Wednesday, September 9, 2015

at the farm, join me for another baby shower

A few weekends ago I had the opportunity for another baby shower, my niece had a new addition to her family in July and the August shower was an opportunity to meet the new little "farmhand".

They knew the baby was a boy and once I heard, I was all in for the theme to be what else, but a farm theme.

Shower invites are a great way to let invited guests know what to expect and these were no different.  I had the idea to use my little vintage barn for a shower decoration and it also took center stage for the invite.  I was sure to get a picture in the late spring when everything was still so green... my original idea was to use our cornfield but the corn grew so quickly that it was way too tall by the time this picture was taken.  The invites were ordered online and were on card stock and super economical too.

The day of the shower I had one of my chalkboards at the end of the driveway to welcome guests.

One of the only decorations I got around to making was this cute garland of torn strips of cloth simply tied onto heavy string.  Initially I meant to make longer ones and string them back and forth between the house and garage over the area where guests would enter the backyard shower site... however time ran out and I only had this short one finished the night before the shower.

I used gingham fat quarters that I tore by hand to make it more rustic.  One of these may show up in my holiday decorating this year as it was super easy.

I picked up some cute little farm animals at the newest farm store in town.  Resting on top of a blue milk glass cake stand, they were the center piece on the table.

Simple jars of zinnias rounded out the rest of the table.  Each jar was filled with just one color of zinnias from my garden.

To keep some of the littlest guests busy we had one of my husband's Farmall tractors out... just the right size now for Miss Bee.

Rows of colored mason jars with gingham paper straws say "party", don't they?

The drink table held lemonade and water to quench everyone's thirst on this hot, August Saturday.  A vintage gingham thermos was filled with cosmos and sunflowers.  The blocks, tin barn and yellow gingham tablecloth finished off this area.

One of my vintage birthday chairs and a child size wheelbarrow held the shower game booklets and prizes.

If you've read about some of my past showers, you may know I like to make booklets for the shower games.  It makes them easy to hand out, using card stock makes them a bit stiffer to write on if no table is available AND they are fun to keep if you're like me and like to collect party ideas!

This book included another picture I'd taken, this time of my vintage Fisher Price barn... it was one evening in my front yard and I'm sure the car that went by wondered what in the heck I was doing.

The first of the games was a take on a "clothes pin" game.  Guests were each given 4 diaper pins and if someone heard the word "cute" they could take a pin from that person, at the end the one with the most pins wins.  Easy game that can last the whole shower.

Another game that was new to me is the "BABY SHOWER" game.  There are variations but basically each bag holds a baby item that starts with that letter.  Guests have to guess what the item is... we allowed them to shake and hold the bags, but no squeezing!  And yes, the "y" is a tough one to come up with, as is the "a"!!  We used "yellow rubber duck" and "abc book" if you want to know.

A page in the game book to write your answers...

I clipped a tag on each bag so that the bags can be reused but you could add a letter directly on the bag.  The bags came in a 10 pack at the craft store and it was exactly the number I needed!

The vintage glider held a couple of farm themed pillows if you needed a spot of shade during the party.

The shower was actually a luncheon too.  I have a large collection of fiestaware plates, in just the right colors for a country, farm party.  Added some galvanized tin to hold mason jars, silverware and napkins.

Speaking of napkins, nothing says country like tin, gingham and bandannas!

Well maybe sunflowers!  More sunflowers from my garden in a vintage milk pail.  My vintage flash card "at the farm" left over from the wedding last fall and more blocks with the baby's initials were the only decorations on the food table.

Because as you can see, there wasn't room for anything else!  A red gingham tablecloth, vintage style pottery bowls and a veggie tray using actual paper berry baskets all fit the farm and country theme. Most of those veggies came out of my garden and the mixed berries came from one of our local berry farms.

We've amassed a collection of folding tables and chairs in the past year or so.  Enough to have tables for everyone to sit at for lunch, which was a very nice way to have a meal rather than picnic style on your lap.  Our rustic greenhouse even made a fun backdrop for the event.

And those jars full of zinnias I already talked about?  Well they graced my kitchen window for two weeks after the shower!  Fun to see everyday and remember a fun party.

We even had a kid's table.. Miss Bee was thrilled to have a table and chairs just her size!

All of the tables were strategically placed to be in the shade for most of the shower.

And the final game in the game book?  Well Baby Bingo of course.  This game is a fun game to play during gift opening as it keeps guests involved in this part of the shower.  It takes a bit of time to make the bingo cards but after all these showers the last few years I'm kind of an expert!

Once gifts were opened it was time for desert.  The final table at the shower held all the sweet stuff along with a vintage tomato can full of, what else, but more zinnias!

Sugar cookies and blueberry crostatas (so much easier than pies!) were two of the sweet treats.

A darling pair of "barn boots" that were my son in laws boots when he was little, added a fun mini farmhand twist to the table.  And in all these little vintage jars?

Raspberry Pretzel Salad... it's a jello recipe with a pretzel crust, similar to graham cracker but made with pretzels.  A recipe that used to make an appearance at many of our family dinners (although you can make it layered and with strawberries this one is made with raspberries and the layers were combined as I don't like the actual jello layer).  Since I've always wanted to use these jars for a desert this was fun to try.  The crusts were baked right in the jars and then the raspberry fluffy stuff added.  The jars have little metal lids which was a nice touch when having an outdoor party.  And the berry theme was a nod to our area raspberry and blueberry harvests!

The kiddos had little "moo" bags full of graham crackers, gold fish (crackers... no pets were sent home with the kiddos, farm or otherwise) and their very own little tractor to take home.

But for the bigger guests it was baskets of jam... and the flavors?  Raspberry and strawberry jam, home canned by yours truly.  Two small jars fit just perfectly in the little berry baskets (as well as other odds and ends for the shower)  I ordered from my favorite party store.

And set up to be displayed in my vintage berry cart with a  chalkboard reminder to "take one"!

After the guests had left, my favorite shot of the day was this sweet little girl in my almost empty berry cart...  and no scratches here, that is brown crayon on her forehead... and green crayon in her ear... I guess that was easier than coloring on the paper!!  And can you believe Miss Bee is 15 months old already!

So another fun, family shower came to an end...  although I didn't manage to get an actual picture of the guest of honor, he is a cute little "farmboy".

Hope you're enjoying the last of our summer days as much as I,

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