Gemma’s Woodland Creature Birthday

Before I even begin to tell you about Gemma’s woodland creature first birthday party, I’m proclaiming publicly that her second birthday will be Elmo themed. I will buy everything from a party store and will likely invite guests via a last minute text message. Since that’s off my chest, now I’ll give you the run down on her first party!

After going back and forth for weeks about a theme, I finally went with “winter woodland creatures”. Gemma’s favorite toys are a bear and a fox from IKEA, affectionately known as Beary White and Foxy Lady in our house. I decided to use them as the starting point for the party. If you follow me on Pinterest, you probably had your feed flooded by all the pins added to my First Birthday Ideas board in a 24 hour period. It took a while, but eventually I got excited about planning a party that began from something Gemma loves and morphed into a theme that worked well for February.

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Wizard of Oz Birthday

Today I have such a a sweet party to share with you. My friend Laura’s little girl Olive turned one several months ago, and Laura hosted a Wizard of Oz birthday party in her home to celebrate. (You might remember Olive’s nursery that we collaborated on a while back.) Laura put together “Camp Liam” for her son’s party a couple years ago, so her bar for “just a little party” is much higher than most peoples’.

This party’s theme, “There’s No Place Like Home”, had a special meaning since Laura and her husband Craig just recently moved back to their native Kansas City after living in Illinois for several years. This sweet party is full of pretty decorations, and gorgeous food (which I can only assume was equally delicious). And just look at baby Olive clutching that macaroon? Too much cuteness!

I can’t believe it even as I’m typing, but NEXT month my own little Gemma turns one. How did this happen??? I don’t know if I’m ready for this emotionally. So, clearly the logical thing to do is avoid how I’m feeling and just plan her first birthday party.

Everyone keeps asking me what I’m going to do, and I have no idea. No good ones at least. I keep thinking of things that sound ok in my head, but come out a bit ridiculous. (Prime example is my nagging thought to plan A Goodnight Moon party because it’s her favorite book, and she was born the night of a snowstorm. Then again a creepy grandma rabbit in a rocking chair and “a bowl full of mush” just doesn’t scream celebration to me…Ugh. I’m taking suggestions. For real.
Cake via Classic Cakes and flowers via Victorian Gardens (Kansas City, Missouri)All images taken by the talented Laura Kackley of LARK Photography.

Black and Gold Bridal Brunch

This black and gold bridal brunch that my friend Hannah hosted for her friend is full of sweet details. My little spray painted alphabet signs were just the tip of the black and gold iceberg.

The bride, Karen, had planned lots of soft colors for her wedding reception, so Hannah wanted to do something totally different and use bold gem tones and gold for this intimate event. When we first started planning, we knew a mimosas and a waffle bar were on the “must-do” list and started from there.

I showed Hannah a picture of this floral arrangement on a black and white striped runner with kumquats, thinking it would be cute to use some citrus in the flower arrangements. While that didn’t happen (kumquats are a little hard to come by in the Midwest), she made a gorgeous striped table runner to serve as the jumping off point for the decor.

Gold, black stripes, and gem tones. There was nothing subtle about this decor, but it all played so well together that the overall effect was stunning and almost felt French.

I found the little gold frame for $2 at the dollar store. Two dollars!!! You know I stocked up on a couple five of those puppies. Please don’t look too closely at my crooked handwriting…I made the menu sign about 20 minutes before guests arrived.

Hannah made honey butter in the shape of a heart using candy molds. Such a personal touch, and it’s easy for guest to add to their plate when you’re serving food buffet style.
You could be proper and say “scones”, but sometimes Hannah likes to call them “sconies”…kind of like scones that are your homies. I know. I’m ridiculous, but I will hang with some scones any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
Party casualty of the morning was one of those adorable cream bottles. As I was arranging something on the food bar, I felt the strap break and my camera start sliding down my back. It was either the camera or Hannah’s ceramic creamer. I went with instinct, and caught the camera from crashing on the tile, but the creamer shattered into a hundred beautiful little pieces. So sad! (There’s a reason that photographers aren’t supposed to have a hand in the event set up; they do too much at once and end up breaking things.)

The bridesmaids’ gift to Karen was a scrapbook full of memories. Each of them made two pages with pictures and trinkets that represented their friendship over the years.

In turn, Karen bought each of her bridesmaids a purse that she thought represented their personality. This was such a thoughtful and personalized gift idea. Each girl opened up their bag to find a unique-to-them purse. (Note to my bridesmaids: I apologize for the hideous Target earrings I got you. Forgive me. It was pre-Pinterest.)It’s obvious how much Hannah values her friendship with Karen…She not only helped to plan her wedding, but threw her this gorgeous brunch (while pregnant, no less). It’s always such a treat to share such special moments in people’s lives as they celebrate with their “kindred”.

…and ONE last look at the table because, c’mon, it’s just too gorgeous.

DIY: Painted Floral Table Cloth

Earlier this week I promised to show how I made my table cloth from the “garden party” brunch. Get this…it’s a canvas drop cloth! After seeing Jordan’s tablecloth on Oh Happy Day, my crafting juices were pumping, and I wanted to make one. I kept trying to decide if this was one of those DIY’s that would end with me in tears or fist pumping into the air with paint brush in hand. Well friends, it turned out to be a tear-free crafternoon!

Let me tell you, you don’t have to be an artist to tackle this project. Those flowers? Just swirled circles with little dots in the middle. If the flowers still intimidate you, stripes are low risk and look great by themselves. Polka dots would be super cute too.

Since I used a mixture of paints I already had on hand, the whole project cost me under $20. The drop cloth was only $13. (I’m already scheming more DIY’s with this little gem.)

Painted Floral Table Cloth
Step 1: Iron a 6 x9 drop cloth using your iron’s high setting. (I tried the dryer first, hoping I could save myself some time…It did basically nothing to the wrinkles.)
Step 2: Use painter’s tape to tape off center stripes. I used a pencil to mark a 10 inch space in the middle. I marked spots about a foot apart down the length of the drop cloth and laid tape to line up with the markings.
Step 3: Use sponge brushes to dab on paint. I applied thin coats to try and avoid bleeding. Allow to dry about 30 minutes before continuing.
Step 4: Mix other colors on a palette. I used a small tester of white interior wall paint to lighten my craft paints and make them go a little farther. Plus, it made the paint a bit thicker which I think helped it stand out more on the cloth.
Step 5: Practice swirls on paper to get a feel for your flowers. Don’t worry about each one being perfect-you’re going for an overall effect.
TIP: Vary the sizes of the flowers. Make one color your largest and pick a couple more to be medium and small flowers.
Step 6: After I painted the flowers on the drop cloth, I laid it out on the table to paint on the leaves. I ended up adding little mint polka dots to fill in more of the white space.
Not too shabby, huh? Le drop cloth, might be my new favorite DIY item. Next I’m thinking about pillows, place mats, and table runners, but there are probably 100 other good uses. I’d love to hear if you have an idea for my next drop cloth DIY.

Heads up-blogger and Lovely Cupboard contributor Tan and I are prepping for our $1 Store Craft Challenge. Check back a week from today to see what we come up with!