Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Charles Graduation Party

On Sunday, my baby graduated, sniffle, sniffle.  As some of you know I have a son with high functioning autism, so this was a moment filled with pride, and a long time coming.  We were so excited when Charles told us that he wanted a party.  After all the best remedy for taking the bitter, out of a bittersweet moment is a celebration :)
Here is the lawn sign, letting guests know they had arrived to the right house and what the celebration was for.  This sign was made by SugarBritchesCompany, an ETSY shop  http://www.etsy.com/listing/98259449/2012-graduation-yard-sign  I loved that it stood up to our Colorado winds :)
Here we were setting up the backdrop for the buffet table. We used 3 rolls of wrapping paper, 3 dozen balloons, and this GREAT banner that's made from felt and embroidered by SubtleSimplicity http://www.etsy.com/listing/73984512/custom-felt-embroidered-banners  I love that Charles will be able to hang it up in his room since it's fabric (not paper).  It has such a letterman vintage look to it :)
Here's a better view of the balloons as we're setting up :)
Close up of one of the banner ends, So Cute!
Here is the table as we're setting up.  Our neighbors lent us their vintage popcorn machine and I bought the cutest vintage style popcorn bags (oops, forgot to get a picture of them). I also used the popcorn bags as favor bags to send home penny candy as people left.
I used red and yellow striped paper straws and made "Congratulations" flags for them. 
I'm sorry I didn't get a better picture of them, but I made "diplomas" with piroline cookies and tied a bow with licorice strings around them.  Click on the picture to see if they show up better :)
I found the idea for these on pinterest.  They are chocolate graduation caps made with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Ghiradelli chocolate squares.  My mother in law piped on yellow frosting tassels and topped them with a yellow button candy.  Reese's are Charles favorite, so I knew we had to make these :)  I don't know if you can see the red "diner baskets in the back that we used for BBQ'd sliders and hot dogs :)

We served sparkling strawberry lemonade, coffee, and had a tub of sodas for everyone to drink. I used frozen whole strawberries (to keep the lemonade cold) and made ice cubes from lemonade so they wouldn't water down the flavor.  You can see some of the penny candy in this photo ( thank you dollar store :)
Here is the "Coffee Station" Plenty of French Roast coffee, sugar cubes in a ceramic berry basket, spoons in a cream pitcher, and cream in a vintage milk bottle.  Can you see Charles tassel hanging from the weighted   graduation cap in front (it's holding the vintage red and white dishtowels I used for table-coverings).
And of course, the sweetest of endings :) Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes!  The cupcake toppers are so special they are made by SugarBritchesCompany http://www.etsy.com/listing/99812072/one-dozen-happy-graduation-2012-cupcake
She is so sweet and will work with you so you get exactly the colors and writing you want.
The Cupcake Wrappers are from AllFullofLove http://www.etsy.com/listing/89703845/printable-cupcake-wrappers-retro-polka  She will also work with you to make sure you have just the combination you want.  I know this because she really worked with me (and I really appreciate that :)
The best part of the day was when Charles came down and said " I really enjoyed the day's festivities".  It warmed my soul!  So happy graduation big guy, you are my hero!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Basement Window-Well Fairy Garden

My workshop, and my husbands "Mancave Office" are in our basement.  If you have a basement you know what a dead space window wells can be. They usually look something like this.
My husband and I thought it would be fun to do something with the window that is visible from both my workshop and his office.  We decided on a little fairy garden.  Since the window well is surrounded, we knew we would need shade loving plants.
We also knew we should have good drainage (since we don't want moisture getting into the basement) so we started by putting a layer of rocks at the bottom of the window well and cleaned the sides of the surround with soap and water to get it ready for spray painting. This was the original color we were going to use but it was too dark and wanted a blue sky background.  This looked more like a night sky.
Here is the surround after painting it sky blue. The lighter color on the left is just reflection.
Here it is after I spray painted some white clouds over the sky blue.
We then spread two very large bags of garden soil over the rocks and evened it out.
I planted Coleus and Impatiens around the back edge of the Fairy garden and added a few accents like bunnies, a birds nest and a little house.  I will add more accents to this garden, but my husband said "a little at a time".  Of course he's right:).
To add some height to the garden I put some trailing plants in pots and elevated them with more terra cotta pots. As the Impatiens grow up and trailers come down, the pots should be mostly hidden.  I also put in some dead curly willow branches to look like trees.  Using dead curly willow is very important.  Live curly willow will root and take over a space very quickly.  
Here is the little Barn-house I put in. I placed a couple of rocks on either side and planted Johnny ups on either side of the rocks.  In front of the house I spaced Corsican Mint. It's a very low growing ground cover that will hopefully spread into a front lawn.
Here is a shot of the whole Fairy Garden, what do you think?  The color scheme is purple, pinks, and white.  I'll try and remember to post pictures as the plants grow.  What a fun project this was.  I sure hope we get some Fairies this summer, or at least some fireflies :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

May Garden Flowers

I love May in the Garden.  It's warm but not hot, the humidity hasn't hit yet (although it doesn't get too bad here in Colorado) and Spring is in full bloom.  It's time to enjoy all those Spring flowers and take your coffee onto the porch.
Here are the sweet Johnny Jump-ups I planted.  They make me smile every time I look at them.  They are bright little gems that re-seed very easily.
These are the pots that flank my front door.  They are  tall Terra Cotta pots I found at Safeway for $12.00.  I decoupaged the vintage french ad onto the pot using Mod Podge.  I added 2 trailing ivy dark red geranium hanging pots for instant gratification :)
I adore these pale blue pansy's with the dark purple center and yellow eye. It's a soothing color combination and I just couldn't resist them :)
This is my "Yankee Doodle Dandy" lilac bush. They are a dark purple and smell divine. They don't have as much fragrance as my old fashioned lilac bushes, but they are so pretty, that I forgive them :)
These are my dainty daffodils (with grape hyacinths). They have a peach-pink center and the one in front is a double cream.  I only wish they would stick around longer and show off the frilly dresses they wear every Spring :)
What would Spring be without Tulips?  It never ceases to amaze me how these fragile looking flowers stand up to wind & rain.  Like most ladies, they are stronger than they look :)   Happy Maying!