Thursday, 17 November 2011

Still Life with Cat and Cartoon Birds

Taking a short break to post one of my Still Life with Cat photos.  Luckily, my subject can sleep through anything, including cartoon birds twittering around him.

A Who-liday Display

I'm scouring my archives for inspiration for a holiday-themed display, and rather than going down the usual path of cute reindeer and frosty snowflakes, I thought I'd embrace my inner Who.  I can't think of a more fun color scheme than turquoise, red and white for the holidays.  To top it all off, the handpainted flourishes and dimensional embellishments make it irresistable.

Photos of the final project shortly...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Cozy Woodland Cottage

For a Snow White-themed party for a lucky three-year-old, I built a 10'-tall entry archway to the main party space, which incorporated various faux painting finishes.  Yellow ochre, burnt umber, and burnt sienna acrylic paint, applied in streaks fools the eye into thinking it's seeing bundled thatch. 

A faux bois technique in a mahogany colors paired with simple grisaille painting for the shadows and highlights look like carved beams.

The arch of foliage in with leaves in ten shades of green mimic an espaliered tree, complete with twisted and braided branches.  To heighten the illusion, silk ficus branches and miniature apples are incorporated into the arch, and the young guests delighted in picking the apples, which were attached with velcro and ready to be picked over and over!  Shhhhh... don't tell anyone... this arch is completely crafted from foamboard.

Another entrance, this one in the shape of a tiny cottage, was built just tall enough for children... and dwarves.  To enter, if you're over four feet tall, you'll need to crouch!

In the Whistle While You Work Kitchen, hand-painted set pieces set the stage for pretend play fun.  We started with a 6-foot rental table and draped the top with a standard yellow cloth.  After that, we went to town with the painted finishes.  The backsplash features timbered edging, a mini cabinet, and a Delft blue tile panel.  A trompe l'oeil utensil rack depicts painted ladles, skillets and pans, with a few real wooden spoons mixed in.

Draping the table to the floor is a hand-painted canvas skirt which depicts shelves laden with baskets of fruit, eggs, mason jars, earthenware bowls, and all the things that make for a well-stocked larder, painted with no detail overlooked.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Once Upon a Time...

A few months ago, I designed a a storybook-style birthday party invitation inspired by "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. "  Using a palette of sparkly gold, apple red, and royal blue, the design was fit for a princess!

I started with a flapped gift box covered in quilted gold paper, and applied the custom designed mirror artwork and illustrations to the cover and inside pages.  As a final surprise, the party information was printed backwards, and invited guests were only able to read it with the magic mirror mounted to the inside of the book.

For that last irresistible touch, I added dimensional elements --- sequins, foil flowers and leaves, gold dimensional paint, glitter puffy paint, a glass apple charm and, of course, a red satin bow --- for a truly tactile and visual treat.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Photos of my work on Good Morning America

Wow, event planning wizard, Leesa Zelken of Send In The Clowns in Los Angeles, was featured on Good Morning America in a segment on extreme birthday parties this morning.  Photos of parties we've done together were shown in a montage along with Leesa's spin on the kid's event planning industry here in Los Angeles.

One of the controversies over extravagant birthday parties is the appropriateness of spending large sums in this sagging economy.  I say, go for it.  These clients are not mortgaging their home to throw a birthday party, but spending a small portion of their discretionary income, and putting hundreds of people to work in the process.

Also featured in the segment was a family from a TLC show about outrageous birthday parties.  For the record, in all my years designing parties, I have never had a client meeting with a 6-year-old!  Such a skewed take on the process (this is just not what happens), but I love watching it anyway.  Reality on reality television?  Not this time.