Category Archives: Celebrations

A seemingly endless round of social fucntions & the colaborated results of my inspirations!

Ballerina Silhouette Cookies

nikkiikkin ballet cookie 3

As end of the year gifts for Macy’s School of American Ballet class she and I designed these ballerina silhouette cookies.  Very simple and oh so beautiful!

nikkiikkin ballet cookie 1

Once again I took to the internet to find the best tutorials from the cookie experts.  My favorite cookie artists are Sweetoptia and Sweetambs, there isn’t much they havent conquered in royal icing techniques.  Doing a silhouette on a cookie perfectly is much more simple than it looks.  The black portion of the icing is traced separately on parchment paper using whatever silhouette image you want.  Then added to a solid wet or dry field to complete the design.  Check out these DIY tutorials that I referenced: For Sweetambs cookie silhouette tutorial click Here.  For Sweetopia’s cookie silhouette tutorial click Here

nikkiikkin ballet cookie 4

For my pretty ballerina I used a Barbie image but freehand the bun instead of a pony tail.  I also found a little trick to make the tiny lips and eyelash detail.  I didn’t try to pipe the lips with the piping tip, instead I went straight down from the nose to chin and went back in with a toothpick to pull out the delicate lips.  For the eyelash, I didn’t event attempt to pipe it.  I figured it would break off during transfer so after the black silhouette was placed in the wet field (which is Sweetambs technique) and all the way dry I drew the eyelash with an edible marker.  Just a light flick of the wrist!

nikkiikkin ballet cookie 2

Macy was so proud to give these out the last week of ballet class and of course the little girls just LOVED them!

Advertisements

Comments Off on Ballerina Silhouette Cookies

Filed under Celebrations, Cookies, SugarCoated

Super Hero Party Trends

il_fullxfull.230754249

A few weeks ago while shopping at Target I became utterly amazed at some of their exclusive products.  Target is always a go to for on trend and designer collaborations, but this was the first time that I really saw for myself Target being inspired by blogosphere tastemakers and trendsetters instead of the other way around.

savetheday

Their Justice League products are obviously inspired by the popularity of Vintage/Pop Art Super Hero parties pioneered by event designers such as Anders Ruff and countless other party blogs.  Supplies for these type of parties have previously been available only from custom graphic designers and bespoke party stores.  Combining just the right colors in half tone dots, comic book like fonts and a heathy dose of explosion clouds, party designers have taken this theme in many different directions and obviously Target was watching.  Currently on the shelves at Target you can score outdoor play things, pool toys as well as placemats, cups and  serving pieces for your superhero party.  Target is promoting a crossover to fashion as well on their TargetStyle facebook and instagram accounts.

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 4.08.54 PM

targetstyle nail art

Pics via Target blog and Target style FB 

Annette from One Perfect Room thought that the Target release was also a big deal, she shares pics of the products in store here.  I think many party chic moms find this theme to satisfy their batman obsessed toddler and their own “no licensed character party rule”.  I certainly was influenced by pop art and vintage comics for Hudson’s third birthday party, but leaned toward pop art, with a Roy Liechtenstein illustration on a 1966 Newsweek cover (above) as inspiration.  And I promise he did not notice that it wasn’t Batman or Superman matching plates and napkins!  p.s.  You’ll be seeing more of Hudson’s Super Hero party very soon!

nikkiikkin superhero party 6b

And here are some of my favorite Vintage/Pop Art inspired parties going around right now (click on pic to link to site).  Obviously, this theme is great for super boys and super girls!

superhero_birthdayparty_1

Party by Anders Ruff

My-Paper-Lily-2-Superhero_600x400

Party by My Paper Lily via Kara’s Party Ideas

superhero-vintage-bright-dessert-table

Party by Wants and Wishes via HWTM

vintage-super-girl-super-hero-party-printables-07-640x456

Party by Molly B Photography via Anders Ruff

2 Comments

Filed under Celebrations

Woodland Fairy Treasure Hunt

Macy's Woodland Fairy Dessert Table

Macy’s Woodland Fairy Dessert Table

Two years ago we celebrated my daughters 9th birthday with a Woodland Fairie theme.  For the party my daugther, Macy and I created a treasure hunt game meshing symbolic fairy trinkets from Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and fairy folklore.  I used vintage clip art from The Graphics Fairy and From Old Books to create a treasure hunt card that complimented our invitations and printables from B. Nute Productions.  Since posting the party the treasure hunt card has been hands down my most pinned image and referred link from Pinterest.  It is also requested to purchase or be shared often.   I am finally doing something that I should have done 2 years ago.  I am giving this file away free here in this post!  You  may download the card here:

Treasure Hunt free printable }

Enjoy and please be kind and give credit if you use it.   Most of all, I love to hear feedback about your party! XOXO Nikki

Dont miss out on the rest of the Woodland Fairie party HERE!

Nikkiikkin fairy treasure hunt

 

1 Comment

Filed under Celebrations, Paper + Fabric

Hudson’s Superhero Party featured on Amy Atlas

nikkiikkin superhero party 19

Amy Atlas is internationally know as “The Sweets Stylist”.  Her blog Sweet Designs is full of dessert tables for which Amy has set the standard for.   She is so supportive and encouraging to other aspiring stylists in the events industry.   Beautiful guest dessert tables from around the world grace her blog pages, it is always an honor to be excepted as a featured guest.   This  submission is my third party to debut on Amy Atlas and there will be many more to come as I celebrate my children each year and as friends and family allow me to create for them.

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 10.45.19 AM

Check out the rest of Hudson’s Superhero Party on Amy Atlas HERE

Now that the party is out of the bag, I cant wait to fill you all in on some great DIY tips about the crafts and display.  I will be introducing my first free printable as well as sharing how you can do a cake like this one at home!

5 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, City Mouse + Country Mouse, SugarCoated

A SUPER Party Surprise!

il_fullxfull.230754249

 

I have an exciting party to share today!  In just a few short hours you all will see what this 1966 Roy Lichenstein artwork inspired.

Comments Off on A SUPER Party Surprise!

Filed under Celebrations

Tiffany and Co. Cupcake Toppers and Cookies

Tiffany and Co. Cupcake Toppers by Nikki Berry

Tiffany and Co. Cupcake Toppers by Nikki Berry

My darling niece Emma turned 5 in December, she’s a Christmas Eve baby and her birthday parties are always celebrated at different times.  Most of the time in January after the holiday rush is over.  Like my children, she often gets two birthday parties, one with friends where she lives and one on a trip back home.   Since I couldn’t make it to either party to help out I sent cupcake toppers and cookie favors to both of them.

CBJBLOG

Emma Belle starring in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Tiffany and Co. ( or rather Emma and Co.) was the theme of her big party with close family and friends  A classic bow was a common idea for a topper  but I also wanted to do a few that I’ve never seen before and I challenged myself with some original topper designs.  The results: a topper mimicking a toggled pearl necklace and a  Tiffany ring with a sparkling faceted sugar gem.

Tiffany and Co. Bow Cupcake Toppers

Tiffany and Co. Bow Cupcake Toppers

On every visit to NY Cake I have coveted their selection of sugar gems.  Ive been dreaming of ways to use them and hoping the chance would come soon.   I got lucky that they had an aqua stone in stock and  I choose it instead of the traditional white diamond, I thought it would be appropriate since the party wasn’t for a bride but a little girl instead.

Tiffany and Co. Sugar Gem Cupcake toppers

Tiffany and Co. Sugar Gem Cupcake toppers

Ive worked with metallic luster dusts many times and have a few gold and silver pots but this being a special tribute to the most famous silver jewelry in the world  I really wanted the silver to shine like the real thing, my cake supply store had just the product I needed to create that realistic silver.

Pearl and Toggle Bracelet TIffany and Co Toppers

Pearl and Toggle Bracelet Tiffany and Co Toppers

nikkiikkin tiffany toppers 7

My toppers came out beautifully.  I really didn’t have any hiccups or lessons learned, for once I created something without testing out a new skill from scratch.  I guess that means I’m getting through some of the learning curve with sugar……its taken long enough, its been like 10 years since my interested started.

nikkiikkin tiffany toppers 8

I listed these toppers in my Etsy shop about a month ago and they are now my most popular items.  You can see the listings HERE, HERE or HERE.

nikkiikkin tiffany toppers 5

And the sugar didn’t stop there, I also made these Tiffany and Co. cookies!  I was much more into designing the toppers but these turned out nice too :)  In fact when I received an inquiry about a Tiffany topper with a silver charm I showed these and soon I will be adding another topper with a charm  to my collection.

Tiffany and Co. Cookies

Tiffany and Co. Cookies

nikkiikkin tiffany cookies 2

Tiffany and Co Blue Box Cookies

nikkiikkin tiffany cookies 3

Emma Belle starring in Breakfast and Tiffanys

Emma Belle starring in Breakfast and Tiffanys

 

Emma Belle’s Photos by Jes at CapturedbyJes

7 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, Cookies, Cupcakes, SugarCoated

The Chic Tween {Holiday Wish List 2012}

nikkiikkin chic tween holiday 2012

My daughter Macy is 10 years old, she straddles the age between child and teen that we call tween.  Fortunately she is not the type of tween that is into annoying mainstream fads.  She’s classic and on trend, she has style and I call her my Chic Tween.  This Christmas my husband and I started shopping early for her, we wanted to have plenty of time to pick just the right gifts. I secretly got my husband a set of wooden watches, I know he will be so happy, now I can focus on the others. I have put together a fabulous board of gifts that speak to me of Macy’s style.  She’s getting about half of what is on the board, thats why its a wish list, I wish we could give her all of it!   Luckily she doesnt look at my blog unless I share it with her so, SHHHHH! don’t tell her what Santa might be bringing her :)

Harajuku Mini  velvet dress -Target

1/2 pound gummy bear – giantgummybears.com

Star headband – Giantdwarf on Etsy

Military Jacket – Johnie B 

Initial bracelet – C Wonder 

Glitter Tote – Crewcuts 

Gold ballet flat – Gap

Resin rings with gold flakes – Daimblond on Etsy

Hersey Barbie – Barbie collector 

– Shirt Dress – Zara 

– Daisy Chain necklace – Anthropologie 

Mini Edie glitter bag – Crewcuts 

– Sequin sweater – Target 

– iPad Mini – Apple

– Clog Boots – Gap

Toothpick Cords – Crewcuts

Peter Pan collar necklace – LittleBunga on etsy

Viscid Watch – Anthropologie

– Lomography Camera – Urban Outfitters

Singer sewing machine – Target

– “Be What You Want To Be” print – by Neryl Walker via LLK-C

I hope you see something that might make your Tween’s eyes sparkle!

Comments Off on The Chic Tween {Holiday Wish List 2012}

Filed under Holiday, The Chic Tween

Nutcracker Cookies

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 6

What happened to November!  Where have I been?  I can not believe that I haven’t made a post in a month, I was getting so good at being regular with my post too.  Well, the good news is I have a ton of material to write about because while my blog was static I was busy.  Mostly, what has been keeping me busy is cookies.  I  have made more cookies in the past 4 weeks than I have made in my whole life!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 1

Im going to start my cookie presentations off with my most accomplished cookie design and order to date.  200 Nutcracker cookies for Joffrey School of Ballet in NYC!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 5

Joffrey School of Ballet graciously contacted me for a second time to do cookies for their recital gifts, this time the order doubled and the complexity of the cookie quadrupled!  While there are many characters and designs that can represent ballet and the Nutcracker suite, the Nutcracker himself is the most beloved.  Even thought Joffrey asked for design examples, I knew that they would pick the Nutcracker and I knew that I could not scale back in his detail, every part of him is so important.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 9

I ordered my cookie cutter from Coppergifts.com, my first order from them and it wont be the last.  Their cutters are top of the line, thick copper hand formed with beautiful craftsmanship on the seam.  As soon as my soldier arrived I put him to work!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 2

I  broke the tasks up by days in order to cut down on the feeling of being overwhelmed my the large order.  Day one I mixed all the dough and set to chill, day two I baked and day 3, 4, 5 & 6 I decorated in batches of 50.  I guess that seems like a lot of days to work on an order but I can’t work 9-5 like a job, I usually work during nap time and at night so I can concentrate.  I put my husband and daughter (and MIL who was visiting during the tail end of my order) to work tagging and bagging the cookies.  So a big thank you! to them for pitching in.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 3

While each Nutcracker was the same design they all turned out with faces that my husband and I thought had different personalities and we had a good laugh many times about what type of “person” some of the cookies were.  My favorite was when the eyebrows turned out a bit furrowed and he looked menacing.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 10

Of course, in my eyes, each cookie had slight flaws.  It would be impossible to make 200 perfect cookies, but overall I was very pleased at my craftsmanship and really proud to have pushed myself and taken on such a detailed design.

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 7

I love to photograph my work, this time I even got an over the phone crash course in how to use manual mode on my camera from my sister Jes at Captured By Jes.  I got some really great shots and didn’t have to take a million pics to end up with one non-blurry picture to post, Thanks Jes!

nikkiikkin nutcracker cookies 4

Just after finishing my order we attended the Nutcracker at Lincoln center, while I have always liked the nostalgic Nutcracker story, this beloved character now has a special place in my heart.

So what else did I do in November?  Well, I am super excited to share the cookies I donated to a bake sale at Dwell Studio, which the founder Christiane Lemieux personally thanked me and showed them off on their blog.  I also did some cute ballet cookies for my niece’s birthday party.  I still have to show off my daughters Halloween costume, I know its Christmas season but its really good I don’t want to wait a whole year to share!  And I also have the full set of photos from my Halloween dinner party table that was featured on Amy Atlas.  Wow!  So stay tuned, I’ll try really hard to get those posts up soon :)

If you are interested in ordering these Nutcracker cookies, I have a listing up on my etsy shop HERE.  Until December 19th I am available to make and ship out each made to order batch within 3 days of placing your order.  There is still time to gift this wonderful cookie for a party or stocking!

15 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Holiday, SugarCoated

Dancing Witches Halloween Cake

Happy Halloween!  My favorite holiday is here, although it feels strange to be celebrating in New York just 2 days after Hurricane Sandy barreled through.  My family is safe and sound, we never lost power or had flooding on our street and we are now on day 3 of a mini vacation from school, ballet and work.  The weather looks good for Trick or Treating tonight in our neighborhood, but if it wasn’t we would still have fun in our building full of young kids.

On the day that Sandy hit I had my second feature on Amy Atlas, a Halloween Dinner Party that was inspired by Dennison Bogie books.  I crafted for the first time with real crepe paper and fell in love with a medium that I can use to create dramatic backdrops and limitless crafts for just a few dollars.  For my Spooky Supper  I made a gigantic cake that would have served 100, except 2 of the cake layers were fake.  Here is a great shot of the prop cake portion of the cake, complete by itself as my Dancing Witches Halloween Cake.  I will be following up soon with the rest of my Halloween Dinner Party post, until then check out my Amy Atlas feature HERE and the rest of my Halloween posts:

Black Magic Candy Apples

Easy Halloween Invitation

Halloween Crow Curiosity

Wonderland Family- Halloween Costumes

Halloween Madhatter Cake

7 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, Holiday, SugarCoated

Halloween Dinner Party Featured on Amy Atlas

I have been featured on Amy Altas again!  My “Spooky Super” is one of a few Halloween parties that Amy has chosen to feature in October.  I have already posted a few of the items from this table and I will follow up with a complete description soon.  Until then, have a Happy Halloween!

See the Amy Atlas Feature HERE!

Check out my other Halloween posts:

Black Magic Candy Apples

Easy Halloween Invitation

Halloween Crow Curiosity

Wonderland Family- Halloween Costumes

Dancing Witches Halloween Cake

Halloween Madhatter Cake

Comments Off on Halloween Dinner Party Featured on Amy Atlas

Filed under Celebrations

Halloween Crow Curiosity

This last Quick and Easy Halloween Party Idea is a table top decoration made from a combination of items you might already have around the house.  I made this Crow Curio from a glass dome, styrofoam rounds and tissue paper.

Glass domes are wonderful decorative accents to have for all kinds of events.  They can make a cupcake feel like a treasure or a crow feel like a Victorian curiosity!

I have styrofoam rounds around my house because I use them in prop cakes, this one in particular was once had a life as a Candy Cake.   I first cut a large circle in the tissue paper and taped it to the top of the stack of styrofoam rounds.  To make the fringe, I cut 4″ strips of tissue paper and folded it in half and then cut 1/2 inch fringe through both layers.  I taped the strips in rows from the bottom up and made the tape hidden on the last row.   Give the fringe a bit of a fluff and its ready to be topped with all sorts of creepy curiosities!

My crow sat on a bed of candy corn to break up the black and give a little whimsy but you could fill the dome with spider web and plastic spiders or miniature pumpkins, anything that you already have in you Halloween decorations stash could be featured .

I hope my Quick and Easy Halloween Party Ideas have given you some inspiration for you party this weekend, don’t miss the rest of the posts here:

Black Magic Candy Apples

Easy Halloween Invitation

Happy Halloween!

XOXO NB

7 Comments

Filed under Celebrations

Black Magic Candy Apples

Next up for last minute Quick and Easy Halloween Party Ideas is a twisted classic.  I call them Black Magic Candy Apples.  Candy apples are very easy to make, this was actually my first time doing so and instead of using red food coloring I used black and then dipped the apple in black sanding sugar to give it a spooky magical look.

The apple is setting in a cupcake liner, a black straw is slid down over the wooden craft stick and plastic spider ring finishes off this Halloween treat!

Candy for the apples is made from only 2 ingredients that you probably have in your pantry right now.   You can make this before the kids even get home from school today!

Black Magic Candy Apples by Nikki Berry (adapted from a recipe from Allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

15 apples

2 cups white sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups water

8  drops BLACK food coloring

Black sanding sugar

cupcake liners, plastic straws and plastic spiders

Directions

1. Lightly grease cookie sheets or lay out parchment paper on a tray.  Insert craft sticks into apples

2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar, corn syrup and water. Heat to 300 to 310 degrees F (149 to 154 degrees C), or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard, brittle threads. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring.  (sugar takes about 20 minutes to get this hot, I used the cold water test to check it for readiness)

3. Holding apple by its stick, dip in syrup and remove and turn to coat evenly. While apples are still warm roll them in a shallow bowl of sanding sugar.  Place on prepared sheets or cupcake liners to harden.

4. Add black plastic straws over the craft sticks and black plastic spider rings around the straw.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Don’t miss the other Quick and Easy Halloween Party Ideas:

Halloween Crow Curiosity

Easy Halloween Invitaiton

7 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, SugarCoated

Easy Halloween Invitation

It may seem like there isn’t much going on at Nikkiikkin but I have a lot in the works that I’m excited to share very soon!  Right now Im going to squeeze in a few last minute Quick and Easy Halloween Party Idea posts with a decoration or treat that anyone can do!

I have been hand making most of my party invites for more than 10 years, even before I had kidos, we had BIG Halloween and Valentine’s Day parties every year.  While I was digging through our Halloween decorations I came across something that I should have thrown away, but glad I didn’t.  I found the printing process that I created to make one of my favorite Halloween invitations from 2005.  This is pre-photoshop ability for me and it wanted to share it to show that you can make creative invitations for any event without needing knowledge of photoshop or purchasing printables.  You just need a marker, Word and a copy machine!

Here you can see that I literally cut and pasted in my text that I printed from Word.  I drew a simple Halloween silhouette scene (pretty sure I drew this by looking at some other Halloween illustration) and I copied the page onto orange card stock at a kinkos.

What we loved about this invitation it’s that we personalized it to each guest by adding a color photo copy on the back (because my pictures were real pictures from film, not digital) of the guest at a previous party or of our decorated home if we didn’t have a picture of them!

While it might be too late for sending out Halloween invites, there is still time for you to use this same method for tent cards, favor tags and toppers!

Next up in Halloween Party ideas:

Black Magic Candy Apples

Halloween Crow Curiosity

 

5 Comments

Filed under Holiday, Paper + Fabric

Pink & Gold Cake and Backdrop

This precious pink and gold cake was for my daughter Macy on her 10th birthday.  No matter when her birthday party takes place I always make another cake for us to celebrate together on her real birth day.  I had an itching to create a little more for this cake because I wanted to experiment with some backdrop ideas.

First off, the cake had a special importance to me.  The porcelain birthday doll on top was the same doll that my mom put on top of my 10th birthday cake.  Inspired by the pink and gold, I then designed the cake around that doll.  If you’re wondering why it has two different looks, it’s because as I was assembling the cake I thought that it was also pretty as a single ruffled tier without the extra flower and tier so I took some picture of it like that.

I try to experiment with each opportunity I get to make a cake.  This was my first ruffled cake, I thought the process was easy enough.  My technique was a mixture of pinching and folding and I made each band of ruffles in 2 sections to circle this 8″ cake.  I am just beginning my love affair with gold luster dust.  I want to use it on everything ever since I made these Tea Party Toppers.  I probably would have used it even if it wasn’t an accent on the porcelain doll.  This fondant flower is styled like a fabric brooch and has been popular in my Etsy Shop, I make it in several sizes and any color to be used on cupcakes or a cake.

For the grande finale I put it all together with a few homemade garlands and tissue paper backdrop.  I wanted to make a backdrop with minimal effort and cost but still eye catching.  I popped into a Party City and spent less than $20 for this backdrop and assembling it took about an hour because I created all of it from scratch.  The wall and tabletop are covered in plain old gift tissue paper, layered for color depth and for an imperfect look.

Macy and I  assembled the pom-pom garland using a bag of metallic gift shred.  I know it sounds crazy to think about creating each pom with single strands but I knew that I needed less than 10 poms and a small bag of shred was only $3.  It took about 30 minutes to gather and tape the top of all the poms.  Then I threaded fishing line through the tape with a needle.

The glitter ball garland started as a prepackaged set of glittered sphere decorations in the wedding section at Party City.  I thought it was a good price at $8 but I could have also purchased a solar system styrofoam ball set and rolled them in glue and glitter to make my own.  I threaded them with fishing line and a needle too.

The last garland is gumballs.  Ive been experimenting with gumball necklaces lately and although I like the idea and the look of gumball strands, they are a bit of a pain to work with.  I’ve found that the quickest and most efficient way to make the hole is to drill it, but even then its messy and still takes a great effort.

After all the garlands were done I simply used tacks pushed in the drywall to hang.  Getting a balance in swag shape was the hardest part.  The gumball garland is pretty heavy too and fell a few times.  Whenever I use them again I will use temporary hooks from 3M.

There she is Miss Macy Berry, 10 years old!

12 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, SugarCoated

OH Emma!

Image

Emma Belle Brown

 

I have a 4 year old niece that I adore.  This week she is staying with us while my sister and brother-in-law enjoy a late honeymoon cruise to Bermuda.  Yesterday was the first full day of Emmapoloza and my husband and I were so worn out we went to bed before 10 pm.  Its not that Emma alone is a handful, well she sorta is a drama queen, its that she is smack dab in the middle of Macy age 10 and Hudson age 2.5.  So she plays well and fights well with both of them in different ways.  We have lots of activities planned for her stay but I think the best activity is simply to wear them out at the playground.  At least then they will go to bed easily and maybe even early!  

Image

WAIT JES!! I think I can get her to the boat from here!

 

Photo by my fabulous sister Jes Brown at www.capturedbyjes.blogspot.com

Dress by the fabulous Michelle at www.daydreambelievers.net

 

1 Comment

Filed under Celebrations

Candy Party Cake and Invitations

For my daughters 10th birthday we celebrated at Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City.  The party is all-inclusive but the cake and invitations included were not my style so I made my own.

My candy cake was inspired by the signature cakes that Dylan’s Candy Bar uses in photo spreads and displays in the store.

The striped second tier was the most tedious to decorate.  Each fondant stripe was cut to a taper as it wrapped the top of the cake, making a beautiful color wheel.  The top-tier mimicked a strip of nostalgic candy buttons and was topped with real lollipops.

Each sweet guest was sent a custom candy invitation that included a real candy necklace.  See my post on making these candy invitations HERE.

Also pictured is a gumball necklace that my daughter made and wore at her party.  I’ll be posting my methods and tips on making those soon!

To see how the party at Dylan’s Candy Bar turned out click HERE!

Like the cake?  It can be yours!  I am now offering a made to order Faux / Prop Candy Cake in my Etsy shop.  She the listing HERE!

2 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, Paper + Fabric, SugarCoated

Macy’s 10th Birthday Party at Dylan’s Candy Bar

Macy Berry ready for her Dylan’s Candy Bar Party

On the last Saturday of the school year, my daughter celebrated her tenth birthday at Dylan’s Candy Bar in Manhattan.  It was a birthday wish that we promised her 2 years prior, when we weren’t even living in NYC.  Longing so much to get back to New York, we had a very long wish list of sites and to-dos that we promised ourselves we would never take for granted again.  As Macy’s tenth birthday approached she didn’t let us forget that she was due this dream party.

Dylan Lauren, the daughter of Ralph Lauren, opened this candy emporium in 2001.  Inspired by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and a life long love of sweets it was her dream to open a candy store.  The original NYC location expanded in 2008 and is now 3 floors of sugar and wonderment for the eye.  A visit to the store is like walking around a real Candyland game board. It is hands down my favorite interior designed space…..well besides all of Disney World and Disneyland.  It just makes me happy to be there.  I don’t even have to leave with pounds of candy, but I always do.

 

nikkiikkin dylans candy bar invite 3

See how I made the candy invite HERE

We first moved to NYC in 2006  just a week before Macy’s fourth birthday.  We took her to Dylan’s on her birthday to celebrate.  From then on she was hooked (and yes she has the Barbie doll).  We never tire of it being a must-do on our list when we have guests in town and all of our friends are just as crazy about going as we are.   So when we decided to host Macy’s tenth birthday party at Dylan’s we extended the guest list to friends and family back home in Tennessee (as if they needed a reason to make a trip to NYC!) And we were overwhelmed with excitement when 3 of our extended families mod podge themselves into a large collaborative group on a mission to celebrate  a “Decade of Macy” with us.

Sweets Party at Dylan’s Candy Bar

Dylan’s Candy Bar has a special events room that is located on the top floor just off of the cafe.  When you book a general party there you choose between 3 types of parties packages that are all-inclusive.  One type is just for 1,2&3 year olds, one type is for 21 & up and the third is for anyone 4 to 20 years old.  Invitation, cake, pizza, drinks, favors, games, craft, decorations, guest of honor gift & lots and lots of sweets are all included in the party packages.  And of course the sky is the limit on add-ons.  The party coordinator was very easy to work with and even granted my out of the ordinary request of a signed copy of Dylan’s book and having one of their giant signature prop cakes in the room.

My parties are always very hands on….meaning my hands are what create everything from the invite, cake, food, favors, crafts & decorations.  It was hard for me to let go of this responsibility that brings me so much joy.  By booking an all-inclusive party there was no need for me to do a thing except show up with the birthday girl.  But I couldn’t really stop myself, while the included invitation and cake are both very nice, they were not my style.  So I made custom invitations that included a candy necklace for the lucky guest.  Not wanting to waste Dylan’s yummy cake, I made a dummy cake inspired by the gorgeous signature cakes that Dylan’s uses in magazine spreads and then displays in the store.(Here & Here & Here)   My cake was smaller than the original cake and there was only one reason I made it: to use as a photo prop!  I took a picture of each guest at the party holding the cake and we gave them the picture in their thank you cards.  It was funny to watch the girls timidly hold the cake thinking that it was heavy or that they would hurt it.

Candy Cake by Nikki Berry

Hudson says: “I’m gonna touch the cake!”

First up on the party schedule was the craft, out of a list of candy related crafts Macy choose the gumball machine decorating.  The girls took home a 12″ machine full of  gumballs and decorated with stickers.

After pizza, the girls played Macy’s chosen sweets games: cupcake walk and freeze dance, which the winning guests received a boxed cupcake to take home.

Cupcake walk

Although the girls were surrounded by candy on the tables they were probably most excited to do the candy spree.  As their party favor each guest received a bucket to fill with whatever candy would fit from the hundreds of choices of confections on the main floor.  To build up the excitement the party directors marched the girls through the store chanting “CANDY!, CANDY!, CANDY!”  it was quite the experience!

Candy Spree at Dylan’s Candy Bar

Not only did the party include 3 very helpful party staff but at the door to the event room Macy had her very own security guard to keep out the paparazzi and we actually noticed several party crasher attempts!
Finally after the craft, game, pizza, & candy spree we sang Happy Birthday and ate cake.  I added-on extra cupcakes to our package to send parents and siblings home with a treat.

Cake by Dylan’s Candy Bar

Happy Birthday Macy!

Partially due to fun music played the entire time the party went on and a lot due to the sugar high everyone had, Macy’s party was full of happiness and energy!    I never repeat party themes but I think we could repeat a party at Dylan’s Candy Bar…..maybe a SWEET 16?

Candy Cake by Nikki Berry

Macy having fun with her Candy Cake

Like the cake?  It can be yours!  I am now offering a made to order Faux / Prop Candy Cake in my Etsy shop.  She the listing HERE!

4 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, City Mouse + Country Mouse

Dylan’s Candy Bar Invitation

After a promise made more than two years ago, Macy’s dream party at Dylan’s Candy Bar in Manhattan will come true in just a few short weeks.  This weekend 10 special little girls received this original and SWEET birthday party invitation.

Although a Dylan’s Candy Bar Sweetie Pie birthday party is all-inclusive and the fill in invites they provide are perfectly fine, I can’t help myself from using this opportunity to create something fabulous.  I knew from the start that I wanted to send the girls candy necklaces with the invitation but the style of the card came to be after I stumbled upon the bracket shaped cards from Paper Presentation.  They come in a color called Fiji that looks like the exact shade of teal that is a Dylan’s Candy Bar signature color.  Once I had the bracket card, designing the rest of the invite was a piece of cake!  Here is how I created this special invitation for my special little girl.

  • For the address label wrappers I used Photoshop to create a striped design in Dylan’s Candy Bar colors, I downloaded the bracket shape from Paper Presentations web site & I printed them on full sheet label paper.
  • The base of the invite is a 5×7 pre-shaped bracket card from Paper Presentation.
  •  The bracket cards also come in 4×6 for layering but Im not sure how I would print on that shape so I made my invite on regular paper, carefully measuring the words to fit within a 4×6 space.
  • I didn’t want to put directions on the invitation, so I added an additional lollipop shaped card.  To make this I used an image of a lollipop from a candy website and altered it with a brush stroke filter in Photoshop.
  • The envelopes are regular 6×9 white envelopes, we hand delivered nearly all of them, a padded envelope would be better for mailing.
  • Real candy necklaces make this invitation extra sweet!

  • The address label wrappers, lollipop note and printed bracket cards are cut out and ready for assembly.
  • I wanted the candy necklace to still be edible so affixing with tape and glue were out of the question.
  • I sewed the necklace to the back of the card with two quick loops of thread.  It was very important to do this BEFORE glueing on the printed front bracket card layer because the stitches needed to be hidden on the front.
  • The first side of the candy necklace ties on at any point.
  • The spot to tie the second side is judged by how you want the candy necklace to drape.  I stood it up and held the spot with my finger.
  • Theres no right or wrong way, just as long as the necklace is entirely within the boundaries of the card.  Macy liked the shape because it looked “like a smile”.
  • Using spray adhesive  (outside on a surface protected by a paper bag) coat the back of the printed white bracket card layer.   Adhere it to the front of the  base bracket card with the candy necklace sewed on the back.
  • Full sheet label paper makes the address label wrapper supper easy to peel and stick but you could print them out on regular paper and glue them on instead.
I can’t wait to share Macy’s 10th birthday party at Dylan’s Candy Bar with everyone, look for that post after June 23rd.

2 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, SugarCoated

Maurice Sendak, Beloved Author and Illustrator

Maurice Sendak

Its a terrible day for terrible creatures because Maurice Sendak has past away.  Like many other people I read about the life and accomplishments of this beloved author and illustrator today.  My favorite description of him was by The New York Times:  “Maurice Sendak, widely considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century, who wrenched the picture book out of the safe, sanitized world of the nursery and plunged it into the dark, terrifying and hauntingly beautiful recesses of the human psyche,”  I was also intrigued to learn that he was born in Brooklyn and one of his first professional commissions was window displays at the toy store F.A.O Schwarz.

His beloved book is a favorite of ours to read and share and I was inspired by his beautiful illustrations to create a party for Hudson’s 2nd birthday in February.   Oddly enough I had just posted my party pics last week and it was my current post until this one.  Please enjoy my party pics HERE and join me in honoring this wonderful children’s storyteller, if you don’t already own this delightful book add it to your children’s library today.

1 Comment

Filed under Celebrations

Where The Wild Things Are Party

LET THE WILD RUMPUS START!

For Hudson’s 2nd party we choose a Where The Wild Things Are theme.  Always a classic and beloved story, we have given the book by Maurice Sendak as gifts many times.  I was not only proud to do this party for my son but to share it with thousands of readers on a very popular party site called Amy Atlas Events.  Amy Altas choose my party for a featured guest dessert submission, you can see the feature HERE!  It was a big honor to be featured among the best parties on the web!  If you don’t follow her blog you must check it out, and by the way her first book is coming out this week!

I have to give some credit to my talented sister Jes again for helping me come up with ideas for parties, we often work together on my niece Emma’s parties and I always bounce ideas from Jessica for my own as well.  She mentioned adding fur to the back of the invite and it was a brilliant idea that I can’t believe I haven’t come up with before!  So here is our awesome Wild Thing invite:

I can only imagine the Monster Party possibilities for this treatment on cards! To make the back of the card I cut the fur patches out the size of the card before I affixed the fur to the back of the card with spray mount.  Sticky fingers and fur can be a little messy, so if you try this, use utmost care in handling, have everything laid out on kraft paper (paper bags cut open-work too) and don’t rush!  To make the front of the card I scanned in images from the book to use on paper goods and for the first time ever I purchased a font to use in Photoshop.  This was a big deal for me, as I am self-taught in photoshop and pretty clueless to much of what Graphic Designers learn in school.  I just make it up as I go along and do what I need to do to get the job done!  These cards were hand delivered but an oversized envelope would allow for extra room the fur needs, I don’t think it would need extra postage, it wasn’t heavy but again, I didn’t try to mail any.

The fur started an inspirational goal for this theme, I continued searching for ways to express the wild forest feeling of the story through texture.

Real wood is a perfect natural texture, so I hiked it over to the New York Flower District to shop for some wood cuts.  My scores were a (very heavy) tree cut to use as a cake stand, a few birch branch cuts I used to stretch a paper bunting across and shorter ones to use as small display stands.  The flower district is an amazing couple of blocks just south of Madison Square gardens, it used to be a very large district but like most of Old New York times are changing, and there is only a couple of blocks left.  You must go early, like before 8am early, by 11am the vendors are putting their leftovers back into the coolers and shutting down for the day.

I repeated the faux fur from the invite as a runner on the desert table, which read more as grass than monster fur because it was green but it worked with the theme regardless.

What about that exotic background?   I don’t think it would have mattered what anything else on the table looked like, the background made it super impressive. All different greens, shapes and sizes and it was all paper, This made it inexpensive but it was all handmade, which made it time-consuming.   I used tissue paper for the top canopy foliage and the leaves, origami flowers, vines and fan flowers were made from construction paper.  You can find cheap packs and multiple shades in teacher/parent supplies stores.   Its better quality than a pack of typical construction paper but not as expensive as archival scrap-book paper, so I didn’t feel bad about tossing it.

Hudson’s party was a small soiree of his playmates,  I have a hard time doing parties small….I can’t help but to make a big production regardless of the guest size but I did restrain myself in the amount of sweets for this party: just cake, cake pops and a take home cookie, this was plenty for 25 guests.  Another table held an assortment of snacks….. and plenty of wine….gotta have the mommy juice around when the kids out number you.

The cake was a two tier yellow butter cake, buttercream icing and fondant decorations.  Each tier represented a part of the book, the bottom was the forest in buttercream & fondant, the top was fondant scales in the style Maurice Sendak illustrated on the main Wild Thing, Carol’s legs and the topper was Max’s crown simply made from fondant and dried till it was able to stand on its own.   Inside the cake was multi layered in yellow and orange representing the shirt also from Carol.

Cake pops are fun but not as simple to make as people pretend them to be.  This is my second time making pops and I’m still learning the techniques to make them as good as Bakerella.  I did learn that candy melt needs to be thinned out with shortening to make it dip smoother.  I also realized that the cake crumb has to be more finely crumbled in order for the ball to roll smooth….after I finished these.  So all that being said, here are my little cake pops!  I cut triangles from fondant and placed them around the top of the pop to represent  Max and his “king of all wild things” crown.  The pops are in a tin wrapped in natural birch bark that I picked up at the NY flower district, but you can purchase it here on www.Save-on-Crafts.com.  Which is an awesome resource for building party decorations and dessert tables, by the way.  I see many of these same items at the NY Flower District but I can get them for subway fare instead of shipping and handling and its also fun to haggle the vendors on pricing :)

The next treat was one that I probably worked harder on then the cake,  my Carol cookies were super detailed.  A mix of fondant and royal icing, I layered on each facial element to give just the right 2D/3D look.  My favorite part was being able to use the Wilton grass tip #233 to zip through the last element, his fur mane.  After the cookie set up, I packaged them in standard 4 inch wide treat bags and topped them with a card stock topper that I designed and printed using an image from the book and the famous words “Oh please don’t go – we’ll eat you up – we love you so!”  I found it very fitting to give as a departing favor.  On the back it said “Thank you for joining us at Hudson’s 2nd Birthday”

Another favor the children took home was a set of twig colored pencils.  I love these pencils and have also used them as favors at Macy’s Woodland Fairie party.  My husband and I laugh about the twig pencils being a “chic and new idea”,  because you can pick up all sorts of wood pencils and rural decor at a Tennessee or Kentucky truck stop.  So we call them,“Country Chic”, LOL, we are from Tennessee so we can make fun of it all we want :P

A main element for the party was an 8′ long 30″ high vinyl banner with illustrations from the book. I scanned & uploaded my pdf image and ordered the banner on sale at Vista Print.  I arranged these monsters specifically for their relationship to the guests.  The Wild Things were literally the size of the two year olds.  I double sided taped the banner to two cardboard science project boards and used it for a background where the kids played in the living room.  The kids loved it and now the banner lives wrapped around the 24″ cement column in our Brooklyn loft style apartment.  Hudson wouldn’t let me put it away when he saw me rolling it up after the party.

AND here’s the birthday boy, Hudson Oliver Berry, age two!  He had a ball at his party with all his little friends.  Luckily I caught his picture before the party because he had too much fun to hold still during the party ;)

As a very special birthday gift, Hudson received for his second birthday an Eames Elephant!  If you’d like to learn more about this elephant you can read my post about it HERE.

Lastly is a picture of what our guests saw first, a forest covered door that was my husband’s creation.  I solely let him have creative control over this decoration.  I had pictured the leaves arranged different when he explained that he wanted to put leaves on the door.  I was so happy with how it turned out and glad that I let him just do it.  We left it up for about a month!

38 Comments

Filed under Celebrations, SugarCoated