Saturday, March 24, 2012

Let's party with the puppies!

For C's 4th birthday, we had a dog party.  It was so much fun to pull together.  I pulled from various online inspirations (Google images, I love you) and then tweaked the ideas to suit our party.

Something we do at Library programs that I find very helpful is "stations."  This may be the most common sense idea ever, and I just don't know it, but it is a very practical way to move a crowd through an event and to make sure people don't have to wait too long on something.  (Not that we had that many kids! but still, it is a helpful idea.)

Our stations:
*Adopt and name your dog (actual dogs the kids got to take home; this was their "favor.")
*Dog ears for the child
*Veterinary station
*Grooming station
*Imaginary play station with 2 dog houses, dog bowls and tennis balls
*Dog collar station
*Bone toss

Two things I learned:
1. Over-inviting is a good idea, particularly if you have two groups of people (school friends vs. personal friends). We had HALF of our guests show up, so, if I'd been conservative with invites, we'd have been in trouble!  You are really the guage of this. . . if your school friends are your best friends, then this might not be the case as much.

2. Birthday parties are expensive. Period. I did not spend money renting a location, but I did spend money on handmade everything and (hard truth though it may be...) all of that adds up.  Then there is the food factor.  Food is a big unknown because you can never fully trust RSVPs vs. not hearing either way.  So you end up possibly over buying just to ensure you have plenty.

This dog party was so fun to plan and host, and I got the biggest compliment of all when my son asked if we could have another dog party the next day saying "that was the best party ever!"  Melt my heart, kiddo. Happy 4th Birthday!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Patrick's Day

Found these on the Crafty Crow and very much love them.  I love anything I can do on the couch while watching Downton Abbey.  I do love a good TV show, but I do not like to sit there without a project.  My sweet other half does not understand this.  He can sit, guilt free, for entire Star Wars marathons (if I let him. And I probably could not do that without giving him the stink eye several times.)

So, happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 5, 2012

DIY Framed Chalkboard

I recently bought an adorable A-Frame chalkboard at Hobby Lobby for the Library. I had been thinking of making one for the Library, but it ended up being easier to buy the one that was right in front of me than to worry about which method would be easier to execute for a public space (and a very high traffic space.)

So my ideas of making my own chalkboard headed home, and it could not have been easier! This was one of those projects that was blessed with good karma from the get-go. No disasters. No blogs telling me it was easy peasy only to find out that many bloggers might be liars.

I got a good sized frame at Goodwill (all in tact) for $8. I took it apart and discarded the dessert scene print, despite its mauve and sandstone glory.  I sanded the frame a bit and then spray painted it white (one can with paint and primer combined.)  It took quite a few coats...5, probably, to get it looking good.

In the meantime (and this is the best part), the glass itself can be used for the chalkboard. Buy some chalkboard paint at Home Depot ($10ish). I did about 3 coats, but I think it could have taken less. Be sure to use a roller to apply the paint, it will work better.

Reassemble everything and voila - perfectly fun & cheap chalkboard, wall ready! One kiddo is old enough for this project to not be an in-home disaster.  In other words, he knows chalk stays in the chalk bucket, he is very good at washing his hands after using chalk, and he has not ever drawn on a wall or couch (knocking on wood as I type).  If you have teeny-tinies, you either need to wait until they aren't or keep the chalk in a cabinet and only play during supervised times.
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