I am so happy right now.
It's spring. The Japanese maple trees are in full leaf. Our vegetable garden is thriving. The chickens are laying. Our house (now with a beautiful new kitchen) is feeling like a home.
I'm also happy because today we celebrated my baby girl's 6th birthday.
It was a Crafternoon Tea Party for a small group of eight friends. And what an afternoon it was!
We started with healthy snacks - fruit, vegetable sticks, iced fruit tea (pink of course) and homemade pikelets with sugar-free jam and cream.
By the time the last guest arrived, the girls were already asking: "When can we start the craft?" And so it began.
Project one was a colouring-in activity. I found a cute butterfly line drawing online and with a bit of Photoshop editing turned it into an image suitable to be printed onto fabric using the amazing US-based website Spoonflower.
My goal was to have the children colour in the butterfly using fabric markers (we found ours at Officeworks) and then mount it in an embroidery hoop (I used Birch bamboo hoops - available at Spotlight). And you know what - it went exactly to plan! If you're trying this project, when you're setting up your image file for Spoonflower, remember to leave enough white space around your artwork to fill the frame.
After a short break for swinging, party pies and pink milk (mini milk bottles and crates available from Little Toot Creations) it was on to project two - fabric covered buttons.
Each of the children received a little bag containing five sets of 28mm buttons and a button making template and tool (from Pack It In). I had pre-cut fabric circles from my (ridiculous) scrap stash and stocked up on hair elastics, which I popped into jars decorated with washi tape. And together with the mums (who I think enjoyed this project even more than the kids!) we made a whole bunch of pretty hair accessories.
We still had a little time, so using this printable I found at How About Orange we made some good old-fashioned Fortune Tellers (also called a Chatterbox).
Because the children are still early readers, I printed out a list of short, fun, phrases they could copy onto their fortune teller. If I had my time over, I'd have used ordinary paper instead of cardstock, as the folding was quite tricky!
And finally, it was time for cupcakes (cupcake teacups and recipe available from Little Toot Creations).
The kids had such a blast, and I was so thrilled that our party concept was embraced with such enthusiasm by our new school friends.
Special mention too, to Sparrow Bee Designs (Alice's skirt), Cassidy's Collection (Alice's lace headband) and Style Me Gorgeous (invitations and party printables). Oh, and my mate Jane for the Armenian Spice Cake recipe!
PS. Last week, while I was feeling a tad guilty about all the time and effort I was putting into this event, I happened to pick up the latest edition of LittleONE Kids magazine. Editor Amy Doak, in the publisher's letter, had this to say about the trend towards amazingly styled kids' rooms and parties:
"The parents we met loved doing their kids' room, or party. They didn't do it to impress anyone, they just did it because they wanted to. It made them happy."
And so, I am happy.