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

 

August 16th, 2010 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Elephant Parade

I recently had the pleasure of working with a sweet mom of 4 year old twins.  Jack and Sally LOVE the circus – so we took our blue elephant and pink elephant collections and combined them to create the “elephant parade” collection, perfect for a boy or a girl (or both in this case!), one thing is for sure……it made for one colorful birthday party!  Guests were welcomed with this darling elephant parade sign, and then they saw the main attraction…….

The host wanted the party to appeal to both the children and their mothers that would be in attendence, so number 1 on her list was a candy/dessert table.  I planned a colorful table full of sweet treats.  The item that MADE the table (in my opinion!)  was a “big top” canopy that hung above the table.  A colorful, tent-like top, with polka dots scattered around the sheer white netting of the canopy made this the perfect accessory!  And the best part?!  I found it at IKEA for under $20.  That’s a whole lot of bang for your buck, if you ask me!


Since it is August in Chicago (= HOT!), the dessert table was set up in the family’s screened in porch.  It gave it a clean, white backdrop, but also provided much needed shade so our desserts and candy didn’t melt in the sun!  I used a combination of apothecary jars in varying sizes, cylinder vases, mini white pots, and white rectangular plates.  I prefer to keep my vessels very basic, and dress them up with ribbon and coordinating candy jar tags.  I also found teeny tiny stuffed elephants at IKEA for 50 cents each to tie in the theme….don’t they look cute climbing the candy?!

I ordered all of the candy in bulk thru Candy Warehouse – their selection is wonderful and I love that you can shop by color!  Candy included gumballs (both big and small), blue raspberry hard candy, pink salt water taffy, lemonheads, lemon candy sticks and red licorice wheels.  Other sweet treats included boxes of popcorn, cupcakes with toppers by WH Hostess, meringue puffs, and sugar cookies with fondant toppers by Two Sugar Babies (custom designed to match our invitation!).  One of the biggest hits was the pots of different colored rock candy – the kids loved it!  Orange, yellow and green….colorful and tasty!


The candy was so colorful, I used a crisp white tablecloth for the table.  To add a whimsical touch, I created a bunting of ribbon along the front – it added a great pop of color, and helped to pull your eye down from the darling canopy atop the table!  This is incredibly easy to do – simple drape your ribbon and attach with a single pin at each spot.


The host asked to to come up with a simple, yet cute party favor packaging idea.  These little white boxes were the perfect size to hold the guests’ candy.  Once we dressed them up with our brand new, die-cut elephant stickers – I think they are beyond charming!
I just love how this cute, colorful party turned out!  The little guests had fun playing bozo buckets and pink the tail on the elephant….and filling up their boxes of candy!

August 11th, 2010 |

Parties in Progress

I have been a busy bee over here getting ready for 7 BIG parties in the next month!  Kids parties: monkeys (girl and boy!), elephants and purses…oh, my!  Adult parties: a wine tasting and bridal shower.  All will hopefully provide you with great inspiration in the coming weeks!  For now, I thought I would share the custom inspiration boards I did for two of the upcoming birthday parties…..

Monkey Love


 

Images: invitation (whhostess.com), chair decoration (hostessblog.com), centerpiece (jldesigns.com), hanging moss balls (jldesigns.com), grass placemats (mommybabble.com), ice cream sundae bar (eatdrinkchic.com), banana split toppings (midwestliving.com), monkey cake topper (etsy.com), banana fondant toppers (etsy.com), monkey party favors (partyspot.com), pink drinks (brides.com), bubble tins (stylemepretty.com), monkey sign (etsy.com), peony centerpiece (josevillablog.com)

Elephant Parade ~ Circus Candy Shoppe

Images: elephant invitation (whhostess.com), candy table and candy jars (amyatlas.com), balloons (realsimple.com), paper cups (hostessblog.com), bubble tins (stylemepretty.com), izze bottles (thepartydress.net), pennant banner (makemerryevents.com), elephant party favors (koehlerfamily4.blogspot.com)

More to come soon!  If you are planning a monkey (boy or girl) party or an elephant (boy, girl or both!) party, head on over to WH Hostess to see all of the fabulous new items in these collections.

PlatesAndNapkins.com Designer Party Supplies

August 1st, 2010 |

Real Parties: Hello Kitty

 

Today’s real party feature is a perfect example of how to throw a stylized character party.  Stefanie decided to throw her girls a joint birthday party, with (at their request) a hello kitty theme.  The party was inspired by Hello Kitty shirts from Modern Frills. Stefanie made the invitations using a digital file that Audree from DecorArtist created by making a similar pattern from Heather Bailey’s Pop Garden Tiled Primrose fabric which was used in the shirts. The design was incorporated throughout the decor pulling the orange, yellow, green and pink as the colors for the party.

Some of the other decorations included party circles designed by The TomKat Studio, a colorful birthday banner made by Love the Day Custom Printable Parties, party favor labels, kiss stickers and labels designed by Posh Pixels Design Studio.
Hello Kitty Cookies by TRBrown made the perfect party favors!   I love Stefanie’s use of bright colors and simple pops of the hello kitty image – it’s bright and colorful and appeals to girls and parents alike!

For more images from this party, check out Stefanie’s blog: richterology.

 

July 30th, 2010 |

Real Parties: 3 Alarm Fire Birthday Party

 

I have a darling party to share with you today!  A darling BOY birthday party….which I know you all think is hard to come by!  This is an amazing example of a stylized party that appeals to both little boys and their parents!  I was contacted by Gavin’s mom to help her out with some party goods for her son’s upcoming 3rd birthday party.  Since he was turning “3″, they decided they wanted to have a “3 alarm fire” birthday party.  Cute, right?!

Held in a local Kansas City park, this party is stocked full of charming, Midwest details….red and white check table cloths, a vintage toy fire truck placed center stage on the buffet table, and delicious food including fire roasted corn, summer cous cous, mini steak sandwiches, cupcakes and whoopie pies for dessert (wait until you see the pictures below….delicious!).

 

WH Hostess made the cupcake toppers that were stuck in the cupcakes and whoopie pies, stickers that were placed on red party favor bags, and our centerpiece sticks were placed into red and yellow floral centerpieces.

 

Gavin’s mom did a beautiful job styling this party!  It’s always so fun for me to see our WH Hostess party goods styled at parties….I still get such a kick out of it!  I think this theme is just darling for summer and fall boy birthday parties, and could be perfect for a baby shower, too.  Take a peak below at all of the items we offer in the collection:

 

July 19th, 2010 |

Baby Shower

Moving on with our damask collection party inspirations today……next up a sweet and simple baby shower!

I just love this combination – blue and green, it looks so fresh for summer and it’s perfect for a boy or girl!  I love the idea of pulling out some green, natural elements into the decorations.  This wreath and hanging votive chandelier was the inspiration for the table setting at the anniversary party I styled recently….and it would be lovely for a baby shower or bridal shower!  It’s definitely a “wow” addition to any party!

Images: hanging votive chandelier and floating hydreagnea centerpiece (brides.com), blue and green damask invitation (whhostess.com), blue candy and cupcakes (inspiredbride.com), drinks (stylemepretty.com)

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