Saturday, January 26, 2013

Baker Hats

Every aspiring pastry chef requires a suitable hat, don't you think? Well, after seeing some adorable hats embellished with coffee filter and cupcake paper flowers, I knew our little bakers would definitely be needing those! You can actually buy disposable paper chef hats pretty inexpensively online or even purchase nice cloth ones; but, unlike the aprons I wasn't brave enough to make myself, I knew this was a project I could definitely handle. Afterall, I can't resist a great tissue paper craft! THIS tutorial is easy to follow, if you want to make one for a little chef in your life.

With some pretty alphabet stickers I found at Michaels, I personalized the hats ahead of time and set one at each placesetting. Not to leave their American Girl dolls out, I made hats for the four of them, too!

Following the advice of the girls from One Charming Party, I pre-glued the coffee filters and let the girls choose from a fun assortment of cupcake liners to customize their hats when they got here.

They each chose four regular size wrappers and three mini wrappers to make their flowers.

For the doll hats, I simply used white cupcake liners and the girls picked out two cupcake papers and three mini muffin papers for the center.

After we let all the flowers dry a bit, we "fluffed" them up and I hot-glued each of their beautiful creations onto their hats to make sure they stayed put. How cute!!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Apron Strings

Yesterday, I showed you two parties I drew a ton of inspiration from. The little aprons made by the creative mom at Cookie Mondays were just something I couldn't get out of my head. Over Thanksgiving, Shimmer and I finally got her sewing machine out of the box (it's been almost three years since we gave it to her... mom of the year, I know). Anyway, in the early stages of planning her tenth birthday party, I was feeling pretty optimistic and thought maybe I could whip out four adorable little half aprons for the girls. I searched for the perfect material a few times online, but started to think better of this ambition when I considered the time and frustration I might encounter along the way, especially if I wanted to make the dolls matching aprons. I decided to focus on what I do best -- paper crafts and planning the details -- and let someone else do the aprons. Another few evenings curled up on the couch, this time on etsy, looking for the perfect little girl and doll aprons. This was no easy feat, since I am so particular!

While searching for the perfect aprons, I remembered pinning one quite some time ago for Shimmer made by anthropologie.

I looked it up to find that it was called "the sewing basket apron" and actually was available in mommy and little girl sizes! It even turns out that one of the little girls in the One Charming Party baking photos is also wearing that same apron!

Ok, now I must have these aprons for Shimmer and I. It would just be the perfect gift to remember her 10th birthday, and the vintage details of the apron make it keepsake quality. When I went online to anthropologie, I was super excited to see they still sold them... only to be saddened to find out that the little girl style was on backorder until February -- too late. Not to be deterred, I found that the apron was listed as "in stock" at a store near my mom. She went right out after work that night, but they didn't have one afterall, and the girl at the store said it was a new product and wouldn't be available until February. I knew that couldn't be totally accurate, since I had seen it on One Charming Party, and read reviews on anthropologie of people who bought and loved the apron. Back to the drawing board...

In the meantime, I found a wonderful seller, Mandy, on etsy who makes reversible little girls aprons (big enough for a 10 year old, and not just a 3 or 4 year old) and matching doll aprons, too! She welcomed custom orders, letting me choose my own fabric if it was available at the Hobby Lobby near her. Even though I wasn't sure that I would be able to get the anthro apron for Shimmer, I wanted to choose fabrics that would coordinate well and match the bright color scheme of our party. Fell in LOVE with Hobby Lobby's Songbird fabric (just a gorgeous pattern and perfect colors) and chose their Squash Blossom Swirls fabric for the reverse. Mandy used a fun polka dot ribbon for the apron strings and went above and beyond my expectations, sewing and sending these aprons faster than you can imagine! Please visit her shop, Creations by ftweetmom, on etsy for your daughters and dolls. Shimmer was so excited when the aprons arrived, she didn't know I had been planning this, and we couldn't wait to surprise her friends and their dolls when they came to her party!!!

I pinned a pretty silk rose on each of the girls aprons, and on the day of the party, we hung them on our barstools to await the girls arrival.

Are you wondering about the anthro aprons??? I said I was determined. I ended up calling another store and they had the little girl's apron in stock and shipped it to me. They didn't have my size though, so I ordered that online. They both arrived in plenty of time for the party. I kept them a secret until shortly before Shimmer's friends were due to arrive.

Am I the only one who gets excited about finding the perfect wrapping paper and/or gift bag to go with a gift or a party theme???

While I was out gathering party supplies, I found this yellow print wrapping paper and pretty gift bag at Home Goods. I wrapped the anthro apron in cupcake tissue paper and the yellow giftwrap, tieing it up with a turquoise ribbon, and trimming with a fun little pampered chef wooden spoon for the birthday girl, that I found in our kitchen drawer. Presentation is more than half the fun around here ;)

Shimmer loved her new apron and wore it for days after the party.

My mom surprised me too, by buying me a set of matching oven mitts to go with our aprons. The girls looked lovely in their etsy aprons, and we loved being able to send them home with such a fun favor for them and their dolls!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


So... before I post the details from Shimmer's birthday party, I thought I would credit two of the parties from which I drew most of my inspiration. I may have a reputation for creating beautiful parties, but I want to give credit where credit is due. I spent many an evening curled up on the couch, after the kids were in bed, surfing my favorite website, Pinterest, for party ideas. I started taking mental notes; but, soon I had so many ideas, that I needed to make physical lists to keep my thoughts organized!

Before we ever decided on the baking theme, I had pinned THIS party I fell in love with by Cookie Mondays almost a year ago.

photo credit: Cookie Mondays - March 2011

The aprons and cupcake liner garlands she made were just the cutest! Her cupcake papers were purchased from a shop called BakeItPretty. Turns out, they have a blog, called One Charming Party, and THIS is where she got the idea.

photo credit: One Charming Party as featured on Amy Atlas - November 2010

Best I can tell, they came up with this adorable theme! Please visit both blogs, if you get the chance, and see all their creative genius at work.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You're Invited!

Shimmer and I started talking about themes for her 10th birthday party back in December. Just in the last year, she has gotten interested in the American Girl dolls... saving up in 2011 and buying her first one herself! So... she knew she wanted to include her doll. We considered going with a sewing and baking theme. There are a couple really cute parties out there on Pinterest to "pattern" one after; but, in the end, we decided it would probably be better to focus on one of the two ideas -- and we chose... baking!

We made our own invitations this year, using kraft paper and ribbon I had on hand, and pretty papers she had in an American Girl scrapbook pad.

We saw THESE on etsy and decided it would be more personal to do them ourselves and that way we could also customize them with our own colors. Shimmer was only inviting three friends (I like to keep parties small to be more intimate and I can afford to do nicer favors that way); but, I ended up making six invites including a keepsake for her, and one for my mom and sister who were going to be in town for the party.

I found the basic wording for the invite on another etsy baking party invite.

To up the cute factor, instead of a plain old envelope, I had a few pink treat bags leftover from her Love Potion #9 party last year (I'll post those pictures soon in time for Valentine's Day inspiration). We folded doilies over the top and closed them with baker's twine, of course! Added a cute little "open me" tag I found on Martha Stewart and a pretty cupcake liner flower we made to build some excitement for her party!

I think it worked!!!

Wouldn't you like to be invited :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hello world...

Sorry to be out of blog world for so long... it's been almost a month! I spent the holidays making memories with my family, and I have plenty of things to share with you about how our Christmas turned out and how our new year has started. I'll be catching up some of those details for your reading pleasure and my journaling purposes over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, those that know me well, know that Shimmer is celebrating her 10th birthday this month and that is another reason for my absence from blogging. Parties are my passion, and being a milestone this year, I spent most of my waking hours the last several weeks planning her party. I'll be posting all of the details over the next week or so... you won't want to miss any of it!