My family was a little surprised when I brought my own birthday cake to the party they had for me on Sunday, but I just wanted pink frosting from Magnolia Bakery and special candles from Caspari so I thought I might craft my own birthday for a change.

Those paper flowers are from Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts: cut a standard 20″ x 30″ piece of tissue paper into 12 pieces that are 5″ x 10″ each.  This will make 3 flowers as each one has 4 layers of tissue.  Stack 4 layers on top of each other and start folding like an accordion fan.

Secure the folded piece in the center with floral wire (I used a fairly bendy 28-gauge wire) and twist.  You can cut the edges in a rounded shape, or into points to vary how the petals will look.  i also added some color to the ends with a pink marker like I did for my Mother’s Day corsage.

Then the fun part!  Carefully pull the tissue layers apart and you’ll have delicate petals: it’s easier to see on a black background, just do one side at a time….

and then you will have a flower with rounded petals.

Or more pointy ones.

I hung them outside from the deck umbrella 

by the pink hydrangea and votives I brought.

And my family loves cheese so I brought Oregonzola (and misspelled it on the marker, oops!), brie with mushroom, smoked gruyere and chevre with herbs and garlic.

We sipped pink lemonade and rose wine by my Mom’s lovely flowers and she was even growing tomatoes and strawberries!

It was a lovely pre-celebration, thanks, Mom and Dad!  And since tomorrow is *the* day, we’re heading to the beach since it’s always been my happy place.