The Miss Suzy birthday party for Jellybean was a great success. I have to say that I doubt it would have happened at all but for the inspiring world of Pinterest
(which is not something I ever imagined I would catch myself writing). So many ideas, so little time! So I took a little from the lot and we made a pretty good go of it. In fact, I'm considering breaking my unwritten rule of being a birthday party stick-in-the-mud by doing one of these every year. One child per year only. We'll draw straws or something.
It's taken me a few days to put together this post so, if you would please notice every detail and follow every link, I would be most gratified. Just kidding. But I do think, if nothing else, that you should become familiar with the charming story of Miss Suzy
Welcome to Miss Suzy's house! Not nestled in the tip, tip top of a tall oak tree... but we made due with Grandpa's lovely deck, Grandma's lovely decor, and God's gorgeous day.
Miss Suzy liked to look up at the stars at night through the branches of her oak tree. I adapted the DIY wedding firefly lights
I found on Pinterest to our theme by using green tulle instead of white.
These are not oak leaves but I didn't want to buy a new cookie cutter. Scratch that. I did want to buy a new cookie cutter but I made due. :)
Here is a link to my favorite sugar cookie dough recipe
. It is a pleasure making cookies with this dough. No sticking. Lovely. And a link to my favorite icing
. I do not care for the very popular royal icing because I don't like the taste although it looks beautiful. This icing looks lovely enough and tastes fantastic. I also used it for the Confirmation cookies
in the Spring.
The cousins made these sweet little acorn goodies
with mini cookies, hershey kisses, and mini kisses. I think every Thanksgiving should have these on the table.
There cannot be a Miss Suzy party without an "acorn cake" of some kind. Jellybean requested chocolate and I do like how it turned out. I used a box mix for the cake (hey, a mom can only do what she can do) and drizzled caramel sauce (melted caramels plus cream) between the three layers. The frosting recipe (found here) is my current chocolate favorite. (And yes, I did eat a piece. This was my second deliberate cheat on my diet
since I started in April. Stomach ache resulted. Worth it.)
The acorns decorating the cake are made from caramels and tootsie rolls, warmed in the hands and molded. Tutorial here
. Super easy. These would be darling dessert decorations for Thanksgiving.
The first thing the kids did was to participate in a Miss Suzy Scavenger hunt...
After turning in their papers, each girl received her Miss Suzy party apron
(complete with squirrel) and each boy received a tin soldier belt and sword (not pictured). The foam swords came from the dollar store and the aprons were made from my fabric stash.
It took us something like two weeks to make the thing but we did complete our own spider pinata, ready to be smashed by Miss Suzy's broom handle. I know she didn't smash her spider, just shooed it away... but we smashed ours.
Tutorial for the pinata here
. I used a punching balloon and four layers of newspaper applied with a flour/water/glue paste. It took so long because I was too impatient to allow the paper to completely dry between layers... so I spent many days trying to smooth it out. Haste makes waste... but I forced it to work out. A little bumpy but fine for smashing up! Once the paper was fully dry, I spray painted it white and used black acrylic for the spider. I neglected to plan for a hanging mechanism so it took a little last minute wiring and a bunch of white duct tape, but it held firm! (At least until Professor got to it, but he was last so it was all good.)
The kids painted plain wooden squirrel cut-outs which will be sweet hanging on Christmas trees come December. Grandpa's camper (complete with awning and mesh enclosure) provided a great place for this activity. Most of the squirrel painters chose purple. Which is funny.
I thumbed through our well-loved Miss Suzy book until I found a photo perfect for placing a party hat on her dear head. She is relatively easy to draw, so with poster board, pencil, Sharpie, and watercolor pencils in hand, I made it happen. The last "pin-the-tail" I made was a pig for our Dirt Party
and it was kind of disappointing to have to throw it away. I don't know if it was really necessary, but Chief willingly paid to have this one laminated and so she is ready for many more years of parties.
The little party hats (not shown) were cut out of pretty patterned papers and fit perfectly on her head. One person did find the sweet spot. :)
In the weeks leading up to the party, I drooled over these cute little wooden acorns
which are often used for Montessori and waldorf games. I thought they were a little pricey for our budget (about 50-70 cents a piece) but I ended up finding 36 of them for $4 shipped on eBay. I had no idea how to use them until Grandma suggested an acorn hunt in the yard. Fun! See the yellow sign on the tree? It says, "Squirrel Crossing"
We were about 3-4 weeks too early for big brown acorns so we knocked green ones down from the trees and I roasted them to make sure they wouldn't rot in the jar. Cookie won by guessing the exact number: 156.
Prizes were doled out to the kids for pretty much anything they did (thanks, Grandma!) and each went home with a little brown bag full of fun.
This sweet squirrel was spotted on one of Jellybean's gifts. Her cousins spent a lot of time making sure everything was special for her. Among her gifts were a requested hopping ball
and, in the spirit of Miss Suzy... doll house furniture
I am so grateful to everyone for their help and throughtfulness. I am particularly grateful to Jellybean's gram and gramp who donated their home (the perfect Miss Suzy house) and so much of their time and treasure. She will cherish this memory.
If I had a ton more time and a lot more money, I would use every single lovely idea I found on Pinterest (see my Miss Suzy Party board HERE
). But really, we didn't miss anything. I do hope that these ideas inspire another Miss Suzy fan out there to try your hand at a party. And please send me a link to your pictures when you've done it!