Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Paint It Black

Greenbean's Crafterole has some Halloween goodness this year in the form of chalkboard painted pumpkins. I dig how easy this is—just spray, dry, and write! Take a black plastic pumpkin you might find at a craft store or any Halloween display these days, paint it with chalkboard paint then get creative. What about painting little pumpkins to use as name cards or to describe foods served at a fall buffet? Great idea, GC!

Photo via Greenbean's Crafterole.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sweet Paul Rocks Fall

How did I miss this?! I blame my trips to Mexico. Sweet Paul's second issue is out just in time for Fall!

Click here to start reading now. The most awesome part is SP's brilliant White Halloween. The knitted skull has finally convinced me that knitting can be cool.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Paper Pumpkins Tutorial

A thank you to Host-It Notes reader, Morgan, for directing me to this super Fall Pumpkins tutorial over at Make Mine Lime. As Morgan says, "These paper pumpkins would be great for Thanksgiving or a fall party. You could do them in red and green and make apples or lose the stem, make them out of coordinating paper and use the balls on a tablescape." Great ideas, Morgan! Thanks for passing this my way.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

More Spooky Shopping Goodness!

We were at Crate and Barrel yesterday, but today I'm diggin' Kate's Paperie's Halloween style. Up top is the Trick or Treat Centerpiece. I'm extra-loving the skull garlands and this vintage stamp, which is like a mix of vintage Halloween meets Christopher Robin (images below). Honorable mentions go to cute cards, cocktail napkins, and an unusual wax seal in the shape of an anatomical heart. Creepy.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Crate and Barrel Cuteness

Doing some Halloween shopping? Add a stop at Crate and Barrel to your agenda. I like the sound of Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. C&B's got the mix and a handy pie pan. Mmm. Also worth checking out: Spider Cupcake Holders, a web cookie cutter, and some cute black and orange mini cupcake papers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Double Your Cupcake Fun

This is just nuts—and I love it! Jessie Oleson of Cakespy has put cupcakes within cupcakes. You heard right, that's mini cupcakes, including frosting, inside of regular cupcakes. Apparently that doesn't result in dry insides—instead you get moist cake and a bit of crunch from the frosting as it melts then browns inside. Mmmm! Click here to make yours.

Photo/illustration by Cakespy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Conceal Those Unsightly Bags

I'm dying for Santa (a.k.a my husband) to bring me a sewing machine for Christmas this year. In the meantime I'm storing up all the fun projects I want to work on when I get my hands on one. Just added to the pile—makeovers for all the canvas totes I've collected over the years.

I like the green feeling I get when I take my own bags to the grocery store, and canvas totes are my catchall gym bags too. But I'm ready to give mine a new look. Design Sponge has a fun tutorial for creating pockets on the outside of your totes that mask any pesky advertisements and logos. I think I'll take it a step further and dye my bags before giving them pockets, for a more finished look. The ruffle's not for me, but the fabric flowers look fun! Check out the tutorial and more photos here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just in Case...

The last trip I took to Mexico resulted in total computer meltdown and a lack of posting. I'm headed back to the land of tequila and tasty tacos today and hopefully I'll be able to post from Mexico City. Just in case, here's a quick note to say "I'll be back!" If you don't see fresh Host-It Notes goodness over the next few days it's because the internet hates me. I'll be back online Monday for sure.

Readworthy: Southern Flourish Fall Issue

Southern Flourish has a new issue out for fall. The online magazine is a chic, young take on Southern living, and party/entertaining ideas tend to get some fun coverage in their editorial. Below are my five favorite things from the fall issue. Click here to discover the rest!

* Custom Garden Party Invitations by Dodeline Design. (pg. 27)
* Fabulous party dresses for rent on You even get to pick a back-up size for free! (pg. 35)

* Custom wedding maps (like this one!) by NattyMichelle.etsycom. Who says these maps have to be for weddings only? I'm thinking ahead to family reunions and other major events. (pg. 47)
* Favorite fall finds from Etsy. (pg. 57)
* Giant Board Games! (pg. 59)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cupcakes All Dressed Up

Meisha - Bird with Cherry Blossoms

With these wrappers, your cupcakes will be the best dressed in town. I'm diggin' on these sweet papers from Bella Cupcake Couture. BCC even has mini cupcake wrappers, which I hadn't seen before this. Find these elegant designs at

Lu Lu Blue/Chocolate Brown

Victoria - Celebrate/Crowns

Monday, September 20, 2010

Martha Does Halloween

Martha Stewart's Halloween line at Joann Fabrics is really worth checking out if you're throwing a party or just planning to decorate this season. Some of the items are a sort of greatest hits of the magazine's past—like these rat silhouettes, which were a DIY-decor tutorial in a past issue. Here the MSL team has done all the work for you. Convenient!

I like these bloody vampire invitations for a spooky soiree, or these skeletal mad scientist invites.

Honorable mentions go to the Glow in the Dark Glitter, black Glittered Chandeliers, and this sweet Garland. Get thee to a Joann's, or find your Halloween must-haves online at

Saturday, September 18, 2010

You've Got Mail

Is this necessary in my life? Certainly not. Do I kind of want to make one? You betcha. I found the tutorial for this little fabric-and-felt mailbox over at Cook You Some Noodles, who in turn found the idea on Giver's Log. There are even some super cute felt envelopes!

What could a woman with no kids possibly do with a fabric mailbox? Well, don't you think an adorable red and pink version would be a great addition to a Valentine's Day party next year? You could fill it with candy and favors or keep your cards in it! I'll be filing this one away for February.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The 7-Day Stitch

Ages ago I purchased patterns and instructions for embroidery by Jenny Hart. Jenny does a line of books and patterns called Sublime Stitching. I picked up the Craft Pad and one of her embroidery kits.

I finally put them to good use and stitched up some cute kitchen towels for a friend's bridal shower. I hadn't stitched anything since learning (then forgetting) how to cross-stitch in the 4th grade, and had my doubts about how well it would go. The results definitely exceeded my expectations. The learning curve on embroidery is an easy one—I only did two practice patterns before making the finished towels you see here. And it went fast! I made 4 towels in one week, all while watching movies.

I encourage you to grab a needle and start stitching. Jenny has terrific retro-fun designs. I picked up the craft pad because of the classic tattoo design on its cover—a dagger in a heart, embroidered. Check out Sublime Stitching for this and more. Make gifts for the holidays, personalize items with monograms, or make something fun for yourself. A bit of embroidery dresses anything up!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Summer's Last Gasp

It's feeling chilly now, and I'm worried that fall has arrived. Clearly I'm in denial, as I'm posting about ice cream pies! Embrace the end of summer with this "Watermelon Pie" from Makes and Takes. Lime sherbet, vanilla ice cream and red or pink sherbet with the help of a little food coloring creates one delicious looking slice. Click here for the recipe and instructions.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Very Cherry Party

This party? I love it. In my opinion fruit is a highly overlooked theme when it comes to parties. Fruit is great! Strawberry parties, peach parties, banana parties (with banana splits! and Bananagrams!)—all of these can create adorable results. So kudos to Stephmodo for the fab and fruity cherry celebration. I'm mildly obsessed with the napkins made by Vintage Fern. Click here for more details and photos.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Friday Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to mommypants13! You're the winner of our gift bag giveaway. When asked what her favorite holiday for entertaining is, mommypants 13 said "My favorite holiday to host on is Christmas, there are so many ways to decorate and so much yummy food to cook." Agreed!

Arcade Party Decals

Removable wall decals are an extra-special way to decorate a party. A themed wall decal really goes the extra mile. I like these by Blik, which feature old school video game and arcade designs like Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong. Great for parties for young boys (or the young at heart,) you can put them in your main room during the party, then re-locate them to a child's room when the party is over. Blik also has Asteroids, Centipede, Space Invaders and more.

Super Mario Bros. - Re- Stik ($75)

Donkey Kong - Re-Stik ($65)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Issue 4 of Nesting Newbies Issue is out!

Issue 4 of the online magazine Nesting Newbies came out recently. I love NN's great coverage of ideas for entertaining. Here are my 5 favorite things from the new issue: 1. Pomegranate Ginger Nectar Pork Tenderloin Kebabs (pg. 23) 2. BaklaPops —That's right, cake pops made of baklava (pg. 32) 3. A relaxed and charming garden brunch (pg. 72) 4. Designers give back by decorating a room at an Upward Bound House's emergency family shelter (pg. 154) 5. My new dream patio (pg. 140)

To see these and more, click through the issue online here.

Free Sugar Skull Download

The gals over at Bon Moment make fabulously creative wedding invitations. Since Host-It Notes is more about the parties leading up to weddings than the details of a wedding itself, I don't get to feature their fun work as much as I'd like to. So imagine my joy when I saw a free download and tutorial on their blog that can work for your average backyard get together or dinner party! Bon Moment shows you how to make bag toppers for favors for a sugar skull-themed soiree. Makes me want to plan a dinner chock full of mexican food and put some fresh tortilla chips in a little baggie to go with a small jar of homemade salsa. Keep this pattern in mind for a Dia de los Muertes party, or any backyard party where you fly a few flags and drink a few beers. And be sure to check out Bon Moment's cute stationery, like these matching RSVP cards.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Giveaway Winner, plus a New Giveaway!

Congratulations to Liz C.! Liz "Liked" Host-It Notes on Facebook and won our Friday Giveaway from Levity Gourmet Marshmallows! Thanks to all of you who left comments or visited us on Facebook, and best of luck to you in our next contest. A huge thank you to the folks at Levity Gourmet Marshmallows. Liz, enjoy your prize!

For those who missed out, we've got a another Friday Giveaway today!

It's a colorful pack of 12 pretty gift bags and stickers for gift giving in style. To enter to win, leave a comment below telling me your favorite holiday for entertaining and why. We'll end the contest at midnight on Monday (PST). Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Last Chance to Win!

Today's the last day of our contest with Levity Gourmet Marshmallows! To win their Favorite Flavors Variety Pack like the one above leave a comment below or "Like" Host-It Notes on Facebook (contest open to US residents only). Mmmmm, marshmallows!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Peacock Bridal Shower

Just prior to the bachelorette party this weekend, the bride was feted at a charming bridal shower at a European-style bakery in her hometown, where guests were served croissant sandwiches and petit fours. The shower colors were purple and turquoise (my apologies—the venue was perfect, but a bit dark for my camera's taste). To bring out these colors, the Maid-of-Honor used the occasional peacock feather for a splash of color and style. Peacock feathers are a great way to take a mixed bouquet to the next level.
As the bride opened her gifts, guests played bridal bingo to try to guess what she'd receive. I found this cute (and free!) printable bingo card here.
Favors included plantable seeded paper seen here on the welcome cards. The white cake above is actually paper embedded with flower seeds that grow when buried.
Finally, the bride and her bridesmaids wore peacock fascinators. The Maid-of-Honor got crafty with feathers, barrettes, and a glue gun to come up with these lovely pieces. It's the little touches like this that really bring a party together!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pin-Up Party Fun

One of my best friends is getting married next month and we wanted to celebrate her last few weeks as a "single" gal in style. Last weekend we threw her a bachelorette party with a sassy retro pin-up theme. The bachelorette and bridesmaids wore retro dresses from Trashy Diva and Red lipstick and nail polish, liquid eyeliner, and mascara were available for guests to get all dolled up. Throw in a signature cocktail (champagne, vodka, and cherry juice garnished with a strawberry), and it was a glam and girly night.
Before hitting the town we hosted a pre-party in our hotel room. Red, white and black were the colors of the night, and I introduced polka dots to keep things looking funky. I found the napkins and paper at Paper Source. Black and red/white polka dot ribbons rounded out the theme. Bottles labels were covered with ribbon and the ice bucket got a quick makeover with ribbon edging.
An online image search for pin-up images offered great options for printing pictures to hang on the walls and turn into cake toppers. A few of the cupcakes were topped with flags made from washi paper tape in a black and white polka dot design.
In addition to makeup, party guests were given flowers to wear in their hair (adhere fake flowers to barrettes in advance with a strong glue) and temporary tattoos. Tattoo styles included anchors, swallows, hearts, roses and stars.
Finally, we adorned the bride with a fun sash. In a nod to pin-up calendars, this one said "Miss October 2nd"—the bride’s wedding date. Have you been to any fun pin-up parties? What other pin-up inspired ideas did you like?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Sneak Peek

Here's a sneak peek at a retro-licious pin-up bachelorette I'll be posting about soon! I'm traveling back from the festivities now—more to come when I'm reunited with my laptop.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Giveaway: Levity Gourmet Marshmallows

The cupcake craze won't last forever (...or will it?), so one thing I like to ponder here at Host-It Notes is, "What's the next big thing?" Consequently, my ears always prick up when I see an idea that's a fresh take on an old favorite. One item on the scene that's caught my eye is the gourmet marshmallow. It had never occurred to me I'd need more than the average jet-puff marshmallow in a bag—that is, until I heard that marshmallows can come in flavors like Mint and Peanut Butter Crunch.

Founders Elisabeth Papadopoulos and Nathan Hollrith were just two college graduates faced with a woeful economy who took their love of making experimental marshmallows and turned it into a thriving business: Levity Gourmet Marshmallows. Levity's confections come not just in traditional Vanilla or all-in-one S'more flavor, but in unexpected flavors like Lemon, White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut, and Coffee Caramel Swirl. Now these marshmallow masters have offered up one of their Favorite Flavors Variety Packages for this week's Friday Giveaway. To enter to win visit then leave a comment below this post telling me the flavor you think looks the tastiest. Or, find Host-It Notes on Facebook and leave a comment there. The Facebook page is something I'm just starting, and a great place to ask your party questions and get some answers. Can't wait to hear from you!

Let's keep this contest running all week, shall we? Contest closes at midnight on Sept 9th (PST). The winner will be chosen randomly. Be sure to provide a method of contacting you (provide your email when you comment, "Like" Host-It Notes on Facebook, or drop me a line at hostess @ For this giveaway the winner must be located in the United States to win. Ready, set, go!!

Look for more marshmallow fun to come after I go camping next weekend (oh baby, have I got ideas!). In the meantime, good luck!


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