Thursday, August 30, 2012

Showered With Love... And Sugar!

Hello Ladies!
Are you ready for pretty picture overload? It took me a few days to sort out and edit the photos, but at last! I can reveal my biggest, and most favorite project of the summer; a bridal shower for my best friend, Melissa. I've been working at this a long time, and the day went so very fast, as they tend to do, but I tried to get good pictures to show you guys, so here we go!

 I think think is the most pictures I've ever attempted in one blog post, so get yourself a nice cuppa tea and get comfy, this is going to be a long one!
(As always, if you'd like to view any of the pictures in large format, just click on the image to open it in full screen)
Oh! I'm so excited I'm jumping ahead of myself, let's go back to the beginning!

To greet Melissa's friends & family and signal them to the right house, I painted a sign to put out in the front yard.

I propped it up on the lawn with a Shepard hook hung with a pretty, white wreath with a ginormous pink pinwheel flower.

Streamers to start the festivities and usher everyone on the way to the porch. I love steamers!

You can't see it very well in the picture above - it's hanging up by the front door, but this is a bunting I made a few weeks ago. I learned how to do a tiny rolled hem in order to make this bunting, just 1/8" hem! I used this tutorial to teach myself, the directions are clear and concise. I've had this fabric forever, it's so pretty and pink and... frothy! It has a sort of flocked, velvety feeling. I found five full yards of it wadded up in the corner of an antique store, it was in perfect condition. Five dollars!

I held the shower out in my backyard. We have a long patio, a big shade tree, and the whole yard is surrounded by a fence shrouded in ivy and honeycuckle. I love our backyard and I really need a hammock, but that's a different story. Let's take a spin!

I had 16 guests so I rented  tables & chairs and topped the tables with my favorite vintage tablecloths from my small, but growing collection. 

I kept the tablescape simple, just the centerpiece (lemon scented topiaries from Trader Joe's) and the plates topped with a pretty napkin and each guests favor, a sandlewood fan. It was supposed to be scorching hot that day, so I chose fans as favors to keep everyone cool, but as it turns out the weather was perfectly beautiful!

To decorate the columns on our roomy, but boring, white patio, I wanted big, bold, colors that shout happy!

I also made three long lengths of felt bunting to hang between the columns. It was soft and fluttery and did I mention... colorful!

Ooooh, color-ific!

Speaking of color, how 'bout this guy? My family and I saved TP rolls for months to make this piece! This eco-easy wall art was inspired by a piece I found on Pinterest. Simple and fun, lots more ideas can be found here. And here's a good place to state that, Pinterest was INVALUABLE to me in planning this party. There's so much good stuff out there for us crafty peeps, and Pinterest is a fantastic way of keeping it all organized and under control. Here's mine, come find me!

 I just never get tired or bored color, I love them all, especially bright, happy ones!

I spy the blushing bride!

Ahh, the sweets buffet! There's so much to see here, let's dive in to all these goodies!
A mix of homemade and... not homemade.

Hoo-boy, Cherryheads & Lemonheads!

And cake! You guys, the cakes! I made both of them, the recipe for this chocolate dream was from my favorite blog of all time, Alicia Paulson's Posie Gets Cozy. I've long admired her beautiful cakes (all of her cooking, actually) and have wanted to make one for a long time, so I was happy when she posted these cake recipes recently, I used this one with the Cloudburst Frosting. I topped the cake with fresh strawberries, blackberries and blue berries. The white cake (pictured above), a Blackberry Cloud Cake was inspired by this one, but I'll admit to some short-cuts here, I used blackberry, not raspberry, and Cool Whip instead of the fancy (read: time consuming) ingredients in the original filling. It was incredible. I could have scarfed the whole thing by myself.   

Candy covered Rice Crispy Pops, inspired by the ones in this post.

Fun fact: my boss gave me a small, bright red, desk-top Jelly Belly gumball machine as a birthday gift several years ago. It's been collecting dust in my office for years, so I brought it home, gave it a coat of pretty pink and viola, instant upgrade! It was a happy accident to find Skittles in the same colors as the party pallet, these are called Skittles Blenders.

Strawberry cupcakes, yum!

Marshmallow Poles, so pretty, so tasty!

These are my favorite, they're called Champagne Bubbles!

Not to be confused with regular, but no less pretty, wedding bubbles.

More tasty treats, blackberry yogurt covered pretzels, lemon cookies, salt water taffy and citrus gummies. You'd think I was trying to dole out cavities, lol!

Good ol' Country Time Lemonade
Paper straws & pretty napkins.

Oh, and let's not forget about the cocktails!
This drink was deelish and perfect for a hot day, it's called Skip And Go Naked and came from Susan Branch, I modified it for a crowd, and the crowd loved them!

There she is, the lady of the hour, my beautiful friend!

After a light luncheon (that I totally forgot to take pictures of), we played games...
(this one's called Poke The Bride, and I'll let the picture do the talking)

Cut the cake...

 And watched Melissa open her gifts.

These wee monsters were my gift to her, made just for us by Chelsea of Love & A SandwichMelissa chose the pink one, I got to keep the blue

To send my guests on their merry way, I had a few more sweets and a hint of what to look forward to at the wedding on the way out the front door. I do love a fall wedding.

Here's a shot of the backdrop for the desert table, sans desert. I'm really pleased with the way this came out and thought you might like to know a bit about it. I spent several evenings leading up to the shower sewing ruffles, ruffles into crepe paper, that is. It's very simple, and gives a lot of bang for the bucks, I used this tutorial. 
To make this background I ran a long piece of wood trim through the top and bottom of a vintage bed sheet, then stapled long pieces of the ruffled streamers to the top of the sheet (securing it in place to the wood trim), then hung the whole thing at the top of the patio wall. To add a finished look, I added a swag of white balloons. I pinned the streamers to the backdrop here and there so they didn't blow around quite so much. Simple and effective, and if I haven't used this word too much already, pretty!

I really enjoy hosting parties, I throw my whole self into them and give it my best. Plus, your best friend only gets married once, and I wanted to give her a beautiful little party. Melissa really enjoyed herself and loved all the details. She stayed the weekend with me, and we ate breakfast out under the tree the next morning. It was lovely. I couldn't have pulled this party off without help from my mom and my husband, they're the best support team ever! 

I wish you all could have been there too, I would have saved you a Skip And Go Naked! 

Well this has been quite the epic blog post, and it's way past my bedtime! Did you make it to the end? Hello? Just kidding, teehee! Let me know what you think! Have you guys thrown bridal showers? What kinds of things did you do, tell me all about it!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sneaky Peaky!

Hello Beauties!
Thank you, thank you, thank you all so much for your birthday wishes! Every time I read a comment from one of you, my face would split into a huge grin! I feel so lucky to have such fine friends to share with.

I'm sorry it's been a little quiet here this week, I feel like a bit like a duck lately, on the surface, it's all calm and peaceful, underneath I'm paddling like mad! Why's that you ask? Well because I've been busy, busy busy behind the scenes here! I've been plotting and making for weeks, I'm hosting a bridal shower for my bestie and the big day is tomorrow! 

Eeeeeee(minor freak-out)eeeeeee!!

Here's hoping Melissa is too busy packing and airporting to look into this blog today, because she has no idea what I've been up to, I want to keep it a surprise. Here's a sneaky peaky of what's on the agenda!
Ok, that's enough! Don't want to give away the farm. 
Let's just say celebrations and love inspire have sweet, happy colors and lots of them!

I'd better get busy, I've got lots still to do today. 
Baking, baking, baking!
Naturally I plan on taking a bajillion pictures tomorrow, so come back soon for show & tell.
Til then, stay cool my friends and wish me luck!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

It's My Birthday!

So I'm having myself a little party in the fairy garden to celebrate! 

Care to join me for some cake and a spot of tea?

Charms from the local bead store work great in the mini fairy garden
Small charms from my local bead store are perfect for this party. Naturally, I had these in my stash, they came home with me years ago!

I whipped up this little cake for myself last night, cutest darn cake I've ever made! Such a simple and quick project too, a bottle-cap pincushion in the shape of a cake. There's so many possibilities for these types tiny pin cushions, the last one I made looked like sushi

This wee birdbath is the latest addition to the garden, it holds just a few drops of water, I love it.

I made the little bunting out of some felt scraps from another project (yet to be revealed), easy peasy.

Here's the cake in my grubby little mitt so you can get a better idea of the size.

A vintage hankie makes a great picnic blanket if you're 3 inches tall.

The fairy garden has filled in SO much since first planted it a few months ago! You can't even see the rock path that was once so prominent. I have to trim it back pretty regularly and rescue the little furniture before it's completely grown over, it grows so fast! 

I have another reason to celebrate too, my fairy garden was chosen as one of the winners of The Magic Onion's 2012 Fairy Garden Contest, yayyyyyyy! There were 153 entries, can you imagine having to choose? I'm so honored to be one of the winners! I've won an adorable, hand-stitched fairy from Alkelda Dolls, and I couldn't be more pleased, I've admired her dolls on Flickr for some time. 

I think the garden at night is still my favorite, it's its own little world in there. I want to shrink myself down like Alice and stay the night in my cozy fairy house. 

Tonight my husband and my mom are taking me out to dinner at my favorite Italian place where they have the most amazing, fresh tomato salad during the summer months. The tomatoes are grown right there in their own kitchen garden, it is wonderful, I can't wait!

Have a great day, dearies!