Sunday, November 13, 2011

$4 curtains for the Christmas Party

I have been working hard on organizing and cleaning for the Christmas party. My dishwasher gets fixed on Monday. Painters come on Wednesday to paint my living room, den area. That means I really have to get to the cleaning duties.

One way to do that is to get my porch cleaned up so I can use it as a staging area. I needed some easy curtains so I decided to make them out of canvas drop cloth. It's cotton, it's cheap; $15.98 for 4' x 15 yards. I also saw a fabric outlet that sold red burlap webbing for about 80 cents a yard. So I decided to combine the two. It's not perfect, largely because I didn't really measure anything but it will look fine for the party and I can add a different border later on. I think this works out to about $4/curtain. So for 9 curtains $36, not bad.

I cleaned out my refrigerator and it is beautiful. So nice, in fact, that I don't want to put anything into it.

And after I finish a difficult task (i.e. cleaning) then I reward myself by doing something crafty. I have further refined the little log boxes. I figured out a way to use a wooden disk at the end. Just glue a strip of cardboard and the disk. Glue one end to the toilet paper roll. Make the top disk a little larger so you can get it on and off. I drilled 2 tiny holes in the top to attach the acorn. I plan to do a tutorial on log boxes probably after my party.

I've been making some really cool things that I am very excited about. I'll post them later too.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Wreath Making Party FAQ

Since I noted on my invitations that I would put more details about the party I better do so.

What can I bring?
Everyone asks, "What can I bring?" Bring yourself, your holiday spirit, any family members who might want to make a wreath and an unwrapped toy to donate to a needy child if you like. I've ordered many, many wreath frames, including soft clamp frames which are supposed to be easier to use. I've simplified the menu to things that mostly can be done ahead of time. I've got my brother who works with a tree crew on occasion on the lookout for nice greenery (specifically magnolias). John from work is going to bring some greenery from his place in North Carolina. I've got a ton of ribbon and other decorations. I think I've got it covered.

If you want to make your own specific themed wreath, then you need to bring those decorations. Like if you want to make a hockey wreath or something similar.

What about parking?
My neighbor in the corner is the fire chief and he has to go out on every call so it is REALLY important that his driveway not be blocked. I will tell them about the party and we may put up traffic cones so no one will block the driveway.

Do you have directions to your house?
I will post directions at work. If you need a map, just let me know.

What kind of food?
I'm going to do something a little different this year - soups and chili. There will be a vegetarian option. I don't know about gluten free. That's a pretty difficult concept for me since my diet consists of pasta, pasta, potatoes, rice, etc. Yes, Kristin I will make the pasta salad. I will have some beer and wine and soft drinks.

Can children attend?
Yes. I can't promise that my house will be childproofed to a mama's strict standards though.

What if I have allergies to cats?
Well, you need to make sure your histamine receptors are very well blocked with an antihistamine, use your inhaler before you get here, pulmicort, etc. I work very hard to decrease the hairball situation but there will always be some kitty hair hanging around. Dogs will be outside.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All dressed up and ready to go

I finally have my acorn log boxes (invitations to the wreath-making party) ready to mail out. I took 30 to the post office today. I have about 20 more to go out tomorrow.

It only took a month. And I can't stop fiddling with the design. Every time I finish a toilet paper roll I save it in case I need to make more invitations. I've currently got 2 in the works with a "new" design. Crazy. I have to stop.

Another thing I have obsessed about is acorn caps. I can't go anywhere without checking out the oak trees to see if they have good-sized acorn caps.

Anyway, these are my invitations ready to be boxed.

Here is a picture of my Ikea bag loaded with invitations.  The lady at the post office was very gracious and worked quickly when I mailed them off.

Now I need to move on to getting my house ready to have a party. I was reviewing the downloadable "Party Planning Guide" from Martha Stewart and my party planning differs greatly the closer you get to the party. The first things on the checklist, I'm right on time. Example,  one month before choose the type of party, set the date, prepare your guest list. Done.

The problem is the day of the party; trying to fit in vacuuming with preparing food right before the party. I never time that right.

If you have 9 cats you need to vacuum for 2 reasons - hairball reduction and to scare them into the back room so they won't get into everything. It's hard to juggle food prep and cat control. I think I need to hire someone for one job or the other.

I'll figure out how to get things done in time before a party one of these days.