3.25.2013

The Friendship Puppet Theater Presents: "Dress-up Party"

When I was a little girl, my sister and I would always play with our puppets and would often create a puppet show for our parents to watch. And now that I have children, I am finding they love it too!

My daughter came home from school last week and told me she and her BFF would like to do a puppet show for their school talent show. I thought that was a great idea and started to think of how I could make a puppet theater from scratch. After a trip to Home Depot and Michael's Craft Store, I had all I needed to make the theater.

I purchased three 2' X 4' black chalk boards, three packages of two narrow utility hinges (2 in size) and three packages of # 10-24 X 1/2" machine screw round head combo by Crown Bolt. I had Home Depot cut the middle board down to 24"X 29". Home Depot cut the board for free.

{My husband measured and pre-drilled the holes with a 3/16  size drill bit}

Below is a picture of one side of the puppet theater completed. For one side we used three hinges and 12 screw bolts. I was surprised at how sturdy the chalkboard wood was once the hinges where in place.


{Above is a picture of the craft supplies we used for decorating the puppet theater.}

I wanted to make something different for the curtain, and a ribbon curtain is what came to mind. I found a really fun and bright colored floral ribbon at the craft store and thought it would make the perfect curtain. First, I cut 16 pieces of ribbon 19 inches long. I folded and hot glued each ribbon(1/2 inch fold) onto the green drape string.

{Completed Ribbon Curtain}
After I completed the ribbon I then began to decorate the rest of the puppet theater. I used rhinestone mesh ribbon and my glue gun stick to outline the entire theater (this was a perfect way to cover the bolts.)

I hand cut and shaped stems and leaves out of lime green Duck Tape paper sheets for the flowers. The Duck Tape adhered well to the slightly slick chalk board wood. I also hot glued the flowers to the tops of the stems.
{Use your drill to put a hole at the top of each side panel and string your cord for the ribbon curtain through it.}

Once you have your ribbon curtain up, you can add your bows. I used a pretty pink fishnet type of ribbon and wired the center with green floral wire. I then stuck the floral wire through the hole I used for the curtain cord and taped down both on the back side of the side panels.

{The girls colored the flowers and the butterflies.}

{I added a sign on front that reads" The Friendship Puppet Theater Presents, "Dress-up Party"}
Below is a video of their puppet show(2 minutes long). Click play and enjoy!!


The Friendship Theater Presents "Dress-up Party" from Seahorse & Stripes on Vimeo.

3.22.2013

Home Staging 101~Getting The Cole's Home Ready To Sell

{Entry}
Last week I had the opportunity to stage the Cole's home (one of my neighbors.) They have a beautiful home in a gated community in South Carlsbad, California. They decided to put their home on the market and needed some help getting in ready to show. Above is a picture of their entry. I removed a bench that was to the right of the entry hall and removed a large palm and replaced it with a more size appropriate peace lily. On the entry table, I removed some larger candle sticks and replaced them with a living white orchid arrangement. By doing these small changes the Cole's entry features more space and freshness.  

{Formal Living Room adjacent the Entry Hall}

{Living room with dining room and staircase}
There were a few minor changes needed in the living room. I switched locations of the lamp/end table and chair on the window wall, allowing for a better conversation area. This new arrangement helped the room look less lined with furniture from your initial view point as you entered the home. If your house has shutters it's important to have all the slats going in the same direction, especially for picture day. To complete the look, I added a fresh green house plant and staged a wine bottle & glasses to create a relaxing room to come to at the end of the day.
 
{Kitchen & Family Room}
Above and below are pictures of the kitchen, family room and kitchen nook. These three rooms are open to each other and have a wonderful flow. To enhance the flow, I removed a satee to the left of the kitchen island and a book shelf on the far end of the island which allowed for more space in the walk ways. It's a pretty good rule of thumb to always have at least three feet of space for all walk ways. 
{Family Room}
When it comes to staging a kitchen I strongly suggest removing daily appliances from the counter tops. We all use them but they tend to make the kitchen counters look cluttered. When you are staging a home you want to show off as much space as possible...so my rule is to keep them concealed while your house is on the market. In addition, I removed a large palm tree in the right corner of the family room by the fireplace and replaced it with a more size appropriate house plant. An extra fluff of the pillows and removal of some additional accessories opened up the space and completed our look.

{Kitchen}
 
{Kitchen Nook}
As we move upstairs, you come upon the landing where all the rooms enter off. The landing has a built in desk, game table and built in linen storage. This part of the home is used quite a lot but needs to look fresh and inviting to a potential buyer. I removed clutter from the desk and an additional desk chair. The corner lamp and the house plant was added to brighten and freshen up the space. I removed many family photo frames and kept a few.
{Upstairs Landing}
{Landing view into the Bonus Room}
As we enter the bonus room, I'd like to make a special mention about lighting. Buyers ALWAYS want a light and bright home and the easiest way to do that is to turn the lights on. Another suggestion is to leave all the doors open in your house. A house feels more inviting when all the doors are open and a potential buyer isn't wondering what's behind door number # 3. 

{Upstairs Bonus Room, Craft Room and Class Room}
 The homeowners recently renovated their bonus room to fit their homeschooling needs. They did a very smart thing by adding lots of custom built in storage on the wall shown above and the adjacent wall where the television, book shelves and additional storage is located. Potential buyers love storage and will see the value in this type of home improvement. Off the bonus room is a tranquil outdoor sitting area. In this space, I removed a chair and  added some foliage.

{Outdoor Living Space}
The next room I staged was the Cole's Master bedroom. I LOVE hotel style bed linens because they make you feel like you are on vacation. I achieved this look by layering the bed with a white coverlet and folding back their current duvet. When dressing the bed it's important to adjust the bed skirt and make sure it's laying correctly. Another thing we did was add some house plants to freshen up the room. Some additional de-cluttering and rearranging accent furniture aided in giving this room the feel of a tranquil escape.

{Master Bedroom}
{Master Bathroom}
When staging a home it's important to make the bedrooms feel as large as possible and the best way to do this is to remove unnecessary furniture and accent pieces. In the Cole's son's room I removed the toddler bed in the corner of the room which opened up the space. I also made sure all the lampshades are facing front and centered. In the baby's room below, I removed the children's play kitchen and play table and a couple accent tables. These items are practical items but will make the room appear smaller when you are showing your home, therefore it is best to remove them.

{Son's Room}
 
{Baby's Room}

{Daughter's Room}
 Lastly, don't forget to stage outdoor living spaces. We did that here by creating a cozy sitting area by the outdoor fireplace. Make sure all furniture is equally spaced and positioned and that all pillows are fluffed and going in the right direction.

{Outdoor Fireplace}

 I hope these tips will help you stage your home to sell. Good luck Cole family!










3.11.2013

Under The Sea Surprise ~ My Little Mermaid's 1st Birthday Party!!



There is nothing like a party to lift my spirits and that's exactly what this one did for me!! My baby girl just turned 1 and I was not about to let that go by with out a party. You know I love everything Coastal but I have never thrown a Mermaid party. Since my daughter is young and doesn't have a say (yet), "Mermaid party it will be!!! ;-)

{This is my daughter's 1st year picture taken in Hawaii by my good friends Stefani and James Hays
with Enchanted Images in Roseville CA.}

{Mermaid Cake by Catia's Cakes, San Diego CA}
I have always wanted an extra fun birthday cake for one of my children's parties but wasn't sure who to use. Until recently, my good friend and neighbor had a birthday party for her husband and had Catia make his birthday cake. It was so cute and really well done so I thought I would give her a try on my Mermaid cake. Not to my surprise, she did a great job and it tasted good too!! I would definitely use her again! She is located in San Diego and you can find her on Facebook at Catia's Cakes.


{Appetizer & Cake Table}

I found on Esty an adorable seahorse party hat for my daughter to wear. The name of the Etsy shop is Little Pink Tractor. Online they named the hat "Mermaid Princess Birthday Party Hat." It was well made and priced nicely and went perfectly with my theme and color palate. I added a little bling to the tips of the star.








I made these for the dessert table. They are large marsh mellows dipped in blue chocolate and sprinkled with clear rock sugar. They are so easy and yummy too!! You should give them a try at your next children's party.





As always, my favorite part of any party is to plan the flowers. I LOVE waking up early and heading down to Franco's Flowers located close by in Encinitas, CA. They have a huge selection of flowers in a giant walk in refrigerator. It gets a little chilly inside the refrigerator but so worth it!! Before I went to Franco's I wrapped my vases with some ribbon and sparkle.

{I found on Google Images a seahorse pattern for my Happy Birthday banner.}



After I made the Happy Birthday banner, I wanted to find some unique party garland that would go with my theme and colors. I went back onto Etsy and found the perfect garland at a store named Studio Mucci. They had a cool pastel tissue garland that they call "Garden Party Tassel Garland." I thought it matched perfectly with my banner I made and I love how it looks a little like seaweed.




{I found these stemless wine glasses at Pier 1 Imports}

{My oldest daughter and her friend dressed up like mermaids. I found the tops and skirts at Chasing Fireflies}

 

Last but not least I need to mention the adorable Mermaid party favors I found at Chasing Fireflies. They are a little pricey but I only had a few to get. The kids said everything was pretty fresh and yummy!

Happy 1st Birthday my Little Mermaid Girl!!