September 22nd, 2010 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Wine Tasting

 

To kick our vacation off in style, my husband and I decided to host a small wine tasting party the Thursday before we departed.  I absolutely love this time of year – so why not celebrate with a “celebrate the harvest” themed wine tasting party?!

I used our layered damask invitation from WH Hostess – love the pattern and I L-O-V-E-D the rich color palette it created for the party – teal, peacock, mustard and chocolate brown.  {I might also mention that these colors work perfectly in my home!}  I focused all of my energy into creating one simple, yet stunning table.  I used a chocolate brown velvet fabric that had a tonal, embossed animal print texture to create a tablecloth, and combined my vintage-looking silver candlesticks with rustic elements such as a wheat bunch and twig balls as decor.  I also filled votive candle holders with coffee beans, which provided a lovely aroma once lit!

I separated my drinks and my appetizers onto two separate serving vessels….this helped to keep my table looking organized and stylized.  The drinks were served on a mahogany wood tray – I showcased a bottle of each of the three wines we were serving, as well as the glasses.  My favorite detail of the night were these layered damask gift tags that I turned into wine tags and tied around each bottle.  On them, I printed the name and origin of each wine, as well as a little description.

I kept my appetizers simple, and served them all on my wine barrel lazy susan {my favorite souvenir from our trip to Napa last fall}.  We served three different cheeses {which I made cupcake-like-toppers for that also stated the name, origin and brief description}, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, bruschetta, champagne grapes, walnuts, and Parmesan-crusted bread sticks.  I added coordinating food tent cards for each appetizer for a splash of color and identification.

Towards the end of the party, I cleared away the lazy susan, and replaced it with a small candy display.  Using a couple small vases and bowls, and candy jar tags from WH Hostess, I was able to make a sweet little display. {that color coordinated, of course!}  I used teal-colored jordan almonds, licorice, and candy sticks.  Surprised that I was able to find candy in this somewhat unusual, and sophisticated color?  Candy Warehouse – it’s my one-stop shop for color-specific candy!

All in all, it was a lovely evening and a VERY simple party to throw!  The layered damask invitation was the perfect inspiration for this Fall party….it could also work for a birthday party, Thanksgiving dinner, bridal shower or rehearsal dinner.

 

September 21st, 2010 |

Glamorous Halloween Centerpiece

Looking for a Halloween decoration or centerpiece that is a bit more “glam” than “cute”?  Look no further!  This fabulous, simple idea from Woman’s Day is perfect for your Halloween party!  I love the height of the black branches, and the touch of sparkle from the jewel ornaments.

Chic Wedding Stationery from Minted.com

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 16th, 2010 |

Lavender & Grey Bridal Shower

Lavender is one of those colors that can take on so many different looks when paired with different accent colors.  This fall, I am loving it paired with grey!  The combination becomes sophisticated, sweet and I love the touch of shimmer!  Perfect inspiration for a bridal shower, birthday party or even a wedding!

Images: lavender and grey mod pattern invitation (whhostess.com), purple macaroon tower and purple candy (shaunayounge.com), lavender water and table setting (sunday-suppers.blogspot.com), purple hydrangea centerpiece (bhg.com), purple candy sticks (amyatlas.com), and party favors (karljuengel.com)

Free Save The Dates

September 14th, 2010 |

{To-Die-For} Apple Recipes

I have apple-picking on the brain lately.  It’s the perfect fall activity for the young and old, and just think of all of the yummy food you can make with crisp, fresh apples!  I’ve created a list of 8 {must-have} recipes that I think will make your mouth water.

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 11th, 2010 |

The Party Dress Welcomes Our New Advertisers!

I like to interrupt our party inspiration once in awhile to welcome our new advertisers!  We are fortunate to have a collection of amazing paper companies, gift shops and home stores that we call part of The Party Dress family.  Today, we welcome four new members….

First up, Tea Collection.  Known for their charming children’s clothing, Tea Collection has been a favorite of mine for quite some time!  Beautiful patterns, darling clothes for baby, girls and boys – Tea Collection is the perfect go-to when you need the perfect gift!

Next up is Munchkin Designs!  This on-line shop carries everything from darling invitations, birth announcements and party favors to custom gifts like jewelry, picture frames and teacher gifts.  Munchkin Designs has something for every occasion!

Our next new advertiser is Curly Cue Wall Decals.  I have been a fan of their darling collection of wall decals for awhile now….perfect for dressing up your child’s room, or to use as a simple, yet exciting backdrop for your next dessert table!

Last but not least, Waxing Poetic.  A stunning collection of unique jewelry and home accents.  Tiny details to celebrate the huge occasions in life.  A letter, a word, a symbol for a name, a place, a life. These charms and pendants are lovely and brave and lasting.  And they make the perfect gift!

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!).

September 5th, 2010 |

Parties by WH Hostess: Sweet Sixteen

 

I have a real treat for you today!  Actually….today and tomorrow!  I was contacted by a local customer to design the paper goods for her daughter’s sweet sixteen party, as well as help her plan and style a dessert table.  She fell in love with our purse invitation and we created the decor for the party around it.  My best friend joined in on the “purse” love and threw a party for her 6 year old daughter with the same theme!  Both of these parties happened within a week of one another, so I was able to use some of the same ideas – but I think you will truly love seeing the outcomes of both!

One of my goals with WH Hostess is to design invitations that inspire party themes.   But there are times in life when you don’t want a “princess party” or a “fire truck party” or even everybody’s favorite “modern train party“…..sometimes you just want something sweet and unique.  In this case, the party was a sweet sixteen….so we had to find a nice balance of sweet and sophisticated.  The purse invitation seemed to fit the bill perfectly!

The party took place at a local salon, where Susie’s mom had arranged for the girls to get manicures (since it was the day before school started!) and have lunch.  Since I had a small private room to work with space-wise, I focused on a few key visual elements: simple centerpieces, a lemonade drink bar,  and a fabulous pink, yellow and orange dessert table.  I was able to drape fabric on the walls to create a more appealing backdrop.  A pink and white polka dot pattern was used on the walls, and a yellow seersucker was used on all of the tables.  The centerpieces were simple pink bouquets, but looked modern in a yellow vase ($4.99 at IKEA!).

 

I planned a lemonade drink bar for the young ladies, with different flavors of lemonade being served in glass juice bottles.  I up’d the sophistication level by using melamine wine glasses that were embellished with little purse tags and ribbon, and darling striped paper straws.  The wine glasses were a simple touch, but made the girls feel oh, so grown up!

 

The dessert table was definitely the highlight of the party!  Done in one of my favorite color palettes, pink, yellow and orange – the table just POPPED! and looked so festive and inviting.  I used apothecary jars and vases from Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel for most of the candy.  I ordered the candy in bulk from Candy Warehouse, including lemon pillows, pink salt water taffy, HUGE pink lollipops, lemon candy sticks, gumballs, and lemonheads.  (PS – I love shopping for dessert tables on their site – all I have to do is plug in my color palette and I’m good to go!)  One of my favorite design elements for this table is the tiered rock candy in the tall jar – I just love how the pink, yellow and orange looked striped together!  WH Hostess created all of the candy jar labels, signs and cupcake toppers.

Speaking of cupcake toppers….how cute are those cupcakes!  Yellow and white striped cupcake liners from Bake It Pretty added a touch of pattern, and this beautiful pink cake stand from Rosanna was the perfect “girly” addition to the table.  In order to add a splash of color, I lined the inside of the stand with lemonheads, and then placed the cupcakes atop them.  Totally cute!  These darling cookies stole the show!  I worked with Two Sugar Babies to create custom fondant toppers to place on basic sugar cookies.  She did an amazing job re-creating the purse design from our invitation.

 

The ladies loved filling up their candy boxes to bring home!  Much to their surprise, Susie and her mother also presented each girl with a white box full of beauty supplies (nail polish, files, lip gloss) to start the new school year with – the boxes were perfect for holding small goods, and we jazzed them up a bit with a cute sticker.

This party turned out so cute and I believe the concept would also make a charming bridal shower!  Come on back tomorrow to see how my best friend and I translated this sweet sixteen theme into a darling party for her 6 year old!

September 1st, 2010 |

Fall Entertaining: The Excitement Builds

Don’t get me wrong, I love summer entertaining…especially the simplicity of it, the casualness, and the availability of outdoor space.  BUT….there is nothing more exciting to me than the idea of Fall coming.  I love everything about it!  The crisp, cool air, the cozy, cableknit sweaters, the rich colors, and the delicious food!  That being said, I felt September 1st was the perfect time to start throwing around ideas for entertaining this fall season.

Today, I am dreaming of ideas on how to smoothly transition my dinner parties from summer to fall.  The first things that come to mind:

  • Filling your home with baskets of bounty – apples, artichokes – things that look natural but still add color.
  • Change out your hurricanes so they reflect the season.  Leaves, acorns, moss – all make great additions to your candlelight.
  • Set your table with richer tones – browns, oranges, mustards, teal.  Try tying a leaf to you napkin to help bring the outdoors in.
  • Food!  Start adding some richer elements to your menu.  On my list for this week?!  Baked risotto with grilled asparagus and fried zucchini sticks!

Images: dinner party invitation (weddingpaperdivas.com), fall buffet (eramanagement.com), fall hurricanes (potterybarn.com), napkin (flickr.com)

Amazon.com and Wedding Paper Divas are preferred sponsors of The Party Dress.  For information regarding advertising, please click here.

Page 51 of 106« First...102030...4950515253...607080...Last »