November 24th, 2009 |

Winter Wreath

Winter Wreath

I love this simple, snowflake wreath I found at Midwest Living.  Perfect for winter – something that can carry you all the way thru January, February….let’s hope, winter doesn’t continue into March too!


— 2 yards of white wool-blend felt
— Ready-made flat rigid foam wreath (20-inch diameter)
— Stiffening spray
— Spray glue
— Glitter
— Mounting squares
— Black marker
— Scissors
— Fabric glue
— White embroidery floss

Note: Suggested yardages are based on wool-blend felt with a 36-inch width. Please adjust yardages as needed.


1. To make the wreath base, cut out white felt pieces to cover the ready-made flat rigid foam wreath. (Our wreath has a 20-inch diameter). Using the wreath form as a pattern, trace and cut two pieces of white felt to cover the front and back of the foam. Then cut a band of felt to cover the inside edge and a second band to cover the outside edge.

2. Attach the felt pieces around the wreath form with upholstery glue.

3. Hand-stitch all edges with white embroidery floss to secure.

4. Sew a loop of embroidery floss on the back of the wreath to hang.

5. Cut out the 6 snowflake patterns. (There are 3 snowflake patterns in 2 sizes).

6. Apply stiffening spray to the white felt so that the snowflakes will keep their shape.

7. Trace and cut out 3 snowflakes in each size for a total of 18 snowflakes. (Trace and cut more, if needed).

8. Layer snowflakes in random order on the wreath. Start with the biggest snowflakes on the bottom layer. Adhere with fabric glue.

9. For dimension, apply more snowflakes with stacks of mounting squares.

10. Apply spray glue and sprinkle on glitter. Let dry.

November 24th, 2009 |

Holiday D-I-Y Placemats

DIY Felt Placemat

Sometimes all your table needs is a pop of color….placemats can get expensive, especially if you are entertaining a crowd!  When I was in Europe earlier this Fall, all of the high-end home stores were showing thick, felt placemats.  When used on a table, they created a warm and cozy look….perfect for the Holidays!  The placemats I found in Europe were pricy…..$40-30 a piece….and it occurred to me that they would be so simple to make.  Extra-thick felt (available at your local fabric store), and a set of pinking shears is all you need.  Draw a pattern out on cardboard first to create a template, trace it on to the backside of the felt, and then cut it out.  Voila!

Image via Real Simple

November 23rd, 2009 |

The Party Dress + Open Sky: A New Way to Shop!

I’m so excited to announce our partnership with The OpenSky Project, an innovative on-line community of shopkeepers.  OpenSky is full of “experts” – people like me who have a passion for what they do, what they write about – who offer shoppers products that they recommend.  It’s focused, it’s personal….it’s bringing the human touch back to the world of e-commerce.  There are experts in all areas of interest;  cooking, parenting, gardening, bird watching, and so much more.  The Party Dress is so pleased to be involved in these very early days of the OpenSky development!

I encourage all of you to click on over to our shop….check out the great entertaining items we currently have in stock.  Perfect for your upcoming Holiday parties, perfect for gift-giving!  And while you are there….take a spin around the neighborhood and check out the other shops…..I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Holiday Coupon GiveawayNow, onto the FUN part!  OpenSky and The Party Dress are offering 5 readers a coupon for $25 off a purchase of $50 as a welcome to OpenSky.  Here’s how to play….

Since the Holiday season is upon us, The Party Dress is putting together all kinds of inspiration for parties.  Leave a comment and let us know what type of party ideas you would like to see this season.

Want a second chance at entering?!  Here’s how:

1) E-mail me a picture(s) of a holiday party you have styled

2) Become a fan on our Facebook page

3)Blog about this giveaway on your blog or website!

The contest starts NOW! and will end Friday, November 27th at midnight.  The 5 winners will be announced on Saturday, November 28th.  Good luck!

Holiday Coupon

November 23rd, 2009 |

Sunny Yellow + Bold Pattern: A Cheerful Dinner Party

Every year, my husband and I host a “thanksgiving” dinner party with friends.  This is our 4th year doing this – and we absolutely love it!  We all have our own traditional family Thanksgiving dinners… this is our opportunity to have a little fun with the dinner (and the table setting)!yellow and black dinner party

It’s been so dreary and grey here in Chicago lately, that when it came time for me to set the table, I decided we needed some color!  A bold black and white damask tablecloth, sunny yellow napkins, and darling stripe placecards did the trick.  It had a cheery, festive vibe…..and although we loved it for our “Thanksgiving” dinner, I think this table setting would be PERFECT for a bridal shower or birthday party.

We kept the food simple, since we had quite a few little ones with us, but we did try a couple new recipes that I thought I would share with you.  In addition to turkey and mashed potatoes, we served a sourdough stuffing with sausage, apples and grapes, and a broccoli-pecorino gratinata.  Both turned out yummy, so if you are still looking for sides for this Thursday….give these a try!

All in all a very fun evening….Thanksgiving #1 down….looking forward to Thanksgiving #2 on Thursday!

November 20th, 2009 |

Holiday Party Invitations

There are so many cute Holiday party invitations out there this season…..I really can’t decide what kind of party I want to have!  Perusing stationary websites makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop… I thought I would share a little bit of my favorite eye candy with you….in hopes that it inspires you to host a little Holiday party of your own!  Oh, and if you are interested in some of the invitations from Minted – don’t forget to take advantage of our special discount this season (see banner on the left!)

(click on the image to take you to the website)










November 20th, 2009 |

An Engagement Party with Holiday Cheer

There is something about the Holidays that brings forth a lot of engagements!  If a loved one gets engaged over the Holidays, host an engagement party that is full of Holiday cheer!

This invitation from Tiny Prints is perfect for the occasion…..I love that you could go two different ways with it.  1) A partridge in a pear tree…..very Christmas!  2) The perfect pear (pair)….the perfect theme for an engagement party.  The invitation sets a beautiful color palette of chartreuse green and brown, which just happens to be one of my favorite Holiday combinations.

Keep your table simple and sophisticated with white dishes and brown napkins (dressed up with a little chartreuse ribbon).  For a centerpiece idea, I love the idea of a low white vase full of green moss.  Scatter in a few bud vases of white orchids, some brown and white stripe placecards, and some beautiful stemware….and you have yourself a gorgeous table!

Since it is the Holidays…and this is an engagement party celebrating love….mistletoe is an absolute must!  Instead of hanging a traditional ball, try dressing up your display by tying some mistletoe to a beautiful ornament and hanging it from some ribbon.

Images: pear invitation (, table setting (, wine (, centerpiece (, mistletoe ball (

November 19th, 2009 |

Details for your Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving DetailsImages: napkin (, wine glass placecards (

November 19th, 2009 |

Purple + Orange: Stunning Thanksgiving Ideas

purple centerpiece ideasImages: candles (, picture frame (, mums (

I am always looking for new table ideas, and my new obsession is the purple and orange color combination.  It’s slightly modern, slightly rustic……for those of you that know me well, it’s my perfect combination!  The rich tones of these purple centerpieces would be beautiful for Thanksgiving.  I love the idea of taking a traditional flower, but arranging it in a modern vessel.  The image shown above is one of my new favorites….traditional mums arranged in an old picture frame.  It’s an idea that you could alter for so many different party themes, and it’s perfect for a dinner table since it is low (easy for people to talk over!).

purple and orange thanksgiving table settingImage via

This dinner table from HGTV is the perfect example of my purple and orange obsession!  I love the use of orange accent plates with their traditional white china.  Orange is a great pop color for Fall, and can be mixed with so many different colors.  Chocolate brown, olive green, teal blue, mustard yellow, and of course plum.  I think orange floral arrangements can take on a very classic Thanksgiving feel – so if you are looking to update your look, focus on berry branches, leaves, and try mixing in fruit.  Mix different shapes and textures, and look for an interesting vessel.

orange centerpiece ideasImages: green urns (, hurricanes (, branches (

November 18th, 2009 |

Holiday Appetizer: Goat Cheese Ornaments

cheese ornaments

LOVING this appetizer idea from Better Homes and Gardens!  An updated version of  everyone’s favorite cheese ball…..done in mini-size to look like Christmas ornaments, and served in a footed bowl…..yummy and pretty!


  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 6 ounces semi-soft goat cheese (chevre) or crumbled feta cheese
  • 24 pickled jalapeno pepper slices* or small pimiento-stuffed green olives, well drained
  • 1/2 cup dried red sweet pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted pumpkin seeds


1. In a medium bowl stir together the cream cheese and the goat or feta cheese until smooth. Cover and chill for 1 hour.

2. Using a rounded tablespoon of the cheese mixture, form it around a jalapeño slice or green olive, completely enclosing the pepper or olive.** Mixture will be sticky; moisten hands as necessary. (Chill mixture if it becomes too soft to handle.) Place shaped balls on a shallow pan. Cover with plastic wrap; chill for 1 hour.

3. Roll one-third of the balls in the red sweet peppers, one-third in the cilantro, and one-third in the pumpkin seeds to coat, leaving some white showing. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours. Serve with picks. Makes 24 appetizers.

*Note: Hot peppers contain oils that can burn eyes, lips, and sensitive skin, so wear plastic gloves while preparing them and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.

**Note: For smaller balls, use a rounded teaspoon of the cheese mixture and omit the jalapeño slices or pimiento-stuffed green olives. Shape into balls.

November 18th, 2009 |

Christmas Decor: Ruby Red with a touch of Lime Green

Red WreathsWhen it comes to Christmas decor, there is no combination I love more than red and lime green.  I love the accent of the lime green up against the Christmas tree, the contrast when paired with deep ruby red.  It makes me happy.

Image via Better Homes and Gardens

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