Tuesday, July 7, 2020

High School Reunion

I graduated in 1969 from FORT HUNT HIGH SCHOOL. Our school colors were green and white.  When it came time for our 50th reunion last summer, we were very fortunate to get to use a ballroom at the Fort Belvoir Officer's Club.  The room overlooks the Potomac River and was gorgeous undecorated.  I actually had my wedding reception at this club
47 years ago.  Since the room was so large, I felt that balloon poles would add an extra pop.  I, however had never done twisted long balloons around a pole, so practice was needed.


 I used mops and brooms to practice on until I had pulled my balloon poles from
my party storage shed.  I Googled a video on how to do this.  It is actually ingenious.
I bought 260 long balloons and 160 long balloons on Amazon.  You slip the smaller long balloon inside of the larger long balloon and knot them together at the tips.  Holding
the necks together (very important), you slip the nozzle of your air pressure machine between the two lips.  As the balloons inflate, they CURL.
You can see that my bases for the poles are pvc plumbing fixtures filled with cement.
The poles are pvc pipes.  Getting the connects to the bases takes time to choose them, but is worth it for portability.  I  wrapped the swirls at home, then carefully wrapped each pole in opened trash bags taped together as the party was 45 minutes away.  I wasn't sure it this would work, but it DID!!!

During setup at the club, I had my air compressor with me.  I blew up the smaller green and white balloons and tied them together in groups of four.  You simply twist them around the pole.

The HUGE white balloons were actually attached by sending a weighted object on fishing wire down the middle of the hollow pvc pipe and wrapping the fishing wire around the pole at the bottom. 




Here is the fourth pole behind the photo op. I bought blackboard signs on Amazon and glued them to wooden dowels I bought at Michael's.  Pinterest had tons of reunion sayings. I also bought the colored blackboard markers on Amazon.  I filled the tall plastic container with bricks to give needed weight.  On top of them, inside the container, is a box filled with small rocks to stick the dowels into.  This worked like a charm!!!



I  wanted a photo op background that represented 1960's.  I designed these in PhotoShop 
to print out at 36" wide by 72" high.  I sent them to the printer I use for the office parties to do. The drive-in represents one that we actually used to go to by our high school. I added the classic cars. Can you find the girl handing popcorn to her friend in the car trunk.  That was a special committee member's request.




This spot was a very popular place to be.  I think the signs added to the attraction.





To tie into the classic car idea, I ordered plain white album covers from Ebay.  I made one for each table with classic songs from 1969.  I searched online for ideas.



My sister-in-law Lois and I, with help from our two daughters, made the centerpieces--in green and white flowers, of course.  I bought wooden triangles at JoAnn Fabrics and
shorter dowels.  We glued the dowels onto the  triangles and sprayed them white.
I PhotoShopped triangles with our high school logos that side fifty years on them.  We tied on green ribbons.  Each pole had a table number on it.  The committee had special favor bags and lists of the names of the graduates.

                                                      





Most reunions have a memorial table for classmates that have passed.  I chose small
5" x 7" silver frames and PhotoShopped their graduation photos and names.



I used my manzanita trees as a background.  Candles and small flower vases helped set the scene.  Classmates said it was very easy to find their friends displayed this way.


We also had a table of memorabilia.  My sister-in-law Lois spent many hours configuring
the display.  The committee had the collection.  I had the easels in my party supplies.
I think it turned out pretty nice.


We also had six high-top tables.  I used acrylic frames from Amazon to create fake Time magazine covers with iconic images from the sixties.  The classic cardboard cars held
flashing glow rings, a small centerpiece, and jars full of vintage candy.


                                                   

Where did I get vintage candy?  Amazon, where else?



This band "The RoadDucks" has been around since 1976.  They play many of our reunions.  Not only are they a "danceable" band, they play nostalgic music which really set the scene.



Lois is in green, the second from left.  I am in the middle.  Wow!! FIFTY years.



                                                          Now and Then



                                                     The Buffet Area




                       This is only the right half of the photo.  We had a big turnout.





I am closing with the final photo above.  We had a dinner party at our friends' house
Kathy and John Harris.  John was in a class a few years before ours.  Theirs was one of those romatic stories of the girl next door comes home from college.  Tesa in the middle, was my very first friend I met in eighth grade when we moved to Virginia.  I met Nancy (far left) in eighth grade also.  I didn't actually know Lois in high school.  My hubby and I met her at a reunion at Tesa's house over 39 years ago.  We loved her on the spot and
knew we wanted her in our family.  She obliged by marrying Buzz's brother Chip.
If you follow my blog, you have seen them in my party photos as great helpers.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Golf Themed Party



Our office is under construction.  EVERYTHING is being renovated.  It was a hit-or-miss situation of whether we would even have an office party. 

 Dust, rugs being replaced, construction boxes, employees' office supplies and furniture in the halls.  A new addition being added.  Basically--a mess.

  But the business partner in charge of the design and renovation knew how important the party was to the firm, so he moved MOUNTAINS to get as much "stuff" out of the way."  The contractor hustled to complete the new addition. 

 Between the two, they cleared enough clutter out of the way for us to have the party.

                     
So, I adapted the theme of Pebble Beach Golf Tournament. Above you see the Seventeen Mile Drive Golf Holes. Since we usually use the building lobby for the party, and we now have glass windows in our conference room that look out onto the lobby, I put my ocean side golf posters there.

Someone from upstairs, who works for another firm, came downstairs when we were setting up and said, "Hey, that's Seventeen Mile Drive.  I've been there."  I was so tickled.
It took me forever to build those four posters to simulate the place.  I finally found an ocean clipart, after YEARS of searching, that looks REAL.  

Pebble Beach has a CLASSIC CAR event every year, which my family once attended. So, I wanted to include that in the posters AND the golf holes.  There were three of them
in the lobby.  The cars I ordered on Amazon.  They are for toddlers and are remote controlled.  The staff had to shoot their golf balls under them.

I brought out my ocean rugs again.  I used the big turtle and whale, both as props, and prizes.  The little cars went as prizes, as well, in the "Hole in One" raffle.

Third Classic Car Hold with view to new office extension across the lobby



I also ordered a set of curved hoops from Amazon, along with all of the grass mats and golf holes.  I supplemented these with my son's block set from his childhood.  Since the theme was set in California, most of my silk palm trees came into use.  The sides of
each hole are made from solid rubber noodles, that I also bought in bulk on Amazon.
I took one of them to Home Depot with me to fit straight and 90 degree PVC fittings for them.  The greens came in 3' x 9' lengths, so they were a good length for miniature golf holes. I also made PVC poles with wooden signs on them telling you the location of the hole and the number.






Please excuse the screen shot of this photo. 

                                  


 Not only do you get to see this golf hole, but you get to see the new rug that had just been put down in our new office extension. I found the tiny stool at an antique barn, and I knew at the time that it would be perfect for a golf obstacle.  You can also see in the picture the "teen-aged" size golf clubs, I also bought in bulk on Amazon. I had a tin can at each hole with soft-ish golf balls.  I went through about eight different types of balls to get ones that weren't too soft, but not too hard I didn't want anyone to break any of the glass or dent any of the newly painted walls.

I brought out my mama bear and her three babies for this obstacle.  You've seen them before at MANY of my parties.  Since Yosemite is in California, I used it as the theme
for this side of the new office.

Since it was "Santa's Candy Cane California Golf Tournament"  We put candy canes and white battery operated lights on all of the trees.  Notice the fox in the background.  I laughed when I kept thinking about the "FOX HOLE" and its play on words.




I also bought two golf hole sets. They came as puzzle pieces I bought on line.  They had been designed by fourth graders.  They are perfect for small areas. Above you can see my two foxes as obstacles.  These holes come with small peg obstacles.  You can also see the skunk hole in the back.  I gave all of the holes away, along with the clubs and the cans of golf balls as prizes.  BUT NOT MY ANIMALS.


 In the above photo, you can see the deer and the bear.  I had four of the big posters in our new office extension space's conference room.  I made the centerpieces simple to go along with this Yosemite themed area.  I used grass mats, along with my little trees I collect, and log cabins.  I had miniature golf carts among the cabins.








So, in order to tie the construction into the renovation AND Christmas, I added Monterrey, California to the theme.  I used the famous Canning Factory building as the focal point to these posters.  I added a dump truck and crane to the posters, along with some green trees that looked similar to Christmas trees.  These two posters, along with two more,
were back to back with the Seventeen Mile Ocean Drive Golf Posters.  But, you can still see through them to catch the fun in the lobby.  I placed the DJ out in the lobby, to catch people moving back and forth across it to our new office space on the other side (ie. the extension).

I rented tables and green clothes for the buffet.


Here is Santa on a construction crane.  The envelopes taped to the window are part of a large group filled with either cash or a card that said PRIZE on it.  Your golf card was your raffle ticket.


There were two golf holes in this conference room, along with the buffet.  I used a deer, a ride on dump toy, and my large Jenga set as obstacles.



I couldn't decide on a Monterrey centerpiece.  My mind went blank.  The night before the party, I thought about using water, since the city was on the water.  So I just covered the table with a blue vinyl cloth and my water runner and boats.  Keeping with the Santa theme, he is in the middle boat with gifts, and elves are in the other two boats. I added greenery to each boat with miniature lights on each. We always lined the wall behind buffet with brown paper to protect the wall.  We added construction signs to it in order to stay with the theme.

 I had four posters in the main lobby of our office space of the Pebble Beach Golf course.


I digitized the club house from a photo.





Say goodbye to the red chairs.  They are being replaced with blue ultra-modern ones.
If you look closely in the back, there are still racks of construction supply stacks.  I just added some small construction trucks and signs here.  Notice the sailor in one of them.

 I usually have a game involving wheels, trikes, bikes, etc. I chose a STATIONARY bike for this year's game.  The object of the game was to pick up as many golf balls from the green with the golf ball retriever stick and knock them into the box.  This was done while continuing to peddle for one minute.  IT WAS HARD.  I used larger pool noodles to help keep the balls contained.  There was a lot of effort and laughter at this challenge.

Also in this Pebble Beach area were two chipping boards.  We used my husband's real golf chipping clubs.  Each hole had a points value attached to it.  

There was a large poster on the glass opposite this where the names and scores were listed.  What people didn't know was that I just gave an extra prize raffle ticket to anyone who played.  I added an extra extra raffle ticket for the top scorers.



I decided NOT to bake for the office parties anymore.  So, we had the first official holiday bake off with huge cash prizes for the winners.  The staff went all out with their entrees.
I set the dessert buffet up in the new conference room.  Every entry had to be hand-made with a name and description.

This architect made homemade truffles.
This architect actually kept adding dry ice to his entry so the volcano kept erupting.

This architect and his wife spent two days adding fondant and gifts to this one.  It had a cake TREE inside.

Best Pie EVER.  Please note tie to theme.

                                                        A Few Last Items
Centerpieces for the high top tables

Pencils, golf sheets, and candy canes

Attention to detail in theme

Thanks for visiting.  I hope you find this post inspiring.

--Jani