Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Frolicking Equestrian Fest

All images by Amy Pennington Photography
Back in January, 417 Magazine asked me to put together a birthday shoot showcasing unique party planning ideas. It was a crazy time as I was trying to get the store open, and I was also newly pregnant among other things going on, but I never turn down exposure and press...and, I/you could say that party design/planning is in my blood.  Looking back, I can't believe I pulled it off or that I even made it thru that crazy time.  {Second trimester is ten million times better!}

After weeks of giving the "unique party concept" some thought, and many hours spent with Kendra's husband on the invitation design, sourcing items, scouting shoot locations, negotiating with owners, sourcing costuming & props, pretzel & treat design, favor creations, and finally loading and unloading everything...it all came together, as it somehow always does. We have one big photograph feature in the magazine, and we think it represents uniqueness, adventure and simplicity. Hope you enjoy~

Need some design/party planning help?  You know what I'm gonna say??  Call today!

I was happy to see the work in the magazine, but would like to thank the following people and companies for donating time, and talent.

Justin Skinner {graphic design}, Kendra's {of Lonie Mae's blog} husband
ATC Theatrical {authentic costuming...vintage hats, ties, over-coats, suspenders}
Auntie Annes Pretzels:  Custom-made horseshoe pretzels
Eleanor's macaroons and cupcakes
Creative Direction: Kendra of Lonie Mae
Furniture Props and Favors:  Pickwick House {my store}
Brave Models: Sophie, Graham, Mabel, Ralph, Goldie, Albert, Harper, and Wilson

Shoot Day:

Of course, it was a freezing cold, grey, windy, sleeting day.  I wasn't prepared for the muddy, horse-manured ground either.  Before we placed the long harvest table for the backdrop, Kendra and I {bare handedly} grabbed handfuls of frozen hay clumps to spread on the nasty ground to prepare a set-up worthy of a shoot.  

The invites were made for "Sylvia Nell's third birthday party".  Sylvie actually ended up being sick the day of the her fake birthday shoot....which was a good thing, as I wouldn't have been able to keep a watchful eye on her while doing the set-up.  Will kept care of big girl and for consolation for big girl ...he's planning her real birthday party for next month...which I can't wait for you to see what he's been up to on that end!

Sylvia Nell's Third Birthday Party Invite

The backdrop was a quaint, chippy-white stable in the midst of a big corral of roaming horses at the equestrian center.  Not knowing anything at all about horses, I mistakingly set up all the cupcakes and candy on the table before everything else was unloaded.  So....while I continued going back and forth to unload the truck, I heard a loud glass-sounding breakage/crash.  When I heard it, all I could do was imagine the set-up of precious goods in total ruin.  Slight panic and deep-breathing, I rounded the corner to see that what had happened was that the horses must've instantly smelled the sugared orange slices and cupcakes and roamed directly to the set-up while I was out of sight.  Thankfully only a few vintage punch cups broke and a glass cylinder full of orange slices.  Running short on time, we barely pulled everything together before the photographer arrived.

The kids were great.  Shoot went fast, and we loaded everything back in a flurry as it began to snow.  I think I left everything in the truck and van for a solid week after that out of exhaustion.

Taylor-made pinata and hand-made equestrian ribbons

Horseshoe Shaped Pretzel, {Menu, and Placecard with Chevron Stripes}
Sweet-Cheeked Harper {our neighbor and grandson to owners of ATC Theatrical}
My neice Goldie 
My daughter's cupcakes {she bakes for Tea Bar and Bites}

Sophie and Goldie and the ring favor made with the logo of the invite {a horse}
Hungry Horse
Ring Favors w/horse logo
Ring Around The Rosies
Pin the Tail on the Pony 
Goldie's Place Card and Cupcake
Eleanor's beautiful Macaroons
More punch and Confections Alongside the Horses
Hope all is well with everyone!  Can't wait for spring and happy sunshine!!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Pickwick House Pick-Me-Ups

{Imagery and Graphic Design by Nicholas Cloyd}

It's our first annual Easter Basket making workshop at Pickwick House.  We will be creating pretty little embellishments to make a unique urban-cottage basket for your little chick-a-dees. Guest artist, Katie Kring will share a inspiring history and how-to tutorial with pysanky eggs artistry.  We'll show how to incorporate home-made decorations, carefully selected hand-made goods + chocolates + candies, and vintage treasures that will create traditions for years to come.  AND...we'll also enjoy hors d'oeuvres from Tea Bar and Bites.  

We'll also have two new table scapes and stockpile of new goods to hatch into the store that day... including fresh-ious handmade table cloths from Lonie Mae and Becky Treadway.

When:  Sunday April 3rd, 2pm
Where:  Pickwick House, 611 S Pickwick
Cost:  $20 + the cost of materials {Feel free to bring your own basket to fill or you may purchase a basket}


Image by Sesha Shannon of conveystudios.com/
Other News:  My little Sylvia Nell is about to turn three, while my oldest is preparing for her senior year in high school.  My, how time flies.  

And, we've just had two new projects with magazine features.  Earnshaws and 417 Home.The on-line links are listed below.

www.earnshaws.com/articles/whats-selling/2011/03/storybook-sensibility {Photography by nathaliebearden.com/}

www.417homemag.com/417-Home/Spring-2011/The-Best-Birthday-Party-Ever/ {Photography by www.amypenningtonphotography.com/}

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Fling Workshop at Pickwick House

All Images by Adie, of Twin Town Studios

The Spring Fling Workshop was held this past weekend in the brand new showroom at Pickwick House.  I have been so excited and looking forward to doing this for many months now...but when it came down to the thought of speaking, I got struck with some shake-nerves.  I am not a natural-born when it comes to speaking, but I figure I'll only get better with practice and I like that challenge, so I plan to keep doing these workshops.  Normally, I need a glass of wine to calm my nerves before presenting..., but with being pregnant, that wasn't an option.  By the time guests started arriving, oddly, my nerves disappeared. Everyone was so nice and just seemed happy to be here.  Patty Wingo, the amazingly talented culinary guest {star} of the workshop also lightened the mood with her spirit and "spirits"too...  her special spring fling cocktails.  She owns Simply Delicious and I had the wonderful opportunity to work with her last summer when she catered the wedding that is being featured in REAL SIMPLE Weddings {on news stands now}.  Not only has her food always been simply delicious, I am so impressed by her gusto and beyond personalized attention to every detail and carefully scheduled timing of events for serving fine cuisine.  She is exactly what every wedding planner dreams of for a caterer. 

While Patty shared refreshing drinks + recipes and how-to tutorials, I then shared a few table top inspirations and inexpensive DIY decorating tips.  Kendra of Lonie Mae {you need to follow her blog...by the way!} shared a place mat stencil how-to and then, lucky for us, we got to hear some inspiring feedback and ideas from the whole group.  The group was made up of artists, chocolatiers, and architects! Quite an impressive group!!

 Sweet-Sweet Adie of Twin Town Studios photographed {with her amazing-ness} all of the photos in this post. 

It was a good day.  We sold out of the workshop and even enjoyed our own little party! 

Green Thumb Hostess Take-outs 

Inspirer, Kendra Skinner of Lonie Mae
Honey-Dew Melon atop our Honey-Do List-Making Chalkboards
Pencils for note-takers...in a biodegradable coconut fiber pot
Our showroom 
Every guest took home a small chalkboard
Kendra's finished place-mats on yellow burlap
Patty Wingo's Virgin Champagne Recipe
A little sparkly/bubbly with Peach and Pear Juices

Spring Fling {hard lemonade infused with vodka, mint, and cucumber}
Patty has never shared this recipe, but she was so generous to share it with us!

You can't see it very well, but I wrote "Welcome to Spring" on the floor with Chalk

Looking forward to our Easter Basket making workshop on Sunday, April 3rd.