May 2, 2010

Finally! I can share - Surprise 30th Birthday - Library Party

My eldest sister, Carley, turns "the big 30" in a week or so.... I think 30 deserves a bit of a celebration so about 2 months ago I decided, on a whim, that I would organise a Surprise Party for her.
Every good party needs a theme so after a little think about something particular that Carley loves I couldn't go past: Books. My mum tells us that from the minute Carley was old enough to turn a page she would sit and read book for ages.
Carley... a long time ago:


To this day Carley's love for books of all kinds is still alive and well (take a quick look through Carley's blog HERE and you'll see that she very often talks about what book she is reading or has just finished) so it was settled Carley's surprise party would be a Library theme!
Away I went with the help of Google and made an inspiration board.


A HUMONGOUS thanks goes to the very, very talented and awesome Samone of Red Letter Studio who made the invites for the Library Party - I absolutely LOVED them!! I went to Samone with an idea to do the invites like old borrow cards that are in the front of a library book and Samone designed the most perfect invites ever. They even had the header: 'The LIBRARY of Carley' on each one, the party date was done to look like it had been stamped on and the envelopes were made from the yellow craft paper to look like the borrow card pockets!! I had also decided Carley isn't the kind of person who loves to be absolutely and completely surprised so I asked Samone to make up a 'Late Notice Card' that Carley's hubby could give her the morning of the party (so she would be able to organise herself into a party outfit and not be shocked when she showed up in her Sunday trackies - LOL). Again Samone hit the nail on the head with this 'Late Notice Card', matching it to the invites.


With invites under control & on their way to the guests I got to thinking about decorations... The party was a casual picnic at a lovely local park but to make it feel a bit more like a library I went looking for a library or book case backdrop and couldn't find anything - never fear, I'll make one!
I bought 3 metres of plain calico fabric on ebay and pegged it to my back fence then with a sharpie I drew a book case on it


Next I began painting the books and ornaments on the shelves



then painted the shelves in and once it was all dry I outlined everything, drew in details with a thick sharpie and a gold and a silver pen and added some photos of Carley's family to the photo frames


I even had a row of 30 books that I titled appropriately for each major milestone of Carley's 30 years like starting school, her wedding & her kids.


With some ties sewn along the top and sides we hung Carley's 'Grand Book Case' at the park for a Library feel.
To help make the day stay casual I asked each of the guest to bring along a plate of something to share, so with food covered next on my To Do list was decorations & cake.
I found two very old and very boring books on my bookshelf and ripped out every page. I turned the pages into approx 6 metres of bunting, 30 cupcake wrappers, 30 pinwheel cupcake toppers and with all the off cuts I used a craft paper punch and made some star shaped sprinkles for the food table.


Being a morning tea event & with my original plan for the cake not quite working out the way I hoped I decided a cupcake tower with the book page wrappers and mini pinwheels would look cute and with the bits and pieces like the plastic cups, plates & serviettes all in yellow, to match the yellow envelopes of the invites, I iced the cupcakes with yellow coloured marshmallow frosting - YUM! I also found a worm shaped cookie cutter on ebay so my little girl and I made some yummy butter cookies and iced them with some yellow royal icing. Worms? why worms?.... Book worms!!


Now what better gift to give a book loving reader than a book mark? So in each invite envelope I added a small note that read:
In place of gifts we ask that you please bring along a bookmark for Carley.
You may choose to make one, buy one or pull one from an old book you have never managed to finish.
We are sure all bookmarks will be used many times in
The LIBRARY of Carley.
Please remember this is all a surprise so just like in a library.... SSSSSSHHHHHH!


I then found a great book shaped box to take to the party and have all the guests put their bookmark gift in it so we could give Carley them all together sometime during the day... but for a bit of extra fun I included a few little book/library themed gifts for Carley to open.

Small note book made from 100% recycled library ephemera from Baking with Medusa - in this notebook each guest wrote a short birthday message to Carley and we added photos we took on the day. Bookworm & Library button badges from Bean Forest. A vintage Bates stamper from Blue Bell Bazaar. Mini library book keychain from Elloh. Some hand wrapped pencils from Miss Isa and a fabric and paper brooch from Stacey Winters.

I'm pretty sure Carley had a great day and she tells me that it really was a surprise, as she had no idea until she got the 'Late Notice Card' from her hubby - Yay! These are just some random pics from the day.



Happy 30th Carley!!
Giggle

33 comments:

vanilla pixie (Carley) said...

Thankyou so much - it was wonderful xx

kathy said...

What a great party Amy & Carley! Your decorations were amazing - what an effort! PS: I loved the cupcake wrappers!!

Beadsme said...

How cool is this. Happy Birthday to Carley.

BonTons said...

WoW, you guys sure know how to throw a surprise party! Happy Birthday Carley!

planettreasures said...

That is the most astonishing party I have ever seen!
Lucky Carley!
And what a beautiful day it was too!

Michelle said...

very very cute! what a good idea, and fantastic decorations! and yum to the marshmallow frosting!

Mikayla Lynne said...

Wow, amazing you did a great job!

designdazzle.blogspot.com said...

Amy,
I'm so impressed!! Great ideas.
Hugs,
Toni

belinda.moonmum said...

Wow... it all looks amazing! You did an amazing job.

Julie Blanchette said...

Ohhhhhhhhh... How splendid!!! Gosh..., Amy you are Gold!!! Oh, I get all sookie, such a marvelous thing you did for your sister! Big kisses, you should be so proud!

Well..., Miss Carley, how loved are you!?! Happy big 30th sweet thing!

Julie xox

Red Letter Studio said...

Amy!! Amazing!! what a great party, all your little touches are just gorgeous, the banner is awesome!! Happy Birthday to Carley, congratulations everyone for keeping the surprise, and Amy, you rock, what a wonderful sister you are! and so clever! thanks for involving me, it was very fun!

~ Samone x

michvanetta said...

Everything looks absolutely amazing.
Fabulous job Amy :)
Happy Birthday Carley xx

helena / little mo said...

happy 30th carley!!! what an amazing theme and set up! definitely one to remember for a long time!! xoxoxoxo

Vintage Sew and So said...

WOW, what a great job Amy, Carley is so lucky to have you.

Frog, Goose and Bear said...

I LOVE it!!! My favourites were all of the things made from the pages of the 2 books! .... and the invites, and the bookmarks as gifts, and the backdrop and the biscuits.......... you have inspired me.

Lesley said...

How Fantastic! I LOVE the theme...and how creative are you?...

Marthe said...

You have gone through so much effort to create this...looks amazing...I am sure it was appreciated by everyone...especially your sister.!!

Stacey said...

This party looks so adorable!!
What a treat to know that the brooch I made was a part of these lovely festivities.

A very happy birthday!!

"well elloh my name is el lohse" said...

A happy birthday to your sister! That backdrop and the whole party setup looks amazing! :)

Whimsical Creations said...

What an awesome party!!

Belinda - Nest Design Studio said...

gorgeous details!

melanie said...

wow Amy, what an awesome party! Happy 30th Carley :) xxx

Connect2Mums said...

How fabulous! Love this idea, you've done such a great job!! What a great surprise! Peace

Funky Fabrix said...

What a great party and what a wonderful sister you are! Just gorgeous!

A Very Fine House {Katrina Chambers} said...

That is amazing! The painted bookcase blew me away. Great job :)

livinglifeasme said...

Wow - this is the first time I've visited your blog. What an amazing party ... your sister is so lucky to have you. Awesome backdrop and so clever with the invites. I'll be back to this blog.

lyptis said...

Wow! U put a lot of effort into this.

It turned out really great, im sure Carley and everyone else had a great day!:)
Love those invites.

babygalah said...

What a brillant idea!! i love the whole theme, but especially the cupcake wrappers and bunting! Might have to leave this page open for my beloved to "accidently" stumble upon !!! Dee - BabyGalah

Anonymous said...

You are so absolutely, fabulously creative! What a wonderful blessing!

Tania McCartney said...

Wow, Amy!!!! When we do a party book for handmade, you're a shoo-in!

Sara at Keeth Ink said...

Wow. This made me happy today!

Kim @ The Celebration Shoppe said...

I would love to feature this party sometime soon! I'm a bookworm myself and this is adorable!

Tina H said...

how did you make the bunting and the cupcake wrappers??? love them, and they would be perfect for a book shower that I am hosting.