A West Coast Happily Ever After

Bridal Shower, Invitations, Wedding

I was contacted this past Spring to do a custom wedding invitation for a lovely lady and her sweet, soon-to-be hubby after they saw my Mackinac Island themed invitations. They live on the West coast and the Mackinac Bridge reminded them of their bridge – so away I went designing…

The custom belly band was made with things important to the couple; music and the ocean. I incorporated the two to make an elegant piece that would hold the invitation all together. Colors, patterns, and lots of details went into this unique invitation. I just LOVE love!

Advertisements

Glowing at Eleven

Birthday, Girl, Invitations, Neon, Sleepover

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. ***

IMG_3758 IMG_3753

IMG_3750















Party Like an ALL STAR!

Birthday, Birthday Party, Girl, Invitations

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

IMG_6555

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!

IMG_6540 IMG_6536 IMG_6537 IMG_6549 (1)IMG_6559

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!

IMG_6556  IMG_6545

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!)

DSC_1364

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.

DSC_1341IMG_6746 IMG_6747 IMG_6726 DSC_1355  IMG_6748 DSC_1352 DSC_1373 IMG_6743 IMG_6745 IMG_6740 IMG_6742 DSC_1370 DSC_1581 DSC_1559 DSC_1598DSC_1556

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.

IMG_6727 IMG_6730

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

DSC_1339

Happy, Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

DSC_1476

She said “Yes!”

Bridal Shower, Girl, Love Birds, Misc, Sweet 16, Wedding

Love is in the air – well it has been during the four weeks of planning this special event…

My dear friend, Karen, shared the news that her daughter, Rachael, said “yes” to the marriage proposal from long time love, Gregg.  Naturally, Valentine’s Day was the perfect “love” weekend to throw an Engagement Party to congratulate and celebrate the soon to be Mr. & Mrs.

Even though it was Valentine’s Eve, the traditional Valentine theme just wouldn’t do. We kept it to white with a touch of red – no pink here. Sophisticated, delicate, and lovely. We were inspired from a dessert table found online (see link below) and the simple elements that were used. The paper products featured on that site are no longer available so I did my best to replicate them. The garland was our base and we built from there. The venue for the party was a multi-level club-house and the stair railings were the perfect place to dress up with yards and yards of custom cut hearts sewn together into an elegant and delicate garland. Please note the “hap-hazard” way it was hung was done on purpose… elegant yet whimsical – fancy but not stuffy.

Karen had the brilliant idea of a kissing booth but to be used more like a photo booth so that guests could have photo memories and fun with their Valentine. Her giving heart wanted to be sure guests were still able to enjoy their Valentine being that the event took time from their weekend. The crape paper backdrop was created to cover an 8′ door wall. The event was at night and the wall of glass behind the booth turns into reflective mirror and wouldn’t make for good photography. The booth was a big hit!

The backdrop for the dessert table was needed to cover an interior window. The venue was full of window and mirrors so creative and inexpensive backdrops were needed. The envelope wall was the perfect fit. “Sweet Hearts” was our tag line and we felt fit the envelopes well.

Karen made all of the cookies – working for hours to get them just right. The edible stamps on the love letter cookies were so cute and each cookie carefully tied with twine. Karen’s brother made the amazing cupcakes and cake and I did the chocolate covered strawberries. Licorice was tied in knots, Oreo’s covered in white chocolate, and red velvet cheesecake brownie “love bites” finished the table. (Karen did the Oreos and brownies too – she hasn’t slept for weeks!)

Thank you to everyone who helped with the set-up, food, desserts, and clean-up. So many helped to make this event a huge success.

I hope LOVE has found you this February and will continue to do so all year through.

http://justcallmemarthaa.blogspot.com/2011/02/happy-valentines-day.html

Fab-U-lous!

Birthday, Girl, Invitations, Nail Polish, Purse, Spa

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!!!

IMG_5083 IMG_5089 IMG_5082 IMG_5080 IMG_5076

 

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

Baby, Baby Shower, Birthday, Boy, Misc

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…

IMG_4773 IMG_4776 IMG_4777

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.

DSC_7904 DSC_7983 DSC_7910 DSC_7944 DSC_7964DSC_7990

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

A (not so) Spooky House

Halloween

I thought I’d try my hand at a 3 dimensional spooky house for a Halloween decoration. Well I found this little cutie at svgcuts.com. So rather than reinventing the wheel, I figured I would give it a go with this cutting file and make my changes from there. I can never leave well enough alone so I had to embellish it more than the original. I had a lot of fun adding the characters in the windows, layering the shingles for the siding, redoing the poles for the porch, adding a little fencing, and adding dimensional shingles. Lots of little details and lots of trial and error. I guess I can add architecture to my list of things I can sort-of-do. Now I have the building bug and I’ll have a brand new version for Christmas – coming soon…