May 04, 2011
Everyone loves cupcakes, but sometimes the wrappers can be a bit boring. This tutorial shows a fast, inexpensive way to create a cupcake wrapper out of decorative paper. You can find decorative paper in the scrapbooking section of Michaels or Hobby Lobby, or in a pinch, you can use gift wrap.
---> DOWNLOAD TEMPLATE HERE <---
May 02, 2011
It's time for our first giveaway, and it's a GREAT one! We have just started selling PSA Essentials Stamps at Swanky Press, and to celebrate, PSA is going to giveaway a prize pack worth approximately $80!
The winner will get a custom stamp, one peel & stick pack, one ink, and an alignment tool.
For those of you not yet familiar with PSA Essentials, they make round stamps that can be used for addresses, scrapbooking, holiday crafts, and tons more. Each stamp has an inner circle (typically with an image or initial) and an outer ring (often with an address). Both the inner circle and outer ring can be interchanged with any other designs (like their peel and stick packs), AND you can change the colors using different inks!
There are several different ways you can enter, and each counts as a separate entry. The more you do, the more entries you get!
1. Leave a comment below saying which PSA product or design is your favorite.
2. "like" PSA Essentials on Facebook
3. "like" Swanky Press on Facebook (you can just click that button over on the right of your screen)
4. follow the Stamp Camp blog and leave a comment there
If you do #2, #3, or #4, please leave a comment below so we can make sure you get credit!
US Residents only, please. Contest runs through this Friday, May 6th.
April 28, 2011
These cool, minty green invites from Swanky Press have vintage horses and a banner - it's a blend of classic and cool. If you think it's too late to order invites, it's not. We sell digital versions for $16 (no matter how many you want to print or email).
2. Rose Pops
3. Mint Julep Cupcakes
Of course, we're all supposed to love a mint julep at the derby, but personally, it's a bit too strong for me. This cupcake however, hits the spot! View the recipe at celebrations.com.
4. Men In Argyle Socks
This picture makes me happy. Enough said. (photo credit: cooper carras photograpy)
5. Derby Hats
The iconic Derby hat - large and elegant. Custom, one of a kind hats can be found at AwardDesign out of Los Angeles. They have an etsy shop for easy shopping, too!
6. Horse Shoe Ring
Good luck and style, wrapped into one pretty ring. This handmade, sterling silver ring was even inspired by (the artist) Lisa's visit to Churchill Downs! Available at TheBeadGirl on etsy. You can check her out on facebook, too.
7. Mint Julep
The Mint Julep is the classic drink of the Kentucky Derby. Each year, over 120,00 mint juleps are served at the official Kentucky Derby over the two-day race event (wow!). Those drinks require 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint. Here's the simple recipe:
Muddle mint leaves, powdered sugar, and water in a collins glass (an 18 to 20 oz narrow tumbler). Fill the glass with shaved or crushed ice and add bourbon. Top with more ice and garnish with a mint sprig.
If you want the more complicated, syrup-based recipe (hand-made syrup, of course), you can find it onFood Networ. However, this IS the simply swanky blog, so I figured you'd prefer the quick recipe!
8. The Flowers
The Kentucky Derby is known as the Run for the Roses. Red roses seem obvious, but I love the idea of wheat grass mixed with white roses. It's fresh and modern, but still picks up the classic tones of the Derby. This gorgeous arrangement is available at An Octopus' Garden in Las Vegas.
9. That Extra Special Touch
Want to wow your guests? Buy a bar of this great Felted Mint Julep Soap for each bathroom and the kitchen. At only $6, it's an inexpensive way to carry the party theme throughout the entire house. Available from Soap Werks (out of Kentucky, naturally) at their etsy shop.
10. Horse Coasters
11. Tissue Poms
For those of you familiar with Simply Swanky, you already know I love tissue poms! I thought the light green hues in these would really look fresh instead of the traditional Derby Red. (photo credit: green wedding shoes blog) Be sure to check out my diy tutorial on making poms - it's easier than you think!
April 27, 2011
As promised, we have a DIY tutorial for chocolate dipped cakeberries. These are like cake pops, but cleverly shaped and decorated to look like chocolate covered strawberries! They work wonderfully at outdoor parties, or anything with a red/fresh theme, such as our Ladybug Baby Shower. This idea is the brainchild of Lindsay Morton of Dollhouse Bake Shoppe. If you watch Food Network's Cupcake Wars, you'll recognize her as the winner of the premiere episode (you can watch it here). Lindsay has a blog and a website filled with yummy recipes.
Let's Make Cakeberries! (courtesy of Dollhouse Bake Shoppe)
Using the Dollhouse Bake Shoppe "Red Velvet Cupcake/Cake Kit" or your favorite recipe (you can even try strawberry flavored cake), bake an 8" cake and prepare frosting as directed. Once cake has completely baked and cooled, crumble it up and mix with frosting until it is almost a dough consistency. (You can use a fork or electric mixer, but I like to just use my hands. Kids LOVE this part and squishing it between their fingers to fully incorporate.)
Roll mixture into balls and mold into a cone shape, with the point of the strawberry facing up and the part where the stem will go against your work surface (Making a little volcano). Then you can flip it over on its side and round out the edges on top a little, to make your strwberry shape. Mine were about the size of an average strawberry. Place on wax paper covered plate or cookie sheet, and chill in the fridge or freezer until stiff, but not frozen solid.
Dye regular toothpicks green by rubbing a cotton ball dipped in green food coloring, all over the toothpick. Let dry completely.
Once cakeberries are firm remove from fridge/freezer. Holding the pointed tip of the cakeberry, dip top half (about 1/3 of the cakeberry) into melted red candy melts and stick green toothpick in the top for the "stem" while red candy is still wet. Lay on wax paper to dry.
Once red candy has dried, use the green toothpick "stem" as a handle to dip the bottom half of the strawberry into melted dark or white chocolate chips or candy melts. Lay on wax paper to dry.
With a flower shaped cookie cutter (daisy cutter) or scissors, cut out leaves from green candy (laffy taffy, air heads, gum drops, etc.) Push leaves through "stem", attaching to top of strawberry with a dot of melted chocolate. Drizzle with chocolate once dry, or roll in chopped nuts or sprinkles while chocolate is still wet. You can use any color combination or toppings you desire.
If you try this recipe, or if you have your own twist on it, please leave a comment and let us know. If you just have a craving for cakeberries now, let us know, too!
April 25, 2011
A ladybug shower is a wonderful theme for an outdoor party. Bring in greenery and grass, and also lots of pops of white, red and black. Don't forget stripes and dots - both help pull in the color and theme perfectly. Although this theme is centered around a baby shower, it would work great for a first birthday party, as well.
1. The Invitation
We've chosen a modern, clean invitation from our website to set the design stage for our ladybug baby shower. The invitation has rounded corners and coordinating red envelopes - both details which make this invitation stand out from the crowd.
2. The Cake
This cake is a wonderful, and happens to coordinate perfectly with our invitations. I found it on flickr. It was designed and decorated by the amazingly talented Suzi Villa. Suzi is currently attending the Art Institute in Orange County for the Baking and Pastry. You should definitely check out her flickr photo stream for all of the other cakes she's working on.
3. Chocolate Covered Strawberries...or are they?
I love the idea of chocolate covered strawberries for this theme - they pick up the red, brown, and freshness all in one. Why not take it a step further, though? Cakepops are all the rage in the party circuit, and these "cakeberries" are a terribly clever twist on the trend.
We have a wonderful tutorial from Lindsay Morton, the owner of Dollhouse Bake Shoppe, on how to make these chocolate dipped cakeberries. Lindsay is the winner of the premiere episode of Cupcpake Wars. If you haven't watched Food Network's Cupcake Wars, you should - it's full of great dessert inspiration. View the cakeberries tutorial here.
4. Party Banner
5. Tissue Poms
Tissue Poms are a great way to make any party seem a bit more festive. These poms are made by ProstToTheMost, an etsy seller from Portland, OR with a fabulous reputation. She offers poms at a really great price, and in just about any color, for those who don't have time to make their own.
Yes, these awesome little ladybugs are actually molded sugars (sucre moule) for your tea! They are only $10 and are available on etsy from LeChicBakeryBoutique. You'll get a huge impact for a very small price if you add these to your party lineup.
7. Favor Boxes
While I love a theme, I also believe in pulling back from the centerpiece and accenting in other ways. We've got so many great items with ladybugs, that now I want to focus on the look/feel of the bugs, without directly referencing them. These favor boxes from SimpleTastes do just that. The 2 inch square by 1 inch tall black boxes are perfect for a small favor or candy to give your guests on the way out. I'd probably fill mine with red/brown m&ms or black and red jellybeans.
Gerbera daisies are a wonderful, fresh pop of color to pick up this theme. I've selected red, but I think bouquets of solid red and solid white would look great spread about the party.
These cookies are adorable - there's not much else to say. Simple, cute, and oversized at 3" to really make a statement on your dessert buffet. You can find them at batches on etsy.
April 21, 2011
Just in time for Easter, we have created some modern, chevron-striped printable table placards. These cards are a great way to dress up your easter buffet table, OR consider using them as gift tags on Easter baskets!
The free file includes 3 different designs, sized at 3x5 inches. Just download, print, and enjoy! Please leave a comment below if you're downloading the file - we'd love to know your plans for them!
April 20, 2011
Tissue paper poms are the perfect way to make a dessert buffet or gift table stand out. They are affordable, fast, and more fool-proof then you'd expect. Consider a swath of poms of different sizes, or a mass in all one color. They also look amazing scattered from trees for an outdoor party.
Just follow the steps below for simple, but elegant, party decor.