A Is For Apple :: A Baby Shower

A few of my girlfriends and I recently hosted an intimate gathering to honor a dear friend who was expecting her second child, a little girl. Since she didn’t want a(nother) big shower or any of her friends spending lots of time and money on decor and food, we kept it very simple. If you know me or have seen some of the other events I designed, you understand how challenging it was for me to ‘keep it simple’. :-) Here are a few lovely photos showing the cute decor details I put together:

Handmade "G is for Girl" garland.

Handmade “G is for Girl” garland.

Delicious food served by Linda Edson, amazingly talented chef and owner of Aracely Restaurant in San Francisco.

Delicious food served by Linda Edson, amazingly talented chef and owner of Aracely Restaurant in San Francisco.

Tasty desserts made and styled by Linda.

Tasty desserts made and styled by Linda.

walker_baby2_shower_003

Emma didn’t mind that I borrowed her chalkboard easel from IKEA.

I used organic apples, baker's twine and designed cute Thank You tags to make the favors.

I used organic apples, baker’s twine and designed cute Thank You tags to make the favors.

Brown lunch bags held a little treat for the guests to take home.

Brown lunch bags held a little treat for the guests to take home.

Love the apple stamp I found at Paper Source.

Love the apple stamp I found at Paper Source.

Credits:

Photography by Paco and Betty

Food by Linda Edson (Aracely Restaurant)

Emma’s Dedication :: The Reception

(I’d like to dedicate (ha, get it) this post to our dear friends and family who joined us in celebrating Emma’s day. Especially, Paul’s family who hailed all the way from SoCal. I just wished my family could have been there.)

As promised, here’s more about Emma’s dedication. This is the reception post (or ‘after party’ like Paul called it), you can read all about the church ceremony here.

Now that I’m a mother, I can finally use my child as an excuse to host parties and craft all this cute decor stuff that I used to design for my business, Wishcraft Design.

As much as we would have loved to have more friends join us for the ‘after party’ at our house, we had to keep this celebration small for budget reasons. Speaking of which, I’m proud to announce that I managed to only go $30 over budget. (Which is a HUGE success for me. Not too long ago, I didn’t even set myself a budget for occasions like these. Yet alone ask Mr. Thrasher for his opinion on the budget.)

I’ll let the pictures do the talking first. And then I’ll share the menu and sources with you. Oh, and if you like what you see, feel free to share, post, tweet or comment.

A bright and cheery color palette and tasty food made for a fun dessert table.

Supporting local small businesses is always fun and I’ll try to do that whenever possible. These mini cupcakes came from Mission Minis. I scored a Plum District coupon and saved it for almost a year just so I could redeem it for Emma’s special day.

Mini cupcakes are just too cute (and tasty) to not be part of a dessert table.

One of my favorite recent ‘party equipment’ purchases: 20 white coffee mugs ‘Fargrik‘ and silverware ‘Dragon‘ from IKEA. At only $.99 a pop for the coffee mugs, I am pretty excited about this eco-friendly and posh alternative to plastic silverware, paper cups (I only got a few for the cold drinks) or even worse styrofoam (is anyone really still buying these?). I mean, it wasn’t smart if I was only using these for one event but I know there will be plenty of occasions where I’ll be able to put them to use. And before I know it they will be amortized and I’ll never have to buy paper cups or plastic silverware again.

The coffee bar with my brand spanking new coffee mugs.

Food & Beverages:

Strawberry Cake (Safeway)
Yellow Cake with Marzipan (homemade)
Carrot Cake (Trader Joe’s)
Mini Cupcakes (Mission Minis, San Francisco)
Cake Pops (homemade – recipe to follow)
Almond Ring Danish (Trader Joe’s)
Macaroons (Whole Foods)
Mini Chocolate Bars (Trader Joe’s)
M&Ms
Coffee (w/Half & Half, Milk)
Organic Pink Lemonade (Trader Joe’s)
Izze Orange Soda (next time, I’ll get glass bottles, promise)
San Pellegrino

Serverware, Party Decor & Craft Materials:

Pink paper plates, paper cups and napkins (Party City)
Vellum paper, scrapbook paper, round craft punch (Paper Source, Michaels)
Orange paper straws (Amazon.com)
Coffee mugs (IKEA)
Silverware (IKEA)
Glass milk bottles (Bed, Bath & Beyond – no longer available)
Vintage coffee thermos pot (gift from MIL who never used it)
Beverage tub and stand (Target – no longer available)
Various cake stands and platters (Ross, T.J. Maxx, Costco) 

Now, off to gathering ideas and inspiration for Emma’s first birthday party. I’m thinking Red and Aqua and Penguins.

 

Napa Valley Wine Train Wedding

A Napa Valley wedding I designed while I was four months pregnant. The bride and groom picked a winery theme and a color palette of Chocolate, Aubergine and Pear.

ak_det_069

Green votives with purple decor sand.

ak_det_058

The bridal couple designed their monogram themselves. And I incorporated it for all the buffet signs.

ak_det_056

Sweet treats.

ak_det_052

The “guest book”: Guests wrote postcards with vintage winery motives and dropped them into a mailbox.

ak_det_043

The bridal bouquet. Always honored when a bride trusts me with the “centerpiece” of her bridal outfit.

ak_det_039

A welcoming refreshment for thirsty guests. July in Napa = hot!

ak_det_029

The aisle chairs were decorated with wine bottles filled with a calla lily and purple branches.

ak_det_030

Sophisticated chair decor.

Credits:

Photography by Paco and Betty

Beers And Brats :: A Dude’s Birthday Party

Back in the days when I had my own event design company Wishcraft Design, I crafted a few, lovely parties on behalf of my clients. This was my first event for my first official client.

A loving wife hired me to come up with an original idea to celebrate her fun, beer-loving 30-something husband. I designed an intimate setting for a Beers And Brats Birthday Party including details like cupcake toppers, chocolate bar wrappers and signage for the buffet crafted out of maps of San Francisco. (The couple was only in town for a quick visit but was planning to move to San Francisco a few months later.) Did I mention that my client and I planned and organized the whole event via a secret email address and while we were on opposite coasts? (Read her kind review of my services on Yelp here.)

‘Nuff said, here are a few photos.

The birthday boy’s name started with a ‘W’ and he turned 36.

1.BeerTastingParty_CIMG0511

A selection of the finest brews.

1.BeerTastingParty_CIMG0486

Lovingly crafted chocolate bar wraps made from San Francisco maps.

1.BeerTastingParty_CIMG0484

Treat yourself!

1.BeerTastingParty_CIMG0510

Cheers!

Woodlands :: A “Germanized” Baby Shower

My client hired me to create a Winnie The Pooh-themed baby shower for her German-born friend and mom-to-be. Instead of giving her the cute but obvious Pooh Bear, I suggested to go with an authentic 100 Acre Woods theme and created a woodland tablescape. The hostess’ house was large and the weather sunny enough to extend the event to her lovely backyard. I loved seeing how surprised the mom-to-be was when she discovered all the little details like a traditional German children’s book as the guest book, original German candy and an entire table covered in moss and wood. (Ok, that wasn’t necessarily a small detail.)

5.BabyShower_578

A book of the famous German tale “Max und Moritz” was used as the guest book.

5.BabyShower_579

I ordered the squirrel stamp on Etsy. It fit perfectly with the woodlands theme.

5.BabyShower_588

A typical woodland animal: the (teddy) bear. No animals were harmed during this production.

5.BabyShower_591

The favors: little pots of honey. Just like Pooh Bear loves them!

5.BabyShower_594

The entire dessert buffet.

5.BabyShower_614

Lecker!

5.BabyShower_616

Kinder Schokolade – brings back (German) childhood memories.

5.BabyShower_617

Delicious mini cupcakes by Pretty Please Bakeshop in San Francisco.

5.BabyShower_622

Another decor detail.

5.BabyShower_664

I made these flower arrangements for the tables in the backyard. Bees make honey = Pooh Bear loves honey. Makes sense, no?

5.BabyShower_672

Simple flower arrangements using the mom-to-be’s favorite flowers.

5.BabyShower_652

Love Izze drinks. They are so colorful and tasty!

5.BabyShower_649

Buying local.

Credits:

Cupcakes by Pretty Please Bakeshop

Pink, Yellow + Green :: A Baby Shower

For one of my first “designed” events, I created a ‘sweet pea’ inspired baby shower without using the obvious imagery of, well, sweet peas. The decor included eco-friendly favors, pea(r)-inspired beverage bar (pear infused water, pear cider), customized labels and signage. For the cute flower arrangements, I used bold colored gerbera daisies and spray roses.

linda_shwr_071

The dessert and favor table with beverage bar.

linda_shwr_059

So simple yet so pretty: coconut almond pralines = unwrapped Rafaello.

linda_shwr_057

Jordan almonds in bold colored sugar coating.

linda_shwr_048

Pear cider from IKEA. Love the fancy looking package design.

linda_shwr_045

Flower arrangements don’t have to be expensive. These were quickly put together in simple white glass vases.

linda_shwr_037

I love letters.

linda_shwr_035

Cute labels gave simple juice bottles a facelift.

linda_shwr_030

Favors and candy goodie bags.

linda_shwr_025

The sweet spread.

linda_shwr_015

Eco-friendly favors with handcrafted gift tags.

Credits:

Photography by Paco and Betty

Graphic Design by Think SF