Coppelia Birthday

Coppelia Birthday

I realized I never wrote about my Coppelia themed birthday I had last year. It was a lot of fun to plan, so I enjoyed getting to go back and re-live it again. Since I’ve had so many ballet birthdays in the past, I was able to simply add some doll details to the decor I already had.

Coppelia has always been a favorite ballet of mine. It is often performed by community/children’s ballet companies and has an innocent simplicity to it. That being said, many people are not familiar with it. So I was sure to have some of my ballet books at hand to familiarize guests with the general plot . We had a little story-time for the younger guests and I was happy to see the children  become enthralled with the tale of the doll-maker and his beloved Coppelia come to life.


a mini cake I had on my actual birthday


one of the ballerina dolls I had for decoration

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some scenes from my ballet books



a bunting and rosettes I made from materials I found in my sewing room


some pretty presents

if you’re feeling in the mood to watch some Coppelia for yourself…

One of my favorite figure skaters performing a Coppelia program.

Anyway, I love Coppelia even though I don’t get to see it performed that often. The music is also quite charming to play on the piano. The light-hearted tone of this ballet makes it easy to use as a birthday theme. I hope to update soon with some of the sewing projects I’ve been working on recently. Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!


tutu day

time for tutus
Groundhog’s Day was a couple of days ago, and while that is a fine holiday, it occurred to me that February 2nd could also be “Tutu Day.” After all, we can always use an excuse to celebrate our favorite ballets, and I know I appreciate any reason to wear a tutu skirt…
I have a couple of these long tulle skirts. I love them for special occasions.
and I wear these shorter skirts practically every day with leggings and boots.
Some vintage tutu prints I have around my house.
Shop Window
The glorious tutus at Repetto Paris. I would love to get there one day.
Some background information on tutus and the making of Swan Lake costumes.
My tutu love pin board
I ended my Tutu Day by listening to my Coppelia record about four times and sewing little tutu costumes for Rapunzel and Elsa.
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Have a lovely day!

sleeping beauty ballet birthday

sleeping beauty ballet birthday
Sleeping Beauty is a glorious ballet and one that provides a real treasure trove of ideas for a little party. I truly had an overabundance of ideas and images to draw from– the fairies, the spindles, the hundred years sleep, the garland dance, and all the fairy tales characters in the second act. I had to reign myself in!
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1. The Tasha Tudor Book of Fairy Tales 2. Sleeping Beauty The Ballet Story
3-4. Rand McNally Sleeping Beauty 4-5. The Big Golden Book of Fairy Tales
As usual, I got out my story books to reacquaint myself with all the different versions. Sleeping Beauty is so rich in imagery, and I love to see all the ways illustrators have told the story.
A few stickers and an ornate frame make a quick sign that sets the theme.
I love miniature things, so I made tiny little pillows to be the place cards.
Rather than a banner, this year I sewed a small quilt for decoration. The fabric was intended to be used for a “soft book,” but I think a quilt is a nice way to tell a story too.
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Found these ballet cupcake toppers on eBay-have been tempted to decorate more than just cupcakes…
I made some flower crowns for guests to wear, but they also make pretty table decoration.
I wanted a dollhouse bed for a centerpiece, but they are kind of pricy, so I made one from a sturdy box and sewed the bed clothes from scraps.
 The cake! The toppers are from this Etsy seller. They are really beautiful, and have inspired me to try and make a Nutcracker set this Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, I forgot to get a photo of the ballerina cookies I made from the Sleeping Beauty party, but I made a few more tutu bodices when I made Christmas cookies this week. A tutu cookie cutter is on my wish list!
I got balloons! I am such a kid at heart about balloons (and a lot of other stuff too).
Sleep masks and Sleepy Time tea make good favors.
Well that wraps up the series on Ballet Birthdays (for now), but I hope to be back soon with Christmas projects. The tree and lights are up, the Christmas records are playing,  and I’m off to see the Nutcracker this weekend 🙂
If you’re in the mood to watch a bit of Sleeping Beauty…

Sweet dreams!

cinderella ballet birthday

Cinderella Ballet Birthday
For this party, I chose a Cinderella ballet theme. Cinderella is such a playful and whimsical ballet, and everyone knows the story. It was a good excuse to round up all the vintage storybook editions of the tale I could find for guests to peruse.
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 I gave myself full reign to go overboard with all the pink and girly touches!IMG_4797
One of my favorite parts of the Cinderella ballet is the dance that Cinderella performs with her broom, so I decided to make place cards by decorating tiny brooms with little rosettes and ribbons.

The tulle poms were a lot fun to make, but of course I have a real weakness for tulle.
A quick and easy sign
Any excuse to wear a tiara…
I really like the imagery of the carriage. It’s so magical!
And glass slippers of course!
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for the conclusion of ballet party week with Sleeping Beauty!

swan lake birthday

swan lake birthday

Every year I like to have a tiny tea party for my birthday. I usually pick a ballet theme, and over the years I’ve chosen some of my favorite individual ballets as inspirations. In the weeks leading up to the party, I try to find as many variations of the ballet as I can to watch, as well as classic storybooks to read. It’s quite fun to reacquaint myself with the stories, music, sets, and costumes. Even with ballets I’ve seen dozen of times before, I usually discover something new while I’m in party prep mode.

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And planning a tea is a welcome diversion since I tend to get a little depressed around my birthday. Even when I was a little girl, I remember always being a bit somber around the day.

Luckily, having some tea and cake, putting on a frilly dress, and playing a Tchaikovsky record are all nice antidotes to birthday melancholia. And busying myself with baking and making in the weeks prior helps a lot too.


I thought I’d revisit some of my earlier parties this week starting with Swan Lake.

It is truly a dear favorite of mine. When I was a girl, I had an all white room with a Swan Lake theme. There were black and white photos of various Odettes and Odiles on the walls and feathery pillows and throws on my white twin beds.

So in planning that party I continued the airy white color scheme. IMG_3403


Some lacy hearts I made as favors.


Tiny white swans for decoration.

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A fluffy white cake. Frosting a whole cake still stresses me out a bit. I’m more comfortable with cupcakes…


Here’s a link to more ballet birthday inspiration. Stay tuned for Cinderella!

ballet cuteness


One of my dearest loves in life is ballet, and I still remember how giddy I was when I discovered Clara magazine on one of my first trips to Japan. It is a magazine aimed at young girls that does an excellent job of blending the fairytale dream world of ballet with the discipline and hard work of its reality. coverclaramagcoverclaramag2mangaclaramaggiselleclaramag

The ballet illustrations are always adorable.


Eek! I love looking at ballet goods. Maybe for my birthday I can get an Odette/Odile thermos? A girl can dream…


For a while now, I have been searching for ballet-themed fabrics, and it is not surprising that most of my finds have come from Japan. I don’t have enough to make a ballet quilt yet, but I hope to one day.

I have two classifications of ballet fabric so far- “Cute Ballet” and “Pretty Ballet.” Given ballet’s popularity with young girls, the cute variety has been easier to find. I’ve made a few bags with some of these patterns, but am still holding out for the perfect project to come along. I am saving the “Pretties” for a quilt.

The Cuties:





The Pretties:



lavender ribbon

Being in a ballet mood, I decided to whip up some bows using a few of my favorite materials–lace, tulle, and chiffon. If you  want more ballet love, take a look at some of my Pinterest boards.

vintage ballet books

It’s no secret I love old books.  Especially books about ballet. They can be a little hard to find, but worth the hunt. A lot of vintage ballet books have simply magical illustrations, and reading the stories of famous ballets can be quite enlightening as well.



“Tales From The Ballet” by Louis Untermeyer (Editor), Martin Provensen (Illustrator), Alice Provenson (Illustrator)

Utterly gorgeous illustrations.  I sought this book out a few years ago, and am so happy I did. I get lost in the fairy tale world every time I turn the pages.


“Ballet For You” by Lee Wyndham, Illustrated by Catherine Scholz

A charming illustrated guide for the young dancer.



“The Royal Book of Ballet” by Shirley Goulden, Illustrated by Maraja

A new book for me. It is quite large, and the pictures have a haunting quality to them. My copy is a bit fragile, so I can tell it was read many, many times.


“Swan Lake – The Story of Prince Siegfried and the Swan Queen” Illustrations by Ludmilla Jirincova

One of my all-time favorite images. This illustration was inspiration for my Swan Lake Birthday Party. (I also had a Swan Lake bedroom as a girl. Maybe you can guess I love Swan Lake?)


“The Young Dancer” by Darcey Bussell

I hope this doesn’t yet qualify as “vintage” because I read it a lot as a girl. It is all photographs, but ever so detailed! I still find it fascinating – all the Royal Ballet School tidbits.


I was feeling a bit bored, and decided to print out a few of my scans, add a bit of glimmer and doily and make a decoration for my bulletin board.