Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pretty Little Things

I've spotted a new store to adore on: 3GIRLS+aGOAT has sweet, unique bits of lovely for sale. Here are a few of my favorites. Up top, a charming white paper cloud mobile.

Bunny Garland

Red Doily Stickers

White Dot Notes

Friday, April 29, 2011

Why a Pretty Party Doesn't Have To Be An Expensive One

Going back through the Aqua & Orange Baby Shower shoot I featured yesterday got me thinking. I spend a lot of time on the web and thumbing through magazines, drooling over parties, weddings, and plenty of beautiful things I cannot afford. It can feel a little defeating to the average person on a budget. Sure, a $100,000 party is usually gorgeous, but a $100 party can be too. Take a look at the details of our shoot, then take heart!

First off, the food: It's wonderful when you can spend $1000 on a custom cake, but don't overlook your local grocery store. When Jacin's handmade cupcakes met with tragedy, a quick trip to Safeway and a color request brought us these beauties. Even powdered sugar Donettes from the box look lovely on a decorative cake stand. The little jar of candy on the table? $2 jellied orange slices from Walgreens. Instead of paying extra for elaborate custom designs, focus on color and presentation to pull off a designer look. No food is too mundane to be pretty—just look at our clementines!

For more custom touches on the cheap, DIY when you can. Make your own tags for favors, your own favors if you can, and try your hand at decor. I learned to sew just to make stuff for parties. Those owls? They're the first sewing project I've ever completed, not counting one very ugly catnip toy I made my cat. Buy flowers on the cheap (farmers markets, Trader Joe's) and arrange them yourself.

Finally, ask around! Sure, you may not be friends with someone who owns a vintage prop rental company, but all of your friends have homes or apartments, and they've probably filled them with some good-looking stuff. That teal cupcake stand? Spotted it at a friend's house. Mason jars? Just ask a mother or grandmother. Borrow table clothes, serving bowls, even throw pillows or blankets if they fit the theme/color scheme. Each little detail adds to the next to give you a look that encompasses an entire room.

What are your tips for saving money when you throw a party?

Photography by Gavin Farrington


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Aqua and Orange Baby Shower!!

I'm so thrilled to share these photos!! You may have seen this party last week via Courtney at Pizzazzerie, who kindly featured our shoot. Working with some amazing folks—Kara Kull of How Fab and Delightfully Engaged, Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details, Amanda Reapsummer of One True Love Vintage Rentals, and photographer Gavin Farrington—I had an amazing time putting together this Aqua & Orange themed baby shower. Our dear Kara is pregnant, you see, and when I heard that, I knew it was time to rally the troops and put together a beautiful photo shoot in her honor.

It all started with this Anthropologie shower curtain. Kara is using it as a curtain in the baby's nursery. Add to that the inspiration board I put together here, and an owl cookie jar my husband bought me, and we had the start of a charming little party! The group then brainstormed the look of the party via email and had a final meet-up to decide what everyone would bring to the shoot.

Amanda provided tons of vintage props for the day, from pitchers to mason jars. She had the amazing teal suitcase we filled with baby clothes. She also happened to have a beautiful aqua and orange tin, as well as all sorts of fun vases and compotes.

Talented mother-to-be, Kara, made these adorable favor bags full of handmade frosted animal crackers. Love it! She also made a gorgeous (and tasty) rustic peach tart. Can you believe she just happened to have this lovely orange frame hanging empty on the wall? It was meant to be!

Major points go to Jacin, who painstakingly created dozens of mini cupcakes with orange ruffled frosting, only to accidentally leave them on her trunk on the way over. Poor girl. It was a cupcake-tastrophe when she drove away, and she rallied to get us these beautiful cupcakes instead. She even got Safeway to paint them the perfect orange! Jacin also artfully arranged the flowers, using tulips, ranunculus, and baby's breath.

What really made this baby shower look so good? The outrageously gorgeous photography of Gavin Farrington. Gavin was a good sport to put up with all of our styling and re-styling as we obsessed over every little detail.

As for my own contributions, I went crazy with my sewing machine. I whipped up the bunting you see in the frame, along with another 3 yards of flags not seen in the photos. I also sewed the three stuffed owls. Finally, I decided that rather than buy a new cake stand, I'd give one of mine a makeover with a ruffled cake stand skirt! I'm planning to make more, so look for a tutorial to come on Host-It Notes (someday).

Sources:

Design & Styling: Host-It Notes, Lovely Little Details, One True Love Vintage Rentals

Photography by Gavin Farrington

Peach tart, favor bags and cookies by Kara Kull

Props: Pitcher, bottles, compote, vases, tins and suitcase via One True Love Vintage Rentals

Curtain: Anthropologie

Cookie Jar: Plasticland

Food: Paulette Macarons

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Free Apothecary Labels

What a treat! The talented Cathe Holden of Just Something I Made teamed up with WorldLabel.com again to design and give away gorgeous free apothecary labels you can customize and print. You can download the templates here at Worldlabel.com.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Little Monsters

Spotted via Kara's Party Ideas, here's a fantastic monster party filled with fun details by J. At Your Service. You MUST head there now—if only to check out the awesome monster photo booth! Plus the centerpieces and all the tiny, thoughtful touches are amazing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Party Printables

I'm a total sucker for this colorful little burro character from Bird's Party Shop's printable Mexican fiesta design. Wouldn't this be fun for Cinco de Mayo? Check out the rest of the fiesta here. While I was browsing Bird's shop, I found a few more printable party sets I like, including this strawberry party and the Bollywood set (below).

Sweet Strawberry Party Collection

Bollywood Bling Party Collection

And while it's not quite my cup of tea, they do have a Royal Wedding Viewing Party Collection. Speaking of which, are you planning to watch?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vintage Yellow Decor Set

This great find was lurking in the wedding decor section of The Funky Shack's shop on Etsy. I say, liberate it from the wedding world! This is perfect for any romantic party. First of all, I adore the "Love" cake topper/decoration piece—The Funky Shack has loads more of this design. And the lemony yellow color makes me melt! Can't you just picture these pieces sprinkled throughout a gauzy country garden party? Make it happen!

If you like this, you'll groove on the rest of the stuff Funky Shack has to offer: barn wood frames, a unique cake table and a totally respectable cupcake display.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Edible Art by Andie's Specialty Sweets

My mind has officially been blown. Don't believe what you see when you look at the pretty things I've gathered in the above board. Those aren't just any mushrooms up there—they are chocolate candy mushrooms! And the necklaces? They are edible. Nothing is as it appears to be when it comes from Andie's Specialty Sweets. These custom creations are some of the prettiest things I've ever seen. Click, try, buy, and tell me how you like them! I'm dying to get my hands on some. Now I just need the perfect party excuse...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sew Your Own Easter Bunny

I love these little bunnies! I'd like to sew one up and tuck it into a child's Easter basket this year. It would also make a great gift for a baby shower. Find the pattern here at mmmcrafts.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DIY Easter Stickers

Creature Comforts has a beautiful DIY with some helpful tips and templates this week. Washi tape turns into charming Easter stickers—but this technique can be used on any design. Click here for the full post.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fabric Easter Eggs by Retro Mama

This one's a bit of an oldie, but the project is new to me. So is the blog, Retro Mama, but you can bet it's one I'll be following now. The author, Kim, is someone I'm already dying to go fabric shopping with—she clearly finds the best stuff. Just look at that measuring tape fabric! Anyhoo, the eggs. They're fabric, gorgeous, look fairly easy to make, and I love them. I'm guessing you might too. You can find Kim's tutorial, along with her pattern, here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rice Krispie Eggs

Check out these colorful and creative rice krispie treat eggs. They were made by Rianne, author of the Art of Dessert blog, for her son's kindergarten class. Using plastic eggs as molds, she dipped shaped rice krispie treats in melted white chocolate and sprinkles. Rianne has a tutorial and more photos here. What a great, kid-friendly project. I can't wait to make my own!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

DIY Easter Silhouettes

Finally, something downright gorgeous for Easter! Hostess With the Mostess has a fabulous tutorial for crafting with Easter Silhouettes. The project was created by Vana Chipp of Le Papier Studio. The instructions, plus the Easter Templates, can all be found here. Silhouettes are always a good look. By the way, if you dare to look at Le Papier Studio, you're going to find about a million things you "need" to get, including your own self-inking silhouette stamp. Everything in the shop is 100% beautiful.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Break Out The Bubbly

I recently was given the wonderful opportunity to style an engagement party photo shoot for Delightfully Engaged, the delightful blog over at MyWedding.com. The theme of the day? Break Out the Bubbly! An engagement calls for a great celebration, full of your favorite sparkling wine. Here's a little peek at the party, but the full details and lots more photos can be found here at Delightfully Engaged. Cheers!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cake Stand Love: A Fabulous Fete

Just spotted a sweet little shop on Etsy with some brightly colored cake stands. You can find these beauties at A Fabulous Fete. They have wooden mini cupcake stands ($10) as well as a 9" cake stand version ($20), and are shown in red, yellow, green and blue, but it sounds like custom colors are an option. Normally a look like this makes we want to get all DIY on the project, but for $10 a pop these seem fairly reasonable if you consider supply costs and your own time spent. Either way it's definitely worth sharing! While we're on the subject, I also like this table runner they have for sale.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cheap Peeps Decor

I love this Easter idea from Woman's Day! A ring of peeps makes a sunflower-esque Easter topiary. It's a sweet treat for the eyes! Click here for the how-to.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A New Look

You may have noticed there's a new header on the blog today. This new look is temporary until I find someone talented to design me a lovely one. In the meantime, weren't we all just bored to tears with having nothing to look at?! xx, Erin


Creative Kids Party

Just when you think you've seen everything when it comes to cake balls, here's an idea that takes cake balls in their simplest form—just color, no shapes—and turns them into something brilliant. Paper & Cake have put together a rainbow colored Artist Party Collection I love, and their cake balls take the place of paint in their pretty white palettes. P&Cs customizable paint-splattered paper goods make throwing this party look easy. My question to Paper & Cake, though, is if the artist palettes are not included, where can I find them? Love 'em!

{Spotted via Kara's Party Ideas}


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Friday Giveaway Winner: Letter Sets

Congratulations to Kirsten! She's the winner of two sets of sweet stationery in our latest giveaway. Happy letter writing, Kirsten! Thanks for reading!


Baby Elephant Printables

It's no secret I love printables. Free downloads I can instantly turn into adorable party goods—what could be better? I was absolutely thrilled to spot these fantastic elephant-themed printables by Alphamom. Darling design and lovely colors combine in super cute bunting, cupcake toppers and invitations. Head to Alphamom to get your free downloads now!

{Spotted via Living Locurto}


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