Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Item of the Week: Cupcake Topper and other Party Items

I thought I'd start a new feature on my blog each week - an "Item of the Week" feature highlighting a new, or perhaps just a favorite, item available on my site. My favorite item this week is something that I've just finished handcrafting this weekend. The very cool cupcake toppers pictured above. These pinwheel cupcake toppers come in sets of 6 (we also have some larger sets available on our site) and are handcrafted in my cottage. They would certainly be a special highlight at any children's birthday party. Especially for those of us who are technically challenged when it comes to decorating with icing. (Yes, I am challenged - I admit it - I have no talent even though my parents owned a bakery when I was young. If you are interested in that random rambling see the bottom of the post.) Even if you can barely ice a cupcake and even if the final product is lopsided, no one will notice. Your party guests will only notice these cute pinwheel cupcake toppers. We even have sets available, such as the one pictured above, that include a place card attachment. Just inscribe your guests' names on the card and place a cupcake in the middle of each placesetting on the table. This will certainly help avoid the fighting that goes on when kids are permitted to choose their own places - especially at a birthday party. (I have 12 stitches in my forehead to prove that kids do argue over seats - yet another rambling - see below.) Or, place a dozen or so cupcakes with toppers inserted on several varying heights of cake stands (or whatever else you have on hand - don't have cake stands, cover boxes or books with tablecloths or napkins and then place cupcakes on top) in the center of your table and these would make a unique centerpiece or the start of a unqiue children's birthday party tablescape. In place of a name, inscribe "Happy Birthday" on the card attachment.

I am still in the process of handcrafting these cupcake topper place cards (I have a stack of cardstock about a foot tall just waiting to turn into pinwheels), but as more become available, they will be added to the Fabulous Festivities area of my site. In the meantime, if you have a kid's birthday party coming up and you are going for a particular theme or color, just e-mail me at and I'll certainly see what I can do to create something amazing for your next birthday party or event.

In addition to the pinwheel cupcake toppers, pictured above, we also have matching pinwheel napkin rings. These can either be used as place cards, or you can insribe a special message on each. Even better, if the napkin rings aren't destroyed at the party or taken home as mementos of the evening, they are sturdy enough to be re-used. The place cards can be removed and a new card can be slid on the brad attachment on tha back. (Contact me for place card replacements.)

Who says that the top of your gift has to display a bow?! If you are tired of placing the same old bows, like I am, a top your presents, we've also created unique matching gift toppers/attachments. They are also - surprise, surpise - pinwheels. The back of each pinwheel contains glue dots so the pinwheels can easily be attached to the top of your gift. In addition to the glue dots, the brads on the back can also be used to wrap around gift bag handles. This works especially well with our smaller pinwheel gift toppers. And if things couldn't get any better, some of our gift toppers also contain gift tags so purchasing a card is not even necessary!

Random Rambling #1: My inemptness at decorating with icing!
Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). When I was practically a baby, my parent's owned a bakery in Chicago. It was a pretty well known neighborhood bakery and I literally grew up there as my mom also helped out my dad with the business. Of course they did the traditional donuts, breads, cakes, etc., but my dad was also pretty good at the cake decorating and they decorated many a wedding cake (my dad even made and decorated my parent's own wedding cake). Even though they sold the bakery before I reached school age, my dad still stayed in the baking industry and when I had show and tell in kindergarden my dad came in and showed everyone how to make an icing rose infront of the class. I think he even had me try my hand at it as well. I don't remember exactly how my rose turned out that day, but it was probably pretty bad - considering my age. :-) Well, 4 years ago I was pretty bored with my life and I decided that I needed a hobby so I decided to go to Hobby Lobby to try to get one (Where else would one go?). I saw the cake decorating classes sign and decided to sign up with a coworker. I get to class and I'm all excited. After all, I should probably be pretty good at this since I may have inherited some of my dad's talent, or so I thought at the time. By the first class I learned that I was so wrong. I can be clumsy and as it turns out I'm even more so when it comes to doing anything with icing. My coworker, on the other hand, ended up being great - every Monday morning she would even try to give me lessons before our work day started. Despite the fact that I was very pathetic at it, I decided to continue on to Wilton II classes - partly because my coworker loved it and wanted to continue, but mostly because I had invested quite a bit of money in all of the cake decorating supplies at that point (everything from the Wilton pans to the tips to the turntable, etc - yeah, you ever wander why the classes are so cheap? It's because you literally have to buy hundreds of dollars of supplies at their store to complete them. ;-) ). To draw this rambling to an end, I have an entire container of cake decorating supplies in my closet that hasn't been touched since the classes ended. Every once in a while I tell myself that I should put them to good use and then I remember how pathetic most of my creations turned out. And yes, my dad did not pass down his cake decorating gene to me!
Random Rambling #2: How I got 12 stitches in my forehead and 6 in my chin in 1 week!
It was a Sunday afternoon and I was all dressed in my Sunday pretties. I still remember the green puffy dress I had worn to church that morning. I must have been 3-4 at the time. My mom calls me and my older sister and younger brother into the dining room for Sunday lunch. I am too young to totally remember the happenings back then but for some reason there was china on the table - not sure if we always ate on china on Sundays or if this happened to be a special occasion, but nonetheless, it was there. My younger brother and I go to argue over which place we are going to sit at and while doing so I must have slipped and grabbed onto the china plate on the table to try to catch myself. And guess where it went? Straight into my forehead and it wasn't a pretty site. Needless to say my parents rushed me to the emergency room, with blood all down my pretty dress, and as it turned out I needed 12 stitches. Graphic content: The plate even went deep enough that it went through to the bone between my eyes and a plastic surgeon had to do 6 stitches underneath and 6 on top. Anyway, I got over the experience as soon as I saw the tootsie roll lollipop bouquet that I was presented with upon departure. And nope, the story doesn't end there. Three or four days later I'm leaving to go outside, following my sister along the way, and I trip going down the cement stairs. And, yes I busted open my chin which lead to another emergency room visit and 6 more stitches. If I remember the story correctly, it was a Catholic hospital and the nuns questioned my parents about child abuse since it was our second visit that week. Their response must have just been that they had a very clumsy daughter - me. (Now, you are probably not surprised at all that I can't decorate cakes - and yes, my nickname is still clumsy.) And no, I was not tramatized at all by these 2 hospital visits in a week - why? Cause the nurses presented me with a second tootsie roll lollipop bouquet the second visit as well. In fact, I can still vividly remember going home and sitting there with a huge bandage on my forehead and a huge bandage on my chin, sucking away on my tootsie roll lollipop! I guess I must have loved my sweets even back then! :-) And in case you are wandering my stitches did not end with that second episode. When I was in third grade I also got stiches in the back of my head and a concussion. I'll leave that story for another day, but in the interim I'll just hint that my 3rd, and final, round of stitches was the result of a rainy day, my grandma's rock patio backyard, and a tomato cage (I still don't think my parents know about this third part!). Interested now?