Thursday, December 29, 2011

For Aunt Laurie's Birthday

Aunt Laurie's birthday was this Monday, and while I was home a couple weeks ago, Mom and I decided to make a special birthday gift for her that Mom could include with the box of wrapped Christmas presents she was going to mail her the next morning. It began simply enough, with Mom showing me a pretty green gingham dishtowel she'd found for Aunt Laurie and saying, "I was thinking about decorating a little Christmas tree and putting it in the box for her. What do you think? This as a tree skirt? Or should I just wrap it by itself?" Mom should know better than to ask me such things: She and I ended going to bed sometime after midnight that night after spending about four hours constructing, instead, this miniature birthday party table, the gingham dishtowel now a tablecloth. :)
The table was a taco kit box from the cupboard. :) The cake began as a tiny container with cake/cookie sprinkles in it. I emptied it, flipped it over, painted it with acrylic paints until it looked frosted/decorated, and glued a few silk flowers onto the sides and a bit of a paper-doily-as-cake-plate underneath. A birthday candle from the cupboard was whittled down and poked via nail hole into the top. 
And of course, Aunt Laurie had to have a frog, so I made one out of a few tiny Styrofoam ball-type things from one of Mom's silk floral arrangements and painted it all up until it looked frog-like and glued it all into a mini gift-box with an even smaller "to/from" label attached. She had to have a frog? Yessssssss. :) When I was a kid, I told my mom that Aunt Laurie should collect something green since it's her favorite color, and I decided, much to elegant Civil War-era costume-making, Ann-Margret-adoring, lace-loving Aunt Laurie's dismay, that it should be frogs. Tradition must be upheld!
Her miniature card from me read "Hoppy birthday," of course, and Mom made a more traditional card for her older sister. A green button with cake sprinkles glued to the top became a plate of cookies or candies. The tiny gift packages began as corners of Jell-O boxes. We cut them into different sizes and wrapped them with scraps of different papers we had stashed away. Curling ribbon and more tiny silk flowers made perfect package decorations. The plastic lid of a perfume or hair spray bottle worked as a vase. :)
Paper napkins became smaller paper napkins, white plastic toothpicks were trimmed and glued beside them to suggest forks, and we cut the floral part of a shelf lining paper into circles as cake plates. I drew the balloons, "laminated" them with packaging tape, attached them to more toothpicks, and poked them into the top of one of the presents. We framed an already-right-size photo of Aunt Laurie with silk flowers. And hot-glued everything to everything until we could shake the entire table upside-down and nothing moved.
I only wish we could have seen Aunt Laurie's face when she unwrapped her "birthday party in a box." Now she has a little decoration she can bring out each year for her birthday, though. Since it is the day after Christmas, a hard time to travel, we never get to share it with her, but now we can, even more so than usual, celebrate together in spirit. :)  
Updated to add that Aunt Laurie has passed along this picture of her with her "birthday table."  
Sweet face!  It almost makes me feel bad for hiding the little frog in the gift box.  :)


FlowerLady said...

Wow! That is such a sweet, wonderful thing to do and you and your Mom had a great time creating this loving and lovely gift.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

C'est moi Claudette said...

I'm guessing your mom is doing great : )
I also know how much you love your Aunt Laurie.
How wonderful to make such wonderful memories. I hope she enjoyed it as much as you and your mom enjoyed making it for her.
Great Job Val.

Lisa said...

A Happy Birthday to Auntie Laurie!!
What a beautiful display, and you're so creative, Val! I love the "cake". Good goin'.

Val said...

Thank you, Ladies. :) It was such fun. :)

asmplelife said...

wow...your aunt laurie is going to LOVE this package! nicely done, ladies =]

Thistle Cove Farm said...

You and your Mom are SO sweet; your Aunt will feel special...stars in your crown, girl, stars in your crown!

Val said...

Thank you all. :) Happy new year!

GennieG said...

Hi Val! Thank you for joining my blog, I'm happy to join yours. I am enjoying it. I think it's beautiful how much you love your family and it's so sweet what you did for your Aunt Laurie. I also read about what you wrote about your mom and dad, I think it's a wonderful tribute to them. I look forward to reading more of your blog. I like all your quotes too, I'm a quote lover. I have to learn how to post things and music. I have so much to learn about blogging still. Wishing you a very happy New Year!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

You are so talented. Looked through some of your entries.
Everything looks like a picture in a magazine. Thanks for commenting on my journal. Have a good day :)

Val said...

Gennie and OWJ, thank you both so much. And yes, Gennie, about the quotes. I always about 35 more in the wings waiting to bed added to the blog. :)