Bright and Cheery Dessert Party Inspiration from Dena Designs

This is a guest post from our featured artist Dena Designs. Shop her stationery and paper product collection including address labels, notepads and invitations on dena1

Summer is all about outdoor entertaining and what better way to do it than with color! Even something as simple as lemonade paired with delicious desserts can make for a great fete. Just add flowers, some colorful accessories, and paper decor to really make your party pop!

Table decorations are so important for a stand-out summer party. To make your décor unique, use vintage tins as vases. Tip: Put the flowers in a juice glass filled with water and then hide the juice glass in the tin. This prevents any leakage or rust.
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Place cards are also a simple way to make your guests feel special. Take a look around your home to see what you might be able to repurpose for a party. For example, bamboo skewers (also great for summer barbecues!) can be made into cupcake picks with just a little creativity. Those pictured here are made from office tags and leftover craft ribbons Just place the skewer into the center of a cupcake and voila! This is a fun way to make goodies stand out on a table. Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.27.57 PM

Overhead party decorations bring partygoers’ eyes up and make the space really festive. For this party, bowls were hung and filled with fresh flowers.
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Bring the comfort of the indoors outside and make your guests cozy with some throw pillows. You can mix and match shapes, sizes, and textures to add even more color to your party.

Serving trays are also a nice touch and so useful for an outdoor party. This vintage tray was transformed into something new by adding a piece of custom cut glass. You could even decorate a tray with patterned fabric or paper to customize it to fit your own style. On this tray there is even a little stitched applique for a final sweet touch.
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Now on to food! These hand-painted sugar cookies are so easy to create and delicious. To make your own cookie “paints,” follow this simple recipe:

Put 1 tsp corn syrup and 1/4 tsp water into a small cup. Tint with food coloring and stir well. Paint the unbaked cookies before baking using a small paintbrush. Bake according to the cookie recipe. Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.27.41 PM
Now you’ll want a bright drink to match your colorful cookies and pink lemonade is the perfect beverage for a dessert party. It’s so refreshing on a hot summer day. Mix up some of your favorite lemonade or put your own twist on this recipe:
Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.27.53 PM Ingredients:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice, plus 4 lemons, thinly sliced crosswise, for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
Directions: Bring granulated sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a pan over high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Add lemon juice, superfine sugar, cranberry juice, and 1 1/2 quarts water to a serving container. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 day. To serve, add ice cubes to fill and garnish with lemon slices or edible flowers.

Invite your friends or family over to enjoy, there are so many ways to make a summer soiree bright for everyone!

Monica Lee – Featured Artist

Monica Lee for Expressionery

Monica Lee has a passion for people, creativity and business. As an illustrator and licensed artist she has crossed paths with many creative women over the years. She has managed to combine these passions into a web TV show called Smart Creative Women.

“As much as I enjoy making art, I found it to be a bit isolating,” says Monica. “I ended up combining my gift for gab and my genuine interest in how women run their businesses. I love how women carve their own paths on their own terms. This is how Smart Creative Women was born.”

Smart Creative Women is a web show where Monica Lee interviews today’s most inspiring and creative women. “I found myself introducing people to people all the time and sharing other people’s success stories.”

“I would say to a girlfriend who was going through a rough patch, ‘Hey, check out what this gal is doing! She’s rockin’ it, and so can you!’ I finally developed a platform where I could share stories and encourage other women to be bold and believe in themselves. And I do not have to repeat myself, you can just hit replay!” laughs Monica.

The web show is not only for artists but for any woman who wants to use her creative talents to their maximum potential. “I am intentionally bringing on a mixture of creative guests.”

There are resources and interviews that advise women how to think differently about themselves and what they have to offer. “I am thrilled about how quickly the show has grown and how well-received the interviews have been.”

Monica was a shy young girl whose military father moved every three years. “I had no choice but to make friends constantly. I have always been a visual person, and I lived in a house of extroverts. I never even considered myself that outgoing until I entered college.”

After college, Monica became a flight attendant, which enabled her to travel and enjoy people’s stories even more. She eventually started freelancing in illustration and licensing her artwork.

“My art was keeping me busy enough to stop flying, but I was surprised at how much I missed people energizing me. I found myself constantly looking forward to industry events and conferences so I could talk to other creative women!”

She has found her perfect sweet spot now, mixing art and being the host of Smart Creative Women. “I adore an energetic crowd of women and hope to do some speaking in the near future, but I also like to tuck back into the quiet of my studio and pull out my paintbrushes. It’s the perfect mix for me.”

Monica Lee Stationery

Courtney Cachet – Featured Artist

Courtney Cachet

Courtney Cachet

In 2004 Courtney Cachet started her first business in the design world with $500 and her dining room table. She knew she had a great eye and a knack for scoring good deals on everything from fashion to home decor and figured she would give it her best shot without risking what savings she had (which wasn’t very much at the time).

She knew people had to like her before they liked anything else she had to say, and that was where she had an advantage. She has always been a people person and a jokester and had an ability to talk to anyone about – well – just about anything.

She appeared on a few home decor shows and then became a contributor on NBC in Miami. Around the same time, she got engaged. Just as her career was taking off, Courtney was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and everything came to a halt. It was a turning point in her life, both personally and professionally. More than anything, it gave her the drive to chase her dreams after having such a health scare and realizing life is too short and too precious not to do what you love to do.

After getting back to good health in 2005, Courtney’s career took off at lightning speed. She is now one of the country’s leading influencers in style and design with a focus on living a luxurious and meaningful life. She has designed celebrity homes, appeared in international magazines like Vogue Italia, Us Weekly, The Wall St Journal and Better Homes & Gardens and appears on television regularly with roughly 1000 appearances under her belt.

You can find her not only on TV and newsstands, but also all over the internet. She is a Huffington Post contributor and has several products in the global marketplace, including on She finds her inspiration through her travels and just walking around New York, where she grew up as a child. She loves big, bold color and elegant styles equally.

Currently, Courtney is working on several lines of products, corporate partnerships and more. As one of the most successful media personalities in the design world, Cachet is a living and breathing example that The American Dream of success is attainable by all of us, no matter what obstacles come across our path.

When she’s not working, Courtney can be found in her happiest place: Her New Jersey home with her family: husband Aaron and children, Brooke (5) and Ford (4). Her motto and tag line is evident in all she does: “Fabulous Lives Here.”

Courtney Cachet products

Bonnie Marcus – Featured Artist

Bonnie Marcus

Bonnie Marcus

Bonnie Marcus launched her stylish stationery company, Bonnie Marcus Collection “where fashion meets paper” in 2002, while seven months pregnant with her first child. Whereas most moms-to-be take time to relax before the baby is born, Bonnie ambitiously decided to launch her own company!

As a noted wedding and special events planner in New York City, Bonnie served as the Director of Special Events at the prestigious 92nd Street Y, where she planned lavish weddings and special events for celebrities and notables. Bonnie’s upscale clients were looking for something unique for their invitations, but the designs available in the market ten years ago were very traditional, so Bonnie custom designed chic, trend-driven invitations for her clients. Bonnie’s prior experience in the fashion industry, working with top designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, helped her to combine her knowledge of event planning with her passion for fashion, and her successful stylish stationery collection was born!

Shortly after her launch, Bonnie’s glamorous, fashionable designs were featured in “O” the Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine, Modern Bride, Entrepreneur and even on the Today Show! Celebrities like Cindy Crawford, Marcia Cross, Angie Harmon, Katherine Heigl, Brittney Spears, Molly Sims and Christina Aguilera are all fans of the collection and have used Bonnie’s designs for their special events.

Some of Bonnie's products:

Some of Bonnie's products:

Currently in her tenth year of business, Bonnie has expanded beyond the world of invitations, and you can now find her chic, fashion-forward designs on melamine plates, tote bags, check books, note pads and even “couture” chocolate bars! Bonnie has been recognized as a pioneer for women in business and is a winner of the prestigious “Make Mine a Million Dollar Business” contest from American Express. Bonnie is an established partner of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and proudly donates a percentage of her proceeds to research and education.

Bonnie’s greatest accomplishments are her three little boys (ages 9, 8 and 4), who successfully balance out her very girly stationery business with dinosaurs, karate and superheroes.

Bonnie Marcus

View Bonnie's products at

Sparky & Marie – Featured Artist

Michelle Beilner of Sparky & Marie

Michelle Beilner of Sparky & Marie

Sparky & Marie is a new, fun and fresh creative brand energized by all-over prints and iconic graphics inspired by everyday living – flowers found in the garden, trips to faraway places, colors from a vintage silk scarf and textures found on a hike through nature. Sparky & Marie designs come from the heart with the hope of bringing happiness to everyone lucky enough to discover them!

Michelle Beilner is the creative mind behind the Sparky & Marie brand. Named after her beloved grandparents, Sparky & Marie is the result of Michelle’s passion for graphic design. Michelle realized her love for art and design after a 3rd grade field trip that introduced her to the art and architecture of her native city, Chicago. She went on to study Graphic Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Her first job – over a decade ago – was designing catalogs, logos, print collateral, websites and signage for a high-end Chicago-based fashion company. The love of her college sweetheart took her away from the Midwest and over to sunny Los Angeles, California where she continued her career designing custom stationery for an innovative boutique in Beverly Hills.

After much success creating invitations and greetings for celebrity clients such as Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor, Jami Gertz, Paul Adelstein and Kat Von D, Michelle moved on to start her own graphic design business. Her experience helping small businesses develop brands, designing websites, creating visual identities and fueling several prominent interior designers in the Los Angeles area has prepared Michelle for a successful launch into licensing in products ranging from stationery to shower curtains. Her designs have appeared on products in boutiques and major chain retail settings.

Secret Garden Folded Notes & Mom Floral Flat Card Set

Secret Garden Folded Notes & Mom Floral Flat Card Set

Michelle lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their bossy Jack Russell Terrier, Fitzgerald.