Tag Archives: entertaining

Art Night

Hello! How’s it going? Hope all is well in your world. My family enjoyed Halloween and now we are on the fast track to Christmas. This time of year always seems to zip by doesn’t it?

Many months ago, I imagined myself hosting an art night. A small gathering. Maybe 6-8 women, around my dining table, all creating. The idea both thrilled and terrified me. I talked about it with several friends and received gentle encouragement to do it. So finally, it happened. A couple of weeks ago, I sent out invites and began the planning of what this night would look like. I wanted to provide lots of fun art supplies, an inspiring atmosphere, delicious snacks and wine, of course!

My formal dining room is rarely used so it was a delight to move right in and create a playful, creative space! Stringing up bits of colorful ribbon in my crystal chandelier gave the room a whimsical feel!

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I covered up the table in brown craft paper and draped the dining chairs in vintage bed sheets that I found at Goodwill.

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To provide a little more structure for those that wanted it, I set up a still life in the center of the table.

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and spread out inspiring art books

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girl

still life

Each lovely lady got a journal with their initial on it and a pencil as a little gift from me. I love having lots of pretty journals around to jot down thoughts and ideas.

journal

A colorful, vintage tray and a bouquet of vibrant flowers in the corner created a sweet little wine bar. The guests each brought a bottle of something to share.

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Once the table was set, it was time for me to pull out all my art supplies and display them for my guests! The ART BAR was born!

art bar sign

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Then came the food! My dear friend Katie is an amazing cook and she volunteered to do all the food for the evening! LOVE HER! She did an incredible job…creating a 98% gluten-free spread of delectable dishes! (I apologize for the dark quality of the pictures…my low-light photography skills need work!)

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This creamy brie, drizzled with a warm brown sugar, butter and walnut sauce was a huge hit!

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These gluten-free cookies and pumpkin cake were completely addictive too!

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laughing

As the night began and my guests mingled and delighted in all the gorgeous food, I could feel the butterflies in my stomach begin to settle.

Once everyone had a plate of food and a glass of wine, the ladies took their seats and I spoke (rambled) about the intention of the night and why I had wanted to do this. My heart-felt desire was to bring women together, to connect, share, grow, create and maybe even try something new. Art can really freak grown-ups out and I want to start breaking that down. I believe art is for everyone and that it is NOT about the product but the process. I believe Art can be healing, transformative and teach us a lot about ourselves. I believe that creating is something we are hard-wired to do.

After I briefly explained the different art supplies, the ladies bravely got straight to it. I was so worried that someone would become overwhelmed and shut down but nope, these girls boldly experimented and began creating! I was honored to look up from my place and be surrounded by these women who were all willing to be vulnerable with me and get outside their box.

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There were several moments that night when the room fell silent. At a dinner party…that could be a disaster but at an art night…it was magical. Everyone was in their zone; concentrating, relaxing and centered in their creation. Loved that!

workspace

art table

All in all, it was a wonderful night! I can’t wait to do it again! Next time, I would like to guide everyone through a specific collage/mixed media project! I truly learned a lot about myself by doing this. I was scared but sharing my passion with others was so worth all the nerves. Thank you to my incredibly gracious guests for being so open and supportive of me. And of course a HUGE thank you to Katie for all the outstanding treats!

I highly recommend trying this out with your friends, family and neighbors. Gather up all those art supplies, share and explore your creativity!

xo,

Ivy

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Filed under Art, Art lessons, creativity, entertaining, Food, Home, Learning, News, photography, Stories

Happy Valentine’s Day

Hi there and Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you get to spend time with the ones you love. I will be throwing a little party for my family of three and making mac and cheese as per Grace’s request! She just loves Valentine’s day…since hearts are her favorite. I just got done painting her tiny little nails red with pink sparkles and we laid out her beloved pink dress to wear to school tomorrow. She fell happily into bed with a huge smile on her face. Precious. Don’t you love how excited kids get about simple things?

Of course, it doesn’t take much to make me a bit giddy either. These roses named – “Red Paris“, did the trick and were my inspiration at my book club last week. I hosted and thought it would be lovely to celebrate Valentine’s with the ladies a tad early. It was such fun treating them to champagne and strawberries! I thought I would share the pictures I took that night…

Have a beautiful day filled with LOVE!

xo,

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Filed under holiday, Home, Love, photography, Thoughts

Book club night & farmhouse style

Last night, I hosted my book club – a fabulous group of some the most interesting and intelligent woman I have ever met! (Lucky me!) When I attend a book club night, I am guaranteed a wonderful night of fascinating conversation, good doses of laughter, delicious food and wine and a lovely ambiance. Each lady is a talented host and cook. So, when it comes time for me to host, I want to give them that same decadent experience. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get it right and last night, I am proud (and relieved) to say was a hit!

The concept for my table design began the night before. I knew I wanted to use my latest treasure as the centerpiece – a beautifully rustic French wine bottle carrier.

(this beauty will be on sale in my shop very soon!)

The wine carrier makes me think – Farmhouse style – so that’s what I went with…

It made the perfect caddy to display the utensils…

A variety of textures – burlap, linen, lace, silver, glass, ceramics – creates that farmhouse feel. Rustic but elegant. Can you tell I had fun?

I knew we would be dining outside so I kept it in the same theme. I am so grateful to my beautiful purple hydrangea bush! She supplied all the florals!

Hydrangeas are so fabulous because they are like a hundred flowers on one stem! Popped these freshly cut blooms into crystal cut glasses and my simple table arrangements were done!

Had to put out my newly acquired antique French pitcher too! This one was sent to me from a woman in Normandy! So pretty with a vintage lace apron tucked inside…

The trailing wisteria over head completed the purple, white and green color palette…

I did spend a lot of time on decorating but I didn’t forget the FOOD! I whipped up a huge batch of Martha Stewart‘s Macaroni and Cheese! So very naughty, with a whole stick of butter and an obsene amount of cheese! However, I was so caught up in my decor that I didn’t take a picture of it…oops…so here’s one via Smitten Kitchen

I must say…it was delectable and everyone went back for seconds! Yah! A fresh garden salad and chocolate cake for dessert completed the simple but comforting meal.

All in all it was another fantastic night with my book club gals! Love you girls!

xo,

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Filed under decorate, Etsy, flowers, Food, garden, Home, interior design, Stories, vintage

Face painting…

Okay, I had to share all these beautiful painted faces from Grace’s b’day party…they are too cute!

Such lovely princesses were in attendance! Of course, the birthday princess decided she didn’t want her face painted! Perhaps, she felt it would have detracted from her tiara…who knows? I thought it best not to argue with her. She seemed to just love watching her friends have fun.

Her pre-school set up the most gorgeous tea room for her. Unfortunately, I forgot my bounce flash so the photos turned out terrible. So sad. Instead of looking at my blurry photos (I have SO much to learn!) let’s take a peek at this gorgeous princess tea party…wow…

Do you have some birthday parties to throw this Spring and Summer? If so, head over to Kara’s Party Idea blog for more of these stunning images!

xo,

Party idea images via here.

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Filed under celebrate, decorate, family, photography

Customize your holidays

Okay, so I love these printable custom designs by Anders Ruff. This ingenious concept is the brain child of two incredibly talented women: Maureen Anders and Adria Ruff! I love it when creative women team up! So cool!

So…make your holiday buffet, table and gifts something ultra special by customizing all your treats with these fabulous labels, tags and garlands! Buy the designs online, get the file via email and print at home (or your local print shop) ! Easy peasey.

So inspiring right? Go check out their Etsy shop here and their lovely blog here.

xo,

All images via here.

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