So my friend we’ll call her PinkTurtle, had a birthday party at our house since she is currently going to school to become a nurse and living at home with her parents she didn’t have the room to do it at her place so we offered ours and to help with all the preparty stuff. It turned out pretty fab even if I do say so myself, as it often is in our house I headed the decoration department and my other roommate headed the food department and Pinkturtle oversaw everything and help/planned things in both departments.
It was a Mad Hatter themed Tea, though technically as some of the food was not traditional tea food it was more like a garden party. We served two types of professionally blended teas (teas were blended from several teas by the professionals at TeaVanna, a little expensive but delicious and worth it!). We also served several juices and lemonades in cute glass bottles that doubled as pretty decorations on the tables.
The foods were delicious and while it initially took a while to plan the menu I think it came out pretty great, my favorite was the extra garlicy cucumber and rosemary tea sandwichs.
Cucumber and rosemary sandwichs
extra garlicy cucumber and rosemary sandwichs
Salmon and caper cream sandwichs
Goat cheese and tomato sandwiches
Lemon and Poppy seed scones with Lemon Curd and Devonshire Cream
Shortbread cookies with buttercream icing (and adorable wafer papers of old fashioned alice in wonderland pictures)
Chocolate cups with Chocolate Java Mousse (with gum paste suits in the top, ie diamonds, hearts, spades, clubs)
Chocolate dipped Strawberries (with the card suits then painted on in different shade of chocolate)
Pineapple Youthberry Tea (blended from 3 or 4 different teas professionally)
Almond Java Biscotti Black Tea (Blended from 3 teas professionally)
Regular and Pink Lemonade
Assorted fancy sodas
I was glad I was in the decorations department and only asked to help a little with the cooking that’s a lot of work! But it was delicious! And I tasted many of the items preparty to make sure they weren’t poison of course!
For decorations we started early scouring the goodwill and yardsales and sales at stores for things we wanted and could use. You may have seen the cupcake stands in the previous post but we ran into a few issues with them. The first glue we used (tough as nails) didn’t make as strong a seal as we would have liked so we pryed them apart and brought home some new glue (Household goop at Michael’s for about 4$) this worked perfect and dried clear, except that PinkTurtle was already feeling impatient and so didn’t measure where the candle sticks should go on the plates and by the time I noticed the glue had already dried so some of the stands were really crooked and wonky looking/ We also ran out of glue#2 before we were finished so PinkTurtle said she’d get some on her way over on our next crafting day, but instead of going back to get the same glue she got a different glue (Gorilla Glue) at target because Michael’s wasn’t open and she didn’t want to wait. So then PinkTurtle either reads the directions and ignores them or doesn’t read them at all (there is some confusion on this) and does not dampen the surfaces as the glue says you must for it to work and just glues the remaining candlesticks and plates together, we come back hours later and the glue is not even close to set so I read the instructions and get something to dampen with and glue starts to foam and set. The problem is it is a foaming glue that does not dry clear like the other glue so when the glue finally dries it looks like someone who had strep throat came along and hocked a snot wad on the plates. I tell PinkTurtle if I went to a fancy tea and saw that on a plate I wouldn’t eat the food at all. So we’re kind of thinking we need to figure out how to save the plates or we will have to throw them away and start over and we don’t really have time to do this. So Pinkturtle uses an exacto knife and scrapes off what she can of the offensive looking snotglue and I decide to decopague the plates in tissue of different colors. They come out looking better but a bit cartoony which is fine as it is a mad hatter tea, then I embellish them and they come out looking a lot better… still not up to my standards but so much better than they did and at least salvageable. Of course as mod podge isn’t food safe and I have had to decoupage the entire plates including the tops I insist we lay down plastic wrap before putting any food on it. PinkTurtle and Louisiana (my roommate who did the cooking) always laugh at me and my use of safety precautions and worriedness about food safety but at least they tolerate this quirk of mine and no one has died at any of our dinner parties yet.
Here are some of the cakestands finished
We also had bought about 10 different metal lanterns and hung them in our large live oak in the corner of our back yard we got little LED candles for them and it was gorgeous! We also hung about 20 other brightly colored paper lantern balls in the rest of the trees throughout the yard and filled them with LED candles too so pretty. We strung 4 strings of white twinkle lights along the back fance and then covered each light with mini brightly colored paper lanterns. Along the sides of the fence I stuck gigantic playing cards and then stuck on 4 decks of regular playing cards around the big ones and on the tree trunks of the trees in the yard. We also had some hanging decorations on the porch little colored spirals that had a card hanging off of them.
The tables (of which we had 3, 5 people, 5 people and 4 people respectively) were covered with old laces and striped or checkered materials, each table had candleabras, colored juices in interesting bottles, big heart doilies as placemats in pink and red, mismated and funky teacups and saucers with people’s name tags attached to the handles (the teacups were for the guests to take home if they wanted to as a reminder of the party). The Birthday girl, PinkTurtle had the chair of honor, a large settee on which she could stretch out and watch her party but she had to share it with our dog lol who loves her.
Guests snacked and chatted (those extra garlicy cucumber sandwichs went fast next time we make twice as many) and eventually everyone moved around from table to table and had fun visiting with everyone.
Later on in the evening there was even a small impromptu ghost hunt with a maglight out by the pool (something a few of us had seen Chip Coffey do at his lecture to try to communicate with ghosts).
All in all a great party!