Thursday, September 30, 2010

Carnival Time!

Remember those big tissue paper flowers?

They were for a fabulous Carnival birthday party that EbD did this past weekend! It was so much fun. The birthday girl was turning 4, and loved every minute of it!

One thing I love about designing events, is that I take the thoughts and ideas of the parent and/or child, and make the event come to life. When the mom called me about this event, she really wanted a carnival type party. However, when you think "Carnival" you think, peanuts, popcorn, cotton candy, etc. The birthday girl has several different allergies, and so none of that was possible. Instead of food, we used games, music, and bright colors, and great activities to design a preschool carnival perfect for this little girl!

Along with traditional carnival games like Knock Down, Ring Around the Bottle, and Coin Toss, we also included some more interactive play into the event. We had them get creative by coloring their own carnival pictures, having a "Bubble Station", and a "Dress Like A Clown" area. We did a safer version of bobbing for apples, and let them go "Fishing for Apples" blindfolded. One of the other favorite games was "Walk the High Wire" (which was a long landscaping timber placed on the ground). The kids loved being able to go from station to station, playing games and winning prizes.

Color Your Own Carnival

Coin Toss

I gathered them around as they ate lunch, for a storytime centering around the carnival theme. After a couple books, they were ready to play some more! And, good thing, because there were lots of prizes to win!

As it was time to leave, we passed out balloons, along with Carnival Coloring books and a new pack of crayons. That way they could leave and still enjoy the carnival for a little bit longer. Not to mention their full prize bags!

It was definitely a birthday party that will not be soon forgotten! Linking up to In the Studio. Go enjoy all those wonderful artists!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Burlap Wreath...As Promised

Today, it was raining. And I made slow cooker white chili. And wore my rain boots. You ask, what do all these have to do with? It officially felt like Fall for the first time this year.

What better way to bring in the Fall, than with this fun little project.

I've had this wreath ring for probably about 2 years, finding new places (a.k.a. corners) of my house to live in. Finally, I was inspired to do something with it.

First of all, I'll tell you the truth about me. If I can do a project without pulling out my sewing machine, all the better. And I'm even worse with just a needle and thread. I'm so not kidding. I sincerely value good sewing...I just don't find that very often when I sit down to sew. So, I decided to adapt Emily's amazing wreath into my own little cottage creation. Mine is much more rustic and shabby, but also was much easier for me to achieve!!

I started with cutting my burlap into strips.

Then, I wrapped the fabric around the wreath,
hot glueing it where it attached at the beginning of the strip,
and then at the end of the strip. I tried to leave it loose enough
to give the wreath nice texture without having it look too bulky.

Then, after the wreath was fully wrapped, I chose a spot to do a rag pile flower.

Layering the fall colors and fabrics one on top of the next,
it took shape after about 5 or 6 scraps.

To top off my flower, I decided to use a broken vintage broach
that I had snagged from the free pile of a yard sale.

Then, to finish it off, I made a fabric loop at the top,
to be able to hang it from a ribbon.

My front door loves her new look. I have to say, I think she's pretty cute, myself.

Definitely a Simple Pleasure.

Also, I'm excited to link up for my first time
at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformational Thursdays.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Drumroll Please...

Events by Design

We are excited to announce that we now have an online boutique! All of our retail items will now be found here. You can now shop online with ease, there is free shipping with purchases over $99, and it will always be shipped straight to you!

Because our passion is to help others bring celebration to life, most of our items are centered around giving personalized gifts. These are items that you can use as...

birthday gifts
special holidays

Or graduation gifts.

Or bridesmaids gifts

or teacher gifts

Or back to school gifts
or baby shower gifts...
You get the point. We have lots of new bags, jewelry, and market totes. To celebrate the opening of we're offering you a chance to win a $50 gift card!

All you have to do to enter the drawing is...

1. Register as a new user under my code "ML5".

2. Take a few minutes to go look around our new boutique and let us know what your favorite item is.

3. Get an extra entry if you "Like" Events by Design Facebook page.

4. Get ANOTHER entry if you facebook, blog, or twitter about this post!

*if you're more of a catalog shopper, simply click here to see our new catalog.

Make sure you comment here to let us know you're entering the drawing.
Thanks so much for checking out our fun new shop!
Linking up with In the Studio over at Jen's and with Emily at Chatting at the Sky!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Apple A Day...

One reason why I love being an event designer is because there is so much to celebrate in life. Even though sometimes, traditions can feel overwhelming and burdensome, there are lots of little things that you can do to celebrate every season.

One of our favorite things to do in the Fall is to go apple picking with friends and family! We pack a picnic lunch, and head out to our favorite local orchard. If you're not sure if you have one nearby, check here to see what farms are around you!

one of the reasons the kids love this orchard...tire swings!

in the orchard

enjoying the hayride!

If you're local Millstone Creek Orchard is a wonderful place to picnic, pick your own apples, purchase goodies from their little country store, and even go on a hayride.

It's always so much fun and a great way to start our season! Fall seems to be creeping in a little more every day around here. I bought my first bag of candy corn just yesterday, and can't wait to show you the burlap wreath I'm making later this week.

Be sure to go visit over at Emily's to see other simple celebrations of life.

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Did Someone Say Party?

Unlike most of the blogosphere, I haven't really gotten in the mood for Fall yet. I've been hanging on tightly to the last few days of summer. Making my favorite summer recipes just one more time, and wearing my summer skirts for possibly the last time until next year (except then I realize that it's still in the 90s and I have no need to fear).

Usually, I can tell that I'm ready to celebrate the next season when it starts to show up in my decor, or when I start planning activities revolving around it.

This past week, I've been designing a very fun birthday party that has definitely sparked my excitement for Fall. I don't want to tell you too much, because I'll have pictures after next week. I'll give you a tiny sneak peek if you promise to come back in two weeks to see the finished product. Leave your guesses in the comment section, and I might even give a little prize to the winner!!

Then, yesterday, I was browsing around Tablescape Thursdays, and found this fun party. And, you know me...I thought, what better way for me to get in the mood for Fall, than with a party! So, my kids and I went outside to collect some newly fallen treasures and get Flora looking her best.

I started in the kitchen, because it's always a good place to start.

Then, onto the living room.
I cut the last of my hydrangeas, still beautiful even in death.
Dried hydrangeas always end up in my Fall decor.
They remind of me of what has been, and what will come again.

And, as you can see here, I'm still not quite over summer...

But I'm much closer than I was.

Linking up to In the Studio Sneak Peek Fridays and A Stroll Through Life.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mantlescape Tea Time

My white mantle wanted to have a tea party.

She whined, "Why does the table always have the most fun?"

Always being a fan of tea time, I agreed to her request.

I told her the seating would be limited.

And the cups would be few.

But, none the less, the children would be invited.

And the party would be had.

Joining others in celebration at Tablescape Thursdays, Simple Pleasures, and Imperfect Prose.

Written Words

This morning, feeling sleepy and sore, a sweet little gift was unknowingly waiting for me in my mail.

With how technological our society has become, we seldom ever get notes just because. I was thinking the other day about how intentional people had to be with their relationships before these days when with the click of the computer, we can say "happy birthday" or send someone a little encouragement.

Even though I am extremely grateful for all my technology, it is quite a gift to be able to open up an envelope with my name on it. To be able to physically touch a piece of paper that another has written words on, especially for me.

Thank you, sweet friend, for your gift to me today. I am so grateful for how God has blessed my life with an abundance of friendships that I would not have apart from Him.

Celebrating today with others at Chatting at the Sky. Won't you join us?

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Rest of the Story

This past week I gave a presentation explaining more about my business, Events by Design. I used this Tobacco Barn Wedding as an example of how I love to pull together an event or wedding. I know I've already told you a little about this wedding, but now that I have the profess pics I wanted to tell you the rest of the story.

Once upon a time, on a hot summer day in North Carolina, there lived a couple who had a beautiful wedding...

When I first met this couple, the words I heard them repeat about how they wanted their wedding to feel were "simple... casual... country... fun." I thought to myself, "rustic beauty".

We started with the backdrop of this
beautiful tobacco barn at the lovely Yancey House.

We added this gorgeous stained glass window from the mother of
the bride's collection to make a more chapel like appearance.

Then, we tied mason jars with raffia, and filled them with the
most gorgeous country flowers you've ever seen...
...and used burlap table runners to stay close to the natural feel.

This antique Coke cooler used to be in the bride's Grandaddy's country store!
We filled it with little cokes to serve as their signature drink.
Don't ya just love it?!?

We had an activity table for the kids...planting their own seeds!

Tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, from local farms

Of course, we had to do these wildflower seed packets as favors...

And, remember when I asked you to take a guess at what this was used for?
This old wood stove became our favor table!
We even stuck the extra favors inside the stove
and pulled them out as necessary. A perfect hiding spot.

It all turned out to be an absolutely beautiful time...and so much fun!

And, yes, they are living happily ever after.

Oh, and if you look really close in that last picture, you'll see me, in my "studio". I'm the one standing in the back left corner, and smiling as big as the sun. The first dance is always one of my favorite parts of the wedding.

(Photography is thanks to the fabulous Stephanie Brown of Stephanie's Creative Photography.)

Linking up to Sneak Peek Fridays, with all those wonderful artists!