Monday, July 15, 2013

Bon Voyage Party

Each year my college friends and I find an opportunity to gather as a larger group for at least one long weekend. Although technology and social media allow us to keep tabs on one another from a distance, it's still not the same as the chance to get together in person. Sometimes the gatherings take a lot of preplanning and emails, as we travel from 5 different states and 7 different daily lives, but it's always worth it in the end. When I tell people about our gatherings, I usually add that we haven't been out of college that long so it's still manageable. That was until I recently realized we're quickly approaching our ten year reunion . . . which has given me a new sense of pride in our efforts to stay connected as a group and a greater sense of appreciation for these continuing friendships. 
No group gathering is complete without at least one attempt of a group shot. 
As we gathered over the Fourth of July weekend we not only looked forward to seeing one another, but also to celebrating the courageous and exciting life change of one of our friends. She has decided to move from her home and job in the United States to a position and home overseas in England. We wanted to celebrate her moving with a small, backyard "Bon Voyage" party and decided to go with a garden tea party with map and airplane themed decorations.

I made most of the decorations at home, and needed them to be easily transportable in the already overly packed car, so most of them were made out of paper. I used everyday materials I could find at home or the craft store. 

I used maps from the local "Welcome Center" to create a flag garland and used brown package paper with white poster paint to make a banner. Although I wanted to locate a true globe to display, instead I wound up using an inflatable one as I knew it would pack more easily. 

I'd been saving the four paper lanterns from the dollar store for a while, and they went perfectly with the colors of the maps. I used some cloud printer paper to create a garland of about thirty paper airplanes. The planes were folded in the traditional "old school" way and then threaded onto fishing line with a large needle. 

I made a few extra airplanes and attached some on craft wire to create an airplane arrangement. We also tucked some of the extra airplanes around the table. We used large white doilies on the table and trays to add to the theme of a garden tea party. 

Food included tea sandwiches, lemon cupcakes, chocolates, candies, fresh fruit, iced tea, and champagne.

 We discovered pretty much anything goes these days for tea sandwiches, so we had four options:

1) Cucumbers and alouette cheese on whole wheat cocktail bread. 
2) Honey ham, brie cheese, honey mustard, and green apple on baguette. 
3) Fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil leaves and olive oil on roasted garlic bread. 
4) Goat cheese, pecans, and fig jam on cinnamon raisin bread. 

We loved the breezy backyard of one friend's cottage for the setting and the tent another friend brought gave us a place to hang all the decorations. Even the colorful wooden chairs added to the ambiance. In all a really nice celebration and kick off to the weekend. 
The guest of honor. Bon Voyage my dear!

Additional note: This theme and decorations could also be used and added to in order to create a great boy's birthday party. I'm already thinking . . .

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  1. Love how creative this is, it is great that it can be so cute and not have to be very expensive decoration!! Looked so cute and so nice that you all still can get together!

    1. My hope with all our projects is that people can see you don't have to spend a lot to have fun, connect with others, and make cute things. Thanks for the compliment on how it pulled together!

  2. i am just a 10 year old and i want to throw my friends a outside moving party