Friday, March 21, 2014

Mad Hatter Tea Party, Part 1

So the Mad Hatter tea party was last night (you can see pics from last year's here) and I think that we managed to go over the top on it, which was pretty much what we were aiming for.  I had two lovely co-hosts, Jen and Brittany, and got some much-needed and super-appreciated last minute help from Karen and Laura and Lee (before he escaped when I wasn't looking to go across the street to Mark's house and be all manly).  So how 'bout some pics!  Giant pics.  Because I'mma toot my own horn here and say the tea party was awesome.

The door sign is a bit the worse for wear--it was really windy yesterday, so I found it under the trash can about 30 minutes before the tea party started.  I hung it back up with lots of tape to attach it to the door, and when Jen was leaving last night after some clean-up, that sign was out in the driveway underneath her car and it had been rained on.  Pity, too, because I thought it turned out so cute!

The three of us (Brittany, Jen, and me) collaborated on this rose topiary.  If I had it all to do over again, I'd have Lee confiscate my hot glue gun and just buy some real roses...I mean yeah, it turned out pretty cute but it was more work than I thought it would be (not to mention it used about 600 tons of red cardstock).  And if I was doing it again I'd paint the Styrofoam ball before adding the roses, because the white Styrofoam peeking out in places just kinda torques me.  Also, my camera seems to dislike vibrant reds so I need to try to get a better picture of this.

Playing card chandelier and the Queen's Table where all the desserts were.  All the decorations in the dining room window were hearts and the cupcakes have bitty heart sprinkles on top.  Oh, I still have extra cupcakes in my fridge, I should take pictures of them.  Can I tell you how much I love my mini muffin pan?!  First time I've ever used it and little tiny cupcakes and muffins and quiches are SO SO STINKIN' CUTE.

I moved DVDs out of this shelving unit to display teapots and cups and some artwork.  A bunch of these are mine, but not all of them.  Maybe half.

We did a white elephant teacup exchange, and these were all the wrapped teacups before we started.  There were over 25 people at my house at this point so how I managed to get a pic with absolutely no one in it I do not know.

Cheshire Cat face!  There's a mirror image of it on the other side of the glass so you can see it from the conservatory too.  Sadly I forgot to take pictures in the conservatory, it was our "Tulgey Wood" area.  We  had a table in there with Mock Turtle Soup (read: tomato) and veggies.  We were hoping to get some dry ice to make a good fog in there but it didn't happen.

I did not buy any tea specifically for this tea party, this is just what I had ON HAND (because I am crazy).  More to the point, this is just the stuff with caffeine in it that I had on hand.  Caffeine-free teas were to the left and I ran out of time to get out my loose leaf teas.

Caffeine-free teas in the corner there, flash boiler and water to make tea, and lots of mini quiches and sandwiches.  We made 4 or 5 kinds of sammies and cut them out with cookie cutters to make them look extra pretty.

Teacups and the tea cross stitch Mom made for me.  Since the cups we were using for drinking tea were only in 3 patterns, I had some colored ribbons to tie on the handles to help keep people from mixing up their cups.  (I was going to tie them on but ran out of time.)

Closeup of the card chandelier, made with only the heart cards.

Inside the Mad Hatter's Hat Shop...some of these are mine and Lee's, and I borrowed a bunch from Carrie plus a few from Jen and Brittany.

Mo' hats...I didn't get the very bottom shelves cleared off because a.) they're kind of blocked by the chofa, b.) I didn't have that many more hats, and c.) I'm not sure how many people actually went in there to check it out other than one girl who was nursing her new baby.

We did these garlands in most of the windows--hearts in the dining room, flowers and butterflies in the living room, teapots and teacups in the hat shop, and a mix of everything in the kitchen.  I found a big stack of old cardstock I forgot I even had, so that's what I used for most of the die cuts.  We also raided my stash of patterned paper scraps for some of the teacups and teapots.

Few more hats and fascinators.

So here's an example of the food and the labels I made to go with...Brittany made these tea cakes.

Oh super cute mini muffins!!  Half the food tags had teacups on them but somehow I got pics of two with teapots.

Jen got a bunch of glass bottles that we used for a "Drink Me" potion (we did some with alcohol and some without and now I have 3/4 of a bottle of orange vodka left over).  We didn't have a funnel to fill the bottles, so we got smart and used a piping bag like what you'd use to pipe frosting, worked like a charm.  Now I have 50 glass bottles and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them--trying to see if Jen and Brittany want any of them, though Jen left them all at my house last night.

Adrienne sent me this teapot and a bunch of flowering teas for...can't remember if it was Christmas or birthday, but we put one out as a decoration.

This is everyone after the teacup exchange with their new cups (I'm in the back right with the apron on).  As you can see, it was a pretty full house.  Oh, you can just barely see the TV is on...I was playing this version of Alice in Wonderland with the sound off.  When I was a kid, we had this recorded off TV on a VHS tape and the Jabberwocky used to terrify my brother and me, so we'd hide behind the couch when the scary music started and then come out when it was over to watch the rest of the movie.  I'm so not even making this up.

This is my beautiful friend Maika and also the only picture I got in myself other than the big group shot.  I took a bunch of pictures of the tea party attendees but I'm not sharing those here because you prolly don't know them anyway.

This was taken just after the tea party...hadn't gotten all the dirty dishes to the vicinity of the sink yet :)  The last hour or so of prep was absolutely mad--Brittany wasn't actually able to be here for the party itself so Jen and I were doing a three-person job with us two.  We did get some last-minute help but it was pretty wild.  Jen and I turned into generals ordering around the rest of our helpers and somehow we got it all set up and everything only about a half-hour late.

Well, I'm now supposed to be studying for my comprehensive exam (IF I get to take it next week, this university can't get its act together AT ALL).  So probably I won't get to post the rest of the tea party pics until maybe Monday afternoon...I took more pictures of the decorations and such this morning since I haven't taken them down yet.

Cheers, peeps!


CCsMom said...

What a FINE group of ladies!!! Wow, what a house full. I just LOVE that! So much fun. How did you make those roses? Is it a paper punch? So cute! Everything looked so good, too! Wow, I can't get over this!

Vicki Burns said...

No wonder the ladies were chattering about this today! Miss C, you totally rocked it! Those decorations are FAB. I love the chandelier, and all the hearts, the Cheshire Cat is amazing, and those roses are beautiful! ( But what were you thinking? They look HARD!) Loved your displays with all of the hats and teacups and teapots.

Okay, so you simply must share some recipes. Those Earl Grey tea cakes are begging me to make them. And I saw an awful lot of yummy looking things on that table. Do tell!

Vicki Burns said...

BTW, the cross stitch your mama made is so pretty!