Saturday, September 29, 2012

Glam Halloween Banner

The glam halloween banner I've created for the launch of Cru Events has turned out awesome.  I thought I'd share my creative process with you guys as I had so much fun with it...

The whole thing starts with drawings.  My banners usually have 7 dedicated drawings.  For this particular banner I created a witch, a broom, a cluster of mushrooms, a magic potion, an awesome shoe, and the stylized words Eek and Boo.

 At this point I color them with different media and clean them up a little using a photo editing tool ( I use pixelmator)

 Now they are ready to be printed into high weight card stock and then trimmed to size.

These bits are now pearlized with sheen spray and touched up with a little glitter to up the glam factor. Meanwhile, I cut and glue and pull my hair out trying to get these frames put together...

My wonderful and super meticulous friend, Kim, helped me out while our 4 year olds played together in the next room.  She is a sport!

Here are some detail shots:

And... TADA!!! The  Finished Product:

If you are curious about my product line, please visit my Etsy shop at:  Catherine Hopkins Designs Inc

Harvest Moon Easy Croc Pot Meal

Today marks the first cooler night here in Houston and it is also a Harvest Moon night so I want to welcome it with the sweet and warm fragrance of a slow cooked meal.  Here is a general recipe (I'm not a lab cook, my measurements are just approximations):

1 pork tenderloin
1 bag small yukon gold potatoes (they remind me of little moons)
1 bag baby carrots
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 pk of onion lipton soup
a drizzle of molasses (it adds a depth of flavor that everyone will love)
a bunch of rosemary (fresh from the garden)
a little cracked pepper (no salt is needed because of the lipton soup)

Put it all in a slow cooker for about 8 hrs.  The pork will come apart, but that's part of the fun.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Pirate Birthday Party

A Pirate Birthday Party is quintessential for a little boy.  Last year my then soon to be 3 year old was into Disney's Jake and The Neverland Pirates.  I thought easy peasy! Well, since the cartoon was so new, there was no party supplies out in the market yet.  I set off to make this party on my own from scratch.  So much fun!!!
I added a little swirl of glitter to the invitation to spark the imagination of the kids.  It would be the pixie dust they would use to fly them to the party.
The party was meant to be outside, but right before the guests arrived we had rain so I quickly moved the ship table indoors so they could "sail to Neverland" while they dined before moving on to outside.
In the Menu:  Fish and Chips with a side of fruit cut up in the shape of Jolly Rogers, Ships, and Treasure Chests.  I designed all labels and decorations.
As we approach Neverland, the crew stops by Hook's quarters.
... Where they notice the picture of his Nemesis: The Birthday Boy
The kids snatch the map of Neverland and start their great adventure... ( I created stations within my back yard for every part of the map)

At this point, pixie dust should be sprinkled onto their feet...
I put together this little terrarium as a place for tinker to hide her treasure.  At the party it was placed next to a large mirror with a trunk full of neverland related costumes for the kids to change into.  (Sorry, I try not to put pictures of kids other than my own in the blog!)
So here is my little rascal.  Behind him is Pixie Hollow, where we had an awesome treasure hunt!

Each child received a personalized loot bag for the treasure hunt.
Here is Pirate's Cove.  It served as a stage for the entertainment.  We had a singer come and hang out with the kids for 45 minutes putting on a show where the kids were the main characters.  Super fun!  The inflatable ships were filled with water balloons for a sea worthy battle at the end.
At Mermaid's Den we had some fun games and sand craft for the kids.

Indian Cove - I put some pirate and peter pan books in there with a cute little lantern. The kids were in and out of this thing like clowns coming out of a tiny car at the circus. Super fun!
The Sweets Table

I did coat all of the paper decorations with mod podge to make it water resistant.
I think the coconut and straws made a cool addition to the favors table.  :)
Coloring books and crayons covered in see through paper were sent home with the little guests.
And to complete the experience I sent these cute rice crispies pirates to school.  

My Etsy Shop:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Carolyn Quartermaine

     I just found my newest source of inspiration.  While zipping thru Pinterest I just ran into the most amazing artist:  Carolyn Quartermaine.  Having been away from the blogosphere in the past two years, I had completely kept her work out of my radar:  Hermes and Vogue stylist, fabric designer, painter...  Her work is sophisticated, but approachable.  Classic, but with a modern edge.  Her color use is absolutely refreshing after so many years of the dreary grays.  It just makes me plain happy.  I might just do my entire Christmas card line in bold pinks and bright oranges with a touch of robin's blue and a brush of gold.  There is nothing more invigorating than stepping out of our comfort zones into something magnificent!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fall/Halloween Decor Round Up

Fall is upon us (even though it doesn't feel it one bit here in TX!).  In order to get my frame of mind in the mood for planning a Halloween Launch for late October I decided to share some old pictures of previous Halloween/ Fall decor that might inspire you to get started as well...

 This little vignette is super easy to achieve:  Spray paint an old urn, add some spray painted twigs, candy corn light string, some gourds and call it a day.  To add extra whimsy I made these cute little owl family (daddy, mommy, and baby)

 I'm not into gore, but note the blood drop rolling off of papa owl's beak.  It was just a nod to the vampire addiction in all of us.

Baby owl is a smaller version of his parents.  He is super cute!
I will be making 30 of these for the launch party.  Come back for a future post on that.  ;)

I'll be making one of these for the party as well. This one was a kit from Target last year.

Now, how easy is it to add a little hairy spider to a store bought wreath ( I found the wreath at Tuesday Morning)

 This cute little witch is getting a makeover for the party.  Think glamour, baby!!!

 On Halloween I added some black crystal to my carved pumpkin.  Awesomeness!!

 What's Fall without mums? Right?

Here are some super strong superheros ready to T or T.


My Etsy Shop:


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