artsy fartsy,  crazy stuff,  Family Matters,  party party,  the sticks

Green flags! Mini Puppet Show Boxes and a Thief in the night!

a handful of green flags

I’m sorry. I didn’t make Bug a dress out of all that green fabric. I kind of wish I would have but I had a different wild hair up my butt. That idea was to make streamers of birthday flags! Maybe I saw it somewhere, I don’t remember.

green birthday party flags!

At first I was going to make paper flags on a string but after I spent a gazillion dollars at the paper store, I decided that was way too much money to spend on something that is not going to last. Buying a few yards of fabric was much less expensive. Funny how that works.

mom's serger

right hand mom

Of course it helps a lot that I have a mom who loves to help me with my crazy ideas and offered to serge the edges on all of the flags for me. CC and I cut the triangles and my mom serged them. We were going to attach the flags to cording but we decided that the thread from the serger was just fine. I’m really happy with the way they turned out.

flags everywhere

Don’t they look like fun? Jen stopped by with her kid and they thought they were very festive. We had to be a little bit careful about not getting them tangled, but I think they’ll work out just fine as long as we are careful to fold them up gently and not just wad them up into a bunch. The plan is to use them over and over for years to come and hopefully they’ll last as long as Bug’s obsession with green.

all tied up with green!

But that’s not all we did today. I made little mini puppet-show boxes to hand out at the birthday party. I know. I never do anything small. I could have just handed out the puppets on a stick tied up with a bow but I wanted to do something special and fun. What’s more fun that a little mini puppet-show theatre you can take home in a box!?

puppet window

mini puppet show construction

They are made of 4x4x8-inch boxes (that I ordered online from uline) taped closed with green painter’s tape. I cut two square holes, one for the little mini finger puppets to poke their heads out of, and the other for a child’s hand to fit in from underneath. I taped a green curtain inside and glued a paper striped banner on the outside.

puppet pops

The finger puppets are from Ikea. There are pretty cheap, ten for six bucks. I thought I’d put them on green candy-cane sticks or green pencils but in the end I decided to make it easier on myself and just put them on lollipop sticks instead. The height was better and I’ve already done enough shopping around for green things. I love party planning but the shopping sometimes wears me out.

* * *

In other news, things are never boring out here at my mom’s. (That’s where I am if you couldn’t tell from the photos.) She doesn’t live at Camp Chaos anymore but that doesn’t mean the chaos hasn’t followed her. We call her house Camp Chaos West.

This afternoon while we were all home someone snuck into my mom’s backyard and left two mountain bikes bungee-corded under a tarp next to her big saguaro cactus. There is a lot of junk around my mom’s house (you know with the never-ending saga of moving that goes on around here…) and I guess some thieves thought they could stash their stolen bikes outside her house without anyone noticing.

It’s all very strange. We called the police of course and filed a report but we can’t seem to figure out why someone would do that. The bikes were very methodically covered and bungee-corded. It’s given us all the heebie-jeebies. I’m just thankful that CC and I were here and my mom was not alone. We figure the thief will come back for the bikes probably tonight so every little noise has us spooked. My mom and CC booby-trapped the yard but it’s pretty windy tonight. I hear lots of sounds. Could that crashing sound be an aluminum can blowing around or some thief tripping over the empty gas can my mom rigged up?

Guess who’s getting a watchdog from the pound tomorrow?


The thief turned out to not be a thief at all but a friend who wanted to drop off some bikes for my dad to take back east on his next trucking trip. So, now the bikes have to be retrieved from the police station but at least some mysteries have been explained.

p.s. If you like the flags, check out my mom’s etsy shop!


  • Kate

    I have been reading you for a while, your stuff is so cute! But I just think your party ideas are awesome! So much fun! Baby Bug is going to be so happy!

  • Jackie

    Love the green bunting – your Mum did a fabulous job. Hope you enjoy the party (Is there any doubt :) – it all sounds fabulous)

  • katie ~ motherbumper

    I love love LOVE those flag streamers – they look beautiful and can be re-used, so in my opinion, they are perfect. She is going to have the best birthday yet. And those mini puppet theatres are blowing my mind. You are very talented – adopt me?

  • Ana

    WOW! I’m really impressed… I love all the ideas and just imagine how thrilled you daughter is with all the little giveaways and decors! GREAT JOB!

  • BeachMama

    Your flags are wonderful. I had wanted to do some for J’s party last summer, but since we had to go away it didn’t work out. And your whole pose is making me want to plan a party, ack, I have another eight more months to wait!

    Are you sure those bikes were stolen and not left there as a gift? Just wondering as I have known people to leave things for others like that.

  • Jennifer

    I have reviewed the top secret Cacti photo shoot and there were no pictures of bikes under tarps to be found. Such a strange event and so creepy that all our kids were running round that very area just before those bikes were left.

    It was a thrill to see all of these party ideas being put into action. I’m looking forward to the big day, as are Audrey and Emily. They are so excited to see everyone again soon.

  • Kandace

    I have the heebie jeebies from that all the way up here in Seattle. Shiver.

    Anyway, I can’t tell you how badly I want to attend Bug’s party. I mean, just look at the decorations, the actual party is most definately going to be a BLAST!

    Good job!

  • Mrs. Doodle

    Hey. I love this. I immediately went over and showed my hubby. Who also said “HOW FREAKING COOL IS THAT!” So yea for my baby girl having a birthday theme for this year… we have until October so we have some time to have fun with this. This is so cute. and not that expensive. and handmade. and something that you can reuse every year (the banner) for more than just a birthday. WOW… yippie.

    I haven’t commented in a while but I have been checking in and have to admit that more than one time I have laughed out loud. I know your little girl is what I have to look forward to… my bg doesn’t talk much yet but when she does I bet she is going to be a lot like bug. And I will probably be laughing out loud a lot more at her toddlerness.

    Happy 2009.

  • Anonymous

    Wow I am so impressed with the party favour mini theatres. Oh I’d love one aged 33 let alone 3. Excellent idea. Very weird regarding the stashed bikes in your mum’s yard. Frightening to think people are wandering around outside on your property. I am glad your staying out there.

  • Alli

    My son has an obsession with green, which we find amusing and tiring all at the same time. But I am filing away your plans for ideas of my own. Thanks! (Oh, my son is four, btw.)

  • sizzle

    That is going to be SOME fab party you’re throwing. The gift boxes are totally cute. I want one. :-)

    Hope everything works out with the bike thieves (as in they get caught).

  • Gayle

    The flags are great! The little puppet theaters are great! You have a very creative and talented family, SAJ! How scary about the possible thieves. I’m so glad it wasn’t really something dangerous.

  • margalit

    I’ve changed my mind. Not only do I think you could do this professionally, I also think you need to write a book on party planning for kids. Pick 20 themes, make the stuff for them, photograph it, and voila… you’ve got a book. I’ll even promise to help edit it with Bethany. But PLEASE… you have got to get this stuff down and available for the rest of us shlubs with no imagination!

  • jane

    What an awesome party idea! My DD has her 4th party on Saturday and I don’t have the time to copycat :-) your mini puppet boxes are excellent!! What shall I do with only 5 days left and does not contain candy and junk???
    The green flags are beautiful and so simple. Nice work :-)

  • Liana

    I so wish A) we lived closer so that… B) my kids could be friend with Bug –
    what WONDERFUL ideas you have.
    I love the mini-puppet show theater that you made!

  • Leta

    I consider myself to be a pretty crafty person, but you never cease to amaze me! What fantastic party ideas! I think you should write a book.

  • Jummy

    You honestly come up with the most awesome ideas, Brenda! I cannot wait for your to launch that party site…you just have to! The mini puppet-show boxes are darling!

  • Aunt Kathy

    Looking forward to pics of the party! I’m sure it will be a blast.

    Pretty weird about those bikes, eh? What kind of friends do your parents have, anyway?

  • Janna from Honeyed Hashette

    You and your ideas are MY FAVORITE thing today! I love Love LOVE the green flags! But even more…those mini puppet shows in a box are the most adorable thing I have seen in 2009 (yes I know it is only January 12th, but I know you will provide us with more CUTE eye candy!) I can’t wait to hear how the party goes!
    Happy Birthday Month Baby Bug!

  • patois

    You all must have breathed huge sighs of relief when the origin of the bikes was discovered. I sure would have been freaked by it.

    You guys are so totally creative. I’m green with envy, making me a perfect match for the party decorations.

  • Jamie W.

    I LOVE this idea (the puppet theater). I might have to make these for my 3 year old’s Valentines party…with pink and red instead of green! (There are only 8 kids in her class, thank goodness…) I’m always the slacker mom in the preschool, so maybe I can be the overachiever for once ;0) !

  • Sharon

    Your blog is great! I have young children, too. Love your creative party ideas and have shared your blog with a very creative friend. While I’m here, thought I would share a parenting resource with you. I refer to the Parent Coaching Institute and its Web site as a valuable resource for our family, with its articles, Parent Appreciation Radio recordings, and parent coach referrals. Thought I would pass this PCI info along to you. Wishing you and your family all the best in 2009!