Tag Archives: Celebrations

Hello Kitty Cake

Hello Kitty Cake

Just a short but sweet post to show off a cute little cake I made for a dear friend.  This 6 inch 2 layer cake is the purrrfect size for a small get together with friends to celebrate a birthday.   For this one I used a white cake mix with  1/3 of the batter set aside and mixed with dry strawberry jello.  Then I poured the strawberry flavored batter in the pan already filled with plain white batter.  This gives it a bullseye of strawberry and a surprise when it is cut.  The icing is cream cheese icing  and all the pink piping and dots are also colored from a little bit of dry strawberry jello.  The strawberry jello made it a beautiful pink color that has an orangish tone.

Hello Kitty Cake

Creating a flat fondant topper like this is super easy.  Just find the images online.  Scale the internet window to the correct size and lightly trace the image on to paper.  Then use the paper as a template to cut out the topper in fondant.

Enjoy!

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Macy’s New Years Tea and Cookie Party

A couple of years ago Macy hosted a New Years Tea Party to celebrate with and get to know her new friends from school and girl scouts.  Besides having treats and tea, the girls decorated cookies and played games.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The invitation for the party was a sparkly paper cookie in a treat bag with metallic lined envelopes, super easy to make on thick watercolor paper and so fun for the girls to receive in the mail! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We choose traditional and chic New Years colors silver and gold and picked up just a few decorations at a Party City to decorate the table.  Metallic paper plates, doilies, stars, large sequins, party hats and confetti bursts.  I rolled metallic paper into cone shapes & decorated with glitter for the girls to use as mock megaphones.  Each girl had a glittered place card that we later used as tags for their cookie bags.  And since this was a tea party, Macy and I searched at a  few thrift shops for traditional tea cups for everyone.  For the rest of the table I used my real serving pieces for finger sandwiches and other mini snacks.  
 
 
After tea was served I demonstrated how to use royal icing in a piping bag for cookie decorating and we had several waxpaper bags filled for the girls to use.  Each girl got a circle, butterfly & a crown sugar cookie that Macyand I made the night before to decorate. 
 
 
As parents came for pick up we served coffee and my famous red velvet snowflake cake, it’s always nice to invite the parents to come back early at pick up to socialize and have a treat too.  I hate when pick up is rushed and hectic, I like to spend some time chatting with the other parents.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Macy was the Hostest with Mostest at her tea party, she made time to play with everyone and entertained from the head of the table.
 
I wish there was one more picture to share….I was just weeks away from having Hudson at this party!  At 35 weeks pregnant, I was running around in my party dress, apron and no shoes (I was afraid I’d trip over the constantly moving 7 year olds in my heels) serving tea and teaching the girls decorating tricks.  I’m sure I was a sight to see and sorry I dont have a good picture from it!
 
Wishing you a wonderful New Year!  Cheers!

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Rose Petal Barbie Cake

Rose Petal Barbie Cake

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!

Rose Petal Barbie Cake's Flower Necklace

Macy's Rose Petal Barbie Cake

I have a few other Barbie cakes that you’d love to see too!

Hawaiian Barbie and The Luau Pool Party

Mermaid Barbie and Mermaid Kelly in the Under the Sea Parties

Perfectly Pink Barbie and the Perfectly Pink Pool Party (coming soon)

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The Initial Frame

 My sister has reprimanded me, she says that I have to do my postings more tutorial like.  Well I promise when I get to a new project that I will photograph it step by step.  But right now im still playing catch up with about 9 years worth of fabulous projects that Ive done!  I have always photographed the final results but never the process, this one is easy enough that I can recreate the process in a tutorial way without the step by step pictures. S0 Jes, this ones for YOU!

Macy and Hudson's Initial Frames

Initial frames! This is a very old project of mine, but it still proudly hangs in my childrens’ room and in the rooms of the loved ones Ive created one for.   It is a very simple and inexpensive project, I once made about 10 at one time as Christmas gifts for all the children in our family and in Macy’s playgroup.

Initial Frames for Macy's Playgroup

Supplies for this project:

  • a wooden 8×10 frame – cheap,  from anywhere like a craft store or ikea
  • acrylic paints – super cheap again, a $1 bottle is enough
  • a wooden letter – there’s a trend here… cheap from a craft store
  • fabric scrap at least 10×12 – free! if you are a crafter that has it lying around
  • a 1/2 yard of ribbon or twine – again you know you have some somewhere
  • a slightly smaller than 8×10 cut of mat board – in the framers aisle at craft store
  • hot glue gun – the classic
  • staple gun – you can do it without this, but if you dont want the letter to fall off and hit the baby in the head then  barrow one.

First step is to remove the glass from the frame but save the backboard as you still want that so that it looks nice and finished when its done.

Next paint the letter and wooden frame.  Just like any project with wood you might decide that it needs a little sanding prep before the paint.  Use your discretion.  Acrylic paint dries in a matte or chalky finish.  If you dont like that you can use a spray gloss sealant to give it a sheen.  But be cautious:  some of the glosses will turn the paint a yellowish color.  I had a pink letter turn an unusable color.  So I play it safe and just leave it like it is.  Or you can buy higher quality paint that has a gloss finish already.

Hudson's Initial Frame

While your paint is drying you can begin the fabric covered mat board.  Make sure the board is slightly less that 8×10 because the fabric will need space to live tucked in the frame too.  Wrap the fabric onto the mat board and hot glue the long and short sides.  Leave the corners for last and either fold down one side then the other or make a pinched triangle like miter cut and glue down with lots of hot glue.  The fabric covered board should fit snuggly into the frame the same way the glass did before you removed it.

Cowboy Initial Frame

Next position the letter in the center of the board with hot glue.  ***And here’s where Im making the safety disclosure** Hot glue is temperamental.  Its not really a glue right, its plastic and when its cold it lets go of what it should be holding onto.  In my practice with these initial frames I found a super easy way to make sure the letter doesnt pop off no matter what type of fabric you have tried to adhere it to.  After you have the letter glued into place, turn the board over and fire a few staple gun staples through the back of the mat board, into the back of the wooden letter!  Yes, its that easy.  Now the letter isnt going anywhere.  Put the board back in the frame, put the backboard of the frame back on and fasten it closed.

Macy's Initial Frame

You may have a frame that came with an easel back or no easel and a saw tooth hanger.  You can still hang this initial frame on the wall regardless of its backboard type.  Staple your ribbon or twine to the back to use as a hanger.  If you borrowed a staple gun, you might realize by now that its a really good tool to have and they are not expensive so grab one on your next trip to Lowe’s. Just remember to keep in out of reach and locked away from little hands, I even keep ours unloaded.

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Under the Sea Birthday Party Invites + Mermaid Barbie Cakes

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!

Under the Sea Invite Shaker

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:

Supplies:

  • 1/4 thin foam core board
  • colored scrapbook paper
  • transparency film
  • confetti
  • glue stick
  • xacto and cutting mat

To assemble:

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.

Under the Sea Mermaid Kelly Doll cake

Under the Sea Cupcakes

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)

Under the Sea Mermaid Barbie cake

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!

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Hawaiian Birthday Party

Aloha Macy!

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.

Macy's 8th Birthday Celebration

Hawaiian Party Table

There are a few consistent elements in Macy’s birthday parties, I always make the cake and the invitations are handmade.  This year was no exception,  hand cut hibiscus flowers were the front of the invites and the party info was on a medallion on the back. In her earlier years, our parties included a lot of  friends and family & I had to make about 5o invites.  But now that she’s older and we dont live near friends and family anymore her party guests are school friends and total less than 20 guests.  This years cake was a Hula Girl Barbie and she was so easy to make!  (I’ll talk more on her in a future SugarCoated post)

Luau Party Invataion

Hula Girl Barbie Cake

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.

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Hudson’s Elmo Cake

Elmo First Birthday Cake

I have such spoiled little mice!  They often get two fabulous birthday cakes each year.  Its because their birthday parties and their actually birthday don’t always fall on the same day.  If this happens, we still celebrate on their birthday even if it’s just for us.

Elmo First Birthday Cake

 

The day Hudson turned one we celebrated his birthday at home, just us, his big birthday party  with friends and family happened a few weeks later ( and 900 miles away ) and it was an entirely different theme, “Arctic ONEderland”.    Hudson loves Elmo and I wanted to make him happy for his first cake.  Elmo’s fur was easy to create by piping out a thinned squiggly line of icing in a furry pattern.  But before I got going with that I had to make a few pieces of his face in fondant.  It was super important to me to get the shape of his eyes and nose perfect or he would look like a knock-off.  I often shy away from doing well known characters if I don’t think I can make them exact.  What made this Elmo more special was the 3D feeling of his eyes and nose coming forward and his mouth beneath the fur piping.  As I’ve said before when I do cakes that are just for us at home I usually do some experimenting. Sometimes I like to color my cakes as a surprise when they are cut & served. (you can see my white snow flake cake in red velvet in a future post)  I used a white cake mix and mixed a few of my blue gels to see if I could get an exact shade of blue that I use in his room.  It worked perfectly, but Hudson wasnt worried about it either way.  He was very excited to dig his hands in that yummy Elmo, no matter the color inside.

Inside the Elmo Cake

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A cake for ME!

 

Cake by Nikki Berry

My 29th birthday cake

 

 

Cake by Nikki Berry

Butterfly Cake

 

 

Cake by Nikki Berry

Swirling rainbow of butterflies

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.    

 

Cake by Nikki Berry

My 31st birthday cake

Cake by Nikki Berry

Devils food cake with cream cheese icing and coarse sugar topping

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A wedding to remember

My favorite wedding picture

 

 This week I celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary! As I reminisce of my wedding and the planning that went into it, I think fondly about the excitement I found in researching and sourcing the details.  I guess it was my first Celebration to plan, as it probably is for most young brides.  This was before every product you can imagine was on the internet, I actually had to buy books and magazines to find inspiration.  Most of mine came from Martha Stewart Weddings, which I still adore today.  Theknot.com had just launched and I was chosen to receive one of their planning kits in the mail.  I filled it with clippings, articles and brochures that I pulled or found at bridal shops.  I made a real scrapbook of things that I liked, as the digital inspiration boards that anyone can do today was only done by graphic designers in the magazines. I still have all of those scrapbooks and keepsakes but not in a location that I can pull them out and look through today. 

 So I thought it would be a fantastic idea to recreate my wedding dreams, ten years later, in the medium I would do today.  Some of the pictures I found online are similar to what I choose & some are the same item (thank goodness MS website has archives!) Overall this is the feeling of my wedding I created ten years ago at the tender age of twenty!

My recreated inspiration board

For my dress I was smitten with ballerinas and a favorite picture of Marilyn Monroe.  Mine had to be a tulle ball gown and the bigger the better!  Madonna had just worn this tiara to wed Guy and I sourced one nearly identical for myself.  Our color started as a dark purple but since it was a spring outdoor wedding I lightened it to lilac.  My bridesmaids wore a dress of organza overlay with a satin sash and carried my favorite flower, the hydrangea.  My hand tied bouquet was made of sweet peas, purple tulips and white roses.  Jacob and his groomsmen wore white stephanotis.  Many of our decorations were in a spherical shape such as the paper lanterns that hung from the trees over the reception tables, the vases filled with hydrangea and the topiaries that were scattered about. We were married in our home town, on the front steps of Elm Springs, an Antebellum home built in 1837 and our reception was also in the home and on the property.  For favors, we discovered candied violets to order from France in a MS Weddings issue, they were packaged in a gift box with a purple ribbon.  This is our invatation, it is square vellum with silver dots and silver envelope lining.  My cake was also out of a MS Weddings issue and the baker did a fabulous job!  It looked exactly like this!  We did a sparkler farewell and by luck a photo was captured that has been our most favorite from the start.  My wedding portrait was done a few days before the wedding, with a photographer that has been photographing Jacob’s family for more than 50 years!  This black and white proof is now a full oiled portrait on my wall and it is breathtakingly romantic! (you can see  the portrait on my living room gallery wall here). 

Nikki (Brown) Berry by Orman Photo Shop Columbia Tennessee

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Chrysanthemum Invatation

Invatation, favor tags and vintage table cloth as the inspiration

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Chocolate & Strawberry Tallcake

 

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.

Jacob's 31st birthday cake

Assembling the cake

3 layered tallcake

 

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It’s Yo Gabba Gabba Cupcake Time!

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!

50 cupcake masterpieces and one little boombox cake

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Hudson’s First Celebration

Hudson gets his first Celebration!

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!

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