Year of the Snake

Dried lotus root.  A view of the Great Wall.  Dancing.  Lanterns, dragons, mandarin oranges.  Old friends; new friends.  Art supplies, records, rice crackers, okra.  Egg rolls, spring rolls, summer rolls, noodles (for longevity).  Wasabi peas, sticky rice, wontons, pot stickers, Saporo and sake.  Tattoos, hugs, high-fives.

Just a few things you’ll find at our annual Chinese New Year party.

chinese new year_gate

Inexpensive packages of random papers I picked up at a local Asian market that were stapled to a ribbon for decoration.

invite

The snake carries meanings of malevolence, cattiness, mystery, acumen and divination.  Often the snake has a good temper, communication skills and wisdom.  They have tremendous sympathy for others and love to help where they can.  Snakes excel with handling money.  Their character is intense and passionate and they are determined to meet their life goals.  They have a rich source of inspiration and understand themselves well.  Read more about the Snake and other Chinese zodiac signs here: http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/social_customs/zodiac/snake.htm

lantern

Chinese New Year_outside

Paper maché lantern w/ LED light inside hung in front of the house and welcomed guests with the “He” symbol, which represents harmony in Chinese; an inexpensive box of fans tied to an old branch placed outside the front door.

Every year (well, this is the forth party I’ve thrown, the third one in Amarillo) we have a Chinese New Year Celebration.  It has become a tradition that our friends now look forward to.  Which I think is kinda’ cool.  Each year I acquire a few more decorations, and each year I try to come up with a fun new art project.  (Last year was lantern making, so the lantern that hung in the front of our house was from last year, as well as the umbrella lantern.  Blow up a balloon, cover it in vaseline, cover it with several layers of coffee filters using watered down white glue and let it dry.  Then glue colored tissue paper over it- or punch drink umbrellas into it- and take out the balloon after you cut a nice round hole at the top.  String a wire hanger at the top and you have a lantern ready to hang!)

This year’s art revolved around Chinese brush painting and stamping:

chinese_art_supplies

Supplies

books

Inspiration

celery_stamp

Celery and okra debuted this year!

artwork

Natalie checking out her creation

Chinese New Year_stamping

Corn made an appearance as well…

painting

Usually different forms of artwork abound once people get inspired.  THIS year there were several tattoo artists that surfaced: (Oh what a can of Sharpies can inspire!)

Chinese New Year_tattoos

tattoo2

IMG_1610

mountain

proverb

artwork2

Chinese New Year_great wall

The dragon I bought on-line for 7 bucks, as well as the funky “window” of the great wall. I bought the cherry blossom stems that light up at Urban Outfitters about 6 years ago. They come out of hiding for the party each year. Same with the Chinese posters I picked up in China town a million years ago.

snuff bottles

Thanks to Aunt Judi who gave me a set of these after her trip to China.

Chinese New Year_decor

Dragon; platter of tangerines; fortune cookies; Chinese candies for good luck, fortune, prosperity and fertility.

banners_crop

Scrolls made with descriptive qualities of each zodiac animal and their best “match” for friendships. Birth dates were included so guests could discover which animal they were.

IMG_1548

fortune cookie

That’s me, after I discovered TWO fortunes in ONE cookie. I was feeling lucky 🙂

And then of course everyone danced in the kitchen.  Like always.  Last year’s party happened to fall on the night that Whitney Houston passed away, and when word got to the DJ, we danced to many of her songs in her honor.  This year I wanted to make it a tradition to have a few of her songs played again.

dancing

ohhhh, I wanna DANCE with somebody!

dancing2

Chinese New Year_skylights

Paper lanterns and Hell bank notes hung from our skylights.

If you are interested in finding decor for a Chinese new year party, I suggest these sites : Partycheap.com , Orientaltrading.com

I also was able to find supplies at hobby lobby, Joann’s, Michael’s and our local Asian market.

The morning after:

morning after

Just a few weeks ago I ran across this photo that my mom sent to me.  The back of it reads,”Trip to San for your 19th B-day  1995.”

amber_19

Little did I know that the items I was purchasing in China town would make it all the way to Texas just so I could have a New Year’s party.  So glad they did:)

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