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Saturday 29 March 2014

Dad’s Surprise 65th Birthday and Retirement Party

Hard to believe just 2 weeks ago, I was smack-bang in the middle of planning my Dad’s surprise 65th birthday and retirement party!
The invitations had gone out weeks earlier, and were made using the "My Digital Studio" programme ...

We had 70+ guests coming, and the night before {2 weeks ago today} I was up till 3am making the Guest Book, and all the other little final touches, before falling asleep on the couch, in the process of painting my nails, luckily I got the top on the nail polish bottle, before my tired eyelids closed!

The night before the party, there was a magnificent sunset over the Bay, which I was lucky enough to capture before darkness fell.

On the day of the party {March 15th}, it was my job to sidetrack Dad for 3 hours, from 11am till 2pm, whilst my Mom, hubby, kids and Auntie decorated the church Hall. We also had rellies coming in from out of town, so they needed access to the house too!

I took Dad on a tiki tour around the region, the first stop was Eyebright.
Little did Dad know that a couple of hours later, the owner of Eyebright, and Dad’s former work-mate would be at the party, and be one of the guest speakers!

When we arrived at Eyebright, the lovely sales assistant said to me {in front of Dad} “Wow you look fantastic, are you on the way to a special party?”!!!
I had to say no, but when Dad’s back was turned, I later told her the top secret information about Dad’s surprise party!
On our way out of the shop, the sales assistant said to Dad and I “Have a great day!” {wink wink!!!}.
As we were {unbeknownst to Dad} ahead of schedule, I then took Dad on a drive out to Mapua, where we had lunch at The Naked Bun, which was delicious! We both had Pies, Dad’s was Fish with a crumb topping, mine was “Chicken, Mushroom and Leek”, we shared a bowl of hot chips, and then had a yummy dessert, Dad had a Berry Crumble and I had had Tiramisu.

After lunch we headed down to the Mapua waterfront for a walk about, before heading back to Stoke.
I could tell Dad was getting a bit miffed, because I kept receiving text messages, little did he know that all these messages related to the party!
On the way back home, we should have gone straight ahead at the traffic lights, but instead I indicated and pulled into the lane to turn right. Dad pounced on me, and gave me such a fright, as he thought we were in the wrong lane, I just said, “No worries Dad, just thought we would take the scenic route”!
We pulled into the church car-park, and all of a sudden it dawned on Dad that we were there for his surprise party!
When Dad and I went to go inside the Church Hall, there were 70+ guests waiting to see Dad, and I got a tad claustrophobic and hid in the corner, and started opening his birthday cards!
I did however make a fantastic display of all the gorgeous cards!
The tables were decorated with re-purposed coffee jars and Stampin’ Up! “Tea For Two” Designer Series Paper, and raffia, and were filled with gorgeous faux flowers, I had to pull Mum’s faux hydrangeas apart, as I ran out of flowers, but they all the “vases” looked gorgeous!

The birthday cake was on display right from the beginning of the party, as there were so many little details on the cake, so everyone got a chance to view it.

Dad loves to garden, and has a Bachelor of Horticulture from Lincoln University, and is also President of the Nelson Cacti Society, so a garden themed cake was decided on.

My best-friend Jen did an amazing job, from her concept plan, right through to the finished cake, everyone was in awe of her talent!
It was hard culling the photos down to just these 6 photos, as I took about 30, and each photo showed another new detail about the amazeballs cake!

I assisted with assembly {and coffee making}, and made the Glass Houses, which were made from acetate {OHP Film}, and each window pane was scored to give a bevelled pane effect.
We used the "Card In A Box" pattern to make the Glass Houses.
Jen had made in the preceding days Carrots, Cauliflowers, Peas, Pumpkins, Tomatoes, all from fondant.

The finishing touch was the cute “Clive” who stood in the garden, next to the sign, on one side saying “Clive’s Garden” and on the other “Happy 65th Birthday” {which was made by Moi}!

As Dad had recently {unbeknownst to Mum} purchased {another} 1000 Cacti, and was storing them at my house, I decided to have these Cacti {grrr grrr!!!} mentioned throughout the speeches.
I made some {pretend} Tequila for Dad, as Tequila is made from Cacti, and renamed the Tequila “Jose Cliveo” {instead of Jose Cuervo}, and presented it to Dad during the speeches.

I thought an xtra cute idea would be for each of the grandchildren to walk up in age order, and give Dad a cactus as a gift, this brought the house down! The kids were so well behaved throughout the whole afternoon, and looked so gorgeous all dolled up in their Sunday bests!
Time flew by, and before we knew it, it was time to begin the task of clearing the room, and to say goodbye to all the guests, some of whom travelled from as far a field as Christchurch.
The family all met up again at my brothers for dinner, and we had the ole fashioned kiwi “Fish and Chips” for tea.
It as a fantastic day, but it has taken a week for me to recover!

The card I made for Dad is a blue version, of the one that I made in my “Create With Kathe” Craft Class for 6th March, I also matched back the Guest Book, Pen, and table vases …

Shabby Chic Hardwood Card

My new favourite stamp is the “Hardwood” stamp from the Seasonal catalogue, available through till 30 June 2014.
Stamps sets also used are “Petite Petals” {and matching Petite Petals Punch}, “Flower Shop” (and matching Pansy Punch}, “Mixed Bunch” {and matching Blossom Punch}, “That’s The Ticket” {and matching Ticket Duo Builder Punch}, and “Lovely Romance”.
The fancy fold is made using the “Circle Card Thinlits” Dies, you get 10 different dies in this cute little pack, and all for just $67.95!!!
The Bird Builder Punch is used for the leaves, and the veins are drawn on with the Old Olive Stampin’ Maker.
Classic Stampin’ Pads used are Coastal Cabana, Pacific Point, and Sahara Sand.

The stamp with the words “I think you are amazing just wanna let you know” is from the “Lovely Romance” stamp set, and is coloured using the Old Olive, Pacific Point and Pool Party Stampin’ Markers.
Candy Dots in Pool Party and a scattering of Rhinestones complete this gorgeous card.

Recipe Ingredient List
Stamp Sets: “Flower Shop”, “Hardwood”, “Lovely Romance”, “Mixed Bunch”, “Petite Petals”, and “That’s The Ticket”
Ink: Coastal Cabana, Old Olive, Pool Party, Sahara Sand, and Old Olive, Pacific Point and Pool Party Stampin’ Markers
Cardstock: Naturals White, Old Olive, “Tea For Two” DSP {and My Digital Studio download}
Punches: Bird Builder, Blossom, Pansy, Petite Petals, Ticket Duo Builder
Framelits/Dies: “Circle Card Thinlits” Dies
Xtras: Candy Dots. Candy Dot Brad Bases, Rhinestone Basic Jewels

Special Tools: Big Shot, Stampin’ Scrub and Stampin’ Cleaner, Stampin’ Trimmer

All photos in this article are taken by Moi!


  1. That was awesome what you did for your dad. I was wondering what those "cookies" were around the cakes? At first, I thought they were some kind chocolate candy bar or maybe a dipped cookie?
    I'd love to know. Even though I live in the states, there are a lot of international food stores around here which is a good thing. Where else could I buy Bell Tea or PG Tips Tea?
    Have a good day.

  2. Such nice photos from surprise 65th birthday and retirement party. I am so impressed with each and everything shown here. My dad will turn 70 soon so I am also planning a fun bash for him. First of all I need to book one of the best San Francisco venues. If you have suggestions, please share.

    1. Hi Wenni,
      Thanks so much for your kind words.
      So sorry, but I can’t recommend anywhere in San Francisco, as, I have never been, and we live in New Zealand!
      I clicked on your link, they ALL look great, but t’was astounded by the prices though!!!
      Hope your birthday celebrations go well.
      Best wishes,
      Kathe in New Zealand.


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