Friday, June 29, 2012

Graduation Party Details-Part 1

Details, Details...there are a lot of 'em (and it's all in the details if you ask me).
In case you don't know what I'm talking about,  you can start here.
I ordered the checked pennant banner from Oriental Trading Company. I was thinking of making one out of fabric or paper originally but thought my time could be better used in other projects.  These banners were way bigger than I imagined but they worked out well to define and decorate the party space.

I had some lanterns left over from this party but I needed some red ones and I ordered a few more white ones in varying sizes from   The bike basket was a thrift store find!  I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it as soon as I saw it.  I already had the red bike.
We had some extra lanterns after decorating the tent so we strung them together to adorn the "very fancy" bar area.
Notice the swing is still not hung up. boo!
The oversized balloons came from  They did arrive quickly and I was able to get them inflated at Party City.  I just had to drop them off and pre-pay.  They held up very well and still looked good the next day.  Party City accidentally popped one of them and gave me 4 regular sized balloons in their place. I thought that was nice because they had said they wouldn't be held responsible since they were not their product.
 (BTW two of the regular balloons popped before the party even started from the hot sun, they were tied to the bike below).
This was the entry table as people arrived.   Everything was either thrifted, borrowed or something we already owned.
 I used to design and print out all of the signs, food tent cards (that didn't quite make it to the table you know who you are Mr. Chairman!), and labels for the parties.

I used clip art printed on card stock to make the "C" centerpiece and mini flags for the flower arrangements.   The text looked collegiate to me.  The tables were decorated with flowers in thrifted/collected jars, mostly mason, but some were pickle jars, etc..we made a few extra that day because we had so many flowers.  They were wrapped in burlap and tied with red and aqua ribbon.  There were also bubbles on the tables and little red buckets from the Target dollar bin filled with graduation buttermints (from OTC).  I put tea lights out there but we didn't even need to light them. The buckets have a punched out star design on them and look great with a tea light popped in there. I will be using them outside this summer.
 This banner was made from school portraits converted to black and white and mounted on card stock. It's hanging on my mantel now.  We also used the gingham banner around the tent.  It was easy to hang from the interior clips.
Most of the party was during daylight hours but for the few who stayed on into the evening we had lighting.  I ordered the string lights from  They also defined the party area and kept people from wandering falling down the hill.  
We picked up some inexpensive tiki torches for bug control as well as ambience.  The fire pits also gave us some light(and heat).  I had blankets for people and the hubs lent out a bunch of his sweatshirts. It did get chilly that night.
You're probably sick of reading about my thrifted aqua colander. So I won't mention it.   The serving dishes were from Crate & Barrel, our own stash and some thrifted items-rhymes with olander.   My daughter put together the caprese skewers for me. I had pinned the idea here.  I used the marinated mozzarella from Costco, grape tomatoes and basil.  They were messy to make and I think they must have been good because I didn't even get one!  She also made Pioneer Woman's pico de gallo and guacamole (both from her first cookbook).   You can't go wrong with a PW recipe!  I ordered the picnic-food trays from  I still have a lot left so I'm going to be using those things for years...
We served sandwiches and wraps that I purchased.  I did make two salads though. Sorry about this photo, it's the only one with the salads {sort of} in it. The big silver bowl is full of Spicy Thai Noodles and the clear bowl had Black Bean, Corn & Avocado Salad that I had pinned from here.
We set out this sweet table for dessert.   The cupcakes were made by my daughter also, they were Pioneer Woman's chocolate Sheet cake cupcakes (from her cookbook) and vegan French toast cupcakes with Maple Butter cream.  My other daughter made red velvet cake pops, raspberry Linzer cookies and butter press cookies.  The oven got a work out that week! I ordered the personalized lollipops from OTC (I probably could have made the labels myself.)  The meringue cookies are from Trader Joe's.
Older daughter also made these cute s'mores on a stick.
I pinned the idea here.
 Just dip marshmallows into melted chocolate and roll in graham cracker crumbs.

Chill until set and store in an airtight container. You can't make these too far in advance, they are best the day before or day of the party.  We added some straws to the skewers when we set them out for dessert. I ordered the straws and cupcake liners from  She also made a bunch with mini marshmallows and toothpicks. Too cute!
This is getting long so it will have to be continued...

Disclosure: I was not compensated or comped in any way for any of the products featured. I just liked them and I'm passing on the info.

Linking up with:
Pinterest Challenge
Feature Yourself Friday

Pin It

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Last Day of 6th Grade

She finished her first year of middle school a few weeks ago.  
It was the day before this party.
That went FAST!
Here she was on her first day.  I think she's grown up a lot. 
One big difference is no more braces!!!

Linking up with:
Pin It

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday 6.24.12

I know it's Tuesday but I just got my Scavenger Hunt Sunday photos together.
They're not warped anymore but they were(deck steps).
Concentric Circles
Measuring cups
Glazed cupcakes?
For making my Wine Cork Wreath.
My countertops are granite, that's marble, right?

Linking up with:
Scavenger Hunt Sunday
Pin It

Monday, June 25, 2012

{Summer Noodle Party} Wine Cork Wreath

Debbie at Debbiedoos is hosting a Summer Pool Noodle Party.  
What can you do with a pool noodle?
If you're me, you make a wine cork wreath!
I've been wanting to use my corks for something and the noodle party was the perfect excuse to get on it!
 I started with a pool noodle from the Dollar Store and taped it into a circle with packing atpe.
 Then I wrapped it in strips of burlap secured with straight pins to cover up the yellow.
 I pulled out my cork collection (don't judge, it's all for art's sake).
 I fired up the hot glue gun and started sticking the corks onto the wreath form.
 Starting on the inside of the werath, I lined the corks up next to each other and then started a new row.
 I staggered the second row of corks.
 When I didn't have enough room for a cork, I'd angle it and just keep working around it.
 Before I knew it, I had covered the whole wreath, leaving an open area in the back of the wreath so that it could lay flat against a door.
 I added more corks to the wreath in a random pattern to add dimension.
 The glue is hot so I always keep a bowl of ice water nearby (and I used it twice!).
Please excuse my fading manicure.
 Each cork tells a story.  Sometimes I write something on the cork as a memento (like this one from our trip to Montreal).  I didn't know when to stop so I left the wreath overnight and looked at it with fresh eyes in the morning. I added a few more corks in the morning.
 The finished product.
It's hanging on the door between the den and kitchen right now until I find the perfect spot for it. 
I love how it turned out!  
Now I can start collecting more corks and drinking more wine!

Supplies needed:
1 pool noodle
Corks--about 100 or so
Hot glue gun and sticks 
Burlap and straight pins (optional)
Cost=$1 for pool noodle, I had everything else on hand.

Linking up with:
Pin It

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Friday Phone Dump Week 25

This last week was awesome! No alarm clocks or to-do lists. It was my first official week of summer break. My younger daughter finished school last Friday (yay!), we hosted our older daughter's graduation party (finally) and then Sunday was Father's Day.  On Monday I took a great big sigh of relief.  There were no commitments or appointments, it was glorious! I also didn't think much about blogging, except for this fatty of a post.
I did take some cell phone photos and kept up with my Photo a Day in June Challenge.
Photo a day Challenge:
june 18 *something you don't know about me (poison ivy)*june 19 *imperfect (the baseball field being groomed*
june 20 *favorite photo (River Stree Inn-Savannah) * june 21 *where you slept (coffee in bed)*
june 22 *from a high angle * june 23 * movement*

And some photos from the rest of my week.
row 1 *my daughter babysat my niece and they were playing with Play Doh on the deck*my Irish dancer and her dad at a baseball game*dancers getting ready to go on*
row 2*summer peaches*auto parts stacked up neatly*old photo of mine that I like and Instagrammed*
row 3*dancing at Irish Heritage Night at the ball game*one of the Colorado Rockies signing autographs* my Irish dancer*

Next week will start to get busier again and we'll be back on a schedule with camp and other activities.  Today we're off to a graduation brunch for our friends' son.  I hope you had a great weekend!
Linking up with:
a good life

Pin It

Friday, June 22, 2012

{Entertaining} Vintage Picnic Graduation Party

The big fat graduation post is finally here!
 No more sneak peeks or project posts like this one and this one....
There's the cooler that started it all (see that tartan red Skotch Kooler in the background from this thrifting trip?  I also found her little sister (thermos) recently at another thrift store.
Here she is, the graduate!
There are lots and lots of photos of the day so I'll try and keep the words to a minimum.
I think they are pretty self explanatory.
Like this Lawn Twister game.
The color scheme was red and white with a few pops of aqua.

We also added some vintage touches.

We decorated the yard with red and white gingham pennants from Oriental Trading Company.
Even the deck got some.

We rented a tent for our side yard along with some tables, chairs and tablecloths.  I ordered 24 inch balloons and had them filled at Party City.  They made a big impact.


I decorated the tables with flowers, candles, mini buckets filled with candy (from the dollar bin at Target) and bubbles.
I loved how the flower arrangements came out.  Each 'vase' got a different treatment of burlap and ribbon.  We used daisies, Queen Ann's Lace, baby's breath and red roses.  We borrowed two additional tents and long tables and used these patchwork vinyl tablecloths that I found at Joanne's.
I made this banner out of her school portraits, converted to black and white and mounted on card stock.
The bar was set up in the garage. This surface worked out a perfectly for all of our beverages and kept them out of the sun.  We served wine, beer, Italian sodas, iced tea, lemonade, soda, water and the signature drink was Blackberry Mojito punch.
I don't have any photos of it from the party but it looked like this and
was served in this dispenser.

As the guests arrived we asked them to write the graduate a message on a Jenga block, like a guest book.  I also had her high school scrapbook on the table for everyone to look through.

Then we subjected them to a photo booth.  The set up was a shower curtain from Target hung on the garage door and a old school desk my friend snagged for me at the thrift store for $10.  

We used lines from the speech "Wear Sunscreen" by Mary Schmich as words of advice to the graduate.
 The only other prop was this OLD globe that I've had for years from a yard sale.
 Cute, right?
Group shots were more of challenge (this was the 'good' shot of the bunch.)
Onto the food!
For appetizers we served:
Caprese skewers, homemade pico de gallo & guacamole (Pioneer Woman's recipe), wasabi peas, cherries in my nowfamous thrifted colander, hummus & pita chips, veggies & dip, spinach dip and two huge tomato pies.
We also used these cardboard fast food style trays for all of the food.  They added a fun touch!
Guests arriving...and socializing...
We also served dinner :
Assorted sandwiches, vegetarian wraps, Spicy Thai Noodles, Black Bean, Corn & Avocado salad with cilantro lime dressing (pinned here), Chick Fil-A nuggets, deviled eggs and watermelon on a stick.

Things got a little a lot hectic at this point and I could only snap a few quick photos of the food.

Later we set out a sweets table.
We used the same backdrop from the photo booth.
Confession: I didn't make ANY of it. 
My daughters made all of the treats from cupcakes to cookies, to cake pops and  s'mores on a stick.  I bought everything else.
We had beautiful weather and the volleyball net got some use.
The lights and tiki torches were lit.
The fire pits kept us toasty as the sun went down.
We gave out mini pies as favors. 
I did make these and thought they looked pretty cute.
Maybe this should have been a two-part post but we are finally at the END! Phew, I'm tired!!
P.S. I made all of the labels and signs on
More deets to follow...check them out here and here.

Linking up with:
Follow Friday 40 & Over
I'm Lovin' It
Frugalicious Friday
Hookin' Up With The Hepworths
Try New Adventures
Weekend Wrap Up
Ready For Summer
Sweet Saturday
Saturday Night Special
Masterpiece Monday
Shine On Fridays
Thrifty Things Friday
Feathered Nest Friday
Inspiration Friday
Vintage Inspiration
Home Sweet Home
Foodie Friday
Open House Party
Super Stalker Sunday
Say G'day Saturday
Craftastic Monday
Making The World Cuter Monday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Tutorials & Tips Party
Twice Owned Tuesday
Table Top Tuesday
Whimsy Wednesday
Wow Me Wednesday
Wow Us Wednesday
Create & Share
Tea Rose
Wicked Awesome Wednesday
Time Travel Thursday
Catch a Glimpse
Thursday Favorite Things
Feature Yourself Friday
Free For All
Once Upon A Weekend
What's In Your Heart
Restless Blog Hop
Market Yourself Monday
Sunday Showcase Party
Outdoor Wednesday
Sundae Scoop
Favorite Project of 2012
Pin It

Link Within

Related Posts with Thumbnails