Thursday, December 27, 2012

Buche de Noel

This year I decided to make my Buche de Noel ( Yule Log) even more child friendly by adding a few Christmas mice to it.  They turned out adorable! - If I may say so myself.

I used Martha Stewart's recipe for the Chocolate Genoise cake and the Meringue Mushrooms, but I chose to substitute the chocolate mousse filling and the ganache icing for plain, out of the jar Nutella.  I must say that Martha's recipe makes a more delicate desert, but for the sake of time, I just had to improvise.  My guests enjoyed it and the kids loved the little mice.

I made the mushrooms and mice two days before and kept them in an airtight container.  Also, I left them in the oven for at least one hour longer than specified in Martha's recipe.  The heat and humidity here in Houston pretty much demands the longer drying out time.  Most people use licorice for the mice tails.  I don't care for the candy, so instead I drew on a wiggly tail with black gel icing out of a tube.

I think this video is great at showing how easy it is to handle the cake before rolling it.  I also microwaved the Nutella for 20 seconds to make it easy to spread.

And Voila!  I will probably use a version of the Yule Log next time I plan a woodland party.  I wonder if I can make Meringue Owls?  Hummmmmm....

 Hugs and Kisses,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Tree 2012

I'm trying something different this year -- Mostly because I found out that my super cheap christmas lights were actually white wired, instead of the green type, AFTER I got home.    So I decided to instead of trying to hide the unsightly cords, I would highlight them.

You can see the lights better in this picture.  I juxtaposed the warm white wired lights with the cool LED bigger bulbs for a more graphic effect.  I really like how it turned out.  It  has a bit of a Whoville feel to it.  :)

How to wrap a gift card

Many people believe that gifting cards is not personal and lacks thoughtfulness.  I think otherwise.  Gift cards are a great way to spread the cheer in a way that the hard to please recipient can truly enjoy.  Teens and teachers can do wonders with gift cards and meanwhile, you can exercise your creative muscles by making the presentation festive and personal.  I made these for my son's teacher's this year using the cricut machine.

They are actually pretty easy to make with scissors:

1. Simply cut a 8"x 6" rectangle out of a page of two sided scrapbook paper.
2. Trim one end with scalloped scissors.
3. Fold it in almost half leaving a bit of the scallop showing.
4. Cut a semi-circle and inside slits for the card.
5. Attach a tag with the handwritten initial of the recipient's name with some baker's twine.

Voila!  A beautiful gift wrapped, personalized gift card for a loved one.  The dimensions I gave you will fit any of the Target cards and their holders.

Happy gifting!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party

I had the opportunity to style and plan a Minnie Mouse inspired birthday party for a two year old, adorable little girl.  This was a rushed event.  I only had a couple of weeks to put it together, so I borrowed a lot of my ideas from Pinterest.

All paper products were designed and produced by Emily Claire.  To see sources of inspiration for all the other ideas, please visit my pinterest board here:

And a special thanks to Kristin Jackson from The Hunted Interior.  I used a variation of several of your ideas and kept your design sensibility in mind while making my choices.  :)

Unfortunately, we had rain so the clubhouse bouncer and lemonade stand went unused.  The entertainer and face painter kept the kids busy indoors.  :)


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Launch Party

Photography by Lis Purdy Photography

Happy Halloween Everyone!  Here is the party I styled and planned to celebrate the launch of Cru Events this weekend.  Enjoy!

Story Time with The Learning Garden

Candy Bar from Mary Had a Little Party

Cookies by Crumbs

Cupcakes by Flour & Eggs
Paper decorations by Catherine Hopkins Designs, Inc.

Entertainment by Tom's Fun Band

The Stage 

 Drink Station -  Slimeade and Pumpkin Punch
We put some dry ice in the cauldron

 Donut Challenge

The entrance
Face Painting

The Sweets Table

Photo Booth
Pre party

We had tons of games and crafts.  Fun was had by all.  Charley Ham from Cru did an amazing job with lots of the staging spots throughout the party.

Thanks Charley!

Friday, October 26, 2012

I wish you life, long life...

I've loosely translated a song by Flavia Wenceslau, an artist from my little corner of the world.  Her work is simple, sweet and meaningful. 

Metamorphosis Monday

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Face Game

I needed a pumpkin face game for this weekend's party, since my son is bent on carving a pumpkin.  He is 4.  So I figured I'd put together this cute little guy for the little ones.  It's a lot safer and less messy than handing them carving tools or paint.

     Orange and blue tempera paint
     Black foam board
     Orange glitter
     Metallic Marker
     Print out of something fun to say ("Spooktastic!" in Spinstee font)
     Vinyl sheet

I used orange tempera paint to free hand a pumpkin onto black foam board.  Then I traced the word spooktastic! onto the board with a pen to make a mark, then filled it in with a metallic gold pen:

Then I drew some eyes and mouths on the back side of the vinyl paper and cut them out.

While the paint was still wet, I sprinkled some orange glitter onto it and mixed a little blue tempera paint with the orange one to make brown for the stem and ridges.

Super fun and super easy!  Go make one.  :)


Monday, October 22, 2012

Broom Favor Tutorial

Right in the middle of the Halloween Launch party (Sunday) and the Minnie Mouse birthday (Next Saturday) I am planning, is the halloween celebration at my son's school.  I am in charge of the favors.  These little brooms are loosely based on this pinterest link:

I'm the first to admit that theirs is much more sophisticated than my little crooked brooms, but I think mine turned out pretty cute, and I used just plain scissors instead of a diecut machine.

Here is what I did:
First I cut 4 sheets of tissue in half, then in quarters.  Made a pile
Then I folded the paper in half and cut a half circle.  Folded the half circle in half, then in quarters, than in eighths.
Now I cut the wider part of the circle into an upside down "v".  Unfolded the paper like in the picture and cut a slit right in the middle.
Now with the help of some string, I tie a lollipop in the wrap.  And...

I glued a round label with the name of each child and teachers to the broom handle.

I hope the kids will like them.  :)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

CRU Events Launch Party

I just got the signs for the CRU Events launch party.  It's been so much fun putting this event together!!!  If you live in the Houston area, do stop by on Sunday the 28th of October.  Dress the little ones in their costumes.  There will be lots of fun games, crafts, entertainment -- and of course, TREATS!!!! I will post pictures of the event for those of you that cannot make it.  :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Halloween water bottle label design

I finished the design for the water bottles for the Halloween Launch of Cru Events coming up on the 28th.  I am very pleased as to how it turned out.

Remember my little witch from the previous post ?

This is super easy to do on any half decent photo editing program.  I use Pixelmator.  First I downloaded the free chalkboard background from here.  Downloaded some fun fonts:  Spinstee, Calligraphic Frames and Sketchblock.  And followed the super easy tutorial from this awesome site:

Go make one.  It is that easy!  :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Glam Halloween Banner

The glam halloween banner I've created for the launch of Cru Events has turned out awesome.  I thought I'd share my creative process with you guys as I had so much fun with it...

The whole thing starts with drawings.  My banners usually have 7 dedicated drawings.  For this particular banner I created a witch, a broom, a cluster of mushrooms, a magic potion, an awesome shoe, and the stylized words Eek and Boo.

 At this point I color them with different media and clean them up a little using a photo editing tool ( I use pixelmator)

 Now they are ready to be printed into high weight card stock and then trimmed to size.

These bits are now pearlized with sheen spray and touched up with a little glitter to up the glam factor. Meanwhile, I cut and glue and pull my hair out trying to get these frames put together...

My wonderful and super meticulous friend, Kim, helped me out while our 4 year olds played together in the next room.  She is a sport!

Here are some detail shots:

And... TADA!!! The  Finished Product:

If you are curious about my product line, please visit my Etsy shop at:  Catherine Hopkins Designs Inc


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