Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Find: Elegant bubble wands

Spring is here and so are visions of beautiful outdoor events.

Wouldn't these elegant bubble wands be perfect for the "mature" princess in your party?  These hand-cast pewter versions of the classic children's toy make excellent favors.  They are available in several styles for $16 each from Clay Company.  Clay Company is located in my hometown of Santa Rosa, CA, and makes all kinds of pewter tabletop and gift items that are sure to please even the picky princess of your bunch.  Made in the USA.

If you want to make your own bubble mix this easy recipe is a perfect DIY.

1/2 cup dish soap
2 cups water
2 tsp sugar

Mix gently together, dip wand, and blow!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring showers

Spring is here!

And along with spring comes showers and blooms.  This theme would be great for an Easter party or baby shower.

The fabulous centerpiece is an actual water feature with "rain" streaming down the umbrella and into a dish with a recirculating pump.

The copper colored table and chargers are a great counterpoint to the yellow slickers, duck place cards and blue table skirt.  Look closely, the table is actually colored with a layer of pennies!

Rubber boots in fanciful patterns were placed on each seat for guest favors.  They were accented with blue tissue paper and filled with rainy day goodies.

"Rainy Days" designed by Planning Factory International.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Book review: Signature Sasha

Signature Sasha
is the latest offering from renowned wedding planner Sasha Souza.  If you aren't familiar with her work, Sasha's magnificent events are highlighted by their visual layers and attention to detail. 

This is Sasha's first book and it is a beautiful large format with fabulous photos of her weddings.  I must admit that the photographs are the main attraction for me;  I find great inspiration in the work of others.

It's hard to pick a favorite section, the gorgeous shades and tones used in Colors make tried and true selections like pink stand out as modern and current.  Flowers showcases Leah Lowery's beautiful designs and truly makes me fall in love with flowers all over again.  Oh, if someone would send me one of those bouquets!  However the last chapter, Love Stories, truly encompasses the main message of the book.  That is that Sasha truly sees each couple's dream and is able to translate it into tangible elements throughout the wedding day and evening.  These events aren't just a ceremony or party, they're an expression of who the bride and groom are together.  Couples who can take this philosophy and implement these tips and ideas will have a celebration with deep meaning for both themselves and their guests.

Signed copies are available from her website or unsigned from online booksellers Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Epiphanie! Have bag- will travel

Are you a photography gal?  If so you'll want to check out this new line of handbags from Epiphanie.

No more dragging around two bags, one for your camera and accessories and one for your personal items.  These beauties combine the best of a designer look with the padding and compartments of a camera bag. As part of their launch they're also doing a fantastic drawing for a Canon 5D Mark III or a 2,500 Southwest Airlines gift certificate!

These bags would be great for anyone who needs multiple compartments: new moms and even those with lots of mobile devices. The problem is deciding on just one!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Part 2: Twilight Party

On Wednesday we began the Twilight journey with Bella and Edward tables taking center stage.  Today we see the rest of this dramatic event.

The Jacob table was nature inspired with trees, wood stumps and Native American motifs (the bird image was reproduced from the Quileute Tribal Health facility website).  The menu of fish fry and potato bar reflected the favorite foods of both Bella's and Jacob's fathers.

Stumps were courtesy of my man and his chainsaw from our backyard.

Werewolf kibble was served as a snack in black dog bowls.


Thanks go to the Hostess with the Mostess for her great idea to use framed signs to highlight specific areas.  These also helped guests who didn't have any prior knowledge of the series figure out the theme decor's connection to the plot.  We created our signs to fit each theme area and most were quotes from the novels. 

After all of this I still had another buffet table to fill so I created a vampire baseball scene.  Baseball cookies, baseball bats, trees, and a giant scoreboard with Edward leading in RBIs!

The pennants I made from foam sheets available at the craft store.  I used pre-cut letters for "Team".  The "Edward" is sparkle felt.

Don't forget the lighting, red uplights illuminated the floor to ceiling windows and flickering candles were on every table.  The lounge area was also surrounded by layers of pillar candles.  Red and black pillows with gothic motif added a soft touch.  The room didn't have hang points but I felt the area needed to be tied together with a candelabra.  So I suspended it from a bow lamp base.

Finally, the cocktail tables were topped with alternating feather trees, parrot tulips in red glass vases, and black candelabras.  


The layers of details at this event are what made it WOW for my attendees.  They talked about it all the next day!  You can put this same level of design into your event no matter how large or small and wow YOUR guests as you gush over New Moon together and wait for Eclipse!

Where to buy:
Trees, grass: Save On Crafts
Dog bowls, Black frames, Red glass vase, Regolit bow lamp base: Ikea
Foam sheets, Black candelabra: Michael's Craft
Parrot tulips: JZ Rose
Hanging candelabra: Shop Wild Things
Pillows: Walmart 
Feathers and Eiffel vases: Fabulous Feathers

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

10 Days and counting: New Moon Release Party! Part 1

The next installment of the Twilight series New Moon will be released on DVD on March 20 at midnight.  Think you might plan a midnight viewing party?  If so, here are some ideas from an event I designed that can help inspire your party. I hope you enjoy all of the photos!


This reception was for both Twilight addicts and those who knew nothing about the series.  Tip to the wise: unless you have a really small guest list, you have to be open to the notion that not all attendees will "get" your theme and the nuances you create.  And that's ok!  If you just looked at this party without any background knowledge you got a cool vibe from the lighting and decor.  You could also appreciate the layers of design that went into it.  However for those in the know, you then could also see all of the references with the decorations and read much more into the settings.

Invites were styled to look like movie tickets and attendees received a Twilight quiz when they entered.  The quiz really encouraged interaction among the guests.  All of the questions could be answered by studying the decorations, so those familiar and unfamiliar with the story could have equal opportunity at winning the door prize- a replica of Bella's bracelet with Edward and Jacob charms. 

Guests entered the room like they were coming into a theater, with movie posters, red carpet and red panels swagged across the entrance.   There was even paparazzi! (Me!).  The dark atmosphere of the W Hotel added to the mystery of the event. 

I created theme buffet tables for the main characters.  The "Bella" table reflected the first book and movie with her red truck, apples, books and locker (the feathers are actually inspired by the last book in the series).  Mushroom pasta and breadsticks were served.

The Edward dessert table was the centerpiece of the room with an uplit tree covered in crystals.  The bendable tree was a stunning 6' tall.

Although not authentic to the novels/movies, I couldn't pass up the vampire bite mini red velvet cupcakes.  They rested on silver wrapped "presents", just like the Cullen's gave to Bella on her birthday.

Tomorrow, come back and see the rest of the Twilight party including Jacob buffet and vampire baseball table.

Where to find:
Posters, drapery panels, faux apples: Walmart
Candelabra, Crystals, 6' bendable tree: Shop Wild Things
Battery candles: Lamp Lust
Candelabra was suspended from an Ikea lamp base
Feathers: Fabulous Feathers
Truck: Mini Muscle Cars
Glass vases: Accent Decor
Frame: Ikea
White pedestals: Home Goods

Thanks to Mary Petitt for the great graphics.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Not in wine country? Try the mini-barrel.

After reading about so many of my friends' adventures during the Sonoma County Barrel Tasting weekend, I've started to be a little jealous of all that vino and good times.  So I had to share this fun find for those of us not in wine country. 

With warm sunshine coming, picnics and BBQ's can't be too far behind!  Get ready for the outdoor festivities with the red truck mini-barrel.  This budget-friendly barrel of California red wine serves 4 bottles or 20 glasses and is $29.99.  The barrel keeps the wine fresh for up to 6 weeks after opening and is almost 100% recyclable.  New is the white truck mini-barrel of Chardonnay.  I think these would look great on a beverage station and could be incorporated so easily into a cheese and cracker station as well.

Winemaker Charlie Tsegeletos crafts some of California's "finest and most fun wines" from the red truck winery in Sonoma, CA. Rated by Food & Wine as "America's Top Value Winery"!

So don't fret if you're not in beautiful Sonoma County, bring the fun to you!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Make a wish come true! Wish Upon A Wedding

I'd like to give a shout-out to a new organization called Wish Upon A Wedding.  It was founded in San Francisco, CA, in January of 2010, by a group of wedding and business entrepreneurs I know and is America’s FIRST nonprofit wedding wish granting organization, producing weddings and civil union ceremonies at destinations across the United States for individuals facing terminal illness.

Wish Upon A Wedding now boasts twenty chapters nationwide, headed by some of the industry’s most renowned leaders with plans to expand to over 40 chapters worldwide.

How Wishes are Granted
To qualify for Wishes, applicants must be unmarried legal citizens of the United States, over the age of 18, who have been diagnosed with less than three years to live. Couples can be granted wishes either in the chapter where they live or in a chapter of their choosing as long as they are able to make the trip.

Couples can simply apply online to request one of three wedding types:
  • URGENT (Up to 10 guests, in hospital or at bedside)
  • BOUTIQUE (up to 25 guests, in home town of applicant)
  • ROMANTIC (Up to 50 guests, at any WUW destination)

How Can You Grant Wishes?
As the organization is building, Wish Granters are needed in all locations. Please see the many ways you can contribute online today to start helping Wedding Wishes come true.

First Wish
On March 13, Wish Upon A Wedding will be granting the very first wish! To read more about that wish and the couple please visit the website.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tablescape: Dog Days

You all know by now that one of my favorite subjects is my Pomeranians and our pom parties. So wouldn't this design from the table showcase at TSE be great for our next meetup?

You can really pull out all the stops with a theme like this. From the "Paws and Claws Gazette" to the dog collar napkin rings you just can't get too much of this wild table.

Note the animal masks and tails on the chairs

Placemats for the four legged guests.


 A Magical Affair, based in Franklin, Tenn., created "Furball 2010."  All photos by Catch the Moment; http://www.catchthemoment.com/.

For more tabletops from the competition visit Special Events Magazine.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The dilemmas of decorating

One of the hardest things to do in decorating is choose the right paint color.  Paint adds so much to a room and can instantly transform it from blah to beautiful.  However it's tough to stare at all of those chips and choose just one!  So House Beautiful came out with a paint book called Colors For Your Home, 300 Designer Favorites.  This book is a must have for all of those who dream about color filling your space.  It lists the favorite colors designers use and shows how those colors look on the wall.  If you ever wondered how to use a bright red or deep blue in your environment this book shows you the possibilities.
Colors For Your Home was published in 2008 and I have repeatedly used it both as a reference for choosing actual wall colors and as an inspiration for other projects.  I highly recommend picking up a new or used copy to keep in your design library.

Available from Amazon and other booksellers.

What is your favorite color?
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