Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Graduation Open House

Guys, I can finally breathe again! We are behind on sign orders and I have lots of email follow through with clients that I can't seem to catch up on, but most of Kennedy's graduation actitivies are  behind us now and while I can't say I completely enjoyed the preparation and house maintenance projects that we haphazardly completed leading up to her open house, I am so glad that we chose to host it early and that now we can enjoy the open houses of her friends without concern for hers. 
Taking the advice of a more seasoned parent and client of mine, I chose to have her open house on the Thursday night before graduation. We had a beautiful evening weather-wise in spite of a quite dismal forcast earlier in the week and a great turn out of people!
Her only request for the entire event was that we served her favorite food-donuts! I called around and the most reasonably priced place for 15 dozen was "Good Time Donuts" in Holland. 
I ordered chocolate and vanilla frosted cake donuts with yellow sprinkles as her fave color is yellow. 
I stuck to the yellow/white/navy theme throughout because it was easy to pull together and seemed cheery for the occasion. 
I found this metal stand at a garage sale two weeks prior to the night and Ken cut me the barn wood to fit so I could stencil this:

 My friend DC, and my sis Cherie, were excellent caterers that evening and refilled the food trays when they were looking empty. 
We kept it simple and ordered six 6 foot party subs from Walmart in Grand Haven. We usually order them from there because they precut them into platters. Guests were going off about how tasty they were. I was so glad that worked out and it was super simple. We had one entire six foot sub left over, but that meant we ate 5 six footers that night!

When our friends and family entered our garage, some commented that they had never seen the walls and floor before! It is always a complete and utter disaster!! They thought we had installed all new cupboards! Nope...just cleaned it up! Truth be told, a few hours before the party, we were hauling all our junk over to our neighbors garage to stash out of sight! :)
 I got my friend Sony's donut hole (french puff) recipe and made the dough ahead. I froze the dough and rolled them out that morning. I scattered them around the tables and used them as centerpieces on the outdoor tables. 

 The sign was Kennedy's senior quote she chose for her yearbook picture. 

 I used an old door to display her more current photos of family/friends tacking them up with push pins and vintage flash cards.
 Here, I copied a client of mine who had Ken make a rustic frame for an old bed spring she ordered online. I think she saw the idea in Pottery Barn, but we did the same thing using a vintage crib bedspring. Ken framed it and I stained it classic grey and hung pics with clothespins. It's for sale in the booth now.

 We rented a 20x20 tent from Taylor Rental along with four large tables and chairs. This worked out well as people did sit there throughout the evening in order to stay out of the sun/heat.

 Kennedy had asked my sister, Cherie to make her special tissue paper flowers that we could use in various places for a pop of color. Cherie spent ALL DAY doing that for her. What a gift. We hung them in the corners of the tent and used them as centerpieces on the tables. 

Just for fun and to add some more yellow and white, I ordered ten striped beach balls online to float in the pool. Who would've known they were a hit with the little kids who came and became something for them to play with while their parents visited?

 I tried setting up drinks and more pics in the backyard so people wouldn't stay stuck in the garage. I wanted the food set up inside but wanted things outside to draw people into the yard.
 This garden bench I spraypainted navy for the occasion and will be listed in the booth soon. :)

 This drink stand is currently for sale in the booth. My sister gave this to me last year. It was used as a potting bench in the garage of one of her cottage rentals. we took the top off of it and Ken made a tray to hold drinks for the party. We lined it with pop cans and dumped ice over the whole thing. The ice melted quickly and we knew it would, so we intentionally put it in the grass area. 

 I wanted to show you some pics of my friend Alison's work on her sister's brunch open house the Saturday following ours. 
I thought it was so classy and tasteful with the pink and white theme.

 Here we are at the Baccalaureate service. It was a great night celebrating God's faithfulness in Kennedy's life. 
I have surprised myself these past few weeks. I've held it together better than I did for both of my older nephews. 
I think it's been such a whirlwind, I haven't had time to process that in less than two months, she will be leaving for Azusa Pacific California to attend college out there. Ken and I are still working out the details on how we will get her there and what exactly the 'good bye' will look like, and I may lose it then, but I am so excited for the person she has become, the choices she has made and Lord willing, the bright future ahead. Thanks for letting me share a bit of this life season with you. Stay tuned for the tears. :)
 I dropped off loads of party favors and treasure last week after the event. Cleaning house and attic over here again. Head into Not So Shabby soon to see what's left!

 Brecken hugging Kennedy


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