custom wine label

I was recently asked to design a custom wine label for some friends who make their own wine every year. They have all the fancy equipment and it is quite the process.

I loved how the cork background turned out - something a little different than a usual label.

John and Valerie, thanks for giving us a bottle! We can't wait to try it - we'll raise our glasses to you!

wedding venue

Image via New Haven Museum

I recently met with one of my clients about her October wedding. We met at her venue and I can't wait to see how this is all going to turn out. This place (The New Haven Museum) is just stunning! It is located in New Haven's historic downtown and it's just overflowing with history. What a beauty!

I took a few shots on my first site visit, but as you can tell from the pictures, it was a rainy, dreary day.

As soon as you walk in, you are in a beautiful two-story rotunda. To each side of the rotunda are gallery rooms. Then in front of you is a double staircase leading to more gallery rooms and the large hall where the reception will be held. It will be such a unique setting. The cocktail hour, ceremony and reception will all be taking place here. Cocktail hour throughout the first floor gallery rooms and rotunda, ceremony at the top of the rotunda with all the quests circling at the railing and dinner/dancing reception in the large hall - doesn't this sound so cool! Again, what a unique setting!

Thoughtfully, the bride and groom chose this place because many of their guests will be traveling (some from overseas) to New Haven and this venue will give them a wonderful representation of the city.

I'm really looking forward to working on this wedding! Details to come...

toilet paper folding

image via how about orange

Did you guys see this over on how about orange? I just love it! Some good clean potty humor!

When entertaining at home, you can't forget about the restrooms. Most (if not all) of your guests will use the facility during your event. Imagine the smiles you could produce for your guests with this little trick. Or even complete strangers if you left one for the next
port-a-potty visitor. Ha!

Click here for the how-to.

cake in a can

My dear friend Laurie recently turned forty years young. Since 3000 miles separate us, I obviously couldn't spend the actual day with her. So I had a dilemma... what could I do for her that would really make her feel special on her big day??? Then I remembered something. One time she had said she wished I could make her 40th birthday cake. That was it! I wasn't going to let the miles between us keep me from making her a cake.

I baked a cake in a aluminum tin, topped it with yummy buttercream frosting and then decorated it with fondant to make shipping possible. Fairly simple, forty candles for forty wonderful years.

In preparation for Laurie's birthday, I did a "dry run" if you will. Another friend, who lives much closer, had a birthday and I tested the process. I thought if a trip to Brooklyn, NY goes smooth, then I'll shoot for the cross-country trip. The note with this cake said "Wish we could just hop on the F train to come sing you happy birthday".

Yes, the cake did arrive safe and sound. Sorry I didn't include that information the first time. You can see Laurie's write up about receiving it here on her blog. I will say it looks like the card I stuck in there left small indentations on the fondant. I knew I shouldn't have put that in there when I did it. Oh well, live and learn!

one of my favorite days of the year

It's no secret that I love a good treat. And cookies are no exception. Especially a girl scout cookie. So every year, I order my girl scout cookies with much anticipation. Anticipation of their arrival. Anticipation of a thin mint hitting my tongue and me melting in delight. It's one of my favorite days of the year!

Looking back on my short time in girl scouts, I might not have gotten very many badges, but I know I would qualify for one now. The badge for eating/ordering the most cookies. I would so win. I love these things! What is your favorite? I can't even pick a favorite. That would be like asking which of my kids is my favorite - impossible.

around the world party

Okay, are you guys ready for a long post?! I have been working on this around the world party for my daughter's fifth birthday for months now. Here are the final photos and description. Hope you enjoy!

The around the world theme was literal - we "visited" all seven continents. We set the tone with the invitations. If you remember from a previous post here the invitations were airline tickets good for a trip around the world. We used the logo established on the invitations throughout the party.

When guests arrived, they were greeted at the check-in table by the "staff". We all dressed up like air travel personnel - badges and all. I made the epaulettes my husband is wearing to fit a shirt my pilot brother let us borrow (thanks Ross!). The children were given a passport with their name in it along with several travel stamps. As they arrived in each continent, they received a stamp in their passport.

Along with their passports, each guest received a carry-on bag. The carry-on bags were a big part of this party. They contained items specific to each continent we visited and the children used these items to complete each continent's activity (More on this later). I painted each child's name on a bag with fabric paint. This was so the kids (and/or their parents) would be able to keep track of it throughout the course of the party.

Here's a shot of the bag and all it's contents.
Australia - kangaroo ears for sack races (hopping like kangaroos)
North America - lunch and cake at the main "runway" table (they got to take the USA placemats for a North American souviner)
South America - craft decorations for making rain sticks like Brazilian farmers
Asia (China more specifically) - they use chopsticks from their bags to use for the scratch-off craft dragons
Africa - binoculars to spot all the animals out the windows in the woods like they were on safari
Antarctica - mittens to wear while they made and played with fake snow
Europe - the park ranger brought one of their real bunnies up for the kids to pet
So this picture shows the items in their bags to use throughout the party. We also included some extra things - a punch ball balloon with the world printed on it and a world beach ball.

Our first stop of the party was to Australia. Inside the kids' carry-on bags was a pair of kangaroo ears. They put them on and we had a sack race - you know, hopping like a kangaroo. The kids loved it!

Next stop, lunch! Otherwise know as - North America. We used lunch and cake time as North America to insure there would be plenty of time for all the other continents. The center table was decorated with a large globe overhead and the table was covered in a "runway" we made with masking tape. (I saw this idea from the always impressive Amy Atlas here.) Also notice the placemats at each place setting. We took United States Map and laminated them. That was their souvenir for their carry-on bag.

The kids enjoyed pre-packaged in-flight meals. Notice the jelly sandwich cut into an airplane shape. Nothing too fancy; I wanted the kids to actually eat! Each place setting also had a logo covered water and napkin. The pilot hat was only at my daughters place setting. That's what we used for her party hat while we sang Happy Birthday.

The adults (or carry-on parents as they were refered to on the invitation) ate from the food table in front of the large orange world tapestry.

After lunch, the kids were free to do the other four continents at their own pace.
In South America, the kids used the decoration packages from their carry-on bags to decorate pre-made rain sticks. Available here.

The Africa area was a safari activity. The room had two walls with floor-to-ceiling windows and one of the walls of windows was backed by woods. We bought a set of blow up safari animals and tied them to the trees. In the carry-on bags was a pair of binoculars that the kids used to find the animals. We made up a checklist telling them all the animals that were out there. I didn't end up having any good pictures of this area, so here is the best I can offer. I just wanted you to see the zebra table cloth and grass skirt.

Next up, Asia (China). We painted a scroll with Chinese letters saying Happy Birthday. The kids used chopsticks from their bags to do this craft - scratch dragons.

Now onto my favorite continent stop - Antarctica! We made a large sign to hang overhead and put a huge map of Antarctica over a blue tarp on the ground. (I realize this picture is from the kangaroo races, but I didn't have any other picture to show the Antartica area.) When the kids came to this activity, they put on their mittens from their carry-on bags. I told them they would be doing an experiment like scientists in Antarctica. I gave them each two cups - one with a powder and the other with water. When they poured the water into the powder it changed to fake snow! It was so fun!!!! I bought the Insta-snow here. It's even cool to the touch. (Note: I will say it was VERY slippery on top of the tarp.)

Once the kids were done with all the continents, we had one more to visit - Europe. The park where we were at has lots of farm animals for visitors to see. The park ranger brought up one of the bunnies for the kids to look at and pet. Correlating the bunny to a specific continent was a bit of a stretch, but we went ahead and did it knowing the kids would love it.

Now that the kids had done all the continents and received their passport stamps, it was time for CAKE!

As guests left, they took home a decorated airplane cookie set atop a cotton candy cloud. The tag said "Thanks for flying Ella Macy Airlines".

And finally, look at that birthday girl, pilot hat and all! I think she had a great time and that is what it's all about. That smile makes all my hard work worth it.

around the world party sneak peek

This weekend we had my daughter's birthday party. (Hence the reason for my short, "filler" posts lately - all my time has been consumed by this party.) I can finally come up for air!!!

I had a really fun time putting this event together. I still have to go through the hundreds of pictures, but here's a sneak peek - the cake. Of course, me being the frosting addict, I pick a cake picture!

Stay tuned and I'll post more pictures soon!

i'm a winner

Awhile ago I entered a giveaway over at 'jp creative' and surprisingly I won!!!! I never win anything. Anyway, she will be designing me a new pretty blog header. I'm so excited!!! This is great for a couple of reasons. First of all, I love her style! And secondly, I've had that job on my list for months now, but haven't been able to get to it because of all the work coming my way (which I love, I'm not complaining).

I can't wait to work with Jessica! Check out her blog here. I love reading her blog. Beyond great designs, she has a good balance of everyday life.

I'm really looking forward to this design process. I'll keep you all in the loop.

happy birthday

Happy 5th Birthday, Ella! I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday sweetheart. Some days I don't want you to grow up, but I also can't wait to see what you become. You make me smile everyday.

I love you Ella Macy! Happy Birthday Love!

From this...

To this...

betty bakery

While in Brooklyn visiting our best buddies, we made our usual stop at Betty Bakery. This little place is oh-so-cute! I gain lots every time I go... I gain new ideas for my baking projects and I gain a few calories as well! Vanilla cupcake please, my favorite!

Look at us all post cupcakes... don't we look "sweet"! Too bad I had the stroller backwards - my baby looked sweet too.

Check out these Easter treats they had. Cutie, cutie!

How about this number! Isn't that beautiful!

If you're ever on Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn, you have to have a vanilla cupcake for me! Anyone else ever been?
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