Our eldest daughter H wanted an artist party to celebrate her ninth birthday this year. Her actual birthday is September 11th, but because of two busy back-to-back weekends our earliest opportunity to celebrate was this past weekend. Our plans to host the event in our nearby park were foiled by the two week difference in seasonal change, and this left us faced with the reality of managing twenty-five kids in our not-so-big house. Fortunately, our amazing family came to the rescue.
We decided to up the ante a little by adding some flair to our theme and making it a French artist party, which went a long way towards pulling together food choices. Here’s how the day shook out, complete with incredible photos by Mama S.
• We had Daddy’s brother (the amazing Chacha) tarp our third floor patio and create a painting studio. We stocked the studio with dollar store canvases, paintbrushes, and acrylic paints and taped more tarp to the floor.
• Chacha also created a clay studio in H&A’s bedroom. Twenty-five pounds of clay was purchased on Amazon for super cheap, and we got dollar store sculpting tools.
• Mama S and I made red, white and blue giant tissue flowers and some black and white brocade tissue flowers to hang over the dining room table and living room.
• The cake was a giant custard-filled slab cake that Mama S carved into the shape of a palette complete with blobs of icing paint.
• H&A helped Daddy make the “loot” – we bought plastic palette trays from the dollar store and filled them with rainbow Skittles, M&Ms and Jelly Bellies. Then we used our shrink-wrap machine to keep it all together.
• Mama S found a great price for bulk packages of felt berets in bright primary colours on Amazon. We had one for each kid, and I insisted on completing the look with fake moustaches. The kids got to take this stuff home. Many of the kids came in “French painter” costumes too.
• Daddy’s sister (the fabulous Fui) took the girls to the park in the morning to help them blow off some pre-party crazy excitement. This helped us get all of the food prep done. Daddy’s mum fought through a head cold to help with this, and worked tirelessly afterward to help clean up the kitchen.
• Fui and Chacha basically ran the show upstairs with the kids, which was so, so appreciated!
• We served mini quiche (four different kinds), brie, goat cheese with dried cranberries, cubes of cheddar and baguette, grapes, profiteroles with chocolate drizzle, and an assortment of other pastries. The kids had either red or white grape juice in plastic wine glasses and the grown ups had the real deal
• Our dear friends Emily and Jordan agreed to dress up and make a surprise appearance as French Mimes. They were easily the highlight, and though I had to rescue them a couple of times from some over-zealous kids who were getting too physical, I think they had fun.
After the party, we recouped and recovered with family, and Mama S and Chacha did some kind of record-time clean up on H&A’s room, which looked like it had survived a mudslide. This helped ease my hormonal nerves, and got the girls into bed right on time. H said it was her best party yet, and A was a very charming co-host who enjoyed the fun and gave up the spotlight in a most gracious fashion. Score another one for the parents!