Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year's Eve to all of you!  What will you be doing?  Getting engaged, perhaps?  Approximately 20% of all engagements happen over the holidays in December, according to a study by Conde Nast Bridal Group!  That's probably why we get so busy in January.  ;-)  I'm enjoying my last day of unofficial low-season vacation, because we here at Tradewind Tiaras always see a huge jump in activity on January 1st.  Something about all the new engagements and the rest of the brides realizing that they've just taken a three month holiday break from wedding planning!   To the bride who put in her order on Christmas Eve--smart girl, getting ahead of the crowd!  You might not need your veil until March, but it will be mailed out on Monday!

We're having a casual, family-friendly gathering to celebrate the new year.  We're inviting over a few families, firing up the wood-fired pizza oven I built in the backyard for some delicious food...

...playing fun German-style Board games like Settlers of Catan and Puerto Rico, and I'm sure we'll pull out the Wii...

..and of course, wear silly hats and make lots of noise come midnight.

 Leftover Christmas crackers are excellent for those who don't bring their own silly hats.

It's too late to order the supplies this year, but bookmark this tutorial and source of materials for making your own Christmas crackers for next year.  These are the supplies and directions I used for the ones I made for the Sugar Plum Fairy party.  It was easy and fun, and I loved being able to make my own custom fillings.  Fill them with noisemakers, notes with hopes for each person in the new year, a pen and paper to write down a resolution, and of course, a silly party hat, and you have a perfect New Year's Eve cracker!  (And do I have to mention what a marvelous DIY favor homemade crackers would be for a December wedding?)

Our oldest has always been incredible at staying up late--never cranky or difficult, so she'll easily make it to midnight.  Our 19 month way.  So I'm going to use the brilliant idea over at the Frog Prince Paperie blog for an early celebration for little ones.  Inspired!

Wishing the happiest of new years to everyone!  See you in 2011.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Elevation: The Key to a Gorgeous Table

When creating a display table--whether it's a dessert table, a buffet, or a merchandise display--the fastest way to make it look interesting and professional is to create different levels of elevation.

The classic catering trick is, of course, to put boxes under some pretty fabric.

Photo by Upper Crust Catering.  Look how much more lavish and interesting that looks than if all the platters were on a flat table?  It's also an easy way to incorporate beautiful fabrics in smaller quantities than it would take to make an entire tablecloth. 

But my very favorite way to create elevation is with cake stands.  They're available in an astounding array of designs, from elegant to whimsical to rustic.  You can even make your own, like I did for the Cornish Fairy party I designed:

 But they're also readily available from current retailers, antique shops, and artisans, so if you're not crafty, don't despair!

For versatility, you can't beat a set of white enamel cake stands like these, only $57 for the set on Amazon!  (Want!  Are you listening, Santa?)

Or for a gorgeous eclectic look, you can't beat these designs from Crafty Clementine on Etsy and Wedzu:

Can't you just imagine a gorgeous display full of complimentary vintage pieces? 

Adding elevation quickly takes the table design to an entirely new level, if you'll excuse the pun.  Such a simple trick, but one that creates such dramatic results!  That's the kind of tip I like best.

Monday, December 6, 2010

We Love Custom Work!

I'm very excited to show you a recent project we worked on.  I was approached by Kate Landers Events, LLC to contrubute a custom tiara for her newest signature party, a Nutcracker Suite Ballet party! 

 Kate knew that her color palette contained pinks ranging to touches of cranberry with silver accents, and gave me free reign on the design.  Something that a little ballerina princess would love!  I used Swarovski crystals in light rose, rose, and fuchsia, and some gorgeous deep pink pearls to fill in the basic structure, which I formed out of Swarovski rhinestone elements in crystal AB.  The Aurora Borealis finish (an iridescent coating) added extra depth and sparkle, and really picks up on surrounding color.   Just perfect for a little girl!

If you haven't yet seen how it all came together, here's a quick glimpse:

How absolutely stunning and magical!  I was so proud to have contributed a small part to this amazing party.  Many, many more pictures on Kate's blog, so definitely check it out.

I also want to mention that these gorgeous images were captured by the talented photographer Liza Voll.  I know from personal experience how difficult it is to photograph tiaras, and Liza did it gorgeously!   I wish she were local so I could take advantage of her for all our photography needs!

I'd be excited to share this party with all of you under any circumstances, but I wanted to show these pictures to highlight the fact that we at Tradewind Tiaras love custom designs!  It's so much fun to work with a bride, to hear her ideas, see pictures of her dress, her venue, her hairstyle, her heirloom jewelry, and more.  You never know where the inspiration is going to come from, but it's so incredibly gratifying to create something custom that suits a bride's needs perfectly.  So if you don't see something that fits your needs on our website, please don't hesitate to contact us to see if we can create something just for you.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Busy, Busy Couple Days

Hi Everyone--

Between massive computer issues and prepping for a big party tomorrow, my blogging is going to suffer this week.  I'll be back on Monday with a ton of new content.  I wish I could show you a sneak peek of what I'm working on, but those photos self-destructed right along with my computer.  Good thing I have backups!  I just don't have time to reinstall them all, or a viable machine to put them on at the moment.  

I do have this, one of the inspiration pictures I used when designing the party.  Can you guess?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Featured at Frog Prince Paperie

Head over to the fabulously inspiring Frog Prince Paperie blog for a guest post I wrote on tips for making your very own genuine gingerbread house.  Paula from Frog Prince Paperie wrote a wonderful blog post last week about her adventures making her very first (spectacular!) gingerbread house.  She truly did a marvelous job, and figured out a lot of great insights about the process in her first attempt.

My family has made thousands of gingerbread houses over the years.  We've made every mistake possible, and have figured out a few tips through trial and error that make gingerbread baking go smoothly.  Head over and check it out!   While you're there, stop by the shop to see their amazing printables.  Such marvelous designs!

And you see that decorated gingerbread house in the picture?  That just happens to be a little sneak peak for a party I'm putting together in just a few days.  Keep an eye on the blog for tons of photos, festivities, and how-tos in the weeks ahead!