January 4th, 2012 |

A Jeweled Placesetting

Now that the holidays have ended and the decorations have come down, I find myself looking for ways to bring a little sparkle back into my table settings.  This DIY napkin ring project is perfect to tackle with a free hour, and will add so much personality to your table or party.

Scour vintage shops, ebay or garage sales for a variety of whimsical brooches that you can quickly transform into gorgeous napkin rings.  How fabulous for a ladies lunch or bridal shower, right?

Click here for the cull instructions from Southern Living.  Happy Crafting!

 

January 2nd, 2012 |

Start 2012 with a BIG Idea

Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a fabulous holiday season….I know I sure did!  We took a little time to unplug and recharge our batteries and we are back to bring you THE best year of inspiration yet!  Lots of fun things coming…new contributors, new ideas, new party features…2012 has the makings to be quite fabulous!

The first post of the year can be kind of daunting!  It’s got to be BIG.  So instead of showcasing a big party (which there will be plenty of those to come soon), I figured we would show you a BIG idea.

Not necessarily new to the scene, but fun nonetheless….over-sized balloons.  One makes a statement, a few can provide a modern backdrop to a dessert table.  They are a very simple idea, but can make a BIG statement.  Available at one of our favorite online retailers, Shop Sweet Lulu.

How will you incorporate balloons into your next party?

Images: red balloons (stylemepretty.com), white dessert table (amyatlas.com), white balloon with bride (bklynbrideonline.com)

December 31st, 2011 |

Cheers to 2011 + A Peek into 2012

Happy New Years to all of my amazing readers.  I hope you have all enjoyed a joyful holiday season, time with friends and family, and a little time to relax just for you.  That is exactly what we have been doing this week (which explains the lack of posting).  It was time to re-charge our batteries, un-plug for a bit, and also focus on the details of some BIG upcoming projects that needed my full attention!

I sat down about 4 times this week to compile a year-end post, recapping all of the amazing things that we were able to be a part of in 2011 and truthfully, I couldn’t get past January without the post being 10 pages long.  So, in order to leave some blog space for 2012, I am going to save you from that lengthy post.  However, I am going to tell you that after looking back, I am reminded once again how lucky I am.  Three years ago, I was a retail buyer who *thought* she had her dream job and a secret (okay, maybe not so secret) obsession with paper.

Fast-forward three years and I found a new dream along the way.  We have a blog with a daily readership that SHOCKS me every single time I look at our statistics; 2011 brought the addition of The Party Dress Magazine.   A *test* to see if people would respond….and oh, yes, they responded!  Our digital versions have received 3 million+ page views, and we have shipped out many, (many, many) luxe, glossy editions to happy homes.

WH Hostess flourished beyond my wildest dreams this year.  We were so honored to be a part of so many celebrations.  I truly have the happiest job – I get to design party invitations to celebrate milestone birthdays, birth announcements to help welcome sweet little babies, and holiday cards with our clients darling kiddos on them – like I said, it is truly a happy, happy job.  We had the opportunity to work on some HUGE parties, which were followed up with countless features on some of our favorite blogs including HWTM,  and Amy Atlas to name a couple, HGTV.com, Nesting Newbies, and a “Doer of the Week” feature on Martha Stewart!

2011 is one to go down in the books.  I often ask myself, what’s next?  Can we possibly keep this momentum going?  The short answer is YES!  2012 is going to be full of new daily inspiration on the blog, new issues of the magazine (which just keeps getting better and better!), new, exciting opportunities, new party collections for WH Hostess and the official launch of our wholesale line!

Yup, life is good.  And that is all thanks to you, my lovely readers, clients, and friends.  We cherish each and every relationship we made this year – bloggers, “party girls”, magazine contributors, vendors.  Thank you for making 2011 so amazing…..Cheers to a FABULOUS 2012!

xo

Kelly

 

December 27th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Bedazzled New Years

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend!  We took a little time off from blogging and designing orders to spend time with family and friends and just RELAX!!  We are back today with some serious inspiration for you from Chris Nease of Celebrations at Home.  She put together this colorful party shoot for the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine.  Read on for all of the sparkling details from Chris:

This new years eve party is festive and family friendly with its bright colors and glittery accents. Inspired by a trio of vases I had in fuchsia, purple, and aqua blue, I designed a party with bright colors and added a whimsical touch with a harlequin pattern. To tie in the countdown aspect of the night, I place a clock and hour glasses as part of the decor. The result is a space that is attractive to both kids and adults.

Bonbons from Bedazzle My Bonbon were the perfect go-to treat to make this dessert display shine. Some were placed on Pastry Pedestals and some were placed on top of cupcakes with coordinating wrappers. Other treats were colorful Sixlets inserted into clear ornaments and tied with an inspirational word for the New Year.

Drinks are divided with blue tinted juice available for the children, and mini bottles of champagne for the adults. To keep the color scheme uniform, I covered the gold foil on top of the bottles with pink foil and tied it along with a straw. Homemade poppers can be opened at midnight and contain candy kisses – for a midnight kiss of course! Guests can also write down their new year’s resolutions and pin them to the board above. Some final details of our family-friendly new year’s party are colorful horns, noise makers, and masks to help celebrate with.

 

December 23rd, 2011 |

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!  I hope you each have a wonderful holiday full of cheer!  As we near the end of 2011, I look back on what will go down in the books as another amazing year for The Party Dress and WH Hostess….all because of you!  Thank you so much for all of your support….we’re looking forward to what’s to come in 2012!

Cheers!

Kelly and The Party Dress Team

December 22nd, 2011 |

DIY Cork Hanging Decoration

Whether you are looking for a last minute holiday decoration or are an avid wine drinker….this DIY project is for you!  Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy came up with this creative use for corks and I think it would make a great decoration for any cocktail party!  Read on for the DIY instructions from Virginia:

Supplies

1 10” diameter Styrofoam ball

Hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks

10” thin metal

Tons of corks

Rope and/or metal chains

Instructions

  1. Pierce ball through with thin metal wire until it passes opposite side. Tie one end in knot to secure, and pull back through until knot is firmly stuck at bottom
  2. Start anywhere on the ball and in a single line begin gluing corks to Styrofoam. Place plenty of glue on the bottom of the cork and then stick cork to the ball. Make sure to hold down for a moment to ensure glue is cooling. I suggest doing one long row half way around the ball.
  3. Begin second row of corks slightly off-line with beginning row, making sure to place corks in crevices of two corks
  4. Continue in this pattern so no large spaces are visible. Each row off centered from the previous one, slide in the crevices.
  5. Work one side of ball and then once dry, turn ball over to complete opposite side.
  6. When complete, make a hook with the straight metal and secure to your rope or chain.
  7. Hang at will.

 

December 14th, 2011 |

Chocolate Matzo Toffee

Looking for a yummy treat for Hanukkah celebrations?  This chocolate matzo toffee recipe from Maggie Hemsworth of Delish Catering Chicago that was featured in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine is a MUST!

Ingredients

5 sheets lightly salted matzo crackers

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter cut in to small pieces

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 (10-oz) package of bittersweet chocolate chips

2/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

½ tbsp. sea salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 275°F. Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Place matzos on cookie sheet – you will have to break some of them up to for an even layer. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved and begins to bubble. Pour the sugar mixture over the matzo crackers. Spread out evenly with an off-set spatula. Place in over and cook for about 17 minutes, until the toffee glistens.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Place back in oven and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread chocolate evenly over the toffee mixture, using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle with the almonds and sea salt. Place in refrigerator to cool, at least 2 hours.

December 13th, 2011 |

Mod Hanukkah Dreidel + Free Download!

Our colorful paper dreidel placecards will dress up any Hanukkah dinner table.  So simple to make with our free downloadable template, all it takes is a little cutting and gluing.  Click on the image below for the free printables, and enjoy!

December 13th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Mod Hanukkah

Hanukkah is known in the Jewish religion as the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication, and Feast of the Maccabees. It is a festive holiday of revived hope, faith and spiritual light. A special time of year for the Jewish community, Hanukkah it lasts for eight nights and is the perfect time to celebrate with family and friends.  I created a festive holiday party full of ideas for the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine.

Updating the traditional blue and white color palette with a bold blue, green and brown, I created a collection of paper goods that mixes a colorful chevron pattern with a mod clover pattern in blue and white. The patterns are playful and festive and really pop against a crisp white backdrop. Our ideas for a tablesetting include a textured white tablecloth, a navy blue charger plate, and a paper dreidel placecard. (make sure to download our free printable template!)

After lighting the Hanukkah Menorah, you might want to serve a variety of latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts). Cheesecake and blintzes are served as traditional desserts, but we always love a good dessert table! Keeping with the crisp blue color palette, we created a monochromatic display of blue candy. We carried our chevron pattern into the display with both candy jar tags and labels on old-fashioned salt water taffy sticks, and add a touch of the clover pattern in as tray liners on the plates that held cupcakes decked out with fondant Jewish stars from Two Sugar Babies. With eight nights to celebrate, Jewish families can plan a variety of celebrations to entertain family and friends. We hope you enjoy our modern spin on the holiday!

December 6th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Modern Gingerbread

Gingerbread cookies are a staple this time of the year, but why not update them a little bit by piping on some modern, graphic patterns?!  Our assistant editor, Charynn of Two Sugar Babies, created some examples for the holiday magazine.

Choosing two of the trendiest patterns on the market right now, Charynn used a piping bag to frost these cookies with both a clover pattern and a chevron.  Cute, right?!  (and yes, I will be using this as inspiration for my Christmas cookies this year!)

I also love the idea of decorating cookies with initials.  They could make a darling placecard for a holiday dinner, or a cute gift idea! (make one for each member of the family and wrap them up on a cute plate….so simple, so cute and thoughtful!)

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