Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Printable Holiday Tags for that Last Minute Wrapping!

If you're anything like me, you've left the wrapping frenzy until the end... and as luck would have it, you probably are almost out of tags! Well, no fret... just click the link above and print away... holiday tags courtesy of bnute productions!

Print them on scrapbook paper, colored paper or if you're up for a coloring project-- print them out on white, and color away!


Monday, December 21, 2009

More Christmas Printable Art Activities - Santa's Outfit Redesign and more...

Here's some more art activities to fill the few days before Christmas arrives! First, is a coloring page perfect for the aspiring fashion designer! Nothing is wrong with good ol'red, but Santa is looking for a change-- he needs a new suit. How 'bout try polka dots or candy cane stripes? Maybe Santa wants a psychedelic tie-dye suit this year! Can't wait to see your creations!

Get out the glitter, pens and more, and make these ornaments sparkle! Hey, if ya like 'em, then cut them out and put them on your tree!

Another one of my favorites... a recipe coloring page, everyone has the same ingredients, but trust me, everyone's drawing will be a little different! I would love to see what your Christmas morning recipe looks like when done!

Enjoy these activities... Christmas is almost here!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree - Printable Art Activity

My grandfather's favorite Christmas carol was O Tannenbaum... whenever I hear that carol, I think of him... So, when I drew this coloring page, I thought of him as well!

Now it's your turn... print this out and have your kids (or yourself!) decorate this tree however you'd like! Perhaps create a theme tree... just candy canes, only buttons, just smiling faces... or draw a tree decked with glittery balls and popcorn/cranberry garland!

Have fun!

P.S. I would love to see your creations! Send me a copy so I can post on my blog!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Little Things

One of our holiday decorating traditions in our family is to put up a small tree in each of the kid's rooms. It's not a real tree, gorgeous fresh sprigs of greenery planted in a cute vintage tin... and it is not an elaborate, yet always creative Martha Stewart creation... it's just one of those fake little ol' trees from the craft store... but the kids just LOVE it!! When the decorations come out, this is the first thing that is requested... "Where's the tree for my room?"

Along with the tree, I bought a couple packages of the mini-ornaments. They love the little candy canes, and presents. Yes, if I get a moment of extra time, these candy canes can be hand made from pipe cleaners, and the little presents made from extra scraps of decorative papers... but for now, they are just the store bought ones... and again, LOVED!

Some years, they add some of their own art creations to the tree... the construction paper star (that's almost 1/3 the size of the tree) is one of my favorites. Some years, the tree stays pretty much as it was initially decorated.

One of these years, we'll try a fancier version of this tradition, but for now, our lil'store bought trees are just perfect.

What are your little traditions this time of year?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Letter to Santa - Mad Libs style

Who didn't like MadLibs growing up... perhaps you still like 'em now! Well, here's a MadLibs style letter to Santa for you to print out and give to your kids to fill out. It's short, sweet and too the point! Perhaps next year, I'll make one a little more complicated!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Party of the Month: Sugarplum Holiday Dessert Party

I have so many party ideas, that I thought I'd create a monthly blog post called "Party of the Month". Each month I'll be highlighting a bnute productions party kit, and giving ideas for decorations, food, arts and crafts, entertainment, goodie bags and more! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas as well, so make sure to comment!

The Party - December 2009
Sugarplum Holiday Dessert Party
Whether it be a holiday dessert party or just a holiday sugarfest, your guests will love this party theme. bnute productions offers all the basics you'll need, invitations, banners and more... but below are more ideas to make this a sweet holiday gathering!

Decoration Ideas
Besides a festive personalized Sugarplum Banner, to make this party sparkle, you'll need to create a candy fairy land. Keep your main color palette simple by using lots of turquoise, reds and whites, then add accents here and there of other bright candy colors. Online many candy decorations can be found (i.e., lifesaver garland, large candies, oversized candy canes), but here are some simple directions below to making your own large lollipops like pictured above.

Large Lollipops
An old wrapping paper tube, some color poster board, a ribbon, some glitter and clear cellophane is all you need to make a sparkling oversized lollipop or two. Cut 2 circles from the colored poster board. Add glitter and decorations if desired. Tape or glue each circle to either side of the top end of the wrapping paper tube. Now wrap the lollipop with cellophane and tie with a ribbon.

More Decoration Ideas
With the extra color poster board, make large candy shapes (peppermints, gumdrops, etc.) and add lots of glitter. Then punch a hole in the top, string and hang from the ceiling. Make sure to also scatter filled candy jars throughout the house for easy access to nibbling!

For more Candy Decoration How-To's, see:

Food & Drink Ideas
The menu for A Sugarplum Dessert Party is a pretty simple... just serve lots and lots of yummy holiday desserts-- cookies, fudge, brownies, cakes, etc. Don't forget to make sure there is lots of jars full of candies too-- chocolates, gumdrops, peppermints, and ribbon candy too! For drinks, offer some hot cocoa, flavored milks (chocolate, strawberry, vanilla), and coffee. Don't forget eggnog-- this is the best (and only) time of year to indulge in this creamy drink!

Art & Craft Ideas
Candy Garland Project
Yes, you can buy candy garland, but why not set up a table and have folks make their own... Making candy garland is simple. Buy several bags of peppermints or candies that have wrappers. Simply staple the wrappers end to end... or for a bit more festivity, tie the ends of 2 candies with ribbon.
Make it easy for your guests and have baskets filled with candies (one color per basket) as well as set out a basket of pre-cut ribbon. The ribbons should be cut to approximately 7" long.

Game Ideas
Of course you have to had a Candyland board game set up... Why not a couple games set out.... it's great for kids, and nostalgic for folks who haven't played it in awhile!

Hansel and Gretel Hunt
Another idea... lay out a trail of candy, and at the end, have a prize. You could lay out several trails, each trail using a different candy. Depending on the kids ages, make the trails difficult by making the kids hunt for the candies along the way.

Treats & Goodie Bags
Well, this party is one big treat to begin with, so further explanation isn't necessary... but for a goodie bag, why not give each guest a small cellophane bag, and have them gather candies from your assorted jars around the house to take home.

Another idea... how about a book for each child. "Twas the Night Before Christmas" would be a perfect fit, given the Sugarplum reference in the poem!

Enjoy these ideas, and have a sweet and wonderful party!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Fun for Kids: Art Activities to Print

Give the kids some fun art projects this Thanksgiving to keep them busy and happy! Click on the links UNDER the pictures (for full size) and then print the image from your browser... as simple as that (each picture is sized perfectly for an 8.5"x11" paper.)

I've created 3 different printable art projects...
First off is a coloring page to give the turkey some Pizazz! Hold a contest to see which kid can come up with the craziest turkey, cooliest turkey, most 70's turkey, or whatever you'd like!

Second is the "Fill Your Thanksgiving Plate with Food" coloring page. Yeah, they can be traditional... turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans... but what else might show up on their plate?

Lastly, one of my favorites from when I was a kid... an art "recipe," - A Thanksgiving Feast. It's amazing what artists can make with these recipe projects. Although everyone has the same ingredients, everyones' looks different!

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S., Keep on the look out for more Art Activities to print from me soon!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Let the shows begin...

The holiday craft shows have begun... now it's time to get out there and shop!

I just had my first show of the holidays last night. A small show in Belmont, CA that went very well. Lots of great feedback and of course sales!

I unveiled my new line of tags: goodie bag tags, personalized tags, holiday tags, the works! They got great reception-- Now it's time to get the line up on my website... Stay tuned, and definitely get yourself to a holiday show this season!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thankfully Busy!

The piles of paper are stacking up...
The laundry needs to be put away...
and a new round started.
There's homework (for the kids), and
end of year soccer parties...
... and orders are coming in!

Life is busy,
and I am thankful!
Very thankful!

Friday, November 6, 2009

... and let the shopping frenzy begin

It's time... Halloween is over and the holiday season is in full swing (eeeghads, how early it begins!) So, to help you out in the shopping madness, I'm going to highlight over the next couple weeks some GREAT finds... at least I think they're pretty neat!

First off is Rosie Flo. I just stumbled upon this colouring (yes, it's British) book at a local book store (in California) and couldn't put it down! Should I let me daughter have this, or should I keep it for myself??!! :)

Such incredibly creative drawings that you color in. You also have the task of adding a head, legs and arms... anything goes. The book themes are great-- the image above is from the animal coloring book. All the fancy dresses are some type of animal, or animal theme (see above, the bee hive, and the bug wings...)

So, check out the Rosie Flo website, and make sure to get one of these books for that artist in your life... young or old!!

P.S., I found my copy at a local bookstore, but I also found it on Amazon as well.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat: The Best and The Worst Things to Get

I hope you can quickly spot the trick in this collage above!! I mean, what kid really wants to get a toothbrush when they're out collecting as much candy as they can possibly imagine?? I know it's got great intention (handing out the toothbrush), but unless you're a dentist, I'd say keep the toothbrush in the bathroom for the night!

So, what are the best and worst things to get when you're out trick or treating? Here's my thoughts...

1. The Good Stuff (reserved for special folks...)
My mom used to have a great tradition where she'd run down to Fran's Market (a small Mom and Pop shop in Palo Alto, CA), and buy a whole bunch of cool wax items for the special folks in our neighborhood-- you know, the next door neighbor kids and kids we knew on the block. These wax items, as AWFUL as they tasted were quite a hit-- wax fangs, wax lips, wax fingers. Oh, how I could chew on those for hours until they were extremely deformed, and just plain disgusting. Today I'm hope to bake a couple cookies for our "special" neighbors... it's such a great tradition.

2. The Retro Stuff (candy like when we were kids...)
Did you know how many cool retro candy websites are out there? I sure didn't until I started looking... It's a bonanza of great stuff. I say, pick out YOUR favorite retro candy from one of these sites (or a local store if you know of one), and hand that out this year... it's just a little more meaningful, perhaps, than the stuff you can get at Costco.

3. The Lookin' Good Stuff (the candy you can play pretend with...)
Another one I just loved growing up were the candies that last much longer than just eating them... you know, the ones you can play pretend with... candy rings, candy necklaces... not only do they taste good, they look good too!

4. The Traditional Stuff (the candy you see in cartoons...)
I've never given out candy apples, or large lollipops, but wouldn't it be fun to give out a real traditional Halloween treat? Read up on some Halloween History and get your own ideas.

5. The Bulk Stuff (everyday candy...)
There's nothing wrong with a tasty Reese's Peanut Butter Cup!! I love 'em. Tootsie Roll lollipops are good too! Those are some of my favorites, what are yours?

6. The Alternative Stuff (anything BUT candy...)
OK... I've already ragged on the toothbrush idea... I've also read about the "spare change" idea... that's a pretty good alternative idea... but I just read about a really cool idea, Books for Treats. I love the idea of cleaning out my kid's dusty, well loved, board books that haven't had an eye or ear for several years... I wonder how this approach would be received? Anyone tried it before?

Would love to hear about your trick or treat ideas! What was (or is!) your favorite thing to get? Happy hunting!

Monday, October 26, 2009

What Are Yoooou Gonna Be?

Image and idea from

So yesterday was Halloween-costume-making day. I'm so proud of myself... I was actually sewing and assembling my kids' costumes almost a week a head of the actual day!

This year, we scoured through all my magazine clippings of costume ideas, and my daughter loved the Sherlock Holmes outfit from Martha Stewart (it is adorable, isn't it?) and my son just wanted to be a spider.

The spider was pretty easy... just stuffing a lot of black baby tights, and finding a black outfit for my son to wear. And, to my surprise, the Sherlock Holmes cape wasn't that hard to make either! We used a little different style wool suit fabric, and wish we had a blood hound to go with the outfit, but I think we're definitely in the ballpark!

So, what are you going as this Halloween?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween Party Game Ideas

Your Halloween Party is coming up any day now... How on earth are you going to entertain a bunch of hyped up, sugared-filled kids? A Halloween game or 2, of course!! So, here it goes...

Best Scream Contest
OK, so for this game you need a lot of patience, and perhaps and ear plug or 2, but I'm sure the kids will love it. First off, describe different types of screams to the kids, so you don't just get the loudest shout they can manage. Here are some good descriptions for different screams:
1. The I'm-in-the-shower-when-someone-scares-me Scream
2. The it's-the-biggest-spider-I've-ever-seen Scream
3. The I-can't-be-loud-because-I'm-being-chased-by-a-man-eating-zombie Scream
4. The I've-just-entered-into-Frankenstein's-lap-and-his-head-is-open Scream

Now that you've given the kids some ideas... have them line up, give them a number, and let 'er rip! For awards, give them descriptions like above for their signature scream.
Monster Mash Freeze Dance
This is an old favorite-- freeze dance-- but now play it to your favorite Halloween tune. Monster Mash is a good one! The directions are simple. Have all the kids get into the middle of a big room or open space. Tell them they need to continue to dance until the music gets turned off. If they move when it's off, then they're out. For an award, you can give them a mummy oscar statue for best performance (take an old Barbie and wrap it in gauze bandage.)

Costume Awards Show
Instead of just "scariest costume" or "funniest", try to think of unique and creative categories! For instance, best costume for "Who You Would Not Want to Meet in a Dark Alley." Here's some more:
"Most Believable Costume"
"Goriest Costume"
"Most Likely to Be Put in Jail"
"Costume Most Likely to Win an Oscar"
For the awards, you can make a mummy Barbie (like mentioned above), or pick up one of these Skeleton Award Trophies at

Would love to find out what your favorite Halloween party game is!

P.S., If ya like the artwork here, be sure to check out my Spooky Halloween party invites and Spooky banner... both are posted on etsy store.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oktoberfest Game Idea

Last year around this time our family had a great Oktoberfest party. Above are the place cards I made for the table. I loved trying to feebily translate each of our names into more of a Germanic version... Fortunately for some, their names were of German origin, so they didn't get mangled!

The party had all ages-- from 4-74, so I knew coming up with a game was a must to entertain! This game below, was a hit! Tears were definitely shed when it was time to come inside and eat.... although the adults sure liked taking the break to enjoy the variety of beers being served. So here it goes.... a must-do Oktoberfest game:

Oktoberfest Beer Garden Relay
2 pitchers (plastic preferably)
4 mugs (plastic preferably)

Create 2 teams, and set up a relay course. Put some obstacles in the course, like a chairs, waste basket, table, etc.

On the starting end of the course, put the 2 pitchers filled with water.

Line the teams up, and hand the first "runner" 2 empty mugs for each hand.

Each runner needs to fill up his/her mugs (from the pitcher with water), run through the course, not spilling water, around the obstacles, and back to the start. He/She empties her mugs back into the pitcher and hands her mugs to the next person to start over.

The team who finishes first wins!

Have fun, and try to stay dry! :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloween Vintage Mask Party

Boo to Everyone in Blogland!!
It's been awhile since I've had a chance to write. You must forgive me... I've been buried in Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the beginnings of holiday fanfare! Yes, I was singing Christmas carols yesterday, as I was starting in on a holiday project, yet I haven't even had time to post about my latest Halloween items... so here it goes!

I'm sure you've seen them around-- those great vintage-style masks of spooky cats, frightful pumpkin heads, owls and more... Well I just had to make my own party kit based on the look!

I hand drew these mask images, scanned them in my trusty computer... and had fun adding colors, textures and more. I love how they turned out.

I also love how each invite has it's own mask (set of 6 invites...) So, when sending out those invites, you can make sure to send the right frightful mask to the right person!

Now this party could really be any type of Halloween party-- it could be a "mask" party-- where all have to come with a mask on, it could be a costume party, or it could just be a good ol'fashioned Halloween party- full of frightful fun and CAAAaaanddy, of course!

Are you having a Halloween party this year? What's your theme?

P.S., Like I said, I'm in the process of updating my website with all my latest holiday creations. I'll update with a link as soon as it's there... but if ya gotta have it now, make sure to email me, and I'll mail it off ASAP! :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Boo! It's Halloween Faire Time... Come and see!

October is officially here.
So you know what that means...

2 days ago, I noticed one of the houses in our neighborhood has put out their Halloween decorations. I have to say, although I LOVE Halloween, I do feel you have to wait at least until October to start to decorate. Especially out here in California, we get these blazing hot "Indian Summer" heat waves-- it sure doesn't feel like fall time when it's over 90 degrees!

This weekend, I'm going to be doing my first local fall time faire, The Artisan Merchant Faire. I'm so excited to show off my new Halloween items, as well as a sneak at some holiday things to come! Here's a list of some of the things I've been working on... I'll post pictures soon!
  • Halloween Party Invitations
  • Cool Vintage-style Halloween Masks and Banners
  • Thanksgiving Party/Thanksgiving Dinner Invitations
  • Holiday Party Invitations
  • and more...

The faire is in Redwood City, so if you happen to be in the Bay Area (Northern California), do stop by... there will be many things for sale, as well as activities and classes for kids too!

Hope to see you this weekend... If not, have a great time decorating for Halloween!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jars, Jars and More Jars

To go along with my last post...
how 'bout adding some jars to that game room motif?
Wouldn't these look cute on the mantle,
in a bookshelf or on a side table?

Game pieces are always a hit,
but what about these croquet balls too.
Great vintage wood balls...
I love this idea too!
Cards from any questionare-type game
would be a great addition to my family's dining room table.
It would be really fun at a dinner party as well!

And, then there's the paint brushes in jars...
this may not go well in the newly anointed game room,
but sure could make a great arrangement
pretty much anywhere.

Think of all the rest of the jar decorating possibilities throughout the year...
  • Halloween- candy corns, spooky fake spiders, toy eyeballs, etc.
  • Thanksgiving - small gourds, fall leaves, acorns, nuts, etc.
  • Christmas - ribbon candy, peppermints, small ornaments, bells, tinsel, etc.
and the list goes on.

Have you used jars to decorate in your home? What do you put in them?

Pictures above were taken at Martis Camp, Lake Tahoe.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Frame a Game: Playroom Decoration Idea

Vintage Board Games in a Frame

Here's another great decoration idea from those creative interior designers up at Martis Camp in Lake Tahoe... using board games and game pieces for decor. I've seen this idea before, but when I saw it again... I snapped some pics, and had to share. In looking through these, I've added a few ideas of my own too...

Above is simple, yet sweet... framing a couple vintage board games. Searching or ebay will bring up many vintage board games for sale. Another idea... frame one of your favorite current board games... it doesn't have to be vintage to still be cool!

Domino Frame

Isn't this frame idea cute? Think of all the other game pieces that could be glued to a frame...
  • Dominoes
  • Monopoly Money (decoupaged)
  • Assorted Plastic Game Pieces
  • Candyland Cards
  • Playing Cards
  • Dice
  • Scrabble Pieces
  • this list goes on and on...

I do love the old Pin the Tail on the Donkey game that's being framed too!

Game Collage

Now this piece is awesome... a collage of all sorts of vintage game pieces and board games... from money, to marbles, to cards and scrabble pieces... To make this on your own is easy. Again, you can definitely go the vintage route, or how about just taking some of the games from your cabinet that everyone has grown out of, and putting something together. The collage should bring up many memories of the hours spent playing the game!

Here are a couple more shots of details of the collage....

I hope these decorating ideas have been inspiring... I'm in great need of new art for my family room, and after writing this post, I think I'm going to head out, pick up a canvas, and have a hot glue frenzy-- gluing anything and everything to the canvas... board games, game pieces, the works. I'll post something once I've come up with it!