Friday, August 2, 2013


It's no secret that time flies - even still - I can't believe that my online business has been up and running for 2 years now!  Thank you to everyone who has downloaded and enjoyed our craft ebooks and printable stationary, and to all of you have regularly read my crafty blog posts and clicked on facebook links... life sure is grand.

As with all things however, life moves on, and with extra commitments to my school aged daughter, and the decision to work occasionally away from home at a 'real job' - I'm in a dilemma as to whether to keep going with the great adventure that is Partycraft Secrets.

My 3 most favourite things so far include being interviewed by a national women's magazine for my mumpreneurs self-help group and having the opportunity to inspire even more women to follow their dreams; receiving plenty of beautiful photos from crafty parents showing the wonderful things they made with their families; and best of all, playing and crafting with my own gorgeous girls who have grown up before my eyes from tiny toddlers with sticky fingers and faces, into lovely young ladies; so proud on all accounts!

While I deliberate, I've placed everything (except the custom-order package) on sale for $1 - that's all the 45 page themed ebooks (for Christmas, Halloween and other party themes), as well as all the 15+ designs for printable stationary packages (which include templates for invitations, bunting, photocards, bag tags and more.)  There is also plenty of free downloadable crafts adn ebooks on the site as always.

To download a batch of free and almost free materials, simply go to the website to browse what's on offer and make your pick...!!

Until next time (maybe) stay crafty my dear friends and new visitors, and remember that crafting alone or with your family really is as fun as it is therapeutic.

Best wishes,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cotton candy overdose

It's no secret that cotton candy tastes as good as it looks... at least that's what I thought as a child.  As an adult, slightly mortified by the size of the cotton candy handed to my children, I decided the only way to minimise the 'risk' of a sugar-od was to eat some of it myself.  I confess I was rather excited and pulled a large fluffy tuft off each stick, (to be fair, to be fair), and then popped both bits into my hungry mouth at once.

Hmmm.... I'd forgotten that weird, almost wiry texture as it melts in your mouth, and the super sweet rush of sugar that follows.

Somethings are better left in the sanctity of memory's fond treasure chest.

As to whether the 'risk' of too much cotton candy was real or not - you be the judge - the bottom photo shows my eldest daughter about an hour later at the same fete... yah-ha, I'm sure you'll agree that her wide eyed wonder is a tad toooooo wide!

Take care, and stay away from sugar!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Puppy Love

It's no secret that you-tube is home to a vast variety of humourous videos, many of them, seemingly of cats and dogs doing funny things.  Whilst I'm not someone who can spend ages watching cat-antics, I must admit that there is something especially cute about kittens and puppies in odd places...

A couple of months ago, I came downstairs to see our cavoodle puppy in the doll's pram being pushed around by my youngest daughter   Little Lotti told me (almost) convincingly that he "wanted" to be in there, and even tried to convince me he jumped up there all by himself... regardless, I confess - I took a dozen photos of our fur-baby and decided, what the heck, let's post one on the blog for every one can see... because hey, puppies are so darn cute...

More on party-craft soon... unless my puppy does something else I can't resist the urge to upload!!


PS - as a post script it should be noted, that Dash has since grown up a bit, and whilst he is still cute he had a bad habit of eating all our cushions, and the occasional doll's leg right off... so needless to say that Little Lotti is not so keen on sharing her treasured possessions with her "little brother" any more... or at least not that she knows about... shhhh... she still doesn't know a favourite fairy 'disappeared' into the garbage can after she lost both arms and one leg... what a sad discovery that was!?!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jumping castles

It's no secret jumping castles are fab.  They now come in such a wide variety of styles and shapes, colours and sizes - you can rent them, or even buy smaller versions to enjoy the jumpin' fun long after the party ends.

We recently went to a backyard dress-up party with a jumping castle that was purchased at a supermarket - wow... that was the stuff of dreams when I was a kid!

Whilst they may well kill the grass if left out too long, they are a brilliant addition to any party theme or scheme, and buy the parents a little time to chat, in between all the games and catering duties... oh... and I have it on good advice that parents have been known to give 'em a go post-party too!

Keep jumpin!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Favourite Find: Floral vinyl

It's no secret that one of the nice things about school holidays is that you can relx a little.  Sure, you're still a mum, and you're now back on full-time duty, but you also don't have to be somewhere 'right NOW' which means you don't have to shout "get in the car!!!!" several times before your second cup of coffee.

In our recent school holidays, Happy Husband and I took the girls to Sydney Harbour where we showed them the sites (Opera House, Harbour Bridge and so on) and stopped for a harbor side snack and rest.

It was in the little Mexican-styled 'pop-up' cafe they had near the steps of the Opera House that I saw vinyl table cloths stapled to ex-pallet benches.  They looked super simple to make (and yes you do have to watch out for splintery knees) and the stapled vinyl table tops made the whole space super-festive.

A quick trip to my local fabric store revealed plenty of vinyl florals on rolls, perfect to pick and choose from... now I just need to find a party excuse worthy of wrapping my dining table in flowers!

Stay crafty,

Monday, May 6, 2013

Face painting a bald head

It's no secret that some people have a better sense of humour than others, and some are more adventurous when it comes to trying out the ideas of children... goodness knows, I myself often make up lame excuses to get out of the bright ideas my two daughters try to foist on me!  Which is why I am grateful to the dear, balding man who agreed to let my girls paint a turtle on his head!

They came up with the idea before the special guy had even arrived, and no sooner had he sat down at the dining table than they ambushed him with the idea, and he shrugged and said sure.

It was great fun to watch and the girls thought it was hilarious that he drove off at the end of the visit with his "turtle" still painted on his head... thankfully he made it home without incident... the mind boggles at what a policeman or petrol-station attendant would have made of his "decoration!"

So then... next time you're painting faces... look around for a bald head - they make great canvases!


Friday, May 3, 2013

Favourite Find: Rainbow Duct Tape

It's no secret that washi tape is groovy, although often expensive.  Masking tape now comes in so many widths and colors that being crafty is fun and fast... but sometimes you need something stronger... and that's where multicoloured duct tape comes to the rescue!

Mimi, Little Lotti and I all made the pinata for Lotti's recent pony party in the park.  We did the usual thing of covering a balloon with paper mache and then more paper mache, and then some white paper mache for good measure.  We then painted it with left over house paint, and glued clip-art images of ponies and horses all over it, added some sparkly stickers for fun and then some stamped flowers for even more fun.  Last of all, once the pinata was filled with treats, we had to close over the top hole, and affix fishing wire in a sort of 'net' around the pinata so we could take it to the park and hang it up.

Rainbow duct tape was the perfect find - yes, it's a little "busy" in a graphic sense, but it had a festive feel perfect for a pinata and best of all, it's super strong, so once stuck down it wasn't going anywhere.

And as for the pinata on the day?  All the kids got to whack it with a stick, but although it grew holes all over the place, it never 'cracked' so Mummy got to take out all her pre-party tension and whack it some more... and still it didn't break!  I guess we made it a little too well!  So I put the stick away and then tore it apart... ah... treats rained down onto the happy kids.

Top tips for a pinata:
* hand out paper cups to the kids so they can collect their treasure,
* place a picnic rug underneath to avoid the treasures being trodden into the ground,
* look for sweets that are individually wrapped so that you minimise dirt getting onto food,
* have a few treats set aside and look for 'sad faces' so you can top up their empty cups,
* seriously consider whether a pinata is an age appropriate addition to your party, as I've written before how they can be dangerous things... blindfolded kids wielding big sticks around a group of fearless children all pressing in as close as they can to the action... hmmmm....

Regardless, I give the pinata a thumbs up as a memorable party-feature.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pony Party

It's no secret that I've been missing in action for a couple of weeks now.  Life has been hectic (and sometimes horrible) with migraines, school holidays, helping a sick mother stay sane, and doing my best to celebrate my youngest daughter's 4th birthday with a pony party in the park.

Here I am, back, at least for now, and seriously contemplating getting a 'real job' in an office where other people are working, and wearing ironed clothes and shoes, as opposed to my usual casual sock-loving attire, and talking to each other in an adult-conversational way.

I will blog more soon, but let it be said that park parties rock!  By having the party away from home there is far less cleaning to be done, you don't feel obliged to feed everyone mountains of food, you avoid the two party dilemmas of whether to serve alcohol to parents, and whether to allow your child to open the presents as they arrive (both of which are virtually impossible at a public park) and when the party is over you thrown the rubbish in the bin, scoop the rest up in your hamper and mosie on home to relax.... and don't even get me started on the money and time you save on decorations!

Sure, there is always the risk of rain, but wow, I'll seriously be considering an away from home party for ever after!

As for the pony party, it was a sheer delight to watch a dozen kids ride their hobby horses around the park, play pin the tail on the pony, and break up a home made pinata!

(The cake was store bought and then decorated by Little Lotti who sprinkled on the green 'grass' and glued on the icing flowers.  I added the little girl on the horse, complete with party hat and parasol  with a quick kebab-stick and pom-pom wool bunting to go over the top.  Super fast, super easy, & big hit on the day.)

Viva la ponies!

PS - for more party ideas, pop across to my Partycrafts Website.

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