Sunday, February 25, 2007

Setting up for the Open House - Miscellaneous

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!

1 comment:

June said...

Sheila,

Thanks for an interesting and informative tour of your open house. I'm thinking (slowly, slowly) about organizing something, so I was particularly interested in the details. By the way, I always overestimate how much stuff I'll need -- in our family, not having more than enough was a kind of disgrace:-)

I agree about your studio, too. Next time you should start with it and skip some of the more private parts of the house if you have to. On the other hand, next time you'll have tons more work to show. I don't know if my husband will allow people in the house, particularly if they are neighbors or passerbys. So I suspect I'll have to have two open studios, one for friends and one for the neighborhood.

Anyway, thanks for the tour. And I loved the blue and green of your refreshment area. I just happened to have a kitchen (done in 1972) that not only featured those two colors together, but had morning glory vines over lattic work to boot. The mayor of the small town where we lived at the time offered to paint over that scene. I was adamant about loving it (I may have just been stubborn).

Thanks and cheers for your work and efforts.