Archive for May, 2009

may29I gasped when I saw this golf inspired 1st birthday soiree from Details Details Blog. The pinks and oranges just pop and the balloon backdrop was beyond amazing. Being half Korean, I understand the 1st birthday is HUGE in Korean culture. This party is nothing short of that statement. Seeing this party makes me so excited to celebrate my future child’s 1st birthday. Whoa, turbo. Did I really just type that?! Reality Check: I am not pregnant and won’t start trying for another 2 years. Geez. At least I can dream.

1st bday golf
1) High Flyin’: Custom paper flags and argyle pillows flank the photo table. The flags imitate the golf flags found on a the course.

2) Grab Bag: Baby Chloe is sitting on a foam tile surface made by Skip Hop.This versatile and child friendly flooring option can be used after the party, in the playroom. Notice the items placed in front of the birthday girl. It is Korean Tradition to place specific items as it symbolizes the future of the child based on the object she grabs. In front of the Chloe, (from left to right): money – wealth; golf ball – success in sports (maybe take after her parents); some fabric – longevity; a bowl of rice – prosperity and a book – a scholarly life.

3) Hats Off: Using your family’s skills is one way to cut the budget (even though this bash did not seem to have a budget). Chloe’s uncle designed the visors and matching invitations. Repetition is key to holding a theme throughout an event. Using the same design throughout ties everything together.

4) Bonkers for Balloons: This balloon background is jaw-dropping. It really adds so much to the table. Balloons are often forgotten and labeled as a cheap trick, but for children birthday parties it is absolutely perfect.

5) Fabulous Foursome: Matching polos and visors in the party’s color scheme is almost too much, but this gorgeous family pulls it off very nicely. It also makes fora  great photo opportunity they won’t soon forget.

6) Invitational Only: As mentioned above, this is another creation by the Uncle. Using a play on words such as par-tee and invitational

7) 18th Hole: At the last hole, party favors were features. Favor labels were created using the argyle pattern and the golf club design.

(Photos by Minmi Photography)

What do you think?


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may27Summer time is upon us. Well, at least it is in the Pacific Northwest. To me, it means bright blue skies and BBQ get together galore. This week’s collection feature dresses that contain elements of summer (breezy fabrics and simple details). In addition, these dresses are also budget friendly. This will allow you to splurge on more important aspects, like more ice cold beverages.

summer dresses

1) Getaway Gown: A modern silhouette with subtle detail makes this a-line skirt and sweep train a good choice for a summer nuptial. The bodice has some shirring drawing the eye to the feminine halter neckline. The ribbon adds color and a textural contrast to the waistline. (Dessy Destination; ~$440)

2) Pleats to Meet You: This pleated Jersey matte gown features a plunging neckline and wide shoulder straps. Delicate sequins are dotted along the shoulders and the pleated skirt drapes the body in the most flattering manner. (Calvin Klein; $178)

3) Destination Diva: The lightweight silk organza wisps along your feet with every step you take. Alencon lace lines the bodice with gently shirring around the waistline. The empire waist and trumpet skirt creates the perfect hourglass shape while the skinny spaghetti straps effortlessly hold the dress in place. (Watters; ~$1500)

4) Fabric of Our Lives: The compact weave of cotton cady creates a structured dress without having any droopy draping. It features a fitted bodice and hidden corset for extra support. Me likey. Covered buttons run down the back of the dress adding a classic wedding touch to a modern silhouette. Standard J Crew pockets can be found in the seam on this gorgeous gown. (J Crew; $850)

5) White On: Whisper-light crinkle chiffon adds texture and dimension to the basic chiffon. The silk charmeuse underlayer and silk waistband adds some weight to this dress. Don’t worry, it won’t weight you down on the dance floor. Try a sash for a splash of color. (Alix & Kelly; $995)

6) Birds of a Feather: Layers of wispy English cotton tulle lay on top of feather light Georgette cotton. Georgette has a crinkly crepe-like texture that gives the dress texture and dimension. The combined fabrics gives the dress bounce and makes the dress appear to move on its own. The bodice features tiny cotton flowers and sparse jewel detailing.  (Cotton Bride; ~$1800)

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Update :: Memorial Weekend

may26Happy Memorial Weekend!! I hope you enjoyed an extra long weekend. For me, it was nice to catch up on projects I’ve been meaning to finish. Since the last few weeks have been crazy. May is a ridiculously full of celebrations for my family: four birthdays (my husband, my mother-in-law, great-grandma and my dad), Mother’s Day and Memorial Weekend. Needless to say, we were hosting or attending an event each weekend. I *think* my schedule will be going back to normal and regular postings shall resume. But with the gorgeous weather and my cabin-like fever running high, it will be hard to stay indoors.

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may25When planning a wedding, usually the bride’s goal is to make the wedding spectacularly different from any other wedding. Memorable. Unique. Personable. Recently, I came across this video and all those adjectives immediately came to mind. How would the invite look?

Together with their parents

Jane Zoe & John Doe

request the honour of your presence
at their marriage
on Sunday, the fourth of October
two thousand ten
at six o’clock in the evening

1890 SE Street
Portland, Oregon

Wedding Music Video and Reception to follow

Check out the wedding music video of Brian and Eileen. I bow down to their video coordinator and guests. Kudos to you.

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may22When you think of the word budget, what do you think of? Cheap? Plastic? Generic? For example, when I see carnations, I gag. Well, not really, but I do think of cheap. But there are ways to rework the overused carnations and other elements such as tissue paper and doilies into easy and impressive accents. What do carnations, tissue papers and doilies have in common? They are all cheap, overworked and unappreciated. There are ways to trim the budget by using these overused and stale decoration ideas in a new and chic manner.

Carnation Overkill

Carnations are grown all over the world, including counties such as “The Iraq”, Kenya, India, Turkey and  China. Being available year round and coming in a variety of shades (about 10,000 different varieties) makes this a commonly filler flower in bouquets. If it is kept properly hydrated, it will remain fresh and fragrant for about three weeks. The key to carnations: use in bulk.


Whimsical Centerpieces: Carnations are bunched together in a vase wrapped in aspidistra leaves. Silver wire is tied to give it a modern feel.

Bed of Roses Carnations: Carnations are always better in masses. This is a great way to display your escort cards, a aisle runner or a centerpiece. Floral foam are found in a variety of shapes and sizes. This project can be made weeks in advance, just remember to follow the last step.

  • Fill a sink or large bowl with cool water, and mix with floral food, following label instructions. Submerge the foam water for 1 hour, then place on a tray.
  • Cut flower stems about 1 inch from the head. Starting from the middle of the foam, insert the cut stems into the form, clustering the blooms close together.
  • To use this arrangement as a centerpiece, set it on a tray or plate. Every 4 days, place your arrangement in a sink and water it from above; let it drain. Your arrangement should last for up to 2 weeks in a cool, humid location.

Kiss me Carnation: Pomander or “kissing ball” are an easy way to add elevation and excitement to a table urchase floral foam balls in the size of your choice (available at any floral supply store or online), flowers (sturdy flowers so they don’t get crushed) and wire.

  • To prepare the ball for hanging, wrap wire around the diameter of the ball, then wrap it again but in the opposite direction to divide the ball into quarters. Twist the ends of the wire into a small loop (you’ll slip the ribbon through this loop later to hang the ball).
  • Soak the foam in water.
  • Trim the stems of the flowers at an angle, leaving an inch or so beneath the head. Insert flowers. If the stems of your chosen flowers are strong enough, you can insert them into the ball as is. Insert the flowers in a straight line, creating a ring around the ball. Then cover each half of the ball with flowers, overlapping the petals slightly and making sure to fill in all the gaps.
  • Slip ribbon through the loop you created at the top of the ball.

Tissue Paper Tension

The gift bag stuffed with tissue paper is ever present at every birthday, wedding or any event that has presents. Tissue paper is the go-to when you are in a rush or don’t want to wrap a present. The key to tissue paper: using non-standard colors and creating texture.


Cute as a Button: With a little creativity, wrapping up favors can look cute and fresh. Pair tissue paper with parchment paper and tie ribbon. This person used personalized buttons to top each gift, a gift within a gift. Cute! Tissue paper comes in a variety of colors, patterns and textures. Find one that fits your budget and needs. Don’t forget to price compare! (Indigo Bunting)

Ring around the Paper: Similar to the bed of carnations or kissing ball, tightly packing tissue paper creates a huge impact when bunched in masses. Elizabeth’s simple directions will show you the steps in creating this gorgeous wreath you can use year round. (Elizabeth Anne Designs)

Gorgeous Garland: Need something to drape down the aisle or hang from the trees? Try this simple project that is easy to create but has a huge wow factor without being pretentious. Who would have thought they are made out of coffee filters and tissue paper. Both items are recyclable and are whisper thin, allowing light trickle through. Perfect for an outdoor garden party or indoor shower. (Pam Garrison)

  • Gather tissue paper, coffee filters, fabric and other paper materials and cut into similar sizes.
  • Tie a knot about 6 inches from the one end of the string.
  • Punch a hole in the middle of the circles or use a needle to feed the string through the whole. For each section, be sure to tie off with a knot so the paper packets are held in the same area.
  • Repeat

Dated Doilies

Doilies are reminiscent of a age gone by. Dust would collect as they were used to protect the furniture. If you reuse your grandmother’s doilies for these projects, she might get offended. The key to doilies: using them in alternative methods will break the stuffy/dusty doily stereotype.


High Flyin’ Flags: To incorporate a non-grandmaesque doily decoration, just colored doilies to create a stringed garland. This project is super easy and will bring you back to your drink in no time. Fold doilies of various sizes and colors in half. Use twine, ribbon or string and glue the doilies. Hang and drink. (Martha Stewart)

Illuminate Me: Using luminaries automatically adds romance and creates an intimate space. The candlelight really adds depth to the party. Follow these simple instructions to add doilies to the paper lanterns to create a display worth gushing about. (Martha Stewart)

Paper Runner: This project calls for cloth doilies, but paper doilies are fine as well. The openwork and spaces of the doilies allow the table cloth underneath to shine through. Adding different textures (unlike the picture) will help mix it up. Use metal chargers or burlap runners to help contrast with the traditionally feminine doilies. (Martha Stewart).

What do you think? Do you still hate carnations? Or will you give them a chance?

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may20This week’s collection is really a focus on one style or fabric, but more of a glimpse into the local Portland designer scene. I promise there is no hoity-toity here. So put down your guns and hold your breath, as I uncover surprisingly delicious designs. Feast your eyes on these lovely frocks as Portland designers bring sustainability and art together in a style savvy silhouettes.

Desktop2Unexpected Remix: Julia creates one of kind wedding dresses by deconstructing vintage and recycled materials, an up-cycling process if you will. Crinoline, silks, vintage lace, caged hoop skirts and non-conventional fabrics (ie canvas from a fishing box) are used in an artistic and feminine manner. Find your dress inspiration and be a part of a living art installation. (Frocky Jack Morgan; $99-$2000).


Desktop4Fearlessly Feminine: Elizabeth Dye is a talented designer that creates wedding dresses that seamlessly fit your body. Delicate detailing and handmade pieces makes the refined bride feel ethereal. Discover your inimitable show-stopper of a gown fit for a queen on any budget. (Elizabeth Dye; affordably priced)


Desktop3Modern Romance: In Holly’s designs, the glamour of the silver screen are interwined with vintage fabrics and antiqued fabric trims. The reconstructed gowns featured in her inspiring collection of one of a kind or limited run designs. Make a fashion statement as you walk down the aisle in one of her fanciful frocks. (Holly Stalder; $265+)


Would you wear a custom gown for any occasion (not just a wedding) if it was affordable? 

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may16Nicole is hosting a bridal shower for her future sister-in-law in Ohio. Damon and Jennifer’s wedding colors are green and black and the black is often featured in a damask-like floral pattern. Very chic! Nicole didn’t want to over do the green theme, but focus on Jennifer. The bride-to-be is a teacher and bringing in bits of her profession into the shower will create a unique and personalized event.

jenny shower

1) Wet Paint: Chalkboard paint is a fun way to add a touch of “class” to the shower. Using mini terra cotta pots (online, craft or Home Depot) and black chalkboard paint, you can create simple and easy name cards. Paint the entire pot and then write with chalk the name of the guests. It will act as a name card and favor. Buy a flat of flowers and potting soil to add some green to the scene. (Image Source)2) Tree of Life: To add some much needed height to the table, use dried myrtle branches and place in your chemistry beakers. One branch per vase should be enough. Too much will take away from the rest of the décor. If you don’t want to buy online, check out Michael’s for a  huge selection on dried branches and flowers. Just don’t forget their 40% coupon they have in the Sunday paper. (Nettleton Hollow; $18.50)

3) Apples to Apples: To continue the teacher theme, scatter some crisp Granny Smith Apples to tables. In between the stacked books and beaker vases. If you piled them in a glass hurricane, dress it up by add some ribbon. (Source)

4) Pop Quiz: To keep your guests occupied while you greet and direct traffic, create a quiz about the bride-to-be. As an ice-breaker, go over the answers as a group. Be sure to ask a variety of questions so a specific group of friends/family won’t be able to answer them all. (Martha Stewart)

5) Tagged: Write little quotes such as, “Countdown to Gown – 56 Day”, “Blushing Bride”, “Something Old…”, “Going to the Chapel” and place on the back of each chair. You can cut out your own tags or order from your local craft store or buy from an online store. Tie with coordinating ribbon.

6) Turn Tables: Using the white linens from the restaurant will add an uncomplicated base for building your table centerpieces. If the venue has other colors, ask for both white and the color and layer the tablecloths on top of each other.

7) Apple of His Eye: To get the look of customize printed invitations, customize on your home computer and print with your printer. These crisp and green printable invitations and matching green envelopes from Crane Co are perfect for the occasion. A personalized and editable .doc template has been provided. If you don’t want to print at home, take them to Kinko’s for a small fee. (Crane and Co; $15 for 10)

8) Takes the Cake: Order a simple butter cream cake and decorate yourself. Add a ½ inch satin ribbon to the girth of the cake. If you want to add apple slices, toss with lemon juice so they don’t turn brown.

9) You’ve Been Framed: For simple and budget friendly prizes, buy some frames in lime and black and insert black and white pictures of the couple. Add some ribbon and display the frames near the cake. (CB2; $1.95)

10) Bookworm: For a simple DIY décor project, borrow some thick books and cover with pretty wrapping paper. On the bind of each book, write important locations from their relationship (where they first met, got engaged, first date etc). Place the books in stacks down the length of the table. It was required to cover books in middle school, so if you don’t remember, try watching this video. (It is a bit slow, but it will refresh your memory).

11) Chemistry Class: Beaker-like glass vases add some height to your table. Place on the stacks of books for your centerpieces that won’t obstruct the view for the guests. (CB2; $2.95)

Nicole was also looking for some outfit options. I couldn’t just decide on one dress. With the summer lines coming out, everything looked just too cute.


1) Wrapped Up: A lovely swiss dot paired with a lightweight fabric makes for a great summer dress. (J Crew; $60)

2) Green Theme: Sticking with the green and black theme, this tank style dress with billowy skirt is a match made in heaven. (Anthropologie; $128)

3) Mary Poplins: Simple and sophisicated are two words that decribe this dress. Pleats add a bit of flair to the empire waisted skirt. (Gap; $60)

4) Ray of Sunshine: This no-fuss cotton dress is bright and cheery. The adjustable ties can be tied in the front or in the back. (Nordstrom; $118)

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