but actually throwing a party is nerve-racking. Jane and I don't do it very often because we're both pretty neurotically insecure (about different things, but I think the anxiety level comes out about the same).
I certainly had fun planning our wedding reception five years ago—I was happily distracted from the tedium of my job for months. Lately I've been party-planning again, which is much more entertaining than, say, taxes.
On March 15, Boxer Press Kate and I are hosting a Learn-to-Knit party here in Berkeley. It is a benefit for the Women's Daytime Drop-in Center, where I teach knitting once a week. Kate designed the easy cat-toy pattern we will be teaching, and she wrote the how-to-knit booklet and the pattern instructions. And she pulled it all together in an amazingly cute package.
I came up with a menu of Asian-inspired snacks, like fresh spring rolls, satay, and fruit. I think menu planning might be my favorite part. I also scouted locations and settled on Cafe Zeste, on the edge of Strawberry Creek Park in Berkeley. Although we originally thought we would do the catering ourselves, sanity prevailed, and Cafe Zeste will be providing the delicious snacks as well as the scenic locale.
Crystal Palace Yarn donated yarn and needles for us, and K2Tog donated a $25 gift certificate as a door prize. I'm still working on getting a few more door prizes, and we could use a few more guests to make the event a fundraising success for the Drop-in Center. We think a $35 donation is a good amount, considering all that we're providing. I'm asking guests to make their donations directly to the Women's Drop-in Center, so their donations are completely tax-deductible and they are not defraying the costs of the event at all. All the event supplies have been donated, and Jane and I are underwriting the catering costs. We're happy to foot this significant expense, though, to raise money and awareness for a service that is close to home and close to my heart. As a bonus, it's supporting a local small business.
Bay Area buddies, if you know someone who would like to learn to knit in a really fun setting with a lovely group of people, give me a holler.
The backstory on this little project is that the Drop-in Center hosted its own fundraiser last summer, an auction at the Berkeley Yacht Club. Jane and I attended, and it was a lovely evening. I rocked a black minidress, white fishnets, and a very mod hairdo. I looked great, if I do say so myself. If it weren't a bit much for midafternoon, I'd consider reprising the look for our knitting party. (No, I am not in the party shot below. I successfully avoided being photographed, as I try always to do.)
(I bet you didn't know that Berkeley has a yacht club, did you? Well it does, and it's a pretty cool little clubhouse with amazing views.)
Kate and I dreamed up this Learn-to-Knit party as an auction offering, and created a lovely display of instructions, menus, and invitations. (All of which Kate designed and printed. She has mad paper-arts skills.)
We actually swiped the the learn-to-knit party idea from Celia and Pamela, with their blessings and advice.
During the auction I cruised by our display all evening, but no one bid. At all. The only items to receive no bids at all were ours and the $4000 guided trip to Costa Rica. Needless to say, I was rather crestfallen. But I vowed that our work would not go to waste, and I would organize the party as a fundraiser at some later date. Now I have, and I'm determined that it will be a success.
During our March 15 party, I figure I'll be too busy teaching to bite my nails and worry.