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Southern Fried Parties: Things Are Looking Grimm

November 21st, 2013

3 Grimm sign

Previously on Southern Fried parties… a group of innocent and unsuspecting family members headed down south to offer up their party prep services to a very ambitious and somewhat demanding amateur party planner. Pumpkins were painted, cottages constructed and the party planners equally ambitious husband toiled away into the wee small hours of the night building one spooky Enchanted Forest.

Finally the big day arrived. I was greeted that morning by Little Miss Skeleton Arms…

1 Skeleton Arms

she’s just a bit demented for a 6th grader. When Little Miss Skeleton Arms wasn’t doing some sort of odd job prepping for the upcoming party, she was chasing her little sister around with said skeleton arms.

2 Skeleton Arms 2

Having finished up my Gingerbread duties the night before I was given yet another giant foam board and told to paint a “Grimm” sign. All I had left to do was add a few flourishing touches and cut it out. Once I got that done I headed out to the Enchanted Forest and delivered it to my Design Assistant who was finishing up his drawbridge.

4 Drawbridge

We tried attaching the sign to the top of the drawbridge (it looked perfect there) but it also covered up a lot of Dad’s creative construction plus the wind wasn’t having any of it. It kept blowing it around. A round of debate began over where we should place it we finally settled on the fence right next to the drawbridge.

Next up the Witches Gingerbread Cottage was assembled. After I finished painting the pieces the night before Kris stayed up late stapling candy to the cottage so the little kids would have something to steal from the Evil Witch.

5 Gingerbread house

I’ve also got to give props to Saylor who helped me out by painting the icing on the roof. When Mom told her she was doing a good job she simply said, “It’s all in the brush.”

While Steve tirelessly worked away at rigging up the spooky lighting throughout the forest (which unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any good pictures of) we started setting up the food area. Before leaving for Texas Mom spent a good amount of time baking some six dozen or so cookies and bars and freezing them. I don’t know how many times she said how thankful she was that she had baked ahead of time, there’s no way she would have gotten it all done at the Newman’s.

15 Cookie tower

Once we arranged all of the sweet treats we topped them off with some of the picks I created on the drive down.

11 Cauldrons

Mom also made four different kinds of Chex Mixes before the trip (isn’t she a good Mom?) and we served them up in some cauldrons which Kelli discovered on that late night costume run to Target. Along with the cauldrons full of Chex Mix Kris wanted to make some little packets to serve the spicy snacks in.

12 Leave A Trail 2

She had created a little “Leave A Trail Snack Mix” logo (wink, wink, Hansel & Gretel, get it?) I then spent several hours fighting her printer as we attempted to run individual pages from a book through it.

13 Leave A Trail 1

Eventually we got it to work. We then folded the pages in half and Kris sewed up the sides with her sewing machine to create a little pouch. They turned out super cute. I then pre-filled the little pouches full of Mixes and lined them up in one of Kris’ old Pepsi crates. Love, love, loved it.

14 Chex Mix Packets

We are all about carrying through with a theme here at Southern Fried Parties so if you hadn’t picked up on it yet book pages were very prominent in this party’s decor. Since Kris didn’t have the funds or the heart to go and actually buy some Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tale books and start tearing them apart she just accumulated old paperbacks and repurposed them. If you take a close look at the food table you will see the table runner she created by sewing together a couple hundred book pages. Clever no?

While the rest of us were setting up Caterer Kelli was hard at work in the kitchen. Unlike Mom her culinary creations had to be made the day of the party. She whipped up some of her famous Corn Dip…

17 Corn Dip

which Kris then displayed in what she considered a failed attempt at a wreath made out of book pages. I think she just gave up to soon. Kelli then recruited Kris and the Design Assistant’s to help out with the family favorite Pickle Roll-Ups…

16 Pickle Rollups

my family has spent many hours over the years assembling these cream cheese and dill pickle concoctions. They make me wish I liked dill pickles. Kelli then made several batches of Lil’ Smokies, not Little Smokies, but Lil’ Smokies. The amount needed of said Lil’ Smokies was also debated, I finally stated from my perch in front of the computer, “You know my theory… you can never have too many Lil’ Smokies at a party.” Agreement reached, another batch was on the way. She then made several batches of my all-time favorite Ham & Swiss Cups. Yum!

18 Smokies and Swiss

As if that wasn’t enough food, Kris had also bought all the fixin’s for a S’mores Bar…

19 Schmores 3

which she had the perfect serving piece for. An old metal tray that she somehow spotted before me at the 4th of July Shed Sale. She had Strawberry Marshmallows…

20 Schmores 1

chocolate and vanilla marshmallows, graham crackers, E.L. Fudges and of course Hershey bars.

21 Schmores 2

At somewhat the last minute Kris asked if I could make some labels for the Chex Mix Cauldrons so people would know what they were eating. Of course once I started labeling one thing I had to label them all. Luckily Kris had already made a bunch of “rosettes” out of book pages. I had already used them to make a treat banner to hang over the food table…

10 Treat banner

and decided to use the remaining “rosettes” for the food labels. They turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself. Kris also asked me to quickly chalk something on the cute little speech bubble chalkboard Steve had made earlier.

9 All the better

She had also made several “book towers” ahead of time that she lined up above the drink station.

22 Book Towers

Kris’ good friend Laura supplied all of the drinks. She made some awesome green punch for the kids that I referred to as Monster Mash…

23 Drink table

she had another cool name for it but for the life of me I can’t remember it.

24 Monster mash

But I do remember the awesome eyeballs she threw in her punch container…

25 eyeballs

probably my most favorite photo from the party.

8 Food Table

Kris finally finished off the food table with a metal bucket containing an old dead tree branch…

6 Food Table 2

which proceeded to blow over and konk me in the head not one, two, but three times before I got Steve to come over and wire it to the patio post.

7 Food Table 3

Soon it was time for the Girlies to suit up. Kris had of course made them both costumes that fit right in with the theme. Kam was a Book Fairy…

26 Book Fairy

and Saylor was Little Red Riding Hood. Finally we were ready, just in time for the guests to begin to arrive.

27 Guests arrive

Once the guests started showing up it was time for the Evil Martha Witch to make her first appearance.

28 Martha Witch 1

She was an instant hit with kids scurrying to her Gingerbread Cottage and attempting to steal all of her candy.

29 Martha Witch 2

“Come inside. Come inside my lovely house. Don’t take the candy off of my house I have more candy inside. Come in, come in.” she would cackle.

30 Martha Witch 3

31 Martha Witch 4

Once she got them inside she started shoving them in her oven.

32 Martha Witch 5

Oh the screaming. The screaming and the laughing. Kids would run out of the cottage squealing about the Evil Witch and then turn around and head back in for more.

33 Martha Witch 6

When they weren’t screaming they were eating…

34 Saylor snacking

or crafting…

36 Craft Table

or running from the Evil Witches…

35 Purple and green witches

who don’t really look too evil in the above shot. They also played the bean bag toss or the ring throw. Soon it was time to Bob for Donuts. The line began to form.

37 Donut line

The donuts were a big hit at last year’s party and proved to be a hit once again.

39 Donuts Group

Bobbing for donuts was just as much fun for the spectators as it was for the contestants.

40 Kam and Lizzie

41 after donut

Soon it was time for one last visit to the Gingerbread Cottage where the Evil Witches were still at work trying to lure yet another innocent child into their lair…

44 Come in my pretty

as for me and my fellow Party Preppers, we hit the hay long before the party ended. We had been working for three solid days but it was all worth it. Another successful Newman Halloween was in the books. Stay tuned for my post on our one day of freedom in the rolling Texas hills.

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