Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Should I Go With an Elvis Theme?/A Blog Mini-Contest

by Stephanie Black

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you might know by now that I am a decorating-challenged nincompoop. But with a ward activity fast approaching, my decorating skills are about to be put to the test. Yes, I’m on the Activities Committee. (Mean Aunt, stop snickering. After all, you were the one who used the old tire for an RS visual aid).

This isn’t my first decorating gig for the Activities Committee, but it’s the first time I’ve soloed. I was on the decorating committee for the Christmas party last December, but that was easy, because the sister in charge of decorating made all the plans. It was a Norman Rockwell theme, so she created a nostalgic Rockwellian look involving fresh greenery, popcorn on strings, Norman Rockwell pictures on wires stuck in little tissue-paper-covered pots, a Radio Flyer wagon, etc. It looked fantastic, and I didn’t have to think up any of it. I just followed orders, chopping up holly branches and stringing popcorn and what all. That I can do.

But last week, I got a call from our Activities Committee chairman. Our upcoming activity is a “family reunion” dinner, with the ward divided into eight different families with names like the Carpenter family, the Potter family, and the Buccaneer family. Each table is decorated to reflect the family name. Our chairman asked me if I would decorate the table for the Singer family.

While I was talking to him, I faked it really well. I said things like, “Sure,” and “No problem,” and asked intelligent questions like, “Do we have a budget?” and “What color of table covers do you have?” What I didn’t do was laugh hysterically and warn him that he’s dealing with a woman who thinks if she gets enough fingerprints and crayon marks on her walls that she can pass it off as sponge painting

So today I have come to beg you wonderful blog readers to help me. I know you’re all better at decorating than I am. Don’t deny it. What should I do to decorate the Singer table? That’s Singer as in la-la-la, by the way, not Singer as in sewing machine. So I’m looking for a music theme.

Here are the specifics:

The tables will consist of three rectangular tables arranged in a U-formation.

The decorations need to be inexpensive and easy.

Ideas for clever, cheap place mats would be welcome too.

Since I’m begging for your help on something I’m not good at, I’d like to offer in return something I’m a bit better at. Anyone who gives me a decorating suggestion by Friday, September 8th at noon, Pacific time, will have their name entered in a drawing for a copy of my book, The Believer. If you already own the book and for some reason aren’t looking to start a collection of multiple copies, I’d be happy to sign and mail the book to the recipient of your choice (if, for instance, you think your sister-in-law or your neighbor might like it).

In order to get entered in the drawing, you don’t need to come up with an entire decorating scheme. Just any bit of brainstorming will be fantastically helpful. The Singer family—me, at least—will revere your name for generations.


At 9/06/2006 1:57 PM, Blogger Bonnard said...

For placemats you could laminate sheetmusic. Find a song about singing or something from a vocal exercises book. I'm sure you could find something that is free online so you don't have to pay for the copies. Stick a little black construction paper behind the sheet music for a classier look.

At 9/06/2006 2:51 PM, Blogger Keith Fisher said...

I wasn't thinking about the sewing machine I was thinking about the polygamist :)

go to the thrift stores and find some old microphones or fashion some from spainted styrofoam. group them together like a bouquet there is your center piece. decorate your table cloth to look like a piano Keyboard. make a pyramid from useless cds for another centerpiece. You could use cds and make a vase for your microphone flowers. Find old vinyl records as placemats. you can find vinyl records at every yard sale in town or at savers. the sheet music is a good idea but I would make into napkins. (you may be able to make a jpeg and print it onto paper napkins. Check partyland and see if they have plastic confetti shaped like musical notes. spread the confetti about on the tables.

good luck and if you use any of these, take a picture and post it on here. Keith

At 9/06/2006 7:20 PM, Blogger Mean Aunt said...

Ha! That tire was a great object lesson (plus the look on the face of the RS president was worth it).

Get some old records from the thrift store and use them as placemats.

No, wait, wait--get a bunch of Post-its and just stick 'em all over the table and glasses and chairs. You'll be surrounded by notes!

At 9/07/2006 10:06 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Hee hee! Post-it notes. Would that I could get away with that.

The polygamist . . . oh my, that would sure change my decorating scheme, wouldn't it?

A thousand thanks for the suggestions, Bonnard and Keith and Mean Aunt! I'm feeling encouraged about this decorating deal.

At 9/07/2006 1:31 PM, Blogger FHL said...

For Bonnard's suggestion, I submit the song Sing by the Carpenters. "Sing a song, sing it loud, sing it strong."

Keith Fisher took all my ideas. =)

If you wanted to really be different, you could just burn the edges of the placemats and napkins and stuff. Singe-r.

At 9/07/2006 3:01 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Hey, an arson theme. I hadn't thought of that. And I'll bet I could get the Boy Scouts to help me decorate if flames were involved.


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