Thursday, August 11, 2011


After a very busy Day One with the printing press project, I decided to go with a more laid back approach for day two. As Petunia reminded me - "Not everyone is used to your pace!" Ha! Out of the mouths of babes. So I decided to use some less ambitious "filler" projects I had in mind, link them with a common theme and enjoy a slower-paced day with the girls.

The first project we took on was a butterfly suncatcher. I did not get a great shot of these but you can see the girls holding them in the pic above. We had talked a bit the day before about how nothing in nature is perfect (as the girls stressed about free-handing their sea creatures), so I took the opportunity to link that discussion to the butterflies. While nothing in nature is perfect, some things are symmetrical! The girls were encouraged to paint their suncatchers in a symmetrical pattern although, it was not mandatory as I did not want to stifle anyone's creativity. It is summer, after all!

We then used the same gel paint with it's beautiful iridescent quality to paint one-half of a butterfly free-hand. We folded a large paper in half, using the middle seam as the middle of the butterfly body and the girls painted the butterfly however they wished. I realized that children must not do a lot of free-hand drawing and painting in school because they were very intimidated to just put paint brush to paper. I was happy to encourage them to just go for it because the results were magnificent! Once they completed half the butterfly, they unfolded the paper and folded it over again to make an impression of the paint on the other side. The girls were thrilled when they pulled back the paper and saw the results!

These two projects brought us right to lunch time so after lunch, I thought we'd have a little fun! I brought out a huge bucket of chalk, had the girls line up down the driveway and team up to trace each other. The idea was that the silhouettes of themselves loosely followed the symmetry theme (remember, this was a laid back fun day!) and I really wanted to encourage more drawing as the girls seemed so intimidated by it. Chalk is not permanent so I thought they'd be more free with their creations.

The girls really had a lot of fun with this and planned out exactly how they wanted to be traced to create the drawing that they had in mind. We had everything from mermaids...

to models walking the runway...and just about everything in between. We then had a quick minute to get started on a project that will be completed on day four. So you'll have to wait until then to see it.

Tomorrow, break's over! We're back at it with some beautiful nature printing and bookbinding!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Another summer means another year of Art Camp, one of my favorite weeks of the year!!! This year we went all out with a larger group and some awesome projects that we have never done before!

Because we had more girls, I had much less time to take pictures so you'll have to fill in some gaps with your imagination. The theme for Day One was Printmaking and I absolutely adored this project. We started the day by covering some artist canvas with sand. The sanded canvases would be the base to display our prints. While we were at it, we covered some little treasure boxes with sand as well just for an extra little bonus. We were making a mess with sand anyway, why not?

Then each girl was given a rectangle of fun foam and told to free hand a drawing of any sea creature and cut it out. The details of the creature did not matter, it was the shape itself that we were going for. We had whales, dolphins, star fish, squid, the variety that the girls came up with was tremendous!

After each girl cut out her sea creature, I attached each one to a mailing cylinder that I had on hand with hot glue making our own, homemade printing press! So cool, right?! We then rolled out long sheets of paper down the driveway, "inked" up the press with paint and rolled the press along the paper, stopping to re-ink as needed. This created a beautiful repeating pattern of all of the sea creatures. I have to admit that the girls thought this was a lot of trouble to go through to get a print when they could have just inked up their one creature and printed it on to paper but once they saw the beautiful result, I think they were on board. After all, anyone can use a stamp - we made a printing press!!

After the was dry, we studied the prints that were made and each girl chose a section of the print that included the sea creature that they had created. We then mounted the print to the sanded canvas and embellished with shells! The results were really beautiful. While we were at it, we also embellished the little treasure boxes with shells for an additional little keepsake.

So that was it, Art Camp day one! Here is a shot of the printing press after we had used it and little Peanut with her completed project. She's so proud to keep up with the big girls!

Come back tomorrow to find out what we did on Day Two! (I'll give you a hint, the topic was symmetry).

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Check out these bike handle streamers from Alpha Mom! They look fun and easy to make and would be the perfect decor for your bike parade!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


If you buy one skirt this summer, I think it should be this one. I adore this chevron stripe skirt from Old Navy. So much so that I stalked a woman wearing it at my daughter's dance recital all day on Sunday. We were always in a crowd so I never did get the chance to ask where she got it but imagine my surprise when I walked into Old Navy yesterday and there it was! (P.S. I never dreamed it was ON, definitely thought it was a much more expensive brand. It's that nice.) Super soft cotton, breezy and cool - add a tank and a jean jacket and you're good to go!

For other Summer Style finds, go here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Many thanks to Martha Stewart for placing my July 4th Bike Parade as #3 on her list of the top 21 Things to do this Summer! (psst...check back tomorrow for a free printable version of the invite)

One of our favorite party traditions is our annual bike parade to celebrate Independence Day. This tradition started one year when Pumpkin was in preschool. He was so distraught that we had to miss our town's celebration that we decided to plan our own. It was such a success that we held this event each year until Pumpkin and Petunia thought that they were too "old" to play. The good news is that Peanut will be riding a bike soon, so we can pick up our annual bike parades right where we left off. I am SO excited.

The photos used here are from our 2005 Bike Parade just because the kids are so little and cute and I love seeing photos of them as preschoolers. Of course, I was just snapping photos for memory's sake at the time so the party isn't documented perfectly, but I think you'll get a good sense of the spirit of the occasion and I'll get a chance to walk down memory lane.

The invitation for the bike parade really sets the tone for the event. We live on a small, quiet street, so we always hold the parade right at home, but a local park would be the perfect location for this celebration. I like to note on the invite that we will provide streamers and balloons and such to decorate the bikes but parents usually arrive with decorations of their own to share as well.

This particular year, one parent brought crown templates that she cut out of card stock large enough to fit around the children's helmets! I absolutely loved this idea and we used it every year after.

Once all the children arrive, we get right to embellishing the bikes in preparation for the big parade. As you can see, the moms enjoy this part just as much as the kids! Supplies to have on hand are red, white and blue streamers and ribbons, foam letters and stars to attach to card stock license plates, mini flags, balloons, shiny star garlands and some tape. Just take care to insure that the streamers and ribbons are attached firmly to the bike and do not hang down to interfere with pedals and wheel spokes and such.

Once the bikes are all decked out, it's time for lunch! We just spread out a few tablecloths on the lawn and have one big picnic.

Food for this event is beyond easy. I provide an assortment of star-shaped sandwiches and skewers of red, white and blue fruit kabobs (strawberries, apples, bananas and blueberries are perfect) and the other moms usually bring a few snacks to share as well.

After lunch, it's time for the main event. The bike parade!

The children put on their decked out helmets...

Jump on their patriotically adorned bikes...

And hit the road!

But I haven't told you the best part yet.
What would a parade be without music? And not just any music. That's right, we break out the bagpipes for this event!

No, not actual bagpipes played live at the parade (although, how cool would that be?). We fire up the ipod and speakers and blast the pipes as the children ride in formation up and down the street, neighbors on their doorsteps clapping and cheering as the procession passes. (Oh how I wish I had video of the big ride that could be uploaded here. You just don't get the full fabulous effect with a photo!)

After several laps up and down the street, the bikes are parked and red, white and blue rocket pops are enjoyed by all as they pose for one final photo in front of the flag. (The same photo in the same spot was taken year after year. I now feel the urge to display all these photos together this year as part of our July 4th decorations. I'll post back with what I come up with.)

I think I'll get Peanut on her tricycle tomorrow. Maybe we can beef up the pedals so she can reach - just in time for the 4th!

Note: The top photo is a shot of some indoor decorations that we always hang just in case party guests need to go inside. An abundance of these folded stars make a big impact and are easy as pie to make. Simple instructions found here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


How sweet are these gorgeous earrings for summer?
Even better, they're on sale. LOVE!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Thanks to a particularly harsh winter, summer does not officially launch for my crew for a couple more weeks but we have been rewarded for our patience with a glorious Memorial Day weekend and the beautiful weather appears to be sticking around all week! Woot!!!

So in the spirit of patience and sunshine, here is a summer banner that I whipped up to help you kick off your summer!

Download your copy of my Summer Beach Ball Banner below. (Just click on More and select Save or Print.)

If you would like a birthday version of the Beach Ball Banner, email me and I will create one for download, as well.

Beach Ball Banner Beach Ball Banner pumpkinpetunia


P.S. Scribd is not allowing me to link to this in my usual way so if you have problems downloading, please let me know!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Offer extended through May 31st at midnight!!!

This weekend is not only the official beginning of summer, but it also launches party season!! With so many graduation parties, baby and bridal showers and birthday parties on the agenda, I'm here to help you all get ready in
style! For the very first time, I am offering a joint special and I'm super excited about it!!! I hope you love it too!

Here's the deal! I'm going to help you get ready for those summer parties in more ways than one. First, get your style on with those must-have accessories to jazz up that summer wardrobe. You don't need a complete fashion makeover, just add some key jewelry pieces to your existing wardrobe and you're ready to go! Love that great dress from last summer but want to do something different? Accessorize it! When you do, Pumpkin Petunia will help you throw your own summer soiree - ON US!

Purchase $75 or more at Stella & Dot through this link and enter Pumpkin Petunia as your hostess (this is how we will identify that you qualify for this promotion) and receive TWO FREE SETS
(that's 50 invitations!) of custom party invitations of your choice (retail value: $60). But the deal gets even better...

Purchase $100 or more of gorgeous jewelry from Stella & Dot (again through this link and entering Pumpkin Petunia as your hostess so we can identify your eligibility) and you will receive a COMPLETE CUSTOM PARTY PACKAGE (consisting of a set of party invitations, thank you notes and cupcake picks. Retail value: $90)!!

So get some gift-shopping done (think graduations, birthdays) or get something amazing just for you and score yourself some free party packages in the process! Pictured are just some of the designs available to choose from. We'll let you choose from absolutely any design or color scheme that we have available!

So go ahead and freshen up your wardrobe for party season and then get your party on with custom party packages on us!!! But act quickly - this offer is available this week only! It expires at midnight EST on Friday, May 27, 2011.

Fine print: All Stella & Dot orders are shipped immediately and arrive via priority mail in just 3-4 business days. Kindly allow three weeks for delivery of custom invites. Rush orders may be available but are not guaranteed; in short, we will do our best! Free party packages must be redeemed no later than December 31, 2011. If you wish to redeem the offer for custom Holiday cards, you will receive a credit for the value of the party package for which you qualified ($60 or $90). Holiday card orders must be placed no later than November 1st. For details on ordering your party supplies, email me here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


It's almost that time again - graduations are just around the corner! Here is a recap of a party I designed for my niece and nephew a couple of years back (can't believe it - they're just home from their sophomore year of college!). You heard a bit about it here, and saw a bit of it here, but now is time for all the juicy details! This was a particularly fun party to put together because it was for two graduates, giving me a chance to have a bit of fun with the design. The two graduation caps on the invite are a good example of how we played off the fact that this was a party for both a boy and a girl graduate.

The graduate silhouettes used in the banner also played off this theme. I really loved this idea of using two silhouettes and the first invite that I designed played up this motif (seen below), but that design was vetoed by one of the graduates, making the double cap design next in line for consideration. It was their party, after all! (don't you just hate when the honorees have an opinion?!?) Luckily, I was able to sneak the silhouettes into other aspects of the party.

See. Cute, right?

If you haven't guessed, the graduates' school colors are blue and white which became the obvious palette for the decor. The dark blue and light blue worked well with the design for both a male and female graduate. I loved how the water bottles looked all lined up in the fridge.

Because the weather for the day was questionable, my sister decided to move the party indoors. This caused a few moments of panic as much of the decor planned for the tent would not work indoors, but a last minute banner and some other small details worked wonders to create the look we were hoping for indoors. The menu signs were very well received by the guests for their playful practicality.

For dessert, we served a cookie bar along with the cake and some fun, personalized M&M's. I just couldn't resist the idea of a sign that said 2 Smart Cookies!

The Class of 2009 whoopie pie flags were pretty darn cute too. Cellophane bags with coordinating labels were provided for the guests to take some treats home as well.

My favorite project, by far, for my niece and nephew's graduation was definitely the photo montage dvd that was created using iPhoto, iTunes and iDVD. These applications worked beautifully together to make this project really easy to do and super fun. I loved going through all of the photos of the graduates and reminiscing about their lives and all of their wonderful accomplishments. The DVD was shown over and over throughout the day for family and friends and the guests of honor even enjoyed watching it time and again and playing it for their friends. I was just happy to have chosen songs that were not considered dorky and uncool by the high school crowd! (for your reference so you can be as hip as I, the songs were "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield and "Time of Your Life" by Just Jinger)

For favors for the girls, Petunia and I made up cute little flip flops using a similar technique to the tissue poms that we love to make so much. You'll never guess what we used to make the poms to insure they would be water proof. I'll post a tutorial later in the week to fill you in on all the details of this fun project. The flip flops were displayed in my nephew's wrestling gym bag just to play down the girly factor a bit. I loved the contrast of how they looked in this old, beat up bag.

Despite the sketchy forecast, the day turned out perfect. After a fabulous party and tons of fun, the final detail: thank you notes.

It was an absolute pleasure helping to put this party together for my adorable niece and nephew. I am so proud of all of their wonderful accomplishments but even more so of the incredible people they have become. Congratulations Philip and Kayla! XOXO

Monday, April 18, 2011


As promised, I am back with a free template download for Easter! I love offering templates here, mostly because of the incredible response that I get from all of you. I cannot thank you enough for your kind comments, emails and notes of thanks each time I post a template.

So as an extra little thanks, I have made this Easter template multi-purposed! These fun little Easter-themed punch outs can be used as little favor or gift tags, cupcake picks or labels. I have done them in three colors for a bit of fun and to match all of your Easter needs. Simply download the template here and print! The template is designed for use with a 2.5 inch circle punch for perfect circles every time. And do you know the little trick when using punches? I'm sure you do, but just in case: flip your circle punch over and use it upside down. That way, you can line the circle up perfectly with the design before you punch. (see photo below)

Print the template on label sheets to make stickers for favors or gifts...

or on cardstock for tags and cupcakes picks...

Note: I did not photograph the actual Bunny Cupcake pick because I did not have a cupcake handy today. The photo above is very similar, but saved me the embarrassment of buying and eating a cupcake just for the photo. (not that I didn't consider it, believe me!)

If you have trouble with the download, please feel free to email me here. I'd love to hear how you're using the template, so drop me a line and let me know. Enjoy!

Friday, April 1, 2011


Play Ball!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Illustration from Lilly Pulitzer (and don't you just love it?!)

Lots of shenanigans in store for today, I hope.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Have you seen Mary Swenson lately? Magic.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Here is a beautiful way to help the people of Japan devastated by the massive earthquake and tsunami last week. Purchase this beautiful Tokyo print from JHill Design's Places I've Never Been series and 100% of the profits will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

A beautiful reminder that you cared enough to help and a lovely gift that will keep on giving.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Head on over to chicabug today to see this awesome Robot Birthday Party put on by Domenica of Proudest Monkey Photography. This is the same incredible Mom and beautiful photographer who put on this Rockin' Party, so it's sure to be amazing!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Love this end of the rainbow treat bag from It Is What It Is complete with printable tag.