Birthday decorating

 
Lily wanted a pony birthday last week.  Not My Little Pony, not Disney Princesses with ponies, not even cowgirl - just straight up ponies.  It is quite a tall order these days to find any sort of decor that isn't a brand, so I had to resort to using my very own hands and brains.  I had already thought about a version of the mobile-garland thing I'd made for the baby shower last month, so I proceeded to do that.  Then I wanted a matching birthday banner and discovered a perfect placement for it between the hanging lights over my bar in the kitchen.  Since we haven't been in the house long, I'm still figuring out the best locations for decor for all occasions, so it gave me more than a little joy to have a banner spot established.

For both the garland and the banner I used double sided cardstock in brown & pink patterns.  I found a couple of horse pics online and printed them out to use as patterns.  A friend of mine saw the finished product and complimented my cute cricut cartridges, and she was scandalized when I explained that I don't have a cricut.  I traced with pencil and cut with scissors each little horse and all the other shapes - old school.  I wanted it girlie, so in addition to the logical horseshoe patterns, I added flowers.
I meant to take more process pictures this time, but forgot - oops.  The garland is constructed by using a needle and thread to sew each shape to the next, knotting the thread at the top and bottom of the shapes.  Then the string of shapes is sewn to the ribbon.  Construct another string of shapes and attach it to the ribbon about four to six inches over.  Keep doing this until the desired length is achieved.  I find it looks better to keep the lengths random rather than all the same.  It moves better in the air current, and it looks more aesthetically pleasing.  This one was made rather quickly, and there are things I'd change if I went back and did it again, but it worked well all in all.  I tried that green sticky mounting clay stuff instead of scotch tape this time, and I used ribbon that matched my paint rather than bright white, so the base was more subtle.

For the banner, I printed out the letters spelling out Happy Birthday, using a hollow font so I'd just get the outline, and fitting four letters to a page.  I mixed up brown and pink cardstock so the letters would end up random, and I printed it out twice.  Why twice, you may ask?  Because I'm crazy!  If you look closely at the pictures, you will notice that there are actually two different versions of the banner.   When I started planning the banner, I realized that since my kitchen faces the family room and dinning room, there would be a large amount of living space looking at the back of the banner.  So I made it double sided.  Since the cardstock was already printed on two sides, I simply cut out two sets of letters, double-stick taped them to an appropriate background print, then figured out which letter would go on the back. (Yeah, I admit that it took me more than a little time working that out, since if I put an H on back of the H and a P on back of the P one banner would end up backwards.  It bent my mind a bit working it all out - especially because the print on the back is different than the one on the front, and the color of the back letter sometimes didn't work with the background I'd chosen for the front letter.  It got wicked complicated for what seemed a simple plan.)  Two holes punched at the top corner of each card allows a thin 1/4" ribbon to be run through and knotted at each hole to keep the letters in place.  I added a rearing pony on each side of "Happy," to tie in the theme, by sewing it on with thread like the mobile banner.   And it said Happy Birthday wether you were getting a drink from the fridge, sitting at the table, or watching TV :-)
Voila!  Pony birthday!  Still not sure if it equals Isaac's Transformers birthday that was less papercrafting but more impressive Photoshop fun, but it made Lily very happy, and that is the entire point.
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