Knock! Knock!

Who’s there?

Who's There?

You are!

I am with a fun Little Hoo Halloween Party invitation for you. So maybe you have a little one at home and you want to throw a NOT-scary Halloween party for them and all your friends. Here’s an invite that will suit your needs! (And if it’s too fussy for you, don’t worry, I have a no-stress one at the bottom)

slicin' and dicin'

Here’s what you’ll need:

1. a printer that works with plenty of toner (Don’t have enough toner? Skip to the no-stress version at the bottom.)
2. card stock (You don’t have to use kraft brown like me, that’s just what I had on hand.)
3. paper cutter (or scissors if you don’t mind cutting a lot)
4. an exacto knife or blade for scoring and cutting open the little door
5. double stick tape
6. patience (Put your perfectionism in a box.)

First you’ll need to open your document by clicking here. If you want to type in your party information you can do so by clicking near the place, date, and time section and typing your info into the form I set up for you. I know the fields are invisible but just trust me, they are there. Hit tab to go to the next one. When you’re done hit print and print as many invites as you need. If you want to hand write your info, just print without typing anything into the form.


Now for the slicing and dicing: You need to cut wherever you see bright pink dotted lines (above, they are not on your print out of course because that would be UGLY!). Since I’ve never really mastered printing on both sides of a page, I’ve designed this so it’s all printed on one side and you just cut and tape what needs to go on the other side. That probably doesn’t make sense to most of you but just go with me. I’ve struggled with my printer for YEARS and this is the best solution.

Don’t forget to use your exacto knife to cut out Little Hoo’s door. That’s the best part. For the hinge side of the door lightly score (using the backside of your exacto knife) along the edge. This will insure that the door opens and doesn’t fold all crooked or something. You will also need to score along the edges of the card where it will fold. That’s where it says “Fold Here”.

You are!

When you are done cutting and scoring you can affix the party information onto the backside in the middle section and right side. Don’t stick it on the back of Little Hoo’s door because then he won’t be able to peek through.

Production Line

You’ll probably figure this out on your own but the owl that is covering his beak goes under the tree flap. Just play with it, you’ll see. The scared Little Hoo is the one that peaks out the door, not the jumping excited Little Hoo.

When you’re done folding, get yourself some pretty envelopes and them mail away!

Simple Version

For the rest of you who can’t be bothered with craftiness here is a more simple version: 4×6 for those of you who can print photo size and a 3-up version for those of you who want to print 8.5×11 and save paper. I’m sorry the simple version doesn’t have the form capabilities. If enough people complain I’ll fix it but I think you should break out the pen and show your guests your beautiful handwriting.

I also think you should tell five of your friends about this Little Hoo Party idea and make them buy my book. Especially if they happen to own a bookstore. That would be awesome. (It would also make a great party favor if you could swing it financially. I know I couldn’t though so no pressure from me.)

P.S. Let me know if anything is glitchy. I never get these things right the first time.


Thirty Percent Discouraged


I have to admit I’m solar-powered. You always wondered why I’m full of enthusiasm and great ideas. Well, that’s my secret. It’s the sun. When the sun goes down so do I. So I get plenty of sleep which is awesome. I’m like Wall-E when I wake up. I have to situate my face so that the sun can fill up my battery reserves and then BVrrroooong! I make that sound a mac makes when it starts up and you forget to turn off the volume before shut down last time (Don’t you hate it when that happens at the library?).

This also goes for my moods. Sunny = Happy. Cloudy = Sad.

It’s great that I live in Southern California where it is sunny 90 percent of the time but when it’s cloudy I suddenly become like the rest of you sad people on anti-depressants and I don’t know what to do with all this gloom! It’s so murky and, and…awful!!! How do you cope?!! How do you get anything done? Ugh. I feel like I’m wearing cement shoes and my arms are stuck to the ground with strings of chewing gum. I just want to go crawl into a hole and die.

30 % discouraged

This is all not very fantastic when you’re planning a birthday party for a little girl who is turning six and birthday parties are what you are good at. There is no failing at birthday-party-planning in this house. No sadness allowed! We eat obstacles for lunch. Bring on the challenges!!! Fifty people in a small mobile home with muddy feet?! I can do it!!!!

sad yard

As you can see, my winter-wonderland of backyard fun with stumps for chairs and bedspreads for tents might not be happening. My visions of tulle strung from the trees and girls sipping lemonade is vanishing before my very eyes. All I can see are freezing cold fairies with muddy feet running in and out of my house and tracking mud all over my peach-colored carpet. Which I hate anyway so I guess it’s not that big of a deal but I’m still getting hives over it. Ugh! Mud! Kids! Hyperactivity! The bounce house people won’t deliver the bounce house if it’s going to rain!! What am I going to do?!!!!


There is a thirty-percent chance of rain predicted for Saturday. I know in Portland that would be a perfect day for an outdoor party. You might even throw a pool party on a day like that and wear a bikini but here? We are weeenies! We are freezing our butts off!!! We are seriously shivering and moaning. It’s sad and pathetic and majorly cramping my party-planning style.

Well, until the sun comes out. When the sun shines I can think of all kinds of crazy ideas. I can do this. We can have an indoor party. I am excellent at crafts! But when the sun goes back behind a cloud again I shrivel up. The obstacles! It’s too hard! I just want to cancel the whole thing.

Such crazy talk.

fairy de-wonderland

So here’s my plan: The bounce house people said I can decide on the day of the party whether or not to have a bounce house. If it’s raining we’ll just move on. If it’s not really raining we will move the bounce house to the front yard and put it on the driveway where there is no mud. I don’t know where people are going to park but that’s their problem.

Inside: I’m going to move all my furniture to the side and create a big open space in my living room/office. Maybe I’ll talk Toby into letting me borrow the giant heirloom Persian rug that he has rolled up in Bug’s room at his house that is not getting used. He won’t mind too terribly if it gets chocolate cake ground into it, right? Hmmm…that probably won’t fly.

Then I’ll use all that tulle that I was going to put in the trees outside, inside. It will be like prom night! I’ll just hang it from the ceiling from an old hula hoop or something.

I bet you wondered why I have a whole bolt of tulle. That’s a good question. I’m weird. I used to do flowers for weddings back in the 90’s and I had a much bigger budget back then. I guess I just bought a whole bolt of tulle and I still have it to this day. I have a whole shed full of floral supplies leftover from those days. It’s coming in very handy.

oh my stars!

So with the tulle and these stars it could be magical, right? Bug and I made silver stars the other day with card stock and glitter. I was going to hang them from the trees outside with my fairy orbs but now I think I’ll just hang them inside. Maybe I’ll get crazy with some sheets and make fairy tents inside too. That will be super fun when the kids pull them down along with the sheetrock from my ceiling. Oh boy.

I wish I had a man around the house who liked to build things. That would be so awesome. I could probably install a giant branch in the middle of my living room and bolt it to the ceiling. The cats would go crazy. (Note to self: If ever dating again make sure to date someone handy.) But I have no man around the house and my dad is working until Saturday so I’ll probably have to scale back my visions. That’s okay. It’s gonna happen. We’ll make it work. It always does.

ugly kitchen

Ugh. How am I going to make this work? You see this kitchen? Charming you think? Shudder. The wallpaper offends me so badly that I think I’ve blocked it out. It’s like a weird vibration in my head that makes me only see white where the little flowers are. But then I got this idea that I would rip off a part of the wallpaper near the sink. It had some water-staining and was really driving me crazy. I thought I would do what I did in my bedroom and go with the whole I-live-in-a-run-down-Parisian-apartment look where the ripped wallpaper reminds me of an Anthropolgie ad.

It did not work. Now I have a big blank spot over the sink that is still water-stained and your eye is drawn to it because it is NOT wall-papered!!! I might as well install neon signs pointing at all the ugliness. This would not be a big deal if the weather was great. I would just route everybody straight to the backyard and they would avoid the kitchen but now all my guests are going to be filing through my kitchen and silently judging me. I just know it.

If I had a man around the house I would ask him to paint all the wallpaper red for me or maybe pistachio green to match the cupboards. (Boy, don’t I seem like a catch?) I would do it myself except all those shelves would have to be removed (and the screw holes are puddied) and there is this light fixture contraption near the sink that my Grandpa installed that is bent on electrocuting me. I already tried to de-install it once and it zapped and ker-powed at me like a comic book villain. I’ve decided to leave it alone. So I don’t think this kitchen eyesore is going to be magically beautiful before the party. Back to blocking it out.

Did I mention that we went to one of Bug’s friend’s party this last weekend and they had a huge perfect house where they regularly host weddings in their living room? Yeah. No pressure. None at all. How does one go about canceling a party at the last minute again? Can I just board up my house and pretend I don’t live here?

fairy house kits

Let’s talk about what is working. The craft ideas for the party are going along swimmingly. I know it’s hard to tell when I’m being sarcastic and when I’m not but here I’m actually happy about something. I decided to use Momfluential’s idea for fairy house kits. All those floral supplies I have on hand totally saved me. I didn’t even have to buy one thing to make all these bags up. It’s kinda scary that I have that much crap on hand but hey, it works out. I get to get rid of a lot of stuff and the kids get make fun fairy house with odd bits and bobs. I hope they are into it. I know I will be. I am all over this kind of craft like a fly on…nevermind. You get the picture. It’s going to be fun.

fairy house kit

I think I’ll give each kid a stump disc and maybe some putty to stick things into. I was going to be on glue-gun duty but I decided with thirty-some kids they’d probably all want me to glue something and one of them was bound to get burnt. Since I don’t know every kid as well as I usually do I think I’ll pass on all the possible lawsuits. I think they can manage with sticks and putty and chennile stems and string. It’ll be fun.

flower tops

The next thing that is working are the fairy drinks. I bought a whole bunch of canning jars and covered the printing on the lid with some silk flowers.

it can be done

Then I punched a hole through the metal lid with my trusty metal hole-puncher and my super human man-hand strength. Actually, I only did one. It was pretty tough but it can be done. I’m leaving the rest of the lids for Saturday and I’ll let my Dad do it. Or any other random strong person who comes around.

fairy drink fixings

Then I filled the jar with ice, a lemon slice and some delicious homemade lemonade from my backyard. I screwed the lid back on, stuck a pretty striped straw through the hole and presto! A perfect fairy drink!

fairy drink prototype

So I’m making it work. When the sun comes out I’m pretty positive.