Happy birthday to my grandchildren - this week, Jude turns six, and Truman five.
One of the highlights of the year is always the children's birthday party. Last spring, my daughter, Alexis, and I, planned a wonderful intergalactic celebration in the clerestory of my office headquarters - complete with planets, stars and a host of space-themed activities and treats. Alexis found many of the elements herself. She also designed the space-themed menu, and made a "solar system" cake. Everything related to outer space was included, and everyone - all the children and the adults who joined them - had a fantastic time.
Because the party would be featured in our magazine, Living, I couldn't share any photos until after it appeared in the issue first - magazines generally shoot stories up to a year in advance. But, you can now read all about it in this month's publication - at newsstands now. I hope you enjoy these photos. And wait until next year, when we feature the next party - they get better and better.
To complement the scale of the large clerestory, Alexis found giant inflatable planets that are usually rented out for trade shows. They’re so big, our intern, Jenelle Belk, was nearly swallowed up.
Our facilities crew used a scissor lift to hoist the giant planets to the ceiling.
Each one was full of color – they truly transformed the room.
Once the planets were hung, I helped put up a solar system backdrop on the clerestory’s back wall. (Photo by Helmut Albrecht)
Fathead makes this solar system wall decal. We used a long roll of black paper to create the outer space. https://www.fathead.com/
We found a company in Florida called Starlab that sells inflatable, mobile planetariums to schools and organizations. It was an educational element that all the children loved. (Photo by Helmut Albrecht) http://starlab.com
Planetarium shows are such a magical way to bring the mysteries of the universe to life – here’s Jude going in to see the show. She looks so pretty in her ballerina tutu. (Photo by Linda Pugliese, courtesy of Martha Stewart Living)
Everyone loved the moon – it was definitely one of the celestial focal points.
Here’s Dorian Arrich, who runs my office, “holding” up the moon.
Summer Price, an instructor with Starlab, was on hand to guide the children through the solar system. She was so well-informed – the children loved listening to her. (Photo by Helmut Albrecht)
Inflatable globes also decorated the floor space, so children could play with them. And, small tables were set up for dining.
LACrafts.com provided us with lots of styrofoam balls needed for our solar system craft project. (Photo by Linda Pugliese, courtesy of Martha Stewart Living) http://www.lacrafts.com/Default.asp
Styrofoam balls of corresponding sizes were painted to resemble the planets.
The children had so much fun making their own miniature solar systems.
Using wooden skewers, the children attached each planet to the sun. (Photo by Linda Pugliese, courtesy of Martha Stewart Living)
Truman loved the solar system rug.
We wanted to make the party both fun and informative for the children.
Pierre Schaedelin of PS Tailored Events created healthy snacks. He used star, moon and planet-shaped cookie cutters to cut kiwis, watermelon, pineapple and honeydew slices. And of course he added star fruit slices as well! (Photo by Linda Pugliese, courtesy of Martha Stewart Living) http://pstailoredevents.com
He also made a solar system of crudite, which included canapes and meringues in star, sphere and moon shapes.
Alexis created this magnificent solar system cake, depicting each planet proportionally. She used cake paints and a fine brush to color the planets.
Alexis used round cake molds in several different sizes to make the interior layers of each planet. She baked the inner spheres first, and then baked them again within the larger spheres.
Jude and Truman were fascinated and delighted by the cake!
Alexis also created cute gifts for the guests with fun space stickers, stencils and toys. (Photo by Linda Pugliese, courtesy of Martha Stewart Living)
My friend, Dani Fiori, made these custom cookies. (Photo by Linda Pugliese, courtesy of Martha Stewart Living) See how Dani made them at http://sweetdanib.com/2017/02/space-themed-galaxy-birthday-party-martha-stewart/
My friend, Richard Garriott de Cayeux, came to the party dressed in the flight suit he wore when he traveled into space! His wife Laetitia and their children, Kinga and Ronin, were also perfectly dressed to match the party theme.
I was thrilled to see Jude and Truman so happy with their joint birthday party.
It was an amazing celebration! See more of the party in the March 2017 issue of Martha Stewart Living. It’s on newsstands now.