When planning Evelyn’s first birthday party, I envisioned creating not just a party, but a memory. Memories are forever… whether they come in the form of treasured possessions, photographs, or happy feelings that come from down deep in the heart. Evelyn’s great-grandmother, Charlyne, passed away before she could cuddle this precious baby. Taken by Alzheimer’s, the disease took away her memory but couldn’t take the decades of memories that she created for those that she loved. The inspiration of the party came from a flurry of memories… farm life, pink Depression glass, roses, and lace. I mixed that with the sweetest little girl turning one in October, shades of pink, peach, coral, and orange, and the “Roses & Pumpkin” party was to become a special memory with a special meaning. Justine from Justine Miller Photography was kind enough to capture this one day in photographs to keep forever. In lieu of gifts, party-goers brought donations to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
Pumpkins. Roses. Lace… and lots of them! My husband’s parents, Papa Jim & Nana Wendy, allowed me to create something a little bit country and a little bit chic in their charming backyard. Fabric covered straw bales became a lounge area under a large shady tree adored with hanging mason jar lanterns. The kiddos had a more fun area to dine. A hay bale covered in lace served as their table and 6 pumpkins created a fun place to pop a squat and eat a treat or two. Grandpa Walker’s 1940 Ford Pick-Up Truck served as the backdrop to the photo opportunities. Surrounded with roses and pumpkins, the truck became “Evelyn’s Pumpkins & Roses” produce truck – Established 2010. Papa Jim & Nana Wendy’s antique ‘press back’ chairs accommodated conversations between sips of lemonade and bites of cookies. In the Elm trees hung frames filled with photos of Evelyn’s first year, month by month. In Great-grandma Rose’s 1950’s pink highchair, sat a pretty little lady smashing her fingers into a delicately, decorated cake.
Food & Sweets:
Grandpa Walker, my dad, lowered the truck’s tailgate down and we loaded it up with food. Fresh veggies, cheeses, crackers and breads were served next to pumpkins hollowed out and filled with hummus and ranch dressing. Fresh-baked cornbread muffins, mixed gourmet nuts, and Chick-Fil-A nuggets (a family favorite) completed the buffet-like spread. Guests used pink depression plates, wrapped burlap napkins, and bamboo cutlery.
Grandma Dianne, my mom, created the elements to the most yummy treat table. A rose-adored grapevine “E”, grapevine baskets holding pumpkins and roses, stained crates, and lots of pink Depression glass presented treats by some of the best in the business. Cake Pop Shoppe featured a ‘Cake Pop Patch’ of simply divine pops set atop a bed of green coconut shavings and delicate and delicious pops in shades of pink and coral with tiny handmade roses stuck into hay bales. From perfectly decorated sugar cookies by Casey’s Confections to chocolate-covered Oreos by Sweet Temptations, the pumpkins and roses theme stayed true even to the sweet stuff. Brittany, goddess of fondant from Edible Details, put the sweetest touches on the cake and The Coffee House cupcakes (made by winners of the Cupcake Wars). The heavenly French macaroons were bite-size and pumpkin and rose flavored. Add some caramel apples, and the treats table was perfectly pink and precious.
After the food, treats, and lots of running and chasing around the expansive lawn, the little ones picked pumpkins from the patch and visited the “Pink or Treat” candy display. Each guest was given a mini burlap and lace treat bag (sewn by Nana Wendy… did I mention she did all the pennants and fabric details too) and filled them with all things sugary and pink! Before guests left, they used their thumb and an ink pad to leave a ‘print in the patch’ on the canvas painted by yours truly.
Photography – Justine Miller Photography – www.justinemillerphotography.com
Floral – Lux Wedding Florist – www.luxweddingflorist.com
Cake Pops – Cake Pop Shoppe - www.etsy.com/people/cakepopshoppe
Fondant cake and cupcake toppers – Edible Details – www.edibledetails.com
Decorated Sugar Cookies – Casey’s Confections – www.caseysconfections.com
Chocolate-covered Oreos – Sweet Temptations - www.etsy.com/people/janetcristina
French Macaroons – Bokolette - www.etsy.com/people/Bokolette Cupcakes – The Coffee House - www.thecoffeeshopaz.com
Cake – Bashas (my neighborhood grocery store)
Pumpkin Patch sign – Hen with a Hammer - www.etsy.com/people/HenwithaHammer
Felt pumpkins used on invites and painting – Crafty Goodies - www.etsy.com/people/CraftyGoodies
Mason jar hanging lantern wires – The Cherry Grove - www.etsy.com/people/TheCherryGrove
Striped and polka-dot paper straws – Hey Yo Yo - www.etsy.com/people/HeyYoYo