Two weeks after invitations were sent, our playroom was abuzz with girls cutting felt, melting glue, and stitching hems. As you can see, my daughter’s 8th birthday revolved around the Cat Bus in Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro, but we had a few props here and there from his other films. Thankfully, I had lots of sewing help from Erich, Melissa, Lisa, and my better half, Martin – who made sure glasses were filled and tummies were full. Though, not too full for cake! This is recipe is one of my daughter’s favorites (and mine), Old-Fashioned Banana Spice Cake by Bradley Ogden. Before serving, the cake goes into the fridge where custard and banana slices settle in between the cake layers for 2-3 hours. Need I say more? Try it for the holidays. While I follow the recipe from Birthday Cakes: Recipes and Memories from Celebrated Bakers, you can find an adapted version online.
I love these kits from OneHourCrafts, but this was more of a one hour + take home for some of the girls. We tried to pre-cut a lot of the smaller pieces (eyes, paws), allowing bigger pieces for the guests. Have I mentioned that my hands as well as Erich’s are still stiff from all that cutting? I was wishing for a fabric laser cutter that day. Erich was probably wishing he stayed in bed.
Each pencil bag had a unique handmade finish, the result of everyone’s labor of love.
All in all, it was a fun afternoon, “the best birthday party” according to my daughter. Success. Happy Birthday!