Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gift Giving Booklet - Sometimes the package is as special as the gift.

I recently blogged about a Wedding gift I created to elegantly give gift cards to the happy couple. They're family and I knew they wanted cash to save up for a larger home more than towels or pans. Our booklet of gift cards was the next best thing (in my opinion).

ANYHOO... about a week later, I had an occasion to be a part of another group gift. This time it was from our Preschool Board to a member that was moving to Korea for a few years. Her family was going to be deeply missed. The board members all pitched in and purchased her a locket with charms from Origami Owl. If you haven't heard of this company, I'd be surprised... many have tried to imitate the idea but their quality is really great and prices are so reasonable. Basically you can purchase a clear glass locket and fill it with "charms" that have special meaning and add a stamped plate along with jewels, etc. Our designer Anna was great to work with. If you click on the above link, you'll go to her page. (I'm not affiliated with them in any way)

So, we were giving her a locket, but of course I couldn't just put in a box and call it a day... NO!

Here's the locket

Here's what I created... (again, click on the images to read the text)

 THE FRONT PAGE wishing her well.
I put the locket in a petal envelope (easy to make). Having the book closed, helped to keep it secure.
Each charm went into a small glassine envelope (I had these from my wedding in 2007, love when something I've hoarded comes in handy!) A strip of matching card stock made a nice handle to pull out the envelope.

Here it is, all wrapped with a bow! Of course, once the gift is opened, the packaging doesn't have much use but hopefully it was fun to open and gave our friend the meaning behind each charm we carefully chose just for her.

Have you ever created a package as pretty and as special as the gift?

A Wedding Gift- Gift Card Giving Can Be Unique

My husband's cousin got married last summer and like many modern couples, they lived together for awhile beforehand. While they did create a registry our family decided to pool our resources and give the second most appreciated gift (1st being CASH), gift cards. Being ME, we couldn't just stick cards in an envelope and hand it over.. I had to Pretty it up!!

I created a "booklet" if you will with pockets to hold cards for different occasions that might come up during their first year of marriage. I grabbed a couple pieces of card stock from a stack so they all matched, some bling stickers and my trusty glue stick.

(you can click on images to view larger to see text if necessary)
 INSIDE explaining the gift
WINE store
 TARGET card

The wedding was last June so hopefully I remembered all the store names correctly but you can use whatever you or the recipient would like.

To tie it all together, I used a large green satin bow! Voila.. who says gift cards are tacky.. sometimes it's all about the presentation and care that goes into the giving. 

A few days later I used this same idea to create another gift package.. stay tuned! 

p.s. these books aren't something I create for sale. There are lots of tutorials online for "Books for Gift cards". I would seek one out to help you with paper sizing.. it was a bunch of folding to create one long accordion with a wrap around cover..the pockets were created by cutting smaller pieces of card stock and gluing the sides. The result was pretty and worth the work. 

A Festive Retirement Party

Last year (yes, I know I'm a bad blogger) my BFF Sarah wanted to host a retirement party for her boss Jeanie. This was a happy occasion and wanted the party to convey just that. As you know, EVERYTHING starts with the invite.

Here's the invite I created. The colors popped and any mention of tequila on an invite is sure to peak interest. :) I changed her name and personal info but you get the gist.

She was hosting a Happy Hour in honor of Jeanie. She found a great location at a local mexican restaurant. Everyone loves appetizers and cocktails! (right?) 

We worked with a few "themes" if you will.. 
First was FIESTA because of the location. It's not always easy to work with a location's decor (note the Corona party banner running across the room we asked them to temporarily take down)

The second theme was "KEYS".. because of the nature of their business. Both Sarah and Jeanie are Property Managers for a large Real Estate company so Jeanie not only had work friends attending but clients who's properties she'd cared for over the years and built friendships with. Let me tell you, her clients are in good hands now, but these folks really LOVED working with Jeanie and as an outsider, it showed!

The Decor was colorful and fun. I created color tissue poms to match the invite that we hung down the main walking isle. I busted out my Cricut and created my first Picado art Banner using designs I found online and added "Adios Jeanie Our Casas Won't Be The Same Without You"

The tables were super colorful with tissue flowers (ordered online.. I'm crazy but not that crazy to create  60 tissue flowers, leave that to the professional tissue flower makers!) These tissue flowers made appearances at other parties just after this one. Remember the MOMS Club Tea/Fundraiser where I used the orange and pink? I sold the other colors on craigslist for a baby shower.

I may not have made the flowers (my hands are thanking me ever since) but I did create drink menus.. this was both in attempt to save on costs.."oh, did you see the menu, what would you like to order to drink?" vs "hmmm.. (open bar!) I'll have the top shelf Margarita, with two shots of tequila on the side..make that three." AND they were cute!

The "key" element in the room was an "advice tree". Guests were encouraged to leave a note on a tag they found dangling on a tree branch at the front table. We also placed several decorative keys (found in the special section at Michaels Crafts where items range from $1-$3) The tags read "The Key to a Successful Retirement is...". Some of the answers guests gave were funny and light hearted and others came from experienced retirees. 

We attached the tags to a large ribbon on a large Key for Jeanie to take with her and perhaps display in a large vase or on her new mantel. Not only were guests encouraged to leave her a note, they were also asked to select an envelope on the tree that contained a scratch off lottery ticket. Our sign mentioned that perhaps Jeanie would be the only one retiring today.. how fun! Everyone got a kick out of the idea.

It was a fun party, even if in truth is a was a "going away" party of sorts. Jeanie now enjoys her retired life with her husband just outside Las Vegas... that sounds like the KEY to a fun retirement to me!

Do You Wanna Build a Snowman? Disney's FROZEN

If your kids are anything like mine, you've heard the songs OVER and OVER.. can't say I mind on this one. Disney's FROZEN has quickly become a family favorite. Recently I hosted a FROZEN play date at my house for a few friends.

Thinking ahead I saved some silver garland and snowflakes from Christmas to use. I cut out the word FROZEN in a similar font using my Cricut.

One of my favorite movie quotes from the snowman character, Olaf is "Some people are worth melting for.".. so we drank melted Olaf! ha!

We created chocolate dipped frozen bananas on a stick, which I prepped beforehand. The kids also created some really fun paper snowflakes, created an Olaf and colored a few pages.. and of course, watched the movie!

Because this was a just a fun play date and not a birthday party, I didn't go overboard with the decor but there are sooo many great ideas out there.. Are you planning a FROZEN party for your next bash?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

MOMS Club Mother's Tea and Fundraiser 2013

I was so sad when I realized I couldn't attend our local MOMS Club Annual Mother's Day Tea and Fundraiser this year. There isn't much tea drinking these days.. just great food and drinks with my mommy friends that I don't see on a regular basis but still really value our friendships... Alas, I had family plans that day but Park Talk Printables donated the decor. (As long as I'm a member, I wouldn't let my girls down!)

All any great party needs is a splash of color here and there and a basic "theme" to tie it all together. You may remember last year's Tea link (because I JUST posted it a few weeks ago) and 2011 link.

When I think of Mother's Day, flowers come to mind (hint, hint, wink wink hubby).
Pink and Orange is such a vibrant combination, I knew it would help lighten up the dark wood decor at the local Italian restaurant that it was being held at.

My other personal theme "was keep it simple".. that's a tough one for me but I had another big party the same week and didn't want to take away from those projects.. hey a paying gig has priority. :)

Focusing on a few key items, here's what I came up with.. BTW sometimes the best kind of jobs are unstructured..Nobody requested multiple proofs/changes and I got to do WHATEVER I wanted. :)

Centerpieces: A simple mason jar. I try to keep these on hand for either canning food (imagine that) or for a quick vase. I heart mason jars of all sizes... I wrapped a printed band around the jar and added paper flowers (left overs from a fiesta party earlier in the week). The band could have been larger so you you couldn't see inside the jar but that was one of my last things printed and I just went with it.

Name Tags/Corsages: Being our Mother's DayTea we often have new/newer members attend this popular event so we usually wear name tags. Last year you may remember I created paper flowers.. this year I was all about fabric and hair clippies. Combining the two, I created a hair clippie that the ladies could attach to their lapel with a hanging name tag that could be removed. After the party, pop it onto a beach bag, summer purse, or even your child's hair.. if you're feeling saucy, put it in your own hair! O'le!

For display I clipped them to my daughter's framed clippie holder that I made for her room.. come to think of it, I have another one hanging in my office for the clippies that I sell.

Close up of fabric flower clippie.. used a knit fabric to give it some texture.
231 circles later.. me and my trusty hot glue gun got to work!
Look around your house.. lots of items you use every day can be used for party decor.. I love using vintage bowls and things I've made for other projects.
Welcome Sign:  Because raffle tickets were involved, I created a sign reminding moms of the prices and welcomed them to the party. It's hard to get away sometimes and leave the kids at home with dad and we appreciated everyone that was able to make it. Except me of course!!

Raffle Boxes and Silent Auction Sheets: Being a fundraiser, raffle boxes and Bid sheets are pretty important.. nothing says they can't be pretty looking too. :)
Recognized the butterfly boxes from last year?.. this year I created in Pink and Orange to match. I created a circle tag for one of the board members to hand write the donations and values. Ladies put the raffle tickets inside.
Silent Auction sheets were "fill in the blank" for the board members. Of course they had to match too!
Banner: I created a coordinating design and print banner. Anyone could print and cut, then tape to a matching ribbon.

Here's the banner hanging on my living room curtains.
close up of banner
If you're a new mom, the MOMS Club is a wonderful organization comprised of mostly stay at home moms. I've created so many lasting friendships through this group of ladies and consider myself lucky to have found them. If you contact your local MOMS Club organization and you don't hear back.. try again. They are made up of volunteer mommies that sometimes are overwhelmed with LIFE... you'll be glad you joined.

Just wait for the Fiesta Party who's flowers inspired the ones used here... coming soon!

Invitations: Curious George

I love kids birthday party invitations. There are so many options. Some parents like licensed characters, others none, and some choose to mix. Either way you go adding a few personalized elements to your character or color themed parties is the way to go.. Cupcake Toppers, Water Bottle Labels, and Banners create a big bang for not a lot of buck.

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it... I think invites are important! (not everyone agrees and that's ok) BUT they really set the tone for your party. I'm not saying you need personalized invites but getting this invite in the mail really got their guests excited about the Curious George Party. Heck, maybe your next invite will even get guests to RSVP... now that's just crazy talk!

Curious "Anderson" George 1st Birthday.. you never forget your first birthday right?.. Oh yeah.. well your mom won't forget! :)
Curious Anderson was the star of his First Birthday Party!
Back of the invite was printed on card stock and gave all the details. These were mailed in a really fun bright yellow envelope.
Cupcakes at the park make life a little easier for mom.. these matched perfectly. Don't forget double sided because there's no wall to back the stand against.
For first birthdays, high chair banners are super cute for photo ops..  Smash Cake Anyone?
They're smaller than our traditional banners and are also great for locations where you can't hang decor on the walls.
Happy 1st Birthday Curious Anderson!!

Poker Anyone? I'm All In!

 When I first met my husband I swear we were always playing some form of Poker... I have such great memories of those nights. Then we started a family and late nights were no longer filled with cards and friends, but family movie nights, and an early kiddo bedtime. Our house is too small too host so a few months ago I convinced a friend to invite us over.

As a surprise, I brought along a little "Abrams' Poker Night" decor. Ok, most poker nights there is no she-she foo-foo involved... just cocktails, paper plates, pizza, and chips (poker and potato).

This was a poker party a girl would throw or in my case, just a good excuse to get us together to play some cards and show off my party skills!
Ok, not every poker night deserves tulle but Red and Black can be Oh So Fabulous. Notice the trim is a black feather boa?, perfect for Bunko Night or Couples Poker. The tulle is just pinned to a black tablecloth from the underside. Easily removed and now a future TuTu. :)

A close up of the banner.. just used Foam Core Board covered in wrapping paper. An old deck of cards was hot glued to red ribbon and I printed out a fan of cards with the "Abrams' Poker Night" logo 
Had to used my favorite Cake Pop/Cupcake Stand. I used a beaded sash instead of ribbon for an accent. The little frame is one of my favorite dollar finds from Michael's. I've used them tons of times!
Strawberries.. trying to be healthy AND it matched my color theme.. added just a strip of paper underneath so as the berries disappeared, the serving plate was still cute.

Close up of the cupcakes.. "I'm All In" was the theme of the night I tried to attend Fondant Cards..the food markers I had didn't work so great so glad I only tried a few.
When partaking in cocktails, it's a MUST to also offer water (and some mini cupcakes for in between hands)
Poker Queen (it was around my birthday and I wanted a little extra pizzaz at the table.. Wine glass from the 99 cent store, a little Modge Podge, glitter, and glass etching cream.. Voila!

All other guests got "Abrams' Poker" glasses. Some weren't drinking so we served water or juice in these. Those that were enjoyed a cold beer and cocktail in style
"I'm All In" for poker again!!