Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pinwheels and Polkadots - Geffen Turns One!!!

So as some of you know it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do for Geffen's first birthday.  After what felt like months and months of looking at websites and colors schemes I came up with this...
Before I go on, I have to thank Kim from Silver Lining Photos by Kim for taking these incredible shots of the party.  It's always tough when I host an event, I never have the time to take pictures, so having Kim their was so helpful!  (

The momentous event took place on a sunny Sunday morning in early February.  We had about 30 family members over for some brunch and cake.  Since Geffen herself is little, we decided all the food should be little as well.  The menu included:
- mini pancakes
- latkes and lox
- mini biscuit and egg sandwiches
- yogurt parfait
- mini caprese
- pizza - fig and brie & pear, asiago and caramelized onion
- mini quiche

and for dessert:
- whipped cream stuffed strawberries
- pretzel caramel bark
- birthday cake (butter cake with chocolate frosting inside)

The decorations took on a life of their own once I chose the colors.  The oversized confetti, pinwheels and bunting all coordinated with Geffen's custom made shirt and hair clip.  Since soon enough Geffen will be picking out her own colors and themes, this party was my chance to do what I liked :)

I think my favorite part was the cake topper.  Since Geffen had her own little cake I had to make a little cake topper for her own cake as well.  I have kept the toppers and hope to use them for something soon, perhaps a picture frame...

Here are the rest of the decorations and special little touches that made this once in a lifetime event even a little more special.

Friday, February 10, 2012

T.W.Bean takes on the big apple

Geffen is very fortunate to have a friend who is almost exactly one day older than she is. Shira and I met when I was in graduate school in New York and have stayed in touch over these years of moves and life changes.  We both got married and pregnant around the same time.  I will never forget the phone call we had when I wondered why she had disappeared for about 11 weeks.  We were both avoiding each other until we were past 12 weeks to tell each other we were pregnant.  Throughout the pregnancy we spoke regularly about our various doctors appointments, prego discomforts and food endeavors.  I joked that we should write a book about being pregnant coast to coast and how being pregnant in LA and in NYC are the same and yet so different.  

The same has been true in this first year of being parents.  Shira and I have continued our bicoastal check ins.  I have a nanny, her daughter is in daycare.  My daughter is in the 95% for weight and height and hers is a petite little redhead.  So as we got closer to our little girl's first birthdays Shira and I began discussing what our plans were for our little girl's parties.  I was brimming with ideas so much so that I couldn't make a single decision on what to do.  Shira on the other hand knew the colors she had in mind and had a vision that she wasn't able to implement (Her theme for the party was "made with love, not with talent".)  So rather than buying little Yael another toy, I offered to decorate her 1st Birthday party instead.

Shira sent me some photos of the party room, took some measurements and picked out a color palette.   A few weeks later she received these items in the mail. 

Cake toppers - one for the "big kid" cake which had hand embossed bunting which read "Happy Birthday" and then a mini one for Yael's cake which was hand embossed with her name.  I can't take credit for the amazing looking cake - that was all Shira's doing!

Yael is the type of girl who can totally pull off a tutu.  So why not have one that totally coordinates with the color scheme of her party.  I heard her grandmother was very upset that I didn't make one for her.  Maybe if she plays nice she will get one for her next birthday as well. (Watch out Karen!)

The party room had three windows which needed a little sprucing.  So again going with the color scheme I made this scalloped bunting which would not only hang in the party but could be used again in Yael's room.
This is a pile of flower garland that also matched the color scheme.  This type of garland can be hung across windows, line tables or even strung along the ceiling.  Once again, one decoration that can be reused in Yael's room to add a little something.

It was a true honor to give the gift of color coordination and matching decor for Yael's birthday.  In return Yael sent Geffen the most awesome gift - things that will remind Geffen of the great time they had in NYC together, black and white cookies included!
I look forward to many more years of shared experiences with Shira.  Who knows, maybe one day we will put our adventures in writing and pregnant coast to coast will become a reality.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Modern Antique First Birthday Party

So as I start to build a business of creative consulting (thats the overall way I can think of describing my work)  I have been trying to work with people who have used my services before.  Months ago, before I took this on formally, I was hired to make wish cards for a baby shower.  Instead of a traditional guestbook I made small cards that allowed guests to share their wishes for the yet to be born baby and parents.  These are some photos of those great wish cards.

So when it was time for this clients own celebration, I was honored to help her celebrate her daughter's first birthday.  The celebration was a modern nod to an antique party.  I was able to work with the hostess on adding the signage and some little details that added a personal touch to an already great theme.
Theme: Antique/Contemporary
Menu: Breakfast - Cereal Bar, Pancake Bar, Mommy Mimosas and more
Items I made: bunting, garlands, burlap signage, small signage

Below are some photos of the various items I made.  It was a great chance to really become familiar with my grandmother's sewing machine.  I loved the whole look of the event and the signage was a great combination of classic lines on rustic material.  Enjoy - you know I did!
These labels were placed on/next to all the milk, juices, syrups etc.

Using burlap and great printable transfers  was able to make these personalized signs that both welcomed guests to the party and told them where the food was being served!

The flag bunting was made by using the antique fabrics that the hostess bought at a flea market.  They were also used to make the garlands.

FYI: Geffen's first birthday party was this past weekend - so stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Gift of Giving

I love giving gifts.  There is nothing like the pleasure of knowing that you gave someone the "perfect" gift.  Sometimes you get to watch the look on their face as they open the wrapping and find what they always wanted but never knew.  Other times you just leave it there in a pile with the rest of them and hope that when they unwrap your gift they pause for even a little bit longer than they did with the others.  Some of my top gifts given include:

My mom's birthday calendar - a personalized calendar with photos of all the grandkids and kids with important dates (everyones birthdays, anniversaries and holidays) already on it.)

My mother-in-law/mothers/grandmothers mothers day gift - a small 3x5 photo book of my daughter (the perfect size to carry in your purse and brag about the grandkids.)

The first birthday gift I gave my husband - on our first date we met for dinner and then took a walk around the area near the restaurant.  One of the stores had these velvet gnome piggy banks.  In order to make conversation we discussed which we would buy, if we were to buy one.  Six months after that first date I wrapped a light blue velvet gnome piggy bank in a box and gave it to him along with some useful kitchen items.  The best part of that gift was that I couldn't find a box that was big enough so I cut a hole around the top so what you saw was a perfectly wrapped box with light blue velvet gnome hat sticking out of the top.

Anyway - why do i mention all this...I recently had the chance to give a gift that I was so thrilled to be able to share.

Along with the amazing gift of my daughter almost a year ago, I received the gift of being part of a mommy and me class.  As most of us joked we just took the class to buy friends, it turned out to be very true.  I have met some amazing, inspiring women in this mommy and me group and I am not sure what my life as a mother would be like without them.  So when one of the moms told us she was moving across the country since her husband got an amazing job, I couldn't help but go into action.  Together with the other amazing mommies we put together the perfect survival kit for a mommy moving to New York.  Take a look at what we were able to give her:

Here is the I (Heart) LA tote bag - just to remind her of where she came from

Inside the tote were some goodies including: A "dress your snowman kit", a snowball maker, an "LA Misses You" onesie for the baby, the first season of Toddler and Tiaras (an inside joke in the group), a subway card and a family annual pass to the Zoo and Aquarium

I made a little card with all of the names of the mommies who contributed and some art that would remind her of what she was leaving behind :)

All in all a gift I loved giving.
We will miss you Samantha and Charlotte but we enjoyed giving you something to help you feel at home in your new home!!!
What's do your gifts say about you?

Monday, December 19, 2011

1 only once

So I have been thinking about Geffen's first birthday since the dust settled after he baby naming.  Though we are not doing a big all out bash with tons of people, I still want to make sure her one and only first birthday is special.  When it came to her baby naming I had lots of ideas of what to do.  Granted, I wasn't working and had lots of time to roll ideas around in my head, but the vision came easily.  With her first birthday, I am having a tougher time.

I thought I knew where I was going with purples and greys.  Brunch at our house with 30 or so family members. (Yes 30 is small - We had over 100 at her naming.)  I already had some ideas for the menu and everything.

Then we started looking for her first birthday outfit.  Alas I was let down.  Since we have been getting so many hand-me-downs from my niece I actually haven't done a lot of cloths shopping for Geffen.  There are  an overabundance of dresses for little girls.  The problem with a dress is that as a baby who is not walking yet, a dress means continual face-plants as her knees get caught in the dress.  Though funny, I must admit, it is a little cruel.

So back to the drawing board.  I am open to new color ideas!  No themes, I will have years of characters and creatures to plan around, for now I get to choose the look myself.

Please toss out your favorite color combinations, handmade decoration ideas, and photos of party's you think would be fitting for an awesome girls first birthday party!

To give you an idea of what her naming was like, I have added some photos.  Enjoy!