Sunday, August 26, 2012

Colorful cake for our Cute Cowboy!

This was a birthday bonus cake for Joe Joe... his Cowboy Roundup was the weekend before his real birthday... so on his real special day, I was itching to try this rainbow cake that I had seen online.  (still pre-Pinterest days!)  We still had so many Western decor pieces that it made his real day special too, and he took his first riding lesson on a pony named Lucky at Castlewood Stables.  It was really special.
Look at his sweet face... my darling little cowboy... oh where has the time gone?
No one knew what the inside looked like, except for Aunt Sarah... she stayed up late and helped me make it!  It was a lot of fun for everyone to see!

Crazy for Cowboys... Joe's 3rd Birthday

Our boy, Joe, has loved horses since day one!  So when we celebrated his first birthday with toddler friends, it was easy to go with a cowboy theme!  This was back in the day pre-Pinterest, and ideas were still running rampant!  We frequented craigslist, garage sales and GoodWill for Western decor, and we made some things along the way.  The benefit of being a teacher is having the time off in June and July to plan ahead and craft away with the children to prepare. (Photo taken by John Gaughan Photography) Grandma paid the expense of a photographer so mommy and daddy could enjoy the day...
Inside the dining room, we hung painted wood cutouts from Michaels on our light fixture.  Catch them on sale,  5 for a $1.00, plus they are a fun craft on a hot summer day.  I enjoy creating vignettes on top of the china cabinet... horse-opoly, a garage sale find... .50 cents, and other odds and ends from GW, books are a great way to decorate, and I found inexpensive plates at GW... spray-painted them to go with our theme and placed them on the cabinet.
Speaking of cutouts... You have seen the cowboys leaning on barn cutouts...well, we took it a step further.  The only problem was that these should have been with a thicker wood. We used thin mdf and they were flimsier than I would have liked, however they made the impact we wanted... a real rodeo feel.  We had quite a few cutouts throughout the yard, and my husband was EXTREMELY patient with me.  We had horse shoes too!

Sugar cookies can be made ahead of time... I decorated them with pre-made frosting the night before.  We found root beer mugs at the thrift shop, filled them with rafia and plastic mini horses... a cute detail, then topped them with glass plates for displaying the cookies.
Hobby Lobby had tons of cowboy themed decor that was 80% off by the end of July, and my son has quite the collection of Safari Ltd and Schleich horses to decorate with.
We had tons of guests to celebrate our cowboy! So I made a few cakes to accommodate all the good friends.  I got this cake idea from Coolest Birthday Cakes, and I was happy with the results.  I do a lot more fondant these days because it seems to be less clean up... no tips and bags.  The horse shoe is a wooden cutout painted and written on... the rope is Fimo clay (pre-fondant days) no one ate it!  And the original inspiration is worth a look... they had chocolate chips in the grass... and yes my boys got a kick out of it.  I love the grass tip...#133, I use it quite often when piping icing.

We also had cupcakes and the toppers are Wilton cake melts  with horse candy molds and boot candy molds.  They were a hit with the little ones!  We had lots of other details... so many that they will have to be in another post.  If you have a cowboy... keep an eye out at your favorite craft stores!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Easy Peasy, No Bake Cake! Personalize Your Child's Birthday Cake with Their Imagination!

It was my oldest son's 6th birthday! I just can't grasp where the time has gone.  He is going to begin Kindergarten in the Fall, so we have postponed his birthday party so that he can include some new school friends, but we couldn't celebrate without making his real day special.  We headed to the local grocery store and let Joe pick out a cake and a cake kit.  You can buy the cake topper characters without the huge cake.  Joe chose a 1/4 sheet cake that was less than $15.00.  We took it home and added some special touches.
The water is sparkling food gel with some blue food coloring and I just spread it in the corner.
Added our safari and jungle grass.  We used Pillsbury vanilla frosting. I add some powdered sugar to thicken it up and coloring.

Added brown grass and green grass, along with the cake kit animals we bought at the grocery store.

My sweet son added the giraffe from his personal collection of animals.  The giraffe is eating leaves from the tree.
He is the sweetest boy. I am happy he is happy with his cake! It was fun to let him add animals and his creative ideas. The personal touch made it special!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Special Springtime Button-Themed Birthday for 2!

I have been a do-it-yourselfer for years! Flashback fun will have to be a weekly blog with all the fun handiwork I have dipped into.  Where to start? My Aunt Marie's 70th Birthday back in March shared with my dd Brooke.  I love throwing a party, and having a dessert table is every party's centerpiece! The inspiration for this party was a button fondant mold that I purchased at Michael's, and the rest fell together.
Here is the dessert table. I love the color scheme.  I purchased the yellow tulips at ALDI for $4.88 each and they lasted until Easter.  The white tulips were from the $2.00 grab bags that I have blogged about before.  
I made the bunting for the cakes with scrapbook paper.  The  white cake plates are from HomeGoods and Marshall's. I do interchange the ribbons to match the party colors.  I also love using candlesticks and glass plates, which is what I did for my wedding centerpieces.  Another flashback to blog about in the future!
My children love marshmallows and dipping them in colored chocolate on lollipop sticks makes a really quick impact for a dessert table.  Not a lot of prep time for a pretty impact.

I like having the inside of the cake to be a fun surprise.  Colored cake is so easy... take white cake batter... separate into different bowls and add coloring.  Mix in pan and wallah!  

I sent out tags to family members far and wide to celebrate my Aunt's birthday.  I used my Cricut machine to cut tags out of pretty scrapbook paper.  I have my dear sister to thank for getting me hooked on my paper cutting machine. Check out her awesome blog and shop here

I found these cute frames at GW for .25 a piece and I have about 30 of them.  I spray painted them and placed fun photos celebrating 70 years!

A special celebration indeed!