As you know, my oldest graduated from high school this year.  (You can read my “letting go” post here if you missed it.)  The ceremony itself was lovely, filled with pomp and circumstance and the utmost dignity.  We celebrated with a party the next day and since then have attended many graduation parties!  I’m happy to say that the last two are this coming weekend.

I wish I was more creative when it comes to parties and holidays.  I decorate very simply (or not at all.)  I know that party banners are all the rage, so when I stumbled upon the fabulous Etsy shop Modern June, I was inspired to try my own.

I used 15 pennants on one to accommodate (H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y ) and 10 on the other.  I figured I could write “Congrats” or even “Congratulations” and then my son’s name on the second banner.  I fused fabric scraps to the back of chalk cloth and sewed them to a ribbon.

With our house floor plan and the unpredictable Cleveland weather, we had to set up our party in the garage.  The weather cooperated, the kids and adults played in the backyard and the folks gathered in the garage to eat and visit.  The close quarters actually enhanced the mingling, I think.

In the garage I displayed my son’s quilt (of course!)

Our dear friends supplied the photo cake!

Annie did a fantastic job of creating a memory board with some other mementos.  She even made a lovely DVD with photos of my son throughout the years.

The tape ball, a 30 pound mass of masking tape, the crowning achievement of my son’s 8th grade year, had a place of honor….

I was really inspired by a priest once who spoke about how we all have been given things in life and that we should be grateful for those things.  (For example, the people who built our schools or our libraries or museums….how those who go before us continue to give.)  To convey that idea, I selected a quote by Alfred North Whitehead:  “No one who achieves success does so without the help of others.”  I made a banner of the quote and then surrounded it with photos, artifacts and notes thanking all the people who attended the party for what they did for my son.  For example, we thanked our neighbor for giving my son his old ties to wear to school and thanked Grandpa for all the $2 bills over the years, Grandma for “Blue Doritos”….

On the other wall we displayed on old uniform pant and his signed shirt.

It was a fun party.  My son and his girlfriend played jazz music during dinner and my daughter played music and sang later in the evening.  My brother-in-law entertained on the button box.

I finished two more quilts for two more parties.  I’m happy to have a little break from quilting now!