Sunday, November 21, 2010

Isla in ONEderland

A planner to the core, I went a bit overboard on Isla'a first birthday party. A unique theme was essential. A theme that would be highly photographable. A mad tea party, a la Alice in Wonderland...ONEderland! Clever, a little cheesy...SO me. PERFECT! Money is tight with this economy, so I had to devise a way to make it fabulous...but CHEAP.

So I set out googling up some inspiration. And I stumbled upon this painting:

I couldn't have asked for better. The colors are spot on. I love the layout. I couldn't have the party at night (bummer), but these lanterns would look fabulous in the location I was planning. And I found them online for a grand total of $18. You just can't beat that!

My dear friend Paula--mother of Isla's best baby buddy, Camilla, and wonderful artist--spent hours helping my-illustratively-challenged-self paint the tea cups, saucers, and pots that I picked up at Goodwill and yard sales for pennies. She is also responsible for the invitation illustration and majority of the photos you're about to enjoy. (I'll have to take responsibility for the editing. Most of them are grossly over-edited. But editing is a learning process. I'm not ashamed to admit that I used to be, and sometimes still am, an over editer. The more I do it the better I get and the more refined my aesthetic sensibilities become.)

Here is the invite. Paula did the illustration and vectored it for me. She also did most of the design work in Adobe Photoshop. I moved things around, added text, etc. until I got it the way I wanted it.

I made Isla a little blue dress. Which I had hoped would be a dress. But it turned out too short (and too big) so I put some leggings under it. 
The cupcake stand is from my baby shower. I painted it and glued the round boards to some old cups to make it sturdy enough for the giant smash cupcake (made from box mix in a borrowed pan) to sit on top. The rest of the cupcakes are from Walmart's bakery. The did a great job. And all for $12! I thought about making them myself, but just didn't have the time to bake and frost. I have to say I'll be ordering from Walmart for all future parties. I did make the brownies and mom provided the fruit and veggie trays.

And so, without further ado...Isla in ONEderland.

Decorations and Yummies

The tea cups were filled with candy and give as party favors


Isla is not a fan of hats or other children touching her Violet.

 It was a perfect day and I am so please with the way everything turned out. Even if I am ridiculous for throwing such an elaborate party for a one year old.

And if you think I'm ridiculous now, just wait until you see what I'm planning for birthday number 2. It's going to be wild!

My advice to anyone wanting to go all out on a budget:
1) Start EARLY - It takes time to find good deals. Hit garage sales starting 6 months in advance. Pick up a little here and there.
2) Make it yourself - you can google how to do just about anything. It's usually much less expensive to make something than it is to buy it. (This is another reason to start early. Spread out the crafting so you aren't overwhelmed a week before the party).
3) Have great friends - Enlist the help of family and good friends. Paula was invaluable to me in this endeavor. If you know someone with talents you don't posses, ask them for help. But be sure to offer something in return; even if it's just a cup of coffee, a meal, and some girl-talk while you work.

*A special thank you to Pensacola Parks and Recreation for granting us use of the beautiful Aragon Park.


Tabitha (From Single to Married) said... [Reply]

What a beautiful party - I'd say it turned out wonderfully! And can I say that I'm impressed? Did you really paint all of those teapots, saucers, etc? They look fantastic as does her little dress/shirt! Very nice and fantastic pictures too! :)

Nature Explorers Family Adventure Club said... [Reply]

Lovely party -- found you through Ohdeedoh! We're also from Pensacola. I love the invitations, and what a gorgeous little dress (or top) of Isla!

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