three)

pinwheels (51)_a


I haven’t made pinwheels before so I followed the instructions found on this site.

  • wooden dowels- 1/4 x 12 inches tall: soak the dowels in water first to get them soft before pushing the tack into the wood. This was a great tip from Martha Stewart’s pinwheel tutorial.
  • washers-for the backside between the paper & dowel (these help let the wheel spin)
  • spectrum thumb tacks ( from the Container Store)-these worked great because they have such a large round top.  I tried little small push pin map tacks but they didn’t do a good job with this size pinwheel.  The colors also work really great with these papers.  I have some brads that came with this collection but unfortunately I couldn’t figure out a way to get them to work since they are not sharp/pointy.

I like the pennant paper the best!

pinwheels (6)_a

pinwheels (26)_a

Stay tuned….Next up I am going to share another party decoration.

Ten Months Old (Gwen)

4/13/2012-Gwen has turned ten months old today. 

Here are some of our favorite highlights & photos from the last month. 

Gwen_Nine Months (88)

She has mastered standing up, pulling herself up onto her knees & onto her feet.  It’s mostly so  far only been in our laps.   But then in the last week she figured out how to stand up in her crib and so we’ve moved the mattress down to the lower level (don’t worry grandma, we won’t let her fall out). Since this new discovery she’s standing up in the morning and giving me the biggest smile when she waits for me to come get her out of bed.

Such a happy & smiley girl.   She’s so independent and likes to explore.

In the last month she’s gained a pound and weighs 20 pounds.  She’s getting bigger but still feels pretty light to hold and she does a good job helping holding onto me when I carry her so it’s easy.   

Her teachers at daycare keep telling me how much they enjoy her and that she plays so well by herself with all the toys. She plays happily on her own and lets them know when she’s ready to eat or sleep.

Got first tooth on the top (middle right) for a total of 5. The top one on the left is close to breaking through, we’ve been seeing it for a month now looking like it was going to pop out the front of the gum at any minute.

Long Visit with Grandma & Grandpa: Spent 8 nights with grandma & grandpa while the three of us were in Florida. Where she spent a lot of time crawling up their one stair, climbing under the coffee table, stroller rides with grandpa, 4 of the nights she only got up once to eat. I was glad that she slept well for grandma too, it was hard to leave her for so long but I knew it would be best for her to not be flying to the east coast. Since she naps very frequently it’s important for her to be rested. She was sick when we left with a cold so that made it even harder to say goodbye.

Learned how to crawl up ONTO the dishwasher door. She pulls herself up to a stand, then slowly gets on the door and pulls herself all the way up. What a great helper she is already wanting to do the dishes!

Enjoys chewing & holding onto plastic Easter eggs. Gwen won a HUGE teddy bear at the Easter egg hunt at church. It was so exciting that they drew her name from all the many kids that were there.

Because she’s now crawling so fast and going everywhere, we’ve blocked off the living room so that we can secure the carpet area with the couches/outoman to keep her in this area. When she does "break free" and get out the first place she goes is Griffin/Drake’s water bowl. Of course, this is always their favorite! (even AJ still goes for it and he’s getting close to two years old)

Likes to throw her arms up in the air. Sometimes it’s both of them and others it’s just one. She does it when she’s excited and squeals at the same time. She also does it when she’s trying to wave at someone. It’s a bit too high for a wave but it’s sooo cute!

Favorite toys: chewing on Gavin’s wooden blocks, banging the small cups together that are in the bath, standing up at the activity table-grabbing things out of the bowl and looking around the room/out the windows.


Gwen_Nine Months (8)

This is one of the lovely women who has watched Gwen everyday while we are at work.  She’s been there since the day Gwen started at daycare and she is now moving away from the area.  We are sad to see her go but we are so thankful to have had such a loving, caring person taking care of our baby girl.    I’d like to thank her for helping make my transition back to work easier.  

Gwen_Nine Months (73)

Now that she’s getting older Gavin’s getting more comfortable holding her but he doesn’t do it on his own (it was very sweet he did it here to let me get a photo of the two together-right before he went searching for Easter eggs).


Easter Eggs_April 2012 (12)

Crawling from her room into big brothers room.    This is one of her favorite things to do.  She makes excited sounds when she’s off crawling so it’s easy to find her.   

Crawling to Gavin's room (17)

Wearing a sweet white/gray flower outfit from Aunt Jen & Uncle Nick. 

Gwen_Nine Months (41)

And she’s wearing Kira’s cute red jacket on top! Thank you Kira for letting us borrow your adorable coat!

Gwen_Nine Months (69)


Easter Eggs_April 2012 (2)

Thank you grandma & grandpa for taking care of Gwen for an entire week!

Miami_March 2012 (194)

Cute cousins.  I love seeing them all together and how happy Gavin his cousins.

Easter_April 2012 (146)

Gwen’s checks are red from the brief 1st time sun that we got earlier in the day.  (see photo below)

Easter_April 2012 (197)

Beautiful day for an Easter egg hunt.  We got a family photo of all 4 together!

Easter_April 2012 (99)

This is the new bear that Gwen WON at the Easter egg hunt.  The bear’s sitting in her high chair and is larger than her!  It was so cute to see her squealing & giggling when she grabbed the bear she won.    There were hundreds of people there and Gwen’s name was pulled from the bucket. 

Easter_April 2012 (233)

one-page layouts

After being inspired by the Sketch Support Blog Hop  going on this weekend I am very inspired to scrapbook.  Unfortunately I don’t have time right now to scrapbook but I can share some holiday layouts that I’ve recently completed.   I know it’s sunny days and we are all looking forward to summer that is fast approaching…..but I don’t want to wait another 8 months till Christmas is here to share these layouts.  🙂  So here we go.

This first layout is based on One-Page Sketch #4.    I don’t do one page layouts very often.  I would guess I’ve probably done under 20 total  in my lifetime of scrapbooking (I’ve probably done over 1000+ two-page layouts).

They work in my Christmas albums though because  I like to have an intro page for each year and so I end up needing to have two one-page layouts each year.

Christmas 2009_detail page

Got this idea from Allison’s layout & I used the same shaped patterned piece of paper that she used for her great layout here.

The red numbered paper didn’t come in this shape but I had another piece with this shape so I used  it to trace & trim to have the shape above.  This shape helps the pattern paper pop out more on the white paper than if it were a smaller piece (like the sketch).

I followed the sketch exactly except my photos are not all 3×3.  They are 12 inches in height but I had to play with the sizes to get them to all fit.  The stocking photo is longer than the others and since it was a new addition to the mantel this year I didn’t want to leave it out.

I also stitched around the edge of the paper with a double thread. This was the first time I’ve done this and I quickly learned that a darker color of thread would have showed up more. It’s important to have more contrast between the paper & the thread to really appreciate it. I used the We are Memory Keepers Sew Easy tool that punches the holes in the paper. It helps provide a guide for where to put the thread through.

Here’s a close up of the embroidery floss that’s added to the edge.

Christmas 2009_detail page_a

If I were to do this again I’d use black embroidery floss here.

Christmas 2009_detail page_b

Supplies:   pattern paper- Teresa Collins travel ledger & Noel, light blue paper- Bo Bunny Jack Frost, cardstock – Bazzil, stitching design – We R Memory Keepers, embroidery floss,


This second one page is the OLDEST layout (from 2007) I still had left to do on my “to-do”  list.  I am glad to have completed it because now I jump ahead a few years!

This layout is based on One-Page Sketch #1 found at Sketch Support.

cookie exchange

Since I don’t have a ton of photos from the cookie exchange this was the perfect layout.  Chris made over 200+ cookies while figuring out this recipe and I wanted to make sure we remembered this moment.


  • I wanted to use one more photo than the sketch.  The photos of the cookie tins are not the same size as the two vertical images so I stacked them on top.
  • I moved the journaling down to the bottom right so that all the four photos would fit on the block.
  • I wanted to use the red paper to mat the entire block so I added a thin piece of Bo Bunny blue paper to set the block out on top of the red.


One-page layouts go so quickly and are fun to plan because you don’t have to use as many photos.   I know I’ll definitely need to do some for the first & last pages of albums and can’t wait to try out more of these layouts (or maybe convert some of them to two page layouts!)

cookie exchange_a

Next I’ll share some two-page holiday layouts that I’ve recently completed!