Wednesday, June 23, 2010

party favor

Alright, indulge me in one more wee birthday post here. Since I am fairly craft impaired, I wanted to share a triumph in an epic battle between the sewing machine and me. I wanted to sew little flannel bags to put some goodies in for the three friends (plus siblings) that Zach invited to his camp out celebration. This would take a normal person probably no more than a hour to accomplish. It took me several days. And several colorfully worded exchanges with this machine that I am sure was laughing at me as it tangled and unthreaded and jammed. Zach would engage in something else while I sewed and stop by every now and again, look at me and say, "Mama, you seem frustrated. Take a deep breath, it seems like you could use some cuddles." Damn him for learning what I have tried to teach him rather than letting me toss the blasted machine overboard.

But here they are, the little flannel baggies. The stitiches have a dunken swagger to them and I wouldn't be surprised if they dissolved not long after going home with the kids, but they did the trick. I used some red ribbon to secure them and wood burned the kids names on wood chip tags (from Narural Earth Farm on etsy).
(Yes, you read it right. Gauthier. They're French.)

Inside were agate slices and these cool, hand carved compass/ whistle combos (also from etsy at Steam Bent Canes, a find borrowed from MamaRoots).
And then some stickers Zach made with his beloved sticker machine using pictures from an old nature book we found at GoodWill. Finally we used a few more of the illustrations from the nature book to create these little blank books for the kids.
The idea and excellent tutorial (if I can do it, you know she explained it well) came from Nicola at Which Name.  Basically, we used blank paper inside of old paper bags and stitched on (with the wiley sewing machine again) the pictures, then stitched together the book. Voila!
We actually DID spend a day making the rounds between the Dollar Store and Target and Joanne's and Michael's searching for something to give out as party favors (which begs the question, do parties really need favors? But that's a whole different discussion). But both Zach and I could not stomach shelling out cash for plastic trinkets. "That seems junky," he'd say. And he was right. It was so much more satisfying and dare I say fun despite wanting to harm the sewing machine, to come up with our own ideas and spend the time crafting them together. That was the best party favor for this mama, creative time with my boy.


Joy said...

What great favors! The little blank books are so inspiring! I really love them. I'm with you on the thought that favors might be overdoing it. We also do no-gift parties so maybe I'm just a party pooper. :)

Charity said...

That's an awesome little bag of party favors! We've had the same struggle, trying to find ways to thank guests for coming to celebrate, without sending them home with a bunch of plastic. I love your solution! :o)

River Sanctuary: Marykaye said...

Those are wonderful and how neat to give something beautiful and natural instead of the junky plastic stuff that it is so easy to use instead (I can relate). Appreciate you taking the time to post pictures and links to directions for the great crafts. As another seemingly craft-impaired mother these ideas for fun projects to do together are great. :)

guavajelly said...

Cute party ideas and cute favor idea. We can't stomach useless plastic favors either so we make mixed CD's for mamas/papas of stuff that's on rotation-- a little bit of mama music, papa music, and stuff the kids dig and jam to around the casita. We did it for our wedding favor too but made really pretty handmade paper for the cd covers.

Brittney Harmon said...

I LOVE it! My mother had a machine that was supposed to be top of the line but always got all knotted up and made every one who has ever tried to sew on the thing want to throw it... probably the reason that she HATED sewing. She bought me a simple inexpensive machine when our first was born and I taught myself to sew on it. I LOVE that thing! I say try a different machine... see if you like it any more.

You are most defiantly not craft impaired! in fact I would say that is one of your strong points. Sometimes I think we just get stuck in our "I suck at such and such" label and no matter how amazing we become at it, we don't let it go. It looks to me like you are very much a creative spirit and that in and of it's self is an art! Thinking outside of the box- good job :o)

PS I didn't do half the stuff you're doing while pregnant. Spent most of my time over the toilet bowl... not my most glamorous of times. You really do rock it!

Nicola said...

Fabulous! I appreciate the links to the compass whistle and the wood tags are fabulous! Thank you for the link love. Your notebooks look wonderful! I love the pinked edges!

Red Charlotte said...

So lovely and creative. You and your boy have excellent taste!

gardenmama said...

Can I first say that I love when you label your posts with "Mushy Mommy Stuff" : )
I love the way the books turned out Cindy, they are beautiful. What a great idea to use paper bags! I am very inspired by these as my sons birthday is coming up soon!

Bethany said...

Those notebooks are FAB!

boatbaby said...

Joy - you are not alone. We have never done gifts either. In the past we've told friends who really want to bring something to bring donations for the SPCA. Zach loves bringing the treats and toys and food to the kitties and pups each year.

Charity - that is a lovely way of thinking about it. Yes, it is about thanking them for coming. I will have to remember that! Thank YOU.

Thanks marykaye - and like I always say, if I can do it, anyone can. That's why I like to share the ones I manage to pull off.

Brittney - this machine was gifted to me by my neighbor, so I am grateful to have one at all. I think I just need to learn it b/c she never had any trouble with it.
And thank you for the sweet words. Creativity I can do, but I truly lack the technical skills to pull off most of my ideas.
And yes, I spent the first 20-something weeks puking and napping alot. I feel like I am just starting to wake up from that haze (in time for the oppressive heat!)

Nicola - thank YOU! And yes, links links links are good.

Charlotte - thank you. And how are you feeling? You need to drop me a line! I have been thinking about you!

gardenmama - I call them like I see them. I see the label more as a warning for non-mommies who may drop in :) Have fun with your son's upcoming birthday!

laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura and Hans said...

Sorry, the previous comment was mine (I made a mistake).
Anyway, I've been sewing for years and believe me you did a great job!
Way better than plastic junk!

Little Lovables said...

great job on the favors... I always have to make our own too, I imagine the laborers who made the plastic junk and get all guilty inside

moment to Moment said...

Love it all!!!!

erin said...

We mad the same books from Nicola's post for older kids at my son's second birthday party. Love all the photos here.

zerry ht said...

Indeed it’s an amazing blog. I am searching for lofty spaces to party with my cousins. We haven’t had a get-together since long and planning to spend good time with them. Hope to find a lovely place and have fun.

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