Whoa! What a week! Lockdown has finally reached us, squeezing it’s gnarly grip around our neck and life has been all topsy turvy ever since. I take my hat off to you precious mamas who have been doing the ‘great juggle’ for many weeks already. I don’t know how on earth you aren’t going mad! Mind you, there are 12 people in our household (at last count! haha!) so that might have something to do with me going a little bit loopy!
Anyway…I have had enough of misery and mayhem and decided it’s time to escape into a wonderland of cake and twirling ballerinas, if only for a few moments. I have been sitting on this sweet vintage ballet party for over a year now. I was incredibly honoured to have it featured in Mingle Magazine, a prominent American party styling mag.
One of our daughters was turning ten and really loved ballet. Being a little bit older, it was important I created an age appropriate ballet themed party that wasn’t too pink and cutesy. Most ballet parties seem to be for little girls and involve a lot of tulle. I assured my Mary that there would not be a stitch of tulle in sight. I was determined to make an elegant party with an old school, timeless vintage touch.
The first element I designed was the dessert table backdrop. This was super easy, and set the tone for the whole party. I knew I wanted it to look old fashioned, so I bought vintage music sheet scrapbooking pages and glued them onto a large sheet of thin timber from Bunnings. I had been intentionally collecting old framed ballet prints for months, so I attached them to the backdrop. The centrepiece was two gold frames with a pair of craft pointe shoes from eBay attached to the middle.
Next came the tablecloth. One thing you may not know about me is that I have a love affair with chenille bedspreads from the 60’s and 70’s. I still remember the matching bright orange ones my brother and I had when we were kids. I absolutely love using them as tablecloths on my dessert tables. You can imagine my utter delight when I saw this stunning ballet bedspread at a local market for $15! The stall owner was almost apologetic about the price! Ha! She obviously had no idea how much it was actually worth. I saw one for sale on FB Marketplace yesterday for $150!! Needless to say, this absolutely brilliant score helped determine the colour scheme of my dessert table, adding a pop of aqua blue to the theme.
Planning the party a few months is advance gave me time to scour the op shops for ballerina figurines. It’s amazing how many little ceramic treasures you can find once you start looking. I wanted to incorporate them into the actual dessert table as a main feature, giving it a bit of a wow factor. As hunting and gathering is one of my all time favourite things to do, I was delighted to also find a cute ballet themed vintage tin and old school ballerina birthday candles to add to the table.
When I finished styling this table, I stood back and had a good look at it all. Every detail seemed to come to life and it was as though the ballerinas were swirling away in amongst the delicious sweets. It all took my breath away and as I paused for a few minutes before the guests arrived, I felt transported into a fairyland of vintage beauty. Ahh…and isn’t that what it is all about? Creating an atmosphere of magical joy, bringing delight to young and old, and even a moments indulgence and rest for the precious mamas who loved it all as much as the kids.
This was absolutely one of my favourite parties. Everything came together effortlessly and my daughter and her friends really loved it. Even now looking back on these photos I still feel all of the love and heart I put into it and the delight it brought to so many.
In these challenging and uncertain times I find the need for beauty in my life increases. We all face so many difficulties that can often feel suffocating, like they are slowly pulling us under, threatening to swallow us up. If I can take a moment out and find beauty in the smallest thing, I feel energised to take a deep breath, finding strength to keep going.
When I decorate a cake or cobble together a few pretty cake stands and desserts, I like to think that I am contributing, in my own small way, to the pool of beauty in the world. My hope is that those who receive these gifts will be refreshed and their burdens will seem a little lighter.
Thanks for joining me this week. I hope you find beauty in your day and enjoy your weekend.
Until next week,
Photography: Sarah Rickard