Our little gal Emerson turned 1 this past weekend and we went all out for her party. Some of our close friends and family came in from our of town to celebrate with us and it was a truly special day. Not to get too sappy, but this past year has easily been the best of our lives. Challenging, yes. But so very rewarding and full. Approaching her birthday, I got pretty emotional at the thought of Emerson going from a baby to a toddler. I already miss her cuddles and clings. However, her curiosity and excitement for discovering this world is contagious and I'm so ready for this fun next year together.
When I set out to plan her party, I really wanted to incorporate things she loved. Our house is set back into the woods and one of our favorite activities together is watching the woodland creatures in our backyard. We have wild turkeys, deer, chipmunks, squirrels and birds of all kinds. We really love animals around here. Emerson also adores the vintage Steiff animals my mother-in-law lent her and squeals every time she gets to pick one up and hold it. So a flora and fauna theme seemed like a perfect fit.
Many of the party details are DIYs-- the triangle garland, mustard wall banner and desserts and I've tried to describe how I made them below!
I originally set out to make Emerson's cake look much more polished than it turned out. But at 2am in the morning the night before the party, things got desperate and I decided to go for an impasto palette knife look. I really liked the way it turned out considering the circumstances and it was super easy to execute (frost a crumb layer, refrigerate, and then lather it on thick).
See the DIYs after the jump!
This birthday wall hanging banner is made from mustard fabric I got from the craft store (a yard of fabric is more than enough). I freehanded the banner shape and sewed the edges with a .5" seam. I used a dowel rod from Lowe's cut to around 20" to hang it. For the handwriting, Lauren Saylor of a fabulous fete, had a "happy birthday" overlay available via the Studio app that I used as inspiration. I freehanded the writing onto tracing paper and then traced the back of the paper so the lead would transfer onto the fabric when pressed. Then I used a white acrylic paint with a fine tip brush to write out the lettering.
For the triangle paper garland, I used metallic gold, ivory and pale blush card stock paper alongside mustard colored thread. I cut the card stock into triangle about 2" tall. Then I ran them through my sewing machine with the mustard thread and voila! Easiest paper garland ever. This seriously took less than a half hour to make, including the cutting.
The beverages included a cucumber and orange infused water, a strawberry and lemon infused water and a mint lemonade.
I hadn't planned to incorporate lilacs into the floral arrangements, but when I went flower shopping the Friday before, these massive lilac bunches hit me so hard and I instantly fell in love. All the lilac bushes around our neighborhood were suddenly in full bloom, so I knew that having them around the house for the party would remind me of this amazing spring season.
This face of hers in the photo above with my mom and dad, her Ammi and Poppy, so totally embodies her personality-- full of life and wonder.
Fabric Wall Hanging Banner: DIY (above) // Triangle Paper Garland: DIY (above) // Flowers: Arranged by Lindsey Bingaman and Sourced via The Farmer's Daughter Flowers // Desserts: Dark Chocolate and Smash cake were homemade and the Burnt Almond Torte via Oakmont Bakery, Macarons via Gaby et Jules // Cake stands and Platters: Antiques, Homegoods, Threshold for Target // Cake knife and server: Anthropologie // Decorative animals: vintage Steiff // Photography: Erin Kelly Photography