August 20th, 2012 |

Emma’s Art Party

Friday was one of those days where I remember how lucky I am that I own my own business, set my own schedule (even if that means that I work probably twice as hard as I ever did at past jobs).  Why was Friday so special?!  My day consisted of: {still} responding to a mass amount of e-mails from while we were on vacation, took a conference call about an upcoming BIG project on my cell phone from my car, did prop shopping for some photo shoots this weekend, picked up our print run and got orders shipped out.  The best part was that I got to play hooky for part of the day to help my best friend with her daughter, Emma’s 8th birthday party.   I’m lucky enough to be “Auntie Kelly” to this cute, little girl and LOVE that I have been a part of each of her 8 birthday celebrations.  (you may remember her charming purse-themed birthday party a few years ago)

Emma LOVES all things arts & crafts, so once she decided upon that theme, her mom came up with 5 different crafting stations for the kids to partake in.  The 20 girls attending made candy necklaces, decorated picture frames, did splatter painting, beaded key chains, and decorated cupcakes.

The colorful crafts made for colorful party decorations, and we embellished a bit with a festive banner, signage and cute centerpieces made from crayons and daisies.  ”Sprite Floats” made from vanilla ice cream and sprite were a welcomed surprise for the girls, and the delicious cupcakes (placed in our new cupcake wrappers) were decorated with simple fondant shapes.

Hope you had a great party, Emma Jane!

August 13th, 2012 |

Back-to-School {Free Download}

With kids heading back to school all over the country this month, we thought it was time to share a free printable!  Every kid needs a shiny new pencil box to start the year off right.  We love the size of this green box we found at Target – it’s the perfect size for little hands, to fit in backpacks and desks, and it’s shape made it an ideal …

You can turn this sweet back-to-school treat into a little gift for your student by tying it to a composition notepad with a big red bow.  Or, better yet, have your child gift this to their teacher as a little surprise the first week of school.

Click on the link below to download your free printable pencil box label.  Simply add your child (or teacher’s) name and print it on full-page label paper.  Enjoy!

July 23rd, 2012 |

Flower Market Birthday

The pages of our summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine were colorful and cheerful – large in part due to this sweet Flower Market birthday party by Leoni Jena, of Just Call Me Martha.  There are so many sweet details that I hope will inspire you for summer gatherings.  Read on for details from Leoni…..

“From the moment I laid eyes on the Bold Vine flower collection by WH Hostess I knew it was the perfect party collection for my daughter’s 5th birthday party. My daughter, Imara, loves flowers. She’s forever drawing them, smelling them or picking them from people’s gardens. In fact, when I asked her what she will be when she grows up she said “mum, I want to have my own flower shop so I can play with flowers all day.”

I already knew I wanted bright and fun colours, as it’s the middle of summer here in Australia and would suit a 5th birthday party. I collected various coloured watering cans as props and even used mini watering cans as place settings and favours. For the main food table, I wanted a florist cart. All the ones I saw online were either too expensive or not suitable. My father was kind enough to knock up a simple cart using an Ikea tea trolley as base which I later spray painted white, and added a handmade candy striped canopy. It looked fantastic and certainly received a lot of oohs and ahhs on the day of the party.

All the food was homemade and included items such as mini cheesecake pots, flower cookies (orea cookies dipped in white chocolate and then adding a white sugar daisy as accent), petal cupcakes, mini petal mousse, and bottles of water personalized with a custom label from WH Hostess.

I made blossom pops (cake pops dipped in chocolate and then dipped in yellow sprinkles, I then crafted some paper flowers to go around the base of each pop).

The focal point of the food table was the two tier watering can cake with sugar flowers. My daughter begged for a two tier cake but since I thought that would be quite excessive I made the bottom part out of foam while the top part was chocolate and caramel mudcake covered in chocolate caramel ganache.

Cupcakes were embellished with coordinating flower cupcake toppers from WH Hostess.

The girls had a lot of fun making their own paper flowers and arranging them in mini flower pots to take home. The favour box included a flower lollypop, mini choc bar, mini watering can filled with jelly beans, flower pencils and flower sugar cookie.”

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue   |   Buy the collection

July 18th, 2012 |

Gerber Daisy Birthday

We’re thrilled to be showing the details from a darling birthday party from one of our repeat customers.  She came to us to create a custom gerber daisy themed party, and we came up with a whimsical collection of paper goods in a hot pink and green color palette.  Read on for details from Isabella’s mom…..

When Isabella asked me for a Gerbera daisy theme birthday party, I knew we could do something very girly and fun.  The birthday girl asked me to use hot pink, green and yellow as the colors for her party.   I have worked with Kelly at WH Hostess in the past and I have always been very pleased and happy with her work.  The party was set up outside in the backyard.  The environment was very girly with gerbera daisies and pink and green polka dot balloons.

The girls’ table was set up with a hot pink table cloth and green striped fabric across the table similar to the pattern used on the invitation. It was set up with pink plates with hot pink, yellow and green napkins and gerbera daisy napkin rings with the same colors. We had small pink flower arrangements as centerpieces.  We had a special plate for the birthday girl with the flower design from the invitation that I also bought from WH Hostess

The girls’ menu included pink lemonade, garden chocolate flowerpot mousse, chocolate covered strawberries, push up cupcakes, fruit kabobs along with other special sandwiches.  Rick’s Bakery created the beautiful cake utilizing the invitation design.

The girls’ activities included two tables that were set up to paint their nails and to apply a flower or butterfly face sticker tattoo before they walked on the “runway”. We had tote bags with gerbera daisy hair clips as favors that the girls’ modeled for the mothers.

The girls also took home the candies they got from the piñata and cookies with the number 6 and gerbera daisy designs on them. Overall, the girls had a great time!

Party resources
Invitation & Paper Goods: www.whhostess.com   |   Cake: www.ricksbakery.com/   |   Photo: www.kristenhargett.com/

July 9th, 2012 |

Fly Away to Neverland….

This is Charynn, owner of Two Sugar Babies, and Assistant Editor of The Party Dress Magazine. I am excited for you to finally see my son’s birthday party! In keeping with tradition at my house (my kids NEVER pick a birthday theme that is easy to find accessories for), Keaton chose “Jake and the Neverland Pirates.” I used to tremble when they would pick a “hard” theme, but now I realize that it’s the best kind of party to have! Kelly of The Party Dress and WHHostess assisted me in planning this party and I think we stayed true to our concept of throwing a stylized character party.

We carried a modern pirate theme throughout the party, using graphic patterns of aqua blue waves, red and white skull and crossbones, blue and white stripes (from Jake’s ship sail) and also a red pirate ship silhouette. Then we added elements of Neverland with pirate hooks (Captain Hook is Keaton’s favorite character), red feathers, and a couple of character silhouettes.

We came up with a few distinct displays for the party: the dessert table, a buffet table centerpiece, a drink table, and a Kid’s area, including a Neverland Pirates dress-up station, games and personalized favors.

For the buffet table centerpiece, I originally wanted to use “ship in a bottle” pieces in some way, but Kelly and I came up with a modern interpretation: I spray painted a toy ship, pirate hook and a green Peter Pan sword solid, bold colors and placed them inside large jars with sand on the bottom. I stacked them on custom stained wooden boxes and scattered bright jewels, gold doubloons, pearls, and necklaces to complete the pirate ship look and feel.

The drink table backdrop was also one of my favorite elements. I made banners using twine and WHHostess patterned papers, and added a lime green “K” to a pirate ship wheel as the focal point. It’s something Keaton can use in his bedroom! I displayed “Tinkerbell Iced Tea” and “Pirate Punch” in large drink dispensers, and filled a pirate chest with loads of “treasure” to finish the display.

For the dessert table, a custom fabric patterned backdrop was made, featuring the aqua wave pattern and the pirate ship. Personalized cupcake toppers, coordinating cupcake wrappers and “sails” for the cake pops from WH Hostess accessorized the desserts, and I updated cupcakes from our favorite bakery with sprinkles to match the party, and added character elements by making fondant Tinkerbell wings, a red feather, a pirate hook, and a pirate flag.

The 3 tier cake I created using patterns from the party, and red feather and pirate hook cake toppers, which I personalized with Keaton’s name and a “4″ was a hit!

I also created edible image cookie toppers in the party patterns, fondant treasure maps for brownies, and fondant gold doubloons to cover the front of chocolate covered oreos.

The Kid’s Area was the highlight of the party. I used the character silhouettes I made, a custom sign saying “Dress like a Neverland Pirate” to frame the dress up area. The kids used pirate hooks, eye patches, pirate hats, red sashes, compasses, toy telescopes and treasure maps to transform themselves into Neverland Pirates. I also built two different games to entertain the kids: a treasure dig sandbox and Captain Hook’s ring toss.

The kids were sent home with gift bags filled with gold doubloons, pixie dust, pirates coloring pages.

For more birthday party ideas and summer entertaining tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue   |   Shop the party collection

July 2nd, 2012 |

Ships Ahoy! Nautical Baby Shower

One of my favorite summer themes is a classic, navy & white, nautical party.  Crisp, classic and can be interrupted so many different ways.  We updated our nautical collection with a preppy modern chain link pattern and a bold anchor, added a touch of yellow and it quickly became one of our best sellers….perfect for a baby shower, birthday party or pool party.

When we started working on the summer issue of The Party Dress Magazine, we turned to Lynlee Beckett, of Lynlee’s Petite Cakes, to create a preppy baby shower using our Mod Nautical collection.  Read on for all of the darling details, as told by Lynlee….

For expectant mothers due in the Summer months, there’s no better way to welcome their new first mate than with a nautical-themed baby shower! I adore the Mod Nautical Anchor collection by the WH Hostess, pairing several shades of blue with a bright and refreshing pop of yellow, which I utilized to style this bright and cheery luncheon. I decided to focus on a mature feel to honor the mother-to-be, with the infusion of playful and sweet details. The beautiful invitation set the mood, inviting guests to join the celebration seaside.

The luncheon table was set with a burlap covering and a striped blue runner. A lantern served as the centerpiece and inside, a coral decoration sculpted with chicken wire, white coffee filters and yellow cupcake liners. Each setting held blue fish plates and coordinating small plates to carry lemons for the seafood meal. You can dress up the silver- ware by simply tying a colorful ribbon around and placing it directly on the napkins. Water bottle labels can also be used to adorn glasses.

The dessert table was set-up along the waterfront, providing a gorgeous view and anchoring the party. The Anthropologie-inspired backdrop resembled a sail from afar, but at closer look, also simulated coral. As a juxtaposition, I propped up a basketweave anchor that, with the burlap tablecloth, added a natural feel to the crisp, vivid colors.

Desserts centered around the nautical theme, and utilized several lemon and fruit treats, along with traditional sweets. I hollowed out lemons, topped with lemon custard and blueberries, displayed them in a seaside lantern with cupcake toppers. Small mason jars were filled with milk and lifesaver donuts sat perched on the rims with the help of fish drink stirrers.  Chocolate-dipped Oreo pops were decorated to look like portholes, while marshmallows resembled numbered buoys. Lemon cupcakes were embellished with fondant sailor onesies, bibs and baby bottles, nestled in sugar sand, along with chocolate sea shells in a nautical steering wheel tray. Sea urchin meringue cookies were scattered throughout and an “AHOY” pennant banner hung in front of the table.

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

 

June 26th, 2012 |

Summer Fun: Sponge Waterballs

Time for another fun idea to celebrate summer with your kids: Sponge Waterballs are one of my favorites! It’s the new water balloon. When you’re done with them outside, bring them inside for bathtime fun!

For more summer entertaining ideas and tips, visit the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Read the digital issue   |   Purchase the glossy issue

Photography by Kim Flores of Whimsy Baby Photography

June 19th, 2012 |

Fun in the Sun: Everyday Party Ideas

Summer is the perfect time to get outside with your Littles and celebrate! Make everyday a party with items you have at home. Forget the party store when you have DIY projects that are easy as 1, 2, 3!  Here are a few ideas I put together for the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine:

Idea #1: Spruce up your table by planting flowers in a watermelon

Idea #2: Make flower straws with candy and flattened cupcake wrappers

Idea #3: Make your own mini-candy bar with colorful candy cups

Idea #4: Serve seasonal flavored cupcakes on colorful mini pedestals, Georgetown Cupcake recommends Berry Lemon and Banana Split

Idea #5: Decorate your tables with paper lanterns

Photography by Kim Flores of Whimsy Baby Photography

Resources:

Martha Stewart Crafts, Mini Cupcake Wrappers and Regular Cupcake Wrappers | JoAnn Fabrics

Polka Dot + Stripe Candy Cups, Striped Paper Straws, Paper Lanterns | The TomKat Studio Shop

Pink Cupcake Stand | The Papered Nest

Cupcakes | Georgetown Cupcakes


 

June 5th, 2012 |

Caterpillar Birthday Party Dessert Table

Our Caterpillar birthday party featured in the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine is full of sweet treats!  We loved all of the creative details, and so did dessert table guru, Amy Atlas!  She was kind enough to feature this dessert table on her blog last Friday.

As always, the desserts stole the show! I used our chevron patterned fabric as a back drop, and a crisp white tablecloth on the table.  Since I planned to use all white dishes, I placed a red table runner going across the table, in order to make the desserts “pop”.

The two tiered fondant-covered cake from Two Sugar Babies held center stage and featured our colorful patterns and fruits from the book.  A 3-D caterpillar, as well as a mini bunting, sat atop the cake.

A make-shift tiered tray (using a white plate and white berry baskets) held candy runts from Candywarehouse.com, cello bags with our custom fruit toppers held hard candy, and rice krispy treats covered with fondant from Two Sugar Babies.  Check back this afternoon for Charynn’s DIY tips on re-creating the rice krispy treats!

One of my favorite elements were cake pops in the shape of fruit from Sweet Lauren Cakes!  We displayed them in pots of wheat grass which tied back to the caterpillar centerpiece on our table.

Green and white striped cups held candy runts and re-purposed cupcake toppers, red boxes were full of candy that the kids brought home as party favors. Rainbow lollipops and candy from Candywarehouse.com was used as an accessory throughout the entire table.

Check back this afternoon for Charynn’s tips on re-creating our fondant-covered fruit rice krispy treats!

 

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