Saturday, April 5, 2008

Party Basics for New Nesters

A very dear friend, a queen visual vamp, Maria McBride, has another book coming out. It looks yummy for sure, and useful of course. Her own words taken from her blog tell you all about it best:

I spent the last year photographing my newest book, Party Basics for New Nesters, with Alison Rosa. We met shooting a flower story about three years ago. Both moms with city-raised kids, equally passionate about photography, people and politics. We also have very different but similarly shabby chic weekend houses in the same, sleepy town on the far end of Long Island’s wine country. We had much in common and I conspired to work together as often as possible. This book is not only a book about celebrations, it’s a celebration about working together. The right team makes every experience richer.
My usual strategy when photographing my books is to shoot the bulk of the book before even thinking about the cover; that way the final, important photograph tells a story about the entire book. A retro-pyramid of martini glasses filled with a chopped salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and onions tossed with a lemony vinaigrette is a playful re purposing of the elegant cocktail glasses into salad bowls. To me, this picture explains exactly how I aim to design celebrations to intrigue guests and tickle my fancy.

Party Basics for New Nesters Newlyweds, new homeowners, new empty-nesters - every homebody needs to know how to celebrate life at home. Begin with feathering your nest as if you were decorating a comfortable resort. Create a haven, stocked with amenities, that you never want to leave. Stock your home with basic supplies, utilizing the resources around you, and you’ll find it easy to celebrate life on holidays or any day. With page after page of practical basics and style recipes, this book makes celebrating every season easy to do. I recommend stocking a party-ready pantry because creating any event from scratch is always more daunting. I define basic tools, supplies and simple skills that will help you host your next party. I encourage everyone to recycle, repurpose, reuse and rejoice. Party Basics for New Nesters is a party-planning guide that shows you how to celebrate your life with practical tips and simple-to-execute decorative accents.

Celebrating is in my blood. I'm the eldest child of gregarious, fertile parents, by the time I was 5 I knew life was a series of parties. I have 10 brothers and sisters, growing up with a crowd, every day pulsed with a festive chaos. We had an open door policy, tour friends were always welcome. And if having 11 children weren't enough, my mom always had a stray fledgling chick under her wing until they could safely fly away. It seems we always had a party coming up, from birthday parties to opening our doors to the neighborhood for a holiday buffet. I learned that entertaining at home is the best way to show loved ones you care—and accommodate a crowd on a budget.

I started entertaining at home as soon as we married, we were college students and had a modest income of student loans and waitressing tips but that never deterred us from having a good time. We were married a few months before Thanksgiving and decided to invite 30 people for dinner. We cooked 2 turkeys, one in our neighbor's kitchen, using my mom's stuffing recipe and her tips for de-boning birds. My husband, a surgeon in training wielded the knife and I made a respectable copy of mom's masterpiece. An affordable centerpiece of fall branches cut from the garden was all the décor we could afford or needed, it was simply glorious. Guests sat all over our tiny apartment and we had such a great time we've indulged in feeding our souls with parties ever since.

Party Basics for New Nesters is my sixth book but the first I've written without the word "wedding" in the title. My career in publishing started at BRIDES magazine, where I learned to produce photographs and events that showed readers how to bring one of the most important celebrations to life. I've indulged in glamorous over-the-top concoctions and affordable-to-execute back yard pot-luck festivities. Many years and parties later I know its not the bottom line but the way you spend the money you have that makes each party a success because if the people that mean the most to you are at your side, the celebration will always be a success.

Amen sister darling!

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