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May 17, 2011

CELEBRATE: Picnic Parade Party!

I have been very ANTSY about sharing my Picnic Parade in the Shade! Crawling with colorful prints and adorable ANTS that you'll actually want to invite to your next party! This party has also been featured on Hostess {with the mostess} Blog!

Surrounded by summer picnic inspired decor, you will enjoy yards and yards of FUN, YUMMY food, COOL drinks and refreshing WATERMELON fans at this get-together. Both adults and kids can relax, chit-chat, fill their bellies and entertain themselves with outdoor activities. March one by one to this backyard where you will find an old red barn which was the perfect casual setting!

The dining table was draped with a red and white checkered tablecloth trimmed in yellow rick rack ribbon. Red flowers planted inside a small carved watermelon was the centerpiece. Glass WATERMELON plates, red bucket candles and an ANT shaped serving dish filled with checkered print dinner mints were also placed in the center. On top of the grass placemats were lime green glass chargers, watermelon plates, wooden watermelon slice napkin rings and DIY watermelon napkins. Lime green plastic silverware and a personal place card were next to each place setting.

Welcome Area:
As a friendly introduction, guests were greeted with a welcome sign, yellow and green flowers inside black iron lanterns on a small wood picnic table. Yellow and white paper lanterns were swagged in the back. A 3-tiered iron plant stand held red, yellow and white ceramic planters with wire gingham ribbon around the rims and ANT clips dangled in front. The planters were filled with chilled bottles of soda, mints and handheld paper flags. Red and green watermelon decorated balloons were tied to a fence post.

Food Table:
Tacked to the barn's exterior was a "PICNIC PARADE" penant banner hung with checked ribbon. A large picnic basket lined in black and white polka dot fabric was in the middle of the table and overflowed with paper plate watermelon shaped fans. Classic picnic food including sandwiches, ants on log, potato chips, corn on the cob, watermelon jello pops and watermelon chocolate chip cupcakes were displayed on white ceramic plates and black wire baskets. Guests were also encouraged on the invitations to bring a dish to add to the table. A parade of ANTS marched through carrying handcrafted fake picnic food and a tiny flag. Off to the side was a miniature bicycle with tiny bows tied to the handle bars. Bright polka dot mini pinwheels were lined up in the grass.

Party Favors:
Fresh watermelon balls were placed inside glass jars covered in watermelon print labels and topped with red fabric laced in tiny white zig zag ribbon. A lime green ribbon bow held a plastic fork and watermelon ant circle tag. 

Party styling: the Creative Orchard (Renee Hagloch) 
Printable party designs: PICNIC PARADE collection available in the Creative Orchard Shop

May 13, 2011

CREATE: Watermelon Napkins

To coordinate with my Picnic Parade party theme, I handmade these watermelon napkins. I am definitely not a good sewer yet, so I used fabric glue, but you could easily sew everything instead. The entire project was quick and easy, it takes less than 15 minutes to make one napkin.

1. Scissors
2. Fabric glue or white thread & sewing needle
3. Black standard size cloth napkin
4. Red and white checkered fabric
5. Spool of 1 1/2 inch green ribbon
6. Green acrylic craft paint
7. Small paint brush
8. Spool of 1/2 inch white zig zag/rick rack ribbon
9. Small black buttons (Qty. 24)
Step 1: Glue a piece of red and white checkered fabric in the middle of the black napkin and leave a thin edge all around the outer perimeter.

Step 2: Glue the green ribbon around the outer perimeter of the black napkin. Fold corners as neatly as possible.
Step 3: Using a darker green acrylic craft paint and paint brush, paint random thin and thick vertical stripes on the green ribbon. 
Step 4: Glue the white zig zag/rick rack ribbon on the inner edge of the green ribbon, cut at each corner.

Step 5: Place the small black buttons in a random pattern in all four corners of the napkin to mimic watermelon seeds. Glue the buttons in place.
For a napkin ring, try using a wooden watermelon slice, ribbon bow or an ant clip. Here are photos from my Picnic Parade party for ideas on how to display your new watermelon napkins and visit my shop for the matching printable party designs!

May 3, 2011

CELEBRATE: 1st Seusstastical Birthday!

Since this is my first "FRESH FEATURE" blog post, I thought it was important to show the first party I ever styled. Last year was my son, Allen's 1st birthday. Because he already had so many toys and clothes, I came up with the idea to have a book party. When guests asked what they should bring, I said books or games to build Allen's home library. The book theme was focused around one of my favorite authors from my childhood, DR. SEUSS!
INSPIRATION: Ideas for the Seusstastical celebration were inspired by a website called Seussville and Dr. Seuss books. Once I started collecting Seuss items I found everywhere, the ideas just kept going and going...Oh, the places my ideas will go! 
DECOR: Coordinating plates, cups, napkins, favors, pencils, balloons, t-shirt, bib and recycled tote bags were ordered from Seussland. Red plastic tablecloths were cut into thick strips and placed over white tablecloths to mimic the stripes on Cat's hat. Two tiny ribbons were tied in a knot around plastic spoons and forks. Bright, multi-colored clusters of balloons were throughout the entire party.

CENTERPIECES: For the main centerpieces I recycled clay cardboard boxes and decorated them like birthday presents with bows, ribbon and wrapping paper. Inside I placed plush Dr. Seuss characters and coordinating books that I collected from second-hand sources that were originally from the Kohls Cares for Kids collection. The colorful truffula trees (pin wheels), polka dot ribbon, tissue paper and letter confetti were all found at Hobby Lobby.

PRINTABLE DESIGNS: Other printed party designs were scattered throughout the party, such as bookmarks, noise makers, buttons, circle labels and a 1st birthday logo.

INVITATIONS: The mini book party invitations were each custom made by me for my personal use ONLY. Some of the wording and illustrations were borrowed from various Dr. Seuss books - "The Cat in the Hat", "Horton Hears a Who!", "Fox in Socks", "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish", "The Lorax" and my personal favorite "Green Eggs and Ham". ATTENTION: I AM NOT ABLE TO EMAIL OR PROVIDE THE TEXT FROM THE INVITATION SEEN IN THIS POST. SORRY.

CAKE: Wow...fondant is a challenge the first time you use it! I probably should have done a more simple cake but after watching a show called "The Cake Boss", I felt ambitious and wanted my only child's first cake to be amazing. Originally I was going to make a multi-tiered tilted cake...good thing I came to my senses! With the help of my mom, we used fondant and crispy treats to mold objects - cat hat, boat, teacup, goldfish, ball, book and kite seen inside "The Cat in the Hat" story. 

FOOD & DESSERTS: Circle tag labels were designed for each item of food and enhanced with polka ribbon. Dr. Seuss menu included: Green Deviled Eggs, Sam I Am Ham Sandwiches, Sneetches Treats, Cat Hat JELLO, If I Ran the Circus Whale Crackers, Oh the Places You'll Go Lollipops, One Fish Two Fish Gummy Fish, Thing 1 & Thing 2 M&M's, Sneetches Starbursts, Lorax Pixy Stix and Hop on Pop Ring Pops. Placemats were cut-out into circles from solid colored scrapbook paper.
ACTIVITIES: When the kids weren't eating or at the playground, Dr. Seuss activities and supplies were available. Puzzles, books, notebooks, educational flash cards, pencils and crayons. "Oh the fun we'll have!" party activity guides were pdf's found online at Target promoting Read Across America. Copies for each child were printed and tied with ribbon.

PARTY FAVORS: The table decor performed double duty and were turned into party favors as each guest exited the party. Inside each recycled tote bag included a used Dr. Seuss book, handmade bookmark, pin wheel, bouncy ball, soft stretchy ball and candy.

Would you, could you, come to play? Afterwards, the BIRTHDAY BOY finally got to play on the slide at the park! His second birthday party theme is currently in progress and it's printable party designs will be available in June!
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