This party did not go off flawlessly. About an hour before it started, Ollie had a seizure. He started a new medication that had us really hopeful because it had been a week and a half since his last seizure, which is a really long time for him, so this seizure sort of dashed my spirits. Then about 20 minutes into the party, Ollie had another seizure, and this one was a lot worse. Larry and I waited it out with him in a private room and I shed a few tears, and even though there was nothing more to be done, and I knew he would just sleep because he was exhausted and he was in Larry's very capable hands, it was hard to go back to the merriment.
That's the reason I took almost no photos of this party. Luckily, my friend Carlye was there and she's a photographer who happened to have a smaller camera with her so we can thank her for any good pictures. For example this is my picture of her.
And this is her picture of me. We took these pictures at the same time and place and on the same camera model. Wow! Anyway, Thanks for filling in and giving me your pictures in my very dark house Carlye!
I like to exchange valentine's speed-date style, where we set a timer and you talk to each person for two mintues and when the timer goes off, you move on to the next person. This gives everyone a chance to talk and tell each other about their valentine's personally.
I missed getting pictures of everyone and their valentines, but here are a few of the ones I did get. Rachel made bubblegum necklaces using directions from One Charming Party (such a great idea!)
Annie made the most charming paper dolls.
Carlye made rice hot/cold packs.
My mom collected a recipe from each guest ahead of time and printed them in a little recipe book as a fun way to remember the night. It included the sugar cookie recipe that I used that night so friends who asked for it already had a copy.
I planned to give cut flowers, but when I went to Costco that day they had no flowers. No tulips. No Hydrangea. Not even roses. Only a few leftover grocery-store-type mixed bunched with daisies dyed neon colors. Weird, right? I asked a manager and he said they put off their flower order until closer to Valentine's Day so things would be really fresh. Luckily, I had noticed small potted groups of bulbs at another store so I picked those up instead and the friend who arrive early got to help me tie fabric around the bottom.
Eva gave out her last print for the Sycamore Street Press Letter Press Subscription Club. I wanted to link to the print, but I can find a photo. Sorry! But don't you love the way she decorated the envelope with washi tape?
I had metal bucket on hand for each friend to collect their valentines in so each guest went home with a bucket full of goodies including a few not pictured like homemade gelato or sorbet from Kersten (which did not last long enough at my house to be photographed).
If you're thinking about hosting a valentine exchange next year, I highly recommend it. It was fun for all of us to have an excuse to be creative and it was nice to have a night with just my girlfriends- sometimes it's hard to make that a priority.