I am going to start by apologizing for what may seem to be a little step over the excessive line. True, there are more than 250 lollipops utilized. The fabric was custom made so that the dress would match the invitations, bib, hat, menu placards and, well, everything. And maybe I did pick up probably 30 lbs. of candy in New York City last summer in preparation of the event, but I was there anyway, right? Perhaps making faux mercury glass vases to go with the vintage feel would appear to be over the top, but in for a dime, in for a dollar. At least I didn’t buy the vintage high chair. I borrowed it and brought it down from Ft. Worth (and aren’t you glad I did? It was perfect, wasn’t it?). Matching the soup was totally Megan’s idea, so don’t blame me for that one, although I do assume responsibility for the “Helena Soda”. After a year of taking monthly chalk pictures of her, we had to do something with them…in addition to the 18×24 collage we made. Gluing 5 lbs of hard candy together to make the garlands and candy “bead curtain” was a little too much, but again, hind sight…you know. SO, I’m sorry, and if it makes you feel any better, when it was all set up, Meg and I looked at each other and said, “Too much, huh?” I’m sure admitting we have a problem is the first step.
It all began when she was born. I know everyone starts planning the first birthday party right after the baby is born, that’s nothing new. You only have a year to get it right. We test drove lots of “themes”, but after finding cases of lollipops at a salvage for $5 a case, we knew it was providential. Can you say “cheap decor”? I went to NYC shortly after that and I was able to pick up the rest of the vintage type candy at Economy Candy. I went to Fishes Eddy and got the porcelain menu thingys for .99 each. I LOVE them. You can borrow them if you want. We found the clear paint buckets on the street because a store was closing and getting rid of their window display stuff. I also picked up all the old candy jars at the yard sale on the way home from NY. Maybe $10 total for all of them. Same for the vases. Got them all at yard sales or Thrift Town for a few bucks and spay painted them to give them a vintage mercury glass look.
I looked and looked for fabric that would match the colors of the lollipops and have that vintage look. It was harder than I thought. Then we remembered that Spoonflower lets you custom design fabric and there isn’t a minimum yardage. We loved the candy on Dylan’s Candy Bar’s napkins that we had seen online, but it was a little too busy and bright. We used some of the candy on that along with other candy drawings we found online, adjusted the colors and pattern and made 2 yards of the sweet fabric we used for the dress, bib and hat. I found a ’50’s pattern on Etsy and ordered it. Big mistake. They didn’t make patterns the same way back then and I had to remake that puppy 2 time before the party, the 2nd time the night before the party! It still didn’t fit the way I wanted, but at least she’ll get a lot of wear out of it. It also looked almost exactly like the dress I had made for her 9 month picture with a pattern that I made my self for free (and which fit a lot better). Oh, well, live and learn.
I had seen custom Jones Soda bottles, but at $30 for a dozen, it wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I made my own “Helena Soda” labels, sprayed them with clear sealer and glued them all on some orange and strawberry Crush. I had leftover straws from Genny’s Purple party so I stuck them on with a dot of hot glue.
Meg made the cake, like she usually does, and used the candy to decorate it. It was SOOOO CUTE! She used dots, jumbo dots, gumdrops and hard candy (the 7 or 8 that weren’t glued together) and made the fondant. She made some simple finger food: bacon biscotti with potato beet soup, caprese skewers, roasted brussel sprouts with prosciutto and watermelon to offset the sugar overload of the decor.