Thursday, 31 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee Pageant - Taking the best photographs

Morning! It's almost the bank holiday and time to celebrate The Queens Diamond Jubilee and after my post about several events in London this coming weekend, Nikon contacted me with some great advice for taking photos at such events.  They have put together a map of the best vantage points to gain great photos of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant as well as top tips for Street Party photography.

Get into position
With over three decades’ experience of photographing the Royal family, Nikon Pro Arthur Edwards, knows better than anyone what will be the most sought-after image on the day. He explains his top pick from Nikon’s pageant map:
“The Gloriana, a 90ft long barge that will be the largest rowed vessel in the country, will be the star of the show on Pageant day. It will lead the procession and will of course go at a rower’s pace. The great thing about it is that as it’s a low boat, spectators near City Hall and the Pool of London will be able to get a picture of Gloriana in the foreground, and the Spirit of Chartwell, carrying the Royal family, sailing up behind it."
10 top tips for stunning Jubilee photos

  1. Get there early and make sure you’re in position.
  2. If you don’t get your pictures, you don’t get your memories. Make sure your camera is fully charged and keep it in your hand ready to take a shot as soon as you spot something.
  3. Make use of the whole long weekend. The great thing about the Jubilee is that we’re talking about four days of photo opportunities. Get ready to snap street parties, people dressed up, Union Jack flags popping up all over the place, and some typically British pomp and ceremony.
  4. Don’t be frightened to ask people to move to the left or right so that you can get a clearer view of proceedings.
  5. Also don’t be afraid to ask people to pose: if they’ve dressed up, chances are they’ll love the attention!
  6. Make the most of the Easy Panorama feature on Nikon COOLPIX cameras to take a sweeping vista of the river, and capture the sheer scale of the event. This will be one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river, and nothing quite like it has been seen since the reign of Queen Victoria.
  7. Try taking some video clips: music plays a large part in the Jubilee events, so try capturing the entire experience. To avoid a shaky video, you’ll need vibration reduction technology, which you can now get in compact cameras for as little as £100.
  8. Try and get a picture of the Queen. She is the only reigning monarch in living memory for most people in this country, and the Jubilee events mark a tremendous achievement. Even more than that, a picture of our smiling Queen is truly inspirational: I always think if she is smiling, everything’s alright with the world.
  9. Don’t forget to take some crowd shots and pictures of all the venues, and get a picture of yourself there!
  10. If it rains, don’t let it put you off. Rest assured that the Queen will wear a vivid colour to stand out from dreary weather, and she uses a clear umbrella so that spectators can still see her.
Location, location, location
  1. Imperial WharfThis is where the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will join the flotilla procession. They will board the Royal Yacht Britannia's Royal Barge, and the barge will take them to the Spirit of Chartwell. The Queen hasn’t been on the Royal Barge since Britannia was de-commissioned in 1997, so this in itself will make a poignant picture.
  2. Cadogan Place – Where the young Royals will join the Spirit of Chartwell, so if it’s a picture of William, Kate and Harry you’re after, you might want to head here.
  3. Butler’s Wharf / City Hall – Here you can capture the ships in the flotilla as they go through Tower Bridge. The bridge will be raised, and the most breath-taking shot of the day is likely to be when the two boats leading the flotilla, the Gloriana and the Spirit of Chartwell, pass through.
  4. Between London Bridge and Tower Bridge – The flotilla will pass through a spectacular avenue of sails made by traditional Thames sailing boats, oyster smacks, square riggers, naval vessels and other impressive ships there will be loads going on here, including a gun salute. This avenue of sail is probably where you’ll get closest to any of the bridges – the areas on and around the bridges are invite-only.
  5. Battersea Park – The Viewing Area along the top end of Battersea Park is the perfect vantage point to get a panorama shot of the river pageant. The £5 entry fee to get into the park should mean that crowds will be slightly less than elsewhere along the water, and the ticket will be worth its weight in gold for getting you lots of photo opportunities. There will be lots of 1950s themed spectacles worth snapping – including a 1952 bandstand tea dance, a beautiful tea-garden featuring a record-breaking attempt for the tallest cake, and a Village Green.
  6. Opposite the London Eye or the Houses of Parliament – If you want to get a really stand out shot, you need to think not only about the boats, but also about the background that you’ll get. If you place yourself on the opposite side of the river to the London Eye or the Houses of Parliament, your shot of the flotilla will be perfectly captured against an iconic London landmark.

Street parties
Councils have had record applications for street parties this year. If you’re not heading to London to be front row for the official events, there’s still plenty to capture for posterity.
Arthur advises: “If you’re having a street party or another kind of celebration, make sure you try to capture the mood of the nation – get dressed up in your finery and make sure you take lots of pictures of the children."
Tips for street party photos

  • If taking photos of children, get down to their eye level. This is what Harry, William and Kate do brilliantly when they’re speaking to children – it puts them at ease, and means a photographer is more likely to get a natural photo.
  • Get creative with your pictures – Parties are the perfect time to use some of the filter effects on your camera, like turning the background black and white and picking out only the colours of a flag.
  • Capture all the little details that reflect the quintessential Britishness of events – from the bunting to the cakes and the picnic tables.
 I hope this helps and that you all have a wonderful time if you are attending any of the fantastic events in our capital this weekend or at your own Street Parties.  I will be back tomorrow with some fab ideas for commemerative keepsakes to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.

Have a great day,

Friday, 25 May 2012

Jubilee Celebrations in London

Morning, I hope you have all had a fab week and been able to enjoy some of this gorgeous sunshine.  This week has seen the union jacks hung across the streets of London as the Jubilee weekend fast approaches.  Have you hung up your bunting yet? I hope to hang some around the garden this weekend!  With London being the focus of the celebrations next weekend I thought today I would round up the main events happening especially for the Diamond Jubilee

Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant

With over one thousand boats joining this amazing pagent on Sunday 3 June, the River Thames will be brought to life with this huge flotilla. Starting up river at Battersea Bridge at 2pm the flotilla will travel along the river to Tower Bridge, however the boats will be seen further along the river as they muster in Hammersmith and disperse to West India Docks. Rowing boats, working boats, steam boats, pleasure vessels, Police, armed forces and Fire crews will all be sailing along the River Thames adorned with union jacks and streamers in celebration of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. There will also be passenger boats carrying up to 30,000 flag waving well wishers. As if this wasn't enough there will be music barges and boats spouting geysers.
Jubilee Family Festival
On the 2-3 June Hyde Park will be turned in to a extravagnza of family fun to celebrate the Jubilee. The Jubilee Family Festival has been organised by Sainsburys and will be open to 50,000 ticket holders each of the two days
Inspired by the great British tradition of street parties and village fetes, The Jubilee Family Festival will not disappoint. Themed on the past 60 years of our British heritage and influences from around the Commonwealth, visitors will be treated to an array of live music and entertainment, culminating in a daily 70 minute Disney concert finale. This concert has been specially produced to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and will include favourite Disney songs and characters a plenty.
For more information visit the Jubilee Family Festival website.
The Diamond Jubilee Concert
Monday 4 June will see Buckingham Palace become the backdrop for a star studded concert.  Gary Barlow and the BBC have bought together an amazing array of stars to perform for a once in lifetime concert.  Tom Jones, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Stevie Wonder and many, many more will perform at the Diamond Jubilee Concert to celebrate The Queen's sixty years of reign.  
V&A Museum Of Childhood
During the Jubilee weekend the V&A Museum of Childhood will be hosting a Royal Rumpus.  Families can drop in for storytime, 'The Princess and the Pea' being the tale of choice, arts and crafts including flag and crown making, then ending in a Royal Promenade to show off your crafty skills.
So what are your plans to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee?  We would love to share your celebrations here on the blog so be sure to send your photos to me ( and I will put together a round up in the week after the bank holiday. 
Have a fantastic weekend,

Friday, 18 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee Street Party

Hello and welcome back.  At last it is Friday and it has felt like a long week!   For todays post I thought I would share a few ideas for activities for your Jubilee party. 

A huge game of musical chairs would be so much fun if you are having a street party.  I expect there will already be plenty of chairs lined up at trestle tables so why not make a game down the middle of the road or across the village green!

When Prince Charles married Lady Diana I remember we had a fantastic street party and my sister and I dressed up for the big fancy dress competition.  This would be a fab idea at your Diamond Jubilee Street Parties, you could even have a theme, maybe Kings, Queens, Knights & Princesses or that the costumes have to be Red, White or Blue! 

Jubilee Tutu Skirt from The Dressing Up Chest

Perhaps you want to offer some calmer activities so Jubilee themed wordsearches and puzzles could be fun, or face painting or crown making could all help keep younger guests entertained.

Something we are very good at here in ol' Blighty is sideshow games, so grab the paddling pool and have a Hook a Duck competition, or a map of the commonwealth as a tresure map so that people have to pin where they think the treasure is hidden.  

A great idea for a Jubilee party is to have a bake off style comp, with people having to rate cakes at a tasting table.  This would work for adults and children alike.

I am sure you all have plenty more ideas, be sure to share in the comments below!

Have a fantastic weekend,

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee Party Inspiration

Morning! I hope you are all well and having a fab week.  I have noticed that preparations are starting for the Jubilee with bunting popping up around the country.  So for todays post I thought I would gather some Diamond Jubilee Party inspiration.  I think tea parties or street parties will be a prominent feature in our diaries over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.  There will be miles of bunting hung around villages, along streets and adorn shop windows and the vintage tea cups will be unpacked and crusts cut off sandwiches.  Fluffy victoria sandwiches will sit amongst sausage rolls on trestle tables on traffic free streets and village greens.  Red, white and blue will be the main palette or softer vintage tones will feature on our party tables or as icing on top of cupcakes.  The iconic image of the Union Jack will be seen everywhere, as cupcake toppers, bunting and even berries on top of cakes will be arranged in this design.  Here are few ideas to help with your Jubilee party planning. 

Great British Tea Party Invitation from Bumpkin Bear
Crown Confetti from Petite Honore
Jubilee Cupcake Flags from Taylors Type
Jubilee Tea Party Invitation from Iris Art Designs

Diamond Jubilee Partyware from 3 Blonde Bears
Cake Stand from Eclectic Tea
Cake Bunting from Sew Sweet Violet
Jubilee Party Decoration Pack from Peach Blossom

Union Jack Bunting from The Green Gables
Great British Chocolate Lollipops from Choklet
Jubilee Lollies from Choc on Choc
Diamond Jubilee Bunting from Daisyley

Have you been planning a Jubilee party? Don't forget to take lots of photos to share with us in June.  There all sorts of events in our village over the bank holiday weekend but having compiled this post I now want our own Jubilee party!

Have a fab day,

Monday, 14 May 2012

Real Party - A First Birthday & Christening

Good morning, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got to enjoy some Spring sunshine.  I also hope all of our readers celebrating Mother's Day yesterday had a fabulous day and were spoilt rotten.  Today I am thrilled to share a beautiful party from The Inspired Occasion in Australia.  This is a very pretty pink party for their clients daughters first birthday and christening.  I will now let Alex tell you more about this lovely party.

The occasion was a joint Christening/1st Birthday celebration. The client chose a very girlie colour scheme of pink and white and wanted a pretty and whimsical design. There were 45 guests, who all attended the Christening at the local church before coming to the private residence for the celebrations.

The Inspired Occasion managed the event, organising the spit roast catering, food service staff, crockery and silverware requirements, as well as table, chair and linen hire. In keeping with the client’s chosen theme the tables were dressed with white table cloths and matching runners with lantern centrepieces. We also provided a number of other hire items for the client to utilise such as our large silver drink tubs and bench seating for the children.

All dessert station edibles, stationery and themed items were made and designed in-house, with even the pink and white dessert station and canopy constructed specifically for this event.

The guests were served a hearty roast buffet lunch consisting of roast beef, chicken and pork with roast potatoes, and a selection of salads.
Our Dessert Station menu for the event:

Pink White Chocolate Ganache Macarons
Red Velvet with Buttercream cupcakes
Vanilla with Raspberry buttercream cupcakes
Raspberry Jelly Cups
Chocolate Mousse Cups

The dessert station was completed with two cylindrical jars filled with assorted pink and white candies, and two hanging lanterns with flickering candles under the backdrop which matched the lanterns centrepieces on the tables. As a take-home thank you gift from the client all guests received a personalised bagged sugar cookie in a heart shape.

The client made her own birthday cake, which was presented on our cake stand on a riser. The cake, once cut, was a beautiful rainbow layer cake finished off with white buttercream and pink and silver cashous giving the table a finishing touch from the client herself.

Thank you so much Alex for letting us share this party with our readers, it really is very pretty and those desserts look delicious.  I love the pinstripe fabric canopy & skirt on the table, it really does make this dessert table very special.

Have a fantastic everyone,

Friday, 11 May 2012

DIY Invitation - Ice Cream Cone

Morning! Are you ready for the weekend or like me wondering where the week has gone?  Well they say time flies when you're having fun so I hope your week has been lots of fun.  Yesterday whilst indulging my Pinterest habit I came across this rather cool idea for an invitation.  This ice cream cone book would make a great invite to a summer party or your guests could make their own as a party activity.  Perhaps you could make them as a thank you card and stick in a couple of photos from the party, so it becomes a mini scrapbook.

For the full tutorial visit

Have a fantastic weekend,

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Party Inspirations - Art Party

Hello, I hope you are all having a good week.  After all of these grey clouds I thought I would bring you some colour.  So today I have some Art Party inspiration to share with you.  Just think of the fun you could have with little paint palette cookies or cupcakes decorated in an assortment of colours, displayed on a palette shaped board.  Perhaps you could serve an array of coloured dips with breadsticks and carrots or celery as the 'paintbrushes'.  Ensure you guests arrive in painting clothes then have a giant canvas in the back garden for them to paint a big mural of all of their different paintings.  Alternatively have smaller canvases indoors for your budding artists to paint.  For older children you could have an artists style for the guests to try, they could paint self portraits Picasso style or recreate Mondrian masterpieces or even have a try at pointilism which could also inspire a painting similar to Aboriginal art.  So paintbrushes at the ready, let's gather some colourful inspiration!

Arty Party Invitation from Lemonade Design Studio

Art Party Invitation from Fresh Chick Design Studio

Paint Palette Cookies from Cutest Little Things

The Art Party from Mary Had A Little Party

Art Party Treats from Catch My Party

Art Party Printables from Paper and Cake

Let you budding Van Gogh's have fun painting, but please remember aprons or old clothes, I'd hate for pretty party dresses to be spoilt.

Have you hosted an art themed party? I would love to feature it here on the blog.

Have fun,

Monday, 7 May 2012

Jubilee Party - DIY Crowns

Morning! I hope you are all having a fantastic weekend and enjoying the extra day off here in the UK.  As we get closer to the Jubilee celebrations I thought I would start sharing some ideas every week to help with your planning.  I know there will be street parties throughout the country and of course our very own princesses may need a crown to wear to the celebrations.  Last week at school my youngest daughter made a crown for an exhibtion in the village church during the Jubilee weekend.  Crowns can be made very easily with card, paints or crayons and some stick on jewels, however you may want something a little more stylish.  I have found not one but two fantastic crown tutorials to help make your little princesses day extra special.

For the DIY Lace Crown Tutorial visit Joyfolie 

For the DIY Dress Up Crown Tutorial visit We Wilsons

Happy crafting and be sure to share photos of your makes with us.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Party Craft Activity - Fancy Shades

Morning! I hope you have all had a fab week and are looking forward to a lovely long weekend, well our UK readers anyway.  Inspired by Wednesdays Beach Party post I have found a fun tutorial for a craft that children can enjoy making.  Crafty activities are very popular at parties again this year and this one is perfect for younger and older children and you can tailor the decorations to the party theme or age range of your guests.  Armed with plain plastic sunglasses and a variety of sequins, feathers, stickers, tiny shells or fimo beads I am sure your party guests will have great fun creating a pair of unique sunglasses! 

Have a fantastic weekend,

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Beach Party Inspiration

Hello and welcome back. Last weekend Katie and the rest of the Les Enfants team styled a beach themed party.   With sand sprinkled down the centre of the tables and a sandcastle birthday cake, seashell topped cupcakes and a fun photobooth, I am sure you will all agree that this looks fantastic.

So how can you make your own beach party? Here are some ideas!

Best go and find the buckets and spades!