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Dec 11, 2012

INSPIRE: Fa-la-la-la Fabulous e-zine Finds

Get in the mood for the Holidays with some of the most Fa-la-la-la Fabulous e-zine Finds!!! Whether you need creative inspiration, new recipes, unique gift ideas or just a way to spend some down time during your Christmas break - these e-zines have a little bit of everything for everyone. Best of all they are FREE! Hope you enjoy flipping through each of the online publications as much as I have!

Open publication - Free publishing - More collecting

Homemade for the Holidays by the Creative Orchard
Bird's Party Magazine by Bird's Party
Festivities Magazine by Frog Prince Paperie
The Party Dress Magazine by Kelly Lyden
Holiday Gift Guide by the Tomkat Studio
Funkytime Magazine by Funkytime
A Homemade Holiday by RUCHE
Sweet Living Magazine by Sweet Living
Gatherings Magazine by Heather Spriggs

Dec 9, 2012

INSPIRE: Ugly Sweater Party!

Grab your UGLIEST SWEATER and dress to impress in your HOLIDAY WORST! Invite friends, family and neighbors to eat, drink, socialize and laugh out loud at the UGLIEST xmas sweaters ever seen! Here are some ideas to help inspire your own UGLY SWEATER PARTY...

Tis' the season for an Ugly Sweater Party and the Creative Orchard's shop has a DIY PRINTABLE INVITATION that was designed just for this kind of occasion! The Ugly Holiday Sweater Party printable invitation is ON SALE NOW for only $10!  For a limited time it will be e-mailed to you within 24 HOURS! Just in time before the Holidays are over, you can still print your invite and mail it overnight, quickly send it by e-mail or share a digital version on facebook?

Continue the UGLY SWEATER theme by decorating your entire party with tacky upcycled sweaters. Use old UGLY SWEATERS to cover vases filled with holiday treats, wrap presents/prizes, cut out tiny sweater ornaments to hang on the tree, display an advent calendar garland, sew stockings hung over the fireplace, design a wreath for your front door, make pillow slip-covers or create beverage cozies. Feel free to go crazy with SWEATER inspired decor and remember that nothing needs to look "pretty" because the UGLIER the SWEATERS, the BETTER the party!!!

INSPIRATION COLLECTION Photo Credits: (Left to Right)
"Ugly Holiday Sweater" DIY Printable Invitation - the Creative Orchard Shop • Mini Sweater Ornaments - BERROCO • Knitted Beverage Cozy - The Cozy Project • Ugly Sweater Party Photo Shoot - John Sharpe Photography • Sweater Stockings - Pottery Barn • Gingerbread Men Sweater Cookies - My Recipes • Sweater Scrap Wreath - Eco Stiletto • Upcylcled Sweater Covers - Better Homes and Gardens

Set the mood for guests by temporarily converting a hallway closet into a photo booth with funny holiday photo props.

Why should only the sweaters get be UGLY? In my opinion, the treats should be just as UGLY but taste YUMMY. Bundt cakes, jello molds, cheese balls, bread loafs, casseroles, meatballs, mini corn dogs, chili cheese dip etc. are not always the prettiest foods at the party but can still taste good.

To encourage extremely UGLY sweaters, I recommend hosting a CONTEST where each guest votes on the sweaters by ranking different categories with points. Award PRIZES to the WINNERS with the most points! 

Contest Category Examples
• Ugliest
• Funniest
• Most Three Dimensional
• Brightest
• Most Sparkle
• Strangest
• Most Colorful
BONUS points for LIGHTS or SOUNDS!

Oct 20, 2012

CELEBRATE: Fun Fall Festival!

Step right up, don't be scared! COME ONE, COME ALL for one time ONLY to witness a fun FALL FESTIVAL! Creepy concessions crawling with spooky sweets, graveyard games with trick-or-treat prizes and costumes were permitted. Fall is my favorite season and every year locations nearby celebrate it by hosting events such as the Pumpkin Festival, Moonlight Madness, Autumn Fest, Fright Night, October Fest, Spider Hill and Witches Walk. This year I decided to join the fall fun by converting my own garage into a Fall Festival for family, friends and neighbors. It's totally up to you if you want to alter the decor of your event to be more cute kid-friendly autumn (Fall Festival/Carnival), scary adult Halloween (Haunted Carnevil) or happy family Thanksgiving (Harvest Fest). Just keep in mind your target audience and spend less money by using decorations you already own. If it is for a neighborhood block party or charity event, don't hesitate to pass out flyers asking for decoration donations. The Dollar Tree, Goodwill and Party City definitely helped me keep mine under budget. The two key ingredients to keeping my decor very affordable was crepe paper streamers (cheap) and fabric from my sewing stash (free). I utilized every single piece of fabric I owned that was either white, black or orange. Streamers were used in the maze, cover chairs, decorate cups, make spider legs and treated like ribbon for accents. Creepy concessions were based off of traditional carnival food that were all given a Halloween inspired makeover. Graveyard game ideas was probably the funnest part of the event planning- once I started, I couldn't stop! I have provided a list of many games below, unfortunately I was unable to fulfill every idea that came to mind due to lack of space. Maybe next year I can change it up a bit and create the games that got left out. A BIG THANKS to my mom, Sheila, for dressing up as a "Scarecrow Clown" and making lunch! She used to be a clown for parties when I was a kid and I couldn't help myself asking her to do it again. Lol!

Spider Web Popcorn
Candy Corn Cotton Candy
Sprinkle Pretzels
Circus Peanuts
Mummy Hot Dogs or Pizza
Caramel Apple Slices
Crackling Chips
Apple Cider Shake-ups

Vampire Ringmaster
Scarecrow Clown
Freaky Fortune Teller
Skeleton Ticket Seller
Zombie Farmer Hayride Driver

Witch Pitch - (Supplies: Witch hats & rings)
Bone Fishing - (Supplies: Bucket, water & plastic bones)
Spider Splat - (Supplies: Balloons, tacks, tape, streamers, styrofoam ball, google eyes & poster board)
Leaf Hop Scotch - (Supplies: Large leaves & tape)
Candy Corn Maze - (Supplies: Cardboard boxes, streamers, sheets, balloons, boards, scrapbook paper & rod)
Bobbing for Mini Pumkins - (Supplies: Large bucket, water & mini pumpkins)
Eyeball Bowl Bounce - (Supplies: Bowls, water, bouncy balls)
Ghostly Bowling - (Supplies: Bowling pins/ball, white napkins/fabric, rubberbands & google eyes)
Scarecrow Spin or Wheel of Misfortune - (Supplies: Large wheel)
Pin the Pumpkin Face - (Supplies: Pumpkin, stickers & blindfold)
Pumpkin Patch Punch - (Supplies: Large cardboard box, tissue paper, glue, scissors & treat bags)
Mystery Bowls - (Supplies: Covered bowls, various food & blindfold)
Halloween Tarot Card Matching
Skull Toss
Pumpkin Decorating/Carving
Pie Eating Contest
Haunted Hayride
Bouncy House
Temporary Tattoos
Face Painting
Costume Parade

Googly Eye Chairs
Mummy Chip and Drink Cups
Trick-or-Treat Tree
Candy Corn Cotton Candy Cones

Party Styling & Photography - the Creative Orchard
Printables - the Creative Orchard
Food & Clown Entertainment - Sheila Force

Product Sources:
Printables - the Creative Orchard Shop
Prizes - Party City
Gauze, Orange Fabric, Plates, Napkins, Cups, Candy - Walmart
Popcorn Boxes, Sprinkles, Pumpkin Treat Bags (Martha Stewart), Lighted Branches - Home Goods
Paper Streamers, Spider Web Clings, Popcorn, Pretzels, Cotton Candy, Blow-up Toys, Skeleton Straws, Orange Punch, Clown Props, Black Poster Board, Candy, Pumpkin Stickers - Dollar Tree
Lighted Spider Web, Lighted Gauze Penant Banner - Kroger
Tea Cart, Kids Table, Costumes, Embroidery Hoops - Goodwill
Google Eyes, Ribbon, Baskets - Michaels
Pumpkins - Local Pumpkin Patch
Umbrella - Gordmans

PHOTOGRAPHY POLICY: I am giving you permission to share 1 to 3 photos online from this specific blog post ONLY, but PLEASE give CREDIT to the Creative Orchard and provide a LINK back to Do NOT REMOVE photo watermark. For personal use ONLY
Thank you! - Renee Hagloch.

Aug 31, 2012


I hope you have a BUBBLY time with the FREE Do-it-yourself Printables that I designed just for FREEBIE FRIDAY! To match the ice cream shop theme that has been going on during ANNIVERSARY WEEK at the Creative Orchard, the FREEBIE that is now available to download includes a VINTAGE GUMBALL MACHINE theme. The gumball illustration is almost identical to my own gumball machine seen at the Cherry Sundae Social. The only difference is that I made this one a CLASSIC CHERRY RED, which I believe is a more "traditional" color for retro gumball machines. The printables included are a 5" by 7" fill-in invitation, 4" by 3" card, 3" thanks tag and 2" party circle.

These BUBBALICIOUS gumball printables could easily be used for any party that has a gumball, candy, ice cream, sweet shoppe or vintage toy theme. For inspiration, check out my Gumball Pinterest board! If you do happen to use these PRINTABLES for an event you host, please email me a photo on how you decided to use them. Feel FREE to also visit my "FREEBIE" page for more FREE printables!

Reminder that these are for personal use ONLY! Do NOT resell. If you choose to share online, PLEASE give credit and LINK back to www.theCreativeOrchard.comThanks!

CLICK HERE to download the 

Aug 30, 2012

EAT: Cherry Sundae Cola Float

Let's enjoy a refreshing Cherry Sundae Cola Float for THIRSTY THURSDAY!!! This cool treat is inspired by an old fashioned float you might have drank in an ice cream parlor. Make memories with the whole family and get together to try this delicious recipe.

Cherry Sundae Cola Float Recipe

Prep Time:  5 min.        Serving Size:  1

2 cups chilled cola (bottle or can)
2 tablespoons cherry flavored grenadine
2 - 3 scoops french vanilla ice cream
3 tablespoons Smucker's® Magic Shell® chocolate flavored topping
2 tablespoons canned cool whip
1 maraschino cherry

Stir together cola and grenadine. Fill a separate tall chilled glass with scoops of ice cream. Quickly coat ice cream with chocolate topping according to directions. Pour cherry cola mixture over ice cream. Let the fizz slowly rise to the top, then add cool whip. Top with a CHERRY! Serve immediately with straws.

Calculate nutritional facts by individual product choices.

Aug 29, 2012

CREATE: Tea Cart Makeover

For my baby girl's nursery I had a strong desire to makeover an old tea cart. I thought it would have multiple functions throughout her childhood. While she is a baby it will be used as a changing table and baby storage in her nursery. Later when she gets older and her imagination expands into pretend play she could easily adapt it for a tea party, ice cream cart, lemonade stand, mobile book store, florist vendor, farmer's market or plush pet shop? To me the possibilities are endless and it can easily have many different functions for play time.

Above are BEFORE & AFTER photos. The project was more challenging than I thought. It took me a while to figure out a solution on how to make the top of the awning an arched or barrel shape. The tea cart was very time consuming due to the drying process. I struggled a bit with the humidity and proper ventilation. But thanks to our local Ice Cream Truck, my lil' handy man, Allen and I got to enjoy ice cream during our break time. Here are step by step instructions on how I made over my old tea cart found on craigslist. I am not an expert, so feel free to alter my steps for your own project.


Step 1: Quick maintenance was needed so I repaired cracked pieces with wood glue and tightened any loose screws
Step 2: Sand all surfaces to prep for painting or staining
Step 3: Thoroughly clean with a damp cloth to remove any debris and let dry
Step 4: Prime entire tea cart with a paint primer or begin staining, then let dry
Step 5: Paint over primer with desired paint color, multiple coats may be needed, then let dry
Step 6: Paint a clear coat glossy finish to protect surface, then let dry for a long period of time

(Optional) STEPS ONLY if adding a barrel shaped AWNING:

Step 7: Cut down ONE dowel rod into FOUR 2 inch long dowel rods to use as wood pegs
Step 8: Drill a hole into the center bottom of FOUR staircase spindels
Step 9: Using a hammer, gently tap in a 2 inch wood peg into EACH of the FOUR drilled holes
Step 10: Build a support frame around the top of the spindels in order to connect all FOUR together
(I used FOUR scrap pieces of lightweight wood but FOUR long dowels rods might also work)
Step 11: Using a hand saw, safely cut BOTH pieces of ONE circular wood embroidery hoop in symmetrically in half to make FOUR separate arches
Step 12: Carefully stretch the FOUR wood arches over the top of the support frame. Spread them out equally, which means that on the farthest left side there should be ONE arch, then a space, then ONE arch, then a space, then ONE arch, then on the farthest right side should be ONE last arch. (see example photos) 
Step 13: Using EIGHT short screws, drill EACH arch to the support frame
Step 14: Paint or stain AWNING frame, let dry completely
Step 15: Drill ONE short hole into all FOUR corners of the tea cart tabletop
Step 16: Place the NEW AWNING frame on the tea cart tabletop and insert the wood pegs into the drilled holes 

(I chose NOT to permanently affix the AWNING frame to the tabletop, but you could use wood glue as a permanent option)
Step 17: Drape desired AWNING fabric over arches. For a custom fit, use straight pins to form shape, then cut fabric, sew hems and sew any seams closed

Safety Warning: ADULTS - PLEASE be very CAREFUL when using power tools and 
follow all safety precautions described on your tool manuals. Not responsible for accidents.

Aug 28, 2012


Welcome to TUTORIAL TUESDAY!!! Soon... I will be sharing my own tutorial for a girly Ice Cream Project that I have been working on. Join in the fun this week by linking up to my first Tutorial Link Party! Tutorials can be related to crafting, sewing, entertaining, cooking, wood working, organizing, gardening or decorating. I can't wait to see everyones newest do-it-yourself projects and get the SCOOP on how you achieved them. Let's get this Tutorial Link Party started!

Link Party "Guidelines":
• Please link directly to only your own blog post tutorials & not someone else's
• Please do not provide generic links to your blog's home page
• Please do not to link to giveaways or other non related subject matter
• Please visit at least one blog linked up to this party & leave a comment

PLEASE add the Creative Orchard's LINK PARTY button 
or hyperlink text to your blog and link back to this post. 

Aug 27, 2012

CELEBRATE: Cherry Sundae Social

At last I finally had an excuse to have a Cherry Sundae Social and was able to invite my neighbors over for a fun playdate. The little girl, Allie, looked adorable in a multi colored fabric ruffled dress with a handmade "sundae" apron available at the Route 66 St. Louis Etsy Shop! She was so excited, she mentioned that it was one of the prettiest outfits she had ever worn. My son, Allen wore a red polka dot bow tie and chocolate brown suspenders that I sewed for him. To my surprise, he liked his outfit so much that he got upset when he had to change out of his clothes when it was nap time. The kiddos seemed to enjoy themselves and for some reason eating sprinkles was one of their favorite things to do. The gumball machine was also a big hit! It's been many days later and Allen is still obsessed with tossing around the red polka dot balloons. He really wanted his new friends to stay longer because he thought they lived far away and wouldn't get a chance to see them again for a long time, but I informed him that all he had to do was look out his bedroom window to see their house across the street. He then said, "oh that's ok, I can see them whenever I want".  Let's just hope he meant with mommy and not try to visit them all by himself.

DIY Projects:
Once I got used to my new sewing machine, I got more outgoing and also made my first dress, fabric bunting and an awning. After those sewing projects, I have definitely learned from my mistakes but I still think a sewing demonstration or class might be helpful. The crafty hanging ice cream cones were made using a similar technique as this tutorial by Icing Designs. For me this craft was a blast from the past because my mother originally taught me how to make these when I was a kid and then we handmade the styrofoam ice cream cones again & a cupcake version about 5 years ago as tree ornaments to go along with my Sweet Shoppe theme for a Breast Cancer fundraiser event and we sold out fast! The main DIY project that I decided to tackle was a tea cart makeover. The original plan was to use it in my baby Haley's room, but since she is a baby and can't really use it yet... I borrowed it for our Cherry Sundae Social because it reminded me of an ice cream cart a street vendor might have used back in the 50's. Later this week I will share detailed photos and instructions about my tea cart makeover. The hardest part was probably sewing the fabric awning because it has a very precise arch shape. Overall I am very happy with how my project turned out and I think Haley will enjoy it when she gets a little older.

Event Details:
For desserts we had Cherry Sundaes and Cherry Sundae Cola Floats. Click HERE for recipe! The ingredients provided were neapolitan ice cream, cherries, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, cool whip, chocolate syrup, grenadine and Coca-Cola soda pop. All accessories had a retro style such as an old fashioned gumball machine, straw dispenser, ice cream shoppe glassware, napkin dispenser, chalkboard, chrome clock and candy canisters.

Baby Haley missed out on all the excitement because she got sleepy right before our guests arrived, but she was very smiley afterwards!

Product Sources:
Sundae Child Apron, Sundae Adult Apron - Route 66 St. Louis Etsy Shop
Straw Dispenser - HomeGoods
Napkin Dispenser, Retro Glassware, Gumball Machine, Clock - Goodwill
Party Supplies - Walmart & Party City
Coca-Cola Bottles, Craft Supplies - Walmart
Color Cones, Ice Cream, Toppings - Kroger
Tea Cart, Metal Stool - Craigslist
Bunting Fabric - JoAnn Fabrics
Paper Straws - Gordmans
Chalkboard Plaque - Target

DIY Sources:
Ice Cream Cone Tutorial - Icing Designs

GIVEAWAY is now closed!!!  
Susan Surrells Jankovsky is the WINNER 
of the Cherry Sundae Social Supplies Package!

Giveaway Includes: (GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED!)
(1) Do-it-yourself Printable Invitation - Sundae Theme (by the Creative Orchard Etsy Shop)
(1) Sundae Fabric Child Size Apron (provided by Route 66 St. Louis Etsy Shop)
(2) Sundae/Multi Patterned Fabric Swag Bunting
(1) Cherry Rosette Hair Clip/Pin
(1) Red/White Polka Dot Child Size Bow Tie
(1) Pink Retro Style Plastic Glasses
(6) Red/White Polka Dot Latex Balloons
(2) Red Paper Streamers
(1) Set of Red Paper Cups
(1) Set of Red Paper Napkins
(1) Set of Red Paper Plates
(1) Set of Red Plastic Cutlery
(1) Red Plastic Rectangular Table Cover
(1) Set of Red/White Paper Straws
(1) Set of Multi Assortment Tissue Paper
(1) Set of Red Gumballs
(1) Set of Red/White Candy Sticks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This GIVEAWAY is hosted by the Creative Orchard to CELEBRATE my blog's 1st Year Anniversary! GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED! Thanks to all who entered.
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