Tag Archives: decoration
One Christmas years ago, my husbands grandmother asked me if I would like to make the holiday cake for their family’s christmas dinner. For as long as GranNana has had her own family she has made them a special coconut cake for christmas dinner. So, YES I was very honored and nervous she was passing the torch on to me. This was very early in my cake making life but my red velvet Snowflake cake knocked the socks off everyone!
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
Being an interior designer I had high expectations for myself to create a nursery for my son that was beautiful; being a craftswoman I had high expectations for myself to create a nursery for my son that was custom-made. For Hudson’s nursery I delivered both. I named this nursery design and the owl on the quilt Oliver the Owl after Hudson’s middle name. Although I was inspired by the Dwell Owl bedding that was brand new at the time, I decided to design and make all of his softgoods myself. The bumper, quilt, sheets, canvases, drapery & rug were created by my hands. The framed art, mobile and dresser were also customized to better fit into my design.
This nursery started with the gray Sparrow crib from Oeuf that I had choose whether I was having a Hudson or a Olivia. Second came the fabric, a F.Schumacher called Zeynatta Mondatta. Actually the fabric came years before, as it was a sample I held on to from my D&D Building fabric trips. I just had to have it but didn’t know what I would ever do with it, it was fate! I ran across it one day going through tear sheets and files and I instantly knew I’d found the inspiration for his room. In designing his bedding I had an allowance on how much of the zig zag fabric I was going to invest in, it was a very expensive fabric and luckily a fellow interior designer was able to get her hands on a yard sample for me (perks of the trade) and that helped out a bunch with the cost. In sourcing the other fabric locally in North Carolina I was tipped on a gem of a fabric store in the middle of nowhere. Mary Jo’s in Gastonia, NC, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I went there and it takes a lot to impress me. After the foundation theme and colors were decided, I started with product research and created an inspiration board and a board for his bedding design. I was proud to show them off at our baby shower, it was the only way for people to know what we were up to.
Here’s how his nursery came together:
- To make the bumper I went to several baby boutiques to inspect the custom designs that were displayed. I took a hundred measurements of my crib and every bumper I ran across and I spoke with other designers about how they specify construction to workrooms.
- The quilt is composed of minky on one side and heavier weight fabrics on the other, its meant to be more of a top piece, decorative quilt.
- The owl applique is hand embroidered.
- The crib sheet (and later a pillowcase) was made from a twin sheet in just the right aqua color from Bed Bath and Beyond.
- The tab top drapery was modeled after another window panel my daughter has (super easy project).
- The rug is faux fur that I stitched heavy weight canvas to the back so that it would lay flat!
- We paid homage to Hudson’s namesake with artwork of a subway map of NYC, it was from a calendar that we already had and it was just the right colors.
- The RAR rocker was on my list of must have chairs (being obsessed with designer chairs), but I was on the fence whether to go with a color or white. White won for future versatility as it often does, but I also really love white furniture.
- His mobile was from CB2 but I had to paint a few of the pieces blue.
- The Koppang dresser is an Ikea Hack, customed painted in a Ben Moore oil paint that was an exact match to the Ouef crib.
- Its fun to stumble upon something that you know is just perfect: the Foo Dog bookends are from target, the FADO ball lamp from Ikea, the Where the Wild Things Are pillow is from Urban Outfitters and my husband insisted on having an Ugly doll.
- The paint is Laura Ashley-Apple 6 from Lowes
- The initial frame is another project of mine that I will talk about soon
- Newspaper tree canvases – modge podge, paint and newspaper, check out how I made these here
Lastly to be decided were in his room were the canvases. As you can imagine I had a lot on my plate making the bedding and in the back of my mind I had an idea for newspaper trees but I just couldn’t get to it before he was born. The canvases and (as well as few other items) were completed a few weeks after we brought Hudson home but he’ll never know we didn’t have everything ready for him!
Just a few weeks before Hudson was born my sister photographed me and incorporated his special fabric. Now a year and a half later she photographs a lot of people. You can check out her site www.capturedbyjes.blogspot.com
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
I’ve been experimenting with canvases for about a year, for this project I did a complete decopauge with scrapbook paper and acrylic paint. These canvases were birthday gifts for the daughters of friends. I used their existing bedroom bedding, pictured to the right, as my inspiration for style and color. The initial is hand drawn and painted, but I enlarged and traced embroidery patterns to make the letters look more unique..