Wednesday, December 30, 2009

DIY Stocking Favors

Every party needs handmade and personalized elements so for Pete's 70th In Luau of Christmas party we made these stocking favors for guests to fill with candy. Here is how you can make some (for next year) or apply the concept to a design that fits your party...

Step 1: Gather your materials. In this case we used 1/2 yard each of red and green Hawaiian floral fabric and 1 yard of navy blue fabric (for the trim and backing). Using a less expensive solid backing is cost effective but doesn't compromise the look you're going for. You'll also need a rotary cutter, self-healing mat, ruler, sewing machine and thread.

Step 2: Print out a template in the size and shape of your favors (like this stocking one from Martha Stewart) or draw your own. Trace enough shapes for a front and a back for each favor. We made 16 stockings so there were 8 of each color for the front and 16 navy blue for the back.

Step 3: Measure the top of your stocking and cut out a rectangular piece for the "flap" of each stocking. We used pinking shears on the edge to give them a more decorative look.

Step 4: Pin the fold to the wrong side of the fabric (align it with the top) and sew approximately 1/8-1/4 inch seam just along the top side.

Step 5: Now flip the blue over so that it is now on top of the pattern and pin the backing to the stocking so that the flap and the right side of the fabric are sandwiched in the middle.

Step 6: Stitch along the edge of the stocking (see in the picture how the fabric is wrong-side out) but DO NOT stitch along the top, otherwise your stocking will be sewn closed.

Step 7: Trim any excess edge.

Step 8: Flip the stocking right-side out and iron flat.

Done! See how easy?

Monday, December 28, 2009

In Luau of Christmas

We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed time with loved ones. Pear Tree Events was busy with a surprise In Luau of Christmas party for Pete's 70th birthday on Christmas Day. We are going to preface this post by saying that in general we are not in favor of using a lot of pre-made, paper decorations. Often they are only used once and tend to not be environmentally friendly. In this case the family had several boxes of luau decorations available to use so we took advantage of it. We ARE in favor of reusing items whenever possible. That being said, here are a couple of party pictures...

The entry way featured a small candy favor display (the guest of honor is diabetic so going overboard on a candy buffet would not have been appropriate.)

We made the Hawaiian print stockings specifically for Pete's birthday and will feature those later on in the week as a DIY project.

As far as decor is concerned, this sign by Handmade by Heather stole the show. Guests decided the sign needed to stay up on the bar long after the party was over. Head over to Heather's shop to see the other fabulous customizable items she offers.

No neck was without a lei.

Straw hats were set around the house for guests.

It could not have been a more beautiful day! The family played Frisbee in the street.

A blue sheet inspired an impromptu photo station for guests. A grass skirt and bikini top were handy so guests to have their picture taken "surfing". (How cute is our assistant there? :)

It was a pleasure to get to be a part of celebrating Pete's 70th birthday with her family. She actually said she had NEVER had a birthday party with decorations before! I guess that's what happens when you share your birthday with Jesus!

Here's to looking forward to 2010 and a fabulous New Year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Inspiration Board: Laura's Baby Shower

After two beautiful boys, Laura and Jeff are having a girl!

We are putting together a baby shower tea luncheon for Laura next month that will be full of pinks with accents of grey. Pink and gray is the perfect palatte for a cool winter party to shower Laura with girlie gifts.

Laura's Baby Shower

We can't wait!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Feature Friday: Duchess & Bird

We are nothing less than thrilled to introduce you to today's featured business, Duchess & Bird! Two ladies, a decade worth of trips to Paris, and an idea resulted in Duchess & Bird's owners launching their unique shop. Having opened the online boutique earlier this year, Duchess & Bird is "taking flight with inspired luxuries." See for yourself!

These gorgeous cupcake toppers would make elegant additions to any dessert table.

For a truly special party favor for your guests, fill these French Vellum Candy Envelopes with sweet treats.

 Duchess & Bird also has a selection of ribbons and trims, like this beautifully detailed red and gold ribbon.

We can see this gold thread trimming wrapped around clear glass cylinders holding pillar candles for a classy detail.

Duchess & Bird's selections are one of a kind and each piece has a story. These stunning Antique Mirrored Wall Brackets would make a statement in any home.

These French Grocery Lists are my personal favorite. Frame them for fun wall art for the kitchen, laminate them for place mats, or use them to line the back of a vintage china hutch.

Duchess & Bird's wares are reasonably priced, which makes it possible for anyone to have a little piece of Paris in their home-- or choose the perfect gift for someone who "has everything."

There is SO much more in Duchess & Bird's online store and be sure to click over to the Duchess & Bird blog to get to know the ladies. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lindsey's Red Hot 30th

Saturday night was Lindsey's Red Hot 30th birthday party in San Francisco. The evening began in one of the suites at the Clift Hotel, located just minutes from Union Square.
Below is the view from the room on the 14th floor. It was gorgeous at dusk!
Rooms at the Clift have a sleek, modern style and we didn't need to do much to dress up the suite. Add a few red feather boas and some candles and voila!
A champagne toast kicked off the festivities.
Guests met at the room and the birthday girl opened gifts before heading downstairs for drinks.
A twist on the traditional candy buffet, we chose to do a candy cocktail bar.
Guests could mingle, enjoy champagne, and make their own favors.
Red Hots (of course), sour cherries, Boston Baked Beans, various hard candies and rock candy served in cocktail and bar glasses.
A few cinnamon candles for a flickering accent.
Perfectly placed in front of the mirror to maximize the red impact.
The Clift Hotel is home to the Redwood Room lounge where the ladies stopped for the first round of drinks. The sultry and sexy red decor of the Redwood Room helped continue the "Red Hot" theme throughout the evening.
When you think "San Francisco" you can't help but think cable cars-- we rented one for the evening to take the ladies around town.
The trolley picked up the group from the hotel and took a tour of downtown San Francisco.
Next came dinner at Boboquivaris, continuing with "Red Hot" locations. In addition to the party being seated on the top level of the restaurant (pictured below) the waiter was French-- does it get any hotter? We can't take credit for that one.
After dinner the trolley drove the ladies to Johnny Foley's to dance the night away. The birthday girl was treated to the entire bar singing happy birthday while she was seated on one of the pianos.

Happy Birthday Lindsey!
We were honored to get to be a part of your celebration.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Feature Friday: The Victorian at Hemphill Mansion

Why is it when you return from vacation you feel like you need an extra day to recover from your vacation? At any rate, we're back and ready to roll with Lindsey's Red Hot 30th Birthday this weekend!

Today's Feature Friday highlights the venue we selected for Katie and Jon's wedding earlier this year, The Victorian at Hemphill Mansion in Roseville, California. The Victorian is just that-- a beautiful Victorian style mansion located in old town Roseville at 315 Washington Boulevard.
The Victorian style home, at the corner of Washington Blvd. and Grove St., built in 1909 for Wallace Hemphill, served as a showplace and social center for Roseville society.

Hemphill's Roseville Water Co. provided Roseville its water and electricity from 1906 to 1925. He also owned the local sand and gravel business when Roseville was going through it's first boom. Dr. James McAnally purchased the mansion in 1936 and used it as his residence until 1969.

At one time the property served as a stage coach depot and later as Roseville's bus terminal.
Things we liked about The Victorian...

  • Price: Reasonable for a Saturday evening wedding during "prime" wedding season.
  • All-inclusive: When we booked the venue we were getting locations for both the ceremony and the reception, a DJ and catering. One stop shopping.
  • Space: There was ample room for the ceremony in the garden, cocktails inside, dinner outdoors in a separate grassy area, dancing, parking, restrooms and places for the bridal party and vendors to prepare.
  • Flexibility: The staff was willing to let us decorate and orchestrate the evening pretty much any way we wanted (Katie wanted, that is!)
  • Ease: Their staff set up, broke down, and cleaned it all up. We love that part.
  • The garden/outside areas: Beautiful and well maintained. The greenery and architectural accents made for gorgeous twilight photos.

Things we didn't like about The Victorian...

  • Parking: Katie and Jon's wedding consisted of about 85 guests and many had to park down the street.
  • Trash: There is a staircase leading from the house down into the garden where guests enjoyed dinner and the area beneath the staircase were literal PILES of trash. We hoped this was something only we noticed but still, extremely unattractive.
  • Our assigned DJ: He was awful. And we don't give negative reviews or feedback on a whim. First, we hadn't met with him before the day of the wedding because The Victorian's owners assured us they had years and years of DJ experience and they knew exactly what we wanted, which songs to avoid and which ones to play. Second, about a half hour before the ceremony was scheduled to begin he told me he couldn't find his list of songs for the ceremony so we gave him a program to use to prepare and follow along. When it came down to it, he missed a cue for music and after I brought it to his attention that a song should be playing, he didn't know Bach. Dead air is not good during a ceremony! Also, we had chosen a specific version of the Wedding March and it wasn't right. Awful. Thankfully, Katie and Jon were so into the moment they didn't notice, but WE did. It irks us when things don't go perfectly for reasons that could have (should have) been avoided. Add to that, the DJ was cheesy and came off as unsure of himself and disorganized. We will take some responsibility here and say that we should have insisted on meeting with the DJ during the rehearsal. Lesson learned.
  • Availability of staff: We found it difficult to find The Victorian staff the day of the wedding. Groomsmen were downstairs getting ready in the dark because there weren't enough functioning lights in the basement and one of the toilets upstairs in the brides room wasn't working properly AND there wasn't any toilet paper (tragic)-- yet we couldn't find anyone to help. We will say that once the wedding ceremony began the staff was present and attentive through the end of the event.

If you are considering The Victorian at Hemphill Mansion for your wedding or another event, it is a great choice. Just be sure meet with the people helping coordinate the day ahead of time and walk the grounds to look for anything out of place early so you can get it corrected before guests arrive.

All in all, we will definitely recommend this venue in the future for those wanting a budget-friendly event at an "all inclusive" location. If you've been to the Victorian and have other feedback please leave a comment below! We welcome reader opinions.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beyond Platinum Event

Last night we had the opportunity to attend the Beyond Platinum Event at Arden Hills Country Club in Sacramento. This was the first year Arden Hills has put together an event for event planners, vendors and brides and the evening was a success! As expected of an upscale venue such as Arden Hills, no detail was overlooked. The moment we arrived we were treated to complimentary valet service and plenty of AH staff was there to direct us to the "main event".

After picking up our tickets at will call we were welcomed into the cocktail hour. Two beautifully decorated rooms were set to received guests and several bar areas served champagne. Guests checked out models wearing some of the latest designs in wedding gowns and had the opportunity to take some candids in a photo booth.

When cocktail hour ended the rest of the event opened up and attendees could browse various rooms featuring wedding vendors, continue socializing with other attendees, and enjoy chatting and learning about the newest and hottest wedding and event trends.

Overall, it was definitely worth going to and we are already looking forward to next year's Beyond Platinum Event!

Last night's party was the perfect way to begin our VACATION! The holidays are the "busy season" for Pear Tree Events since we specialize in private gatherings-- Christmas parties here we come! We'll be back soon with more inspiration boards, featured businesses, and DIY party details. Don't forget that you can email us any questions, requests, or small businesses you think should be featured. Email us at We'd love to hear from you and will answer emails as soon as we get return!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Feature Friday: Handmade by Heather

Etsy is one our favorite places to find unique, handmade touches for the parties and events we design. Today we'd like to introduce you to Heather Mattos, owner of Handmade by Heather!

Remember Katie and Jon's wedding this summer? We had the sign pictured above custom made for the event. The wooden sign was displayed on an easel at the entrance of the venue to welcome guests and later moved to the lawn where the reception took place.

Best of all, the newlyweds had a gorgeous keepsake they could display in their home long after the wedding!

Handmade by Heather specializes in personalized wooden signs. When we say "no detail is overlooked" this is the kind of thing we're talking about when personalizing an event for a client.

A personalized tiki bar sign will be making an appearance at the In Luau of Christmas party in December!

Every child should have a special birthday outfit, right? Handmade by Heather's birthday t-shirts are a-DOR-able and the child can wear the t-shirt long after the actual birthday.

The "initial tee" would also be a thoughtful surprise for the guest of honor.

Remember that Handmade by Heather takes custom orders of just about any kind! Have an idea? Send her a message. We have a 1 year-old's birthday coming up and will be submitting our order for a custom birthday bib shortly!

Be sure to take a peek at Handmade by Heather's shop and stop by her blog. She has got some amazing recipes, fun craft ideas and gorgeous pictures.
Thank you Heather, for letting us feature you this morning!
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