Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Art Party // An Arty Girl's 8th Birthday Party!

My darling daughter Lily was turning eight and was due for a party! 

We don't do parties too often (so far, each of my kid's have had one for their 1st, 5th and now 8th birthdays). Lily's last party was her adorable Princess Tea Party when she was five (check it out here.... my teeny girl!). As we don't have them every year, when we do, I enjoy going all out to celebrate my little munchkins - and boy, do they LOVE a party :) They get to choose the theme too of course - and after running through a hundred theme variations, Lily finally settled decisively on an Art Party - fitting given her firm plans to be 'an artist' one day!

I have to admit I was thrilled with such a fun and creative theme and had an absolute blast pulling this together, with my ideas-filled little assistant planner! This kid had a clear vision and actually I was basically the assistant planner, carrying them all out on her behalf haha! Maybe she will be an event manager like her mama one day :) Lily's original big idea was to hold the party IN an art gallery so she could 'look at all the art with her friends then paint pictures of what we saw and have cake and dancing!'. Amazing, right?! But it was the midst of winter and I couldn't find a gallery that also had a good space for art and food and a horde of giggling little girls... so we decided to bring the art to us instead - with our own little gallery!

We had an absolute ball putting this all together. Homespun, simple, child-led and theme-driven, it was just a joy. I couldn't do this every year but I have to admit I absolutely love throwing parties when the time comes! I'm mostly grateful for the opportunity to make my kids feel cherished with a big celebration. And I was thrilled with Lily's creative choice because the theme just made it so easy and fun for everyone. Lots of art, laughter and food - what could be better?!

Thanks to my lovely friend Amber for taking many of following photos while I was busy flitting around! 

I think most of them speak for themselves so.... enjoy scrolling, if kid's parties are your thing ;)

DIY Art Gallery. It was so fun gathering images of some of our favourite art works. It was amazing how powerful and inspiring they all were displayed on the walls together too. The impact of beautiful art is not to underestimated :)
The Art Table, ready and waiting...
I made this simple little banner for Lily's 1st birthday party (I did the same for the boys too) and we pin them up for every birthday :) 

I made this in Canva - easy and a nice little welcome sign and wall decor.
What's a themed party without coming up with silly matching names?
Pop Art for Popcorn?! Yes, I am a genius. Ha!

'Art Palette' Rainbow Poke Cake! Click here to see how I made it and how it looks inside (clue - colourful!!). It was so easy, fun and delicious!! :) 
My lovely mother-in-law made these adorable art palette cookies
Lily came up with these names and wrote the signs. LOVE :) You can't see them too well but they are layered jelly cups.
Healthy Bliss Balls go rainbow!
Eli (6yrs) bought this little mannequin as a gift for Lily with his own money! *melt* Perfect table accessory!
Who needs table decor when you have art supplies to scatter around!? Colourful, useful and fun!  For art supplies, I had watercolours (both liquid and dry), watercolour paper, charcoal, black fine tip pens and also this fun colourful air-dry clay the kids could use to make mini-models.

An arty rainbow of fruit and veggies

I love open ended arts and crafts for kids, so I simply laid out all the materials and let them do what they liked - painting, drawing, modelling with clay. It was very relaxed and so sweet to see all the girls working away at their art. The drawing prompts on the table and walls helped inspire them when they needed it too.
I was thrilled when I found these cute little art palettes and brush sets at a cheapie shop. It meant each girl could have her own little set to use and take home. I wrote their name on each in gold pen.
'I'm just here for the food'
So, so excited for his sister's big day, my sweet boy xx
Little artists get to work!

I like to come up with (more useful, less sugary) alternatives to party bags where I can :) This time I got a bunch of calico 'library bags' and the kids had a total blast decorating them with puffy paint pens (retro!), fabric stickers and markers. Something to carry home all their art in, and use after the party. The girls were thrilled with this and I think the lollies weren't too missed ;)
Beautiful artworks drying in the afternoon sun. Little clay model animal figurines too!
They were very serious about their library bag decorating!

Lily came up with this game, kinda like 'pin the tail on the donkey' but each
blindfolded girl had to try and draw some clothing on the Lily outline, haha!
Another Lily Idea: Play Arty Musical Statues - we played music and everyone
danced around. When the music stopped, you had to freeze in a pose from one of the
art works on the walls!! It was super cute :) Harper is giving a great pose here!
Dancing up a storm and suddenly looking way too grown up! He was very into the game and had no interest in being 'out' haha

Blissfully happy to be with friends at her very own party :)
The artistes at work!
Miles was very much part of the action :)
The moment arrives... lighting the cake....

Oh my, I love this photo, cuddled up with my stripey little party-planning accomplice
as she joyfully eyes off her cake! I love this girl so much, planning a party for her was
truly a pleasure. What a wonderful young lady she is, I'm simply in awe of her xx

Great memories of a wonderful day...

Happy Birthday, Lily. What a privilege it is to celebrate you xx

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

{GIVEAWAY} Win one of three customised wall banners!

It all began three years ago when I was trawling Etsy (as you do) for some kind of bedroom door sign for my newborn son's bedroom... I trawled and trawled (you know how it is!) and could not find anything in a style I liked. Why was this so hard?! And why was I becoming so obsessed, haha!! ;)

Finally I came across the most gorgeous designs by an Etsy shop called All The Little Rockstars. Jackpot!!! Wooden flag banners with cute wooden letters and lots of colour combinations to choose from... both modern and classic, for the door or the wall, I had found the perfect choice! In Slovenia of all places (oh, how I love Etsy for discovering new places and stores like this). I had a delightful time with the super friendly creator, Anita, coming up with fun colour combos and was simply thrilled with the end result. Anita, also a mama of two boys, was so friendly and fun to work with, I could see she loved putting the banners together so much. Soon I was buying one for my other son, then my daughter... then my nieces when they were born, then friend's new babies. You get the drift... I became her (self-appointed) best customer, haha! And of course we became online friends too - love that :)

The banners can be hung on the wall (or anywhere!) but I love to tie them around the door so they become a little bedroom door name sign :)

Double trouble... the boy's room! 

Some of the many other options from All the Little Rockstars...

Doesn't have to just be a name! Why not choose a word you love? Home, family, welcome.... so many options!

Now, you all know I love supporting small business and especially clever, hard-working, creative work-at-home-mothers. I also wanted to celebrate my lovely, supportive, gorgeous (ok, the compliments keep coming!) community over on my friendly little Facebook page too, which somehow recently reached 2,000 followers!!

So the idea was born, to do a giveaway!! Of not one, not two, but THREE banners!!!!!!!

Yep, three banners to be won and you can enter to win them all!

You can one here on my blog.

You can win one over on my Facebook page.

And you can win one over on my (very new!) Instagram page. Yes, I finally joined and now I know what all the fuss has been about! It's so very happy and friendly and lovely over there! Come say hi if you are already Insta-savvy - I am such a newbie and still looking for other gorgeous feeds to follow.

This giveaway is not sponsored, I have paid for all my banners! I just wanted to throw my support behind this lovely store and hope you will too by checking out her Etsy store and following her on Instagram and Facebook too. I want to do this giveaway to also shout out support to all the small business owners, creatives and work-at-home-parents. And big love and thanks to my fabulous Facebook crew too!

So, want to win a banner for your kid's room? Or your own! It doesn't even have to be a name... what about 'home', 'welcome', 'love' or 'family'? The sky's the limit, folks.....

Ok, enterrrrrrr away!! xx

To enter, just answer this simple question in the comment section below....

'What word or name would you put on your wall banner?'

Then you can click over to my Facebook page and to my Instagram pages and enter there too. Yep, you can enter three times, with three chances to win! 

(It's fine to put the same answer in every places if you want!)


xx Kate


Terms and Conditions:
Giveaway is for three All the Little Rockstars wall banners (one banner for each winner), including delivery.
Entries welcome worldwide! 
Must leave a name and email address if using "anonymous" or a profile not linked to a way to contact you if you've won.
Winners will be deemed most creative/interesting response as chosen by me. This is a game of skill, not chance.
Entries open 7.30pm Wednesday 7th September 2016 and close 10am Wednesday 14th September 2016.
Judges decision is final. Winners must respond within 24 hours or prize will be awarded to the runner up. Good luck!