[Cyber Monday Sale!]

Hello friends! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and scored on a lot of great Black Friday deals (I actually got up at 4 AM this year for the first time and hit the shops with my sister! It was a blast!). But isn't it great that the sales don't stop there. I love this cyber Monday thing! So, just like last year, and in the spirit of it all I'm offering a free print with every print (or original portrait) purchase you make in my Etsy shop here. When you check out just enter promo code: CYBERSALE along with which print you want to have for free and I'll ship them off to you!

Happy cyber shopping!

(I'm on the road today, trying to get out of the Colorado and Utah snow back to sunny California! I'll try to keep the shop stocked as much as possible but if you see a print that you want that is not available when you want it, just convo me and I'll be sure you get it for the sale price).


[Little O turns 2!]


Little O (formally know as Baby O...sigh...) recently turned two and we threw him a little Knights and Nobles birthday party, to coincide with his Halloween costume. With his b-day so close to Halloween we found that we need to either throw him a Halloween bash or a themed party based on his costume to make things easier during the holiday season. In fact, with how much I love to put together a party, and juggling between two boys, it became necessary to instill a new birthday tradition for our family. We will now rotate every year between a fun themed party with friends and a more low key, but equally exciting and special, day out with the family. This year was Little O's first big bash with friends.


I had seen a sort of table tent a while back that I had fallen in love with and had wanted to make one for the boys ever since. I finally got to it this year and it was perfect for the occasion.


I then made little dragon finger puppets as favors (I know, they look like horses...) popped a sucker inside, attached a name to each and hid them throughout the yard so that the littles could go on a dragon hunt and find their special dragon.

I had grand plans to make a cake but it sunk after coming out of the oven an hour before the party (I tried to make a really tall one...I guess that's what I get for trying to side step the multi-layer technique...) and so I quickly made some chocolate cupcakes instead which ended up working out perfectly.


We threw together a simple spread fit for a two year old - string cheese, crackers, grapes, juice and red vines - which were a great, drooly, messy hit with the little darlings (as if the chocolate cupcakes weren't messy enough!). And of course we brought out the boys Schleich castle and knights for decor/playing/what have you.


The highlight of the party (besides seeing all the little princes, princesses, knights, etc. in their garb) was Jon's puppet show he put on with his very own handmade dragon puppet (which I was super impressed with).


I'm pretty sure it was a big hit with all the littles as well - who proceeded to take turns puppeteering themselves with the coveted dragon and putting on performances.


Great fun was had by all. The rain stopped just in time for the event and I couldn't be happier with how it all turned out.


Happy birthday my little baby!


[Halloween 2010]


Knights, King Arthur, castles, dragons, etc....they are all a big deal at our house. In fact we keep the boys from fighting over their medieval acquisitions by giving all red knight paraphernalia to Little A and all things blue knight go to Little O. So it only seemed fitting that for this years tricks-or-treats the boys dress up as their attributed red and blue colored knights.
Jon had purchased this wonderful wooden sword and shield set in London way back when I was pregnant with Little A (I guess we know where this affinity for knights comes from). I was at first sad that we didn't have a second set for Little O but, as my mother pointed out, it was probably a good thing as too much real sword fighting would probably be going on.
The costumes were pretty simple to make and put together. I sewed both the boys coverlets using a vintage 70's art smock pattern and then hand drew (with fabric markers of course) shields with the boys attributed animals within (yes, we have a lot of identifying going in our house: colors, animals, you name it...we like themes I guess. Little O is the bear and Little A is the cat (and in this case, a Big Cat, or a lion).)
I sewed the hoods from a knight pattern that I already happened to have (and as you can see, Little O was not about to put his on) and then I just found grey shirts and pants to put on underneath. The hardest part of the costume was actually finding the boots. I found Little A's pair at Marshalls a while back but they didn't come in Little's O size so I was on the hunt for some time. I finally checked in at Target right before Halloween and they had the perfect black boots in Little O's size. Score!
Jon went as Robin Hood this year (he made his own bow and arrows and they were incredible!) and I was of course the medieval white cloaked ghost? or Maid Marion? or?...
Needless to say the boys loved every minute of it. The costumes, the imaginative play, the trick-or-treating, the candy eating...all of it!

(oh and in case you are wondering, I used the back side of the Halloween backdrop for this little photo shoot. So handy!).


I was asked to put together a Halloween photo booth for a trunk-or-treat after-party at our church this year. Being a fan of the photo booth movement, I was of course totally on board. I had grand plans for this but as the clocked ticked closer and closer to Halloween time seemed to melt away and the day of the trunk-or-treat arrived all too quickly. Using all of my available sheets for this ghost costume I was in need of a white back drop so I raced over to JoAnn's, the morning of, and managed to luck out with some great white vinyl home decor fabric on sale for $2.99 a yard! I gobbled up about 4 yards, grabbed a few sheets of black poster board and some wooden dowels and headed straight for the check out.

Upon arriving home, I got to work straight away. Jon helped me by finding some great font inspiration for the speech bubbles and called up a friend with photo backdrop equipment so that we could hang this thing. I quickly painted some spooky silhouettes in decorative frames, using both black craft acrylic paint and black tempera paint (the only kind of paint I had on hand for this). I then found an old rubber stamp and began stamping a wallpaper look behind the frames (with proper planning you could do this a lot better than I did and actually put the background pattern on before painting the frames...just a thought...)
It was hard to keep the Littles feet from dancing all over this but I somehow managed to get it finished just in the nick of time (just don't look too close!). Little A was delighted to see each scary creation come to life in the frames. His favorites were the googily eyed monster and Dracula (whom I was surprised to find him familiar with...)
While letting the backdrop dry I popped in Charlie Brown's - Great Pumpkin Halloween movie, to keep little feet from tromping all over everything, and I began work on the speech bubbles. I used some of Jon's font choices for "BOO!" and "EEK!" and just hand lettered the other titles. Little A was very excited to be able to read "EEK!" and "BOO!" so these speech bubbles naturally became his personal favorites.
We made it to the trunk-or-treat a little late, pulling up just in time to see a portrait of a queen come to life and suddenly reach through her frame to deliver candy to the startled trunk-or-treaters (totally awesome). Jon took the littles around the parking lot for round one while I went on into the gym to set up the photo both. Phew! I somehow managed to put it together with enough time to do a second round of trunk-or-treating with the boys.
When it was time to close up trunk we all headed indoors for donuts, homemade root beer, pumpkin bowling, pin the mouth on the bat, Halloween fishing and of course costumed photo shoots. All in all I think it worked out...and can I just say...so glad to have this all ready for next year!


[Gifted Magazine!]

Hello friends! I'm so excited to share with you the fabulous holiday online magazine, Gifted, that the extraordinary Ez, of Creature Comforts blog, has put together just in time for us to start thinking about our 2010 holiday gift giving. She was so kind to invite me to be apart of the incredible line up of interviews which focus on everything from favorite holiday songs to how to stay sane during the hustle and bustle of the season. To read my, and many other incredible bloggers, thoughts on the holiday season, hop on over to Gifted now!

There are also several DIY tutorials and incredible gift round ups that you won't want to miss. Thanks EZ so much for for putting this gem together! I already feel on top of things this year thanks to this amazing publication.