The Art of A Party.
A few years back I decided I'd host my own birthday party, but I didn't want the focus necessarily to be on my birthday. I just wanted to hang out with good friends, and do something creative and different. I don't even remember how I came up with the idea, but I thought it would be fun to have a Paint Your Own Portrait Party. I went out and got a pile of small canvases and some inexpensive brushes and gathered up all my tubes of watercolor paints. I recycled some old jam jars and got them all cleaned up and ready with water for cleansing the brushes.
I set up a painting station in my then Sausalito cottage basement (a dining room table with a painter's drop cloth works great and can look pretty art studio-ish). I can tell you that at first, no one would take the first move to start painting. But once everyone had a margarita in them and one brave soul started painting, everyone couldn't wait to grab a brush and channel their inner Van Gogh. Everyone created amazing portraits of themselves, their girlfriends (be careful to add enough cleavage as to not upset your girl, as happened at our party) and even some beloved pets. It was a blast. And everyone ended up with a pretty cool party favor to take home. Except Tom. Sorry, Tom. Yours was too good and I had to keep it (see above, it's good isn't it?). Trust me, it was really fun and an inexpensive way to shake up a party.