I decided to throw a painting party. Above is the graphic that was sent along with the midnight black invite. I forgot to take pictures because I was so eager to mail them, but the envelopes were black and thick and I calligraphied the addresses in silver pen and actually mailed them. I adore getting mail that looks nothing like a bill.
Here were the favors for each guest to take home: A "mix-tape" CD with songs that went with the starry night theme, and a mini Chinese take-out box filled with shadow animals, or as the kids call them, chocolate animal crackers. They are possibly my favorite thing on the planet.
I decorated the house with lots of clumps of candles. The fantastic thing was that my mom and sister owned 30 of these pillar candles that are actually remote controlled so I didn't even have to deal with the pesky fire-ruining-a-fete problem that could have arisen from mixing canvases and flame.
This is what the weather was like in late April, so fire and hearty foods and indoor activities were perfect. (Everyone tells you that Hell is a hot place.)
We had a whole spread of sort of Parisian foods, really crusty breads and cheeses and fruits dipped in midnight rich chocolates and my friends (who know that cooking is not my strong suit) brought incredible dishes. After eating and chatting I got everyone into aprons, really ragged muslin affairs that I pictured Van Gogh, or a crazed and poor butcher, wearing.
At this point-- and truly this was the highlight of my year when I couple it with the bowl of shadow animals-- one of the guests entered the room stripped down to nothing but his skivvies. He was prepared to be the model of the male form. Nothing gets the party started like some skin and some fearlessness. I have the coolest, most family-like friends that I could have believed existed.
We all did our best renderings of Van Gogh's Starry Night. I set the table with and 11x14 canvas for everyone and a plate pallette of paints and lots of brush choices and instead of a napkin, a rag to wipe up messes. I set out books with the picture so we could copy the image, but most of us ended up embracing the digital age a bit more than old Vincent would have imagined and since the book pages kept flipping, I just texted the image to everyone and then we each propped up our phones right where we could see them.
Like, I might turn to a life of crime- art heist level of criminality in suburbia and individually go steal a few of these so that I could have a little collection withing the secret vault within my panic room. The above is my favorite picture because Chuck has just managed to fling himself into the shot after setting the timer on the camera and then misjudging how high you must jump to clear a tall sofa.
Here's the one that I did. Believe me, it looks AWESOME in real life.