Monday, February 4, 2013

Emily's Sweet Sixteen Tea Party 2013 Part I

  My baby girl (Emily) turned sixteen January 24th and due to family illness, we decided to postpone her party until this Saturday (Feb. 2). 


 First, Emily made her invitations using scrap booking paper, cut-outs she made from our friend Janda's "Cricket" machine, ribbons, and glitter.  She printed the party info. onto paper and pasted them inside.

One of Emily's favorite Christmas presents was a seal and gold sealing wax.  We purchased these Online.  The seal is called, "The Tree of Life" or the "Oak" seal.

                  It took her three days to make all of the invitations and each one was different!

     I've learned over the years to PACE myself when planning a big event because I hate last minute stress.  Actually, I hate ME in last minute stress, so I try to prevent it as much as possible.  We actually began the party process last Sunday night when we borrowed long tables and chairs from our church and brought them home after our "Missions Fest".

When decorating for any event, I like a CLEAN canvas, so the first step in decorating for me is to clean, clean, clean.  Here is part of our unsuspecting den.

 My husband Scott, and our three sons spent their Monday morning removing furniture and steam cleaning carpeting.  After the holidays and several weeks of sickness; this extra, thorough step was like a breath of fresh air.  Fortunately, the weather was also gorgeous, so we were also able to open all the windows to dry the carpeting and further "cleanse" the house of any germies! The furniture will stay out to make room for the tables.

                         Scott is using a carpet cleaner we rented from BiLo (local grocery store).

 Harrison climbed onto a ladder and dusted those impossibly high ceiling fans, the tops of bookshelves, and then rearranged our game shelves for a less cluttered look.

                          Sammy used those wonderful Lysol wipes to clean/ dust all the folding chairs.

 The girls and I spent the first half of our Monday visiting PartyCity, World Market, and Wal-Mart.  We had a budget and had to pick and choose what we could make and what we should purchase.  We browsed all three stores before purchasing anything so we could compare prices and options.  Fortunately, these three stores were close to each other!

    For the four long tables where the ladies will be seated; Emily selected white, lace patterned, plastic tablecloths from Wal-Mart (about $2.00 each), pretty plasticware, floral foam and wire floral sticks. 

It is hard to believe this is plastic.  The top looks yellow because the light was reflecting as the sun went down.  It is really completely white.

                                                  This is the top.  It looks yellow here too (?)

 We found plastic trifle bowls at PartyCity for another $2.00 each, paper napkins, plastic drinking cups, and a few other items.  Wal-Mart is less expensive than PartyCity, but PartyCity has a much larger selection.  We decided which items we wanted to be unique and where we were willing to spend a little extra and get those items at the specialty stores. Real or silk flowers for our trifle bowl centerpieces were simply too expensive for our budget (I have to buy food too!), so Emily and I decided that she could make tissue paper flowers for her centerpieces and for the light fixture in the dining room.

These plastic trifle bowls needed something to hide the floral foam holding the tissue flowers.  To save money, the girls and I filled them with a variety of feminine, pretty items we found around the house.  We used thread spools, buttons, seashells, lace, ribbon, and even miniature pictures.  Each arrangement is uniquely filled with something different.  My favorite is the one below.

 I filled it with satin gloves and costume jewelry. I wish you could see it in person, the pearls are beautiful and the rhinestones just sparkle. If you like a more uniform look, you could fill all the bowls with the same item such as glass beads from the floral aisle at Wal-Mart or a craft store, game pieces (like Scrabble tiles) or even candy!  You could probably even fill these things with live fish!

                                                         Thread spools and buttons

I had also purchased four, smaller, glass trifle bowls around Thanksgiving to hold candles, so I went back to Wal-Mart and purchased four more so I would have two for each table ($1.99 each in the glassware aisle).  Remember, I can also use these "candle holders" for their intended purpose (dessert bowls), so I see them as a versatile investment. The eight candles were one of my larger expenses (at $3.00 each), but my pumpkin orange ones from Thanksgiving weren't gonna cut it for Emmie's watercolor themed party!  I like these better than the long, tapered candles because they burn longer, are more stable, and can be decorated along the base with a floral arrangement for another decorating option.

School began for us in the afternoon after Scott left for work and our errands were done.  
It was a long day!

On Tuesday, Hayden began making table runners out of an old, pretty bed sheet while I worked on the centerpieces and Emmie worked on her flowers.  Wednesday, we finished up these projects and picked up the rest of the tables and chairs after church.

                                          Hayden cut the sheet into 11 inch wide strips.

She ironed and pinned the edges 1/2 inch from each side.  Finally, she stitched the edges on the sewing machine.

                                        She tapered the ends for a total of six table runners.

Tomorrow, we do some serious food shopping, but first, Emily will post a how-to for tissue paper flowers!

At that time, King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials.
Esther 1:2-3


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