Monday, February 16, 2015

Junior Cotillion | An Enchanted Forest

Every year I seem to go through a bit of a post Christmas blog slump/writer's block.  This year that slump happened to coincide with a crazy busy 5 weeks of planning for the final evening of our 5th and 6th grader's Junior Cotillion.  So, my absence from blogging can be attributed a bit to both, but now that Cotillion is behind me and spring (dare I even say it?) is on the horizon (albeit, very far on the horizon, as I sit here typing in front of the fire with snow falling outside) I'm back wanting to share and write.  I have a long list of blog ideas and look forward to getting into the swing of things again!  First, a recap of Cotillion...

Every year, the final evening is a dinner and dance with a special theme and decorations. Past years have had everything from the Academy Awards to Paris to a Circus, complete with an indoor tent!  It was my first year volunteering on this committee and I didn't fully anticipate how much of my time it would consume.  Regardless, I love planning parties, especially for children and those with a whimsical theme, so while time intensive it was, it was also a lot of fun!  Here are some pictures of the final evening.  It took us two full days, with 25 amazing volunteers, to create this forest and watching the reaction on the kid's faces when they walked in made every second of the preparations worth it.  I have to admit that this is nicer than my prom. :)

^^ Hanging the lanterns was the most challenging part of the set up.  We had failed attempts with fishing line and twine, but laundry line rope worked like a charm.  The lanterns were attached with zip ties and each had a light battery pack that had to be turned on before the dance.  I dreaded that part a bit, but honestly it wasn't bad at all.  Took maybe 15 minutes to light all 60 lanterns.^^

^^ Got to love that photo bomber behind us! :) ^^

^^ Half of the tables were covered in green and white checked tablecloths with log stumps and handmade bird houses, adorned with painted paper leaves and wooden birds.^^

^^ The other half were topped with burlap runners, hurricanes filled with twigs and little mason jar hanging lanterns.^^

^^ We had a crafting afternoon at my house where we made these paper flowers.  I wonder if any of the kids noticed them? Haha. They were so pretty though.^^

^^ There were foxes, owls, toadstools and little red bird cookies for favors. ^^

^^ I'm glad I got to play a part in making the evening a special one for my boy and his classmates and friends.  He didn't seem to totally hate that I was there either, making it even better. ^^

A very special thank you to Anthropologie for generously donating their December window display to us.  Their painted leaves and bird houses were the jumping off point for the decor.  We had to make a few bird houses ourselves and they were a tedious affair.  We were so very thankful for all the contributed!  

Also, thank you to Blue Ox Tree Service for the collection of tree stumps.  They have cared for our trees for 8+ years and are one of our favorite local businesses.  If you are in the area, you will not find better tree care or knowledge.


  1. What a special project and evening! Everything looks beautiful!

  2. What a beautiful evening! You outdid yourself with the decor...what a special memory for both you and Andrew. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to your upcoming blog posts!

  3. It's fabulous Tessa! You did an awesome job in the mist of being sick too.

  4. Absolutely beautiful! What a wonderful memory for all of you.

  5. I think that was better looking than my prom too! You all did a beautiful job :)

  6. Absolutely beautiful and so creative! I adore everything you did. What a lovely room and I can only imagine it took 25 great volunteers 2 full days to put it all up. It shows Tessa. What a lovely evening that those 5th and 6th graders will never forget. Wow. :)

  7. What an absolutely beautiful room and so creative! I just love everything you did. I can only imagine that it took 25 volunteers 2 full days to install it, never mind all of the time to create it all. It shows! It really is exceptional Tessa, and an evening I am sure your 5th and 6th graders will never forget. Wow. :) Susie

  8. How beautiful, and truly enchanting! Love all the creative ideas, the fox cookie is so cute, and I love the centerpieces too, so creative! Thanks for all the beautiful inspiration!

  9. This is such a beautiful event! The work on the lanterns was well worth it!