Monday, March 28, 2011

Lindy Loves Javi Engagement Party: Part III

I think that some of the most fun details of Lindy and Javi's party were the result of necessity and serendipity.  Starting with the use of paper bags. At the last minute, I threw a handful of lunch bags in my suitcase, thinking that since they matched the invitations, they might come in handy.  It turns out that they did. mostly as signs.  Because the party started at 8:00 pm, we didn't need to host a full meal, so we focused on snacks that broadly fell under the categories of "sweet" (assorted cookies) and "salty" (pretzels, potato chips, and popcorn).  On the day of, as we were trying to figure out how to indicate what was what, we decided to hang "sweet" and "salty" signs above the appropriate sides of the tables. 
We also incorporated newspaper in a few ways.  First was by making about 70 hand-folded, origami boxes.  These boxes were our containers for our salty snacks.  Necessity being the mother of invention, they came about because we wouldn't have access to appetizer plates.  I think they looked great (and many thanks to Eat Drink Chic for the inspiration, who had similar boxes filled with potato chips at her surprise wedding!).
Another interesting way we used newspaper came about due to necessity as well.  On the morning of, we pushed all the tables together to serve the food on, and realized that they mismatched (we used three small tables instead of one large one).  We ended up wrapping the tables in newspaper to the floor, and this immediately made them match (and also totally set off the ceiling installation, in my opinion).  Also, the genius of my friend and co-host Shannon was to use half English and half Spanish newspapers, since Javi is Mexican. 
The next creative element came about due to serendipity.  We had decided not to have fresh flowers due to cost, but as luck would have it, Lindy's good friend and neighbor Elly offered us three bouquets.  Believe it or not, they just perfectly matched the ceiling installation color spectrum.  When we realized that due to the different height of tables and vases, some needed to be higher than others, we used stacks of Lindy's books, in the appropriate colors, to act as little stages.  It brought just the pop of color we needed to the tables.
The last few things were just special touches.  Labeling all the food with hand-typed labels.  Ordering a special sparkling wine that's name matched the last name of the groom and making sure we had the groom-to-be's favorite beer on hand.  Baking cookies that matched the feel of the event.
And then, in the end, not caring about any of the details other than whether or not the bride and groom-to-be felt loved.  I think they did. 
Congratulations, Lindy and Javi!  I can't wait for the wedding!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lindy Loves Javi Engagement Party: Part II

The idea of the ceiling instillation for Lindy and Javi's party came about because we had very limited space.  Due to budget, we were hosting the party in a 2-bedroom New York apartment, and with 60+ guests expected, we knew that every inch of floor space was going to be used.  Therefore, we needed something high impact, inexpensive, and in a spot where nobody needed to stand.

I have been really inspired lately by all the rainbow ideas over at Hip Hip Hooray, so once the rainbow confetti was in the invitations, I decided to go with that for the decor as well.  We decided on a swooping instillation of crepe paper and dot strings above the food table.  It was about 14 feet long and 4 feet wide.  The process took about 4 hours for two of us.  It was a fun, late-night, wine-drinking instillation:
I think the finished product looks amazing, don't you?
One of my favorite things about it, the wave design where it attaches to the ceiling, was actually a happy accident.  We finished the red and the orange when we realized that we weren't being careful about where the streamers lined up.  Instead of redoing, we decided to make it look purposeful, and I think the result is so much more interesting than it would have been otherwise.

Now.  About those strings of dots.  Believe it or not, those aren't sold anywhere, so we made them.  It was a long effort. We hand-punched each circle and then sewed them together with contrasting thread.  But the effort was worth it.  They look amazing.  They literally almost sparkled in a way I hadn't anticipated. 
I think the key to the depth of this instillation was that for each color section (red, orange, yellow, etc.) we used an assortment of different shades in order to help us achieve the look we wanted.  So instead of just one color of red streamer, we used three shades, which included some pinks, and we even pulled in black to the confetti string as well.  For colors where there was only one shade (orange, for example- believe it or not, they only have on shade of orange crepe paper streamer), we blended in the occasional red and yellow streamer to give it depth.

The best thing about this instillation is that it looks amazing in pictures.  With flash, without flash, it created a phenomenal backdrop.  I think it would be beautiful at a casual and brightly colored wedding, don't you?
More party details to come tomorrow!

P.S.  The whole ceiling installation cost less than $40!  I bought the crepe paper streamers online at Zurcher's Discount Party Supplies.  They have a wonderful array of brightly colored streamers.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Lindy Loves Javi Engagement Party: Part I

Lindy and Javi are getting married!  I was lucky enough to get to travel to New York to co-host their engagement party.  It was such fun, and I am thrilled to share the details with you.

To start with a little background. The party itself had some constraints.  We had a limited budget.  The guest list consisted of almost 90 people. And, since I was planning from afar, everything had to be simple enough to do on-site 24 hours before the party or small enough that I could take it with me on the plane.

Also, some items of note.  Lindy is an author.  Javi grew up in Mexico.  There life together began in New York. 

So.  The first question we had to address was invitations. Because Lindy is a writer, we decided to type the invitations on my vintage Remington typewriter.  The invitations were simple- paperbag cards, typed with the following "lindy loves javi. javi loves lindy. they are getting married! help us celebrate." followed by date, time, location and  RSVP information. 

The night before I went to send them, I had a slight panic attack.  They just looked so... brown.  So at the last minute, I decided to hand-cut some confetti using a 1" round cutter and brightly colored cardstock.  I thought it added just the festive feel we were looking for.

We got a ton of compliments, and one guest even sent this picture after she had opened the invite:
The typewriter came in handy for a bunch of other party-related projects as well, but my favorite of the bunch was definitely the napkins.  I typed them all up before I left to eliminate work when I got there.
Stay tuned- more party details (including our amazing ceiling installation) to come tomorrow!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Layla Grayce: One of a Kind

It's been a busy few weeks.  A trip to New York (to host an away-from-home engagement party for Lindy and Javi!) coupled with this strange sickness that I just can't shake has not only rendered me completely useless over the phone but has also kept me off of O Chickadee.  Happily, I am both home and (slowly) improving, so we can get back to things.  Whew.

On my mind today is how much I love Layla Grace's new vintage line.  Here's the deal- they take vintage furniture items, restore them to their former glory, and then sell them to us.  Each piece is completely one-of-a-kind.  Here are a few particularly drool-worthy pieces:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

For the Future: Chef Tate

Gale Gand is my favorite pastry chef.  When she was four, she was playing outside making mud pies, and caught the eye of a Life photographer.  The photo he snapped, of Gale sitting in the mud making a pie, made the cover.

Fast forward and Gale becomes a pastry chef.  And she has the picture to prove she started out young.

In light of this story, Zach and I have our own inside joke about taking pictures of Tate, as a baby, doing things that represent a variety of professions, so that no matter what he decides to be when he grows up, we can point to the picture and be like "We always knew you would end up a [fill in the blank here]!!"

In light of this, we started with:  Chef.

Here he is. Chef Tate.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

To Be a Princess

What would you do if you were the Princess of Greece?  Perhaps design a gorgeous children's clothing line?  Me too.  And apparently we aren't the only ones, since the actual Princess of Greece has done just that.

I love the fresh, clean, simply, non-logo'd look of Marie Chantal's children's clothing line. Like this:
And this:
And especially this (because stylish boys clothes are so hard to find):
And although I am not an "angel" kind of person, I think that this is so sweet for a baby girl:
You can check out the entire line here (and happy day- the fall/winter collection is 70% off right now! That makes the prices almost within my budget).

P.S.  If I were the Princess of Greece, I would also "holiday", like Marie Chantal is doing with her family, in the stone cottage picture at the beginning of this post.  Sigh.  Don't you wish you were a princess?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

You Are Here

This was Zach and I last night, on our way out for a date. We went to dinner and a comedy show. Doesn't he look super handsome? He is right in the very center of my heart.

It is that sentiment that led me to buy him this poster for Valentine's Day, from Felt & Wire.  I was so struck by it. 
Last weekend we went to IKEA and bought this ridiculously inexpensive bright red frame. It is exactly the same shade of red as the print. I think it looks great.

The only problem now is figuring out where to hang it.  For now, it is still leaning against the wall.