January 29, 2011

Los Angeles Zoo Holiday Decorations~

This year we had the privelege of decorating the Los Angeles Zoo again and we had a great time doing it. This is the front entrance which is kind of hard to photograph because it is sooooo BIGGGG! But I think I did ok.

We did a lot of decorating at the Zoo but with holiday decorating the photos can start to get redundant because the decor is all the same just in different places. It doesn't look like it but the wreath is BIGGG it is 7 ft. round and it still doesnt look that big on the front entrance. I got a crick in my neck taking these photos, not to mention bumping into a few people while I was walking and looking up. But luckily no one was hurt in the taking of these photos, which is great. Since you see I am the clumsiest of all the CHS employees, I am the one who always needs the First Aid kit. Did I mention how BIGGGGG this entrance is?? The Los Angeles Zoo is the only outside installation we do. I mean who could resist right? Its the Zoo, animals, children and Christmas sheesh {oops didn't mean to use the word Christmas that is a no no in my business}. Plus we are spoiled we like to be inside.Doing outside installations is COLD! We were lucky with the Zoo installation this year, it threatened to rain all day, but held off thank goodness! Did I mention we are spoiled we don't like to be COLD or wet. Starting work at the break of dawn and being wet and cold is just not fun and while we take our job seriously we like to have fun during installations. We installed a lot of wreaths and swags at the Zoo and NO we DO NOT decorate in the animal pens. We only decorate at the front entrance and in the marketplace. So if my insurance carrier is reading this I want to re-iterate " WE DO NOT DECORATE THE ANIMAL PENS!"

Ouch see those bushes/ferns to the left of the picture, I do believe they are pre-historic attack bushes. They have got to be the meanest, prickliest, sharpest bushes/ferns I have ever had the pleasure of walking through. They are nasty, sharp, prickly and painful.

Ahhh, the ATM tree, my nemisis. For 45 days I am thankful not get a phone call that this tree has blown off the building. I know that it is strapped down, weighted down and all kinds of tied down but that still doesn't make me rest any easier until we have taken it down. It especially doesn't help when I hear a man say, large trees fall over all the time here so if it gets windy enough that tree doesn't stand a chance. Sheesh the things a man says so non-chalantly.
{Side note: it stayed up, of course because we are professional decorators}

And speaking of men and the things they say, see that garland below now there is another story. For some reason this garland was a pain and that just happens. My job on installations is to ask a lot of questions, what are you doing, why is it taking so long, is everything okay? Thats my job to keep installations on track and on-budget and to trouble shoot any problems. Well that garland seemed to be taking longer than I THOUGHT IT SHOULD, so I asked "whats the problem?" and was answered with a full range of explectives, which I won't share with you. So I walked away quietly, humbly and quickly because you see sometimes things don't always go the way I THINK THEY SHOULD and let my guys get on with it. And as I am walking away I hear another man say "She must be the coordinator." ah funny men always have something to say.

January 17, 2011

Real Parties~ Family Friendly 40th Re-visited

Who could ask for a better location for a Family Friendly 40th Birthday, on the beach on Balboa Island, California. My client wanted a fun and fabulous 40th birthday party, but she also wanted it to be child friendly, because their family is so important to them and their friends. They wanted the adults to be able to relax and have a good time and the children to have fun and be entertained during the party, so the adults could relax and have a good time.

I wanted a fresh and clean ambiance to the party with colors that popped. Even though this party was on the beach it wasn't meant to be a beach party. My client lives on the beach so a nautical theme wasn't as important as creating a fun and vibrant back drop for the event.

Because we were on the beach in the middle of July it was important that there was shade coverage for all areas of the party and the tent gave us just that. The paper lanterns were a fresh pop of color to the space to break up all the white of the tent and they moved nicely in the breeze. When working outdoors in a space like this you have to be careful with fabrics that can blow away. Regular paper lanterns do not have a true solid color and can sometimes get lost in that much white of the ceiling, so we spray painted all of them so that the colors were bold and vivid.

This party definitely had a grown up feel, with the awesome live band, great food, full service bar and dancing for the adults. There was also a smoothie bar and wheatgrass bar, which was a great hit with everyone.

But after that, the amount of activities for the children was a huge focus of the party.

We created a craft activity tent on the sand off the large tent and offered children a large variety of crafts to keep them entertained during the party.

As with all of our craft activity stations, it was staffed with our friendly staff; ready to assist all the children with whatever craft they wanted to do.

There were bears to stuff and dress in board shorts or adorable bathing suits.

There were sunscreens and sunglasses to protect the little ones from the sun.

There were sun visors to decorate and wooden surfboards to paint.

There was sand art bottles to fill, with wonderful colored sand.

There were frisbees to color and decorate.

And when the children needed a break from all the crafts there was a face painting station offering awesome face painting for the children and glitter tatttoos for the adults.

This was the most popular face painting choice of all the boys that day.

There was a strolling magician entertaining the children and adults with slight of hand tricks.

But the best entertainment of the day was when the sons of the birthday girl got on stage and performed a special song for their mother for her birthday and then led everyone in singing Happy Birthday! It was absolutely priceless.

There were large pillows for crashing on and listening to the band.

There was a juggler teaching the children how to spin a plate.

who also entertained the guests with moving furniture as needed..........

and juggled a few balls, that quite perfectly matched the decor.

This was a FUN party for everyone and not bad for two weeks notice.

January 4, 2011

I LOVE my job~

One of the many reasons why I LOVE what I do.... I get to work with my daughter!!

That and receiving awesome feedback from my clients. I have received some awesome thank yous this week and that makes holiday decorating a job well done in my book. Many of my clients are decorating their spaces for their clients/customers and when I receive thank yous from them that their clients/customers loved their holiday decorations it just makes my day!

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year~

Happy New Year and Goodbye 2010!

What a year it has been. I have been blessed with so many opportunites this year to grow my business. I have met new friends, I have put myself out there and offered advice and support, I have met new clients and worked with old clients. I have learned, I have failed BUT most of all I have regained the love of what I do and now know that I wouldn't change it for the world.

I started 2010 feeling like I was headed straight for a brick wall or a straight jacket, I felt like owning my own business was no longer fun and enjoyable, I felt like I was going to explode... and then I tried a few new things, thought that might be what I needed, but quickly realized that what I do is what I am good at. I have earned the experience I have one painful memory at a time, I was a party planner when it wasn't cool. I didn't have blogs or support groups or thousands of planners for inspiration at my finger tips. I started my business before the internet was King. I guess how I really started 2010 was TIRED.............

I no longer am tired of the daily grind of business, no longer tired of working for myself, I no longer want to get a "real" job where somone else is responsible for everything and I am just an employee, I no longer am resting on my laurels and playing it "safe". I am invigorated and ready to take on 2011 with the same zest I had years ago, I am looking forward to creating new opportunities for myself and my business, I am looking forward to being more creative and I am looking forward to working with new friends and increasing my business. I have finally come to the conclusion that to have sustained my business for the last 15 years is AWESOME and to have not burnt out during the last 3 years in these tough economic times is FANTASTIC. That I lived through all the "hobby" comments from my husband and above all am grateful for a business that has sustained my family for the last 3 years when out of the blue my husbands great job no longer existed; thank you economy.

I have met some awesome women this year who have inspired me with their wonderful attitudes and love of a good party. I have seen awesome photos of fabulous parties, I have heard sad stories of other husbands losing their jobs and dreams being squashed, I have watched old friend party planners close their businesses; my heart has smiled and my heart has cried and through it all it has inspired me and I thank each and every one of you who I have met along the way, you are AWESOME!