Monday, April 13, 2015

'In Summer' Frozen 6th Birthday Party

Last June Noelle turned six! Frozen was a big hit around our house at the time and sis insisted on a Frozen party. We decided to embrace the heat and Olaf's love for summer and run with that theme.
My color scheme was teal, purple, and pink. With lots of flowers and all things sunny!
Let's Go Bring Back Summer!
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I used the picnic scene from Olaf's 'In Summer' song as inspiration for the lunch table. It was an easy build-you-own hamburger bar with hot dogs and cold salads. Great on such a warm day.

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The hanging planters were pretty cheap at Lowes and the lovely blue mason jars were in the dollar section at Target.
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Of course we had to make snowmen, aka snow cones. Michael's had a package of Frozen wall decals which I used to embellish the snow cone machine and the centerpieces.
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Galvanized buckets with stickers made for an easy but adorable centerpiece.
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The other table centerpieces were water pitchers with flowers that sadly wilted in the heat after a couple of hours.
Instead of Let it Go, I went with Let it GROW.
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The water slide entertained the kiddos during the party.

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Dessert table!

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How amazing are these cake pops? Almost too cute to eat!
The party favors were flower seeds in Let it Grow muslin bags, and Frozen puzzles.

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For the cake pops, I grabbed a case of flowers from Lowes and wrapped it in burlap. Then stuck the pops into the soil.

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Rice Krispy Treats with little bees.

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I surprised Noelle by asking our friend Jessica to dress up as Elsa. She is the most amazing Elsa!

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For some piñata fun, I bought this super inexpensive sun piñata at JoAnn's and took off the smiley face then added the Elsa and Anna sticker.

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It was a fun twist on the Frozen theme!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lyrical Christmas 2014

I started unboxing the Christmas decorations around mid-November this year and fell back in love with my Silver Bells sign. I love Christmas music. Like, a lot. I'm sure I've mentioned that a time or two. In fact, the first song Noah sang was Jingle Bells and it's probably no surprise that Noelle knows all the words to The First Noel. With Christmas music filling the house I decided to add a couple more pieces with Christmas lyrics. One of my favorite lines is from Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. "Let your heart be light."

Christmas Mantle Wood Sign Growing up Gardner photo christmasdecor14-3-1.jpg

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I painted over Noah's train sign for his third birthday party to create this piece. 

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Christmas Mantle Decorations Growing Up Gardner photo christmasdecor14-2-1.jpg

I only added a few new details to our tree this year, including a few plaid pieces and branch stars.

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Someone once told me to "put anything you want on your tree." There's no rules. The plaid ribbon in the tree is actually two table runners. I also stuck in deer antlers and an american flag. 
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The Silver Bells sign was added to the living room gallery wall.
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One more lyric sign on a framed chalkboard.
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The front porch.
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This weekend we had our annual small town Christmas parade. My dad made a bucket train to pull around the grandkids.

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The kids had the best time riding around blowing bubbles and waving at friends.

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Merry Christmas! The Gardners

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Noah's Train Birthday Party

My teeny tiny newborn baby boy turned February. I was editing pictures of our Disneyland trip earlier this week and I scrolled past February and was reminded that I have yet to share his really fun Locomotive Party (or Noelle's Frozen party in June).

Six months ago Noah was really into trains. Actually anything with wheels, but since he already had a race car party, we decided on a train theme. Today the train, plane, and car toys are stuffed in an ottoman in the playroom and have been replaced with all things Star Wars. All. Things. I hear the Imperial March a billion times a day. Along with, "Where's the blue storm trooper?" and "Mommy, I'm Hans Solo and you're Padme Amidala."

Rewind back to February and we had a happy little conductor at his train party. Here are some of the details.

My super handy dad whipped up this railroad crossing sign with some extra wood from the shop. It's a legit railroad sign. Like, I could put it up on a road and people would look around for tracks.
Chalkboard sign and luggage from Hobby Lobby.

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The big attraction at his party was this fun "train" made out of barrels and dollies. We borrowed it from a local church (my dad plays in a church softball league and has all the connections). I added "Noah Express" and "Choo Choo" to the train to personalize it a bit.

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CHOO CHOO! The kids LOVED the train rides around the neighborhood.
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The train was pulled by an electric golf cart, driven by Conductor Grandpa.
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The FOOD! The was the first time I used a chocolate fountain and everyone really enjoyed it. For dipping I served massive strawberries, rice krispy treats, and marshmallows.  I stuck with red, white and blue (and bandana print) for the color scheme and used the train image as much as I could. It was even on Noah's shirt for the party!

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I spotted this red tub at Home Goods and couldn't pass it up. Actually, I did pass it up and then sent Aaron back into the store to get it! It's been a useful purchase. For the other beverages I used Noah's changing table which I donated a couple weeks later.

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Drink Station - Along with water and Dr. Pepper (the essentials), there was Cherry Limeade and juice boxes for the kiddos in cute little muslin bags. The printer transfer paper was really easy to use. I just made the design, printed it out, and ironed the design on.
"N" from Hobby Lobby.

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I'm a sign maker, so of course I had to paint a few signs for the party.
Platters, locomotive, lantern and basket from Hobby Lobby.

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One of my favorite elements in creating a party is the centerpieces. These cost less than 10 bucks to make. The pail and #3 were purchased at Michael's and the plant was $3 at Lowe's. The bandana was $1 at Walmart and brings the theme together on each table. The bandana on the dessert table (scroll back up) is actually a scarf from Forever 21!

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Inside I usually display the kids' birth announcements and birthday invitations. I also like to out the favors on this table.
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Favors: Animal cookies with a train whistle and conductor hat (Oriental Trading Co).
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Talk about easy game preparation: galvanized bucket + balls = coal toss.

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My brother-in-law always takes amazing pictures of the kids for their birthday. These are my favorite shots.
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Down the road from our house a purple-haired lady has this caboose on the side of her yard. Her family was very kind to allow us on her property but we quickly learned that they had a few screws loose. We were there for a quick 20 minute shoot.

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Noah John had a blast at his party. He talked about it for weeks! Until his dad introduced him to Star Wars.
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I suppose I should start planning his 4th birthday party now.... May the Force be with you.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Amanda G Designs - Custom Orders Part II

Our little Etsy shop passed 1,000 sales! It's thrilling to be able to create pieces for couples to enjoy in their homes for many, many years. I honestly thought it would be stressful making guest books for weddings but I've been blessed to work with incredibly thoughtful and creative brides (and some grooms, mother-in-laws, and maid of honors).

Brides typically have an idea in mind for the design which makes them especially easy to work with. My job is to take their vision and make it a reality. Here are some custom pieces that we at Amanda G Designs have created so far this year.

For a peek into the shop and more pictures of unique signs follow @amandagdesigns on Instagram.

This recent sign combines rustic and lace. It turned out great and I love all of the details.

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Tara and I probably set a record for the longest Etsy conversations I've had with a customer. We narrowed her package down to three signs: a guest book, direction sign, and a ring-bearer sign. They complimented each other perfectly.

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April and Brandon requested a Texas Star on their "guest book."

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The Fayeds love their Boston Terrier and asked if I'd paint one on their "guest book." As a dog-lover myself, I thought it was an amazing idea and the sign turned out great!

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This "wine glass stain" sign was a custom order for a vineyard wedding. It's also a popular new design available in the shop.

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I've been wanting to paint a horse-themed sign for some time now and I finally was asked to paint a horseshoe for a UK couple who are getting married at a barn in Texas.

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The "double state" design is another popular choice and can be customized in so many ways.
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A sweet hibiscus flower is a lovely choice for a tropical destination wedding.
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We named this design "two hearts become one."
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Jerome's wife contacted me for a birthday guest book sign for her husband's 40th birthday. She said it was a hit at the party!

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I was honored to paint a few signs for my friend Jarod's wedding to his beautiful wife, Amy. I ended up making a guest book, ring bearer sign, welcome sign and a couple of direction signs.

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It makes my day when I check my messages and receive a picture from a couple of their sign hanging in their home. It's great to see the guest books complete with signatures.

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The welcome sign.

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Happily Ever After Starts Here direction sign. It fit in great at the barn.
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I'm looking forward to painting many more custom designs! Please let me know if I can help you create the perfect guest book for your wedding at Amanda G Designs on Etsy.