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A Woodland Gathering

My 18th Birthday Party 2015

One of the highlights of my year was the planning of my 18th birthday party. At the start of the year I hadn't even thought about having a party, my focus was on completing year 12 and doing the best that I could. It wasn't until mid August that I found myself feeling the need for a break and the urge to get back into doing something creative.

It started to get hard for me to maintain a balance between school and my photography, and I was really starting to miss taking photos every day. I could feel myself becoming more drained and less motivated because I was lacking my weekly dose of creativity and 'free time'. I used to go on drives at least once a week, or create small scenes in my room to photograph. But by August, these trips and photo days were slowly stopping because the amount of SAC's and homework I had to complete just kept growing.

I finally decided, after much discussion that I would have a party because I really needed something to get me through the rest of the term, and I needed to put my overflowing creative brain to work.

For almost two years I have had a Pinterest account that has helped me expand on my creativity and my ability to think 'outside of the box'. The day I finalised that I was having a party I immediately started a new Pinterest board. I 'pinned' so many ideas from food, to table designs, photo booth ideas, to centre pieces, goodie bags and garden designs. I was inspired greatly by Kinfolk, I have always been intrigued by their styles of dinner parties and I felt their styles also reflected my own. I am a very natural, raw and organic person who loves to use the beautiful gifts nature leaves for us, from tree stumps to branches, to unique leaves and flowers, I was completely inspired. I also collected many clever ideas from weddings that I had come across on Instagram and Pinterest and they too contributed to my overall design for the afternoon/night.

As my birthday was getting closer and closer, I began purchasing the final items that I needed to complete my designs. I found some beautiful vintage outdoor lights on EBay that I fell in love with the moment I saw them. I also purchased some bowls and plates from IKEA which I had been eying off for quite a while and knew would go perfectly with my intended design. I wanted to use as much natural products/props as I could to create a cohesive set up. For weeks I was on the look out for logs of all sizes to use as plate stands on the night.

My party was fast approaching and I was struggling to find logs; however one day on the way home from school my mum and I found a huge pile of logs of all different sizes and shapes. We collected quite a few, knowing we wouldn't use all of them but we wanted enough for decor use around the garden as well as the tables.

A couple of days before my party, I began making the goody boxes for my wonderful friends to take home with them as a thank you for their company, and continuous love and kindness. I wanted my goody boxes to be different, to be something that was filled with things people don't usually see. My wonderful mother came up with the idea of putting little meringue mushrooms, along with chocolate shaped rocks and mini flakes piled as logs in a sweet little brown box. I was thrilled with this idea and once we had purchased all the products we wanted to include, I started out the goody boxes together. It was tiring and very time consuming, making small envelopes out of brown paper, and putting the flake together as logs, but I got trough it and was so proud of the final product. They looked really good and it was something that I was extremely proud of.

The day of my party started off slowly, as we prepared the food and the table displays outside. The day before the party I had gone for a drive with my mum to find some young Eucalyptus branches to use as a table runner on the food and dining tables. Despite the majority of the branches being covered in spitfire caterpillars, I managed to find a few that weren't, which was lucky. As the time before my friends arrived started to speed up, I began decorating the tables with leaves, branches and other bits and bobs that we had around the house. I used some of the logs we found on the side of the road a couple of weeks before and made them the centre of the food table along with a porcelain fairy that was given to be as a present when I was younger. I am known as a 'fairy' by most of my friends because of the way I view life, the way I dress, act and through my creativity, especially my photographs. People tend to say to me that my photographs show a resemblance to a mystical fairy land.

After a long morning, the food was finally completed, the tables were set and the music was playing. I was ready for my friends to arrive.