Well hello lovely friends, it’s so wonderful to be back. I needed to take a few weeks off blogging to give myself a little creative breathing space. I enjoyed slowing down and even managed to do a few recipe shoots, so keep an eye out in the New Year for some delicious Summery baked treats.
Hello dear ones. Happy Spring!! What better way to celebrate the arrival of this floral season than sharing my vintage cactus party with you. This was actually my daughter’s tenth birthday party late last year. After much deliberation, and yes I confess, perhaps even a persuasive word from Mama bear, we decided upon a cactus theme. I wanted to keep the colours bright and fresh, using crisp apple green and lolly pink, with white accents.
Good morning dear ones. I have been looking forward to sharing this photo shoot with you for a very long time. It literally grew out of the ashes of a dangerous bush fire near our local beach village in the peak of a stifling Summer last January. The flames came perilously close to homes, although thankfully all were spared.
Each time I drove past this particular section of bushland all I could see was beauty. The traumatised trees stood defiantly in the bare earth, looking naked without bushy scrub at their heels. At first the scorched land seemed too damaged to recover, but eventually green shoots began to emerge. New life. It was truly breathtaking.
In my obsessively creative mind, a picture began to form of a vintage dessert table nestled amongst the charcoaled aftermath. I wanted to set a scene of contradiction with a table of delicate desserts in striking contrast to the harsh forest. Everything needed to be out of context. An old dressing table laden with vintage cakes and cupcakes and pretty buntings hanging from trees. Elements more suited to a bridal shower than a camp ground.
Of course dreams in my head usually take a while (often years) to become reality, so by the time I was able to execute this one, fresh new buds of life had turned into spindly clumps of grass dotted over the landscape. Not to be deterred! It was still beautiful. The day I scheduled the shoot it was raining, so we stood huddled under the shelter of our van boot waiting for a break in the weather. Eventually we had a window straight from Heaven. The sun came out so we quickly moved furniture, hung up buntings, trudged desserts over fallen twigs and hustled into position. We ended up with one hour of glorious afternoon twilight.
Oh my heart. Perfection.
Dear Miss Mary was my model, with a guest appearance from Bertie the bunny. Both were incredibly photogenic, but I may be a bit biased there.
Keeping the colour palette soft and muted with a feminine touch, I created desserts to match the pastel peach of Mary’s dress and headband.
I wanted to create an oasis. A tea party in the bush. An atmosphere of discovery and delight in the midst of adversity. One thing I have learnt is that the sweetest moments in life often arise out of the greatest trial. Beauty can indeed emerge from the ashes.
So often as a mother I wrestle with my own failures. Sometimes on a daily basis. No matter how hard I try I will never get it all right all the time. It’s just not possible, and yet I know I am not alone in being swallowed up by perceived or real mistakes made and opportunities lost. I imagine most mothers feel this way sooner or later.
Harsh words are spoken that cannot be taken back, frustrations spilling over into anger, the wrestle within to keep from putting self first, feeling like we aren’t good enough and our kids are going to be all messed up. We can get caught up in thinking that if only I were this or that, or could do this better, or was more like that mother…if only I were different, if only I wasn’t the way I am…then I would be a better mother. We let the fire of lies blast us bare.
My youngest daughter Kitty is quite affectionate, like most six year olds, and lavishes me with hugs, kisses and affirmation of her undying love for me. A few weeks ago she was saying grace before a meal and started thanking God for her mummy, saying that I had a pretty face and was “everything I ever wanted my mummy to be when I was in Heaven before I was born”. I was so touched by her genuine appreciation for who I am simply because I am her mother. She was satisfied that I was good enough, confident that I was capable to be her mother just because I am me. How hard it is to rest in that knowledge and let the wisdom of babes speak truth over us.
So, the next time self doubt creeps into my mother heart, I will trust that the Lord actually knew what He was doing when in His wisdom He made me the mother of my children. He alone will bring forth beauty from the ashes of my failings, mistakes and weakness. All I need to do is stop where I am and take a good look around me. I might just see that the view from here, although bearing the scars from trial, is still pretty special.
Good morning my Lovelies,
I know I have said this more than a few times this week, but Oh my heart!! I struggle to express how delighted I am to share my Easter photo shoot with you. To be able to turn this little idea of mine into a reality, and oh my what a beautiful reality it was, just about fills this mama’s heart to full and overflowing.
My inspiration came from a few areas. Firstly, I have been longing to do a shoot in this location for years. It is a local farm with grazing cows and the most picturesque trees. As chance would have it, I was driving along the cute bumpy road one morning and met the owner of the farm, who readily gave me permission to do a shoot on his property. Win. All we needed to do was avoid the warm fresh cow pads as we hauled our goodies through the boggy grass, as it had been raining for a week. Well, we missed most of them. Yikes!
My vision was to create a whimsical Easter desert table in pastel tones, with a distinct vintage style. Lots of pretty pale pinks and baby blues with pops of yellow and fresh flowers. Instead of one feature cake I wanted to be a little bit more extravagant with three cakes taking centre stage.
I filled the dessert table with some of my favourite treats, including passionfruit curd meringue cupcakes, choc coated Oreo pods with edible nests made from vermicilli noodles mixed with green tinted white chocolate, Easter themed sugar cookies and meringue kisses.
Part of my signature style is the use of vintage props on dessert tables. I love picking up quirky bits and pieces to incorporate onto my tables, keeping them unique and interesting. I am especially fond of kitsch baby planters and egg cups. Their pastel tones and very cute characteristics make for delightful cake toppers or sweets holders.
Every time I do a photo shoot my girls take turns modelling for me. They are all so adorable and love dressing up and posing for me. Miss Kitty was so excited that she would practice standing and smiling for everyone at home to show us how she was going to pose for the photo shoot! Too cute. I love that we are making memories together and I can give them a childhood filled with creativity, wonder and beauty.
Life is a gift that needs to be cherished. I know I often get lost in the everydayness of the pressing needs around me and fail to look up, look beyond my messy house and breathe. As I scroll through these pretty photos I am reminded that life, childhood, family and friendships all need to be celebrated. For me, I guess that looks like creating beautiful dessert tables, sweet treats and having fun baking and dressing up with my girls. For others it is taking the boards to the beach or riding bikes through a park together. Whatever it is you love to do with your tribe, let me encourage you to get out and do something fun together this Easter weekend. Create memories, build up the family love tank and leave the washing till next week.
All my love xx
Concept, styling, props and desserts || Mama Bears Kitchen
Photography || Sarah Rickard Photography
Flowers || Alstonville Florist
Cookie stamps || The Cookie Stamp Co
Models || Kitty, Daisy & Parker
Hello dear ones,
It’s been an age since I have joined you here, but oh it’s nice to be back! As we all know, blogging is only a snippet of my life and it takes pretty much all of me to love my hubby and dear sweet lambs plus run our home and pastor a church. I have spent the first part of the year getting the tribe sorted and into the rhythm of our family / school / homeschool life and routine.
The good news is that I am now resuming my weekly blog posts. Every Saturday morning you will find my latest creative ventures, themed party, styled shoot or cupcake recipe. I hope you will join me. Despite my blogging absence, I have been quite busy creating new content and I can’t wait to share it all with you.
First up for 2018 is this Easter dessert table I set up for a flower crown workshop I hosted in my home. My goal was to create a pastel sweets table with a distinct vintage feel. I wanted to draw out the child in each of us, with matching lollies, cookies, cake pops and cake.
The girls and I got our bunny cookie cutters out to give homemade coconut ice an Easter makeover. I was pleased with how easy it was, and how cute they looked. Even your toddlers could help in the kitchen with this one.
Another super easy snack I made with the kids was choc dipped Oreos. We simply melted white chocolate (with a drop or two of candy oil colour, or you could use candy melts if you have a microwave, which we don’t). Dip half an Oreo biscuit into the chocolate and sprinkle with your favourite sprinkle mix.
I’m not much of a cookie decorator, but I couldn’t resist these adorable radish and carrot cutters. Piped with pastel coloured buttercream and displayed in cute Easter bowls and plates, they added a bit of Easter cheer to the table.
What’s an easter dessert table without lollies? I know I shouldn’t, but I have a bit of a weakness for these tempting little sweeties. I have many a fond childhood memory buying bags of lollies, back in the day when twenty cents filled a huge bag to the brim! Ahh..the good ole days…
I love displaying sweets in cute little vintage planters, jars or timeless white milk glass dishes. They just look soo good all dressed up.
Perhaps my favourite element of any party is the take home favours. A gift giver at heart, I love to bless my guests with goodies to take home, which are preferably edible. For my Easter party I decorated cheap gift bags with fabric strips, ribbon, paper flowers, string and cute vintage easter tags, for guests to put their lollies in. I also spray painted the lids of plastic cylinders and filled them with jelly beans for the children to take home.
For the ladies I set up a tea station with my pretty tea cups on a white vintage dresser, decorated with a simple fabric bunting to tie in with the theme. I also decorated glass milk bottles with string and paper flowers in pastel colours.
Another weakness of mine is vintage aprons. Oh my heart, they are just soo adorable and make the perfect decorating accesory! My favourite way to use them is strung across the dessert table as a garland, or even as a backdrop. The colours are so pretty and I love that real women wore them as they cared and cooked for their families. A reminder of beauty in the every day.
Thanks for taking the time to scroll through my photos. Hopefully you go away inspired to create your own Easter gathering with the kids, family and friends.
I am so happy to be here. Life is pretty big for all of us, and I am so thankful for the tiny time and space I get to meet with you and share my passion for all things sweet, pretty and vintage. Stay tuned and don’t forget to pop in next Saturday morning where I will share with you my latest Easter photo shoot, which I am so excited about, I think my heart will burst!
See you then. xx
Hello dear ones and thank you for joining me here in my happy place for my final blog post of 2017. It’s been such a great year and I want to thank all of you for popping in to visit my kitchen, my family, my home and my heart. I am honoured to have you come and sit with me a while and share in my fanciful creations.
For my final post I want to share a little of myself with you, so you can see the face and meet the mama behind the cakes, kiddies and dessert tables.
I want to tell you a little of my story.
Twenty two years ago I became a mother and it changed my world. My heart exploded and I felt like the first woman in the history of time itself to ever experience the all powerful, raging force of mother love. I was completely hooked. Addicted. I could never imagine ever having my last baby. Motherhood was entirely the greatest experience of my life and I relished every moment of it. I had found my destiny, my calling, my purpose.
Being a housewife suited me. It still does. I loved to bake and started making muffins, biscuits and cakes for the many people who called in to visit. Back in the day it was organic spelt grain and my trusty Schnitzer wheat grinder. My older children still can’t quite comprehend how far I’ve fallen, using white sugar, white flour and food colouring in my current decorative baking endeavours.
My husband and I started pastoring a growing church in a lovely coastal town 17 years ago. I thrive on the opportunity for home hospitality that pastoring creates. Our visitors are always welcomed with freshly baked goodies coming from the kitchen. It was around this time we also began homeschooling our children. Life was good, busy and productive with three little kiddies running around.
We didn’t quite see the curve ball coming straight for us, which would rock my world, mercilessly rip apart my mother heart and challenge every belief I had.
Eleven days after our fourth child, a beautiful, healthy, nine pound baby boy was born, he died. Noah Gabriel was our third son. My pregnancy was healthy and there was nothing wrong with him. Bizarrely, I came down with a virus on the last day of my full term pregnancy and the long story short is our dear little baby contracted the virus, was born into the world, fought on for a while, then left us to go to Heaven, dying in his father’s arms.
Just like that. (You can read his story HERE)
That was fifteen years ago now. And I still cried this week putting up our Christmas tree without him. The all powerful, raging force of mother love bears a few more scars these days. The challenges have become bigger. The grief has shaped me, ground me down to nothing only to be lovingly rebuilt again by the master hands of my Creator. My roots have dug deeper. I am older, stronger, weaker, more worn, battle weary even. But mother love has won out again.
Now, in the blink of an eye, we have five more beautiful daughters. If Noah had survived, would we have these precious girls? I don’t know. They have been the delight of my heart and the healing balm of my soul, and I am oh so grateful to God for sending them to us.
Life has a way of chugging along. I am learning to hold on loosely to my lambs. They grow up, get married, move away, live their lives. Homeschooling has an ebb and flow. While I have been consistently teaching my children over the years, some have gone to school while others have stayed in the nest. I am currently teaching our four youngest girls at home and love hanging out with these treasures. They also make really cute models.
I have been a housewife for over two decades now and this year I became a grandmother. Through it all, I have continued to bake.
After our youngest was born five years ago, I fell into decorative baking while making cupcakes for my mother in law’s 80th birthday. Oh my. A passion was unleashed and a whole new world of creative expression opened up before me. What started as a few cupcakes with sugar paste daisies on top has literally snowballed into themed dessert tables, wedding cakes, styled parties, baby showers and an insatiable desire to bake, create and share the sugar love!
As my passion has grown, so has my love affair with all things vintage. I began collecting all manner of odd bibs and bobs that would look fabulous on my dessert tables. Old rusty biscuit tins, vintage thermoses, cake stands, rustic pieces of wood, retro gingham aprons, lace doilies, you name it. Whatever had styling potential would find it’s way into my hands where I would work my magic and create unique vintage styled dessert tables. I fill these tables with cakes, cupcakes, cake pops, sugar cookies and colour coordinated lollies and sweets.
Along the way my eldest daughter suggested I start a blog to showcase my work, offering to set one up for me. I have always been ‘Mama Bear’ and love being in my kitchen, so it seemed fitting, with nine dear kiddies now under my wings, to call my new blog “Mama Bear’s Kitchen”.
I post every Saturday morning, sharing cupcake recipes, styled parties or photo shoots, wedding or celebration cakes I’ve made for others. While I am still a hobby home baker, I cannot tell you how much I thrive on this little creative outlet that brings so much colour and beauty into my world.
Do I still love motherhood as much as I did twenty two years ago, or has my passion shifted a gear into a new direction? I am the first to confess that raising children is not for the fainthearted. Parenthood can be a brutal and unforgiving teacher. There is no way around it. It’s tough. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done. Dedicating the prime years of my life to raising a lot of children comes at a cost. It is not a popular path in our modern culture. Our choices mean I don’t have a lot of other freedoms, or huge chunks of time to devote to my creative passions, but I am happy doing what I can with what I have. My eyes are on a higher purpose and that all powerful, raging force of mother love drives me to keep going, to finish well, to pour all I am into this high and noble calling.
While I may not have the thriving baking business, party styling book or super successful standing in social media that I see other talented mums enjoying, I know where my true success and purpose lies. It is right in front of me, in those little and big faces that need their mama. And if I get to bake a few cakes, style some fancy tables and gosh, even get featured in a few magazines along the way, then wow…how good is that?
I am most certainly going to enjoy the ride and still have dreams of one day spreading Mama Bear’s wings with the girls when they are older. For now though, in amongst the washing and cleaning, teaching and feeding the troops, I am absolutely going to create as much beauty as I can, sell the odd cake, have fun with my girls, style a few more dessert tables and maybe even collaborate with other talented artists out there.
So once again, thank you. I appreciate you walking along this road with me. As always, my mind is bursting with a zillion creative ideas and I look forward to sharing them with you in the coming year.
Wherever you call home, have a wonderful Christmas season and I’ll see you in January. Can’t wait.
Good morning dear ones, are you getting excited about Christmas yet?
Today we broke out Bing Crosby’s Christmas carols which I freely confess caused a little flutter of the heart as I sighed out loud. Apart from being a baking stylist’s dream, Christmas really is a special time for me. I love everything about it. The music, food, presents (gift giving is wayyy up there in my love language), hustle and bustle and even the tacky store decorations…..well, maybe except tinsel…..yeah, I don’t like tinsel.
As pastors, Christmas day is a pretty busy time for our family. We usually host a church service for the community at a local lake, then head to the cemetary to remember our precious Heavenly son, Noah, before finally chugging home to open presents, eat and reflect on the goodness of God.
I try to delegate as much of the Christmas dinner as I can to my capable oldest son, who can cook up a feast with more skill than me. We have learnt to keep it simple with a realistic amount of food, which usually involves a baked ham or lamb, roast veggies and salads. We aren’t much of a seafood family, so that’s easy.
The sweets are another matter entirely.
The girls and I spend the weeks prior to Christmas whipping up all sorts of celebratory confections. Sugar cookies, cupcakes, coconut ice, rocky road, not to mention a delicious gingerbread cake and gingerbread men….and that’s not even dessert. Have I ever mentioned to you that I am a frustrated baker with an insatiable neeeed to bake? Every Christmas I love turning my kitchen into a festive frenzy. Thankfully I have quite a few willing helpers.
Every year I like to set up a dessert and sweets table for my family….well, more for my own creative satisfaction really. (Did I ever tell you I am just a creatively starved housewife? Plus my older children don’t eat sugar. I know right.)
The first place I go to find inspiration is our local fabric store. I will often find a colour combination or pattern that catches my eye and I’ll build an entire Christmas theme around it. Last year I found this funky colourful fabric range and knew it would be perfect.
You should know by now about my love affair with bright colours. I was going to call this my ‘pastel Christmas’ but realised that I am probably the only person on the planet who would consider these colours pastel. I fell in love with the hot pink, aqua blue, lime green and red. A crazy gorgeous colour combo.
The next thing I do is hunt around for matching bibs and bobs that bring out the colours in the fabric. Raiding my prop collection I found a couple of super cute neon faux deer and a hot pink chalk board frame from my Summer Boho NY Eve party. I also used a cheap red glass cake stand I bought from Woolies last Christmas (score!) and others from my collection. The wooden churches and pastel ( yes, really pastel ) Christmas trees were picked up from bargain shops. The next time you rummage through tacky store decorations, try to visualise them out of context, in a nicer setting, ie: on your styled dessert table. You will be surprised how good they can look when you cobble them together with nicer pieces.
For a simple table covering I put a strip of hot pink hessian over a white wooden trestle table with a piece of the feature fabric as a runner. You can also see how a string of matching baubles and paper lanterns can dress up a table.
It’s good to buy a couple of metres of each chosen fabric to use throughout your display and main table. Here I used a narrow strip as a runner on our dining table to bring continuity to the theme.
One of our family traditions is to give each guest a Darrell Lea nougat pudding for Christmas. They are sooo delicious, and such a treat. I always wrap one for each place setting and label them with handmade tags. For this theme I used fabric strips as ribbons to tie around the boxes.
As I mentioned in my Lavender & Lace wedding post, one of my signature styling elements is using marquee light letters on my dessert tables. I’m pretty crazy about them. All you need to do is change the fabric to match any theme you have. This is the beauty of using fabric as your inspiration source. There are countless ways you can include it to bring cohesion to your display.
Well, there you have it. Our
pastel , I mean bright Christmas dessert table. I hope you enjoyed a little peak into our family celebration. With only three weeks until the happy day, I need to get cracking with this year’s plans. About now my girls usually beg me to do a red and green Christmas theme and last year forced me to buy a green Christmas tree (!) to replace the really cool dark purple one I found a few years ago. What is that!? What’s not to love about a purple Christmas tree? Seriously. I think it’s fabulous, but apparently it isn’t, so I finally succumbed to family pressure and (gasp) bought a traditional green tree. (Can you feel my disappointment?)
Sooo, this year, I am biting the bullet and have chosen very traditionally…..wait for it….red and green checked tartan. I know. Aren’t you proud of me? (applause please). I’m pretty impressed myself. I found some gorgeous tartan in Spotlight, and have a few old plaid tins and thermoses, so you’d better watch this space!
See you next week. xx
Good morning Lovelies. How’s things? The girls and I flew solo this week as hubby took our 18 year old son adventuring in Tassie for a dose of hiking, snow seeking, white water rafting and bush walks. He has worked so hard this year, often at three jobs, so we wanted to give him a pat on the back and tell him how proud we are of the amazing young man he is becoming.
Time out is good for all of us. As stay at home mums of littlies and middle size kiddies would know, it’s not that easy to go on adventurous holidays. Actually, even just holidays. I think we’ve tried about three times to get away this year, but between the dog, two cats, rabbit, chickens, brand new chickies and kids agendas, its been nigh impossible.
To be honest though, I’m not that adventurous anyway. I really love my home, my kitchen, my books, tea, hearth and larder….ahh Bilbo Baggins, I see you. We don’t use our hearth much, but I am honestly very happy in my own space. This week one of my daughters suggested I should go out into the veggie garden more often…I can’t remember why she was saying that, but the first words that popped into my mouth were…”Why would I want to leave my kitchen?” Even I was taken aback by my candid reply. I was instantly struck by my own honesty….yes, I would rather be baking in my kitchen than pretty much anywhere else.
One thing I can do from home, to my delight, is create adorable baby showers and parties. When we heard our first grandchild was on the way, I was quick to talk with my son and his wife about the baby shower. As I was the stylist and sweets caterer for their gorgeous Vintage barefoot wedding, I knew pretty well what style they both like. Mostly vintage with a splash of sunshine, green from the earth, timber, natural textures and pops of colour.
My son requested that the shower be suitable for both guys and girls, as they wanted their friends to attend. I therefore kept to a fairly neutral palette, with lots of light timber, raw textures, white and hints of pink to celebrate that their baby is a girl. You can read about my heartfelt reflections on becoming a grandmother in Part 1 of this baby shower post HERE
I chose a bit of a boho woodland theme, keeping the design elements simple and not overly cluttered. I used some greenery, grasses, succulents, and one of my favourite vintage design elements, a homemade fabric garland, as a statement piece along the front of the dessert table. The timber pallets were a main feature of the display, which are a cheap and versatile way to dress up any dessert table. My husband made the backdrop timber board with wood panels from Bunnings, which was painted white.
I had fun creating the dessert menu for this baby shower. I decorated sugar cookies to look like flowers and gave chocolate coated peanut butter crackers a touch of cactus love. Caramel corn cupcakes were topped with cute foxes and woodland animal printables and the most delicious raw cakes topped off the dessert table.
I found these cute birch log card holders on eBay that matched my theme perfectly.
Apart from the main dessert table, my talented son made up antipasto platters for an extensive grazing table. He has a natural way of putting savoury food together, so I left that in his capable hands. I pulled out some of my quirky props, including old suitcases, wooden crates, enamelware and even an old set of scales. It is so easy to dress up a food table by using whatever funky things you have around your home to add height and interest to serve your food.
One of my go to serving ideas is to wrap small luncheon rolls in coordinating fabric or ribbon scraps. Such an easy way to dress up your table. It’s the little touches that turn an ordinary gathering into something special.
Another little idea I almost always do is get my kiddies baking biscuits or cookies for the table. A sweet homemade touch that goes the extra mile in making your guests feel spoilt, and your kids will feel important too.
Something else the kids can help with is decorating the drink glasses or bottles. I usually use mason jars or glass milk bottles, both available from cheap shops. They are so versatile and can literally be dressed to suit any theme or event. Personalising the name tags also helps make your guests feel valued, and encourages them to keep the same glass throughout the day.
Of course no baby shower in my home is complete without a tea station. I saved up most of the pink to use on my funky pink dresser that I just adore. I made up a ‘tea’ banner with coordinating printables and embellished it with matching fabric scraps and hung it across the mirror. Carefully selected tea cups sitting on the dresser were pretty enough to make any tea lover sigh with immense satisfaction! Not to leave the coffee drinkers out of action, I set up my retro Johnson Australia coffee cups, which also happened to match my theme. Score.
Whenever I host a baby shower I love to decorate a baby or doll cradle to hold gifts for the expectant mother. In this case, a dear friend painted the cradle as a gift itself to the delighted mama.
Lastly, and perhaps my favourite element of any party is the take home favours. I am a gift giver at heart, so I’m always on the lookout for cheap, suitable party favours that say a hearty ‘Thanks for coming!’ to any party I host. I found these brightly coloured fragrant candles half price in Lincraft and knew they would be perfect for the baby shower. By adding cute ‘thank you’ tags tied with string I had gorgeous little gifts for guests to enjoy at home.
Thank you for taking a little tour around my baby shower with me. As I mentioned in Part 1, this event was especially close to my heart. I am so blessed to have a loving family and it was an honour to create this special party for them.
Next week I will be sharing with you my absolute favourite cake I have made so far. It’s a bit of a bomb! Stay tuned, and have a great weekend. xx
Good morning Lovelies. Another glorious day here in paradise. What are you up to this weekend? We might take the kiddies for a swim in the lake before I decorate my orange and poppyseed cake for church tomorrow. I am thinking of doing more succulents, just because I want to and they are way too much fun.
Oh hold your hat!! As I am sitting here chatting with you I hear a faint cheepy chirpy sound coming from our incubator. Low and behold we have the first of our teeny tiny chicks hatching into the world today! Yayy! How exciting. Don’t you just love new life?
Anyway, as I was intending to say ….last Saturday we had our third 18th birthday party. I gave myself the challenge of creating my very first non vintage monochromatic dessert table and donut board. Not an old rusty, weather beaten prop in sight. As modern decor is not my native tongue, so to speak, I am quite pleased that I managed to pull out shiny, black, brand new non vintage items.
As for the monochromatic look…..well, I tried really really hard. I honestly did, but then I found this deliciously blue Mosser glass cake stand online, that I had been searching all over the country for. As soon as I had it in my hot little hand I just knew it would provide the perfect pop of colour to send my dessert table to the next level. Before I knew it, I had blue isomalt to make a sugar sail for my cake and matching cupcakes, colour coordinated candy and hues of blue on my cake that would make Van Gogh proud. What can I say, resist as I might, colour is my passion and as my twelve year old daughter expressively declares, “It’s just my natural musk!”
As our son is a tradie, I thought it would be fun to use nails as pegs on the donut board. Do you have any idea how many nails there are in Bunnings? Oh my. I was standing there in front of hundreds of packets of the dear things..feeling a little out of my comfort zone to be honest. Now I know how hubby would feel if I sent him into Spotlight for quilters thread. Anyway, I finally found some that fit the peg board and they looked really effective.
I have to say it. This was a very cheap DIY dessert table display. Totally budget friendly. Most of the props were sourced from Kmart and were under ten dollars each. The black metal grid framing the donuts are small clothes drying racks. I found a set of three round mirrors for $9:00 which I used under the cake and wire basket to create a reflective illusion of space. Flat metal trays served sweets and desserts, and a metal display shelf attached to the peg board backdrop held the cupcakes.
Some of my favourite DIY elements of the party included the cake stands I made. Again, all items were found in Kmart. I bought two round stone trivets and glued them to a geometric candle holder, which I turned upside down. Voila! A trendy modern cake stand for less than ten dollars. I also glued three black tin hexagon planters together to hold the lollies.
The sweets menu consisted of a chocolate orange blossom birthday cake and cupcakes…my new favourite combination (recipe coming soon to blog). Our daughter graciously carried four dozen Krispy Kreme donuts on the plane from Sydney, which were possibly the stars of the show. Everyone loves a good donut! Tim Tam pops and chocolate coated peanut butter crackers were decorated with edible metal gun grey paint and silver leaf. (Note to self, metallic edible paint is not actually designed to go on chocolate and gives a bitter taste. Hmm. All good, I conversed with the edible paint creator on that one and I obviously didn’t read the fine print. But boy, I loved how they looked! Presentation people!)
Without a doubt , the most fun I had was playing with isomalt. It’s the first time I have used it and yes, I was quite nervous. Isomalt is a sugar substance that lets you pour, pull, mould, drizzle and spread it, much like toffee. It is shiny and glamorous and makes you feel like you are holding glass. You have to work quickly, but oh it was fantastic to play with! I am absolutely addicted. The only down side is that it melts. My cool thin wispy threads were starting to melt by the time I got my camera out. Oh well, never mind. Isomalt and I are at the beginning of a beautiful friendship and I will overlook her flaws for now.
Well folks, that’s a wrap. My very first modern, mostly monochromatic geometric dessert table. Not a flower in sight. I am quite pleased with how it all came together. As a bonus, our son now gets a new black wire dirty clothes basket and a cool round shelf for his room. Now, if you will excuse me, our third little chicky is hatching and I must go and marvel at the wonder of it all. Have a great weekend.
Hi De Ho folks and a hearty New Year wave from Mama Bear. Another year has bulldozed it’s way into our lives and there isn’t much point trying to hold it back screaming ‘too soon! to soon!’ I confess I am a tad frustrated. I still feel caught up in the cyclonic turbulence of Christmas and it’s ensuing obligations. My feet are running and I haven’t had a moment to take a breath and even begin to think about what another year means to me. My house is a stark reminder of the chaos I feel.
Not to say that I haven’t enjoyed the festivities. Our Christmas season was lovely. Family, church, swimming, a trip to the cemetery, good food, sweet treats, visitors and a squeak of party styling, all of which culminated into a family friendly New Year’s bash at our place for 80 people. We had a jumping castle, camp fire, guitars, water bombs, chicken chasing by the wee ones and a pot luck dinner.
Surprisingly I hadn’t given much thought to the dessert table I wanted, in contrast to last year where I was pumped about my Summer Boho New Years Eve party . This year I threw a few things together almost at the last minute, choosing a more traditional theme while still keeping true to my love of boho, adding a bit of golden sparkle to jazz things up.
Desserts were simple. Jars of Eton Mess and Nutella cheesecake mousse pots, Tim Tam pops and white chocolate and passionfruit cupcakes kept all of the guests happy.
I decorated mason jars with gold edged white stickers and feathers found at the two dollar shop. Each guest wrote their name on the tag and kept their glass for the night. Dessert styling does not need to be expensive. Often the cheaper shops can have items that look stylish when combined with more expensive pieces like a nice cake stand for instance. I also found a remnant of gold sparkly fabric at Spotlight which became a stunning table runner.
Two days after the party, I took our 4 year old daughter to the doctor, on a public holiday mind you, to get antibiotics for an ear ache. Imagine our surprise when he spotted two silver balls in her ear! What followed was three days of hospital visits an hour away, many hours in waiting rooms and finally a consultation with the specialist who eventually decided to take her into theatre to get the balls out. What we thought were two small edible silver cachous turned out to be 7 (yes 7!!) magnetic ball bearings! The mind boggles.
Happy New Year indeed.
Hopefully things will settle down now. I am desperate to get off the treadmill and somehow find a snippet of time to breathe, dream, create. Oh, and tidy the house, face the washing pile of mountainous proportions, put the Christmas tree away, pack away the party props, try to find the lounge room floor, take the dog for a walk, plan our homeschool year and oh yes, enjoy my children.