Welcome to the blog for paula winicur design

Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Here you will find samples of current projects,
as well as things that inspire me. I do hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to post feedback,
email me, and share samples of your projects. To see more of my work, please visit my website.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Under the Sea party

My last post was about the invitations for my daughter's Under the Sea princess party, and today I want to share with you more about the party itself. When we found the book Princess Pearl, A Birthday Ball, my daughter loved it and we thought it would be fun to read the story to the kids at the party, and then have them make necklaces like Princess Pearl's. One day when I was planning the party, my husband mentioned to me that on a recent walk with our daughter, she made a wish on a dandelion, and told him that her wish would be to meet the princesses. My husband did some research, and it turns out that right here in our own back yard there is a company called Happily Ever After that sends out singing princesses to parties! Since Tess loves Ariel, and we were doing an Under the Sea party, I thought this would be perfect.

I spoke to Katherine at Happily Ever After, and she was so wonderful and accommodating. Normally they have a set schedule and order for how they do their parties, but she was more than willing to change it in order to fit what I wanted to do, including getting a copy of the book I wanted her to read so she could be prepared. She came to our house a few minutes before the party started so she could meet Tess and they could greet her guests together. She was warm and delightful, and so good with all the girls. They sang and danced together, and then Ariel sang "Part of That World" to all the guests. She then read the Princess Pearl book, and then it was time to coronate Tess. Normally the princess brings a crown and wand for the birthday girl, and wands for the guests, but I wanted to use a wand and crown I had decorated for Tess, as well as pearl/shell headbands I made for each of the girls with shells Tess and I had collected on a recent trip to the beach, so Ariel presented them while Tess used her magic wand to turn them all into princesses.

After princess Ariel left, we made necklaces. I gave each girl a pearl strand necklace that I made using pearl ribbon (I got spools of it at Michaels). I made them each about 22" long, and then bought pull-chain connectors at the hardware store. This makes the necklaces easy to open for little hands, and also adjustable. I then wire wrapped a little pearl, and put it on a jump ring with a sea-themed charm. We had shells, seahorses, and starfish. Each girl got to choose their charm and string it on their necklace. Together with their pearl headbands, they made charming sea-princesses!

Stay tuned for my next post about the food and cake, coming soon!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, Tessie!

Today is my daughter's 4th birthday. Four years old! How amazing it has been to have a front row seat watching her learn and grow over the past 4 years.

A few months ago I started thinking about what kind of party we should have. Tess and I discussed a few different possible themes (a Candyland party, an Alice in Wonderland tea party, a chocolate party), and then I asked her, "Ok, sweetie, which one would you like?" Without even having to think about it, she said, "A princess party!" But wait, what happened to all the other themes we had talked about (and that I was hoping for because I had started planning in my head)? Nope, she had made up her mind and was set on a princess theme.

So, I have to come clean here and admit that I'm not what you would call a princess person. Honestly, I'm a bit mystified at how I managed to have a little girl who loves princesses so much, but there it is. So I was a bit apprehensive trying to settle on how to approach this party. Of course I wanted to give her what she wanted, I just wasn't sure I could truly embrace the sparkly glitteryness of it all and do it justice, in true Paula-party style. But luckily, on a recent visit, my stepmom bought Tess a book called Princess Pearl, A Birthday Ball, which is all about a little girl who, on her birthday, gets invited to an under-the-sea birthday bash where she is the princess of honor, and she gets a special necklace. I asked Tess if we could do an under-the-sea princess party, and she loved the idea. Perfect!

I wrote a poem, as I've done for her invitations almost every year (1st birthday) (3rd birthday)

It's a magical world under the sea
Full of princesses, sweet as can be.
Please join us as we share the lore
Tessa Jane is turning 4!

I wanted to make the invitations somehow shell-like, and to also incorporate a pearl into them. So I created a shell shape that would be relatively simple to cut out (Sort of -- I made my husband promise next year to remind me how long it took to make these. I'm sure it won't do any good, but it's worth a shot. Thankfully I only had to make like 20 of them. Or perhaps I'll have to just buy a silhouette machine.), glued the pearl on the inside, and cut a hole in the top piece for it to go through when closed. It was a little (ok, a lot) more complicated than that, but I've since blocked most of it out in order to move on -- just like with childbirth, the end result justified the difficulty. :)

Although I ended up hand delivering most of them, there were a few that needed to be mailed, and I wanted them to have a sturdy box to live in, so I used these from Paper Source. I glued sandpaper to the bottom of the box, and found some seaweed-looking plastic greenery vines at Michael's which I cut down to size. I then hot-glued shells on the inside of the box, onto the sandpaper, for the invitation to sit on.

I made a label with each guest's name on it in the same shell shape, and stuck a pearl sticker onto the front, to mimic the invitation, then tied it underneath with a ribbon. I incorporated this shell shape throughout the rest of the party as well, but that's for the next post. Stay tuned!