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Monday, September 20, 2010

Should I.....Shouldn't I????

I had to ask myself a serious question the other day. 

I was doing custom work for someone and it dawned on me that this whole situation would work out better for the client if I just emailed her everything.  I knew it was gonna be pricey and I knew that if it were me, I'd probably try to find a more affordable way to attain these items.  In the long run, this is what ended up happening and it's a good thing.  So, now, I have a situation where the client is able to get what she wants and I'm still able to buy my baby a new pair of shoes.

Well, I was still hesitant about what I'd been pondering because - I love making my party designs by hand - I really do. I WILL stay up until 5 am making a case load of paper rosettes (insane).  Still, I just really had to ponder on the subject for a while and think hard because the question at hand went against a whole lotta no's that I had when I originally started my Etsy shop.  To printable or  not to printable?  That was the question. 

Honestly, I did not want to offer printables in my shop when I started it.  I figured that if people wanted my stuff they were going to have to get the whole kit and caboodle.  Well, it appears that with my schedule, with the economy and with the way things are going with most folks, the DIY trend is where it's at right now. Party printables are king (for some reason).....and to make sure I get it in, I need to be in the royal court.

So, I'm announcing that starting today, I will be offering printable party packs in my Etsy shop. In addition to the other items that I will make by hand, there will be a printable option available for customers.  For the moment, the printable collections will be on limited items and for only a period of time.  If you look at my store right now (click...click....CLIIIICCCK), you will see that I have listed my first printable item in celebration of Halloween.

It's on sale right now for a limited time.....do you likey????


If so, you're in luck.  I'm giving away a printable file of the Halloween Collection to the first 5 followers who:

1. RT about the collection and include me in the tweet (@kikikens)
2. Post an update to their Facebook Page that includes a link to my Etsy Shop
3. Leave a comment below about what you think about printable party packs
4. Email me the links to the tweet and the post at kikikens8375@gmail.com

There is also going to be a giveaway on Twitter and FB - for people who (God bless 'em) don't read the blog....you can only enter once though if you are following me on either of these.  Sorry.

Yeah!

I am finishing up more Halloween party items....and hope to have them listed in the store by the end of the week.  Would love to know if you think they should be offered as printables or actuals.  Here's a sneak peek:





Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Star Wars Party Recap

Here are some photos from a party I planned and styled for a great client of mine.  Her son was turning six and wanted a Star Wars themed splash party.   I'm not a big Star Wars fan and apparently there is a difference between the Star Wars that I grew up with compared to the one the birthday boy knows.  So, I blended both and came up with a galactic good time to be had by all!

Decor_1

For this party, I was able to get a hold of some really awesome Star Wars toys to use as props (including a Millenium Falcon and talking Storm Trooper Helmet).

 Gifts

I found a tutorial on making light sabers out of pool noodles (perfect for a splash party - it was painstakingly time consuming with making each one unique - I do this because I'm insane).
 
SW_Pool_Noodle_Light_Sabres

I was also inspired by this t-shirt for the invitations (I have an actual photo of the invitations - but can't find it - so here's the graphic image - if I come across the actual picture I'll add it to this post later).  I again made the invitation using Power Point and dare I say, Photoshop!  I made the silohuettes of the characters using Photoshop and the light sabers were made using PowerPoint.  I took the idea of the crawl that is used in the movies and with Word Art made it appear to have the same effect on the invitation.  The insert was placed in a black holder so as the guests read the invitation it looked like it was actually moving.....if you can picture that.

Invitation Graphic

Here are the other photos from the party:
 SW_Door_Sign
  SW_Banner_1 SW_Banner_2  Light_sabre_Pool_Noodles_4 SW_Cupcakes_CloseupSW_Cupcakes


Storm_Trooper_Centerpiece


Circle_Tag_Centerpiece_2.jpg

SW_Embellished_Cup_Party_Blower
SW_Table_Runner


SW_TableScape_1



SW_Party_Favors_2SW_Birthday_Boy_Hat SW_Party_Hats SW_Party_Hats_2   SW_TableScape_3


Some other cool things I did was used images of the galaxy that I found online as background for some of my small circle embelishments. I also found Star Wars Clone Wars kites and gave those to the guests along with the light saber pool noodles.

This was a really fun party to plan - and it was great combining the Star Wars of today with the Star Wars of my day (circa the late 70's). 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Back-to-School

August has been soooo busy for me.  It just snuck up on me and now here it is September!!!! 

I had major moments last month from my 35th birthday to my Etsy shop opening (more on that in a later post) to a Star Wars party I planned and hosted right to my baby girl starting Kindergarten at French School…..


Aaaaawwww......(sniff)
Nikki going to school


Proud student
Nikki_in_class
My little guy beat me up when it was time to leave…..poor dude…..if he only knew….
Adam_Ready_To_Learn

I’m so grateful she loves to read
Book_Worm

She made friends right away, It was like Venus and Serena!!!  BTW, I must say I'm proud of my braiding skills - who knew I could braid decent cornrows (patting myself on the back)
Future_Venus_Serena

…..and she was ready to take over the class!
Getting_Ready_To_Run_the_Class

French...???? 
Lisons 
She held up okay for the first day…..I cried all the way home on though.  Eventually she broke down a few days later.  She’s still campaigning to stay at home – but she can put that notion right in her little cubby.

Since school has started and actually a few weeks prior to the first day I have participated in FOUR , yes, FOUR very long school events all providing the same information…..annoying.  I even had the gall to join the God Bless-ed PTA!  In any case, at certain points of these random on-goings, I started dreaming up some fantastic ways to celebrate going back to school.

Here are some ideas for throwing a fun back to school bash:

Lunch Bag Swap

This is a great opportunity to meet new friends or reconnect with friends after the new school year begins.  Each guest will bring a lunch item they do NOT like but that another child might.

Give each child a fabric lunch bag or lunch box to decorate - which they keep as a favor.  Have them fill the containers with lunch staples like (apples, chips, milk, juice, PB&J) and the item they want to swap.  The kids get to swap the lunch item they don't like for one they do like. 

School Tools Swap Meet



This is great for parents working on a tight budget. Parents can organize this event prior to the first day of school.   Each parent is responsible for bringing one school supply for each child attending the party.  For example, one parent might be responsible for color pencils, another would be responsible for composition books, another for crayons.  A host parent collects all the items prior to the event and sets up supply stations on the day of the event.

Having the kids decorate their own notebook  serves double duty as an activity and favor.  Serve light refreshments and drinks.  Let the children to to the supply stations and fill thei bags with  the necessary school supplies.  Now each child can start the school year with a backpack full of supplies!

First Day Fête

A host parent can coordinate with other parents in the child's class prior to the first day of school to have an afterschool get-together for about an hour or so. 

As kids enter the party, prize tickets are handed out for giveaways for school related like cool pencils, books, or learning toys.  Offer guests school-themed cupcakes, snacks and juice as refreshments.  This is a great way to meet new friends and get to know the parents, as well.  An alternative for this party is to have a 'Bus Stop Bash!

Apples & Bookworms  Party

image

Since apple picking season usually begins around the same time the school year starts, what a perfect time to throw an apple themed celebration. 

If time permits kids could go apple picking at an orchard and return to the hosts' home for party activities.  If you don’t have an orchard near you, another option is setting out bushels of apples.  Place them around the yard so kids can go 'apple picking'. 

Serve apple sausage dogs, apple chips, apple fritters or apple cupcakes.....kids could also make their own gourmet candy apples!  Setup displays using apples, rulers, books and 'book'worms for decoration.

Games can include apple bingo , pin the worm on the apple, or an apple toss.  For a fun activity have the kids make their own bookworm bookmark craft using construction paper or craft foam shapes.  Party favors can be packaged in a small berry box to include a small reader book, apple sauce, note pad, fun pencils, gummy worms and gummy apples, pencil case and crayons.

I know the first week of school is a busy time – but if you do have one, feel free to email me pictures of your bash!  I’ll be recapping the Star Wars themed party I hosted last weekend for a great client of mine.  Check back later for more details!

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