Saturday, March 31, 2012

50th Birthday Party!

A couple of weeks ago I organized a 50th Surprise birthday party for one of my closest friends. I've been blogging about it ever since (scroll through my blog and take a look) and have yet to post photos from the actual party. Well, wait no more because here they are! 

The dessert buffet. I talk more about it here.
The candy counter.
 Water bottle wraps! This was the first time that I made them. I love them! I talk about them here.
 Napkin wraps were a new one for me too! Definitely going to do those again!
I made all these little picks and Liz's daughter Katherine, put them to good use on the cheese and wrap trays that she brought.

Veggie cups (with ranch dressing on the bottom) are all over pinterest as thee way to serve veggies at a party. We were short on time so my daughter and Liz's daughter quickly threw it together. Next time, I think I'll take more care to cut the veggies the same length, but it was such a sweet touch that party-goers seemed to love.
 
I was all about labels at this party. Click here to read more about them.
I reserved the local church for a private party. I think it worked out really well. We used this little dining room for the luncheon and then we used the large room for part 2 of the party.

I bought one roll of black and white damask wrapping paper and it went a long ways. I used it on the water bottle and napkin wraps and then used the rest under the centerpieces on the dining table.  
We had a potluck lunch! The potluck table is awaiting all of the yummy food that Liz's friends brought! And let me tell you, Liz's friends can cook! 
Another look at the dessert table.  
 Just a few of the ladies awaiting Liz's arrival!
There she is! The birthday girl has arrived!
It was up to my lovely friend, Cheri to get Liz to the church and she nailed it! That part of planning a surprise party is always the hardest (and the part I like the least). Cheri was also the hostess, she was gracious enough to welcome everyone and open the party in a prayer. Getting the "surprisee" to the party and publicly hosting the party are my least favorite things to do, so I'm so grateful for friends who can step in and fill the gaps (while I hide in the background, where I'm much more comfortable).



We had such a lovely lunch together. It was really nice to catch up with friends and meet some more of Liz's friends.



Happy birthday to you...  
So many choices!
For the second party of the party, Nadine Raynor of Outpost Quilts volunteered to teach a quilt making class. A quilt that would then be a birthday gift to Liz. Here Maureen, Mid and Liz are checking out the lovely fabrics that Maureen brought for the quilt.

 Batiks! Liz loves batik fabrics, so it was perfect to have a bunch of those for her quilt.
 Ann is all ready to iron!
 As Liz says, Pat is doing some "un-sewing".
 Lots of cutting, ironing and sewing took place this afternoon! Liz, Ann, Debbie & Maureen.
 And here are some of the squares!
Liz, Maureen, Nadine (Quilt Making Instructor) and Pat are all admiring the quilt squares. I love how happy Liz is in this photo! I think she's very pleased!
And why wouldn't she be? Look at those squares! They are all so fun and bright and they're all made with love! For Liz.

Once the quilt is finished, I'll be sure to post photos. So, come on back and see what's crafting, sewing, cooking... at GretaBag!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog! I appreciate all of my readers and welcome any and all comments and followers!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Dessert Buffet!

Here it is! Here's the dessert table from my friends 50th birthday party!
Front row: (left to right) Blondies, Oreos, Purple Pretzels, White Pretzels
Back row: Crazy cake in mini cupcake papers, Vanilla cupcakes, Chocolate cupcakes, Mini-cheesecakes (they fit perfectly on a mini cupcake display tree) and the Blueberry Brownie Trifle.

And I set up a mini candy station too! An almost all purple candy station, that is! With a hint of black and white (for a subtle over-the-hill sentiment).
Nerds, Black and white Jelly Beans, Grape Licorice, Chocolates in purple foil and Purple peeps!

Since it was a surprise party, I didn't have a lot of time to fuss over the details. I may have spent a bit more time arranging the dessert table and taking a few more close up photos, but since we were under the gun to set everything up in an hour, I think it turned out pretty good. What do you think?

Feel free to browse through my blog to see more of the party prep photos. And yep, there are more party photos to come!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Final Party Prep!

Here's my attempt at wrapping up all of the party prep posts...

If you haven't seen the other party prep posts, feel free to scroll through the blog or you can click on each of their names if you would like to check them out!
Crazy Cake!
Blueberry Brownie Trifle
Mini Cheesecakes!
Purple Paper Party Prep!
Party Blondies!

Anyways, on to the final party prep post...

For most of the events I do, I make cupcakes, they're so pretty and much easier than attempting to decorate a real cake.
I love anything in a hounds tooth print and I was thrilled when I found these purple hounds tooth cupcake papers at Michael's in the dollar bin! They had to come home with me!
I've seen these black and white damask cupcake papers online and I've been drooling over them for awhile, so I was so happy when I found these too! Since it's a 50th birthday party, I was planning on adding a minimal black accent - the black and white damask was perfect!
And of course, I dipped some pretzels.
Some short ones dipped in purple candy melts and sprinkled with purple sugar to make the color a little deeper.
And I dipped some long pretzel rods, these are dipped in almond bark, sprinkled with Heath toffee bits and then drizzled with chocolate.
  
Pom poms seem to be at most any event I do. They just add so much drama, they're affordable and more importantly - they're so easy!!!
 A few hanging from the ceiling.
And a bunch of mini ones.
 The pinwheels and the mini ones being transformed into centerpieces.
 Don't they look like dahlias?
One more look.

There were a couple of new items that I wanted to tackle for this party. I love adding more items to my entertaining repertoire and this party for my friend Liz, was the perfect event to try out some new things!
 
Labels! I made labels for the dessert table! I just printed them on the same printer paper I used for the pinwheels and I had black card stock so I grabbed a glue stick and glued them on.
As you can see my cutting background is from sewing, not from paper crafting. But it works. I'm always so impressed by paper crafters and overwhelmed by the multitude of supplies one must need to do it well. Although, one of those nice paper cutters would be dreamy. (Note to self.)
I also made water bottle wraps! Yeah! I had so much fun doing these! I see these all over the blogosphere and they add so much to parties but I've always been overwhelmed by how to do them. I mean, people even sell designs that you can print off and attach to the bottle. I'm way too cheap to do that! So, I bought a flat of water bottles at Wal-mart for about $3.00 and a roll of damask wrapping paper. Then I took a 2 inch strip of black card stock, a 1 1/4 inch strip of damask wrapping paper used a glue stick to glue them together and then a couple of dabs of hot glue to hold the wrapper on the bottle.
I did the same process on the napkin wraps! This was the first time I've done napkin wraps too! I found black plasticware at the Dollar Tree and the purple striped napkins... well, I had those in my napkin stash. Yeah, napkins and cupcake papers - I'm not sure if I'll ever have too many of those! :)

So, there you have it! That's all of the party prep that I did before the party. I had a ton of fun doing it. I really could (and do) get lost in things like this four hours upon hours. Actually, I was really grateful to be in the midst of party planning as I injured my back part way through, it was such a well-timed distraction for me. It's amazing the amount of pain you can bear when you're doing something you love! I loved doing this party for my friend Liz, she really is one in a million! And I felt really good about the party prep, I had set my goals pretty high for what I wanted to learn and accomplish and I actually met all of them! And that feels so good! Yay, me! ;)

Actually, most of the party decor (minus the black items) will also be used for our upcoming Easter Celebration at church, so I'm getting a two-fer out of it, and I love that!

Thanks for checking out all of the fun I've been having! I love sharing this with my friends and family! And friends I haven't met yet!

Now, I think I can finally get around to looking at the photos from the actual party...  :)