We celebrated Scarlett's birthday! About a month ago, actually. She wanted a "cowboy" party, but of all my girls, Scarlett is girly-girl, so it called for a feminine flourish. "Yes," to the horse part, and cowboy hats, and some western elements, such as burlap, but I was also thinking about the strong women who could ride fast with the boys when they needed to, but also made rough prairie houses beautiful homes, and appreciated floral calico and roses and refined touches, such as tablecloths, to balance out the leather and dust. I guess that's the kind of cowgirl I imagine Scarlett would be. So I arrived at a Prairie Rose Cowgirl idea.
We invited some family and friends over for pony rides. We had ponies (horses really) at one of Audrey's parties too. Such a great way to entertain a bunch of little guests. Not only can they ride the ponies, but they can feed them too, with carrots and apples and sugar cubes. Getting that little palm flat is the only trick.
But because they all can't be on a horse at once, I thought another game would be a good idea. I made some personalized kraft paper wallets and printed play money for the little cowgirls and cowboys to shop at the general store. I don't know about you but visiting a general store always sounded like a highlight to me: everything from food staples to toys to fabric, clothing and tools, fresh produce, and of course, candy!
Seemed better than handing them a bag of goodies and they loved it! They had to work to fill their paper bags by redeeming play money in increments of one and five. Audrey played the shop keeper and took her job fairly seriously. I probably should have explained the role a bit better!
My favorite part of the whole event was that the girls set up the store themselves (with a bit of help from their father). I brought them glass jars which they filled and priced with kraft hang tags. They then carried everything out to our storefront (our playroom puppet theater actually, which I embellished with a rough sign and calico curtains) and organized it: bushels of apples, bins of bandanas, and stacks of cowboy hats in front, art supplies and toys on the right and candies on the left. It was so much fun!
The serving table was decked with a burlap tablecloth I made and some incredible faux patchwork cotton-linen japanese fabric in a strawberry-rose calico print I purchased here. (The only questions is what to do with it next--it's so great!)
Above the table hung a bunting made with strips of calico knotted in half along some jute twine. And on the table were red striped napkins (IKEA dishtowels tied with twine) in a galvanized bin (from IKEA long ago...) and bamboo plates, carrot and celery sticks with ranch dip (of course!), corn on the cob, tater tots, and everyone's favorite (especially the adults!): fried chicken tenders. The fried food was purchased because I couldn't make it better if I tried, and I've realized it's not possible (or worth it) to try and do it all...
And, of course, the cupcakes! They were a triple-tiered batch of vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting (my go-to recipe found here minus the lemon flavoring and plus some vanilla) sprinkled with raw sugar and wrapped in strips of burlap. Yum!
The girls wore things I had sewn for them. Audrey in a Prairie Rose Dress of my design (which she promptly changed out of into an outfit of her choosing once she had the chance...she didn't love the dress, sadly, even though she picked the fabric--Sweet Tweet), Tess in a little Angel Sleeve dress I made for her this summer (for once I planned ahead!), and Scarlett in a Prairie Blouse and Prairie Ruffle Pants (patterns are coming, just not as quickly as I was hoping! UPDATE: Pattern info here.). I adore Scarlett's blouse fabric--it's a gorgeous voile I found here. I had thought about full culottes for her but went with a bit narrower wide-leg ruffle pant (the same design I made for Tess here) in a turquoise stretch denim from Joann.
We had a great time! Thank goodness my sister-in-law and her friend were in town to help me along with my husband and girls in the last minute crunch (last couple hours actually). No matter how much of a headstart you get (and I really didn't get enough in this case) it still seems to be a bit of a sprint at the end. But a fun one! Especially now that these girls are getting old enough to really help! I love that!
If you are interested in printables inspired by by this Prairie Rose Cowgirl party (those shown here including the wallets and play money plus more) you can find the party printables suite here in my Etsy shop.