Tag Archives: crafts

Starting a Fairy Garden

Despite the fact that we still have about 28 days before we move into the new house and the apartment we’re staying in short-term is tiny and under furnished and all of my crafting supplies are packed up and probably somewhere in the Pacific Ocean right now and I really should be waiting until we get to the new place to start any new projects… I just couldn’t help myself! It doesn’t help that while the boys are at school, I don’t have anything else to do here besides think about a million different projects to work on and scour Pinterest for ideas!

My daughter (who will be turning 4 in just under a month), is absolutely in love with all things sparkle-fairy-ballerina-princess, which I find strange because her brothers are not into gender-specificity. They love “boy” stuff like cars and trucks and dinosaurs and superheroes, but they also love My Little Pony and will play tea party with their little sister without a second though. Princess Penelope, on the other hand, is just that. A princess. Her entire world would be pink and purple and covered in glitter if possible. Go figure!

Anyway, she wants a fairy garden, and to be perfectly honest, want one too! So with nothing better to do and a craft store right next to the apartment complex (dangerous!!!), I just couldn’t resist. Penny insisted that she wanted her fairy garden to be indoors because she wants to keep it in her bedroom once we get to the new house, which simplifies things for me because I don’t have to weather proof everything. We headed over to the craft store to see what we could find, and here’s what we just couldn’t stop ourselves from buying:

  1. Wooden dog house – $2.17 (There were several different styles, including one with a domed roof that I thought would be better for a fairy house, but my daughter really wanted the dog house!)
  2. Bag of Spanish moss – $3.97
  3. 2 bushes of fake flowers – $1.50 each ($3 total)
  4. Mini craft sticks – $1.97
  5. Tiny birds (3 birds in package) – $1.49
  6. Bag of glass gems – $1.97
  7. Paint, paintbrushes, glue gun – $5.94 (I only had to purchase these because I don’t have any of my crafting supplies!)

Total spent on the fairy garden (so far): $14.57 ($20.51 including the extra misc. supplies I had to purchase)

I wish I’d taken a before photo, but Penny was so eager to paint it as soon as we got home that I forgot. She chose the purple, and I let her paint to her heart’s content. Her brushstrokes can only be described as scribble-scrabble, so I had to go over it again and clean up her paint job. I painted the roof a maple brown, and once the paint dried, I hot-glued some Spanish moss to the roof. I tiny little branch fell out of the bag of moss, which I glued over the window for the little bird to perch on. I added a couple of flowers to the roof and that’s about it! I’d like to find some twigs to glue onto the pitched roof and to make a rustic and whimsical looking door to the house.

I really don’t know how long I’ll be able to hold off working on other aspects of this fairy garden, especially considering that I have nothing else to do–haha! I’ll keep you posted! 😉

Also, I obviously haven’t used all the materials yet. I cut off a few flowers, and we haven’t gotten to the mini craft sticks, which we’ll be using to make a fence. We’re also planning to put the glass gems down as stepping stones. There’s still lots to do, so stay tuned!

20 Questions – A Birthday Interview

All 3 of my kids were born in the month of February. Within a day of each other. 12 hours if I want to be silly about it. The twins were born on February 17, and my daughter was born February 18, 3 years later. This means that right after the holidays, birthday party planning must begin. Last year, we had recently moved to Korea and the boys hadn’t made any friends yet, and because it was Penelope’s first birthday (dol), we didn’t have a party for the boys. If you’ve read my post about Miss Penny Penny’s first birthday party, you’d know why I didn’t have the time or energy to do anything for my big boys!

One thing that I did make time for was writing down the boys’ responses to 20 questions I put together for their birthday interview. I typed it up quickly in a Word document and honestly, forgot about it. With their 5th birthday approaching, I finally got around to designing what will eventually be pages in a book. And since I have the template prepared, I can just change the age and type in the answers every year.

I wanted the design of the page to be something timeless so that when I ask the children the same questions when they’re 18 years old, the page won’t look childish. Plus, my design aesthetic is very simple, clean and modern, so really…I guess it’s all about me! Haha!

Here’s the final product! I’ll be making up a printable version as well in various colors that will be available for download (when I can figure out how to do that!).

lincoln 20 questions charlie 20 questions

Lady Penelope’s Dol/First Birthday

After all the nonsense of moving in, the bathroom water problems we’ve been having, and oh yeah… Taking care of 3 little ones, I completely lost track of time and before I knew it, Little Miss Penelope’s first birthday was fast approaching. Early February, I realized that I only had 2 weeks to make it work. On the bright side, because of the move, we decided we would have her party down in Gunsan, my parents’ hometown. Almost all of my close relatives live there, and it just made more sense that way since I could leave the food and location choices to my parents. I think…

Anyway, my parents found a nice place that was within our budget for food, so I didn’t have to worry about that, but with 2 weeks left, I had to work on decorations, favors, desserts, and pretty much everything else.

I had to make do with crafting supplies that I already had on hand as the craft department at the store on post leaves much to be desired, and although I’ve heard of this magical craft marketplace in Namdaemun, I didn’t have the time and energy to drag 3 little ones to the crazy Korean marketplace during the coldest winter in 50 years.

I did a bit of searching on Pinterest for some ideas, but I already had a pretty decent idea of what I’d like to do. Mostly because 4 years ago, I planned a dol for Charlie and Lincoln and filed away ideas for if/when I had a little girl. 😉

I stuck with pinks and brown because well… I love the color combination, and because I really wanted to have both chocolate cupcakes and red velvet cupcakes. Haha!

The most time consuming part of the party prep was all the baking. I’m pretty sure that my decision to bake 4 dozen cupcakes and a 3 layer 8-inch round cake and flower-shaped sugar cookies was made during a fit of insanity. And of course, when I started all this nonsense, I didn’t give much thought to the fact that my oven here in Korea is literally HALF the size of an American oven or that I would have to transport all these items to my parents’ house 3 hours away.

The only clever decision I made about the cupcakes was to keep the icing simple and to make little cupcake “tags” to decorate them. As I’ve learned, paper crafts are much easier to do with kids running around the house than anything that involves the oven or set times. I can easily walk away from paper and scissors without worrying if things are going to burn or dry out if unattended for a period of time. Cutting out the pieces, punching out butterflies and gluing onto toothpicks was significantly easier than baking.

In addition to the cupcakes, I decided to make a 3 layer cake–chocolate, red velvet and butter–with cream cheese icing. I didn’t do much to decorate the cake either. Although I had these grand ideas of butterflies and flowers, realizing my time limits… I gave up on that and did a simple swirl design using the back of a spoon. I was planning to use a slice of the cake as Penelope’s smash cake as well, and I think the cake turned out pretty nicely–simple on the outside, fun on the inside!

The favor boxes were also relatively easy. I used a single sheet of 8.5in x 11in cardstock for each box and decorated with the leftover scrap paper from the 12in x 12in scrapbook paper I used to make the Happy Birthday Penelope flag banner. I didn’t want to waste all those triangles of paper, and this worked out wonderfully. The boxes were a perfect fit for the Lindt chocolate truffles we gave as party favors. They weren’t quite the jars of homemade butterscotch that we gave at the boys’ first birthday party, but then again, we also didn’t have a keg at Penny’s. 😉

My baking/decorating delirium didn’t end with the 3 layer cake and cupcakes. I also baked flower shaped sugar cookies with chocolate and cream cheese icing. I loved the way the bigger cookies turned out, but the smaller ones looked like fat stars more than flowers… So when I put them out on the dolsang (the birthday table), I stacked them into little cookie towers, which helped. And the best treat for last… I made chocolate dipped pretzel sticks that were delicious. I know this for a fact because I ate a lot of them. A lot.

Traditionally, the dolsang is supposed to be very colorful, but I was adamant that the colors all work with each other because well… I’ve seen a lot of traditional dol photos and all the colors are just too much. However, it came down to a test of wills between my mother and me. I let her put some fruit on the table, mostly because she wouldn’t back down on that one… And some of the Korean rice cakes were banished to the back edge of the table where hopefully, they wouldn’t show up in too many of the photos. 😉

All in all, I am very pleased with how it all turned out. The backdrop was another headache…but it all worked out. My original plan was to have the butterfly and flower strands all along the back of the backdrop, but I ran out of time. It wasn’t difficult to string the pieces together (thanks to double sided tape!), but it was extremely time consuming, so at the last minute, I put the Happy First Birthday in Korean up. I was actually a bit nervous about how it would look in photos, but I think it came out very nicely.

As for the leading lady of this extravaganza, Miss Penelope was an absolute doll–she looks so dignified! Haha!

And despite relinquishing my control freak tendencies on the selection of her hanbok (traditional Korean dress), my mom did a great job of picking out a beautiful dress. 🙂

Little Penny had a great time playing with her smash cake.

And look! She even has an eye for decoration! 😉
However, apparently, Penny’s hopes and dreams are in entertainment as she grabbed the microphone at her doljabi.
And now that the fun is over, all I can say is THANK GOD! 😉