Who puts the “Art” in “Party”?
After hosting my daughter’s sixth birthday at our house two years ago, my husband and I decided that we would add a new “sanity” clause to the house rules: we will only host a friends’ birthday party for our children every other year. This fall, my daughter wanted to have an art party at a local art studio, like the one a friend of hers had hosted the year previously. I was thrilled by the idea of hosting the party “off-site” and hiring someone whose job it is to host such events do all of the hard work. Unfortunately, the favourite studio had closed its doors; the artists had re-oriented their business toward making site-visits to local schools. Looking around for other options, I found several businesses more than willing to come into my home with their “art bus” or “spa experience.” However, the draw, for me, had been the “off-site” location of the previous party. And, the cost of these “visiting artists” and their supplies was exorbitant, far less affordable than the rates of the old venue. So, my husband and I decided that we would once again host the party at our house, and that we would do all of the “crafting” with the kids ourselves.
Bea still wanted to have an “art” party, and so I tried to come up with a few ideas for arts and crafts before we went ahead and designed and distributed the invitations. Finally, I decided I would write down the names of famous artists and fashion industry gurus and design a “dollar-store” craft based upon their work. I figured that somehow, we could be inspired by Jackson Pollock’s “action” painting, Coco Chanel’s famous strings of pearls, Steven Meisel’s photography, and Frida Khalo’s vivid self-portaits. I had also played some games with the kids over the summer, making marshmallow structures and candy and apple robots, so I figured that a “candy sculpture” activity during “tea time” might just fit the bill. So, with these hazy ideas in mind, we went ahead and made some cheap and cheerful invitations which looked, in the end, quite lovely.
Art Party Invitations
Blank-on-The Inside Cards and Envelopes
8 1/2 x11 White Sticker Paper
4×6 white cards
At my local art store, I found a huge box of 40 blank-on-the-inside, flowery-on-the-outside cards with envelopes for $5. And, at a local dollar store, I happened upon a 10-pack of 8 1/2 x11 sheets of white sticker paper for the good-old-fashioned price of $1. With these supplies on hand, I hit the internet for a piece of artwork to save and manipulate in my favourite online photo site, http://www.ipiccy.com. Googling images related to “Jackson Pollock,” I found a nice, Pollock-esque abstract piece that appeared to have no legal restrictions, and I saved it to my computer. Then, I uploaded the picture to picnik and headed on over to the “effects” section, using the “duo-tone” feature to tint the art to two shades of peachy-pink that matched the floral designs on the front of the cards. Next, I added “text” to the picture (reprinted at the very bottom of the page for easy cut-and-pasting) and saved the finished piece to my computer. Here’s a dummy version of the invite image I came up with:
Next, I created a 3×2 table in a word document and copied the image into each square, so that I could color-print 6 invite stickers per page. I cut out the stickers and, removing their paper backs, affixed them to the blank interiors of the cards. [An even easier approach would be to print out the images on plain 4×6 white cards.] On her own, and without my interference (I’ve learned my lesson!), Bea came up with a list of 11 friends to invite. (We had to cap the number based upon the amount of chairs we had in the house.) And, discreetly, she disseminated the invitations to her friends at school.
The race was on to design and organize the crafts for the pARTy! Stay tuned for all of the fun…
WHO PUTS THE “ART” IN “PARTY?”
Please join us for an afternoon of painting,
jewelry making, portrait photography,
candy sculpting and holiday crafts
YOUR CHILD’s #th Birthday
DAY, Month #th
Time – Time
The Artist’s Studio a.k.a. “CHILD’s” House
Your Street Address
(drinks and nut-free cupcakes)
will be served
R.S.V.P. (by Day, Month #th if possible)
email and (###) ###-####
P.S. Wear “Messy” Clothes or Bring Dad’s Old Shirt