Sunday, February 26, 2012


The catering's rather tricky with a purple party.  I had a few wide-ranging ideas but ended up getting caught on the day with little motivation.  I had a crappy week, truth be told, and it played on my psyche.  However the party must go on, and go on it did!  
It's amazing what you can do with blueberries.  And with red cabbage.  And let's just say I'm glad I don't have to change nappies after that many blueberries went out into the world - some things are better left to the privacy of one's own mind.

I made Ted his purple outfit as his present - purple t-shirt with the number 3 from an old Dick Bruna cube I found in an op shop years ago.  You may remember I made a top for Ted for his first birthday that had a 1 on it, so it seemed fitting to (conveniently forget I had missed 2) jump right in and make him a number 3 shirt.  And of course some purple shorts seemed necessary to round out the picture - and to Ted's eye something purple AND something floral was really the icing on the cake.

And did someone mention icing?  On a cake?  Well the night before the party I was mucking around with icing like a madwoman possessed. Oh yes, possessed by the concept of purple icing.  It just had to be purple enough!  The puzzle, however, was finding that balance between colour and consistency.  You see, using red cabbage juice was a great way to produce some purple dye...however it is rather watery and doesn't hold up  well in the thick icing production stakes.  *shakes fist at bowl*  Damn you purple icing!  You elude me!
Then in steps James, centre ring, to pronounce the magic ingredient - almond meal.  And if anyone out there is looking for the ideal method of thickening up your purple icing, then please, by all means, take on board this man's wisdom.  For it solved our icing dilemma!  Huzzah to the almond meal! 
So please, feel free to admire, gasp and exclaim over the brilliance that is a thick and delicious and (most importantly) purple icing on a huge chocolate and beetroot cake.  Huge because...*ahem*...well I didn't quite pick out the correct cake tin.  It was the size smaller than it should have been and the resulting baked good sat very high.  Each slice proved to be a battle against gravity as it teetered precariously on the plate, before succumbing to the force and falling with a a thud to the ceramic slab.  And if I do say so myself, that cake was mighty fine (when I finally got around to tasting it later that evening).
And I have a Public Announcement (please note the caps - they are there for a reason: this is important!).  Pass the parcel sucks.  It is a game of complete and utter stupidity.  I hate it.  IT IS WRONG on so many levels.  If you have children and have held this game at your party then you can be rest assured I was standing on the sidelines gritting my teeth as we all had to endure some inane song played in stops and starts to some bizarre contorted dance of making sure each child receives a small prize of little interest and, upon receipt of said small gift, has to endure sitting there for no other reason than to keep the pretence of a circle.  Because a circle is highly necessary for some reason.  And if you may have noticed - I Hate This Game.

However, having said this, my little three year old has been to enough parties in his short life to know that pass the parcel is de rigeur.  Why?  Well no-one can tell you why little one because it is MORONIC.  Anyway, once I moved on from my bitterness at being asked to hold such an abomination, drolly termed 'entertainment' (which you may have noticed I have failed to move on from), I decided we would just rock it old school.  No small present in each layer.  One present in the middle.  True random stopping (ie: no-one secretly making sure it landed on the 'right' person).  And be damned with the consequences.

Now, please take a close look at this photo.  Does it look as if anyone here is having fun?  ANYONE? *sigh*  I now figure that if I am the one having to organise the games, I retain veto power.  Yes, the party organisation process is now about to become the UN of our household.  And I am Russia.  The veto is mine.  Bwahaha!!
(*insert maniacal rubbing of hands here)

The most stressful part of the day I think, was Harriet's insistence on yelling out her Mao-like dictatorship commands at all moments.  "Sit here!"  "Don't do it like that!" "NO!" "Stop that!"  I think the only time I was able to keep her slightly under the bar of creating her own communist state was when I sat down to read Awesome Man - as you can see, we acquired quite the audience.

Then it was on to the treasure hunt - each clue was a slightly cryptic-for-three-year-old poem.  Harriet read them out (with strict instructions not to yell out the answer as soon as she had finished reading it out) and the harem of children followed from clue to clue, until they eventually were lead outside to the box of bubbles.  And, as we all know, bubbles make everything better.  Or maybe that was alcohol.  Either way, there was a small window of calm.

And then, just like that, it was over.   It was absolutely and without a doubt, the shortest party I have ever hosted.  I completely forgot to take a photo of the finished products, but I made these little purple fabric bags from random bits of purple material (this is them just prior to being finished - so easy to make and so cute to hold), a cd of Ted's favourite tunes. some purple balloons, a purple felt love heart badge (which you can see if you look back through the photos) and a book from the op shop wrapped in purple paper (because I love any excuse to give books away).

 Notice anything missing?  Yep, you guessed it.  Lisa!  Lisa wasn't there.  We were all very sad that she couldn't make it for the party itself, but she turned up a little while after the party was over with Todd and was able to eat her specially made cake in peace.  Actually she even got to take a whole one home (I made two mini sugar and gluten free cakes).  Bonus!  And she even wore purple eyeshadow - to her credit Lisa even wore the purple eyeshadow in the middle of the day to Harry's Cafe de Wheels at the end of our street.  See?  The confidence purple can give one.

Todd gave Ted this purple and gold hula hoop, which has been a massive hit.  The children even managed to pose sweetly with Lisa for him to take a photo.  I'd like to point out that they weren't posing for me.  As if! 

Lisa and Ted also opened the present from Jay, which she photographed on her own blog just tonight here.  Ted decided that it was to be his pillow on his bed immediately and all other evidence of pillows had to be removed as soon as humanly possible.  As he said "This is from Jay and Ilo and Poe and Scott because they love me". 

 Ted's party saw the explosion of stunning afternoon sunlight and what better way to end a party day than with a dinner we didn't make?  And as a special occasion we went to hat illustrious bastion of high cuisine - Clem's.  For those who don't know it, Clem's is a chicken shop.  But for those of us who like to cuddle the chickens rather than consume them, they also have salads and roasted vegetables to draw us in (and then keep us there, in the tiled, bainmarie sweatiness that is your local corner chicken shop).

Ted spent the overwhelming majority of his time running.  Running up to people walking their dogs and patting them (leaning over with his hands clasped together pronouncing anything on four legs "So quoot!" with delightful intensity).  Asking me to follow behind him on all fours as if I were his puppy ("Just a newborn and I am the mama dog and you love me and I love you and we are going to walk all over the park") and yes, I did it.  Of course!  Running with dogs to catch their balls.  Picking up more than one saliva-coated rubber ball to throw for more than one panting, elated dog.

It was dog-walking time at the park.  You might have guessed.

Harriet (check out the dress by the way, thank you Rockdale Vinnies for offering up this gem for $2 just a few days before the party) enjoyed the dogs too.  She enjoyed them so much that there were tears as we left when the discussion turned to her own dogs and when they could be acquired.  Alas, I am not a dog person. And fair enough, the age of "when you have your own backyard" does seem a tad ephemeral.

And so endeth our day of Ted's party.  The following day we were beset upon from all sides with phone calls and discussions and rejoicing.  Ted was all phoned out by about mid morning I think, and we didn't even get a chance to speak to Georgia (she called the next day again just to make sure she was on the receiving end of some of that famous Ted banter).

 And on the day after he had his first day of preschool.  Party-Birthday-Preschool.  Three very full days.  And if you can't quite make out his expression in this last shot, please click on it and see Ted in full descriptive flight.  He cracks me up.  He is insightful, discursive, musical, thoughtful, funny, frustrating, stubborn, energetic and just plain old wonderful.

If you haven't had the chance to meet him, book it in soon. 


jay said...

oh what a beautifully purply blog, so stunning. and that cake!! a triumph. i particularly loved Sol's gentle assistance as Ted was blowing out the candles.

jay said...

oh and those little buckets are stunning.

Anonymous said...

Oh I just got a chance to read!!! At midnight- so lovely to see Ted's party and I look so lovely in that photo with the kids (when I felt so sick :-( Thanks Cas ! You are a truely great photographer- I swear the one Todd took doesnt look that good ;-) Harriet's Dress was just glorious and Teddy force feeding me special cake and biscuits "just for you Lisa" was so cute- he is a treasure xxxx Lis

Anonymous said...

Oh I just got a chance to read!!! At midnight- so lovely to see Ted's party and I look so lovely in that photo with the kids (when I felt so sick :-( Thanks Cas ! You are a truely great photographer- I swear the one Todd took doesnt look that good ;-) Harriet's Dress was just glorious and Teddy force feeding me special cake and biscuits "just for you Lisa" was so cute- he is a treasure xxxx Lis