I had a busy December. Cookie orders coming out my ears, a Gingerbread party at our house, Christmas at our house, and two weeks after..Ally's birthday. There was a lot going on. First up was the venue search. Let's just say the Snohomish County area is in a dire need of party venues. I've wanted to open an event/party/wedding venue since I got married 7 years ago...this search confirmed the dream. Aside from bouncy house places and your typical roller rink/children's museums..there's NOTHING for parties. Let me back up. There are places to rent...FOR A WEDDING..which means you'll be paying wedding prices. No thanks. So I searched. I searched from Bellingham to Seattle. Every hall, barn, room, warehouse you could find. Negative.
Right as I was about to settle on a place I wasn't crazy for, I found A Country Location from a google search. A hidden little gem! I've lived in this same area forever and never knew about it. And who would. You drive past house after house until voila, the most darling barn, absolutely perfect for an owl party. Done.
Invites. I'm a firm believer that an invitation sets the stage for a party. Thank Goodness I found Sara a few years ago. Sara is amazing. A friend referred me to her etsy shop and now, even though we've never met in person, I totally feel like we're friends. She has worked with me on every invite, christmas card, thank you card, label, sticker, logo..you name it...for the past two years. And when I say work with me, I mean we've gone back and forth 80 times on a single project. She's patient. She accepts crazy, over the top, picky me. She created Ally's flamingo invite last year where I wanted the flamingo's legs to be in the shape of a 4, Hudson's Sesame Street invite when I wanted a Sesame Street theme but no character/commercialized look, a shower invite to resemble PBK's Lambie bedding, a vintage/retro family Christmas card, even wedding invites and programs, all after 50 back and forth emails a piece. She gets it.
For this years invite I was inspired by Ally's PBK bedding. Green gingham, bright pink polka dots, brown polka dots, floral patterns and of course owls. I added a swing in the tree because Ally had gotten it in her head that she wanted a cake with a swing. Silly girl. But ok.
Ally was an owl for Halloween with the sweetest little costume from PBK. I took the wings of her costume over to my friend Elaine, of The Pickie Needle. Elaine can do/make/replicate anything. Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier wedding gowns, done. Owl wings would be a breeze. She took Ally's costume and made the most darling set of wings for each child coming to the party. Owl wings, check.
I bought white plastic masks and feathers at Michaels and had planned on the kids making their own masks at the party. But after a failed adult attempt at one, that idea went out the window. Thankfully, my Aunt Susan said she'd be more than happy to make the kids masks out of felt. They were Adorable. And an entire yard of felt costs only 2.99. It's like free.
After all the details, decorations and desserts, I can't justify using plastic tablecloths. Lucky me, I found brown table cloths on clearance at Target for $5/each. Kinda plain, but I had bought some pink tulle panels at PBK on sale for $4.97-40%. I thought they could be sewn around the hem of the tablecloths to add a little something girly. My friend Lorelei offered, and in addition ALSO sewed on the cutest polka dots in green gingham, pink polka dot, brown polka dot and pink floral fabric. Absolutely Perfect.
I spent two nights making tissue poms and tulle balls. It's a chore. But so rewarding when you finally get them open and they just smile back at you. I love them. After the poms I cut felt circles. You'd think after Hudson's party I'd be sick of the felt cutting. No, I found something different to do with the felt. Line up a bunch of felt circles, sew through each one and you'll have the cutest garland. Again, a big thanks to Aunt Susan for seeing spots after sewing all those together for me.
A few days before Ally's party I glanced at my dining room and saw a very clear resemblance between Ally's party goodies and everything I packed to take to my wedding 7 years ago. Seeing that I'm only one person, I needed help. Help getting it to the venue and help setting up. Thank goodness for my mom, queen of retail floor sets and visuals combined with my get-it-done friend Wendy, they single handedly hung all the tissue balls, paper lanterns, tulle balls, and garland while the rest of my friends (Lorelei, Hailey, Naomi, Naz and Emily) set up everything else. It was pretty nice, I just ran around and directed everyone. Go team.
We got it all done just as guests were arrving. The party was a blast. The kids had a great time painting ceramic owls, making pinecone owls, playing musical chairs and fly the owl to the tree. We sent each kid home with enough goodies to have their own personal owl party.
It really was a hoot.