Wednesday, January 30, 2013

vintage circus party ~ fun & games

It wouldn't be a kid's party without lots of entertainment!  We invited plenty of pint-sized guests to Carson's big party.  It seems that these days most of our good times revolve around our little fella's good times, so we figured as long as the kid's were having fun, the grown-ups would be too. 

The front yard was filled with vintage inspired carnival games, picnic blankets, bubbles and balls.   
It sure seemed like the entertainment was a hit!

 I created the bean bag toss with a 1"x 8" board cut to the right length and spray painted white.  I super glued industrial strength magnets to the board where I wanted to place each of the 5 buckets (I wanted them to be removable).  I then used these buckets from JoAnn's.  I customized each bucket with a number 1-5 printed on one of Luvalexa's printable papers, cut out with this craft punch, and glued on and sealed with mod podge.  The bean bags are from Oriental Trading Co. and they're sitting in this crate from JoAnn's, which I stained with Minwax dark walnut stain.

I used an antique bottle crate that I already owned (they're easy to find at flea markets or Pottery Barn has reproductions) to hold the glass coke bottles (available at Costco or Smart & Final).  The cane rack rings are available through Oriental Trading Co.

 The ducks are from Oriental Trading Co., they're floating in an old ice bucket.

I found the "super miracle bubbles" at Party City.  They're customized with the cupcake toppers from Luvalexa's party printables and some mod podge.   The mini beach balls are from Oriental Trading Co. and are in a larger stained JoAnn's crate.

Looks like all the games were quite a hit!

The birthday boy sure enjoyed himself .  That is what this day was ALL about, after all!
You can find more details from Carson's 1st Birthday party here and here.

Carson's shirt is from the adorable etsy shop flyduds!
Photos are by SDK photo!

Monday, January 28, 2013

vintage circus party ~ diy decorations

It's back to the circus to share some of the DIY decorations from Carson's party! 

It was all in the details for Carson's big #1.  From the water bottle labels, to the tissue paper pom poms, to the burlap table runners, we made everything ourselves.

Putting together the perfect party was fairly simple thanks to my trusty photo printer.  I was able to print almost all of the decorations myself.  It did take up LOTS of our evenings leading up to the party, but it was a great way to go all out without spending way too much money.

If you're interested in creating a "custom" party, the options are pretty unlimited thanks to the many talented artists on etsy.  There are SO many fun options (I've already got party plans for years to come)!  Luvalexa created the perfect party printables for our vintage circus party!  She customized colors, fonts, signs, thank yous, etc.  Pretty much anything I came up with, she was able to create.

All I had to do was print and get to cutting and gluing!  Below are some of my favorite party decorations!


 {1} little flower bouquets in mason jars - all flowers fresh from my garden
{2} cupcake toppers and paper wrappers
{3} table tents
{4} snack cups

A small table welcomed guests with hats as they entered, and thanked them with cookies as they left!
{1} printable Thank You tags
{2} diy canvas sign (tutorial to follow!)
{3} elephant cookies (homemade by nina debbie, click here for the recipe)

A brightly colored drinks table offered refreshments for all ages
{1} DIY water bottle labels ~ be sure to print on water resistant vinyl paper
{2} Colorful paper straws 
{3} spill proof kid's cups
{not pictured, but quite necessary} a vintage wagon filled with beer

DIY banners strung with twine and tissue paper poms hung from every awning (balloons too, of course!).  Here's a tutorial on making tissue poms (or order them in any color on etsy).

Inside we hung a photo banner featuring a photo from each of Carson's monthly photo shoots.  The photos were labeled 0-12 for each month of his first year.  I created the matching numbers using Luvalexa's printable papers, my scalloped craft punch and this circus font.
It's so much fun to see how much our little guy has grown in one short year!  I also created a couple of canvases using Mom & Dad's 1 year photos (who does he look like?).

The cake got it's very own tiny "CARSON" banner!


I made way too many trips to Michael's!  Hopefully this list can help if you're looking to create your own party!  These are the tools and supplies that I couldn't live without!

The perfect printable party set
Scalloped 2" craft punch {cupcake toppers + custom stickers}
X-Large 2.5" craft punch {this was for the letters on the custom banners ~ I used this circus font}
hole punch
twine {banners, hats, balloons}
pinking shears {snack cups}
glue gun {banners, cupcake toppers, hats
white cardstock {all printables}
vinyl sticker paper {water bottle labels}
matte sticker paper {optional ~ I printed a bunch of the cupcake toppers on sticker paper and use them to decorate everything from nice round rocks, used as napkin weights to paper bags for popcorn}
lollipop sticks {cupcake toppers}
elmer's tape runner {cupcake papers + anything that needs a little sticky}
paper cutter {totally optional, but SO helpful}
the perfect photographer {also optional, but I couldn't be happier that we had Stephanie of SDK photo to capture the day ~ all photos above are her work!}

Thursday, January 24, 2013

vintage circus party ~ eats

A great party needs lots and lots of great food!  My first of 3 upcoming party posts covers all the fun treats that our guest enjoyed as we celebrated.  We kept things simple and made most of the food ourselves (thank goodness for Costco!).

We wanted this party to be casual and fun, fun, fun.
The #1 rule for Carson's party fare: no silverware!
I figured since he can't use utensils yet, no one should.
We went with lots of "circus" type finger foods that we hoped would be enjoyed by guests of all ages!

Enjoy the delicious pics...and stay tuned for recipes in the coming weeks.

 All of our family favorites were featured in the snack bar!

Sweet little labels showed our guests exactly who loves each treat!
 The snack bar included:
Pretzels {auntie's favorite}
Gummy Bears {daddy's favorite}
Red Licorice {grammy shelley's favorite}
Tootsie Pops {papa dick's favorite}
Animal Crackers {nina debbie's favorite}

There were also PLENTY of cupcakes!  We had Red Velvet {mommy's favorite} and Chocolate {grandpa dave's favorite} with a vanilla bean cream cheese frosting.  The cupcakes and frosting were all homemade!  For the red velvet recipe click here and for the chocolate click here.

 Of course, no circus is complete without fresh popped popcorn!  Thanks for serving it up, Papa!
We included a couple of healthy and colorful options, fruit skewers and applesauce {carson's favorite}.
Our big surprise was one of LA's famous bacon wrapped hot dog carts!  We changed it up it a little by using organic chicken and apple sausages, all natural bacon and grilled onions.  It seems they were quite a hit - we had enough for two dogs per guest and we only had a few left!
And of course no 1st Birthday is complete without a smash cake!  Our little guy is terribly picky so we went with a tried and true favorite, Schat's coffe cake.  I made the coffee cake into a mini layer cake by creating my own layers and adding cream cheese frosting.  I topped it off with a #1, a candle, and a tiny "CARSON" banner.  Looks like he enjoyed it, right?
SDK photo for capturing the day
Luvalexa for designing the adorable party printables
Schat's Bakery for the delicious cake
Tacos el Morro for the hot dog cart
My sis-in-law, Alison, for dishes, linens and inspiration

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Vintage Circus Party

I've been excited to blog about this since the day I started blogging.  I waited until after the holidays so I could spend some time reminiscing about what a wonderful day it was.

You only have one FIRST birthday.  And though he might not remember it for long, we sure will (and we've got LOTS of pics to prove it was a great time).

I've always loved birthday celebrations and this was, by far, my favorite one yet! 

The theme was vintage circus.  Carson loves animals, I love all things vintage, so we all loved the party.

It all started with the perfect way to invite our wonderful friends and family.

I looked at hundreds (seriously) of custom invitations on etsy and finally decided upon this design by Vicky at luvalexa.    She worked with me to create everything I needed as my party details came together!  I printed all of the decorations myself and Jeff and I got really friendly with the glue gun and the craft punches.

Here's a sneak peek of some of the details.  More to come this week on how it all turned it!

photos by sdk photo & design

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

getting 2013 organized...

I'm in Jersey for the week and my company meeting is keeping me pretty busy.  I was hoping to steal away a few minutes and share my first post (of many) on Carson's big 1st birthday bash, but, can't get my computer to open the photo cd.  I'm SO excited to finally relive the details of his big day!  I guess I'll have to wait a few more days...

In the meantime, all of these company meetings and talks of what's to come in 2013, have got me feeling like I really need a new calendar.

Since I love all things etsy, I've been searching the site for the perfect printable calendar.  I'm on the hunt for a small calendar that can sit on my desk and simply remind me that Wednesday is the 16th. 

Here are my favorites so far.  Now I feel like I might need a calendar in every room!

{1} & {2}
straight forward, retro and fun.

just lovely.

perfect for the beach house.

for the little one's room.

all kinds of fun.
the perfect food every day.
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

gallery wall #2

I've been dreaming of hanging a canvas gallery wall in our great room for quite a while, but it's a lot of pressure!  I am SO lucky to have a best friend that is an amazing photographer.  You should absolutely check out her work here!  (And, if you live in San Francisco you should book a session, for sure.)  She manages to get great photos even when our little guy is determined not to smile at the camera no matter how silly we act.

Anyway, point is, we've ended up with so many beautiful photos that it was REALLY hard to decide which ones to put on canvas on the wall.

We ended up choosing seven photos and they make me so happy that I must have made the right decision.  All photos are courtesy of Jenna (JennaBeth photography).  I just love how they capture the moment and make me feel like I'm back on the beach splashing in the surf or playing at the park.

If you're interested in making your own gallery wall, I would absolutely recommend Canvas on Demand.  Look out for a Groupon and you can do this very affordably (they actually have one right now!)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

NEW year, NEW projects . . . gallery wall #1

Happy 2013!
We're back from a wonderful Oregon holiday.
I'm feeling rested and ready to jump into 2013.  I've already got a nice little list of new years projects in mind. 

I've already crossed off item #1 and it's only the first week in January.  Here's hoping I can be just as efficient all year!  Actually, I cheated a little and had most of this completed in 2012, but it feels good to cross it off anyway.

One of the "new" wall features is an old kitchen window (check it out in it's former life as our kitchen window) that I re-purposed to create a gallery wall.  It's the first thing I see when I walk down the steps and the great memories bring a smile to face every time.
The window was originally painted white, but I took the electric sander to it and sanded off a lot of the paint.  I then used a coat of Briwax to darken the wood color a little.  I wanted it to stand out against our white walls.  To keep some of the old chipped paint charm I finished the window with a coat of sealer made of 1 part elmer's glue/3 parts water.
I printed the pics to fit each pane (8.25"x8.25") on our photo printer so it will be cheap and easy to switch the photos whenever I need a change.
photo by SDK photo and design
photo by SDK photo and design

The other wall downstairs has a bunch of new canvas photos!  More on that later this week.