What's an open house if you don't offer refreshments of some kind? I really hadn't thought about it until someone offered to bring hors-d'oeuvres. Oh, yeah. At most, I thought I'd provide wine and maybe punch. No way did I want to mess with coffee. Maybe some crackers and cheese. Thanks to friend Suzanne for telling me not to serve punch, but buy sparkling cider instead. Much less mess and trouble. Three people ended up providing food, much more than I'd intended, and actually a bit more than I thought necessary. After all, this was an afternoon affair starting shortly after most people would have eaten lunch. And I didn't want them spending all their time eating - they were coming to look at my work! However, I do think the food encouraged them to lingered longer after viewing the quilts, which I liked.
Here's the loaded table in my kitchen which is off the beaten path. I encouraged people to check out the quilts, then check out the food, and most did in that order. I have to admit I went a little overboard on my teal blue theme. Was that tablecloth a good idea considering the color of my kitchen walls? I don't think so! By the way, I hate plastic tableclothes, but when I found out so much food was coming, there was no way I was going to fool with a fabric one. That was a good idea. Made for really quick clean-up.
I really over estimated how much wine and sparkling cider I'd need. I don't entertain much and I didn't really know how many people to expect. I was hoping around 25 but knew there was a real possibility as many as 50 could show up. The lower figure was right, but I still felt I had to plan for the higher one. So leftover plates, cups and napkins can always be used at the next event, leftover food distributed and eaten and uncorked beverages served another day. But I surely thought even 25 people would go through more than 1 bottle of sparkling cider and 1-1/2 bottles of wine. These were Episcopalians for Pete's sake! I didn't request RSVP, but I'm not sure if I had that I would have estimated any better.
In my usual fashion, I hadn't planned on asking for help putting on or conducting this event. I'd invited my god daughter and her friend only because I wanted her to see my quilts and be a part of the event. I wasn't even sure if she would be able to make it. Knew if she did, I could always keep her occupied with taking coats and serving food. What became painfully clear on open house day was just how much I needed at least one other body to help with the last minute details, then attend to guests in order to free me up to answer questions about my work. What was I thinking??? If nothing else, it was comforting to have someone to turn to and ask, "Ok, what have I forgotten?" They also hung balloons on the mailbox, helped move furniture and made gentle suggestions when I clearly wasn't thinking straight. Thanks Sarah and Mikolas!