farmers market inspired fruit cakes

Fruit Cakes

Farmer’s market inspired sweets are great fun to serve at brunch this season. Nothing says treat like the bright reds and oranges of my favorite fruits. And these ones are even better than the normal market stash… Because they are birthday party cakes!

Fruit Cakes

Fruit Cakes

Fruit Cakes

I love these individual fruity cakes for brunches and showers. Really for any reason to celebrate this summer. Such a sweet way to say – happy anything and welcome in a season of fruit picking, sun drenched parties. I can’t wait to serve these and watch the kid’s faces as they realize what looks like a watermelon is actually their favorite cake flavor! A birthday party surprise that will not be soon forgotten.

Fruit Cakes

To make the fruit cakes you’ll need: 1 box cake mix (we used french vanilla) or your favorite cake recipe, 2 cans of white frosting (14-16oz), food coloring (standard box of food coloring — red, orange, green, blue, as well as black, and pastel yellow if making lemon). A 12×17 sheet pan, parchment paper, wax paper for templates (parchment paper is ok too), small ziploc bags, knife, ramekins/small bowls and plastic spoons to mix food coloring and frosting.

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper (follow these instructions for fitting parchment into a pan). Grease and lightly flour the pan. Make cake batter according to recipe instructions and pour the batter into pan, evenly distributing it. Bake in oven for 17-20 minutes, keeping an eye on the cake. Remove and let cool.

Fruit Cakes

Prepare your fruit templates by printing out the template sheet to create these simple fruit shapes. Cut out the fruit shapes. Also cut pieces of wax (or parchment) paper slightly bigger than each fruit shape. Lay a template over wax paper and cut out the shape of the fruit. Repeat with other fruit shapes.

Fruit Cakes

Start in a corner of the cooled cake. Lay the wax paper template over the cake and use it as a guide. Take a knife and gently slice around the outline to create the fruit shape. Remove wax paper template and use again, or discard. Repeat with the other shapes. On a 12×17 pan we fit 2 strawberries, 3 lemons, 2 watermelon slices, and 3 orange slices. With an offset spatula, gently lift each mini cake from the pan and place on another piece of parchment to frost.   

Posted May 08, 2014 2 Comments
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pop-out mother’s day card

Pop-out Mother's Day card

Pop out Mother's Day card

Mother’s Day is this week!

I am blessed to be spending it with both my kids and my mom this year. What are you doing for the day? I know Mother’s Day can be a sensitive day for many (it used to be a really hard day for me) and I am feeling exceptionally grateful for my mom and our kids this year. I crafted these simple pop-out cards for the occasion. They will save you the expensive card purchase, and give your mom a piece of art work she will treasure.

Pop-out cards can tend to be intimidating, but this version is so simple – dad can even whip them up with the help of the kids! See the full tutorial I designed for Craftsy and our sneaky pop-out card cheat right here.

If you are hosting this weekend here are 11 of my favorite Mother’s Day brunch ideas.

Still need a gift? I’ve got you covered with 25 crafty gifts for mom (you can never go wrong with flowers) and the entire Mother’s Day DIY project gallery.

Posted May 07, 2014 4 Comments
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money balloons

Money Balloons

Around this time of year I sometimes start to feel a bit like an ATM. Between weddings, graduations, birthday parties, and end of the year events – it seems I am giving out a lot of… cash. To indulge my creative side, while still allowing the graduate to get whatever he really needs (gas!) I’ve started bringing along money balloons!

The concept is basic and the balloons bring along a lot of festivity. Plus, the wide eye excitement from the receiver makes this gift worth the extra party store stop every time.

Money Balloons

Money Balloons

Money Balloons

Money Balloons

To make the money balloons we used large 36 inch balloons. Any balloon will work, but the larger ones are just more fun! Grab the cash you want to give and break it down to low denominations so you will have anywhere from 5-15 bills.

Stop in to your local party store and ask for the balloons to be blown up with the cash inside (adding in a bit of confetti is always fun). Bring along your own string or ribbon for pretty balloon tying and get ready to hand off a present that will keep on giving.

Money Balloons

The most important part! Be sure the balloons are handed to you with a weight firmly attached. It’s never fun to lose a balloon to the wind – and one with a wad of cash inside is super sucky. Hand of the weighted balloons with a simple note of congratulations and enjoy your ongoing title of most awesome gift giver ever!

PS. More great gift ideas right here.

Photography done in collaboration with Jocelyn Noel Photography

Posted May 06, 2014 2 Comments
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sticker star wall constellation

Sticker star wall constellation

It’s star gazing season!

As soon as the weather turns the slightest bit warm (we cannot help ourselves!) My family gets quickly obsessed with being outdoors. The grass, the sun and the stars are all so much brighter in the summer. This is the first year the kids are really understanding the solar system and constellations, so of course we are in the midst of planning a star gazing party! More to come on that soon…

But first, this simple sticker star wall constellation is such an easy backdrop to make for a star gazing party. It looks equally as awesome being left up above the work desk afterwards. Wouldn’t be the best idea for the wall over a sweet new baby crib!?!

Sticker star wall constellation

Sticker star wall constellation

The sticker star constellation wall art is so simple to make.

Start by marking out the shape of your constellations using small pieces of tape or stickers to represent each star, this will give you a good idea of placement before you start to stick everything properly. You can easily find real constellation shapes by doing an internet search, there are so many to choose from. I have used a couple of star signs (Gemini and Taurus) and then a few others that I just liked the shape of. You could even make up your own.

Once you have marked out your shapes, cut pieces of black thread to run between each star. It can be a little fiddly to do this part so leave yourself plenty of time, especially if you decide to cover a very large area. If you have a few stars pretty much in line, then just run one thread through all of them to make it easier and quicker.

Use a mixture of circle dot stickers, silver star stickers and small triangles of black washi to stick down your thread. There is no set pattern to this, it looks great to use a mixture on each constellation. Oh and most importantly, make sure to use stickers that will not damage your wall.

Sticker star wall constellation

You can also stick a few random stickers/stars in the space around your constellations to bring the pattern together. Really there is no limit to how big and awesome this sticker star wall could become.

Photography by Claire for A Subtle Revelry, see more of her great ideas at South by North.

Posted May 05, 2014 11 Comments
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cheers to firefighting bloggers


Last week my job description involved fire fighting! It was crazy.

Earlier this week I shared these bright and festive paper party lanterns and hinted that they had a bigger story behind them. A story that involved almost burning down our house (thankfully it is still standing).

When I am working on DIY projects to share with this site, mishaps are inevitable. On average 2-3 projects a month just totally fail and are not posted, or have a fatal flaw that brings me back to the drawing board. Sometimes it’s a little fix. Sometimes it takes a hose. Here’s the story…

paper party lanterns

Paper party lanterns flame

These party lanterns look harmless enough, made from paper to hang out on the deck for a party. As per usual, I created a template, tried it out (inside) and was thrilled at the pretty results. We made a nice stash of the lanterns for this post’s photo shoot and excitedly hung them out in a tree to showcase the awesomeness of outdoor paper party lanterns.

I dropped the tea lights in and lit them up. Harmless, No?!?

And then the wind started…

paper party lanterns

Flame caught paper, paper swung quickly past the tree, and in a moment there I was. Hose in hand. Jet streaming. Just call me fire fighter Victoria. I quickly put the party lanterns out (thankfully before they were able to catch the slightly dead tree they were hanging on) Paper, flame and wind do not mix.

In the end we realized the trick was to enclose the flame in a mason jar. Easy fix. Disaster averted.

paper party lanterns

So what do you do after an experience of (almost!) going down in flames? Well on the A Subtle Revelry team – we laugh, we learn and we have a margarita to celebrate the house is still standing. Honestly, it’s not the only story I have like this. There are many more. It’s a part of the gig, I suppose.

We remade the lanterns, hung them up for an early Cindo de mayo party, and had a blast telling everyone we could about this week’s hilarious incident. I figure if the story makes a good party anecdote it must not be a total failure after all.


Sauza is running a fun #margaritamoments photo share, where they are encouraging readers to share our own moments of silly failure and mishaps. Those things that lead you to grabbing a celebratory glass at night and laughing with your friends about the almosts, and what ifs in life.

Sharing your own silly mistakes is a great way to engage your party guests and will get everyone chatting quickly. If you don’t have a Cinco De mayo party planned, hearing your friends fun stories is a great reason to plan one. What is your latest margarita moment? I’d love to know.  

Posted May 02, 2014 1 Comment
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paper leaf party garland

Bright leaf party garland

Making party garland out of a simple piece of paper is such a great way to brighten up a room. Paper is super affordable and cutting is a skill we’ve all learned how to master. Plus, this bright leaf garland strand can be made in the span of one Parks and Rec episode – great for a last minute Mother’s Day brunch, or that kid’s party we’ve been procrastinating on.

The garland looks really pretty set up behind a white cake, and I am loving how festive mine looks strung across the bookcase at home. It is such a bright and pretty update for spring.

Bright leaf party garland!

Click through to Craftsy to see the full tutorial and learn my tips for cutting out all those leaves at top notch speed.

PS. An entire gallery of bright garlands for the making!

Posted May 01, 2014 1 Comment
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