Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Big 10!

My baby is 10 now! I'm not sure if that is the reason I went so over the top on her party this year or if it is because she chose a theme so close to both our hearts. Alice in Wonderland. It has always been a favorite of mine and I guess it kind of rubbed off on Athena at a very young age because she can quote the movie/book pretty much word for word. So, when she told me she wanted an Alice party this year my creative juices were flowing like crazy.
We decided a Mad Tea Party would be fun. I got inspired by the original illustrations for the invitations. There were several places online that could print something close to what we wanted but nothing was just right, so we made our own. Luckily her list was short so we just hand colored all of them to get just the right look.

One of the fun things about a Mad tea party is that nothing has to match, so I set out to find china and tea cups at all the thrift stores in the valley. So each girl had a different plate and tea cup. I also finally got to make use of all the mismatched silver utensils that belonged to my grandma that I haven't had the heart to let go of. I wanted to have something that sort of matched though to tie the table setting together. I found this great tutorial for napkin rings here. Then added a different colored paper flower I found at Michaels to each one. The funny thing is I think only two kids actually even took the napkin out of the ring and used it.

Athena wanted to have the little cakes that say EAT ME on them, but she also wanted to have a big birthday cake. So I came up with the idea of fun size candy bars as a compromise. We had a jar of these on the table and a few in each girls goodie bag along with the wax soda bottle with the Drink Me tag.

I found some fun decorations at the party store to hang from the light over the dining room table. Then just using a bunch of stuff I already owned, the thrift store china and some fresh flowers the table was ready. We served little sandwiches cut out in shapes like stars, circles and spades. There were chips, goldfish and pretzel rods. Olives, pickles and the candy jar. I just loved how it all came together. Every party should be a tea party in my opinion. I even snuck my little Cheshire Cat statue in front of Athena's place at the head of the table.

Athena made a bunch of silly signs to hang up around the house and in the courtyard leading up to the door. Just like the ones in the movie. Don't step on the momeraths, this way, that way, UP, yonder, mad hatter and then on the front door White Rabbit. They were so simple, just some craft foam in several colors and a marker. She wrote them in caps and lowercase haphazardly then cut them out in silly shapes.

The whole time I was working on the party I had the song in my head "we're painting the roses red" so I knew I had to do something with this but I just couldn't figure out what. I made a sign to hang on the back door leading out to the croquet game but it was missing something. Then just a couple of days before the party I was inspired by my very creative sister in law Natalie with this. So I was off to the dollar store for crepe paper. It took me a few tries but once I got the hang of it I was addicted to making these little roses. I needed to be able to glue mine to a sign though. So on the last round I just did a little twist of the two ends and then glued them both to the bottom of the rose so I could glue them to my sign. But this wasn't enough, I wanted more roses! But I wanted them bigger. I found that if I held two strips of crepe paper next to each other I could make them twice as big. So then as I was walking out to get the mail one day it came to me. On the day of her party Athena caught the cards painting the roses red.

Every party has to have games. And it just wouldn't be a proper Alice in Wonderland party without croquet. So my next quest took me accross the valley to a little party shop in Tempe for giant cards. Most of the girls had never played before, but all seemed to have a good time with it.

The other given is Pin the Grin on the Cheshire Cat. Athena and I painted ours to look like the Disney one because he has the best grin for the game. There were lots of giggles with this one. One of the girls even stuck hers on the door to the kitchen.

Then last but not least, we had to have the perfect cake. She didn't want the usual sheet cake with a few plastic critters stuck on the top so we decided to try out a local bakery this year, Baker Wee. She chose to do it in the colors of the Cheshire Cat. It was very delicious, and very cute. But based on the price, I really need to start trying my hand at fondant! I think I could have pulled it off, you know with all the spare time I had the day of the party.

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