it’s that time again!

Mardi Gras Masquerade 2006 is just under 2 weeks away!


Party progress has started at least! I used Evite this time, which ticked me off a bit, so I might be going back to using my own time-intensive RSVP system for my next party, but so far so good. Evite now has a feature where you can export the guest list into Excel, which is nice since it has their names, emails & even their reply comments in a spreadsheet, so I can just extract the emails column to send out follow-up emails later. I also finally got the Mardi Gras 2005 webpage online – finally! Yet another embarrassing & shameful delay, I know, but I was about halfway done with that webpage last year on the Friday after the party – almost a new speed record! – when our webserver crashed hard for several months – waah! By the time we had a new server set up, the momentum was gone since I had moved on to other things, including planning other parties like Year Six at Hogwarts and PotterParties.com.

Since I was attempting to get my cars finally parked in the garage this weekend (ugh!) I got out the Mardi Gras boxes to take inventory, so I figured I might as well decorate a bit. Beads are draped on everything in the living room, the giant mask is on the wall in front of the sparkly purple backdrop, and the big bowl of beads is set up on a column by my coatrack, which has been made festive as well. I haven’t found a logical place for the entryway draping yet, so I’m not sure I’ll use all that fabric. Once I get the screened patio settled, perhaps I can use the fabric out there…we’ll see…

My costume is the pirate outfit that was almost completed before I switched to Corpse Bride for Halloween, so at least there’s not much left to do for that! I could probably leave the frock coat as-is without the buttons attached and no one would notice, but I never found a hat I liked for sale, so I’m making one. I couldn’t find the fake leather that matched the scraps I used as accents on the coat, so I bought matte black vinyl instead, which should be okay. I cut out the hat pieces Sunday night including the stiff interfacing I already had enough of, so now I just need to sew it together. I have options, since it’s the same basic hat as the Marie Antoinette-style outfit I made, but I’m not sure yet if I’ll turn it into a full tri-corner hat or just leave the back brim down with the front two folded up. I’ve seen some cute pirate hats in that style, and the plumes make it piratey enough, but I’m not sure if my hat will look too much like a leather cowboy hat that way, even with the fancy feathers… 😉

My freezer at the new house is a challenge, since it’s a side-by-side fridge, so my big cookie sheets with the lids don’t fit in my freezer. My mom found some smaller cookie sheets that do fit, but have no lids, so this is more of a challenge to make all the party prep food like the crab puffs, spinach balls, etc. I did make the crab puffs Friday night, with the two sheets on top of each other using a couple plastic lids as tier supports. Since the spinach balls are more dense on the sheets, I’m not sure this same method will work…but I have to buy an onion & stuffing mix still before I can make the spinach balls anyway…doh!

Since I’m celebrating family birthdays this coming holiday weekend, I have to get cookies done this week so there is time for the icing and gold dust painting. I’ve tried to rush the gold before, but you really need the royal icing completely set at least overnight or the brush just digs into the slightly set icing. All the cookies & the spinach balls into the freezer must happen before I leave Friday night, plus getting my hat finished, too! Wish me luck!

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