Friday, March 1, 2013

Paris Party - Art, Fashion, and Cuisine

For my daughter's 9th birthday, we came up with a Paris in Pearls theme because we love all things French and pearls are her favorite.  We decided to focus on fashion, art, and cuisine to reflect the theme.
For Fashion, we created a beret-bar.  I made berets out of fleece (no hemming required and unlike felt, it stretches so fit was easy) for each attendee.  I used a tutorial for a Super Mario hat, but just omitted the brim.  I can't find the tutorial now, but I will try to recreate it in a later post if I can.  I deliberately made them all in ivory so there would be no fighting over colors.  I also made a bajillon pins using pin backing from the craft store (use a coupon!) and  fabric rosettes, beads, pearls, rhinestones, silk flowers, whatever I could find that was cheap and fit the vintage-y color scheme. 
The girls could decorate their berets by selecting items from the beret-bar.  We also provided lots of long pearl necklaces and I made a ton of bracelets using stretch magic and stringing beads and pearls.  I threw a few silk flowers glued to ribbons in there as well.  After adorning themselves, the girls could don sunglasses and pose with French thought bubbles in our makeshift photobooth.
Art was the biggest part of the day.  I really wanted the girls to be able to paint, but knew that I didn't have the table space for all of them and couldn't possibly afford 12 easels.  My solution?  I took to the trees!  I tossed a heavy roll of florist ribbon over a branch, cut off the roll, and stapled both ribbon ends to the back of the canvas.  I then repeated this process to suspend a canvas for every girl. 
Covered with a thrift store lace tablecloth, the picnic table made a great area to hold long paint brushes (bought in assorted packs with a coupon at Joann's) in galvanized tin buckets from the thrift store, repurposed mason jars filled with water, a crate of acrylic paints, and little painting palettes bought on clearance at Michael's.  Those were a huge hit. 
My suspended canvases worked out so well and I loved how it served as activity, favor, and decor in one.  One of the mothers gasped when she saw it and said "It's so magical!"  That was one of my proudest party moments!  Bonus - the paintings dried so quickly as they swayed in the breeze.  AND we were able to just snip the ribbons and send them home with short lengths still attached so that the girls could use the ribbons to hang them at home. 
Cuisine was easy - we served brie and Camembert, mini croissants and quiches from BJ's, chocolate mousse, and they sampled Orangina (big hit) and Perrier (big loser).  We also had fruits and veggies and everything had a label with the food item in French and English.  I had also made French-English phrases sheets with phonetic pronunciations - which I forgot to pass out - oops, so I included them in the thank you notes.  We made French cookies (madeleines) and passed those out as favors for departing guests.  And the cake was my very easy and very beautiful Rose Cake, with edible pearls of course -see post here:  Cake Fails and Triumphs 

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