Archive for Showers

Cake Pops!

I love cute party treats and cake pops are one of the items I’ve been trying to perfect.

Ever since Bakerella starting showcasing the cute little goodies on her blog, I’ve been attempting to learn the ins-and-outs of the entire process. Believe me, there is more of a learning curve than one might think!

Below are some of the examples of the pops I’ve made in the past year. Not only did I love making these for my friends, I also enjoyed stretching my mind to come up with creative ways to display them.

It’s a Boy! pops for my friends Heather and Alex. I made these to share at our Bible study group before baby Owen arrived. I was able to score a green picket fence display rack from Hobby Lobby for free! The styrofoam base works perfectly for displaying cake pops.

I also made some cake balls (minus the stick), just to give that a try. YUM!

This set of cake pops was created for my friend Mandy’s birthday party. She invited all her friends over to dreadlock her hair, and I knew the occasion called for chocolate and sprinkles!

Mandy is an amazing writer, so I wrapped a plastic container with fabric covered with words. I added a green stripey ribbon and a cork-board M.

To help the cake pops stand upright in the container, I filled it with dark chocolate and white chocolate chips.

These cake pops were made for my SIL’s baby shower. A baby girl, could you guess?! :) It was fun playing around with different combinations of sprinkles and decorations. Again, the display was from Hobby Lobby (free), with a coat of pink paint and a sparkly tulle bow.

I failed to get a shot of the last batch of cake pops I made. They were for a wedding shower, and I made round ones and also tried my hand at shaped ones. Hearts. Not as easy as I anticipated.

I only took the best-looking pops to the shower. These were the “defects” left behind to be consumed by my family. ;)

This photo shows a couple of the things that I need more practice to perfect…funky-shaped hearts and cracked candy coating (and there are so many variables that can cause cracked coating, argh!)

But, considering that Bakerella herself only ever shows 5-10 pops at a time, I’m sure even she has at least a few duds in every batch of 48. :)

 

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Mum’s the Word

If you want to make some impressive-looking cookies without slaving away in the kitchen all day, here’s an idea for you!

First, you’ll need the cookies themselves. Cut your cookie dough using either a circle-shaped or flower-shaped cutter and bake according to the directions.

Next, grab a bag of miniature marshmallows and some colored sugar. Place the sugar (I used orange, yellow, and hot pink) in shallow bowls. Grab a scissors and cut each mini marshmallow diagonally, allowing the cut side to land in the bowl of sugar.

The sticky side that is exposed from the cutting will get covered in sugar (though you may have to dab each one in the sugar a little bit to make sure they get as covered as possible.

Each marshmallow half becomes a ‘petal’ and how many you need will depend on the size of your cookies.

Next, frost your cookies one at a time. I used royal icing for these particular ones and did the outline/flooding method.

Once you have a cookie covered in icing, start sticking on the marshmallow petals. I like to begin around the outside edge and work my way towards the middle, but you might find a different method you like better. Feel free to experiment! This is supposed to be fun! :)

Repeat the process, one cookie at a time, until your batch is complete. Arrange on a pretty platter and prepare to awe your friends!

Another idea for decorating cookies, is to use nuts. I had some extra sugar cookies, but no more marshmallows, so I scoured my cupboards to see what I could find. The result: slivered almonds and candy-coated sunflower seeds (from a local bulk candy shop).

For these cookies, I covered the tops in a dark chocolate ganache instead of icing. I then placed the almond “petals” around the outer edge and filled in the center space with the seeds.

Decorating cookies couldn’t be easier! People will tell you how beautiful they are and you will know how simple they really are to put together! ;)

I See London, I See France…

A friend emailed me a photo of some cookies entitled “When Men Bake”…ha!

I printed the picture and used it as inspiration to create some memorable cookies for a friend’s bachelorette party/personal shower.

I called up one of the other bridesmaids, and we spent an evening chopping the tops off of heart-shaped cookies, piping and flooding designs with royal icing, and giggling. A LOT.

The photos don’t do them justice, but you can see we worked very hard to make some unique undies.

My favorites were the “sets” that we displayed on this white platter. Too cute!

Who knew cookies could be naughty? ;)

Memory Books

Perhaps you remember the photo album I made for my niece, Ensley Grace last year.

Well, 2011 saw the addition of more little babies into our extended family. It was only fair that they get their very own memory books, too!

Today’s post is a showcase of the baby photo albums I’ve made this year.

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My newest nephew, Ethan Craig, was born on August 3. Let me tell you, boyish fabric is hard to find!! Even the prints that are blues and greens are usually paisleys or florals. Then there’s camouflage and trucks, but there’s not really any fabrics in between the two extremes. That said, I was able to find a geometric patterned one for Ethan’s album.

I just love these circular letters! They worked so well with this fabric, too!

Despite the fact that this album is for a boy, I couldn’t resist adding a little bling to the spine. :)

Black ribbon ties hold the memories inside.

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Niece Madilyn Rose arrived on October 21st…the first girl in a household of three older brothers! As you can imagine, her mommy was excited to finally have a baby to dress inĀ  frilly, girly PINK things!

Her book was ultra-girly as well. Lots of pinks…the letter brads, the tie ribbons, and the rhinestones!

The inside pages were a fun orange-sherbet color. I LOVE how this turned out with the outside pattern. This book may be one of my favorite combos that I’ve done. In fact, I liked the cover fabric so much I bought extra yardage so I can use it again in future projects.

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In addition to the books I made for our family members, I was also hired to design books for other people’s loved ones.

This gender-neutral jungle book was created for a grandma to house all her photos of her grandkids.

The inside paste pages were chocolate brown, and each page held 4×6 photos, 2-up.

The spine was made of reinforced Davy board wrapped in leafy cardstock. The two patterns complemented each other perfectly!

Ahh, the memories that will be contained in these pages. Makes my heart smile just thinking about it.

Photo albums are among my most prized possessions. I treasure the memories they contain and I would love to make a one-of-a-kind album for someone special in your life! Email me for more details.

Shower for Arica

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE hosting parties and showers?! Well, I do! So you can imagine my excitement when my sister had her first baby and my aunts and I could start planning a shower!

My sister Arica is very eco-minded and I had great ideas for her shower based on that ‘theme’. I wanted the decor to be very natural and earthy, so I began with a limited color palette (brown, white, and green, plus some subtle blue accents).

I created large and small paper pinwheels, as well as double-sided circular cutouts that spelled “DANE”. I knew my sister would love that her decor could either be reused or recycled, rather than thrown in the trash. ((In fact, she did take it home after the party and put it up in Dane’s nursery!))

Rather than playing the typical (read: wasteful) shower games like “Guess what kind of melted candy bar is in this diaper” (yuck!), we opted to do more sentimental, lasting activities.

We bought this plant, a green charger, silver Sharpies, and black river stones. Each guest was asked to share advice or a prayer that would help Arica navigate her journey through motherhood. Then, they wrote a one word summary on the rock and placed it in the dish around the plant. It was so neat to see the variety of advice: humor, joy, patience, perspective, wonder, wisdom, etc.

Everybody knows that the FOOD TABLE is a big draw for a lot of shower guests. :) And, since that happens to be one of my favorite parts, I planned out things that not only fit the theme, but thrilled my sister as well. We had a variety of healthy snacks as well as sweet treats. Could fruits and veggies be more “earthy”?! :)

Despite loving healthy snacks, I also love SUGAR! :) And…sugar happens to be one of my favorite media for designing. The following cookies were probably my favorite detail from the shower.

I got this baby bottle drying rack at my own baby shower last summer and thought it would fit perfectly with our theme. I also had some lollipop sticks and wired silk leaves from a past project, so all I needed to do was bake and decorate the cookies!

This particular design was my favorite:

Though this one was pretty neat, too. It was fun coming up with all the different color combos and details for them.

Marigold, perhaps?

In addition to the cookie lollies, I also made some bagged cookies that guests could take home as favors.

Arica: So excited to watch you develop as a mom. It’s been a wild year for the two of us hasn’t it?! Beau is so lucky to have a cousin like Dane, and I am lucky to have a sister like you! Thanks for letting me plan your special day! Love you!