Monday, August 27, 2012

{Pinterest Success} Mockingjay T-shirt with Freezer Paper Stencil and Bleach Pen

I've seen quite a few cool Hunger Games t-shirt ideas popping up on Pinterest and I've been wanting to make one for a while.  One of the ideas involved using a freezer paper stencil and a bleach pen. That's the one I tried today.

Seriously, the hardest part of this project was finding freezer paper!  No luck at Walmart, Kmart or Target in my town.  Finally found some at my local grocery store and I bought a giant roll.  (I keep seeing cool projects involving freezer paper stencils so I figured I'd better buy a lot of it!)

I followed the directions found here on the Average Jane Crafter blog.  Her tutorial was perfect with great photos and easy-to-follow instructions.

I unearthed a too-small navy t-shirt from the bottom of the drawer and used it as my test subject.  Here's what it looked like with the stencil on it just before I bleached it.

I was afraid that, when I rinsed the shirt, I'd end up with bleach spots all over the place.  And I worried that, when I chucked the shirt in the wash, I'd inadvertently bleach stuff that I didn't want bleached.  But none of that happened.  It turned out cool!  I like the gritty imperfectness of the image.

Now I'll have to try again with a t-shirt that actually fits me....

Monday, August 20, 2012

Wizard101 Birthday Party

My son turned 7 this weekend and he wanted a Wizard101-themed birthday party.  Wizard101 is an online game that the whole family can play together.  We can even play with family members that live on the other side of the state!  Yay for technology.

The main decoration was on the wall in the kitchen where most of the party stuff happens.  I strung some (Christmas) lights, made a banner, and hung some maps from the game on the wall.
I incorporated images of the birthday boy's game character onto the purple and yellow banner.  The maps are screen shots from the game, printed out and taped onto some black wrapping paper.  (Just hit your PrntScr key to generate screen shots. You can also download some wallpapers from the Wizard101 site here to use as decorations for your party.)

Anyone who has played Wizard101 knows you have to keep track of your health, mana and energy.  So they should recognize this:

I just pulled various-sized glass jars from the recycling bin and filled them with water and food coloring.  I typed the numbers in Word, printed them, and cut them out.  I used the numbers from his birth date and age to make this decoration.

The health, mana & energy globes were displayed on the mantel with an owl (dressed up like Gamma from the game) and a wizard hat.

My mother made the Bartleby tree by forming his face out of green & brown clay and sticking it on an old tree-shaped toy.  She also made signs of her characters standing in front of each of the schools in Ravenwood and set up the signs around the grandfather tree.  (And now you see where I get my crafting tendencies!)

You advance in Wizard101 by completing "quests" so I designed 4 quests for the kids to complete.

As the kids arrived, they were directed to the "crafting tables" where they could make a necklace with the school symbol of their choice and a wand.  For the necklaces, I printed multiple copies of the school symbols and punched them out with a 1" circle punch.  The kids glued the symbols into a bottle cap.  I helped them punch a hole in the bottle cap and attach a jump ring, then they threaded the bottle cap charm onto a ball-chain necklace. 

For the wands, my husband provided some sticks from the yard and the kids decorated them with all sorts of craft supplies. I gave them foam shapes, ribbons, feathers, sequins and jewels, pipe cleaners, colored tape, and anything else I could find in the craft closet.

Kids making wands at the party

After dinner, I announced that the cake and ice cream had been stolen! I involved the grandpas as the "bad guys". The kids divided into two teams. One team had to recover the ice cream by finding 5 "potion ingredients" (beads in small canisters) to make a potion to put the dragon (plastic toy) to sleep and get his key. The other team had to recover the cupcakes by finding 5 puzzle pieces, and assembling the puzzle to get the password. With the key and the password, they could enter the dungeon (kitchen) and have cake and ice cream.

Two teams working on their quests

The birthday boy requested chocolate cupcakes with purple frosting and yellow stars & moons like Merle Ambrose's hat.  I made little picks with the school symbols on them to stick in the cupcakes as well.

My son is a big fan of chicken drumsticks.  We love to battle against the prince and barons in Colossus Boulevard because they use drumsticks as their wands.  That was the inspiration for the main course for dinner.  Then I was looking at some of the "pet snacks" I had collected and decided I could use those as party food, too!  Here are the labels I made for the food table.
The "fire crackers" were Doritos and the "crackers" were saltine crackers.  I cut carrots and cucumbers into sticks and named them "Moolinda Wu's Veggie Wands".

We offered Sprite and Root Beer to drink and I made some labels to wrap around the 2-liter bottles as well.
Favor Bags
The party favors were packaged in blue paper lunch sacks.  I printed labels for them with the Ravenwood crest and each child's name.  The prizes inside were a wizard rubber ducky, a bouncy ball, a glow stick, candy that looks like potion bottles, and Cracker Jacks (with a pet snack label).
It was so much fun to put this party together for my sweet 7-year-old.  And I think the kids enjoyed themselves, too!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Strawberry Lemonade Party

We had a little Strawberry-Lemonade birthday celebration for my mom-in-law at our house last night.  I made this banner in honor of the occasion.
The banner was made with layered shapes cut from the Art Philosophy Cricut cartridge from Close To My Heart.  I cut out circle tags on white cardstock, flower tags on yellow cardstock (resembles a lemon slice) and letters on pink cardstock.  To assemble, I threaded yellow ribbon through the white circle tags to form the structure. Then I glued a yellow "lemon slice" on each circle.  I sponged pink ink on the edges of the pink letters and attached them with foam dimensional tape.

It looked a little plain, so I added the pink tissue paper flowers and the yellow crepe paper streamers.  Tissue poms are cheap and easy and quick to make.  My kind of craft!

Tissue Paper Flowers:
Started with 20" x 20" pink tissue paper.
Stack 5 sheets.
Accordion fold into 1 long strip
Cut folded  paper into two halves
Round the edges with scissors
Staple each in the middle
Carefully separate the layers of paper
Tape to wall

(If you want to make a full sphere, I'd suggest starting with 10 sheets of tissue instead of 5, so it would be nice and full.  Also, you'll want to add the hanging string at the same time you add the staples -- BEFORE you fluff.)

Because it was a Strawberry Lemonade party, all the food had lemon or strawberries in it.  I made little labels for the food on my computer (font = Minya Nouvelle) and printed them out on white cardstock.

Life has handed us a few "lemons" lately, and it was refreshing to pause and celebrate some sweetness.