Baby Shower Paint Night

I'm a little behind on this post, and if you follow Allison's blog, she's already beaten me to the punch, but late is better than never, right?  (That was a lot of commas.  Someone should probably take a red pen to that sentence.) One of my besties from college, Sarah, is less than two months away (!) from having her first baby and, naturally, we wanted to shower her with gifts.  Here's the thing, though: Sarah doesn't really like to be the center of attention.  So the typical sit-in-a-circle-and-watch-while-I-open-gifts type of shower just didn't seem like the right thing to do.  Plus, the baby's room has been undergoing renovations in preparation on his/her arrival, and it needed some good art for the walls.  Enter Baby Shower Paint Night. 

I managed to rope Allison and Jenny into hosting with me (just kidding, they volunteered...I think).  A while back we had all attended a guided paint class (seen here, and I even went back again for another class) and while we were there, we saw a big canvas that had just been painted by a group for a wedding shower.  Well, if you can have a wedding shower painting party, then surely you can have a baby shower painting party, amIright?  We set the plan in motion and got to work.

Sarah has not spilled the beans yet about whether she's carrying a boy or girl (I think it's a girl.  No, it's a boy.  Wait.  Girl, final answer.)  so we needed our invitation to be gender neutral.  I ordered the cute template from this etsy site.

I chose the yellow giraffe because I knew it would match the table cloth I planned on using. 

I have to give props to Allison because she came up with the menu and really carried the weight when it came to food prep.  All pictures from this point forward were taken by her...I stupidly forgot to take my camera with me to the shower.  D'oh!  Anyway, here's our food setup.  See the giraffes on the table cloth?  You better believe I displayed one of the invitations so noone would miss their matchiness. :)  Allison made rice krispie treats with cake batter, complete with sprinkles to make them colorful and festive.  She also whipped up a batch of lemony cupcakes topped with a carmelized (I think?) lemon.  Fancy!  In the middle is a homemade (again, by Allison)  onion dip with chips and veggies.  On the end are two different skewers - that's where Jenny and I come in!  Oh yea, we assembled those skewers like it's nobody's business. 

Here's a better shot of the skewers.  Allison came up with the ingenius idea to make everything easy to eat so we wouldn't have to bother with plates and utensils while trying to paint.  She's a smart one, that girl.  In the foreground are pasta skewers.  They had cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and tortellinis, and then they were marinated in a mustard sauce.  Yummo!  In the back are the fruit skewers arranged in the colors of the rainbow.  You can't have a painting class without a little Roy G. Biv. 

Also on the food table were cookie favors that I ordered.  I don't have a great pic of them, but they were shaped and painted like little artist palettes.  Cute!

Our party group was small, just some of our old friends from college.  Here's the mom-to-be, Sarah, with her old college roomie Dana.  Can't believe we've all known each other for over 10 years!  I remember meeting Sarah and Dana early in my college career when we all pledged the same sorority, and now they're both mamas!  Love these girls!

Kendra showed up with all smiles and ready to get her paint on.

As everyone arrived, the professional artist, Maria, encouraged us to write notes to the baby on the back of the canvas. 

Maria and Sarah had already done lots of emailing back and forth to design the canvas for the nursery.  Sarah sent her a picture of the baby's bedding and Maria based her design off of it.  After she explained how we'd do the painting and gave us the go-ahead, everyone just stood there.  Who would go first?  So we played Rock, Paper, Scissors to figure out who our first three painters would be.

Sarah, Dana, and Roxy were the lucky winners!  They grabbed a brush and got to work.

You can see in the picture below how Maria had already drawn out the main design of the painting.  It had a big tree with lots and lots of leaves drawn in with a texture medium.  We were instructed to start with the background and work our way forward, so the sky and ground got painted first.

Every few minutes or so, we rotated out painters.  Emily jumped in after the first three to do some blending in the sky.

Here's an upclose view of the canvas at that point.  See the little bird in the tree?

While waiting to paint, we all did a pretty good job of stuffing our faces with all that delicious food!

Kendra and I finally decided to tap in and went to work on the ground.  We kept switching sides to evenly mix her bright green with my dull green.

After the background was done, it was time for leaves, leaves, and more leaves.  We passed out colors and everyone was responsible for making sure their colors were evenly spaced out.  Sometimes it got a little crowded while painting.

Wasn't long before we were almost done!  We saved the bird for last and debated over what color to paint it.  Should it stand out or blend in?  We voted blend in.  Kendra was charged with painting it a solid creamy white.

And Dana got the honors of adding the accents to it.

Pretty bird.  Yes, can you say pretty bird?  Pretty bird, yeah, pretty bird.  (Name that movie!)

Our finished masterpiece!  I can't wait to see it hanging in the nursery!  The awesome thing about this painting is that it's not a baby painting at all.  Yes, it will look great in there with the bedding, but if Sarah ever wants to move it to the living room, it could totally work there too.

We're a pretty good group of artists!

I tell you what, this was my kind of shower...painting, eating, and just hanging out with good friends.  It beats a stuffy shower any day!  I highly recommend having a party like this if you have someone you need to shower.  It was lots of fun!