I hesitate to use the term baby shower as it conjures up some dubious images of a bit of a twee gathering (or that is how I envisage some of them to be!) but I embarked on doing a baby related afternoon for a really close friend of mine last weekend who is due to give birth to her first baby later in September. Given my suspicions of what a baby shower in the traditional sense is I tried to find a bit of an alternative way to do one. Nothing radical, copious amounts of tea and cakes and scones still required to be eaten but I wanted to have a focus of doing something fun and useful for the baby during the afternoon. So I hit upon the idea of a crafty session ... comprising of making a mobile and bunting for the baby's nursery. Now, elephants are Sonya's favourite animal so using a Scamp sewing template I cut out 14 pieces of card to give to everyone to decorate. Asking everyone coming to bring some colourful wrapping paper and me bringing my own bits and embellishments worked really well.
A proper Blue Peter making session commenced with glue and double sided sticky tape, sequins and felt and soon after 14 unique elephant style creations were finished. I completed the mobile off by using an embroidery hoop and clear thread to string all the pieces together resulting in a multi coloured elephant extravaganza.
Second on the crafty agenda was bunting making. Another friend of Sonya's, Ju, had sorted this out. A John Lewis and Cloth House visit the previous week brought a beautiful array of felts in various tones from pinks & purples to blues, buttons of all shapes and sizes, sparkly ribbons plus some fabric remnants I added onto the craft table. Ju had very cleverly brought along a number of kids books and tracing paper so you could pick an image to then help make your flag. Sonya doesn't know what sex the baby is so a varied series of flags ranging from rockets and boats to flowers and butterflies were created by all. Crafting up a bunting fest. I brought the flags back to London with me to finish them off. The end result was something pretty lovely for the new baby as you can see from the pictures.
All making was interspersed with tea stops and more scones and home made cakes. Although interestingly, everyone was so engrossed in what they were doing that bits of embroidery was brought out to the table with them. Apart from it being a really fun and friendly afternoon with lots of new baby tales and chat what seemed to be the overwhelming response from everyone involved was just how much they enjoyed the craft part of the day - the making and the chance to just do something that let's you switch off (the majority of us have kids!). Most of the girl's would readily admit that 'making' wasn't something they did very often or thought they were much good at but they loved creating something special for this new baby and actually, the end results speak for themselves - the bunting and mobile looked great.
Everyone left with a compilation CD made up of songs suggested by all (either because it reminded them of Sonya or was a favourite with them and their baby) that might help Sonya through some of the harder new baby moments! Play list is below in case you are interested. Oh Baby Sonya compilation: Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl Sunday Morning - the Velvet Underground Dance me to the end of Love -Leonard Cohen Patience - Take That Perfect Day - Lou Reed Pull Shapes - the Pipettes Beloved One - Lou Rhodes Greatest Day - Take That
What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol Hey There Delilah - The Plain White T's Rule the World - Take That I want you back - Jackson 5 A Bushel & a Peck - Perry Como