Saturday, January 31, 2015

Easy peasy Monster cupcakes

What a fun way to start the new year baking agenda. These monster cupcakes brought delight to a little boy turning 6. I really need to shout from the roof tops that these cupcakes are just sooooo easy!! I found these amazing Wilton edible eyes in BIG W (no less), and stuck them onto smarties with a dab of icing. The tips you need are fairly standard and also come from BIG W.  I chose to use Americolor gel pastes as they give vibrant colours and you only need a small amount. 

The main thing here is to just have fun. Get out your icing bags, whip up some buttercream frosting and squiggle and swirl your way all over these delightful kiddie cupcakes. I gave the left over icing and cupcakes to my children to decorate and they had a blast, especially my two year old! 



Sunday, January 18, 2015

Shabby Chic high tea party

Last year I had the honour of creating a high tea party for a group of sweet young ladies who wanted a fanciful afternoon tea together. A  shabby theme was chosen, with soft pink and green being the main colour scheme, with an added hint of lilac. 

The menu included Chicken and tarragon ribbon sandwiches, a summer fruit platter, and an array of homemade treats such as rose with french vanilla cupcakes, white chocolate covered Oreo cookies, lemon blossom sugar cookies and raspberry melting moments.

Each place setting was adorned with a pretty rose tea cup, linen napkin and surprise cookie for the guests. Personalised favour boxes contained a cupcake to take home and were topped with a handmade name tag. A little jar of mints was also given to each guest.

The table decorations were kept minimal, as I wanted the pretty tea cups and food to take centre stage. It doesn't really take much to create a beautiful table setting that can delight your guests. These sweet young ladies certainly enjoyed their spiffy afternoon tea! 



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

How to make your own vintage party invitations

Whenever I host a party, I always give a lot of thought to the invitations. This is the first contact your guests will have with your event and you want to lure them in with a dose of handmade gorgeousness. I know custom made printable invitations are all the go at the moment, and yes, they are lovely. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer the feel of ribbon, lace, pretty paper, string and buttons. By taking the time to create your own invitations, you are building a sense of anticipation in your guests and heightening their expectation that your event will be one to remember! 

The good news is that you can make beautiful invitations that suit the theme of your event, with a few simple materials and at a surprisingly low cost. They do take time, but if you love being crafty and enjoy spending a few quiet nights with paper and glue, then you will find the whole process quite simple and very relaxing.

1. Choose a theme and colour combination for your party.

Do you want your party to have a shabby chic feel to it with pretty pastels and lace, or a more formal, victorian and old world look? Perhaps a rustic, woody theme with burlap and brown paper?  Establishing your theme helps you to narrow down the colours  and patterns you want to use for the invitations, and makes it easier to continue them throughout the elements of your party.

2. Buy scrapbooking paper  and cardboard that matches your theme.

This is usually the first thing I do when making invitations. Sometimes I think I live at Spotlight. I am always there checking out their range of paper, ribbon, fabric and rummaging through the sale bins. It depends on the number of people you are inviting, but you won't need a whole lot of paper. I like buying the matching ranges of paper which complement each other. Buy plain cardboard to match.

Walking through Spotlight or Lincraft, base everything on this paper and see what you can find that goes well with it. Strips of lace, ribbons, string, oh and my favourite....buttons. Glorious buttons.

3. Buy white cardstock or pre made cards to decorate.

These square cards below were bought from Spotlight. I love them. You can get envelopes to match and they are very easy to decorate. Sometimes I just cut out a rectangle of white cardstock to use vertically for a simple invitation. Again, I cannot stress enough how inexpensive this is.

4. Decorate, decorate, decorate.

Now comes the fun part. Put the kids to bed, turn off the tv, put on some nice music and cut, paste and stitch to your hearts content. Make double sided scrapbooking tape your best friend. I  use this to stick most things on my cards. It has better adhesion and looks a lot neater. Again, buy it from Spotlight or Lincraft.

On the invitation below, I tea died some cheap paper doilies and stuck them around the card before tying it all up with ribbon and string. On the inside of the card, using double sided tape, I put a strip of lace over a  piece of printed see through paper which contained all of the party details.

5. Continue your theme throughout the party.

As you can see, I continued  the same elements from the invitations onto the table settings. These favour boxes were tied with the same string, ribbon, and lace, while the menu cards underneath were made with matching scrapbook paper.

There are many different ways to make beautiful invitations that don't cost the earth. Your guests will marvel at the detail and time invested in each unique invitation. They can be as simple as using a scrap of fabric and a button, or as elaborate and ornate as you like. The only limit is your imagination. Let me encourage you, when you are next planning that lovely tea party or baby shower, to do something special and make the invitations yourself. In our fast paced, computer dependant lives, I dare you to resist the generic email or Facebook invitation and surprise your guests with  beautifully hand made invitations that they will most likely keep for a long time......and I bet they will also take the time to rsvp you!