Tin Parade (Ryan + Kristen)

New Year Card by Designing Mom Ryan

by Cat on January 10, 2012

I don’t know how Designing Mom Ryan manages to outdo herself each year… Each season, Ryan’s holiday cards (take a look at last year’s) take on the theme of a different era. The result of course is something timeless for her family and loved ones to cherish forever. I’d love to try this and am so inspired by her creative holiday… hope you are too…

by Designing Mom Ryan of Tin Parade

Every year my family and I do a period photo shoot for our holiday card. This year it was the 1920’s. A
lot goes into this photo shoot; era appropriate clothes, location, photographer etc. But we are left with
a cherished moment and a fun way to teach our kids about history and just give them a perspective
on a different time. I have always loved history. I had the Dad that wanted you to see every Civil War
battlefield and the places our Founding Fathers walked. My son now loves history too and I couldn’t be
more thrilled. But really, I am just a drama geek at heart. I was an actress forever. Now I’m a designer
and a Mama but part of my heart just really wants to dress up in costumes and pretend. So far, we’ve
done the 1950’s, 1970’s and now the 1920’s. Any great idea’s for next year?

Happy New Year. Ryan and family.

Photo shot by Laura Grier of Beautiful Day Photography (shoot styled by Ryan Larson and Stacy Pasetta)


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Biz How To: Funding

by Cat on November 22, 2011

by Designing Mom Ryan of Tin Parade

Hi Mama’s.  I am lucky to have an amazing women as a friend , Nada Jones, who has been a great help to me in starting and growing my and Kristen’s  business of children’s party goods. I told you about her last year when I was event planning for her Live the Dream Expo (for women entrepreneurs), and I will give you a heads up on that event when it happens early February next year. But I wanted to share with you her idea for my business partner (fellow designing mom), Kristen Gara and I do raise much needed funds for phase two of our party goods business.

For phase two we want to start selling wholesale to stores across the country (not just on our website) and we need to make a huge product order of our brand new designs to do that.  Nada Jones suggested we try a Kickstarter Campaign.  If you aren’t familiar (she had to explain it to me too), it is an online platform for creative people to raise money for creative projects only.  So you submit your project and hope to be accepted.  We were accepted because we are a design duo creating unique, freshly designed party goods.

The idea is that people can give money to your project and walk away with awesome stuff that they totally want. So they are never JUST giving money to a cause (although helping someone with their dream will also feel great).  And, they don’t get a share in your company or revenue’s or anything like that, so don’t be nervous. What they get is up to you as the campaign manager. We are giving away party goods and to certain backers we are also going to send them the actual new designs/products as soon as we have them in our hands, so even before they are in stores.  The tough side is that if you don’t reach your funding goal (ours is $8,000) you will not receive ANY funds!

I have heard some people sort of shop on Kickstarter because you really can find some innovative products.  It might be a good option for you if you are having trouble coming up with the funding for your new venture or don’t want to use all of your personal money. Check out our campaign and if you are so inclined and want some great party stuff, go ahead and send some love in the form of a pledge. We will greatly appreciate it as you can imagine. Wish us luck!


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Creating a Timeline for a Children’s Party

by Cat on November 15, 2011

Where was this when I needed it? Who better to glean tips on party planning for your little ones than from a top notch event planner? Designing Mom Ryan Larson creates beautiful weddings and events for her brides and clients at Savoir Flair and Tin Parade and lends some tried and true advice to all of us for a stress-free party…
by Designing Mom Ryan Larson of Tin Parade Vintage Party Goods
You have been so busy planning and buying, and cutting and gluing who knows what that you have forgotten one of the most important things for your child’s party…..flow.  (important for any party). I am an event planner and I do understand this comes much easier for me but you can also make your day MUCH simpler.
By making a timeline you will also take away a bunch of the stress you may be feeling in pulling it all off.  It’s like you always heard as a kid…the more you practice or study the easier it will be.  It’s the same with a  great party.  Take the time to sit…breathe…and think through the entire flow of the day from set up to tear down.  Once you are organized and have your to-do list organized…TRUST ME….you will actually enjoy your child’s party too.
Here is a sample timeline for a kids party:
_____ – fill in the blank lines with peoples names who will be helping you that day…oh yeah, say YES to help.
I want you to actually MAKE a timeline. I do it for each of my home parties. Here is one below and you can copy and switch out the info:
SITE: Our home.
MUSIC: Bob…Joe…whoever is good with tunes and knows how to work your system so its not YOU!
FOOD: Okay this may be your domain however, put a sticky note on each dish as to what it is for and set them all on a table or washer/dryer till the time to fill them, than your helpers (i.e. girlfriends who know how much work it is to do a kids party) know what to do even if you are talking to a guest) (and please ask someone to do this before that day so they are expecting it and you don’t have to feel weird asking that day…you just need help with the food set up time, not a lot to ask of someone)
PHOTOS: Ask someone to own this. SOOOO often Mom or main caregiver is not in any of the photos. I am known to pick up peoples cameras unasked and just start shooting photos at their own party of them interacting with their kids and guests….but you shouldn’t even have to worry about taking all the photos of the cake cutting etc, you want to be IN THE MOMENT watching your darling child’s face light up all day.
CHARACTER CO: Have their check and gratuity already done and in an envelope ready to go so you can quickly, easily hand it over at the end of their stint. (yes gratuity is customary, usually $20-40)
Chips, Guac, Salsa and Cheese ,crackers, grapes
Assorted gourmet Sausages, artisan breads/rolls, assorted gourmet mustards
Arugula Salad w/ shaved parmesan
Cous cous salad
Don’t worry I didn’t forget the kids, but I always speak to the adults as well
Hot dogs/buns
Baked beans
11:00 – ______ – goes to get ice (1 lb per person on cool day, 2 lbs per person on hot day)(first thing is ice down the bins of drinks. Layer your drinks so people don’t have to reach below ALL the ice to grab a drink…ice, then drinks, then ice, then drinks) You can also put a folded towel at the very bottom of the bin so you’ll have less water run off from condensation.
11:30 – IF you let your children watch TV this is a great time to cut yourself some slack and let them relax for a little bit in front of a good show. You will be able to think more clearly, get things done and they will need a little rest before all the hoopla. (If you limit TV as we do, save up your tv time for this moment, you won’t regret it)
12:00 – Put chips in bowls and out on buffet table. It will give people something to do when they first get there. (That way, the food can be brought out once everyone is there and not sit out for heat/flys.)
12:15 – Music on! (everyone forgets this important aspect of a party, music ties things together and softens awkward moments such as the quiet time for those who arrive first)
1:00  – NOW bring the food out. (make them get a bit hungry, and please don’t forget that now days most parents stay for parties of small children so please feed them too)
1:30 – Character starts (or games or whatever you have planned for the meat in the middle, but have it start 45-min to and hour after the invite time so everyone is there and have it last an hour….that’s a good amount of time for kids to focus, more than that and they go into crazy zone and none of us want that now do we?)
2:30 – Cut the cake! (It’s important to bring people back together at different points in your party and make people connect)
3:00 – Pinata or not this is a good wrap up time…(meaning hand out the gift bags so they get the picture.)
Have fun. Don’t be pre-occupied with things being perfect. The goal is the guests/kids and your child have fun….not that things were perfect. Some of my best parties have had the best mishaps. The main thing that’s hard for us parents is to host AND be present.


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Make: Summer Curtains and Pillows

by Cat on August 2, 2011

by Designing Mom Ryan of Tin Parade

This past weekend was a lazy summer day of lemonade, half naked kids running through sprinklers and mom sewing.  That’s me.  I’m the mom. All of a sudden its circa 1983 around my house.  And I couldn’t be happier.  In this world of crazy kids schedules, the rat race, and Los Angeles traffic, it is more than soothing to have a little Norman Rockwell time in our own backyard.

I love to sew. It’s such a throwback.  Not many people I know do it. I think its creative and comforting. I love to make something with my own bare hands. Problem is…I’m terrible at it. Yep. I’ll admit. I am bad at it. Somehow the uneven lines and mis-steps do not distract from my joy of doing it. If you came to my house I may point out my painstakingly sewn shower curtain only to follow with “don’t look too closely at it.”

What am I saying? Get out there and sew? No. But get out there and do.  I think there’s nothing sweeter than an off pitch cracking voice that is belted out sheer love of life style.  Gotta love my mother in law as she passionately and terribly sings you Happy Birthday with  no holds barred…that is precious.   Shouldn’t we all try a little sewing outside the lines?

On the curtains: I bought inexpensive white curtains from Ikea and then sewed a long blue stipe down the sides.

On the textiles: This outdoor fabric was pricey so I did white on the backs of the pillows.  My mom had this unused vintage Hawaiian fabric from the 60’s that I died for. I finally figured out what I wanted to do with it. It was narrow so I added the blue all around with white stitching. Not an easy project, not perfect, not even close, but so happy I did it.


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Designing Moms Holiday Cards: Ryan

by Cat on January 6, 2011

I just to had sneak this holiday card in from Designing Mom Ryan. If you have been following the blog, you’ll remember that last year she had the cutest vintage ’50s card. This time, she and family are rocking the ’70s!

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