Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mermaid Party

I feel like our summer/party season has officially opened up now, kicking off with this mermaid party.   I'm glad I have an extra day off this weekend, because I actually cannot believe how tired I was afterwards...

Even though I've been working on this party for quite a while, things were kept pretty simple on the actual day.  We had a picnic-y afternoon tea, and then the kiddos headed into a 'mermaid grotto' to listen to a story read by a *real* mermaid.  Bubbles, mermaid dolls, etc.  It was fun.

Afterwards they played in the caves and the rocks.  Like I said, simple.  Which was fortunate because I had a splitting headache and the sun was beaming down.  Simple was just perfect.

I decorated the grotto with bubbles, seaweed and jewels -  using clear christmas baubles found on ebay, strips of leftover mermaid fabric, and a roll of beaded string (also ebay).  Nothing complicated, but it definitely added a little magic.  I also played 'A Little Mermaid' tracks on my phone, and a friend handled a bubble maker for added atmosphere...  

Nope, I didn't make that awesome mermaid tail that Melody (perfect name, right?) is wearing.  I did make a doll size one though (below).  Don't mind the freaky black doll eyes.  She's not really going to eat your brains (maybe).  If you're wondering where the other mermaid tails are - my kids lasted all of about five minutes in them, before they were stripping off...  Erm... Well they have halloween costumes now, I guess.

As usual we used Pop Roc Parties as our source for party supplies, and were sent a couple of extra little goodies - so lovely!  We went with colourful/mismatched, ordering these cute polka dot plates, some polka dot cups, and these stripy gold ones.  I also purchased a couple of these mason jar glasses while I was at it, soooo purdy!  Pop Roc Parties supplied these adorable Toot Sweet napkins, along with some Toot Sweet cake flags which turned out to be a godsend.  I kinda ran out of ideas the night before, and settled on a simple cake (we did a pink pinata thing, but it looked pretty plain from the outside).  The toppers totally saved the day and we ended up with a very sweet looking cake, yuss!

The party wasn't without it's mishaps and plan-gone-wrongs.  Probably a little higher stress than I would have preferred but overall - successful.  Many of my food choices were collected from Pinterest - no point reinventing the wheel for this one.  The (whoops, green) jellies didn't set in time, but were devoured during the clean up afterwards, so, all = not lost.

I'm secretly planning a much more low-key party for Garland ('cat' theme, oh yeah!), we'll hold that one at home which is always much easier.  But '5' just felt like it needed some extra celebrating...

For more Mermaid stuff:

Party favours here and here.
Mermaid tails here.

Disclaimer:  While this is not a sponsored post - Pop Roc Parties did send two of the party items for me to use at my discretion.  :-)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Kiddo Sews

I've been a teeeeeny bit stressed about producing these mermaid tails.  I didn't want to fork out for cheap looking tails, but no matter how easy I convinced myself these would be, I just pro.cras.tinated like nobody's business.

Eventually I forced myself to sit down and threw them together.  It was crazy.  I let the kids do their own thing for an hour, which mostly turned out okay, and I committed myself to finishing them - no matter how imperfectly.  Oh, they're imperfect.  All you talented sewers out there, I'm super glad you did not witness the way I ATTACKED this fabric with my machine.  It was ugly.  And on several occasions, scary.

But I did it! And one for the doll!  The kids love them and want to wear them constantly.  Despite not being able to walk, or... move... whilst wearing them.  These have a hole at the bottom for their feet, and can be rolled up as far as the knees, with a cardboard tail to disguise toes when needed.  Party pics shortly :-)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Seashell Jewellery Trays

Super ages ago I had the idea for these (though just a tiny amount of googling informs me that I was not the first), and a Mermaid Party was JUST the excuse to make them.  I *almost* forgot them entirely, and remembered only recently, after some beach combing.  Whew.  

They were a little time-consuming, but def worth the effort.  I think I used about four coats of paints, and probably couldn't done another coat or two.  I had ten to make, and I ditched early.  I think they look fine *crosses fingers*.  I also wish I'd glued the 'pearl' after painting the shell.  I made the call to glue first, hoping that I could tidily paint around the pearl and disguise the glue.  It didn't work out marvellously, but I ended up kinda blending the pearl into the shell with white paint, so I guess that's okay.

My original idea included iridescent paint, but that stuff is expense!  So I used what I had on hand, and a little bit of glitter looked just as good.  A fun, simple idea that was easy to execute.  Perfect.

Edit - The placement of the pearl is not especially accurate - but we wanted the pearl as a placeholder for rings 'n things.  Yanno.  Creative licence and all that.  I mean, it's a scallop shell so we're not going for complete accuracy here ;-)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

On My Nightstand - Aug/Sept/Oct

So at the beginning of the year I set myself the challenge of reading 40 books in 2014.  During the past few months I hit a reading slump, switching reading with binge-watching comedy series.  You know what?  No regrets.

I had a number of books on my 'to read' list, many of which were YA (genuine love for this book category, and shorter book length totes helps with this challenge *smileyface*), and I've had some excellent recommendations along the way.  I've also switched out some of my original selection to make way for some newly acquired reads.  Basically, I still have a ton of reading to do before we hit the end of Dec, so I'll prob stick to YA, yeah?

And before I forget - the winner of 'Spark' has been drawn (yes, I did forget).  Congrats Alisa!  Please email me your address - thegoldenadventures(at)gmail(dot)com

'Is It Just Me?' - Miranda Hart

This was a fun, light read, and exactly what Miranda fans would expect to find.  Lots of silliness (the good kind), self-deprecation (my fave kind of comedy) and thoughts on life.  I enjoyed it, though I wouldn't say I loved it.  I think I love Miranda best onscreen, and many of the sequences in the book  were more like skits anyway, so I don't know that it offered anything fresh.  You know, the perfect book for reading in a hammock under the apple tree, but nothing you are likely to remember past closing the final page.

'Spark' - Rachael Craw

Reviewed here.

'The Jewel' - Amy Ewing

Reviewed here.

'The Graveyard Book' - Neil Gaiman

Ermagerd I LOVED this book!  Which was a bit of a surprise because the jacket description left me cold.  Who knew a graveyard would make such an appealing setting for a novel?  So, Bod (short for Nobody), is raised in a graveyard by a bunch of ghosts and so on.  Sound like a delightful read?  It actually is!  Gaiman manages to make sleeping in a coffin/tomb sound super cozy and safe, rather than supremely creepy (the actual truth). Each chapter is a self-contained story, and each contributes in it's own way to the grand finale.  Gaiman's writing is flawless and also brilliant.  I paused on a sentence every now and then, just to let the weight of it sink in.  And they may be few (and spliced between some truly horrifying sequences) but there are some sweetly comedic bits too.  Just perfect.

Plus, Silas.  #newfavouritecharacterever

I will say, I really don't know that I would recommend this to any child (even though Bod is himself a child for most of the novel), and with hesitance to many younger young adults.  I'm quite amazed by Gaiman's ability to turn some truly dark subject matter into a fun, adventurous, emotion stirring story, but eeek, the chapter bookends are super chilling.  And I'm a fan of CSI.

Stoked to have found this in an opshop for 50c (opshops ftw), and super looking forward to the film release.  Assuming it actually gets released at some point.  Fingers crossed.

More book reviews here.  xx

YA novels
Forest Born - Shannon Hale
Cinder - Marissa Meyer
If I Stay - Gayle Forman (read)
The Fault In Our Stars - John Green (read)
The Jewel - Amy Ewing (read)
The Selection Series - Kiera Cass
The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman (read)
Boy 21 - Matthew Quick

Contemporary/Adult lit
The Interestings - Meg Wolitzer (DNF)
Rules of Civility - Amor Towles

NZ fiction
(Middle Grade) The Volume of Possible Endings - Barbara Else (reading)
Spark - Rachel Craw (read)


Is It Just Me? - Miranda Hart (read)
I Am Malala - Malala Yousafzai

Friday, October 3, 2014

Messages in bottles

I've started some makings in preparation for Eleanor's party.  These little bottles contain glittery sand, a tiiiiiiny plastic jewel, and a wee scroll.  Of course I still need to find some chains before they are complete.  I decided not to seal the cork with glue, so they can switch the sand etc. out and replace it with something else (mini terrarium, beads, whatnot), if they choose to.  I found the bottles on Trademe and they were inexpensive.  The tiny chest I found on eBay, but have seen these in $2 stores too.

Now to make a mermaid tail or three *scared face*.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Currently on my covet list...

1. 'Playful' - Merrilee Liddiard.  2. Black leather low-cut chucks.  3.  Crystal Necklace - Boutique Minimaliste. 4.  Uashmama Bag - Collected. 5.  Windy City Dress - Modcloth.  6. Cacti Art Print - Endemic World.  7. Frankie Daily Journal.

I have actually just purchased 'Playful', thanks to some paypal dollars sitting in my account.  As for the others, well, I will prob buy the Frankie diary Daily Journal (much cooler) as a Christmas present to self, and will carry on coveting the rest.  Sometimes pretty things are just nice to look at, on the web.  We don't actually have to buy 'em all!  *revelation....*  Oh, but the shoes... I might need those...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Some days...

It was one of those ones.  You know.  When you haven't had enough sleep.  When your little peeps find mischief (with the best of intentions of course) wherever they go.  There wasn't much that could be done other than sit, and watch and let them go.  I captured the idyll, but let me assure you that the interior of our home was a sight to behold.  And not in a pinworthy way.  Ah well.  Today is a new day, and even though littlest guy had an upset tummy all night, he is in fine spirits today.  We all are.  So, let's go tidy the house.