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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Star Wars Themed birthday party....

Yes, yes, this is off topic for a blog about interior design and decoration, but I get such a creative buzz from pulling a kids party (in the backyard) together that I just had to share the experience!  Here is a run down of our now seven year old Star Wars fanatic birthday party....


Pinata in construction

Star Wars character shaped cookie cutters

Jedi Training certificates shaped as lightsabers

"Yoda" sign, on the path to our front door sets the tone

Laser maze


 On request I made a pinata with my young boys.  I found a soft cardboard box that apparently looked a lot like a "biker trooper" (yes, Mr. 7 has a very clear on his Star Wars facts), luckily he is very encouraging on my attempts to recreate his vision, in this case through papermache, and some paint! 

Next we started baking and made this awesome cookies from my favourite butter cut-out biscuit recipe and loaned cutters from a friend. (we also used these cutters to press coloured fondant icing that was later iced onto plain biscuits)

As part of our preparations, I made certificates that were also thank you notes, I rolled these into scrolls and held them in place with black paper cuffs so that they looked like mini lightsabers.  These then went in the children's party/loot bags to take home.

We've been renovating our garden and had hoped to have our new driveway ready before the party... Melbourne weather had other plans, so we needed to improvise a safe path to our front door.  I made this 
 sign featuring an image of Yoda, with Yoda speak advising young Jedi to to walk carefully (I think our neighbours enjoyed the sign more than the kids!) 




Tatooine birthday cake with Lego C3PO & R2-D2
with their crashed ship 
As this party had young Jedi in training (Younglings, I think is the right name!), I thought I would make uniforms for all the children to help them get into the spirit of the day. I made these out of 90cm (2ft) wide calico, simply cut into lengths (also about 90cm long), with a triangle shaped head hole cut out and a sash cut down one of the selvedge (about 10cm/ 4in wide).


Our star wars themed party games:

We started with a Laser Maze, where the children had to "use the force" to safely take turns to make their way past the laser beams (made of crepe paper streamers), collect the ball at the end and make their way back.

Next we had our version of "pin the tail on the donkey", I drew a picture of General Grievous on a big piece of paper and the children then took turns, while blind folded, to pin a paper lightsaber near one of his hands. 

Instead of pass the parcel, we played pass the planet
After this we moved on to "Pass the Planet" using a Lego star wars planet,   When the music stopped, the child got to pick a lucky number from inside the planet and a prize from the selection we had.  The lucky numbers were to decide the order that the children were to have a go at the pinata. (Birthday boy got to go first, regardless of the number he chose).

Following the pinata, the children then were each given a pool noodle lightsaber  and a balloon, and practiced using the force to keep their balloon off the ground until it was time for party food and the birthday cake.  
Making use of the beautiful Autumn weather
the children enjoyed simply running around


Using the force to keep the balloon in the air
lightsabers made from pool noodles and electrical
tape handholds


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Three tips towards deciding where to invest in your home furnishings

Making over a room doesn't need to break the bank, confident and smart purchasing are what you need.


For me it is a matter of knowing where to spend money and when to bring in the savvy purchases.


  • When it comes to soft furnishings; do be prepared to invest in the big long term pieces that need to handle a lot of wear like your sofa, carpets and rugs.






  • Then save on accent pieces that may be updated frequently (for a new look or style) or are only used occasionally, such as; cushions, throws, side tables and even (sometimes) your wall art, if you are willing to consider these elements as costume jewelry. 



  • When it comes to window furnishings, I think it is wise to spend a little more, particularly as these will come with moving parts and are subject to deterioration from direct sunlight.  Use reputable manufacturers, and use appropriate materials for the job, your interior decorator should guide you to the best choice.  

  • Oh, and while I'm on the topic, please consider using Australian made linings for your curtains and blinds as these are manufactured subject to Australian regulations regarding safe content (cheap imported linings are made of unchecked cocktails of ingredients that can leech into your room). Ask your interior decorator where their lining comes from.