Monday, 28 January 2013

happy 80th birthday, sailor ♥

ukki loves sailing so to celebrate his 80th birthday, we had a nautical themed party in his honour.
i just love that guy ♥
i love the fact that mikko's and my family combined has such a mix and balance of different 'characters'... 
ukki's the easy-going one that likes to goof around when the time's right but is a listening ear when someone is in need. he'll cry with you and he'll laugh with you. he's a God fearing leader in the church and speaks wisdom into the lives of younger generations. he adores his wife and always puts her needs before his own. ukki is the man...

though mikko and i aren't sailors, we do love the water. this is our collection of sea glass.
the ribbon 'waves' were first used at our wedding.

ukki's sailing cap - the real thing

... you can see more photos here...

because of their wave-like shape, the tables were set up with iittala's aalto vases and votives in nautical colours (blue, red, white, yellow and black) and colours of the sea. mariskoolit were filled with 'lifesaver' candies... *finnish* fish (love bulk barn)... licorice (that was tied in knots...)... and some knot-like pretzels.

the decorations and accessories were all gathered from my home, my mom's and mikko's mom's

i love the sail-like look of the tiered koziol cookie stand

the flags were made using striped ikea fabric.
since they didn't have any yellow fabric, i used a bottle cap, cardboard and apples slices to stamp yellow shapes onto white fabric.

for the seagulls i made a simple pattern of a body, wings and tail then painted some distinguishing features using acrylic paint... they were really easy and inexpensive to make, but making 36 of them took a while...
the white sails are from mikko's dad's sailboat... he just happened to have them in the trunk of his car (love that!)

i knew lucy would be the youngest guest and as ukki's only great-granddaughter i wanted to make sure she enjoyed the celebration. she had an enamel tub filled with water and sea creatures (bath toys), a lighthouse (wooden stacking toy), bubbles and ocean-themed stickers, crayons and cardstock to make ukki a card. 
ukki being the thoughtful person he is took time during his party to play with lulu ♥

rather than using a traditional guest book, guests were asked to write 'messages in a bottle'

the food was prepared by mikko's aunt, his mom and my mom.

our 'photo-booth' sailboat was a real hit ♥
my dad made the boat ages ago for a sunday school play... the sail was mikko's dad's... i made the life ring using a pool noodle, red and white streamers and rope... the wheel was made of cardboard boxes... the 'water' is a carpet runner... the message in the bottle says 'happy 80th birthday ukki'

ukki with three of his daughters, his wife and his son...
are they all pointing (and laughing... ) at his fourth daughter swimming in the sea?... or did she get left ashore?  (love you 'L' ♥)

so lucy was a little sea-sick...

lucy had such a fun time during clean up... she ran around giggling as she dragged a seagull behind her... 

some ideas of what to include in a nautical sailing themed party:
sailboats, rope, knots, anchors, wooden crates, stripes, flags (in blue, red, yellow, white and black), sailing caps, paper caps, bottles, beach glass, messages in bottles, lanterns, metal buckets, crabs, fish, fish nets, shells, maps, globes, seagulls, sailboat steering wheels, life savers, light houses... and the list goes on...


  1. Amazing party for amazing Kalle! It was our pleasure to be celebrating our friend's 80th birthday with the family and friends. The nautical theme and decor were just perfect for the occasion. Thank you and blessings! Kari & Marja-Liisa

  2. Ihania kuvia 80-vuotis juhlistasi! Siunausta edelleenkin! Juttelin juuri äitini kanssa puhelimitse ja kerroin juhlistasi hänelle. Välitän nyt heidän(Reino ja Liisa Jailoksen)sydämelliset onnittelut Sinulle 80-vuotis merkkipäiväsi johdosta myös. Runsainta Jumalan siunausta! Ja terveisiä koko perheelle! t. Tarja-Liisa ja Jim

  3. Can you share your seagull pattern? And how they were assembled? Thanks

    1. hi mrs. kerns! i'm sorry but i don't actually have a pattern for the seagulls and i don't have the seagulls themselves anymore.
      each bird was basically made up of three separate pieces: the body, wing span and tail. i used white bristol board.
      the body shows the profile of the seagull. for the wings and tail i folded the bristol board in half and the fold line became the center of the wings and tail.
      before attaching the pieces together, i simply brushed on some grey paint, then black and the yellow beak and dabbed a yellow eye. when one side was done, i then painted the other side. (i did all the 'grey' parts on every single body, wings and tails first... then when they were dry, i worked on black and finally yellow.)
      then i hot glued along the folded lines of the wings and tails and attached them to the body piece.
      i used fishing line to hang the seagulls and depending on where exactly you punch the holes on the seagulls and how long the strings are, you can make them appear as though they are in flight at different levels and in different positions.
      i hope this will help!

  4. How did you put together that boat prop? I need to make one asap! :)

    1. hi trista!
      my dad actually built that ages ago - so i'm not exactly sure about the process. he used some thin, flexible wood - veneer like. the boards are nailed together with some support posts on the back.
      for the sail we used an actual sail.