It’s time to decorate Isabelle’s birthday cake! I made a two-tiered cake, the bottom cake was made from cake mix and colored in layers (see my Pink Surprise Ombre Cake post), the top portion was Funfetti cake (see my Milkbar Birthday Cake post). For the icing, I also used the recipe from Milkbar cake frosting. After icing the cake, I used fondant to cover and decorate the cake. I bough one tub of white fondant from BulkBarn.
Birthday Cake Frosting makes about 430 g (2 cups)
115 g butter, at room temperature (8 tablespoons or 1 stick)
50 g vegetable shortening (1/4 cup)
55 g cream cheese (2 ounces)
25 g glucose (1 tablespoon)
18 g corn syrup (1 tablespoon)
12 g clear vanilla extract (1 tablespoon)
200 g confectioners’ sugar (1 1/4 cups)
2 g kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon)
.25 g baking powder (pinch)
.25 g citric acid (pinch)
I love all seeing those cute cake smash photos I see on Pinterest! When my friend’s baby girl is turning one, I was so excited to be able to plan a cake-smash photo session for Isabelle’s first birthday. Doing your own cake smash at home is not hard, but you will need some preparation:
You can easily bake your own cake from a cake mix and bought ready-to-use icing. To add a touch on the cake, I made my own cake topper, which you can find the tutorial on my previous post.
Simple plain white wall is actually the best backdrop for any photos. I purchased a white shower curtain from Dollarama and used it to cover the carpet. If you can find a seamless paper backdrop, it will provide a cleaner background and save you time, as there weren’t wrinkles and folds to try editing out!
Get a few balloons, tissue paper, ribbons.. and there! you have a birthday festive :) Be creative and have a theme for your baby’s first birthday photo. The theme doesn’t have to be an elaborated one. It can be as simple as picking up colours. My friend loves the soft tone colour of mint green, pink and elegant gold!
I don’t have an expensive camera and actually use my iPhone a lot to take photos for my blog. With good lighting, you can take beautiful photos from your iPhone camera. These days, you can also find a lot of photo editing apps that will turn your boring dull photos into something magazine like.
Good Natural Lighting
Mornings and evenings offer the softest light and these tend to be the best times to shoot. I scheduled the cake smash photo shoot in the morning indoor. Good thing, my friend’s house has large windows with lots of good lighting coming in.
A soon-to-be one-year-old
A cake smash photo shoot means nothing if you don’t have a happy cheeky baby to shoot for.
Isabelle was excited to celebrate her first big birthday…. and many more to come! Happy 1st Birthday, Isabelle :)
Since I’ve started sewing over a year ago, I have been wanting to quilt but have always been intimidated by the patterns. When I saw this tutorial from V and Co. website, I decided to give quilting a try. I purchased my Jelly Roll from Etsy, but you can find a similar one from Fabric.com or Amazon. Jelly Roll is a set of 2.5″ pre-cut fabric strips – It is a great time saver for many quilters and perfect for a beginner like me. With the fabric already cut and coordinated, all I’ve left to do is sew together the strips into a fantastic quilt top.
As instructed in the pattern, I assembled six strips into one long strip unit.
Cut the 3 sets into 18 rectangles.
Sew together every 2 rectangles to make 9 squares
Sew together every 3 squares into 1 row. Make 3 rectangular rows.
Sew together each row into 1 square. This will be your final top quilt before attaching it to the batting.
Quilt Batting Batting is the soft layer between the quilt top and the backing. It gives the quilt dimension and definition as well as offering warmth. Because it comes in various thicknesses, it can make a quilt flat or puffy, stiff or drapable. Most quilt batting can be described as cotton or polyester, and you can you can buy it prepackaged, in standard sizes for crib, twin, full, queen and king size quilts. I bought mine online at Amazon and chose a Light Polyester Batting in baby crib size. I chose a light batting because I want my quilt to be drapery and will backed it with a soft minky fabric.
A few birthdays are coming up. My friend’s baby, Isabelle, is turning one in a few weeks and my fur baby, Truffle, is turning three in May. I was planning on ordering a cake topper from Etsy, but with the short time frame, I’m afraid it won’t get delivered in time for Isabelle’s birthday. I decided to make a DIY cake topper and went to Michael’s to buy some glitter paper. I found this Recollection gold glitter paper for $3.49 per sheet. The paper came in a clear plastic wrapping with a thin card board liner. The glitter paper itself is not that thick, so I used and glued the card board liner with the glitter paper to strengthen the cake topper structure.
To make the cake topper, you will need the following tools (I feel the glue gun is very crucial and also help provide a strong structure).
Glue gun, scissors, cutting mat, x-acto knife, pen or marker and regular printing paper to trace the template from computer screen (optional).
See below for the step-by-step to make the cake topper:
Font – I used Angeline Vintage font from 1001 free fonts website. You can either download the font or just simply use the “custom preview” section directly on the website.
Template – Print your letter template. If you don’t own a printer at home like me, you can trace the letters straight from the computer screen. I used regular printing paper and then transfer it to a thicker card stock paper. You can by pass this step if you can print straight to a thicker paper.
Glitter Paper – Glue your card stock template to the glitter paper. Make sure to glue the top part down (reverse). Use scissor and x-acto knife to cut out the glitter paper to match the template.
You can then use a glue gun to attach the cake topper onto wooden dowels, ice cream sticks, skewers, or paper straws.
After a few hours of tracing, cutting, and gluing… I’ve made 6 cake toppers from one sheet of glitter paper ($3.49). I think I’ve got all birthdays covered for this year ;)
While I was browsing at Michael’s store, I also found these paper bows ($1.50 for a set of 6) which I will use for a cupcake topper. You can use glue to attach the bow into a toothpick.
I’m going to share with you my first experience of hanging wallpaper. Moving to a new place was an opportunity for me to redecorate and learn something new. I always wanted to install a wallpaper, but never had the chance or guts to do it. Since my new place’s wall was not newly painted and had lots of nail holes.. I thought, why not covering them with wallpaper, while at the same time adding new décor to the house. I went online and to multiple stores before decided on purchasing these two vinyl wallpapers from Rona. I chose these for two simple reasons: pre-pasted for an easy install and textured which is perfect for covering holes/non-smooth wall. Each roll costs me $29.99 and covers about 56 sq ft (plenty for my purpose of covering only a few walls/creating a display wall).
Left image – Bluemountain Brown Wood wallpaper
Right image – Bluemountain Brick Effect wallpaper
I heard that hanging wallpaper is a two-people job, but I was able to do it by myself since I was only doing a few small areas. No matter what, you must have the right tools for a smoother installation process. Here are some basic tools you will need:
Wallpaper plastic scrapper (a must! To help sticking, smoothing, removing bubbles – it costs less that $5)
Metal scrapper (You can probable get away without it, but it definitely help me with corner and guide cutting the excess paper)
Exacto knife (Make sure to always start with a new blade to neatly cut the excess paper and avoid tearing)
Water bottle spray (I sprayed water to the pre-pasted backing, instead of soaking the rolled wallpaper in water)