This was Arden's first birthday. The theme was a backyard garden party. Let's face it, for the first few years, a child's birthday party is really for the grown-ups. Are the kids getting any of this, are they even going to remember it? No, so why bore the adults with Dora or Calliou. We were going for country chic, so I thought that doing something handcrafted would fit right in. I started cutting out strips of different patterned papers in our colors. Then I wove the strips until I had a big enough area to bend them around a square frame I built. I repeated this for two other frames and then put it all together. Not as complicated as it looks, but very time consuming.
This is from Jennifer's baby shower for Grayson. It was a 50's robot themed party with orange, sky blue, and gray as the colors. I wanted the sign to look like the inner workings of a clock, showing the exposed gears and cogs. If I had a few more weeks, I think I could have made the parts move, but I'm only human. The circular pieces are wreath forms, spray-painted steel. The other miniature parts are from train and car model sets, finished with nuts and bolts from the hardware store. I polished it all off with spelling out Grayson in gears and a nice computerized font.
This was the latest insane creation for Arden's fourth birthday, Japanese-style. The colors were chartreuse, lavender, and violet. I knew that I wanted to start off with a shoji screen since they scream Japanese culture, but are not thought of immediately. The screen is made up of a wreath form, balsa wood strips and translucent shimmer paper, spray-painted ivy leaf green. From that point, I wanted to assemble other bits of Japanese culture. I painted that famous cresting wave in front of Mt. Fuji on a nice piece of pine. I would have loved to burn that image onto the wood, but again, I'm only human and didn't have the time. The fan is accordion style cotton blinds. The "A" was very tricky to paint because of all the folds. The key is to trace it out first so it looks correct and not warped when it's fanned out. Then tie it all together and add some cherry blossoms in lavender to top it off. And no, I don't think those Japanese characters on the bottom spell out anything but garbled nonsense. My apologies.