DiY Paper Clothespin Decoupage

Loving this DiY project from Amber of Giver's Log... decoupaged clothespins.  A darling way to embellish gift wrap + party favors, and just perfect for holding your cards along a length of ribbon.

 photos © the giver's log

Owl Love: A Rustic Handmade Wedding

This is the first ever wedding to be shared on Cake. and it’s going to set the bar high.  Bride Kerri Gilpin is a talented artist and designed by hand many of the beautiful details seen below.  This unique wedding took place on a ranch and has a comfortable rustic feel... including owls, antiques and even some archery.  Read on for details and sources from Kerri, including a tutorial for her gorgeous bouquet of vintage brooches.

photos © jordan weiland
From Kerri: Our wedding took place on a cattle ranch in Florida.  We chose to have a different arrangement of objects on each table. For the base, a square of fabric, cut with pinking shears (for the zig-zag effect). Each table had a mason jar (some vintage, some new) with an arrangement of fresh flowers, with glass in the bottom. There was one vintage camera (all from my own collection), a bird or owl, and either a bird house or bird cage.  For our head table, I hand painted the wooden owl masks I got from Joann Fabrics.  The turquoise yarn bird I purchased at Target in their Christmas Closeout.  Each table setting had a tin of BBQ Rub, a CD of some great love songs I compiled, and a Wedding Mad Libs.  For my wedding cake, I wanted something whimsical, hand made looking, and different than anything out there. I feel like it was a success!  I wanted it to look like stitches sewn into the wedding cake. :) The cream colored cake stand was loaned, the bunting was made by my friend Brooke Ernst, I got the Birdhouses from Joann Fabrics and painted them turquoise.  The quilt hanging in the backdrop of the photo booth was handmade by my late grandmother, and the frame was spray painted by me.  We even had wedding Archery and Cornhole!  We own the bow and arrows and the owner of the ranch had the cornhole boards.

Signs, Owl Masks, Program Fans: Kerri Gilpin
Photography: Jordan Weiland
It's a Piece of Cake by Maggi
Cake Owls: Claylicious
Biscuits and gravy sign:
YeeHaw Industries 

You can find Kerri’s tutorial for her vintage floral brooch bouquet here.

Mmmmm Mac + Cheese Buffet

Hello from Paiges of Style... I'm a sucker for food, it's true. And especially good food. So, when I host a party, I always want to impress my guests with some good grub. I've learned over the years of entertaining that the secret to having fun at my own parties is actually being a part of the crowd and not slaving away in the kitchen. That's why my fave party food is having a DiY Mac n' Cheese bar.  I mean really, who doesn't love topping their mac n' cheese with bacon and blue cheese? Kids love it, adults love it and I can make it ahead of time...

Here is the link to my favorite mac n' cheese recipe from Barefoot Contessa {I just adore her}. I spice mine up with a few tablespoons of dijon mustard and a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce to add a little zing. Even the gals went back for THIRDS at a baby shower.  

Below are some of the toppings I served. Bacon was definitely the #1 pick, followed by blue cheese. Next time, I'm thinking about adding lobster and grilled mushrooms too. What toppings would you add to the toppings bar?

You can see more of this baby shower here.

Chocolate + Blues Vintage First Birthday

Talented Aussies Zina of Messy Art + Bec of Ruby Ju came together to create this heartfelt vintage party for Zina's son.  I love so many of the details, and was thrilled to see the gorgeous pumpkin spice cake, inspired by a recipe here.  Read on for more...

photos © rubyju

From Bec: This party was for my girlfriend Zina’s little boy Tyler. He recently turned one on the 31st July 2011. His very talented mum decided to do a Vintage inspired 1st birthday party. Zina decided that she wanted to use a blue and chocolate colour palette. She styled a dessert table, meal table, a DIY table for the children to make their own sandwiches and fruit skewers. Old fashioned games like musical chairs and sack races were played. She also set up a table for guests to stamp their on a guest book and write notes for Tyler. A photo booth was set up and everyone had a choice of mustaches, lips and glasses to pose with. The photos were taken with a Polaroid and left on the thank you table near the exit so that they could take them home with them. Also on the thank you table were bags of Tyler’s favourite choc chip cookies for the guests to take. Most of the props that Zina included on the tables were finds at thrift shops. The party took place on the Gold Coast, Australia.

Espresso Chocolate Walnut Brownies

Ana from Live & Enliven here.  These brownies are such happy-makers, Emma and I have been looking at the pictures and sighing. She was having a hard-boiled egg for dinner and suddenly lost her appetite, who wouldn't right? Hard boiled egg vs. Brownies... Brownies 1. Eggs 0!

I hope you like them as much as we do...

 photos © live & enliven
 Espresso Chocolate Walnut Brownies

    Vegetable-oil cooking spray
    ¾ cup chopped walnuts
    1 cup cake flour, or ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    ¾ teaspoon baking powder
    1½ tablespoons finely ground espresso beans
    3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
    ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
    1½ cups sugar
    3 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line the pan with aluminum foil, then spray the foil with cooking spray.
Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about six to eight minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Stir in the ground espresso and set aside.
Fill a medium saucepan one-third full with water and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heat-proof bowl and set over the simmering water. Turn the heat to low. Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently, until completely smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture just until the flour is absorbed. Stir in the nuts.
Pour the batter evenly into the pan. Bake until a crust forms on top and the center is still somewhat gooey, but not Baywatch jiggly, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan set on a rack. Refrigerate two hours. Cut into 1-inch squares to serve.

Max's Classic Baseball Birthday

While working on an inspiration board for a client, I stumbled upon this most charming of all baseball parties from Katie's Pencil Box.  Katie graciously allowed me to share it here, and I'm sure you'll be as thoroughly smitten as I was...

photos © katie's pencil box

From Katie: Max's baseball birthday party was a real hit! (ugh. no pun intended.. haha).  It was a perfect summer night with good food (hot dogs and shish kabobs grilled by matt and his dad// bags of popcorn and caramel corn// and a table full of sweets), funny music (thank you andrews sisters...i'll never get tired of seeing little ones run around to old music), and amazing friends and family.  We sat around and watched the kids scoot about, playing backyard baseball, and dodging stray balls until the sun went down.   We made a little concession stand awning out of ikea fabric and tent poles that we had laying around // a photo cut out board from this image // cherry vanilla, peanut butter, and dark chocolate old timey mustaches on a stick// felt pennants on dowel rods and white paper pennant banners (ran through my sewing machine with red thread) to hang outside// i found vintage baseball card images online that i printed off on a thick cardstock for max's friends...and made little canvas drawstring bags for them to stuff with a baseball and sweets to take home.  It was a perfect party for our baseball-loving little guy.

Ticket Invitations: spaceships and laser beams 
Cupcake liners, Popcorn Bags + Straws: hey yo yo 
Mason Jar Juice Box idea via: a little sussy