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Southern Fried Parties: Things are looking Grimm – Party Prep

November 20th, 2013

Glowing bones

Ba da beep beep beep. Ba da beep beep beep. We interrupt your regularly scheduled posts (cough, cough, cough, cue the eyeroll, like there’s such a thing as a regularly scheduled posts in my world) to bring you a special spooky edition of “Southern Fried Parties”. I’ve decided it might be a good idea to share my recent Halloween adventure with all of you before you slip into a turkey coma following your Thanksgiving meal.

So here we go. As you have all deduced by now, the little sis likes Halloween. For the past five years she and her family have been throwing the most awesome neighborhood Halloween parties. This year a good portion of my family decided to make the trek down south and help out. I generously agreed to loan out my Design Assistants for the weekend and my two top Sweat Shop employees signed on for the gig as well. Ahhh, how naiveĀ  we all were, we had no idea what we were getting into.

Loaded MZ BNZ

We piled into MZ BNZ at 5 a.m. on a Wednesday morning and were off. My Head Design Assistant was behind the wheel. Kelli took her usual position posing as a piece of luggage in the far back seat. Martha texted, texted, texted when she wasn’t sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. Mom chitter chatted continuously,that is when she wasn’t “Nooking” (“Nooking” in my Mom’s world has yet to involve reading a book on her Nook, “Nooking” means playing Bejeweled over and over and over again). I, of course, was slaving away in my Mobile Sweatshop making food picks for the upcoming party.

Mobile Sweat Shop

Yeah, I should have had an idea of what I was getting myself into when the PDF of pick designs arrived in my email with a note from Kris saying “Here’s a little something you can do on the way.”

After minimal stops, just gas and rest areas, (no casino for Mom this time around) we crossed into the Lone Star State.

Texas Stone

We have never made such good time, I mean the sun hadn’t even completely set when we rolled into Leander. Of course the traffic’s the same no matter what time of day.

Tailights

We arrived at the Newman’sĀ  just in time for supper and a quick late night costume run. Kris had big plans for Marli and her oldest Shelby. She had been working on their costumes for the party and still needed some last minute finishing touches so off to Target we went.

Costume Run

The next morning after getting the girlies off to school, we headed off on yet another shopping trip. Kris had a list of items she needed to buy before the real work could get underway. This meant trips to both Michael’s and Hobby Lobby where, as Martha is demonstrating below,

Martha and Rudolph

they were much more interested in Christmas as opposed to Halloween. After getting our goods we headed home.

It was then that we got our instructions, it was somewhat like the start of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” with Kris playing the part of Ty Pennington minus the annoying personality and bullhorn. She had the next several days scheduled out almost to the minute, but first a little background.

This year’s event would be a Brothers Grimm themed party. Here is the completely awesome invitation that Kris designed.

Grimm invite

We would be building a dark enchanted forest complete with the Witches Gingerbread Cottage from Hansel and Gretel, a magical coach (repurposed from last year’s Gypsy Wagon) traveling through the forest and because he insisted, a drawbridge built by my Head Design Assistant.

Dad got right to work on the oven for the Witches Cottage. It had to be big enough to throw some kids in. Notice he remembered to pack his trusty tape measure suspenders for this trip.

Witches Oven 1

Martha got going on the giant pumpkins that Steve had already built the frames for. She added the layers of paper mache and paint.

Makin Pumpkins 1

Makin Pumpkins 2

Her artsy fartsy skills (remember, she did earn that art degree) must have impressed Steve because after her pumpkin making performance Mr. Particular entrusted her with several more jobs that he would have normally insisted on doing by himself.

Makin Pumpkins 3

That is one giant pumpkin, no?

Makin Pumpkins 4

Meanwhile, inside the house Kris brought out her candy stash, and what a stash it was.

Candy 2

Before anyone gets too excited, the majority of that candy is for decorative purposes only. She has accumulated all of that over many, many years and uses it to fill all of her apothecary jars. In fact some of her favorite candies Steve has even coated in shellac. They really like shellac at that house.

Kris had also been saving up glass bottles and set Mom and Kelli to work filling them up with candy. She planned on having all those bottles lining the shelves inside the Witches Gingerbread Cottage.

Candy 1

It was within the midst of this miniature version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory that Kelli tapped into her creative potential and built the most stunning candy centerpiece every created, in her opinion.

Candy 3

She was very, very proud and let everyone know.

Candy 4

I think sometimes she thinks she got the short end of the creativity stick, which is a bunch of malarkey. She was a beautician for years, which takes creativity and if you think I decorate for every season, you should see her house.

Candy 5

Kam made it home from school just in time to help Kelli put the finishing touches on her sugary masterpiece.

Once Saylor got home the two of them headed out to the make-shift cottage and helped Marli “brick” the Witches Oven.

Witches Oven 2

Witches Oven 3

Witches Oven 4

And what exactly was I doing this whole time? Now that I think about it I can’t quite remember. Surely I didn’t sit around doing nothing all day? Well, I did take all of the above photos, that’s something. Wait a minute, now I remember I made several Wal-Mart runs and then spent most of the day waiting for some paint to dry. You see I had been assigned the exterior of the Gingerbread Cottage. This consisted of two large foam boards that would be attached to the front of the metal garden shed and a giant triangle foam board which would be the roof. Steve had to cut and fit them to the shed, which took some time, and then Marli and Shelby had to give them a coat of brown paint so my project didn’t start until the next day. I did however kill some time by making a “Twisted Treats” banner to hang over the food table so I didn’t exactly do nothing.

Gingerbread 3

My real work began the next morning. The foam boards made their way inside and I was soon banished to the Craft Room where the Gingerbread House construction truly began.

Gingerbread 4

The Girlies kept me company for awhile by painting some candies that we would later be attached to the house…

Gingerbread 1

Gingerbread 2

Meanwhile the Enchanted Forest continued to come together in the backyard. Steve hauled several truckloads of dead trees into the backyard and he and Kris created a forest out of them complete with mood lighting and three awesome giant mushrooms that Steve built and I can’t believe I forgot to take pictures of. Dad built four wooden benches that would surround the fire pit for seating, two tic-tac-toe like boxes for the bean bag toss and started constructing his drawbridge. Marli finished off the pumpkins and even helped out with the mushrooms.

Southern Sweatshop

That evening we retired to the “Southern Sweatshop” so that Kris could get out her trusty sewing machine and whip up some bean bags.

Bean Bags 1

That Saylor then filled up with rice…

Bean Bags 3

aren’t those the cutest bean bags you ever did see?

Bean Bags 4

Bean Bags 5

After filling up the tray with bean bags we finally decided to toddle off to bed, after all, party day would dawn bright and early the next morning.

Ba da beep beep beep. Ba da beep beep beep. We now return you to your regularly scheduled day but remember to stay tuned for my next installment of Southern Fried Parties: Thing Are Looking Grimm coming soon, hopefully.

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