*This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on or purchasing via an affiliate link may result in commissions for this site.
I’ve recently been invited to participate in a 31 postcard challenge for October. I can hardly wait. I haven’t sent out any mail in a while so this is a great excuse to get active again. Especially since I end up sending out a ridiculous amount of things in December, I got to get my writing hand in shape! If you’re interested in joining you can check out the facebook group here. Or maybe you just want me to send you a postcard then feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address! Another option is to join PostCrossing.com, a site you use to exchange postcards with random people all over the world.
Here’s a few postcards I have my eye on. Maybe you’ll receive one of these or maybe something completely different!
(Anthropomorphic animals via SandraArteagA)(Cat Face via FGMstore)
(Do Great Things via LostPlotsShop)
(The Art of Instruction Postcards via Modcloth)
(Vintage Pin-up postcards via amazon)
And for an extra bonus, check out these postcard crafts.
(Hand Embroidered postcard via Shaun Kardinal)
(Cake Postcard via She Knows)(Vintage Postcard Pop Art via Lovely Indeed)
I’m inspired, how about you?
Joel turned two years old about a week and a half ago and what better way to celebrate a train obsessed boys birthday then with a Thomas the Train Engine birthday party! We had a really amazing time with all of our friends. Plus my sister was able to come to town!
We went a little crazy with the train theme but it was quite simple to do. I’m hoping some of these ideas will help inspire you if you’re thinking about having a Thomas themed birthday. The most expensive part was probably party favors. This was only because at one point we were expecting some 20 kids (!!!). In the end we had about 13 kids (and a couple of those were babies) so we ended up having quite a few extra party favors and such.
The favorite thing amongst the kids was definitely the “Throw the Coal” game. I had a little bucket of prizes that kids could choose from if they were able to throw a bean bag into the coal car. A simple game that didn’t require parents supervision was a big must for the number of kids running around. I made sure to have enough prizes that it wasn’t really necessary to watch to make sure they were actually playing the game. If they just wanted a prize that was okay by me. There ended up being a lot of left over prizes anyway.
Besides the coal game there was also a station where they could pretend to be Thomas and get their picture taken, a coloring station where I had a lot of Thomas coloring pages, and train cars that were made for them to color and pretend they were trains with. We also pulled out our train tracks that the kids got for Christmas for everyone to play with.
Other then activities we of course had food! I’d have to say the parent’s favorite thing were these simple Mexican bowls. Everyone gobbled them up. They were really easy to make too (though the credit for them goes entirely to my sister!).
Another favorite item was the cake. It was probably the most difficult thing to do. If you’re looking to assemble something like this my recommendations are to make sure you have plenty of room in your freezer. While assembling I had to throw it in the freezer several times in order to let the icing harden and keep it together. If you happen to forget that cake requires eggs and oil (like I did), we found a great solution to be caffeine free orange soda! It made the vanilla cake mix taste like an orange creamsicle.
All in all, a great time was had by all and most importantly Joel couldn’t have been happier on his second birthday. Happy Birthday little man!Here’s links for all the items I bought for the party. These are affiliate links which means I receive a small commission if you purchase one of these from Amazon. No other links in this post are affiliate links: Thomas the Tank Treat Bags, Thomas the Tank Cups, Thomas the Tank Plates, Thomas the Tank Wall Hangings, Thomas the Tank Party Favors, Train Cookie Cutter for Sandwiches, Train Conductor Hats, Thomas the Tank Engineer Hat for Birthday Boy, Wind Up Trains, Thomas the Tank Hanging Swirls, Thomas the Tank Engine Pinata, Red Bandanas, Black Bean Bags, Prizes, Mini Chalkboards
I said I’d be all ready to open my shop back up come July 15th and I’d have new brooches to share and perhaps even new items? Yeah, about that. We are still without our household goods [hey thanks Army!] and it’s been about 35 days since I’ve last seen my craft supplies. Bummer.
The good news is that we’re getting our things this friday! Woo hoo. No more eating on the floor, sitting on the floor, doing everything else on the floor! And why should you care? Well it means I will also have my supplies back again and can open my shop back up. Duh. Once we have our things I’ll put up an announcement of when I’ll be back in business. I’d hate to set a date and find out that either our stuff isn’t ready to be delivered or even worst, our stuff doesn’t exist any more. Yay moving!
While on our road trip cross-country we stopped in to visit my family in Maryland. It was so great to spend some time with them and enjoy an amazing dinner of crawfish etouffee. I’ve really missed my Mom’s cooking while in Colorado so it was awesome that she was willing to cook us up a batch.
Besides enjoying some good food and great company we also took some time to play with a few fireworks including sparklers! Which was when Steve mentioned that it’d be really cool to take some sparkler pictures. If only we had a fancy camera… Oh but Steve, of course I brought my camera with me on our trip! And my tripod! We could totally try out some pictures. SWEET. So here’s a few we did before my camera died. It was so much fun.
Last year I posted a few tips about taking firework pictures and the same basic ideas apply for sparkler pictures. You’ll need a tripod or at least a flat surface that you can rest your camera on. Next you’ll want to frame your shot so you know where to start writing and where to end so it doesn’t get cut off. These were done just as the sun was setting but the darker it is, the less you’ll be able to see the motion of the person holding the sparkler. So if possible, wait till the sun has completely set. That being said, I still think these came out really cool. If I had thought about it a smaller shutter opening [aka a higher f/stop] would have probably made the background darker. For these I used f/3.5, ISO 200 and left the shutter open for 20 seconds. This combination worked well for us. You’ll have to play around to see what works best for you but just like the firework pictures, I highly recommend using the lowest ISO you can. It will decrease the amount of noise in your pictures. You can leave the shutter open longer or shorter depending on how dark it is. I found that 30 seconds was too much time and less then 20 seconds you had to move faster to get your word in.
As far as the best technique for writing? We found that writing with our backs towards the camera was easiest. It meant you didn’t have to try to remember how to write backwards. Or if you forget, like I did in the picture below, you can always flip the picture post production. In the second picture, the one that reads ‘Steve’, my husband did it and he went extremely slow and deliberate. This is why his lines are really thick. The scribbles above I did and pretty much just danced around some purple firework that was going off so the lines are thinner and have a more layered look. And then love below was really fast. Each technique is interesting and just depends on the look you want.It took us about two or three tries to get the settings right. Also if you try doing the same drawing over and over it’ll just turn into a giant scribble ball so it’s best just to try to spell something right the first time. I recommend just having fun with it and seeing what crazy things you can come up with and before the end of the night you’ll have some fun shots.
Have you taken any night shots lately? I think it is one of my favorite types of photography to mess around with. It’ll be fun experimenting with some of the city in the background!
After spending a weekend in the hotel in Colorado, then driving to Kansas City, MO, Memphis, TN, Birmingham, AL, spending the weekend in Wilmington, NC, and day in Gaithersburg, MD we’ve finally made it to Brooklyn, NY. We’ve spent the last few days exploring our new home and camping out on the floor. It’s been rough and stressful at times but also quite amazing. Is it weird that I’m already in love with this city? Sure some people are rude and stereotypical New Yorkers. But then there are others that are just amazing. Also the food! We’ve been here less than a week and we’ve had some Middle Eastern, Chinese and even went to the most hipster place I’ve been since my DC days for hot dogs. The community we live in is pretty amazing. Not to brag too much but it’s seriously like an oasis in the city. You can’t even tell you’re in New York. The views are just out of this world. We even went to Ikea where you can see the statue of liberty from the café there. Seriously crazy.
Today has been our first day in a long time with legit internet access so I’m hoping to be able to post updates about our trip and share pictures soon. It’ll probably take a hot minute for us to get back in the swing of things. We don’t even have our household goods yet! But I couldn’t be more excited to be here. I finally have an office/craft room and it’s amazing. I can’t wait to explore more and get a feel for New York. One of these days soon I’m going to have to brave that subway!
We’re going to be making a New York City bucket list soon since we’ll have the next three years to really go crazy. So tell me, what are some of your must see things in New York City?