Wonderland

  • Jan 26, 2011
Photobucket

This may be my last year for a magical, over-the-top birthday party and I intended to savor every minute of it. Since spying Astrid’s party in July, we’ve been planning and plotting the fun.

Photobucket

The invitations: I especially loved the rose paper that reversed to keys and locks– it may be Martha Stewart but it seemed designed just for Alice. To my surprise and delight, Mary requested ‘No gifts, please.’– because she “has enough stuff.”

Photobucket

We discussed finding a blue and white costume, but decided this peacock feather dress is just the sort of thing Alice would have in her closet.

Photobucket

I love decorating with paper and ribbon– it’s a huge effect for a few dollars.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

These incredible goblets came from my mother’s shelves. I remember how giddy she was when she bought all nineteen of them in a rainbow of colors– red, pink, blue, green, white, yellow.

Italian made, gold trimmed and perfectly ostentatious for a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, they still had the price tags attached.

Photobucket

The tea pots, the cake platters, the chickens and pigs and carrot pitcher are all my mother’s and I could feel her with us– delighted with the table, the games, the stories, the adorable little girls, and most especially sweet Mary.

Photobucket

Photobucket

We all loved reading the Alice playing cards.

Photobucket

(and Ruth, my darling sister, if you want any of these dishes, they are yours. I’ve just borrowed them– not laid claim.)

Photobucket

Hats and giant cards hung from the back of each chair. For the birthday girl, the choice was obvious: seven of hearts.

Photobucket

Preparing for flamingo croquet. The morning after Mary was born, my mother covered my snowy lawn with a flock of pink flamingos– so they’ve always been precious to me.

Photobucket

Poor little hedgehog– he’s going to have a rough day as a croquet ball.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Each guest stopped by the table of ‘eat me’ cookies and mysterious ‘drink me’ bottles. Clearly, Alice ate a few too many of the shrinking jelly beans but I think all these little girls are simply going to grow.

Photobucket

Photobucket

After dozens of wild boy parties, I’m amazed at the way girls will sit in a civilized little circle and play Queen of Hearts Bingo and Pass the Red Hot Lobster.

Photobucket

But they got pretty wild during flamingo croquet.

Photobucket

We’re lucky enough to have not one, but five Mad Hatters serving tea.

Photobucket

The girls filled their plates with nutritious treats.

Photobucket

Gabe took ice-cream scooping quite seriously.

Photobucket

And you’ll laugh at me, but I regret all the photos I didn’t take– Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum three-legged races, my sweet friends who stayed for the entire party, the sugar cube toss, Hans and Xander pouring tea, little girls whispering in each other’s ears and twirling in delight. But that’s how parties go– the camera has to be set down to fully immerse yourself in the joy.

Photobucket

Too quickly, the candles were blown, the table left in beautiful disarray; tiny girls filled bags with candy and proffered hugs and kisses as they walked out the door clinging to their mother’s hands.

Photobucket

But some of the best fun happens after the party.

Gabriel was finally able to guzzle the ‘drink me’ cream soda he’d been coveting for three days.

Photobucket

Crafting wonderland bugs with daddy.

Photobucket

Giggling on the couch with friends who lingered.

Photobucket

And harnessing balloons to hapless flamingos.

Photobucket

I think we all got carried away.

Resources (since I love it when people tell me where to find things):

Alice in Wonderland Cards
Giant Playing Cards
Inflatable Flamingos
Tissue Paper Flowers
John Tenniel illustrations— these are all over the internet, but the best place is oldbookart.com where you can add the entire album to your cart (it’s free) and download them in one click. It’s an incredible website and could inspire a dozen parties. Maybe I can talk Mary into a Red Riding Hood party next year. Or are eight year olds all about manicures and pop stars? At least I can feel confident about fully savoring little girlhood down to the very last drop.

January 24, 2011

RELATED POSTS

18 Comments

  1. Reply

    cristie

    January 26, 2011

    totally magic…

    and work. xox

  2. Reply

    Adri

    January 26, 2011

    Wonderland, indeed! Love it!

  3. Reply

    Kerri

    January 26, 2011

    You just blew my mind. Gorgeous and magical!

  4. Reply

    Lisa

    January 27, 2011

    Seriously…I am sitting her drooling over every last amazing detail. Is it ridiculous to wish I was 7 again and invited to “Wonderland”?

  5. Reply

    Tasha

    January 27, 2011

    Wow! When she gets married someday, that reception is going to be fabulous!!

    (Sorry, weddings are all I think about these days. I’m just a teeny bit distracted…)

  6. Reply

    Lizzy

    January 27, 2011

    I have a suggestion for this imaginary pop star birthday party – Taylor Swift themed. Though I’m not that sure how different that would be from wonderland. Anyways, loved the… everything.
    <3, Lizzy

  7. Reply

    Kim

    January 27, 2011

    This is the most magical birthday I have ever seen.

  8. Reply

    Jeanelle

    January 27, 2011

    Oh Michelle, so very lovely and magical! I now have a strange craving for ho-ho’s/swiss cake rolls, however.

  9. Reply

    jenjamin

    January 27, 2011

    Magic, pure magic! I love it:)

  10. Reply

    House of Estrogen

    January 27, 2011

    I love that all your mother’s china and knick-knacks worked so well for the party. What a wonderful way to make her part of it!

  11. Reply

    Kristin

    January 28, 2011

    I absolutely adore every last bit. Priceless.

  12. Reply

    Cath

    January 28, 2011

    Delicious. Every detail. I want you to throw my birthday party! πŸ˜‰ Thanks again for inviting Eliza. xo

  13. Reply

    chococatania

    January 28, 2011

    This post was great and totally inspiring…I have to confess, I haven’t been the best at throwing these wonderful parties for my children, and now I’m feeling – well…not guilt…but motivated to change.

    So…I told the girls we’re throwing a Valentine’s party in a few weeks. Thanks for the inspiration to be a “magical mom”

  14. Reply

    Linn

    January 29, 2011

    Oh, can I rewind time a year or two? And I can’t speak for every young girl, but my darling girl would still love a version of that party, and she is nine. So, so magical Michelle. What a sweet mom.

  15. Reply

    Blue

    January 30, 2011

    Michelle, I should have made one of my “Mad Hatter Cakes” for your party! Though it was totally fantastic and perfect as you did it.

    I wish we could have created a magical, wondrous, fantastical birthday celebration for you! I’d still love to whisk you away for a special lunch or something. You’re so great at creating beauty everywhere you go. It’s like it trails behind you as you move through life. ♥

  16. Reply

    Carrigan Clan

    January 30, 2011

    Absoutely Perfect!!!

  17. Reply

    Tracy

    January 31, 2011

    Oh Michelle…it’s all so perfect. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
    xoxo,t

  18. Reply

    Rachelle

    January 31, 2011

    What a great party! I love the dishes and the way you arrange the table with goodies. So wonderlandish. :o)

LEAVE A COMMENT