Monday, January 31, 2011

Busy, busy!

Life at Cupcakes and Lemonade has really started to pick up and I am thrilled!   I LOVE being busy!  Now that the girls party is over, I am really looking forward to getting some new designs up and running, lots of cute things in the works.  I have a few custom parties coming up in the next few months too.    Here's a few things that I have been working on.  Enjoy!

Give away for a Silent Auction basket for the girls Spring Fair at school

Favor tags for Oh Baby Shower

                                              Signs for centerpieces


And an adorable birthday party invite with matching thank you notes for a sweet 5 year old little girl

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Goldfish Soap Tutorial

I have had so many people email me and ask me about how to make the goldfish soap that I made for the girls birthday party.  When I first decided to give these as a prize for the carnival games, I knew that I didn't want to be that mom who sent each child home with a LIVE fish.  The soaps were the perfect solution!  They are so easy to make and the kids loved them.

Goldfish in a bag are pretty easy to make, but there are lots of little things that you can do to ease the frustration and get perfect fishies.
I wanted mine to look very “I just won this at a carnival,” so I took the extra time to use wire to position the fish, and also to make sure the soap hangs while it cools so there are no sharp edges to take away from the illusion of “wow, it’s a bag full of water…with a fish!” Tie it with a cute little matching ribbon and you have the most adorable favor!
Ingredients and Equipment:
Melt and pour soap, extra clear (I found mine at Michaels)
Vinyl/plastic goldfish (You can order from Oriental Trading Company)
Plastic bags, 8 inches x 2.5 inches
10 inch lengths of wire, fairly thick but still bendable. (Floral wire will work)
Very small cup or bowl
2 cup Pyrex with pouring spout
Rubbing alcohol in spray bottle
Twisty ties or ribbon
Chip clips or clothespins
A place to hang your soaps while cooling (I hung mine on a wire basket in my kitchen)
1.   Prepare your goldfish by sticking the wire all the way through your fish tail. Push the wire through the hole with about an inch sticking out underneath the bottom of the fish. Curve it slightly up towards the fish body.

2. Fold down the top 4 inches or so of the bag onto the outside. This is to prevent making a mess of soap on the inside of the upper lengths of the bag when you pour it. Prop it up inside a small cup or bowl to keep it from moving while you pour the soap.
3. Cut your soap into small cubes and place about 3.5 ounces by weight into the Pyrex dish. I just used a small food scale that we had lying around. Microwave (15-20 sec stirring after each session. Do not fully melt the soap, and definitely do not boil it! When it is mostly melted with just few small chunks left, remove from microwave and stir until fully melted. Do not get it too hot because the bags will melt! This happened to me! It gets hot really quick!

4. Pour your melted soap into the bag and then spray the surface with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the bubbles. Put your wired fish into the bag and spray for bubbles again if you need to.

5. Pull the sides of the bag up carefully and twist the top a couple of times, then close with a twisty tie. The wire will still be sticking out the top. Move the wire around so that the fish is positioned how you like it and make sure the wire end is not pressed up against side of bag. It can pop a hole in it and soap will leak out ever so slowly. Try not to mess with it too much. As soon as you have a position you like leave it alone. It’s possible to pull the wire out accidentally and it just makes the kids sad when their fish is bellyup (then again, that might be a really funny selling point). I just try to get it where the fish is floating somewhere in the middle of the bag and try to make him as straight as possible.

6. Take your clothes pin or chip clip and attach the bag to some kind of handle or something that will let the fish dangle. This is to keep the “bag shaped” edges of the soap. If you set it on the counter it will have one flat edge and not look like it is really a bag full of water.
7. After the soap is set up, gently pull the wire out of the soap and the fish. I let mine set for about 30 minutes. This is best to do before it is completely cool. If you pull it out when the fish is set well but the soap is still a bit soft, the wire won’t leave a track. If you wait too long (like I did with one of these) there will be a bit of a mark where the wire was in the soap.

8. And you’re done! Tie a cute ribbon and favor tag around the bag and get ready to watch all the kids scream with excitement!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Amazing Talent

When my twins were 18 months old, my hubby and I FINALLY decided that it would be OK to leave them for a night and go out.  No one else had ever put them to bed at night except for us and no one had ever even watched them for more than a few hours except family, until we met Marissa.   There was an instant connection and the girls love her as much as she loves them.   Long story short, over the last 2 ½ years, she has become family. 

Marissa graduated from art school last summer and has started getting her portfolio together and working on getting her name out there.   She has drawn and painted several things for the girls over the years and to say she is talented is an understatement.    She told me that she wanted to paint a picture of Finley and could I send her a photo that she could use.    I knew it would be amazing, but I had no idea what to expect.   I will let you decide for yourself.   Here’s the picture I sent her:

And here is what she sent me in return:

Isn’t it absolutely beautiful?  I was completely floored! Being able to paint like this is just pure talent!

Check out Marissa’s Etsy shop.  She is running a special right now and is doing only 10 commissioned paintings.   You HAVE to own one!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Amazing Valentines Giveaway!

I have been a fan of The Twinery for a long time!  There are so many cute things you can do with twine.  Those of you who know me know how much I LOVE ribbon, but I have recently found a new love for twine.  It's so simple, yet makes such a statement.  I used it in a lot of different places in the girls Vintage Circus party.

With that said, The Twinery is having the most amazing Valentines give away I have seen yet.  You have to check it out!  Oh, and did I mention the FAB new colors?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Vintage Circus Birthday Party

when the girls asked for a circus birthday party last year, i got so excited.  how much fun was this going to be!  vintage circus with a girly twist.  i envisioned lots of red, hot pink and turquoise, tutus, ribbon and anything and everything frilly!  Polka daises created the most adorable dresses and those became my inspiration for this party.

i had a lot of ideas and asked jess from party box design to help me with my vision.  she created an adorable invite that set the theme for the party.  this was to be a true circus extravaganza!
kory of b chase photography captured all the special moments and took the most amazing pictures.

to highlight the area where the birthday girls would sit i tied LOTS of ribbons and added a mini pompom to their chairs.  the ribbons were a mixture of satin, organza and grosgrain and all different widths.  it was adorable!

the dessert table was so much fun to create!   i used a remnant of blue/white polka dot fabric that i found at IKEA.  if you have never shopped there, put it on your list.  they have really heavy duty fabric at amazing prices.  i covered that with a pink tablecloth and pulled up the sides with ribbon to create the ballooned look of a circus tent.  i created a fabric backdrop with paper mache letters that i spray painted turquoise to say the word "CIRCUS".   on the white wall behind the table, i hung ruffled streamers made by the true superchick herself, genevieve.

the treats were so yummy!  allyson jane made the tent sugar cookies and trust me, they were just as cute as they were beautiful.  she also scanned the party circles i created and made cookies with those too.  sweeties by kim provided the polka dot chocolate covered oreos and the oreo pops.  these were such a hit with the little ones.   i made popcorn cupcakes for the table and our babysitter, marissa made each one of the birthday girls their own personal XL cupcake that we decorated with a mini bunting with their names on it.   we had lots of pink and turquoise candy in glass jars from my favorite store, Home Goods and even had some taffy wands from kate landers.   caramel apples were devoured early on in the party!

each one of the guests picked up a white gable box when they entered the party.  it was full of all kinds of circus treats and tickets to play games at all the booths.  when they "won" the games, they received a gold coin which they could later turn in for a prize of their choice.  the kids had the chance to play lots of games, ring toss, bean bag toss, stryker just to name a few.  we had a spin art station that they could paint and of course, the bounce house!  i didn't want to be that parent who sent home kids with a live goldfish, so i made goldfish soaps to hand out as prizes when they played the ping pong toss.  we had a photo booth that i made from foam board and some whimsical polka dot fabric.  i had a basket with lots of props to dress up.  it was a hit!  i think everyone, young and old LOVED getting their face painted by Shari, she did an amazing job!

we served true circus food, hot dogs and pizza!  i decorated the water bottles with adorable labels from charlotte at the paper cupcake.  if you are a local, pizza was from GT pizza, YUMMY!  i found the glass  bottles of coke and stuck turquoise/white and hot pink/white paper straws in each one.  we had a popcorn machine and even cotton candy going during the entire party.

i wrapped the kids table in turquoise and white wrapping paper and decorated each one with a popcorn centerpiece.  the adult tables had clear glass vases that i wrapped with tickets and stuffed full of bright pink carnations.   cute idea from party box design that added so much pop to the tables!

this party was many months in the making!  i could not have done it without the help of many fabulous ladies.  thanks so much!  it was busy, but so worth it to see the smiles on all the kids faces and how happy it made my three beautiful birthday girls.

Vendor Credits:
Invites, Ideas and Inspiration:  Party Box Design
Party Circles, Signs and Banner:  Cupcakes and Lemonade
Taffy Wands:  Kate Landers Events
Sugar Cookies:  Allyson Jane
Oreos and Oreo Pops:  Sweeties by Kim
Ruffled Streamers:  Celebrate Today the Superchick Way
Water Bottle Labels:  The Paper Cupcake
Face Painting: Shari Kramer
Photography:  B Chase Photography
Birthday girls dresses:  Polka Daisies

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's Almost Show Time

i can't believe first of all that finley is going to be two years old on friday!  where has the last two years gone? and then at the end of the month, preslee and mason are going to be four!  that is really hard to swallow for this mommy.  so, in celebration of them and all that they are to me, we are having the party to end all parties on saturday.  a vintage circus party with a very girly twist!  stay tuned for lots of pics and links to some amazing vendors.  thanks ahead of time to them, i couldn't have pulled it off without you!  here are some teasers!