Thursday, October 10, 2013

The End & The Beginning

Last month, my father retired from the E.P.A., after 39 long years.
It's funny where life can take you in 39 years...that's a long time, no offense Dad. In that time, my father got married, moved, had three children, moved again, had several cars, kids moved out, kids moved back in, and then all out finally, hundreds of vacations, and made thousands of memories. 
My dad has had your normal hobbies living in, camping, golfing....but his favorite thing to do, and a great excuse for a vacation, is photography. He has traveled the world taking some amazing shots.

In September, my mother threw him a retirement party.

I was lucky enough go back with two of my kids, and help out.

It was meant to mark the end of a chapter in my fathers life, and the beginning of a new one, turning his hobby for photography, into a full blown business. (see it here)

The party was held at our family's favorite restaurant, Il Fornaio. No cooking involved this way.
We did spend an evening together, making decorations for table centerpieces. We went with a travel and photography theme for them.

Here's what we did.

And here's how to do it....

We started with lots of supplies
-Glass cylinders in 3-4 sizes (3-4 per table)
-Stamps & Inks
-Scrapbook papers
-Double sided tape
-Scrapbook glue

Start with the cylinder, and cut the paper to the right height.

 Don't attach just yet.

Embellish with the stamps, stickers, and get creative.

Once you have it all on, put some double stick tape, on the glass, and attach the paper. 
( My dad gave me a little tip yesterday, as he was peeling the paper off these... stick the tape on the paper, or put as little on the actual glass as possible. He was having a long afternoon picking off double-stick tape with a knife. Thanks dad!)

Trim off any excess paper,  on the top or bottom.

Finished product

My creative momma!

From here, fill it with what you want...Flowers, or candles.

You can also paper just part of the cylinder, so the candle can show through.

We had so much fun making these, lots of laughs, and had a "little" help

The 3-D embellishments were a good addition. 

Here they are at the party. We put 3-4 on a table. The smallest size had a candle in it, the others a mix of flowers. There were some small votive candles on the tables as well.


Guests were asked to sign a card that was enclosed in the invitation, and bring it to the party.
On it you were to write an idea for my dad's bucket list, a place to go, or something to do. They were clipped on a line at the party. There were some great ideas. I hope he gets to do some of them.

How cute is this...My dad Photoshop-ed himself as a Gondolier.

There was a guest sign in book on a separate table. My mom set up and antique mirror, with some vintage cameras, and a book to sign.

The cake table was inside, since it was a bit of a hot afternoon. 

Loved this quote...

My mom ordered this funny cake, taking my dad's job with the Environmental Protection Agency, where he worked with waste water treatment....and converted it to a beautiful shot my dad took in Venice.

The food table was decorated with some very tall cylinders, filler with lemons, they were such a statement with the color. We also added the short papered cylinders with the candles.

A little take home gift for friends, a mouse pad with an amazing shot my dad took, all wrapped up with ribbon and a business card. 

We had some photo magazines laid out, that my dad had been featured in, and won awards for different photos.

Pretty impressive!

My dad ordered this backdrop, to make a photo booth, and document the evening. 

He set up the tripod, taped down some feet cut outs, so people knew where to stand, and set out a remote control clicker. People could take their own photos this way.

Me and my cute little brother.


My dad's photos were mounted on boards, and set on easels around the party

This one is my all time favorite, it feels like you could walk into the photograph, the clarity is amazing, everything is in focus, with the perfect sunset in the background. I want to be there...sigh.

The party was a huge success, everyone really enjoyed themselves, and my dad's photography.
Im really proud of my dad, where has has come from, and the new path he is taking!!

Here is where you can see all of my dad's amazing work. 


  1. do you have a file of your invite or bucket list paper you'd be willing to share?

    1. It was just an art photo we got off the internet, and printed it off at the local copy shop.