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Garden Party

Garden Party

If you haven’t already gathered, we love to find a reason to be creative and have a Caper. What better reason than a Birthday celebration? Our eldest was to celebrate her 12th Birthday soon. Not wanting a simple party, she and I decided to host a mother-daughter party. Now I am no Gardener by any means, but I am invigorated and inspired by nature just the same. I am always gathering crafty ideas. After receiving my Better homes and Gardens I knew the theme of our party. They had an article on Fairy Gardens, how perfect! Now we had a reason to start planning! 

 

Thinking Ahead for the Garden Party Event

Planning Ahead

Knowing the projects you are planning, what supplies are needed, how many are coming and what you already have on hand is helpful in planning any event. This information should all be gathered before the invites are sent out.

Going through the ideas below you may notice that some activities can be combined for one larger project; for example, using the same fabric for the printing and the bag, the Nature Printing could be combined with the Nature Collection Bag, or you could try your hand at the Sun Printing with the bag fabric. Keep this in mind when determining the amount of fabric and supplies you will need. 

If you are on a budget like we are then choose wisely. We did not do all of these activities at one party. We have offered a list of activities from which to choose. 

Invitations

Because we were on a budget and I realized that money was needed for supplies of more importance, we emailed our invite! We chose a color scheme to match the party and created our email invite (eVite) on the computer then attached it to an email and sent it out. This saved a tree or two, and also saved money on cards and postage. Not to mention, the RSVP came back to us more promptly. But nothing says you can’t create a stunning invitation or chose a package of premade ones from Target, Wal-Mart, or a Paperie. 

Bring Your Own (BYO)

A lot of the projects we planned required each individual to have a tool of their own to complete the project. We simply did not have access to 15 hammers (I mean, really, who does? Except the cool guy from Yankee Workshop.) So, we did the next best thing; we included a BYO list of items on the e-vite. 

Co-op

Nothing says you have to do this all by yourself!! To save money and time you could very well turn this into a co-op. Find a group of like-minded, enthusiastic moms and daughters then assign each an activity. 

Light Picnic Fare 

To ensure the host (that’s YOU) is included in the fun, prepare easy fare. Here is how we did it … 

  1. A nice cheery table cloth covered the ‘food table’. 
  2. We prepared a chicken salad mix, egg salad mix, and set out peanut butter and jelly jars. 
  3. Utensils were also included. 
  4. We laid two loaves of opened bread (white and whole grain) out. 
  5. Everyone made their own sandwiches. 
  6. We also prepared a bowl of each: grapes, cucumbers, carrots, strawberries and melon. 
  7. Our beverages were lemonade, tea and water.
  8. It was very light and yet stayed true to the theme. Oh, don’t forget to eat outside!

Decorations

Your room or yard will be filled with beautiful items from nature. Your supplies ARE your decorations. What better decorations! Display your supplies in an artful way and the decorations are done. Maybe throw in a few balloons, banner and a table cloth for goodwill.

Goodie Bags

Due to the crafts everyone will be making, there will be a lot of goodies for them to take home. A separate "goodie bag" is not necessary. Instead think of a creative container for them to transport their creations home in without ruining their efforts. A fruit or veggie crate would be a great find. Be sure to include a garbage bag to place Fairy Garden on for the trip home, a misting bottle for their Fairy Garden and a packet of seeds with a "Thank You" sticker on them.

 

Garden PartyActivities & Crafts for the Garden Party Event

Activities & Crafts

Here are some ideas for the crafts you could plan for your Garden Party. Please do not be deterred by the list of items we used. Your time and budget will determine a lot. You can be as elaborate or simple as you need to be. 

 

Premade Craft Bag

  • Premade craft bag or make your own at the Party
  • Embroidery floss, needle, ribbon 
  • Waxed paper
  • Dabbers
  • Fabric paint
  • Nature pieces to print on front of bag. Suggested items: apples, leaves, feathers, shells, flowers 

Typically these are a pouch with two handles found at Joann Fabric Store. These can be embellished with fabric shapes of leaves and flowers embroidered on front of the bag. You could incorporate your flower pounding adding it to the front of your bag with embroidery stitches. Another option could be to do Nature Printing (refer to Nature Printing for the How-to) on the front of your bag with fabric paint and objects from nature. Be sure to put waxed paper inside to prevent any paint from bleeding through to the other side.

 

Over the Shoulder Cinch Bag

Items needed:

  • Standard or smaller pillowcase
  • Scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Rope or ribbon
  • Straight pins
  • Needle 
  • Thread or embroidery thread
  • Fabric pens and paint
  • Waxed paper

Directions:

Wash and Treat (if necessary) pillowcases before party. Embellish front and back of case as desired. Don't forget to use waxed paper to prevent bleed through. Let dry if necessary. Measure enough ribbon or rope to go around the opening of case and down to one corner. Take ribbon or rope around the opening of pillowcase. Cuff the opening of the case tightly over the ribbon or rope. Pin the cuff down closely to, but not on top of the ribbon or rope. Stitch cuff closely. Seam rip or cut a small hole in one of the closed corners of case. This hole should be just big enough to fit ribbon or rope into. Bring the two ends of ribbon or rope to the corner hole threading it into hole. Knot the ribbon or rope inside the case. Now stitch the corner hole back up.

 

Nature Printing

Items needed:

  • Nature Printing: 30 Projects
  • Fabric paint or acrylic paint
  • Fabric or paper shells
  • Leaves, flowers, apples, etc.

Directions:

Prepare nature objects by creating a flat side. For larger three dimensional objects like apples this means cutting them. Apply paint to flat surface of nature object. Press nature abject against fabric or paper like a stamp. Be creative and create patterns or scenes. This activity can easily be combined with several others listed here. 

 

Flower Pounding

Items needed:

  • Sharpie pen
  • Masking tape
  • Hammer
  • Approximately 6in. X 6in. piece of wood
  • Waxed paper
  • Prepared for Dye (PFD) fabric 
  • Brilliantly colored flowers and greenery
  • Ear plugs
  • The Art and Craft of Pounding Flowers 

Directions:

Tape the edges of your cut fabric to prevent fray. Write your name on the tape somewhere before you begin craft. Place the wood block down on your table. Lay your PFD fabric down upon the wood block. You will need to think about the background you want first. Working backwards lay down the desired background greenery and flower then cover with wax paper and pound over the plant area with hammer. Continue process while building your scene in layers until desired designed has been pounded into the fabric. 

 

Sun Print

Items needed: 

  • Sunny day!
  • Cyanotype or nature printing paper
  • Ferns, lacey dried flowers (Queen Ann's Lace)
  • Lace paper cut into shapes
  • Doilies cut into shapes
  • Plywood, glass, felt all cut to same size (if you get the Nature Kit, these items are not necessary)
  • Bulldog or spring clips
  • Shallow pan of water
  • Cookie sheets

Directions:

The trick for this project is the more intricate the image or item you select the better the print will be. Also, I would advise that this project be done at the beginning of party. 

For more details follow the directions on the package for cyanotype and nature printing paper. 

Typically, you will layer in the following order: 1) plywood, 2) felt, 3) nature printing paper, 3)items to be used, 5) glass secured with clips. Then lay this in direct sun light for three to thirty minutes. The stronger the exposure the less time needed. After the time has elapsed, bring in the layered print pack, unclip, and dip the paper into a cool bath of water for one minute. Remove paper after a minute and lay flat to dry. Once dry, you may press smooth (at home) with a warm iron. Sandwich the paper between a thin towel before pressing.

If you have purchased the Nature Sun Printing kit, you won’t need the plywood, glass, felt and clips. You will need to weigh down the corners of your windowed card. Just be careful not to let the weight overlap past the window. Another option would be to try your hand at Sun printing on Fabric. You can find driections for that at Blueprints on Fabric. 

 

Garden PartyFlower Press

Items needed:

  • 2 square pieces (exactly same size) of¼ inch thick plywood
  • 2 inch screws with wing nuts
  • 6-8 pieces of heavy cardboard
  • foil lined wax paper
  • drill (pre drill before party)

Directions:

This is somewhat difficult. These instructions are for one press! Go here for details on how to make a flower press. 

Making and Using a Flower Press: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin ($4)

Alternative: Microwave Flower Press

 

Flower Pen activity for the Garden Party Event

Items needed:

  • Bic pen with black cover button on end
  • Silk flower with large bloom 
  • Floral tape 
  • Sharp paper piercer
  • Quick dry craft glue
  • Wire cutters

Directions:

Using wire cutters cut stem of selected silk flowers leaving just about ½ inch stub. Using sharp paper piercer, pierce the bottom cap of pen, rounding out hole just enough to fit the stub of the stem from the silk flower in. Uncap pen and wrap the floral tape at a slight angle tightly all the way up the pen. Dab a bit of glue on the stub of silk flower stem. Stick in the hole you pierced in the bottom cap. Hold silk bloom until glue has set. Viola, you now have a flower pen. Cute, right!?

 

Nature Journal

Items needed:

  • 6 Sheets Sketch or Typing Paper 8 ½ x 11
  • Cardstock for Cover 8 ¾ x 11 ¼ 
  • Bone Folder
  • Thread
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Rubber Stamps
  • Ink
  • Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You

Directions:

Decorate Cardstock cover as desired. Fold the sketch/typing paper in half one at a time. Place inside one another. Fold Cardstock in half and place over to create the booklet. Open to center page and measure 4 ½ inches from the top to center mark. From center mark measure up 2 inches and down 2 inches and mark. You should have three dots. Holding book firmly, poke three holes at the pencil marks. From inside center push threaded needle through to the back, leaving a 2 inch tail. From outside push threaded needle through top hole to inside book. Pull the 2 inch stitch along the back firmly along fold. Stitch through the center, from inside going out. Now from the outside stitch the needle through to the bottom hole going into the book. Pull thread to tighten stitch. Cut thread off the needle and now tie off the two lose ends. Double knot thread to secure it.

 

Fairy Garden

Items needed: 

  • Large water drain tray from a large planter or any large shallow plastic container
  • Potting soil and fertilizer
  • Mini plants: succulents, mini rose bushes, ivy, etc.
  • Doll house mini décor: fences, furniture, etc.
  • Blue fish tank gravel for stream
  • Glass Pebbles for path and rocks
  • Edible hamster hut for fairy home
  • Bottle caps for birdbath
  • Fabric butterflies

Have potting soil and fertilizer premixed. Using the drain tray of a planter fill with potting soil. Make sure it is enough to cover roots of plants. Let the mom-daughter team design to their hearts content. Remind them that as the plants grow transplanting will be necessary.

 

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Timeless Wisdom

Your success as a family ... our success as a society depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens inside your house.

 

- Barbara Bush (former U.S. First Lady)