Winter Formal: Winter Wonderland

So every Christmas, since I was about 15 years old, I get a bunch of friends together and we make gingerbread houses, out of graham crackers.  It’s always a stressful but fun event (if you haven’t done these before, getting those walls to stay up using just frosting is a bit of a challenge!), and it’s gotten more fun with the introduction of wine.

Last year was the first year that I tried to do this along with a baby (Jake was 4 months old), and I gotta admit, it just wasn’t as enjoyable, haha.  Other friends have babies as well, and keeping them away from all the candy and frosting is just not really worth the satisfaction of seeing your completed gingerbread house!  I’m excited to get this tradition going again once the kids get a little older and they can make gingerbread houses of their on, but for now we decided to switch to an adults only holiday dinner.  So this year we had our very first Winter Formal!

I was able to book a reservation over a month in advance with Cucina Enoteca at the Irvine Spectrum, and I worked closely with their event coordinator, Ruth, to make sure I could bring all sorts of little details and decorations.  I got started with centerpieces and decorations far enough in advance so I wouldn’t be freaking out the day before!

photo 1

Found these plastic reindeer at Michael’s, and I’m pretty sure I snatched up the last ones in the whole area.  I went back to several stores to try to buy more and they were all gone.  Glad I bought the ones I did when I did!  I added a little silver spray paint and they looked great!
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I collected branches and pine cones and did a bottom layer of white spray paint, then I used spray adhesive to get some good layers of epsom salts on there, then did a final layer of glitter to give them a little glimmer.  I ended up putting the branches in two separate clear vases to have to large centerpieces, and they looked great!  I will say that these need to be done close to the event, because the epsom salts can dry out!

photo 3

I also made a photo back drop using a large baby blue cloth, and added some Christmas trees that Jeff drew out and cut out for me (Christmas trees are NOT one of my strengths), a couple gold stars, some glitterey white fabric for snow, and some snowflakes.  I added some stuffing to the trees and snow to give it a little more form, and I must say, I’m pretty happy with the outcome!
chalk sign

On the day of, I packed up a few boxes with all my goodies, and thankfully had Jeff’s help to unload and carry everything over to Cucina Enoteca to get set up before everyone arrived.  Above is my first attempt at some chalk art 😉 (credit also goes to Jeff who helped with some key elements!).

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Testing out the photo backdrop 🙂
photo table

Cucina Enoteca provided an extra table for photo props as well as this little set up, where guests wrote out what they loved the most about Christmas on a paper ornament, then hung their ornament on one of the branch centerpieces.  During dessert, we went around and read these aloud and tried to guess who wrote each one.

cucina enoteca Each plate also had a hand-picked bunch of pine needles to add a little Winter Wonderland feel 🙂  We even had a personalized menu, eek!
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I brought silver charges to add to the table set up, as well as silver candle holders, both of which really added a nice look to the table.
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I didn’t get any pictures of the food, but it was all delicious, the service was great…

girls group

And the company was quite spectacular ❤jeff and iMe and my #1 helper and supporter!

I had such a great time putting this event together, and from what I can tell, everyone that attended had a good time as well.  Glad our first year sans gingerbread houses went ok!

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Adventure: Journey to Patchwork Festival!

As soon as our plane landed at LAX, Jeff got an email informing us that our application (and our check) had been accepted for this year’s holiday Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival in Santa Ana!

We are beyond excited, and nervous, about this prospect.  We believe it’s our first step in really taking our business and craft ideas to flight, and putting ourselves out there.  Our hope is that it goes well, that people like our product, and that we can begin to make a serious living off of our skills and passion.  This would bring us one step closer to being a little more financially stable, and maybe able to fly on our own!

With that said, we are aware of the challenges that lie ahead, and of the possible reality of falling flat on our faces and not even making enough money to cover the costs incurred to put this all together.  We also know that one event will not bring us financial stability for life, but we think this will be a good indication of whether this is a path we should follow at all, or not.

With that in mind, I thought I would dedicate part of this blog to allow you to follow us on our journey to the Patchwork Festival in November: our planning, ideas, projects, stocking up inventory, etc.

Our next update will be Jeff’s MacGyvering skills in designing and building a cover for our stall!

-Alex

P.S.: you should plan on joining us in November.  RSVP here!