Bee is for Boy

July 31, 2010

**Due to popular demand, pictures are now larger! Also, visit partyfactory.shutterfly.com for all the pictures, including the worst picture of me EVER. Yum.**

Remember this preview?

http://partyfactory.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/its-about-time/

Well, Kelly’s Baby Shower has come and gone, and without a hitch. And it was perfect, exactly like I had imagined it. Except when I imagined it, I greeted my guests calmly, like Grace Kelly. Instead, I was a sweaty mess. But that was ok, because this party was NOT about me. It was about Matt and Kelly and their baby boy, James David. Who just so happens to be our Godson. It’s beyond special and happy, and two people who mean the world to me deserved a party that rewarded them for being such good friends and parents. Without further ado…

Instead of organized games, because it was a mixed shower, and because no way was I stretching out a piece of string to ‘fit around mommy’s belly’, I scattered a few ‘activities’ around the room. Branches held tags that guests could write guesses for James David’s birth date, weight, eye and hair color…all that good baby stuff. Guests could also leave JD wishes and blessings in a little notebook (that will become a small scrapbook of sorts for Matt and Kelly to remember the day. As soon as I get around to printing photos.), and play a matching game of celebrities and their baby photos. Which were actually hilarious. Antonio Banderas was the easiest. The celeb photos were hung on a fabric strip backdrop topped with paper garland.

I got a ‘honey’ of a deal (sorry) on these honeycomb vases that I can’t wait to use at every dinner party ever. My original plan was to use white daisies with yellow centers and black-eyed-susans as flowers, but while at the Athens Farmer’s Market one blissful Saturday inspiration struck in the form of the zinnias and sunflowers and wildflowers for sale by the local farmers. They were stunning. They had to be mine. And they were exactly the kinds of flowers I would want to buzz around if I were a bee. Polka dot cups held popcorn for snacking. Linens were black underlays with black and white toppers on the squares, black floor-length with a yellow sash on the hi-boys, and a floor-length stripe with a yellow topper on the food table. I love the striped linens. I wish I could have kept them!

Now for the delicious part: the food! I kept it simple, it was the middle of the afternoon, after all. Tea sandwiches and cupcakes. But not just any cupcakes: Lavender Honey and Orange Honey that were so delicious there were none left! Our specialty beverage of the day was a lavender champagne. I had so much fun ‘testing’ the lavender syrup and champagne…it was not a tough job at all. It’s my new favorite drink. I also planned on making a ginger syrup to add to mimosas, but the best laid plans usually lay where I left them. I did make toppers for the cupcakes out of the same papers and stamps used on the garlands and invitations, which made me happy because it took very little time but really pulled the cupcakes in to the party theme.

Guess which one is the mommy-to-be? That could be too easy. Kelly in the middle at the top, with us all cooing over the best baby shower accessory…a real, live baby! And a quiet one, taboot. Me setting up the food table, and then my hubby and me. And I look like a hot mess. But it was worth it – I think everyone enjoyed the party, and I must admit to being in a bit of post-party depression. It was just that good.

Can’t wait to meet you, James David! And to throw you amazing birthday parties.

Been a Little Busy

July 2, 2010

So much has happened since my last post… and over the next two days, I’ll publish all of the posts that I should have put up in June.

First, we’ll visit the Cocktail Party, the signature event of a golf tournament. I had a thousand-dollar budget, which made me a kid in a candy store! Of course we had to integrate the golf theme, and I found the preppiest plaid linen in kelly green and aqua shades, which made me think of the beach…so I wound up with a golf-at-the-beach theme. Pretty perfect for a hot summertime golf party, no?

I knew I wanted to build on the oceanside aspect of the theme and use golf as the accent, so I planned vases filled with golf balls submerged in water with floating candles, vases filled with sand sprouting coral and dune grass paired together on small tables and hi-boys. Tall vases filled with golf balls had glass and net bouys hanging from them, and tall vases filled with sand and shells. To emulate the plaid linens that I used on the specialty stations, I made plaid runners from chair ties and wide ribbons. I placed floral arrangements atop vases filled with sand and sea glass, and used all kelly green votives.

The menu signs were an actual picture of the plaid linen and a shadow outline of a shell with the menu item description in a white frame. There were even seashell candy¬†favors for the wives, with a cute sign that said, “Behind every great man is a great woman…” and thanked the wives for letting us steal their husbands for three days straight. The food was incredible, with a roast suckling pig, handmade fish tacos, literally a ton of shrimp cocktail and imported oysters, beautiful intricate desserts, crab cocktail, firecracker shrimp, carved beef tenderloin, and strawberries au poivre. Which is my new favorite dessert.

Above the seafood bars and fish taco station, I hung actual fishing nets and filled them with sea glass-colored paper lanterns with pinch lights (remember these from the Opus One dinner?) suspended in the middle. As the sun set, people began to notice they were lit from within and kept looking for the power cords. Heehee :) Pinch lights were also used in the giant wrought iron fish so it would ‘glow’, and submerged in vases filled with cracked ice gel, which we bought for the Opus dinner but didn’t use because it looked too modern. Which made it perfect for this party!

While the players and their wives really show up to this party for the food, the rockin’ band, the vodka slide and open bars…I was so proud to hear them say it was the prettiest the room has been for this event, and proud to still be receiving compliments three weeks after the party! It was a LOT of work. But I had fabulous help. And I can’t wait to do it again :)

Pics below, Party On!

Mrs. Stalvey’s Opus

June 2, 2010

It’s not often that I am able to decorate a room from top to bottom. Whether it be budget restraints, an outside vendor handling part of the decor, a very picky client…for whatever reason, full-on room design likes to elude me. And then, sometimes, the heavens shine down on a sister and gift me a gem, a jewel, a party without a budget. {insert choirs of angels}

Introducing the Opus One Wine Dinner, a wonderful concept to utilize a 6 liter Methuselah that has been resting in our wine storage for Methuselah-knows how long. Well, not long enough to spoil, thank goodness. So, menus were made, shockingly expensive wines were paired, and my work co-hort, Donna, and I got down to the business of making the tables and room reflect the price of the event, making people feel as though they were really pampered. We started with the Opus One logo, which is this gorgeous shade of navy with a little gray mixed in. This led to damask tablecloths with toppers and chair ties in pewter, and napkins repeating the damask.

The flowers were a labor of love, literally. The first ‘draft’ was a little too modern for the rest of the room, so we changed the gameplan and aimed for a more traditional feel. But still used square and rectangle vases, white roses next to fiji mums, classic fluffy chrysanthemums lit from behind with pinch lights. We managed to funk it up a bit. And the overall effect was…perfect.

And not to toot our own horn {toot, toot!}, but we received compliments from the Opus One reps AND received a standing ovation during the dinner. I’m just glad the boss-man liked it. So go drink some expensive wine (it was delicious, by the way), set a pretty table, get you some flowers and don’t ever think that traditional can’t be fun. And funky. Party On!

Alabama Slamma

May 25, 2010

Recently, hubby was on a work trip that took him to the home of his dad and family in Mobile, Alabama, so we decided I should fly down and meet him and turn it into a family reunion of sorts. Cheap flights definitely helped in this endeavor, but I was not quite prepared for the ittybittyteenyweeny plane I took from Athens to Atlanta to meet my flight to Mobile. So small that I conversed with my pilots the whole way. Oh, and I was the only passenger on this sardine can, so it was a private ittybittyteenyweeny plane ride. For $40, that’s pretty good! As long as your life insurance is up to date…

Upon arrival in Mobile, we ate delicious seafood (inland restaurants, take note, that’s what oysters REALLY look like), drove over bridges and under tunnels, drove through historic Mobile neighborhoods, found our dream home (come on, lottery!), and stumbled upon a neighborhood association soiree where every house dolled up and strung paper lanterns and twinkle lights down the street…breathtaking! I would love to live in that neighborhood. If it were in Athens. I pretty much lucked out in the in-laws department, they are so sweet and fun and I do love spending time with them, and our nephew Lincoln is just about unnaturally cute. That’s just home field advantage, right there.

It’s about time…

May 25, 2010

For some babies! This is the veryfirst time I have ever had close friends expecting a new arrival, and it is just so exciting. Pregnant ladies are beautiful (y’all ARE!) and I am thrilled and honored to throw my bestie, Kelly, a baby shower to celebrate the impending arrival of baby James David McDonald. Or, as I like to call my future obsession and hug magnet, Baby JD (with a thug-for-life emphasis on the D). It sounds tough.

But before he arrives and turns us all into puddles of goo, we must party! And show him a good time, even in utero. The shower of the century may not be until July, but this party monster has a full schedule and must begin preparations asap. Today I made paper garlands using a 2″ hole punch and scrapbooking paper (god help me if I ever decide to scrapbook…there are way too many fun accessories to buy and hoard) and grosgrain ribbon. Unlike craft projects that become a time-suck, these paper garlands were easy and had that instant gratification factor that I love and need to keep from abandoning a project halfway through.

Many more details of Kelly’s Baby Shower to come, one day closer to meeting my little squish, and one day closer to Kelly officially becoming a hot mama. Enjoy the pics below, a sort of sneak peek, and Party On!

I can decorate the mess out of your house. I can plan you an awesome party. I can make you some flower arrangements that will knock your socks off. But for some reason unknown to me, I have not been able to decorate our condo to the point that I consider ‘finished’. J feels me. So I have embarked on a journey of specific projects, aimed at polishing our ‘in-progress’ abode. Not being able to paint (can I just buy the WALL and not the condo? I just want to paint.) has put a hurting on my ideal plans, but I have discovered vinyl wall art on etsy.com and that plus a few choice items and some new artwork (soon!) will go a long way toward completing: Project Condo.

P.S. – I’m on a plane. Posting. Right Now. Cool, huh? :)

Sweet Thirteen

May 8, 2010

As partial as I am to the number 13, it seems only fitting that we have had an epidemic of 13-year-old birthdays as of late. I’m a big fan. The kids all want dance parties, which is so much fun and so easy that the little, fun touches are that much more standout! Tonight’s birthday shoutout goes to Larsen B., whose whole family kindly obliged her wishes to dress in the color scheme…sound like anyone you know? ;) Happy Birthday, Larsen, and Party On!

From top left: Various ribbons in LB's colors, laid out and getting ready to be placed on the birthday cake, which was a large square with very clean edges. Cupcakes in the party's colors and, of course, monograms for that preppy touch. Along with cake and cupcakes, there was a candy station outfitted in matching ribbons with coordinated candies. Balloons in the party's colors finish off the food display.

Saturday’s flower job was for a Mother-Daughter Graduation Luncheon. Since it also happened to be Derby Day (go, Super Saver!), I thought that sweet little boquets of Pink Roses and Green Viburnum would be precious in julep cups and look springy and feminine. Note to self, check borrowed julep cups for tarnish earlier in the future. I am, luckily, one of those people who keep all manner of silver polish on hand, but it was quite the rush getting them all done and making the arrangements in the morning. I may be addicted to the flower wholesaler, which is ok by me because otherwise the ATH>ATL>ATH drive at the crack of dawn would have been torture. But knowing there would be oodles of pretties waiting for me in the big warehouse and then getting to take some home and play made it all worth it.
To finish off the look, and keep the graduates and their mothers in the girly-party mood, I tied pink tulle bows on champagne flutes and had pink sparkling punch, because bubbles make everything better. Up next, Mother’s Day! (Y’all don’t forget about your mama’s, now.)

Enjoy the pics below, have a happy Monday, and Party On!

Official Good Mood Day

April 28, 2010

So, I’m pretty much fed up with people in sour moods lately, especially those who take it out on people who have nothing to do with their bad mood. To help dispel this cloud of not-happy that is following people, around, I have dubbed April 28th the first annual Official Good Mood Day. Look at pretty things and BE HAPPY, people! Sheesh. Enjoy, and party on ;)

Good air in, bad air out. Deep breaths.

Last weekend, I was lucky enough to complete my first two paying gigs as a small-time florist. One for an amazing woman who turned 80 years old this month and I am grateful to call a friend, and another to introduce a group of UGA students to the cuisine of their future host country, Italy! Photos from the birthday party will be coming soon, promise, but in the meantime, here is a photo board of the arrangements. From the overwhelming flower market (in my excitement, I was unable to hold the camera still, so only a few pictures turned out) to the finished product. Voila! And …Party On!

Fun with Flowers

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