artsy fartsy,  crazy stuff,  illos,  Niece-com-poops,  party party

Party On!


Here’s something I haven’t done in a while, an illo! Remember the good old days when I used to draw silly little cartoons all the time? Sigh…Those were the golden oldies. Maybe those days will come back again when Baby Bug is in school or something.

Anyway, this illustration is actually for an invitation for my niece’s tenth birthday party that is coming up in May. She is getting so big. My sister-in-law, CC, is planning an under-the-sea party for her and I am very excited about it. As you know under-the-sea parties can be quite fun.

We still have all the decorations left over from that baby shower we did way back in 2006 so we are dragging them out of the great storage shed that is my mom’s house and recycling! My niece doesn’t mind a recycled party idea at all. CC is doing all the work this time though. I’m just in charge of invitations and maybe a pin-the-tail-on-the-mermaid-game or something fun like that.

mermaid invite

I decided (and I got CC’s okay) that I will share with you guys. Yay! Free stuff! Maybe somebody out there needs an under-the-sea party invitation? Today is your lucky day! You can download a free pdf here. I’m also thinking of putting some up in my etsy shop later if anybody doesn’t want to print them out on their home printer because it is out of toner AGAIN or something. (Don’t you hate that? Toner is such a scam.)

party girl

This also made me think of another idea. What if we had a party-planning problem write-in day? You could send me an email about a party that you are planning and I will blog about it. Maybe I’ll come up with some ideas for those of you who need them. Maybe now and then I’ll make a free downloadable invite. Then we can get readers’ ideas too. How fun will that be?!! Almost as fun as Hair Thursdays except for people like me who forget about doing their hair in the morning because they are off and running with some other hair-brained (pun intended) idea.

I just haven’t thought of a good name for this hair-brained idea. I don’t think it’s something I can do every week, so I don’t need a name that goes with a day like “Soiree Sunday” or anything (though that does have a nice ring to it). Anybody have any ideas? Feel free to chime in with under-the-sea ideas too. It’ll be a group effort!


  • Gingermog

    Good morning. Great to see some illustrations again. An under the sea party sounds fabulous, you can decorate the garden with crepe paper sea weed and little fishes, hide pirate booty and give out treasure maps and how about creepy octopuses with long slimly tentacles dangling from the washing line or cute, soft wee ones? Multi coloured pudding could be squidgy jellyfishes?

  • Tina

    Great idea! Then maybe you all could help me figure out how to do a “Motorcycle Racing” (Motorcross) party for my 5 year old–he suddenly wants that for his birthday. Yikes, not something you can really buy stuff for, you know?

  • Miss Virginia

    FANTASTIC idea!! party planning for the creatively impaired- by the master herself -I LOVE IT!! THis may inspire me to actually have a party! I like what you already have ‘party planning problem day’

  • Laurie

    Awesome idea! I have no idea what to call it though…do you want to hook it to a one day (like Party Way Wednesday?) I have no idea – but I would love it. I love to think about parties!

  • Jessica

    I totally scammed my husband into renting a pony for the triplets and twins 3rd and 2nd birthday this year… The only way that I could logically come up with renting the pony was to have an Old MacDonald party… My dilemma now is truly finding invites for it. Honestly I found party goods at (of all places) WAL MART. But the invites?? Skeezy.
    Any bright ideas?
    ::I’d pay you::

  • gorillabuns

    i love the idea! i have a question for your: celia wants to have a princess tea party in two weeks for her 5th bday. I don’t have a problem with one but how do you incorporate little boys too? ideas? suggestions?

  • Jummy

    LOVE the illos, and your generosity, Brenda!

    Hmmm, for a name…how about Soiree Solutions (love the word ‘soiree’!), Party Unpooper (ok, that just makes me giggle)?

  • Alissa

    Love it!! I have never, in my 32 years or son’s 2 years, had a party as I’m so uncreative, fearful, stressed by event planning, etc. This is made for people like me :) If there’s a list then please put my name down.

    I love your pink kitttttty ilios – adorable!

  • sizzle

    I’ll think on a name for the party post. Great idea for people!

    You could have the party attendees string seashell necklaces as a take away gift for the under-the-sea party.

  • cagey

    I would love to see some party ideas (the Poop on Parties? or the Party Poop?) My son is an October baby, so he was easy (Halloween party), but my daughter is a July baby, so I am stumped. I would love to see easy, simple, cheap ideas that do not involve clowns, ponies, or princess bouncy houses.

  • anne

    I love the illo of you in your kitty party get-up!! So cute! This is totally a niche you can fill as you are fantastic at parties! :)

  • Annika

    Oh, I love that idea! I’m having a party in two and a half weeks, how fast can you get started? (I’m teasing! But if you have any brilliant ideas for a cowboy party that isn’t very themed, I won’t turn them away.)

  • Mela

    Looks like fun and I like the way you are thinking on this! Way to go! THANK YOU A TON for the free invite too…I love it. It will surely come in handy for me as I have three little girls with summer birthdays!

  • franticallysimple

    Fantastic idea. I’m so jealous I didn’t think of it!
    Please don’t use the word poop. As much a it make me giggle – it doesn’t sound like the kind of party I’d like to go to.
    If you are looking for a catchy rhyme, consider using ‘bash’ instead of ‘party’. Lots of words rhyme with bash, like:
    um, gash
    On second thought, maybe you’d just better go with poop.

  • BeachMama

    You know that you are going to be such a hit with your party planning posts. It will indeed turn out to be just like Whoorl and her Hair Thursdays, except parties happen a little more often than changing your hair!! And the only drawback is that you should get paid for your party planning expertise as it is just so awesome.

    I love your illos. Funny how you don’t realize you miss something until you see it again. And I can admit that I miss your little illos, at the same time saying that I totally understand that you can’t be posting them here for the world to take, borrow or steal. Great job on the party invites, I love anything beachy, as you know ;).

  • Starryprincess

    I looooooooooooooove party planning and get so carried away with all the accessories and finishing touches. My friends all think I’m insane but I truly truly love it and start planning The Starryprincess’s party in January, gets me through the endless dark nights we have in the U.K. Her birthday isn’t until July so by the time it gets here I have a million ideas. We did Ariel/under the sea last year. If i do say so it was out of this world. It nearly killed me but it was so worth it. I would love to read a regular party post.

  • CC

    Fete Fridays! Or Fete Fixing Fridays.

    I’m not too creative but your use of the french word soiree made me think of another french word for party (fete).

  • Chris

    I’m in the distracted-by-cupcakes camp. I almost didn’t read the part after the cupcake picture!

    Woo, I’ll bet the party planning feature idea would be very popular. Not everyone has your flair for it!

    This could be very enlightening for those of us less gifted in the party theme department.

  • Monica

    My daughter, who will be 6 in June, has already asked me for a mermaid party, so I downloaded the invite! Thanks so much!

    And for your party-solver idea: what about something like Mission: Party Solution or Mission: Party Problem Solver … actually, I don’t much like anything I can think of after Mission, but with your SAJ name, the theme of “Mission: Something” sounded good…

  • Ellen W

    My son’s birthday is 2 weeks before Christmas so I have not thrown him a birthday party yet (he’ll be 3 in Dec). Anyone else have the problem of a kid’s birthday close to Christmas? I’ve thought about doing a 1/2 year party in the summer. Instead I’ve thrown a simple Halloween party which is fun as most of his friends are too young to go trick-or-treating yet but the moms want to dress up their kids. This past year I made favors that looked like giant candy corns (idea was from Better Homes&Gardens) and treats like goblins’ eyes.

    In my pre-kid days I threw several birthday parties for my dog which were lots fun as everyone brought their dog and I made homemade doggie treats.

  • Jen

    I love the name Party Un-pooper, but would understand if you went with an un-poop themed name. What a great way to spread your party savvy all over the Internets! Yay SAJ!

  • Brittany

    How about Festivity Fridays or Merrymaking Mondays?

    A long time ago, you gave me suggestions for a Breakfast at Tiffany’s Wedding Shower. I had followed all of your suggestions, and had my bags packed with party favors galore, but then a huge storm came into NY and my flight was canceled. The party went on without me and the decorations. But at least all the women were all dressed up.

  • Brittany

    Sorry… one more suggestion. If we could also make suggestions when people have a party planning dilemma that would be so much fun!

    Another name idea (elaborating on Monica’s suggestion) Mission Monday – solving your party problems one case at a time. Something along those lines.

  • Michelle

    Brenda – You are adorable…that illo of you with the martini and cupcakes is precious :o) We need help for a BIG party we are throwing in July for my husband…he is graduating from college, and I want this party to be so fun for him! He started in 1994, took a break when our twins were born in 1997, went back after our youngest was born in 2002…now it’s 2008 – FOURTEEN YEARS of school, pause, school……this man needs a party :o) He works so hard at everything he does, and deserves the best party ever. You could seriously be a party planner – the whole shabang! I too miss your illos – they are like little hugs you give all of your readers!


  • just add cake

    I think this is a great idea! I love party planning, but I know it is not for everyone. My daughters birthdays are 6 months apart and as soon as I am done with one I start thinking about the next!

    I thought of a couple of games for the Under the Sea theme that would be inexpensive and fun…

    Mermaid obstacle course: Set up an obstacle course either inside or out and have the girls take turns through the course jumping in a sleeping bag or some kind of sack… like a mermaid.

    Pop the Mermaids Bubble: (I might need a better name… that sounds a little racy for a kid’s party!) Tie a blue balloon to each kid’s ankle with a couple feet of string. When you say go each mermaid tries to pop the other mermaid’s bubbles before their own bubble is popped.

    Your invites are too cute… your niece will have a great party!

  • Kaili

    Oh oh pick me! pick me! We are having a pirate themed party for our son, Jaia’s 2nd birthday late next month. I had the idea of making a treasure map for the invite, maybe wrapped in a bandana. But I would LOVE LOVE LOVE more ideas. I love your series idea. SO excited if you go through with it.
    I also love your illustrations and the mermaid invite! So cool! You rock!

  • B

    What a great public service that would be! Last year I planned a graduation open house for my son and thought I would lose my mind. It was so stressful for me, a non-party-planner-person. Any help would have been so appreciated.

  • Susan

    I love the idea of any party. I can’t wait to see more! Wooo I want your help with an idea I have for an event the women in my family and our girlfriends attend every year here in Arkansas. We need a t-shirt idea for the event coming up in October and I’m all dried up thinking of anything catchy/cute! So good grief I’ll just send you an e-mail later!

  • Annabanana

    The mermaid is so great! I am going to totally do this idea…ooo., for Kaitlyns birthday this summer, we will have our beach house by then…..oh the ideas are drowning me….gotta get my sketchbook!

  • Red Sonja

    You’d be great at something creative like this!
    What about:
    SAJ’s Party Planning Day or SAJ’s Special Soiree Day? I love the word soiree!
    Or, Secret Agent Josephine: Party Planning/Throwing Machine/Fiene/Queen.
    I also really like alliteration and for words to rhyme!!

  • Brittany

    Another idea is that you can create a Flickr group where people post their theme and pictures from completed parties so people can browse and get ideas that way in addition to asking you for help!