Thursday, July 21, 2011

Partying Japan Style

AtticGal Rachelle says:
My dear sister Lisa celebrated a big milestone birthday this year, and my mom and I wanted to do something extra special to celebrate this extra special birthday, so we decided to throw her a Japanese party. She served a mission in Japan and loves everything Japanese, especially the food, so that is what we decided to do.

Man, I love to throw a party!

It turned out to be a terrific theme. And the COLORS!!!

We found some absolutely gorgeous Japanese printed papers at Cost Plus, and used them not only for the color scheme, but just about everywhere, like in this just too cute banner. Mom cut the kanji and Japanese dolls out with her Cricut.

We just laid the various sheets of papers on the tables, wrapped some around glass vases, and used the Big Shot to die cut butterflies out of the paper that we just stuck everywhere!

The papers were really amazing and inspiring! we just kept thinking, "What else can we do with this paper?" We didn't want to waste a scrap!

My boys also made a blossoming cherry branch for the centerpiece using a branch they found and light and dark pink tissue paper.

But the show-stopper was the delightful cupcake stand!!!

I was SO thrilled with how these turned out!!! Look at the colors!!!

I know - TOTALLY over the top!!!!!

They were cherry buttermilk cupcakes, frosted in three different colors. I found the extra large Japanese paper cupcake liners at a garage sale (of course) and they were absolutely perfect! Couldn't have been better if I had spent days searching online.

I topped each one with colorful flower sprinkles, a paper umbrella, and a tiny paper crane. I must have folded a hundred of them! I could fold a paper crane in my sleep, I think.

I also made mochi, which is a sticky rice candy. Really yummy. I bought the ones in the red wrappers at Cost Plus, because they have a sweet bean curd inside.

We also left stacks of origami paper on the table and directions for making paper cranes so everyone could try their hand at paper folding. The kids really loved this.

I had paper cranes everywhere! They are meant to bring good luck.

We even wrapped the chopsticks in tiny scraps of the pretty Japanese paper.

We also had Japanese wheat tea and cucumber water.

And fun Japanese snacks like Samurai peanuts, rice crackers, and Lisa's favorite - wasabi peas. Why do the Japanese have such great snack food?

But the highlight of the party was certainly the build-your-own-sushi bar. I provided the seaweed, sticky sushi rice, seafood, avocados, cucumbers, and carrots, as well as the soy sauce, ginger and wasabi, of course, and everybody just had at it.

It was a huge hit!

And the chopsticks came in handy to eat it.

I also made a yummy miso soup and guests could add their own mushrooms, green onions, tofu, and fish flakes.

And my dad finished off the Japanese feast with his world famous, falling of the bone, sweet as candy, teriyaki wings on rice.

It got even prettier as the sun went down and we lit the paper lanterns and votives.

It was a lovely evening with great food and great conversation. I loved doing it! Most importantly, my sister really enjoyed herself and she deserved it!

Everything turned out perfectly! I was thrilled! I think Lisa was too. No wonder she loves Japan so much - there is so much about Japan to love!

The Shabby Nest