Taste The Rainbow

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With World Pride soon to be hosted in my fair home city and with our final meeting of the inter-school Gay-Straight Alliance this coming Tuesday, I set myself to baking this past weekend.

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What does one bake for a GSA party? Rainbow cupcakes, naturally!
Rainbow confetti on the inside, rainbow icing on the outside.

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A Westerosi Feast

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Remember this little get-together?

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Well, of course I had to extend the Game of Thrones theme to the food, too!
I started out by making a few tags to label the food– I used card stock and washi tape to make the labels. Paper straws served as the “stems” for the labels.

Then I put my thinking cap on and tried to remember food and food-related events from the novels. I had to stretch a bit in places, since a lot of what gets eaten in the novels is not the most appetizing (raw stallion heart is not exactly the ideal item to serve to a group of ladies on a Sunday afternoon…).

Here is what I came up with:

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Of course we had to have Sansa’s Favourite Lemon Cake (lemon coffee cake), some Highgarden Berries and Fruits and some “You know nothing, John Snow”-ball Cake Pops. We also had Danaerys Targaryen Blondies.

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What would a Westerosi feast be without Red (velvet) Wedding Cupcakes?

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The drinks were similarly themed– Lady Arya Punch (though, upon further reflection, maybe Lady Arya Packs a Punch would have been more appropriate…), Queen Cersei’s Vintage (which ought to have been red, but I took some license), and a Dornish Rosé (which should have been a Dornish White, I know).
There was even a carafe of water from The Sapphire Isle and some Summer Isles Bellinis.

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Flag Day

 Last week I was able to squirrel away a single chocolate cupcake from M’s birthday treats before I gave them to him. I popped it in the freezer to save it for my friend and colleague, R– her birthday is three days after M’s.

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To make it fun and celebratory, I spruced it up in some cute packaging.

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I made a sturdy cardboard base and wrapped it in pretty paper, then I made some washi tape flags on paper straws. A cellophane goodie bag and some glittery ribbon and ta-da!
A sweet treat for a sweet lady.

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I think these would also make cute party favours– you could serve slices of cake at the party and send guests home with cupcakes.

{Tip: use glue dots to secure bottom of cupcake wrapper to cardboard base.
Your cupcake will stay put and not slide around inside the cello bag.}

First Things First

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This past weekend, M had a birthday. He is one of those people who could happily just let the day go by without acknowledging it at all. I, on the other hand, am one of those people who thinks it is a crime against humanity that we do not all get a day off on our birthdays.
No, seriously– I think birthdays should be A Really Big Deal. Or at least a Marginally Big Deal.

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I got him some prezzies and took him out for dinner. I also made him his favourite cake, with a twist. He loves 1-2-3-4 cake, so I made him 1-2-3-4 chocolate cupcakes. I just added cocoa to the batter until I liked it. I made cardamom cocoa butter cream icing and added a few sprinkles. I free-styled the recipe for the icing. 🙂

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To make things a bit more fun, I used colourful paper straws and cute, polka-dotted birthday candles for the final flourish.

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The result? A success: he polished off a dozen cupcakes in two days flat. {I may or may not have helped. A little.}

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

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I am gathering with dear friends to sip, nosh and dance.
Oh, and to laugh, I suspect– to laugh a lot.

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Here are some images to inspire you this final day of 2013.
Thank you so much for stopping by every now and then– I look forward to seeing you in the new year!

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Bonne Année!

 

 

Confetti Garlands

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This weekend, I had the pleasure of making some thank you gifts for a couple of teenaged girls. Both of them are currently at boarding school and will be off to university next year, so I thought they might like a little something to personalize their spaces. I decided that confetti garlands would be cute.
When I Instagrammed a photo of the process, the lovely Kate Durie asked for a tutorial. So here it is!

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I made myself some of these a few months back and it is an easy, fun craft.
You will need a few little supplies.

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I decided to use one “main” colour, plus three complimentary and contrasting colours. Punch out more of the “main” colour and successively fewer of each of the next two colours. For the “accent,” or contrasting, colour, punch out only a few. I used my little floral punches, but any shape will do.
How about hearts? Circles in varying sizes?
Don’t have a punch? Why not cut out squares?
Try using patterned paper or a mix of patterned and plain.

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Arrange your piles of confetti by colour and then fire up your sewing machine.
(You will need to replace your needle after you are finished– you don’t want to be sewing fabric with a needle you have dulled by sewing paper!)
Place the first piece of confetti under the needle and slowly stitch across it; line up the next piece and repeat.
Keep going, stitching a long, looooong row of confetti together.
For the colour pattern, I was just pretty random, but you could be more mathematical about it if you prefer. To keep the thread from unravelling at either end, I sandwiched the ends between a bit of glitter tape at each end of the garland. You could use washi tape or sandwich the thread ends between two bits of confetti with a dab of glue.

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Use the garland swagged over a curtain rod (I do!), as “ribbon” for wrapping gifts, draped over a mirror, or just taped to the wall or the ceiling with some fancy tape. Use it to pretty up your daily decor or for a party.

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No sewing machine?
No worries– check back here on Wednesday for the “by-hand” version of the project!

A Sweet Tea Party

One of the current bridal shower trends I love is the old-fashioned tea party. It combines a whole passel of lovely things: sweets, antique dishes, flowers, fancy silver….cake bunting!

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Today’s post is about just such a shower, organized and styled by my talented colleague, JG. The woman puts Martha Stewart to shame and her talents in the kitchen are legendary among those who know her.
Who better, then, to create the vision for the dessert table at her pal’s bridal shower?

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The wedding’s colour scheme is purples and lavenders and, thus, so were the sweets & the dessert buffet decor. Add some pretty washi tape mini-bunting
–(we had a joint brainstorm to add the pompoms to the bunting– isn’t it darling?!)–
a vintage silver tea service, some hydrangeas and some vintage tea cups & saucers and you have a beautiful, old-fashioned, feminine bridal shower.

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Yes, those are TRIPLE CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES with purple sugar sparkles.

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Teapot-shaped, lavender-tinted shortbread? Yes, please!

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All photos by J. Goldberg, who was kind enough to let me share all this prettiness here.

A Sweet Idea

One of the best things about IDS 2013 was seeing all the clever styling ideas. Here is one you could use for a party or to style your kitchen counter or shelves.
(You could use this idea in your kitchen, but I’d just end up snarfing all the treats, leaving sad, empty, reproachful jars as evidence — er, on display…. This is strictly a party decor idea in my world, I’m afraid.)

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It’s quick, it’s easy and it would cost pennies– you could get the containers at the dollar store or use mason jars. The little scraps of fabric (to match your party theme/kitchen decor) could be tied on with ribbon or twine if you are not up for crafting up the custom fasteners. I think raw-edged strips of coordinating fabric pinned on with pretty, oversized gold safety pins would look darling. Send ’em home with your guests as a party favour!

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Take a Seat!

When my parents got married– heck, even as recently as when my friends got married–  the way you figured out which table you’d be at for dinner was by finding your name on a board and going to the numbered table to which you’d been assigned. As you know, that system is no longer the norm. I love checking out wedding blogs to see some of the fun and creative ways couples choose to indicate the seating plan to their guests.

My brother and his bride chose to use origami. My brother made all the origami sculptures twice– once in miniature to go on the board with the lists of guests, and once in a larger size to mark the table and be part of the centrepiece. He was up until 3:30 a.m. the night before the wedding, folding paper like a madman, but it was worth it. After all, it was pretty fun to be able to say you were sitting
“at the sign of the prawn”!

(Though I think the X-Wing fighter might have been my very favourite!)

The origami looked so pretty tucked in amongst the lovely mismatched vases full of flowers and the tealights sparkling in beribboned mason jars.
A crack commando team of amateur florists (a.k.a. family and friends!) worked very hard to get the flowers looking just right and to set up the centrepieces.

Once again, photo credits to Lucas Jarvis.