Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cupcakes That Take A Stand and Have A Message

First an Important Announcement (then more at the end):

I should start the day where I was supposed to leave off yesterday... telling readers about the opportunity to channel your creativity towards helping a member of someone in Sue's (a loyal reader) community.  In the virtual world, we are the spot on the map where creativity meets community.  This, therefore, seems like the perfect location for mustering up support.

The woman for whom this gesture was initially planned passed away two days ago, making it that much more meaningful and important to her husband and her children.  A silent auction is being held in her honor on Thursday, September 25.  Our goal is to create a basket to be included in the auction, reflecting the spirit of our blog and our blog readers.  Albeit short, Highlowaha has a history of using our creativity to enhance/support community.  We did it with Melanie's trip to Belize.  We did it again with our Random Acts of Kindness initiative, and then again with Make Your Mark.  Our holiday service project is looming, and I know through our collective efforts we can squeeze in this important gesture.

Sue, who is coordinating the project, is looking for either craft items (paints, hole punches, fun scissors, cookie cutters, etc...) or handmade creations.  Along with your donation, please include an outline of your hand with your name printed on it.  Sue's address is posted in the comment section.  Donations must be received by Monday, September 22, 2008.

Now to cupcakes that take stand and have a message...
Even cupcakes can make a decorative centerpiece if nicely arranged in a cupcake stand.  My mother purchased mine for me months ago.  I had no idea when I first received the stand how much I would end up using it.  But I have.  

That's the stand.  Now the message.

I love P.F. Changs, but what truly makes it magical (other than the lettuce wraps) is that the whole meal is capped off with the anticipation of opening my fortune.  It is, as Seth Godin would say - author of Free Prize Inside - the "prize inside."  The prize is the "...thing about your service, your product or your organization that's worth remarking on..."  

The fortune cookie is the "prize" to Chinese food in the same way the blue tin foil message is the prize to Promises candies.  I've always thought baking cups should bear fun messages to be found once the cupcake is gone.  While I've never seen one (someone get busy and create it), I've gathered a few thoughts on how we can give the tinker ever so slightly with the beautiful simplicity of a cupcake and give it that added prize inside.
  • First. Add -a-Message Fun Pix.  Months ago I saw an article in a magazine suggesting this creative bridal party idea....  The hostess solicits from each guest a piece of advice for bride to be.  Then the hostess takes the words of advice and attaches them to slips of paper on toothpicks. The toothpicks are stuck in cupcakes and served in leu of cake.  I tried this yesterday in a no -frills kind of way.  Fun Pix, colored paper, and a pen.  I leave the possibilities for embellishment up to you and your imagination (fun scissors, stickers, etc...).

  • Second.  Cupcake Fortunes: This is my own little creation (though I am sure it has been done before).  Yesterday was Whacky Wednesday.  So, how to combine Whacky Wednesday with the idea cupcakes?  I wrote twelve fun and whacky notes on slips of paper, rolled them up, and then wrapped them in small pieces of parchment paper.  Once the batter was in the cupcake tins, I sunk the fortunes into the center of the cupcakes.  It worked!  The paper was a little soggy, but the boys found their fortunes and agreed my idea was, in fact, whacky!
So you see, today we celebrate the utility of a cupcake - both as centerpiece and as messenger of fun fortunes.  Consider how you might liven up your next party by arriving with a dozen cupcakes stuffed with surprise messages for each guest.  In fact... let's use that as the springboard for today's giveaway.

To win the cupcake stand, Fun Pix, and baking cups share your ideas about the next group you could present with cupcakes and what the twelve messages might say.  For instance... Maureen, going to a Girl Scout meeting?  What could your fun messages read?  CSPgrad or Kelly from Montana... how about your next staff meeting?  Heather... want to treat your child care providers to a pick-me-up?  What are some creative ideas for messages you might include?  

The beauty of this is we can steal one another's ideas.  I'll get you going.  Some of mine from Wacky Wednesday read...
  • Lucky you.  you just won a second cupcake.
  • Tonight we will read our book from the last page to first
  • Say the secret word and get 30 minutes of a cartoon, and
  • Hugs, kisses and one extra book
Announcements, then your turn to get creative.
  • Attending Taste of USA?  Click on the link in the top right hand corner to make sure you have everything packed.
  • Yesterday's Winner:  My husband has a background in marketing and works in logistics.  I figured he was the best judge of the many ideas that streamed in during yesterday's challenge.  In the end he wouldn't pick a winner, but identified the people he believed most thought "outside the box."  They were Stacie, Heather, Nicole, Kat, and Katie.  I put all your names in a bucket and pulled out one.  And the winner is...  KAT!  Congratulations, Kat.  I will put it in the mail Friday, along with prizes for all the other winners.
O.k., let's see whatcha got.

Signing off until tomorrow...

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