Sunday, February 28, 2010

sweetheart dinner party p.3

Ok, as promised here are the prom style photos of the couples we had with us that night - our little dessert spread came in handy as our impromptu photo backdrop!

Now, on to the DIY projects - below is the dessert station backdrop again, I'm sure you're sick of seeing it, but I wanted to share how to do this on your own!

* tissue paper pom poms: i followed the Martha Stewart tutorial of course
*paper lanterns w/ hearts: I just used lanterns from Ikea, and then used my cricut die cutting machine to cut out various colors & size hearts, then used adhesive to stick them onto the lanterns.

all of these items were floating above the table thanks to some specifically placed hooks we screwed into our ceiling and hung clear fishing line to suspend the decor from.
forgive my lousy photo, I took this one w/ my camera

*sweet treats banner: yet another project that was created by using the cricut machine - I picked out teal paper w/ white details and white paper w/ teal details to create the hearts, then cricut cut out the coral letters, adhesived them together, did a little hole punching, sparkly gold ribbon stringing, and then voila they were hung on the wall.   
{I do offer these banners in my etsy shop & would love to create a custom one for your next event!}

*a little note: i hadn't planned on having a teal fabric hanging behind the table, but the day before I really wasn't feeling like the look pulled together well - so I was at the mercy of Jo Ann's & while I would've preferred a pale pink to hang behind the table {allowing the banner to pop} it still looked cute and help unite the decorations.

The next DIY was this pleated doily swag which replaced our
 Christmas card swag for this holiday occasion....
Remember from my first post about this party, that I had been inspired by the cute doily swag from 
One Charming Party's valentines party? Well, I tried and tried to recreate that swag, and I couldn't because it turns out it was a Martha Stewart kit offered at Michael's... so I played around with it and figured out if I halved four doilies, did some paper airplane-like folding and then adhesived them all together I could create a complete fan folded doily... I was so proud of myself, haha! 

I know I've already shown you the bottles, but I wanted you to know how easy it is to create stickers like this at home... I just made all of these on the computer, printed them, cut them out, then I ran 'em through my handy xyron machine... what's that you ask, well it's a fabulous tool in the crafting/scrapbooking world - check it out here.  Basically it can create magnets, laminate things, and create stickers; which is what I did in this case just turned these little print outs into stickers I then stuck on the jars as labels!
again, you can find great jars like this at local flea markets or antique shops - i think I paid a buck per 3 bottles {great deal}!

Below are those bottle again along with one of my little floral "quasi-arrangements"... but what I'm showing you this photo for is the glass that flowers are sitting in... they look an awful lot like these cups from anthropology, but they're actually from Cost Plus {one of my other fav shops}.  At $2.99 they're a deal compared with the $6 you'd cough up at Anthro - while that may not sound like a huge difference, to me it's all about getting the most for my money!

While I'm show you those cups & the flowers, here's another photo of all the pretty colors, again, forgive me, these photos aren't as great because they were shot on my camera 
- oh ranunculus, you make me smile!

But people, you don't have to go out and spend a ton of money on flowers - go to a local wholesaler {if available} or Trader Joe's usually has some great bunches and just cut them yourself at home and just put them in a cute cup and you're good to go!

We also scattered occasional blooms for subtle bursts of color around the house in these great little bud vases I found while at Target one day... I wanna say they were like $2.99 for a 4 pack - I'm always looking for fun new decor goodies.

My last DIY project that came in handy for the party were the cake stands you see here with the cupcakes, haystacks, & lemon blossoms on them! 
I found these great plates at my local Home Goods and the candlesticks -  just use your imagination and you'll find some great ones! Here's where my inspiration came from to create them... Truthfully I hadn't made these for the party, I made them to sell, and then after making them I couldn't bear to part with two of each of them because I thought they'd be great for our Valentines get together.  And they totally did!

Here's a view of them sans desserts {sorry for the doily in the foreground} oops!

Well, that brings my party recap to a close... I hope you enjoyed the photos, and my rambling, and are inspired to take on hosting a fun event for your friends & family - I promise you it's a LOT of work, but very rewarding!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

sweetheart dinner party p.2

Ok I have to say a BIG HUGE thank you to my friend Shayna of Huff Photography for bringing her super fun, nice camera to take some great photos of the party... otherwise I might not have even posted them! 

Withought further ado here are the rest of the party pics...
Above was the focal piece of our little shindig - we hung red & coral-y pink tissue pomanders mixed with paper lanterns covered w/ paper hearts 
{the hearts I cut using my handy dandy cricut machine, love that thing} 
they all hung in front of a cute light aqua patterned panel of fabric.

Me mixing up a glaze before our dinner for our lemon blossoms, 
one of the many desserts on the dessert menu!

We wrapped some aqua grograin ribbon around some pint sized mason jars for our fruity water {pictured} and our pink lemonade... I also brought another insect out of the craft room for the heart drink flags - the cuttlebug is an embossing machine which I used to give the pinky hearts flags a swiss dot texture {cute raised bumps}... of course keeping in mind the color scheme!

Here's one of my not-so-pro photos of the beverage area...

I promise we did actually eat a meal, not just drink colorful beverages and eat sweet treats... everyone helped by bringing apps, rice, salad etc... the main course is hiding inside the chafing dishes.  
I highly highly recommend these chaffing dishes 
{they're from Costco and usually show up in the store around Christmas time} 
but they are so handy at all our our family functions and they're not half bad to look at too!

We set a long table down the length of our dining/living area 
{apartment living isn't the MOST ideal for entertaining, but hey, we made it work... sort of}

I found this awesome sparkly aqua ribbon which I used to roll all the silverware up in, placing them at each spot - along with a box of sweethearts and a vintage bottles which had each guests' name & acted as place card which held a flower to help add a little color on the table.

Side Note: the day of the party I went to my then trusty florist to pick up my ranunculus, peonies, and other flowers I had pre-ordered to find that not all of them had come in and the ones that had were hardly open... so we improvised and picked out all the open white ranunculus and snatched these red & very  fun coral carnations {which are one of my least favorite flowers usually} but looking back the colors were wonderful and I am now singing a different tune about carnations...  btw, some of them are still thriving 2 weeks later with a trim and fresh water every few days!

Back to the details: here's a close up of the place card labels I created for each of the bottles, we had a great mix of bottles {which we found at a local flea market} they were old listerene, baby food jars, and apothecary jars {shown below too}
After dinner it was time to head to the bowling alley, so the plan was for everyone to pack a goodie bag of whatever dessert items they wanted to take with them.  Below is a view of the spread - mini snickerdoodle cupcakes, mini red velvet cupcakes, white chocolate dipped pretzel sticks, 
m & m's, paula dean's lemon blossoms {to die for}, and of course brownie bites!

 Above you'll notice the goodie bags - which had a matching label to the evite graphic, the place card labels and read "sweet treats" which is also what the heart shaped banner above the dessert table read. Also the hearts on those bags were embossed like the drink flags were with my handy dandy cuttlebug... these bags were pretty helpful since we were all stuffed after dinner and not ready to enjoy the treats yet!

Here's the mommy-to-be showing off the goodie bags! 
Her little tummy makes me smile every time =)

ok folks, I've gotta call it a night, but next up I'll show you my DIY crafts and our impromptu prom posed couples photos from that night!

Friday, February 19, 2010

sweetheart dinner party p.1

J and I hosted a valentine's shindig over last weekend, and since I have so many photos from it I'll begin with the inspiration...

Since most of our friends are married couples we decided to host a valentines party - but not your average one, we wanted it to be fun and not devoted to the "typical" valentines where you HAVE to get a reservation at some uber fancy restaurant and spend a ton of money just for one night... instead we thought we'd host a casual dinner and then head out to go bowling as a group {what's better than a little healthy guys vs. girls competition?} Events that create memories for us to cherish are far more important to J and I than going out to a fancy dinner, so that's why we came up with this event for our close friends, I guess you could think of it as our Valentine to our friends.

A few weeks ago, when I really started planning the details I stumbled upon this photo from the 
Tom Kat Studio blog and I just loved the hearts on the lanterns in the photo... that was mental note #1. 

Next I was on the One Charming Party blog and spotted these cute photos from her past valentines event - loved the doily swag... mental note #2.

Then when creating our evite I thought, why not throw together two color combos I've always loved - aqua & red and aqua & pinky-coral... so I put together this little pdf to help theme the evite and our night.

And that folks is how this happened....

To be continued...

Sunday, February 14, 2010