Monday, October 17, 2011

Party: Tess's Vintage Book First Birthday (Printables)


Somebody asked me how long I spend planning a party. It depends..., mostly on how much notice I have as the ideas tend to fill the available time! This first birthday party for Tess has been bouncing around in my head for many many months. I wanted it to be extra special--she certainly is!


I had so much fun with the Golden Books Baby Shower that for Tess I wanted to do another spin on vintage books. I wanted it to be more feminine and I wanted to use the idyllic illustrations that characterize the vintage books I love: puppies and kittens and flowers and other sweet and domestic things.


I realized this style of illustration also characterizes embroidery patterns from the same era. I have a few kitchen towels my grandmother made--I'm sure you've seen the days of the week or nursery rhymes. I love them, and I decided to incorporate vintage embroidery along with vintage books, my own illustrations, pom poms, and calico with a vintage feel. All things genuinely sweetness and light for my little Tess.

  
So at summer's end, tables were set with runners, which I appliqued with vintage embroidery panels and trimmed with pom poms. I created the embroidery panels from old and new embroidered flour sack kitchen towels I purchased from Etsy and eBay. Maybe I'll repurpose them again and turn them into a quilt--wouldn't that be so sweet?!

Click to read all the details...


Placecards and pom pom ringed calico napkins marked places for each guest and at the center of the tables were vintage books! A few of my favorites including Lois Lenski, Beatrix Potter, Golden Books, Gyo Fujikawa, and others. Propping up the books were vintage book ends. Gorgeous black and white puppies with rosy cheeks! Unbelievably, I found one set from an Etsy seller in Ontario and the other from an Etsy seller in Chicago and they were clearly made by the same company. Such serendipity!


A calico pattern I drew based on my favorite Liberty of London fabric became an important motif for tying all my different vintage "loves" together. It appeared on the invitations and reappeared on paper lining trays and all the party printables.


I created a present station out of a tray table that was my mother's. It was cherry stained and I spray painted it white and lined the trays with floral paper. I love using paper to line wood trays or large platters--such an easy and fun way to pull through the theme.


I made book plates, which could also be used as gift tags, so we can remember who gave Tess which books on her first birthday. We love books and have many, but I wanted Tess to have a few of her very own to keep, and hopefully to share with her children. 


The serving table was set with a simple bouquet in an antique blue pitcher, which was also my mother's. I love blue, pink and white together!


I also used this darling embroidered quilt, which hung for years in my younger sister Sarah's room, as a tablecloth. It was just perfect for the party with it's calico puppies and kittens. I love it and I love the memories it evokes!


This bird tray, and the smaller version on the present station, are from World Market. A perfect impulse buy in time for the party and now both are on my vanity as soap tray and jewelry tray.


I found these pretty vintage drinking glasses on Etsy (the pink) and eBay (the blue). I couldn't believe how perfectly they worked with the party scheme! The flowers look almost exactly like some in the patterned paper lining the tray!




...lemonade (always my summer favorite)...


...and of course: birthday cake. Guarded by ceramic kittens, another Etsy find.


I baked a six-inch, 3-tier lemon cake with strawberry buttercream frosting and placed it on a milk glass cake stand (reminds me a bit of this cake I made for Audrey). Perfectly baby girl, I think! I made cupcakes too, which are displayed on a tiered metal stand from Target. Cupcakes seemed easier for our younger guests to enjoy.


Though Tess did just fine with her piece of cake! I served it on pressed glass plates, some from my husband's grandmother, and some from the dollar store.


Scarlett and Tess both wore their Liberty of London skirts and embroidered t-shirts (which, I purchased, though I wish I'd had time to embroider something myself).


And, Audrey wore her favorite color: purple.


Turns out the pom pom napkin rings also make good party favors: hair accessories!


But the intended favors were blank books and crayons for my nieces and nephews to "make your own book" (so fun!) and paper covered composition books for the adults. These were set up on aqua and pink tables from Scarlett's room.


I affixed bookplates in them and included a bookmark "thank you." 


My favorite part of the evening was seeing such a little girl surrounded by so much family. She loved it. She sat on the lawn and laughed and ripped open presents and played with her cousins. It was a true celebration.


And we are truly thankful for our little Tess.


If you are interested in the Vintage Book Invitation and other party printables they are available in my Etsy shop, at 50% off through October 23, with the coupon code PRINTABLES50. (Promotion has expired)

UPDATE: I created a newer version of these printables with other sweet and vintage elements. You can view the updated designs here.


20 comments:

Jessica at Me Sew Crazy said...

this is amazing!!! I put like no time at all into my parties, using paper plates and napkins most of the time - which is why I am truly impressed by those who plan and do such an amazing job with them. This is a work of art - incredible!

Sharon said...

What a lovley party! Everyting looks so perfect for this 1st brithday party!

Kristyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elizabeth said...

I LOVE the vintage linens! They look so cute on the table linens....and the outfits are darling too!

Can I be you someday? (I am so not a party planner...)

Jenny said...

Yes, I'm with Elizabeth. I want to be you when I grow up (nevermind that we are probably the same age). This is all so darling.

Mammy Made said...

Aww, that first picture of your little girl is too cute!! And the cake is amazing!! Looks like everyone had fun :)

- Ellie @ Mammy Made

Seaweed and Raine said...

It all came together so beautifully! :) I do wonder... did you have a wet weather plan? We didn't for my son's 4th, and cramming all the things we had designed for the party and everyone inside our house was a bit of a nightmare.

S xo

Jess said...

A-mazing to the max! I adore little Tess's face-seriously, she is adorable! I loved all the little touches, like bringing out those tables-I never thought about using furniture in my parties! I love the blank books for favors-the kids will love those!

Theophanie said...

WOW!!! I should have you plan our birthdays!

Ooty said...

everything - up to the tiny little detail looks so beautiful :)

kristy said...

I am agog at the coherence of your party theme. I adore 50's illustrations and would love to incorporate that into my son's first birthday party. Thanks for the inspiration!

Anneliese said...

Thanks for the nice feedback! It always makes me smile. Sometimes I get so far into a project I wonder if it makes sense to anyone else, so it's nice to hear that others see a little beauty there!

I had a couple questions about embroidery patterns, I think with reference to the girls' t shirts. I wish I had embroidered those (that was the original plan) but in fact I purchased them! They are Pears and Bears, a Kayce Hughes line but I bought them last year. I have however seen vintage embroidery patterns for sale on eBay similar to these. And I am thinking perhaps about turning my illustrations for this party into embroidery patterns. I'll certainly post about it if I do. I think it would be darling to embroider the little kitty with the party hat on a dress or apron pocket!

tasha said...

so very sweet indeed!! love all the embroidered runners with pom poms!

Biz said...

Such a cute party!
And why do little ones have to grow so quickly!
My own baby girl is almost a month old and my heart already breaks at how fast she is growing!!!

Biz

birdie blue said...

absolutely adorable party. all of your finely crafted details are perfectly spot on.

xo
molly

Jayna Rae said...

Your parties are my favorite, always. I have been curious though as to number of guests you tend to have. I know that favors, etc can get costly as the guest list increases. How do you maneuver around this issue? Do you keep things simple with mainly family?

Anneliese said...

@Jayna Rae: Until my girls are 4 or 5, they're birthdays are just about family. Even so the guest list is probably about 20. However, only a small part of those are kids, who would get the kids' favors, and in the case of this party, the paper covered composition books were for the women. The men got to come enjoy the food! Some parties I just do favors for the children, so again there are maybe 6 or 8. It does add up! Candy is an inexpensive favor and everyone seems to love it!

amy said...

This would be such a wonderful idea for a book-themed baby shower! The guests could bring books for gifts and the new baby would have a start on their book collection.

The embroidered tea towels remind me of my grandmother. So sweet!

Thank you!

Janice said...

So sweet! I'm pinning your runner at fabricsalad!

Unknown said...

I know this is an old post that I just happened to come across today and all I can say is Wow!, will you adopt me and plan and make My next birthday party. I'll be 68 in May of 2014, so there is plenty of time to plan! ;)

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