Today is the first big reveal of the Unbirthday Party!
I. AM. SO. HAPPY. And, exhausted! My house looks like Wonderland blew up!
It’s going to take me at least a week to recover, regroup and put things away. At least…
I have so many decoration and favor projects and pictures to share, plus tablescapes, the food and beverages, theme games, and the gift exchange with all the favorite things the ladies brought.
Bee sure to let me know the party details you are most interested in, so that I know what to include in future posts. Here’s an overview and some of the highlights of our trip down the rabbit hole.
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Going Bonkers Over the Weather
I did go completely bonkers, due to a revised forecast that predicted dire weather the night before the Unbirthday Party.
At 3:30 a.m. the first wave went through. A violent front of storms with heavy rain at 5:15 a.m. made for a rude awakening and early wake-up call on my big-something birthday. I was heartsick. And, operating on only a few hours of sleep.. When I came downstairs. I was pretty sure it was going to be an Unhappy Unbirthday.
But then, around 8 in the morning it stopped raining. Hubby checked the forecast and radar. It showed cloud cover, and only scattered rain until another severe front was due in the late afternoon (it arrived 15 minutes after the party ended!). So, we went ahead and set up the tables on the porch, and the guys headed into the woods for a clay pigeon shoot.
By the time guests arrived at 1, the sun came out and Mother Nature smiled on my year-in-the-making, Unbirthday Party!
Welcome to the Mad House
This Queen of Hearts Roses and Teacup Grapevine Wreath welcomed guests as they entered the house.
The calm after and before the next violent storm had the sun brightly shining on the front door. Here’s a better shot of the wonderful vintage teacup that is washed out in the picture above.
Check out Fanciful Alice in Wonderland Theme Wreath for a second, mesh and ribbon decoration hung in the open kitchen.
And, in case you missed it, catch-up on what this mad event is all about by reading, DIY Alice in Wonderland Invitation: 4th My Favorite Things Party.
Mad Hatter’s Fascinator Shop
Everyone knew not to be late on this very important date. Tick tock…
Unbirthday Party guests were welcomed and then directed to the Mad Hatter’s Fascinator Shop.
Overhead, I had embellished the Bee Decorated Chandelier with teapot cutouts and vintage teacups; hung with black and white checked ribbon.
I made three varieties of fascinators in a number of different colors — teacups, florals or mini hatters. First come, first choice! Which style would you have chosen?
What to make your own? See How to Make Whimsical Teacup Fascinators.
The antique hat travel case used in the vignette, was also part of the photo booth for Breakfast at Tiffany’s Brunch.
Learn more about all four theme events in, How to Host an Extraordinary My Favorite Things Party.
Doesn’t my friend look like she’d have fit right in at the royal wedding? R owns the wonderful Frog and Princess children’s boutique store. Once I have grandkids, it’ll be a ‘dangerous’ shopping destination for me LOL!
Vintage Tea Party Menu
Huge thanks to my left and right hands — sister B in from Charleston and college bestie E from Philly. I couldn’t have pulled off three courses of food without all their help in the kitchen before, during and after the Unbirthday Party.
The three of us had a lot of fun. They also helped me to relax and enjoy myself by relieving a lot of the pressure of getting everything prepared. That’s saying something too — I’m wired pretty tight, even on a regular day LOL!
It was an ambitious menu. One I wouldn’t have planned, if I hadn’t known they were coming in a day early to help.
Here’s a sneak peak of the buffet table set up in the dining room. See the tea cart in the back with blueberry scones in the basket? I share simple timesavers in, Wonderland Tea Party Menu: Scones & Desserts.
The three of us made all five of the tea sandwiches and a layered sandwich cake. For all the details and recipes visit, Tea Party Menu: Finger Sandwiches & Savories.
Pictured above is a DIY Vintage China Tier Server Stand I made for the tea party.
There’s also a tutorial on How to Make a Floating Teacup Centerpiece.
Tablescapes & Crafted Decorations
I have lots and lots to share of the tablescapes, centerpieces and party decorations. Here is the Mad Hatter awaiting guests on the porch. I’m pretty proud of him, which I made without a pattern.
The Queen of Hearts and Alice were the main centerpieces on the other two tables. Take a tour of the dining room in Absolutely Mad, Summer Tea Party Table.
See how I made the trio of figures in Creating Alice in Wonderland Character Dolls.
Favors for My Favorites
In addition to the fascinators, the other main favor for guests was an Alice in Wonderland character ice tea goblet.
The glasses, along with a butterfly place card, were at each person’s place setting.
I hand-painted four different characters; Alice holding a flamingo, the Mad Hatter (2 versions), the White Rabbit herald, and the Queen of Hearts issuing a decree.
Each had a charm tied around it’s base. The four styles included a crown, set of keys, flamingo and bee.
DIY Hand Painted Glasses & Champagne Flutes details how to make your own.
So far, I’ve painted glasses as favors for three of the four My Favorite Things Parties.
Recently I shared the peacock feather goblets in Peacock Party Favors, Gifts and Prizes.
Also at each place setting, was one of two different patterned vintage teacups, saucers and little plates.
Each teacup contained an Alice in Wonderland playing card, tea cookie cutter, package of seeds, and teabag. They were tied with ribbon and one of three different color keys. The keys were used later as an element of the gift exchange.
Other favors included a tiny pot filled with a flower-topped pen at each setting, and a large flamingo gift bag to take home goodies and gifts. A final parting gift at the door was a pair of garden gloves. See Alice in Wonderland Table and 12 Wonderland Party Favor Ideas & Crafts to view them all.
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Fun & Games
The ladies were divided into four teams, depending on the Alice in Wonderland character glass at their place setting. During the games segment of the Unbirthday Party, the teams rotated between playing flamingo croquet, building a house of cards, or “floating.”
At 5:15 in the morning, I really didn’t think there would be any flamingo croquet. And, although the ground was rather soggy, the gals got out there and gave it their all — many brought flip flops or even played barefoot!
Here the Queen of Hearts demonstrates the proper technique for using a flamingo mallet on the back course to ML.
My next door neighbor, L, had all the right moves to beat out the rest of the gals on Team Alice.
She claimed to have not played in decades, but it was one of her sets we used for flamingo croquet…
House of Cards
Teams of four worked together to build the largest standing house of cards within ten minutes.
Sister B’s White Rabbit Team making steady, careful progress. For all the details, read Playing Flamingo Croquet and Building a House of Cards.
My Favorite Things Gift Exchange
With 17 attendees, each bringing three gifts for the exchange, we had a large pile of 51 total enticing packages.
Everyone took home three unbirthday presents!
Best Unbirthday Party Gift of All
There was a coup of sorts during the Unbirthday Party. The ladies had gone against the Queen’s decree of no gifts, which was spelled out quite clearly in the Alice in Wonderland Invitation.
But, when the Queen of Hearts read the certificate, it turned out to be the best of all possible gifts — and one she could hardly refuse.
It was a very generous, group donation to Catholic Charities Free Health Care Center, where I have been a front office volunteer for many years. My youngest son D, had been one of its first summer college interns.
The Center was founded in 2007. As a vital part of Western Pennsylvania’s health care safety net, it provides free, comprehensive care to uninsured and underinsured individuals. We are committed to providing quality medical and dental care at no cost to qualified individuals.
All are welcome with dignity, regardless of religious affiliation. In fact, the roughly 150 clinical and non-clinical volunteers themselves represent many faiths. The Center relies on donations of cash, supplies and volunteer time to sustain operations. Essential program costs are funded entirely through foundations, grants and donations from individuals.
Is it any wonder these ladies and their friendship are so precious to me?
Characters Run in the FamilyAbove are my two very young aunts, who came as Tweedledee and Tweedledum to the Unbirthday Party! Don’t they look adorable? Here they are posing with my sister B and I before heading home.
Stay tuned for lots more party details over the summer, along with more on the first three My Favorite Things Parties. As soon as I put Wonderland away, I’ll also be sharing a patriotic tablescape and other seasonal posts.
Right now, I need a nap!
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