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 27th, 2010 |

Thanksgiving {the-night-before} Cocktail Party

Today’s post is really fun!  Do you remember our darling Woodland Forest Birthday Party post last week?  Well, when Patrick’s mom hired us to do his birthday party, she also threw another request our way…..to plan a concept for a night-before-Thanksgiving cocktail party for friends and family.  She wanted something that looked rustic, yet modern, and something that wouldn’t involve preparing a whole lot of food.  Now here’s the kicker…..she wants to use the same items we used for Patrick’s birthday party for this party.  Intrigued?!  Read on to see how we re-vamped this child-friendly party to create a savvy adult-friendly cocktail party.

The first stop in my planning process was to head to my local fabric store to look for color and pattern inspiration.  (always one of my favorite places!)  I found a fabulous, fall-color, zig zag pattern reminiscent of a Missoni print.  Our fiesta zig zag collection is one of my favorites and most popular….so once I saw this fabric, I knew we could update that collection for Fall.  A mustard yellow, cranberry, brown and taupy-grey color palette emerged and off I went.  The invitation and return address label is above…..and that was just the beginning!

To show the client our concept, I pulled together a quick “photo shoot”.  Using the items I had purchased for her son’s birthday party, and a few other items bought locally, I staged these layouts using the same food that I had ordered for the birthday party (obviously, most of this is just a “stand-in” for placement).

The cocktail party was quickly given a “champagne & sweets” theme, and I focused on giving our hostess two unique table settings.  The first being a champagne bar – using a runner of our inspirational zig zag fabric atop a crisp white tablecloth, I used a woven vase cover for the centerpiece of berries branches, a modern hurricane with wood base, and woven candlesticks in varying heights to create an elevated display of champagne glasses. A coordinating sign completed our look!

We also created coordinating wine bottle labels, not only to further brand the party but also for the hosts to place on wine bottles to give guests as party favors.

The dessert table concept takes on a similar look with the berry centerpiece, hurricanes, and zig zag fabric.  I used the wood boxes from Patrick’s party to create stands to elevate the goodies.  Coordinating candy jar tags, cupcake toppers, bite size sweets, fabulous designer cookies by Allyson Jane, and a couple jars of candy (see the woodland party post for the full candy line-up pictured here) completed the look.

Here are a few of our key concepts for this project:

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

October 25th, 2010 |

Giveaway Winner: Minted Holiday Cards & Invitations

October 25th, 2010 |

Parties by WH Hostess: La De Da 5th Anniversary Party

I am very excited to show you today’s featured party…..my aunt owns a gift shop in my hometown of Northbrook, Illinois called la de da!  Full of charming home accents, perfect accessories and gifts for everyone, la de da has become a local hot spot in the North Shore of Chicago.  The store recently celebrated it’s 5th birthday, and my aunt decided it was time to throw a party.  She asked me to pull together a dessert table and some paper goods for the event…a non-shopping event for customers, friends and family to celebrate the success she has had over the last 5 years.

The store is decorated in black and white, so we decided to stick with the fabulously-girly color palette of hot pink, black and white.  The theme “cupcakes & champagne” was born and the double-sided postcard pictured above set the tone for the event.  We focused on two main things: a fabulous dessert table, and a festive champagne bar.

 

 

The shape of the table took form by using black and white floral tablecloths with hot pink toppers.  A tall, rod-iron trellis stood at each end of the table, and a banner hung in between.  I loved the height and visual interest this created, and to add a touch more color and whimsy to the design, I hung hot pink floral pomander balls in each trellis.  The tiered cupcake stand took center stage and was flanked by two black urns full of hot pink roses and moss. I decorated the tiered stand with hot pink liners and polka dot ribbon, and the mini cupcakes held custom cupcake toppers featuring the cupcake girl from our invitation and the store logo.

White platters (with polka dot liners) held goodies such as strawberry marshmallows, meringue sandwiches, brownie bites, and chocolate covered pretzels, and a polka dot food tent card.  A white footed bowl held donut holes covered with pink sprinkles, and a large scalloped black platter held designer cookies by Allyson Jane (made especially for this event!).  Glass apothecary jars were adorned with candy jar tags and polka dot ribbon, and were full of sweets including pink foil chocolate balls, black and white jordan almonds, white pearls, black jelly beans, and little white hearts.  Small white pots with little black hearts on them (straight from IKEA!) were filled with white star mints, and white and black rock candy sticks.

The champagne bar featured hot pink trays full of champagne glasses, a chandelier-style cupcake holder and a cute little sign featuring the cupcake girl from our postcard.  My favorite detail?!  The hot pink labels on the black champagne bottles!  This is one of our newest categories and you can see what I love them so much!  We also designed custom  labels for mini water bottles, and stickers to adorn pink take out food boxes (for people to bring candy home to their families).

It was a lovely event and I am thrilled with how it turned out (scroll down for more detail images!).  There are so many sweet details you can pull away from this event -  fabulous inspiration for a bridal shower or birthday party!

 

black and white swirl lollipopspink meringue sandwichespink rose centerpiece
brownie bites with candyhanging pink flower pomander ballblack and white jordan almonds apothecary jar with candy jar tag




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 19th, 2010 |

InStyle Magazine: The Best of the Web, Entertaining

This is one of those “pinch me” moments that I just couldn’t wait to share with all of you!  The Party Dress started about 18 months ago as a fun little hobby, a creative outlet for me.  It has grown way beyond my dreams in such a short period of time, and today….today we were recognized in InStyle Magazine.  That’s where the “pinch me” comes in!

I am beyond thrilled to be mentioned in the entertaining section of their “best of the web” series in the November issue.  We are surrounded by amazing company – Amy Atlas, Sunday Suppers, Cannelle et Vanille, and Hungry Sofia to name just a few.  Truly an honor!  The entire series “best of the web” is awesome – I encourage all of you to pick up a copy and explore the amazing list of resources the editors at InStyle have put together.

Thank you to all of my fabulous readers – some of you have been with me from day one, and I thank you for that!  And for those of you that are new to The Party Dress…..welcome to the party!

October 18th, 2010 |

Giveaway: Minted Holiday Cards & Party Invitations

It’s about that time of year when we all start thinking about holiday cards….do we go traditional?  modern?  artsy?  Whatever your style may be, I guarantee that Minted has something for you!  Their selection is made up of Indie designers from around the world who submit to their design challenges, and can help you create a chic, coordinated look.  Their designs come with optional matching items including: envelope liners and skinny-wrap address labels, double-sided prints, interior photos, and backer patterns.  All orders are typeset by a professional designer and include a free digital proof.

So, not only does Minted offer a fabulous selection of holiday photo cards and party invitations, but today they are also offering one lucky TPD reader a $100 gift certificate towards these products!  Exciting, right?!

Here is how to win:

  • Head over to minted.com and view their holiday photo cards and Christmas photo cards, come on back here and leave me a comment on which is your favorite.
  • For additional entries:
    • Become a fan of our facebook page
    • Become a follower on twitter
    • Blog about our contest and link back to us
  • Contest starts NOW!  And ends Thursday, October 21, 2010 at midnight CST.  Winner will be randomly chosen, and will be announced Friday, October 22, 2010.

Good Luck!

October 16th, 2010 |

Bakerella

I had the pleasure of meeting Angie Dudley (otherwise known as Bakerella) today at a local book signing for her brand new book, Cake Pops.  I’ve been a fan of her blog for awhile now, so it was great fun to actually meet her in person.  If you haven’t seen her book – check it out!  It’s darling, and is full of quick and easy tips on how to make your cake pops turn out as well as hers!  It would also make the perfect Christmas present for the baker in your family!

October 14th, 2010 |

Halloween Treats

 

I’ve been searching the web for great Halloween treats….desserts you can make for adults and kids alike!

Here are my picks for the best around the web:

  1. Chocolate Candy Corn Truffles
  2. Halloween S’Mores
  3. Butterscotch Caramels
  4. Candy Corn Cake Wedges
  5. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
  6. Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Marshmallow Filling
  7. M & M Pumpkin Cake
  8. Marshmallow Ghosts

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