Throw a Kentucky Derby Themed Bridal Shower !
If there is one thing you can take to the bank, it is that Kentuckians are always looking for a way to celebrate with a Derby Party, even when it's nowhere near Derby day! My sisters and I were all born and raised in Kentucky, so when my sister got engaged we decided that a Kentucky Derby themed bridal shower was a winning idea! Although the party wouldn't actually be on the real day of the race, we incorporated our theme in our food, decorations and games to create an authentic downhome get together. We started by sending out invitations requesting guests attend in traditional derby attire, and that means a really BIG HAT! The bigger, louder, and more ornate the hat the higher the prestige on Derby day, so don't be afraid to take it over the top! Fashion is just one of the many bright spots of this particular theme. We chose a red, purple and gold color scheme for our shower, but bright colors echo the vibrant racing silks worn by jockeys during horse races, so you can choose any color combination you'd like. We also chose the official flower of the Kentucky Derby, the red rose, as our floral statement using them in centerpieces and decor. I also was able to acquire several horses from my daughters' (incredibly extensive) horse figurine collection to use alongside photographs of the engaged couple, with the flowers for table centerpieces. We made flags cut from plastic tablecloths (dollar store) and party ribbon that read things like "Lucky in Love," "Run for the Roses", and "And They're Off!"
For our "Watering Hole" we used purple buckets (dollar store) to chill red and white wine, bottled watera and canned drinks as well as crushed Ice. One essential element to every Derby Party the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby, The Mint Julep. There are several versions of this recipe but here is the one we used:
3-4 fresh mint leaves
2 ounces Kentucky Bourbon
2 tablespoons simple syrup
Ideally, Mint Juleps are served in chilled sterling silver cups, and the mint would be crushed into the glass and crushed ice added followed by the other ingredients.
Simple Syrup Recipe:
Boil two cups of water and two cups of sugar over medium high heat for three minutes until thick, chill before use. (I added mint to mine!)
Derby Party Menu
We wanted the menu to have a lot of authentic Kentucky dishes, some family favorites as well as my sisters favorite local food from here in Jacksonville, Florida.
Sliced Homegrown Tomatoes
Relish Tray- okra, beans, olives and pickles
Baked Brie in Croissant with Red and Green Apples and Grapes
Fried Chicken (Chik-Fil-A platter)
Veggie Cups with Vidalia Onion Dressing
Cucumbers and Onions in Vinegar
Meat and Cheese Tray
White Mousse Cake with "Roses"
Philly's Finest (A local favorite)- Philly Cheesesteaks
(A Kentucky favorite to serve in place of these would be the traditional Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich, or Benedictine Sandwiches. Either would be a delicious Derby party addition. )
Make your Own Signature Platter using Sharpie Markers!
My sister has been collecting plates for years, so I thought it would be neat to put a unique spin on the "signature picture frame" idea so that she could remember this day and all of her friends and family that would attend! Suprisingly, I had never tried this craft before but had heard a lot about it.
To create this platter I needed:
A large ceramic plate (Big Lots $10!)
Colored Sharpie Permanent Markers
(I was able to get a new set with 12 colors for $10 at Michaels' Craft store, 6$ with my 40% coupon that they will email you regularly if you sign up.) I hear there are special "ceramic" Sharpies also made just for this type of craft, but have yet to find them.
That's it! I drew my design out (on a CLEAN surface- white vinegar works great) with a pencil and then went over the pencil with the color sharpie I needed. Please NOTE: Sharpies will blend together if they touch, which is pretty cool when you want to blend orange, brown, and yellow into a golden horseshoe. It is Less cool when you get black all in your yellow flags while filling them in so do your black details last. I also "designed" Amanda and Tony their own racing silks to personalize it. They're last name is Videll- so that's what the "V" represents. There are templates for blank racing silks are all over the internet, I just traced one right off my computer screen and then cut it into a little stencil. If you make a mistake with your Sharpies, don't panic! Use rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip for small fixes. (A Clorox wipe will work also, if you want to clear it all off and start over!) When you are finished, place the platter in the oven at 350 degrees for one hour. Voila! Enjoy your personalized keepsake plate!
Kentucky Derby Bridal Shower Games and Prizes!
Keeping with our racing theme, we created a "Racing Program" for each guest with three "races" (games) inside. Each person was asked to "name" their horse on the front of their prgram and wait for each race to be announced. We played traditional shower games that I was able to printout using the link below. We played "Who knows the bride the best?," "Wedding Word scramble," and "Bridal Shower Bingo." For the winner of each race we awarded "500 Grand," which was actually a red ribbon garland decorated with silk roses, some huge fake money and five "100 Grand" candy bars. The girls thought it was funny and we got photos of all the winners with the bride! The last keepsake touch we added was a jar with slips of colored paper for people to write date ideas for the new couple along with any other advice for the Bride and Groom.
I love my sisters! I love Kentucky! I love Horses! What could be better? What a great way and reason to celebrate a wonderful couple, and some wonderful fun memories to keep forever! We are so happy to have our new Brother Tony, and a new wonderful sister to boot, Diane (picture with my sisters and I left)! Until next time! Keep those kitchens cooking and keep art on your mind!
Is there anything as fun as skateboards? As our good friend Johnny Rad would say "I love skating! Isn't skating grrrreat?!" Well, that's just what I was thinking when I was approached with an opporunity to participate in a project involving painting skateboards. One of our famous local haunts here in Jacksonville, Florida is a place called Monkey's Uncle. Both my sister and I worked there for years, and are great friends with the owners to this day, which is why I was very happy to help with the fundraiser they were hosting along with the November Void magazine release party. Painted skateboards were being auctioned off to benefit First Coast No More Homeless Pets, and all the proceeds would go to this amazing group who are doing amazing things.
The Void magazine was commemorating their November issue, and there were at least a dozen skateboards submitted. Some pieces of art were several boards long! As I only has the two - generously found and donated to me by Void Magazine - I did two separate boards. Since the fundraiser was about pets...I figured I'd just stick to what I love and do the best - pups (and a cat snuck in there.) I belt sanded the boards (since they seemed to have a full and happy life) to remove the old stickers and varnish and painted them with model car paint. I like the model car varnish that comes in the little jars that you paint with a brush. It dries quickly and has a great shine to it, and is virtually impossible to get off of the surface you paint! I bought a model car paint kit at Michaels craft store that included the colors red, yellow, blue, green, black, gold, silver, white and a jar of paint thinner for cleaning your brush for about $12. I have LOTS left over for my next project and although it's a little harder to mix colors (like orange) with the varnish than with traditional paints, it leaves a great strong, polished look that was quite impressive and stood out next to some of the other pieces.
The Void fundraiser at Monkeys Uncle was quite an event. They had a photographer and a runway of sorts for people to walk in front of to strike their best celebrity pose. Naturally I was too chicken to walk infront of it since my husband had a gig and I was flying solo, and my fashionista stance is a little rusty. The art at the show included many different skateboards - and I'm sorry that I didn't take a photo of them all displayed together- with lots of styles and subject matter represented so there was something there for every artistic taste. I know we raised over $500 that night for the organization just from the art, possibly much more. The last information I recieved was that one of my boards got a bid of $130.00 and the other had a bid of $50, though which one brought what price is a mystery to me! I was very happy and met lots of wonderful people from Void magazine and we helped ANIMALS! Yay!! Until next time animal lovers!
Meet Dewy! A sweet little puppy who belongs to a very special friend of my brothers! This was done as a birthday gift, and is a 20"x 20" stretched canvas painted with acrylic paint. It was a suprise, so I was painting from the camera photo that you see to the left. Photos are the most important part of the process (and aren't we lucky to have such amazing telephones with great cameras) and the more detailed a photo- the higher the details in the finished project. When the details aren't quite as fine, what you get is a more "painterly" effect. If you prefer a more abstract style, please let me know! While I always strive for the most realistic and true-to-life product, I am willing and capable of doing something purely FUN! Interested in having a portrait done for someone for the holidays? I still have availability left to fill before the Holidays arrive! Contact me today!
I am always looking for new and unique projects to entertain myself (and my two children) as well as expand and diversify my portfolio and skills! Here is where I share what I have been doing and all of my "Pet Projects!" Thanks for stopping by!