Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Medieval Theme Decorations: Scroll Invitations

Easy to make scroll invites:

  • parchment coloured paper
  • 2 wooden dowels per invitation
  • scotch tape
  • ribbon
  • computer with word software
  • clip art or graphic with medieval theme
  • printer
Step one:
Using word software draft the text for the invitation. I used Lucida calligraphy font, to appear as if it was hand written. The text I used reads:

By Royal Proclamation
Sir___(name) of___(street name)
Requests your presence in celebration of the day of his birth
(date and time)
on the grounds of castle (address)
we will enjoy a sumptuous feast, games and revelry
RSVP to Lord and Lady (last name)
The Royal Messenger
Step two:
Add a fancy graphic. I used a coat of arms with a dragon emblem. There is plenty of free medieval themed clip art out there. I simply googled "coat of arms+dragon" and picked one I like. Use whatever suits your taste. You could also use a stamp or a metallic seal.

Next, print out enough copies as there are guests. If you don't have parchment coloured paper and don't want to buy any-you can use regular printer paper and stain each piece with a damp tea bag. Another option is to carefully burn the edges of each invitation to add to the aged effect.

Step three:
Tape the wooden dowels to both the top and bottom edges of the piece of paper. Tightly roll the paper around each dowel to hide the tape.

Step four:
Roll up each invitation and tie with ribbon. Hand deliver them to your guests. You could mail them, but it's not as authentic, nor as much fun.

Medieval Theme Decorations: Coats of Arms

For an upcoming boy's birthday party, I have started working on Medieval themed decorations.
This project is really easy, only costs a few dollars and looks great.

DIY Coats of Arms
  • adhesive backed sheets of craft foam
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • template for shield shape-create your own or find one online
  • template for medieval emblems such as crosses, stars, fleur de lis
This project is actually very easy. By using craft foam with adhesive already on the back, you can eliminate the glue totally!

Shield Template I used

Step one:
  • Using your template, draw around the shield shape on the back side of the craft foam
  • Cut out the shield shapes

Black shield shape

Template for emblems
Step Two:
  • Find clip arts shapes-I used crosses, fleur de lis, stars and simple bands of colour
  • Draw around the templates on the back side of coloured craft foam
  • Cut out the shapes
  • Peel and stick the shapes onto the shield background
That's it! So easy! The hardest part is cutting around the shapes. Curves are more difficult than straight lines.

For extra credit-cut the shields into halves and quarters and switch the colours around, as shown above.

Stick the shields up around the party room to add to the royal atmosphere.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Staff BBQ

*To protect the privacy of the guests, no names or photos of guests are included in this post

Date: Saturday August 28th 1-4 pm
Guests: 40, staff plus families
Location: Erindale Park, Mississauga On


  • Hamburgers
  • Veggie burgers
  • Chicken breasts
  • Sausages
  • Assorted condiments and buns/pitas
  • Potato salad
  • Pasta salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Assorted drinks
  • Watermelon slices
  • Chocolate or vanilla ice cream cones
I also opted for biodegrable plates and cutlery, to green up the bbq a bit. I hate to leave so much garbage behind.

Catering by Simply BBQ, see website for more details

Simply BBQ provides all the necessary equipment and handles all the set-up, which includes a trailer bbq and service canopies.
They even bring along the music! The staff was fantastic and very easy to work with. See the photos on their site for more information.


Since we had a mixture of very young children, adults and teenagers I allowed for a free form event. Nothing was "scheduled". I added additional service time for the bbq in case some families with young children were a bit late getting to the event. The atmosphere was quite casual, and I think the guests enjoyed the ability to relax and mingle with colleagues and their families in an informal environment.

I supplied lawn games such as frisbees, nerf toys, lawn darts, ring toss and horsehoes and allowed the guests to structure the games any way they wished. The nerf football and frisbees proved popular with the teenage boys.

The battery powered bubble machine was fantastic. However-it sure went through alot of bubble solution very quickly. I'll be sure to bring a large jug next time I use it.

The picnic area features a playpark for the children, which they enjoyed throughout the afternoon.

Here is the site before the event-not much there

The weather was quite windy, more than I expected. I managed to jury rig tie downs for the plaid tablecloths with some twine. Some early arrivals helped me out. Thanks guys!

The weather forecast indicated it would be quite hot and humid. Knowing the picnic area is a wide open grassy field, without much shade I brought along a pop-up gazebo tent, similar to a camping dining tent.

This was the best idea of the day! Guests quickly labelled it " the baby tent". Six babies have been born to the staff in the past year, it was great to see them all, and for the parents to all meet each other.

I knew it was successful when the guests lingered long after the official end date of the event-especially the babies. They were amongst the last to leave!

Lootbags were provided for all guests, with specific items removed or added depending on the age of the guests. Some examples of items-pencils and erasers, bubbles, balls, hair clips for younger girls and socks for the babies.


The Credit River