I cannot believe my sweet girl is actually FIVE! Every year, we do something huge for her birthday because we LOVE parties of all kinds, and especially birthday parties. And this year, Abby is in loooooove with Merida.....she loves the movie (Brave) as a whole, but is particularly enchanted with Merida herself. I think it's the hair. So, we went with that and made the hair one of our design focal points.
First thing, I called my brilliant and talented friend Jessica of Capture Photography (www.seeoutsideyourbox.com) and we collaborated on this fabulously wild Merida graphic. she drew it all up, put it in photoshop, and designed a stunner of a party invite. Love!
She also built the graphics for the beautiful birthday banner....and the twine/clothes pins that I happened to have were the perfect rustic touch. :)
This design also directly contributed to the deeeeeeeeelicious and beautiful cake from Bethany Perkins of Bethany Cakes (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bethanys-Cakes/128916257191675). Vanilla bean and strawberry -need I say more?
Once the design was nailed down, I focused on party activities .... I wanted to incorporate the Crafty Carver, archery, and the willo the wisps. So, starting with a crafty activity, I let Abby paint a paper mâché book box from Michaels (in party colors of course). She had been begging for a job to do, and this was the perfect way to include her in the party planning. We then picked out beads and suede cording for the kiddos to build their own "crafty" necklaces. Fun! (One of my daughter's friends had a glorious time modeling her necklace!)
Next came the archery game. Archery was a MUST. I painted a scrap piece of plywood with a target and found a bow and set of eraser-tipped arrows on Etsy (I love Etsy). It was brilliant and the kids were super excited to shoot some arrows.... Buuuuuuuut, the bow was actually hard to use and only the adults could manage it, lol. They had fun! Luckily, the target also doubled as a backdrop for the dessert table, so it still made an impression!
Lastly, and my favorite, was the willo the wisp. Since Merida spends time chasing wisps through the forest, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do a willo the wisp hunt. I bought a few yards of tulle to wrap candy in, tied it each one with a ribbon, and.....oila! The kiddos had a few hundred willo the wisps to gather (they were like fiends, haha). Such glee!
This theme lent itself to quite a bit of food creativity (so the foodiva revealed herself after all). I featured cups of blue cotton candy (willo the wisps), cups of haphazard licorice (Merida hair), and bear paw cookies (gluten free chocolate cookies with almond slivers). I also commissioned Monique Paul of Posh Desserts (http://www.facebook.com/sdposhdesserts) to make delightfully cute (and yummy!) bear cub cake pops. they were a total hit!
I found these lovely bubble sets also on Etsy (can you tell how much I really do love Etsy?!). They are bejeweled Celtic knot bubble wands, paired with bubble jars that say "Crafty Carver's Magic Potion." Brilliant, right?! I love moments of inspiration!
And there you have it, a Merida party for my sweet, sweet Abby. She was worth every moment of preparation and planning, and all the craziness on the day of. Love her!