I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Should Have Gnome...Gnome Themed Retirement Reception

A very good teacher friend of mine retired recently and I wanted her retirement reception to be more than just a little special. She is a musician, science teacher and all round fun person, so a unique theme was a must... a ho hum centerpiece and nice gift wouldn't do! I was thumbing through a tablescaping book

and found this funny little setup pictured below, and the Gnome theme was born.

I know what you are thinking...how gauche! But trust me, this was as much fun to prepare for as it was to enjoy the day of the party.

Here are the components that eventually made up the centerpiece. First I had a mossy centerpiece in mind. I needed red polka dotted mushrooms....no where to be found! So I made the mushrooms below and had them kiln fired. I painted them with acrylics and sealed them. I enjoy free forming ceramics.

I haunted Dollar General and $ Tree until I hit the jackpot with the gnomes (there's a difference in elves and gnomes, you know!) They were about $2 each and I also found the metal flowers below at Dollar General for $1. Gnomes were too bright and had to be re- painted .

Below are the results...much better for color scheme!

Now what to use for the fern container? Someone volunteered a huge twig basket...and all of a sudden I had three! (Where do people store these huge beautiful things?) I added ferns, a moss bow ($ Tree), gnomes, mushrooms, moss covered pots, redbirds (s&p shakers from sale at Pier 1) and set everything on a six foot long wooden tray. Burlap (naturally) was the table topper of choice.

Queen Anne's Lace was interspersed, butterflies flitted throughout, and large acorns and moss filled in the bottom. It was a huge centerpiece and had to be complete all the way around since it could be seen from all directions.

Suddenly everybody got into the act and I ended up with lots of cute gnomes and extra accessories to add to the table centerpiece! Even borrowed some Tom Clark gnomes for you collectors.

On the library checkout desk (party central for the day), was a vignette of mossy mushrooms (from Paul Michael's), another gnome (they came out of everywhere..seems everyone has at least one), moss covered branches and birds. The large mushroom sat on top of a slice of wood that some of the ag boys cut for me! I had lots of help with this endeavor.

The moss covered twigs were $6 for a small bundle, but I just went outside and picked up sticks and made my own...expenditure...about $2 for moss.

I painted the mixed media cross in the background as a remembrance gift to our friend.

The guest tables (all 40 something of them) were decorated by my sweet friend and co-worker, Susan. She tromped around in ant infested weeds to gather all the Queen Anne's Lace. We used simple white cloths and clear vases holding the Queen Anne's Lace and a little fern frond.

Another little vignette using some of my co-worker's glass mushrooms! Look how pretty the light shines through!

Pictured above was the guest book and gift table centerpiece. (Remember, this was in the library. There is just so much ambiance you can create in a school library!) Our actual theme was "No Matter Where You Roam, Our School Will Always Be Your Home"...so the roaming gnome was in attendance everywhere...signs, on the guest book, etc.

There seemed to be some miscommunication about what was supposed to be written on the cake...so let it suffice to say...we had to do a little doctoring. HOWEVER...we made some little marshmallow mushrooms to go on top and it turned out fine.

To me, half the battle of decorating anything is to have a theme...at least a vague sense of what direction to head toward. Once you start things just evolve! Never would I have thought a gnome theme would be something I'd do for an adult, but it was engaging and just casual enough to be fun.

I am linking up with Tablescape Thursday and Catch a Glimpse Thursday...see button on right! Please, come visit...lots of pretty things!


Entertaining Women said...

Your personal touches are what made the centerpiece extra special. I love to work in clay, too, and the Kimberly Whitman book is one of my favorites. Great job on your theme. Thank you for sharing your charming design. Cherry Kay

carolinajewel said...

What a wonderful idea! I love all the details and all the work you put into this. I am sure it was an amazing party and so special that you got so many involved!

Marilyn said...

I'd love to have this theme--so when I retire will you come do it all over for me? Everything is just perfect! ♥♫

Red Couch Recipes said...

I would have been honored if I were the friend who was honored that evening. That is one of the most exceptional centerpieces I have ever seen. You handmade mushrooms are just adorable and the gnomes you found are also so cute. Love the big basket of ferns that just makes this magical. Joni

Anonymous said...

Wow! The way you pulled everything together is amazing! I especially love the makeover that you gave the gnomes. Where did your co-worker find the glass mushrooms?

Alycia Nichols said...

How incredibly creative!!!! And everybody got in on the act...that's great!!! I really admire your patience in repainting all those!!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, this is absolutely ADORABLE! You are so creative, and this had to have been a HUGE hit. I know your friend was wowed. I certainly would have been. I loved all of your attention to detail, and I can't believe you made those cute little mushrooms! And you found that mossy bow at Dollar Tree? I wish we had them here! Loved that! Loved it all. I got a kick out of the whole thing. Of coure, I had a elf door in my yard for a garden club tour. I figured that tiny elves would be coming on the tour as well as the big people. No, don't get the nets! ;-)

I hope you will join me for a china drawing I'm having on my blog. Naturally, I forgot to mention it in the linky, but I hope you will still come. It should be fun, though not as fun as a gnome party!

Happy Tablescape Thursday...


Sheila :-)

Upscale Downhome said...

Absolutely beautiful tablescape. I love the mushrooms the best. I've been wanting to find a few vintage ones but the glass ones were fabulous!

Donnie said...

What a fun table and I bet you all had a ball. Loved it.

Rebecca russell said...

I really loved the gnome party...we should have more parties!! :-)

we three dogs and me said...

I wouldn't have thought of it but it turned out fabulous

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

This is absolutely adorable! What a fun post.

hannah singer said...

Angela, darling.

i A D O R E all things gnome. YOU are a genius with this theme. I love it all so much!

Anonymous said...

If I were ever thinking about having a retirement, I would definitely put you in charge.

Angela McInnis said...

Ladies, ladies, I am blushing! Ha! Thank you very much...it was a labor of love for a good friend...I appreciate the compliments very much.