Friday, April 29, 2011

Kate Middleton's Silk Tulle Veil--True Elegance!

Did you watch the Royal wedding last night?  Are you completely in love with Kate Middleton's veil?  She looked stunning, classic, elegant--in a word, regal.

Clearly, this woman is going to be a fashion icon.

Do you want Kate's veil for your own wedding?  Silk tulle veils can be incredibly hard to find, but we at Tradewind Tiaras are one of the very few makers of silk tulle veils in the world!  There's absolutely nothing like the flow and drape of silk tulle.  No wonder it's been the choice of royalty for centuries, and continues to be now, even when most veils are made out of bridal illusion.

If you want a veil just like Kate Middleton's, you need to order a silk tulle cage veil with lace edging, 72" diameter (fingertip length) size.

Edit:  Here's a link to our most recent post with pictures of our Kate Middleton silk tulle replica veil.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Cupcake for You: A Special Easter for Friends

A neighborhood friend's two children are having a very big weekend.  Tomorrow, they're getting baptized, having their first communion, and being confirmed--all in one big ceremony.  Family is flying in from out of state for this very special Easter weekend, and I was asked if I might make a cake for the celebration.

Now, I'm swamped right now.  It's the height of our busy season at Tradewind Tiaras (all those last-minute June brides!)  I'm in crazy-crafting mode getting ready for Niamh's second birthday in two weeks.  Add to that birthday parties, Easter celebrations, playdates, and a session with the trainer and my weekend is swamped.  But of course I made time for my sweet neighbors.  That's not the kind of opportunity I can decline!

I opted to make cupcakes instead of one cake to save time.  Chocolate with chocolate frosting for Cade, the die-hard chocoholic.  Vanilla caramel cupcakes with salted caramel filling and salted caramel buttercream for Hailey, who gave me free rein on the flavor. 

Whenever I make gumpaste flowers for a cake, I usually make too many.  Just in case.  And I keep all the leftovers.  They're really small and easy to store and they last forever.  Why bother saving those odds and ends of different decorating projects?  Because they're great additions to last-minute cupcakes!  There are flowers from at least four different cakes on these cupcakes, but they look great together.  

Gumpaste letters are another quick way to make a custom cupcake topper.  They dry in a matter of hours, and with a little bit of disco dust sparkle, they look fabulous.   If you've seen any of my other cupcake posts, you know I'm in love with edible cupcake toppers.   Now you know two of my tricks for dealing with my near-obsession, even when I don't have much time to invest.

Happy holiday weekend, everyone!  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Creative Process: Having Your Tiara Restrung

Seven years ago, I had the pleasure of designing a custom tiara for Maria's wedding.  She kept it as a keepsake for years, and then a couple months ago, decided that she wanted it restrung into a new piece of jewelry she could wear for special occasions.  First, she tried to do it herself.  And then quickly decided that it was worth it to send it back to us at Tradewind Tiaras to have us create a new necklace out of her treasured tiara.  ;-)

Where to start on such a project?  First, I took stock of the materials.  Then, I talked to Maria about her wishes.

A little edgy.  Modern.  Asymmetrical.  These kinds of words popped up as dominant themes in our discussion.  It sparked an idea.  I did a quick (super quick) mock-up with some materials I had on hand first, so I could give Maria a visual sense of what I was describing.

Once the basic idea was approved, I started creating the vision I had in my mind!

And I even had enough leftover materials to make a bonus bracelet.

Does it look a little familiar?  I liked the concept so much, it evolved into our newest design.

I love getting to connect with past customers and create something new out of a cherished heirloom!  May you have many more years of enjoyment out of your new necklace and bracelet, Maria!

Friday, April 8, 2011

It's the Little Things that Count: Embellishing Straws

When I see a party that completely blows me away, it's all about the small details.  "That person thought of everything!" I gasp in wonder.  And that's what I try to achieve when I design an event.   Lots of little details, when added together, equal more than the sum of their parts.  Synergy at its best.

A perfect example of what I mean can be seen in the straws I used at the Neapolitan Ice Cream April Fool's Day party.  I threw the party together in just a few days, and didn't have any time to order any of the adorable straws that are available on the internet.  I would have loved something with pink polka-dots or barber shop stripes, but that just wasn't going to happen.  I did, however, have some hot pink straws in the house.  Those will just have to do, I thought to myself.  Mopishly.

And then I was at my local ribbon and lace store, buying some pink lace for the aprons I was making.

I looked at the price.  $.35 a yard!  Awesome!  I thought.  And then I looked again.

I was going to be buying 20 yards of lace.  $7.00.  Not bad.  But wait....I could buy the whole bolt for just $10?  Three hundred and seventy yards for just three dollars more?  SOLD!  Not that I had any clue what I'd do with the extra lace.

As planned, I used it on the aprons.  I used it on disposable paper place-mats I made for the table.  I used it on the rosettes on the dessert table.

I used the lace on the cake plates on the dessert table.

And my most favorite use, I used it on the straws.  The hot pink, not quite matching, weren't making me happy straws.

Just a little bit of tape and a little bit of lace (essentially the same technique as the lace-covered votives DIY), and the straws became so much more than they were.  They were intentional.  They were thematic.  They were pretty.

Never underestimate the power a very small touch can have at an event.  It's worth the thought and effort.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Event: Fundraiser for Renan Curtis Keesler's Cancer Care

When I heard about Kate's Crusade happening less than a mile from my house, I wanted to help out in some way, but I was too late to be able to donate to the silent auction.  But one of the coordinators told me about Renan Curtis Keesler, another little boy in our town who was recently diagnosed with cancer for whom she was coordinating another fundraiser.

These stories always pull at my heart.  Even when the prognosis is good, as it is in Renan's case, it's still such an incredible burden and drain--on the heart, on the family, and of course, on the finances.  I was more than happy to donate a Swarovski crystal necklace for the silent auction--a small gesture to help out a boy and a family in need.

If you want to help out and live in the Phoenix area, please attend Renan's fundraiser.  It's a carnival picnic in the park, this Friday, April 8th, from 4-9 p.m.  Lots of fun for families, fabulous items in the silent auction, and all for a very good cause!  All the details for the fundraiser and more information about Renan are on his website.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to Make Sugar Cookies That Look Like Ice Cream

Looking for this?  The blog has moved to!  Find the full tutorial and recipe for the sugar cookies that look like ice cream (and tons of new content) there.
Sugar cookies that look like ice cream cones!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Neapolitan Ice Cream April Fool's Day Party! (Part 2, the Celebration)

Presenting part two of the Neapolitan ice cream themed April Fool's Day party!  Today is all about the details and the activities--the party, in other words!

First, the scene was set.  TopIt Cupcakes is already gorgeously decorated, with its Neapolitan pink-cream-brown striped walls and adorable tables with pink chairs.  I didn't have to do much to turn this venue into a party.  I merely draped the tables with cream colored linens and set out the flowers.  I used these charming floral containers that look like ice cream cones (from Joann Fabrics):

And I also used these stainless steel classic ice cream sundae cups (courtesy of my mother, who owns every type of serving dish anyone could want.  Ever.):

When the guests arrived, they were greeted by a sweet little apron decorating each girl's chair.  Its Neapolitan stripes, lacy flower, and girly ruffles set the tone for the party to come.

But as with everything in this party, all was not quite as it appeared at first glance.  The center flower on the apron was actually a removable hair clip!

After that initial surprise was revealed, we went on to our first activity, decorating the aprons.  I'd cut ice cream cone and scoop shapes out of felt, and let the kids loose.  White sequins were also provided for sparkly, sprinkly fun.

We hung the aprons back on the chairs to dry for a bit, while we went on to our second activity.  I'd been looking for an excuse to buy and play with the Fimo dough that turns into erasers when baked, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  Just play dough?  Just a sculpture?  No!  It's an eraser, too!  With a group of seven and eight year old girls, this was a HUGE hit.

It was even a big hit with my almost-two-year-old (who insisted on being included in the fun at this point)!

For our third activity, we went on to do what TopIt Cupcakes does best.  The girls strapped on their aprons...

...went through the extremely difficult process of picking just one delicious cupcake...

...and had a blast decorating the cupcakes themselves!

But the best part of any party, by far, for me?  The happy faces.

Tomorrow I start posting the tutorials, beginning with the post popular request, the sugar cookies that look like scoops of ice cream.  Come back and learn all my secrets!

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Neapolitan Ice Cream April Fool's Day Party! (Part 1, the Dessert Table)

Many thanks to The TomKat Studio for debuting our April Fool's Day party yesterday!  I'm really excited to be able to show off all the details here now!

It all started a few months ago, when the universe started telling me to throw a Neapolitan ice cream themed party.  They were little messages.  Individually, they didn't mean anything.  But they just kept falling in my lap, until, without any real planning effort, I essentially had every element for the party ready.  Just a small sampling of the offerings from the universe:

  • My daughter already had the perfect dress from her grandpa's wedding a few months ago.
  • I found a darling little set of play dishes at Ikea and thought the glasses looked just like little ice cream cones.  So cute!
  • I'd finally figured out how to make cookies that look like scoops of ice cream.
  • I saw floral containers (on sale!) at Joann Fabrics that looked just like ice cream cones.
  • TomKat and about three other designers all created adorable Neapolitan ice cream themed printables.
  • TopIt Cupcakes opened up less than a mile from my house, and its entire concept was based on a top-it-yourself ice cream shop...but with cupcakes!
  • And on top of it all, the cupcake shop is painted in Neapolitan stripes of pink, brown, and cream!

So I had the outfit, the theme, the decor, the venue, and one of the activities handed to me on a silver platter.  I couldn't not throw this party!

The concept for this April Fool's Day party was that nothing would be quite what it seemed, that everything would have a trick or a twist and fool the eye.  That meant, with a Neapolitan ice cream theme, that everything on the dessert table would look like ice cream...but wasn't.

We served:

Maybe...Milkshakes?  (Actually white, chocolate, and strawberry milk, topped with whipped cream and a fondant cherry.)

Probably...Drumsticks?  (Actually cake balls on homemade krumkake miniature cones, decorated to look like the classic Good Humor ice cream treat.)

Ostensibly...Fudgesicles?  (Actually chocolates with a peanut butter filling, sprayed with luster dust to give it a little bit of a frosty look, and nestled in fake ice to help give it some extra realism.)

Presumptively...Scoops of Ice Cream?  (Actually sugar cookies made to look like scoops of ice cream.  Tutorial coming soon!)

Presumably...Ice Cream Cones?  (I should have said "Soft Serve."  Ah, hindsight.  Since I threw this party together in about three days, I'm not going to be too hard on myself!  These were actually meringues made to look like soft serve ice cream cones.  Tutorial for these also coming next week!)

Supposedly...Sugar Cookies?  (Ok, so these actually were sugar cookies, but I liked the alliteration!)

The dessert table was great fun to put together, and the kids loved the sweets (of course!) but for me, a party is all about...well, the party!  Come back for all the details about the fun we had in Monday's post!