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!!!

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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…

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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!

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…

 

THEY DID!!!

Wedding

If you have ever planned a wedding you understand the challenges that are a part of the process and the dedication, countless hours, and numerous dollars it takes to pull it off. Planning a destination wedding is obviously that much more difficult.

Fast forward to July…The invites have been delivered and guests are thrilled about the upcoming marriage of Karen and David.  Karen’s responses are a bit overwhelming as she and David are thrilled with the amount of family and friends who want to take the time and expense to travel to Mackinac Island to share in their special day.  Karen was filled with ideas and details and trusted in me to help her to bring what was in her mind, to reality. We spend hours texting, emailing, Pinning, talking, and trying to be prepared in every aspect and leaving no detail unattended to.

Once the decisions were made, my fingers got to work… hours and hours of sanding and staining wood for the custom signs, blade after blade going dull on my electronic cutter, and blister upon blister from the hot glue gun – but it was all worth it! To say that it was AMAZING, well I think that is an understatement. I’m not one to toot my own horn but TOOT! TOOT! Together, Karen and I created a fairytale wedding that helped bring Karen & David’s True Love Story to life. Through elegant floral, muted hues of pink and champagne, and lacy textures, family and friends were surrounded by details that we hoped made them feel as special as Karen and David feel they are to them.

The days before the wedding and the actual wedding day, the weather was bright and sunny yet slightly cooler than the average temperatures for August in Michigan.  The venue, Mission Point on Mackinac Island, was an accommodating host for Karen & David’s 60+ guests. The staff did an amazing job helping to bring our vision for the reception to fruition. The staff provided the time and help we needed to get the event set up and allowed me to let go and enjoy myself. Being a controlling, hands on, do-it-yourselfer – well letting go is no easy task.

As a designer, I hope to express love and gratitude through color, paper, textures, and details as sometimes words are too simple to do. I share this amazing event with you and the numerous photos (I took over 1,200 so we should get a few keepers 😉 so that you can feel the love I hold for this dear friend of mine and how grateful I am that God has placed her in my life.

Congratulation Karen and David! May your True Love Story be filled pages of Love and chapters of Happiness!

Debbie

 

Please be sure to check out these vendors for your next event:

Cake topper:  Toppers with Glitz

Flowers:  Webers Floral

Mackinac Island Fudge:  Joann’s Fudge

Embroidered Groom Socks:  Groom Socks

Matches:  Gracious Bridal

Ring Bearer Outfit:  Four Tiny Cousins

Custom Lace Table Runner:  One Dainty Tulip

Straws:  The Sugar Diva

Frozen – in June…

Baby Shower, Birthday, Bridal Shower, Frozen, Girl, Invitations, Movie

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.

LOVE IT!   DSC_4116 DSC_4120 DSC_4138 DSC_4140 DSC_4139 DSC_4113 IMG_4737 IMG_4771 IMG_4782 IMG_4786   (The photos of the table centerpiece and wands were from a party my daughter went to at a friends – I was in the middle of working on this event and gave the hostess the centerpiece and wands for the girls. Even tweens love Frozen)

16 is Sweet!

Birthday, Boy, Misc

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:

audi

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…

Baby, Birthday, Bridal Shower, Girl, Invitations, Princess, Sweet 16, Wedding

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…

invite

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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Be MineCraft

Misc

Update… The Minecraft house won first place – Most Creative- in her classroom’ s Valentine Mailbox contest!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The “go-to” game around our house is Minecraft, and my daughter loves to build and play! So we figured it only appropriate that this year’s Valentine Mailbox and treat theme should match what she loves to do.

This paper house is built with over 100 paper blocks that I found the pattern for on Pixelpapercraft.com. I was able to download the images and use my electronic cutter to cut the images out after they were printed. (I use a Silhouette Cameo in case you wondered.) We spent hours cutting and glueing all the boxes together. The house is an (almost) exact replica of a house she built in her Minecraft world. We assembled the house on a cardboard base covered with a printed grass and wood graphic from PixelPaperCraft. Lots of hot glue, burnt fingers, and hours or labor and her house was complete.  The roof lifts…

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Be MineCraft

Misc

Happy Valentine’s Day!

The “go-to” game around our house is Minecraft, and my daughter loves to build and play! So we figured it only appropriate that this year’s Valentine Mailbox and treat theme should match what she loves to do.

This paper house is built with over 100 paper blocks that I found the pattern for on Pixelpapercraft.com. I was able to download the images and use my electronic cutter to cut the images out after they were printed. (I use a Silhouette Cameo in case you wondered.) We spent hours cutting and glueing all the boxes together. The house is an (almost) exact replica of a house she built in her Minecraft world. We assembled the house on a cardboard base covered with a printed grass and wood graphic from PixelPaperCraft. Lots of hot glue, burnt fingers, and hours or labor and her house was complete.  The roof lifts off so the kids in her class can put the treats they have for her, inside.

She also wanted her giveaway treat to match the Minecraft theme, so with a trip to Pinterest, we found this box idea. The lid lifts to reveal Starburst candies inside. So fun!

Her class holds a contest for the kids to be creative, inventive, and original in building their Valentine Mailboxes. The students vote and declare winners in different categories. I’ll let you know how it goes…

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