Free Program Announcement!

Have you been wanting to see one of Emmy Blue's magical programs?

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Celebrate winter with crafts and activities at the Washington County Museum. At 11 AM, storyteller Emmy Blue will share her bright and happy fairy tales, folktales and legends about the magical creatures who live deep in the enchanted forests of the Pacific Northwest, including Emmy Blue’s original Squatchie Legends©.

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P.S. Be sure to bring your magic! See you there!

Throw the best party ever!

Happy Halloween!

What are some of your favorite things to do on this magical holiday? I love Halloween because it embraces three of my FAVORITE things:

1.) Treats involving apples and pumpkins (Yummy!)

2.) Lots of magical tales (Yippee!)

3.) PARTIES!

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(Click the photo for a magical rainbow pumpkin project by Alexa Westerfield)

On this magical day, I thought I'd treat you to my top five tips on how to throw the best party ever!

Why listen to me? Nearly every week I plan and implement birthday and holiday parties for families. I've seen nearly every party theme and I often experience the perfect party scenario! This fun expertise has given me insight on which parties will work out fabulously and which parties will end up a stressful disaster. Here is my list of musts:

1.) KEEP IT SIMPLE.

I can't emphasize this enough. Children don't need bounce houses, pony rides or great-grandma Ann's famous 18 layer birthday cake. What they do need is for their family and friends to relax and have fun. The best way to have a stress free party is to KEEP IT SIMPLE.

Checklist:

Snacks and drinks

Games (an art project and/or an activity)

Playground

Smiles, hugs and plenty of love

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Some sort of favor to remember the magical day

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2.) Activity

When it comes to an activity or game, make sure that all developmental stages can participate and that all guests (even adults) feel included in some way.

But don't stress out about finding the perfect activity or game (refer to tip #1).  There are hundreds of indoor and outdoor variations of tag to fit your party's theme and a simple art project--even just providing a few coloring or painting pages-- is always a crowd pleaser!

If in doubt or stressed about the mere thought of entertaining a large group of children, hire a professional. Trust me, we do this all of the time and we will make sure everyone leaves your party smiling. It might surprise you just how inexpensive professional support can be. Here are pictures from my own birthday storytelling program:

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Emmy's rainbow dance

3.) Location

Make sure the location suits your plans and always have a back-up plan should poor weather occur. If you are on a tight budget and your home is not an option for a party, then there are still many inexpensive places to rent a room or a picnic shelter. Call your local community centers, parks departments as well as churches.

If your summer party is outdoors, make sure that the children have a cool, quiet place to escape the hot sunshine. Also, provide plenty of fresh cool water as well as clean bathroom facilities. Similarly, if your winter party is outdoors, make sure that the children have a dry place to get warm.

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4.) Let go and be a child again!

Choose a theme that excites you and that makes you feel childlike again!  Your own positive energy and childlike excitement will have an enormous impact on your child and your guests.

Make a list of the of the colors, decorations, foods and activities that sound fun to you and go for it!

Make sure that your party is easy enough where you do not have to remain the host or hostess, but you can also let go and play!

This is a picture of the birthday girl's mother, Rachel. Not only does she love rainbows, but she is filled with magic, so this party was fun for her:

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5.) Play it out

Imagine the worst case scenario and play it out in your head. Then take a few breaths to release your fears and worries...LET THEM GO. See how dropping that custom-made cake really can be funny?!

Now, step away from Pinterest and imagine YOUR party. Visualize the party and feel the party! See how everyone is laughing and smiling? That's because you kept it simple and you are having fun.

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Hopefully everyone enjoys a holiday packed with sweet treats, magical tales and a party or two today! Lots of love and magical rainbow pumpkins! Xx

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P.S. Feel free to e-mail me with questions about parties or for more party advice! Or visit my Facebook page to keep in touch.

Birthday Parties at WCM

Emmy Blue is now doing birthday parties at the Washington County Museum!  Themed parties can include entertainment by Emmy Blue, managed activities and games as well as arts and crafts.  For more information, write emmy(at)emmyblue(dot)com. Here are a few photos from Fiona's magical birthday party at WCM:

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Birthday parties at the Washington County Museum!

Emmy Blue and the Washington County Museum are happy to announce magical storytelling birthday party programs!

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These star-themed birthday parties will make your child feel like the bright star he or she truly is!

Emmy Blue's birthday party programs at the Washington County Museum run around 45 minutes and can be tailored for audiences of children or families. The programs typically include participatory stories, puppets, music and magical scarves when appropriate. Some tales can be adjusted to your party theme, please specify when booking your magical program.

Birthday Party Themes:

Wish Upon a Star- Your child’s birthday wishes will come true with Emmy Blue's magical fairy tales told beneath the stars!

Slumber Beneath the Stars- Wear your pajamas and bring your sleeping bags because Emmy Blue's magical bedtime tales told beneath the twinkling night sky will get your slumber party off to a bright start!

Traditional Folk and Fairy Tales- Sprinkle some magic onto your party with updated and reinterpreted birthday-themed and star-themed folk and fairy tales from around the world!

Enchanted Forest Party- Let all of the magical and mythical creatures who live in the enchanted forests of Washington County help you celebrate your next birthday with Emmy Blue's original legends and tales!

More information about scheduling your birthday parties can be found here.

P.S.  A big thank you to everyone who came out to see the Washington County Museum and Emmy Blue at the Beaverton Library for the Family Resource Fair!

Fall Tales of Enchantment at West Slope Library

Join Emmy Blue at West Slope Community Library on November 7th  at 6:30 pm for an evening of enchanted tales! This lively storytelling program, geared towards children ages 6+ and adults, includes a seasonal selection of Emmy Blue’s original fall folktales and legends about the magical creatures who live deep in the enchanted forests of the Pacific Northwest. Emmy Blue’s uplifting program will surely fill you with gratitude and love as the holiday season approaches! West Slope Community Library

Special appearances will be made by The Squatchie ©...

The Grumpalumpagus ©...

...and even those pesky Wahooligans!

Curious? Listen to this sound clip of Emmy Blue's fall favorite, The Pumpkinian© (...and find out what happens next on November 7th at 6:30 pm!)

Hope your fall season is filled with magic! Xx

Lots of love,

 

 

 

 

P.S. Don't forget to head over to Facebook and post photos of your favorite enchanted location for your chance to win an enchanted Emmy Blue prize pack!! (Feel free to post publicly or privately, however you feel most comfortable!)

Rainy day enchantments

Hello friends!

It's been a magical week filled with hustling and bustling around town telling tales and spreading enchantments! And since it's a dark rainy day, I also thought I would share some visual magic with you! Here are fresh photos from my programs taken by parents and the Washington County Museum. I hope they put a smile on your face!

Hope you have a week filled with smiles, magic and lots of sparkling sunshine! Xx

Lots of love,

Writing tales to tell

Hello friends of the forest! I hope everyone is having a magical day.

This past weekend a couple of parents asked me how I write stories for my storytelling programs and for my personalized stories. What an excellent opportunity to post another exercise to help free our creative spirits. (For the last week, I have been posting on freeing our expressive selves through creative play. So far, we've danced, danced, danced and played a  storytelling game.)

Try out my method for a little creative fun:

1.) Put yourself into a creative space.

Relax in a quiet and a private place for several minutes. Close your eyes and give yourself full permission to let go and dream. Sometimes, if it's difficult to focus, I dance, I release a scream or I shake out all of the noise in my head.

2.) With your eyes closed, imagine your storytelling audience.

Sometimes I imagine a group of wide-eyed children awaiting a story that sends them to a magical land. And sometimes I imagine a group of adults awaiting a story that reawakens the child within. If I'm writing a story for a particular audience, then I envision that audience. Your audience may vary with each story you write.

3.) Without thinking about plots or any details, watch yourself tell a story to that audience.

What do they need to hear? What do they need to see? What do they need to experience? Notice what images, thoughts, and feelings come to you. They might not make sense, but take note of everything. Sometimes I envision an entire story, but more often, I see images like scarves or I hear sounds like clapping or character voices. Incorporate these images, thoughts and feelings into the story.

3.) Pen-to-paper.

I handwrite most storytelling tales because I need to stay connected to the imagined audience. Sometimes I use a rainbow of vibrant markers and sometimes I use whatever writing I can find. The important thing is to write your ideas down without filtering. Your words will make sense in the end, I promise. At this stage, the story doesn't need a developed plot. Just let a quick story flow onto the paper.

4.)   Regardless of any gaps or holes in the plot, close your eyes and tell the story to your audience.

Note their reactions. They will gently inform you what works and what doesn't work. Incorporate their ideas and make any necessary changes. You may see more images or feel emotions that guide you to further develop your story. 

5.) Rehearse the story aloud.

Sometimes I need to practice a story hundreds of times before it feels finished, while other times I nail it on the third try. Just keep practicing until your story feels completed. And don't let your fear of performing the story determine if you are finished or not. Fear is natural and, sometimes, no matter how well you know your story, fear will trick you into thinking you aren't ready to perform it. You will never feel 100% prepared, so step through the fear and tell your story to a live audience. 

Smile as you tell your tale because you will be successful and you will have fun!

The most important thing to remember when writing a storytelling tale is to listen and trust yourself. Even if you do not think you are a writer or a storyteller yet, you have stories inside of you that need to be shared with others. Perhaps a story will help you start off a meeting at work or perhaps your children need a story to reiterate a lesson you've been teaching them. Don't think too much about it, just allow yourself to be free and to let the words flow!

Happy tales to you! Lots of love! Xx

Spice up your fall with storytelling activities

Greetings friends! Like the blustery fall winds, I'm flying around Portland spreading enchantments! Whilst I'm busy with fall faerie tale programs and bonfire programs, I wanted to send some magical fun your way! Hope you enjoy! Xx

Whether you're enjoying roasted butternut squash stew around the hearth or sipping spicy apple cider around the campfire, fall is filled with enchanted foods, fragrances and festivities! Try making these autumn moments more magical with storytelling activities! You can also try these storytelling activities while heading to the pumpkin patch, the corn maze, the apple orchard or the colourful forests. (Hopefully you have lots of fall exploration adventures planned.)

Here are three of my favourite storytelling games that I have been playing since I was a child:

1.) Liar Tales 

Have one family member tell a story about his or her day. It can either be true or it can be completely made up. After the story,  have each family member decide whether the tale was true or a lie.

2.) Roundtable Tales

Have one family member start a tale by saying the first sentence. Then have another person add onto the tale by saying the second sentence. Continue having each family member add one sentence onto the tale until you have your very own story.

3.) Picture Tales

Show the family a photograph or picture. You can find one in a newspaper, a magazine or on the internet. It can also be a photograph or postcard. It doesn't have to be fancy, some of my favourite stories have come from advertisement mailers. Let each family member tell a quick story about the photograph. I guarantee that each unique story will start up dialogue, giggling fits or lead into more stories.

Telling stories is a great way to exercise the mind! Happy tales to you!! Xx