Little Explorer party
Delicious discoveries! Exploring and adventuring are integral elements of a happy childhood, and a perfect theme for a countryside party.
It could almost be a scene out of the pages of an Enid Blyton adventure – kids roaming and exploring on a farm, a stream running across the paddock, and an abundance of trees, all excellent for climbing. This party is in fact in Northland, and the whimsical creation of talented mum, and blogger, Stella Rutherford.
As the little explorers arrived at the party, they were presented with handmade butterfly nets and a ration pack each, and sent off on a scavenger hunt.
Each ration pack included snacks, a magnifying glass, compass, field notes journal and pencil. They were packaged in adorable, miniature picnic baskets, and the guests took them home as a party favour after all the fun and frivolity.
When called back to home-base, the children were challenged in a ‘Who Dares, Wins’ type game, tasting a number of unappealing ‘specimens’ displayed in jars. You can let your imagination run wild with this game, but Stella used jelly and capers, crushed malt biscuits, chocolate rock candies, juice with food colouring and instant pudding mixture.
Many of the props to set the scene were vintage items Stella already had stashed away, but she borrowed a few things, including the vintage globe and a couple of dusty encylopaedias, which came from her father’s library. Stella added hand-drawn touches, such as the party labels, to complement the all-natural, country setting.
The gorgeous wafer paper butterflies decorating the cake came from Sweet Whimsy (felt.co.nz) and are completely edible. (Edible butterflies! Who knew?)
Stella’s good friend Alice Joiner, an incredibly talented baker, created some jaw-dropping edible treats. Some of the baking looked so life-like that it was hard to tell what was food and what was nature; look at that tray of butterfly sugar cookies – just like you find at the museum!
The globe cake-pops were skewered on small sticks of bamboo, and the bird’s nest cupcakes topped with tiny blue eggs. (Oh, to have such culinary talents.) Alongside the homemade fare, the kids enjoyed ration packs with goodies bought from the local supermarket: cheese and crackers, raisins, sandwiches and a juice carton.
Scroggin mix was another supermarket buy, but when served in a waffle ice-cream cone, it magically took on a new identity as tempting ‘bird feed’.
• Baking by Alice Joiner, Babycakes, in Rawene
• Birch straws, milk bottles and rustic crate from Pop Roc Parties poprocparties.co.nz.
• Edible wafer paper butterfly decorations from felt.co.nz/shop/sweetwhimsy.
• Picnic baskets from a local discount store.
Styling & Photography: Stella Rutherford, verydarkhorse.blogspot.com
AS FEATURED IN ISSUE 31 OF OHbaby! MAGAZINE. CHECK OUT OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE BELOW