Teddy bear picnics, Fancy Dress, Lego and Pig Farms have all featured as themes or, in the case of the farm, venues for parties for the younger Mudlets, over the last few years and each has been a challenge in its’ own right.
There has also been a visit to a pottery studio shop for Middle Mudlet and her friends, to celebrate her 6th birthday, during which they each got to paint a pre-cast pottery animal which was then fired before each child could take them home 10 days later. As part of this particular party, Middle Mudlet also got a commemorative plate, featuring her painted hand print in the centre, her name and the date on the top and bottom of the rim and the names and painted thumb prints of her friends and her sisters along each side of the rim.
And it was this plate which gave me the biggest headache of 2012.
Last year Little Mudlet turned 6 and Mud and I agreed that we would book a pottery party for her and her friends so that we could have a matching plate to commemorate this occasion. This decided some 6 months before the actual birthday, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and ticked of another job done. All I would need to do would be to make the cake, as food would be supplied for an additional cost per head.
Fast forward 5 months and having decided on the number of guests, although the names kept changing, and with only 5 weeks left before the approximate party date (depending on availability and delayed a few days so that Eldest Mudlet could attend), I visited the pottery website to get the contact details.
Half an hour later Mud walked into the kitchen and found me in an agitated state …… in the three years since Middle Mudlets party, the terms and conditions of the parties had changed and now all guests had to be at least 6 years old on the day of the party and as Little Mudlet was the oldest in her class, this meant than other than her sisters, by the time the party date arrived, only one other class member would be 6!!!! This was a disaster.
I do take great pride in organising the parties for the girls and we have usually decided on and planned to the nth degree the theme , games and prizes etc by 5 weeks to go, so to say that this bit of news was a blow would be the understatement of the decade. Suddenly I had to come up with a theme, that Little Mudlet would go for and that would make up for the disappointment she would feel at not being able to do the pottery party.
I was disappointed that we would not now be able to have age matching plates and, yes Mud, I know we could always do the party for her seventh birthday and we will, but it’s not the same ………… I guess it’s a mummy thing.
Luckily for me, our youngest is very much a girly girl and is also a huge fan of anything that involves sticking and gluing and I very soon hit on the idea of having a ‘Make-it’ party, involving lots of shiny foil shapes, beads and glue and the theme for the make-it? Fairies of course, the sure fire way to get Little Mudlet over her disappointment was to have a ‘Make your own Fairy’ party.
Then began the trawl through various on-line shops to see what sort of Fairy craft sets were available and to be honest, the choice was dreadful. There were plenty of different sets but for silly money and when you actually looked at what these sets included, I just wasn’t prepared to pay out good money for them. What on earth was I going to do? Little Mudlet was now as equally excited about her new party theme as she had been about the pottery and i couldn’t let her down again.
Then, in a moment of madness, it came to me. I would knit the dolls and then the children could decorate the wings! Simples.
By now I had just under 3 weeks to go and so I raked out all my toy knitting patterns and wool oddments, sat down and started to knit. I had twelve 8 inch high dolls to knit in just under 3 weeks and I neglected just about everything else in order to finish them. What about the wings, was a question both girls kept asking over that period, how are you going to make them? This of course was the million dollar question and, to be truthful, at this point I had absolutely no idea.
With a week to go, all twelve dolls were finished, eleven fairies, each with a different wool hairstyle, for Little Mudlet and her friends and an elf for my 8 year old tomboy.
Next was the making of eleven skirts and a cape. By chance, a few days earlier I had found a beautiful see through silver table runner, in a local shop for the princely sum of £1, which was covered with glittery snowflakes. I had bought three of them thinking to use them for the wings but still unsure how to proceed. Once home I realised there was actually quite a lot of material in each of them and so I decided to use one to make the skirts and cape.
For those of you who don’t already know this, sewing is not my thing. I have no patience for delicate hemming and detail and it was during the painstaking process of hand sewing hems, seams and waistbands that I began, once more, to doubt my sanity. I must have been mad. Each little skirt took about and hour and a half to complete and the cape was no easier but finally with less that 48 hours to go, all were finished, complete with silver ribbon, threaded through the waistband/cape collar and fastened to the dolls.
At this point I had to make a decision about the wings as this was the key element for the party. How could I do wings that the girls could decorate and then fasten back onto the dolls. I have found that distraction therapy often works in these sort of situations and so I decided to tidy the puzzles and games shelf up and ‘voila’ the answer was there, at the very back, behind the stamper sets. Thick, cream card!!! Enough to cut out twelve sets of wings. A couple of hours later and twelve cardboard and twelve silver material wings had been cut out, glued together, threaded with yet more silver ribbon for tying onto the dolls and the effect was perfect.
I’m really quite pleased with the outcome and the girls had a fabulously messy time sticking feathers, beads and shiny shapes to the wings and skirts, and when the wings fall apart as the inevitably will do, they will still have the doll. Who needs a pottery?