Let’s Have a Backyard Campout Party! {a cautionary tale}

Famous. Last. Words. Just kidding folks ūüôā My son wanted to have a sleepover for his 10th birthday (in October) but we live in a tiny house so I said maybe he could have it early (in the summer) and have a campout in the backyard. Boy, did he like THAT idea because A. it meant her would have his birthday early and B. camping out is his favorite thing. Add a bunch of 8-10 year old boys and it is a recipe for fun…or disaster…I’m not sure which LOL! So if you are reading this blog post hoping¬†to see a professionally photographed¬†party you can stop right now. It was such chaos that I didn’t even dare to stop supervising the madhouse to take a picture until 8:30! Luckily I took a photo of my lovely S’mores¬†bouquet before the yahoos arrived:

 

My son said to me “Mom, I hope you aren’t going to put that out until it is time for s’mores, otherwise¬†we’ll just hog down all of the candy” straight¬†from the mouths of babes. The S’more fixin’s went out at 8:30, that’s when I spotted my camera and thought “Oh no! I have not taken one picture of the party!”

 

I only took 2 photos that night…and I left my camera out in the rain…

BTW I put the marshmallows on barbecue skewers, they look great but are a bit short for roasting marshmallows. On the upside they were too short for the kids to stick them into the flames and make dangerous marshmallow torches with. Small favors.

We also made doughboys (AKA donuts on a stick) at the party. I bought 6 dowels at the lumber yard (smartly I realized that I did not want more than 6 kids around the fire trying to cook at once) and some refrigerated biscuit dough. I bought Grands biscuits by Pillsbury but any brand will work. The original seems to work best. Cut the one biscuit in half and stretch it out and wrap it around the end of the dowel and cook it over the campfire. Keep it in the heat but out of the flame. It is done when it puffs up and it sounds hollow when you tap on it. The full size grand biscuit will not cook, just use a half. Then roll the doughboy in butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Yum!

 

I also came up with a Vegan/Kosher s’more. Roast a piece of banana over the fire and place it on a graham cracker that has been spread with peanut butter and chocolate chips. Top with another graham cracker.¬†¬†

Another fun activity to keep the campers entertained were homemade marshmallow shooters:

 

The idea came from the blog Come Together Kids. I used 12″ balloons and large plastic cups. Buy an extra package of balloons so you can repair the shooter if need be. I put out a bag of mini marshmallows and that was plenty, I had the kids re-use the ammo so I would not have a yard full of marshmallows to pick up (or for my dog and chickens to get sick eating LOL!) Here is a quick video on how to make them:

If you are still reading, thanks! I originally thought I’d let the boys stay up until 10 and then have them settle into their tents to chit-chat and read. (I also thought that the boys would be sitting around the campfire singing folk songs but that didn’t happen either!) but by about 6pm I realized that these boys will be going into the tents at 9.¬† By the time the boys had all used the bathroom, brushed their teeth (hopefully?) and settled into their tents it was about 9:30. At 10 it started to rain…pour actually…and the tent was leaking! Camping in the rain, why that’s my specialty. I tarped the tents and got the boys settled, again.¬† All in all the boys were asleep around 1am.

 

My son and I silkscreened T-shirts for the guests. All the boys made it though the night and I did too! They all had a blast and they were all good kids but If I told you that having a campout party was a piece of cake I’d be lying. I’m keeping it real, folks.

 

Oh, I forgot to mention, the quest list was small compared to the other birthday parties. Jackson invited 9 boys in his grade. It being summer I was not sure if they would all make it to the party. I invited siblings to come over for a cookout supper and smore’s. I wanted to have a little party favor for them when they left and made these, I got the idea from girl scout swaps:

 

I made a wood grain stamp with my Stampmaker and used it to stamp on tags, then stamp a little tent and the word thanks. The flashlight pin was made from golf tees cut short and painted, then I glued on a gold pony bead (for the light) and scrap of funfoam for the switch and a pin back so it could be worn.

 So, if you are STILL reading you are probably thinking about throwing your own backyard campout. Here are some tips and friendly advice:

  • Keep the party small. 6 kids is a good amount. Put 3 each in a tent and they might get to sleep before midnight. Maybe.
  • If by some lapse of reason you decide to invite more kids enlist some other moms to help. Maybe have a few organized games to keep the kids from running wild.
  • Get emergency contact info from every parent before the day of the campout. Find out if anyone is on medication, needs an inhaler or has any food allergies.
  • Also I asked that pocket knives and video games be left at¬†home.
  • Don’t forget the prefect invitation! I used free tourist maps to make envelopes and the printable Backyard Party Campout kit for the interactive invitation.

 

Well, that’s how you host a backyard campout sleepover. And I lived to tell about it…I think I should have made myself a T-shirt too, ha ha! ¬†ūüôā Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!¬†

 

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Easy Painting Project!

Have you ever thought about learing to watercolor? Spring and summer is the perfect time to be outdoors and watercolors are so easy to bring with you so you can paint on the go. This Coastal Landscape lesson is the easiest one I have created AND it teaches you techniques you can use to paint any landscape you like.

All of my Learn To Paint with Lindsay beginner lessons use the same 3 brushes: a 1/2″ (#12) flat, a 1″ flat and a #6 round. I limit the beginner projects to these 3 brushes so you don’t have a to spend a fortune to get started. In the future when I add the Intermediate lessons to the shop I may add a couple of brushes BUT we will still be using the same 8 colors I recommend¬†in the basic supply list.¬† My goal is to teach you how to paint and use your tools, I’m not selling paint or brushes:) What a drag it would be to have to buy a new tube of paint or brush every time you went to start a project! My goal is also to have you painting independently¬†so you can paint whatever you like and you are not dependent¬†on buying a lesson each time you want to¬†paint (although I’ll try to keep challenging you with new techniques to build your skills!)

So, if you are looking for a relaxing painting project please have a look at all of the beginner watercolor projects available at Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff:

Learn to Paint: Coastal LandscapeLearn To Paint Chinese LanternsLearn to Paint: Watermelon!Learn To Paint: Pussy WillowsLearn To Paint: Birch Trees

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting (and painting!)

Need some quick Easter favors?

Howdy folks, just a quick post today to share a new template I created. It is a cute bunny shaped basket that can be crafted in minutes. The Bunny Basket kit comes with an SVG cutting file and a printable template. I think it would be fun to print off the bunny templates on white paper and let the kids decorate and cut them out. It is really that easy!

And of course our bunny has a “cotton tail” it would be cute to use a white pom-pom in place of the tail cutout, don’t you think?

You can grab the kit here at Lindsay’s stamp Stuff and be done way before Easter rolled around, ain’t it great to be early for a change ūüėÄ

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Quick & Easy USA Party Favors!

Howdy folks! Are you gearing up for summer Bar-B-Ques? Getting ready for the 4th of July Festivities? Or planning to get together with friends and watch the fireworks? Well why not whip up a few of these cute favor boxes. You can fill them with mints, candy or small trinkets. You get 4 boxes from 1 sheet of cardstock, I printed the star and stripe pattern papers that are included in the USA Party Mega Kit from Lindsay’s stamp Stuff to make these patriotic favors.

Each box takes a minute to make, watch the video to see how quick easy they are!

These favors can be adapted to whatever event you choose, I made similar ones for my sister’s wedding using cardstock of her wedding colors and I used a monogram to decorate it, it was very elegant (and she had no idea how easy they were!) Here is the USA Party Mega kit I used from Lindsay’s Stamp Stuff:

USA Party Mega Kit!

This is a great go-to favor and I do hope you try making these for your upcoming 4th of July festivities.

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Birthday Playdate!

Wow, what a weekend, it was super busy but super fun too! Yesterday we invited two of my girls’ twin friends over for a birthday playdate, their friends just turned 7 and we want to celebrate with a low-key but fun afternoon. I printed off some cupcake wrappers and activities from the Valentine Classroom Party Printable kit and some party hats, water bottle wraps, place cards and a banner from the new Valentine Party Add-on kit:

To add a splash of festive color to the table I covered it in valentine wrapping paper I picked up at Target (love the dollar spot!) this is a perfect solution if you do not have table linens to match and it looks so much nice than the plastic disposable covers-cheaper and more eco-friendly too and it makes clean-up a snap!

I wanted to have a fun little activity for the girls to do while they hung out and chatted so the printable activity sheets from the Valentine Classroom Party Kit was perfect for that, I just printed one sheet for each guest and cut them apart, that gives you 4 activities!I put crayons in a vintage glass flower frog, it adds to the decor and is practical too. I keep an eye out for these whenever I am in an antique shop! If you can’t find a glass frog you can cut a styrofoam ball in half and poke crayons in that.

Here are the cupcakes, they are so quick and fun. You get 3 wrappers and toppers on one printable sheet, they are quick to cut and all you need is a dab of hot glue to attach the topper to a toothpick and glue the wrapper closed. The girls were so cute, they wanted to save their wrappers to take home. It is impossible to keep a cupcake wrapper clean so I printed them a couple of sheets to bring home with them, I guess their American Girl dolls will be having cupcake parties too!

Here is the banner from the add-on kit, and check out the cut party hats also in the kit! The banner only takes 2 sheets of cardstock! I cut between the triangles with mini wavy scissors and hot glued them to a length of ribbon then tacked it to the wall, easy peasy!

To keep the party hats secure on their heads just tape a length of elastic cord (made for beading) to each side of the hat on the inside. I cut the bottom of the hats with scallop scissors to add a bit of flair.

Here is a look at the kits I used:

Valentine Party Add-onValentine Party Printables & SVG

This kit would also be perfect for Valentines parties and baby showers!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

It’s a Scrapbook and a Calendar!

Today I am going to share with you my most popular handmade holiday gift. The handmade scrapbook calendar. It started the year my son was born (wow 8 years ago!) I wanted to think of something to give my parents and my hubby’s mom for Christmas (you know the grandparents who have everything) so I decided to make them a calendar with photos of the baby. It was so popular that I did it again the next year, then I had twins and that Christmas I didn’t have time to make one and my mom was so disappointed that I ended up making one for her birthday in February.¬† I finally have the scrapbook calendar down to a science now and for the first time I have made my scrapbook calendar available as a kit you can print at home and make for your family this holiday! Here is my brand new Chic Scrapbook Calendar Kit:

I decided to offer 2 versions in the kit: a PNG version that has transparent windows that you can place your photos behind {just like a quickpage} and jpg versions for the more traditional crafter who might want to print the pages and adhere photos in a more traditional manner (there are no blank spots on the JPG versions so you can add your photos and journaling wherever you like!) Here are my pages:

If you are a bit behind on your scrapping {oh, not me personally..HA!) you can also use the Chic Scrapbook Calendar kit to quickly scrap a years worth of photos, just pick you favorite pics from each month and plop them on the page!¬† All of the pages are 8.5″x11 at 300dpi and the pages contain no year so you can use them forever!¬† I think I will make a calendar for my sister (she has a one-year-old) but I will just print out the jpg files so she can add her own snapshots as the year goes by. A great gift for a busy mom! In the kit you will find detailed instructions with a link to a calendar maker so you can customize your calendar the way you want it and make it for whatever year you want it too! This kit never goes bad:) Due to the size of the files in this kit (too big to email) it is only available at the Lindsay’s stamp stuff shop at MyGrafico.

This project qualifies for the following challenges: By the Cute and Girly (children), Cardmaking Mamas, Catch the Bug,   Craft your PAssion, creative card crew, (anything goes), Charizma Cards, scrap creations, (a Christmas Gift) and Digistamps 4 Joy & fussy & fancy (anything but a card.)

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting

PS-did you know it is only 15 day’s til Christmas?

Make it Mini!

Forging onward with my plan to finish my holiday crafting before Thanksgiving (yeah right, shopping maybe, but probably not the crafting) I made 3 little mini scrapbooks using my Made in Minutes Wee Album kit. And truly, I made them in minutes, as long as you don’t count the hours I spent designing the kit (I did the hard work so you don’t have to LOL!)

I actually filmed a video making the album, it was 11 minutes long so when I have it trimmed up to under 10 so it can go on YouTube (which is mighty hard to edit since I don’t stop talking the entire time) I’ll have in the site for you to see.

Here is a look at the Wee Album Kit:

BTW I spray mounted the sheet of covers to chipboard (I used the white cardboard from the back of a pad of scrapbook paper) for extra support before cutting out the minibook covers.

And here you can see everything you get in the kit:

The design in based on an old kirigami (origami and cutting) method and is really fun! You get 6 minibook pages when you print a template sheet once, but you can print off as many sheets as you like and connect the booklets end to end for a ton of pages!

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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