This year little Rosebud wanted a Princess and the Pea themed birthday. This took a lot of clever manipulation to coax her away from the Disney Princess Party she originally requested, to something I could happily live with that would still delight her. I can remember my own childhood preoccupation with princess too well to want to crush hers, but DISNEY PRINCESSES!!! They are so insipid and wasp waisted! Santa made a grave error this Christmas and got Rosebud a box with bajillions of Disney Princess Barbies, which made her happy, but now litter the house with their huge, pert boobs and huge, terrifying eyes. The Princess and the Pea is not exactly a feminist manifesto but it did dovetail very nicely into Rosebud’s desire to have a pajama party. Because it was in January, we just invited three friends over…. and of course their rowdy big brothers, who were NOT invited to wear their pajamas, do crafts, or be adorable. The brother’s did a modicum of sister tormenting but mostly ran around outside light sabering and building Lego houses for Nightcrawler the hedgehog.
I always make a lot of stuff for Rosebud’s birthday, partly because it is right after Christmas and I am broke, but also because Rose herself is such a crafty and enthusiastic co-conspirator. This was a really fun and affordable party, all the decorations we found around the house, and everyone had a blast!
Because I only made four invitations(one for Grandma!), I chose to hand letter them. I used a black pen on some blue card stock I had laying around to write out the party information and draw a taaaaaaaall bed. I painted the bed gold and cut some strips of pretty cloth to make “mattresses”. I have some upholstery fabric I bought at Scrap that worked beautifully. I made a pea out of felt and glued it all on with tacky glue. The girls all felt it could have used more pink, but their mom’s all loved it, and isn’t that why we do these things?
I had to make a mattress cake of course! I make chocolate, strawberry, red velvet , confetti and banana batters, about a half recipe for each, then baked two cakes of each in a rectangular bread pan. Then I layered them each with chocolate frosting or raspberry jam. I used bamboo skewers to anchor the whole thing. They stuck out a bit, so I incorporated them into the marzipan princess I made for the top. I also made a marzipan pea, which vanished during the party: I suspect brothers!Instead of a donkey to pin tails to, I drew a sleeping princess on poster board and hung it on the wall. I cut out “dream” shapes and told the girls to draw their favorite dreams. Then we blindfolded them and had them put the dream on the princess.To be honest I was expecting a lot of unicorns and bunnies, but these are some intense, monster loving little girls and they all drew some dark shit! Rosie’s dream involved fighting the monster who ate her daddy.Really, for this crew activities are supercilious! They all love making art and worked hard on crowns and masks. Goblin Girl gave Rosebud a million art supplies and a beautiful red sketch book. They look pretty much like their mamas making art, hair and all.
As much I love pinatas, I wanted to try something different. I made a giant green pea for each girl, with their own little Princess play set inside. I made each Princess resemble the girl it was for, hair color and eyes. I love making these little dolls out of wooden beads, embroidery thread and pipe cleaners! I will post a tutorial soon. They all have matching night gowns, a tiny felted teddy, and a pink wool felt blanket and pillow. I covered Altoid boxes with pretty paper and four gold painted beads on the bottom for legs and glued a mattress on the top. I painted a tiny wooden bead green and sewed in to the mattress. I was planning on making twenty tiny mattresses for each doll, you know, for narrative consistency. but when I realized 20×5=100 tiny mattresses i had a mini-breakdown. All my Mama-Queens saved me, gave me wine and sewed enough mattresses for each bed to have six, WHICH IS MORE THAN REASONABLE!
I put each princess inside her tin, and then started to wrap green crepe around and around, interspersing mattresses. then I taped them closed and painted their names in gold paint, “Princess Rosebud”, “Princess Goblin Girl”, etc. They loved unwrapping them, and also the doll inside. They all set to losing all their dang tiny mattresses immediately.
For her birthday I made Rosebud a whole slew of these dolls. She wanted a “Fairy Wedding Play set” with two brides; a pink one and a white one. I made the brides and about twelve more tiny animals, fairies, mermaids, gnomes,and witches. I also made a little bower, and found a little horse and carriage that fit the dolls. She loves them and plays with them all the time. They are girly as shit, but make me less sad then Barbie!
My darling girl is very satisfying to craft for! At five she is full of sugar and spice, and just a fabulous, hilarious, fascinating human! I am so lucky to be her mama!