Chasing Fireflies Birthday Party

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I am not even sure where to start with this party. It turned out perfect, and according to Avery, just what she wanted. The rain though, oh the rain, nearly broke me. In the early afternoon it had rained and cleared off. Everything was looking perfect especially with the cloud cover and cooler temperature. Then, 30 minutes before the party we were making a mad dash to carry everything inside as it open up again. I was trying to re-figure an indoor set up knowing the photos wouldn't be what I had hoped. It was a good 15 minute pour. Then we started the debate of whether to move it all back out. My family calmly put up with my disappointment / craziness, and they carried things back and forth to make it all happen. As the guests were arriving, we began the set up outside again. Thankfully there were plenty of activities to entertain the kiddos in the meantime. 

Avery's wish was for a chasing fireflies party, and my goal was to make it come true. I must say it turned into a bit of a magical evening.

The first activity of the night was painting sticks. No, this doesn't have anything to do with fireflies, but it is a fun outdoor activity, and Avery loves to paint. 

We prepared the sticks ahead of time with eye hooks, twine for hanging, and tags for identification. 

Next up, was stringing bug catcher necklaces. I found the idea here, and they turned out super cute. We changed up the tutorial a bit, so I could have the capsules already strung, and the guests could add the beads they wanted. 

The final craft was creating fireflies from plastic Easter eggs. They each housed a battery opperated tea light to create the effect. You can find the full instructions on the JoAnn's tutorial

Of course the main event was catching fireflies, or lightning bugs if you prefer! With the overcast skies they actually showed up earlier than expected. I wish I could give a count of how many we caught. Let's suffice it to say that the fireflies may fear our yard for the next couple of days! This photo was one of the few successful attempts at getting a firefly while it was lit up.

Once we settled on the color scheme of navy, turquoise, purple, and yellow, the details began to come together. The Ikea cart housed the paper party goods, favors, and bug catching jars. 

The invitations from Cherry Berry Design were just perfect!

Favors included bug nets and a key ring flashlight. I typed up a list of 5 firefly facts on a mason jar graphic to include in the flash light packaging. While we catch and release our fireflies, I wanted guests to know that they can keep them for a couple of days with a damp paper towel in the jar with holes poked in the top.

We randomly found little tin firefly pins at a Mexican market while we were in Austin earlier this year, so I used glue dots to sprinkle them around the decor. I didn't let any scraps of the Sarah Jane Studios fabric from Avery's birthday dress go to waste!! Avery also received the Sarah Jane art print as one of her birthday gifts. 

I made the pinwheels by making a sandwich with cardstock, fabric, and spray adhesive. Super fast and festive!

The mason jar light string from my trip to Warrenton and Junk Gypsy was an extra bit of fun.

Since the party took place around dinner time, we served hot dogs, tater tots, trail mix, and fruit.

We wrapped a few cans with fabric strips to serve the tator tots. 

Avery helped a little with our yarn hanging backdrop, and of course I added another piece of the Wee Wander fabric. 

We served mason jar firefly cookies complete with gold luster dust highlights. These cookies always go fast at our parties, so I asked Avery what we should fill in with if we made another batch of smaller scale cookies. The round ones were her idea. 

Any outdoor summertime evening event has to include a s'more element, so I made s'more push pops with graham cracker crumbles, chocolate pudding and marshmallow fluff. 

My parents brought some colorful popcorn from our favorite popcorn shop. 

Avery picked lemon cupcakes for the main dessert and even determined the perfect shade of yellow icing when she helped with the prep.

Another firefly sighting!!

I can't believe this girl is eight!! She is growing into such a great little party hostess herself. Even as I was frantic about the rain, she insisted is was all ok. When she thanks me at the end of each party, my heart just melts. The "chase fireflies" necklace was an Etsy find for another birthday gift. 

Another birthday party in the books, and another story told through the photos. My hope is that these "stories" are a lasting record of the celebration we create and enjoy for our daughters. 

Chasing Fireflies Party Dress(es)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Avery really threw me for a loop when she determined she wanted a chasing fireflies birthday party. Her simple logic was that the fireflies come out around the time of her birthday every year and she loves to chase them. The only thing better would be to chase them with her friends. 

The easiest thing about planning the party was finding the fabric for the dress. I may just send Sarah Jane a thank you note for creating the perfect fabric line for our event! These prints are from her Wee Wander collection for Michael Miller. My favorite solid to work with at the moment is Michael Miller Cotton Couture. It is so hard to try to make a match when fabric shopping online, but I truly lucked out with the Nite Blue. 

I needed a pattern to showcase the border print as well as the fun jars and fireflies print. The Modkid Caroline turned out to do this fabric justice. 

The pleated bodice and hem band add a texture detail I love.

The curve of the bodice gives a sweet shape, and the halter and back ties make the back as interesting as the front.

This was her pose after a week of Vacation Bible School singing "A fruit of the Spirit is not a passion fruit...." 

I'm not letting any of the Sarah Jane fabric scraps go to waste, so Tandy has a firefly dress too. 

This time I used the Rabbit Rabbit Creation Hourglass Dress. The tiny pom pom trim for the straps makes a special detail, but I certainly tried not to let this dress outshine the birthday girl.

The solid on this one is also a good match with Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Malibu.

The girls have been chasing fireflies as many nights as we will let them stay out a bit later. We've researched and learned a thing or two about them along the way. The party is tonight, and we are just praying for no rain. After all, it would be really difficult to have a chasing fireflies party without actually chasing fireflies. 

This goofy and adorable grin is after watching the fireflies fly off out of the jar. 

I love the sense of wonder!! Come back next week for all of the party details!

Make Laundry, Don't Do Laundry Tour

Friday, June 10, 2016

The only thing I remotely enjoy about laundry is taking freshly pre-washed fabric out of the dryer that is ready to sew!!! That is what makes the blog tour just about perfect. We all have a great excuse to shirk the laundry pile and sew something new instead!! While others may go out and buy something in avoidance, we can make it!

I'm not quick when it comes to sewing. I like to take my time with pressing, finishing seams, and ensuring quality construction. After all, I'm creating laundry to last through a couple of kiddos. When I signed up for the tour, I opted to make a fresh sew. That is, I wouldn't resort to a quick standby pattern that I have made time and again. I needed to use a new to me pattern. I immediately knew I would use a Modkid pattern since I can trust the instructions and fit. The Modkid Bridget Dress is one I had yet to make, but was on my summer sewing list.

I started to track the time it took me to make this one, but I lost track after repeated interruptions from my children and a 30 minute phone call with my sister during what I had dedicated as sewing time. But, isn't that how laundry goes!?! A much needed phone call takes precedent, and the laundry gets pushed aside. At least that is how it works in my house.  

I would guess my total sewing time was around 2.5 hours. This actually beats my laundry time. I usually get things going in the morning. Then, I'll dump the dry clothes on my bed, so I have to fold them before I can get in bed.

Enough about laundry!! Let's talk about the Bridget dress! With the fitted bodice and soft shoulder strap, the Bridget is a great dress to get you through the hot summer months. 

The cute fold over pocket detail and racerback give this dress extra style.

One more advantage to leaving the laundry for later and sewing something new is we now have the perfect 4th of July dress ready and waiting!! Of course, that means I'll have to actually do the laundry between now and then. 

Keep reading for all of the discounts, giveaways, and link-ups for the tour!!
Thanks to all of our amazing sponsors for being a part of this tour.

A few of the designers are having sales for the duration of the tour, so here's the codes!
George & Ginger use code MAKELAUNDRY25 for 25% off her patterns

Blaverry use code MAKELAUNDRY for 25% off her patterns

Stitch Art use code MAKELAUNDRY for 30% off patterns

Paisley Roots use code MAKELAUNDRY for 25% off patterns

These codes are good through June 12th!

Then Laela Jeyne's Emily Womens T-shirt & the Deluxe Charlotte Kids Leggings are on sale through the 11th! No code needed!

I know everyone loves a good giveaway so here's the prize packages:

Link-up Prize Package
Prize Package 1
Prize Package 2

Hey June June with the City Park Tee

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

When Emily Stone sent out an email suggesting we celebrate Adrianna of Hey June Handmade on the first day of June, I had just completed two back to back Hey June patterns. Talk about perfect timing!!

This tee happens to be wrapping up testing at the moment. The City Park Tee comes with two lengths, two neck styles, and 3 sleeve lengths. All great options for a basic tee with great fit. 

The sizing is for juniors, so Avery is actually at the bottom of the scale. Based on her measurements, I went with a size 6 and added 1.5" in length. 

The V-neck instructions are fantastic, and Addriana even posted an excellent video tutorial to take you through each step. A scoop neck version is also included.

I went with the shirt length, but the tunic length also features a cute curved hem.

The fabric is an interlock knit from Joann's. 

We've been playing regular games of wiffle ball so far this summer. I'm not sure we actually follow any set rules, but it's fun all the same. 

As you can see, Avery can get pretty intense!! 

This is my absolute favorite shot!! 

The lighting was all wrong the day we tried to take photos of my new Lane Raglan, so this is all we've got. The length and the neckline are my favorite features of this pattern. I know I need a few more in solids now!!

This photo is completely unrelated, but Tandy was just looking so sweet on the sidelines of the wiffle ball game!!
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