Step back in time two weeks. Take one ninetieth birthday party, two days to get it all sorted, three tons of moving supplies from my parents' garage, and a glimpse of this Lakeland cardboard beauty. It could only be a job for the butcher, the baker, and the cupcake stand maker.
It all centred around sliding artist's palette-shaped cardboard pieces onto an old kitchen roll. Now, if Kate Spade or Paul Smith made kitchen roll, this is what it'd look like: brightly striped. Unfortunately, neither of them has had that idea yet, so I used coloured tape (that matched our cupcake flags) to cheery the whole thing up a bit. Because, let's face it, bare cardboard hardly says "Get your party on."
What does say "Get your party on" is a dozen Bakewell cupcakes (again, from our recipe, inspired by Britain's second best amateur baker, Holly). As do the Union Jack cake cups. But what most definitely does not help the party mood is when adding the cupcakes to your cupcake stand makes the whole thing topple over. Ever think you're going to be the least popular person in the room? Well, drop twelve Bakewells on the floor fifteen minutes before a hoard of hungry pensioners arrive, and you will be. Guaranteed.
Kitchen weights to the rescue. Of course, meticulous Holly might throw a razor-edged meringue at me if she were to see her prized cakes being served on such a precarious pile of old cardboard and rusting metal. But she'd have to throw it rather hard to reach me in Texas, so I feel relatively safe showing you the photos now.