Saturday, September 5, 2015

Welcome to "Cafe des Artistes": A Theme Party

I've been working on this event for the last week.
The big party was for my dear friend, Patty Anne, 
for her 60th birthday.
It was last night.
And it was a blast!
(Grab a glass of wine, it's a long post, folks..)
 
Joanne, Patty Ann's sister, hosted and cooked,
and I created the environment.
So come on in to the "Cafe des Artistes!"
This is a fun theme:
It's artsy, and frenchy....
(You know how everyone
loves francais......ooh la la!)
And relatively easy to come up with fun attire
and decorative items.

On entry, you are welcomed by this sign,
which I pretty obviously painted freehand.






I just painted over an old plaque I found in the alley.
(Sort of ran out of space on the
"artistes" but I just sort of went with it.)

 
I used some fabrics I already had on hand
to create a swag and valance into the "cafe."

To the right of the entrance,
a little vignette with menu board and candles.
I created the board by simply applying chalkboard paint
right over the glass in an old picture, 
then gluing it, frame and all,
inside another decorative frame.
Everywhere throughout the house,
I hung artwork.....
I purchased this portrait this past weekend
at an antique store in Ruckersville.. 
But all of the others I just pulled from my home.
Or my booth.
 I just placed them all about the house...
I didn't even bother hanging them.
We set up tables and Jo placed beautiful pitchers of fresh flowers on each one.
I equipped each table with plastic toppers and 
an array of Sharpie markers for doodling.
I used lots of french things to decorate:
Torn liner paper with french writing wrapped around
mason jars and tied with organza ribbon..
These fun little french vocabulary cards.
(They actually belonged to Patty and Joanne's
mother.)
Printed burlap ribbon...vintage art boxes... 
Decorating is just about done!
(Artsy selfie.)
Oh, but this was one of my favorite ideas.
I set up a canvas that I bought at a yard sale recently 
and had repainted in white. 
 
I created this little interactive art station... 
with a vintage art box, and lots of art supplies.
 
And I printed out a little sign:
And since I just knew no one would tackle a painting from scratch,
I decided to start one.... 
using this photo as inspiration.
(Thank you, Mark McIntyre!!!!)
Joanne is making all sorts of incredible frenchy fare...  
William has the assorted french wines all chilling.
Natey is making the delicious La Voile cocktails!
Yep, time for a par-tay!
Hors d'oervres are set up outside..  
under the string lights....
 
Monsieur Bob Walters,
brother of the guest-of-honor. 
Jay Nathanson, maker of fine La Voile cocktails 
and sound system wizard!
 And here's the birthday girl!!!!
"A couple of these, 
and I won't be sixty any more!" 
Hugs abound.
Oh, look who is here!
Pammy arrives from NC.
These two have been best pals since college.



"Parlez-vous francais?" 
"Un peu."

More good friends arrive.
Amazing how relaxed Joanne looks...
it spite of all her amazing preparations!!
As the sun sets....
...the frolicking continues
PA with Lib, another college chum, and Mason.
Four dames from VCU.
(We missed you, Bonita!!)
 Love is in the air!
And in the kitchen!
 
It's rockin' and rollin' in here now!
 
And the bouillabasse is ready!! 
Dinner begins...
During the course of the evening,
 
the painting evolves...
 
"Let them eat cake!"
William supplied delicious patisseries. 
They came...
they ate...
 
 they doodled...
Presents and cards...
 Lovely Nancy.
 
 
"Merci beaucoup!"
 
Life is a Cabaret.
The party winds down..

 But the painting continues...




Everyone is totally into it now... 
 
 Wow, we are damn good!
 I say, it's fini!!!
And it is, indeed, a masterpiece.

n'est ce pas?

 
And soon,
the curtains must close...

at the Cafe des Artistes.
Bon nuit!

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