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PARTY ideas + decor

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Micheals Arrival to Quebec Starts with a Search for a Creative Ambassador

michaels quebec contest judges photo

michaels quebec contest judges photo
Ah no! Taken at a moment where I relaxed my smile. 

Today, I am happy to talk about the latest social media campaign where I am involved as a judge. Michaels, the North America’s largest specialty retailer of arts and craft, is finally opening stores in Quebec. Michaels does it large with the opening of 7 stores in fall 2012 — 6 in the greater Montreal area and 1 in Ottawa. It is a news that will put a smile to every creative girls in the city.

Michaels is committed to serve the French market the right way. For that reason, Michaels wants to hire a Creative Ambassador in Quebec. To find the ideal candidate, they launched the biggest social media creative hobby contest never launched in Quebec earlier this week.

And I am one of the judge! I share the judging duties with Ginette Lorrain, the host of La Bosse des Noces that aired at Canal-Vie, and Isabelle Quinn, the owner of Sweet Isabelle. You may recall Sweet Isabelle from my son’s first birthday party. Isabelle donated the animal lollipop cookies that I gave to the guests.

One afternoon in May, we filmed my first scripted video in a studio. I was a little bit intimidating to be filmed with a pro like Ginette who has 15 years of TV experience in front of the camera. But I think that I managed to deliver something good. This experience gave me a deeper appreciation of the work that actors and TV hosts do. I got to see what happens behind the scenes and watch the work of the filming crew. Making a video is a team effort; it requires more work that I imagined. You can watch it. Even if you might not understand the words — it is all in French — you will feel the fun concept behind it.

If you, or someone you know, live in Quebec and you enjoy creating art and craft projects, I invite you to film your own video and enter the contest. The first prize is a 1-year job contract at Michaels! You have until July 16th, 2012 to submit your entry. Spread the word! It is a awesome job opportunity for a creative person.

For more details, visit À la recherche de l’ambassadeur créatif de Micheals au Québec contest page.

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Yuri’s Night in Montreal

hoop danse with yuri's night banner

hoop danse

Two weeks ago I attended the fifth edition of Yuri’s Night in Montreal. This is a party to commemorate the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. The party was organized by my artist friend Bettina Forget. I must say that she raised the bar this year. The theme was spaceport. We had to fill an online visa information form to be admitted to the party. She made out fun questions.

spaceport travellers information

As we entered the party room, we were greeted with a travellers information screen. I estimated that she made about 20 different slides. Bettina went as far as associating planet names with sci-fi series using their specific stardate. That was cool!

Costumes

yuri's night costumes

Guests are encouraged to wear costumes at a Yuri’s night party. Bettina even brought some costume accessories, wigs, boa scarves that people can borrow for the night. Doing this encourages more people to dress for the occasion. Aluminum foil was very popular as a last minute material. I saw many imaginative uses of aluminium that night.

yuri's night

I dressed as a stylish space traveller. I wore a yellow and beige dress that reminded me of the fashion used by space TV shows in the 1960s, a blue wig, my stylish sci-fi inspired Anemone handbag that I wore as a backpack and a scrolling LED name badge to display a space political message on my belt. Sadly, we did not took a photo of my outfit. But you can see the style of my hair.

Activities

hoop danse with yuri's night banner

Bettina used acrylic paint and a projector to make a large banner with Yuri’s Night logo. This way, she can reuse it every year. The banner is used as a photo booth. It provided a nice backdrop for the lively performance of Hoop Danse. The girls gave us a good show.

The shadow wall was a cool activity. Bettina Our host Michealson covered a big sheet with blacklight paint. You could stand in front of the canvas and turn on the black lights towards the canvas for 5 to 10 seconds. Turn off the light and move. You will see your shadow. You can also use a laser pointer to draw on the canvas. They  He posted an instruction sheet that explained how to proceed (see above, next to my picture).

Yuri’s Night was a wonderful party. I can’t wait for the 2013 edition.

+ photos by Kim Vallee

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Party Must-Have: Confetti Bunting by Engel

confetti bunting

confetti bunting

I am pretty sure that if you hang these retro fabric confetti buntings, they would be a hit with your party guests as much as the giant balloons of two weeks ago.

Since they seem to only be available in The Netherlands and in United Kindgom, you may consider making your own with your fabric leftovers.

SOURCING:
Confetti Bunting € 16,50 at Engel
+ Confetti Bunting £18 at The Balcony Gardener

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Party Must-Have: The Giant Round Balloons Decorated by Geronimo Balloons

geronimo party ballons stylish

geronimo party ballons stylish

Balloons are often a must at birthdays and big parties. The ones from Geronimo Ballons stand up for two reasons: first, Jihan “Jihanimo” Zencirli only uses 36-inch perfectly round ballons and second, it is how she uniquely decorated each one with fancy frill. They are made to order.

geronimo ballons decorated ribbons

Hand-cut fine paper, fringe, long trail of ribbons, metallic decorations and my favorite, the stylish party balls, transform her balloons into unforgettable creations. They make great props for photo booth pictures.

geronimo ballons with frill

The studio of Geronimo Ballons is located in downtown Los Angeles. The good news is that there is no need to live in LA to enjoy them at your next party since they can ship flat the ballon(s) and frill within the United States. You will simply need to fill it with helium at a local party store and affix the decorated ribbons. One 36″ round balloon holds the equivalent helium of approximately 30 regular balloons.

SOURCING:
+ Party Balloon by Geronimo Balloons – $60 to $200 USD per ballon

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Dinner Party Ideas: The Making of a Moroccan-Inspired Table

moroccan-inspired dinner table mood board

moroccan-inspired dinner table mood board

Ethnic cuisine is still the most popular dinner party theme. People likes it because it is easy to organize and get the look based on the menu you plan to serve.

Your tabletop should set the tone of your dinner party. Start by selecting the dinnerware and table linens. Since you probably do not wish to invest in plates and serving dishes that you will use only one time, it is best to opt for dinnerware “inspired by” versus the real thing.

I created a Moroccan-inspired mood board composed of  tableware that you will be to use over and over for both indoor and outdoor entertaining. Typically, guests eat with their hands at a Moroccan feast. This is not a popular custom for us. Therefore, I went with the standard place settings. You can still serve each dish family style in big serving plates, fish trays or tagines.

moroccan-inspired table

The Jali Lattice Dinnerware, as suggested by West Elm’s stylists, have the right vibe. Plates and bowls are sold by pack of 4. Complement the table with a few truly Moroccan metal bowls that you will find at a speciality shop.

I also like the modern feel of the Chase Blue Plate layered with pool blue Max dinnerware from Crate and Barrel (top picture). For a casual look, pair it with the amber or the turquoise dimpled glassware series. You can put flowers in recycled glass jars as simple centrepieces.

SOURCING:
+ Jali Lattice Dinnerware Salad plates and bowls $34 USD, Dinner plate $47 on sale at West Elm
+ Hammered Small Dish Bowl $5 USD | $5.19 CAD at West Elm
Chase Blue Plate $5.95 USD | $7.38 CAD at Crate & Barrel
+ Max Pool Blue dinnerware on sale at $59.95 USD | $74.36 CAD at Crate & Barrel
+ Dimmed Glassware set on sale $ $13 – $32 USD| $13.44 to $33.08 CAD at West Elm
+  Recycled glass jars on sale $ $19 – $29 USD| $19.64 to $29.98 CAD at West Elm

 

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Deck the Walls with Umbra Snap Frames

deck the walls

deck the walls

Here is a fun party activity or decor that you can use over and over. You could use the Umbra Snap frames to display your favorite photos of the guest of honor or to enhance the party theme. If you have a photo booth at your party, use them to create a place where people could hang their photos. I like the fact that your guests can write on them to comment their photos or give you their wishes.

Umbra Snap frame for a party decor

The Snap frames come in white, black and red in a pack of 9. I prefer the white ones for their versatility.

SOURCING:
+ For Canadians: Umbra Snap Frames in White $19.99 CAD at Amazon.ca [affiliate link]
+ For Americans: Umbra Snap Frames, Set of 9 $17.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Sleeping Under The Tent Vignette

Oh To Dream Bedding

Oh To Dream Bedding

I am not into quilt bedding. I am aware that quilts are experiencing a revival thanks to more modern designs, but quilt bedding is not me. Having said that, I was seduced by the charms of this styled picture for the Anthropologie catalogue. It must be the nostalgia of seeing the last warm days summer; we just had Indian summer in Montreal.

Oh To Dream quilt Bedding

Rebecca Rebouche, a native Louisianan working in New Orleans, designed the “Oh To Dream” line of hand-quilted voile and poplin bedding. You could reproduce her “sleep under the tent” vignette for an indoor camping pajama party. I am sure that the kids would love that idea.

SOURCING:
Oh To Dream Quilt Bedding $118.00–$448.00 USD at Anthropologie

 

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Little Box Man Party Theme and Activities

crossing the log by Anton Tang

Admiring these beautiful artistic pictures featuring a little box man gave me the idea for an awesome way to entertain the kids at a party or during summer. First of all, if you are wondering where you can buy them, it is available at the Japanese site of Amazon. Called Danboard, the box men are available in two sizes: 80mm (3 inches) and 130mm (5 inches).

robot box man photos by Alexander Gorshkov

If you feel up to the challenge, you could try to make your own. And then, teach the kids how to do it. I like this craft idea because it is creative and original. It is also an activity that is suitable for girls and boys.

little box man pulling a rose

You will need to supply the kids with tiny boxes, wires, strings, glue, paint, crayons and scissors. Prepare a few photo shoot sets ahead of time. Also bring some props to let the kids improvise. You can hire a photographer or ask a couple friends who are very good with the camera to take pictures. Plan some time at the end of the party to watch a slideshow of the best creations.

little box man :: Alexander Gorshkov Photography

If the kids are older, you could plan a photo tour across your neighborhood. For inspirations on the type of places or the props that you should look for, I invite you to browse the awesome photo galleries of two photographers: Alexander Gorshkov (All About Danboard) and Anton Tang. Both blogs are pure eye candy.

SOURCING:
+ photos: Anton Tang
+ photos: All About Danboard

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Shower Them With An Ice Cream Party

ice cream sundae bar vintage outdoor party shower

Not only is today the official start of summer, it’s the official start of shower season, when busy bridal parties fête the blushing bride-to-be, and soon-to-be-moms are celebrated.

If you think ice cream is just for kid’s birthday parties, take a peek at these perfectly planned bridal showers. This theme is a, well, cool alternative to the traditional tea party, adding a double-scoop of vintage charm and fresh elegance.

Ice Cream Sundae Bar
Since it won’t take more than a trip to the frozen food section to plan the menu, you can focus on adding extras to create a make-your-own sundae station.

ice cream party vintage outdoor shower

A muted chocolate-and-vanilla palette allows paper details on the containers and cones to pop. Ice cream cone cups also make clever vessels for sundae toppings.

ice cream sundae bar vintage outdoor party shower

Dress Up Store-Bought Snacks
In this case, simple scrapbook paper, colourful twine and labels with an old-fashioned look go a long way in helping zero-effort store-bought snacks to look like too-good-to-eat treats.

ice cream party sandwiches wrap paper shower

ice cream party sundae bar paper shower

Again, look for creative objects to display ice cream extras. Here, a thrifted tabletop ferris wheel is the perfect carrier for candy toppings.

Ice Cream, Italian-Style

ice cream party gelato ruffled wedding shower

The creme-de-la-creme of ice cream parties doesn’t actually include ice cream at all. The pastel shades of gelato are the inspiration for both the menu and party palette in feminine shades of pink, green and orange.

ice cream party gelato shower paper invitations menu

Simple floral arrangements in paper cones are a creative nod to the ice cream theme, while tissue paper blooms create a pretty backdrop. The party planners kept things personal by including the guest-of-honour’s name on the paper cones and gelato containers.

ice cream party gelato shower tablescape

Mix-and-match dishes have vintage charm that reinforce the girly vibe.

Free Ice Cream Themed Printable
Put this cute collection of ice cream-themed printables from Eat Drink Chic to work as tags on shower favours or string them together as a banner.

ice cream party printable

SOURCING:
+ Ice Cream Sundae Bar from The Sweetest Occasion
Ice Cream Birthday from A Subtle Revelry
+ Heels and Gelato Party from Ruffled
+ Free Ice Cream Printable from Eat Drink Chic

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Party Supplies from Acme Party Box Company

acme party box cottage floral tablescape

acme party box cottage floral tablescape

Parties are all fun and games until it comes time for clean up. Worse still is the pang of guilt when you see how much garbage your small yet sociable gathering generates. After all, it’s easy to get carried away in decor and menu planning without a thought toward hosting an eco-responsible party.

Enter Acme Party Box Company, an online shop specializing in eco-responsible tableware, favours and party decorations – all created to be reused and enjoyed over and over again. This doesn’t mean rough recycled paper napkins and colourless decor though. Acme design their wares with modern colourways and charming themes with both adults and kids in mind.

If you need to plan a party – and plan it fast – opt for a “Party Box”. Each box includes custom letterpress invitations; table linens (fabric napkins, bunting, favour bags and a table runner!); favours; bamboo tableware and utensils; and centrepiece standbys like candlesticks and vases.

acme party box bunting favor bags

My favourite is the ultra-feminine Cottage Floral theme. It would be perfect for an outdoor bridal/baby shower, or for a sophisticated little girl’s birthday party. Just need a few extra essentials? You can also purchase items individually to freshen your existing supplies. I’ll definitely be adding a few of these super cute glass drinking jars for warm weather gatherings.

acme party box glass drinking jars

Want a little party planning guidance? Acme also has a free, downloadable instruction sheet and planning checklist to help your soirée on its way.

Are you planning any parties this spring? Will you follow a theme or stick to the basics?

SOURCING:
+ Acme Party Boxes, from $290 USD
+ Glass Drinking Jars (Box of 12), $36 USD
+ Free Party Planning Guides
+ Photos: Acme Party Box

ENTERTAINING PARTY ideas + decor

Book Exchange Party by Reid Girls Handmade

book exchange party invite table decor

book exchange party invite table decor

If you’re the kind of person who has a hard time parting with books, you’ll love this idea spotted at Reid Girls Handmade: a book exchange party!

Naturally, all of the party elements are inspired by books – from the invites to the decor and even the favours. Guests received this charming invitation designed to look like library book card. Each guest brought a wrapped book and filled out a bookplate (which was included with the invitation) to write a note to the new owner of their book. Old book pages were used to create a garland and food labels featured quotes from famous novels and authors.

book exchange party table decor

Speaking of food, what does one serve at a book exchange party? Exactly the type of food that makes you want to curl up under a blanket with a good book: homemade soup and grilled cheese sandwiches!

book exchange party decor food soup sandwich

As a party favour, guests received handmade book journals and bookmarks made from pretty paper and scrapbooking materials, stuffed inside an appropriately named “book bag”.

book exchange party favour favor decor

Not only is this a party idea that works at any time of the year, it’s a great option for a “girlfriends” get together, an easy way to clean off your bookshelves and gain a new read all at the same time.

And if you are into books, you may wish to revisit the Book Club Party by Guest Blogger Jennifer Mitchell of Design Hole.

SOURCING:
+ Book Exchange Party Instructions and Printables from Reid Girls Handmade
+ Photos: Reid Girls Handmade