Okay, so prepare yourself for the world's longest party post. My pal, Sonja, is one of my favorite people to craft with (well, favorite people, period - she is great). So when we got the go ahead from her husband to have a big birthday bash for their daughter, Lilly, we went kind of nuts. There are many things to share. :)
Lilly loves pink, and she loves horses, so we went with a pretty pink cowgirl theme.
I designed the invite using the Silhouette Designer Edition software. I love all the shapes available and layering I'm able to do with it.
I also used my Silhouette Cameo to make this little door hanger. I kind of want to make a million of these stars.
For decorations, we made lots of pennant flag garlands using a panel of Samantha Walker's Saddle Up Bandanas. The panel has 28 little bandanas measuring 6 x 6 inches. We cut them apart with pinking shears and bound them into garlands with bias tape. We also made the rope name by twisting heavy floral wire into a long length of rope and bending into the shape of Lilly's name. If you use fishing line tied around all the spots the rope overlaps, it holds together really nicely and is not heavy to hang.
When the kids first arrived to the party, we sent them to the Trading Post to get gold panning supplies - a pie pan with holes punched in the bottom, and little muslin money bags to collect their treasure.
The kids enjoyed digging through the sandbox, hunting for "gold nuggets" - rocks that Sonja had spray painted gold.
Doesn't Lilly look cute in her Geranium Dress? I love that pattern.
Once they had some cold hard cash, the kids headed back to the trading post to buy a pony.
Oh, the ponies. These guys turned out great, but as it turns out, making 14 stick ponies can get a little tedious. We referenced two tutorials on Chickabug Blog and Dandee Designs, with a few of our own twists. The biggest change was a real time-saver on the pony's mane. Instead of individually sewing all those yarn loops, we made 3 shaggy pom poms and sewed them on in a row. It was so much faster, and made for a nice, full mane as well.
The stick horses were a huge hit with all the little cowboys and cowgirls.
Then it was off to the races! We set up a little obstacle course out of hay bales and cones, and let the kids race as long as they wanted. It worked up a good appetite for lunch.
For other outdoor play, they also enjoyed playing in this amazing jail Sonja's husband Jake built. We had been slaving away at the party details for weeks, and he put this all together literally the night before the party. Isn't it incredible? It's nice to know a guy who can build stuff (and has access to large scale printers).
Speaking of printers, Jake also made personalized wanted posters for all the kids. It was cute to see all their mug shots on the wall.
We also set up a funny little photo booth in a corner with a hay bale and cowboy props. Sonja made those fabulous felt mustaches using the Operation Incognito pattern from mmmcrafts.
The wanted poster prop and all the other signs were just pieces of cardboard from my recycle pile with some vinyl slapped on. My Silhouette Cameo was working overtime for this party. The chalkboard sign was a piece of foam board covered in chalkboard vinyl. Easy, peasy.
It was fun to get silly in the photo booth and we tried to get photos of all the families at the party.
All of that playing worked up a good appetite! I wish I would have taken a photo of our other food table, but we had a simple BBQ lunch with hot dogs, three kinds of chili, fresh cornbread, fruits and vegetables. It was so yummy.
Of course, there were also lots of treats. Sonja made the amazing cupcakes topped with chocolate ganache and heath toffee crumble (recipe by Sugar & Snapshots). I totally copied CINO's cowgirl boot and hat cookies. I love this cold-butter sugar cookie recipe by Bake at 350.
After a weak attempt at the pinterest-famous "Ruffle Cake" for Ruby's birthday this past summer, I actually got it right for the cowgirl party. Hurray! It helped that it was not blazing hot, so the frosting didn't wilt. I couldn't resist this cake, or the simplicity of the little horse topper, after seeing it on Catch My Party.
We had a very happy birthday girl at cake time.
Happy birthday, sweet Lilly!