Monday, April 14, 2008

Dine by Design... A Feast For Your Eyes!

They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. I consider that true and therefore think the women of a local Grapevine, TX church should be feeling pretty flattered right about now. I don't know when or where, but someday I will copy this idea... and might I say, I hope I do it half as well. EVERYONE will love this idea, but particularly my student affairs and higher ed friends will see its utility. By now, hopefully I have peaked your curiosity... but first... some Monday Maintenance
Monday Maintenance
  • Flat Stanley. Helena, let us know when you are ready to move Flat Stanley along. Remember, it doesn't have to be the world's greatest adventure. Any thing he does is better than being stuck under a bulletin board (the story behind how he got flattened).

  • I am waiting to see if anyone logged on yesterday between 4:16 and 5:16 p.m. CST. If so, you know what to do.

  • Three people have referred someone to my sight and had them post to comments. Cassie P, Katie K, and Treye are all in the running for the $25.00 gift card (to a location of your choice). They have each had one person post a comment. That makes it a tie between the three of them, but not hard for any one of your to catch up with. The contest, to see who can refer (and then get their referral to post) at midnight on Wednesday (4/16). The winner will be announced bright and early on Thursday.

  • Today's letters are (you snooze you lose, though you had extra opportunity since I forgot and left the letters posted longer than intended). To win the prize, collect them all (also by Wednesday) and be the first to decipher the code.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: Three days left and we can do this. Hope springs eternal. We have finally tipped the 3,000 mark (that means it is down hill from here). We need 1,943 hits between now and Wednesday at midnight. Sounds like a tall order to fill, right? But, hear me out... If 80 people a day visit (and we've been averaging more like 100-120) and those 80 people just got 8.09 people to also visit each day then we would be there. So if you work... walk down your hallway and ask eight colleagues of yours to participate. If you're retired, walk out your door and ask your neighbors. If you're staying at home with your kids... tell each of the moms you see at play group. If you're a student, then tell your classmates. Each of us gets 8 people today, tomorrow, and the next day. That's it. No strings attached and they never have to return again (although we want you back!!!!!). This will be a good test as to whether we, as a nation, can do our part to stop global warming. We have to. So take this small step and let's prove that with just a little bit of effort and maybe even inconvenience, we can make something big happen!!!!!

Creativity is contagious in every way shape and form. My creative neighbor knows I love creative ideas and am always on the hunt for something new. She caught me in our culdesac on Saturday afternoon and asked if I would like to accompany her for 30 minutes to a local church where a fundraiser was being held - something she thought I would not want to miss. Parenthetically I should say, my neighbor is the real-kind of creative... as in... she can make stuff. She knows how to draw, paint, make table arrangements, sew... the Martha Stewart stuff I would never even attempt. I knew when she said this would be something worth seeing, that I shouldn't miss out.

The concept behind this church dinner is that 75 women (and a small army of their friends) each sponsored a table. To sponsor a table is to agree to develop a theme for the table and subsequently to arrange for the corresponding plates, napkins, utensils, centerpieces, chair covers, party favors, and the list goes on and on an on! Imagine all of the planning, plotting, crafting, and creating that a group of women and her friends could produce if they had ALL YEAR and all that energy was being loaded into ONE table for ten people.

Now imagine that times 75. Yes, 75 gloriously decorated tables around every imaginable theme. We're talking chocolate, travel, books, games, Barbie, Nancy Drew, lemons, m & m's, Valentine's day, Christmas, summer, gardening, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, cowboys, and my neighbors table... tennis. I'm naming a fraction. In fact, I was so overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the event and yet... the amount of attention that was paid to the smallest of details, that I didn't make a single note. I took some pictures I will share with you, but I will have to leave the rest up to your creative imaginations.

I spent a good amount of time looking at the tennis table, because my friend worked on it, so I will recall all the that I can to give you some idea... The plates were clear glass, but painted on the bottom to resemble a tennis ball (the EXACT color, I might add). To the left of each plate was a napkin with a monogrammed sweat band as the napkin holder! Beneath the plate was a table mat to look like a tennis court. Above the plate was a place card holder in the shape of a tennis ball, and centered in the table was the most perfect topiary made with tennis balls. Each woman received a package of handmade note cards "sporting" a fun tennis saying. I can't remember if there was anything draped over the back of the chair , but I do remember that all the women sitting at this table were coming to the dinner dressed in tennis attire (just like all the women at the Who Want to be a Millionaire table dressed in identical and slinky, black and white cocktail dresses).

I love this idea, not only because it is creativity...MANIFESTED in the most tangible of ways, but also because the very idea is creative. Raise money by involving 75 different groups of people and then guarantee a lot of buzz and a good turn out - all because of the lengths these women could not resist going to when doing their "EXTREME DECORATING." Genius. I'm a great example. I moved to town in November and only heard about the idea three days ago. I, like many community members, only "toured" the tables this year, but you better believe that next year I will want to get one step closer by attending the event. I like being creative as much as the next person, so it won't take me long before I want to roll up my sleeves and coordinate the design of a table myself. And, this is not even a church I attend!

Melanie, Heather, cspgradstudent, Tera... someone... steal this idea! Heather, picture a fundraiser where each student organization was developing the table decorations for ONE table. Their goal... identify a theme and then develop it to its nth degree. Then those same students sell tickets to faculty, staff, administrators, their parents, and alumni (ooohhh... even the Homecoming Committee could use this idea). The church sold tickets for $15.00 a piece - reasonable, especially if you could get food donated). This has great possibilities for not just churches, but student organization, PTAs, Women's League groups; a neighborhood; girl scout (!) troops... the list goes on.

Ok, I hope I did this beautifully executed idea justice. If not, it's because I was overcome by the sheer creativity of it all and - being the internal processor that I am - two days was just not enough time to soak it all in and then turn around and describe it. Of course it's also Monday and I'm just warming up for the week, too.

Pictures say a thousand words, so be sure to spend some time checking out the pictures I've included... and then go recruit your 8 people!.

Signing off until tomorrow...

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