Friday, February 26, 2010

Rock the Launch

Last night's launch party for the new website Weddzilla was held at the beautiful building for the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C.  The venue was at capacity with industry suppliers of all disciplines and brides looking for inspiration.

Guests bid on a variety of wedding packages in the silent auction and all proceeds went to charity.  The table set up was elegant and refined.  Tall cylinders of flowers from the Petal's Edge graced lavender covered tables.  My favorite were the white antherium, just gorgeous!

Guest speakers included extraordinary cake decorator and personality Ron Ben-Israel (if you're not familiar with his work, please take a look at his website.  He truly creates edible works of art with extraordinary detail.)

 and fabulous lifestyle guru Steve Kemble, the celebrity host of the evening. 

Both Steve and Ron are so full of energy and enthusiasm for this business, they really inspire me!

One of the evening's highlights was the diamond giveaway from Mervis Jewelers.  The first 500 attendees received a box with either a CZ (499) or one REAL diamond!  Alas mine was not a real rock.

Unfortunately the excited bridal community on the invite list exceeded the available space.  The catering staff  also struggled to replenish the hors d'oeuvres through the crowd.  This was a shame as the food was well presented and unique.  I really enjoyed the "shrimp on a stick," their upscale take on a corn dog.

Upstairs, vendors provided future brides with a plethora of options for their big day. One unique item I noticed was the beautiful floral preservation work of All Seasons Floral Preservation. is an online planning tool aimed at the wedding market, but open to all looking for event vendors and contacts.  They also have a blog staffed by both bride and vendor bloggers.  Good luck and best wishes to them!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nesting Newbies Magazine

There's a great new online magazine I just discovered called Nesting Newbies.
Beautiful photos and great ideas abound.  Personally I like printed editions better, but the bonus of an online magazine is that they can make the articles and spreads longer and include so many more photos.  All of which I applaud!

Monday, February 22, 2010

New Find: Anywhere clips

To start the work week off, I found these great clips from Mayfair Lane.  These are no ordinary refrigerator magnets, these beauties stick to any nonporous surface.  The adhesive back stays miraculously clean as you stick and restick.  Happeez products grip refrigerators, glass, cabinets and more.  Leaves no residue and are non-toxic and odor free.

Happeez Clipper, $6 ea or 3 for $15 from Mayfair Lane.

Which are your favorite?  Would you use them in your office, kitchen or ???

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Maddycakes Muse: Easter & Spring Tablescape Contest

Maddycakes Muse blog is hosting an Easter & Spring tablescapes contest.  I entered my Woodland charm party, but it's up against some stiff competition.  Check it out and see all of the great entries!  I love seeing what others are doing, it really gets the creative juices flowing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Real Party: Woodland Charm

This "Woodland Charm" baby shower theme came from a combination of two inspiration pieces.  The first was the mom-to-be's charm bracelet and the second was the great birdhouse salt & pepper shakers from Pottery Barn that I highlighted on an earlier post.  After a hard winter everyone has been looking eagerly for spring and this theme carried us right into the season. 

Color scheme was green, brown, and blue which were all picked up in the accent ribbons on the napkins and buffet.  This theme might trend towards being more feminine, so the colors helped keep the focus on the baby boy that was on the way.  In addition this shower had male and female invitees so we wanted to keep things more neutral so everyone would be comfortable.

The plates are recycled leaves from Verterra (highlighted on an earlier post).  They tied in so nicely with the theme.  Each place setting received a felt fortune cookie with fun wishes about children and life.

I made all of the medallions for the napkin rings and water bottles from craft paper.  I used two sizes of round punches plus assorted woodland animals (frogs, butterflies, flowers, and dragonflies).   My xyron sticker maker helps this process go faster, especially for the little animals.

The wishing tree was a popular activity and the mom-to-be was excited to take home all of the leaf shaped wishes.   I used three colors of craft paper and cut them into leaf shapes.  Then provided colored pens and mini clothespins to attach them to the tree.

Here's a custom trick for time crunched hostesses:  I purchased the cake from Costco.  However as many know, they only offer limited designs.  So I picked out a design I liked in the chocolate brown frosting and with this background in place I added sugar woodland critters and green gum paste leaves to add our theme colors to the top.   This gives the cake a much more custom look at a fraction of the price and time it would take to make.

The snack buffet helped guests bide the time until the surprise honoree arrived.  I made paper cones for the mixed nuts and planted them in wood buckets with faux grass and skewers that ran up through the middle.  

As is usual with life, not everything went exactly according to plan.  We had 2 feet of snow and didn't know if the party was going to actually happen until 2 hours before the start time.  So there was some last minute rearranging, but fortunately a quorum arrived safely and we were able to celebrate together.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Custom Pet Portraits

I had a great experience that I'd like to share working with L.A. Shepard on a custom portrait of my girls.  First off I'm terribly picky about both the style of painting and how the likenesses are captured.  I think breeds with spiky hair (like Pomeranians) are a bit more difficult to capture correctly than short hair breeds.  Secondly I don't have a large endowment set aside to pay for custom work, which is very limiting when combined with the first requirement.  So I'd been looking for someone to paint them for quite awhile and have done a lot of browsing through portfolios to compare work.  I found some pieces I liked on Etsy, and then realized I also liked work shown by the same artist on Ebay.  So I contacted the artist and commissioned an 8x10 oil painting based on a photograph I had taken.  Ms. Shepard was quick to reply via email and also quick to deliver.  She is based in Canada, so I worried that customs might hold things up, but I received my finished product less than 2 weeks after I ordered.  I was really pleased with how it turned out and have been using it on my masthead.  For pre-printed items you can look for her work at

Original Photo

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I wish...

Adding an interactive station to your event is a great way to engage attendees and also provide a keepsake for the guest of honor.  One I've recently used is the "Wishing ____ (tree, wall, well, clothesline, etc.)."  The wishing area allows guests to leave notes about the honoree, the special occasion, advice, or anecdotes and allows them to be as funny or sentimental as they wish.  This station works equally well for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and showers.

Most of these wishing areas are quite simple and several can be a DIY project.  Yet each gives you a big bang for your buck by being a focal point in the room and giving guests the ability to participate and interact with each other.  The most effective stations coordinate with the overall event theme.  Take a look at these great options to see which style could work into your plan.

Wishing Wall
This can be a DIY project or Uncommon Goods offers one complete with paper slips.

Wishing Well

Wishing Tree

It helps to give guests detailed instructions on how to complete the project along with creative suggestions to get them started.

Don't forget the pens!  You could really make this station active by including glitter pens, colored stamps, and whatever treatments and colors go along with your theme.

After the party is over, the host can take a photo of the finished work and gather the paper, wood, leaves, or other surface selected for the wishes and present them to the honoree.  This could also be a great gift after the event if it were incorporated into scrapbook pages with guest photos.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Quick preview: Woodland Charm Baby Shower

Wow, just had the best time with friends celebrating an upcoming birth.  This despite 24" of snow the day before that shut down the whole Washington area!  I'll post the Real Party Pics soon.

Friday, February 5, 2010

New linens!

I'm so excited, my linens arrived today from Linen Tablecloth and they're even better than I expected.  I got 20% off plus free shipping for orders over $50.  I've set one up on my kitchen table to see how it looks and now I can't wait to use them!  Photos will be up soon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Snow Day!

We had snow AGAIN last night (with more to come on Friday, but that's a different story) so schools were closed and folks called out for work.  However the streets were clear in my neighborhood, so I swept off the car and headed into the office.   There weren't many cars on the road which made for an easy commute.   However I was surprised to be WOWed by the beauty.  The snow gently covered all of the trees and in the soft morning light everything seemed to just glow.  It's hard to describe how picture perfect it was.  I'm so glad that I made the drive in! 

In my mind this equates to the reason we decorate and throw parties and change our environments.  New "accessories" really open our eyes to see something different in our ordinary surroundings.  I really enjoy my profession, but wonder what purpose it serves.  Is it just frivolous?  After a morning like this I don't think so.  I think changing decor and creating special events makes you take a step back and take a new look at your world just like the snow changed the nature around my usual commute.  Taking time to mentally note and enjoy a place is important, rather than just having one day just run into the next. 

We as designers create the special time and atmosphere that enables our attendees & clients to have this same experience and the time to pause and enjoy it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Tablescape: Very Valentine

February is now upon us, have you made your plans with your Valentine?  This beautiful tablescape would be just the thing for a romantic Valentine's dinner.  Notice the unusual serpentine table and tall chairs.  What really makes this setting special are the multiple fabric textures in the custom fitted tablecloth, chair pads, and chair covers.

Designed for the tabletop competition at TSE 2010.
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