It's true what they say about raising kids - the days are long but the years are short. My little baby is already a friendly, fearless, funny 3 year boy!
I really wanted to have friends over for a open air birthday picnic at a local lake/park and was mulling over the theme. I chose 'Ice Cream' for two reasons:
1) Over the years he's grown into a sweet kid and he's pretty cool, so.
2) More importantly and less philosophically, he's LOVES it. (Which kid doesn't, right?)
We've got to start with the birthday cake of course. (It just HAD to be blue, for the boy who is so obsessed with the color that one day he told me 'I don't want brown hands, I want blue hands, Mamma!'). A shout out here to my friend Priti who is an expert cake decorator and together with her husband creates unbelievable confections. She patiently answered all my queries regarding fondant, frosting and all things cakey. I baked two chocolate cakes - one round and the other rectangular, which I cut into a cone shape. I cut both pieces in half horizontally for a homemade caramel sauce filling. Then I piped chocolate ganache onto the cone for the criss-cross ridges and used blue frosting with m&ms and sprinkles for the scoop of icecream. I've never been able to do a very neat job of frosting so this was a perfect project where blotchy and lumpy is not only fine, it's more authentic! :D. (I'm clever like that, hehe).
Also among the edible crafts were these chocolate chip popsicle cookies which I baked by spreading out cookie dough in longish shapes and sticking popsicle sticks in them.
Moving on to only slightly edible crafts - these are ice cream cone string decorations which are made this way:
1) Wrap colorful tissue paper around a crumpled ball of waste paper
2) String together real wafer cones using a needle and thread and leave a bit of thread in between each cone and on either side of the first and last cone for handing up
3) Glue the ice cream scoop balls on the cones
Next, I hit upon the idea of using colorful paper lanterns for making large ice cream cones for handing up on a tree at the picnic.
1) I cut out a quarter circle shape out of brown paper (not by any specific measurement, just by rolling it up against the paper lantern and then cutting approximately)
2) I drew the criss cross cone lines with a sharpie (black because I didn't have a brown one on hand)
3) Then I trimmed the upper edge of the cone as required and taped it to the lantern!
Lastly, the party favors. I found this vibrant, fruity fabric print and decided to use it as a popsicle applique against a white canvas cloth with colorful zippers to make summery looking pencil cases. A multicolored chevron printed cotton went perfectly well together for the lining!
All told, we spent a fun few hours together with friends, which is the whole point of these parties anyway. Although the day turned out to be a little chillier than we'd hoped, it was still ok thanks to my friend's portable grill that let us enjoy hot veggie burgers and samosas among other goodies. Needless to say, the kiddos all got to slurp on yummy popsicles and it turned out to be a sweet and sticky 3rd birthday party for my little boy!