Tag Archives: birthday

Birthday Piñata Tradition: A Smashing Good Time

This time of year is a busy one. Not only is there the often frenzied rush to feel prepared for the holidays and all of the hand-made, store-bought, or presence-centered gifts to arrange, but it’s also my daughter’s birthday month. I’m not sure when the last time you spoke with a nearly-six year old was, but birthdays are kind of a big deal to them. At least they are to my daughter. Maddie talks excitedly about her birthday, with game plans, craft project ideas, and guest list edits pretty much all year long. When December rolls around, it’s truly game on. Let the party planning commence!

family pinata making fun
My helpers as we began the pinata making process. Two balloons, ripped strips of newspaper, and a flour-water paper mache paste is all you need!

It has become a tradition for Maddie and me to make a piñata together for her birthday, although her requests have certainly become more detailed and elaborate. I introduced the idea for her fourth birthday, when we made a rainbow fish piñata. I love the old-school flour and water paper mâché over a balloon method, and paired with tiny balled up bits of rainbow colored tissue paper, I thought it was the perfect project for an excited child. Last year, for her fifth birthday party, she requested a Calvin and Hobbes-style snowman to go with her Calvin and Hobbes themed party. This year her request was for a rainbow unicorn. How could I say no to that!? But seriously… a rainbow unicorn made out of balloons and torn newspaper!?? Needless to say, I’ve been busy over the past two weeks, and it hasn’t been quilting.

family pinata making fun
A unicorn begins to take shape…
family pinata making fun
Creating the rainbow mane and tail.

Little by little, and with many tips from my ever-talented puppet and model-making brother, we did it. We created a rainbow unicorn piñata, complete with diamond dust glitter body, glimmering uni-horn, and rainbow ribbon mane and tail. I have to say–it was a smashing success!

rainbow unicorn pinata
Maddie in her pajamas, posing with her rainbow unicorn pinata the morning of her 6th birthday party, right before she painted on the eyes, smile, and pink collar.
rainbow unicorn pinata
The birthday girl painting on the eyes and smile the morning of the party while I held the pinata steady. Pardon the jammies.
rainbow unicorn pinata eye
The gorgeous eye painted on by my daughter. This is as close as you can come to seeing the diamond dust glitter paint that covered the unicorn, and the shimmery horn.

The finishing touches were put on this morning, hours before the party. Maddie decided that she wanted to paint on the eyes, a smile, and a pink collar, so that’s what we did as soon as we woke up, pajama-clad and all.

rainbow unicorn pinata

rainbow unicorn pinata

I love craft projects like these, since although they literally take weeks to complete and I nearly always get to the “what was I thinking!?” phase at least once, they truly creating lasting memories with my children. I remember creating paper mâché piñatas with my mom during girl scout meetings, and the memories are fond indeed. It’s the little things in life, and sometimes a beautiful hand-made rainbow unicorn filled with candy and treats and begging to be smashed is the perfect touch for a birthday party.

Do you have any fun birthday traditions?

6th birthday girlrainbow unicorn pinata

Stash Building: Happy Birthday to Me!

2014-04-09 09.45.49

Today began in the best way: in the garden with my children, smelling, exploring, and admiring the growing sea of blue flowers. The day was a whirlwind day of sunshine, playgrounds, and shopping with Grandma. Since today is my birthday, my mom treated me to some fabric. Since it was right before lunchtime with two cranky, hungry kids, my browsing time was quite limited. “You can get whatever you want, as long as you get it now,” my mom said as we arrived. Anyone who has shopped for fabric knows how long one can spend deciding on fabrics.

I’ve been really drawn to black & white and grey tones lately, which is very much reflected in my choices. Within five minutes, this is what I had grabbed:

You can tell that today I was drawn to black and white and grey... with just a splash of color!
You can tell that today I was drawn to black and white and grey… with just a splash of color!

I got 1/2 yard of the black and white hexagon fabric, and 3 yards each of the other two. I think the two grey tone color-splash fabrics would make great quilt backs. Especially the yellow and grey fabric; wouldn’t it make a great back for a quilt like this free pattern from Craftsy?

Star Bright Free Quilt Pattern by Swim, Bike, Quilt found on Craftsy

I have been saving and buying small amounts of grey and black & white fabrics so that I can make this quilt, so when I saw the black, grey and yellow fabric, I had to get enough for a quilt back. Maybe? Yes? Whether I use it to back this quilt or not, I think it’s a great fabric to have in my stash.

2014-04-09 17.44.19Now that I think of it, I could bind the quilt in dark red and use this fabric for the back, instead:

2014-04-09 17.48.10

Either way, it was a good stash-building birthday, don’t you think?

What’s your strategy if you only have five minutes to shop for fabric?