Kids Crafts

Art Party! Little Miss Turns 8

It was my daughter’s 8th birthday on the 19th of March and she wanted an Art party. Like mother like daughter, eh?! I of course happily obliged, using pinterest and my own ideas to come up with some projects for her and her friends to make!

Art Party For An 8 Year Old

I had a minor meltdown on Monday this week when I came to write this post and thought I’d accidentally deleted all the photos from her birthday. I was searching everywhere, and for 24 hours I thought they were gone completely. I even ran several recovery programs trying to find them. On Tuesday I’d given up hope, then when I was working on a new cover photo for my Etsy shop I randomly discovered the photos inside a folder for my Etsy shop pictures. I don’t know how they ended up there but I’m extremely glad I found them!

I didn’t take too many photos because I was very busy helping them all to craft. But of course the photos I do have are precious!

Four of Little Miss’ friends came round so there were five girls all together (Cheeky Boy had a friend round to play with him in his room too!). We started by using lots of Happy Scatter stencils and some Martha Stewart Satin Paint, decorating the party bags that we’d be filling with their makes at the end of the party:

Stencilled Gift Bags Party Activity

They added a bit of glitter too! I love how bold and bright the colours are.

Next we made Fimo trinket bowls, following THIS TUTORIAL at A Beautiful Mess. I got the girls who finished their bags first to start squishing the Fimo to make it softer. They twisted sausages of colours together, then they all rolled out their bowls using some ‘rolling pins’ which was actually a long wooden pole we’d picked up at B&Q and cut down into sections.

We put them inside some oven proof bowls to bake them. In future I’d spray the bowls with some spray oil or something first, as they were a little tricky to get out!

Making Fimo Bowls at Jennifer Grace Creates

They looked great though, both the girls and their parents were impressed. I would add the gold rim as a finishing touch like the original tutorial if we had more time!

I liked how different they all looked. Some of them gave their bowls wavy edges which I thought was a nice touch:

Making Fimo Bowls at Jennifer Grace Creates

While the bowls were baking in the oven to set they played pass-the parcel, and then we moved onto the next project – drawing on some mugs using my Edding Porcelain Paint Pens. I’d shown them the mug on THIS POST at Design Sponge to give them an idea of what they could do, but told them they could draw what ever they wanted:

Drawing On Mugs Art Party at Jennifer Grace Creates

They were having great fun giggling over what the others were drawing and offering suggestions – both helpful and silly ones! Most of them drew pets they either owned or would like to own:

Drawing On Mugs Art Party at Jennifer Grace Creates

A couple of them had left the party before I remembered to photograph the mugs, but here’s a few of them after they’d been baked to set the pen. Little Miss’ is the one on the left, which is an Easter mug apparently:

Drawing On Mugs Art Party at Jennifer Grace Creates

After the mugs we moved on to edible art as Little Miss wanted to make something to eat. I melted some chocolate, butter, and golden syrup together following THIS RECIPE, and mixed in some broken biscuits. I did all this while they were drawing on their mugs. Then I poured it into some silicone cake cases, and they decorated the tops with a variety of sprinkles (including salted caramel, popping candy, and strawberry flavours), and marshmallows!

Edible Art Chocolate Cases

I stuck these in the fridge and they ran off to play upstairs for a bit.

While they were upstairs me and hubby prepared the party feast, which was a tea party. Though they had smoothie in their tea cups instead of tea!

Girls Tea Party

They thought it was very fancy and were all trying to drink with their little fingers sticking out!

Then we sang Happy Birthday and Little Miss blew out her candles. I had planned to bake a cake but I ran out of time so Little Miss had chosen this very pretty one instead:

Happy Birthday Little Miss

Then it was time to go. We put all their crafty makes into the bags they had decorated (the choc cakes were put into a sandwich bag first), along with a couple of other crafty gifts like a tube of glitter, a mini notebook, and a small paint-by-numbers set, as well as a slice of cake and a few sweets of course!

It was a fun party. I would have done a few more preparations if I’d had time. I wanted to make some decorations like THIS watercolour number poster. Instead I just used some paper chains and octahedron bunting which I’d made previously for other events. And I would have made a cake – I’d planned to make one with smarties hidden in the middle. But never mind, we can never fit it all in, and I’m sure that Little Miss enjoyed her day, so that’s the main thing!

Have you ever had an art party? Do you think you’ll be trying any of these ideas out?

Thanks so much for stopping my,

Jennifer x

Party

Our Pinterest Inspired New Years Eve Party!

I wasn’t sure whether to post about our New Year’s Eve or not. The only thing that was holding me back was the quality of my photos – they were all taken after dark on New Years Eve and I was having too much fun to worry about camera settings! But despite the blur they tell the story of the evening we had and I wanted to share them because there were some Pinspired (inspired by Pinterest) foods and party games! I want to prove that Pinterest can be a force for good and not just a distraction!

Our Pinterest Inspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

First of all, here’s how to distract two children while you are getting things ready for a New Year’s Eve party – give them a pile of scrapbook paper scraps and some punches and ask them to make confetti! Cheeky Boy couldn’t do the punches too well but he loves cutting with scissors so he just snipped lots of paper into little triangles. Little Miss was amused for a long time with punching!

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

Our party started at 6pm when people came round for a buffet dinner. It was a very small party of friends – us, another family of four, and a couple, so there were ten of us in total. We had a spread of food for at least double that amount of people:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

The ‘Pinspired’ piece of the main buffet was some Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart Bread. My photo does not do it justice at all, so please head to the original link to make your mouth water here: Cheese and Garlic Crack Bread at Recipe Tin Eats. My loaf was a tiger baton, and I added some cheddar cheese as well as mozzarella, other than that I stuck to the recipe. It took a lot longer to prepare than I thought it would – the recipe said 10 mins of prep but it took me about 20 minutes. It didn’t look like much:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

But oh-my-goodness this was yummy! I will be cooking it again for sure. We were ripping off big chunks and coming back for more. Totally worth the effort!

After our main part of the buffet we played some party games before dessert.

This first one is not directly inspired by Pinterest. When searching for party games I discovered some Minute-To-Win-It party games on Pinterest (like this link HERE at The Chaos And The Clutter), which I thought sounded fun. But I realised the two young boys wouldn’t really be able to understand or do most of them (they are only 2 and 3), so I thought about what games we usually have at their parties – pass-the-parcel is always a winner.

I adapted pass-the-parcel a bit so it was fun for all of us to open. Every-other layer had a small pack of Haribo sweets with a cracker-joke. The in-between layers had silly toys that could be fun for grown-ups or kids – whoopee cushions, noisy clackers, foam darts etc. The middle prize was a glow stick.

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

By far the most successful prize was the whoopee cushions, they were making the kids laugh so much that the grown-ups were laughing at the kids laughing, if you know what I mean! It was also a good game because it meant we were all sitting down for a while to let our dinner go down! P.S. Well done hubby for wrapping up the pass-the-parcel (using our discarded xmas wrapping paper) while I was cooking! We’ll remember the Minute-To-Win-It games for when the boys are a bit bigger.

The next game was straight from Pinterest. They are Mini-Marshmallow Poppers at Real Simple. You basically cut the bottom off a paper or plastic cup, cut the top off a deflated balloon and add the knotted end of the balloon to the base of the cup. Then put a mini-marshmallow in the cup, pull the knot back, and ping the marshmallow into the air. I ended up taping the ballons to the cups too as the kids kept pulling them off.

We were trying to aim the marshmallows into a big bowl in the middle of the room. The idea was if you got the marshmallow into the bowl you could eat it, if you missed then you couldn’t.

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

The kids played for a while and then we gave them some marshmallows each in a little bowl for them to eat, and the grown-ups had a go, but instead of aiming for a big bowl we went straight to the main target and aimed for each other’s mouths. Hilarity ensued! We were finding mini marshmallows everywhere – I found 2 more at the back of the bookcase yesterday. Worth it for the giggles though!

Next we moved onto desserts. I’ve had these chocolate-dipped cherries pinned for ages, but the original pin didn’t have the link to the recipe, I’ve just found it here: Cherries Dipped In White Chocolate at Simple Provisions. I used gold sugar pearls and snowflake sprinkles, as that’s what I had in the cupboard:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

Now, I’m not sure what went wrong, but the cherries with gold pearls were a FAIL. The chocolate didn’t soften up the pearls like icing would, so they were as hard as little tiny rocks. Not pleasant to try and eat! I’m guessing either the pearls were too big (they look a lot bigger than the silver pearls used at Simple Provisions) or they just weren’t the right kind. Also I think my cherries were still a little damp when I dipped them, as some of the white chocolate was sliding off. I want to try these again with just white chocolate, no decoration!

Another dessert was another thing not directly inspired by Pintertest. While searching for New Year’s Eve party activities I saw a lot of photo-booth ideas, including these: New Year’s Eve Photo Booth Props at The Crafted Sparrow, which were made on the Cricut Explore. I thought about powering up the Explore to make some, then I remembered these Vinterkul Pastry Cutters at Ikea which I bought recently, but hadn’t used yet.

The morning before the party I made a basic biscuit recipe (with some lemon zest added to the dough for a bit of zing), and Cheeky Boy, Little Miss, and I had fun cutting, baking, and decorating:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

The bows were a big hit with the girls:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

While the boys favoured stars and moustaches:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

They were fun and tasty too! I need to make more moustaches next time, as the grown ups wanted them too!

After dessert the kids went upstairs to play in their rooms and the grown-ups played a board game (the Logo Game which was harder than I thought it would be). Then at 11pm when the kids were flagging (and I was too, I had a migraine emerging by this point), we did a fake countdown. Hubby found a video of last years’s Big Ben countdown and fireworks and we played it on the tv so the kids thought it was really midnight, and then ran around shouting ‘Happy New Year’ about 50 times over! We had party poppers and threw the confetti the kids had made.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of that because my head was hurting too much to think about it! After the countdown everyone went home and I went to bed, poor hubby had to ring in the Real New Year on his own, I was fast asleep!

It was a really fun evening until my headache though. I shall certainly be searching Pinterest again for our next party! One thing I had pinned but never got round to doing was a New Year’s Eve Bingo at Thirty Handmade Days (there are some more NYE printables on that post too), so I’ll be keeping that in mind for next year!

Do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? Do you use Pinterest for inspiration when you have a party / gathering coming up? Let me know your Pinterest username if so!

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

Party

A My Little Pony Party with DIY Costumes and Decorations!

I had an amazing time hosting a My Little Pony Party for my daughter’s 6th birthday earlier this year. Okay, it was way back in March but I only just realised I never blogged about it! I did share a layout about the pony tails I made HERE, but I wanted to share some of the other details that added to the fun…

My Little Pony Party with DIY Details at Jennifer Grace Creates

I kept a bunch of My Little Ponies from when I was young, just in case I had a daughter one day, so I was really pleased that she loves to play with them. Of course she’s a fan of the modern tv show and characters but they have the same spirit!

The main thing I wanted to do was have some pony manes and tails as ‘costumes’ for the girls to dress up in. It would have been cool to make some long lasting ones, like these crochet ears, or this velcro tail, but I didn’t really have the time or the funds. So I made mine from crepe paper, felt, and craft foam, plus some headbands picked up at the 99p store, and a bit of stitching, staples, and hot glue. Plus a couple of lovely friends (Rosie and Ali) who came to help me put them together!

Make Your Own My Little Pony Mane and Tail Costumes at Jennifer Grace Creates

Sorry I don’t have photos of the process as we made them all one evening (there may have been wine involved). I cut the ear shapes all from craft foam and sewed them with a fold, then hot-glued them to the headbands. Then we just cut lots of strips of different coloured crepe papers, and stapled them together. The ‘manes’ were hot glued to the headbands, and the ‘tails’ were sewn onto a small square of felt with a safety pin on to add it to the girl’s dresses. They all looked so colourful dashing and galloping around!

I added a bit of colour to the house too, with some rainbow crepe-paper decorations. I made these by laying some sellotape sticky-side-up on my table, then placing strips of crepe paper on top, overlapping them slightly. When I had enough colours I added sellotape on top too. Then I stuck them to walls and doors with blue-tac, and added a concertina-flower style decoration on top to hide the sellotape:

Rainbow Coloured Party Decoration at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s how I made the concertina flowers…

Concertina Flower Decoration at Jennifer Grace Creates

1. Fold a sheet of paper concertina style, back and forth (my paper measured approx 24x34cm, and my folds were about 2cm apart). 2. Bend the paper in half. 3. Staple together the top joining ends. 4. My flower wouldn’t meet at the bottom. You can make it meet at the bottom by using a much narrower piece of paper, but I was winging it! So I cut some notches on every-other fold, about 3cm deep. This allowed the flower to stretch enough for me to staple the other joining ends together. 5. Add some double-sided sticky tape along the rest of the joining sections (between the staple and the centre), and press them together. 6. That’s it – display your flower!

I made about 7 of the above decoration (rainbow strips with a flower at the top) to spread around the house, and in our entrance hallway I tied a long line of thread between two picture hooks, draped lots of crepe paper over the top, and added a white flower and some balloons:

Rainbow Coloured Party Decoration at Jennifer Grace Creates

See the pin-the-tail on the pony (which I made be googling for the image, arranging it in Microsoft Publisher, and printing on A3 paper – the tail is printed seperately)? I chose Twilight Sparkle (the pony) because she’s my daughter’s favourite. I also made the cake in a Twilight Sparkle shape:

Twilight Sparkle Birthday Cake at Jennifer Grace Creates

I made this without any instruction, I just played until I thought it looked okay! I baked two victoria sponges, and used one for the body and legs, and the other for the head, neck, and tail. I sliced them in half to add some jam and buttercream in the middle too.

I added Violet food colouring (PME Food Colouring) to some ready-to-roll icing, rolled it out, and placed it over the cake. I didn’t have enough to do it all in one though, so it looked a bit patchy in places:

Twilight Sparkle Birthday Cake at Jennifer Grace Creates

Never mind, the kids didn’t notice!

I also painted on some food colouring to decorate it, plus a bit more ready-to roll icing for the horn and eye, and added a few icing sugar stars too. I didn’t let my daughter see the cake until the party, and her eyes lit up. She kept saying ‘did you really make it?’ in awe, so I was happy with it even if it was a bit patchy!

We played lots of games. As well as the pin-the-tail on the pony above, we also had a pony hunt in the garden (where I’d hidden lots of her pony toys, but whoever found the one unicorn was the winner), galloping ponies (a race where they had to gallop rather than run or they were disqualified), and dancing ponies (like musical statues but they had to dance like ponies clip-clopping and whinnying!).

Little miss and all her friends were still talking about it days later. I feel like I gave her a party to remember!

My Little Pony Party with DIY Details at Jennifer Grace Creates

Have you ever made a themed party? We also threw a pirate-themed party for my son in July, so I need to blog about that one next. I’ll try to get that done next week sometime.

Bye for now, Jennifer x

About Me

My Belated Hen Party

I’ve been meaning to show you all some photos from my belated Hen Weekend that my best friend Rosie threw for me at the end of April. I explained in this post why I was having my Hen Weekend (bachelorette party) five years after getting married!

It was awesome fun, and wonderful to spend a weekend away being pampered, and chilling out with my friends and family.

We went to Oxford for the weekend, and on Friday night me, my friends Ali and Rosie, my Mum, and my sister Katy (she’s behind the camera in the first photo) all stayed at the YHA. We went out for dinner at Giraffe, and then played some card games in the hostel’s bar.

The next morning we moved our cars over to the hotel we’d be staying in on Saturday night, and then wandered into town – our first important stop was breakfast at this lovely cafe:

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Where we had some incredibly yummy sausage sandwiches!

Then we ambled around Oxford. I’d been to Oxford a couple of times briefly before, when Rosie used to live near the city, so I knew I wanted to just soak up some of the atmosphere from the grand old buildings:

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I had some challenges I had to complete too, one was to find things related to the book The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, because C.S. Lewis lived here when he wrote it. It’s said this lamppost was the inspiration for the lamppost in Narnia:

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In the afternoon a few more of my friends, Tor, Wendy, and Lucy, arrived. We’d hired a private boat to go on a trip down the river, but when I first got on the boat I was a bit surprised…

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Because everyone was wearing masks with my husband’s face on!

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It was very funny and really strange to be surrounded by all those Alex’s!

The rest of the boat trip was delightful, we sipped Schloer, ate grapes, crisps and cakes, and I had another challenge to complete – everyone had to write sentences or words about what was going on, and then I had to put them all together as a poem:

Jennifer’s Adventures in Oxfordland:
Giggly girlies.
Sunshine warms our numb fingers,
relaxing Schloer and grapes,
ripples and riffles,
rainbow paperchains bouncing in the breeze.
 
BIG FAT SCARY SWANS
FROWN FACED LADY IN THE WATER
TRUMPET MAJOR
 
Calming reflections,
laughter, twinkly sunshine,
slate grey dappled water,
blossoms and fun.
Cheers!
 

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After the boat ride we went back to the hotel – The Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel. It’s a gorgeous hotel that felt like a bit of luxury, and we spent some time lazing about in the pool and jacuzzi, before getting all dressed up for our night out.

Hen Parties often have some kind of costume theme, but because mine was a belated celebration I didn’t want to go all-out costume. I decided it should be a masquerade theme, as I had a mask I bought in Venice years ago on a trip with Rosie, and I loved it and don’t get to wear it much. Plus then everyone could wear outfits they liked, and just add a mask to go with them.

I chose a maxi-dress to wear. Me, Rosie and Ali had been to a vintage warehouse the weekend before to choose outfits, and this maxi-dress was actually something Rosie had tried on and was debating buying. As she couldn’t make up her mind I asked if I could try it on, and I loved it so she let me get it instead – isn’t she nice?!

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Here we are at the restaraunt, a tapas bar called Kazbar. The service here was very slow, and they spilled food and drink on several of us – one of my friends got the treatment twice – ugh. But the food and cocktails were delicious, and I managed to avoid all the spillages!

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At one point I visited the ladies room and returned to the table to another surprise, this time my friends were all wearing Nathan Fillion masks. I have a bit of a crush on this actor, especially from when he played Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly:

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They made me laugh so much!

We went dancing at a club for a while too, but my feet were hurting a lot and we were all getting tired, so we went back to the hotel. We had a short pyjama party and then went to sleep so we’d have energy for another swim in the morning!

After a swim, breakfast, and checking out the next morning, we went to The Story Museum, where we’d hired a room to do scrapbooking:

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I took along lots of my supplies, and Rosie bought some extra paper, glue, and gems, so we had tons to play with. Everyone made a page about a part of the weekend. I haven’t stuck all the photos onto the pages yet as I printed them out later, so I won’t show them today. It was really fun to make a papery mess with my friends though, and I think they all enjoyed it even if they aren’t all usually crafty.

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That’s it. After scrapbooking a few friends had to leave straight away, and then the original five of us had lunch at a pub before heading home.

It was all very wonderful and I’m so grateful to Rosie for organising it all, she worked very hard for me to have an awesome time and I really appreciate it. I’m thankful to everyone else who came and shared the weekend too. Plus they had all made something for me as prizes for my challenges – I can’t find them all right now so I shall show you them another day when I show you the scrapbook pages. They are brilliant though!

Ah, looking back at all this makes me want to go again – are you allowed to have a second belated Hen Party?!

Bye for now, Jennifer x

Party

Hen Party Gift Bags

I can now show you one of the things I’d been working on during June. It was my best friend Rosie’s Hen Weekend last week, and we had a fantastic time (Hen Party also known as Bachelorette / Stagette party for those reading in America / Canada!). I was in charge of organising the weekend – although Rosie chose all the activities, location etc – I was in contact with all the hens and planned a few surprises for Rosie too. You won’t be shocked to hear that some of these surprises were crafted items!

The crafted items that took the longest were gift bags which I made for all the hens, including Rosie, so 13 in total. To keep things a little easier I stuck to a theme when creating everything, using book papers and a vintage style. Rosie loves books so that was a perfect excuse to go with this theme, and the weekend was quite grown up and genteel for a hen party – partly because her mum and mother-in-law-to-be were attending, but also just because that’s more Rosie’s style – so the vintage theme fit the bill.

The first items I made were welcome cards. I used Papermania A6 kraft card blanks for the base, watercolour painted a piece of book paper for the background, and added some vintage bird images which I downloaded from the Graphics Fairy blog (Rosie’s surname is Bird!). I also added a quote to each, and some ribbon and buttons:

The quote on each card was different, some funny, some inspiring, some about women, some about friendship. I turned this into a game, by not writing who said or wrote the quote, but giving a list inside the card of all the right answers. The hen then guessed who spoke or wrote their quote by handing the slip back in to me. It was just-for-fun, a way to get people chatting to each other if there were awkward silences while we got to know each other!

So the inside of the card had the game details, the answer slip tucked behind the details, a welcome message, an itinerary, and a map of the city of Bath where we spent the weekend:

I also decorated the envelopes with a stamped frame for the hen’s name, and glued on postage stamps with different images on. I couldn’t get the envelopes to photograph well though.

The next thing I made for the gift bags was name badges. I cut a circle of card from a cereal packet, glued a circle of book paper to it and inked the edges, then stitched a smaller circle of vintage material to the centre. I stamped the names with black ink onto cream card, and then used brown watercolour paint to darken the edges and make them look a bit vintage. I used a hot glue gun to adhere a safety pin to the back to turn them into badges. Hey presto!:

It worked out that the badges co-incidentally matched the clothes people were wearing on the Friday evening!

Another paper-crafting item I made for each Hen was a notebook. I made them A6 size, by cutting six sheets of A4 paper in half to make them A5 size, then folding this in half again to make an A6 book of paper (so I got enough paper for two books from the A4 sheets). I then cut patterned scrapbook paper (the thicker sort) down to wrap around this as the covers – making sure they were a bit larger than the plain paper so you wouldn’t see the pages from the outside. I stapled the covers onto the pages using a long-reach stapler.

I decorated the covers with images copied from vintage children’s books which I own, along with a stamped flower image, a book paper flower with a button centre, a gem, and the word ‘notes’:

I also made lemon biscuits to go in each gift bag, three biscuits for each hen, one flower shaped, one heart shaped, and the biggest biscuit was a gingerbread-girl shape, which I wrote ‘Rosie’s Hens’ on using black food colouring and a paintbrush:

Sorry it’s a bit shiny – they were all wrapped in cellophane!

Lastly I made the gift bags themselves, following this tutorial here. I adapted it a bit, by cutting slots for the handles instead of attaching ribbon, as it would have used up so much ribbon! I also had to use a hot glue gun to stick them together, as my tape-runner wasn’t strong enough for the DCWV metallic cardstock I was using.

I added a tag which I’d made in publisher, with a ‘welcome’ message and an embarrassing photo of Rosie dressed up in costume as a young girl. She says the costume was a Victorian lady, but she looks quite bride-like in the photo so it worked well for the hen weekend! I also added a little pack of love hearts and a pencil to the gift bags. Here’s a complete bag:

I think everyone appreciated them! I loved seeing everyone wear the badges all weekend.

I’ll do another post to share the other handmade surprises for Rosie, and show you a couple of photos from the weekend. That’s assuming I haven’t gone into labour before I get a chance to type up the post – only 3 days until I’m due!

In the meantime, Rosie has been blogging about her wedding invites, and some bunting we’ve been putting together to decorate her wedding venue, so if you’re interested head over to her blog here. xxx