Friday, August 22, 2014

Summer Give-away

The end of summer is here...We are having a one last blast give-away. Join us! We think it will be worth your while to check out all the lovely vendors and you might even win some cash!!

A giveaway like this would not be possible without the support of many bloggers and small businesses. They include Spaceships and Laser BeamsFantabulosity, Anders RuffCreative Juice CafeA Cup Full of SassCourtney's SweetsBarefootinBluejeansCreative Designs by ToniForever Your PrintsThe Organized Details, Mommy MomentBellaArtista InvitationsSomething Blu EventsFor the Love of FoodDesigned by Dawn NicoleDime Party DivaLife Mom WifeDebbie Donato, Party ConnoisseurJ'adore Lexie CoutureThe Lovebug CollectionMerry About TownTutus & Bowties EventsMaple Leaf MommyLifeovereasyNinja MommersA Mother ThingGreatStitchDownshiftingPROMarabousPlease Excuse My Craftermath...Printable Parties to GoJellyfish and Fitness Fashionista. And that's not all! For a full list of those who have participated in this giveaway, check out the Rafflecopter below!

Summer Blast $1000 Cash Giveaway

Monday, Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 11:59PM to Monday, September 15, 2014 at 11:59PM
Open Worldwide
Prize: One winner will receive $1000 USD payable via PayPal
Eligibility and Rules: This giveaway runs from Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 11:59PM to Monday, September 15 at 11:59PM. It is open to individuals over the age of the majority in their home country. The winner will be chosen randomly through the Rafflecopter form. It is the sole responsibility of the winner to report to and adhere to all laws in their respective country, which includes payments to any governing tax body. This giveaway is void in any country or territory where it is prohibited by law.
Claiming Prize: The prize will be sent via PayPal. The winner must have a PayPal account to receive it. The winner also must claim their prize within 48 hours of receiving notice via email. If you do not claim your prize within this time frame, your entry will be void and another winner will be drawn. Please ensure that  spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com is on your "safe list."
Disclosure: This is a blogger-sponsored event that is in no way affiliated with PayPal, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media channel. If you have questions, email Stephanie at Spaceships and Laser Beams at spaceshipsandlaserbeams [at] gmail [dot] com.
Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter! None of the entries are mandatory but the more entries you do, the more chances you have to win! Running short on time? Come back as often as you like to finish the form and maximize your chances of winning the big prize.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Garden Masterpiece

My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece” 

― Claude Monet

Gypsy Canon Photography

To find a theme for my parents' 75th birthday party we started with the beautiful flowers and flourishing vegetable garden surrounding their house. The care and love they have for growing things is evident. But they have another more important "garden" they have cultivated through the years in the lives and hearts of so many people. More than twenty years ago at an age when many people are starting to think about the end of their careers, they left home and family and moved to the country of Albania shortly after communism fell. It was a dangerous time, but they went  because of the need. They helped work with orphans and started a church that will soon celebrate its twentieth anniversary. They gave up a comfortable life to help people in Albania. Now that they are retired, we decided on a garden party for family and friends to celebrate both birthdays and the theme of their life of service together. 

Gypsy Canon photography

I love reclaimed things. There are so many people doing so much these days with things that used to be trash. When we found the patio bench made from an old bed, it just seemed to fit with the way they have lived their lives...trying to help people create a new beginning. I have been wanting to try one of these benches for a long time and it never happened, so my sweet hubby bought one for me! I love the feel of home that it gives. We added the pillows and cushions to it.

Gypsy Canon Photography

Every birthday party must have cake! All Things Cake was very creative with my parents party. They are right on trend with this cake! I really love the flowers they hand made for it. They were so special to my parents and I was more than thrilled when they also came up with some gluten free cupcakes for us to enjoy. They have a certified gluten free kitchen now right here in Tulsa.

Gypsy Canon Photography

Red Door Treasures made us this custom potting bench. We were so happy to be able to meet them and find such an enchanting shop in down town Broken Arrow. Miss Cindy is one of the good guys! She helped us quickly and efficiently. We adore what they came up with and used it for our main dessert table. Gypsy Canon who just happens to be my daughter Rhonda Byers, painted all the furniture for this party. She is such a huge help in all these things we are doing! My hubby even gets in the act. I don't know how you can do these parties without help! 

GreatStitch made the pillows.

Our awesome backdrop roses were made from corrugated cardboard and came from the hip and happening rose store right here in Broken Arrow called Roses, Inc  They recently made these for a float and let us use them for our party. They have done a fantastic job at refurbishing a property in downtown Broken Arrow that houses their amazing rose selection and green house. They are responsible for all the lovely roses in the Rose District where our shop is located. Some days we just stroll down Main Street to smell the roses they have put out. We also got the rose lights we strung on the branch from them.  

We were able to use some really awesome local people this time and we were thrilled with the beautiful garden roses that Arrow Flowers and Gifts made us. She used ranunculus also, and they are some of my favorite flowers right now. I adore the way they bloom out. You might see peonies in there also which bring back some really great memories from my childhood. My parents had a beautiful flower garden with a lot of peonies in the center of it when I was growing up.

My sweet friend Kameela did this perfect garland. She went out of her way to get it to me in time and it fit our theme perfectly. Could the colors have been more perfect? Kameela has the cutest named business I have seen recently...Tutus and Bowties! Texas is on my list of places to go now because of her sweet friendship!

When I saw these pretzel carrots in the Oreo dirt, we had to have them for our party. I thought Promise Pretzels did a fabulous job on these! Everyone loved them!  Katie at The Pretty Party Shoppe sent us some awesome berry baskets that we used throughout the party and also sent other party supplies...straws, paper cups, bags, just lovely things that we were so thrilled with! We love to find new people and she has some really awesome things! 

We tried to put in meaningful things in the party--things that would help us remember really great moments of our past. One of the things I remember as kid was living in an old 4 story parsonage that had been moved to an apple orchard. Could there be a better place to grow up--now there's a story I will have to tell sometime! As old houses do, it needed work. I didn't use to be very good with a hammer (I have since learned!). So my job was to bring refreshments. Coke was the thing that gave them that little punch to finish the job. Now Coke that comes in a bottle is the perfect size, and to me it just tastes different. We found this Coke bottle opener and just couldn't resist putting it on our garden potting bench to remind us of some of the old times together in that apple orchard. 

Kara at Lillian Hope Designs has this sweet Garden Party Invitation that she was kind enough to help us with. And check out the awesome Kraft Paper envelopes at Party Prepaganda!! 

Gypsy Canon took our photos.

I adore this garden reminds me so much of my own kids and how they used to sit and read together. The story behind this it that one day my just barely 4 year old was reading to my 2 year old. Nether one could actually read at that point, so it was more like reciting Wynken, Blinken, and Nod which we read to them every night. As my daughter told my son what the words said, she was a little creative with how it went. Instead of, "Sailed off in a sea of Dew"...She inserted, "Mountain Dew."  They were sitting about like this. It has always reminded me of that special moment. And isn't that why we do these parties? To remind us of the special moments?

Mom's favorite cake happens to be pecan pie! So we made some little tart pies for her. 

And the chocolate covered bing cherries were for my dad!

These are my parents! Happy 75th Birthday Mom and Dad! 

In your parties, don't forget to include some things with your handwriting on them. Some of my most cherished things are recipes or birthday cards that I have saved where my loved ones wrote in their own hand writing. Every once in a while, don't worry about what people think and give them the gift of your writing. You can always tuck something into the scrapbook about the party. We were so pleased with the printables that my talented cousin, Amanda made for us! She is a full time graphics person at a magazine and I always love when she has time to help us! 

I love cookbooks. We found a new one that had these crustinis in it and thought it was perfect for this party. Thank you to my son and his fiance for coming and helping with the final arrangements...we so appreciate our family! 

My brother and his family live way out on the east coast and couldn't make it but they were kind enough to chip in and send this gigantic Edible Arrangements bouquet. It easily fed all of us and had plenty to take home to enjoy. They make an awesome basket! 

The Good Stuff!!

Party Styling: Brenda Byers, Rhonda Byers
Photography: Gypsy Canon
Adorable Cake and Gluten Free Cupcakes: All Things Cake
Party Supplies: Pretty Party Shoppe 
Envelopes for Invitations: Party Prepaganda
Monogramming and Embroidery, Pillows and Towels: GreatStitch
Potting Bench: Red Door Treasures
Corrugated Roses and Rose Lights: Roses, Inc.
Carrot Pretzels: PromisePretzels
Printables: Amanda Hathcoat

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Our Very First Guest Post! By Heidi Moxley

This is our very first guest post and it couldn't come from anyone I adore more. Over the years, Heidi has become a friend, not just an associate. She owns a shop called Party Prepaganda. You have seen her things in our parties. Those adorable invitations need awesome envelopes and Heidi can help you out! She is also one if the behind the scenes people at Anders Ruff and she does a lot of projects over there! Here is her post....

This is Heidi Moxley, project assistant for Anders Ruff, and I am super exited to be guest posting on GreatStitch today! Brenda has truly become a dear friend to me and I am so honored to be able to share my daughters 4th birthday on her blog.  Not surprising to most of you, Brenda was of course a pivotal part of this memory making event!  

As a mother with little girls I have waited patiently for the day where one of my girls would want a tea party that required real guests and not just stuffed bears and bunnies!  So, when my 3 year old wanted a tea party for her 4th birthday I was ecstatic.  As with every other tea party she really wanted her beautiful and well loved doll “Pretty” to be a part of the event so the  Tea Party with Baby Dolls and Tutus collection form our shop was the perfect theme! 

Truly one of the highlights of the day for Tyler was that her and Pretty got to wear ADORABLE matching birthday outfits Brenda had made for her.  They coordinated perfectly with the theme and party decor and even had a tulle tutu to wear under the skirt to give it a little added jazz! 
 As belle of the ball that outfit gave her quite the confidence.

When the girls arrived each one got to pick out a tutu for their special snuggle friend they brought with them!  Then we had a long table set up with little tea cups and lots of stickers so they could decorate their own little tea cup.  We made these out of clear plastic cocktail cups wrapped with white cardstock and a handle made of cardstock.  We wanted something the girls could decorate, but that we didn’t have to worry about breaking and these turned out to be perfect!

I did attempt to make a round pinata that I was going to cover with flowers, but my round pinata ended up looking like an amoeba and not a pretty one.  So, we pleated some tissue paper around it so it “looked” round.  Then we attached one string to the trap door at the bottom and tucked a bunch of others in.  Each girl got to pull on a string, but only one actually opened the door.  This way everyone got a turn and there were no tears.  Inside were enough goody bags for each girl to get one.  The goody bags were stuffed with bubbles, candy, little princess cameras, and rings.

Finally, the girls decorated their own cupcakes.  We had several different colors of frosting and various toppings for them to over indulge on.  Then we all sat down with our tutu wearing baby dolls and had a tea party!  Each guest left with a tutu bag that had  paper dolls, lollipops, and tea cup chapstick.  It was an incredible day all around!

Tea Party with Baby Dolls and Tutus Printables:  Anders Ruff
Birthday Girl and her Dolls Outfit:  Great Stitch
Headbands:  Drop of Honey Bowtique

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue!

As we showed you in our Glorious 4th post, we did our annual 4th of July celebration with our neighbors and friends. We tried out our fireworks/watermelon stand on Friday night and it was a huge success. For the sweet little kidlets that were too young to set off fireworks but old enough to want to do something in all the fun, it made them very happy. I think it's always great when kids can learn a sense of commerce, and they took it on like pros. We hadn't told them anything ahead of time so they came up with this all on their own...they had a name, prices, they figured out waiters, and displayed the treats beautifully!

All of this worked exactly as hoped. There was one thing that wasn't planned that happened. I want to tell you about that. Our little buddy Claire who has been one of our GreatStitch models from the very beginning is very precious. But she impressed me even more last night. What started out as a way to have some fun with the little stand turned into her wanting to collect the money and donate it to cancer patient care. Now how can you get more precious than that?

For a child to have so much fun with something and then at the end of it turn around and instead of buying bubble gum or elastic bands, want to donate it to cancer patients....that is just amazing. It filled my heart to the brim!

We have so loved watching these kiddos grow up and being a part of their birthdays and celebrations. I just can't wait to see what they will do with their lives as young adults!

Happy 4th....and great job Claire! Great job to her mom and dad for raising her to think of that!