I'd already told Una that this year we would celebrate her birthday at our home, which is a small, very narrow, cottage in Hertfordshire, so it would be an equally small number of children. Until this year she has always had a pretty big do at a hall or restaurant. But now she is 7, we decided an intimate party with just a few of her friends from school would be fun. And more manageable for me with a busy month of parties and Mrs Fox's Crafty Boxes launching.
I planned to make something for Una to wear at the party. One of my children's birthday and Christmas gifts is always made or vintage. So, this year I made a peacock tutu, for my little Peacock Princess. I will give more details on the making of this in my next post.
The party started straight after school with Una, her cousin, Joseph, and 5 friends. In the front room I set up a simple craft for the guests on their arrival; making paper lanterns and these beautiful paper-craft peacocks that I bought from Happy Thoughts Papercraft. Just something to keep them busy until everyone had arrived. These are sold as downloadable PDF's on Happy Thoughts site and are GREAT value for money and perfect as a party craft.
Once all the little guests had arrived we moved into the back sitting room where I had set up a table with our main craft; making peg dolls. Scraps of fabric and paper, ribbon, string and wool, felt tip pens and a few black sharpie pens, scissors and glue were what this required, along with old style wooden pegs with little stands. I also supplied them with a single pot of turquoise paint. The results were great. I had several peg dolls I had made for them to take inspiration from but otherwise I let them do whatever they liked. I had one boy amongst the guests and so had some more 'masculine' peg doll ideas. A couple of the girls really liked his superhero peg dolls and so Captain Fartypants was joined by a couple of other scatalogically named superheros.
After the peg dolls we had our first game. Onto A2 sized paper I hand painted a peacock, taken from a design by the fabulous Lab Partners -a design duo based in Oakland, CA whose limited edition prints can be purchased and are shipped internationally. I left white shapes on the design to be filled in with peacock feathers. These feathers I cut out from the handmade paper I used to make the children's sweetie cube party favours. The children each had a feather with their name on and had to try and stick these onto the white shapes on the peacock. Much hilarity fuelled by chocolate 'peacock eggs' for the 'winners' lead to several rounds of this game.
And then it was time for tea. I used my mismatched vintage china to serve a typical party tea. Una felt very grown up as she hosted her little guests, who were left in the playroom unattended until the noises coming from the room started to sound like little high-pitched gremlins running amok.
After tea we had a few more games, musical bumps and pass the parcel. I'd made a peacock birthday cake, and candles were duelly blown out. I'm quite proud of the result of my mad rush on Tuesday morning to purchase a giant cup cake mould and cake decorating supplies. The warm helpful staff at the Sugarsmiths in Hertford were supportive to a fault, even though I must have seemed a complete idiot. I've no baking skills at all, and simply figured fondant icing surely works like playdo and if I can paint a peacock onto paper I can paint a peacock onto a giant sponge cup cake.
Phew! I was more than exhausted when the children were ready to go home. Their party bag was decorated with more peacock feathers, handmade paper and real. A little sweetie cube, another peg doll kit and a Happpy Thought papercraft peacock to do at home, a mini paint box and a chocolate cupcake with a single edible rice paper peacock feather on it. I sent them off happy (nay hyper!) with their parents and then sank into the sofa with my little foxes telling me how great the party was. Even if I didn't enjoy all the crafting, baking, decorating and entertaining those words would make it all worthwhile.
And next Wednesday, I will be doing Louis, my car mad soon to be 4 year old son's party. We are taking inspiration from his favourite book of the moment; Cars and Trucks And Things That Go. So, look out for details on that one too.