Saturday, 24 March 2012

No wonder you're late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow.

This post is late. I can't blame my watch though. Or even a strange white rabbit with a big pocket watch. We've all had the current lurgy that's been doing the rounds. In the words of Alice "I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, Sir, because I'm not myself you see."
So, I shall now begin at the beginning and go on till I come to the end; then stop.

This month, my eldest turned 5. First of all, I'm wondering where on earth the time has gone?! Wow - my baby is a proper little girl now. I think that in the past 5 years, I have learnt so much more than I could previously have thought possible. This one little person, has taught me so much about life already - she has tested me, exposed me and shown me a whole other side to my personality that I hadn't seen before. And I know that it doesn't stop here :)

Secondly, the party...
So, I love the creative side of parties (I'm still getting the hang of the child-entertaining/control thing that my Mum and Auntie have perfected Yoda-style. Maybe one day they'll pass this child-whisperer gift on to me?). I know that full-on traditional children's parties are a time-limited priviledged experience. My parents took this seriously. I have fond memories of creative cakes, pass-the-parcel and blancmange bunnies in green jelly (that can't just be in my house?). If you ask my brother, he'll tell you that for years he believed that my parents built him a pirate ship for one party. Turns out, a child's imagination is a wonderful thing - my Dad had put a couple of picnic benches together, added a string border & a few Jolly Rodger flags, and we all thought we had the best playspace.
I want to be able to pass this memory making experience on to my children (and I love a creative challenge!) so, when Poppy (my now newly turned 5 year old) took inspiration from " Everything Alice" and a theatre group performing "Alice in Wonderland" at her school, and asked for a Mad Hatter's Tea Party for her birthday, I was a happy bunny (or white rabbit).

Tea Parties (mad, or otherwise) require tea cups. Cue charity shop rummaging and family borrowing. It's amazing what's hiding in my parents' loft!
With cups and saucers, come tea pots...lots! My Father-in-Law had this fab find...
With credit to this lovely blog, an old light fitting became a pink famingo-esque cake stand...

And playing cards make fab decorations!

I wish I'd taken photos of the table, but I got carried away & forgot to take any before the guests arrived. Basically, we had one very long table, with blue table cloths at either end, then white in the middle, marked by looked like Alice's skirt and apron :) On it were the tea cups & saucers, tea-pots, white & red roses, heart sparkles & even a dormouse!

I had lots of fun with the cake(s!). The dress code for the party was "dress for Wonderland, or wear your fanciest hat". Poppy wanted to be the Queen of Hearts (as her dress is longer than Alice's, and it's all about the length and swishiness of your skirt when you're a budding princess 5-year old). So my Sindy doll (circa. 1986ish...I told you my parents' loft was amazing) got a make-over Gok Wan would have been proud of...
Plus some cupcake favours to take home...
Poppy and her pals had a great time. We themed games around the Alice in Wonderland story, "Humpty Dumpty's Egg & Spoon Race", "The Red Queen Says", "Musical Mad Hats" and "Find the Cheshire Cat" to name a few.

And now it's over, memories have been made & I look forward to seeing what sticks out most for her in years to come. With three daughters, I hope there are many more parties to have fun with!

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