Sunday, August 26, 2012

Crazy for Cowboys... Joe's 3rd Birthday

Our boy, Joe, has loved horses since day one!  So when we celebrated his first birthday with toddler friends, it was easy to go with a cowboy theme!  This was back in the day pre-Pinterest, and ideas were still running rampant!  We frequented craigslist, garage sales and GoodWill for Western decor, and we made some things along the way.  The benefit of being a teacher is having the time off in June and July to plan ahead and craft away with the children to prepare. (Photo taken by John Gaughan Photography) Grandma paid the expense of a photographer so mommy and daddy could enjoy the day...
Inside the dining room, we hung painted wood cutouts from Michaels on our light fixture.  Catch them on sale,  5 for a $1.00, plus they are a fun craft on a hot summer day.  I enjoy creating vignettes on top of the china cabinet... horse-opoly, a garage sale find... .50 cents, and other odds and ends from GW, books are a great way to decorate, and I found inexpensive plates at GW... spray-painted them to go with our theme and placed them on the cabinet.
Speaking of cutouts... You have seen the cowboys leaning on barn cutouts...well, we took it a step further.  The only problem was that these should have been with a thicker wood. We used thin mdf and they were flimsier than I would have liked, however they made the impact we wanted... a real rodeo feel.  We had quite a few cutouts throughout the yard, and my husband was EXTREMELY patient with me.  We had horse shoes too!

Sugar cookies can be made ahead of time... I decorated them with pre-made frosting the night before.  We found root beer mugs at the thrift shop, filled them with rafia and plastic mini horses... a cute detail, then topped them with glass plates for displaying the cookies.
Hobby Lobby had tons of cowboy themed decor that was 80% off by the end of July, and my son has quite the collection of Safari Ltd and Schleich horses to decorate with.
We had tons of guests to celebrate our cowboy! So I made a few cakes to accommodate all the good friends.  I got this cake idea from Coolest Birthday Cakes, and I was happy with the results.  I do a lot more fondant these days because it seems to be less clean up... no tips and bags.  The horse shoe is a wooden cutout painted and written on... the rope is Fimo clay (pre-fondant days) no one ate it!  And the original inspiration is worth a look... they had chocolate chips in the grass... and yes my boys got a kick out of it.  I love the grass tip...#133, I use it quite often when piping icing.

We also had cupcakes and the toppers are Wilton cake melts  with horse candy molds and boot candy molds.  They were a hit with the little ones!  We had lots of other details... so many that they will have to be in another post.  If you have a cowboy... keep an eye out at your favorite craft stores!

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