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Monday, June 14, 2010

Secret Garden Gift Wrap

At midnight the night before our daughter's party, I finally took the time to wrap the only two gifts we were taking to the party.

I was exhausted. I was anxious about the party. I was alone in the diningroom with wrapping paper, ribbon, tape strung out across the table while everyone else was fast asleep. I was thinking "Why do I always put this off until the last possible minute?!" I was working very quickly. No time to miscalculate. No time to start over and redo.


It's funny. I began wrapping without a plan. No Secret Garden Wrapping Plan floating around in my head. Just scissors and extemporaneous cutting and taping.



In the buffet drawer in our dining room lies some of the most beautiful wrapping paper, double faced satin ribbon, tissue paper, and paper flowers sent to me by none other than Sande aka A Gift Wrapped Life. Yes, I was armed with paper from the renowned Wrap Room!


The beautiful blush paper with handwritten script and celadon birds is my absolute favorite paper in Sande's Wrap Room.


I also have a secret to tell you...Sande tied the bow on this gift!

Do you know that when the gorgeously wrapped package of gift wrap arrived on my doorstep the long rectangular white box inside was wrapped in this very bow?


That night, in my haste and desperation, I grabbed this gorgeous pink ribbon bow, that I had stowed away, and twisted the loop and made it fit this box. It took some patience and maneuvering, but it worked!


And this beautiful bow was rescued from the giftwrapping trashbag at the end of the party. I caught my husband just as he placed it in the trash. "What are you doing?" I said as I halted him in the act, "I can reuse that! and the paper!;)


The second gift was a complete accident. I can't take credit for this idea. I wasn't even thinking straight by this point.


I wrapped this box in solid white paper.

I did something terrible. I ripped a page out of a Beatrix Potter book! Oh, that's bad.
I trimmed the illustration down to fit the surface of the box and rounded the edges.
Then I cut two small slits at the bottom of the illustration so that I could run the ribbon under it.
Then I added some more Wrap Room ribbon. Layering different widths of ribbon is another one of Sande's tips.
Then something reminded me of the little celadon green paper flowers she sent in the package...

I pulled them from the drawer and laid them on the pink bow.



"The lettuces were certainly fine."

Total accident.

Green paper flowers pose as sweet little lettuces




This last image is a freebie. Exactly one week after the party I saw this display created by Linda at WillowNest.

A simple white pedastal with white roses tucked in cabbage leaves...


A fine idea for a secret garden party.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Secret Garden Party~Soft Touches~Poms and Marshmallows

Did I tell you that the party actually took place in a secret garden? No, I didn't create this garden just for our daughter's party. This secret garden has been a tranquil retreat for a few years and has been cultivated with the love by my mother-in-law, my husband's aunt, and several other very sweet women who attend our church.






About the location:


The secret garden is a hidden place on our church's property, and our church is located in the country, where tractors run the roads and cow pastures are sprinkled across the land.


When our church built a giant metal gymnasium next to its main building, this new ediface created a secluded area encompassed with three walls leaving only two ways to enter: through the back pasture or through one door.

My mother-in-law created this beautiful basket full of flowers with a skeleton key suspended by a ribbon, which hangs on the door leading to the secret garden. She has been doing this for years and changes out the flowers seasonally.


The secret garden actually existed about a year before anyone else even knew about it. One day my mother-in-law told me "I have something to show you" and she led me through the door...



This secret garden is quiet, innocent, untouched, secluded~the perfect place to celebrate a young child's birthday.

To compliment the existing rose bushes, potted plants, and climbing ivy, I wanted the décor to be soft, pure, innocent.


I decided that paper poms would be the main decoration. I hung them above the main table (actually from a large 15 foot metal frame that held the above airconditioning unit).

I purchased these paper poms from Pom Love on Etsy. The poms came in the mail "unpoofed" but with simple instructions to follow. Be sure to allow about 20 to 30 minutes per pom for poofing.
Once I had the poms ready, I clothespinned them to a hanger and hung the hangers on chandeliers throughout my house to avoid flattened poms...Hmmm have you seen any poms hanging from chandeliers lately?? Scroll up!

My goal from now on is that when I host a party, I will make at least one of the decorations and hopefully create something that is unique.

I wanted to keep the cost of Amelia's party at a minimum (She's only two and we have the rest of her life to spend money), so I used two white pots that I already had...which happened to be flower pots leftover from my own wedding.


This centerpiece is made of:

*a flower pot
*a wooden stand made by Mr. à la parisienne and tucked inside of pot for elevation
a canteloupe
toothpicks
white and pink marshmallows
silk flower blossoms
green moss


I took a couple of pictures of the process if any of you would like to see them, let me know.



My handmade creation sitting atop a vintage floral tablecloth waiting in the secret garden...to celebrate...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Secret Garden Party~The Invitations

With my love for photography and obsession with photo editing and graphic design, I just couldn't bring myself to buy invitations for our daughter's second birthday party, so I made them myself. Honestly, they only took a few of hours from start to finish and for all of you crafty and creative women out there, I encourage you to try making your own invitations for the next special event you plan; it not only makes such an impression on your guests but it also peaks their interest.




Below I am including the instructions for making these invitations...for future reference!





How they were made:


The front of the invitation is comprised of three different photographs and is 4X6 inches in dimension.

The top photograph is of Amelia's eyes; the middle picture is actually a picture of an illustration in Peter Rabbit tucked in some Geraniums; and the bottom picture is a closeup of the same Geranium bloom.


Then I added two pieces of nature-inspired clip art as embellishments. I chose the bottom embellishment to hold the title Secret Garden.

I had the front of the invitations printed by a photo lab.

I designed the back of the invitation using the same photo editing program, where I inserted the same lovely piece of clip art at the top. (I handwrote each of the guest's names inside of this embellishment.)

I printed the invitation backs myself on ivory cardstock with a moss green ink.



On a trip to the Warrenton, TX antique fair in March, I found a vendor who had a box full of keys, and they were 25 cents each-perfect. The vendor also had old skeleton keys for $2 each, which would have been nicer, but not really necessary.


I came home and spray-painted these keys a metallic champagne color to soften them up a bit and give them a little more pizazz.


Invitation Assembly:


After the paint on the keys had dried, I cut small strips of blush hem tape and looped them through the key holes and tied the ribbon ends in a small knot.

Then I used a small scrapbooking brad to poke through the ribbon that was holding the key and ran the brad through the cardstock in the top right corner. {See image above}

Then I adhered the photograph to the backside of the cardstock invitation using double-sided photo adhesive stickers.

Coming up Next
Pictures of the party decorations, food, gift wrap, and birthday dress
All images by à la parisienne

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Simply Gorgeous

Yes, it is just now June, but Harper's Bazaar June/July 2010 issue holds some very delicious glimpses of our upcoming fall fashions!
I just love this truly feminine photo shoot of Katherine Heigl!
And this all white bedroom with touches of gold...GORGEOUS!

This is a very flattering bias cut black coat by Lanvin.

And such a beautifully detailed and tailored forest green dress by Oscar de la Renta.

It looks like this upcoming fall's fashion season will be full of flattering lines and femininity!

I hope you have a great weekend!


Images via HarpersBazaar.com