Brown Paper Packages Tied up with String… {Gift Wrapping Inspiration}

Hello, dears!

I wrote this draft a while ago when it September was just starting, and WOW, can you believe it’s almost October now?! WHAT. All the stores are putting out Halloween stuff and getting ready for “the holiday season.” NOOOOO IT’S STILL SUMMER, ISN’T IT? *sigh*

Anyway, September is one of the most birthday-heavy months with our extended family and friends, which is fun! But it means a lot of wrapping gifts. I put together a package for my dear friend Aria‘s birthday a while ago, and since it turned out so pretty, I decided to show you guys! 🙂 Continue reading


Birthday Harvest {2018}

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Hello, dears!

Today I am excited to FINALLY show you guys some of the gifts I got for my birthday! It took me a while to get this all prepared, but I’m pretty pleased with the pictures because… well, I shall tell you in a bit. 😉

Anyway, first the obligatory disclaimer about how this is the obligatory disclaimer that no, for those of you who have a nagging doubt, I am NOT trying to brag about my gifts (I never saw any posts like these that were, but oh well), I am simply making one of the practically useless but quite entertaining birthday posts that I enjoy reading for some reason. XD So hopefully you enjoy it too!

Now that that confusing paragraph is out of the way, let us move onto…. another disclaimer: these gifts are in no particular order. 😉 Also for the background I used a white sheet (that took a while to iron) and some confetti from Clara’s amazing birthday box.

NOW! First, some super cute succulents from my sister Megan! (Also I REALLY REALLY LIKE THIS PICTURE. 😀 )

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These succulents are really fuzzy and soft – kind of like Lamb’s Quarter.

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She got these succulents from Leaf & Clay, by the way, which I think is a great site!

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Sweet Laura sent me this adorable pot – I actually had seen it before on Amazon and loved it. 😀 (Fun fact: I was obsessed with pandas when I was little, and I still like them.) Doesn’t it look SO CUTE holding a succulent?

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My Grandma and Grandpa gave me this lovely dish. I believe it was my great-great-grandmother’s. O.o So that’s pretty neat. 🙂

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My dear friend Aria gave me this bath bomb, which I can’t wait to use! I always take showers, but Megan and I actually have a jacuzzi ( :O ) in our new bathroom at the big house, so I shall use it when we move in to celebrate. 😀

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I don’t wear very much makeup at all, so my makeup collection is pretty sad. XD Aria sent me this and I think it’s so pretty!

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I was so happy to get this paper because my other scrapbook paper isn’t cardstock, and I love the thicker paper. Plus this is so cute! The amazing Clara gave me this gift. ❤ (Psst, if you like this, you should check out Megan’s giveaway to have a chance of winning it!)

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I love the metallic accents on this journal from Aria! Also it’s good to have new notebooks since I use mine up for school, like *cough, cough* CHEMISTRY. Eh.

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Stickers! I actually have very few stickers, so yayyyy! Also I love these colors. One that cracks me up says “buy more stickers.” XD

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Clara gave me this really fun washi tape crafts book! I got a lot of good ideas from this, heh heh. I really want to do some sort of washi tape wallpaper in our new bedroom like in the second picture.

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Clara also gave me this fun doodle prompt book! I was originally going to do one every week but decided that probably wasn’t realistic, so. XD It has some neat ideas in it, like…

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Aria also gave me this very pretty and dainty best friends’ necklace. ❤ (The blurry spots have cutouts of the states where we live under them.) I’m trying not to wear it every day… 😉

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Aria found me this other giraffe thingy… not quite sure what it’s called, but it’s SPARKLY, and it’s PURPLE! Particularly PURPLE! 😀 It’s also quite fun to shake up.

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My grandparents gave me this camera remote, which will be SO nice for using instead of the self-timer. YAY!

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Megan gave me these super cute and pretty washi tapes. ❤ I love them, particularly the gold succulent one! 😀

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Aria gave me several pretty tapes too. I figured out that the plain white ones are great for painting, like with watercolors, and the gold ones are actually shaped cutouts instead of your regular rectangular tape! Pretty neat. 🙂

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Also I took all of the above pictures with my next present: softbox lighting from my Gram and Grandaddy! 😀 Ironically the softboxes themselves are rather hard to take pictures of, so I’ll just use one from Amazon. 😉 Their lights are super bright and especially good for indoor and project photography, which is not my strong suite. Let me know if you guys would be interested in a full-scale review sometime!

 LimoStudio 700W Photography Softbox Light Lighting Kit Photo Equipment Soft Studio Light Softbox 24"X24", AGG814

I had these next two presents on the table, but for some reason forgot to take pictures of them with the rest, so that’s why they don’t have the same background. :/ Anyway, Aria gave me these pretty paint pens! They’re very opaque so you can color over printed words and such – it’s basically like paint in a marker.

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She also gave me this mug, which I love. XD Isn’t it so cute and funny? (She calls me a giraffe since I’m tall (5’10”), by the way. That’s why she got me giraffe presents. ❤ 😉 )

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And one last present… A DESK FOR MY ART STUDIO! My parents let me pick out a desk I liked and they bought it for me, which I was so happy about! I picked this lovely desk from Ikea:

LINNMON / ALEX Table IKEA Pre-drilled leg holes for easy assembly. Drawer stops prevent the drawers from being pulled out too far.


Here it is in my art studio! Except… we accidentally ordered the wrong (larger) size, so we’re going to get a new table top that should fit better soon. But otherwise, I LOVE it! I think it’s perfect for the space. 😀

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Welp, I suppose that’s it. 🙂 So many other people gave me the sweetest cards and envelopes and little birthday packages, but I didn’t have enough space in this already very long post to show everything. 😦 If I didn’t show something you gave, please know that I still truly and honestly loved it and you made my day by sending it. ❤ THANK YOU SO MUCH, EVERYONE, for a great birthday! I felt incredibly loved – my family, and myfriends online and offline were so, so sweet! I am now officially 18 – strange but true. Yikes. 😛 Am I too old to use emojis now? I hope not, because they’re very helpful…

Before you go… what is one thing on your birthday list? Did you find anything here to add? 😉 And isn’t the softbox lighting great?

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and please have a lovely day! ❤


Bits & Pieces #1

Hello, my dears! Welcome to yet ANOTHER random photography post, where Allison dumps all the miscellaneous orphan photos that she couldn’t fit in any other post. XD I am waaay backed up with extra photos so I hope you’re ready for a lot of photography posts! 😀

Ahem. Let’s begin.

The Eclipse

I still haven’t shown you my pictures from the eclipse? Dear me, I AM behind. XD Anyway, I didn’t get any spectacular pictures, but I did get a few through welding glass to at least document what happened. The welding glass made everything look green, but I managed to edit out most of the color except that one green guy over there. XD As you can see, we weren’t in the path of totality.

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I thought the eclipse looked really neat through clouds!

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And here’s just a bonus picture I took that day. So pretty!

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The Enormous Bonfire

We occasionally burn a heap of brush or extra wood piles and such on our farm, and I got these pictures from one of those times. Dad pushed the pile around with the telehandler which made the bonfire practically explode in a column of glittering orange sparks. It was breathtaking!

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Bonus picture of the cows that watched the bonfire with us. XD There were a bit confused about what was happening, as cows usually seem to be.

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There were actually a few bulls in the pasture, and one started sort of stomping and bellowing. O.o Thankfully nothing bad happened. Isn’t it funny how he has a heart on his forehead? You can’t see it too well in this picture, but he really does!


Megan’s Birthday Party

We had a lot of fun decorating the front porch and outside table for Megan’s party. Aren’t the colors pretty?

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We used zinnias from our garden for some of the decorations, and I got some lovely pictures of the bouquets. ♥

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Megan wanted to have doughnuts instead of cake, which was quite a good idea in my opinion. 😉 We made the doughnuts the previous day and I also made a little happy birthday banner for the top.

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Yum, fresh lemonade!

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Grandma brought Megan a beautiful rose from her house along with her gift.

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We had a water balloon fight for one of the party games. It was so fun, AND I didn’t get very wet, which was good since it wasn’t that hot. XD

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A bonus picture of the gorgeous spreading maple in our front yard…

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Bonus picture #2 of an adorable fuzzy caterpillar we found before the party.

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Isn’t it cute? 😛

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Moving a Piano + Another Bonfire

One night we went to our grandparents’ house to help move their piano from the basement to their room. 🙂 It was quite hard work… well actually I didn’t do much but stay out of the way and document it for posterity, but it looked like hard work. When they finally brought it to my grandparents’ room, it wouldn’t fit through the door. But then they tried turning it on end and thankfully it just fit. Phew! The poor piano.

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I also got some super neat pictures of the piano without its top on. I love them, especially after they were edited!

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After we got the piano all figured out we had a bonfire and picnic. Fire is so fun to watch, isn’t it?

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I got a really good picture of my grandpa smiling when he didn’t know I was taking a picture. I edited it a good bit, as you can tell, but isn’t it neat?

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Freshly Picked

I took these photos for my sister’s photo contest, BIBPC. I think they turned out rather pretty!

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Also isn’t this tomato HILARIOUS?! It looks like it’s sticking out its tongue at you.

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The Rest of Them

THESE COOKIES ARE DELICIOUS! I took pictures of them because I wanted to submit the recipe to Olivia Bell’s wonderful magazine. Be sure to check it out (and make it) when the next issue comes out here soon! You can subscribe to her magazine through the contact form in this post.

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Random picture of the details on one of my Sunday dresses…

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I edited this one a LOT to get rid of the power lines crisscrossing it, but this is the view from one of our upstairs windows. 🙂

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There we go! That was pretty much a whole bunch of mini posts smushed into one huge one. XD I hope you enjoyed! Which topic was your favorite?


Miscellaneous Photography

Okay, maybe I can finally get on top of my extra photos here! I decided to be brave and just heap them all into one post. XD


The kids love going fishing at our uncle’s pond where I got some rather funny pictures. XD

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This rather formidable looking fish is a bass I caught. 🙂

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This dog always follows us around, trying to catch our hooks and stuff. But he is rather cute in pictures, wouldn’t you say?

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I know, even more dandelions. XD But I found out that they actually look really pretty in a bouquet if you pick the nicest, roundest ones. See?

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Whipped Cream Fight

We had a whipped cream fight with our friends, but I mostly stayed back and took pictures because it looked really sticky. Heh heh. Shaving cream fights are SUPER fun, but the whipped cream fights… not quite as much.

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Birthday Cake

My mom always makes birthday cakes for the kids, customized to their request. I had sort of an art themed party so I wanted an art themed cake. We looked up some things on Pinterest and found an idea for a watercolor cake! It’s actually pretty simple: just dab some blobs of different colored icing on the side and smear them together. (Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that in practice, but you know… 😛 ) I helped finish it off with the pearls. Isn’t it GORGEOUS! This is probably my favorite of all the cakes I’ve had!

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Hee hee, we like to take our bunnies out and play with them outside sometimes. That night we all got in a circle and let some of the bunnies hop around. So much fun!

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Oh, and I have some very sad news. Clementine, that little brown bunny down there, is gone. Somehow Maggie, our dog, got her and killed her. NOOOOOO! *SNIFF* Rest in peace, little Clemmie. ♥

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I do the decorations for our church’s tables, and I thought these bouquets turned out really pretty. 🙂

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I especially love these floating peonies! Sooo pretty and fluffy!

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Little Felted Rabbit

I recently just discovered needle felting. I think it’s really neat, but I haven’t made much yet besides this tiny bunny. 🙂

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Baby Killdeer

They hatched! Aww, look at the fluffy things!

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We also found another nest. (The mother laid more eggs after this.)

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Farm Photography

I saved the best for last. 🙂 I just LOVE these pictures!

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This is kind of an abstract (a.k.a blurry) photo, but the BOKEH. The sun was shining off the windows of a little church on the hill and it looked really neat!

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Aww, Maggie.

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 Ahhh, it feels good to clean out my photo stash, for a little while at least. 🙂 I hope you enjoyed these pictures! Which category was your favorite?

Birthday Harvest

HA HA do you like my title? XD I don’t really like the term “birthday haul” because it seems kind of greedy or something, but that’s just my weird opinion. So anyway, I looked up synonyms for “haul” and found “harvest.” 😛 And there you have the story of my title.

Ahem. Let’s move on, shall we? Oh wait, before we start, I must say that I just really wanted to brag about my presents and how many I got and how great they were and… I’M JUST KIDDING I’M JUST KIDDING! Goodness, don’t look so shocked. XD Heh heh, but no, I am not trying to do the aforementioned, just in case you were wondering. I’m posting this because I personally like reading birthday posts myself and because I thought you guys might enjoy one too. 🙂

Okay, now we can start! 😀 By the way, these gifts are in no particular order. I just put them all on the table and grabbed what was handy first. XD

Ooh look! It’s a bullet journal! My mom and dad gave me this and it’s so pretty! I’ve actually only heard about them recently, but I thought a BuJo would be quite helpful. I’m still getting the hang of it, but I really like it so far! I think it’s more of a system than a thing, which is nice because you can customize it pretty much however you want. Do you think I should do a bullet journal post sometime?

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My friend (who has a blog here) gave me a bag of luscious chocolate truffles. OHHHH YUMMINESS! Enough said. XD

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My cousins gave me these lovely watercolor brush pens. They’re so neat! They’re kind of like a marker but with a paintbrush tip. They actually color more like ink than watercolor, but if you use the waterbrush that comes with it (see it there on the right side?) you can get a more watercolor-y effect. What I really like about these is how fine the tips are.

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I thought maybe I should show you an example of how they work…

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My Grammy and Grandaddy gave me this wonderful sketchbook. I love it! It has 128 nice, thick pages. I used the watercolor brush pens on it and they didn’t bleed through, although you could kind of see the drawing on the other side. I can’t wait to fill it up! 😀

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Another thing I really like about the sketchbook is how flat it is when I open it. Some sketchbooks are always wanting to close up on you, but this one doesn’t!

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This thingy came along with the sketchbook. It’s rather neat and pretty, but I have no clue what it is. XD It’s obviously a ruler, but it looks like it’s meant to be something else too. I thought maybe a letter opener, but Dad says it’s too blunt on the end. Guesses, anyone?

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My sister Megan and my grandparents both got me several skeins (is it skeins? balls? fluffy squishy things?) of beautiful felting wool. Have you heard of needle felting? You should look it up online or on Etsy. People make absolutely amazing things from felting wool! A sweet lady at church recently gave me a felting kit and I’m having fun experimenting. I’m sure felted things will show up in a later post. 😉

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Two of my friends gave me Hobby Lobby gift cards. YAYAYAY I LOVE HOBBY LOBBY! *Happy sigh* I think I’ll buy a tri-fold poster board so I have a better photo background for things like this. Heh heh. And I can’t wait to see what other fun things I find!

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Awww! My littlest sister Carmen gave me a rock she had found and quite a few coupons for setting the table. ♥ It was so funny, but so sweet! (Don’t you just love little kids’ spelling and handwriting?)

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AHHHHH YAY! My parents got me a pack of 72 Prismacolor colored pencils! I am SO excited because I only had 24 before and I absolutely love Prismacolor brand colored pencils. They color so smoothly and with such rich, brilliant pigment. I’ll definitely show you some of the drawings I’ve made with them in my next art post. 😀

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Okay, I spent WAY too long arranging the pencils in rainbow order and then trying to get a good overhead shot of them all lined up. XD But it was worth it, right? Ahhh, they look so pretty. 🙂

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My grandparents gave me these helpful little colorless blender pencils. They’re for blending the Prismacolor colored pencils, and they work brilliantly!

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My Grandpa and Grandma gave me these gorgeous ferns. ♥ Ohhhh I love plants in general and ferns especially!

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And last but not least, Grammy and Grandaddy gave me a renewal of PicMonkey Royale. (Which I don’t have a picture of – sorry!) I really love the PicMonkey photo editor and Royale gives you access to tons of extra features, so I’m quite happy about that!

Well, I hope you enjoyed this fun little post. 🙂 Do you like Birthday Haul *ahem* Birthday Harvest posts?

As always, thanks for reading, my dears, and have a lovely day!


Woodland Birthday Party

My sister Megan’s birthday was yesterday!  She chose to have a woodland themed party with hedgehogs as the “life of the party.” (Hee-hee!)  I thought I’d go through the decorations for the party and how we made a few of them.  (Megan didn’t especially want to do all the decorations, so I got to make most of them – hooray!)

The colors of the theme were green and brown.  For the decorations, I hung up twirled green and brown streamers and green balloons.

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I also drew and cut out some forest floor type things like toadstools, grasses, and pebbles.  It would have been better to make the toadstools out of red paper, but we didn’t have any. 🙂


Meet Mr. Hedgehog, the gift guy.  I designed him; Megan painted him.  Megan also had the great idea to use him to show the guests where to put gifts.

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The table was really fun to decorate.  We got the tablecloth, plates, napkins, and cups at Party City (which was FUN, by the way!).  My mom made the cute cake, I made the hedgehogs, and Megan made the labels for the “Dew Drops” (water) and “Twigs” (pretzel sticks).  I found the ideas for twigs, dew drops (which was originally named “Morning Dew”), and hedgehogs from Pinterest.

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Here’s a tutorial on how to make this cute little hedgehog for snacking on. (Poor guy!)

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For one hedgehog you will need


A pear

Whole, black olives



Whole cloves


First, peel the top of the pear for the hedgehog’s head.

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You can try sticking a whole olive on the tip of the pear, but it worked best for me to cut the olive in half.

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Stick two whole cloves above the nose for eyes.

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Now make him prickly!  Skewer a grape onto a toothpick, then stick the toothpick into the unpeeled part of the pear.  I put the skewered grapes on in rows.  I started with a row next to the head, then progressed all the way back to give him the proper rounded shape.

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Such a prickly little guy!

Now for the party favors.  I like to make things out of polymer clay, so I made clay hedgehogs for favors, along with little bags to put them in.  At the end of the party, the guests each got to “adopt a hedgehog.”

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So there are a few ideas for a woodland party.  I hope I’ve given you some inspiration!  (And thanks for letting me decorate for you Megan!)