Art Installations for Salem Lutheran Church and School

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Advent and Christmas 2017

Advent Final Design

 

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Lent Design 2017

 

 

 

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Holy Week & Easter 2017

Holy Week Transformations

This design documents covers the design intent, mood board, and final design installed.  It includes the designs for Palm/Passion Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.

 

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Acension Sunday and Pentecost 2017

Ascension and Pentecost Design 2017

This design document covers the initial idea, mood board, possible design options, and finishes with photos of the completed design.

May the 4th, 2014

The 2nd Annual Star Wars Day Movie Marathon was, as you can imagine, a success.  Though with such great movies and a bounty of good food and drink, the odds of the party flopping are as low as the odds of a stormtrooper actually hitting his target.

We followed our plan from the previous year and watched the films in machete order.  Four, Five, Two, Three, and Six. One NEVER HAPPENED.  We stayed with the Blu-ray versions of the films as they were the best cinematic quality we had available; though it did mean our discerning guests had to put up with the added CGI and new scenes of the Specialized Editions.

For all things culinary we stayed with the majority of the menu from 2013. For breakfast we had pancakes, Bantha Bacon, Bobba Fett Fruit Salad, and Dark Side Coffee.  Instead of the humdrum pancakes shaped like Star Wars Vehicles or Heros & Villians from the year before, I went all out and made Death Star shaped pancakes for everyone.  Impressive I know.

About a week before the party, our local grocery store gave away free hams to those who bought more than $50 worth of groceries.  I had great plans for that free ham.  It would be magnificent.

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I know, right!?!

Sadly Admiral Ackbar was never meant to be.  Our oven died the day before the party ruining all plans for this glorious creation.  Attending the lunch buffet in his place were Yoda Ears Edamame, Sarlac Pita Dip, Yoda Cookies, and Chewie brownies.

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At least these gems turned out okay.

I know you’re wondering, “Did you carve another Death Star?” Yes, just like Return of the Jedi, I built another one.  But this time, I filled it with booze.

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It will be the death of your liver.

The vodka filled watermelon was not only alcohol at the party, for this year I planned some special thematic cocktails.  After seeing the picture below, I had visions of glowing cocktails at our party.  It would be epic!  Our guests could choose Jedi or Sith cocktails and it would look like everyone had their own cocktail shaped lightsaber.  Not imagining there could ever be a dark side to this brilliant idea, I bought LED ice cubes and all the ingredients for both sides of the force.

Star Wars Cocktails - TopCocktailRecipes

Jedi or Sith, glow like these, your cocktails will not.

The problem with designing a glowing cocktail based on a picture is A) it’s probably photoshopped and B) consideration of light source.  The light source in the picture was clearly at the bottom and probably white or tinted for each cocktail.  The LED ice cubes I found online didn’t sink to the bottom but rather floated at the top (like actual ice now that I think of it).  To my great annoyance, they were also constantly changing color and wouldn’t rest on a single hue no matter what the Amazon page proclaimed.

The other main problem with the drinks was their taste.  Perhaps we are too fuddy duddy for our own good here, but these two cocktails were way too sweet for anyone enjoy drinking, let alone desire more than one.  I shouldn’t have been surprised considering each contained two different kinds of rum, a colored sugary alcohol, and of course, Sprite.

So instead of everyone sipping a glowing, yummy, richly colored cocktail, we all carried around liquid pixie sticks blinking like hand held raves.  The good news is both the Rebels and the Empire brought reinforcements and no one went into battle without a good drink in hand.

By the by, if you need any vanilla, pineapple, black cherry, or coconut rum, we have plenty to share.

May the Force be with you.

The Cornetto Trilogy & a Cupcake Cone Disaster

As fans of Simon Pegg & Nick Frost it was only common sense that we should host a Cornetto Trilogy movie marathon, and since three movies is hardly a marathon, we added on Paul.

What in the world is the Cornetto Trilogy about!!??  I’m glad you asked.

The Trilogy consists of three films directed by Edgar Wright and star Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. See the boys take on a zombie apocalypse in 2004’s Shaun of the Dead. Watch the fellas investigate a series of murders in 2007’s Hot Fuzz. Lastly, follow a group of friends reliving an epic pub crawl with unexpected results in 2013’s The World’s End. In 2011’s Paul, Seth Rogan is the voice of the alien Paul who, along with Pegg and Frost, criss-cross America.

You might be asking yourself, “Why is it called The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy??” That’s a great question, here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it.

The name originates from a “silly joke” during the promotion of Hot Fuzz.Wright had written in Cornetto ice cream as a hangover cure for Frost’s character in Shaun of the Dead, based on his own experiences. In Hot Fuzz, Wright included a couple of brief throwaway scenes that referred to the Cornetto joke in Shaun. On the promotional tour of Hot Fuzz during production of The World’s End, one interviewer pointed out the use of Cornetto in the first two films, and Wright jokingly said that they represent a trilogy comparable to Krzysztof Kieślowski‘s Three Colours film trilogy.

Your next question is of course, “Did you acquire Cornetto ice cream for the party?” Answer: Sadly no.

My original idea was to accompany each film with a drink or food based on the theme of the ice cream paired with it: Red or Strawberry for Shaun of the Dead, Blue or Vanilla with Chocolate for Hot Fuzz, and Green or Mint for The World’s End.  Sadly as time for the party drew near it became clear, the themed food & drink per movie was not meant to be, yet. Despite not being specifically themed, we still managed to serve up a few culinary delights.

Since we started Shaun of the Dead at 11am, coffee and breakfast (pancakes of course) were in order.  Once Hot Fuzz started, we set out a crock pot of Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque and a plethora of small bites brought by our lovely cinephile friends.  And course, I made a themed dessert.

I had planned to buy Cornetto ice cream and call it done, but I couldn’t find it anywhere, and it wasn’t in the party’s budget to have it specially shipped from Europe.  The other problem with ice cream is making it available to everyone all day without it melting and without having to tell people about the ice cream every 20 minutes.  So, since I couldn’t have ice cream in a cone, why not a cupcakes…in a cone!

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Cornetto Cupcakes

 

Let me tell you, if a recipe says to pour cupcake batter into an ice cream cone, you should tell that recipe to sod off.  It was a disaster.  A hysterical, sugar filled, and very messy disaster in the kitchen.

It all began so simply.  I whipped up a box of vanilla cake mix and divided the batter into thirds so I could make all three flavours.  I innocently poured the different batters into various ice cream cones unaware of consequences that would follow.  Once these precious cones were in the oven, the batter began to rise and gently poured over the tops of the cones.  It oozed out of the cracks in the sides, often so forcibly as to crumble the cone which was daring to restrain it.  I, of course, had no idea what was growing inside my oven.  Everything smelled amazing and I assumed it was just fine.  Until I opened the oven and saw the hot mess I had created.  Instead of seeing adorable round cupcake tops poking out over perfectly intact sugar cones, I was greeted with a sugary tri color volcano which looked like a 3rd grade science fair project gone awry.

So…it was time to get creative.  Once the above described hot mess had cooled off, I separated out the three flavours of cupcake and mixed them with the appropriately colored and flavoured frosting.  Luckily I had bought two boxes of sugar cones and began my best attempts to stuff the cake/frosting mix into these untainted cones.  This was a messy, messy job, but this was a good idea.  I should have started with this.

So, let’s say you want to make cupcake cones for your party.  Find a good cake pop recipe and follow that, but instead of rolling the cake and frosting mix into a ball, fill the cones and frost according to your desires.  Also, plan out ahead of time exactly how you are going to hold up all those dozen pointy tipped cones.  (And perhaps come to the conclusion that even though the real Cornetto cones are pointy tips, yours do not have to be and admit that flat bottom cones are a MUCH BETTER IDEA).

That said, they tasted pretty good.

 

Star Wars Day 2013

In 2013, The Librarian and I hosted our first Star Wars party, which ended up launching several other movie marathons.  This was the first time we were going to host any sort of gathering in our new place, and I was excited to go all out (in a cheezy and limited budget sort of way).

And also with youA few days before the party, I stopped by Party City and binged on all things Star Wars.  I’ll admit I was a bit downcast that all their Star Wars decor was themed after the recent movies.  But even a younger, flashier looking Yoda doing a karate kick was not going to deter me – it’s still Yoda afterall.  I picked up the things I “needed” like Star Wars paper plates & napkins, as well as the “extravagant” things like inflatable light sabers.  I even fell for the impulse buy at the counter and not only grabbed some Star Wars temporary tattoos, but also some balloons-including a mylar one of a victorious Darth Vader.  The 7 year old inside me was thrilled.

My Mom & Aunt even got excited about our party and sent me some Star Wars fabric and a Star Wars throw pillow they made.

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Fabric from Mom, and oh yeah, I bought stickers too.  Facepalm

Once we decided to throw the party, I started scouring the internet for ideas for Star Wars themed food.  Most of what I found was too childish (which sounds ridiculous now that I’ve shared with you about my unbridled joy at Party City), but I found some amazing stuff from the blog Just Jenn Recipes.

Since people could arrive as early as 9:30am (which is really early) we started with breakfast.  Star Wars pancakes, Dark Side Coffee, and Blue Banthu Milk.  I picked up the Star Wars pancake molds from Williams-Sonoma.  I heard the force calling me to pick up not only the Vehicles pack but also the Heros & Villains pack.  I mean, if you’re gonna go off the deep end, you might as well go all the way right?

Star wars Food Spread

Pancakes to the left, Leia Buns to the right, and an uncooperative balloon in the center.

To munch on through the rest of the day I made Spicy Yoda Ears (edamame), Bacon Wrapped Pretzel Light Sabers (which didn’t last long enough to take a picture) and the Sarlacc Pit Dip.  I also phoned it in with a Boba Fett Fruit Salad (who doesn’t love alliteration).

Sarlacc Pit Dip

LANDO: No, wait!  I thought you were blind!  HAN: It’s all right.  Trust me.

For dessert I made two things from the from the JustJenn Recipes blog.  These awesome Yoda Cookies  as well as Princess Leia Cupcakes which I made way too big and over complicated the recipe.

Yoda Cookies

These little suckers are amazing.  I could eat the whole batch.

Oh right!  I almost forgot.  I also carved a Death Star out of a small watermelon.

Death Star Mellon

Warning, may cause arguments if attempted after a long day.

Yup, I did that – on the kitchen floor at about 11pm the night before the party while grumpy and cranky with The Librarian over something extremely unimportant and unmemorable.

It was all worth it once people started showing up the next morning.  Everyone was invited to bring something to share, so long as it was themed.  FYI, when it comes to food at a party, funny, punny or alliterative names qualify as themed.

People brought Yoda Soda, Princess Leia Buns, and Sandcrawler Salsa with Greedo’s Tostitos.  Someone even brought all the ingredients to make The Empire, a custom cocktail.  My personal favorite though were the fresh made Obi One Cannolis someone picked up right before coming over.

We have great friends and they made the party wonderful.  Hardly any of the food was left over and everyone joined me in picking a side of the force and proudly wearing their temporary tattoos.

Boba Fett Temp Tattoo

Come on, all the cool kids are doing it

Good times were had by all.  (Han shot first)

May the Fourth Be With You

In our house, May 4th is a pretty big event.  It’s not officially a holiday we take off from work, but it’s a pretty great reason to have a party.

Are you not familiar with May 4th parties? Don’t feel bad, everytime I explain this to someone who isn’t a nerd or in love with a nerd, I get a few strange looks.  Try saying it out loud a few times…May the 4th.

Still not getting it?  Think Star Wars and try again. (Maybe drag it out or try saying it with a lisp if that helps).

Maay the Fourthhh Be With Yoooou

May the 4th be with you

You got it.

It’s an all day celebration of Star Wars.  (And you thought we weren’t nerds.) I may not be well versed in the entire Star Wars cannon, but I love hosting a May the Fourth party.  Throughout the day everyone says, “May the 4th be with you.” And if you happen to be around Lutherans you respond with a quick “And also with you.”

We started hosting the Star Wars party in 2013 have been continuing ever since.  I make a bunch of themed food, people come over, and we watch all of the movies.  “All of the movies??” you’re asking incredulously.

Yes all of the movies.

We start the party at 10am and go until about 8 or 9pm.  The first movie usually starts around 10:30am.  We watch them in Machete Order, which is the only way to watch all of the Original Star Wars films plus the Prequels.  The article linked above gives you a detailed explanation to the whole things but the jest of it is this:  4, 5, 2, 3, 6 done. 1 never happened.

We watch Star Wars – A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and THEN Return of the Jedi.  Flipping back after Empire allows for a nice flashback to fill in a lot of details and back story, before continuing onto Jedi for the redemption story. Again, Star Wars Episode 1 never happened.

I do want to find a copy of the whispered Phantom Edit and add it to the party queue sometime, but we have yet to do it.  The Librarian insists it must be screened first before subjecting our guests to anything related to the Phantom Menace. Apparently it is available on YouTube but I doubt the low quality of the upload will meet The Librarian’s cinema standards.  There is also the Star Wars 3:1 Turn to the Dark Side which edits all of the Prequels into one movie (which is 3 hours long).  It was done following the edit done by Topher Grace who was the first to edit all three of the films together.  Neither the 3:1 version or the Topher Grace version is available online for obvious reasons.  Too bad for the sake of our parties, it would be great to condense those movies a bit.

What are we going to do when Episode 7 comes out?  I have no idea.

Here’s what we did for our first Star Wars party in 2013.

The 2014 Marathon was a bit easier since we had done all of the planning, though there were a few challenges.