Port Townsend (the mossy little seaside town where Kata Golda springs from in Washington) is populated by many herds of deer. Beloved by tourists — cursed by gardeners — we see deer every day in our neighborhood of Victorian homes and lush landscapes. And so it is that Rennie Simone, a little girl who lives across the street, came to fall in love with these gentle neighbors.
When Rennie announced her ambitions to have a springtime, deer-themed 6th birthday party, we couldn’t resist the desire to host and decorate and craft the party by hand. But a quick internet search for party ideas yielded ideas for John Deere themed parties (think tractors and camouflage) or large-eyed, curvaceous Disney Bambi parties. We set out to create a simple, handmade party for six little “dears”.
The Kata Golda color palette lends itself to springtime parties, and wool felt is as easy and forgiving to work with as it is beautiful. A few stems of Ranunculus and a large, life-like plush deer were all that was needed as a backdrop for homemade decorations. Colorful felt banners hung over the table, with a gold balloon tied to each chair.
Deer finger puppets stood upright on twigs, and became the inspiration for the girl’s craft project. Each place setting featured a deer medallion napkin ring (which became a hair tie) and a wool felt goodie bag, with each girl’s name hand-stitched on the front.
Making these useful, high-quality party favors took time, but was by far more preferable than using disposable, mass-produced trinkets that often end up in the garbage following a party.
A little lemonade and popcorn were all that was necessary to keep the girls nourished. But it was the adults that couldn’t keep their hands out of the popcorn — thanks to the addition of our friend Anika’s lovely Sea Smoke Salt from Old Salt Merchants, another small business in Port Townsend.
Rennie had requested a deer cake, which left a lot of room for interpretation. After deer, gold and mango are her two favorite things in the world, so it was only natural to incorporate all three into her special birthday cake. In the name of simplicity, we went with a vanilla buttermilk cake with mango curd between layers. The cake, covered with a simple cream cheese frosting, was topped with gold sprinkles, a family of toy deer and gold candles.
After eating, the girls jumped wholeheartedly into making deer finger puppets, the components of which were found in their goody bags. With a simple template, they began by cutting out three pieces of felt.
With some help from adults they "drew" their deer's face onto felt with a needle and thread, and then stitched the pieces together to finish the puppet.
What a joy it was to create magic for these little girls. The DIY Deer Birthday Party was a lovely affair, with six smiling, happy dears leaving with a bag of their own wool felt keepsakes.
~ Kata Golda
IN BLOOM THIS SPRING
CELEBRATION INSPIRATION: Inspired to create a handmade birthday party or wedding? Get some help making your own banners and finger puppets with Kata Golda's DIY Felt Sewing Kits, which come with instructions, templates, wool felt and thread. (Visit Etsy to see more DIY kits.)
NEW CRAFT VIDEOS: Two new Kata Golda video tutorials are now available from Creativebug. Learn how to make a Woodland Wall Hanging, as well as the plush Nature Pals that tuck inside the wall hanging's pockets. Materials kits for both projects can be purchased on KataGolda.com.
Kata Golda creates unique gifts for children and adults using a combination of hand-dyed wool felt, stitching, and letterpress printing. From photo albums and guest books to hand-stitched items and personalized gifts, Kata Golda’s work is a treasured heirloom for any occasion.
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