Monday, April 16, 2012

Card Party, Part 1: The Prep

I consider myself pretty dang lucky to have as many wonderful friends as I do.  Some of my close friendships date back to 7th grade, others are far more recent.  Long gone are the days of talking on the phone for hours on end, or staying up until 2:00am giggling about who knows what.  My time and energy is now relegated to "adult" responsibilities.  But that just makes my moments spent with friends even more precious!  

Meet: Stephanie, James, and Julie. 
(Sidenote - these pictures make me miss my blonde hair!  Boo!
I met these fun people about five years ago, when I first started teaching at the high school level.  I'll be honest - I sort of imposed myself into their already existing circle.  But what can I say?  I know a good thing when I see it! 
Even though James and Julie now work at separate schools, the four of us still try to get together every month to catch up.  We are silly and sassy and supportive.  Over the years, we've developed a strong bond, and I am ever-grateful for their companionship.
Anyway, I wanted to invite "the gang" over for lunch or something.  All three of them are interested in crafting, but don't necessarily have the supplies.  I, on the other hand, have supplies coming out of my ears!  So I decided to host a Card Making Party.
Strictly adhering to my Stopping Spree, I knew I wouldn't be able to buy anything (other than food) for this get-together.  Of course, I also knew that if it had to do with crafting, I was covered! 
THE THEME:
Once I had selected the Card Making theme, it was time to think about colors/decorations.  When choosing a color scheme for a party or event, I always turn to paper.  This might initially sound strange, but it makes sense.  If you're ever in doubt about what colors to use in a room, go to a scrapbook store and find some patterned paper for inspiration.  The paper will guide you to a balanced color scheme that you'll love.  I used this same methodology for my card party.
After perusing my stock, I chose this SEI collection called "Winnie's Walls."  Cheerful, bright, and spring-alicious!
THE CARDS:
After picking my party palette, it was time for the card prep. Since I would be guiding my friends through the card making process, I thought it would be easiest if I created card samples in advance. So I made four simple designs, giving some thought to upcoming special occasions and holidays.
Card #1 - Giftcard 
This card is easily adapted for birthdays, congrats, thank-you, etc.  There's a clever slot for the gift card.
Card #2 - Birthday
Not too girly - perfect for any gender or age.
Card #3 - Blank
The tag can be personalized.
Card #4 - Mother's Day
Mother's Day is coming up, so I knew my friends would appreciate having this card on hand.  (Hey, Mom - don't look!)
I displayed all four designs on the bulletin board in my dining room (where we would be working).  That way my friends could easily refer to the the templates.
I also made a quick "Happy Cardmaking!" sign and hung it with green ribbon.  Notice my color scheme coming through?
Then, because I'm CRAZY, I pre-cut all the paper for the cards.  I put each card kit, with the necessary embellishments, into separate Ziploc sandwich bags.
 
I felt that pre-cutting all the paper would ultimately save time and energy, allowing my friends to focus on the FUN parts of card making (rather than stressing out over paper runners and measurements).
I included most of the embellishments in with each baggie, but there were a few that I wanted my friends to choose themselves.  So I set out a selection of buttons and also ribbon.
TREATS:
I decided to bake some cookies for the party (definitely NOT a part of my "All-Healthy April" eating plan).  Looking through my recipes, I settled on white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.  Believe it or not, I didn't get the recipe from Pinterest!  Shocking, I know!  I got it from one of my recipe books, and I'm happy to share it if you're interested. 
 
The cookies looked kind of plain until I jazzed them up with tinted white chocolate glaze!
 
I dipped half of each cookie in pale pink, green, and orange glaze (I used food coloring to match my party color scheme).
 
Here's the finished product:
I also wanted to make goodie bags for some of the cookies.  So, I cut toppers for sandwich bags, using the same SEI paper that I used for my "Happy Cardmaking!" sign.  
I added a recipient name to each bag.  And yes, I totally made one for myself.  (Doesn't every hostess deserve her own goodie bag?) 
Then, I put one of each cookie in a sandwich bag and stapled the topper across the top of the bag. 
 
Go ahead and say it... The goodie bags are SUPER cute!!
Tomorrow is Part 2 of the Card Making Party details.  Food and friends to come...

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