POSTS BY Kim Stoegbauer

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Banners and bunting are everywhere in the party world. Wherever we party stylists can find a place to stick cutout triangles stringed together, we do. There is just something so festive about them. Not to mention how ridiculously easy and simple they are to make! For a recent birthday party photo shoot I styled, I designed printable bunting using the popular chevron pattern. Just print, cut and string with ribbon or twine. I hung the bunting behind the desserts to help create a focal point. The free printable alphabet banner featured on the blog Ruffled is so adorable and can be used for so many occasions. Fabric bunting is another great option for parties and decorating. Party stylist Kate Landers and I collaborated on a Wizard of Oz inspired party, and she used yards and yards of custom made flags over the blue and white children’s table.

printable chevron bunting {photo by laura winslow}, free printable alphabet bunting, fabric bunting

Another popular trend that I love is using mini bunting to decorate simple cakes. This can also be done using paper or fabric, along with ribbon or twine. Simply attach to skewers or decorative straws and your simple cake becomes the life of the party. Super cute, right?

multi-colored cake bunting, red & blue bunting, yellow & white bunting

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The moment I joined Pinterest, I was hooked. If you haven’t already heard, Pinterest allows you to “pin” online photos to virtual pinboards. You can share your boards with others, comment on pins and repin friends’ pins. Founded by three innovative guys in Palo Alto, California, Pinterest has quickly become a useful tool for those in the creative world. I constantly pin fabulous party ideas, decorating inspiration, gorgeous cakes and cupcakes. That’s why I was thrilled when Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann agreed to do an interview with me for HGTV.com.

{1} For the person how has never visited Pinterest.com, how would you describe it?

Pinterest is an online pinboard that helps you collect and explore what inspires you.

{2} What inspired your idea to start Pinterest?

As a kid, I loved collecting. I collected everything from insects to stamps to books. I’ve always thought that the things you collect — whether it’s the furniture in your home or the music on your iPod — says a lot about who you are. I thought it would be great to bring that entire experience online and help connect people who have common interests.

sources :: library, stamps

{3} What is the very first photo you personally pinned?

It’s a paper cut that I found on Etsy. When Pinterest turned one, my Mom bought me a copy of that papercut to hang in my apartment!

source :: paper silhouette

{4} Inspirational art prints with quotes are pinned on a regular basis. Do you have a favorite that you have pinned?

There is a poster by one of the designers at Facebook that says “Done is Better than Perfect”. We have a copy hanging in our office as a reminder of how important it is to push things forward all the time. Our little team is obsessed with making Pinterest into a service that makes people’s lives more inspiring and fun. That means that we can’t be afraid to try new things and learn from our mistakes.

source :: poster

{5} When you created it, you had this vision for how Pinterest would be used. What are the most unexpected ways people are using Pinterest that you never imagined?
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I love the burlap trend that I am seeing grace parties and weddings everywhere. Think beyond potato sacks and get creative! There are so many ways you can use burlap for your next gathering, whether it’s a dinner party, wine tasting, children’s party or wedding. The natural color and texture add charm to any setting. Plus, burlap is biodegradable and inexpensive.

There are a wide range of products now available for home decorating and entertaining made of burlap. Why not use a burlap runner for your dining table. This printed one is gorgeous. A simple, plain one would be great too, because you could use it everyday or for a variety of events. These embellished votive holders are simple and darling. And present your utensils beautifully in a basket dressed up with a burlap liner.

sources :: burlap table runner, votives, basket liner

When I spotted this burlap wine carrier on Etsy, I knew I had to share. I wouldn’t mind carrying this into a party at all. It’s so stylish and functional!

source :: wine carrier

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Last week, Anna blogged about decorating with chrome yellow, HGTV’s August Color of Month. So, as I prepared my post on entertaining with chrome yellow, it dawned on me that I must have a thing for color, because I seem to adore every hue that is picked as the Color of the Month. One of these days, the HGTV color team will select a tough one for entertaining, and I promise to confess if I hate it. For now, I’m all about this month’s bright shade of yellow.

credits :: lemon bars, frozen lemonade, lemon cupcakes

My favorite color trend right now is the yellow and gray combination. From home decorating to weddings, this pairing is simply gorgeous. These pretty paper details will add color and texture to your next soiree.

sources :: paper medallions, pinwheels, thank you cards, poms

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It’s time for another Design Crush interview! This month, I am introducing you to the lovely Amy Atlas of Amy Atlas Designs. If you don’t know Amy yet, I think you’ll be happy to meet her. She has taken the wedding and event industry by storm with her beautifully styled dessert tables. Amy is an inspiration to so many, and she inspired me to start designing my own dessert tables for photo shoots and parties. As a lawyer turned creative event stylist, Amy is the perfect role model for those thinking about taking a leap of faith to pursue a passion. You can read Amy’s story here. Her website is pure eye candy, and her blog features tips, projects and gorgeous dessert tables submitted by her readers. I caught up with Amy last week, and she shared some favorite dessert tables, exciting moments and an update on her latest project. Enjoy!

{1} Prior to starting Amy Atlas Events, your previously career was in the legal field. You are such an inspiration for so many women, including me, who decide to leave a completely different career to start a creative business. What advice do you have for someone starting out?

My best advice for someone starting out is to slowly dabble in the new career before jumping right in. My business began as a hobby, and I had time to experiment with it on friends and family before completely switching paths. This helped me assess if I was completely committed to my new path.

{2} You are known for creating the styled dessert table trend. You have styled so many beautiful dessert tables for clients, magazines, television and more. Which one is your favorite design of all time and why?

I really love our yellow and black damask table. It has elements of modernism like the Motherwell-inspired cake, yet we paired that with a classic design element, the damask backdrop.

I also really love the modern Moroccan table we did with Sunday Suppers. The bold turquoise and orange color palette with the Moroccan mandala pattern is unexpected and refreshing.

{3} On that note, which dessert table has been the most popular with your fans?

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It’s that time of year again! Time for the kids to head back to school. Before the first day, why not host a back-to-school themed party to get the kids excited? Gather up neighbors and friends for snacks, treats and fun activities. Last week, I styled a back-to-school event to celebrate the start of the school season here in Phoenix that included The TomKat Studio’s Printable Back-to-School Collection and delicious desserts and snacks.

Crafts and coloring are perfect activities for a back-to-school get together. Print the template for a sweet card for your child’s teacher, have him/her color, cut and take to school on the first day. I also designed an exclusive printable for HGTV readers, Lunchbox Love Notes. If you pack lunch for your kids, tuck in a little notecard to brighten their day!

{download the HGTV exclusive printable lunchbox love notes}

Sweet cupcakes are always a favorite with the kids. Top with sprinkles and a cute topper and the little ones won’t be able to resist. Apple cake pops are not only adorable but delicious, too. Find the instructions on bakerella.
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Silhouettes. Simple. Classic. Beautiful. I fell in love with printed silhouettes when a friend sent me a framed art print of my children as a gift. That was a few years ago and since then I have incorporated silhouettes into my own designs and parties. I’ve also come across some gorgeous examples of how to use them for weddings and events. When created in black, silhouettes provide a striking contrast, especially when paired with muted colors. I’ve compiled several examples and ideas of how you can use silhouettes to make your next event personal and beautiful. This stunning navy and pink dessert table by Shauna Younge illustrates a beautiful way to integrate silhouettes at a wedding or engagement party.

silhouette dessert tabledessert table :: shauna younge

Silhouettes can easily be incorporated into the actual desserts of your party. Cake designers create beautiful fondant silhouettes for cakes and cupcakes. These mini cakes with fondant bride & groom are incredibly detailed with the tie, necklace and earrings. Another way to use them for desserts is to print the silhouette on edible paper to attach to cookies or other flat confection, like the cookie shown below from my daughter’s birthday party.

silhouette desserts cupcakessources :: mini cake, cookiescupcake

Bride and groom silhouettes are very popular for weddings and can be incorporated in many aspects of the event. This gorgeous wedding cake I spotted on Style Me Pretty shows how to display the silhouettes on an important focal point of the big day. Isn’t it lovely?
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Did you catch Anna’s July Color of the Month post last week? Lime is HGTV’s top trending hue for July, and I agree — it’s a perfect color for summer. Bright and refreshing! I shared my affection for June’s cerise in my last Color of the Month entertaining post, but I have to say that I love lime green even more. I hope you enjoy the entertaining ideas I’ve compiled to illustrate how to use this color at your next summer soiree.

lime centerpiece, lime cupcake

I love the idea of using actual lemons and limes to create centerpieces and floral arrangements. Simply fill glass vases with sliced or whole limes to add color and dimension to your arrangements. Cupcakes are always popular at celebrations, especially when they look as delicious as this key lime cupcake. And it brings new meaning to eating your greens!

green dresshair flower, dress, bracelet

Your guests will be green with envy when you welcome them to your soiree wearing one of these gorgeous green items. A simple green cocktail dress makes a bold statement. I love all the fabric flower hair accessories I’ve been seeing lately, and this lime one is perfection. Not into going green for your outfit? How about a little pop of color with this sparkly green bracelet?
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I enjoy reading about featured blogger Brian Patrick Flynn’s design crushes on Sarah Richardson and Kyle Schuneman. And as I can’t help but have crushes of my own, every month I’ll be sharing with Design Happens readers my favorite designers in the party/event industry. Today, I’m introducing you to Jennifer Sbranti, founder of the popular website, Hostess with the Mostess.

Jenn was literally my “first crush” when I joined the party blogging community. If you’re looking for inspiration, her site is essentially a database of beautiful parties by great planners, stylists and regular readers. It’s always a thrill to have my own parties and photo shoots featured on HWTM. So, I came up with a few questions for the lovely Jenn, and I think you’ll enjoy her answers, her hosting tips and a look at the latest party trend. (Move over cake pops!)

{1} What party or shoot that you’ve styled is most popular with your readers?

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The color team at Design Happens chose cerise as HGTV’s June Color of the Month. In the reveal post, Anna shared a collection of fabulous products along with home decorating inspiration using this fun hue. Some of you loved it and some of you were not big fans. For those who adore this happy, vibrant color, I’m wrapping up our June look at cerise with entertaining inspiration featuring this deep, hot pink and similar shades. Personally, I have a weakness for all tones of pink, so searching for party ideas that incorporate this color was quite enjoyable. I adore it paired with blues, especially bright blue as shown in this gorgeous tablescape.

Cerise Collage

credits :: tablescape, cupcake liners

Planning an event or gathering? Cerise is an unexpected, gorgeous color to incorporate. It works well for showers, brunches and weddings. With such a girly color, dainty details are a must. Dress the part with a gorgeous frock or accessorize with a ruffled clutch. Yes, I am one of those hostesses who coordinates her outfit with the party. Display cupcakes beautifully by adding cerise ribbon and bows to a tiered cupcake stand.

Cerise Collage

credits :: dress, cupcakes, clutch

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How are you celebrating the 4th of July this year? If you’re attending a party or gathering, I suggest you volunteer now to bring dessert. I’ve collected seven easy, festive and delicious recipes. Plus, with the patriotic cupcake wrappers and party toppers I designed exclusively for HGTV readers, you’ll be sure to impress the host and other guests!
HGTV Exclusive From The TomKat Studio - Fourth of July Cupcake Circles & Wrapper - Free Printables

Free Printable Party Circles for Desserts - 4th of July - The TomKat StudioHGTV exclusive :: download free printable party circles

Free Printable Cupcake Wrappers - 4th of July - The TomKat StudioHGTV exclusive :: download free printable cupcake wrappers

I seem to always be in charge of dessert at gatherings with family and friends. I absolutely love to bake {when I’m not blogging}, especially cupcakes. Cupcakes are easy, cute and oh so popular.

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Daddy. Papa. Father. Padre. Pops. Every dad is special in his own wonderful way. So with Father’s Day coming up (mark your calendar — it’s June 19th this year) I decided to design a full set of FREE printable cards you can download to celebrate him on his special day. With a total of six, everyone in your family can pick one they feel fits Pa best!

Father's Day Cards
Pick, Download & Print

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Hello HGTV readers! I’m thrilled to be joining you for my first post on Design Happens! I hope you all had a lovely Memorial Day weekend and started your season of outdoor entertaining off right! Today, I’m sharing with you my top three must-haves for creating a welcoming and stylish outdoor entertaining space.

Outdoor Entertaining Essentials - TomKat Studios

Pottery Barn

#1 Galvanized Metal Serving Pieces
Why Go Galvanized?

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