A Guest Interview with Celebrations at Home

I follow a lot of blogs. And I follow a lot of party blogs. One of my most favorite party blogs is Celebrations at Home. The variety is just amazing! All sorts of parties! Styled parties, DIY parties inspirational parties and more!! Just last week she showcased a really cool monster party!!! Loved it!
Today we’re lucky to have Chris, the style and creative juice behind Celebrations at Home, here to answer some questions for us! So enough from me, let’s see what she has to say!
When a client comes to you to plan their event, but has no clue of a theme, where in the world do you start?
This is when you need to begin asking questions – lots of them – to get to know their personality, their interests, a back story, and anything else that will help to determine a theme, even if it‘s just a color scheme to work with. I will also suggest some ideas that we can customize to their needs. It’s all about the customization.

Let’s chat about food! And I’m going straight to the dessert table! I’ve seen some fantastic dessert tables on your blog. Do you have any tips on setting up a dessert table?

Dessert tables have become such a focal point and in my mind there are 2 different routes you can take. On the one hand you could follow the styling of Amy Atlas who is very modern, sleek, minimalist, and for the most part symmetrical. On the other hand, we have Marie of Sweets Indeed who is very eclectic and creates small vignettes which display the food in interesting ways. I love both styles, and they are easy to re-create when you follow a few basic design principles. The main thing is to go for balance, and an easy flow for the eyes – much like interior decorating. I usually begin with the center or the 2 ends and create height. From there you can add varying levels and rows to fill in the blank table space. One thing I hate to see is too much of the table showing because people spread all the dishes out to take up the area available. Instead, bring it all closer together so it looks more deliberate, and it actually looks more abundant. If you don’t have enough food, add a vase of flowers or sculptural piece to the presentation.

Any tips on setting up a food table that people will be getting finger foods from, yet there will also be people sitting at the table? Or would you just find another table!?

I would certainly suggest finding another table. There is always a desk, dresser, coffee table, or even book shelf you could use to display the food so people aren’t reaching over one another at a seated table.

Do you have a favorite tip that you learned and you wouldn’t do a party without? One that you’re willing to share?

Of course – Real Flowers. I realized years ago that they really do elevate the presentation of a party from one that is pretty good to one that is fabulous. Again, this is an old interior design principle to add “life” to a space. You don’t have to go overboard or break the bank either. A row of bud vases filled with a single flower each has great impact.

What was your favorite event that you’ve done recently?

How could I not say working on the Operation Shower event at Camp LeJeune in April?! I got to work/socialize with my friend Amy again (Chief Event Organizer), I met Jenn (HWTM) who was a real doll, was in the presence of Michelle Obama, and Martha Stewart, and helped set up a gorgeous shower for military moms-to-be, all at the same time. What a couple of days it was!

I love favors, and try to always make them something that will be used again and again. What are your thoughts on party favors? All parties? Just particular parties?

Truth be told, I was never a big favor person until I got into the biz. Now, I hate to do a party without them. It’s like the punctuation mark at the end of the event. Personally I prefer edible treats or things that can be used up. However there are some good options that people will use over and over – attractive tote bags you can find for about 99 cents, filled with goodies; an activity at kids parties which becomes the take home favor; something monogrammed or personalized to each guest, etc.

When you aren’t planning a party, how do you like to spend your time?

Is there such a time?? Lol I spend time with my husband and 2 kids of course; I love ladies night with the girls; I love shopping, trying new recipes, and sipping wine. I need to get back on the workout wagon too!

What is the next project on your to do list?

Now that my website has been updated and re-launched I finally have time to focus on my “real” work again. Happily, I have several styling projects in the works – things for the web; I’m planning to volunteer at the next Operation Shower event in Norfolk in the fall; a possible client party; and a few personal goals I’m working toward regarding my business. I’ve had a few other opportunities come up as well, but we’ll see if they work out…
Thanks so much for joining us Chris!!!
Be sure to check Chris out at her website, on facebook and on twitter!

Woodsy Baptism Reception

The second party I want to share is the Baptism Reception we had for my son on his special day! The theme I choose was a woodsy theme. Why woodsy? Because my son LOVES rocks and being outside camping and playing in the woods!The invites set the mood with the wood grain background.  Also incorporated into the decorations were birds and eggs. 

I’ve mentioned before that I love party favors. So as I was thinking about what they would be I wanted something living, something that family could take home and plant. That’s how we ended up with flowers in a little tin bucket!

 Like most things in my little world, some things went perfectly and then other things went way wrong…. We had planned the party to be mostly outdoors. (a little background, I live in Seattle, the party was on the Gulf Coast) we cleaned my Mom’s back porch and back yard. and we cleaned and cleaned some more. And we cleaned inside, but the party was to be outside… It was warm, but actually kinda nice. The day of the party, it was HOT!!! We had a bag of blue chocolates that was left outside (in the shade) while we were at the service. When we came home the bag was a bag of one big melted chocolate!

Needless to say, the party moved inside while most of the decorations were outside!

Even though the decorations were beautiful, yet maybe overlooked since the party took place away from them, the day was perfect! The Baptism was very precious. My two best friends from growing up stood up and agreed to be there for my son, to be a part of his spiritual life and stay by his side on his journey through life. The ceremony was special and so was spending time with family and friends afterwards to celebrate.

And I just have to share how adorable these two cousins are!

Stay tuned… This week we’ll learn more about parties from Celebrations at Home, some woodsy party inspiration and next week a couple of tutorials from this party! Exciting!!

How would you have handled the heat?? I probably should have moved the desert table inside when we realized how hot it was! Oh, well! We were having too much fun to make that kind of move!

invite template via  nonpareil (unfortunately their website was hacked, but just in case they come back this was the link) and here’s their FB page
Max’s portrait in the first set of pictures was done by my cousin Katherine Shaver Photography

Owl Party Tutorial Three- Photobooth Masks

I absolutely LOVE photobooths at parties!

I wanted ours to be perfect, but…. Seeing as how I live in Seattle, I forgot about one major detail in helping plan the photobooth for my friend’s party that took place on the Gulf Coast… And that would be the SUN!

So the backdrop didn’t turn out quite as planned. I already mentioned my one tip on that… Thick fabric or a solid wall to hang the backdrop in front of!

But the masks on the other hand… They turned out quite nice! And were a lot of fun! For your photobooth you can make any sort of props you want, but for this one I kept the props to owl masks and the cartoon word bubbles. Super easy to make!

Does this one really warrant a tutorial? I don’t know… Let’s call it a mini tutorial and call it good?? OK? Cool!

And here’s how….

1. Materials:

White Cardstock for Masks

Black Cardstock for Word Bubbles

Exacto Knife

Glue or Mod Podge

Paint Brush for the glue (I like the foamy kind)

Sticks

Chalk for writing messages

2. Find artwork for masks. Enlarge. I use Photoshop elements.  It’s going to be no surprise to you as to where I got my artwork… The owls in the tutorial were not harmed in any way (except if you think cutting out their eyeballs… anyway, moving on…) and were downloaded from oohmoon.

3. Trim the mask.

4. Cut out the eyes.

5. Cut out the word bubbles. I just did it by hand, no template or anything…

6. Glue on the sticks.

7. And Walah!! The party is on!

 

Thanks for reading everyone. That concludes our owl party posting. But not to worry… A new party will be revealed next week with more party tips…

Anyone else planning a party?? Need help with a detail? Let me know, I’d love to help!

Owl Party Tutorial Two- Stuffed Owl Favors

These little guys are just adorable! And they are perfect for little hands to take home from the party!

I had really grand plans for these guys. Originally, the design in my head was all fabric,  there was no felt, four separate piece for the wings, much bigger and buttons for the eyes! Then we realized how many we needed. And the grandness of these little stuffies came down a notch! In my opinion, their cuteness was not sacrificed for the need for a little more speed!

Growing up there were three of us friends. We grew apart for a few years, but reconnected and it’s like we never missed a beat. Two of the three of us live in Florida, but I was the one that really went far from home… The funny thing about us is there are two of us who are crafty and one who claims not to be… (I have a feeling that she’s got a little crafty in there…) But we were all sitting around the table thinking about the owl favors and I drew the pattern and started cutting and before long had the first one made. It was so funny to see the amazement in  my friend’s face when the owl was done. It seemed like I had just come up with the idea and poof it was done, but I’d been thinking about these little owls for quite some time!!

Here’s how I made them…

1. Materials:

Fabric, for these I used an old sheet and an old men’s shirt

Felt

Stuffing

Scissors

Thread

Pattern- Click here for the pattern!

2. Cut all the pieces.

3. Sew on the white of the eyes.

4. Glue on the blue eyes. Or you could sew them on.

5. 5a- Layout the pieces.  5b- Layer the wings right sides together with the front. 5c- Add the back layer. Again, right sides together with the front.

6. Sew around the edge leaving a small opening at the bottom.

7. Pull the owl through the hole so it’s right side is out.

8. Stuff.

9. Handstitch the bottom.

And as I usually say… WaLah! One owl favor down… How many more should we make??

Party Favors are a big deal to me. I don’t know why I love them so, but I do! And I try, try, try to come up with favors that come from the heart, are handmade and that will bring smiles for a long time, not just for a day…

What was the favorite party favor that you or your child has ever received?? Let me know, I’m always looking for new ideas!

Shared on:

Owl Party Tutorial One- The Adorable Vases!

First thing’s first… I didn’t come up with this one! This one was all my friend’s idea…

These made great little vases. If I hadn’t seen them before the flowers went in, I never would have known that they were recycled tin cans!

1. Materials:

Empty tin can

Cardstock

Cupcake toppers printed on full size sticky back paper

Scissors and/or Exacto Knife

Tape- I used scotch tape, but you might want to use packing tape

Double sided tape

Ideally, use a circle punch! But somehow I have lost mine. (yes, that big ‘ole thing… I lost it…)

Straight Edge

Cutting Board

and Flowers, of course!

2. Cut the cardstock the same height as your tin can.

3. Tape one end of the cardstock to the tin can.

4. Add double-sided tape to other end of cardstock and secure it in place.

5. Cut or punch out the cupcake toppers.

6. Stick the cupcake topper on. And you’re done!

This week, I’m back to my three day posting schedule with two more simple tutorials for you to have your own owl party! Stay tuned for the owl favors on Wednesday!

 

 

Shared on: 

And the One Charming Party Giveaway Winner is…..

Well, her two favorite One Charming Party parties were….

The American Girl Party and the Superhero Party….

Which one will Jenny pick???

Congratulations Jenny! Can’t wait to see your party!

Thanks everyone for playing along!!

Owl Party Link Love

I read somewhere the other day (I wish I remembered where or I’d tell ya, but I don’t…) that owls are the new black! It’s true, everywhere you look there are owls. And such adorable little things they are! In keeping with the party theme, I wanted to share some of my favorite owl parties that I have seen around lately.

 

Oh, my! This owl party by Jenny Cookies is just absolutely fantastic! I saw it a few months back and haven’t forgotten it. I had to search around a bit to find it again, but I am absolutely in awe. If you saw my dragon wing party favors, you can probably tell what my favorite thing about this party is the beautiful owl wings and mask favors. All the desserts are out of this world and the rest of the details are stunning.

1. You’ve got to check out this birthday party by Sugarcoated Events via The Sweetest Occasion. Not only is the cake amazing, there are tons of little owl details throughout the party!

2. Happy Owloween!!! All the food is beautiful at this ‘Owloween’ Party by Jennifer Hamilton via Celebrations at Home, but I love the fabric owls (by Jason Parker Counce) and moon decorations.

3. I love the simplicity of this owl themed first birthday party by Kallie Brynn. I’m also a sucker for tissue paper pom poms!

4. This is such a great idea. A Thanksgiving play date party, ‘A Whoot of Thanks!’ by the Savvy Mom’s Guide. Check the play date out with all their food details and fun activities!

5. The colors! I love the colors in this birthday party by Ashley via My Owl Barn. I love the bright colors!!!

Party Plan Giveaway Reminder!

Hello everyone! I have fallen behind on my posting due to sheer exhaustion! Last night I went to sleep when  a normal person probably goes to sleep. Then my husband came to bed and started talking to me. (which is odd because I NEVER go to bed before my husband does…) I got so frustrated that he had woken me up. I didn’t say it but I was fuming to myself, ‘I never get in bed and just start chattin’ away when you’re asleep.’ But I found out this morning that I started talking to him in my sleep first, which is why he started talking to me! Anyway….

I’m surprised about how few people have entered the really cool Giveaway I’m having with One Charming Party! So I wanted to show you an example of what this really is! Sooo, cool. I love this Country Fair party. It  just screams summer to me. You can check out a mini-preview of the details here.

A typical party plan includes:

  • eye-catching invitations and thank you cards—print as many as you need
  • step-by-step tutorials for making decorations
  • instructions and expert tips for games and activities
  • gorgeous photos to guide you through this party from start to finish
  • a resource guide to help you find all of the party supplies
  • easy to follow directions so you can spend less time planning and more time having fun
  • 50+ pages in a downloadable pdf—sent instantly to your inbox

 

 

A Guest Interview with One Charming Party and a Giveaway!

Wanna Learn How to Party?? Lucky you, today is your day! Today we have Brittany from One Charming Party joining us and letting us in a few of her party secrets!

If you haven’t seen One Charming Party, you are missing out. One Charming Party is a partnership between Brittany and her friend Sara and together they create beautiful party plans. I love getting their blog post updates because they are so creative and so beautifully photographed! Just so inspiring!

Let’s welcome Brittany!

When a client comes to you to plan their event, but has no clue of a theme, where in the world do you start?

I’ve never had a client who didn’t already have a theme picked out. Boring answer, I know. Hhhmm. My advice would be to start with favorite colors, letters, books, etc. if you are at a loss for a theme.


 
Table decorating… Any tips on setting up drink, dessert, favor, etc, tables?

Use different heights, textures and colors to make things visually interesting. Cake stands and containers are great for this. Always think outside the box to keep things fresh.

 
I’m excited to be doing a ‘photobooth’ at one of my parties. I’ve never done one before and we’re a little worried that no one will be interested. How do you strike up the interest?  Any tips on props, besides masks?

Props are great for photo booths: mustaches on a stick, feather boas, sunglasses, hats. I hate getting my picture taken, but I can’t resist a photo booth. I’m sure you’ll be fine. 

 Do you have a favorite tip that you learned and you wouldn’t do a party without? One that you’re willing to share?

If it’s a children’s party that you are planning, then think like a kid. What would children like to do at this party? Start from there.


 
What was your favorite event that you’ve done recently?

We just did a party for a blogger, A Cup of Joe, in NYC. That was pretty great.


 
I love favors, and try to always make them something that will be used again and again. What are your thoughts on party favors? All parties? Just particular parties?

I love party favors too. And I would always encourage favors that can be used again and again. I focus on kids parties, so I would say that all parties should have a cool, relevant take home favor. 


 When you aren’t planning a party, how do you like to spend your time?

Relaxing with my husband and four kiddos.


 
What is the next project on your to do list?

We are working on a website redesign and we have a new party planning coming out soon. It’s adorable. 


 

See??? These are some of my favorite parties from Brittany’s site! See why I love it?? Amazing! And Brittany has gracious agreed to give one lucky I’m Feelin’ Crafty reader a party plan of your choice!!

 

Ready to WIN the party plan of your choice?

You have FIVE ways to enter! And come back and leave a separate comment on this post for each entry!

1) Head to the One Charming Party website  and tell us which party is your FAVORITE !

2) Become a fan of One Charming Party on Facebook.

3) Become a fan of Feelin’ Crafty on Facebook.

4) Subscribe to Feelin’ Crafty.  

5) Share the Giveaway on your blog.

Winner will be chosen on Friday, June 17th, 2011. 

Winner will be chosen using random.org.

The Giveaway is closed! Thanks for playing!

An Owlsome 1st Birthday Party!

Whoooo Whoooo had a bunch of fun helping with one of my best friend’s Baby’s Birthday party??? I did!!

Unfortunately, I live about 3000 miles away from some fo my best friends (and their babies) and my family. But…. Luckily for me, one of my ‘nieces’ decided to join us at the same time that we make our yearly trek home. (I’m convinced that she knew Aunt Louise was here and she was very excited to meet me!) Which means I got to see her just as she was a wee hours old tot and I get to be there for her birthday every year!

The birthday girl’s crafty Momma did the party planning and most of the crafty goodness, but I got to help with the favors and the photobooth!

I’ve been so excited to share the party with you!!

The stuffed owl favors were made by yours truly! Momma made the tissue paper pom poms using Martha Stewart’s tutorial. Momma also made the napkin rings, vases and cupcake toppers. Stay tuned for the how-to on the owl favors and vases later this week!

The birthday girl with Momma. And yep, she’s checking our her coolest present ever (If I do say so myself), a wood block puzzle made by me with the owl series from oohmoon!

And the Photobooth. It was a hit! Very fun!

But here’s a little bit of a  lesson learned… Photobooths with fabric backgrounds work better in front of a solid wall. Or should I say it this way… If you are having a birthday party with a photobooth on one of the most beautiful, bright sunny days ever and the sun will be coming down into your pavillion from all sides, opt for a non fabric backdrop or a very, very thick fabric backdrop!

Another fun tutorial on the mask making will be coming soon!

The day was such a fun day and all the details were so well done, thanks to a very special Momma who loves owls!

Cupcake Toppers by littlebirdieprints

Jo James Brown Owl Mask Printable via My Owl Barn

Colorful Owl Masks artwork from Oohmoon

And Tomorrow… More Party Fun! A guest interview with an awesome party planner, Brittany, from One Charming Party. And she’s graciously agreed to a Giveaway!!! Yea!! Come back tomorrow!

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