November 11th, 2010 |

Little Pumpkin First Birthday Party

I had the pleasure of working with a lovely family recently to help inspire a cute, festive first birthday party for their little boy, Sutton, who’s birthday was the weekend of Halloween.  Sutton’s mom is a crafty, yet busy, working mama of two….so she came to me for a custom inspiration board to gather ideas of how to pull together a cute party that the whole neighborhood could enjoy.A traditional Halloween color palette of orange and black was updated with accents in grey, and a modern greek key pattern.  Polka dot balloons, paper lanterns and a fabulous dessert table made for a festive party…..don’t you just LOVE the backdrop to the dessert table?!  My favorite touches are the little ghost cake pops, the mummy dogs and the vases full of mini white pumpkins.

Photography by Black Frame Photography

 

October 29th, 2010 |

Halloween Party

I thought I would end the week with these darling images from one of my favorite party families.  The Brown family in Jacksonville, Florida threw a fabulous Halloween party for a bunch of families and used our WH Hostess Halloween collection.  Didn’t it turn out cute?!

October 28th, 2010 |

Kai Lan Birthday Party by Two Sugar Babies

My friend, Charynn of Two Sugar Babies, came to me this summer with a grand vision of a colorful-Chinese lantern-Kai Lan character birthday party for her daughter, Madelyn.  She knew she was going to have a large party for friends and family at a park, and wanted some colorful invitations and paper goods, and a fabulous dessert table.

I put together this little package of party goods for her – an invitation, cupcake toppers, gift tags, water bottle labels, centerpiece sticks, candy jar tags, food tent cards and stickers.  I love how this invitation turned out – darling for this theme, but it would also be so cute for a summer picnic, a baby shower, the possibilities are endless!

Charynn did a fabulous job putting together her dessert table!  Being the ultra-creative fondant-queen, the cake is BEYOND darling and I love all of the colorful details she put into the sweets.

 

The dessert table was cute and colorful with rainbow colored paper lanterns hanging above, and a darling banner in front.   Charynn made a lot of the goodies herself, including cupcakes (with toppers by WH Hostess), candy sushi, chocolate dipped fortune cookies, rainbow-color-spattered chocolate covered oreos, and cookies with fondant toppers.   A fabulous cake with Kai Lan cake toppers and marshmallows, plus some amazing lollipops and candy finished off the dessert table.  I love how Charynn pulled the rainbow colors into every detail – the cupcake liners, the candy jar tags, even Madelyn’s outfit!  (a Kai Lan shirt and tutu).

 

October 21st, 2010 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Woodland Forest

I have been so excited about this latest party from WH Hostess!  I’ve been working on the design for awhile now, you may remember this post on the inspiration boards for it.  The party was last weekend and I am just thrilled with out it turned out!

When Patrick’s mother first hired me to work on her son’s party, she made it clear that she wanted something that read “boy” and “fall”.  The woodland forest fairy theme has been so popular lately, and I thought it might be interesting to just focus on a few key designs – an owl, a toadstool, acorns and moss – and create a clean-lined version of the whimsical designs I have been so inspired by.  A color palette of rusty-red, olive green, chocolate brown and robin’s egg blue was developed, and the darling invitation followed.

The hostess asked me to create a cute table setting, a centerpiece idea that could be replicated in a few places, a dessert table that would get “oohs” and “ahhs”, and party favor packaging.  I used chocolate brown fabric as tablecloths and as the backdrop for the dessert table.  The colors really popped against the rich color!  Centerpieces were created using different sized cylinder vases, half full of moss stones, half full of green lentils, and each one held a darling centerpiece stick.  Each place setting was set with a rattan placemat,  a darling bottle of lemonade embellished with a sticker, and a box lunch was served (which the boys thought was SUPER cool!).  They also had a little party favor wrapped in burlap fabric and tied with our signature polka dot ribbon and a gift tag at each place.

The dessert table stole the show and personally I love the rustic, yet modern look of it!  I used wood boxes (super inexpensive at IKEA) as both containers for lollipops and our pine tree centerpiece, and also to create a wood stand for cupcakes, brownies and candy apples.  The cupcakes were accessorized with our coordinating cupcake toppers, and the brownies had a yellow piece of candy placed on the top to add a pop of color.  Cylinder vases and small, glass bowls were used to hold the candy selection, which included swirl salt water taffy, candy raspberries, and yellow and blue candy balls. Candy jar tags and brown polka dot ribbons added a touch of whimsy to the look.  Rice crispy cubes were served in plastic cups, and also had a plate full of custom sugar cookies by Allyson Jane Designer Desserts.  Aren’s they cute?  I sent the designer my designs and this is what I received in the mail….fabulous!  The decorations were simple – a pine tree centerpiece and a custom woodland forest banner.  Clean, fresh and oh, so “boy!”

Patrick’s mom also hired me to create a plan and paper goods for a night-before-Thanksgiving cocktail party.  Here’s the catch – create a fabulous, modern design…..using a lot of the same items I used for Patrick’s birthday party.  A challenge?!  Yes.  Stay tuned next week to see what I came up with!

WH Hostess and Amazon are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.

October 13th, 2010 |

Little Red Car

It’s a busy, busy week here at The Party Dress and WH Hostess!  Lots of new products in the works, we are getting ready to launch our very first on-line catalog (very exciting!) and are working on a couple of fantastic parties!  Coming up this month…..a woodland forest party, a modern train party, a bridal shower, baby shower and a local store’s 5th anniversary party….to name a few!  One of my favorites is a “little red car” birthday party.  This custom inspiration board was put together for a little 2 year old in Denver and we are having a ball putting together the party ideas!

Images: little red car invitation (whhostess.com), dessert table inspiration (scissorspapercake.com.au), cookies (hello-naomi.blogspot.com), centerpiece (nancyluichin.com), drink bottles (imprintables.com)crayon cars (etsy.com), grass centerpiece and party favor bags (jackandizzy.com), water bottle labels (shimandsons.com)

 

WH Hostess is a preferred sponsor of The Party Dress.

September 20th, 2010 |

Real Parties: Birthday Camp out for Sawyer

I am always on the lookout for both Fall party ideas and cute boy birthday parties….so when this party was dropped in my in-box, it pretty much made my day!  Sawyer’s mom went all out for his 7th birthday party.  They live on a small farm with lots of space for Sawyer and his friends to roam and explore…..and it made the perfect back drop for a camp out!  The boys enjoyed a full camping experience – a campfire cookout, s’mores, a nature scavenger hunt, crazy games and snuggling down in the their sleeping bags while sipping hot chocolate and watching a  movie after dark in a huge hunting tent, complete with wood burning stove!

Here are a few details from the party that really stand out to me:

  • These invitations from Darcy Lea Design are darling!  I love that they aren’t cartoon-y and have a real “boy” feel to them.
  • Sawyer’s mom used IKEA fabrics to create a custom bunting and table linens.  She used three modern patterns, as well as a dark brown burlap solid fabric for the party favor bags.
  • The hand-painted sign accessorized with twigs spelled out ‘Camp Sawyer’, and mounted to the front of the large tent, it makes the space feel like summer camp!
  • The sweet table decorated with pine cones, silver oil lanterns, and vases filled with smooth river stones and twigs added to the outdoorsy feel.  Desserts and accessories were perched on pedestals of cut alder tree trunks, and treats included campfire decorated cupcakes, gummy frogs, trail mix, cinnamon bears, wildlife sugar cookies, green apple Izze sodas and a s’more bar with takeaway bags.

I love the feel of this party and I think it’s a wonderful example of how to put together a stylized party for boys – leaving the cutesy/cartoon-y look a thing of the past!

Toys

September 13th, 2010 |

Woodland Forest Party Inspiration

I recently worked on a woodland forest custom inspiration board and invitation design and just LOVED the way it turned out.  The birthday boy’s mom was nice enough to allow me to share it with you….

While trying to incorporate a color palette of chocolate brown, olive green, rusty red and a turq-y blue, I decided to stick with a slightly more modern pattern, and used the owl and acorn as our two main images.  I am thrilled with how it turned out!  (see  invitations, cupcake toppers, and stickers here) Jackson’s mom is planning a BIG party – family, friends and a select group of Jackson’s buddies.  What I love about the inspiration boards you are about to see below is that they could be interpreted for both a kid’s birthday party, but also an adult’s party!

 

Images: moss ball garland, moss balls, bark vases (save-on-crafts.com), fall centerpiece (partiesandpretties.blogspot.com), owl party hats (chachke designs via etsy.com), terrarium centerpieces (bhg.com), felted acorns (fairy folk via etsy.com), owl wreath (stinkytoesdesigns.com), banner (whhostess.com)

I like the idea of playing with natural elements when it comes to decorations: bark-covered vases, baskets of moss balls, pine cones, pumpkins and gourds.  Mixing in some modern paper elements, such as paper trees, pennant banners, and centerpiece sticks coming out of pots of moss balls will give the party an updated look.

 

 

Images: silverware bags (southernweddings.com), baked beans and corn on the cob (frillymillyevents.blogspot.com), apple cider (amyatlas.com)

You can get really creative with food displays!  Using wood slabs as trays, old tree stumps as pedestals, and unusual vessels for serving will create a rustic yet modern look.   I love the idea of serving baked beans in miniature mason jars, and corn on the cob on sticks, mini sliders on wood planks – kid-friendly and design-savvy enough for the adults!

 

Images: owl cupcakes (realsimple.com), popcorn cones and lollipops in moss boxes (mercinewyork.com), pie pops (bakerella.com), rice crispy pops (theknot.com), owl cookies (sweetopia.net), acorn cookies (amyatlas.com), hedgehog cupcakes (mylife-myloves.blogspot.com)

There are so many fabulous options for creating a woodland forest dessert table!  I envision using tree-stump cake plates, boxes filled with moss, some miniature toadstool mushrooms, and decedent desserts.  Picture mini pie pops, owl and hedgehog cupcakes, frosted cookies – both owls and acorns, brownie pops, chocolate-dipped rice crispy treats, and jars of candy in our pop colors.  Yum!

I hope you enjoyed a peak into how my brain works as I start planning the paper designs and party details for a client!  I just love this theme for a fall party!  I think there is so much you can do with it, and between the rich colors and natural elements, it will create a party that is warm and fuzzy!  I know I am looking at this concept for a birthday party, but I think it would be darling for a baby shower too!

There have been some wonderful woodland fairy parties floating around the web lately too….check out Kate Lander’s party and Sharnel Dollar’s party for some wonderful inspiration, too.  For more information about our party planning/inspiration board services, please click here.

 

September 8th, 2010 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Spa Party

I hope you all enjoyed the pictures from our latest WH Hostess party, the sweet sixteen party inspired by our purse invitation!  As promised, I am back today to show you pictures from another party with a purse theme.  My best friend’s daughter, Emma Jane (you remember Emma, she had a darling flower party last year!) had decided she would like to celebrate her 6th birthday with 10 of her closest friends at a little salon.  Manicures, pedicures, facials…..what 6 year old wouldn’t love that?!  Our purse invitation served as inspiration for the color palette, and here is what we came up with……..

Emma’s guests were all greeted at the door with a tiny, pink robe and a pair of darling flip flops from 3x Sweet.  They were custom designed to coordinate with the party, and also served as the girl’s party favors.  Don’t their feet look cute?!  Girls had facials, manicures, pedicures, made lip gloss, beaded bracelets and played games.

This party is the perfect example of how to style a party outside the home.  We had a small party room (with a lot going on in it!) to work with, so we focused our energy on the dessert bar and a couple cute centerpieces.  We used mini kate spade vases in hot pink, with over-sized blooms and our purse centerpiece sticks.  The unexpected proportion of the blooms was just darling!  I created a custom design liner for my lucite serving tray, and we used it to serve mini cans of Sprite (served with pink and white striped straws, of course!) and hold party favors.  The dessert bar was set up on a ledge up against a mirrored wall.  In person, it was charming.  For photography-purposes, it was challenging to get good pictures – both ones that didn’t reflect the flash, but also ones without me (the photographer) in them!

Since I was styling the purse themed sweet sixteen party the same week, I was able to use some of the same vessels and candy for this party (awesome when you are ordering candy in bulk and you have two outlets for it!)  The  pink, yellow and orange candy was a huge hit!   The table was scaled down a pit from the extravagant sweet sixteen table, but  I used some of the same apothecary jars and vases from Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel. The candy all came from Candy Warehouse, and included  pink salt water taffygumballslemonheads, plus pink, yellow and orange rock candy was presented in mini white pots from IKEA.  The biggest hit?!  The $2.00 bag of mini marshmallows!  The girls couldn’t keep their hands out of that vase – they kept sneaking “just one more” while they were getting their spa treatments!  WH Hostess created all of the candy jar labels, signs and cupcake toppers.

The purse cupcake toppers, yellow and white striped cupcake liners from Bake It Pretty, and this beautiful pink cake stand from Rosanna made a festive addition to the table.  The girls had little pink boxes to fill up with candy, and they also brought home cookies with custom fondant toppers from Two Sugar Babies wrapped in cellophane bags.

 

It was such a cute and fun party…..and most importantly, Emma had a great time!  Here is one last picture of the party (we lined up mini cupcake stands with toppers that spelled out EMMA for her to blow out her candles on)….Emma Jane and me (the lucky lady that gets called “Auntie Kelly” by this sweet little girl!).

August 31st, 2010 |

WH Hostess Party: Monkey Play Group Birthday Party

 

I recently styled a “play group” birthday party for a sweet 1 year old named Spencer.  Held at a local gym, Spencer’s mom had little space to work with and wanted a simple, yet stylized look.  For more details, head on over to my post on Project Nursery or our picture gallery.

Shop: invitation, thank you card, cupcake toppers, candy jar labels, centerpiece sticks, banner, stickers

August 23rd, 2010 |

Real Parties: Gracie’s Preppy Pool Party

Today’s real party feature is a darling preppy pool party featuring party goods by WH Hostess!  Pink, green and a whole lot of preppy polka dots – this is what Gracie’s mom requested when she came to me for invitations and party accessories for her daughter’s 5th birthday.  With a HUGE box of party goods delivered to her door from WH Hostess, wait until you see what she came up with!

The area surrounding the pool was decked out with pink paper lanterns, polka dot balloons in pink and green, and two different centerpieces.  The first, a darling topiary tree made of ribbon loops, and then second grass plants with polka dot centerpiece sticks (LOVE how these customize any type of centerpiece!).  The dessert table really stole the show…..

This charming dessert table was created with sweet treats including pink and green candy, a cake from Cake Shop in Jacksonville, cupcakes with toppers by WH Hostess, chocolate-covered oreo pops from Sweeties by Kim, cookies by Girly Gatherings (complete with designs that matched the cupcake toppers!).

I just love the backdrop for this dessert table!  A modern trellis pattern in pink and white gives it a modern spin, while the pink and green banner from WH Hostess adds a touch of preppy flair.  Don’t you just love the way she created a bunting on the front of the table by using ribbon?!  All of the candy jars were embellished with polka dot ribbon and candy jar tags, and there were matching polka dot food tent cards, too.  A simple “sweet shoppe” sign, white take-out boxes with a polka dot sticker saying “thanks for being so SWEET”, and paper cups with coordinating, scalloped stickers helped to complete the stylized look.  One of my favorite details was the napkin rings – a simple circle on satin ribbon – perfect for tying together your paper napkins and silverware!

Birthday girl, Gracie, wore a darling shirt from Modern Frills – it matched perfectly!  She sent her friends home not only with their box of sweet treats, but also with a tin of bubbles!  A fabulous party – great job, Jennifer and Gracie!  What I love most about this party is that there wasn’t a “theme”, so to speak.  It is a perfect example of how you can create a stylized, modern party using a color palette and a touch of pattern!


Photography by Wendy Updegraff

 

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