Monday, May 20, 2013

While I've Been Gone...

Time sure has a way of escaping me!  I can't believe it's the middle of May already, and I can't believe how long it's been since I've blogged!  I need to get back in the swing.

I've been really busy.  I wish I could say I've been cranking out new clay characters, but honestly I have not.  I NEED to get back to work, or I'm going to be regretting it in about 2 or 3 months' time when I'm in serious crunch mode preparing for fall shows.  However, I think I have a pretty good excuse.

My niece, Hilary, whom I ADORE is getting married in June.  She is very special to me.  Since I have no kids of my own, I have sort of 'adopted' her as my own.  I guess more honestly I would say that she is one of my best friends.  She lived with David and me for nearly two years while she was going to college, and we became very close.  What we have is not a typical aunt/niece relationship.  At least it is nothing like any relationship I have with my aunts!  As I said, I adore her.  And she has been very sweet to include me in lots of her wedding plans.  I was even invited to go with her and her mother to choose her dress!  It meant the world to me that she would include me in such a special event in her life.  ANYWAY!  Last weekend two of my sisters and I hosted a Mexican Fiesta themed bridal shower for her, and it was a BLAST!!

I don't have as many pictures as I would like to have.  I gave control of the camera to my sister, Dana, and some of the shots were blurry and some things we just failed to capture in pictures.  I'm sorry about that, for more reasons than just not being able to share it all with you.  Hopefully Hilary has some more good photos I can add to my scrapbook (or the box of photos that will SOMEDAY BE a scrapbook.)

So, it started with the invitations.  I made them, of course!  More work than I would do for an average Joe, but this is Hilary we're talking about, so I stepped up.  I chose an array of Mexican-inspired colors and cut bands of paper to make stripes.  I used my Cricut Walk in the Garden cartridge to cut out the flowers.  All the text was done on my computer.  I thought they turned out really cute, and set the tone for the party.

We hosted the shower at the house in western Nebraska that my sister Dana and I share.  It's a beautiful Arts and Crafts home, and was a perfect backdrop for a Mexican fiesta party.  My mom and I spent an entire afternoon putting up the decorations.  Dana had already arranged the tables and chairs in the seating area.  I used paper lanterns, crepe paper fan flowers, an assortment of patterned tablecloths, and a few mini piñatas. 
The dining table with paper lanterns.  All the food was Mexican style appetizers.  Hilary's favorite food is Mexican, that's why we chose the Mexican theme.
A close-up of the yummy food.  I painted a terra cotta pot to match the invite and planted it with Gerbera Daisies.  It was Hilary's party favor.
We opened one of our cabinets to set up the Margarita station.  We used these adorable Mexican-tile-styled dishes Dana found at Walmart (they are plastic!!) and her green glassware.  (We also had a Sangria table and a table of lemonade for non-drinkers, and a cooler of Corona on the porch.  We tried to have something for everyone!)
Yummy mini cheesecakes topped with fruit and mini key lime pies. 
A view of the living room with the fiesta table cloths and more paper lanterns.

Paper fans hanging in the windows and a view of Hilary's great haul of loot!  She got some FABULOUS gifts. (I wish that someone would start a tradition of throwing showers for women who have been married 25 years!)

After we had eaten, and lots of drinks had been consumed, and Hilary had opened her presents, we played a really fun game of creating a wedding ensemble for Hilary.  I had gathered lots of supplies from my stash--tissue paper, lace, tulle, doilies, gems, ribbon, etc.  The bows were saved from the gifts to create the bouquet.  I wish I had a better picture of the dress, because it turned out really cute!  But those are the ones that were blurry!  DRAT!!  It so happened that Hilary's Dad happened to be across the street at my brother's house, so of course, we couldn't pass up the opportunity for a Father-of-the-Bride photo! 
We had a really great time!  I know this comes off sounding like I put this all together myself.  I did not.  I took charge of lots of the visuals, and I made a lot of the food.  But my sister Lynda made lots of food too, including a mango salsa that was my favorite thing on the buffet.  My brother's girlfriend, Candis, also helped with food prep and getting things set out on the table.  Dana helped with finishing touches on the food and took the lead on the drinks, keeping the margarita pitchers and the sangria bowl full. (And the sangria was a BIG HIT, so that was no easy task! LOL!)  Mom pitched in with decorating and did more than her fair share of clean-up.  It was a team effort.
Things that didn't get photographed well:  I painted mini terra cotta pots in bright, solid colors and Mom and I planted them with hen and chicks to give to the guests as party favors.  We also had two strings of tiny paper lantern lights hung on the front porch.  They looked really cute.  And I wish we would have gotten a group shot of all the guests.  We had a nice crowd of 18. 
Some of the recipes we used were from Pinterest, including the key lime pies, taco bites, individual 7-layer dips, Southwest Eggrolls, and a yummy Gallo Moscato Sangria.  You can find them on my board Party Food, along with a recipe for mango salsa that is similar to the one Lynda made. 
Whew!  That was a long one!  See what happens when I don't post for awhile?? 
I will be back soon! 


  1. This is such a fun post! You got lots of shots of things that I did not and I have pictures of the things that you wish you had gotten more (or better) of! I think a picture swap is in order!

    This was such a great party. I couldn't be more thankful for my wonderful, and fun, family.

    Love you all!

    1. It was so much fun to put this party together for you! We all had a great time and I think it was a huge success!

      I absolutely want to do a picture swap! I think the Bride wasn't standing very still for many of the photos....She was having too much fun! LOL!

      LOVE YOU!

  2. How wonderful that you have such a special relationship with Hilary! You and your sister hosted a wonderful shower and it sounds like a great time was had by all. Love the decorations and the food looks so yummy. Great picture of Hilary in the wedding ensemble you created for her! Thanks for sharing the fun!

    1. We had a really great time. There will be other posts about Hilary's wedding. She is very special to me!