Well, that’s a surprise!

I am a fan of hiding special treats in plain things. I’m a bit like a squirrel in that regard. Find a thing, hide it in a secret place…then curse my ‘being clever’ when it comes time to retrieve it. Personally, I think a ‘hidden treasures’ theme party would be fantastic. With cookies that are more than they seem, regular ol’ cardboard boxes with a colorful surprise, and party decorations that are actually invitations in disguise, it would be one of the coolest shindigs. Oo, throw in a couple mustaches to top it all off and it’d be golden. 

As much fun as they are, piñatas can be a bit on the messy side when it comes time to clean up after they’ve been brutally beaten to a pulp. As someone who is very good at making messes and not too fond of cleaning them up (but does it anyway, however begrudgingly), this cookie design from Sandra Denneler is more than a little appealing to me.

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Not only is is BRIGHT and colorful, but it also has the added bonus of being edible and having a secret compartment baked in. These are listed as ‘Cinco de mayo’ cookies, but it’s easy enough to change the cookie cutter shape I use to fit the occasion. Instead of donkeys, why not gingerbread men, hearts, or squirrels. I do actually have a squirrel cookie cutter. It’s a bit on the small side, but it’s vintage, it’s cool looking…and cost less than a packet of gum.

Not the biggest fan of M’nMs (meh), but I’m sure I could find some kind of replacement candy that would work just as well. Maybe chocolate covered raisons would taste good…or candied pecans.

This next food idea, I find amusing and enticing, but…I’m not sure how kids expecting cake would respond. There is the distinct possibility of being tied up to a tree in the backyard with jump ropes, while the little ones dance around you, periodically hurling water balloons and bits of unwanted food from the buffet at you. Party rule #1: never come between a child and the promise of cake.

THAT being said, this ‘cake’ from Cute Foods for Kids, is making me really, really hungry. 

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What can I say? I love PB&J. I love Jelly and cream cheese sandwiches infinitely more, but the traditional peanut butter option is just as good. For my own party planning, I think this type of cake substitute would work very well as the main finger food at a tea party. Cutting sandwiches into wedges and putting them all together on a plate so that they actually do look like a cake would be neat. They don’t all have to be the same flavor even! A couple could be PB&J, a few could be honey and peanut butter (another favorite of mine), and the last few could be cream cheese and jelly. That would sort of turn it into a ‘Russian roulette’ of sandwich slices. 

Moving out of the realm of food and into that of cards, this idea from Studio DIY is a sure fire hit with any birthday girl or boy (or woman, or man). 

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How cool would it be to wake up to one of these things? If I wanted to take it a bit further, I could even put individual messages or tie bunches of curled ribbons at the base of each balloon. Or-or attach a light-weight present to the ribbons so that when the balloons come floating out, they lift the gift with them. I’m getting way too many idea looking at this thing.

Another lovely thing to wake up to, would be this birthday postcard template from Oh Happy Day.

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The beauty of this is that it’s like an extra little present from all the guests to the birthday child (or adult, adults get to have cool things too). It’s just a nice way of saying ‘happy birthday’ that means a bit more when all the cards are assembled on the wall. 

I went a bit backwards with my imaginary party planning today, but no matter. Invitations! This idea from Studio DIY (again, I know. I love their blog!) is so stinking cool. 

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To me, things that are notes, but double as decorations are brilliant. I also just like those honeycomb-type adornments. As far as invites go, if I got this in the mail I’d be ecstatic. Not to mention the fact that since it’s a decoration I can hang in my room…it would make for a very effective ‘party reminder’. 

Does anyone have any favorite ‘party surprises’?

Stay Sparkly, lovelies!

Jesse Alora
Faery Lady Faces
www.faeryladyfaces.com

Spring has Sprung

I’m sitting in my room, looking out at a sky that seems to be contemplating the possibility of rain a bit later, and thinking about this upcoming Easter. For me, the holiday has always brought about memories of brightly colored eggs, bunches of pastel flowers hanging from every wall of my house, late afternoon drives to nowhere…and eating mass amounts of candy. My main thing though, is the egg dyeing. My mom had to hide her food coloring from me when I was younger because I had a habit of just watching drops of color in a clear glass cascade down through the water within. It was fascinating to me how one little drop of dye could billow through another liquid and change it into something else entirely.

That being said, I have a not so wonderful habit of leaving all my egg dyeing to the last minute, which for me means not being able to try out all the neat little tricks I find in books and online. Even with that little down fall in mind, I really truly think I need to give this technique, from Jennifer Kirk over at Sheknows.com, a whirl.

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I’m a bit tempted to see what kinds of colors I can get using natural materials like purple cabbage or blueberries. I tend to think the colors would be a bit deeper and definitely more earth-tone than the dyes you find in the grocery store. Come to think of it, I’ve got a ‘natural dyeing’ how-to book laying around on my shelves somewhere. *Makes a mental note for a future blog entry*

If I used gold leaf on my eggs, those things would be with me until they flaked apart from old age. That, and for some reason, I just really enjoy intact empty egg shells. There’s something so rewarding about turning a brightly colored egg over in your hand, knowing it won’t be destroyed in a day or two to get to the ‘golden treasure’ inside. A box without hinges, key or a lid…

This next egg idea speaks to my style of gardening…which is poor at best. I try! I really do, but everything I plant turns to ash. I almost had a functioning mini vegetable garden on my front porch when I lived in Denver…but then I had the flu and *POOF*. Everything died.

I’d think it’d be truly awe-inspiring if I managed to kill this garden from Fortheloveof.net .

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The reason I like this idea (besides the fact that it allows me to live under the delusion that I’m an accomplished gardener)  is because it’s simple and very interesting to look at. Why use regular clay or plastic pots, when I can go green and use some hollowed out egg shells instead? Best thing is, when I get tired of having them around all I have to do is smash them up and put them into a compost pile. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. I want to use the gold leaf marbled eggs to create some semi-permanent plant pots to sprinkle throughout my future home! I wonder if I could plant some wild flowers in these things…

Then, of course, if all else fails and I even manage to kill some simple grass, there’s always the crafty approach to flower gardens. These delightful tulips from scissorsandspoons.com would make for an inviting table centerpiece at any ‘spring fling’. There’s even the option of plucking one out from the bunch and giving them out as party favors at the end of the day. Speaking as a technically six-year old girl…paper flowers that can potentially double as magic wands, conductor’s batons, or even small daggers are the epitome of awesome.

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As a quick side note, individual pieces of uncooked spaghetti also make for perfect conductor’s batons. They’re just the right length and look so graceful when waved through the air at a pretend ensemble of wind instruments, violins, and booming drums. Just sayin’.

This next bouquet from Design Improvised might not be the typical bunch of flowers, but for someone who always seems to end up with a ridiculous amount of plastic easter eggs…(I don’t even know how or where they all magically appear from)…it’s the perfect answer to the question,” what the bloody hell do I do with these things??”

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I’m a sucker for lively colors, but just looking at this little grouping of flower eggs makes me really happy. Also, the fact that it’s in a mason jar just makes it that much better. Yes, I do have a bit of a thing for mason jars. Slipping into a bit of an Arthur Knapp-Shappey frame of mind here, I’d say this idea… is BRILLIANT!

In the same line of brilliance, is the edible garden idea from Hungry Happenings. It’s simple, it’s adorable, and…it’s candy. All things I am terribly fond of.

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These are in the same vein as those edible ‘dirt cups’ my elementary school teachers were so fond of trodding out at every Halloween class party. As I’m staring at this picture, I’m musing on the idea of making a plate of brownies, crumbling them all up into a festival ‘plot of land’ (aka baking tin), and ‘planting’ a few ‘vegetables’ in the ‘dirt’, and leaving it on the counter to be ‘harvested’ at will. I’m really amused by this scenario, actually. I wonder what candies I could use to create cabbages, kale, and artichokes…

Whilst I go off to ponder my future home decor and candy garden, I hope you’re all having a wonderful spring day.

Stay Sparkly, Lovelies!

Jesse Alora
Faery Lady Faces
www.faeryladyfaces.com

A Rainbow Connection

The lovers, the dreamers, and me!

I’m a Jim Henson girl, through and through. I bleed glitter thanks to Davie Bowie‘s performance in The Labyrinth…which, sounds a bit grim for a DIY party blog, now that I’ve read that back to myself. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to Kermit the Frog singing ‘The Rainbow Connection‘ whilst strumming away on his little froggy banjo, nor can I count how many different covers I have of the song. Why not make one of my favorite melodies the inspiration for today’s post? Any excuse to talk about rainbows works for me [insert semi-evil laughter here]

I love color. I collect bright, bold colors like a magpie gathering shiny bits of metal and plastic into its nest. You can just imagine how I feel about rainbows and wearing them.  When I first found this fascinator from Studiodiy, I think I squealed pretty loudly. It’s simple, it’s fun, and it’s a rainbow party on my head.

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I had one woman telling me about how her daughter’s birthday party theme this year is ‘Imagination’. These little beauties would have fit in nicely with that setting.Tens of rainbow poof headbands running from one end of the house to the next. Glorious. Actually, you know what, sorry little kids. This one’s mine!

By the way, cardboard box forts. Decorate them as you like, bring in some silk sheets, have people connect their finished creations together, and you’ve got a fantastic cardboard castle to explore….or defend with pillows.

Maybe I could even celebrate the construction of my glorious box front property with these delightful confetti filled balloons from ko-jodesigns.

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Honestly, I dare anyone to tell me these things aren’t the definition of party perfect decorations. And! And when you’re done, pop ’em with a pin and BAM! Confetti everywhere. What could be better? Very few things top flying confetti. Only rainbow cake….and Benedict Cumberbatch.

In the same line of colorful treats, play-dough. Play-dough from ko-jodesigns, in all the glorious hues of the rainbow. I was more the ‘dump all Mom’s best spices into a bowl of water while pretending to be a witch brewing a potion’ type kid, but older me might just need this recipe in my life.

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I’m sensing a rainbow tea party in the fairly near future…something that will require my taking tons of pictures so that I can share my DIY party glee with y’all. Lucky me, I have friends who are just as big a bunch of kids as I am. It’s great. Flashlight tag in the park, playing in the jungle gym, attempting to get into Fairyland only to be denied because we’re ‘too old’….  it’s great fun 😀

If there’s anyone out there (hello, hello, echo, echo, echo….), be sure to share your own DIY successes! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Stay Sparkly, Lovelies!

Jesse Alora
Faery Lady Faces
www.faeryladyfaces.com

Painting in the Park

As well as posting brilliant little DIY party ideas and tricks, I’m also keen on sharing some photos from my weekly painting adventures in my local park…seeing as I am, in fact, a face painter with the intention of building a following/reputation within my local community. Yay, Faery Lady Faces!

Every week, I go to a place in Petaluma called Leghorn’s Park for a few hours to try out new design ideas and basically keep my craft sharp as a tack. If you’re in the area and interested in doing a ‘test run’ of my painting abilities, this is the place to do it! When I’m in the park, I paint for tips. If you don’t have money on you, I’m not going to turn you away from my chair, but as I tell a fair amount of the children who come up to me asking for face paint,”Tips are appreciated, but never mandatory”. I’m usually there after 2:30pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and after 10:30 on the weekends…depending on my party schedule on a given week. I post when and where I’m going to be painting on my Facebook, so if you’re interested….take a peek!

This week, I did a fair amount of special requests. It was mostly things like birds, cupcakes, pandas, and flowers, but there were quite a few cat and dog masks thrown in there for good measure. One of the bigger requests (for me) was a half-face skull with flowers.

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I decided to go the ‘sugar skull’ route with this one just because I don’t typically do scary (willingly. Pansy and proud) and because I thought that style would lend itself better to the skull/flower combination. This is actually my first time painting a sugar skull, even though I’ve been dying to paint them since October. She only wanted it on one side of her face, so it was an interesting challenge to find a way to split the face in a way that looked clean and finished.

Speaking of ‘clean and finished’, seeing as we’re coming up on Easter, I’ve had what seems like an explosion of requests for easter eggs and bunnies. With that demand in mind, I’ve been working on my bunny masks. I’m nearly there, but I have one or two little bits I’d like to play around with a bit more….

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This little girl is actually a repeat customer of mine! I’m beginning to develop a group of ‘regulars’ who see me coming and immediately line up as they wait for me to unpack my paints. Last time she was in my chair, I believe she requested a pink hummingbird. I was really amused by this one because she mentioned that she and her Mom and older sister were on the way to the movies. She went to the movie theater with a bunny face, which in her case works, but for those of us who are a bit older….it doesn’t work out quite so well. I made the mistake of walking into my local bank with a full-face tiger mask painted on and was politely pulled aside by the manager of the branch. She explained that the mask made them uneasy because they thought I was going to rob the bank! In all honesty, I had completely forgotten I had it painted on. Oops. “What not to do in a bank” by Jesse Alora. 

Anyway, back to the here and now…in addition to painting cat masks, I had one little girl who wanted just a small cheek art cartoon cat. I don’t usually paint little cats like that, so we looked on google really quickly for a bit of reference/inspiration. When she found one she liked, I did my best to replicate it for her. 

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This was a good ‘quick fix’, but I’m now in the process of designing a smaller cheek art kitty to offer in addition to the BIG cat masks. Come to think of it, I also came up with a smaller butterfly cheek design that I’m finally happy with, but did I take a picture of it? NOPE. I’ll get it next week…

Stay Sparkly, Lovelies!

Jesse Alora
Faery Lady Faces
www.faeryladyfaces.com