Nice flight to 40

Recently, I hosted a 40th birthday party for my boyfriend, who loves airplanes -- especially vintage ones.  I wanted to use this as a theme for his party but not in an overly cutesy way that is reserved for the toddler set.  With some Internet sleuthing and some ingenuity, I think I earned my wings on this one. 🙂 First, I created the invitation in the style of a vintage airplane ticket. Sealed in a "Par Avion" envelope with a vintage biplane stamp, what better way to set the stage or the... er... runway? InvitationThen, it was all about creating a party atmosphere to drive home the theme.  Having a photo booth area in the garage ("hangar") labeled, "Passport Photos," with some great travel-related props was a great way to get everyone in the mood... AND provide some mementos from the evening.  Props included a plane propeller, world map poster, actual vintage airplane seats (for only $35 off Craigslist!), a globe, a steamer trunk, bomber jackets, and goggles. Photo BoothPassport Photos Signs also added some whimsy -- "Welcome Aboard," "Baggage Claim Area" (for coats and purses), and "In-Flight Snacks" for food and beverages.  I also used a "Lavatory" sign for the bathroom, as well as "Authorized Personnel Only" for areas of the home I wanted to keep private. Welcome SignPlanning the menu was so much fun and gave way to lots of creativity -- including Soda Suitcase (a vintage one bought at Goodwill for $2), Cumulus Cupcakes, Jet Fuel (pumpkin pie martini), and Air-Devil Eggs, just to name a few. Soda SuitcaseCumulus CupcakesJet FuelAir-Devil Eggs               I had planned to use mini-laminated map luggage tags for parting gifts, but they did not arrive in time.  Instead, I had a door-prize drawing for a basket filled with travel-sized items and an "In-Flight Movie" (DVD). Travel Size Gifts & In Flight MovieWhen it was all said and done, I think everyone had a good time. All items were purchased or made on a minimal budget, and clean-up was a breeze.  A good take-off... a flight without turbulence... and definitely a happy landing. I'm ready for my next adventure.    

Victoria’s secret… for a great Mardi Gras party

Victoria & Me

Victoria & Christy (me)

Last weekend, my friend Victoria threw quite a Mardi Gras bash with her then-boyfriend/now-fiance, Steve -- "title change" the result of a lovely Valentine's Day marriage proposal yesterday.  "Party bling followed by an engagement ring" is how this last week will go down in history.  And that's a tough act to follow, people! :-)Victoria is a woman who has got it all together.  Or if she doesn't, you'd never know because she sure does seem to pull off parties with ease and finesse.  And I have the pictures to prove it. Remember a couple of weeks ago when I shared the idea of draping plastic tablecloths on your ceiling to add festive color to your room?  Here they are, Mardi Gras style, in green, purple, and gold.  One of the first things you saw as you came through the door, it certainly said, "Let's get this party started!" Mardi Gras Ceiling Tablecloth Decorations Victoria also created a fabulous "mask and bead" board to display Mardi Gras accessories for guests to wear upon arrival.  After draping fabric across an inexpensive paneling board bought at Home Depot (you can hot glue-gun or staple the material in the back), she then used double-sided tape and hooks to hold the masks and beads.  Functional (albeit temporary) art -- my favorite!Mardi Gras Mask and Bead Display Doors (2) I can see similar approaches for other celebrations, with different color schemes and party favors (e.g., New Year's party hats/horns, Santa hats/reindeer antlers, Hawaiian leis, Halloween masks). I could share many photos to make all of you "wish you were here," but I will limit it to just a few more so that you can get the flavor of this party and steal some ideas to replicate or alter when left to your own devices. Dessert AreaDifferent angle of table centerpiece     What did you do for Mardi Gras or Valentine's Day this year?  Party photos, crafts, or great recipes?  Victoria shared her secret(s).  Now you share yours!

Pretty in… plastic?

Like many, I love to entertain.  Also like many, I rarely have the time or money to throw elaborate parties (but still want to at least give the impression that I do!)  One way to add some pizazz to your gatherings is to use simple, inexpensive plastic tablecloths -- and not necessarily in the traditional way of placing them on your tables.

Plastic Tablecloth Ceiling TreatmentTake a look at this easy idea of draping them across your ceiling, canopy-style, with a few balloon embellishments and streamers.  What a great way to add color and texture in a dramatic, eye-catching fashion, with few dollars and little effort.

  This decorating technique could be used for a variety of parties -- celebrating birthdays, baby or wedding showers, and holidays (e.g., Valentine's Day, Halloween, Christmas) --and could feature any number of color combinations to support a range of fun-to-elegant themes. tablecloth door entrancePlastic tablecloths can also be used to create a festive entrance to your party room, by draping them, in swag-curtain style, from your doorframe. Use bows, ribbons, tulle or any other thematic or seasonal flair (pine cones? baby rattles?) to complete the look.  Again, you can use one color or many, depending on the design you're after; and these can be pulled to one side only... or hung so that they drape both sides of your doorframe.  Maybe you want to drop them all the way to the floor so that they "puddle" like fabric draperies.   Last but not least, who has parties without photos, right?  Whether people are taking them for casual Facebook posts or to eventually print and frame as a remembrance of the occasion, snapshots are a given. How about using plastic tablecloths to make an interesting backdrop for your guests?  rainbow-photo-booth-backdrop-11Whether you go a bit whimsical with a rainbow design or opt for something more subtle, alternating light colors, this is sure to delight your party-goers.  You've not only created a conversation piece but a pseudo photo booth!  Add an empty picture frame or other props if you want to allow for more variety.   Whatever your party purpose, plastic tablecloths are an inexpensive and versatile way to add a temporary design to your room(s), without taking hours of preparation to deliver an interesting and memorable effect.  What are you waiting for?  The Dollar Store is just a few minutes away... ------------------------------------------------------------------ Photo credits:  Ceiling canopy photo provided by Toni Roberts (DesignDazzle.com) .  Doorway photo provided by Jaime Costiglio (ThatsMyLetter.blogspot.com).  Backdrop photo provided by Camille (Makoodle.com). For details on the "how to" behind these projects, please visit these sites.