Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cakes All A-Flutter

These two butterfly cakes that I recently made for friends can only be described as "fluttery."  Yes, it's a word...I checked.  (A particularly fun adjective to say if you roll your tongue on the "l" a little bit.  Flllluttery!  See?)


This creamsicle-inspired beauty was a smash cake for a one year old's photo shoot.  The photographer friend of mine who requested it gave me pretty much free reign as far as the design was concerned:  "not a very princess kind of a girl...outside in a field...maybe butterflies?"  I love free reign!  And I sure do like the color orange.  (And Dixie cups are delicious!) 


Isn't this a great photo taken by my friends Rose of RAW Graphics?  This is the first time any creation of mine has been professionally photographed and I just love it!  There are many more with the cute little birthday girl digging in to the creamsicle-y goodness on RAW Graphic's FaceBook page.  Rose takes such amazing photos for all occasions and I think I should hatch a plan to sneak my baked goods into the background of more of her photo shoots.



Flash back to March and this pastel butterfly cake, smash cake, and cupcakes that I made for a friend's little girl's first birthday party.  (Not mentioning names makes for some pretty tricky sentences...sorry.)


Fondant butterflies galore!  Very fluttery and buttery.  Literally.  There were some allergies to contend with so the frosting was all butter (instead of my usual half butter and half Crisco).  Turns out that smooth like buttah is a big fat lie! It was a challenge to get this frosting smooth without actually melting it, so I ended up going with a rough/rustic frosted look. 



Oh, the flutteryness!
 (Flutteryness may not be an actual word.)


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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fresh from the Garden Party


This is the most distracting blog post I've ever written! 

Normally, I am the type of gal who has no problem chatting about cute little fondant cabbages, clever uses for radishes, and origami strawberries...EXCEPT on rare occasions when I have the theme song from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air playing on an endless loop inside my head!

Let me explain.  My mom's 60th birthday was approaching.  She enjoys gardening and I'm a big fan of fresh produce.  A simple theme for a party was born:  "Fresh from the Garden".  Seems harmless enough, right?  However, I read the word "fresh" and my mind immediately leaps to, "Hey, remember that Fresh Prince of Bel-Air show that you and your sisters used to watch even though you guys didn't even have cable but Grandma recorded a bunch of them onto VHS so you were able to watch the same handful of episodes over and over again?"  Cue the theme song:  Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped  turned upside down...and any hope I had of focusing on relaying the party details is lost. 
  
So, doing my darndest to exclude any further mention of early nineties sitcoms, I bring you the collaborative efforts of my three sisters and myself to celebrate my mom's sixtieth birthday!  

We channeled the almighty carrot for the color scheme and let the produce store inspire the food and decorations.  

Fresh produce as centerpieces was a no-brainer.  Is it weird that I think rainbow chard is beautiful?


Ah, the technological wonder that is Pinterest!  How else would I have known that plastic utensils and napkins can be assembled to look like carrots


If there's any way to incorporate a pun - I'll find it!  (My mouth is watering just looking at those mini caprese skewers.  Everything tastes better with a little balsamic drizzle...fo' shizzle.)



Remember when I mentioned creative uses for radishes?  This is what I was referring to.  Grab your favorite produce, chop off a portion to make a level base, and you've got a free-standing food marker. 


Displaying the cupcakes to resemble garden rows is not my original idea...just Google "garden cupcakes" and you'll see that it's been done before.  It's perfect, though, isn't it?


(The clever part is that I incorporated my Mom's name and date of birth via the seed packets.)


A couple handy fondant vegetable tutorials, in case you're interested: cabbages, pumpkins, peas.

There were other desserts, too:




Lastly, the party favors.  I painted the strawberry rocks and I think about four people total had a hand in making the paper strawberry "boxes" (with little chocolates inside inside).  My sister Jennie was complaining of a sore hand the day of the party from cutting out all those little green stems the night before.  They were so cute, though, and well worth any tendon damage they may have caused...right, Jennie? 

Freshest party ever, right?  And while we're on the subject of "fresh" - it's twenty years later and the lyrics are still fresh in my mind...  




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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cookies for the Secretaries

The secretaries at my daughter's school have helped our transition into Kindergarten and public school go so smoothly this year.  They tolerate my zillions of questions (with a smile) and always know the answer. 

I'm sure I don't know half of what the business/clerical aspects of their job entail, but I have seen that they deal with pretty much everyone who comes through the front doors of the school -- and I'll bet they see more pee-soaked pants, puke and germs than the average teacher and custodian combined!  So, don't they deserve some pretty cookies when Adminstrative Professionals' Day rolls around?




In addition to thanking the school secretaries, I MUST thank Marian at Sweetopia.  She posted a video tutorial on how to make these daisy cookies that was incredibly helpful, especially since this was my first time making royal icing transfers!


Have you thanked the administrative professionals in your life lately?

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

'Shrooms on the Back


Fleece forest friends on the front...


                                                                                                  ...'shrooms on the back.

The little woodland mushrooms print is my favorite fabric right now and it made a perfect gift for the Forest Friends baby shower that I helped plan back in October.

And how about these hedgehog booties?  A more friendly forest critter than the hedgehog, you shall never meet.


And we'll stick some gnomes, gingham, and toadstools in there just for good measure.  Friendly, flannel-lined burp cloths:


Since the little whipper-snapper is almost four months old, he's probably spitting up on one of these items right now!  Practical and cute gifts are my specialty.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Mother Daughter Aprons For Valentine's Day

Who knows how long it'll last, but right now I'm on an apron-making roll!  Yup.  I'm going off the rails on an apron train.  You know, because hand made aprons put you in mind of Ozzy Osbourne, don't they?  Especially mother/daughter sets like these:




I love 'em!  The fabric is the same as my kitchen curtains, but these aren't staying with me.  They're for a raffle fundraiser to benefit a local preschool.  Maybe they aren't really Valentine-y, as the title of this post suggests, but check out these bad boys:



Mother/daughter dish towel aprons!  Originally they were both supposed to have the full towel across the front, but the towels shrunk so much when I washed them that they weren't wide enough for the mother size.  So, I added a "neck" to the white dish towel and a little spot for it to hang from the waistband.

(I promise the polka dot fabric isn't nearly as dizzying in person as it appears to be in these photos.)


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Friday, January 27, 2012

Forest Friends Baby Shower

Over the last couple years we've seen many fabulous parties with the woodland creature theme, haven't we?  I've been patiently biding my time just waiting for an opportunity to get my paws on a cute critter theme - so needless to say I pounced on the invitation to help my friend's mom plan her baby shower.  She registered for a lot of the Carter's "Forest Friends" line of bedding and baby gear so it was only natural that this should be the theme for the whole event.  Cute little forest critters galore!


My favorite part was coming up with the centerpieces.  Mod Podge and cute "Deep in the Forest" scrapbook papers I ordered from Oriental Trading spruced up these dollar store vases with ease.  Even easier (and affordable) was that I used pine cones and chestnuts that my daughter and I collected from our neighborhood to fill them.  I also put a dent in my yarn scraps by wrapping styrofoam balls and adding them to the mix for a little color.


The shower was back in October, so I was able to take advantage of all the neat scrapbook papers the craft store carries in Autumn.  I cut some into circles and placed them beneath the centerpieces and I also made lots of flags for buntings to decorate the tables.  You can barely see it down in the corner of this photo, but A Subtle Revelry has the cutest sly fox printable that is the perfect size for buntings!  Or are they called banners?

My second favorite part?  The dessert table!  Three different flavors of cupcakes to choose from and the most delicious "Tree Bark."  It was actually a recipe for Halloween Candy Bar Bark, but I skipped the white chocolate drizzle (fo' shizzle) and the result was straight up tree bark.  Word. 


1. I borrowed the little tree cupcake toppers from a photo that I saw on Polka Dots and Pirates.  I made them using heavy scrapbook paper and an owl stamp, then hot glued a wooden craft pick to the back.

2. Free printable alert!  These cute, cute owl cupcake toppers were made using a download from Marabous.  I used my circle paper punch to punch out the owls and then glued them to some card stock. 

3.  Another free printable alert!  I always consult UCreate Parties when I'm planning so I wasn't surprised when I found these little bird cupcake toppers by Chickabug there.  They were the perfect topper for the toasted coconut bird nest cupcakes!

4. I used scraps of the "Deep in the Forest" paper and my trusty circle punch to make the critter cupcake toppers.  Recognize them from the centerpieces? 


The food table is pretty self explanatory.  It's food and it's on a table.  Not a lot to explain there.  I must give credit for two fabulous ideas I used, though.  Cedar rounds as stands for the platters - genius!  They fit perfectly with the forest friend theme and they smelled nice, too!  


Using pine cones to display the food tags...another genius idea that I did not come up with on my own.  This one came from a search I did on Kara's Party Ideas where I found a couple different people employing this idea (here and here). 



Card stock, some decorative paper punches, a few stamps and wooden craft picks.  Oh, and of course your trusty glue gun.  Easy as pickin' up a pine cone. 

  


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