So, "the party". I really don't know even where to begin...there are sooooo many little details to share! First, I should give you some background: The party was held in honor of a teen girl's birthday. It took place on a lovely June evening - on the grounds of a gorgeous historic mansion. It was a seated dinner and dancing, so, in that respect, I suppose it was really more wedding-like than the typical "teen" party. The guest of honor was very involved with the party-planning process and she was certainly a young lady who knew what she wanted! Lucky for me, she loves anything vintage, pastel, and floral - so we were a perfect match! There was no real party theme, per se, but picture romantic 1950's prom meets candy shop! The main colors were aqua blue and candy pink, with accents of mint green and lavender.
Today, I thought I would start off by showing you the flowers...
They were truly spectacular! I had the pleasure of working with the incredibly talented Holly Heider Chapple. Holly is based in Leesburg, VA and her beautiful work has been featured in countless wedding magazines, including Martha Stewart Weddings!
Given the setting, I knew I wanted to use flowers for the centerpieces, but I also wanted something with a whimsical, youthful touch - as this was a party for a young girl. I decided that incorporating candy would be just the right thing. I found some very pretty candy that matched our color palette perfectly and decided that we would use it to fill the vases. Holly worked with me to design the arrangements - we selected clear glass vessels to show off the candy and filled them with the most gorgeous pastel blooms - Peonies, Hydrangea, and roses!
I just love how they turned out! We used simple white cloths on the tables - the perfect backdrop to showcase such beauty. :-) If you are planning a wedding or special event, I cannot recommend Holly enough! In addition to being a fabulous floral designer, she is one of the sweetest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing!
I also want to thank our lovely and talented photographer, Beth Blinstrub, who did such a beautiful job capturing the flowers...and the entire evening!
I'll be back soon with a little tutorial on how you can make similar centerpieces yourself!
I found these lovely melamine plates at Target this week. They are from renowned designer, John Derian, and they are just part of a huge collection of housewares and stationary products that he designed exclusively for Target. His botanical patterns are absolutely perfect for a Fall table.
And they are quite a bargain, too. A set of eight sells for just $23.99 on-line or you can buy them individually in the store for just $2.99 each! I decided to mix mine with some crisp green apples and some pretty white Hydrangeas.
Such a fast and easy way to make a casual and beautiful everyday table setting...
Well, the girls went back to school this week...wearing sundresses and shorts! It's been incredibly hot, so there's been no opportunity to wear their new Fall clothes just yet. Yes, for now, the sweaters and boots will just have to wait while we hang on to a few more weeks of summer. The weather is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous this holiday weekend (despite the fact that a hurricane is heading our way!), so I am preparing a little shabby-chic-inspired dessert picnic.
I've been gathering up pretty vintage china plates.
And these gorgeous meringues will be a perfect addition (Thanks, Michele!).
Loving the pastel colors.
Not sure they're going to make it to the picnic. ;-)
I'll be back soon with all the details. Happy last days of Summer...
Every year, we celebrate the 4th of July with some of our very close family friends. It's always an evening filled with kids running and laughing, spectacular fireworks, and, of course, lots and lots of great food. It's such fun planning the menu and thinking of fun ways to decorate for our celebration. When I saw these plates at Target recently, I knew they would have to be a part of our holiday decor...
While they look like the iconic "paper" plate, they are actually made out of melamine!
How cool is that? Plus, they come in several different colors. And at only $1.99 each, you can afford to buy a whole stack!
I haven't quite decided yet on this year's "vision", but I am thinking that these plates look pretty cute with the Target red polka dot plates that I bought earlier this year...
I know, I know. I've been a very bad blogger lately. I always find the end of the school year rather hectic, but this year it has just been absolutely crazy! With all the parties, graduations, and performances, I have found little time for anything else. But, school is now officially over and summer can truly begin! And what better way to start off than with a cool, refreshing beverage!
I find that pretty summer drinks are made even prettier when accompanied by these vintage paper drinking straws.
I just love them and always try to scoop them up whenever I come across them (in unopened boxes!) at flea markets or antique shops. You just can't beat those old, faded pastel colors.
The striped ones are my favorites...and, while they have been reproduced as of late, there is nothing like the faded elegance of the originals.
So, here's to a wonderful summer ahead - filled with family and friends, pretty picnics, homemade ice cream, fresh flowers, dinners al fresco, days at the beach...and, of course, lots of blog posts!
Today, I thought I'd show you some of the tea party crafts and a bit more of the table decor.
My daughter loves arts and crafts, so I wanted to do some party activities that reflected this. I figured that everyone needs a fancy tea party hat, so that was first on our party agenda. I lucked out and found a bunch of pastel hats at the dollar store! I collected a ton of pretty flowers, rhinestones, butterflies, and even some sweet birdies to use for decoration.
The girls designed the hats the way they wanted them and then my fabulous friend, Rachel, and I hot glued-them on. This went much quicker than I thought it would and assured that the decorations would stay on securely. The girls did a beautiful job with their hat designs.
Out of respect for their privacy, I can't show you the girls in their hats, but I can assure you that it made for a very adorable picture...all of them in their flowery, bird-embellished hats!
For another activity, I decided that it would be fun to make "Cookie Charm Bracelets".
We've made lots of candy necklaces and bracelets over the years, but never a cookie bracelet! I started by enlisting the help of my mom (she's a really, really nice mom!) to make HUNDREDS of teeny, tiny sugar cookies in the shapes of flowers.
I had grand plans to intricately decorate them with royal icing, but due to a shortage of time, we ended up just coating them with a good sprinkling of pastel non pareils. While the cookies were still warm from the oven, we used bamboo skewers to poke holes through the centers. To make it easier for the little girls to string the cookies, my older daughter tied tiny loops of ribbon through each cookie. This was truly a family affair!
For bracelet assembly, I gathered together a bunch of ribbons and lots of pretty candy beads (I just cut these off long candy necklaces) to use as filler.
The bracelets turned out super cute...
After the girls made their bracelets, I put them in personalized jewelry boxes so they could take them home.
Now, for the tea party table settings...
I kept the table decor pretty simple, as I knew I wouldn't have much time to transition from the crafts to the tea party portion of the party. I covered the tables with cloths in a variety of shabby floral patterns and added some small vases of pink roses.
At each place setting, I set a large round doily, plastic utensils (that looked like real silverware!), and a cloth napkin.
I made the napkins myself by just cutting some pretty floral fabric into large squares with pinking shears. Time consuming, yes. But I thought it was a nice touch. :-)
I also made these old-fashioned candy-filled party "crackers" to use as place cards.
These were fairly easy to make, but I would be happy to post a tutorial sometime. Basically, they make good use of your old paper towel rolls!
Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed our little tea party. I'm not sure what themes we'll do next year, but luckily, I have about eleven months to think about it!
Well, we did it! We survived having two birthday parties in the span of just one week. Yes, the "Tea Party" was this past weekend and I have to say that it was a great success. My daughter had a wonderful time and I think all the party-goers (all 16 of them!) did, too. Due to the fact that I have a ton of photos (and the fact that I am completely exhausted), I am going to show you the party details over the course of two posts.
Today, I will be sharing the tea party buffet table and goodies. Given that the party was scheduled for right after lunch, I focused only on sweets and decided to forgo any savory items like tea sandwiches. I've given a great many tea parties over the years and my experience has taught me that kids will always choose a cupcake over a watercress sandwich. :-)
I made some of the desserts myself, bought some, and "embellished" some. My pale pink petit fours were by far the biggest hit and not too, too difficult to make (I think I have finally mastered the art of poured fondant!).
I was so proud of my butter cream forget-me-nots...
There were mini vanilla cupcakes with vanilla butter cream...
I actually bought these at Whole Foods and just added some butter cream flowers.
We dipped some strawberries in chocolate...pink chocolate, of course.
These mini sprinkle cookies were quite popular (Martha's basic sugar cookie recipe)...
And a tea party isn't a tea party without piles of pastel meringues...
Just look at colors of the beautiful butter cream flowers...and I love the touches of edible glitter!
For "tea", I served strawberry milk and pink lemonade in glass pitchers (sorry - forgot to take a picture). As for table decor, I clearly went with a pastel, shabby chic look. A floral-sprigged tablecloth and lots of white and pastel dishes and cake pedestals...
I bought several shades of pink roses and some Hydrangeas (because they are my favorites).
I will post Part II of "The Tea Party" later in the week and show you some more of the favors, crafts, decor, etc...
And don't forget to come back tomorrow for "Target Tuesday"...this week I will be posting on Liberty of London's new line for Target. So unbelievably cool! You're gonna love it!