Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh, Alice!

It's come to my attention recently... just how closely my emotional well being is tied to our HOME.  Most specifically, I'm at my happiest and most creative when I'm entertaining, decorating, project-ing (that's a word, right?)  And so... this summer.... (in the Summer House)... I just haven't been myself.  Have I? ;)

So, I'm going to start virtually working on the new house.  I'm starting with Big Sis's Madhatter room.  I was going to explore a couple more options and build storyboards around them, but... let's be honest.  I've had that on my to do list for 5 months, and it's not any closer to happening.  So... here we go!

I came across these Antique Keys in my search for a 'key to Wonderland' feel... and I figured, at $5, they'd satisfy my need to buy something (even though that's not fitting in the budget right now!) 

Right before I sealed the deal on this purchase, I decided to browse the rest of Queen Flourishes antique shop on Etsy.  I came across this Vintage Frame and I'm wondering if a) I can pop that picture out and replace with something else, b) if I could spraypaint the frame black, and c) if I'd even love it after all that.  What do y'all think?

She also has this Vintage Silver Creamer set, but looking at it again, I'm undecided.  I originally got a funky/creepy feel for it, but... I'm looking for teacups/teapots with lots of fun color, so maybe I stick to that.

I'm building my ideas on KEYS and CLOCKS - can't wait to share with y'all!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We went to Wonderland!

March Hare:  Why don't you start at the beginning?
Mad Hatter:   Yes, and when you reach the end.... Stop.

Ahhhh, yes... LOVE that movie!  Just wanted to share with you the totally enchanted morning we had last weekend at the Gaylord Texan!  Upon news that Sissy's bestie was moving (and quickly!), we set out to plan THE perfect last weekend in TX for her.  See, this is her sister and partner in crime... the girl that makes her giggle... the girl that knows ALL her secrets (whatever that my be when you're not yet 5 years old!)  And perfect is what that day was...

The picture above makes me both happy and sad.  We had so much fun getting the girls all glammed up.  The four of us had been spending more and more time together - miss them already!

Below is the girls with Alice and the White Rabbit.  This year's Summerfest at the Gaylord featured scenes and characters from the Lewis Carroll version of the story.  I loved the umbrellas and flamingos and teapots that surrounded us at breakfast... every detail was perfect.  And you've never met anyone half as sweet as Alice!

Alice led the girls in all sorts of wonderful activities... things you can't do anywhere but in Wonderland.  Like standing on a chair for pictures.  And eating chocolate for breakfast (at the White Rabbit chocolate fountain!)

The menu was full of yummy Wonderland treats like:
The Hatter's Mad French Toast
Tweedle Dee-licious Eggs Benedict
The Humpty Dumpty Omelet Station
Queen of Hearts Chocolate Fountain

We're all mad here...
The girls pose with Alice and the mommas (I was still in my old glasses then... I just wonder how much fun I would have had if I could SEE that day!)

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.  Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't.
And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would.  You see?

And because we were celebrating Bestie's time here in TX... the girls had to get in some time as Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!  (This looks like some interpretive dance?  Maybe a little too much So You Think You Can Dance?)

Curiouser and curiouser...
After breakfast, we walked around Wonderland.  Amazing!  And what would Wonderland be without mushrooms?  If you look closely, you can see a giant caterpillar sitting on a mushroom in the distance behind the girls.

In my world, the books would be nothing but pictures...
Each display had a book with information on the artist and materials.

Drink me

Off with their heads!

Why, you're nothing but a pack of cards!

As we approached a giant scene with most of the pack of cards in various stages of painting the roses red... we couldn't help but notice the fragrant smell of roses in the air.  They left no detail undone!

Here's our favorite little spades.... (we let them turn the cameras on us mommas, too - hilarious!)

This is just part of a scene built from SAND, which included the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, Tweedle Dee and Dum, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit... and, of course, Alice herself.

I got soooo much inspiration for Big Sis's Madhatter bedroom!  I'm working on a wall of clocks - vintage/new, working/not, whimsical/serious.... We've hit a rough patch with medical bills lately (nothing serious, but including an adnoid removal for G-man the day before we went to Wonderland!), but I'm planning to start building the clock collection as soon as I can!
(Oh, and do you see that cute Alice in the pic at the left?  So many girls dressed in costume.. loved it!)

These pictures do NOT do this justice!  Just know... that keyhole was on the side of a rocky ravine... and stood at probably 10 feet tall... and the golden keys laid across the water below and were just as big.  SO cool!  (I'm also working on a variety of key accents for Sissy's room - I've found some amazing treasures on Etsy, as always!)

Every lampost was covered in scenes from the book.  And I scored a coloring book at the gift stop with all these same pictures.  Except I didn't tell Big Sis I bought it.  See, I'm thinking I might frame some of the most recognizable prints... THEN give her the rest of the book to color!
The bottom pic shows you just how excited those girls were to be together and in Wonderland... they couldn't help but skip thru the atrium!

And who.... are.... you?

The Caterpillar presides over his section of the atrium, atop a giant mushroom... and the Mad Hatter's mad hat sits on top one of the resort's restaurants (and again, this hat was GIANT!)

The second I saw the singing flowers, I instantly broke out in Golden Afternoon.  In my head, of course. ;)  These flowers were equal parts creepy and totally cool.  Nearby, we strolled thru topiaries of flamingos and the White Rabbit.

A few more details included a shower of colorful umbrellas that started at the 9th floor (and worked its way down), the Gryphon made of balloons, the Rise of the Jaberwok sculpture, and a 256 sq ft chess set (like the ones I've seen in pictures at some of the amazing Alice-themed birthday parties!)

When I get home I shall write a book about this place... If I ever do get home.

We didn't WANT to go home!  What a special morning for 2 special friends.  Oh, and the girls, too! ;)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

G-man just keeps on TRUCKIN': A Semi-Homemade "TRUCKER" party!

Keep on truckin'. 

The theme:  To say G-man is obsessed with trucks is like saying that - last year at this time - I kinda liked pirates.  In other words... that boy is all about trucks!  He seems to love all trucks, so I settled on Vintage Trucks (because I was considering it for G-man's Big Boy room - can't wait for you to see it!)

The invite:  Right after I started contemplating vintage trucks... we spent a weekend at Mr. Fix-it's parents' house.  Just so happens his dad owns this old truck that was perfect for the front of G-man's invite:

And it just so happens that I was throwing a Surprise Party for my mom's 60th the weekend before G's birthday.  In Oklahoma, near all our family.  So... because the Summer House just doesn't have much capacity.. ;)  ...and because 2nd birthdays in the Semi-Homemade house are family-only affairs...we held the party at my parents' house - aka The Truck Stop! 

The back of the invite:

(I'll have to share my mom's party with you later. But imagine attending a surprise party in your honor... and then being told another party is being thrown at your very own house. Later that day. But I had taken care of every detail, so nothing for her to worry about!)

The decor:  trucks - everywhere!  While brainstorming bedroom ideas, I had seen so many amazing vintage truck finds that I just couldn't pass up!  Some of them did double-duty to set the stage for G's trucker party!

There's only 2 challenges to throwing a party at my parents' house.  Long distance parties are complicated (so much to pack, grocery shopping to do once you get there, etc.).  And the lighting isn't the greatest.  Meaning there is exactly zero natural light.  But imagine this without the harshness of the flash - it was so fun!
This is my grandmother's sideboard.  That clock is older than anyone I know.  Perfect for our vintage truck theme.  I ditched the original color scheme of light blue and lime green as soon as I ran across so many great things at Hobby Lobby in red and light blue.  Such a happy color combo!

There's so many fun finds on this table.  First of all... those super fun trucks on the tablecloth are from one of my favorite Etsy sellers, that isn't actually a party shop.  Debbie from Paper Quick can make anything, I'm convinced.  She did the toy soldier's for Sissy's Nutcracker Sweet party last year.  And she created these trucks for me (I ordered them in red and light blue and I'll use the small ones in G's birthday book!)

Fun sippys for the kids (another cheap find at HL!)  And I loved the popcorn napkins... perfect with the menu of Truck Stop fare.

Remember how much I love the nearby nostalgic candy & popcorn store, Mom & POPcorn?  I had them do a custom mix in the birthday colors... blue rasberry & cherry... YUM!

The party hat on the right (and the tag in the background) is part of a printable party set I won earlier this year from Esty seller Parties by Hardie.  Their parties are such an amazing value and include everything you'd need for a custom party.  Everything had G-man's name and age on it, and the whole thing was easy! 

You'll see more of the trucker hat later.  I ordered them on Amazon.  To get a reasonable price, I ordered adult size hats, but they adjusted small enough to fit.  This seller had tons of colors for under $4 per hat!

The food:  I snapped this shot before the food was ready.  Just cupcakes and mnm's (we just didn't have parties at my house growing up without 'em!)

The napkin rings and placecards are both from my Parties by Hardie set - love the way it came together.  And that matchbox vintage truck (from Target) was perfect, too!

I picked out these chalkboard canisters for my birthday last year and I just love 'em!  Add a paper vintage truck from Paper Quick and done.  Perfect!

Dinner was a hot dog bar (because after all, we were at a truck stop!)  We had it all - ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, chili, cheese... then we also grilled brats, had Truck Stop Nachos, Mr. Fix-It's Famous Guacamole... and various sides. 

The cake:  Cupcakes and toppers have become my M.O.  So... I'm thinking I'll switch that up for Sissy's next birthday.  But they were perfect for G-man's low key 2nd.  Cheap cupcakes from Sam's (their colors are always right on!), printable toppers in my party pack from Parties by Hardie.  Doesn't get easier (or cheaper!)

The guests:  Big Sis and her cousin Ainsley, cheesin' with their dogs!

G-man does low carbs.  And guac.  ;)

G-man with his Magaw (Sissy came up with that name... and we're still not sure where it came from, but it's not going anywhere!)

G-man loves trucks.  And tents.  This was G-man heaven.

The games:  I'm not really one for games.  Maybe because Sissy and I prefer to just eat and mingle. ;)  But... the 'trucker' theme wouldn't be complete without trucker hats.  And since custom hats for tots cost $25+... We decided to DIY.  Like I said... $4 hats, a set of markers, and we were set!

Daddy helps G-man pull his trucker hat together...

Sissy was concentrating.  G-man looks like he's inspired. ;)

G-man's trucker hat wouldn't be complete without... a TRUCK!

My sister and I try on the girls' handiwork.  (There's a glimpse of the banner that read: Happy Birthday G-man!  I just don't have the time right now to blog-ify it and take G's name out.  But trust that it was all truck and looked great!)

Seriously, these kiddos spent more time on these hats, than the 4yos spent on THREE activities combined at Sissy's last party!


Time for gifts!

Some of my fav gifts!  My sister got G-man the Vintage Truck pillowcases for his new room (from Etsy seller Branch handmade.)
He also got his own tool set - you should see that little man in nothing but a diaper and a toolbelt!

Good ole fashion fun:  Growing up, it wasn't a party without homemade ice cream.  We did it one better by making it an ice cream bar.  Fudge, caramel and candy toppings... mmm!  Perfect for a hot July day!

Happy Birthday, G-man!

To my sweet little man... It's been amazing to watch you grow and change this year.  Daddy and I love that you are 'all boy!'  And Sissy adores you (to a fault, sometimes!)  It's so fun to be your momma.  Can't wait to see what this year has in store!  You are loved. 

On a side note... I've been trying to finish this post for what feels like ages!  But kinda fun that I FINALLY finished it on Aug 7... the day we had picked for him to be born.  :)
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