Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Luckiest Cowboy

I'm more than aware how lucky I am. How truly blessed my family is, and how fortunate we are. 
I have been priveledged to be apart of a family who encouraged and celebrated my successes, and who are always there to support me. 
Although my clients often ask me about my family, and it's not often I publicly share. 
I have written and deleted this blog many times. I've felt a bit conflicted about sharing. I've feared how it may be read, so I'm trying my best in this two dimensional platform to write it as best I can. 
For as long as I can remember I've been aware of good fortune. Whilst growing up in a working class family, my parents always gave and shared without question. This upbringing has made me conscious of giving back and helping whenever I can. 

This December  my Big boy turned 3!
I am trying to instill the same caring values in him as was taught to me. It was like a lightbulb was switched on in his mind a few months ago- where he realised people recieved "things" for their birthdays. 
So came forth the requests of anything he saw "maybe I can get this for my birthday???" became the phrase  of the moment. The highlight of this time for me was when we were driving to Kindy and he saw a plumbers truck loaded with pipes. "Look at that big truck mummy!! Maybe I can get some pipes for my birthday???" Short of bursting out laughing, this melted my heart, because it kind of said to me that maybe he would appreciate the smaller things. 
As he grasped what parties were about now- this year I wanted a simpler style party for him (yes I can hear the chorus of hysterical laughter from those who know me personally). I'm not one for commercial themed parties. I wanted something that engaged their imaginations. 
A Western Party it was to be. I had it in my mind I wanted to create a fun party without expense. We had a bbq, icecreams, a stable with watermelon, carrots and apples, and grass dip (aka Spinach hommus and Guacamole)

I made bags of "Chaff" from oven baking shredded tortillas, to create healthy crisps for the kids. 

Trail mix with popcorn added through, and I found giant marshmallows at Costco and made "campfire pops" by dipping them in chocolate- then assorted toppings. 

I love a bargain, so I  bought a number balloon off eBay for $1.90 then had it filled for $5. I reused bunting I'd made years ago (much to my husbands delight and surprise).
I upcycled old pallets to create wooden crates, and bought some hay that we later used as garden mulch for decorations. 

Yes the fiddly bits took allot of time, but what cost me in my time looked effective and kept costs down. 
I had made a hobby horse for each family to take home instead of a lolly bag. I'll be honest- I worked on these for months in whatever moment of spare time I had. I used leftover fabric pieces, stuffings of (washed) old pillows, plus old bits of braid and buttons from my grandmothers collection. The biggest expense of these was the $3 stick. 

I had in my mind that I was going to make a hobby horse cake, but about a week out from his birthday, Finley asked "can you make a little me on a cake?"  
From there my creative brain went a little overboard. Of course I could make a figurine - but how about a 3D cartoon Cowboy Kid instead?? I didn't tell Mr almost Three my plan. I wanted it to be a surprise. I wanted to see if I could impress the only person that mattered on his special day. 
So I had a go. Yes I have years of cake making and designing experience behind me, but I still lack confidence in many elembets, and I've still allot to learn. 

At one point I called my mum into my cake room to give me a bit of help, as I was doing the eyes, and scarily the cake looked like "Child of Chucky" lol. 
I channeled the artistic talents of my fellow cake peeps, and I think in the end he turned out awesome!  
I managed to keep him out of sight until the party day, then once all set up I bought the birthday boy down and showed him. 
GOBSMACKED!! He was so chuffed he kept looking at the cake- then smiling to himself. Mission accomplished 😊
This was the only opinion that mattered. 
Would he have been just as delighted with a round sponge from woollies with a number 3 candle on it- Absolutely..... But given I have this talent, I'd  treasure using it to create family happiness than simply use it for paying clients alone. 

So here he is Cowboy Finley!

And with the happy recipient. 

The party goers couldn't get enough of him either. 

And finally one of us all together. 

So there's a little insight to me and my family and a stack of great memories we've just made. 

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section below. 
SJ x

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