Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Inviting Alice to Christmas

As promised, I'm posting my newly redesigned Alice in Wonderland Christmas Trees. For the last several years, I've done an Alice tree with glass hearts, golden keys, little mushrooms and a collection of resin ornaments (of indeterminate provenience). This year, however, I discovered the wonderland that is Ebay, and scored some delightful Polonaise pieces.
     The new ornaments include Alice herself (who is very pretty but arrived broken-curses!), the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit and Red Queen. Once they arrived, I knew they needed their own place without their resinous counterparts (which are cute but not nearly as interesting). They were given pride of place on my tallest spiral topiary, and the old collection was moved to a smaller bush across the room with blue and silver pieces. Now there are two Alice trees to complete my Winter Wonderland! I'm actually working on a third as well! My newest quest is for the perfect fabric roses.
     Unlike so many of my blog friends, I'm not much of a photographer so I know you'll forgive my less than perfect pictures. I haven't finished the dining room completely, but I'll be displaying little vignettes containing other pieces from my Alice collection to create a whimsical holiday scene sure to enchant all the children in my family from now until January. Please feel free to throw in your ideas, or tell everyone about how yooouuu roll at Christmastime! Oodles of Toodles, Your Kitty.

My brother and my nephew think these ornaments, especially the Hatter are "creepy."

I had to tuck Alice and her flamingo into the tree strategically; the bottom of her dress broke in transit. Apparently, I'll just have to deal with it and spend the rest of my life looking to replace this lone piece of the set. Bollocks!

The Red Queen of Hearts is my favorite; this old girl is bigger than my palm.

The blue and silver Alice tree with my old resin ornaments.

These Alices feature a tiny, glittery red bottle. I love the way she falls off the branch with her dress billowing as if she's headed down the rabbit hole!

I haven't found a perfect Cheshire Cat yet, so I'll leave you with this mysterious grin for now. Meow!

See the complete collection of Alice party ideas and other Wonderland topics on my new blog, Cabbages and Kings!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pear Tree Eco-Friendly Holiday Cards

Pear Tree Greetings

Pear Tree Greetings Holiday Cards - Great Design at pocket friendly prices

Pear Tree Greetings

Please know that 75% of our ad commissions from the sale of these cards will benefit our Seva Project 09 for St. Mary's Child Center in Indianapolis. Learn more. Pear Tree Greetings is not directly affiliated with this initiative to provide art supplies for at-risk preschoolers in our community. Thank You So Much! Love, kitty.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hanukkah Ideas Part 2: Chinoiserie and Modern Menorahs

     A Chinoiserie Menorah and another titled, "Silver Dove." Both from the Art Institute of Chicago's Museum Shop (please note: we have no relationship with the shop, so should you decide to get one from their website your purchase will not raise funds for the Seva Project 09). They have lots of other interesting options for your Festival of Lights, so why don't you shake a tail and have a look?

Bronze Bonsai Menorah

Silver Dove Menorah

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Costumes - Really?

These fabulous finds are for Averill's amusement, but I hope everyone thinks they're as weird as I do. She hates Thanksgiving decorations! Pilgrim costumes? Really? Really?!? Please write in if you have seen this done at Thanksgiving dinner! Or tell us about your favorite Thanksgiving moment gone wrong!
Womens Pilgrim Costume
"Coming up on Stage Number 4, it's Hester Prynne!"

Deluxe Men's Indian Costume

Deluxe Women's Indian Costume
I don't have any clever taglines for these coupla hot messes. Do you?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Curiouser and Curiouser!

Dear Kittens,
   Through a cursory analysis, I noticed my most popular posts on Shindigs are the Alice in Wonderland features. They're certainly the most fun to construct! I've decided to organize them and expand them on this new blog, Of Cabbages & Kings. I hope you enjoy reading the posts as much as I enjoy writing them. I've had a penchant for Alice since early childhood, and I've been collecting ever since.
     I've never been much of a fan of princess crap, preferring instead to live in a Wonderland of sorts, gawking at the absurdity of life the way Alice herself learned about reality. Alice in Wonderland is as existential as Camus or any dharma book I've ever read. In fact, if there is one work of literature that has run like a sutra thread through my life, it is Alice in Wonderland. I just love it. And from the looks of it, so do you!
     Here you'll find reprints of Shindigs & Soirees party planning posts, my Alice collection, special features and shopping links. In fact, from November 1, 2009 to January 1, 2010 we will donate 75% of our advertising revenue for the Innerspace Yoga Seva Project 09. Please click here for more information. Meanwhile, please tumble down this rabbit hole with me...and do drop a line. I want to see your Alice stuff, too! Oodles of Toodles,
Your Kitty, the Duchess of Bucquette.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hanukkah Ideas

Each photo above is clickable for your convenience. Should you decide to purchase anything from these sites, a portion of our revenue will be donated to the Innerspace Seva Project 09. Please allow your browser to accept cookies from these sites so sales can be tracked and we can earn our commission for the cause. Thanks! Love, kitty.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

My Alice in Wonderland Tree

     I just can't wait to put up my Alice tree. Forgive my photos from last year. These pictures don't do it much justice; it's adorned with red glass hearts from around the world (mainly compliments of Bebe) weird keys, smaller topiaries from my wedding 13 years ago, glass mushrooms, and very intricate Alice ornaments. It's also the place where I hang MIL's lone surviving antique ornament from her own childhood. Because of the red hearts, I stack red, white and green gifts under this tree. I can't put them under the main tree, obviously because that room is brown and tiger striped and neutral. Christmas morning is always a little treasure hunt through the house for all of us!
Update: I just scored the sweetest glass Alice ornaments on Ebay! They're from my favorite year, 1996, and each is palm sized. I'll be receiving Alice, the Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit. Although Radko made Alice in Wonderland ornaments that are somewhat rare and very cute, these are waaaayyy better and I can't wait to get them and put them up!
Update 2: Attention Alice fans: I've created a new blog, Cabbages and Kings. It's all Alice all the time. I hope you'll all join me there and on the other kitty: channels: Organic Orgy and Zen of Homekeeping. Toodles, kitty.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Your Corporate Holiday Parties

     I've mentioned most of my event planning experience comes from several years of directing corporate Christmas at our family business. I learned quickly in our industry that there is no such thing as "Christmas" per se in the professional world.
    There are "The Holidays" and there is "The New Year," and there is a "Season" which must be greeted, but it's not called Christmas. Now, our parties certainly reflected the Christmas spirit (one of the season's parties was a no-holds barred Santa extravaganza), but in secular industries, not being more sensitive to and aware of others' cultural diversities will come back to bite you in the arse. If you have Jewish clients and employees, take the time to learn about Hanukkah. Non-Christian Asians tend to put more emphasis on the New Year.
     When I took over the job, Harry & David hams were traditionally sent to clients. People of the Jewish and Muslim faiths don't eat pork, and neither do I. But we live in the Bible Belt, and this had not occurred to my predecessor. We switched to smoked turkeys, which some clients really liked. If I knew they had always enjoyed our meat in the mail, I'd send the bird. Otherwise, it was gift-towers for all. Eventually I settled on sending organic Fruit of the Month. I was never disappointed. They all loved it. Each individual piece always looked like something from a food styling photo shoot. If you have the budget and you're looking to impress, Harry & David is a great option. Their customer service reps are really great, too.
     Whatever you do and whomever you use during the season, start early. Be ready to ship December 1st. Sure, most vendors will handle ultra-last-minute pleas but shipping and schlepping will cost you dearly. I once had to phone our order in 3 days early from Cabo San Lucas. It arrived on Christmas Eve at clients' homes, but the charges were staggering. And the roaming. The roaming from my cell phone was a king's ransom. I thought I'd never hear the end of it.
      If you care enough to spend the money to send gourmet foods or something really cool, you obviously want to make an impression. If your items don't arrive until the day or two before the holiday begins, your big mucky-muck probably won't see it. Either it will get lost in the avalanche of gifts that pile into the office, or it will arrive after your executive has jetted off a day early on vacation. Then all your butt-kissing will be for naught. Get it there early!
     Conversely, you must take note of what's coming into your office as well. Do your thank you notes as time allows during this busy time of the year, but write your thank you letters as you receive the gifts.  Make sure you acknowledge the gifts, however small or mundane - and even if your company won't be reciprocating. My boss insisted upon a running inventory of who sent what. (continues below)

     Alright, I'm pretty sure I'll catch hell for this, but I'm just going to say it: I. Hate. Secret Santa. It's the worst thing ever. If you're in charge of office cheer, don't foist this upon people. For one thing, an office isn't a sorority house. I'm not grinchy, really I'm not, but it's really awkward. Really, really awkward. I felt weird receiving presents from people I hardly knew. A sweet high school girl who worked about 5 minutes a week for minimum wage drew my name. I felt like a total ass accepting her cute little bag of Bath & Body Works (which, of course I refuse to use because of paraben and SLS and fake perfume content). I am old enough to be her mother. I secreted cash into her little felt stocking in the front of the building. That's what Secret Santa should be about!
In this awful economic climate, please don't press people into playing reindeer games. These are the sorts of things that add to rampant holiday stress. If you must spread some office cheer, why don't you take some of the delectable fruit baskets nuts and sausages (oh yes, there were loads and loads of sausages - more than any family could or should eat) down to the local police station or fire house? Or food pantry, or shelter or whatever. Give your coworkers the opportunity to do passive service. I think that's what the corporate world, or at least Michael Scott, calls a "win-win"situation.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fancy Folded Napkins

     When I was an undergraduate, I worked in the catering department of a large, old hotel. We had to do ornamental napkin presentations practically every day. Given I spent most of my breaks on the back loading dock, er, hanging out with a bunch of townies, I don't remember how to do any of the fancy folds other than sticking a napkin in a wine glass like this:

     It's not a bad technique in a pinch, but if you really want to set a table to impress, it's easy to learn the more intricate folds. I found this simple tutorial when I was looking for odd-sized table linens. I can never seem to find a tablecloth that's wide enough to fit my dining room table. I dread having to drag out the Singer to make one myself; how I hate sewing curved hems!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Natural Halloween Outdoor Decorating

 Photo by Matthew Benson for Country Living

     Plastic wrappers, flammable streamers and polyester spider webs: all the traditional trappings of outdoor Halloween decor. Couple these with off-gassing PVC masks and costumes and fog machines, and you've got one horrible mess of toxicity melting down. Consider the All Hallow's Eve hangover of a trashpile on November 1st. The items that frightened and delighted your trick or treaters will haunt us forever in the landfill! That's pretty scary!
     The photo above from Country Living showcases the most perfect, eco-friendly vignette I've ever seen. By using natural materials that can be composted (or heaped for next year's crops of pumpkins, gourds and squashes), you will avoid rampant consumerism and have a more tasteful display.
     I particularly like the candles in Kerr jars with candy corn to stabilize. After Halloween, you can take the spooky bits out of your decorations to have something to tide you over till after Thanksgiving when the big guns come out!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tips for Holiday Invitations: You'd Better Get Busy Now!

I've been griping about the merchants foisting Christmas upon us before the leaves have dropped here in Indiana. It is such an anti-Zen way to live, shifting our consciousness ahead two and three months at a time. But if you read Shindigs & Soirees, I can only assume you are a doer and a planner, and there are, after all, numerous events creeping up on your calendar. That said, I know you'll forgive me for instilling holiday panic before you've even picked up your Halloween candy!
I was the party planner for our family business until Hubbs retired. At that time, my father in law (may he rest in peace) was still the CEO and our holiday extravaganzas included an employee party, a separate formal dinner dance for employees and clients/associates, a Santa party for our employees' children (complete with wish lists granted for 25-35 kids), client gifting, correspondence, and our personal family gatherings. Needless to say, my holiday planning began with our annual Halloween rager at my house and ended with me horizontal in a fuge state on a sofa by the fire by 3 pm on Christmas Day.
I abdicated my duties about 5 years ago, but inherited all of the Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve cooking. Not a bad trade, considering all the work that went into the season. In those days, internet commerce wasn't as prolific, and I had yet to discover the blogosphere. I'm not entirely sure there was much content yet, anyway. That meant the week before Halloween, I had to scour all of the stationery shops, spending hours pouring over catalogs and invitation samples. The schlepping alone drove me nuts.
Despite the options and convenience of the web, etiquette time tables still apply. Formal invitations for Christmas and New Year's Eve really must go out 6 weeks prior: people should be receiving theirs right after Thanksgiving. Anything later, and you're really pushing it because of the rush and rigmarole of the season!
Start by thinking backwards. Figure out the date of your event, subtract 6 weeks plus 10-14 days for processing and shipping, and you'll know when to get started. Whether you order from your local shop or online, you can do your address labels while you are waiting for your products to arrive. One advantage to having your invitations printed locally is the occasional opportunity to take your envelopes with you while the cards are being made. If you choose to print your addresses on labels, choose clear for colored envelopes. In my case, my boss insisted all invitations be addressed by hand. This usually took me every bit of a week to accomplish, but the results were very personal.
Your invitation should set the tone of your party. Often, I would come up with the theme by finding a super cool invitation. We celebrate Christmas, but not everyone does. That's why I usually crafted my text to read something like "Celebrate the Season With (Our Company Name)." The corporate tradition was to send a Harry & David ham to our clients, but when I took over we began ordering turkeys instead. Not everyone appreciates pork - including myself. Definitely something to consider in a culturally heterogeneous business world!
Here are some ideas to get you started. There is nothing I love more than poring over stationery, and though I consume far, far less of it these days I am happy to daydream of the parties that might be as well as the soirees that have been. Feel free to drop me an email (kitty@innerspaceyogas.com) or a comment if you want to pick my brain while planning your own winter wonderlands!

Holiday Classics personalized Business Greeting Cards. Save 50% off Holiday cards until 11/25.

I don't normally send Thanksgiving cards because everyone I want to greet is usually at my house eating free range turkey and organic cranberry chutney, but if your business is food oriented, you'll make a big impression on your clients before the deluge of December mail rains upon them!

Note: The designs below were handpicked and captioned for you by Kitty. They are posted in a "shop" format for your browsing/my posting convenience. The links are clickable if you need more information or you want to order anything. In that case, you will leave the Kitty website.
While browsing invitations all afternoon, I was inspired to begin planning my own holiday social schedule. Among the pending get togethers, I'm penciling in an afternoon tea for some yoga friends to kick off this season's Innerspace Yoga Seva project, a wild girls' night out, Thanksgiving for 3-23 people, an intimate cocktail party at home, Christmas Eve White Elephant, and of course Christmas Day. Whew! I've worn myself out just thinking of it. More on these projects as they develop - Please check back!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Best Halloween Treat Ever

A friend asked, "Do you ever wonder about candy from China?" I try to minimize my consumption of Chinese products (it's really, really hard) because I try to maximize my American purchases. My mother-in-law is very strict about candy and toys not being from China because of lead content and the pet food scare a few years ago. Fine by me. That means my Easter baskets and Christmas stockings are loaded with domestic chocolate.
Behind in my blogging, I just found this adorable Halloween banner this evening. You totally have time to have some of these delivered in time for your favorite trick-or-treaters. They're fun to make and fun to give. I am actually going to click over and get some for my nephews as well as some of the NFL varieties to give to my son's football coaches as a thank you. Go Jets!

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*Note: (Wed) I don't know what happened to the super cute orange and black banner I had posted; here yesterday and gone today. If you click on the ad, it will take you over to M&Ms, and you can see the Halloween variety there. Thanks, Kitty.*

Friday, October 9, 2009

FTC Compliance

This morning, Liberty Post pointed me to a new FTC rule. Because I care about lawful compliance (although, I like to think I can discern for myself what is and is not malarkey in the media, and likewise I strive to be honest in everything I publish), I am posting the Advertising Policies for the entire domain.
"Innerspace OMnimedia publishes a variety of blogs and electronic magazines celebrating and supporting conscious lifestyle choices." That's the mission. Here are the facts: We are a privately funded corporation. We want to bring sustainable culture to people in many ways, from traditional news features to essays and yes, advertising. We like to think we are uniting cool people with cool stuff when indeed our editorial content is appropriate for "stuff." The companies featured throughout the domain demonstrate an aspect of sustainability, whether they are purveyors of organic clothing, natural cosmetics, or yoga products. Whatever.
Innerspace OMnimedia chooses our advertising partners with discernment; sometimes a brand is featured because we ourselves use and endorse the products, and sometimes we feature ad banners from the aforementioned partners simply because we like the graphic effect. We pretty much do what we want when we want and we believe our readers are astute enough to know media is supported by advertising.
When a customer clicks on these visual elements, she might or might not be taken to a place with further product information or the ability to purchase said item. If she buys the item, Innerspace OMnimedia is given a commission. It's called "affiliate marketing." It's an aspect of media in the digital age.
During the holiday season, we sometimes run Seva Projects which take those commissions and distribute them to Indiana children's charities. During the rest of the year, those revenues keep the Mothership up and running. When readers' buying sprees go to charity, we are very explicit about run dates for the project, as well as who will receive portions of our revenues. In other words, you'll know about all the love you are about to spread by buying cool stuff!
As for consumer reviews (particularly on Kitty channels), your Kitty personally buys the products in question with her own funds, tests the products on herself, and gives a "transparent" and honest review. We do not review swag or samples. Your Kitty does not review anything she has not paid for herself; products posted in clickable links may or may not generate revenue, and exist mainly for the readers' convenience. Now you know. Thanks.
Update 11-16-09: If you're a blogger and you want to learn more about the FTC's Endorsement guidelines, you might find this montage of videos helpful.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Candy for the Cure

My M&Ms

Send a bag of these special candies to your favorite survivor today! Personalized M&Ms are a huge hit. I've been pleased with the bags I have ordered, and these are especially cool because they raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Now through October 31st, M&Ms will donate 10% of your purchase of "Promise Blend" pink and white candies to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. You can even personalize your bag with your own text. When I use personalized M&Ms, I buy in bulk and have them individually wrapped in smaller cellophane bags at a local candy boutique. A huge hit with peeps of all ages! A nice touch for any ladies' luncheons you may be planning this month.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You Totally Have Time to Plan a Halloween Party

You Totally Have Time to Plan a Halloween Party!
10 tips for a successful soiree:

1. Find some invitations & get them in the mail ASAP (preferably by the 10th to 13th-ish).

I love tiny*prints; their quality is amazing, and the selection is enormous. Many of their choices are eco-friendly, and they recently began selling a "studio" line which is less expensive. Whereas they used to make you order a minimum of 25, you can now get just a few if need be.

2. Determine a budget and stick to it. Party expenses, like hamsters, tend to multiply when left unchecked. Don't go to the party store with vague ideas; you'll end up getting a bunch of crap you won't end up using and that's just a big fat waste of time and money.

3. Make a list (and check it three times every day until the day after the event) of food and activities, then figure out how many and which serving pieces you'll need. Please see my previous posts regarding biodegradable/sustainable plates, cups and flatware.

4. Unless small children are going to be present, consider serving drinks in actual glassware. Brown bottled root beers are soooo autumnal! Rather than offering multitudinous beverage choices, consider one or two types of communal witches brews, served in creepy cauldrons or a spooky punch bowl. You'll save yourself the work of sorting and hauling all the recyclables afterwards!

5. One trick I use when entertaining at home is to actually lay the table the night before, as well as the serving area. I note which food will go into which dishes, so I'm not faced with any unpleasant surprises. I put candlesticks in the freezer overnight; this stops them from dripping all over the place.

6. Designate recycling tubs and put the trash nearby. Make it easy for guests to party sustainably.

7. Leave a few rolls of recycled paper towels on the counter in your kitchen. That way, guests can clean up their own minor disasters without bothering you and feeling embarrassed.
You might include a liter of club soda nearby for spills.

8. Heap some old costumes, props and masks somewhere in case guests arrive without festive attire. They can help themselves to the pile.

9. Polaroids or instant digital photos always, especially on Halloween!

10. The day before is also a great day to round up ice. I prefer to make my own, since my freezer water is filtered. If I start bagging it a day or two in advance, I have plenty.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Halloween Horror Movie Screening

Finally! Fall is here on October 1st and I can jaw about Halloween ad infinitum without fear of reprisal from all the short-wearing hangers-on, trying to squeeze the last smidgen of summer out of the year when all I can do is dream of November when my natural pallor returns and I can get out my galoshes and gear up for a blustery season of gloomy weather in Indiana. Sweet!
So there I was today, picking up some tights and a table cloth at a local department store (oh yes, and several packages of socks for the boys - a little something I like to call Clean Laundry Day). I thought I'd have a glance over near the decorative items when I rounded the corner smack into an island of Christmas trees. That's how it begins on September 30th: with two or three inconspicuous trees and some low-level holiday music. They'll add to it day by day until it creeps over the back half of the store like an invasive species with flashing lights and plastic noise making thingys.... I haven't even re-Ugged my UGGs yet, and these bastards are bugging with the holiday crap. It makes me feel rushed. I just want to enjoy Halloween first, and so we shall!

So I'm thinking of screening horror movies at my Halloween party. Horror movies and perhaps Weird Science. Please write in and tell me what you think would be cool projected onto a large wall (interior or exterior)! My favorites would be Children of the Corn and Nightmare on Elm Street, but I was terrified by The Birds when I was little, and I think it would be perfectly creepy outside!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

1970s Halloween Gear

Just in case you're invited to or are throwing a 70s Halloween party:

Why buy costume pieces when you can have the real thing? Save money and the environment by shopping at a vintage clothing store or your local thrift outlet. Groovy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

An unexpected sort of cat costume

"I've found my Halloween 2009 Get-up!
Princess Leia can now officially retire. I'll just be myself! I'll probably replace the top with something in plain pink, but the boots really epitomize this kooky look!
What are youuuuuuu going to be this year?" Oodles of Toodles, Kitty

~various sizes, prices and vendors available on Ebay.~

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Alice in Wonderland Party Part 4

     I'm amazed by the amount of interest garnered in Shindigs & Soirees' coverage of Alice in Wonderland entertaining. Queries come in from all over the place, and I am heartened to know imagination lives on in gagillions of other girls who favor adventure to princess parties and riddles to rhinestones! Whether you want to create a Wonderland for children or adults, Kitty has you covered! Don't lose your head!
What is an Alice in Wonderland Party without an Alice? With Wonderland popularity on the rise, it's getting easier and easier to create Carroll's characters (see the Alice shop below for numerous options and costume links).

If you have a Wonderland wedding in mind, how adorable would a flower girl be in a handmade, elaborate Alice dress?!?

The Victorian-era illustration at the top of this post depicts everyone with head adornments. Even the little knave wears some sort of heart-shaped headband, and Alice's giant bow is so haute this season! Why use regular party hats when you can provide an array of fabulousness for boys and girls alike! Throw in some daisy chain headbands, bunny ears and jaunty tophats and you've got one curious, curious tea party!
Recently, I was jawing with a dear friend who ground-scored some giant lawn-sized chess pieces for a medieval knight's party she's setting off over the holidays. I thought they would be equally amazing at a Wonderland party. As we brainstormed our imaginary Alice party for you, she said she would make each table's centerpiece different in some way to add vibrant color to the room. When she ran out of chess pieces, we thought of the Queen's croquet Flamingoes, a giant pocketwatch, a mushroom, a tea cup, roses and topiaries... the list went on and on. The gigantic Kings and Queens would be awesome on the lawn of your venue or beside the party's entry!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mad Men themed Party Part 2

As promised, more ideas for you who are gaga over Mad Men! Within a few minutes of any episode of the hip drama, the viewer realizes mad Manhattan in the early sixties was rather gin-soaked and swirling in a haze of cigarette smoke. Ah the good old days... drinking alcohol was much more ritualized. One could smoke openly with coworkers and in-laws. It's bizarre to see social norms so strikingly different, and yet nostalgic at the same time. Forget about the plot line; I'm focused first on the set design and second on the anthropology of it all!
I found this amazing autumnal recipe for cocktails to tide you over while I continue the hunt for my grandmother's vintage, vintage, vintage cookbooks! Cheers, compliments of Dumbwit Tellher!

Cranberry Cranium Martinis:

Regional Favors, Cake and Centerpiece Ideas

While I'm scouring the web for exciting new party favors and ideas for you, I sometimes think of what modern products I might use today in place of what I had at my own wedding 13 years ago. Enter the cake bags:

You see, kittens, I was not the sort of girl who dreamed of expressing herself through the medium of wedding planning. I had not particularly thought about the necessary elements, nor did Hubbs and I have vast amounts of capital to invest in a lavish party, and my main concern was getting to California for a totally bitchen' honeymoon.
My grandmother, however, had different ideas. There were certain touches I must have, such as custom printed napkins and cake bags. The bags are used to package up leftover wedding cake for people who want to take some home. Or whatever. I probably still have 250 left, and I'll just have to save them for our 20th anniversary.
If I were getting married today, I'm not sure I would have such a large cake that I would end up with so much leftover. In fact, I would recycle the best centerpiece idea I've ever had (used at my brother-in-law's wedding several years ago): Centerpieces = Small (6-8 servings) Wedding Cake Replicas. The bride and groom cut the largest cake, which is for themselves and the wedding party, then they come around to each table to chat and cut cake for all the guests. If I did that, there would be no need for leftover bags. That said, however, such bags might be handy if my party favors were cookies.
Of course, if I were getting married today, my grandma would still be coming to the party (86 and still rockin'), and she'd be disappointed not to have the sacks (in the Region the word is "bag;" about 50 miles south of Lake County it morphs into "sack"). That being the case, I would definitely use the recycled paper option pictured above.
Seeing said cake bags on the web is testament to the fact I am not the only bride who had to have these, but I have yet to see this Calumet Region practice done in Indianapolis -- and we're only about 200 miles away. An anthropologist at heart, I'm always interested to see what other small touches are incorporated into weddings across America. Please write in and tell me what you've seen, and whether or not cake bags are big in your neck of the woods!

Another recycled paper option: boxes. Oh, how I love little present boxes at a place setting! If you are excited by beautiful ribbons and papers, be sure to visit A Gift Wrapped Life to see the most gorgeous gifts ever wrapped.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Roaring 20s Party

If you've read my Mad Men post, you already know I love period parties. Among my favorite eras are the 50s, 70s, and 80s, but the ultimate in kittytastic alternate celebratory/hedonistic universes would have to be the Roaring 20s. I'm already daydreaming of about 5 dresses and headpieces I could pull out from my closets right now! Go read The Great Gatsby or watch Chicago. I've embedded some sweet Flapper footage to get you started!

A 20s theme lends itself to any occasion involving liquor and dancing. I also like specific period parties for Halloween because of the dressing up that is invariably involved. In my experience, many guests like to be given costume parameters (I am, of course, never one of those people, since my costume collection takes up way too much space).
Your 20s party can take place on a vast lawn beneath striped tents, as Gatsby himself would have thrown in West Egg. Perhaps you prefer the allure of a clandestine speakeasy, or a ballroom with Art Deco flair. Another version of a 20s party (more near and dear to my heart) is a Chicago theme. Whether you're thinking of the movie and stage productions, or you're envisioning your own little Windy City jazz club, it will be a night to remember!

The photo above actually advertises a monogrammed runner (click it if you want details), but the locale could easily be West Egg! Very East Coast indeed! I love the vignette, sans the tulle of course. I personally feel tulle is completely played, and it only schmutzes up this beautiful view. Love the runner, though! As in other swanky environments, all fabric items should display one's initials.

I've mentioned these blingy tealight holders before, but they're perfect for a 20s-style wedding. Shiny and sparkly is always en vogue!

Letter K Alphabet Cufflinks

If I were invited to attend one of Jay Gatsby's soirees, I would have the good manners to present him with these cufflinks before drinking his contraband champagne and showing everyone my bloomers!

How amazing would these mini brownie pops look on your desert table?!? The white one is beaded to represent a wedding gown, but I think it looks like a Flapper's headpiece. Gorgeous touch for the Gatsby wedding!

Hold onto your headbands, kittens. I have the most sublime Gatsbyesque invitation for your very elegant 20s party... I couldn't get all of the shots on here, so please do click the pic so you can see this masterpiece of haute paperie when it's assembled!

Some Flapper Accessories to Rock Your Look:

Black & Silver Stevie Reproduction Flapper Dress - S to XL

Champagne Dropped Waist 1920's Flapper Style Dress - XS to XL

Glamourous Sequin Flapper Cigarette Holder

Black Charleston Feather Flapper Headband
To see more Flapper fashions, head over to Unique Vintage to see their entire incredible collection of period dresses! Off the chain, yet totally affordable!