Thursday, September 30, 2010

{Tips & Hints} How To Make Edible Toadstools

Here's something fun to add to your tablescape if you're throwing a fairy party... edible toadstools!! (Please forgive all the pictures below. They are there simply to help, but I am in no way a food photographer so some might not look as appetizing as they should!)

First you are going to need the following items:

- Red Velvet or Chocolate cake mix (and the items to make it)
- 1 16oz. can of Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- Thick and Chewy Soft Top Chocolate Cookies (various sizes)
- Circle Cookie Cutters (various sizes)
- White Candy Melts
- White cupcake decorating confetti or white chocolate chips
- Thick Pretzels Sticks
- Red Fondant (can be purchased pre-made at Michaels)
- Red Decorating Icing
- White Decorating Icing

Start by making Bakerella's basic cake ball recipe. Once you have the cake pop mixture combine. Break off a 2" piece of pretzel stick...
And coat with cake pop mixture and stand upright on a cookie sheet. 

Continue until you have created as many toadstool stems as you will need. Chill. Once these have chilled for a few hours. Take them out of the refrigerator. Melt some candy melts in a bowl in the microwave. (For me, I melt about 3/4 of a cup for about 60 seconds.) Roll the cake pop stems in the melted candy to coat them and then stand them up right on the cookie sheet and chill.
Once these have hardened, remove them from the cookie sheet. Create a small dollop of melted candy in the form of a circle on the cookie sheet for each stem and place each stem in one of the dollops. Chill. (This will help to form a stable base.)

While these are chilling, roll out your fondant. If it begins to stick to your surface just use a little confectioner's sugar. Note: I had never used fondant before I attempted to make these for the first time. So please don't be intimidated. It's ridiculously easy to use! 

Pull out your pre-made cookies. (For these just use your favorite recipe. Just make sure that they are thick kind. Making the cookies various sizes will give your toadstools some visual interest.) 
Next find the right size circle cookie cutter for you cookies. The cutter should be significantly larger than the cookie.
This will make it so that your fondant will easily drape over the edges of your cookie. Cut your fondant.
Then ice the top of your cookie with the decorating icing to help the fondant adhere to the cookie.
Center the fondant on the cookie and shape it down around the edges of the cookie. If you are using white chocolate chips for spots (like I had to after a confetti debacle the night before the party and they were all I could find in the cake decorating section of my local grocery at 10pm at night!) Take your chips and press them upside down into your fondant.
Then remove them...
And add a bit of white decorating icing in the indentations...
Sink the chips (point down) into the icing.

Remove your stems from the refrigerator. Melt a little more candy and slather the top of each stem with the melted candy. While the candy is still soft gently top each stem with a spotted fondant cookie top.

And VOILA! Edible toadstools!!


Monday, September 27, 2010

{Little Surprises} Bargain Hunting

I don't think that I've mentioned before that I'm a bit of a compulsive bargain shopper. Meaning if I see a bargain, whether I "need" it or not, most times I'll buy it. Because, of course, you just never know when you'll need whatever fabulous item it is and by then it will be gone or twice as much or who knows, but it will definitely not be the bargain that it is today! (Or so my slightly slanted logic goes...)

So, last week while I was out poking my nose around town looking for neat items to use for my Halloween tables, I came across a few fabulous, absolutely-couldn't-live-without-but-have-no-idea-when-I-will-use-them-items! (You've been there, right?? Please tell me that I am not alone in this!)

We all know that Home Goods is fantastic, but I do heart TJ Maxx for those occasional super sensational finds. Here's what I found for below (like the plates were $3.99 and $7.99!!) or right around $10...

Adorable, right??! Not sure when I will use them yet, but as I said I simply could not resist!!!

p.s. I got almost all my apothecary jars there too for around $12.99!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

We Now Interrupt...

... our regularly scheduled programming. *sigh*

I'm having issues with the upload connection on my internet this week. Don't worry I will post that toadstool tutorial. But until I get this resolved, I highly recommend checking out a few of the wonderful parties that have been posted this week.

Kara posted two BEAUTIFUL parties...

Couldn't you just live there??!

Sooooo cute! Hop on over to her blog to check out more pics.

And Courtney over at Pizzazzerie posted photos from the MOST adorable Shabby Chic Birthday Party...

Please click over to her site, as well, for more exceptional photos.

And, check back in the next couple days for that tutorial. As soon as my internet provider sorts this mess out, I'll upload as promised!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

{Thank You!} WOW!!!!!!!!!

Last week was a HUGE week here at GWD! All I can say is that I was totally overwhelmed by all the bloggy love we received. I can't thank each and every person enough for featuring our work on their sites!!! AND I can't say THANK YOU enough to each of you who hopped over to say "hi!" It has really meant the world to me!! Seriously, I've been on Cloud 9 for days!!!

Last week we were featured on Stylish Children's Parties, Pizzazzerie, Catch My Party - Party of the Day, Kate Landers Events LLC, Catch My Party - Blog and Kara's Party Ideas!! WOW!! Right??!!

If you haven't already checked out these blogs, please do IMMEDIATELY. They are all beyond fabulous and full of the most incredible ideas!!

Have you seen Pizzazzerie??! Honestly, it could be it's own magazine. So many wonderful tips and parties all in one place!!

And, well, what can you say about Kate Landers that hasn't already been said? Her taste is impeccable and her parties are beyond compare. Each detail is always so magnificently thought out and integrated into the overall theme. In addition to her flagship blog, she has a FABULOUS new blog, Stylish Children's Parties. If you haven't checked it out yet, please do.

Catch My Party is beyond brilliant for ideas and inspiration! I swear there are more party ideas in one place on this site than I've seen anywhere else.

And, as I've said before, I LOVE Kara's Party Ideas!! So, many fun parties and so much creativity all in one FANTASTIC place!!

Thank you!! THANK YOU again!!

And, as a side note, please stay tuned this week for that long promised edible toadstool tutorial. (I swear it's coming. I haven't forgotten.) Also, in the coming weeks I will be giving away our two (that's right TWO) new Halloween collections for FREE to all our followers. So stay alert, become a follower and don't miss out!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

{Projects} Nursery Inspiration

(via Thrifty Design Chick)

So, I don't think I've mentioned it yet but I'm currently pregnant with my second little boy. Yep, my household is about to go from madness to complete chaos! And my due date, just after Thanksgiving, is not just creeping up on me but is looking more and more like a full head-on collision. Thinking I had lots of time, I have put off not only coming up with a name (this is not something new; we agreed on Dashell's name in the last 5 minutes before they kicked us out of the hospital!) but also cleaning out, fixing up and decorating the new nursery. (It's currently a gym/giant disaster catch-all room. And who needs a gym when you have two little ones to run after, right??!) We'll probably use a co-sleeper again so he won't actually sleep in his room for the first three months, but I have to have a fireplace removed from that room (trust me, I'm sad too but the way it's designed it's a real safety hazard). And removing it will involve demolition and then replacing the missing floor boards, sanding and refinishing the floor and plastering and painting the walls. This means lots and lots of dust and fumes. So, I'd really like to get it over with before I bring this new fragile little being home.

That said, I've been trying to come up with a theme. It can't be too fabulous or my other little guy will get jealous. I did Dashell's room with a hot air balloon theme (I'll try and post a picture soon) and my husband suggested just doing another version of hot air balloons for this one so Dash wouldn't freak out. But I figure little number two is going to have plenty of hand-me-downs. I don't really want it all to start with the theme of his room. (And, given that my husband discovered a few years ago that his childhood Christmas stocking was a hand-me-down from parents' DOG, I can't believe that he'd even suggested this!)  So I've been wracking my brain.

Trains, as cool as they would be, are out. Dash would lose his mind! And I didn't want to just do a color theme, because, well, I have a weird confession to make... My entire (yes, entire!) house is done in red, yellow and green. Yep, kind of like a stoplight. It works with all the dark wood of our 1912 Craftsman house. Honestly, it's not as hideous as it sounds. Trust me. Or don't. I'll post pics and you can see for yourself. (Seriously, I don't know what I'm going to do when one of my boys decides that they want a blue room as they get older. Oh, the horror!) So, I decided on an airplane theme. Still aviation. Different but not too different, which works because the rooms are connected. Literally. The two rooms, a hallway and a bath comprise one side of the house. And, Dashell isn't totally into planes the way he is into other things. Also, thematically the room will grow with the new baby. Which is great, because as much as I LOVE redecorating my time is so tight right now (with no end in sight), that I simply can't imagine having to completely redo the room in a year or two.

So, for this moment, I'm set on airplanes and I'm pretty excited! I've been combing the internet for inspiration and here's a little of what I've found...
(via Baby Burps 'n' Giggles)

(via Dali Decals)

(via Laptops to Lullabies)

(via The Home Site)

(via Extreme Home Makeover)

(via Decor Pad)

(via Tailwinds)


And I saved the best for last... Have you seen this room from Thrifty Decor Chick??!

Oooooh the DETAILS!!! I'm so in LOVE!

So that's where I'm at. Now I just have to find a contractor and get going on the not so fun stuff!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

{Tips & Hints} How To Make A Forsythia Tree

Ready to make a stunning forsythia tree??! I hope so. When I came up with the idea to use forsythia as the centerpiece for the Woodland Fairy Party tablescape, I searched high and low for a forsythia tree or bush that was close to what I was envisioning and just couldn't find anything that I liked. So being the hard-headed crafty gal that I am I decided I would just make one!

I started with an artificial Manzanita tree from Sav-On Crafts...

Usually I'm the kind of girl that likes natural things whenever possible, but I decided to go artificial this time because I wanted to have the most flexibility in manipulating the branches. (But, you could absolutely use real manzanita if you wanted to.) I also purchased about 10 wired forsythia branches from Sav-On and some vine wrapped wire from Michael's.

Here are your supplies...
Forsythia branches, wire cutters, wrapped floral wire, manzanita

Once you have all your supplies, start by placing your forsythia branches in the branches of the manzanita...

...and continue to place them and fill out your tree until you have a pleasing shape, bending them while you go. I wanted mine to look like they were "weeping" so I gave them a gentle downward bend. 

Next take your wire and secure your forsythia branches to the tree branches.

As you finish securing each forsythia branch, use a pair of wire cutters and cut away any unnecessary parts of the forsythia branch.

Continue until all branches are secured and trimmed. And... VOILA! Forsythia tree!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Candy Wreaths!

Usually I have some kind of seasonal wreath on my front door. I have several that I rotate through every year. And if I see something new and fun in the store, I add it to the rotation. But this year I wanted to do a little something special to welcome in the Halloween season. How much fun would a candy wreath be for Halloween?!
(via Thoughtfully Simple)

(via Martha Stewart)

(via Ducks In A Row)

I know that when I was little, if I had walked up to a door with a that much candy hanging on it, my jaw would have dropped!! And they seem relatively simple to make. So, I think I'm going to have to give it a go in the next few weeks. I'll let you know how it turns out. (And don't worry, I'll take the steamy California weather into consideration when choosing my candies. No chocolate on my wreath, that's for sure!!)

And, just as a side note, because I couldn't resist... How cute would these poms poms look with that candy corn wreath??!
(via Martha Stewart)

Total sweetness overload!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

{Thank You!} That Warm Lovely Feeling

Last week Dashell's Race Car Party was featured on several blogs, and I simply can't thank them enough!! On top of it, many of you hopped over here from those blogs to say "hi!" And I have to admit, I was doing the tap dance of joy around my house for most of week!!

If you haven't already, please check out all of these amazing blogs!!

A Blissful Nest - Rebekah always has something wonderful and fun to write about whether it's a beautiful tutorial, her latest party, or a great decorating tip!

Blowout Party - Amy not only features super cute party ideas, but also wonderful recipes and lots of other fun inspiration. And if you get a chance, definitely check out her store. She carries fabulously original party favors!

Kara's Party Ideas - OMG, what is there not to love about Kara's blog?! It is definitely one of the most inspirational places to find the latest and most fabulous parties!

Thank you, everyone, for my lovely week spent on Cloud 9! And, as a special thank you to all my new followers, please stay tuned in the weeks to come because as Halloween approaches I will be giving away (that's right, for free!) my soon to be premiered printable Halloween Collection just to you!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Emily's Woodland Fairy Party

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing holiday weekend! As promised, I am SO excited to show you some pics from Emily's Woodland Fairy Party. There were so many fabulous fairy parties this summer. I have say, when the suggestion to do one crossed my desk, I definitely wondered how we could approach it so that it had it's own unique flavor. So in the spirit of my previous post, here's a little peek behind the inspiration curtain.

It all started with this photo...

Can't you just get swept away in it??! For me there has always been something about birch forests that is so magical. So I used this image as the basis for the invitation...

Then I used the invitation as the jumping off point for all the other elements that were incorporated into in the tablescape...
And I do mean "tablescape". For this party, I mulled over the word "tablescape" a lot. I wanted the table to feel like a landscape. Like a forest floor. Like the birch forest we were using for inspiration.

I knew that we wouldn't have any of the sparkling yellow sunbeams to highlight our table. So as a substitute, I created a forsythia tree (tutorial here) to add a bright, golden cheeriness to our "landscape".
I then layered in multiple types of moss to build our forest floor and used birch logs as cupcake stands...
I placed some bird nests below the tree and filled them with chocolate chip meringues which looked like little eggs!

There was a request that the table not be laden with too many sweets. (Who wants a bunch of four year olds on a crazy sugar high, right?!) So, I put out plenty of fresh fruit...
But you need at least a few treats, right?! So I mixed in some cupcakes, "magic beans", meringues, and edible toadstools...

Aren't they cute?! And yummy too! (Tutorial here)

All the fairies were given their very own wings, wands and tutus of course!

And some magic fairy dust to spread around...

It was definitely an enchanted afternoon! 

And of course I have to mention, just in case you're wondering, all paper goods are available in my shop!

Be sure to check back soon for Tips & Hints.