{Inspiration to Reality} Sketched Wedding Vignettes

In August of 2012 I was fortunate enough to get to help my friends Alishia and Ryan with their beautiful wedding. I posted a few sneak peek photos from my camera a while back. I’m excited to finally be able to share some of the wedding photos (from the photographer) and the process behind the event! Check back tomorrow for the full {real party} post— today I want to focus on the process of before and after. I hope that if you are planning a  DIY wedding some of these tips can help you with the process.

Continue Reading…

Working on it Wednesday: Valentine’s Day Ladies’ Night

Can you believe that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner? I still feel like I am recovering from Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations… but, a walk through your local store and you’ll be reminded that the time of hearts, flowers, chocolate, and PINK is just around the corner. Now, I know that this day isn’t for everyone… but, I love it. I loved it when I was single. I love it now. Sure, there are things about it I’m not a huge fan of… but, I try to focus on the parts I like. You know me… any excuse for a party!

A few ladies and I are getting together in a couple weekends for a ladies’ night. We’re having a sort of cocktail party with a hot toddy bar, photo booth, valentine exchange, and good company. I wanted to steer away from a large amount of pink and ultra-romantic stuff Although, there will be some pink and of course there will be hearts. But, I have thrown a lot of parties with pink as a main color lately and I’d like to move in a different direction. So, we decided to do a Cozy Flannel Valentines’ Day theme.

I’m excited to bring flannel into the decor and to push myself to stay away from super traditional Valentines’ Day party looks. The above Pinterest board has some of the ideas for the party. I’m really loving some of the pins.  The pictured supplies above give you a real feel of my ideas for the party. I’m loving all of the hand lettered party signs and have been practicing my calligraphy. Can’t wait to pull it out for this party. I also got some feathers, leather, yarn, old sweaters, and flannel to add to the cozy/natural feel of the party.

Are you planning anything for Valentine’s Day? 

 

Top Party Posts of 2012

I went back and forth about whether I was going to put a “round-up” post up on the blog… but, as I enjoy reading everyone’s yearly round-up posts, I decided to go ahead and put one up. So, without further ado… here are my top 12 party posts of 2012!

 


In January I featured a Rustic Dinner Party that I threw for a friend’s birthday… my favorite details were the spray painted animal figures that found their way into the centerpieces and, of course, all the burlap. I’m pretty sure that 2012 was my year to use the heck out of burlap!

2. Fancy Pants Party

In March I got around to featuring my 2011 birthday party… a Fancy Pants cocktail party! I had a lot of fun creating cheeky “fancy pants” party elements. My favorite elements in this party was the Eye Lash Bar and the yummy cocktails!

3. Woodland Baby Shower

I shared a Woodland Themed Baby Shower in March… I loved all the cute little forest touches that I gathered from around the web. It remains one of my top Pinned posts!

4. Spring Cocktail Party

In April I help host a super fun, spring cocktail party for the Portland Bloggers! I had lots of help creating some beautiful spring decor. I especially loved the simple, yet catching flower arrangements and the pretty spray painted vases.

5. Pink and Orange Summer Tablescape

May was all about cocktails and summery decor. I think I was really, really ready for summer to finally get here! I created a summery tablescape for the grand opening of my Etsy shop. I really enjoyed using vintage sheets in my design.

6. Portland Bloggers’ Summer Picnic

Because we live in Portland our June summer picnic was moved indoors when the skys opened up and rain poured down on us. But, I loved the pretty summery decor items and all of the lovely people that joined us for the picnic!

7. Portland Wedding

In August I was able to help with a couple of weddings in the Portland area… I have some wonderful, creative friends. It was such a treat to help with their weddings. I posted a sneak peek of one of the weddings that shows some of my favorite details. I’ll be posting some of the party details with the professional photos for this wedding, and one other, in early 2013!

8. You Are My Sunshine 1st Birthday Party

I can’t believe I have a one-year-old now! I had such fun putting together his “You Are My Sunshine” first birthday party and was thrilled with the way it turned out. I also am SO happy that I hired (my now very good friend) Macey of Motormouth Studios to shoot his party. Not only did she do a great job capturing my kiddo, his party, and his friends… but, the package was affordable as well!

9. Pink and Glamorous 25th Birthday Party

I had so much fun helping Suzannah, from Adventures in Dressmaking, with her 25th birthday party. We made the whole party sparkle… It was almost as fabulous as she is! My favorite elements that came out of this party were the sequined flower arrangements and the glitter taped candles!

10. It’s The End of the World

It’s the last year of my 20s… the world is over! ;-) My 12/12/12 birthday party had an end of the world theme in honor of the (then) upcoming dooms day! Loved my glittered dinos the most.

11. Tips on Hosting a Holiday Party

I had a lot of fun writing out some general tips on how to throw a holiday party with as little hassle as possible. The tips are for the holidays… but, many of the tips will serve you well in any party situation!

12. Features/Guest Posts:

Pizzazzerie.com: A Portland Bloggers’ Collaboration, A Modern Pink & Gold New Year’s Party was featured over on Pizzazzerie.com. Lots of DIY New Years’ Eve goodies HERE!
A Fabulous Fete: I was excited to share 3 mojito recipes over on A Fabulous Feteclassic mojitoblackberry, and honeydew!
Simple Moments Stick: Shared some Tips for Attending a Holiday Party over on Simple Moments Stick
A Crafty Soiree: My Modern Pink & Gold NYE Printables were featured on A Crafty Soiree
Have a wonderful and safe end to your 2012!
I’d love to see YOUR favorite 2012 post on your blog/twitter… leave a link in the comments!
See you next year!

Free Halloween Printables in Use

Remember the Halloween Printables I created for all my lovely Facebook fans? Well, I decided to use them in my Halloween party this year as well! I think they really turned out cute in print! Photos were snapped by my good friend Macey from Motormouth Studio while she was off-duty. It is great to have talented friends!

The free printables are still available for download. Create some quick cupcake toppers or a Happy Halloween banner on the fly!

Click here to download the free Halloween printables

Hipster Wedding

I just had to share a link to this lovely infographic from Refinery 29: Are You at a Hipster Wedding?.

I love some of the qualifying items: Does the wedding have a hashtag? Are there lots, and lots, of Mason jars? Did you get a handmade favor?

Bahaha.. I think that Hipster Weddings are now my favorite type of wedding. When I throw my 10 year anniversary party it will certainly be part hipster. It will be chock full of organic, locally made food (most likely from a food cart), a hashtag will be necessary, and there will be succulents everywhere. Oh, and everyone will be encouraged to have out their smart phones for lots of instagramming and tweets: #10yearsofawesome. ;-) Here is to hoping that Hipster weddings are still in vogue and Instagram still exists four years from now!

 

Halloween: Favorites of Years Past

I love Halloween. It is seriously my all time favorite holiday. I love the fantasy of it all. The make believe. I’m not too big of a fan of the horror or gore side… although, it can be fun for decor options. But, the dressing up, and the creativity that just permeates the holiday makes me incredibly excited as September rolls around and the leaves start changing.

Every year we throw a huge Halloween party. We spend months and months scheming and planning. This year, with our move and other stresses, we have decided to not go crazy. I’m sad about it. Really (probably unreasonably so) sad about it. But, hopefully I’ll get to take this year to spend planning out an even bigger and more awesome event for next Halloween.

I wanted to reminisce a bit on the past Halloweens before swamping the blog with a bunch of awesome inspiration for this year’s holiday. I have thousands of great Halloween memories. But, I wanted to share just a few with you.

My top 5 past Halloween memories:
 
1. My First Halloween with my Son!


I got his adorable Lion costume via Costumes 4 Less

 
2. Our Costumes

We had fun “couple” costumes for the past few years.
These two are my all time favorites:

Alice in Wonderland and The Mad Hare
Circus Family: Clown, Ring Leader, and a Lion

3. Mad Tea Party Backdrop

I spent a LONG time working on this backdrop. And, overall it was my favorite part of the Mad Tea Party. It even got a fan who did one for her own party!

4. Spider Wall
 
Spiders creep me out more than anything else. So, when I have a chance to decorate with spooky items I always go for the spider decor. Last year we created a huge spider nest along one wall.
Man, was it creepy.

5. Haunted Halloween Dinner Party Menu

I really, really love creating a good menu. And, Halloween is no exception. I had a blast creating a menu for the Haunted Halloween Dinner Party.

 

*This is a for profit blog. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I do not promote products or businesses that I don’t use myself. Items purchased from affiliate links help support the blogger that posted them. For more information on my advertising policy for find out ways to contribute to my coffee habit please head on over to my policies page!

Spring Pamper Party

Summer is coming right around the corner. 
That means it is time to get ready for sandals, sundresses, tank tops, shorts, and bathing suits.
One of my favorite things to do in the spring is to gather together a bunch of my girl friends for a girls night in of pampering. Shape up the nails, soften the peds, do some facials or makeovers. Toss in some light snacks and fun cocktails and it is a party! 
Some ideas for a Spring Pamper Party:
Drinks
Cucumber Water
Hot or iced Tea (green tea or maybe a flavored black tea)
 
photo via Sam Rosen

Food
Cucumber Sandwiches (or other Tea Sandwiches)
Fruit and Veggie Trays 
Asparagus (the perfect spring veggie in my opinion)


Decor & Atmosphere
Fresh Flowers
Scented Candles
White Fluffy Towels
Soft, Calming Music
Activities
Manicures
Pedicures
Makeovers/Facials


Favors
Soaps
Scrubs
Candles
Nail Polishes
Towels
Photo of Fragrant Sea Salt and Herb Bath Soaks via Blue Strawberry Scents
I think the that the secret to any good Spring party is to utilize the freshness of the season.
Use fresh herbs, tasty spring veggies, and seasonal flowers. 
 What is your favorite way to celebrate during the Spring months?

{Working on it Wednesday} Fall Themed Birthday Party

Birthdays are my favorite excuse to throw a party.
My friend’s birthdays are my favorite birthdays to celebrate. 
(Well, until my little guy’s first birthday… I’m sure.)
Alicia’s birthday cake from last year—Carrot Cake!
My friend Alicia has a birthday near the end of November which gives me the perfect excuse to have a Fall themed Dinner party in her honor. I’ve been brainstorming on the party for about a week now and I’m getting quite excited about it. 
Table from Alicia’s birthday dinner 2 years ago.
I’ve decided to make the party a sort of challenge for me to help me keep it on budget and to inspire me to do some fun DIY projects for the blog.
The Details:
Guests: Approximately 16 Guests
  Color Scheme: Browns and Blues inspired by this Inspiration Board from Creature Comforts

 Inspiration Board Links: Burlap and Lace Poms from Jenny Cookies,Winter Tablescape from unknown via Pinterest (if you know please let me know so I can link), Color Inspiration Board from Creature Comforts, Clear Bottles as Candle Holders

I’d like to explore different textures and lighting for this party… 
and of course have some delicious food!

Food Inspiration Board Links: Braised Beef Short Rib Pot Pies from Martha Stewart, Spinach with Garlic Chips from Pioneer Woman, Roasted Carrots from Pioneer Woman, Cake inspiration from Jenny Cookies


 
The Challenge Rules:
Decoration Budget: $25 (must use mostly items that I already own)
Food & Favor Budget: $100
As we are a foodie group each of the guests are bringing a bottle of wine and a dessert or appetizer.
So, my food and favor budget must cover the main course, 2 sides, 2 bottles of wine and favors for 16 people. Certainly a challenge, but totally doable!
Gift Budget: $0— Must be completely homemade from supplies I already own. 
This would be slightly less possible if I didn’t already have something in mind and have an over abundance of supplies at the moment.

Real Party: Costumes &Cocktails Decorations

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween weekend!
We sure did. We had a party on Saturday, a lazy Sunday and then a walk with the little in costume and passing out candy on Monday. It was a fun first Halloween with our little guy.
I know most people are ready for all the Halloween posts to be over… but, I couldn’t wait til next year to post the review and pictures of our annual Halloween party. I’ll wait til next year to post tutorials for all the fun DIY projects in the party… but, for now I’ll post the party pictures!
Our theme this year was Costumes & Cocktails: a traditional creepy Halloween with black, white and orange color scheme; costume contest; and a full bar for fun cocktails.
The Decorations
One of the biggest focal points of the party was the giant spider wall and egg sacs.
It was certainly creepy!
I created the paper goods using free fonts from Dafont.Com* and Illustrator. I put the food labels inside sets of vampire fangs and painted the tips of the fangs red. I got the idea from the interwebs.* But, I reworked the tutorial to fit my needs and supplies.
(*See DIY information below for links)
We cleared out our TV cabinet and made it into a bar for the evening. The bar was topped with liquor, filled with mixers and garnishes and had a selection of glassware on the bottom level. Everything was covered in spider web! I also painted the doors of the cabinet with chalkboard paint and added some fun Halloween martini recipes in chalk.
Well, we didn’t grab pictures of the sheet covered furniture or some of the other small decorations that were throughout the party. The  lighting was fun for a party, but terrible for blog photography! But, you get the idea. Check back later this week for a post on the creepy food and awesome costumes!
DIY information: 
Martha Stewart Tutorial for Spider Egg Sacs
Martha Stewart Tutorial for Creepy Crepe Curtains
Katie Does Fang Placecard Holder Tutorial
Dafont.com fonts used: Moonlight Shadow by David Kerkhoff, KR Boo Lane by Kat’s Fun Fonts and Spider’s Club by Manfred Klein

{Friday Finds} Last Minute Indpendence Day Ideas

Now, I know some of you have been planning your Independence Day celebration for a while now…
 (and, I’d love to see pictures!)
But, this holiday always seems to sneak up on me. I’ve been searching for some easy, last minute ideas that I can incorporate into this year’s celebration. I thought I’d share some of the fun things I’ve come across in case you are like me and haven’t planned a thing or even if you are just looking for that final touch to complete your party!
You can find all the inspiration that I’ve been collecting on my Pinterest Board: Independence Day.
Don’t have Pinterest!?!
E-mail me and I will invite you (until I run out of invites)… have Pinterest?
Follow me and I’ll Follow You right back!
Some of my favorites from the board:
Image Credit: Seaside Creative
I love the colors of these free printables from Seaside Creative. Emily, the designer, actually caught my attention with them by e-mailing me the link. I’m pretty sure these will make an appearance in my upcoming celebration! Check out her site for some great inspiration, free printables
and to see her great shop!
Photo Credit: Bakers Royale
Don’t these strawberry treats look AMAZING!?!
I think these are a must do for this year’s celebration (and SO easy).
Although, I’ll be doing it without the vodka infusion.
I found these through Tip Junkie, but they originally belong to Bakers Royale.
Image Credit: Home is where the Boat Is
While almost EVERYTHING about the “Home is Where the Boat Is” party is AMAZING this is one of my favorite details. I love how they garnished drinks with watermelon stars and blueberries! I originally found this party through Entertain Exchange!
Photo Credit: Fiskars
I {LOVE} streamers. They are such a fun, inexpensive way to decorate for parties. But, I really love when someone does something CREATIVE with streamers. These star punched streamers from Fiskars would add so much to a party. I also really like the star punched paper plates that are also featured on the Fiskar’s Fourth of July post!
Photo Credit: Martha Stewart
Oh, and of course you can’t forget about the plethora of inspiration found on Martha Stewart’s website! I love how these are just re-purposed cans yet they look so fantastic filled with tasty snacks. The paper is provided as free clip art on the site and can be used throughout any part of your celebration.I’d love to know if you’ve found any GREAT Independence Day inspiration. Any big plans for your weekend?

{INSPIRATION BOARD} Love in Blossom A Japanese Inspired Wedding

I’ve been holding back this project for a while
(oh so difficult!!!!)
but, was pleasantly surprised yesterday to see it featured on
Which means… I can now share it with you!
~*~
Love in Blossom: A Japanese-Inspired Wedding 
I was inspired to create this Mock-Wedding reception from a request for a DIY wedding with the theme of “Around the World.” I have a special place in my heart for Japan because my husband was born and grew up in the Tokyo area. My in-laws were so amazing when I told them about my idea and they brought me some beautiful tableware from Tokyo the last time they came to visit! I wanted to mix Japanese details with some more traditional American wedding details.
I hope I got the right mix!
First off, my inspiration board for this project:
Sources from Top Left Clockwise:
(I’ve lost a few of these sources because I created this board over a year ago… if you know of the source for one of these photos PLEASE let me know so I can give credit!!)
1. Invitations: Martha Stewart Weddings: Sheila and Steve’s Real Wedding 
2. Girl with Umbrella: ???
3. DIY origami branches: The Flirty Guide  
4. Girls with Wands: Martha Stewart from Matthew Robbins Design 
5. Cranes: ???
6. Paper Lantern: Luna Bazaar 
7. Cherry Blossom Mochi: ???
I really wanted to focus on creating several 
DIY projects for this photoshoot.
 
In the end I decided on creating cherry blossom branches
(although, I did not go with the above Origami style because I was HORRIBLE at it and I liked a little bit more organic look),
printable chopstick holders that could double as name cards, 
cherry blossom confetti and a ribbon wall backdrop. 
I then asked my friend Alicia from The Sweet Smith if she’d like to be involved by creating a cherry blossom “wedding cake”— man did she deliver! She came up with a tasty lemon cake with a buttercream frosting and beautiful cherry blossoms made out of chocolate! Check out her DIY over at the Hostess with the Mostess
I’ll be back later to post photos from the shoot!

{Working on it Wednesday} Library Themed Birthday Party

I’m really excited about this next party 
that I’ve been gathering inspiration for lately. 
(I’m still working on my Beer before Baby party and will have an update on that one soon…
but, wanted to share my inspiration gathering for a different party that I’m working on.)
I have a dear friend that for some crazy reason I ALWAYS forget that their birthday is coming until the day it is here. The past couple of years we’ve celebrated the occasion nearly a week or two late, mainly because I don’t remember and plan something til way too late. 
Well, this year I am going to be on top of it… mainly because she is 
{AWESOME} and deserves a fabulous party.
So, I’m currently 
{WORKING ON}
a Library Themed Birthday Party
for this dear friend.
My Pinterest Board for A LIBRARY THEMED BIRTHDAY
A little background on this friend:
She LOVES books as much as I do… maybe even MORE. 
(Which, I would have a hard time believing of almost anyone… but, she is studying to be a librarian.)
She is easy going. She loves wine. She loves good food. 
See why we’re friends?
I think she is a CLASSIC lady in every way. 
She is sweet, proper and just so beautiful… I think of her as a LADY. Which makes me want to put some fun girly details into this party (although, I wouldn’t call her girly…)
Some of my favorite “PINS” from the above Pinterest Board:
 

I love the idea of using “book pages” throughout the decor.
(Check out how the pages were used in an awesome party over at Catch My Party.)
Unless I have an extra copy that I don’t mind cutting up then I’ll most likely make copies of pages to cut up and use throughout the party decor. But, I think the idea is just AWESOME.

This book bag makes me laugh out loud.
I may just have to buy it! 
I’d like to either have a bookbag decorating activity or possibly make some bags for favors.

These beautiful bookmarks are DIY!
(Check out the DIY instructions HERE.)
Again, I’d like to either have a bookmark making activity or make a few in advance as favors.

This invite (well, and this entire party) really inspires me. I love the idea of using the details from a library (not just the books) throughout the party.

Besides looking delicious this cake would bring in just the necessary amount of “girly” into the party. 
(Of course it is a Martha creation.)
I think it is just beautiful!
Thanks for checking in with my current project! 
Do you have any suggestions for a Library Themed Party?
Also, what projects are you working on?

Inspiration Board To Reality: Bike Coctail Party

A Well Crafted Party’s First Giveaway is still going on! 
to enter to win the following prize package:
—Inspiration Board with sources for an event you are planning to throw at least 2 months from now. The board will be based on a details your provide about your hopes for the party (including BUDGET!).
—3 DIY projects for your party with detailed instructions (see post for an example)
—Information and Ideas for Decorations, Favors, Refreshments and more based on your budget, venue and estimated DIY ability. ;)
—AND… A FULL PRINTABLE PARTY PACKAGE!

 Below is an example of what real parties
can come from this package:
 (I created an inspiration board, suggested ideas and created printable packages for these parties)


A Bike Themed Cocktail Party 

Host’s Ideas for the party: 
A cocktail party that mixes the birthday boy’s love for bikes and recycling. Nothing too fancy– something that everyone can sit back and enjoy. Wanted the space to be special but 
not over-decorated and certainly not fussy.

Well Crafted Inspiration Board: 
 
Sources from top left clockwise: 1. Bike Part Image, 2. Industrial looking drink station, 3. Bike Street Sign, 4. Bike part image, 5. striped straws, 6. Black wine bottle, 7. flasks, 8. gears image, 9. chrome table cloth
 A Couple of the “Well Crafted Party” DIY projects:
  • Spray painted empty beer and wine bottles for flowers and other decorations
  • Printable garland, coasters, cupcake toppers and drink tags
  • Taking, Printing and “framing” photos of bikes and bike road signs for the party area

One of the “Well Crafted Party” Printables:

  

Photos from the Real Party:
This is just one example of a real party that can come from winning this giveaway.
Not planning a party anytime soon but know someone who will be!?! Send them to the page so they can have the opportunity to win this fun package!
Some idea for events 2 months or more away: New Years Eve!, Valentines Day, Winter, Birthdays, Anniversaries, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring and well… the list goes on and on!

Party Inspiration: Farmer’s Markets

It is Farmer’s Market season and I couldn’t be more excited. If you have never eaten local, in-season, organic produce then I might venture to say you have not lived. So, get living! Find a local farmer’s market and enjoy the sites, sounds and tastes of a completely local experience. Hey, and while you are at it, why not throw a party?
The colors of the farmer’s market alone can inspire a party. But, I found a few things to really get the party planner in you inspired to throw an affordable event that will stimulate the local economy as well as your friends love for great foods.

I’ve put a few links to iDiY’s tutorial on throwing together beautiful arrangements with super market flowers. Why not use the same skills with gorgeous local flowers?

Here are my top three uses for Farmer’s Market Flowers in a party:
1. Decorations! Put them in a vase in the middle of a Sunday morning brunch with friends or throw them in the bathroom to spruce up the place.
2. Party Favors!  Give individual bouquets to guests or splurge a little and buy individual potted plants so the gift can keep giving all season long.
3. Activities! Throw a flower arranging party. Group like flowers in vases in the middle of a long table that is draped in butcher paper. Put flower arranging supplies at each guest’s spot at the table. Have small vases ready for guest to arrange their flowers in– it will double as the guest’s party favor.

The options are endless… the gorgeous food and beverages that I find at the Farmer’s Market never fail to inspire me to cook something delicious to share with friends or family.

Here are my top three uses for Farmer’s Market Foods in a party:
1. Potluck! I grew up Baptist… I love a good potluck. Inspire your friends to also shop locally by throwing a “Farmer’s Market Potluck.” Everyone attending the party must bring a dish created from the in-season foods found at the Farmer’s Market. Decorate the place with a “farm” theme and those beautiful flowers that you got while at the market and your set for a delicious and fun dinner.
2. Summer Barbecue! No growth hormones, well-treated and fed cows make the most AMAZING steaks. (If you are a vegetarian, try grilling asparagus- it is also very tasty.) But, seriously, if you haven’t spent the extra money to get a piece of meat that is not treated, enhanced and basically grown for you in a lab- please do. It is worth every penny. Throw some good meat and veggies on the grill. Pop open a beer or soda. Make a pitcher of sangria. Any time the grill is on the party is on as well.
3. Cook Off! Have the best two cooks you know show you some culinary skills by having a cook-off with farmer’s market goodies. -OR- Split friends up in teams and send both teams to the market with the same amount of money. The team that comes up with the best dish wins a culinary prize–don’t forget to share the recipes!

All of the images above were taken by yours truly with my tiny point and shoot camera. They were also all taken at MY local farmer’s market: The Beaverton Farmer’s Market. If you live in the Portland, OR area then I HIGHLY suggest you visit this fantastic farmer’s market–open Saturdays!

Questions for my Readers: Where is your favorite farmer’s market? What party would you throw with farmer’s market finds?

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