Parties are for celebrating. Celebrating those best times and milestones of life.
Not just for weddings and graduations and christenings and birthdays,
but for those unique and special moments in life that feel incredibly big.
This was one of those moments.
Last winter I was asked by Matthew Mead to have my home
featured in one of his upcoming issues about decorating!
Oh would I ever like to be in his magazine! They are works of art, incredibly shot and styled.
And so we met and he photographed my home. After all was said and done
the waiting game began for the issue to come out in print. I was not alone on this journey, there
were other women who were on this same exciting ride.
We had all been handed our first class tickets by the conductor
himself, Matthew. He was at the head of the train as we took our seats.
Our train was finally pulling into the station! This was such an exciting ride! All of us
would be bound together in print and emotion. I wanted to
celebrate it all, and make sure our conductor understood just how marvelous he was, and
how wonderful this experience had been. I prepared the invitations and started making
a few party decorations around my shop, which would be
the site of the Magazine Launch Party. My entry way wall would become a Wall of Fame,
or a testimonial to all those who were featured, as well as to Matthew's stunning photography.
The party was about to begin~it would start as soon as my shop closed on Saturday
afternoon. Julia, my shop assistant and I had worked the past two weeks transforming it into a festive space by hanging chandelier crystals from small christmas lights strung from the ceiling.
My fellow Stockist Janet Metzger, from The Empty Nest, arrived from Virgina
to attend the party. She is the gal I went to France with last October.
We were ready to get this party started! The weather turned lovely as if on cue
and it was a beautiful sunny afternoon, perfect for a party.
My cash out station was transformed into a bar, filled with ice and drinks. The music
was set to Pandora party mode and one by one the women featured in Matthew's magazines strolled through the door.
Ellen McHale and her hubby Bill arrived with smiles and hugs.
I got behind the bar to pour some wine and was captured by Matthew.
Can this guy take a good photo or what? I never looked so good!
A guest book was set by the front door
with pretty purple tulips on one of my favorite antique iron console tables.
I brought all my amethyst glass vases to the shop for the occasion.
Janet and I made appetizers and deserts for the party. Matthew captured them beautifully.
Matthew is also a helluva cook. He made this delicious spicy shrimp appetizer.
We were getting assembled, almost all had arrived.
LtoR: Ellen McHale, Matthew Mead, Amy Chalmers,
Sandra Cavallo, Danielle Driscoll, Cary Goodrich.
We were still waiting on Michelle Graham and Elyse Major.
The white wine was flowing as were the smiles. Husbands watched as their
wives were in the spotlight, it was our night with Matthew!
Elyse Major arrived and posed with Jenny Mead under the twinkling strands of crystal lights.
I surprised Matthew by suggesting we give him gifts as momentos of our special bond.
During his photo shoot visit at my home we had a discussion about love. I was talking about
the languages of love of which there are five. Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch. How do you feel love? We discussed it, and he said he found Receiving Gifts to be his language of love. So that is how the gift giving part of the party came to be.
One by one he opened his gifts. You could tell how touched he was by the unique and thoughtful gifts he was given. I gave him one of my two blue opaline bird figurines. He told me he had never seen anything like them before when he was at my house. To me they are beautiful symbols of birds of a feather flocking together, and capable of soaring to new heights. His gifts were really awe inspiring. Sitting together in this room of creatives, the night just got better and better.
There was a buzz about the place, photos were being taken at a frenzy pace. Chatter and laughter filled the air. Strangers now connected by this one man. The feeling in the shop was like a 25 year High School reunion, and we were members of the same clique, finally getting to embrace and reunite. It really was quite amazing how connected we all were. Next up was the testimonials.
I was the MC and Matthew the guest of honor. All of spoke one by one about our personal experiences with the amazing Mr. Mead. It was part love story, part roast...incredibly poignant and funny at times. Matthew revealed that he had never had a party to celebrate his work before. Wow.
After we all spoke it was his turn. I copied a quote from his Facebook page below.
"Last night was like the Oscars for me. All the magazine feature stories, the homeowners and friends all came together for an amazing evening hosted by Amy Chalmers at her shop Masion Decor. This is the first time in all the years that Jennifer Mead and I have had the opportunity to truly celebrate with the people that help make the magic happen. I was overwhelmed with the kindness and friendship... but deeply, deeply moved by the words, accolades and creativity of everyone. I was the common thread between us all at the party but the group was bound by so much more talent, style and creativity. There were meaningful gifts, speeches, admiration and I just can't even express all of my grateful, grateful thoughts and feelings for all: Danielle Driscoll, Ellen McHale, Cary Pryser Goodrich, Sandra Von Hagen Cavallo, Michelle Beaulieu Graham, Amy Chalmers, Jennifer Mead, Elyse Press Major. I will never forget this night... will be carried by its joy and inspiration for years to come and am grateful for this community of support and friendship. Thank you Amy Chalmers for making dreams come true. xo xo x"
It was a warm and fuzzy night and so well deserved for our "conductor".
Then it was time for a group photo...easier said then done!
I love the out takes...so hilarious.
We all had the greatest time.
I photo bombed Ellen trying to steal Matthew for a private shot.
Looks like I ruined a great shot, sorry Ellen! lol
These pages would now hold more meaning for me than ever before.
The party was winding down, and suddenly it was over.
Everyone had left the station.
It was a beautiful night.
The essence of everyone's love and laughter still hung in the air.
The chalkboard sign was pulled in and tucked away.
What fun we all had celebrating this moment in time.
I am so honored and happy to be part of this little club.
When things feel this right, its good to savor and celebrate.
Glad to have been able to share this night of magic with you,
my readers of Maison Decor. Lets keep getting on good train rides,
shall we, and have magical adventures together.