Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010-- A Year of Parties in Review

Wow. 2010 flew by!
I really can't believe that it's almost New Year's Eve!
If you are like me and my husband, once you had kids, you pretty much forfeited the right to go out for New Year's Eve for the next 10 years. And actually, that's not even true. I just don't have the energy!
I would SO rather be in my pajamas watching a movie and eating popcorn. I don't think I even made it to midnight for the past few years!  A girl needs her beauty sleep!

I really didn't realize how busy I had been this year with parties until I started to compile them for this post!

January brought my very first gender reveal party.
Our dear friends, Tommy and Lauren, wanted a unique way to spread the news on their new bundle of joy, so I came up with this "What's It Gonna Bee?" Theme for them. I knew I wanted to use yellow, so this idea came really organically after I started playing with some phrases for "what's it going to be?"
It's been fun to see all the other parties that have used this theme since. I love the graphic contrast of black and yellow together. It really pops off the table!
I just about fell out of my desk chair when LilSugar e-mailed me to ask if they could use this picture! Major!

In February, I did a wedding shower that had a "Honey-Do" theme. When I think of a honey-do shower, I think of "man-stuff." So I did most of my shopping at Home Depot and Lowe's.
My favorite element of the party was this extension cord wreath that I designed. I originally wanted to use a water hose, but it was too bulky. The best part was that the couple could still use this cord! I have had several requests from other party girls on how to make one, and have seen a few that have been ADORABLE. My favorite was an orange one from a construction themed birthday party.
Thanks to to very awesome Michelle at Everyday Celebrating, who tweeted about this wreath, HOME DEPOT tweeted about it! Color me stunned!

In March, my sweet man turned 2!  I planned this one for the longest and didn't think it would actually happen, due to us moving right in the middle of it!
 The theme was Retro Rockets!
I wanted this to be throwback, but also modern. I had some help from some wonderful vendors on this one, and the inspiration was the Michael Miller fabric that is on the table.
I hand-dyed all the icing for the cupcakes because I am a control freak. I had to have it match EXACTLY.

In May, one of my BFF's had a Sip and See for her THIRD baby boy! Meredith is currently obsessing over bird themed everything, so we went with a "Welcome to the Nest/Feather Her Nest" theme. It was so gorgeous and tied in wonderfully with the decor of her house. I actually noticed on her blog the other day that she used some of the leftover decor from this shower for her beautiful Christmas decor! Thrifty momma!
Major props to my co-hostesses, Kari, Lindsey, Jill, Whitney, and Hannah!
I DIY'ed this bird nest tier server for the occasion, and it is hands-down one of my favorite projects ever!

In August, I did a "Diamonds and Damask" engagement party. The bride chose cherry red for her Christmas wedding, so I decided on a very classic damask and red palette. I had so much fun with this party and I adore the way it turned out!
These crepe paper pomanders were the hit of the party. They were a TON of work, but so, so worth it. Tissue poms are cute, but I am tired of looking at them! This gave it a fresh, new look!  By the way, I make these custom, so if you want some for your next party, hit me up on Etsy!

In October, I did a Jungle Book Themed party for GreyGrey's best friend, Grant. His mommy wanted this theme because it was his favorite movie at the time. I love the bright, colorful design of this party! It turned out so happy and bright. If I had to describe my style, this is how I would describe it--happy, colorful, and fun.
Big, huge, enormous thank yous on this party to the one and only Kristy at The Purple Pug. She blew it out for me and made me these AMAZING cupcake toppers and favor tags when I couldn't find ANYTHING Jungle Book related! Kristy, I heart you.

In October, I started working with a new, very wonderful client, Wendy, for several parties. She started off October with a Casino Themed 40th Birthday Party for her husband, Beau. This is probably my favorite party ever. I just love how it turned out.
 The feathers and card garlands were my favorite components.
This cake absolutely knocked my socks off. I gasped when I opened the box. The level of detail on it was just amazing.

The very next weekend, Wendy celebrated her son Tate's 7th birthday with my help. I was an avid fan of Super Mario Brothers back in my day, so I immediately loved this theme!
I had a blast with this one, really trying to incorporate as many Mario elements as I could. The PVC pipe came to me like a bolt of lightning and it was definitely the most commented part of the entire party! PS, a tip: Rustoleum paint is the best paint ever.

In December, I had the pleasure of working with Wendy again for a Cookies with Santa party. I went very classic with this theme, really staying true to the green and red palette.

The cupcakes were one of my favorite parts of this party, thanks to the wonderful Karen Shelton. Those little toppers were store-bought and SO precious!

And finally, I had the distinct pleasure of working with some tremendously talented party chicks for the 1st Children's Party Network West Coast vs. East Coast challenge. And even though my team didn't win, I had a blast doing it!  Major thank yous to Natalie at Little Shindigs and Kristy at The Purple Pug for tackling this HUGE project!
My contributions were this gorgeous chandelier and designing these silent movie intertitles.

And finally, I want to thank all the fellow party bloggers/websites who have featured me this year. I am so grateful to have been showcased on your blogs!

I think you are all amazing!

Here's to a wonderful 2011!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas to YOU!

Merry Christmas to all my readers!
I want to thank you for all the sweet comments this year!
I only started this blog a year ago, and to have such positive and uplifting feedback from my fellow party girls is amazing! I've been blessed to have been imvolved in some awesome parties and collaborations this year.

I'll be off for a few days, spending time with my hubs, my GreyGrey, and most importantly, getting ready and rested for baby #2 in July!
Here's to a joyous and wonderful 2011!

Photos and card by Wright Image Photography

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Tutorials: Turqoise Beaded Chandelier

Want to know how I made that fabulous robin's egg blue chandelier for the East Coast vs. West Coast Challenge?
Well, you'd never guess it was made out of Mardi Gras beads and a hanging floral basket!
It was NOT my original idea--I was inspired by two very lovely ladies:
Heather at  Dollar Store Crafts
Britt at A Penny Saved.

These brilliant ladies had two very informative tutorials, which you can find at the above links. (Britt actually wired hers for electricity!!!

Here's what you need:
■Hanging wire basket (you can get at any home improvement store)

 ■Jumbo package of Mardi Gras beads. I used over 100 strands in my version.
■Floral Wire
■Spray paint in any color of your choosing.

 ■Wire cutters or heavy duty scissors.
I modified their designs a little, and left the longer pieces at the bottom, which I thought gave it a slightly different look.
It was pretty time consuming, but totally and utterly worth it!
BIG thanks to these tutorials and the inspiration that they provided for our challenge!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Children's Party Network East Coast vs. West Coast Party Challenge

So, by now, I hope that everyone who reads this blog has heard of the Children's Party Network.
The CPN was founded by absolutely lovely Natalie, from Little Shindigs.
Her partner in crime is the equally amazing Kristy from The Purple Pug.
Together, they formed an amazing network to bring party professionals together to share pictures, chat, and just generally get to know each other and support one another's businesses. 
I have spent more time on CPN than I would like to admit, and if you are not hooked on it yet, you will be soon. 

Well, Natalie and Kristy decided that it would be such a fun, wonderful idea to get our talents together to collaborate on a charity fundraising oppurtunity. So, they recruited many, many talented party ladies into a West Coast vs. East Coast Challenge.
The challenge was simply that each coast and its players would contribute to a tablescape for a children's New Year's Eve Party. That party was themed "black and white" and those were the only restrictions. These lovely ladies also decided that they wanted to raise money for a great charity in the process. The charity that they chose is called "Project Night Night" and it donates blankets, stuffed animals, and age-appropriate books to children in homeless shelters. You can donate to Project Night Night at this link.

Natalie styled the West Coast ladies' photoshoot and Kristy styled the East Coast ladies' photoshoot. The results were revealed yesterday and let me say, they are amazing! These girls blew it OUT.
I can imagine how difficult it must have been for them to try to coordinate all the party goods and foods that were literally being delivered from around the country!

But, since I was assigned to Team West, I am a little biased for our side!
Here are some of my favorite pictures from Team West. Natalie did a brilliant job styling this shoot to look like an Our Gang party. I mean, who doesn't love The Little Rascals???

My part in the challenge was to design two compenents; the silent movie intertitles, you can see one here; and a chandelier made from Mardi Gras beads; and to help Natalie with her inspiration board.

If you look closely, you can see that the cupcake stand is actually film canister!

I am dying over these place cards!

Here is my beauty. A full link to the tutorial coming soon. Note: this was NOT my own original idea, this was inspired by another one I saw and fell in love with! But, it was so easy that anyone could do it!

Another one of my intertitles.

Oh, and there was a West Coast Team too!  :)
They absolutely knocked it out of the park too! You can see more pictures of their party at The Purple Pug. Thier theme was inspired by the comics. It was ADORABLE! 

I was honored to be a part of this challenge and I think both teams deserve an enormous pat on the back for the amazing, clever parties that they came up with!

So now, it's up to you to vote on the winner!
You can vote here:

You've got 6 days to vote, but remember......

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

{My Parties} Cookies with Santa Party!

Merry Christmas!
Last weekend, I designed a Cookies with Santa party for Mr. Tate (you may remember him from the Super Mario Party). He invited all his friends and family over for a little special time with Santa. Each child got as long as they wanted with Santa, and got to tell him everything they wanted!
Even his new puppy, Tucker, got in on the action! 

Is that not one of the best Santas you have ever seen???  Seriously, he was jolly. It was awesome.
(Photo by J. Herndon Photography)

For the invitations, my client used an Etsy Seller, DewDropDigitals. She also made us the menu cards for the buffets.

We did a savory buffet and a sweets buffet. The theme was gingerbread and peppermint.
All the foam ornaments and fabrics are from JoAnn. The hat boxes are from Hobby Lobby.
I got that precious white Christmas tree at Target.

How adorable are these Santa nutcrackers? They are little baking Santas with trays of gingerbread!
I couldnt' resist them!
This picture also shows a great up close shot of the backdrop fabric which was lime green and candy-cane. It didn't really read well in the pictures!
My client wanted dipped marshmallows on the buffet, so I decided to dip Christmas Peeps! I love peeps. Seriously, I could eat them every. single. day.
I also dipped some chocolates into these cute Christmas tree and Christmas light molds.
The caterer, Karen Shelton, made everything else, including peppermint bark, oreo truffles, cupcakes, cake pops, and all the savory food.

I loved these cupcakes! I actually iced them to help her out and we just stuck some cute little Betty Crocker toppers on them! Super fun!

In this picture, you can see the attached savory buffet (which I got no pictures of because I was too busy! :( )
Karen also had the great idea for a hot chocolate bar, and the kids LOVED IT!
She had tons of different toppings and mix-ins and they went crazy for it!
Karen always has super cute ideas on how to make food more kid-friendly and these sandwiches were no exception! Simply cutting them into stars made them more appealing to the kids!

Hope you loved my Cookies with Santa Party!
Merry Christmas to you and yours!