30 April 2016

Mount Vernon Revolutionary War Weekend

On the last weekend in April Kent and I went to the Revolutionary War Weekend at Mount Vernon.
I can't remember how I heard about it, but it was awesome!
There were hundreds of reenactors dressed as both British and American soldiers. 

 There were dozens of tents set up to reproduce a camp.
 Throughout the day there were reenactors speaking about what everyday life and the roles people had during the Revolutionary war time period.
 This actor represented Lafayette and explained why and how he came to help George Washington during the Revolutionary war.

 In the background is the Potomac River.
Below are some of the colonial soldiers.
 These were the German mercenary soldiers.
 Here they were getting ready to reenact a skirmish between the colonists and the British.
 Here are some scenes from the battle.

 The guns produced lots of smoke.

In addition to seeing all the fantastic reenactments, Kent and I toured Mount Vernon.  
It was a wonderful day and we're so glad we went!

27 April 2016

Historic Virginia Garden Week

Every year in Virginia at the end of April they have "Historic Virginia Garden Week." It's a great time to tour privately owned historic homes and to see some beautiful yards and floral arrangements. Photos aren't allowed inside the homes, so all my photos are of the countryside and the outsides of the homes. 

This year I visited homes in a part of Virginia I hadn't been to before. It was the beautiful farmlands area west of DC before getting to the Shenandoah Mountains. 
 I picked up the tickets for the home tour in the town of Upperville, established in 1790. Below is a cute little church in Upperville.
The stone Library building had the date of 1804 on it's sign.
 The building was tiny and so cute!
One of the homes we toured had their extra firewood stored like this. I thought it was awesome.
 Another home had this old settler cabin on it, and the owners remodeled the inside to be a guest house.
This was the view out the front of one of the homes on the tour.
 I liked all the white tulips in the garden of this home.
The owner of the home below collected large sculptures.
 Here's the first one we saw as we were driving onto the property.
 The chubby sheep in the one below were fun.
 These are only a few of the many sculptures spread throughout the grounds.
 The Garden clubs of Virginia make floral arrangements using local flowers and put them throughout the homes on the tour. I really wish I could have taken pictures of some of them.
It was a perfect spring day with beautiful weather, and made the tour even more enjoyable.
 I thought this little doorway with the flowers in the boots was sweet and whimsical.
I've gone on Historic Garden Week tours in several parts of Virginia now and it's always delightful to tour the homes and gardens. Spring is such a lovely time of the year; I really look forward to this tour every year.

24 April 2016

Wedding Open House Decorations

When my friend, Teri, told me her daughter was getting married, I told her I'd be happy to decorate for the open house she was having in Stafford. It was a time-consuming job, but it was fun for me to have free rein with the decorating and to use my creativity to come up with what I wanted to do!  And fortunately the open house was at the end of April when I wasn't going out of town and didn't have any other events to spend my time on.

I kept $$ spending to a minimum by using mostly what I already had on hand, and borrowing from someone whose daughter was married last year and used similar colors.

The wooden frame below is from Michael's and at 50% off cost just a couple of dollars. This was the sign hanging on the front door of the community center where the open house was held. the font I used was Janda Stylish Script.
The cute couple. I didn't ever see a color sample of what Claire wanted but was just told the color palette, and it turned out to be just right. Whew! She was out of town until just before the open house so I didn't get any input from her.
Here's the overview of the mantle, where the engaged couple stood to meet guests.
I found the "You and Me Forever" signs on clearance after Valentine's day for about 80 cents each. I had three of them that I put around the room.
I had peach organza and a pip berry garland to put on the mantle, and borrowed the mercury glass candle holders. The small glass vases with azaleas in them were ones I used last year for a tea party. I have a dozen of them, so I scattered them throughout the room.
These tall vases for either side of the mirror on the mantle was one of the things I borrowed. I filled them with white lights and organza.
The chair ties and rose petals were borrowed, but the tablecloths and flower pots were mine.
The azaleas blooming in my yard were the perfect color of coral to add a bright pop of color to the blush, pink and peach colors. Hooray for events in April when our azaleas are in bloom!
On the flower arrangements on the coffee tables I mixed the real azaleas with some silk hydrangeas.
The bride-to-be had spent last summer working as a nanny in France, so naturally she wanted to have a crepes bar at her open house.
I'm glad I have this screen, because it fit into the window perfectly and provided a nice backdrop for the paper lanterns and tissue paper pom poms.
I already had the scrapbook paper with the Eiffel Tower on it and used my silhouette to cut out letters to make the banner. You can bet I'm keeping the banner and plan to host another event with a crepes bar some day soon!
Several sisters from the ward made small, dessert sized crepes. Mostly traditional ones, but I made three batches of chocolate crepes, too. (They're on the left in the picture below.)
I made labels for the foods I thought might not be obvious and put a tulip candle ring around the holders. Again I used the Janda Stylish script font. I provided most of the glass and crystal bowls and plates the food was served in because I wanted everything to look elegant and classy.
There were tons of yummy filling options, like strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, nutella, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, chocolate chips, pecans and pistachios.
There was warm orange filling for crepes Suzette and warm apple compote, peanut butter and chocolate mousse, as well as light and fluffy lemon and Bavarian cream fillings. Everything was DELICIOUS!!
One of the water dispensers was mine and the other was borrowed. They're exactly the same, which was nice. The water dispensers had lemon and orange slices in them.
Here's guest sign-in and gift table. Since the couple was flying out after the open house most people gave them gift cards. I used table runners I had from Germany since the colors were just right.
The hat box was for putting cards in, and I used another cute wooden frame from Michael's for the "Gifts" sign.
We weren't allowed to put any tape or pins into the wall, so I had to be creative to hang the over twenty paper lanterns and tissue paper flowers I'd brought.
We were able to run a string along the back wall and hung the decorations from it. Of course there aren't any pictures of me because I was taking the photos, but Kent is making an appearance in the picture below!
I'd brought globe lights that were hung in the trees outside, but unfortunately didn't get a picture of them. Below is the trellis, wreath and welcome sign I put just outside the community center door.
I'll have to admit I was very pleased with how well everything turned out, especially since we only had about two hours to do all the decorating! Fortunately there was a fairly large crew there to help. I think the evening was a success all around.

It took me about three days to put everything away that I'd used and borrowed, which is how it usually goes for me after I put on a big event, but I was glad to have the chance to use some of my pretty decorations I've got stored away.