Monday, September 30, 2013

Karate Party Invitations and More

Karate Party Invitations by B.Nute productions on Zazzle
For all those karate kids out there, here's the perfect party invitation for you! This hip, cool and edgy Karate Party invitation packs the perfect punch of gritty textures, funky type and a silhouette of a karate kick. It's just right for the slightly older crowd who takes their karate seriously.

Whether you are planning on heading to your local karate studio for the party, or having it at home, stay tuned this week for more karate themed posts with plenty of ideas! In the meantime, head over to my store and order up your Karate party invitations and get your planning started.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Notes from the Studio: Falling for Fall

I think I'm Falling for Fall (image by B.Nute productions)
Hands down I have to admit Summer is my favorite season, so why all of a sudden do I feel like I'm falling for Fall? Is it because I put my boots for the first time this week? Perhaps. I do love boot season. Is it that chill in the air gives me an extra reason to pull the comforter up close at night to get warm? Could be. Nothing like snuggling in bed on a cold night. Or is it that every time I head over to Pinterest, I see another pumpkin recipe that looks so delicious I just want to try it? Possibly, but probably not... it's hard to live with a family who doesn't like pumpkins! I think the real reason is I seem to get this crazy boost of creativity in the Fall... one where I just wish there were more hours in the day to do all the things I want to do.

I recently started an online writing class, and I'm loving it. Although I write almost every day for my blogs, I felt like my words were stifled and lacking personality. This class has been the perfect way to re-energize. Along with writing, I've been aching to do more photography. I took a night photography class several months ago and loved experimenting with shots while traveling this Summer. I have list after list of photo shoot ideas to head out the door and try. Then, there's drawing. I want to get in the habit of doing a sketch-a-day. I have about 30 themes swirling through my head of what to sketch (typography being one as you can see from the illustration in this post), and now just need to sit down and do it. 

So why the burst of creativity? I think Fall is the reason. The season glides in after a summer filled with outdoor activities and allows me real "workable" time while my kids are back at school. The quite hours just get my brain churning! Also, the reality of the holidays has not set in. Fall is like the calm before the storm.

Now, the only dilemma is there just doesn't seem to be enough time to do all the things I want to do. But, as I'm learning, there never is enough time. I guess the good news is that only means all this creativity can easily flow into the new year. Perfect! Something to look forward to.

Hope you enjoy your Fall weekend as much as I will!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Free Printable Little Monster Tags and Identification Tags

Free Printable Little Monster Identification Tags and Blank Tags from B.Nute productions
I remember getting a stuffed animal when I was young that came with it's very own identification tag. It felt so official to me when I was filling it out. This stuffed lovey was mine, and mine forever! I couldn't just shove it in a corner, or lose it under my bed, I had to take responsibility over my new addition and love it forever!

Give your little monster that same feeling of responsibility and have him adopt his own little monster. Below is a free printable identification tag to make it official! Just print out, punch a hole in the tag and tie to the new little plushie. I've also included some blank printable Little Monster tags below as well. These are perfect for a Little Monster themed party to use as menu cards or bottle labels, or are prefect to put on a present any time you need a playful tag!

Free Printable Little Monster Identification Tags & Blank Tags
Free Printable Little Monster Identification Tags from B.Nute productions
Free Printable Little Monster Blank Tags from B.Nute productions
Instructions for Printing Your Little Monster Tags
1. Select the link(s) above at the bottom of each image, and print out the tags on an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. Use white card stock to add some weight to the tags.
2. Cut out the tags and punch a hole in the top. String with a ribbon and tie on a little monster stuffed animal or present!

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Plushie Monsters - The Perfect Present, Goodie Bag Gift or Act Activity at a Little Monster Party

Plushie Little Monsters and Pals - The Perfect Gift, Goodie Bag Treat or Art Activity
(created by my daughter!)
When my daughter came home from her beginning sewing class with these little monster plushies pictured above, I couldn't control my glee. "They are sooo cute," I exclaimed! I was so impressed what a little scrap fabric, some trim, buttons and felt could create, and best of all how easy it was, even for a beginner seamstress like my daughter.

Of course, I also thought how perfect these little plushies would be for a Little Monster party. One quick search on Pinterest proved that many folks agree! For the young party guest, you can easily create simple felt plushies to hand out as a goodie bag gift, or if party guests are older, you can set up a "make your own monster" table art activity. Below are a whole host of plushie links to get your little monster juices flowing!

Plushie <3: Lean How to Make Stuffed Animals and Rag Dolls - This site is plushie heaven! So many adorable ideas, patterns and how-to's you won't need to go much farther than this.

Mix and Match Felt Monsters on It's Always Autumn - A wonderful Little Monster plushie how to including pictures and patterns to step you through the process.

All About Plushies - Tutorials, Patterns and Inspiration on Pure Pleasure Design - Wow! Here is a list of plushie links that will have you crafting for days! Plushie sites, plushie tutorials, plushie patterns, you name it, it's here.

Little Monster and Other Plushie Ideas on Pinterest

... And some of my fav little monsters:

Look forward to seeing your plushie monster creations!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Little Monster Party Invitations and More

Little Monster Bash Invitations from B.Nute productions on Zazzle
Your little monster is having a birthday and it's time to celebrate! Here are the perfect, playful Monster Bash invitations for your cutie. Colorful chevron stripes, hand drawn adorable monsters and silly type will set the tone for your party. There's even a spot on the back of each invitation to put a picture of your lil'monster!

So whether your child is a Monster University fan, Monsters, Inc. fan or just loves his or her monster plushie, these invites will fit the bill.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Welcome Fall and Free Printable Fall Leaves Tags

Free Printable Fall Leaves 3"x5" Tags by B.Nute productions
I can't believe Fall will be here this weekend... or maybe I can. I just realized yesterday that it's been a month since I returned from my month-long European adventure. Sadly, it seems like it has been longer than that.

We are now fully back into the school-time routine; early wake ups, making lunches, sports practices, and homework. Although it's a bit bitter sweet to see summer disappear so quickly, there is something nice about starting to bundle up, and feel the slight chill in the air. Before I know it, the holidays will be breathing down our neck! But, in the meantime, I'll relish the small things-- the changing leaves, the possibility of rain (oh, we need it here), and maybe more movie nights indoors under the blanket.

Below are some free printable Fall Leaves tags-- perfect to tie onto a bottle of wine when you head to a friend's home for dinner, great on a present, or to use as decoration. Enjoy, and welcome Fall!

Are you already thinking of the holiday season? Be sure to check out my matching free printable invitation and party printables in this same Fall leaf theme. Just print them out and get planning.

Free Printable Fall Leaves Tags
Free Printable Fall Leaves Tags from B.Nute productions
Instructions for Printing Your Fall Leaves Tags
1. Select the link above at the bottom of the image, and print out the tags on an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. Use white card stock to add some weight to the tags.
2. Cut out the tags and punch a hole in the top. String with a ribbon and tie on a gift for a warm Fall greeting!

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

List of Baby Shower Themes - Over 60 Inspirational Themes to Celebrate Your Baby on the Way

Find the Perfect Baby Shower Theme to Welcome You Little One on the Way
We all have those moments, when you just can't think of a perfect theme for your upcoming baby shower, or need some inspiration to figure out the look for your best gal pal who's about to pop. Here's a huge list of over 60+ Baby Shower themes sure to get you inspired and ready to start planning that special celebration for the new mom-to-be:

A Star is Born - You can already tell your little one will head to the silver screen! Throw a Hollywood style baby shower fit for any new star. This theme is easily adaptable to the red carpet look, or vintage-style Hollywood glam.

Alphabet - An Alphabet shower is the perfect place to start off your parenting experience. Vintage wooden ABC blocks, or ABC cards are an easy start to a look for this shower. Or, if you'd like to be creative, assign your guests a letter (between A-Z) and have the bring a baby gift that starts with that letter.

Around the Clock Baby Shower - As a new parent will soon learn, babies need things around the clock, so assign an hour of the day (and night) to each guest and be ready when ever the little one may be up!

Baby on the Move - Babies these days are sure on the move, even well before they learn to crawl. This shower is the perfect way to help the new parents stock up on things that will keep the baby on the move-- from strollers to front packs, diaper bags to portable cribs. New parents may not want to slow down once the new one arrives, and this shower will keep them going!

Baby Sprinkle - A baby sprinkle is a term used for a "light" shower. It's perfect for the mom who's about to have her 2nd, 3rd or even 4th child, and needs a little celebration, or a great way to celebrate a new one for the mom who doesn't want a big "fuss." The theme can be used year round, but if you want to play on the word sprinkle, get out your umbrella and host this in the Spring when sprinkles may be in the forecast!

Blankies and Bedtime - This theme is the perfect lullaby for any baby to be. Have guests bring gifts associated with bedtime and the nursery like a soft blankie, traditional bedtime story, sweet teddy bear, bedding and more.

Bun in the Oven - Here's the perfect shower for those who like to bake. Spread out a bunch of home baked goodies and shower the mom-to-be and her bun in the oven with gifts, treats and all those things a new mom will need in the kitchen with her baby: bottles, food mashers, bibs, high chair, baby spoons, and more.

Bundle of Joy - The perfect baby shower theme for those cold months when everyone wants to bundle up. Have guests bring soft blankets, baby quilts, winter clothes, hats and more that will help keep the little one warm and toasty.

Baby Circus / Cirque de Bebe - When you become a new mom, you'll be a clown, a juggler, and a ringmaster too! Celebrate the baby-to-be with a sweet circus shower sure to be filled with laughs and smiles.

Diaper Shower - A new mom can never have enough diapers once the baby has arrived. Shower her with a diaper theme, and provide gifts that will stock the new baby's changing table.

Eco-Baby - Our eco-friendly world is filled with wonderful baby products that environmentally conscious moms will love. Throw a "green" shower to ensure a long and healthy life for the new little one.

Extra Extra: Announcing a New Baby - Calling all reporters and journalists, it's time for a baby shower to celebrate a little one's arrival. Shower the new mom-to-be with parenting magazines, books, videos and anything else to keep her going through those late night feedings.

Fashionista Baby - We all have a friend that just loves clothes. Here's the perfect baby shower theme just in line with the new mom's taste. Throw a little fashionista shower and fill the new baby's wardrobe with the latest onesies and outfits fit for the runway.

For Parents Only Baby Shower - Yes, baby showers should be all about the baby, right? Well, maybe not. What about the tired, exhausted parents? They need to be showered with love too! Have a baby shower "for parents only" where the theme focuses on being a new parent and surviving! Guests can bring gifts of new parenting books, gourmet coffee for those wee hours in the night, and loads and loads of parenting advice to help their close friends adjust to their new life of parenthood.

Gender Reveal Shower - Many couples want to wait until the end to find out if they are having a girl or boy.... and some want to make a game out of it for friends and family. A gender reveal theme is lots of fun for those gambling friends who love to throw a few wagers down. Have them place their bets at the party and wait until the baby arrives for pay out, or reveal the secret at the party itself, it's up to you!

It's a Jungle Baby Shower - Your baby-to-be will be ready for a life of adventure if you start it off with a jungle theme shower. Children's storybooks are filled with tales of lions, tigers, giraffes and more - bring them to life with this wild baby shower theme.

Little Birdie or Feather Your Nest Shower - Sweet little birdies, snuggled in their nest, it's the perfect theme for a baby shower. Folks can bring gifts to help you fluff your nest and prepare for your little birdie on the way.

Little Bug - Yes, bugs can be sometimes a bit creepy-- but a little bug, is always adorable! This theme is perfect for an outdoor shower, or possibly a picnic to celebrate your little bug on the way.

Little Camper - Outdoorsy couples will love this Little Camper baby shower theme. Prepare your new one on the way to be ready for the great outdoors you love with having guests bring camp-inspired gifts, from little flannel pj's, to a pack perfect for carrying a little one on a hike.

Little Cowboy/Cowgirl - Round up all your friends for a wild west baby shower to celebrate your rough and tumble little cowboy or cowgirl on the way.

Little Cupcake - Who wouldn't want to come to a baby shower filled with sweets and treats and cupcakes galore? Celebrate the little cupcake on the way by having a desert shower with friends and family.

Little Diva - With all the kicking and moving in your belly, you can already tell, this little baby will be quite a diva. Whether the little one will be the next opera star, American Idol, or Hollywood wonder, a diva party is the perfect theme to shower her with attention!

Little Ducky - Bath time with baby is always the best. Throw a Little Ducky shower filled with those sweet yellow ducks, and lots of Goldfish snacks for lots of quacking fun. Have guests bring gifts for the baby to use at bath time; a small tub, bath toys, soft towels, sensitive skin creams and more.

Little Einstein - It's a no-brainer! Your little one on the way is going to be smart! Throw a Little Einstein party and fill the nursery with educational toys, books, posters and more for a life of learning ahead!

Little Flower - Pretty posies, little daisies, or a sweet rose are all perfect looks for a flower themed baby shower. This shower is perfect for an outdoor brunch or lunch on a warm Spring or Summer day.

Little Lady - A string of pearls, fancy shoes and a small purse -- your baby on the way will grow up to be a fine little lady someday. Shower the mother-to-be with all things girly to let her know how special this little lady will be!

Little Ladybug - A Little Ladybug theme is the perfect for a garden shower in the Spring. The flowers are in bloom, and sweet red with black polka dot ladybugs are buzzing around. Bring gifts for the baby that celebrate the season and the outdoors.

Little Man (Mustache) - One day, your little man will be all grown up and off in the world. The good news is you get to spend the next 18 plus years nurturing him the whole way! Throw a Little Man shower filled with mustaches, bow ties, and haberdashery to welcome him into the world.

Little Mermaid/Under the Sea - Here's the perfect theme if you live close to the sea, or just dream of the ocean! Seashells, oysters with pearls, turquoise waters and treasures under the sea are definitely the look for this theme. Perhaps have your guests bring gifts for the baby relating to bath time or summers spent at the beach.

Little Monkey - It feels like the little baby is swinging from the vines in your belly! Your little monkey may be active, but he will sure be loads of fun! This theme is perfect for any couple who loves a little monkey'ing around. Guests can bring gifts perfect for playtime to carry on the monkey theme.

Little Monster - No worries, your little one won't be a terror, but he may be a little mischeivious monster sometimes! This theme is perfect for cute monsters only-- ready to have some fun. Guests can bring sweet plushies, soft blankies and perhaps silly storybooks and toys perfect for your little monster-to-be.

Little Peanut - Think sweet elephants and tasty little peanuts, this theme can have a vintage circus parade look filled with fluttering banner, tooting trumpets, swirls of cotton candy and bags of salty peanuts welcoming your new one to the world.

Little Prince - Your little boy needs a royal welcome with a Little Prince shower. Be inspired by the classic French novel, Little Prince, or take cues from the royal family in England to set the stage for your shower. Have guests bring gifts fit for a royal prince!

Little Princess - Your sweet princess needs a royal welcome with a Little Princess shower. There is so much princess inspiration to get you started, from Disney princess to fairy princesses, exotic princesses to royalty from England. Pick your favorite and set the mood for a royal affair.

Little Rockstar - The stage is where you feel your little one will be, celebrate his welcome to the world with his first concert, a Little Rockstar Shower! Have guests bring musical instruments for children, rattles, shakers and loads of music to play from morning to night.

Little Sailor - A nautical inspired baby shower is perfect for your little sailor-to-be. Tiny sailboats, anchors and a sweet sailor hat are the perfect look for this gathering. Have guests bring gifts for the aby relating to bath time fun or summers at the beach to play along with the theme.

Little Surfer - Time to hang ten and have a relaxed surfer-style baby shower for your beach baby-to-be! Perfect for little surfer dudes or surfer chicks, there's nothing like a casual gathering with soft tunes and cool waves. Have guests bring gifts to get baby ready for summertime fun and days on the beach or in the sandbox.

Mommy & Baby Spa - Moms-to-be will love some spa time relaxation with friends and family before the new one arrives on the scene. Flickering candles and zen tunes will set the mood for this calming event. Have guests bring gifts that will pamper the new mom and new baby-on-the-way.

Nursery Rhyme Baby Shower - Mary had a Little Lamb, Humpty Dumpty, and all Mother Goose's rhymes together will create a sweet, memorable shower to welcome the new baby. Have guests bring classic nursery rhyme stories, stuffed animals and more to bring the theme to life.

Nursery Shower - Your pregnant friend is frazzled, and would love help in getting the nursery ready for the new baby on the way. A Nursery shower is the perfect way to celebrate. Make it a work party and have all help decorate the space, or if it's already set up, have guests bring gifts to make the nursery come alive!

Our Little Glamour Girl - Glitter, Jewels and lots of bling is needed to celebrate this glamour girl-to-be! This party is all about sumptuous fabrics, chandeliers and lots of sparkles. Surround your little baby-on-the-way with gifts of soft blankets, jewel studded shoes and engraved silver treasures, and have a shower where the memories will last a lifetime.

Polka Dot Shower - Power to the polka dot! This playful theme is easy to pull off, just mix and match polka dots patterns, add some balloons and a dash of sprinkles and your set! This festive theme is the perfect way to welcome your little one to the world.

Ready to Pop Baby Shower - Here's the perfect thing for your pal who's about to pop! Fill your party space with balloons and pop some champagne (or sparkling cider) and celebrate the new one on the way!

Ruffles and Lace - This sweet, vintage-style theme is perfect for the girly girl who wants the most for her little girl-to-be. Ask guests to bring gifts with ruffles, lace, vintage style or sentimental charm to honor the new baby.

Shower Based on a Popular Children's Book - We all remember our favorite books from growing up. We wanted it to be read to us over and over again. Bring out that beloved book and theme your baby shower after the story. Some favorites are Goodnight Moon, Pat the Bunny, Guess How Much I Love You, Goodnight, Gorilla, and more.

Sip and See - A Sip and See is the perfect party to celebrate the baby after he or she has been born. Some moms-to-be may not want all the fuss of a shower, but prefer to host an open house when they are ready for guests after the baby is born. It's the perfect time for friends and family to stop by, meet the new one, and toast to the new parents.

Sports Shower - If sports is your-thing, then a Sports baby shower will score big points! Convinced your baby will be the next All-Star? Do you have a little slugger on your hands? How about the next star quarterback? Guests can bring gifts perfect for the sporty family; from toys to sports equipment (for babies!)

Storybook / Book Shower - Build your babies library with a wonderful Storybook or Book baby shower. Go with a library-like look and fill your space with old books, vintage letters, poems, and more. Have guests bring their favorite childhood book to have plenty to ready to this little one after he is born.

Sweet Bee - The buzz is out, a baby is on her way and it's time to celebrate. A Sweet Bee theme is perfect for an outdoor gathering. Honeycomb yellows, and a dash of black is a winning color combination for this theme.

Sweet Pea / Little Gardener - If you love the outdoors or love to garden, a Sweet Pea shower is the perfect theme for you and your green thumb! Have guests bring gifts with a garden theme, a flowery dress, an outdoor blanket, a sun hat, or even a commemorative tree to mark the birth of your little one.

Teddy Bear Baby Shower - Who doesn't remember their sweet teddy bear from growing up? Have a Teddy Bear Picnic and shower your baby-to-be with sweet stuffed animals.

The Lion King - "The lion sleeps tonight..." at least that's the hope for any new parent. A Lion King themed baby shower is perfect for your soon-to-be king of your life. Play off of the classic tale with your styling and decoration inspiration.

The Little Foodie - In our world of organic foods, gourmet delights and sweet treats, there's bound to be a foodie born at any moment! Help inspired your new one to love cuisine with a Little Foodie baby shower. Have guests bring gifts associated with the kitchen and baby food, such as bibs, baby food appliances to make your own, recipe books for the organic parent, subscription to healthy baby foods, high chair and more!

Throughout the Year Baby Shower - Throughout the year, your newborn will need all sorts of different types of gadgets and clothes to survive the seasons. Have a shower that celebrates the baby years with a Throughout the Year Baby Shower. Give each guest a month and have them bring a gift the baby will need at that time of year. For instance, in December, the little one will need the perfect holiday outfit, in March, a raincoat will do, and in August, perhaps a sunhat or two!

Tiny Toes - Everyone oohs and aahs when they see a newborns sweet little toes. Make this the theme of your baby shower and celebrate all the mini-things that we love so much about babies.

Toy Shoppe - A little toy train, a wind up truck, a vintage robot, a stuffed teddy bear, a Toy Shoppe theme is filled with color and fun and perfect for your baby shower. Have guests bring gifts to fill your little one's toy chest. Family and friends will love the playful fun.

Twinkle Little Star - This traditional lullaby also makes a wonderful baby shower theme. Hang stars from the ceiling, or have an evening gathering outdoors to welcome your new little one to the world.

Vintage Baby Shower - Find those baby heirlooms and celebrate your baby-on-the-way with a Vintage Baby Shower. Have friends and family bring memories of their childhood to share stories of days passed, and adventures to look forward to.

Welcome to the World - For the parents that love to travel, have a Welcome to the World baby shower. Decorate with a travel theme in mind, vintage suitcases, luggage tags, travel posters and more and prepare the new one for a life of adventure. Have guests bring gifts related to traveling with a baby to match the theme.

Whooo's Having a Baby? A Woodland Wonder Baby Shower - Cute little woodland critters are a whimsical and playful look for a baby shower. This shower can be held outdoors, or if the weather is cooler, light a fire in the fireplace, and have a cozy shower in woodland style.

Zoo - Have a baby shower filled with wild animals, cute little birds, big elephants and silly monkeys. Sometimes life as a new parent can feel a like a zoo, but calm the mom-to-be by letting her know her friends and family are there to support her whenever needed. Everyone loves a day at the zoo!

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Camp Theme Wedding - Camp Nutenbeier 13 Years Ago Today

Just Married - Heading out of the Forest and Off to Camp Nutenbeier
Lucky 13, that's what I'm calling this anniversary! I'm so lucky to be married to my best friend, confident, right-hand guy, travel companion and partner in crime. We had a non-traditional courtship of being friends for a long time before we got engaged. (Yes, we practically skipped dating.) The engagement was not that much of a surprise though, since all our friends suspected we were already more than just friends!

The true test of the relationship, though, came when I proposed we'd have a camp-themed wedding. I didn't just want the rustic look, and setting (Lake Tahoe, California), but I truly wanted the full camp experience! My husband-to-be put up with a summer of being my production intern cranking out Boy Scout-like badges, camp passports, how to tie know games, lanyards and more. Little did he know that 7 years later, I'd give up the corporate world, and start my party business (in 2007)! I guess our wedding was fore-shadowing. Lucky for him now, I have not employed him again as intern!

My Wedding Camp  in Full Swing: Guitar Lessons, Knot Tying, Campfire Books and More
I couldn't have asked for a better day. Incredible Sierra weather and lots of happy campers doing their activities and filling out their camper passports!

Wedding Cake Was Not My Thing: S'mores Fit the Bill Perfectly!
To end the camp, we had a rousing competition of rochambo to determine the winning cabin group and get the prize t-shirts. The s'mores were served to much delight and surprise. I had many guests in shock to learn, that no, I was not serving wedding cake. (I must say, 13 years ago, s'mores were not that popular in the wedding scene!)

Although Camp Nutenbeier seems like a long time ago, I'm still so lucky to be in love with my favorite camp buddy. I hope someday when we are old and gray we can head off to Camp Nutenbeier again and relive our youth!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Notes from the Studio: Home Sweet Home

Time for a Little Redecoration
I gave my husband a full week after we had returned from our month long trip to let him know it was time for some redecorating in our home. As you can imagine, it didn't go over so well.

"We've just returned from an amazing trip, and you want to redecorate?"

As I scanned the 2 rooms in question, "Um, yes."

There was a grimace on his face. I'm sure in the back of his mind he was thinking this Fall would be the perfect time to just relax for awhile. Get back into the routine of school, work, and life, and possibly watch some football too. I can only guess a "fun" and most likely costly redecoration project was not on his radar.

A couple weeks have passed now since I sprung the news, and I've been slowly making progress. First, I've pulled out a pile of magazine cut outs I've been storing away, and have been doing a little low-tech Pinterest work by gathering up all the inspiration I can find. Of course, I'm also doing the high-tech approach and pinning away on my Home Sweet Home board.

Lastly, I've started to dig in to Holly Becker's Decorate Workshop book. Oh, what a feast for the eyes, with very "Betsy-like" exercises to help me think about the spaces I want to update. One of my main goals in redecorating is to add more personality to the spaces, specifically my family's personality. This book is definitely helping me pull out that information.

I'm also seeing a little softening up on my husband's part. We had to do some cleaning and moving around of some rugs this week (another long story, but let's just say the dog was involved), and it gave us a chance to see how much lighter the rooms feel without the dark rugs. I guess I should thank my dog for her troubles, since it looks like I'm getting my chance for a little redecoration after all!

I'll definitely post some updates along the way, and may just have to poll you wonderful readers when I'm stuck on finding what I'm looking for. Given how fast things move around here, it could take awhile, but I'm sure in the end, it'll be worth it!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pixies and Pirates or Mermaids and Pirates - Playful Alternatives to a Pirate Party Theme

Pixies and Pirates Party Invitation & Mermaids and Pirates Party Invitation by B.Nute productions
Your little one is begging for a pirate party theme but you're thinking the Pirates of Caribbean look may be a bit much. Or, perhaps, your rough and tumble girl loves pirates, but is also partial to a bit more girly theme too. Here are 2 great pirate party theme alternatives that are perfect for these scenarios and more-- a Pixies & Pirate Party and a Mermaids & Pirate Party.

Pixies and Pirate Party
A Pixies and Pirates Party is the happy marriage of a fairy theme and a pirate theme with a dash of Peter Pan's magical Neverland world. Tinkerbell and all her pixie friends always loved a little tussle with pirates every now and again, and this theme is the perfect blend of both fairy magic and fearless pirate fun. Check out this book below for some visual inspiration and party ideas:
In the Realm of the Never Fairies by Monique Peterson on
Mermaids and Pirates Party
For this party theme, just blend a mermaid theme with a pirate theme and sprinkle with a bit of the Little Mermaid to add pizazz! Pirates and Mermaids both love the sea-- although some are underneath the sea and some are above. Playing off these themes, your Mermaids and Pirates Party can be filled with hidden under water grottos, sunken treasures, secret sea shells and pirate mischief. Below is wonderful book for mermaid inspiration:
The Mermaid's Treasure by Stephanie True Peters on
Note: For Pirate inspiration, be sure to see all my Pirate Party ideas on this blog - from games, entertainment, food ideas and more.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pirate Party: Games, Entertainment and Art & Craft Ideas

The Pirates at Your Party Are Ready to Play - Time for Some Games!
You've got a rowdy group of pirates ready for some action at your Pirate Party, and you are wondering, how on earth will I entertain these rascals? Here's a list of pirate party games, entertainment ideas and arts & craft activities that will make your party time sail by!

Pirate Party Games
Shark Infested Waters
This game is like the pool game, Sharks and Minnows, but you play this on a lawn area instead. Designate one side of your yard the pirate boat and the other side the island. The space in between is the ocean. Have all the pirates stand near the boat. Have one party guest be the “head” shark. The shark tells the pirates to swim to the island. The pirates must pretend to swim from the boat to the island without getting tagged by the shark. If they are tagged they become a shark and help the sharks catch more pirates. The last pirate left becomes the new “head” shark.

Treasure Hunt
Set up a scavenger hunt through your house, yard, or neighborhood to find a treasure. This game can be as elaborate or simple as you’d like. Party guests can be broken into teams, or work together as one team if the party is small. Pick the number of “stations” for the hunt (i.e., a station could be a room in your house; a specific object like a painting, vase or identifiable plant; or a location in your neighborhood like a mailbox or street sign.) At each station provide a clue at to guide the kids to the next clue. At the end, have enough treasure to share, or leave each guest’s goodie bag.

Lost at Sea: Treasure Map
Instead of a scavenger hunt with clues, you could create a treasure map the kids need to follow to find the treasure. The map could be places in your house, yard or neighborhood. Have the final destination a place that is not easily identifiable, such that following the map is necessary.

Gaming Table: Cards and Dice
With months at sea, many pirates passed the time by playing card and dice games - of course, they played for money! Provide each guest with fake money, and let them take their chances playing a simple game like betting who gets the highest card (each player is dealt one card, highest card wins), or a dice game where kids bet if they will roll a pair or 3 of a kind or the likes (simplified version of Yahtzee.) The games can be more elaborate depending on the age of the guests.

Pirate Party Entertainment Ideas
Dress Up Box
No matter the age, dress ups are sure to please most guests. Here’s a list of items you can place in a plastic tub for all to enjoy:
  • Eye Patches (see Art section for details)
  • Vests (see Art section for details)
  • Scarves- Head to the fabric store and pick up a couple yards of red and black polyester fabric. No sewing necessary, just cut into long strips and kids can use as a tie around their waist or around their head!
  • Pirate Hats - Pick up a couple pirate hats online ( to add to the mix.
  • Captain’s Blazer - Get out that old blue blazer or head to the second hand shop to pick up a Captain’s jacket. You can embellish with pins and colored tape stripes to make it more “authentic.”
Face Painting
What pirate wouldn’t like a skull and crossbones on his or her cheek? Hire a face painter, or ask an artist friend to help. The Klutz ( Face Painting book has pirate face painting ideas, and is a great kit to own.

Read a Pirate Story
Dress up with a pirate hat, don a pirate accent and read a story or 2 to the crowd. There are many pirate books out there, some written for young folks, some for older – here are a few that might engage the crowd:
Hire a Pirate Actor or Actress
Give a call to your local high school theatre department and see if any kids would like to be a pirate for an afternoon! Perhaps they could do a skit or two to entertain the crowd.

Pirate Party Arts & Craft Ideas
Make an Eye Patch
Cut out eye patch shapes from black construction paper. Punch a hole in either side and tie a piece of yarn through each hole. Set out on a table with stickers, pretend gems, glue, gel pens and let the kids decorate.

Decorate a Pirate’s Vest
Gather several paper grocery bags for this project. Cut the center of one side, and a round “neck hole” from the bottom of the bag. On either side of the bag, cut a circle for the arm. Either set out crayons or pens, or washable paints, and let the kids decorate. You can punch holes on the edges of the cut sides, and string yarn through the holes to tie the vest closed.

Design a Treasure Map
Buy some brown paper gift wrap, and tear into letter size pieces. Crumple the paper to give it a worn, authentic look. Set out some pens and let the kids decorate! You can also print out some samples from the web to give examples for the kids to see. Type in “Treasure Map” into your favorite search site and find some images to print.

Pirate Coloring Pages
Many different websites offer coloring pages that you can print from your own computer. In your favorite search engine type in “pirate coloring pages”. Pick and choose your favorite pages to print. At the party, just set up a small art table with crayons, glitter glue and the coloring pages.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Pirate Party Food and Grog Ideas and Free Printable Pirate Menu

Restless Pirates Need Some Tasty Food and Grog at their Pirate Party!
The pirates are getting restless and are demanding some tasty food and grog at your authentic-style Pirate Party, now what to serve? Let’s just say, Pirates were not known for their table manners! The pirate feast below will be a delight to all the kids and adults alike... lots of finger foods, raucous laughter, and I’m sure, a few belches too. Below are some ideas of what to serve at your pirate feast including a free printable Pirate Menu Card.

• Bagel Chips or Pita Chips (could be thought of as a “hard tack” biscuit often ate by pirates)
• Cheese Cubes
• Hummus

Main Course - Lunch or Dinner
• Ribs or BBQ Chicken Wings
• Biscuits
• Vegetable Platter (to kids delight, vegetables were hard to come by on the ship, so no need to go overboard with your veggie selection!)
• Tropical Fruits - Pineapple, Mango, Passion Fruit

• Rootbeer (if age appropriate, serve in the bottles)
• Cider
• Ginger Ale
• A “Virgin” Rum drink like a virgin Mai Tai.

To add to the mood: let the party know that beetles known as “weevils” often invaded the ship’s food supply. For your party, though, you’re tried to remove as many as possible!

Free Printable Authentic-Style Pirate Party Menu
Free Printable Authentic-Style Pirate Party Menu Card
Complete the look of your Pirate Party with these free printable authentic-style Pirate Party menu cards. The cards are blank, and perfect for you to add your own menu items to it. See below for details.
Free Printable Authentic- Style Pirate Party 5"x7" Menu Cards from B.Nute productions

Tips for Creating and Printing Your Menu Card
If you plan to hand write the menu:
1. Select link above, and print out image from your browser. Print on card stock to give menu some weight.
2. Once printed, cut out, fill out and hand out at party!

If you'd like to have your menu typed on to the menu card, just follow these few steps:
1. Select link above. Go to your browsers File Menu and select "Save As". Save image to your local computer.
2. Open an image editing program, and use the type tool to add your menu items. Create one list, then copy and paste this to the other two. Now print out file, and cut cards.
3. Or, if you prefer, open a desktop publishing program, import the saved jpg, and add type on top of the menu card. Now print out file, and cut cards.
4. Another option is to first print out the menu card (blank) and cut out each card (they are appx. 5"x7" inch size.) In MS Word, create a 5"x7" document. Leave a large enough margin at the bottom and sides as to not print on top of the image. Type menu. Feed printed menu card through your printer and print out the MS Word document on top.

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Notes from the Studio: A Little More of Me

Pinboard in My Studio
Yesterday I spent some time on this blog doing some housework of updating links and organizing some content that had been buried deep in the chronology of past posts. I soon realized it was time for a little sprucing up. Not visually, per say, but in regards to breathing a little life into my regular content. Giving my posts some more personality.

Vintage Boy Scout Photo - Personality Bubbling from those Faces
It's similar to my current goal of sprucing up some rooms in my house. My cute throw pillows in my family room from 3 years ago have lost their pizzaz. The wonderful wall color of latte in my dining room needs some brightening up. And, perhaps my blog, which has been chugging along happily for over 6 years, needs a little bit more of me in it too!

I Couldn't Believe my Find - A Betsy Button!
It's ironic to look back, because when I started blogging, I intentionally kept the "blog" button hidden on my website. Can you imagine? Hidden, you say? What type of marketing faux-pas is that? Well, at the time, I wasn't quite sure that the world wanted a blog from me-- let alone anyone. Although blogging had been bubbling slowly in the tech world and with some crafty folks, it hadn't yet hit mainstream websites. Well, that sure changed quickly!

I'm Always Inspired by Type
Blogs are the bomb. Everyone needs one, and everyone needs to pump it daily with tantalizing pics, fabulous freebies and creative content. But what really makes me love certain blogs over others is when I get a little sense of who the gal or guy is behind the "wow." Reading posts where I realize, they are human like me. They too have some good days and some rough ones, some creative days, and some where nothing comes out. Some days they want to run away from it all, and some days they want to snuggle up with their family and just stay put. Blog posts like these put the person behind the pictures and makes me know it's actually created by an individual, not some factory that's sole job is to churn out pictures of steaming mugs of lattes with heart shaped foam.

No, This is Not Me - But Wouldn't It Be Fun to Be a Mermaid for the Day?
So back to my little "party place", B.Nute productions' blog. I'm ready to add that sparkle, and touch of me, that occasionally comes and goes, but stays pretty well hidden. I hope it adds a bit more to my designs, and gives you a little better sense of the "B." or Betsy behind B.Nute productions.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

An Authentic Pirate Party: Invitations and Ideas

An Authentic-Style Pirate Party Invitation from B.Nute productions on Zazzle
Captain's Diary 1791
We left port 9 months ago with high hopes to find riches. The crew was eager and brave to face the perils at sea. Since our departure, the conditions have deteriorated considerably. Too much grog and mayhem among the pirates and no treasure in sight. Alas, a holler arrived from the crow's nest... 
"Land ho me'mateys!"

And the adventure began....

Throw an authentic-style Pirate Party for your swashbuckling guy on his day and set the scene with this vintage Pirate Party invitation sure to get the crew ready to seek their treasures and fun. My Pirate Party invitation has a realistic flair, with a weathered treasure map background and a letter to the recipient requesting he/she join the crew. The letter reads:
"Are you brave and fearless? Our wicked ship sets sail to far away destinations in search of riches and treasures. The seas are dangerous and mighty, but the handsome reward is worthy."
What adventure-loving pirate would decline this invitation?!

Set the Scene: Pirate Party Decoration Ideas

Create a Pirate Ship in Your Party Space
Designate an area of your yard (perhaps a jungle gym or lawn area) as the pirate ship. If you have a climbing structure, hang a large pirate flag at the top, then string rope from the top to the edges to simulate the ropes on the mast of a boat. The tanbark area surrounding the structure is a perfect ocean. No jungle gym? Inflate a kiddie wading pool and call it a boat (just don't add any water in it!) Place garden stakes around the pool and hang pirate flags from them. The lawn will make a perfect ocean. 

If your party is indoors, then just bring the wading pool inside (remember, it has no water in it) and hang a flag above from the ceiling. Lay sheets (preferably blue) around the "boat" to act as the ocean.

Create a Treasure Island in Your Party Space
Your patio area, garage, or if indoors, a room, can make the perfect deserted island. Pick up a few luau decorations such as bamboo garland, sea shells, fish nets, coconuts, and palm fronds to decorate the space. Empty the space out of furniture and only leave behind a few props like a treasure chest and a pretend pirate ship (see above.) The treasure chest could contain treasures, of course, or dress ups to get the crew in costume.

Stay tuned for more authentic-style pirate party ideas in future blog posts. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Apple Party Menu Ideas and Free Printable Apple a Day Sign

Free Printable An Apple a Day Recipe Sign by B.Nute productions
There's no shortage of menu ideas for an Apple Party! Have you ever thought of all the different recipes there are that are made with apples? Once you start looking it's pretty overwhelming. To help plan your Apple Party - Baby Shower, Birthday Party, Bridal Shower, or Celebration of the Season, below is a list of a variety of apple recipes perfect for those different occasions.

Be sure to also print out my playful "An Apple a Day" 8"x10" sign. A perfect addition to your party's buffet table or just a great way to brighten up your kitchen.

Apple Party Menu Ideas with Recipes

Apple Recipe Ideas for a Baby Shower Brunch
Baked Apple Streusel Pancake Bars
Shelby's Shredded Apple Muesli
Cinnamon Sweet Rolls with Apple Mash from Rachael Ray
Homemade Apple Juice from the Thrifty Mama
Hostess Gift: Homemade Apple Butter on Simply Recipes

Apple Recipe Ideas for a Bridal Shower Afternoon
Waldorf Salad with Apples
Farmer's Lunch Sandwich Recipe on The Kitchn
Mini Apple Pies from Knit and Bake
Hostess Gift: A small basket of a variety of seasonal apples with various recipes

Apple Recipe Ideas for a Birthday Celebration
Turkey, Cheddar and Green Apple Sandwiches on Martha Stewart
Apple Slices for Dipping (Dip into Peanut Butter, Nutella, Chocolate Sauce, Carmel Sauce)
Carmel Apple Buffet on Country Woman Magazine
German Apple Cake on Martha Stewart
Super Easy Homemade Applesauce on Elephantine
Hostess Gift: Krispy Apple Treats (Rice Cereal Treats Shaped Like Apples) on Gourmet Mom on the Go

Apple Recipe Ideas for a Fall Celebration
Autumn Double Apple Salad from Rachael Ray
Roast Pork Loin with Apples on Food Network
Apple Chutney on Simply Recipes
Sausage and Apple Stuffing on Epicurious
Homemade Apple Cider on GimmeSomeOven
Hostess Gift: Bag of Homemade Apple Chips

Free Printable "An Apple a Day" Sign
Below is a printable "An Apple a Day" 8"x10" sign. The background is filled with a variety of apple recipes, to add to the theme. It's the perfect printable to spice up your kitchen this fall, or to put on your buffet table at your Apple Party.
Free Printable An Apple a Day 8"x10" Sign by B.Nute productions
Instructions for Printing Your Apple 8"x10" Signs
1. Select the link above at the bottom of the image, and print out the sign on an 8.5" x 11" piece of paper. Use white card stock to add some weight to the sign.
2. Cut out the sign and put in an festive 8"x10" frame. Put in your kitchen for decoration, or use at an Apple Party for fun!

Printable items are copyright protected, and provided free of charge by B.Nute productions for personal use only. B.Nute's printables can not be sold, altered, or provided for download on any other site. For questions or inquiries, please contact B.Nute productions.