A Construction Themed Birthday!

I can’t believe that it has happened! My little man has turned 3. He is definitely more of a young man now than a baby. We can have full out conversations with him, he tells jokes, goes to the bathroom all by himself, gets himself snacks and sometimes will even admit to being “Bold” and put himself in time out. It seems like yesterday that we were bringing our little 5lb peanut home from the hospital. At the time, Matt and I knew that we would learn a lot from our son, but little did we know that we would soon learn how fast time flies and how much “change” can happen in a year, let alone 3.

Early on, Matt and I decided that we would do a big party for Jacks, every other year until he was of school age. We of course threw a party when he turned one and although Jacks turning one was a big milestone for him, I believe the party was just as much in celebration of Matt and I surviving our first year as parents. That year, we used the theme “Our little Jacks-O-Lantern is turning One” as Jacks really didn’t have many interests that he was drawn too, other than the typical baby things.

This year was a different story! Jacks started to show interest in Construction equipment around 18 months and from there on out we could pretty much say it has become a passion of his. Quite often when Matt or I make a request of Jacks, our request has been met with the response of “One more minute, I am working!” There-fore, soon after his 2nd birthday I began planning and thinking of ideas for a construction themed party. I had a blast putting together this party and of course it helped being that it was for my own little man!

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When the big day arrived, Matt turned our yard into a construction site. My father’s company lent us the use of several construction signs, road cones and barrels, as well as some barricades. We scattered 3 dozen yellow, orange and black balloons around the yard and even had my brother park his Skid Steer in the front yard.

Uncle Mark, Uncle John and Aunt Heather surprised Jacks with an 8’x8’ sandbox for his birthday. It was the hit of the party. I don’t think the box was unoccupied all night, with the exception of the pinata and cake-time. Our good friends Tom and Christine had purchased Jacks a sit-on Excavator, for his birthday, the perfect addition to his sandbox.

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    To add to the festivities I made Jacks a t-shirt with an excavator on it and in the scoop was the number 3.

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Each guest was provided a hard hat and work apron upon arrival and we placed a tool box filled with cold juice boxes on a work bench near the sandbox to keep our little workers hydrated!

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For favors, I bought a bunch of yellow beach pails with shovels and filled them with some construction themed items, such as a small construction truck and “dirt” (brown Playdough), orange bubbles, goldfish, and a canvas tool belt stuffed with “tools”, which were actually frosted sugar cookies.

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I also put together a Dump Truck Painting, similar to that of my Fingerprint Trees, where Jacks’ guests use their fingerprints to fill the bed of the truck with “dirt”. It is so cute to see all the prints left by the little ones! This is a great memory piece.

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My husband politely reminded me that he, as well as many others, do not like cake (wierdos!!!), so I made some extra tool cookies and some double chocolate brownies to add to the dessert selection. A friend of mine’s mother helped me by making the cake. We used the same mini construction trucks that I used in the favors to top it and then she of course put her talents to use in decorating it. Check out the chocolate gravel that I found. (I love Hobby Lobby) I was even able to find some construction cone candles. Jacks has a very large collection of Construction Vehicles, and he claims that he NEEDS all of them. They came in handy for decorating purposes, as we used them all over the house and yard. A big thank you to all of you who bought him more constructions trucks as presents…the kid is in his glory and our couch and love seat have become a permanent “Construction Site” for “Working”…no sitting allowed!

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I was also able to find a Bulldozer Pinata!!! It was so much fun to watch the little ones try to wack that thing open.

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We ended up with a beautiful day of weather and Jacks was so very lucky to have so many of his/our close family and friends come celebrate with us.Amongst the party goers were both sets of my Grandparents. Jacks is so very fortunate to not only have two sets of Great Grandparents but that both sets are very involved in his life! At one point I looked across the yard to find my mom’s mother adorned with safety goggles playing in the sandbox with Jacks. I cannot tell you how happy that site made me!

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 Talking about smiles, my kid was all smiles pretty much the whole time and that told me that although I may have gone a little overboard with the planning, it was all worth it in the end. I think it is safe to say that all of our guests, especially the kids had a “ton of fun”.

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Over due for an update…

My apologies as I am way over due for a blog and sharing with you what I have been up too. Its sad to say that I haven’t had an update since January, and here it is the last day of March. What can I say…I’ve been busy :)

Here are a few of the Finger Print Guest Trees that I have done over the last three months…

and several Signature Trees…

I also completed a bridal bouquet for a summer wedding out of shades of navy blue and ivory and a surprise birthday party centerpiece out of oranges and pinks. I really enjoy making my paper flowers. I have been exploring a lot of options for centers as a way of bringing in more texture.

At the end of March I helped throw a bridal shower where again, the colors were hot pink and orange. A great color scheme for such a “blah” time of the year. For this shower I designed the invitaions, center pieces and wine glass favors. In addition to the color scheme of pink and orange, Poppies were a main focus.

Hopefully I will be better with updating in the future….but no promises. Until then, check out my facebook page for more updates.

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Meg & Mike’s “Winter Wonderland”

 On Saturday, December 17th I had the honor of putting my creative touches on the wedding of Meg and Mike. Meg and Mike’s reception was held at the Hall Of Springs in Saratoga, NY. Although the day did not bring any snow, the feeling inside the reception hall was that of a “Winter Wonderland”. The Hall Of Springs was uplighted with soft blue lighting and there were several Christmas trees decorated in white and silver.  It really put me in the spirit of the upcoming holiday. I also want to send a very specia Thank you to my friend and sister-in-law, Heather for helping me se up Meg and Mike’s wedding.

 

            Meg and Mike asked Christina Norris Designs to design their favors and place cards. Considering the time of year, an ornament seemed most appropriate for their favors. I designed a round irredescent glass ornmanet for the big day. The ornaments were filled with snow and I then detailed them with a silver snowflake on one side and Meg and Mike’s name and wedding date, on the opposite side. Every year when their guests decorate their home and Christmas tree for the holidays, they will be reminded of the love these two have for each other as well as the wonderful time that they shared celebrating with them.

 

 

          

To present their guests with a “wow” factor the bridal parties ornaments were hung on a snow covered “tree”. I tied several real branches together and placed them in a vase of snow. The “tree” was displayed in the entry-way next to the Fingerprint guest tree, another Christina Norris Designs original. When I designed their Fingerprint tree I focused on the bride and grooms theme and color pallette. The tree was drawn in silver ink and silver snowflakes were sporatically placed amongst the branches. The ink colors were shades of blue. I then detailed the ground area with crystal snow for some sparkle.

 

              

 After the cocktail hour, the remaining ornaments and placecards were laid out for Meg and Mike’s guests to take back to their assigned tables. Keeping in mind that the ornaments were fragile each couple was provided a box, at their seat, to take their favor home in. I again kept with the theme, decorating the boxes with silver and blue snowflakes. Blue tissue that matched the bridesmaid’s dresses was placed inside the boxes and a tag was attached to the box that read “Snow in Love” Love, Meg & Mike.

 

 Congratulations to Meg and Mike and Thank you for allowing me to be invloved in your wedding day. I had a great time designing your favors, place cards, favor boxes and guest tree. What a wonderful time of the year to be married.

 

 

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Happy Holidays

The holidays are here! I hope that everyone had a chance for some relaxation and family time. I was finally able to relax and spend some much-needed time with my family and I am enjoying every minute of it! The last 6 weeks have been very busy here at Christina Norris Designs. From November 19th – December 17th I filled 27 orders for customized Family Trees and Couples Trees. Orders were shipped every where from Canada to California. I believe the lady at the post office now knows me by name.  I really enjoyed all the special requests, such as including family pets and the chance to theme paintings to specific places or seasons. I always enjoy a challenge and love venturing away from the norm.

Thank you to all my clients for making the 2011 holiday season a great one! I hope your family and friends enjoy their gifts as much as I did painting them. Here is a sampling of some of the trees from the holiday season.

Happy Holidays!

    

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas with Christina Norris Designs

Make your Christmas shopping easy this year and do your shopping with Christina Norris Designs. Family Trees and Couple Trees make great gifts, especially for those “hard to buy for” on your list. Your babysitter, employee, boss, neighbor, family member or close friend would love a personalized tree to display in their home.

All my trees are one of a kind and come in a variety of styles and sizes. The possibilities are endless. Trees can be themed to match home decor, a specific season or holiday, wedding colors or a specific love or interest. Why not include the family pet at the base of the tree?

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I will be accepting Christmas orders through December 5th. Orders placed after the 5th will include a rushed-order charge. The absolute last day that I can accommodate any Christmas orders is December 18th.

Happy Holidays

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The Wedding Celebration of Sarah & Jeff

I cannot believe that a month had gone by and I had yet to post about the wedding of Sarah and Jeff.

Let me begin by telling you a little about the bride and groom. Sarah and Jeff are two of the most beautiful people that I have come to know. Genuine and loyal to each other and both their families and friends, their wedding was one that everyone anxiously awaited. From the tale of how they met to the many parallels in their life everyone knew that Sarah and Jeff were meant to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At last, the big day was here. Sarah and Jeff choose September 3, 2011 as the day that they would become one. The Old Daley Inn on Crooked Lake provided a beautiful location for both their reception and lake-side ceremony. I believe that The Old Daley Inn on Crooked Lake will be the new “hot spot” for weddings in the years to come. Between their beautiful rustic-meets-modern décor and picture perfect location, this place is hard to beat.

Preparation for Sarah and Jeff’s wedding began with their invitation. When designing their invitation, Sarah has only two requests. 1. To include the color of yellow and brown and 2. To have a flower of some sort. I went with a traditional, yet whimsical feel and came up with the following. I like to combine different textures and dimensions for a unique appearance.

Invitations often times set the tone for the party or occasion. So with keeping of the theme of yellow, brown and whimsical, I set forth to design their place cards and programs. For the place cards I used a smaller flower in the same color as their invitations. The flower on the place cards was 3-dimensional and included a textured center, like that of the invitations.

   

For the programs, I used the same flower and color scheme, but this time also included a little bit of blue. Sarah’s junior bridesmaids and flower girls wore blue, and Jeff’s groomsmen had blue accents in their ties.  I choose to have Sarah and Jeff’s names printed in blue as a way of highlighting their names while accenting the blue in their bridal party.

After a beautifuland emotional ceremony, Sarah and Jeff celebrated with their family and friends for the first time as husband and wife with an outside cocktail hour. The spread of food was amazing and tasted just as good. Displayed during the cocktail hour was a Fingerprint Guest Tree for their guests to “Leaf” their names for the bride and groom.

I thank Sarah and Jeff for allowing me to artistically be involved in their special day. Their wedding celebration ended up being amazing by all accounts, a day that they both deserved.

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Kanika & Shaheen

    Words cannot describe the picture perfect and magical event that unfolded as my dear friends Kanika and Shaheen wed on Saturday, July 30th. A palette of white on white with subtle accents of soft blues, grays and pinks was chosen for the event, allowing the bride and groom to present their guests with simple, yet sophisticated and classy details. It was by far one of the most beautiful weddings that I had ever attended.

Kanika had given me the honor of making her wedding bouquet out of my paper flowers. Keeping in mind her color scheme I choose a soft flower petal shape and produced twenty-eight white flowers of varying size for her bouquet. The center details were done in shades of grays, whites, pearls and pinks. To finish off the bouquet, the stems were wrapped in an ivory silk ribbon to complement Kanika’s dress. The overall effect was classic and timeless, a look and an item that can be passed down from generation to generation.

A beautiful cocktail hour and reception followed the ceremony, underneath a white tent where again the look was white on white with blues, grays and pinks. When I first presented Kanika with  her bouquet, she liked it so much that she wanted to incorporate the flowers in her wedding reception and asked that I make a flower for each of her guests to be used as place cards on the tables.

 

For the place card flowers, I made miniature versions of the flowers that had been used in Kanika’s bouquet, this time adding a leaf. I used four different leaf colors to correlate with which meals had been chosen by each guest. The flowers were a big hit amongst the guests, receiving lots of camera time. The girls placed them in their hair and behind their ears while several male guests wrapped them around their ties.

The evening was picture perfect and one that Kanika and Shaheen, as well as their guests will never forget!

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Celebrating Sarah

Every once in a while we are lucky enough to meet someone who will change our lives for the better and bring us much love and happiness. About six years ago, I met my friend Sarah. Sarah is one of those rare people who is beautiful inside and out and who has forever changed my life.

Late this summer Sarah is getting married!!! Therefore, a celebration was in order. It was time to start planning. When organizing Sarah’s shower we wanted to tailor the event to the bride-to-be and to make sure that we included many of the things that bring her happiness.  Sarah enjoys being outside, loves the color yellow, has a weak spot for wine and enjoys visiting the city of Saratoga, especially in the summer months. In fact, Saratoga is where Sarah and her fiancé officially met.

A shower was planned for Saturday, July 16th at Mallozzi’s in Schenectady. Keeping in mind Sarah’s love of the sun and being outside, we chose to take advantage of Mallozzi’s new terrace. The terrace allowed us to plan a shower outdoors, while being completely covered in the event of an extremely hot or extremely rainy July day.

 

We chose to go with a sunflower theme, as sunflowers mimic the sun and of course are yellow. When designing her invitations, I used a simple sunflower design paired with brown. For the centerpieces, we filled large brown ceramic vases with beautiful New Jersey Sunflowers. Each guest received a Sparkling Saratoga water in reference of where Sarah and Jeff met. In addition to the water each guest took home a hand painted red wine glass.  I hand painted the wine glasses to look like Sunflowers and I have to say that they looked great on the tables with our sunflower centerpieces and the bright blue glass water bottles.  A small brown paper bag was also given to each guest as a convenient means of bringing home their wine glass and water. When planning Sarah’s shower, I learned that Sunflowers are a symbol of happiness, warmth and loyalty. We attached a tag to each bag that read:

“For centuries, Sunflowers have been known as a symbol of happiness, warmth, and loyalty.

Please accept this hand-painted Sunflower glass as a token of thanks, for celebrating with us today.

We hope that you will think of Sarah & Jeff every time you use it, and be reminded of the happiness, warmth and loyalty that they share with each other, as well as with each of us.”

 

 

To keep with the sunflower theme, for dessert, we chose to have  cupcakes and of course decorated them to look like sunflowers. We baked and decorated almost 100 cupcakes.

Everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves and it was so nice to see Sarah with a permanent smile on her face, spending time with her family and friends. I was very pleased with how the shower turned out! The Sunflower theme and décor came together beautifully and was perfect for celebrating such a beautiful person.

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Mallozzi’s Bridal Show- July 17th, 2011

 Today I spent the afternoon at Mallozzi’s for their Bridal show and $30,000 Wedding giveaway. I had a great time and was able to meet hundreds of brides and grooms who are planning for, and anxiously waiting for their big day to arrive. Although I was unable to watch the contest for the giveaway I heard that it was very entertaining. All in all the afternoon was great and I had a wonderful time.

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