31 October, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween, my darlings!  I heart you more than all the fun size Butterfingers in the world.
I hope you have a wonderfully magical day!  See you right here later today for more fun!


Night on Bald Mountain by Muggorsky.  Footage from Fantasia.  Brilliant.

30 October, 2012

Tutorial: Glittered Coffin Favor Boxes

As you know, I've been working on a couple Halloween party designs for some out of area clients.  What does that mean? It just means I get to plan out a party, pack a box with the essentials (templates, suggestions, instructions, a few materials and some fully realized, handmade extras) wrap it up all cute-like and send it on it's way!

I think part of the magic of entertaining lies in the ability to take something you already have (or something you found at an incredible price) and turn it into something amazing.  So, I always make sure to pack each Goldiluxe party with beautifully stunning, budget-friendly pieces to make each one a little more spectacular (or, in this case, spooktacular).

I thought I might share one of those elements with you.  (Again, while the camera is on the fritz, you'll have to put up with phone snappies, sorry...)

You'll need:

-decorative boxes
-mod podge (or other white glue)
-paint brush
-jazzicles, embellishments and other accoutrements

1. Paint that box!  I sprayed my boxes, but acrylic or other craft paint would work just as well. I didn't think you needed a picture of me spray painting things...but I will happy to recount my spray painting rule:  Make long, even passes with the spray, 6-10 inches from the object.  This will cut down on bubbling, uneven cover and streaking.  You may have to apply two coats...I usually do, just to be certain I've got even cover.  Set boxes aside to dry.

2. Plot it out!  While your paint dries, determine what your embellishment will be and how you will lay it out on the box.  If you aren't a big eye-baller, you may want to add the extra step of tracing the lid of your box onto craft paper.  This might aid you as you plot out your jazzicles and save you from making mistakes.

 3. Pour some glitter on it! Pour a liberal amount of Mod Podge onto a plate or other disposable surface.  Unleash the glitter.  Now, with a brush mix the glue with the glitter until you have your desired consistency.  More glitter=more shine...you get the idea.  Why the glitter/glue combo? The glue seals the glitter and prevents the dreaded glitter trail.  At this point your box might look like a hot mess, but rest assured, the Mod Podge will soon work its magic.

4.  Embellish, baby! Once your box is dry, grab your embellishments and go to town!  Although I usually don't personalize favor boxes, I was asked to enable these to double as place cards.  Our hostess wanted a less manufactured look, so I suggested cutting the edges by hand and using a paint pen to hand write the letters.  The paper featured above is part of my personal stash...I thought she'd like to use it, too!  The truth is, the possibilities are as limitless as your craft closet!

It turned out pretty cute, right?  I wish you could see them up close.  The effect is a little more subtle in person.  Next time, I think I would forgo the two-toned glitter in favor of a more fine, pitch black variety.  Our hostess LOVES them and is super excited to finish them in her own way.  I can't wait to see what she does with them!


29 October, 2012

You Asked For It: Halloween on the Interwebs

Cute pumpkin display at my local haunting grounds!
Hey G!
I know you have lots of great ideas. Do you have any sources of inspiration, like websites, where some of us can get some last minute help?

I've rounded up some of my favorite online sources of Inspiration. I hope you can find some tips and tricks to make your party utterly Spooktacular!!

Martha Stewart Living

Southern Living

Better Homes and Gardens  

Offbeat Bride (They have a whole week dedicated to Halloweeny things...so much awesomeness!)


Food Network


CHOW  (CHOW is new to me, but super cute and totally worth the read!)


First Look: Halloween Happening

Hey gang!
As we head into our final Halloween countdown, I thought you might like a sneaky peeky at an upcoming event!  I always have so much fun designing things like this!

This little creepy crawly is another Allison Beilke for Goldiluxe Events original.  I am usually not a fan of spidies, but this guy is pretty cute.  This is just one of the fun graphic elements that will be popping up throughout the design.

A little snippet of my design.  It's a little different than I'm used to doing. I usually go for something a little lighter with brighter splashes of color.  This will be decidedly gothic-chic.   

I'm excited to share more with you this week!


22 October, 2012

Tutorial: Candlestick Cake Stands

Finally!! So cute!  Ooh, before I forget, you'll have to excuse the photos.  My camera was being finicky so I had to take my snappies with my phone.  That being said, here we go!

 You will need:
 - candlesticks
-  primer
 - spray paint
 - plates
 - hot glue gun & glue

1. Spray paint those 'sticks!  I've found that wooden or metal candlesticks work best, but just about anything will work.  If I make a set that need to travel, wooden candlesticks are the best bet for me.  A word on spray painting: try to make long, even passes with the spray from 6-10 inches from the object.  This will cut down on bubbling, uneven cover and streaking.  I usually use a primer, because I like my colors to be as bright and true as possible. Make sure to let the 'sticks dry between coats.

2. Prepare your plates! For this particular project, I used plastic plates.  I needed something that looks great, is lightweight and doesn't look overly formal.  Ceramic, china, and glass plates would work just as well, though.  Just make sure the weight of the plate is enough to balance out the weight of the candlestick.  Just common sense, here.  Now, I know I've said this a thousand times but once more couldn't hurt: Consider letting go of your 'matchy-matchy' spirit.  Coordinating colors and patterns will do the trick and give you the sophisticated look you're going for without looking stuffy.

3.  Glue, baby, glue!  After letting the gun warm up a bit, I usually start by putting glue into the hole of my candlestick.  It tends to level out the top of the candlestick while providing a little extra stability.  Once you've filled the center, it's time to create an evenly applied area of glue to which your plate can adhere. Center your pate above the candlestick.  Press your plate onto the glue and hold pressure for about 30 seconds.  This will help set the bond.  Let the glue dry completely before inspecting your work.  Remember to check for and remove pesky hot glue strings. 

  4.  Test it out!  Basically, you want to look for flaws.  Apply some pressure to the edges of your plate to test the glue bond.  Alternate pressure to test for weak spots.  Of course, you'll need to put something on your cake stand to gauge the overall sturdiness.  Once you're satisfied, you can always reheat your gun and use the heated metal tip to smooth out the glue. 

5.  Enjoy!  You've just made something ridiculously cute!  Gather your besties and throw some cute food on those babies.  Show off your handiwork a little bit.

Stay tuned for super cute pics of the stands as they will be featured in my next party design.


16 October, 2012

You Asked For It: Halloween Roundup #2 (and #3)

So, I’ve been a bad blogger. So, today you get a big ‘ol roundup.  I hope you’ll forgive me!

Hey there!
Your movie list is pretty awesome.  However, so many of them are so violent and scary.  Any suggestions for a tamer crowd?
Sure.  Without knowing if you need a kid-friendly list, I’ll just wing it.  Some of my favorite Halloween-appropriate movies (with a softer side) include: Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, Shaun of the Dead (still some death, dying and zombies, but hilarious), The Worst Witch, Dead and Breakfast (this. is. hilar!) Beetlejuice, The Corpse Bride, Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow (LOVE this movie!!)

We want to do a group costume.  Any easily recognizable ideas?
Umm…off the top of my head: The cast of Clue, The Adams Family, Seven Deadly Sins (envy, greed and wrath are my favorite to personify), the cast of Anchorman, Superheroes (one year we made up our own superheroes-best group costume evah!), characters from Mad Men (or Mad Men inspired-one year Allison was a 60’s flight attendant-super cute), old timey cat burglars. I’ve got a million of ‘em.

Sexy ______ costumes? Yay or nay?
If you mean, like, sexy cop, nurse, race car driver or anything that looks like lingerie with animal ears, then nay.  I’m just not into it.  I think witty, funny, clever and cute are way sexier.  But, hey.  Who am I to smash your pumpkin?  If that’s your thing, go for it!  I just think you can probably do better.

I need party ideas?  What do you have coming up?
Well, I’ve got tutes on candlestick cake stands, simple wreath ideas, and turning household or thrift store finds into works of spooky art.  Also, some sketches from an upcoming Halloween design I’m doing.  

Things just waiting to become tutorials.  Get excited!

Throwing a dinner party.  Any weird food?
You know what looks weird? Roasted whole vegetables.  Put them all on a serving platter and they can look like they’re rotting.  Very creepy effect.  I’ve done it before and Martha has a great picture of it.  Also, squid ink pasta.  It’s black as night and tastes pretty amazing.  Roasts can be creepy if you leave them a little on the rarer side. If you like doing a menu board or sending one ahead of time, try coming up with strange names for your dishes.  This will help set the mood. Without knowing your taste preferences, I can only give vague suggestions.  I love entertaining (obvi) and when I’m in a pinch, I take a spin through Martha’s recipes. 

Where can I find kids’ costume ideas, hopefully DIY?
Pinterest, Martha Stewart, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents.  Talk to your Mom friends.  Can you arrange a swap?  Kids, treats, music and costume swap?  Instant fun. 

Do you ever think maybe you’re too into Halloween? Like maybe you should act like an adult?
Nope. Speaking of acting like an adult, I am a wife; I work a full time job, run a business and a household.  I also have a rich social life and am teaching myself Japanese. That sounds pretty adult to me.  Not to mention that part of being a happy, fulfilled adult depends on the ability to have fun.  Halloween is fun for me.  It’s fun for my readers, as well.  If you’re looking for a serious, stuffy wedding blog, I can tell you: This. isn’t. it.   Sheesh.

Do you think it’s okay to make baked goods for the trick-or-treaters?  I don’t want to give them more blocks of processed sugar.
You know, I’m not a mom, yet, but I love this.  I’d talk to some of the other neighborhood parents, if you know any of them.  See what they think.  If you don’t, this is a great way to introduce yourself.  I’d say yes, but it’s good to talk it through.  I made homemade treats one year and some moms wouldn’t let their kids take them.  I think you have to prepare yourself for that.  Also, I would suggest attaching a recipe card or a little note so Mom knows what’s in it (which is what I should’ve done). That way, if her kid has food allergies or other dietary restrictions, she has a head’s up. If you decide not to bake, try your local health food stores.  They’ll have lots of options for you that are pre-packaged and might be less risky.

Keep 'em coming, dolls!  I am having a blast answering your questions.  Just know, though, if you send me mean, snarky questions, I'm going to answer them.  Publicly.

08 October, 2012

You Asked For It: Horror Movie Repost

Ask and you shall receive!  You've been hounding asking me sweetly to re-post my horror movie list from last year.  Here it is...(originally posted on 10/21/2011)

I am throwing a Halloween party. I wish to impress my friends with my knowledge of horror movies (although they kind of terrify me).  Do you have any recommendations?

Why, yes.  Yes I do have some opinions.  Although, I cannot tell you how hard it was to narrow down my list.  For instance, I thought I might get started by writing down all the scary movies I've ever seen...well, after about 90 minutes, I was up to about 125.  Then came the categories...oy.

For the purpose of your list, I've chosen twelve of my favorites (regardless of genre) and left (most) of my movie snobiness geekiness commentary out of it.  I will warn you, though.  I'm a fan of originals.  I'd stay away from the remakes...except for Halloween.  Rob Zombie's remakes are sure to scare the pants off your guests.

And away we go:

The Omen (1976.  Trust me.  Skip the 2006 remake.  It's caca.)
Rosemary's Baby (1968-Mia Farrow at her finest)
Friday the 13th (1980.  Again, skip the remake.)
Nightmare on Elm Street (1984...Johnny Depp is totally in it.)
The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005 Superb movie.  I was totally terrified after this came out)
The Shining (1980)
Night of the Living Dead (1968- I am a HUGE Romero fan and a zombie purist.  This film started it all, by the way)
Children of the Corn (1984)
The Exorcist (1973. "Your mother sucks ** in hell!"-Classic.)
Halloween (really, either the original or the Zombie remake-both are outstanding)
Sleepaway Camp (1983)
High Tension (2003 I'd watch it with the subtitles if I were you, it loses a lot in dubbing)

And a little bonus (and one of my all-time, fave horror films) number 13.  Has a spooky ring to it, huh?

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974.  It's a classic, I'm tellin' ya.  Totes awesome.  Totes scary.)

Have fun, dolls!

Am I missing anything?  Leave it in the comments!

EDIT for 2012: Let the Right One In (Swedish, 2008), The Last House on the Left (1972), Cat People (1942)

04 October, 2012

Horrorween: Your Source For Fright

If you know me well (or, if you read this blog last October), you know I am a huge horror movie buff.  I just can’t get enough.  I love that every October we pay a little homage to fright.  In fact, some of my fondest Halloween memories include snuggling up with blankets and settling in for a night of terror.  Last year, I released a list of some of my favorites and a lot of you have asked how you can get your share of fright.  I thought I might share my yearly sources of gore.  

So, if you aren’t familiar with TCM, it’s pretty great.  It’s definitely the best channel for classic films.  I recently filled my DVR with their tribute to Marilyn Monroe.  Well, in October the station gets even better.  Every Wednesday, TCM shows classic horror films.  Now when I say classic, I mean 1969 and older.  Amazing stuff.  Last year introduced me to The Hands of Orlac (1925), a fab German silent film in which an experimental graft gives an injured pianist the hands of a murderer.  The cinematography is amazeballs and the music is even better.  This year, some of the highlights include: The Mummy (1932), Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) and The Mark of the Vampire (1935).  Frankly, there are far too many amazing movies to list, including The Devil’s Bride (1968), a film I’ve never seen.  

 AMC Fear Fest: October 13-31
This is a little more mainstream, I think, and therefore caterers to a more contemporary horror enthusiast. In other words, it’s a great place to see 1970 and newer titles.   I have seem some really amazing movies on Fear Fest, including a lot of movies my Mom wouldn’t let me watch when I was a child.  Although the lineup is chock-full of repeats, they’ve got some really great titles this year.  Personally, I’m looking forward to: Hotel Hell, The Brain Eaters, The Dark Half and Corridors of Blood.  I also intend to enjoy some of my all time favorite films, including: Bride of Frankenstein, Friday the 13th, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Puppet Master and Halloween.  They’ve also got a ton of Stephen King on the line up, which is always a good thing.  

Oh, speaking of AMC, I want to remind you that the new season of Walking Dead starts. next. week.  Icoulddie!

You know, all this terrifying awesomeness should be inspiring you to plan a Fright Fest of your own.  Pick a night, grab some friends, snacks, festive drinks and settle in for fear.  Nothin’ to it!  

All photos via their networks.  

03 October, 2012

You Asked For It: Halloween Roundup #1

From the cutting room floor of my husband's party in 2009
Hey, gang!
You've been asking some really great Halloween questions (y'all are so smaht!) and I thought I'd do a set of weekly roundups.  This is the first...and probably the best.

What’s the best way to pick a theme?
I usually like to choose something that gives me room to work. I think it’s helpful to take an idea that you love and twist it a bit.  Some of my favorite themes from years past are: Monster Bash, Carnival of Souls, Malice in Wonderland.  One year, we had our own Fright Fest where we showed scary movies and served food that tied in with the films.  Just relax and have fun planning!

I love Halloween and everything terrifying.  However, some of my friends want to bring their kids to my party.  How can I be more family-friendly?
This is easy.  You’re going to have to do terrifying in an age-appropriate way.  Off the top of my head, maybe include in your invite when it’s appropriate for kids to be at your party.  Then, the adult fun could happen later in the evening.  Or, perhaps you could have some activities on hand for the littles and base them in another part of the house, accessible to their parents.  The possibilities are endless.  You know, for more on kid-friendly parties, you might check out: The Stir, Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens…otherwise a Google search will point you in the right direction.

Is there an easy way for me to request “no slutty costumes”?  My sister lives with me and she and her friends are younger than us and would probably be more likely to pile on the slutty, if you know what I mean.
Honestly, no.  There isn’t an easy way to say that.  You can only control yourself.  But, if you’re that concerned about it, talk to her (gently and tactfully).  I just don’t think that young=slutty.

I need an idea for a killer cocktail (pun definitely intended).  Have any?
Yes.  Two, actually. 
                The Zombie:  1 oz. white rum, 1 oz. golden rum, 1 oz. spiced rum, splash Bacardi 151 (optional), 1 oz apricot brandy, 2 oz. OJ, 2 oz pineapple juice, 1 oz. lime juice, splash grenadine, 1 tsp. sugar. Combine ingredients in shaker or blend with ice.  Perfect for a collins glass. Garnish with pineapple, cherries or something more festive…
Brain Hemorrhage: 1 oz. Peach schnapps, 1-2 Tbsp Bailey’s, 1 tsp. grenadine- Float Bailey’s on the schnapps (I suggest a rocks glass) and drop the grenadine through the Bailey’s.

Favorite horror movie of all time?
Night of the Living Dead.  George A. Romero, 1968.  Totally revolutionized the zombie game, hands down.

What’s your go to Halloween costume?
Queen of Hearts.

Have a Halloween question for the next roundup?  Leave it in the comments, message me on Facebook or Twitter, or e-mail me @ goldiluxeevents@gmail.com.  I'd love to hear 'em!