Ruby’s 6th birthday party

My niece Ruby turned 6 recently, and we celebrated with a rainbow butterfly party. The decorations and party things (cups, napkins) were all rainbow or butterfly-themed.

Rainbow butterfly party decorations Rainbow butterfly party decorations on the gazebo

Rainbow napkins and butterfly cups Rainbow napkins and butterfly cups

The party guests (family and friends) were encouraged to wear rainbows or butterflies. Jac stuck butterflies onto the backs of our jackets and we each wore rainbow T-shirt like good daggy aunties. Others wore rainbow necklaces, scarves and socks. Ruby was delighted, especially when Uncle Mike wriggled his rainbowy toes at her.

Uncle Mike's rainbow socks Uncle Mike’s rainbow socks

As usual, the party food was supplied by family and friends. Sausage rolls (meat ones and vegetarian ones), super sticky honey joys, lemon slice, chipolatas (chicken, pork and beef) with tomato and barbecue dipping sauces, fairy bread, a rainbow fruit platter, my mum’s pork wantans with chilli sauce, and a gooey baked cheese – this time, a Camembert.

Sausage rolls Sausage rolls

Lemon slice Lemon slice

Honey joys Honey joys

Vegetarian sausage rolls Vegetarian sausage rolls

Chicken chipolatas Chicken chipolatas

Fairy bread Fairy bread

Rainbow fruit platter by my sister CW Rainbow fruit platter by my sister CW


Cheeseboard Cheeseboard

Baked Camembert or Brie is fast becoming a staple at our family get-togethers. The cheese is studded with fresh garlic, sprinkled with rosemary and drizzled with olive oil, then baked in the oven until it’s melted and gooey.

Baked Camembert with rosemary and garlic Baked Camembert with rosemary and garlic


My mum turned up with a big bowl of her homemade pork wantans. These, and the meat sausage rolls were easily the most popular party food items. I’d love to know how many wantans I could eat if I had that bowl all to myself. How many do you think you could eat?

My mum's pork wantans My mum’s pork wantans

The girl with the wantan in her hand The girl with the wantan in her hand

Temporary tattoos were a must-have accessory at this party – rainbow and butterfly tattoos, of course.

Temporary tattoos were a must-have accessory at this party Temporary tattoos were a must-have accessory at this party

The face-painting booth did a roaring day’s trade. The birthday girl requested (surprise, surprise!) a butterfly.

A face-painted butterfly A face-painted butterfly

The kids coloured in their goodie bags.

Colouring in their own party bags Colouring in their own party bags


Whenever there’s a party, my brother twists balloons for the kids. No matter how many balloon dogs his dad’s made for him, Caleb is mesmerised by the process – the pumping of the balloon and the twisting and tying that follows.



And when he has that finished balloon dog in his hands, he’s absolutely thrilled to bits.

It's a doggie! It’s a doggie!

DSC_2132A cheeky hello from Zoe to Auntie Wanda

More balloon things!Zoe digs around in the balloon bag to find a red balloon

Zoe, with a war-painted butterfly face, asked her dad to make her a flower, which she brandished like a sword. Did you notice she’s wearing the ballerina dress from her birthday earlier this year?

Face-painted Zoe with her balloon flower Face-painted Zoe with her balloon flower. She’s got a butterfly temporary tattoo on her arm

Ruby didn’t have a birthday cake – she had lots of rainbow butterfly birthday cupcakes.

The rainbow butterfly birthday cupcakes Nanna takes a photo of the rainbow butterfly birthday cupcakes

The rainbow butterfly birthday cupcakes

Lighting the birthday candles Lighting the birthday candles

Ruby’s dad lifted her up so she could blow out her birthday candles. Note: she’s still clutching a wantan in one hand.

Ruby's dad lifts her up to blow out the candles. Ruby’s dad lifts her up to blow out the candles.

As soon as the candles were out, eager kids (little and big) swooped in to claim a cupcake. We pretty much destroyed all the cupcakes.



Caleb tries to push his mum so she's standing on top of the cake crumbs Caleb tries to cover up his dropped cake crumbs by getting his mum to stand on them. That’s a novel way to clean up your mess!


Juji and I found ourselves unexpectedly leading a boisterous game involving kids on the gazebo pretending to be animals. It was a noisy menagerie of chickens, ducks, horses, elephants, snakes, frogs, giraffes and rabbits. Have you heard a duck giggle and quack at the same time? I have!

Chickens and elephants!Chickens!

‘Pass the parcel’ was a little more challenging for some participants – once the kids learned they’d win a prize if they were holding the parcel when the music stopped, the parcel moved much more slowly and reluctantly around the circle! Hair clips for the girls and cars for the boys (everyone was happy, but if I’d been playing, I’d have wanted a car).

Presents and pass the parcel Ruby opens her presents; Caleb gets a car in ‘Pass the parcel’

I love taking photographs at our parties. Like many photographers, I don’t like being photographed myself and am much happier behind the lens than in front of it. Once in a while, I do think about the fact that there are very few photos of me. The photographs represent not what I look like, but my observations and what was significant in my life. What do photographs tell you about the photographer?

Happy birthday, Ruby!

The girl with a honey joy in her hand The girl with a honey joy in her hand

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  • Joy

    Your nieces and nephew are stunningly beautiful

  • Nami Ogishima

    my uncle (who’s a hobby photographer) once told me that he thought photographs of people sort of reflect the feelings the photographer has for the photographed. Obviously this is not scientific or realistic, but I do find that most of the time I quite like the pictures my partner takes of me (I feel like there is a warm glow that makes me look better than in real life, haha)…

  • Winnie Loo

    Love the bokeh in the last shot… and oh, what I wouldn’t give to be a kid again *nostalgic sigh*

    • Cheers, Winnie. I was experimenting with the bokeh that day and was pretty pleased with how it turned out – but I need more practice. I don’t know if I’d want to be a kid again in this day and age… but maybe it would be ok to be in my early twenties again so I could do all the travel I never did.

  • Craig Hind

    Aw, what a cute party!

    I want all that food. It looks so good!

    I really like the last photo of Ruby (they’re all good of course), the backlighting, ray bursts, bokeh are all very nice.

    • The parties are always good fun and I look forward to the party food and following the kiddies around with the camera. As per my reply to Winnie below, I still need to perfect my bokeh techniques so I get desired results each time.

  • Ohhhhh what a party, it makes me wish I was a kid again.

    The sausage rolls & Camembert look awesome and I’d have to snag some fairy bread too. Fun Times!

    Your photos are great and so clear, I need to invest in a decent camera.

    • Thanks, Trent. A decent camera does help, but it won’t do all the work for you either ;)

  • Jody Morris

    What a lovely post – thank you TFP! :)

    I particularly liked the ones of Caleb and his Dad with the balloons – and all the food shots of course! Reckon I could have eaten half the bowl! :)

    • Cheers, Jody. I love photographing these family events and sharing the stories from the day. I know the kids themselves love to see the pictures (they look at them with their mum). Half the bowl eh? Me too.

  • What a lovely birthday party! I want to try those wontons and that baked camembert – yum! And I love that last photo of Ruby – gorgeous shot.

    • Thanks, Christina. I think my nieces’ and nephew’s birthday parties are among my favourite events to take pictures. The party food’s great fuel and easy to graze on in between snaps.

  • Dea

    Your brother and sis-in-law sure throw some fantastic parties for the kiddos. :) Everything is perfect! Love the tower of birthday cupcakes, the yummy finger foods, and the gorgeous rainbow fruit platter. With mangosteens, yum! I wonder how many of those delicious fried wantans i could fit into my stomach if I were left there with the whole bowl to myself.

    • Dea, yeah – I like thinking the kids will have some great childhood memories (and if not, maybe the pictures will help them remember!). I think my mum would be horrified at her own greedy children if we were allowed to feast on the wantans without sharing…

  • jadedlotus

    You’ll be pleased to know that J and I drooled over the sausage rolls and wantans. (I’m still salivating.)

    • Maybe next year you could time one of your visits to coincide with one of the kids’ birthday parties. I’m sure sausage rolls and wantans could be arranged. :)

  • Cindy M

    Hi Cyn! It’s been ages. I couldn’t access your site for a while, until a recent browser upgrade (and I don’t use Facebook). Happy belated to Ruby! Oh, the kids are still so adorable (no surprise); I’ve seen the biggest growth spurt in Zoe. Another birthday for Ruby! I remember a year ago (?) poor Zoe was wondering when it was her birthday; tomorrow? ;-) The butterfly cupcakes … wow. And I’ve missed seeing Fairy Bread and Honey Joys. Such a colorful, fun party; sure seems everyone enjoyed it (and no wonder). You’ve been to New Zealand; last I saw here, you were planning that trip. Well, I’ve got some major catching up to do. :-)

    • Hi Cindy,
      Great to see your comments pop into my Inbox this morning! I’ve missed your thoughts on the posts. Yep, I always think about Zoe waiting and waiting for her own birthday party. Yeah, you have lots to catch up on! Hopefully you enjoy it :)