Friday, November 18, 2011

Party: Scarlett's Woodland Picnic Birthday (Printables)


When I was thinking about Scarlett's birthday party this year I felt strongly about one thing: I wanted to have all the food prepped and ready about fifteen minutes before my guests arrived so I could wipe the sweat from my brow, take a deep breath, and just enjoy the party!


As much as I loved playing hostess it seems that often the event wraps up and I feel like I spent more time with food and clearing than with my guests. I think it's always the predicament of the hosts. It's an art to be sure to throw a great party with tasty food and interesting details and have some great, full-length conversations with your guests too. I can think of some fun ways (I've read, and seen, and tried) to do this and most of them involve not cooking everything yourself. I'm learning...


So Scarlett's party this year was designed to be casual: I invited our family to a Woodland Picnic. A pack-your-own picnic to be specific. And it worked perfectly! It was such a fun way to throw a party!


I was, in fact, able to have everything prepackaged and ready to go a few minutes before start time (which also gave me time to take pictures of Audrey and Scarlett in the wrap skirt and apron wrap dress I'd made for the occasion) and the guests had the fun of picking, choosing and packing from a spread of picnic foods.


The only thing that wasn't as perfect as the idea was the weather. That's how it goes in the Fall. It was warm enough to pack a picnic outdoors but not warm enough to sit and eat it there! So even though I'd gathered wood stumps for stools and made an over sized picnic blanket (imagine how fun that would have been!), this picnic was eaten indoors! Oh well. We all still had a great time.


Click to read all the details about the food, favors, printables and a surprise visitor!



This Woodland Picnic party had some hallmarks of a classic picnic including plenty of red and white gingham. This graphic print just doesn't get old for me! I loved combining it with some organic elements for this party including a faux bois tablecloth from Scarlett's first birthday, these great banana leaf individual picnic baskets and a natural wood bowl for holding napkin and fork bundles. I used waffle dishtowels purchased from Target and bamboo forks inscribed with "Enjoy!" in red marker.


It was a lot of fun coming up with ways to package the menu. I bought a lot of supplies including kraft boxes, glassine bags, gingham fabric tape, and gingham cupcake wrappers from Jilly Bean Kids. Then it was a matter of figuring out what food went best with the supplies! I opted for lined kraft boxes topped with a round sticker for the Caprese Salad,...


...white round hot/cold containers purchased from this Etsy shop for the traditional three-bean salad (I actually purchased and spruced up with some fresh parsley),...


(I loved making the labels for these with a 3.5" round punch and the printables I designed! So many possibilities for this type of packaging...)


...glassine bags and my own gingham DIY washi tape for potato chips...


and larger glassine bags tied with twine and a hang tag to distinguish the...



...Muffaleta sandwiches (recipe here) for adults...



...from the PB&J sandwiches for the kids. (Although I certainly didn't mind if the adults took the PB&J or vice versa!)


Instead of birthday cake I served a more "picnic" dessert: chocolate marshmallow cake I cut into squares, nestled in gingham cupcake liners, and stacked on a natural wood round cutting board atop an enamel cake stand I had from Audrey's birthday.




I wanted my picnickers to be able to eat the cake without a plate and fork. I topped the stack of desserts with a gingham and floral mini bunting with number "3" to celebrate Scarlett.


Water bottles and cane sugar sodas were set out on stumps for guests to grab after their baskets were packed.


 (you have to indulge at a party and nothing beats the real thing--cane sugar soda!)


I set up an eating table with faux bois runner I sewed, ...


...some beautiful over sized yarn pompom "flowers" displayed in glass spice jars (sea salt and peppercorns purchased from Bed Bath and Beyond I believe), and...



...candy, of course. Glassine favor bags filled with white gumballs for everyone and for more immediate snacking, an assortment of old fashioned candies in the right colors: mustard yellow and brown!



I also made something else for my nieces and nephews: faux bois mini clipboards with a stack of patterned paper and a twig crayon for doodling. I made the clipboards with my own faux bois paper (part of the printables for this party) referencing a how-to in this gorgeous book and added glass magnets with their initials on the clip. The magnets were a great find in the Michael's clearance section.


The clipboards were a big hit! I threw some stickers in the mix too and all the young guests were entertained.


Until the real entertainment arrived:









Cute Scarlett had been telling me for months that she wanted various fictional characters to come to her birthday. Winnie the Pooh and Smokey the Bear were frequent mentions. I wasn't keen on a lot of Winnie the Pooh images at her party and learned the rigors of the Smokey the Bear brand management (good for the Forest Service but I'm sad to learn Smokey doesn't make many appearances these days!), so having him visit wasn't possible. Luckily I found the perfect brown bear locally. Big and furry but still friendly, though Scarlett wasn't so sure at first! He brought Scarlett a woodland owl, red balloons for all the kids, and gave out big hugs. 


It was a fun picnic birthday party!

(If you are interested in the printables I designed for this party they are available in my Etsy shop at 50% through November 30th 2011. Use the code PRINTABLES50.)

29 comments:

The Lady said...

Such a cute theme! Love the wood stumps for the drinks. You have outdone yourself. ADORABLE!

The Cottage Mama said...

Always perfection. You are amazing - love all your attention to details. Such an adorable theme. Great job!

Emily said...

Love the theme and the fun picnic baskets! The food (and the packaging) looks perfect. Did I miss the picture of the picnic blanket you made? Happy birthday Scarlett!

Anneliese said...

@Emily: No, no picture of the picnic blanket. It was a hemmed piece of fabric with an oversized version of the red and white gingham. We ended up putting it on the floor inside fore the kids to sit on but no photos...

CBH said...

I have been waiting to see this! It looks fantastic, such a great theme and birthday party.

I hope Scarlett was happy with the brown bear once she was used to him, what a shame about Smokey the Bear.

I think you said in a previous post that all you've done this year is plan parties, well you excelled at those, but you also planned a vacation abroad. You're going to need a mini-break once Christmas is all done. I imagine you're busy executing what you want to do for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Well done to you and thanks for sharing.

Christine

justjenn said...

That is a gorgeous looking party.

Jenny said...

Every single detail is just wonderful.

Cynthia said...

You are simply AMAZING! Well done!

Tilly said...

I landed here by accident, and I'm hooked! Your blog is beautiful, and inspiring - I think I'll be digging out my sewing machine this weekend, after a long hiatus. And your girls are stunning. Thank you for giving me an enjoyable hour or so, trawling through your posts. :)

Marcie said...

Simply fantastic! Especially love the beautiful sandwich packaging and pompom "flowers"--full of great ideas! Certainly you'll need a vacation after that and upcoming holidays.

Ooty said...

Amazing as always :)

Seaweed and Raine said...

You have done a superb job again! :) I love your images (and the look on Scarlett's face when the brown bear arrived!). I love you to share your tips on getting photographs of the birthday things... I never seem to managed it before the kids start demolishing it all! lol

QuiltSwissy said...

My birthday is in January.....can you come live with me??

glen

Anonymous said...

wow. that turned out to be a wonderful party, I just loved it. Waiting for my little ones first birthday this February. Yet to decide on how to organize it.

Josh and Laura said...

You are so talented! What a darling party. I love every detail!

Sandy said...

So cozy!
Love it all.
Where that you get those wood forks?
Such a detail.

Sam said...

Wow, you inspired to do something the same for our kids Christmas sledding party. Thanks for the great ideas.

Zetaclear

"S" and family said...

Found your blog through ikatbag and had to start following. Love your parties! Love your crafts!

Kris romantic birthdayideas.com said...

This is a great idea. I love your creative design with the decorations. Keep up the great work.

Kris romantic birthdayideas.com said...

This is a great idea. I love your creative design with the decorations. Keep up the great work.

Kris romantic birthdayideas.com said...

This is a great idea. I love your creative design with the decorations. Keep up the great work.

Kris romantic birthdayideas.com said...

This is a great idea. I love your creative design with the decorations. Keep up the great work.

Stephanie Principe said...

You are unbelievably talented. What an adorable and original them for a child's birthday party. I truly enjoy reading all of your posts.

Tammie Lee said...

such a beautiful and wonderful party. thank you for sharing and inspiring me!

B. said...

Gorgeous party! I love all the details...the faux bois and gingham and pom-pom flowers.

Anthea Vander said...

You are a picnic lover's guru. I am a total sucker for a picnic, but I've never seen one quite like this! Incredible...

http://www.iampetitedynamite.blogspot.com

Elise Johnson said...

Lori from Encourage Your Spouse sent me over and I'm so glad she did! I can hardly wait to put together a party like this. Wonderful ideas and your daughters are precious. Love, love, love all of the sewing projects, pom-pom flowers, food, everything! Thanks so much for sharing!

Yolanda Crisostomo said...

So Creative!

Amish Fiction Writer Sicily Yoder said...

Awesome blog!

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