The pulse of the party is its' theme.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

70th Square Dance Surprise Party

So, my husband casually mentioned that his moms 70th birthday was coming up. Along with his brother and sister, they were trying to come up with ideas to celebrate. Well, of course I wanted in on the planning! We went over a few themes and locations, but due to my MIL's busy schedule, we ended up with a Surprise Party at our house. I tried thinking about things I know my MIL was into.....she is always traveling, doing things with her grandkids, but for the most fun.....she square dances! I love it. There was my theme..... I of course got started by going around the house and finding things I already had to fit my theme. I wanted it to be hoe down without being hokey. Above are some of my supplies. I decided to use the bandanna theme throughout as I had a box full of them from my days of chemo. How nice to put them to good use. I also checked out some square dancing websites and came across the square dancer silhouette. I bought a bunch of black poster board from the dollar store and drew out the template above. I used the dancer silhouette throughout the party as well.
I started my set up days a head of time, so I would not be doing things last minute. The idea to hang the bandannas as a decoration came from Country Living. We did not have many photos available, but what we had, went above the cake table attached to some twine to give off the country vibe.

My fireplace has become a favorite spot for my homemade banners. For this one, I downloaded a hoe down font and started cutting. Gingham scrapbook paper behind smaller dancer silhouette's were glued on. Still was missing something, so I glued on some shiny stars that I had in my party supply box. Doe-Si-doe!!

Close up shot of the dancers I drew and cut out for the banner.

Here I cut out larger dancers to go along the wall.....I wanted it to look like they were spinning around the room.

My girlfriend lent my her cowboy boots to use as vases. I also tried to tie the gingham ribbon on things throughout the house to carry the theme around without being too overwhelming. It is also a pretty cheap way to can get a spool at Micheal's for a buck or two.

I used both ribbon and twine on different centerpieces. This one I just wrapped a vase with a bandanna and tied with ribbon. Sunflowers and daisies seemed to say barnyard dance to me.

The bandannas were strung on twine and then hung around the inside of my deck. I wanted to hang from the trees in the yard like I saw in country living, but I knew most people would be on the deck, so I improvised.

You have to keep a good flow throughout your space when having a party. I have had way too many traffic jams by keeping everything in the kitchen. We set up our bar on the deck so that people would have to go outside for their drinks. Seeing as this is where we set up the was also a nice way to get people outside to listen to the music.

When limited on space, it is always nice to set up additional seating areas for any overflow from the main party room. We set this up in the family room and sure enough, it was filled with the younger guests before we knew it.

Hay bails that would usually be out front with a pumpkin and scarecrow in the fall, added a nice barn dance feel to the entertainment area on the deck.

Loved the cake! I gave them a print out of the silhouette I was working with and asked for a bandanna pattern on the side. I was worried about it looking like a little boys cowboy party, but Creative Cakes came through once again and did a great job. Notice the contrasting blue bandanna I placed underneath? no? well, those are the little details I go crazy for!! Look how it picks up the blue in the writing on the cake :)

Found these bandanna mints on line. Worried that they might be hokey, but I just put them on the entry table and took my chances. Hurray, they were a hit.....who doesn't like a mint after dinner or on the way home from a party?

Speaking of having something on the way home from the party.....You know I Love to give out favors at a party. I had a few ideas, but when I saw these little boot cookies at the bakery, I knew I had to use them. I made the sign above with some scrapbook paper that looked like wood.
"give you the boot" ha ha....get it?

YUM.....note to self......remember to order extra cookies for myself next time! I gave the bakery the gingham ribbon to tie in my theme.

Yes, those are fake flowers.......Big no no for me, but it seemed like a waste not to put them out somewhere. I found a pitcher and put them out on my kitchen water needed. I have a shot of the computer as I had planned to burn a special cd for the party before we decided to go with live entertainment. I downloaded a top 10 square dancing list along with some Neil Diamond......ok, Neil does not really do square dance, but MIL loves him, so sometimes you have to step outside of your theme.

I was so glad not to need the downloaded music. Our live entertainment was a big hit. They set up on the deck and played oldies from the birthday girls era. I stole this idea from a friend who had guitar player at his cocktail party. If you can swing it, live entertainment really adds something special. Luckily these guys were in my budget. (Helps when your dad is part of the act!)

Here are some of the guests enjoying the music out on the deck. I kept the sliding doors open on both sides of my deck so that people inside could hear the music as well. I thought this was a wonderful party. My MIL has some wonderful friends and I think everyone had a wonderful time. I was technically not the host of this party, so I kind of took a backseat.
It was nice that my hubby and his siblings came together to plan something special for their mom and I was glad they let me do my thing to help out.