Glowing at Eleven

So neon seems to be all the rage these days. I’m not saying I’m not “hip” and “into it” but sometimes it is a bit much. Being the center of attention has never been my sort-of-thing so I wouldn’t be caught wearing some of these bright, crazy colors. But eleven year old girls, well they love it!

The invites were modeled after the box card style that many scrappers have been using to make unique greeting cards. Why not an invitation? I love making interactive invites that people love to open and close or shake and move. This one was a big hit with all of the guests!

Here’s my take on a Glow themed party…

Glow sticks in balloons hanging from the ceiling, black lights, streamers and paper chains, glow stick bracelets, necklaces, and wands from the local dollar store, and neon painting on white t-shirts for the girls to keep.  We also used glow sticks that we broke open and dumped the liquid into water – our spur-of-the-moment centerpiece that turned out so cool! The glowing liquid made blobs in the water that glowed for most of the evening.


*** This was last year’s theme – some how I missed posting. ***

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Party Like an ALL STAR!

Yup, my little one is a pre-teen! And she collects shoes (just like her Mama) so why not celebrate with her favorite – CONVERSE!

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The event was kicked into “go mode” with a custom Converse style shoe invitation – complete with shoe box. I wanted the shoe to be interactive so I designed the tongue to lift up, like a real shoe would when it’s unlaced, and printed the party information on the underside. It was interesting hearing from the girls, and even my own daughter, that lacing the shoe back up wasn’t something they knew how to do. So I provided a life lesson with the invitation as well – hmmm – who knew!

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We delivered the invitations to each of the recipients as we feared the shoe box would have been damaged being sent via USPS. Not to mention it was fun getting the girls reactions to them (and helping them to lace it back up 🙂

Each box had a customized barcode tag with the girls names and unique numbers about the birthday girl. The little “priceless” tag was even perforated like a real label. LOVE paying attention details!

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For the party, I decorated a simple table as the girls would be eating and crafting together there. The cake was the centerpiece and not one of my proudest baking moments but the girls loved it. (Note to self – always make your own frosting from scratch – don’t try to doctor a store bought – unless you know what you are doing!)

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Each guest received a custom made shoe box that had a mini converse shoe on a key chain and a mini white converse shoe key chain that they would decorate later. Their were compartments for each to take home a cupcake, gum, shoe sucker and other treats. The designs and colors were all repeated from the invitation only on a larger scale. Custom water bottle wraps, custom straw flags, and custom napkin wraps added to the simple table scape.

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Each guest also received an initial chipboard letter that they then decorated. It was so great to see the girls use their creativity and create little works of art.

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The guests signed the canvas pieces creating an art piece and keepsake for the birthday girl to hang in her room.

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Happy, Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

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Fab-U-lous!

Little girls love to play dress up and pretend to be all “grown up”. How much fun to have a spa themed party for a little girl’s birthday and they can do just that!

These were made for a special little sweetie who is turning six. The invitation is a nail polish bottle that when you remove the top, reveals the party information inside. It even has a little “brush” to mimic a real nail polish bottle. I normally use a standard envelope for this invitation but since they were being hand delivered – well I had to make a little purse for each to go inside of. And we added each little girl’s name on a tag that hung from the purse. A-DOR-A-BLE!!!

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One fish, two fish, red fish, NEW FISH!

We’re expecting!  Well, not exactly “We”, but my niece is and I am so excited! A little baby boy will be arriving soon! Naturally when I heard the news, the shower planning began. I asked what I could do to help and my niece requested that I make the cake. “Yes! Of course! And how about cupcakes for favors?” I responded. And away I went.

I spent the better part of a month researching recipes, fondant, chocolate techniques, icing, buttercream, fillings, etc. so that I could create an extra special Dr. Seuss themed cake for Ashley’s special day. We decided on pumpkin with cream cheese filling for one layer (I’ve made that one a few times in the past and was always a hit) and red velvet with cheesecake for the other. I had never done red velvet before and did a trial run a few weeks before the shower and made a mini cake for us all to sample. It was yummy and I got the green light to add it to my recipe collection.

Now, please remember as you view these images. I AM NOT A TRAINED CAKE DECORATOR. I have never taken any classes or had any instruction. I am self taught and love to watch cake and cupcake shows on tv. I say this so you know that this cake is far from perfect and to please excuse the flaws. I share the pics here because I am happy with the attempt I made and because I worked over 80 hours on this. And so you can see how happy and sweet my niece is 🙂

I did learn a lot in doing this cake – like cheesecake filling does not work for stacking layered cakes – a lesson learned a little late hense the right lean. We almost lost it just as the guests were arriving but a handful of toothpicks in the back of The Cat In The Hat’s head and we were able to save it from falling over. YIKES!

Lesson two: Take more time carving the cereal treat head so that The Cat In the Hat doesn’t end up looking like a bear. I apologize and know that he doesn’t look very much like the cat but I didn’t allow for enough time to get it right.

Finally, even though I thought I was thoroughly prepared, everything takes practice and mistakes will happen. It’s ok and I did what I could do with the knowledge I had. Let it go and know that you did your best.

So here is the practice I did with paper…

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And here is the actual cake…

The fish on top is modeling chocolate. He sits inside a plastic bowl (was a Christmas ornament that I cut to make look like a fish bowl) that is filled with blue Jell-o.

The figures were made with royal icing that I made and mounted to fondant. All of the fondant is home-made from marshmallow and was actually quite good.

The Cat head and hat were made from cereal treats.

The entire cake stood about three feet tall. I didn’t get the best pictures after being so flustered from the lean and almost falling over.

And here are the boxes I made for the cupcake favor, signs, and the Mommy and Daddy to be.

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Congratulations Matt and Ashley! We can’t wait to meet Baby Jaxson!

Frozen – in June…

I have a client who has fabulous parties for her kids and comes up with great themes. These invitations and party favors were for her daughter’s very special 5th birthday – a Frozen themed party! Such a great idea for a summer party – to cool things down. Although, when we began the designing and prep for this event, there was still snow on the ground outside of my studio. Boy, how things have changed quickly over the past few months… The invitation was a interactive snow globe – shake the beads inside for snow fun! Flip the invite over and the party information is found on the back. The 3D castle with paper dolls was used as an activity for the young girls to assemble and play with during the party. And of course, everyone needs a snow wand. I made an extra one that I keep on my desk so when my kids get out of hand – a little wave of the wand to “freeze” them.

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16 is Sweet!

March is a busy month in our house; two birthdays and an anniversary. This year in particular is a year of milestones; our oldest turns Sixteen!, my hubby turns 50!, and we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. To tell you we planned it that way, well, that would be a lie. I guess it’s good to do it all at once and get it over with, right?

So, what do you get a sixteen year old boy (besides a car)? A snow day! Yup, I woke him at 5:00 am to tell him he could spend the day sleeping since we got nailed with over 6″ of snow during the night. To say he was thrilled is an understatement. Praise God! He pulled that one off for me! Now on to the party planning. All the family was coming over to celebrate these special men. So I did what I know how to do – craft! I wanted to make the normal family party extra special with decorations and LOVE the hanging garland I recently did for a client. I also love the look of a pennant banner too. Here’s my take on the two:

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utensils inside with custom license plate
utensils inside with custom license plate

 

So my plan was to make my son a car cake – since he wasn’t going to be getting a car for a present, and I asked him what kind of car he’d like to have – real car if he could have any. He didn’t know I was going to make it into a cake. He found this one:

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It’s an Audi TT. Let the learning begin… Nightly Pinterest visits and video watching and I educated myself on how to build a car cake. Now to execute. Hmm… could I pull this off? For my first car cake, I think it turned out pretty good and best of all, he LOVE IT! That’s all that matters (and it was yummy)! Oh, did I tell you I was also making a golf themed cake for my hubby? I don’t know where I come up with these things. I could have just went to Costco and ordered a cake for their party, but what fun is that? My hubby liked his cake present too! Please excuse the imperfections, dings in the paint job, and jabs in the homemade marshmallow fondant. I don’t have all the fancy tools of a professional baker and I made due.

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Once Upon A Time…

I was thrilled when a past client contacted me to create this unique, girly invitation for her daughter’s first birthday. A few inspirational images, some poetry, hours of adjusting color hues, and voila – an invitation fit for a princess. Well I think so anyway…

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Once Upon A Time castle invitation
invite 1
a four paged book with gems, pearls, custom paper, and ribbon details
the front page was raised to appear as the castle entrance
the front page was raised to appear as the castle entrance
the pages are made from multiple layers of card stock, each page with custom pattern
the pages are made from multiple layers of card stock, each page with custom pattern
invite front page
when the book is closed, it looks like a complete castle
note the gems on each page and custom monogram
note the gems on each page and custom monogram
invite page 2
page 2
invite page 3
page 3
invite page 4
page 4
invite back
invitation back

invite details

custom printed paper and addressed
custom designed and printed paper for the envelope and personally addressed to each recipient
custom printed inside and out with the return address on the flap
custom printed inside and out with the return address on the flap

Such an important event deserves a party as special as the birthday girl herself. I think her mother did just that and the party turned out amazing! Here are pics from the special day. (Aislynne, thanks for sharing with me.)

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