Inspiration: Rustic Birds

Okay, I promise you I am doing something other than making pretty inspiration boards all the time.  But right now I can’t quite share any of the other projects I’ve been working on.  Plus, I get inspired by the strangest things, so sometimes boards like this can’t help but get made.

I actually was working on a completely different concept when I saw the ring bearer nest and just HAD to work on this.  It’s a board for a rustic, woodsy wedding with bird accents.  In fact, it’s funny – I actually couldn’t find a lot of the photos I wanted, so you’ll just have to imagine  little birds in the bouquet (neither of the bouquets is quite right either but they’re close) and guest tables that have elements of both the guest table and sweet table in the board (but with a large rustic wooden table instead of the moss tablecloth), and a banner that says “love” or the couples’ names on bird shapes in shades of brown and green.  I also was thinking that the wedding party itself would probably be dressed in a rich brown, like (but not exactly) this dress from Nordstrom:

Anyway, I can see this being a very fun, relaxed, outdoor wedding, with fairy lights in the trees, birdseed instead of rice, and lots of pretty natural elements!

Rustic Birds Wedding Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Rustic Birds Wedding Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Photo credits (clockwise from left): Gardensidestudio’s Flickr Stream, Sparkle and Hay, Luvs2Create2’s Etsy Shop, Artfire, Dearjes’ Etsy Shop, House Martin, The KnotGreen Wedding Shoes, The Knot, Once Wed, Nordstrom, Artfire.


Inspiration: Vintage Rosebuds

I love me some vintage!   I was inspired by a bride I’ve been consulting with to create a vintage sweet table inspiration board.  I love the tones of blush and daffodil!  I only wish I’d been able to find some photos of flowers arranged the way I can see them in my head.  I’d love to gather ranunculus, peonies, daffodils, dahlias, gerberas, and freesia together in just the right messy way, and I’d love to see them in the gorgeous pale pink glass vase in my event rental catalog.

I’d also add a bunch of fairy lights and some chinese lanterns in pale pink, yellow, green, and white.

Vintage Sweet Table Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Vintage Sweet Table Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa



To use this inspiration board for a wedding, I’d definitely start with a wedding dress from Fancy New York, like this gorgeous “Maggie Rosebud” design:

Maggie Rosebud by Fancy New York

Maggie Rosebud by Fancy New York


Photo credits (clockwise, from top left): Ruffled Blog, Little Loveables, Country Living, Kate Landers Events, KristopherK’s Flickr Stream, Old Fashioned Lemonade, The Sweetest Occasion, Karen Tran Florals.

Inspiration: The Rocketeer South Seas Club Wedding

From the moment I saw the 1991 Disney movie The Rocketeer, I loved everything about it.  The handsome hero and beautiful heroine, the dashing evildoer, the happy ending…  And the style.  I have to say that this was probably my first taste of Art Deco style.  I wanted to be Jenny; not just because she ended up with the insanely handsome Cliff Secord (and “got to play a scene” with Neville Sinclair, who wasn’t so bad himself), but because she looked so glamorous.

My favorite scene, visually, is the one in the South Seas Club.  Jenny is dressed in the most stunning white satin sweetheart-necked gown, with ruby red lips and hair perfectly coiffed.  Neville, in his tuxedo, leads her down a wide staircase to the dance floor.  The clamshell opens and the sultry singer begins the beguine.  The whole place is gorgeously decorated in the Art Deco style, and is a perfect example of what I wanted a nightclub to be.

When I was planning my own wedding, my first inclination was to look for a dress like Jenny’s in The Rocketeer; I thought we’d have an elegant Art Deco-inspired affair.  And when I found a local hotel with a clamshell band stage in the ballroom, I was over the moon.  We ultimately decided to focus on another location and another design, but if I had my wedding to do over I think I’d have to find a way to make this inspiration board a reality (minus, perhaps, the leather jacket!).  I didn’t like any of the printed materials I found to go with this inspiration board; guess I’ll have to work on some! 🙂

The Rocketeer South Seas Wedding Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

The Rocketeer South Seas Wedding Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Image credits (clockwise, from top left):, Hibiscus Florals, Run Do Not Walk, Unique Vintage, Garethr1’s Flickr Stream, Wedding Things, Your Stupid Minds, SaucefortheGoose’s Etsy Shop, Cake image was not properly credited on any site I found (I think it’s originally from Martha Stewart Weddings but can’t find the original source – there are TONS of secondary sources though), Alfred Angelo (dress #7069 in Celadon).

Inspiration: Born on the Fourth of July

I was at Disneyland on Tuesday (and, um, I’m going back tomorrow for a bachelorette party…  no, I didn’t plan it that way) and walking down Main Street U.S.A. started getting my creative juices going.  I created this inspiration board for an old-fashioned Fourth-of-July party that would also be appropriate for a summer birthday or wedding.  I can imagine serving a beautiful picnic lunch and making homemade ice cream in a vintage hand-crank ice cream maker (ok, actually, that would be really difficult, as cool as it would look!), and listening to a Barbershop Quartet or an old-fashioned band.   The perfect setting for this party would be a pretty green park – especially if there were a gazebo where you could hang the bunting!

Born on the Fourth of July Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Born on the Fourth of July Inspiration Board - Events by Elisa

Image credits (clockwise, from top left): Bliss Weddings Market, 4 In a Bar, Giggleberry Creations, Bouquet Bridal, Elizabeth Anne Designs, The Darling Bee, Jasperdo’s Flickr Stream, My Finer Consigner, North 60’s Flickr Stream, Events Wholesale, Pool and Patio.

Design: Through My Lens

I’ve known Coco since we were high school drama kids together!  Now she’s a semi-professional photographer in Orange County!  When she asked her Facebook friends to help her redesign her blog, I suggested that I take a stab at it.

Coco wanted something that was: vintage but polished; in a combination of her favorite colors (orange, blue, and purple); preppy argyle or nautical; whimsical but restrained, without being too girly.  Plus, she wanted the title of her blog (Through My Lens) to be in all-lowercase lettering.  She joked that she was a walking contradiction!

But I think we found a good balance, and she’s just updated her blog with her new header.  I custom-designed the argyle using Illustrator (I like the dashed lines) and kept the whole thing very simple and clean at her request.

Go check it, and Coco’s blog and photography, out, here:

Inspiration: Sunflowers and Lemonade

Maybe it’s the dismal weather we’ve had today: clouds, wind, and rain…  Maybe I’m just really looking forward to summer…  But my latest inspiration board creation is sort of inspired by Tuscany and Provence, and features a gorgeous sunny yellow color contrasted by deep blues.  I’d love to plan this party for a bridal or baby shower, or a birthday party!

Sunflowers and Lemonade Inspiration Board

Sunflowers and Lemonade Inspiration Board

Image credits (clockwise, from top left):  Hostess with the Mostess, Tickled Pink, Kara’s Party Ideas, Recipe Bloom, Country Living, Dit49’s Flickr Photo Stream, Wrapped in Happiness (but the photo was taken by Charlotte Geary), A French Tablecloth, Pink Cake Box, The Sweetest Occasion.


Event Rentals for Clients!

I’m so pleased to announce the availability of rental products at rock-bottom prices for Events by Elisa clients!

Download the Events by Elisa Unique and Vintage Event Rental Catalog .pdf here!

I love adding vintage and other special elements to the events I design, and I know that it’s not always a smart option for the event host to purchase, care for, and store these elements.  I make it simple by finding great pieces (some beautiful, some functional) and offering them to my clients at excellent prices – typically a fraction of retail and other rental companies.  I don’t have a catalog that’s hundreds of pages long, but I do offer an excellent value for the pieces I have acquired.  And I’m constantly adding more.

Vintage Metal Candy Dish

Like this vintage metal candy dish.  Wouldn’t it look perfect on a sweet table?  It’s only $1.50 per day.

I also have some incredible finds for sale – like this awesome vintage photo album.  I have my heart set on selling it to a bride and groom for their photo guestbook at a vintage wedding – and it’s only $25!

Vintage Photo Album

These deals are only available to Events by Elisa clients and are subject to a separate rental contract.  E-mail me for more details!

My First Featured Original Artwork!

For anyone who’s seen my invitation/program designs in the past, they’ve been sort of basic.  Pretty and clean, but I tended to take elements that already existed and put them together.  I have some excellent sources of free-for-commercial-use vectors, and have purchased others.  Recently I’ve begun manipulating my original photography to create images that I use on printed materials like these:

You might be able to just make out the image of the antique clock face in the background of this design; it's a photo of my husband's grandfather clock!

I took the photo of this poppy last year, and manipulated it using Photoshop and Illustrator

But for my friend and May bride’s bridal shower, I wanted to do something very special.  So I custom-designed a graphic for her bridal shower to go with the fabulous peacock theme I’m planning for her.

The first attempt at designing went okay, and I like the feathers:

My first attempt! Not bad, but not great...

But I decided that I wanted an art deco feel and a monochromatic invitation.  So I redid it.  I LOVE the elegant lines!

My second peacock - I LOVE the lines of the neck and head, and the feathers are gorgeous!

The finished product:

My very own artwork!

I’m so excited to send them out tomorrow!!!

Board Game Birthday!

First of all, yesterday was the official launch of and our Facebook page.  Thank you to everyone for your support!  I am so happy!

Secondly, I’ve been teasing you about this one for a while, and I’ve finally had a chance to write about it: the Board Game Birthday!

This party was incredibly fun to plan; we hosted a dozen friends at our home for dinner and dessert, and, of course, board games!  It was my husband’s 30-something birthday, but I wanted it to have a distinctly kidlike theme.  You’ll have to forgive the lack of photography skill; I’ve got a lot to learn about my camera!

Of course, we had a bare bones budget, so I had to get creative…

First of all was the decor.  These giant-sized Sorry pieces were hand made from Crayola Model Magic:

Hand made giant Sorry pieces

Hand made giant Sorry pieces

I got several bunches of flowers and put them in various vases around the house; this was my favorite of the containers, with colored dice in the bottom:

Flowers with dice

Flowers with dice

Then, of course, the dinner table.  I’d originally planned to use contact-paper-covered board games as serving plates, but couldn’t find enough game boards in our local thrift shops that measured up to my high standards!  Since our space is limited, we had kid-themed finger foods: sliders, pigs in blankets, mac and cheese balls, crab cakes, and “peas and carrots”.  Too cute!  Of course I completely forgot to take a photo of the whole table while the food was laid out:

Our Kiddie Food Table

Our Kiddie Food Table

The Scrabble board name tags for the food, made by photographing my Scrabble board:

Scrabble Board Food Tags

Scrabble Board Food Tags

Of course, you can’t have a birthday party without dessert!  A dessert bar, to be exact.  I love this mixture of old and new glass jars (mostly from local thrift stores), holding some of my husband’s favorite sweets!

A Sweet Table fit for a kid!

A Sweet Table fit for a kid!

Including a Candy Land game board pasted onto styrofoam, used as a cheesecake pop holder, and “Sweets” spelled out on a wooden Scrabble letter holder.  The food table said “Bites” and the Drinks table said “Sips”, but this was my favorite:

"Sweet" spelled out on a Scrabble letter holder and the Candy Land styrofoam cheesecake pop holder

"Sweet" spelled out on a Scrabble letter holder and the Candy Land styrofoam cheesecake pop holder

Last but not least, we had extra special goodie bags for our guests.  We used paper lunch sacks and printed Scrabble board labels on them.  Of course I forgot to take photos, but I found some fun mini Uno decks, tiny Etch-a-Sketches, and playing card erasers, among other fun goodies:

Goody Bag Table

Goody Bag Table