08 July, 2010

My Creative Space - The Third Birthday Challenge

Look, I don't have pay TV, so maybe it's been done before, but I'm thinking that kids party "event management" could be the next reality TV "big thing". And this has been my creative space this week.

The Challenge - to do a not-to-stressy three year old's birthday party at home, with a merry-go-round theme, for seven little (and admittedly non-judgemental) guests.

The Conditions - daylight hours are out due to normal household/parenting stuff, you need to breastfeed every couple of hours and there'll be lots of siblings coming too because it's school holidays.And don't go stupid with the budget.

The Reality -  And I'm happy to admit a lot of this party was about me - and how I wanted to do my child's birthday party. I really like to make memories for all of us, and to be able to look back on the year and have it punctuated by memorable and happy events. That's why I stay up late and do this crafty stuff. Often things don't quite go to plan, and I was a bit frantic just before the 10am deadline (with heavy editing I'm sure it could have been entertaining) but all things considered, this one was a goodie.

There were quite a few kids and the rain held off just long enough...

The hobby horses were a hit. I ended up making six (for seven guests - I know - but I was obviously a little bleary that night, but then I was pretty sure I could count on at least one little one refusing to participate) and my self-imposed condition was that I had to use fabrics and ribbons from my stash. With my mother-in-law's help, I stuffed them with the innards of some old (washed) pillows but I did buy some lovely new broomsticks (not too expensive though). I used the darning foot to 'free motion' stitch around the eyes (felt circles with a top layer of clear plastic) and predictably stabbed myself with the needle - geez, is there a secret about that foot that I don't know about?

Used this video tutorial for inspiration to make the horses.

The clothesline carousel was great (there were more kids involved just before I took this photo - really!).

The cake was fun, but I gave up on the idea of having a cake on the top too and used a circle of cardboard with a wedge cut out of it to make a pointed roof thingy.

And there is no such thing as a horse-shaped cookie cutter in this town (seriously - don't little girls like ponies anymore? I thought they'd be so easy to find...), so those horses are shaped with a play dough cutter and skewered with well, a skewer. S wanted a red cake, so I used Cathie's recipe for Red Velvet Cake, and it rose and rose... would have been perfect to cut into four layers for this cake icing attempt actually.

And finally, some thank-you bags containing some odd bits and pieces that I hoped little ones would like.

The Judgement - with a bit of grandmotherly and friendly help in the kitchen, almost everything went according to plan.

When asked what her favourite part of the day was, S replied, "The merry-go-round cake".

Better than anything Gary, George or Matt could have said.

For more creative spaces, head over to Kirsty at Kootooyoo.

And here's cheers to a husband who is starting to 'get' my blogging and actually offered to help take a photo of the horses. Thanks D.

And about that reality TV show - I'd be keen, but sorry, I'm too busy doing it for really real.


  1. Cor I would have loved a merry-go-round themed birthday party as a kid! Maybe even now haha. The hobby horses are BRILLIANT!

  2. Just... wow! I love themed parties & all things coordinated, so this takes the cake! (Sorry, couldn't resist). Those Hobby Horses are darling, and have so much detail! I think I can spy some stars on the neck of that blue one in the last photo... I love the skewered bikkies on the cake... I have an awesome dino-shaped cookie cutter so I may have to do something with that for my next bday! ;)

  3. Gawd that's such clever decorating and it looks so much fun:)

  4. those hobby horses are brilliant! and I love how the party theme carried through so nicely (my favourite bit would have to be the clothesline carousel - my inner child is jumping for joy just thinking about it!)

  5. You did such a good job!! Those hobby horses are just delightful and the cake!! Fantastic! Sounds like it all came in fairly well under budget and without too much stress :)

  6. Wonderful! I love how you used some supplies you had without going an buying new fabric etc.

    What a lot of work! But worth it because it all looks gorgeous. Andf all so carefully planned.

    Good on you!

  7. I just wanted to say again how marvelous the ponies are.

    I hope you have room to keep them all.

  8. wow.... what an absolutely amazing birthday party! your a wonderful mom for putting all that together!! those horses are so so amazing!! i used to have one when i was young...but not nearly as cool as those! and the cake.... WOW!!!

  9. well done - those horses are just fantastic and the cake - brilliant. I am keen to use horses at our 'farm' party, but i am nervous they will be used for hitting each other on the head..... am assuming none of that went on?? and unfortunately mine will most likely need to be made of paper... no sewing genius here. I'm loving your inspiration though!

  10. You are amazing, your hobby horses are fantastic....want to make one for myself!! :O)

  11. You are amazing! Well done - I love your ideas. What a great party and a great gift you gave to your little girl.

  12. LAUREN2:25 pm

    Anna - ever thought of a party hire business? I am thinking we could bring those horses out time and time again for a number of different themes - can I hire them for a Melbourne Cup luncheon? And great cake - perfect!


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