Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Howdy Pardner

My sweet granddaughter celebrated her first birthday a week ago. My daughter and I planned for a month or so about the party details. She finally settled on a cowgirl theme. I started my internet party idea searches. I ended up with a lot more ideas than I actually used due to cost and time restraints. But what we ended up with was a pretty cute party. I doubt my granddaughter will remember any of it! LOL

I made her birthday invitations on Microsoft Word. I purchased some awesome clipart with the cowgirl theme for them. I ended up using this same sweet clipart for her 1st birthday t-shirt and for her favor bags! I'd say I got my money's worth out of that!

I made her cake. It's the first time I have worked with homemade marshmallow fondant. I usually use the pre-made Wilton stuff but it tastes terrible! It was a real learning experience this time with the homemade fondant! I am a perfectionist, so I am not that thrilled with how the cake turned out; but it was delicious - fondant and all!! Layer #1 (we'll call this the pink cow layer for obvious reasons) was butter pecan cake with cream cheese frosting covered with fondant tinted pink and then black cow spots added. Layer # 2 was a butter cake with cream cheese frosting. I added tan colored fondant to the sides and "attempted" a fringe look. I wasn't very successful. Marshmallow fondant is very stretchy and kept pulling on the knife. I smacked on a resin steer skull and moved on! Layer # 3 was my granddaughter's own hunk of cake. No fondant for this one because the plan was for her to dig in to the icing! It was a strawberry supreme cake covered with tinted pink cream cheese frosting. I added the "simulated bandana swirls" to keep the cowgirl theme going. And added pink flowers because what's a cowgirl without flowers?!

The decorations were a lot of fun! I used brown burlap for the tablecloth. It was inexpensive and perfectly rustic for the theme. One of my co-workers owns a farm and brought me an abundant supply of green hay rope! I was greatful for this free and very authentic accent! I used it around the cake base and on the corners of the burlap tablecloth with sherriff badges. (see the pic) Thanks to a 50% sale at Hobby Lobby, I was able to pick out a cowgirl frame, some other western themed decor (like a belt buckle resin cup that I used to hold straws for the drinks), and a metal bucket with two sections which I used one side for the utensils and one side for bandana printed napkins. I also used a big tub lined with bandanas on the sides filled with ice to hold bottles of rootbeer, cream soda and Orange Crush drinks.

I printed out some wanted posters and inserted black and white pictures of the birthday girl. One was of her in the bathtub and the wanted poster read "wanted, for public nudity!" Another was a photo of her when she climbed into one of the dog crates and we titled that one "wanted, for prior incarceration!" We had a lot of fun with creative titles for the wanted posters! You can see a couple of them in the picture with the cowgirl game below.

What would a cowgirl party be without cowboy food?! We served brats, baked beans, corn on the cob, and barbecue chips. Party City had great bandana print plates and napkins. I wanted to use pie tins to eat out of but it was too costly to do this for the # of people we had come to the party. I don't think anyone really noticed!

Our little cowgirl was dressed in a t-shirt that I appliqued with the same cowgirl image I used on her invitations. She also wore a cowboy hat to match in red and her grandpa glued a sherriff badge on the front of it. She also wore a bandana around her neck and blue jeans. She wouldn't keep the hat on. I don't know too many 1 year olds who like anything on their heads!
Unfortunately, she missed her nap that day because the party was at noon. She was not a happy camper! She cried when we sang happy birthday and she cried when her Momma tried to get her to eat her cake. It was only after we undressed her down to her t-shirt and diaper and let her go play by herself that she was a happy camper again!

We had a couple of games set up for the kids who attended the party. One was what I called "Pin the Badge on the Cowgirl." I had a clipart image enlarged and cut out some deputy badges and using double stick tape on the badges, blindfolded the kids and let them try to pin their badge on the image. We also used three empty tin cans and squirt guns and lined them up on the fence and let the kids "shoot the can."

For treat bags, I printed the same cowgirl image on brown paper lunch bags in my printer with a circle of text around it that read "thank you for coming to my party!" Inside the bag were bags of cowgirl cookies (thanks to the recipe on Bakerella for that one! They were delicious, by the way!) and decorated with her cute labels, bottles of bubbles, tubs of playdough, and a candy necklace. We folded over the tops of the bags and punched a couple of holes in the top and threaded twine tied into a bow and then inserted a sherriff's badge for each child to take home as a favor. I neglected to take a picture of these, which is too bad, because they were really cute!

All in all, it was a great party! Everyone ate their fill and had plenty of cake to eat and take home! And later that day granddaughter had a nice long nap!


barbara@hodge:podge said...

Cute party! Love the cake. Thanks for stopping by and following along! I am your very first follower!


Stephanie Lynn said...

Thanks for joining the Celebration Party! I love all the details you added to this theme! Looks like one happy cowgirl. Your cakes is amazing! I adore the tablecloths...love the burlap. Great job!

Bird said...


I'm having a PARTY Link Party over at BirdCrafts.blogspot.com and this would be a perfect post to link up!

Hope to see you there? It's going until Friday with a "Show off" of the favourites this Sunday!


Whatever Dee-Dee wants said...

That's a darling idea for a party!

Brakes and Gas said...

Love the theme and all the decor! Great job! What a lucky grandbaby!