Little Betty’s Fairy Tea Party

Once again, February finds me frazzled and knee deep in birthday party planning mode!  I was sure I would have lovely weather this year, since the last two years totally boned me and my party plans.  So, ever the optimist, I planned a Fairy Tea Party for sweet Little Betty’s 5th birthday party.  If I do say so myself, it was everything I’d hoped.

IMG_1547I spent weeks cleaning out every thrift store in a 25 mile radius of all their teacups, saucers, and dessert plates.  My vision was mismatched shabby chic.  Not original, I know, but so lovely.IMG_1548I was expecting about 25 children, so instead of borrowing every child sized table and chair I could find I decided to improvise with a piece of 4×8 plywood, some bricks, and grass seating.  It worked like a charm.

For the traditional photo op (you know I can’t have a party without one) we did a fairy throne with breezy fabric, flowers, and a fairy house all decorated for a party.  It certainly wasn’t my best photo station, but we did get some good photos out of it.IMG_1545For activities, we had a station to make fairy flower headbands:IMG_6126                     We had a really amazing face painter too:IMG_1575

IMG_6190                       And of course everyone left with a new pair of fairy wings:IMG_6263               Wouldn’t you know, though, the jumpy castle was the biggest activity attraction:IMG_6132             Although the playhouse saw it’s share of adorable wee fairies fluttering in and out of it:IMG_6211Fairy food was of course in abundance, like chocolate pretzel fairy wands:IMG_6220                     And fruit fairy wands:IMG_6242                      We also had raspberry and cheese toadstools and cucumber, cheese, and bread fairy houses:IMG_1560Not a crumb was left over so I’m going to count that as a success.

 

In all it was a magical day.IMG_6281

 

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IMG_1554In the end we had a very happy 5 year old fairy, and a very tired mommy.  But it was worth it.

The Halloween Costume

It’s that time of year again… when your old pal Betty’s head begins to build up pressure at an alarming rate with a ridiculous queue of crafty goals for the holidays, until it inevitably explodes in a shower of bakelite buttons, miniature fawns, and knee hugging elves.  Of course, this year is no exception.  The holiday season craft extravaganza kick off, as always, is Little Betty’s Halloween costume.

Let’s review, shall we?

Little Betty’s first Halloween costume was the only one I didn’t make.  I found this totally adorbs ladybug costume and couldn’t pass it up.  Cute, no?

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The next year, however, it was on.  I wanted to capitalize on the very rare couple of years where I got to pick her costume entirely.  What would be super cute that she would never allow me to dress her as when she can express an opinion?  Why, a tiny lady gnome of course!

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Here she is with her little bestie.  I made the hat and the dress.  I am 1000% in love with the vintage fabric I used for the apron.

The following year I found such a precious 1950s pattern for a cowgirl outfit that I couldn’t resist.

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And now I can tell you from experience that sewing a tiny pearl snap western shirt is no laughing matter.  But the end result was so worth it!  I used the most incredible pink western print barkcloth for the yoke and cuffs.

Last year was the first year Little Betty decided what she wanted to be.  I was bracing for the inevitable princess, but thank Jeebus she decided she wanted to be a purple unicorn. 1980′s vintage pattern to the rescue!

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But this year I was not so lucky.  As you may remember from my last post, Little Betty wanted to be Rosie Bumps N Bruises from Lalaloopsy.  Hey, at least I dodged the princess bullet for another year, right?

This:

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Plus this:

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Equals this!

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And here she is with her little bestie again:

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Photo credit Jennifer M. Ramos

 

The resulting little dress is so great that I kinda want her to wear it all the time.  I love the little vintage buttons I used for the back:

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I used a pink and white seersucker and it really is just the cutest thing ever.  Of course, Little Betty much preferred the cheap satin costume that came with the wig and I had to do some serious negotiating to get her to wear the one I made.  The mister had to gently remind me that she is 4 and not purposely trying to wound me to my very core.

And now on to Kitschmas crafts!  My head is swimming, y’all.  I have a LOT of crafty endeavors lined up…

Scenes of Summer at Casa Crafter

Ah, the lazy, hazy days of summer.  We’ve been soaking up all the sun and free time with glee around here.

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I’ve even been doing some baby crafting!  I knitted up these cute mary jane booties for a grand niece who will be arriving soon:

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And I’ve been sewing up a sweet doll for my dear tiny niece’s first birthday present:

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We’ve been enjoying the many gifts the backyard is providing:

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…even if that means fighting off a persistently broody hen!

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We also set up shop at our very first antique fair.  It was a lot of fun meeting both the other dealers and the shoppers.  Plus it was pretty profitable!

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We also welcomed a new member to the family!  Meet the incredibly adorable Millie:

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Did your eyeballs explode from the cute??  Even though we are all shredded to bits from her tiny razor-sharp kitten claws, everyone in the houes adores her.

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We plan on wringing every last drop of enjoyment we can out of this summer.  What are you doing to enjoy the summer?

The Tricky Art of Kid Birthday Parties

This week my sweet Little Betty turned 4.  Such a bittersweet day it was – so proud of my girl yet finding myself on the verge of tears over the realization that my baby was gone and in her place was a graceful, smart, and funny girl.  But enough about that – let’s talk about parties!  Kid birthday parties can be tricky stuff, and I’m finding that it gets trickier the older she gets.  One must have the right balance of activities, refreshments, and guests.  I’m sure it will not surprise you at all to know that your friend Betty tends to go off the deep end when planning Little Betty’s birthday parties.  Let’s take a walk down memory lane, shall we?  Maybe you can gain something from my mistakes and successes.

Little Betty’s first birthday party was a vaudeville theme.  Yes, random, I know.  I am not sure what came over me.  it seemed like a great idea at the time, and I must admit that it came off pretty well.  The important thing is that it spawned an enduring theme for me – the photo station!

Luckily a girlfriend of mine is a set painter and she helped me create this totally baller mural.  Our party favors were vintage polaroids of our guests taken in the mural.  It worked out great – a smashing success.

How about Mr. Crafter’s awesome mutton chops??  I sure miss those.  We also had candy mustaches, cameo barrettes and pins for the kids, and a vintage circus elephant cake topper.  Unfortunately Little Betty was too young to truly appreciate how awesome her 1st birthday party was.

Her 2nd birthday party might have been the best.  It was a woodland theme and it was incredible.  It was also the only party I had a professional photographer for – I highly recommend this if you can swing it!

For this party I made cupcakes instead of a cake and also set up a terrarium making station.  I spent weeks searching out vintage fawns, owls, squirrels, and gnomes to adorn both.  I also made little cottages and mushrooms out of polymer clay.  Yes, I may be insane.  I am definitely an overachiever.

But by far the best part of this party was the photo station.  I forced convinced Mr. Crafter to construct a fake wall with a frame that I decorated:

I set out all kinds of costumes/disguises and it was a huge success!  Although I think Mr. Crafter still holds a bit of a grudge.  I had vintage polaroid film again but it turned out to be a dud so we used our regular cameras, which worked out fine.

For Little Betty’s 3d birthday Mr. Crafter made me promise to take the easy way out.  So I planned a Coney Island theme that we planned to have at a vintage kiddie amusement park.  But sadly it was FREEZING that day and we had to abort in favor of the jumpy house.  Little Betty was thrilled – me, not so much.

So this year, I was determined to make up for last year’s disappointment! Little Betty wanted a ballerina birthday party so we settled on a Nutcracker Ballet theme (so as to not horrify the male guests.)  I had so many elaborate plans!

Nutcracker themed party favors on clearance from Oriental Trading!

A Nutcracker themed snow globe making station!  A tiara and sword decorating station!  A jumpy castle!  A humongous princess pinata!  A fake stage and dress up clothes for the photo station!  YES!  This party was going to be awesome!

Ahhh…the best laid plans…

Sadly it rained that day.  But Betty is not about to let an extremely rare rainy day in Texas come in between her and a good party!

So I set up the jumpy castle in the dining room, to Little Betty’s sheer delight.

I allowed the kids to beat the pinata to a pulp indoors, to their glee, and their parents’ astonishment.

The photo station was sadly not my best.  The backdrop was a disappointment and kept falling down, and not very many people seemed into it.

That’s ok though because the cake was amazing!

It was the first time I didn’t make it, and it was totally worth it.  Pink, sparkly, tiered, and vegan to boot!

In all, even though it didn’t turn out exactly as I’d hoped, it might have been the most fun party yet.  We had about 50 guests, and by all accounts everyone had fun.  We had lingerers until 9 pm!  I think the lesson I learned here is that if you have plenty of activities and keep the beer and the juice boxes flowing, a good time will be had by all, whether you have fancy decorations, pinterest worthy ideas, and good weather or not.

What lessons have you learned in the art of throwing kid birthday parties?

An advent treasure hunt

I’ve been squirreling this vintage Bucilla kit away for quite some time with the intention to make it for Little Betty for Christmas.  I finally decided to bust into it and even though it took about 10 hours to complete, I really love the finished product!

Aren’t they adorbs??  Love em.  Anyhoo, I decided to use them as the prize in a treasure hunt that would originate in Little Betty’s advent calendar.

This morning when she woke up it took her no time to get into it!

She ran around the house excitedly, from one clue to the next…

and was thrilled to discover the culmination of a secret Christmas tea party with her elf, Princess Jack, and her new family of gingerbread dolls!

In no time they were cuddled up on the couch with her.  I think they have found a loving home!  Having kids is pretty fun.  I’m so glad I got to do it.

A new sweater for Little Betty

As soon as I saw Tanis Gray’s Scherenschnitte Cardigan in the 2011 Holiday Issue of Intervewave Knits I just knew Little Betty needed one.  I loved it so much I decided to use the exact yarn and colorway the pattern called for, which I never do.  My girl is totally insane for the color purple – almost everything has to be purple – so this was perfect for her.

It took almost no time at all to knit!  She was wearing it 3 weeks after I started it, which is totally unheard of for your pal Betty, AKA The World’s Slowest Knitter.  When I found these vintage bakelite buttons I couldn’t believe my luck.  They were meant to be on this sweater.

We both love it!

In other news, my child is getting so grown up!  It breaks and fills my heart all at the same time.  Someone stop this time machine.  It’s going too fast.

A sweet new “kabin” for Little Betty

I picked up this adorable Liddle Kiddles Kabin for Little Betty at an estate sale a few days ago.  Isn’t it cute?  It still has the tag on it and the graphics on it are awesome.

We do have a few Liddle Kiddles around (a couple of which are actually from my childhood!) but in Little Betty’s bedroom it is an equal opportunity playspace:

She wasted absolutely no time in getting a new crew settled in to their new home.  Little Betty’s room can be a fascinating place sometimes!