Sunday, August 9, 2009

Picnic Party Blitz

Saturday night we helped host a party for Braxton and Catie, who will be getting married in October. In the record time of 1 hour and 15 minutes, we went from this…

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…to this.

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So just how did we pull off this transformation in so little time? Well, let's go back a ways and start at the beginning when we began planning this party several months ago. At that time, we decided on a picnic theme and a location. We've had several parties at the Preserve Town Hall, and each one has been better than the one before. The large room is spacious, round tables and folding chairs have been available for our use, and the kitchen is adequate.

Our first clue that things would not go according to plan was when Glenda B. learned that the Preserve no longer had tables and chairs that we could use. Not a problem. We knew plenty of people who had round tables, Zack and Anne had long tables at their office, and we all had chairs we could bring. Problem solved. We'd just have to furnish our own and remove them afterward.

ant_3 With our picnic theme in mind, Glenda W. and I went in search of invitations. We found plenty of things that would work well for a cookout or a barbeque, but that didn't exactly fit our theme. So we decided to make our own. I found black ants on a free clip art website, and we purchased white cardstock, red checked scrapbook paper and raffia to create our own design. We were inspired by an invitation that used a vellum overlay over red checked cardstock. They were almost $2.00 each. We made ours for 68 cents apiece.

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Meanwhile the food committee was planning a picnic style menu, and those of us in charge of decorating were gathering old quilts, vintage hand crank ice cream freezers, checked table cloths, picnic baskets and other stuff to create a picnic atmosphere in an indoor setting. Glenda B. found out that there was nothing scheduled for the Town Hall on the day before the party, so we could unload and set up tables and chairs, put the tablecloths on the tables, get the beer into the refrigerator, and cut our flowers on Friday. All we would have to do on Saturday would be to stick flowers into the Mason jars, put candles into jelly jars, fix the two large arrangements for the serving tables, and set out the food. No sweat!!

About mid-morning on Friday, Connie and I arrived at the Preserve with my truck and her SUV loaded to the max with tables, chairs, and decorating supplies. We planned to unload and then go cut the flowers we would need on Saturday. Only when we stopped at the Preserve office did we learn that someone had booked the place for Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and we would not be able to get in until 4:45 p.m. Yikes!! Our party was scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Time for Plan B.

Fortunately Glenda B. lives only a couple of blocks from the Town Hall. And even better still, she has an amazing garden. So we set up shop in her garage to assemble the flowers, and we rallied the troops to be on hand at 4:45 on Saturday to pull it all together.

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I told you Glenda B. has an amazing garden. Just look at the size of those sunflowers. Not only did we find sunflowers, but also red, white and pink zinnias, abelia, Russian sage, hydrangeas, Queen Anne's lace, pittosporum, and rosemary.

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On Saturday we descended on the Town Hall like a colony of ants—appropriate for a picnic, don't you think? We were actually able to start putting it all together by 4 p.m., but by 5:15 we were done, and everyone gathered for group pictures, except for Karen and Steve who were waiting at Chic-fil-a for the chicken strip order that Chic-fil-a had somehow lost. This group of guys even had time to enjoy a pre-party beer and discuss what else—Alabama football.

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When the guests arrived they had their choice of not only beer and wine, but water, lemonade and Janice's Lynchburg lemonade, which proved to be the big hit of the evening. Don't you love Karen's polka dotted drink dispenser?

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When it was time to serve the food, we offered typical picnic fare—chicken fingers, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, chips and dip, watermelon, and homemade ice cream for dessert, along with brownies and cookies.

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We even had a visit from these special picnic guests. Fortunately, they stayed on the sideboard where the guestbook was located and didn't bother the food.

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Pic_for_Body_of_Blog3 Now be sure to head on over to Between Naps on the Porch where Susan is hosting Metamorphosis Monday. I'll tell you, after what we pulled off yesterday, I could use a nap on the porch.


susan said...

Kathy-What a great party! You ladies work like a well-oiled machine! Your friend's flower garden must be amazing.The invitations were precious!

xinex said...

What a creative table and invitation, Kathy. I can't believe you pulled that off in a few min.,it's gorgeous and what a nice relaxed theme. Looks like everybody had a great time....Christine

Robin said...

What a GREAT idea! Everything is absolutely adorable!!


Robin :o)

Kammy said...

Wow Kathy, what a great team !
Love how you all pulled together in such a short time - amazing!

Malvie said...

NEVER tell a group of Southern Belles what they CANNOT do---they will prove you wrong, exceed expectations, and do so with grace, wit, charm, and a cocktail---without even breaking a "dew".

pk said...

What a fun, creative party!

Joyce said...

This looks like fun. I love the drink cute!

Tonja said...

Oh, don't cha love it when a plan comes together?!?

Love the decor and the food choices! I'm sure everyone had a fun time. It seems that it's those 'glitches' in the plans that always turn out to be the most fun! Here's to good friends and working together!

Candy said...

What a fabulous fun party idea. You girls did a fantastic job setting up the picnic grounds. Hope the ants didn't spoil the food ;-)

santamaker said...

Looks so cute and fun. I bet everyone had a great time.

Michelle said...

Boy...lots of last minute problems that were solved with some quick thinking!

Love the polka dot drink cute!

Soosie said...

Excellent organization, kathy! So proud of you and the Designing Women..
Love the ants theme..everything is darling..Thanks for sharing..Susie

Kelly Shults said...

Wow! What a fun party idea and the decor looks fabuuulous! Love all the details! :)

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

So cute! Ya'll sure pulled it all together! Great job. laurie

NC Southern Belle said...

very cute- love the invitations !

Joy said...

Wow everything looks great and the food really looks tasty too. Love the digital scrapbooking you did.

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling, I just stopped by to let you know that I have returned and that I had a marvelous time. I missed you too much to stay away longer!! Have a beautiful Tuesday and darling that is such a great post, you are very talented indeed, lovely party.

Duchess xx

tale of many cities said...

finally getting around to catching up with all of you! what a GREAT party set-up in a lovely space. nice job to all of your hard work!!
i'm sure it was well appreciated! :D

Florida Sue said...

What a beautiful spread! You sure worked hard and pulled off a lovely party. Even the guys looked happy!

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

What a great party! This sounds like so much fun and you and the team really did a great job pulling it all together in such a short amount of time. Wow!


One Shabby Old House said...

How cute your post was all decorated in Scrapbook style. Darling tables too.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.
It was nice to meet you

Deana said...

Looks like a fun party! The invite is so cute and the flowers are beautiful. Sunflowers are one of my very favorites.

ps. I'm so glad you checked out my beachy master makeover. Thanks for taking the time to post a comment.

Jo - To a Pretty Life said...

Great party decorations! I love the invitations and the little ants on the guest book table. Everything looks amazing!

Sue said...

Setting up the little tent inside was so clever. The invites were cute w/the ant theme for the picnic. I'm sure you WERE tired, it takes a lot of planning and work to put something like this together. sue

Sue said...

What a great's amazing how you can manage to get things done when your hit with some sort of snafu...teamwork for sure...