If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall Birthday Party

Last Sunday afternoon we had a big family birthday party here.  (It seems that anytime we have something for our family it turns out big.  I guess that is because we have a BIG family!  With four children between us and their spouses and children, and both sets of parents, how could it be anything but big?)  No complaints, but rarely is there ever a small gathering here.  Anyway, last Sunday was our chance to honor and celebrate Laura and Cassie.  What a beautiful day we had for it.

I decided early on that I was going to go with a simply fall pumpkin and candy corn theme.  So, Mike and I went to a local farm and bought fifteen hefty pumpkins.  Then, I went to one of our local nurseries and got a couple of flats of pansies in a nice orangy apricot hue as well as at least ten pie sized pumpkins and a couple of acorn squashes.  Next, I stopped off at the other local nursery and got some of those little teeny pumpkins that are about the size of a baseball plus six pumpkin colored little mums.  I came home and scattered them around in places. 

I took the grapevine wreaths off the doors and laid them on the wrought iron tables as a base.  Then, I filled in with the pumpkins, squashes, and flowers.  Even though we were planning an afternoon gathering, I sprinkled a few candles into the center pieces so that they would be ready the next day for Halloween and Mike and I have enjoyed them every afternoon this week as well. 

Each afternoon I did a little bit of stitching and stacking so that I could have coordinating napkins, placemats, table runners and table cloths.  I knew that I have enough white Pfaltzgraff plates for each person and with a simple menu of burgers and hot dogs, planned to have that as the only dish on the table.  After Mike had cooked his usual Sunday morning gourmet breakfast and we had feasted, I cleaned up the dishes and began to set the tables. 

On the round patio table I criss-crossed the orange swirled table runners shown in the post HERE.

Atop these I layered one of the grapevine wreaths and added some of the pansies, a couple of mums, and a few of the pumpkins as shown below.

On the oval patio table I used the reversable orange checked placemats that I found at Olde Time Pottery for a couple of dollars each. 

Bridgette's blue monogrammed napkins coordinated with them well.  So, I used those on the round table with the orange swirl runners as well.  Then, I topped the oval patio table with this grouping - sans the mason jar candles.
I've had those black metal candle holders for at least fifteen or twenty years and they are fabulous for adding some height to the twinkle of candles. 

I set up a round card table for the four little girls.  On it I used the orange rattan placemats that I ran across at the Dollar Mart. 

I added a couple of old discontinued Longaberger squares to the center of the table because they had candy corn and jack-o-lanterns scattered across them.  Then, I had a coffee cup full of candy corn sitting beside each place setting along with the cute little goody bag full of black and orange Play Dough, bubbles and bubble wands, a straw that looked like stacked jack-o-lanterns, some M&Ms and other little tasty treats.  The white napkins on this table were folded into little stand-up fans to frame the cute little teensy pumpkins which had each girl's name written upon it.  Everything here was bright and cheerful just like their little faces.

On the table inside the house I had the natural colored rattan placemats and napkins I stitched up earlier in the week.  I ran across the great orange and white candles at Big Lots.  I felt like it was meant to be when I found two of them.  I had already tried them out on my kitchen table in the globes and surrounded by candy corn.  (Lydia had munched on the candy corn one day when she visited which inspired the coffee cups full for their little table.)  I also ran across the cute little pumpkin shaped salt and pepper shakers and got three sets for a dollar each - what a bargain! 

The island served as a place for the buffet.  I topped it with a tablecloth I picked up for a song at Goodwill.  A little ceramic pumpkin and a candle shaped like candy corn (that a student gave me years ago) served as the centerpiece.  You can see a little of what is left of that in the present opening photo below.

We enjoyed a simple fare of burgers and hotdogs, baked beans, chips, dip, cheese and crackers, cupcakes, and cheesecake.  Here is a picture of one of the birthday girls blowing out her candles. 
Cassie turned four.  Isn't she a cutie!

You are probably wondering why I did so much describing instead of showing with photos.  Well, I was so busy having fun with folks that I forgot to take pictures till it was present opening time!  The rest of the pictures were made the next day while I was waiting for trick-or-treaters. 

The girls had Tootsie Roll pops in their goody bags and Lillie found that she now had a special mouth for hers thanks to her snaggle-toothed smile.

We did have a big time and the girls really enjoyed the present opening and their goody bags as you can tell.  Maybe some day I will get it all together and record how it was a feast for the eyes as well as the palate and the senses.  Of course, everyone having a good time is what counts most and I can assure you that we all did - especially the cute little birthday girl, Cassie.  (I think the older birthday girl, Laura did too!)