With the holidays fast approaching, I’ve been thinking about family a lot and wanted to share something special. After many months of planning long distance with my mom, we hosted a baby shower in honor of my sister Jessica and baby Violette. Right away, I had a vision for how I wanted the shower to look and feel like. My mom is the master of fine details. The details that might get overlooked by the casual visitor but really tie everything in and make everything feel super special. With our powers combined, I think we created something pretty spectacular.
Just a little note: throughout this post, I added links to the vendors we got some our amazing details from, if you’re inspired by what you see. As an artist I believe in supporting fellow creatives, so hopefully this helps spread the word about these amazing artists and crafters!
I did a lot of searching online for woodland baby shower invitations, but none were quite fitting my oddly specific vision. And then I realized that I am an artist. Why not have some fun and try making an invitation? I did a little pen and watercolor painting. I framed the original and gave it as a gift and had postcards made to mail out.
It was important to tie in elements that represent Jessica to really make her feel special and excited about this new chapter in her life. Thinking about our childhood, I remember her rock and geode collection kept in a glass jar. There was this sparkly one that was our favorite. Because sparkles. So I thought it would be nice to incorporate some geodes in the centerpieces and also in the form of bookends that can be used in the nursery.
She’s a microbiologist and has always enjoyed science. I stumbled upon a wonderful Etsy artist that creates vases made from reclaimed wood and large test tubes. Perfect! Those were our centerpieces, and wow, what a statement they made!
We bought our flowers from Kroger and made the arrangements ourselves. Part of the beauty of the test tube vases is that there are many ways to put flowers in those test tubes, and I don’t think there is a single wrong way to do it. It’s as easy as you want it to be, but just as stunning whether you go minimal or go for a statement. We went for the statement and trying to pay attention to colors and textures. I’ve found that if you stick with a color scheme, ensure a range of flower sizes, and add different textures, you’re on your way to a beautiful arrangement.
I think the butterfly place cards on the glasses really added to the magic of the day. Every time I looked at the tables it looked as though they were softly fluttering around the tables and gently alighting atop each glass. With our extras we decided to turn our chandelier into a beautiful kaleidoscope of butterflies. (I had to look up the official term for a large group of butterflies. So there you go, if you didn’t know already. Swarm is also used but, I mean, kaleidoscope sounds much gentler) I think we have convinced my parents to keep the butterflies up through the winter and then into the spring and probably summer too…
My mom and I were trying to figure out what kind of cake to have for the guests. We thought maybe a coconut one from the store would be pretty and look like snow…and then we looked at each other and new that if we were going to have cake, that the only cake my sister would really want is my mom’s homemade yellow cake with homemade dark chocolate frosting. Really its the only cake that anyone should ever have because it is seriously the best. Perhaps I am a little biased. When we were kids, we were lucky enough that mom would bake one every year for our birthdays.
To supplement the homemade cake we picked up a raspberry angel food bunt cake with a bright raspberry frosting. I made a cake banner to jazz it up even more 🙂
My sister is not a traditional girl, so I wasn’t interested in doing traditional baby shower themes especially when it comes to any games that we might play. I’m a bit of a nerd and started subscribing to Faerie Magazine after picking up one of their gorgeous issues and falling in love with the combination of stunning photography, featured artists, recipes, poems, and other lovely oddities. Their website has a really wonderful collection of Sweet Little Gifts where I discovered Flying Wish Papers.
I wish I had better pictures of the Wish Paper experience because that is exactly what it was: a lovely, magical experience. Quite mesmerizing, too. First, you write down your wish. We asked our guests to write a wish for little Violette. Then you crumple the paper up, flatten again, roll into a tube and stand it on its end. The next part is where it gets exciting! You light a match and ever so gently tap the flame to the top part of the paper. The paper catches fire but burns gently down. Near the end, the paper flies up into the air twirling and swirling gracefully and burns up almost completely, leaving only a bit of ash to slowly fall back down to rest in the palm of your hand.
Don’t be fooled by the giant blaze that is my sister’s flying wish. She mistakenly lit it from the bottom. We all had a good laugh about the inferno. It still made it into the air…barely 🙂
We also played a game that was simply “write down the most ridiculous or absurd alternative name that you can think of for Violette.” Simple. Hilarious. A big hit.
To drive home the winter woodland theme, we decided to serve hot chocolate and wassail surrounded by moss and mushrooms after our luncheon. And, again, my mom took the extra step in making it extra special by asking our dear friend to make her signature gingerbread mug houses. I mean, how freaking cute are these?!
By manipulating wisteria vines, my parents worked together to transform this vintage bassinet previously residing in the attic into a woodland cradle you might find in a storybook.
Inside 3 of the books were Flying Magic Butterflies also found on the Faerie Magazine website. They wind up and get tucked away inside a book to surprise and delight the next viewer (or scare the shit of them, depending on how much you wind them, which may or may not have happened to us) Either way it was super fun.
I hope you have enjoyed looking through these pictures and listening to a bit of the background story behind them! I hope they inspire you!