parties

Thinking of Spring…

26 January 2011
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The weather here in Santa Barbara has been so warm, honestly it feels like summer.  All the Jasmine are budding and getting ready to explode.  Our front yard is going to smell amazing in a week or two.  The warmth has me thinking of Spring and the lovely parties I have had the pleasure of creating.  I thought I would share a favorite with you.

This was a girls birthday luncheon at a local restaurant.  We took over the place, moved out a lot of their things and moved in my fun props.  This was the entrance that greeted the guests.

There were beautiful fans for the ladies.

The restaurant has the most beautiful solarium that we moved my furniture and props into.  We also brought in lots of trees and green plants.

The details tucked in here and there were adorable…

The centerpieces were each different.  This one I used my Mom’s antique silver tea set.

This centerpiece had a chintz tea cup, silver tea pot and a cloche over a mini arrangement.

Sometimes you can’t even see the vase, I pack so may flowers into them.  I don’t know why I take so much time

picking the right container.

This lovely lady is a vintage candelabra that I wired flowers onto for a bar arrangement.

The party favors were beautiful Asian tea sets wrapped in fun bamboo boxes.  The cake was in the shape of a tea pot which I set on my bird bath and surrounded it with flowers.

Wishing you beautiful flowers filled dreams…

Terri Windling, untidy desks and the underwater Christmas wedding

21 December 2010
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I just have to tell you, I am so tickled!  One of my favorite people out there in faery tale land is Terri Windling.  She wrote a book I dearly love called “The Wood Wife”.

It is a wonderful story of a woman who journies to the Arizona desert in pursuit of a poet and his story and finds instead magic and a deep soul changing power.  I highly recommend it!  She also has a lovely blog that covers all sorts of manner of things not the least of which is her art (sort of a cross between Susan Seddon Boulet, Arthur Rackham and Brian Froud) and her life with her husband and silly black hound in Devon, England (does everyone wonderfully touched by the fae live there and can I too… please, please?).  She is blogging a wonderful series called “On Your Desk” and has asked for creative types to send in photos of their “desk”, untidied, as-is, in the middle of the creative process, or however it appears to be.  She has already featured many of my heros like Alan Lee, Charles De Lint, Rima Stains and more.  So… on a whim…  I sent in my desk top (workspace) pictures, as it appears in the middle of the wedding I just did, and…  she put it up on her blog!  How cool is that I ask ya!  Here are a couple of the pictures I sent her but please go and visit her site (and look for the blog dated 12-20).

I think it will charm and delight you and you can see yours truly’s completely wiped out work area.

The wedding I was working on that appears in the “desk top” photos was a really fun beachy Christmassy style with tons of red roses as well as other rich burgundy colored flowers mixed with driftwood.   Here are some of the completed centerpieces…

The tent was beautiful both glowing warm and inviting and yet wintery looking up above.  Here are a few shots of the tables and decor…

They also had some fun lounge ares…

The couple also had a thing for hearts so I made two 12′ tall driftwood hearts, decorated them with flowers and a mini chandelier and hung them from the tent rafters.

The tent looked beautiful as the night moved in…

And check out this desert spread!   The worst part was that I had to look but not touch (or eat!)

Now for the “underwater” part.  We here in Santa Barbara are in the middle of a week long deluge with another week or so predicted.  Absolutely everything is soaked, saturated, drowned and in every other way… wet!.  Now this wedding was held in an outdoor venue at the San Ysidro Ranch…  yes I said outdoor.  They had decided right from the off they would have a tent just to keep everyone warm.  What we all didn’t know is that the tent had to work in the driving rain as well.  I mean I think I saw Noah sailing the ark by at one point!  So not only did they tent the reception site and the ceremony site but they had to tent all the walkways and even the rented bathrooms.  They even had to build floors and sub floors for all these tents too!  What with washed out service roads and parking areas and huge tent and party rental trucks, delivery vans with trailers (us), and all manner of support vehicles jockeying around trying to keep to the only narrow road that was left…  lets just say that you could have shot the pilot for “Exstream Weddings” (pun intended) on this wedding!  Now I notice I said narrow service road…  what I should have said was narrow-fast-moving-river-with-rapids.  To unload you had to stand in the rapids with the water sending waves up to your thighs as you tried in vain to keep the items you were unloading dry.  After I set up the ceremony Chuppa I had to take paper towels and dry off the flowers and branches so it didn’t drip on the bride.  Quite the day let me tell you!  The pictures however show a beautiful serene and cozy wedding, which I guess is as it should be.  After all the craziness and a lot of completely exhausted vendors the bride and groom had a lovely time and were completely unaware of all the stress (that is until they read this).  So another wonderful wedding completed and thankfully the next one isn’t for a couple of months…  I need that time to dry out!

A Magical “Green” Woodland Party…

4 November 2010

OK all of my blog friends…  get ready for a mega-super long faerie packed post.

Remember a while back when I said I was working on a fund raiser for the Community Environmental Counsel that was to be a faerie themed event?  Well I finally got the pictures back…

I feel like a proud parent that is dying to show off pictures of her children…  all 100 pictures.  So consider yourself warned…

It was held in an outdoor large rotunda of the Fess Parker’s Double Tree resort.  We filled this huge space with approximately 250 trees, 400 shrubs and divided it into two spaces, one for cocktails and the other for dinner and dancing.  You are looking at the diner area in the front with the stage on the left and the cocktail area to the back on the right, behind the curtain.

The theme was an enchanted woodland forest.  As they are a non-profit that consults on local environmental issues they wanted a green event.  Well as you can probably guess green means a bit more to me that the average person.

I wanted to remind people of our heritage, of the myths and legends that surround the forests.   Of a time when we were intrinsically tied to nature.  When our daily lives were so mixed with nature and it’s folk lore that there was no dividing line.  Now because of the marvelous wonders of technology and science many of us live a life that is very removed from the rhythms of Mother Nature.  Our Earth is beautiful, and so magical.  To walk in the forrest or on the beach or any place where the magisty of Mother Nature is felt is to heal your heart, calm your mind, and remember your part in the big picture.  I get so frustrated at how political environmental issues have polarized us…  in large part because of the crazies on BOTH sides.  To me it is just good manners to care for this precious Earth.  My Mom taught me to not take more than I need and say please and thank you.  To strive to live a healthy earth friendly life is to do the same.   OK I am done preaching…  thank you for listening.  Anyway…

Some of the tables had wild fantastical trees complete with feathers, flowers, butterflies, bugs and hanging candles…

And some of the tables had low arrangements which were an eclectic mix of fun items like birdcages (with the doors tied open…  it is a thing I have against caging flying creatures) filled with butterflies (fake), lanterns, plants, garden statuary, cloches, funky old bottles with feathers, birds nests, and all manor of magical woodsy beauties.

Our Faerie court…

(click on the picture for a larger size)

We had a Faerie Birch Queen who rode in on a Unicorn and would you believe it…  I do not have one picture!!!!!  Maybe it is the magical nature of the Unicorn that does not allow for photos…  However here is our lovely Queen

She sat on her Birch throne up above the rotunda and with her ladies in waiting reigned over her forrest that evening.

Along with the Queen we had Satyrs.  Does this picture make you giggle or what?…

There were lots of beautiful details…

And some just fun silly details…

Kenny Loggins played for us…

The deserts were adorable…

I think everyone had a fun time and came away thinking more about our beautiful Earth.  Even though a party of this size does have an impact on Nature no matter how you slice it.  Everyone did their best to keep it to a minimum.  The trees and statuary were loaned to us from three wonderful people…  , Katie Oriely Rogers Landscape Architect, Eye of the Day Garden statuary and Cal Western Landscape.  Everything went on to their respective permanent homes in peoples yards.  These people were brought in by the Event Coordinator Merryl Brown. She is wonderful at connecting all the right people together.  This event would not have been possible without the trees plants and statuary.  Imaging a forrest without trees!  She kept the big picture in mind and got anything that I might need… usually donated!  Most of her events have a huge on being green.  The food was locally organically grown, the decor (me) was mostly plants and props (which I use over and over) with a few locally grown flowers.  The costumes I made were mostly of recycled items from thrift stores.  The party supplies such as dishes, tables, chairs, etc were all rented and used again.  Fewer dishes were used (such as no bread plates and limited amounts of glass wear) so the water usage in clean up was reduced.  And I composted the remains of the flowers on the ranch that my husband and I live on.  Not too bad for such a decadent party!  Hope you enjoyed all of it!!


Sweetly Vintage

26 October 2010
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Hello Everyone,

I have mentioned a couple of time about how busy my season has been…  well finally I have some pictures to share with you so you don’t think I have just been lounging around on the chaise eating bon bons all summer.

This was a lovely vintage style wedding I had the pleasure of creating a couple of months back.  The couple were just as sweet as the details!

The ceremony was held under the Oak tree at the bride’s family’s home.  We hung lots of whimsical ribbons from the branches.

The guests found their table number by looking for their names on cards clipped onto the “clothes line”.

This is the walk way to the backyard where the reception was held.  We hung lots of pretty ribbons some plain and some with flowers and lots of lanterns and candles.  At night it was lovely!

Some of the hanging posies…  (can you tell were in California by all the citrus?)

The table arrangements were lots of sweet vintage (some actually old and some just vintage in style) containers filled with flowers…

There were lots of fun details, this bouquet was tied to the entrance gate just for fun…

The cake was a flower covered delight!!

The back yard at night…

Some more of the fun hanging bits that were everywhere…

See…  I really have been working,  I will post more weddings and events very soon.  I can’t wait to show you the faerie woodland event I did.  That was crazy fun!!!

All these lovely pictures are from the most talented Katie Moos Photography

By for now…

A magical party, practically speaking that is…

14 August 2010
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Yippeeee!!!!!!!!!  A Practical Magic blog party!!

Like so many other bloggers out there I had just posted a piece on how much I love the movie and low and behold I find this wonderful site!!!  A On September 25 there will be whole blog party dedicated to the movie and or book Practical Magic.  Everybody will create something in honor of the story and then post it on that day.  We can all zoom around on our internet brooms and check out all the magic!  When I last looked at the site there were over 100 participants!  How fun is this!   Well I did say a while back that I wanted more magic…   here we go!

Longing for magical living.

28 July 2010
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One of my all time favorite stories (both the book and the film) is Practical Magic.  The story is wonderful and sweet and I seriously covet that house!!!!!

The clothing the Aunts wear, the incorporation of magic into everyday lives, serendipitous moments that mean something.  It is all so rich and wonderful!

The kitchen and the room right next to it that has all their potions and plants and tools in it are I think my favorite rooms.  They are light, airy, full of wonderful vintage items and magical things.

I love how the room is open to the outside with lovely blooming branches both inside and out in the garden.  There is a promise here of wonderful things to come.

But then I love the darker richer salon room with all it’s lovely leather and candles and old wallpaper.

The house is both dark and light…  like life and people I guess.

Can’t you just picture yourself curled up in this chair, with a cat on your lap, the blustery wind and rain pounding on the roof a fire in the fireplace, a cup of tea, and a good ghost story?

I have the tea, tea cups, cats (a plenty!) and ghost stories (anything by Barbara Michaels)…  I just need the house.

Every detail is perfect!  I think I could loose myself in here for hours.

All these lovely pictures and thoughts make me ache for more…  not sure how to put it into words, just more…  more richness, more meaning, more magic, more serendipitous moments.  I want to feel full with life’s magic, heady with it’s perfume.

I am working on more wonderful faerie costumes for a huge magical celtic forest themed event coming up soon but I am feeling not truly full and magical enough.  I want to be working with spider’s silk thread, gossamer fabrics and faerie dust.  I want to hear the faeries whispering in my ear.

I go to the beach and I want to get into the water, immerse myself in it, breath it, taste it, see the fish and the coral with all it’s magical color.  But then I want to swim like a mermaid not as I do in my human form.

I want to fly like the birds, play in amongst the tree branches.

I want to see stronger colors… like the mood and color palette of the 2006 film Peter Pan.  The colors in that movie were so surreal and dreamy.

I want to go to a school like Hogwarts and learn…  everything!

I am so blessed in my life, I do not want to sound ungrateful.  I live a life most people would be thrilled with, and I am.  I adore my life, my art, my work, my husband, my kitties, I just want more.  To feel like a child again and run and jump with abandon, loose myself in my imagination and playing.  Do you know what I mean?  Do you ever feel that way or am I just in a funky frame of mind.  My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Sedona soon.  I have a feeling that will help.  I know all this desire is just a need to be more deeply connected with the universe and my soul, my inner muse.  Just can’t seem to get there.  Wow… cosmic stuff, thanks for listening.

Anyway, I promised several days ago to post my mermaid party pictures, I still haven’t got them from the photographer yet.  As soon as I do I will share them with you.  It was so beautiful.  In keeping with the sentiment I expressed above the centerpieces of this party were so scrumptious, so wild that you just wanted to crawl in them and LIVE there.

To tide you over I will show you these two pictures that my husband took at the end of the party in the dark of the night.  The table glowed with the little lights I set into the centerpieces.   The pictures are a little hard to make out but they convey the feeling well.  Very fun!

See you in my dreams, hopefully it will be in technicolor!