A little bird told me........... this is what inspired me to create my niece Jasmine's birthday party a few weeks ago. I love, LOVE Tasha's work from A little sweetness, this lady truly inspires me and I loved working with her gorgeous art to create my nieces party. It was perfect for what I had in mind for a 2 year old's birthday. Tasha sells all sorts of gorgeous goodies, but beware, once you are in her shop you won't be able to leave!!
My biggest dilema was that Jasmine's birthday is only 3 short days from Christmas, I wanted a birthday theme that could be used for Christmas (I wanted to re-use a lot of the birthday elements) without Jasmine's birthday being too "Christmassy". I uhmmed and ahhhed a lot over the colour scheme, should it be green and red, no I want pink and green, it drove me to distraction. After doing some "homework" I was inspired by Amy Atlas's Wedding library dessert table I love the soft colours Amy used and the feather details on the table. I chose pale blue, red, white and natural because I already had some of the bird elements at home and I felt the colours were nice and fresh for our hot Ozzy sun.
This is my favourite food item on the table, "chicks on sticks" inspired by Bakerella's Spring Chicken pops. Some other foods were "worms" (sausages), "crows feet" (choc covered pretzels), "twigs" (bread sticks), "Magpies" (Aussie mini pies), "bird nests" (mini meringue with malteser eggs) and "Polly's crackers" (Sesame cracker biccies)
Since the party would consist only of 6 children I didn't want a huge dessert table instead I opted for something smaller like the antique drawer unit, chair and stand combo above. It worked quite well I think, even thought I was very nervous the week before I kept thinking this is NOT going to work and nearly canned the whole idea about 3 times lol
I didn't have much time till the party so I bought my bird gingerbread cookies from Dolls at the mount, not only were they yummy but they looked cute too. I hung some bird cookies from the branches above the table and some I popped under the glass dome (to keep them fresh).
The birthday cake was inspired by the invitation designed by Tasha, a lovely chocolate buttercream sponge covered in white chocolate fondant. The bird and mushroom topper I made to match Tasha's bird drawing, isn't it cute? I love it! Instead of ribbon I covered the bottom of the cake with feathers.
The chidren drank "GOOSEberry" juice from vintage bottles with custom a little sweetness bottle lables and cute stripey straws.
How cute are these cupcakes, I've always loved Natasha Collins from Amelie's House and was inspired by her Rockin Robin cupcakes. The toppers are made from edible fondant paper (using Tasha's bird drawing) and the vanilla butttercream cupcakes are encased in Kat and Nat's famous bird cupcake wrappers (from The Cupcake wrapper co)
On the main table I popped a white tablecloth on which I attached a feather boa. The eating bowls were mini baskets (like nests) and I popped the bird house boxes inside which are treat boxes but also served as name place cards.
Above the table I suspended some bird garlands made from twine, scrap ribbon and cardboard birds painted in blue, white, red and some left natural.
Here are my bird house treat boxes (inspired by Torie Jayne's gingerbread house) ready to go home with the party guests (see tutorial below) Each one is made using cardboard and fabric scraps I had lying around the house , bargain! You can also view my photo's on my FACEBOOK page.
So for the birdy party I was after some super cute yet unique treat boxes, I didn't want to spend a lot of money and wanted something I could do with my children so I came up with this cute idea. I downloaded a birdy house template from Torie Jayne's blog (thanks Torie), made a carboard template and traced 6 box shapes (since I needed 6 treat boxes) (see above photo)
and drew 6 x seperate rooves.
Then I cut out all the boxes and rooves
and traced the same pattern on some scrap fabric to cover my walls and rooves.
laying the cardboard cutout flat against the fabric I glued down the top of the eaves and the walls, I left the sides open since I would be sewing them together anyway. I scored the floor (square you can see in the middle of my cardboard cutout above) lightly with some scissors so they would bend along the fold more easily.
I then glued some felt to each of my rooves.
Now fold the walls up so they meet and using blanket stitch sew them together (the raw fabric edges are folded in as you can see above)
Your house will now look like this, you can trim the fabric back on the inside but I left it for tutorial purposes, you won't see it anyway once the roof is in place.
Now cut out some black felt circles to stick on the front of your birdy house (as the hole) I blanket stitched around mine to make them neater.
Glue the circle on the front of the birdy house and glue one side of the roof down leaving the other end open. Once you've filled your house with treats you can close the roof by tying a ribbon around the house and roof (see my blogpost above to see what I mean)
This is a lovely sample wedding cake I did as a tester. Colours were ivory, creamy gold and pale pink with pearl highlights. I love the soft colours and simplicity of this design.
Here is a close up of the the rose, I can see the shimmer from the the pearl dust I used on the tips of the petals.
Here are some matching cupcakes to go with the cake, it was just a sample box of 6 flavours and I experimented with some of my new impression mats. The birds were hand cut and handpainted, still haven't found an appropriate cutter I like yet. The other designs were inspired by the lovely Kylie Lambert who's cupcakes are AMAZING.
I finally had a chance to bake and decorate a giant cupcake this week, boy did I have fun!!! I was lucky that the giant cupcake 3D pan was on sale at Myer a few weeks ago since I didn't fancy carving up a cake from scratch. Using the design from the Planet Cake book as my guide I covered an orange butter sponge cake (filled with orange buttercream) with some jaffa flavoured white choc fondant and proceeded to decorate to my hearts content. This birthday was Tinkerbell themed so I had to make a Tinkerbell figurine holding a paint brush since the birthday girl loves to paint.
Isn't she cute? I didn't try to replicate Tinkerbell limb for limb, I just used her as a guide and simplified her facial details.
Everything was edible, including the cherry on top which was make from red fondant given a super shine finish with my edible flower glaze (I love that stuff!!)
Ok, I have to admit I found this request difficult, really, really, REALLY difficult. Last year my good friend Sel asked me to make this painting for a very special family member. Her request was a characture family portrait, no problem I said, easy I thought, if I can paint portraits and seascapes surely I can paint charactures right? HA! I was wrong, you see I am a realist, a thorough, anal, draw every detail kinda realist, I see it I draw it even to my high school art teacher's dismay. I sucked at abstract art and could never create anything by just using the object's colour or shape. So when I started on this painting I tried so hard to keep the subject simple and cartoonish that I lost the character of each person, I struggled, vented, chucked a tanty, tore my hair out, almost gave up about 15 times and drew the intial sketch a further 8 times before Sel and I were happy with the final design. Then I ummmmed and ahhhed, procrastinated, dug my heels in for a further few weeks before getting the courage to put the design on canvas. I was petrified I'd stuff it up, I think I tested the background colour 3 times, and did some mini colour versions before I finally took the plunge and started the painting. To my surprise I enjoyed painting it, I came across no hiccups, and ever the pesimist kept my triump under wraps right till the last stroke was complete. Am I happy with the result, heck yes! Will I be doing this again, heck no!! lol
This is what I was busy completing for this weekend, a lovely Spiderman cake. Thank goodness I had the foresight to make the figurines two weeks ago, hot and humid weather + a very hectic schedule gave me very little time to do anymore figurines. This is a super moist choc mud cake with choc buttercream icing, the walls of the cake were a mixture of white choc fondant and Nestle milk chocolate (yum). The only thing not edible were the 2 cars I popped on the board at the last minute. I had a scary moment the night before where the hot weather played havoc with my milk choc walls, they kept going soft and wanting to break yikes!!! Thankfully the weather cooled down and I was able to complete the walls and cake, even if it was at 1.30am in the morning :-(
I made the spider webs from melted white chocolate, a template, some grease proof paper and a piping tip. Once they were dry I just peeled them off and "glued" them to the cake using more chocolate. Did I mention that the cake weighed a tonne? I nearly killed my back carrying it to the car!!
Its been another very busy weekend with 3 cakes completed by today. This lovely castle cake was for a very good friend of mine who's daughter just turned 1. Although very time consuming (I was up till 11pm last night finishing it off) it was a fantastic cake to make. I love the rabbit and frog Prince the most, they look adorable. The cake was just plain butter cake with strawberry buttercream frosting and covered in white choc fondant.
This weekend I also completed a footy cake for a 6 yr old boy, he's an avid Kangaroo supporter so I made the cake based on the footy field with 2 players. The cake was chocolate mud with chocolate buttercream icing, yummmmmmm.
Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa & Po, yes I know ALL their names lol Although not one of my favourite TV shows (the non talking annoys me) it was a fun cake to make. The figurines took me ages to make and they were quite difficult to make, well not their bodies, just their faces were a bit tricky but I managed in the end. My favourite character was the baby sun, I made him with flower modelling paste using a template I drew on some cardstock and used edible colour pastes, water and chalks to draw his face.
I loved doing this cute mini Babushka cake, its actually a gift for a friend who loves Babuska dolls. Cake is just simple butter cake with toffee buttercream icing, nothing flash but I know its a safe bet that my friend will like it ;-) I handpainted all the details onto the fondant with edible paste and my cake paint brushes.
This weekend I completed yet another baked cheesecake, this time the flavour was lemon with lemon white choc panels. I loved the colour combination of yellow, pink and orange, very spring like. Time for a breather, I am bushed!
The 3rd cake for this weekend was this gorgeous Spongebob cake. I had so much fun making him, my fav being Spongebob, Squidward and Gary the snail. A lot of work went into this cake, all up I spent every day for the past two weeks doing all the figurines. The cake consisted of a 12' square marble chocolate cake filled with white choc buttercream while the pineapple was a white choc mud cake. The "sand" around the cake is royal icing mixed with brown caster sugar.
Close up of Spongebob, isn't he cute? I wanted him to hold the number 6 (also fondant) which was a bit tricky because the number kept falling over before the "sand" had time to dry.
Close up of Patrick starfish, he too was fun to make, everything once again is made from fondant.
Now to relax and put my feet up for a few days till my next request is due.
This was my 2nd cake completed for this weekend, the lovely Elmo. Its a 10" round double stacked and shaped coconut butter cake filled with coconut buttercream icing. I love Elmo but piping his fur was not so fun, it took me almost 3 hrs to complete his fur, by then my hand was cramping up lol Did I mention it took 2 kgs of icing and 2 x pots of Wilton red to make his fur? Yikes!! His eyes and nose are made from fondant and was the easiest part of the cake. I also had a hairy time transfering the cake onto the cakeboard without getting red icing everywhere, but it got done in the end.
This past week has been SUPER busy, I had 3 cake requests to complete, one for Saturday and two for today. This cake was for a little boys 1st birthday party yesterday. The mum gave me a Paper Eskimo invite (they have other matching items, so hop over to their website to have a look) and asked me to copy the design for the cake. I love balloons and the invite was soooo cute I couldn't resist, I am very happy with how it turned out. Cake was a double stacked 8' round butter cake filled with vanilla bean buttercream icing, yum.
I love the little rabbit sitting in the basket, how cute is he!
Wow, I just found out I was runner up to the Kate Landers Events party design comp I entered a few weeks ago, click HERE to see. We had to write a party design plan for a vintage 1930's - 1960's children's party, no photo's or drawing allowed, just written design up to 15 pages. I had so much fun writing out my ideas, it took ages lol The winner will have her party styled and featured at Kate's blog while elements will be taken from the runner's up designs and incorporated into the main design (with full credits) Its a huge honor for me as I LOVE Kate Lander's parties, she does the most AMAZING work I've ever seen.
I will be doing a mini version of the design I submitted for Kate for Annike's birthday in November, the only catch is I won't be able to share anything on here untill Kate has styled the winning party. Boo hoo, the price you pay for fame ROFL ;-) I don't mind, I'll wait patiently. Thank you Kate, I am completely stoked!
I've just completed this super yummy raspberry baked cheesecake topped with raspberry jelly sauce. The panels were made using white Nestle chocolate and flavoured raspberry and covered in dark chocolate swirls. It was a quick cake but I am still happy with how it turned out.
This weekend I made 30 cupcakes for a double 60th birthday celebration, I was told the couple liked green and blue so came up with the following colour combo. Half the cupcakes are french vanilla and the other half double chocolate, all the toppers were made from fondant.
I made a custom stand to match since it gave me a good excuse to use some of my Heather Bailey Pop Garden fabric ;-) I am quite happy with how they turned out, bright yet classy without being too "girly".
This is something else I've been busy with this month, a cute baby set for my friend Selina who gave birth to Pepper a few weeks ago. Selina's favourite colour is pink and she loves polka dots so I thought I'd combine the two and came up with the cute bunting for Pepper's room (fabric from Cath Kidston, Tanya Whelan and the dress print fabric is from A little sweetness) Everything was placed in the suitcase (from Baby's got style) and I painted the name to make it more personal (tag on suitcase is also from A little Sweetness). The pants are from Oobi and I loved them so much I made a matching applique for a white T-shirt I bought from Target.
I also loved this teddy, she came from Bed, Bath and Table but was naked so I made her this cute polka dress. I love the homemade look of this teddy, pity more soft toys don't look like this.
Today I met up with some lovely Melbourne friends for a catch up, my friend Selina gave birth to her daughter Pepper about 10 weeks ago and I wanted to give her a little gift as celebration. Selina has mentioned on several occasions that Pepper can be quite "grumpy", so I thought the crying cupcakes would be appropriate. If anyone has the Planet cake book (by Paris Cutler) then you would have seen these cupcakes before, I love the different expressions and wanted to make a batch. Here is my efforts, I am quite happy with how they turned out.