Here's a sweet Mother's Day DIY from our friends at My Mind's Eye:
Mother's Day Printable Banner
Create this for Mum and add some paper fans to create a lovely backdrop for your Mother's Day cake!
I teamed up with some of my favourite ladies to create a Mother's Day-inspired cake cart. Using soft pink, rose gold and pale blue as our colour palette we piled our cocktail trolley high with gorgeous cakes and pretty party wares. I hope you love it - and I wish a wonderful Mother's Day to all the mums and carers out there!
Mother's Day is a perfect excuse for baking delicious goodies and decorating a pretty table, so I've put together some table ideas using different collections from the store. There's something here for every mum, nanna, aunty or special person to love!
Liberty Florals and Gold
We've layered print on print to create the full floral effect here, anchored down with shiny gold details in the plate edges and straws. Decorate cakes and cupcakes with gold dust, gold stars and metallic edible paint.
Shop Liberty party goods HERE
Shop Gold party HERE
Rose Gold Glam
To get this look, mix and match sold gold cups and plates with our Typographic collection. Scatter the table with rose gold confetti and mini balloons to dial up the disco effect.
Shop Rose Gold party HERE
Pink & Navy Chic
Pink and navy is a chic and pretty combination. Taking Fentiman's Rose Lemonade as our inspiration we've used Pink Lovely Lace plates and napkins with Navy Party fans to set this table. A coconut raspberry cake will make a delicious addition, along with cupcakes iced with buttercream in our signature colours.
Shop Pink party HERE
Shop Blue party HERE
Our new Typographic collection comes in a mix of pretty pastel colours that are perfect for mum. I've teamed them up with Lovely Lave napkins and scattered the table with edible confetti AKA Sweetapolita sprinkles;)
There are some very sweet colours in the Sweetsticks edible art paints that would work in beautifully with this collection.
Shop Pastels HERE
For more Mother's Day ideas including baking, decor and gorgeous gifts visit the MOTHER'S DAY SHOP
I hope you enjoy a special day with your fave ladies!
I'm planning to cozy down and do some baking for Anzac Day this weekend - here are a few inspiring recipes that I've found. All of them are a twist on traditional Anzac cookies. Enjoy! XO
I was recently interviewed for RetailBiz about my decision to sell Lark, the online gift store I created 10 years ago, to start MELT. I thought it might be helpful for those starting a store to read the full interview, so here it is..
When and why did you start Lark?
Lark started in the UK in 2006 as a craft-based children’s design brand. Its retro, indie aesthetic was very on trend and the brand was picked up by some cool London stores. I moved to Australia later that year with my husband Paul and our kids, and we launched an Australian online store to sell our own designs alongside products from British and European indie designers.
What was your background?
I have always loved craft, baking and making things but I worked in book publishing after uni. I began as a marketing assistant and worked my way up to marketing director. I don’t have any qualifications in marketing but I have been fortunate to learn on the job with some great mentors and I now mentor other women starting businesses. When my two children were tiny I decided to take the leap and start my own craft business to spend more time with them, and that’s how Lark started. Our first products were knitted baby toys in the shape of donuts and veggies that were made by a women’s fairtrade social enterprise in Bangladesh. I took these to Life In Style in 2007 and they were a huge hit, we were in hundreds of stores overnight.
What made you branch out from online into bricks and mortar?
In 2009 we were working from an old factory building in Daylesford, Victoria. It’s a small country town but it attracts a lot of visitors so we decided to open a little shop in our building and it got a lot of media interest, which helped our online store to take off very quickly. After this, Paul and I decided to concentrate on retail and we moved out of production and wholesaling. Paul is from an old Bendigo retailing family, so it’s in his blood! Over the next 8 years we grew our online store to include homewares, fashion, gifts and stationery and we ran a pop-up store in Melbourne as well as moving the Daylesford store to the town of Ballarat where we are now based.
Why did you decide to sell Lark and start Melt?
Fast forward to 2016. After running Lark for ten years, Paul and I were both ready for a change. We’re creative people and we love the start-up phase of business, developing and nurturing a brand so we tossed around lots of ideas. We love e-commerce and we’ve developed lots of skills in this area over time, so we decided to continue with retail. I became obsessed with cake decorating about a year ago so we thought this could be the basis for a new business (always do what you love!).
Around the same time that we were developing the idea for our new business we were approached by a large Melbourne-based company looking for an established e-commerce brand and we sold Lark to them last year, leaving us free to launch Melt.
What is the Melt concept/philosophy?
Melt was conceived as a modern baking supplies store. Australia has led the way in recent years in cake decorating and dessert trends and there has been a democratization in this area – anyone can make a fabulous drip cake, freak shake or luxe fairy bread, you no longer need to take courses or have advanced skills (although it helps if you know someone who does!). I am a self-taught cake maker and I wanted to create a store with a curated selection of the best products to make the sort of cakes I’m inspired by on Pinterest. I also wanted to make shopping for cake supplies into a more fun, sensory experience so the website has beautiful imagery, lots of DIY and inspiration, and we use beautiful bakery-style packaging to ship our online orders.
Who is your target customer?
The Melt customer is creative, social, loves to shop online and is savvy about trends in cake decorating and event styling. We appeal to home bakers, small cake businesses and also corporate customers. We don’t define our customers by age or gender, as cake lovers can be found right across the spectrum!
How important is social media for your business? What is your top tip for other retailers trying to promote their brand or store through social?
Social media has played an important part in Melt’s launch, but it is only one part of our customer communication strategy, which also includes events, email marketing and collaborations. Social media can be really valuable if it’s done well. My top tips for retailers would be:
generate your own content as much as possible (your supplier might give you cute styled photos but they’ll be on everyone else’s feed too)
only post once or twice a day
resist making every post a sales pitch, try to mix in stories about yourself, your customers and your interests to keep your audience engaged
You achieved great things with Lark (and there’s surely more to come with Melt)—what would you say has been the secret to your success?
Thank you! There are no secrets, just a lot of hard work, unfortunately. One of the reasons we’ve been able to put so much time and energy into our businesses is that we live in a country town. Our life is very uncomplicated, with a five-minute drive between our home, office and the kids’ school, and we have a supportive community around us. I am always surprised that more e-commerce businesses don’t relocate to regional areas. There are many business advantages and a more relaxed lifestyle that is so helpful when you are trying to combine business with bringing up a young family.
What were the highlights of running Lark?
Seeing the business grow so quickly from our spare bedroom through a succession of sheds, garages and warehouses! The many friendships I made along the way. Every sale, every new customer was a highlight, as it’s tough being a store owner and I truly appreciate it when someone chooses to shop at a small independent business.
And the biggest challenges?
Undoubtedly the biggest challenge in recent years has been the coming on-trend of the big department/chain stores – this has had a huge impact on gift and homewares stores and is one of the reasons that we decided to move out of this area. Another ongoing issue for us is the high cost of shipping in Australia, which presents a big challenge to small e-commerce businesses who are in competition with overseas stores. And on a personal level, keeping it all together to run a business and a family every day. There’s always a new challenge, but at least that keeps things interesting!
What tips would you give to other retailers on running a successful business?
Always be yourself: find your own style and don’t imitate other stores; follow your gut; take advice but make the final decision yourself.
What’s next for Melt? Will there ever be a physical Melt store?
Melt has recently expanded into boutique party goods, following feedback from our customers, who can now shop for cute table ware and décor to show off their cakes and cookies. We’re building a gorgeous, one-stop shop for children’s parties and other special occasions. Our focus at the moment is on establishing the brand and providing an awesome service for our customers; we don’t plan to open a physical store at this stage, but who knows what could happen? One of the main advantages for a small business owner is that you can react quickly to new trends and business opportunities. So watch this space!
Mermaids are a bit of an obsession right now, and lots of mermaid-y party wares have landed in the store, so I decided to style up a party in our studio to show how they all work together and to offer some ideas for your own mermaid party.
I invited Nicci Webster from Frosted By Nicci to collaborate on this shoot as she creates awesome children’s cakes and cookies and I knew she would really rock the mermaid theme.
The shoot was photographed by Small Stuff Photography, our in-house photo team.
Finally, I brought in the cutest twins Bobbi and Scarlett who were so excited to be mermaids for the day. As you will see, they certainly livened up the studio, making this one of the funnest shoots ever!
THE PARTY FOOD
Is this the prettiest mermaid cake ever? I asked Nicci to tell us all about it...
When Allison asked me to make a mermaid themed cake for a photo shoot I was super excited as this theme is right up my alley! Mermaids are so popular right now.
I have a signature mermaid design that I have repeated for clients on a number of occasions, but I knew this time that I wanted to do something a little different. With 4 year old twin girls in the photo shoot, I wanted my design to be a bit more childlike and whimsical.
I knew the colour palette I wanted to use instantly, teals/purple, classic mermaid colours, which was also going to match all the gorgeous party wares. My style is quite minimal, I’m a ‘less is more’ kind of girl! I was quite taken with the gorgeous new cupcake set from Meri Meri and wanted to show you can use them on more than just a cupcake!
The cake has a teal buttercream finish and the seaweed is made by cutting random sized strips of purple fondant and twisting them into shape to replicate the fluid movement of seaweed in the ocean. I used some amazing coloured sprinkles by Sweetapolita to become my sand (a spin on the normal crushed up biscuit crumbs) and then I inserted the little cupcake pics all around the cake so that it looked like little mermaids swimming in the ocean. I finished it of with some sugar pearls to act as little air bubbles around the cake.
And THOSE cookies?
For the cookies, I also wanted to continue with the young whimsical theme. I’m always looking for inspiration for cookies and I see it everywhere, everyday (I can’t tell you how many greeting cards and wrapping paper that I have knowing that I will turn it into a cookie one day!!) I found some gorgeous little sea creatures and used these as inspo for the octopus, jelly fish and starfish cookies. The cute little whale cookies are actually based on a cake by the Whipped Bakeshop that was perfect for this set. The other designs were created using cookie cutters from Melt and they are classic mermaid inspired designs. The cookies are done with royal icing and are all painted with Edible Art Paint by Sweetsticks.
Thanks Nicci! (and by the way, the cake, made with a lemon curd filling, tasted delicious!).
I added a batch of shell-themed cupcakes to the table using our shell candy moulds, Sweetapolita sprinkles and edible stars as decoration.
Drinks were simple bottles of fizzy orange mineral water; I chose this colour to contrast with the blues and greens in the cake.
THE PARTY DECOR
My aim with the decor was to create a fun, magical, under-the-sea atmosphere for the little mermaids.
For the dessert table backdrop I used a streamer set by Poppies for Grace, to which I added strands of silver mylar for a sparkly finish. I strung up an iridescent dolphin banner to finish it off.
I wanted to add a giant clam shell so I picked up a sandpit from Bunnings for $15 and spray painted it in silver using Dulux Duramax Bright Finish. I was surprised how quick and easy this was (no primer needed!) and I would definitely recommend using this product to cover any horrid plastic items you have around your house (though the Bunnings lady advised me that you should apply at least two coats and let it cure for a week if you are expecting your item to be in regular use).
We then filled the space with clear latex 'bubble' balloons in different sizes and - of course - confetti! It makes a mess, but confetti throwing is a party essential in my opinion!
For the main party table we drew back the streamer curtain and strung up the most beautiful party banner from the Let's Be Mermaids collection by Meri Meri Party.
Shiny star balloons in mermaid colours brought it all to life.
THE PARTY TABLE
To decorate the table I picked up some iridescent-finish fabrics on sale at Spotlight and they looked so pretty.
I used iridescent tinsel (left over from Christmas!) as a sparkly table runner, keeping it all nice and simple.
The tableware! The Let's Be Mermaid party plates looked amazing with the Iridescent Shell plates and Iridescent Cups. Finished off with the cutest Shell Napkins, shiny paper straws and silver stripe cutlery.
THE PARTY GIFTS
Continuing with the clam shell theme, I filled these adorable Shell Party Bags with mermaid treasure from our store including Wind Up Mermaids, Shell Erasers, Grow A Mermaid toys and little trinkets. I popped in some Mentos 'bubbles' and swirly marshmallows.
Giant foil balloons are also a fantastic party gift - for this party we gave the little party goers mermaid and dolphin balloons and they were VERY popular (especially the mermaid - I'll say no more about that!).
Right at the end of the shoot we brought in Finn, a vintage fairground toy that I was given some years ago for a trade fair display. When you pop in a dollar Finn moves around to the tune of Chinese pop music and his red light flashes - awesomeness!!
Bobbi and Scarlett had the best time riding on Finn and it made a fun end to their party experience. I always like to add in a little surprise element when a party is about to finish, to make the day really memorable!
When the shoot was over I played around with some of the other Mermaid table ware and decorations in store as we have so many different products to suit this theme. I'll be featuring these in part two of this post, later in the week.
Almost everything in this shoot used for the cakes, cookies and party decor is available HERE at Melt.
Thank you for reading this post, I hope you enjoyed it and that it has inspired you for your own mermaid party.
If you're looking for maximum school holiday fun this Easter, this quick DIY can be made by kids (or kidults) of any age!
Simply grab a foil-wrapped chocolate bunny and peel down the wrapped to expose the ears. gently snap off one ear. Making sure the bunny is intact and not broken, fill with milkshake or flavoured milk. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles. Insert straw - instant Easter yay!!!
I also made an alternative Easter Unicorn Shake (because why not?) using Sugar the Unicorn from Target. I think i might love this one even more.
NEW Sweetapolita sprinkle trios are here! Exclusively available at Melt, each trio has three 110g bottles of sprinkly joy.
Rainbows & Unicorns includes three of my fave blends: Flight of the Unicorn, Fairy Bread and All Kinds of Happy.
Mermaid Tales includes Surf Shop, Crunchy Teal Jimmies and Cosmos & Cupcakes.
Milk Bar has three yummy new blends: Sundae Fundae, Pop Tart and Ice Cream Shoppe.
Each trio comes gift wrapped in signature Melt packaging, making a perfect gift - if you can bear to give them away, that is!
Find the full range online HERE. Sprinkle the love!
For some reason I woke up today with the urge to make something space-themed. As it's a school day, I settled on cupcakes with galaxy frosting.
I divided a basic buttercream frosting into three bowls coloured with Americolor gel in Electric Pink, Regal Purple and Royal Blue. Using the Tri-colour Coupler and 1A Large Round Tip I iced them and sprinkled on Galaxy Sprinkles. Far out!
Items 1 to 10 of 13 total