We celebrated my husband’s birthday a few weeks ago. He’s never too picky about a cake, he always tells me to just use the chance for experimenting a new idea. Sometimes I let my daughter design the cake and she could have easily done this one. I was inspired by a beautiful paper party napkin with colorful beaded shapes that I interpreted to be twisted streamers. It was so simple to cut the irregular oval shapes in fondant and line them up marching up and down a plain white cake. I would definitely recommend this as a DYI :) Enjoy!
Tag Archives: birthday
- Fall is on its way and it has me thinking about cooler weather and fall parties. Hot cider & cinnamon doughnuts, hay rides & barn parties. A Cowgirl theme seems like a perfect fall birthday party theme to me. Macy’s 6th birthday was Cowgirl themed…..but in NYC….in August…. and those city kids loved it! This is the first birthday party she had in NYC. We had flown back home to Tennessee the previous 2 years. If we had went to Tennessee for this party, it surely would have been in a barn, as we have plenty of family and friends with barns! But Macy’s party was a “Manhattan Cowgirl” party, on a beautiful roof top garden of our apartment building in Lower Manhattan. This was the last party that she invited both boys and girls from her class. Besides the heavy dose of pink the party it was gender friendly in games and activities and of course I didnt send the boys home with the pink boot favor bag…I got red ones for them and I used red and blue in some of the decorations too.
The centerpiece of the party was her Cowgirl cake made with layers of cow print, handkerchief paisley and rope detail. The topper was a fondant Cowgirl hat. For this cake I did a buttercream and fondant combination on the icing and decorations
Ive been a Etsy shopper for years, but now Im a seller too! Its long over due and was nearly as time consuming to set up as a blog, phew! I plan on selling party supplies like printables and decorations to start. I will soon be venturing into making Fondant Cake Kits for the shop too. Im super excited about these, check back later to hear what they are all about!
Currently at the Grand Opening, I have listed my Woodland Dessert Table Kit. This kit includes many handmade items as well as supplies to set up an amazing tablescape like Macy’s Woodland Fairie Party Table. As a bonus a scavenger hunt game is included with the kit. Check out the listing here: update this item was sold, but please contact me if you interested in me creating a tablescape for you!
I am so pleased to share this birthday party with everyone! Macy’s 9th birthday was a Woodland Fairie theme. I think that you will find it an inspiration for a Woodland Party theme for a boy or girl. In the previous 8 years of Macy’s birthday parties I had not done a fairy theme and I wanted to get one last little girl party in before they all became Hollywood Glamour and Spa Day parties. My vision was inspired by our favorite cafe and I felt that this type of fairy theme was more appropriate for a 9 year old girl than the tutu and wings type. As always my children’s parties are a big production in our home, we begin planing sometimes months in advance and I design and make nearly everything myself. I hope you find an inspiring idea for your next party in this post.
After the party theme was approved by the birthday girl, I started with searching for the invitation that would set the style. I usually make them myself but when I discovered the perfect invitation by B. Nute productions, I was very glad to let someone else take care of it for me. I was interested in a invitation that was a more graphically lavish than what I can create and her whimsical and vintage style was exactly what I had in mind to set the tone for the party design, you can see her site and with many other beautiful designs here.
This Woodland Cake is an original that I designed and created. The bottom layer is a dummy cake covered in fondant, carved and hand painted to look faux bois. It turned out fantastic! Painting fondant is super easy, just the color gels and lemon extract is needed. I enjoyed rendering in watercolor in design school and found painting the fondant to be a lot like that. In fact I enjoyed painting this dummy cake so much that I think I’m going to do a little bit of real watercolor soon! The top cake is chocolate (macy said to represent earth!) and has a white chocolate ganache layer before I added fondant. I started doing ganache under my fondant cakes last year and I love everyone of them! It gives the cake a more solid surface to except the fondant and Ive found it easy to build up any uneven sides or corners in the ganche. I achieve an almost flawless fondant covering every time! The number 9, toadstools and grass are fondant, the flowers are purchased from my favorite cake supplies store NY Cake on 22nd street in the flat iron district and the butterflies are hand piped chocolate from this tutorial from http://www.chefmommy-brandao.blogspot.com.
The details really do make up this dessert table, I put a lot of thought into the display and vessel type to make sure the theme was strongly represented. Fairy Dust in glass tubes hung from the branches and were part of the favors going home with the guests, printable straw flags cut to length made a perfect label. I found this birch covered bowl at a shop in the NYC flower district and placed florist foam in it to display the Sparkly Fairy Wand cake pops. The soda of choice for Woodland Fairies must be “root” beer! Mine were served with a paper straw that I know you have never seen displayed like this before! The idea came to me to place the straws in tags by B.Nute productions simply out of need, as I had not found the perfect vessel to hold them all in a group! Wood slices are a must have on any rustic or woodland table display. Adding decorative stones and moss, it becomes a very complete Fairy Cake display
There were a few other support areas around our home that received some party decorating as well. Favor bags of simple paper sacks and printed labels sat at the door to pass out as guests left. I choose to not clutter the dessert table with the extra Fairy Cakes and paper goods, but still thoughtfully displayed them on our kitchen island. Guest were greeted with a small display of nature from a cake dome full of pine cones and other dried naturals, a birds nest and flowers.
For brunch we walked two blocks away to the cafe that inspired the Woodland theme. This cafe design is so amazing, I cant believe that it is only two blocks from our home, it looks like it was imported from Disney World. I padded the party time an extra hour to work in the walk and wait for our table.
To make ordering easier on us and our server I gave the girls the choose of 5 basic brunch items and wrote them on little menu cards before we headed to the cafe. The girls just showed the card to the server to place their order, genius right? The menu card and welcome sign I designed were compliments to B. Nute productions Woodland Fairie tags. I found the stick boarder on a web site offering public domain images from old books called http://www.fromoldbooks.org. The Twig pencils were part of the favors the girls took home.
Macy and I brainstormed the idea of a Treasure Hunt for lost things. Inspired by stories of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, we came up with the idea of trinkets and magical fairy items to search for. My favorite item was the Rattle which represents “a baby’s first laugh”. From the story of Peter Pan, this is when a fairy is born! Gathering the items for the treasure hunt was a treasure hunt for me! It was a lot of fun to do and most of the items were found in craft stores. I used a border image from http://www.fromoldbooks.org again to design the sign and treasure hunt card that complimented our other party decorations. The images on the treasure hunt card came from http://www.graphicsfairy.blogspot.com, I love her images!
The girls did a craft decorating fairie houses. Macy has made real fairie houses in the woods at camp with Girl Scouts. Those houses were made out of all natural materials like twigs and leaves. We pre-painted small birdhouses dark brown to give a natural material feel but I felt that the girls would have more fun if the decorations were sparkly.
Now that Macy is 9, she helps out a lot with the preparation of her parties (she made all the toadstools on the cake!). She is a crafter like me and during one of our working days she sat beside me while I made the fabric bunting, turning my sewing scraps into fairy clothes, They were quite impressive! She also loves to share her opinion and ideas, for this party table she came up with the idea to place small sparkly pompoms hiding in the branches to represent our Woodland Fairies. Our fairies were shy but you can see one of them above tucked in the berries.
What gave this dessert table its woodland presence was the sticks and wreath on the wall. The Queen Fairy looks over the party with such grace! I also found her from Graphics Fairy and spray mounted her to the same kraft paper as the table runner. Tying it to a grapevine wreath made it look like a Woodland Portrait. Wondering how I got those sticks (that my wonderful husband gathered in Prospect Park for me) to hang on the wall? I have some great pictures of how I made that and the wreath hang that I will share in a Behind the Scenes of the Party post. I also made the felt toadstools for the dessert table and now sell them by the set on my Etsy Shop.
I hope you have enjoyed my daughters party pictures! I have designed her parties for 9 years and my son’s for 1 year, as well as a few years of my nieces parties. I am slowly getting all of my previous parties into blog posts, so be sure to check back often to see whats new!
UPDATE: Due to much demand I have decided to give away my treasure hunt printable for free! You may download the file HERE
I created this Rose Petal Barbie Cake for Macy’s 7th birthday. She was my first Barbie cake using the Wilton Doll Cake mold. This design is simple but creating all the petals are tedious. To make them I made three colors and three sizes. They are formed by starting with a circle and then curling it and thinning out the edges to give it a natural shape. My sister actually helped me crank them out and she added the leaf around the waist idea to conceal the area where doll waist meets cake. Her dress is completed with a flower necklace. I dont like to write on most of my cakes and it has become my signature to make a plaque to write a simple name. For this Barbie I used the Wilton doll pick but changed the head with one of Macy’s real Barbie’s. We snuck her to dinner that night and she was brought out by the wait staff singing Happy Birthday, Macy was so proud for everyone in the restaurant to see her fabulous Barbie cake!
I have a few other Barbie cakes that you’d love to see too!
Perfectly Pink Barbie and the Perfectly Pink Pool Party (coming soon)
For my daughters 5th birthday the theme was Under the Sea. I am only sharing the invitation and cakes from the party, but this was a fantastic pool party and a success with my daughter who is my biggest fan and littlest critic!
This party’s invtation is a very unique “shaker” card that we really sent through the mail. As you can see from the profile shot above it is a thick card that required extra postage but arrived to our guests fine. I believe I did write “hand cancel” on the envelopes to help them receive some TLC at the post office but who knows if that really helped! These cards where on the complex side to create but they were worth it and were an impressive surprise for our guests to receive. Heres how they came together:
- 1/4 thin foam core board
- colored scrapbook paper
- transparency film
- glue stick
- xacto and cutting mat
The informational side of the card was designed and printed as a 5×5 square. 5″ squares were also cut out of the foam core, transparency film and unprinted scrapbook paper. A center circle (a square would work too) was cut from the foam core and scrabookpaper. And then it was like a sandwich, stacked up with the info face down glued to the foamcore, confetti sprinkled inside, transparency film to seal it and the scrapbook paper to cover and complete it. Being our theme was Under the Sea, this was meant to look like a fish bowl but it could be reinterpreted for any theme.
I have mentioned before that my spoiled little mice get more than one cake for their birthdays because there are usually separate days of celebrating. Macy had two parties her 5th year with this theme, one at school and one with family and friends. On her actual birthday she enjoyed Under the Sea character cupcakes at school and a Mermaid Kelly Doll cake at home with us. This was my first Barbie type cake. Little Kelly was easy to turn into a mermaid by simply covering her legs with individual scales made out of fondant, all her Sea friends were fondant also. These characters were on the simple side of creation, by todays standards it takes much more complex cupcake toppers to impress. (You can see some of my current cupcake work in my Yo Gabba Gabba cupcake masterpieces here)
There is an interesting story behind the real Under the Sea party that year. It was one of a few times that we decided to return back home to Tennessee to celebrate with family and friends. Flight delays and ultimately a flight cancellation nearly kept us from getting to TN. When we did get there it was just a few hours before the party and without our luggage full of party supplies. To save this party I picked up two pre-made cakes from a big box store, I think they were the Carebear cloud designs but they worked as ocean too. I grabbed a new Barbie and some fondant and within an hour the cake was complete! I hope that my emergency cake experience for this party can one day help someone else out if they are in a pinch to produce a custom cake. Dont panic, just add to a ready made and no one will be able to tell that it is a impromptu design!
Its HOT! Its summer here in the city and as we begin planning Macy’s 9th birthday party I thought it would be a great time to post her 8th birthday party, Aloha! A Luau Pool Party. I bet there is alot of people planing a luau party this time of year, its the perfect summer theme and I hope you find ours inspiring! We had her party at our community pool and it was a such beautiful venue that it didnt take much to decorate.
When it comes to buying party supplies, there are a lot of Luau and Hawaiian themes to choose from. I tried to keep ours simple and I was very careful to not go overboard or cheesy. Lots of color is a given when you are do a luau, but since this was a girl’s party it was easy to add in more pink and orange to give it a focus. A few plain white tablecloths were a great investment I made a few years back and this was another party that I was glad we were able to use them. The grass table skirt was safety pined to it and because it was cloth I didnt have to worry about the weight of it tearing a plastic tablecloth. The party and favors included a lei and hibiscus hair clip and a flower printed tote to stuff with candy & treats from the pull string (the only kind I do) pink flamingo pinata. Cool treats like fresh fruit served in a half pineapple and Hawaiian Punch in a coconut shell cup was all that was needed to entertain these girls. I could hardly keep them at the table long enough to even sing happy birthday, because they were very anxious to get in the pool and just have fun.
I love the month of May! And it’s not just for the fantastic weather it usually brings, it’s a month of celebrations for me. Besides Mother’s Day I also have my wedding anniversary and birthday. A couple of years ago I was itching to create a cake with butterflies, I found my birthday a perfect excuse to indulge in this. My three-tiered cake of buttercream cream frosting was the backdrop for a rainbow of swirling fondant butterflies and fondant letters that were inspired by paper quilling. I had to allow time for the butterflies and letters to harden overnight, but other than that it was a piece of cake to create. I even did a shortcut (that I would never do for someone else) and iced the layers all stacked together instead of individually before assembly. I am often less of a perfectionist when I make cakes for myself or my husband. I use these opportunities to experiment on flavors or techniques.
So I have no problem making my own birthday cake, but Macy does have a problem with it. She says that “you shouldnt make your own birthday cake” and has given me a hard time about it ever since I made that butterfly cake. Last year I got lucky and attended a wedding on my birthday, I had my fill of cake that day and didn’t need another. This year I wanted to try a cake combo that I’d never made before, I found it a perfect time to create a cake anyway. Devils food cake with cream cheese icing, yummy! Cream cheese is my favorite icing, I love it with many different cake flavors besides carrot and red velvet. Its delicious with a strawberry or a chocolate cake and it sets up firm in the fridge, so when it’s served it makes the perfect cut piece of cake. I made a point not to overdo the decoration on, I didnt want to make Macy angry with me. It work, she didn’t have a problem with the plain little pink cake, (that took me no time to make) that sparkled so prettily with just a coarse sugar topping.
For Jake’s birthday I thought up a delish cake that rivals the classic strawberry shortcake. 3 layers of devils food chocolate cake, homemade chocolate mousse whipped icing and fresh strawberry filing all covered in smooth dark chocolate ganache. Its was so grand that it didn’t even need decorated, just fresh strawberries on top. And it was so good that I had to make it twice within a week.
50 cupcake masterpieces take a long time to make! But they were a labor of love and passion that I put into all of my cake creations. Each character was individually crafted with fondant and icing faces. This set also included a simple boom box cake that was a snap to make. For the display, I duplicated a set up I used for Emma’s cupcake party a few years ago. Bakery boxes that are used to transport the cupcakes are given some interior support by books and some exterior style with paper. I wasnt very familiar with Yo Gabba Gabba before this order, they debuted after Macy’s preschool years. But I’m a fan now and so is Hudson!
Hudson turned one in February. I initially decided that he would have the same circus theme as Macy’s first birthday, “Under the Big Top”. But Macy made the suggestion to do a winter theme with animals instead, so “Arctic ONEderland” was conceived! I choose the color palette: black, white, blue and orange first, then I created the Arctic Friends characters: penguin and polar bear in an acrylic painting to make the theme completely original. Inspired by the new trendy and lavish dessert tables, I focused with much excitement on creating my first one in that style. I made sketches for the table layout, sourced colored candy, made all the treats and designed printables in photoshop to unite the colors and characters. Keeping the background and vessels white was perfect for the winter theme and simplified the task of finding and matching pieces during set up. And I have to add that I packed up the entire collection and flew 900 miles to set it up!