The Party Dress Magazine

the party dress magazine - issue 8

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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 7th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Mad for Plaid

Some of you may remember my “Mad for Plaid” holiday party from last year.  That was the start of my plaid obsession, and trust me, it has only grown throughout the year.  I love incorporating this traditional pattern as simple accents in my home, as well as in tablesettings.  I showed a few of these ideas in the holiday magazine…read on for some more details.

  1. A simple plaid napkin can add a touch of preppy pattern to any table setting.  For Christmas, I wrapped a metallic bough of holly around it as a festive napkin ring.
  2. Source plaid accessories for your home.  I came across this darling reindeer, covered in a black and white plaid fabric at my local Home Goods.  He’s the perfect addition to my home this season!
  3. A plaid runner is a great way to add just a touch of pattern to your table setting.  I like mixing this plaid with my quatrefoil plates…the mix of patterns looks fresh to me.
  4. You can recreate the plaid pattern in a monochromatic way by layering items atop one another.  My example for this is the small table gift I placed at everyone’s placesetting.  I wove a combination of wide and skinny satin ribbon in a plaid-like pattern to achieve the look, without the actual busy pattern.
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!)

December 5th, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Coastal Christmas

I always know that when our contributor, Beth Beattie, signs on to do a party for the magazine, that I will be elated with what she comes up with.  I was so obsessed with her “Coastal Christmas” submission to last year’s Holiday Table Challenge, that I asked her to do another one for the holiday magazine.  Living in Florida, she has that fabulous “west palm beach” and “coastal charm” influence on her designs that I love oh, so much.  Her design did not disappoint, and there are so many lovely details that you can incorporate into your own holiday dinner.

More details from Beth:

For a Coastal Christmas I wanted to use a traditional color but incorporate sea fans and sea urchins in the shape of Christmas trees. The sea urchin trees from Beautiful Details by the Seashore on Etsy and sea fans from Wonders of the Sea were the perfect start. I had a custom graphic created of a wreath with Christmas ornaments and assorted shells for the invitation and menu card.

The tablescape included silver chargers from Pier 1, assorted champagne and martini glasses from Crate and Barrel, silver ornaments from Martha Stewart at Macy’s, crystal votives from Z Gallerie, candlesticks, monogrammed napkins and napkin rings from Pottery Barn.

The create-your-own Berry Sparkle Bar consisted of a premade mixer in a punch bowl with raspberries and rosemary to garnish atop a mirror turned on its back. To enhance the sea fans I spray painted them red and to give the coral a dressier feel, I spray painted it with metallic silver spray paint. Guests ended the evening with cupcakes and a cake with chocolate starfish by Southern Belle’s Cakery.

Images by Leigh Miller Photography

 

December 2nd, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Gumdrop Topiary

You all know my LOVE (obsession, maybe?) with candy and all things sweet, so it is no wonder that I immediately fell in love with this DIY gumdrop topiary tree project that assistant editor, Charynn of Two Sugar Babies did for the holiday magazine.  It’s cute, colorful, and although I absolutely love it made with gumdrops – it’s a project that you could tackle with just about any type of candy.  Which gives you the opportunity to color coordinate it to your party theme….gotta love that.

This DIY project is simple: use a styrofoam ball as your base, and attach candy with toothpicks (and perhaps a little glue!).  Depending on the type of candy, the ball will get heavy, so make sure you plan for a sturdy base.  You can also preserve your topiary ball with a clear acrylic spray after you complete it, so that you can save it for years to come!

December 1st, 2011 |

TPD Magazine: Peppermint Icing

Speaking of cupcakes…..have you tried this peppermint icing recipe that Jill from Modern Cupcake shared in the holiday issue of The Party Dress Magazine?!  It’s so simple and completely delicious!  Love it for holiday cupcakes, but I am also inspired to try it as the filling for my whoopie pies!

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