Monday, November 28, 2011

Pumpkins' Last Stand

My pumpkins have really served me well since the
beginning of October when I started my
Halloween decorating. 
If you would like to see my Fall decorations, here is my blog post Fall-i-fying.

Then they transistioned into just Autumn decor.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to say
goodbye to my pumpkins but I had one more job for
them to do on the last Saturday of November.

My favorite team is Auburn who's colors are orange and blue.
On Saturday, we were playing our across-the-state rival,
Alabama in the biggest game of our season.
Wanting to show my true colors (even though we are having
a "down" season), I realized that if I piled all my
pumpkins up outside, that makes a fairly large pile of
the color orange.  Then all I did was add some blue bows
to all that orange on the front porch.

The wreath is almost all orange too so it got a bow.

The mailbox got some Auburn balloons to go with the
(faux) orange leaves and the still blooming
kinda blue-ish clematis.

Inside, I added some more Auburn colors for table-gating
before and during the game...we just watched on TV this year.
My Auburn chips and dip set. 

Orange and blue beer boxes. 
We like to put an orange wedge in Blue Moon beer while watching Auburn games.


I bought this beer strictly for the color of the boxes but I'm sure it will get drunk at some point.

Fun centerpiece of an Aubie the Tiger balloon.
Food was eventually added to the table too.

It's kinda confusing but Auburn's mascot is not only a tiger
but War Eagle too.  The eagle flies over the field before
home games in Auburn, Alabama.
This is a picture I took of the eagle flying before the game on TV.
Here is a one minute video of the eagle flying before a game if you would like to see her in action.

We had to cheer a lot before the game 'cause once the
game got started, we didn't have much to cheer about.
This is also a picture taken of the TV while the team was coming out on the field.


This is my daughter and me with our Auburn tatoos.
Auburn did lose the game but Alabama is ranked #2 in the nation right now...
we weren't really expecting to win this year. 

So farewell, my pumpkins...you will have to go now...
all the neighbors are putting up their Christmas decorations
(and some of you are, well, getting moldy).

I am sharing my Auburn table-gate setting at
Table Top Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
and
Anything Goes Party @ Type A

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Steal-Worthy Party Ideas

This past weekend I had the opportunity to
see three lovely parties that were wedding related
but had ideas that could be used at any
party or entertaining event.

I am stealing some of these ideas for events
I may host in the future so I looked up possible
resources on the internet to achieve a similar look.
If you like any of the looks, I am including links for
 resources that I came up with so you can steal the looks too.

The first event was an after-rehearsal dinner at
Montgomery Country Club.
The lady that decorated this room is a friend of the bride's mother.
  She used Fall-hued flowers and pheasant feathers
with artificial twig candle holders as the table centerpieces.

On the mantle in this room, she used mostly foliage from her yard to fill the large floral foam-filled container.

On the umbrella plant (the palm-looking greenery) she gathered the leaves together and gave them a "haircut".  I asked her how she got such large, heavy arrangement up high and she said that she used
a ladder and arranged it in place.  She was horrified that the croton leaves (the orange/yellow leaves) were were wilting and said that she would never use them in floral foam again...good tip for us.

If you have a guest of honor at your party, it's lovely
to designate her/his seat with a special marker.
 This was the bride's chair at the after-rehearsal dinner...

...and this is the groom's chair.

Each place setting at the dinner had a card that served as
a name card and a menu.  The guest's name had been
calligraphied in the smaller horizontal box on the card
and the menu was in the box below the name.
Did you know that you can find these chargers on sale at Hobby Lobby and Michaels for $1.50 - $2.00 each?  That is cheaper than renting them.  They are plastic but they have a very elegant party look.

The groom's cake was on display at the dinner.
A chocolate groom's cake is customary at Southern weddings along with the bride's cake. 
I think this cake was going to be dessert at the dinner on this Friday night before the Saturday wedding.
I had to work and did not get to go to the actual wedding so I don't know if they just
had bride's cake at the wedding.  Some brides are now going with more of a dessert table
rather than a groom's cake at the wedding reception.

Real pheasants (taxidermied of course) flanked the chocolate cake for a
masculine Fall feel.  There were quite a few oranges used in decorating the dinner...
I forgot to ask if there was a significance to that or it is just a good Fall color.

In another area of the club, an additional party was going to
be held for out of town wedding guests that were
not invited to the after rehearsal dinner.  In a hallway that
lead to the "Post Tost Party" was this striking
arrangement of pumpkins and gourds:
The mirror behind the table doubles the effect of the Fall bounty display.




The "Post Toast Party" was a much more casual event
with assorted beverages and light snacks.  It was mainly
for friends of the bride and groom and started later than the
rehearsal dinner.  The wedding party came to this party after
the dinner was over.
This room was set up more for mingling and visiting...only a few tables were set up.

I, along with other friends of the bride's mother, hosted this party.  The budget
for flowers for this event was only $75 (for 1 large, 5 medium, and 3 small arrangements).
We used lots of free gathered greenery and berries to make the flowers "go" as far as possible.

All of these arrangements were made easily by using fresh floral foam available at all major craft stores.

Sorry about the fuzzy pictures...the lighting in this room was very low.

On Saturday I was able to attend a five o'clock
wedding and still get to work on time.
This was the main arrangement at the church.  I like the color combination of the oranges
and purples.  You can make arrangements look taller and more dramatic by sticking
curly willow branches in the top.  Hobby Lobby and Michaels both stock curly willow
or you can get it online here.

The bride's bouquet was very "sparkly" during the wedding.  When I saw it up close,
I could see why...it had lots of broches embedded in the flowers.

The reception was held near the church at a home built in 1836
called The Elms.  The land the home is on operated as a
cotton plantation for over 100 years.  The bride used
cotton bolls in the reception decorations.
These large silver vases can be rented for about $20 and add a lot of bang for the buck.

The buffet-style dinner menu was on a stand in the corner of the dining room.

A couple of ideas in this picture are to use punch bowls as large salad serving bowls and to wrap
dinner silverware in napkins and stack them horizontally and vertically.


This lovely fruit and cheese display used risers to elevate some of the platters higher than others.
Risers could be boxes, books, etc. since they are covered with cloth to hide them.

Another element this display used was log slices and grapevine wreaths to enhance the serving pieces.
I don't know anyone that could cut log slices for me so I found larger log slices here ($20 and more) and smaller slices here and here.  Grapevine wreaths in lots of sizes are available at craft stores.


These split fruit add visual interest when they are left in large pieces on display.



At the bar area, drink selections available
were displayed.


Water bottles with personalized labels are a nice touch to any party and don't have to be expensive.
Here are some that are similar at Oriental Trading Company that are 54 labels for $12.


These manzanita branches are very popular now as party decorations. I looked at some online but
for the price, I think I would try to find something similar in the woods.  Wire versions of this type branch,
sometimes called "Wishing Trees" are available online here.  The crystals can be expensive but I found
a crystal string curtain that could be cut apart yeilding crystals at about $1 per foot here.  The
dangling crystals at a good price are available here.  I didn't get a good photo of another idea but if you
look closely you can see how they used a silver punch bowl for ice for the tea in the dispensers.

Instead of a guest book, wedding guests left an imprint of
their thumbs on the drawn wedding tree.


The sign says "Please help our wedding tree grow by creating a leaf with your fingerprint
and signing your name by it".  This idea would be wonderful at a family gathering.


The wedding cake was displayed on a rustic wood cake stand.
The bride and groom shared their first drink as man and wife in Redneck Wine Glasses.  I have seen
the DIY for these fun glasses on several blogs.  Here are instructions from Nesting Newbies blog.

The actual items on the candy/sweets table were done in hues of
greens and plums. 


A banner like this would be a good party decoration and looks like it would be
fairly easy to make with rubber stamps or computer printing and ribbon.


Everything looks more impressive elevated on a stand.


A single orchid bloom tops these cupcakes in decorative wrappers. You can find the wrappers in the
cake and baking aisle in craft stores. The wrappers can also hide a less than perfect baked liner.


Lots of different items can be used as risers on food display tables.


This apothecary jar has at least 7 stems of orchids in it...pretty but you can get a similar look
with only one stem too.  Tie small gauge fishing line to the bottom of an orchid stem then
tie or glue the opposite end of the line to an aquarium plant sinker weight ( sold here or in pet stores).
The weight keeps the orchid suspended in the water once you get the fishing line the
correct length.  You can cover the weight with pebbles if desired.

S'mores are a fun party food item...folks gather
around a fire to toast the marshmellows and visit
and eat their s'mores.

The Elms had a couple of paintings by
our local famous folk artist, Mose T.
Mose Tolliver was a self-taught folk artist that lived in Montgomery. 
In 1982 his work was celebrated and displayed at the Corcoran Gallery
in Washington, D.C.  Now his work is in museums around the world.
If you would like to more know about Mose T. here is a webpage about him.

Moss-covered letters were on the front doors
of the reception home.
The Elms has a website if you would like to see more pictures of it
and other events that have been held there...MORE ideas...
These are another good way to personalize a party.  Several bloggers
have written tutorials on how to make moss-covered letters.
One of them is Jennifer of Dear Lilly blog.  

The letters pictured here
are done in reindeer moss which is different (and costlier) than most sheet mosses
but either one can be used for the letters.  If you can't find the mosses locally in the
 floral aisle of a craft store, you can order reindeer moss and sheet moss online.

I tried not to get caught acting like a crazy lady inspecting the letters and how they were hung so I just looked
quickly but they were actually held up by a wire attached to the back of the letter.  The wire was covered with ribbon and the wire was looped over a wreath hanger.

As usual, I'm ending up with lots more ideas
than time to do them but ideas are fun for me to gather
and have "just in case".

I am sharing this post at
Table Top Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru LIfe
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday @ Coastal Charm
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity Now
Weekend Wrapup Party @ Tatertots and Jello
Amaze Me Monday @ Dittle Dattle
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Masterpiece Monday @ Boogieboard Cottage
Hookin' Up With HOH @ House of Hepworth