art party photo op

As you can imagine, I just love taking pictures of my kids (and their friends… and desserts… and really all things pretty or interesting). So when we were planning our new art party collection, we of course had to have a photo op for the kids.

My best advice:

  • use a neutral background, clear of all clutter. If you know the party area is going to be hectic, hang a piece of coordinating fabric (stay away from wild patterns; it will only take focus away from those lovely faces that you’re trying to capture)
  • offer props that coordinate with your theme, the sillier the better so you can get them giggling
  • get in close. Full body shots are fine and sometimes adorable, but get creative with tight shots and odd angles.

For our prop, Bridget, my fabulous assistant, looked high and low for a whimsy purple frame (that she wanted to use at her daughter’s real party a few days after our shoot). The only one she found was $88. Ouch! So being the creative and crafty gal she is, she bought an unfinished $8 frame at a craft store, spray painted it purple and then embellished it with a double layer crepe rosette with a gumball center! When I posted the rosette we made for the graduation collection (how to details post), I told you that you’d likely see it again. {wink}

For more art party details, check out our party collection in the shoppe and my posts on the art party dessert table, a creative Crayola crayon craft idea, and how to create an art gallery complete with 3-D cupcake art. As always, I hope you’re inspired!

Photography by Angie Arthur Photography. Clothing by  Sew Jewell on Etsy. Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter.

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art party dessert table

For the third post in our new art birthday party series (#1 art party Crayola crayon craft, #2 create an art gallery) I styled an easy art party dessert table using two sizes of clear paint cans for serving dishes, mini easels (spray painted white for displaying the dessert tags) and bold damask blue fabric; all three items from JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores), a beautiful square cake plate from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s and several of our new printables and a blue moire tablecloth from our art party collection.

And although the table was full of yummy desserts, my very favorite are these palette cookies  from our cookie partners at Sweet Tooth Cottage (available with the rest of the collection in the shoppe).

Because they’re butter cookies, not sugar cookies, they’re soft and literaly melt in your mouth (STC also created placecard cookies for the table so stop back in to see those lovelies or hop on into the shoppe if you just can’t wait)!  And the cake (flat iced with buttercream frosting), before it was embellished, cost me $5.99 per layer from the Kroger bakery.

Other treats included fun paint brush cake pops {thank you again Terri for testing and executing my idea so very perfectly!} and chocolate covered Oreos from Terri’s Treasures,

homemade cupcakes (I used Duncan Hines cake mix and Pillsbury icing since my youngest has severe dairy allergies and both are dairy free!),

marshmallow paint cans (I literally painted each marshmallow with a small amount of Karo syrup, just enough for them to be sticky, rolled them in colorful nonpareils and allowed them to dry overnight on wax paper. Be careful not to use too much Karo or your colors will run.),

bright gumballs (and the mini chocolates around the edge of the cake) from our friends at That’s So Sweet,

and just one more picture of the gumballs because the girls were just too cute! Plus, the applique/monogrammed birthday shirt to the left is available with the art party collection in the shoppe. All the other girls were wearing clothes from Sew Jewell on Etsy.

 

rainbow Twizzlers, apples and oranges. I do like to have a few healthy choices! Oh, and there was one more goody that made the debut at our art party dessert table, more to come on that one in a few weeks with a fun announcement! {wink}

For more art party details, visit my art birthday party collection in the shoppe and my creative Crayola crayon craft idea, how to create an art gallery complete with 3-D cupcake art, art party photo ops and art party placesettings with edible placecards. As always, I hope you’re inspired!

Photography by the fabulous Angie Arthur Photography!

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create an art gallery

As I mentioned in my last post, our newest collection is an art birthday party. This collection was so fun to create. And when we thought about activities for the kids there were so many great ideas, but my favorite was sharing their art in a gallery.

A little side note, before I became a mom I used to think “I’ll never cover my fridge with my kid’s pictures!” Well, okay, I still don’t, but that’s only because I gave them both their own 36×52″ framed cork-board in their playroom (which happens to be on the main floor just off of the kitchen)! Long story short, they love showing it off and I truly love seeing it.

Included in the printables for this collection we designed four whimsy frames for the kids to create on: red/blue, orange/yellow, purple/chartreuse and black/white. We also created “award badges” that you can give to each guest. They say things like most creative, best in show, most artistic, best design, most colorful and best color palette. A great way for every child to feel special. The printable is the rectangle tag in the center and then we created the crepe ribbon backer. (You can see how to create a similar idea with our graduation collection.)

For the art project, we created 3-D cupcake art. We didn’t buy a thing, we just gathered odds and ends from around my craft room like tissue paper (cut into squares), pom poms, ribbon, crepe paper, felt and cupcake wrappers, just to name a few. I loved how they all turned out!

And last but not least, here’s a look at the Art Gallery entry sign that is also part of the printable collection. We printed it at Costco for $5.99 and embellished it with yellow crepe paper. Can you tell I’m loving crepe paper lately?! It’s inexpensive, comes in a variety of colors and so simple to manipulate. LOVE. By the way, Happy Belated Birthday to little Emma, my assistant’s daughter, and the muse for many of these ideas.

You can see more details from our new Art birthday party collection in the shoppe now, AND stop back in for more details including the dessert table. And as always, I hope you’re inspired!

Photography by the fabulous Angie Arthur Photography!

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art party Crayola crayon craft

A few weeks ago we shot our newest party collection, a creative Art birthday party complete with activities, a fun dessert table, placesettings, monogrammed t-shirts, custom cookies, cake pops and so much more. It was great fun and I’ll be sharing it all with you over the next several days starting with this easy Crayola crayon bowl craft. We used several of these as centerpieces for our tablesetting, but they could also be perfect for the art table in your kid’s playroom.

You’ll need a glass bowl that is the same height all the way around (I picked mine up at the Dollar Tree), a few boxes of Crayola crayons and a hot glue gun. The fabulous thing about hot glue and glass, it sticks great and when you’re ready, it pops right off.

As always, I hope you’re inspired to craft, bake, create and celebrate!

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press: Totts magazine features train collection

Totts, Fresno California’s Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Moms, hosted a real “All Aboard” birthday bash last month for a handsome little guy, Reed, who is just in love with trains. I was so honored when I learned that the editors chose our train birthday party collection for the big day!

That’s Reed and a little friend on the first page of the article, those are our custom train birthday invitations, thank you cards, table decor and printables on the second page of the article, and on the third is a lovely cake created by a local vendor, Stade Mueller. She did such a beautiful job I had to give you a closer look at that fondant train. How adorable is the heart shape coming out of the smokestack?!

You can read the entire article here and you can see a few more pictures on Tottsmag.com. Happy Friday everyone!

Visit our press & praise page to see where else The Celebration Shoppe has been featured! And I would love it if you would Like us on facebook and follow us on twitter too!

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gumball birthday party ideas

My  friend Kara, of Kara Party Ideas, features a party every day on her popular blog. So when I saw this fabulous gumball party that she styled for HGTV a few months ago, I knew that I wanted to return the favor she’s paid me many times.

I think my favorite detail of this party are these DIY gumball machines. So very clever! At first look I thought they were real, but Kara created them. She’s planning to post the DIY details soon, but maybe a flower pot, glass candy bowl and wooden circle from the craft store? Hmmm… we’ll just have to wait and see, but I’ll update my post when she shares. 

And here’s a look at the dessert table she created with cookies from Batches and cupcakes made by Dippidee {she added red gumballs to the tops to resemble cherries}, with cupcake liners from Hey YoYo

I love this old candy store game idea. And check out these gumball cake pops Kara made!  Enjoy the eye candy {wink} and then hop over to Kara’s for even more images and more resources. Photography by Lyndsey Fagerlund

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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GIVEAWAY: children’s clothing from Sew Jewell

Today is a pretty special day all the way around. First, I’ve had the opportunity of late to work with a very talented photographer, Angie Arthur of Angie Arthur Photography and co-founder of I Heart Faces. We met at BlissDom this year and we just clicked. We immediately began to plan a pretty intense schedule for this summer and these pictures are just a peek at our very first collaborationAll the details, plus a brand new birthday collection, will be revealed early next week.

And the second thing that makes this day and this post extra special is that Sew Jewell (what she loves to do + her last name) is my mom’s brand new (as of this morning!) Etsy shop. She’s always made things for me for photo shoots and for my son’s real parties, remember those lab coats for Alex’s science birthday party, yep, that was her. Well now her talents are going to be available to you and I couldn’t be more excited for her!

This morning you’ll find most of the dresses she made for this shoot, but in the coming days you’ll find monogrammed children clothing, baby bibs, baby blankets and so much more! Plus, last night, Angie picked up a custom order for the I Heart Faces photography workshop in Texas this weekend. I can’t wait for you to see what Sew Jewell whipped up for them! {Photographers: If you need custom clothing for an upcoming shoot, convo her on Etsy!}

 

So today, Sew Jewell is giving away two of the dresses, (the other two sold that day!), that Angie and I used for our first collaborative shoot. Here on my blog you can enter to win this beautiful hot pink and orange Aubrey dress, size 6, that was worn by one of our adorable little models from our model search back in March. Don’t you just love those piggy tails! 

And you can enter to win the Victoria peasant dress, size 7, and headband, second little girl in aqua polka dots, at Angie Arthur Photography.

TO ENTER THE AUBREY DRESS GIVEAWAY

Visit Sew Jewell’s new shop to see more details about these dresses (and remember, many more are coming in the next few days), then return here and leave a comment letting me know which one you like best OR which one of Angie Arthur Photography’s beatutiful images you like best. 

Additional entries:

Deadline to Enter is Monday, May 23. Winner will be announced here on Tuesday, May 24. UPDATE: Congrats #2 Katy! (winner was selected by random.org and will be contacted by e-mail)

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host a luau with DIY totems

I love clever and I love crafts, so when I saw these DIY totem poles  from All You magazine I had to build an entire inspiration board around them! These are one of those crafts that I wish I had thought of. So very simple and inexpensive, trademarks of the All You brand. Hop over to All You for all the DIY details and how tos.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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the other s’ more

You know when you really want a s’ more… but you don’t have any chocolate… and then you realize you don’t have any graham crackers either? Well let me introduce you to the OTHER s ‘more!

When I was a kid these were actually the preferred snack when I went to my grandmother’s house, unless of course she was baking. And now my oldest LOVES them. 

So instead of graham crackers we used soup crackers. Mine are Keebler’s Zesta crackers, the same brand my grandmother always bought (and they’re dairy free so my youngest can have them too.) And instead of chocolate we used peanut butter.

See that iron skillet? She gave me that, among other things, when I got married. If you don’t have one, get one. They’re a must have for every kitchen, but especially every southern kitchen. Admittedly she used hers every day to bake homemade biscuits and I use mine to bake fish sticks and fries… but either way they’re very handy. 

As always, I hope you’re inspired! And stop over at Snackpicks.com for more of my Kellogg’s treat ideas.

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