Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eclipse Fire and Ice Party

To celebrate the newest Twilight Saga movie premiere, I hosted a Fire and Ice party for my friends and sisters-in-law.  The invitations this time were e-vites.  I found a photo online of Edward and Jacob and typed below it, "It all begins with a choice"  and below the photo, "Jacob...or Edward?" plus party details.  I had everyone bring a dish.  We went with Italian again; I was drawing a blank for food that fit the theme, and running out of time and creativity, so we went easy.  I provided the dessert and the candy buffet.
Decorations were fairly simple this time around; I used the book series--I just love the graphic nature of her book covers!  So dramatic!  My colors for this party were less obvious than black, red and white.  For the Ice tribute to Edward, I went with white, silver, and blue.  For Fire/Jacob, I went with red, orange, and bronze.  The two main colors that stood out the most were red and white, so it almost looked like a 4th of July party.  Not exactly the dramatic look I had envisioned, but ok.
Because our movie started at 8:45, 40 minutes away, we were pressed for time.  Which is why none of my photos are terrific, and I didn't get any before everyone went through the buffet line.  But it gives you the main idea.  My brightest idea that I was most excited about was my fire and ice candles.  The inspiration and directions for them came from this site that I was so excited to find, as there are not a lot of ideas for this theme online.  Basically, I froze pillar candles in milk jugs full of water (I trimmed the jugs first down below the handles).  When displayed and lit, they were beautiful.  I had also intended on using the free printable quotes from Hostess with the Mostess blog, but, wouldn't you know it, my printer had an aneurism after the first one and died right there.  It was very sad.  They sure do add to the the look.  I've fallen in love with the look of white Christmas lights; they are so versatile in party themes.  Here I just encased them in red tulle.  For the flatware, I wrapped them in black napkins with a red ribbon.
I love the look of Jones sodas wrapped in their own blood type labels, but I was budget-conscious this time around, so we went with a group dispenser.  We all got Type O; that's supposedly the most rare, right?  Like a fine wine?
Here are the photos of my fire and ice candles.
Another photo oops, I didn't get any pictures of the tables set before they were sat at. (Whoa, is that bad grammar, or what?)  I had two tables: one for Team Edward, and one for Team Jacob.  This was Edward's table.  To pay homage to him I used china plates, silver chargers, glass goblets with a snow scene on them, and all white candles.  It looked really classy when done.
I had intended on using paper plates for Team Jacob's table, but it looked tacky next to Edward's best wares table.  So Jacob's Fire table was done with a red tablecloth, gold chargers, china, just plain glasses, and red and orange candles.
The only food that went with the theme was my dessert.  I made Baked Alaska: hot on the outside, cold on the inside.  Unfortunately, this is the only picture I took.  Not a great representation of my masterpiece.
We played two games.  The first was supposed to be an opener, but nobody tried it until after dinner.  I found photos online of each main character from the first two movies and cropped just their eyes.  Everyone had to name the set of eyes.
The second game was Eclipse Jeopardy.  I found questions online and put the into 5 categories: Edward, Miscellaneous, vampires, werewolves, and Bella.  We had Team Edward and Team Jacob.  To play, one team chose the question they wanted to answer; if they got it right, they got to go again.  I let each team answer up to 3 questions before we gave the other team control.  If they got it wrong, the other team had a chance to answer it.  If they got it right, control was theirs and it counted as the first of their 3 questions.  We added up points at the end to determine a winner.  The prizes for the games were Eclipse gum, icy blue mints, and hot cinnamon gum.  All of which I forgot to award (I got summoned upstairs to sing my baby girl to sleep).  Oh well!

Of course, we had to have our photo op with New Moon's Edward:)
The part that excited me the most was the candy buffet.  I had a fire side, and an ice side.  The fire side had hot and red candy, plus I threw in some "werewolf kibble", which I found the recipe and downloadable label on BiteBella
The labels for each side were printed in that character's handwriting, which I downloaded for free from various sites.
I added a box of cocoa puffs to the mixture, as I thought it looked more like dog food. 
I provided clear bags for everyone to fill to smuggle into the movie in their purses.
Caution about using salt water taffy: don't remove them from their wrappers and put them in a glass jar together in hot weather.  It will result in a glob!  I had to learn this the hard way.  Notice my Edward Kisses?  Yeah, I liked that one:)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

St. Patrick's Day party

We had a St. Patty's day party with adults-only (notice I didn't say an Adult St. Patty's Day partyTotally different conotations to that!)  I had to set two tables to accomodate the 18 guests we had. 

The green thingies in the glass jar on the left are moss-covered styrofoam stones from the dollar store.  They reminded me of Ireland when I saw them.  Nearly all the decor came from the dollar store, or was something I had already.  I'm becoming a fan of the glass beads.  They dress up a table, and come in almost every shade.
The flower vase is a beer mug from the dollar store.  This was an alcohol-free party, but I thought it was still fun to add the "true" Irish element to the decor:)
I thought the addition of a sliced lime to the cup rim was so creative, but the instructions didn't mention needing to use glass cups; the limes were too heavy and tumbled the glasses, until I got smart and added ice to the bottom to weigh them down.
The beverage was rainbow sherbet and Sprite.  I had intended to hang the "Irish kissing ball" in the archway leading to the Great Room, like an Irish mistletoe, but forgot.  So here is where it ended up.  Another idea forgotten: a Blarney stone inside the front door to kiss for luck.
It's not a Jill party without cupcakes.  Here are my green velvet cupcakes with buttercream and chocolate cream cheese icing, and my creation, mint chocolate ganache-filled cupakes with mint buttercream icing.  Oh, they were delish!
Aren't cupcakes divine?
I asked everyone to bring a green side dish; I had everyone email me their dish choice so we didn't end up with 4 green salads.  I made Thai cilantro chicken and pasta.  The cilantro sauce made it green.  You can see it in the white dish on the upper right.
I love white Christmas lights in decor!  The bar decor consisted of floating limes, and some silk flowers I spray-painted green and stuck in my Bloom Box I found on clearance at Zurcher's many months ago.  They resembled 4-leaf clovers when green.
Non-alcoholic Jello shots.  I googled a recipe, but just ended up making it up myself.  These have lime jello, green tea Sobe, and a little heavy whipping cream.
I loved the green deviled eggs.
After dinner we played a few games.  I bought about 20 green items from the dollar store: Irish spring soap, green candy, Andes mints, etc.  Everyone sat in a circle, and I dumped the items on the floor in the middle of the circle.  As I read a silly Irish folk tale story that I had made up, when I said the name of an item, the one who grabbed it first got to keep it.  This worked well with the number of people we had, and is easily adapted to fit any holiday or theme.
We played another game I got off of Maggies Dinner Dates in which one member of the group reads a question, and everyone else in the group answers it anonomously on a slip of paper.  The person then collects the papers and reads them out loud, trying to guess who answered what.  We played this in husband-wife teams, which worked well.  The party went for close to 5 hours, with the first couples to leave after about 3 hours.  The last hour was just spent visiting.

Twilight: New Moon party

In honor of the release of the new movie, I threw a New Moon party.  This was my front hall table:
I wanted the Great Room to feel like a forest, as that's where so much of the drama takes place in the book.  I borrowed these trees from my awesome sister-in-law, who used them for a school Halloween carnival the month before.  There were 3 of them that we placed at both entrances to the room.  I intended to place my fog machine under the table to simulate the atmosphere of Forks, but I forgot.  I placed Edward at the end of the hallway, on black fabric for a later photo-op, but also to appear like he is waiting for each guest to arrive.
That's my cute little 3-year-old son that popped into the picture at the last second:)
This is my serving bar prior to food.  I decided on an Italian theme (I know, so original!) because of the trip to Italy in the book.  I debated on the color scheme, with so much of the book taking place at La Push, with Jacob, I considered using earthy tones instead.  But I went with the traditional red, black and white, as it has a greater dramatic impact.  Also, I wanted to tie in with the sea of red cloaks in the movie scene at Volturra.  I covered my bar in some old black fabric my husband had purchased long ago for another project.  It worked perfect and created some visual interest with the pin-stripes.  And you can't go wrong with white lights and candlelight.  It's hard to see, but the candle at the bottom of the picture is glitter-covered.  I found these gems at Dollar tree, which was a perfect tie-in to the sun effect on Edward's skin.  The framed quotes are courtesy of Hostess with the Mostess, as well as the drink labels.
I assigned out the food, so I was only making one main dish, plus the dessert bar.
Sorry for the slightly-blurry photos; I must have had the camera setting wrong!
With inspiration from KSL's Studio 5, I did a candy apple bar.  I provided caramel, red and milk chocolate, plus all the toppings: oreos, butterfinger, Skor bar, Heath, 100 Grand, marshmallows, peanut butter chips, etc.  I had intended on making mini apple balls, so one didn't have to commit to just one topping, but the melon baller didn't work.  So we just sliced them instead.  My clever sister-in-law used my serving dishes to "snake" around the table. 
You can't read it in the picture, but the framed quote in the bottom right corner says "I have always loved you and I will always love you."  It was our humorous tribute to the chocolate and candy nearby:)
I used red glass beads, scattered through-out the dishes, to give the appearance of drops of blood on the table.
I made raspberry-filled cupcakes with buttercream icing.  The quotes are from the book, and courtesy of Maggie's dinner dates.  I intended on sticking them on with black forks, but they were too tall, in my opinion, plus my order from OTC didn't arrive in time!  I had also ordered white paper globes to hang, to simulate moons, but had to go without, alas!
Guests were instructed to fill their purses with these Twilight-themed mints on their way out the door to the movie.
After dinner we played New Moon trivia, with questions from the book.  The winner was awarded a Twilight necklace pendant that I ordered from Lily Lane.  I was able to design it myself, but I failed to get a picture of it.  What a zing!  We ran out of time and had to play the second game, Twilight ABC's, while waiting in line and in the theater. Guests had to think up 26 words dealing with all things Twilight.  The winning prize was a bottle of Twilight lotion from Bath and Body Works.