Idea No.


Picture Perfect



April 2003


Stephanie in Dallas

Special Mention


The little girl I babysit down the street was turning four and I wanted to go all out for her birthday. The weekend after her birthday I sent out invitations that I made from materials easily found at MJDesigns. Every year I give her a scrapbook and this year I added a little flare! The invitations were as follows: it was a blown up picture of (Alix) framed in a camera cut out and along the camera it read: Join me for a Picture Perfect Party.Each child was asked to bring seven specific outfits... I am the neighborhood babysitter so I got most of the block to participate. I rented several "scene screens" and bought cheap decorations to go along with each scene(dollar stores are amazing). The kids arrived at my house where they were fed and able to play a few games. While the kids sang Kareokee toons me and a few of the parents started to dress them up in their costumes. Once everyone was dressed as a cowboy/cowgirl we walked next door where two rooms were decorated, one a saloon, the other a rodeo - the kids all took turns posing as I took several pictures(32 a whole roll)When the snaps were taken we dressed them in yet another outfit, this time disco - we walked to the next house where two rooms were decorated one a disco night club, the other was just a tye dye background with smiley faces-the kids again posed and I snaped 32 pictures. Next they changed into suites and dresses, across the street two rooms were decorated one a red carpet scene, the other a prom scene(again 32 snaps. Next we moved to yet another house and everyone was in swimsuites,the backyard was set up like a beach and the driveway was set up like a car wash where the kids got to really wash the neighbors car(easy way to get it cleaned)and of course 32 pictures shot. At this point we went back to my house and ate cake while the houses set up for the next round. After cake she opened gifts and of course pictures were taken... We got the kids decent again and dressed them once again in army clothing, we walked next door where there was a huge flag as the background and we had the kids pose with salutes and other patriotic poses(32 shots). The kids changed again this time in football uniforms and cheerleader outfits. The next house was decorated with a pep rally feel inside and the backyard was its own little football arena(we had to shoot two full rolls of film) the girls making pyramids and boys looking up girl skirts was too priceless! We changed them again went across the street and dressed them in clown outfits where there was a circus set up in the backyard equipped with cotton candy and popcorn(the cotton candy makers that they sell at toys r us work pretty good)32 shots. we headed back to my house where one room was filled with balloons(they were taped to walls and hung from the ceiling) the kids were put back in their normal party clothes and I took more pictures of the kids, then we went to a room filled with gift boxes(all were just empty boxes of various sizes wrapped in colorfull paper) and more pictures... we went into the backyard and had icecream floats and snacks while the living room was being set up. When the kids were done they walked inside where we set up tables with ten different scrap books and supplies. they took their seats and began decorating the cover of their scrapbooks, when they were done we put them outside to dry and gave the kids their gift bags. Each bag was filled with candy of course along with one disposable camera, a picture frame, a key chain with a picture of Alix and that child(a previously taken picture) inside and little noise makers. The kids went outside and roamed the house taking pictures of each other until it was time for them to go. two weeks later(and a lot of money and hard worklater) I had Alix pick out her favorite pictures(enough to fill the scrapbooks) and we put together ten scrapbooks. when they were done we set up a date for everyone to meet where Alix and I handed out the scrapbooks and as they watched the video tape of that day and ate rainbow popcorn(add food coloring to the oil when you pop the cornand the popcorn turns that color,red,blue,purple,green - it's cool) we had them come back one by one to sign and decorate the last few pages of her scrapbook. when the tape was finished and they had candy the other nine kids and I gave Alix and her parents the big scrapbook and everyone looked at it because it had alot more pictures that the other. This scrapbook had every single picture, even extras of me and her(i like to think of myself as her favorite babysitter)Her parents loved it, she loved it, the kids loved it and so did I............

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