I'm going to start with a few pics of Ash the day of her party. Many of you were wondering if she enjoyed her party and how she was feeling that day. She had a really good day. She had been feeling pretty good up to her 7th birthday so I was fairly confident that her mood would be pleasant for the party and it was. We didn't start the party until 7 that evening so it was starting to cool off by that time. She does much better in cooler weather.
I wish she were smiling in this center picture, but I still love it. She looks so grown up! I wanted to show her outfit and this was actually the only full shot of the whole night! Anyway, her skirt was made out of two bandannas. My mom threw it together one afternoon and it was so cute. My dear friend took one of the bandannas and appliqued her a matching shirt.
Ash had a great time. She loved the animals. She loved the atmosphere. She signed "farm" several times that night which totally made me smile because I knew I had pulled it off for her. She thought she was at the farm. She especially loved the big red rooster and the pony.
Animals made this whole farm party a success! I worried more about this detail than any other. I knew it wouldn't be a farm without the animals.
I was SO blessed by everyone who allowed us to borrow their animals for Ash's birthday. The pony was a huge hit! So gentle and beautiful. The kids really enjoyed riding him. We also had 3 baby bunnies. So precious! One large red rooster and hen. Ash's absolute favorites. Then two more small rooster, two small hens, and a beautiful white chicken of some sort. I wish I knew the names of them all, but I don't. The small roosters and chicken were full grown but looked like little miniature versions of something bigger. We purchased the 5 smaller chickens and roosters at Canton then gave them away. I really loved our chicken coop! It was so cute with its slanted roof! Dave did all the build projects for this party. Including our animal pens.
Here are the close ups of items I described in the previous posts. The center pieces were perfect for what I wanted. My mom did an amazing job on them. you can see the smaller ones in more detail in this picture. You can also see the pails of berries with the Ashley's Acres tags attached on burlap patches. The top center picture shows the wreaths we hung on the barn front. The bottom center photo shows our burlap cushions that sat on the hay bales. I searched garage sales all summer long looking for square throw pillows. Then I bought some burlap bags from Canton and covered the pillows with it. My mom spent many hours sewing this summer! After the pillows were covered we hand painted our brand on all of them. I was very pleased with how they turned out and with how inexpensive they were to make. I also added a closer picture of our napkins and napkin rings. Hope you can see the wire used to form them a little better in this picture. The cupcake jars are also shown again. I did not bake the cakes in the jars. We actually baked sheet cakes, crumbled them up, then alternated layers of icing and cake into the jars. We used strawberry and red gingham printed fabric to add to our tops. The final product was so cute. Love, love, loved the tags that said, "from the kitchen of Ashley's Acres.". Its the smallest details that make me so happy when planning parties!
Here are some photos of the hay bale couches we set up around the grounds. All of our seating consisted of hay bales or picnic quilts scattered around the yard. I wanted to be sure and avoid any chair rental not only for my budget but also because I just didn't like the look of any chairs around the "farm". The hay was perfect! You can see we used several of the pillows we made on the couches as well as using them for seat cushions on the bales. I also picked up some old, hand quilted, quilts from a vendor in Canton for only 7dollars a piece! I was so excited to find them. We cut them into four pieces, hemmed them, and then used them on top of the bales to make them more comfortable for seating. We also threw large, full size quilts around the yard for our guests to sit and picnic on. I loved the vintage look the quilts added to the atmosphere.
You can also see pictures of the split rail fences we built to add to the front of the yard. These old fence posts were given to me free from a garage sale I was shopping at. If I hauled them away I could have them! I was way more excited than Dave was as we loaded them up in the heat, but in the end he really did like the final result.
The saw horse pony was constructed out of an old, rotted saw horse that I found at another sale. They kept telling me it wasn't good for anything and I had to convince them to sell it to me. They thought I was crazy, but it was a roping pony in the making! I covered a hula hoop in rope and we used that to "rope" the pony all night. The little boys especially enjoyed this activity.
The last two photos show the directional sign I built and painted all by myself and the feed sack we made. I was so proud of that sign! I actually used real power tools to cut and assemble it while Dave was out of town. Totally thrilled with the outcome! The feed sack was sewn out of the old burlap bags and then I hand painted the Ashley's Acres on the front. Dave made all of our stencils on the computer and designed our brand for the party.
I love these pictures!
I made stick ponies for all the little ones who attended. We used brown butcher paper, dowel rods, hot glue, yarn, and walmart sacks for the stuffing. I lined them up along the split rail fences and the kids chose their own along with a cowboy hat. They turned out so cute! The kids LOVED them. We had a barrel race using the ponies. My favorite shots in this group are the action shots. You can see my good friends little boy racing past the blurry pony he was racing against and also sweet cowgirl Bryleigh racing by in the top left picture. Some of my favorite images from the whole night!
Be sure to click on the photos to see close ups of the barrel racers on the starting line. I loved this!
We also had sack races, three legged races, and horse shoes. It was so fun!
I thought I'd talk a little about our menu. We served barbecue that night. Smoked brisket sandwiches, yummy brown beans, corn on the cob, pickles, onions, and chips. Delicious! Dear friends of Dave's parents did all the cooking for us. It was such a blessing not to have to concern myself with the food prep that day! I served ice cold lemonade and iced tea in mason jars of course. We were able to mix the drinks the day before, pour them in the jars, along with lemonade and tea ice cubes we had frozen, and house them in the outside fridge. This saved me tons of time that afternoon. I purchased three, old, rusted wheel barrows over the summer and filled them ice to hold our drinks during the party. I loved the whole look of it! Nothing says country living to me more than iced tea served in a mason jar!
We of course had an amazing and delicious birthday cake prepared and decorated by my very talented sister. We had layers of chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla cakes. She also made dozens of cupcakes in chocolate, carrot, and strawberry flavors. It was perfect!
As the party went on through the evening we walked around with trays of ice cold watermelon. I put them on large popsicle sticks to make it easier for the kids to hold. This was a huge hit! Less messy and so fun.
I used pie tins and bowls for my serving dishes. No paper napkins or plates or plastic cups anywhere for this party. It was perfect and totally fit our farm theme.
Wow this post was long! So sorry if your bored. There are so many details and pictures to discuss. I'm really trying to address specific questions I've been asked so I apologize for the many details I'm going over.
Hope your able to enjoy at least some of it. I'll start working on another post as soon as I can. Allie has a volleyball tournament this weekend so we will be super busy.