I have always been 'artistic', but my 'craftiness' didn't surface until later in life. This means our twin boys didn't have a fancy first birthday. They still turned out okay (so far). So 10 years later when little B's birthday was on the horizon (9 months out) you would think I would have been ecstatic to plan a big bash for his first birthday, but I wasn't. I tried to figure out the root of my lack-lustre attitude, but I couldn't pin it down. As his birthday got closer (6 months, 5 months...) I still had no big desire to plan his party. Then late one night as I sat in front of my laptop waiting for some contractors to finish work in our kitchen I came across a spark.
As I was perusing a bento box website for panda stuff for the twin's birthday I spied a cute little octopus/squid figure. By the time the contractors finished I had already recreated the little guy (now termed 'octosquid' -- couldn't decide if it was an octopus or squid) in Adobe Illustrator and added a sailor hat and cupcake to make him ready for the invitation. From that point on the wheels for B's first birthday party were set into motion. I guess I just had been lacking some serious inspiration. We did not have a big bash and instead kept the party very small. Even though the party was small I did not skip out on any details because those are the fun things to do!
For B's *Octosquid Party* we set up a small dessert buffet with brownies, sugar cookies in the shapes of sea horses, lobsters and hearts (my octosquid cookies turned out disastrous so I couldn't use them) and mini red velvet cupcakes--all lovingly baked by me. The centerpiece of the dessert buffet was an octosquid cake baked by A Touch of Sweetness Bakery--it was so cute and so delicious! I love having homemade cakes, but I found it to be really liberating to have someone else bake the cake because I got to focus on all the other desserts. For our birthday meal we had Japanese fare with sushi and gyoza from our local Japanese restaurant, rice noodle salad and regular salad with sesame ginger dressing. As for the decorations we reused the tissue paper backdrop from the Washington to Rome Goodbye Party (only had to replace the pink and gold with blue crepe paper) and reused the tissue heart (again replacing the pink tissue paper). And finally the favors were little octopus snack containers I picked up from Target and filled with swedish fish and sixlets.
Here are some pictures from the *Octosquid Party* followed by some more details...
As soon as I settled on the octosquid theme I knew I wanted to bring in some Japanese influence (little B is a quarter Japanese after all). I started with the color palette making it blue and white with a hint of red. Then we settled on sushi for the meal. I really wanted to order from our neighborhood Japanese restaurant, but I figured it blow our budget so I looked at other options (Wegman's and Harris Teeter). Two days before the party I decided to stop by our neighborhood Japanese restaurant and price things out anyway. I was really surprised that it wasn't much more than the grocery store options. Plus by going with the Japanese restaurant I was able to order exactly what I wanted and didn't have to go with a pre-selected platter and on top of that it tasted so much better. I pre-set the table with our serving platters and headed out to pick up the sushi right before it was time to eat to ensure that it was fresh. I bought a cheap pack of wooden chopsticks which came 6 pairs to the pack but they were all loose. washi tape to the rescue! It only took a few minutes to pair them up and keep them together with a small piece of washi tape.
B's bib was made by my sister with fabric I had printed at Spoonflower. This was my first time having anything made at Spoonflower and in general I was happy with the result. The colors on the fabric were not as vibrant as I expected, but the printing still looked good and the fabric was a nice material.