Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Treasure Map/Pirate Valentines

I am totally on top of things these days. Can you tell? Abe's class party was on the Tuesday before Valentine's Day. I made these valentines and took these pictures before that party (let's say on Monday the 10th, although it might have been that Sunday which I thought was Monday until my husband got out of bed and didn't go to work that morning). It's been a long winter. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that it's taken me a good two weeks after taking these pictures (and a week and a half after Valentine's Day) to actually post them. Honestly, I'm a little surprised it didn't take me longer. I mean, it's still February, right?

At any rate, Abe's been really into pirates lately, so for his class valentines we made treasure maps with pirate-y messages.

I actually drew a large map with pencil and painted it with watercolors, then shrunk it down so I could print 4 maps per page, and added text using Photoshop. While searching for the perfect pirate font, I realized I'd already downloaded a great one called Monsterfreak before Halloween. I love the skulls!

For his class, we rolled up the maps, sealed them with a sticker, and stuck them in little muslin bags with a few chocolate gold doubloons. (I found the bags in the wedding section at Michael's. They were kind of expensive - $5.99 for 12 I think - so be sure to use those 50% off coupons!) 

Abe helped me count out the doubloons and put them in the bags...while saving a few for himself of course. 

Edie loves the Mardi Gras beads that I pulled out for when they play pirates, so that would have been a good candy-free option. 

I also found some pirate themed temporary tattoos at Target that we gave to his cousins since we ate too many only had enough gold doubloons for his classmates. We also had a book of Jake and the Neverland Pirates stickers that Abe used to further decorate our maps. He mostly stuck the characters on the X or the pirate ship.

He signed the back of each one with an "A" which was fun to watch. For most of them he basically made an H and then drew a second line to attach the lines at the top. Sometimes he'd draw a straight line, other times it was scribbley. Reminded me of when I was little and all my Es looked like combs!

So those are our valentines this year. I'm posting this way too late for Valentine's Day, but maybe I'll post a downloadable version or something next year. Since it's pretty much done I could even post it early...maybe.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Noah!

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already seen the cake we made for Noah's birthday. If not, here it is...

Abe really wanted to make a Star Wars cake with "Tordy Tordy Two (R2D2), Free CPO, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Lando Car-Vivien (he has two Viviens in his class), and Han Solo" for his dad's birthday. 

Noah and Abe have quite a few Star Wars Lego sets, so we added a few more of the figures from their collection. Besides, what kind of Star Wars cake is complete without Boba Fett...and Darth Vader?

It seemed that there were two easy options for frosting the cake...either cover it with white frosting to make it look like the snowy planet of Hoth, or cover it with graham cracker "sand" to replicate the desert planet of Tatooine. Since none of our minifigures looked like they were dressed for winter weather I decided to make Tatooine. It's just like the s'mores cake I made for Abe's dinosaur party but, instead of marshmallow frosting, I used cream cheese frosting under the graham cracker crumbs. To help the minifigures stand up I attached them to small Lego plates (I think 4x6 or 8) that I ran through the dishwasher and buried under the graham cracker sand. (You can see it peaking through by Princess Leia's feet.)

Since Tatooine has two suns (man, I wish Minnesota had two suns!), I made a couple tissue paper pom-poms (find the instructions over at 6 Bittersweets) to stand in for the setting suns.

To surprise Noah, we also picked up a few balloons at the party store. I told Abe he could pick out a special one and mentioned that they might have some Star Wars balloons. He told me, "I want to get my dad a Darth Vader balloon!" They had a couple Darth Vader options but neither one was very cool, so Abe picked out a red Angry Bird instead. Edie's become pretty attached to it...