08 April 2018

An Indoor Garden Birthday Party

Easter and my birthday came one day after another this year, and the weather couldn't have been more different. On Easter Sunday we finally had a break from the chill and rain and a glimmer of springtime warmth, but for my birthday on Monday it was cloudy and cold. I'm more or less used to having blah weather on my birthday, because much as I'd wish it otherwise, early April is windy and rainy more often than not where I live. So, anticipating a grey day outside, I decided to have a bright garden-themed party indoors.

I found some really pretty party goods from Paper Source, and online stationery store I've often browsed but haven't purchased from until now. I got their Floral Stripe plates and napkins and coordinating Blush Floral dessert plates, plus matching cups and floral paper straws that didn't make it into a photo! I love the vintage, sophisticated look of the floral patterns with the metallic gold trim on the plates, everything coordinated nicely with the floral tablecloth I've used for years.

To decorate the party space I used some decorations I already had on hand. Across the dining room I hung up a long fabric pennant banner that I got from the Land of Nod years ago, and from the living room mantle I draped a matching mini paper one that I made. I actually constructed it using all the leftover patterns from the very first batch of banners I made for my Etsy shop, so it's a bit of a scrapbook or souvenir as well! Bunting always looks festive for a birthday, and I associate it with British garden parties thanks to its use on The Great British Bake Off.

Last year my mother and I did a craft together for my birthday, and we both enjoyed it so much that we wanted to do it again this year. Paper Source's paper flower wreath kits seemed like the perfect thing to make together for our indoor garden party, and the different options were so pretty that I had trouble deciding which to get! Ultimately I went with the Bright Blooming Wreath kit since the pink, peach, and blue color scheme works well with my bedroom decor. The kit contains most of the supplies needed, and tells you what else you need on hand as well as offering basic instructions with different suggestions for customizing. We came up with our own design, and I can't believe how pretty and professional it turned out!

I baked my usual chocolate cupcakes and iced them with chocolate-hazelnut spread, which is a super easy and delicious alternative to frosting. The brown color worked well for the garden plot feel I was going for with the "seed packet" cupcake picks, which I cut from a sheet of scrapbook paper and taped to longer-length toothpicks. A few pastel naturally-colored sprinkles from India Tree were meant to evoke early blooms.

Finally, I made up a couple of little favor packets/thank you gifts for my family with floral stickers, Le Pen fine-tip makers in bright colors, and blank postcards I made by colorizing the back of an old postcard image I found online. My family is always so thoughtful and generous with their gifts that I like to give them a little something in return!

Speaking of which, I often do a bit of a birthday book and gift haul on my blog, but this year I thought I'd try something a little different and do it on Instagram. You can follow me @thatsort to see the books and personal items I got in a series of posts over the next couple of weeks--as a blog-exclusive hint, I'll mention that you can expect vintage fiction, pretty pastel cherry blossom patterns, and a few special items from a certain Bear's V&A exhibition collection!

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