Archive for 2014

Black Friday Sale is coming!

It's that time of the year again and Black Friday is just around the corner.
This year we've teamed up with some of Etsy top Digital Design shops to offer you some fantastic discounts!
Over 30 fellow shop owners are participating in this massive event. A chance not to be missed!

We will be offering $5 off on our Etsy Shop and main Website.

Sales starts Friday, November 28th and will be up until Monday, December 1st.

You can find other participating shops from the Etsy Digital Designers Team here.
Happy Shopping!

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DIY Halloween Costumes for kids

Did someone say Halloween?
Yep, the scariest night of the year is only one week away! If you have little ones and haven't found the perfect costume yet, this post might be for you!
Any of these ideas are easy enough for you to do yourself without breaking the bank. You might even have the supplies to make these laying around the house!

I mean, how could you not want your baby dressed as a cute cow or your little boy as a cheeky shark, right?

Baby Cow | Baby Dragon | Baby Chicken | Baby Sushi | Scuba Diver
Pocahontas | Shark Hoodie | Frog Hoodie | Dino Hoodie

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Sweet Pumpkin Recipes Roundup

Nothing says Fall or Halloween like a big orange pumpkin, right?
It's actually Spring down under, but with Halloween fast approaching, I'm craving Fall flavours. So I gathered a few delicious sweet pumpkin recipes to drool on.
Any of these would be a great addition to your Halloween party table or the perfect finish to your Thanksgiving meal. Yum!

1. Marble Pumpkin Cheesecake, from Roxana's Home Baking
2. No-bake Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes, from A Family Feast
3. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Chocolate Cream Cheese Filling, from Bakeholic Mama
4. Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecakes, from Inside Bru Crew Life
5. Pumpkin Spice Donuts from Yellow Bliss Road

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Back to reality

My holidays back home have finally come to an end. I say finally because we got caught up in the never-ending AirFrance's strike and have seen our flights cancelled twice. We ended up with a 5 days delay on our return date.
I must say I was kind of happy when I got the first "your flight has been cancelled" text message, the day before we were supposed to travel. It meant we got to spend a few more days with our families in Portugal, I got to see my sister one last time after their honeymoon and to play with our nephew and niece just a little bit more. But it was also stressful not knowing when we would be able to fly back to Australia, having to postpone work commitments and dealing with all the extra expense. I'm not that happy now, having to chase AirFrance and the travel insurance company to see what refunds we can get back.

But overall, we had an amazing vacation. My sister's wedding was definitely the highest point and I'm so happy I got to be there for her. They had the most beautiful ceremony and it was such a fun filled day! I might have been more nervous than the bride herself, as I helped her plan everything and had to make sure her big day ran as smoothly as possible. I was tired at the end of the day, but the happiness in her eyes was so worth it!

I really can't complaint, I got to enjoy the great Summer weather, some playdates on the beach, fun family parties, concerts and amazing food.
It was great to be back, to find the good friends I'm so lucky to still have there, meet the new babies in town and spend quality time with all our loved ones.

It wasn't the first time I went back to visit them, but this year it was just a little bit harder to say goodbye. It's always bittersweet, I was looking forward to come back too.
I have so much catching up to do with work and I have a lot of new ideas brewing. I'm hoping to launch a couple of new Halloween printables this month and to keep creating new themes for your parties. Now off to scratch some items off of my huge to-do list!

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A Little man's first birthday party

I love seeing what my customers do with the printables from my shop, specially when it's a party theme I particularly like, such as this one. It's great to see what different people come up with for their parties, and how the same theme can be styled in so many different ways.

Last month, Sarah sent me some photos of the gorgeous dessert table she styled for her son's first birthday party. This was a special order, as we changed the colour scheme of the Little Man Birthday Party kit, to match Sarah's vision for the party.

Sarah's best friend, runs a small business - Sweet Little Treats by Angela - and was in charge of the cupcakes and cookies. We love the shapes of the cookies: K for Kyle (the birthday boy), 1 for his age and the moustaches to go with the theme. The cupcakes were beautifully iced and really make our cupcake toppers stand out!

We also loved the chevron table runner and the custom print displayed on the side of the table with Kyle's first year milestones and favourite things.
Those adorable rubber duckies with moustaches added a pop of colour to the table. Such a nice touch!

Styling: Kyle's mum, Sarah
Cookies and cupcakes: Sweet Little Treats by Angela
Moustache Rubber Ducks: Kinibug
Printables: MyPartyDesign

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My niece's first birthday

One of the big reasons for this trip to Portugal was my niece's first birthday. I was lucky to be here last year to organize my sister's Baby Shower but sadly had to go back to Australia before the baby was born.
Being a migrant definitely got harder after our nephew and niece joined the family. It's hard not to be able to watch them closely as they grow up. But we live in an era of technology, where skype is our best friend, so we have seen them regularly and try to make sure they know who their uncle and auntie are.

Last weekend we celebrated our niece's first birthday. My sister, being the perfectionist she is, has been planning this party for months. She had requested a Matryoshka theme and I started working on it long before I came. We all gathered a few days before the party to work on all the details, and after a lot of diy, baking and crafting, we were able to put together an adorable first birthday party. Heads up for the team effort, as the whole family helped making this day extra special for her.

The dessert table included chocolate muffins, jello, fruit skewers, watermelon pops, custard tarts and other Portuguese pastries. We also had a side table with savoury snacks, such as cheese and cold meats, crackers, croquettes and salads, and a barbecue was served later in the afternoon.

The birthday girl was excited with all the colours and loved all the attention she got from everyone.
I can't wait to see her reaction next year, when she actually understands what this day is all about!
Let's look at the photos.

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Holidays update

I can't believe it's been over a week since we landed in Portugal!

After a couple of lazy days to overcome the jet lag, the "race" to meet our closets family members and friends has started. Even though we knew we'll be staying a while, we've missed these people so much that we couldn't wait to hug them all.
I must admit I'm a bit tired of our busy social schedule, but it has been great to meet everyone, get to know the new babies and enjoy some great food and beautiful weather.

My baby niece was waiting for us at the airport and I couldn't believe that she recognised me from the countless skype sessions with my sister. She reached her little arms in my direction when she saw me coming and greeted me with the sweetest smile I've ever seen. I melt every time she says "olá" (hello), her first word. I wonder if I can get her to say "tia" (auntie) before I leave again.
Our 2 year old nephew has grown so much since the last time we've been together one year ago and we're trying to make up for the lost time with him too. He's becoming the sweetest little boy and we couldn't be more proud.

It's the peak of Summer here and we've been blessed with clear blue skies and a warm sun shining every single day. The weather is perfect for ice-creams and long afternoons on the beach and we are now starting to enjoy it all, after the initial rush.
This week is all about relaxing and enjoying Summer, before the big family events that we'll be attending and helping to plan. I'll write about the party decorations I'm helping with soon!

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On being a migrant

When I first moved to Australia with my partner, 3 years ago, I had no plans. We didn't know if we were going to like it here or how long we were going to stay.
We left our home country for the biggest trip either of us had ever made, left jobs, friends and family (and a cat) behind. Packed our lives in a couple of (big) suitcases and left.

I still remember the day we arrived in Sydney for the first time, coming literally from the other side of the world. Going from Winter to Summer in a matter of hours and dealing with the jetlag, everything seemed so strange and I didn't think I was going to like it at first.
But then in the next few weeks we visited the main landmarks, discovered more about the city, met people from different cultures, started to enjoy the lifestyle, and eventually fell in love with this place. One day, I don't know exactly when, on my way to the local grocery store, I remember thinking to myself how I got to know those streets so well and how nothing felt strange to me anymore. I was home.

3 and a half years later, we feel at home in Australia but a big part of us will always be in Portugal - our home country. Because that's were our most important people in the word live and we miss them everyday.
This year we're coming back for 2 very special events: our niece's 1st birthday and my sister's wedding. The hardest part of living abroad is definitely being far from the people we love, so we're looking forward to spend some quality time together with our families (and the cat!).

I'll try to update the blog with posts about the holidays and details of the parties we're going to attend. In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram @mypartydesign to see what I'm up to these holidays.

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A note about copyright

I often get customers asking me to design an invitation or party pack for them using their child's favourite character (usually a Disney character or one from the latest animation movies) and sometimes it's hard to explain why I can't do it, when so many other shops do.

At a personal level I do understand you wanting to make your child happy and I know I would want the same thing if I had children of my own, but as a professional I have the obligation to comply with Copyright and Trademark laws.

You see, all these characters that we easily recognise, like Mickey Mouse or the Disney Princesses, are protected by Copyright. Even though we can find millions of images on the Internet, it doesn't mean they are free for anyone to use. They may be allowed for personal use, but once you use any of those images commercially and try to make a profit from them without a proper license, you are breaking the law and risking a heavy lawsuit by the Copyright Holders.

As an artist, I take pride in respecting other people's work and I find it really disappointing to see that not all sellers have the same standards. I'm proud to say that everything in my shop is my original artwork and that I am successful in what I do, without using any shortcuts.

Never in my wildest dreams have I thought I would too be affected by piracy, but this week I came across a Chinese website using some of my images (and other friends' images) as their own.
I can't tell you how much it upset me to know that someone has been taking advantage of my hard work. I'm already working on taking down those images, which shouldn't be too hard, but I still feel like I have been robbed and there's not much I can do to prevent it from happening again.

It makes me sad, but I can only be confident in my skills and continue to develop new ideas that I know my customers will appreciate. Thank you all for your support!

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Christmas in July

I've never had a Christmas in July Sale in my shop before but this year I thought "Why not?".

Half of the year has passed and there's a long time till the next sales period. Plus it's school holidays, which makes this the perfect time to get the kids involved and start planning ahead for the upcoming holidays and celebrations!

So this year we're having a Christmas in July sale on both the main website and the Etsy shop.
Simply enter the code XMASJULY14 on check-out and you'll get 20% OFF your $20+ AUD purchases.

Come stock up for the Holidays!
Offer ends July 20, at 11:59 (AEST).

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Pirate Party Shopping Guide

Ahoy, mateys!

Is there a cheeky little pirate in your house? Then this theme will suit him like a glove!
What boy doesn't love a pirate tale, pirate ships and treasure hunts, right? This theme is full of possibilities and I can think of a few fun activities to keep the kids busy at the party.

And you know what? Just because pirates are tough, it doesn't mean a pirate party can't be stylish and fun! Check out the goodies we found that would go perfectly with our Printable Pirate Pack.

1 - Pirate Hat, Rubby Rabbit 
2 - Honeycomb Tissue Ball, Shop Sweet Lulu
3 - Chocolate Coins, The Chocolate Box
4 - Striped Paper Cups, Paper Eskimo
5 - Black Cake Stand, Leo & Bella
6 - Medium Tin Pail, Simply Sweet Soirees

Pirate Theme Printable Party Pack available on the website and on Etsy.

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A day in the Blue Mountains

'The Three Sisters' - view from the Echo Point lookout
This year in Australia we've been blessed with a warm and sunny start to Autumn. It would be a shame to let another gorgeous sunny day go by and not enjoying it fully, so I took the opportunity to visit the Blue Mountains on a day off.

We headed straight to Echo Point, the main lookout overviewing the 'Three Sisters', the mountain's most famous landmark. The 'Three Sisters' is an unusual rock formation that, according to Aboriginal legend, represent three sisters who were turned to stone. The view is breathtaking and the magnificence of the place is almost overwhelming.

From that point there are several bushwalks you can do, from short and easy, to long ones for more experienced bushwalkers.
We decided to go down the 'Giant Stairway', 900 steps down the cliff that would take us right to the bottom of the sisters. It's a long way down and the staircase is steep but there are plenty of rest points along the way and the amazing views are well worth the effort.

So many steps!
About a third of the way we reached one of the 'sisters'
Under the 'Sisters'
When we reached the bottom, after a much needed lunch break, we continued on an easy rainforest walk to the Scenic Railway, the special train that takes you back up.

The Scenic Railway
The plan was to take the train, but somehow my partner convinced me to continue on another walk to see the Katoomba Falls. I don't know how I agreed with it, but in a matter of minutes we were starting to climb the Furber Steps.

I think I regretted the decision after only a few steps...
I'm not gonna lie, going up was tough and I had to stop at every single rest point to catch my breath, but the truth is we would have missed the most amazing sites if we hadn't done it on foot.

Walking through the forest
Katoomba falls
The Skyway
What a great way to forget our obligations, turn off our gadgets and simply disconnect from the world and relax. At least until the next day, when your legs start to feel sore from all that walking!

There was still a lot to see and do, so we hope to be back soon (hopefully for an easier walk with less steps!).

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Etsy Craft Party

The Sydney Etsy team has come together to organise a Craft Party in Sydney, next month.

This event will feature a surprise selection of four craft projects to bring new life to cherished photographs and memories. The only thing you will need to bring is a collection of photocopies or scans of the images you wish you use on the night (find more info here).

It will be held at the Ultimo Community Centre Craft Room, 40 William Henry Street, Cnr Bulwara Road, Ultimo 2007, from 6pm until 9pm on Friday 6th June.
Tickets are available through Eventbrite for only $8. Entry covers all craft supplies, soft drinks and nibbles.

The Sydney Etsy Team is a group open to everyone and it aims to connect and support both Etsy buyers and sellers. If you're in Sydney, don't miss the change to meet other local Etsy lovers in this fun event! Get your tickets, before they sell out!


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Cookies&Milk Party Shopping Guide

The Cookies & Milk theme is a great one for first birthdays and for cookie lovers of all ages.
Who doesn't love the combination of milk and cookies, right?

Today's shopping guide is all about finding the perfect props to match the colours of the printables. For a better match, always make sure your print the files beforehand, as colours might vary slightly on paper from the ones you see on the screen.

I love the blue dots on the paper straws, the tin pail that reminds me of fresh milk, and of course the milk bottles are a must for this party setup!

1 - Blue Beaded Pedestal, Shop Sweet Lulu
2 - Paper Straws, Typo
3 - Small Tin Pail, Simply Sweet Soirees
4 - Blue Spots and Stripes Napkins, Paper Eskimo
5 - Blue Striped Paper Plates, Sweet Style
6 - Mini Glass Milk Bottles, Leo & Bella

Cookies & Milk Printable Party Pack available on the website and on Etsy.

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Introducing Printable Birth Stats Wall Art

It all started when my niece was born last year, and my sister didn't rest until I made her a design with the baby's birth stats for her nursery. She insisted this was something I needed to add to the shop, since so many of my customers are mums (or mums to be) and would probably love these for their own nurseries.

I've been planning to work on these prints for a while now but the last few weeks have been so overwhelming that I just couldn't find the time to do it. But this weekend I decided it couldn't wait any longer, and that I had to put something up by Monday.
And so it is, the first Birth Announcement Prints are now available in the shop!

I started with a Hot Air Balloon, Elephant and Owl themes but I'll be adding more themes soon. These come with a choice of colours, so you can match them with your baby's room decor.

If there's any particular design you would like to see, please let me know in the comments bellow, as I'll be working on these the whole week :)

All printables available on the website and on Etsy.

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Confetti Party Shopping Guide

The Confetti theme is perfect for all kinds of celebrations. Think a first birthday party, a baby sprinkle or a little girl's birthday, this theme suits them all!

Today I'm bringing you a roundup of products that match the printable Confetti Party Theme
available in the shop.

1 - Confetti Paper Cups, Leo & Bella
2 - Confetti Napkins, Simply Sweet Soirees
3 - Barrel Drink Dispenser, Leo & Bella
4 - Pink Birthday Candles, Paper Eskimo
5 - Confetti Wooden Spoons, Shop Sweet Lulu
6 - Giant Confetti Balloon, Simply Sweet Soirees

Confetti Printable Party Pack available on the website and on Etsy.

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Mother's Day Breakfast Ideas

This Mother's Day treat mum to the special breakfast she deserves. Put the kids to work and have them serve her a delicious breakfast in bed!

From pancakes or french toast to bacon and eggs, there are so many great and easy recipes every mum will love!
Check out the yummy ideas bellow for inspiration.

1 - Coconut Pancakes
2 - Heart-Shaped Egg Toast
3 - Bagel & Bacon "MOM" Plate
4- Nutella French Toast with Strawberries

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Mother's Day Crafts

It's Mother's Day next Sunday! Sometimes the best gifts are the ones we make ourselves, so why not get some crafting going on with your little ones?
I've found some great and easy projects that would be perfect for this occasion. I'm sure mum will love any of these ideas!

Check the links below for instructions.

1 - Painted Salad Servers,
2 - Photo Flower Cards, Better Homes and Gardens
3 - String Art, Muska & Elvis
4 - Origami letters Mom card, Zakka Life

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Mother's Day Gift Idea

Mother's Day is coming in only one week and today I'm introducing a new collection of 8"x10" prints to celebrate Mum.

With these printables you can make an easy and affordable last minute gift that your mum will love. Some of them can even be customised with your children's names!
Have a look at the available designs.

More colours to choose from! Purchase it as shown or customise it with your child's name
Pick your favourite colour and customise it with your child's name
Available as an instant download for your convenience

These printables can be easily printed with your home printer, or at your local copy shop or photo lab. All files come with printing instructions.

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A special birthday celebration

I’m not the kind of person who leaves things to the last minute. I like to stay organised and have specific schedules for the things I have to do.
But sometimes life gets in the way and when I notice it I'm right on top of the event. That’s what happened last weekend, on my better half’s birthday.

After Easter and some very busy weeks with lots of work, I realised I hadn’t had the time to get anything ready for the dinner party on Sunday. I left it until Saturday to buy his present and the supplies I needed for the party. I must say at this point I was starting to panic, thinking about how much I had to do in so little time.

I woke up early on Sunday to get the decoration ready. Yep, in this house any party has to have a special decor, for kids or grown-ups.
Of course things didn’t go to plan and my printer refused to cooperate. So I had to forget the nice printables I had designed the night before and go with a plan B. I reached for my crafts box, found some coloured papers and I improvised some little toothpick flags and a mini cake bunting. Done!

I’ve spent the afternoon in the kitchen, while he rearranged the living room, and I even attempted my first 2 layer cake while cooking for 10. It could have gone wrong, but as it turns out I did a pretty good job and the simple decoration turned out even better than I had imagined!

The main table, with a black tablecloth and pops of red (his favourite colour).

Appetizers and dips to start with.

No food labels? Write on the tablecloth!

It was a great night and everything was delicious!

Do you have a party coming soon and not much time to decorate? Follow these tips to recreate this party's look:

  • Pick a main colour and get essential props (like plates, cups, napkins and cutlery) in that colour, to set the theme. Disposable utensils will also make the after-party clean up a lot easier.

  • Use nice platters (white is always a good option) and display the food creatively.

  • Stretch a black plastic tablecloth over the table and secure it in place with tape. You can then use chalk to write on it, instead of using food labels.

  • Create a simple cake bunting using 2 straws, a piece of string and scrapbook paper.

  • Embellish toothpicks with small pieces of coloured paper and double-sided tape, to make little flags.

  • If you don't have a lot of time to cook, serve some "ready to eat" foods, like cheese and cold meats, chips, dips and crackers or store bought cakes and pasties.

Happy parties!

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Car Race Party, by Kim

A few months ago I received a request to customise the car race theme I have in the shop. This customer was organising a Go Karting party for her son's 13th birthday and wanted some details added to the decorations available in the party pack.

I had never really thought about it, but it turns out this theme is perfect for a teenager, with its black and red colours and simple graphics. So I've just replaced the car graphic that didn't match the Go Karting theme with the boy's age, added some extra chocolate wrappers and bottle labels and we had a party fit for a young champion.

Kim was so kind to send me the photos of the party and I was delighted. The dessert table looked gorgeous and so well balanced. I love the big paper rosettes framing the "Happy Birthday" banner and the checkered banner at the front of the table.
I also loved that she used the bottle labels to wrap the candy jars, keeping the theme throughout the whole table.

The table where the guests were seated had its own decoration too. Black plates with checkered napkins, a checkered table runner and a set of race flags as a table center did the trick.

The boys went Go Karting and then returned for pizza and desserts. What a fun way to celebrate a teenager's birthday! I'm sure they had a blast!

Find this theme at the website or on Etsy.

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