As I mentioned, I've been having so much fun going through pictures--old ones and new ones! This year's beach pictures are some of my favorites, thanks to my very talented personal professional photographer/uh, sister.
I'll be sharing some soon, I'm sure, but these aren't from the beach at all...
...they do, however, remind me of our vacation all the time. I think I've mentioned before that our family souvenir of choice is a rock. You know-- inexpensive, heavy, and totally beautiful. They're all so different, but we realized over the years that we have a hard time remembering where we got them, so I started marking them when we got home.
Most of them say this:
My favorites, though, are my two heart rocks. The top one is brand new! Asa found it for me at the lighthouse beach in Narragansett, R.I. this summer. The other one I found in the creek at the park where we had my sister Hannah's wedding reception.
For all my years of looking here and there, I've only got two. Makes them precious! And fun to look for.
I thought I might include a snapshot of how I manage to take such fabulous* photos. With help. This little one is happiest being held, so...one-handed photography it is.
*yep, you're hearing sarcasm.
Get ready--there are a lot of photos in here!
I posted the plan, mostly so I would remember what we were doing. I know it wasn't that complex, but I still found it helpful!
The face painting was a big hit--I found glittery face paint at Hobby Lobby and it was perfect. So were my face-paint-technicians--Abbey and MaryBeth!
Everyone got butterfly faces...
...and Samara also got a butterfly shirt and hairpins--I ironed interfacing onto fabric, cut out the butterflies, and then used a little Stiffen Stuff to form them. I tacked just the middle of the butterflies on, which worked fine, and has been through the laundry with no trouble.
We (Grammy and Beth) made lip gloss using a combination of recipes I found online, by combining a spoonful of cocoa butter, 2 spoonfuls of petroleum jelly, a squirt of agave nectar, and a dash of cake decorating glitter (in lovely pink and purple shades) in a baggie. Each little one squished it around and around until it was all mixed together and then we cut a little corner off the bottom of the bag and squirted it into paint pots I found at Hobby Lobby. This was pretty easy and so fun! And so edible.
I also made each little girl a wristband with white canvas on one side, and fabric Samara chose out on the other. We put out supplies for everyone to decorate the white side...
Then it was cupcake decorating time! I made the frosting and the cupcakes the night before, and put it in the frig until the party--it needed to be warmed up a little bit, but it was so nice to have it ready ahead of time!
They piped and sprinkled and ate and licked...it was fun!
And appropriately messy. :)
So we headed out the driveway to eat our snacks (complete with my highlight--butterfly jello jigglers!), where we'd set up a table with our party garlands and flowers (where's the picture? I don't know...). Samara received ladybugs as a gift--we all thought that was pretty cool!
She got lots of other lovely things, too!
The girls were so sweet to each other--this was one of my favorite moments of the day.
Happy Birthday, Samara Grey!
My helpers Grammy, Jenney and Sara helped finish wrapping these little cupcake carriers for all the girls--I'd been saving chipboard boxes (think crackers and cream of wheat) and we cut circles out of the top , then wrapped them and pushed the wrapping paper through the holes to create a little carrier.
Everyone took home cupcakes for their family!
Don't they look yummy?!
My real favorite moments of the whole day were after we'd finished up and were hanging out on the porch, with the dancing butterflies...
...and the laughing babies...
...and the happy birthday girl. I so want to do a good job loving her well--she's different than I am and sometimes it feels like I miss the mark.
But I think this time we hit it. :)
Samara's birthday party is coming up this weekend, and I am so excited--although of course I can't compete with her level of excitement...
But I did have a fabulously fun time yesterday prepping for the party--planning and making a few little things. This is one of them--I bought this little pendant thing at Hobby Lobby, and just glued my little piece of embroidered felt into it (which I learned from Jordan). This took so little time, but was just so satisfyingly sweet to complete. The theme of her crafty party is butterflies...you'll be seeing more!
Lots of people know that I love toadstools. I think I've figured out that its because they were featured in all my favorite childhood storybooks, and, well, those impressions were strong ones! The funny thing is that I don't really like to eat mushrooms...what do you think of that?
I sure do like these, though! The idea came from this really neat e-zine called Nuno--their fall edition. I loved everything in it, and have looked it over numerous times since then--beautiful and inspiring to me. This is the only project I've made from it, although there are several I've considered...
I bought a couple of leather coats at the Goodwill, and a red leather purse. That and some glue and stuffing, and there you have it! And I've got enough leather left to make a bunch more. I gave most of these away, but I'm ready to make more...especially since my sister Carrie called to tell me yesterday that she saw these in a display at Anthropologie. Of course--if I could live in an Anthropologie window display, I probably would. Wouldn't you?
I stood in one spot and took the following four pictures:
and this one a few moments later...
It's interesting to look back at that moment--the pre-Christmas rush to make a few inspired gifts...I loved watching all my little ones at work. Well, except for number 4, who was busy causing trouble.
I loved these little books! I got the accordion kits at Papersource when we visited Carrie in D.C. and they were a perfect start for a story.
Samara went for the stamps, while Phin went for the adventure story...
I love that Phin ran out of story and figured out a way to make it fit just right...can you tell?
A few of you have asked what Renne's room looks like. Well, do you remember this?
It is now this:
The great thing is that it's still the playroom, but all the toys are hiding!
The mobile was inspired by this one. It was such fun to put together, and I love how it looks in front of the window!
The bins have all of Renne's clothes, although underneath you'll still find all the dress ups...
I stamped the labels on fabric and just tacked them onto these bins from IKEA. This particular bin is full of lovelies, like these:
The hanging princess thing was meant to go over the crib, but the bird mobile just seemed to want to go there, and it turns out we love it around the chair:
It's got some lights hung inside it and it's just the most magical place to nurse at night, or in the daytime, too. I've found that the curtain is just enough of a barrier for a little peace and quiet--a perfect nursing spot, really. I covered the climbing wall with curtains I saved from our house in Pittsburgh, hung up with clothesline.
Since it's still the playroom, I've had grand plans of embroidering some gorgeous door sign we can flip over when she's sleeping, but for now, this is what we're using:
The decor is all so fun to me--collected and handmade dear little treasures. The pink handknit sweater is from a sweet friend--it's so perfect and tiny! All the dresses hanging on the bungee hooks are from my childhood. It was a little tricky, figuring out what to do with those eye hooks, so I just took the easy route and put stuff up as I unpacked it, and now I like it that way! We ended up buying only the rug (a piece of carpet) and the IKEA crib.
I wish these pictures could convey how it feels when you walk in this room--it's so light and airy and peaceful and perfect for our little Renne-bird.
Well, when it's not covered in toys and dress-ups...