Last month, we celebrated my oldest son’s 8th birthday around the Montgomery household! While I was getting over the shock that he could possibly be eight, I decided to create some fun decorations for our dining room chandelier. We decided to have just a “family party” rather than a “kid party” with friends this year, but I still wanted him to feel special — for a couple of weeks
Maybe I’ll share the “8yo Birthday Blast-Off” rocket centerpiece I made him to hang from the light in another post, but for this one I decided to offer a little how-to on some paper stars I created for the rocket’s airspace. These are really simple, and you can make them with any solid or patterned paper. I decided to print out some silly patterns in the colors I wanted, and you can download those if you like them. The stars are so whimsical that those white spaces left at the edges when you “print to page” from an inkjet printer aren’t even noticeable. So, I can even see these stars as a neat and festive way to recycle used printouts! Enjoy and have a blast in your own starry celebrations!
What you’ll need:
>> Sheets of paper — any size, where the width = about 1/3 the length.
** I used a 8 1/2 x 11″ sheet cut in half to make two stars
[you'll need that approximate width/length to be sure your star can easily open to a full circle]
>> Twine or string
How to make it:
1. Gather your materials so you’re ready to begin — the more fun the paper and string, the better!
2. Fold your piece of paper accordion style along the narrow side. It doesn’t matter how wide the fold it, just try to keep it consistent.
3. When your folding is complete, cut the strip in half. You’ll be able to make a star out of each half? When cut, carefully fold the strip in half. You can use a straight-edge to help crease the fold. Then, tie a string around your folded strip at the crease.
4. Now you can get creative! Using the scissors, cut various shapes into the sides and/or ends of the folded strip. Your cuts will create light holes for more twinkly stars.
5. Pull the top and bottom ends of the accordion folds toward each other and secure with tape to create a full circle. you’ll tape on the opposite end of a fold as shown above.
6. Thread a string or ribbon through one of the star holes and you’re ready to hang for a stellar celebration!
I’m away from home with my children, and if you follow Plop much, you know that means you can expect several photo posts. I usually enjoy the companionship of my Canon and a few iPhone photo apps along with my kids when we’re out and about. I love to capture memories with them and also the scenes that inspire me.
On Friday, we were preparing to leave home for a week, and it was also the official first day of summer vacation. Summer vacation!! We’ve been anticipating it with a lot of fervor in the last few weeks, and the trip to the farm we’re enjoying has been dubbed the official kick-off of summer around the Montgomery parts. So, when we also noticed some of the first few magnolia blooms of the season appearing on the lower branches of our tree in the front yard, I took it as a signal and added confirmation that this year’s summer vacation would indeed be sublime. Much needed this year.
I decided to get a few quick photographs of the magnolias with my Hipstamatic iPhone app to remember the first blooms. It was around 9:00 a.m. and not a cloud in the sky — yes, perfect conditions for the kick-off of summer vacation. Conditions for a great photo — not necessarily. The morning light in May on a cloudless day can be so strong that it bleaches the wonder right out of images. BUT, I decided to try letting the magnolia bloom offer me it’s own shade and took a shot (actually, multiple shots) from the underside. Given that the sun also prevented me from really seeing the iPhone screen, it was kind of a leap of faith.
The images turned out to be a really neat reminder to me of why I love Mississippi’s signature bloom, and why I love the summer. I love the translucence of the velvety white petals, how they reveal the light behind them and the delicate stamens they are holding. And I love the translucence of the summer season where everything seems overlapped with strong light, strong scents, long days, hard play, relaxed schedules and the satisfaction of days completely absorbed. I know these days will be fleeting, just like the delicate bloom I photographed — this one will likely be withered to multiple shades of brown by the time we return home. But, I’ve been looking forward to this summer vacation more than in other years, and I intend to enjoy each moment of it with my three little partners in crime.
I hope you enjoy the photos too. And the long days of summer we kick off this Memorial Day weekend. May you relish every bloom.
[where my heart is]
There’s my breakfast on this Wednesday morning. It’s a slice of homemade pecan bread with a drizzle of honey and a few shake-shakes of grated parmesan cheese. Yeah, I can’t explain the combination, but it’s good. Soft and a little crusty from the toaster. Nutty and yeasty. Tangy and sweet washed down with a tall glass of iced water. And it probably tastes better because I’m eating it on the patio to the tune of about 65 birds hopping and chirping and foraging and tweeting in the old-fashioned way.
I bought the bread on Saturday at the Starkville Community Market, our local farmer’s market. It opened for the summer last weekend, and I enjoyed getting to check it out. I’ve been designing promotional elements for the Market this year to incorporate a new look with some of the original graphics, and I’ve been hearing some of the plans for the season and excitement from the new Market Manager. It was fun to get to see some of those plans get started for the kick-off weekend. My children decided to sleep in with the company of their grandparents, so I was able to visit the Market with just my camera and some cash in hand for must-haves. And, of course, I found some in the markets-are-more-than-veggies section. I bought us two kinds of bread — the pecan bread and a beautiful sour dough loaf, along with fresh strawberries, homemade whole wheat pasta, grape jelly, handmade soap and some all-natural citrus cleaning liquid. I also took in a culinary demonstration from one of our local chefs — a delicious strawberry & honey basil yogurt dip served with fresh bread. The kids are now convinced that they need to wake up for the adventure next Saturday morning!
Enjoy this glimpse of market finds, and I hope you’ll also enjoy the growing season in a farmer’s market in your area. In MY neck of the pond, the Starkville Community Market is open Saturday mornings from May to August at the corner of Lampkin and Jackson Streets in Downtown Starkville. See you there!
Are you an Instagram-er? I am too! The wildly popular photo sharing service is a super-fun way to show off images on the go and share daily experiences in a visual way — something I can always get behind. I recently came across another cool service that allows you to turn your Instagram photos into magnets, and I decided to give it a try!
StickyGram is an online service that interfaces directly with Instagram and allows you to get a set of nine 2 x 2″ magnets from your favorite photos. The process is really easy. You simply login at StickyGram.com with your Instagram account information, choose your photos and order. I’m thinking choosing some photos of my kiddos would be a pretty fun gift for a grandmother on Mother’s Day!
A repeated angle, plus a collage of textures and colors
Behind the photo: This photo was taken at Libby Story on University Drive in Starkville, MS. It’s a women’s boutique, and I was there to take shots of some of their favorite Spring 2012 styles for a client blog post. I looked down and snapped a picture of the floor. Serendipity!
Something about the muted colors, the dim light and strong shadows in this photo has been inspiring me for about a year since I took it. And I love the texture of the beads.
~ taken at Sprout on Lampkin Street in Starkville, MS
My name is Haley Montgomery.
I’m a storyteller & frog-kisser for hire.
Plop! is my journal of creativity.
What’s inspiring me. What’s making me think better. What’s turning my smile. What’s keeping me afloat.
Thanks for diving in as I try to
See, Make and Do Life. Creatively.