{ANNOUNCEMENT} A New Addition!

Okay, so I promised a big announcement… and here it is:
That’s right… I’m pregnant!
Okay, so… I’m sure this announcement isn’t quite as big as a free printable.
(So, I’ll add one of those at the end of the post!)
But, I wanted to let you know why I’ve been posting so few times 
and what it might mean for the blog in the future.

This first trimester has been a DOOZY and I’m having a hard time getting anything done. 
But, I am beginning to feel a bunch better now that I’m about to start the second trimester.
So, what this means for the blog:
1) More baby showers and children parties in the mix.

I’ll still have a lot of adult parties but kids are sort of on my mind at the moment.
And, as I plan to have this blog for many years I am guessing that you’ll get to see all the milestone childhood parties from this corner of the world.

2) A little bit more about me and my personal life.

Okay, I’m not trying to just talk about me on here…
But, I created this blog as a sort of outlet for my creativity.
I often focus my creative juices towards parties, but now I feel that maybe I won’t be able to spend quite as much time on that. I have really enjoyed reading the blogs of some other creative folks that occasionally add in a post about their personal life. So, I plan on doing a little of the same.

Please let me know what you think about these changes!

And, now… the promised printable! 

 I designed these Valentine’s Day Cupcake Toppers/Party Embellishments in celebration of hearing my little one’s heartbeat yesterday. It was quite an amazing sound. :)

Download the “Heard A Heartbeat” Printable by clicking here! 

{FEATURED} Bump Smitten Tutorial

I’m excited to say that I’ve got a new cake stand tutorial featured over at Bump Smitten today!

Learn how to make this adorable little cupcake stand at Bump Smitten!

Now, I’ve become slightly obsessed with this ADORABLE blog that features great DIY projects and many ideas for unique baby showers. If you haven’t seen it then pop on over and give them some comment love, because man they deserve it! The blog is well designed and beautifully put together. The photos from the baby showers and DIY projects are great and nice and big! Check them out!
Oh, and check back here later today for a fun new post!

Quick Post: Valentine’s Freebies

Okay, I do have some posts in the works (including a fun announcement) but, they will have to wait a few more days. Today I just wanted to drop off a couple of quick links before I get to my incredibly busy, busy day! (You will understand my lack of posting very, very soon!)

First off, today Catch My Party’s blog is featuring yet another 
ADORABLE printable via Love the Day.

I love, love, love that little treat box! Check out the post on Catch My Party to see more of these adorable printables and to download them for FREE!
Second on the free Valentine’s Day Goodies is Patterific’s FREE Photoshop brushes!
Also, you can purchase the commercial use license for super cheap!

Lastly, Some adorable free printables for lollipop Valentine’s Day cards from Skip to My Lou.
There are a couple of different kinds of printables… but, I especially love these little butterflies!

Photo from Skip to My Lou

Well, I hope you enjoyed this quick post of goodies from around the internet. MANY more FREE Valentine’s Day and Super Bowl goodies to come! Oh, yeah… and a big announcement!

New Blog Design

If you are checking out this page in your reader then move over to the actual site so you can see my lovely new Blog design created for me by Smitten Blog Design!

I can’t explain how happy I am with the design and with the entire process. I got to work with a fabulous and accommodating designer to get a site that I couldn’t have imagined. Thank you ladies from Smitten Blog Design!

I am also well on my way to keeping my blog resolutions this year! Number one on my list was all about changing the blog design. Hey, and January isn’t even over yet!

Please let me know what you think of the design so I can send your props over to the ladies at Smitten Blog Design!

Another post coming very soon. Have a great day!

Inspiration Board: Super Bowl Dessert Table

As dessert tables are gaining popularity I added thought it would be fun to have a Super Bowl themed dessert table for your guests. Snacking a football just go together in my opinion. You can continue the rivalry theme on the table by placing treats in each team colors on opposing sides of the table. I like the idea of adding referee styled treats in the center of the table and some cheerleader cupcakes along the sidelines. You can add in items that aren’t sweet but are often found at football games if you’d like as well (such as popcorn and pretzels).

Sources from top left clockwise: 
Marshmallow pops in team colors from Celebrations At Home, Touch Down Brownies from Celebrations At Home, three cupcakes in the center (football, referee, pom pom) featured on Hostess Blog and originally from Celebrations.com, Football truffles from Maybe Strawberry , Football Whoopie Pies from Make Merry Events, Sport Cake Pops and 
awesome presentation from Save the Date for Cupcakes

Inspiration Board: Super Bowl Party Food/Activity

For the Super Bowl main course make it easy on yourself by having guests pitch in on bringing the food. Why not play on the competitive feeling of the super bowl by having a “Chili Cook-Off”… give a trophy to the winner of the competition that gives the feeling of the Vince Lombardi Trophy except maybe with a chili on top. I’ve added some fun resources on ways to do your cook-off, but you could make it simple as having small bowls and scorecards available to your guests. Tally up the scores during half-time. 

Sources from top left clockwise: 
Chili Cook-Off score card from Eating Good in The Hood, Score cards and tasting cups on a clip board from Chick and Jo, scoring card from Rachael Ray, Chili and fixin’s pic from Utah Agenda , Coffee Cups offer good small portions for a chili cook off from The Party Dress

Inspiration Board: Super Bowl Party Decor

I have a lot of fun ideas Valentine’s Day coming your way soon. But, I thought I would share some inspiration and ideas for the first February “Holiday”—the Super Bowl! 

Inspiration Boards for a fun Super Bowl party

When thinking about possible Super Bowl party ideas I originally wanted to stray away from the typical “football” party. But, then I thought…why change a good thing? If you like what you see here then, in decorating for the party, focus on improving some of the traditional parts of an everyday football get-together. I really like the use of pennants, helmets, pom poms and footballs in the whole look of the party. 

You can either go with a color scheme that reminds you of a football field (green, white, brown, yellow and the occasional pop of red), your team’s colors, or make the whole party about the rivalry of the two opposing teams.

If the guests are split in two over which team they are going for then you can play off the rivalry by splitting everything in the viewing room in half with the different team colors. You could even go as far as putting a “50 yard line” down the couch and across the floor with masking tape. Fans from one team will stay on one side while the fans of the other team stay across the line of play. Pom Poms and Pennants in each team color can be placed on each end of the “field”. I’ve found some fantastic resources to share with you that include some items for purchase and a lot of fantastic do-it-yourself projects. 

Keep checking in this week and next to see more fun Super Bowl ideas!

The Decor

Sources from Top Left Clockwise: Football Coasters from Martha Stewart, Team Bunting from Anticipation Cards Etsy Shop, Paper and Cake Printable Partyware, Hostess with The Mostess Football Table, Plastic football players and goal posts would look great anywhere on the table I found some cute players via Amazon, do-it-yourself PomPoms from Dazzle Dish, Team Spirit Pennants from Ragadoodle Etsy Shop

Friday Finds: Ways to Inspire Creativity in 2011

Okay, I’m having trouble… I’m so busy with things that I CANNOT WAIT TO ANNOUNCE that I’ve had a lot of trouble getting inspired for anything else. Which, if you haven’t been able to tell, has really impacted my blogging.

I just finished having a wonderful visit with my in-laws and am about to leave for a weekend getaway on the Oregon coast. This weekend is a much needed break for me and will be a ton of fun because it is for a dear friend’s 30th birthday!

The Oregon coast is cold throughout most of the year and in January it is sure to be FREEZING. So, we found a lovely little rental that has beautiful views and a fireplace so we can enjoy a cozy weekend near a beautiful ocean. I’m hoping to be inspired… and, to help with the inspiration I plan on bringing a few tools.

Number One: My Sketchbook

I’ve been incredibly inspired by the drawings and ideas coming from Alisa Burke: Redefine Creativity

While her blog alone is inspiration… recently I’ve been obsessed with the lovely images found in her sketchbook. It has really inspired me to start my sketchbook again. In the past I haven’t been able to do anything without sketching it out first, but I’ve really gotten out of the habit and feel that maybe it has a lot to do with why I’ve been failing to become inspired. Now, if using a sketchbook is something you’d love to do but have no idea how to start or keep up then head over to Alisa’s blog ASAP! Not only is she giving an online class, but she is also having a giveaway for three free spots in the class!

Image of Alisa Burke’s Sketchbook
 Number Two: My Camera

I have a terrible camera… but, I still love taking photos. Photos inspire me in so many ways. Heck, just taking photos inspires me. When I really want some beautiful images I bring my wonderful film camera, but it is expensive and bulky. So, until I get the wonderful DSLR that I want I have to make do with my little point and shoot.

Now, if you already have that DSLR but are still not getting the shots you want… then check out Under the Sycamore a beautiful blog with photographer Ashley Ann.

If you live in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area you have the option of signing up for her class “SnapShots: Beginner DSLR Photography Workshops” to learn how to use that fancy new camera. And, if you don’t live in the Tulsa area and just want some great tips check out her SnapShops category on her blog.

Photo from Ashley Ann Photography
Three: My Friend Alicia 

Now, if you had a friend that studied to be a chef and is testing out all kinds of recipes for her new blog… wouldn’t you bring her along if you could!?

The Sweet Smith is a new blog about food. :) She is sharing all kinds of fun recipes, techniques and ideas. It is just getting started which means there is so many new recipes to be tested by all her friends. (That includes me.)  I know for a fact that she is bringing cupcakes on this trip and I can’t wait to try them. So, I plan on being very inspired by the tasty treats and good times of this weekend.

Weekend Reader’s Question: What inspires you and how do you pump those inspirational juices?

A look back at 2010 and glance into the future

Twenty Ten was an eventful year for me. I started this year working really hard towards a goal of moving up in the company at which I work. I was traveling with the company doing hiring and training. And, while I loved that part of the job I hated being away from home and hated coming back to the every day grind of the job. The longer I waited for the position I wanted the more I realized that the position was not for me. I guess that all the comments from people telling me that I needed to be in the event planning field finally got through my thick skull. So, in April 2010 I decided to step down from my role in my company and instead step into the event styling field slowly with this blog.

A Well Crafted Party’s First Post, “Let’s Party” was published on April 26, 2010.

I fell in love with the idea behind the name “A Well Crafted Party.” I really love crafts and creating items with my hands (or computer). And, I really love parties. I thought the whole idea fit me and my goal to a T.

Since that first post in April the blog has grown to have 30 followers, 136 Facebook Fans and over 11,000 page views. While I know that might seem small to some bloggers out there I am overwhelmed with excitement… I never thought the blog could go this far! It makes me really want to continue to create and share on the blog. It makes me want to improve and expand! Thank you so much to each of you lovely readers. I hope that some of these past 90 posts have inspired you in some way. I would LOVE to hear any feedback you may have for me and the blog.

To look back on this year a bit I thought I’d put together a few of my own “TOP of 2010″ lists.

Top Posts of 2010
based on page views
1. Free Printables: Mini Cupcake Toppers 
Top Blog Moments of 2010
based on my own personal memory in no particular order

1. Having one of my parties being featured as one of 
Catch My Party’s Favorite Parties of the Year!!!
My Viva Las Vegas Party is one of 24 amazing parties being featured over at Catch My Party’s Blog
I feel honored to be included and as always… I love the Catch My Party site! 

in the category of Halloween Parties—All Ages.  My “Mad Tea Party” won the prize!
This was my first contest to enter for one of my parties and it was so much fun!
3. Having a wedding I styled and a tutorial featured on Eat Drink Pretty.
It was such an amazing feeling to have one of my favorite blogs feature my work!
4. Having several of my parties featured on Catch My Party
This party hosting site has been such an inspiration to me and I have been super
excited to see several of my parties featured on either the front page or blog. 
If you haven’t checked them out yet… now is the time!
5. Hitting 100 Facebook fans (now 136 and counting)! 
I was so very excited to see so many new faces now following the blog. 
I’m glad you are here! 
 Now…for 2011

The past few weeks I’ve been working very hard on a few projects that will have to stay under the hat for a bit. I’m over the moon about the changes and opportunities for me and this blog that will be happening in 2011. I can’t do it without YOU… so, please leave me comments or e-mail me about things you like, want to see more of, could see less of… etc.

A Few Resolutions:
When I was younger I would write one resolution for every year I have been alive. I’m too old for that now… It would take forever to remember what the resolutions were much less keep to them! So, I just want to leave a couple resolutions I have for this blog:

1. A Blog Redesign!!! I’m not happy with the way the blog looks right now. I was super proud when I FINALLY finished all the elements, but that was for the start of a small project.
I want to give the blog design a much needed makeover and the attention it deserves.
2. To finally take the final step into the Event Styling field and opening my own shop. I am in the process of creating product and preparing myself for the legal side of owning my own small (very small) business. This has been taking up most of my brain the past few months… 
I hope to see it through this year!
 3. Create more tutorials for do-it-yourself projects and more free printables. Those are things I look for in other blogs (along with inspiration) and I hope to provide more of those things for my readers.

Happy New Year to you all! 
Thank you for reading A Well Crafted Party! 
—Always, Jenni   

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