It’s a big deal being a parent. Our children watch us and emulate us, often mimicking what we do from talking to cooking to working. I have a just turned 6 year old daughter. She sits in my studio some evenings whist I work (and when she should be in bed). She sits there watching me, sometimes creating her own piece with any scraps she can find.
One evening, I was sewing and she insisted on having a go. Sat on my lap, we tentatively gave it a try. She loved the idea of it but not so much the speed of the needle. This aside, she was hooked. Every time we asked what Catherine wanted for her birthday her response remained the same: a sewing machine. Not even an hour long tour of Toys r Us could rock this idea. So with the gift in mind it was easy to determine the theme of her party to be a craft party.
After some research and much needed assistance at our local Spotlight haberdashery store, we pinned it down to a Brother Simplicity SL 500. The beauty of this machine is that you can control the speed of the needle, right down to the lowest setting which ensures you have around 5 seconds to abort your mission and keep little fingers safe. There’s no real opportunity for fabric to get taken away from you either – another potential finger catching hazard. We bought it and Catherine loves it.
The gift of a sewing machine was the perfect prelude to Catherine’s much anticipated puppy craft party. It created the main centrepiece of the party, being a puppy adoption centre housing brightly coloured sausage dogs and schnauzers, all sewn by Catherine and myself. Catherine sewed the outline of the templates I cut before we each stuffed them and Mama sewed them closed. I confess to being a super proud mum as she mastered the backstitch, bringing the needle back up and turning corners like a pro. So surprised at her fast learning curve was I that Catherine casually mentioned is was possibly because I mustn’t have been as good as her when I started sewing! Right, ok. What’s more confronting about this comment is that whist she is right, I didn’t start sewing until my late 20’s! Did I mention she has just turned 6?!
Some taped together paper craft crowns made a nifty fence and a cute sign finished off “Catherine’s Puppy Adoption Centre” for the craft party.
Presentation is everything
These girls know their craft and I had some serious nerves given kids can be the harshest critics. Enter many pastel decorations. Starting at the mailbox, we had puppy balloons (thanks Pinterest!) and chalk paw prints leading up to our front door to lead the children into the craft party.
Inside, our dining room frame became the centrepiece for some gold sprayed sticks and tissue paper pom poms with a glorious pink “6” in the centre. A colourful floral tablecloth covered our dark dining table. I enjoyed creating the puppy shaped signs to display with the food. Chocolate mousse became “Choccy Woccky Dog Doo” and fruit kebabs became “Fetch Sticks”. Snacks were served in pink dog bowls.
Our side table covered in a white tablecloth housed the craft items. The kids were super excited when they entered to see the various crafts we would be making on the colourful picnic rugs on the floor.
Craft Party Item 1
What’s the first thing you do when you buy a puppy? Name him/ her of course! A quick Pinterest search brought up the easy craft of pipe cleaners and letter beads to string on and twist onto puppy’s neck, making a cool collar. The kids loved creating their names and stringing the beads. I hazard a guess this is because when families adopt a pet, the children’s request for names doesn’t always win the vote. Having said this, our craft party now contained some beauties, such as “Diamond”, “Rainbow” and “Buddy”. Adoption certificates were filled out and our puppies were lapping up their new owners.
Craft Party Item 2
A quick treat for good work and we were up for the next craft: puppy ears. I prepared some felt ears to be stuck onto headbands and provided each child with a packet of paper flowers, buttons, beads and a felt bow.
STOP PRESS: ENTER MASSIVE HAILSTORM.
Mid party, the clouds burst and threw out hailstones and mega raindrops. The craft party turned science-y and we let the kids grab some ice for their cups. The hail became bigger and I herded the girls back inside before we had a hospital party on our hands. This hail was the biggest I’ve ever seen – judge for yourself in the image below. Thankfully, the girls were more excited than afraid by the event. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced a hailstorm during a craft party full of squealing little girls but let me tell you, my mum popped a champagne quicker than you can say “Get me outta here!”. I’ve never seen that woman move so fast (love you Mum!).
NOTE: No children were harmed during the storm, all cars however, now resemble the tops of my thighs.
After some politely excited yelling to get the girls back onto the picnic rugs, I popped some quality glue to get their attention. A dab of glue on each ear and they were able to place the elements on in their own design. They had a great time wearing their ears for photos and fun. But not before painting their paws in all the colours of the rainbow at the puppy pamper station.
Craft Party Item 3
I prepped the third craft before the party which featured a series of different coloured and sized hearts to create a puppy collage (oh, Pinterest I love you!). Adding double sided tape to the backs of each heart, the kids could easily remove them and stick onto their artwork without the mess of glue.
Craft Party Final Item
The final craft featured house cutout frames from Ikea with windows for photos. Instead of photos, the girls drew a picture of themselves with their puppy through the window and coloured the house to their liking.
All that craft makes for hungry tummies. Of course, hot dogs were on the menu followed by Catherine’s puppy cake.
The results of the day were a gaggle of grinning little girls, a new puppy and some creations to be proud of. Mama received a bout of exhaustion and a champagne wrestled from Nanny for her efforts.
Having said this, I’d do it all again. For payment. Which reminds me, I need to pay the staff for helping on the day. A big thanks to Nanny, Aunty Sis and the big kids (Bree and Mollie). An extra thanks to Daddy, Papa Smurf and Mitch for keeping whirlwind Charlie entertained!