Saturday, November 26, 2011

Woody Birthday Cake

My son recently turned four years old! He wanted another toys story cake (last year I did one too) but this year he specifically asked for a woody cake.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Soccer Cake

I recently did a soccer cake for a friend. It is three layered chocolate cake with a nutella mousse filling covered in marshmallow fondant.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Train Costume

I decided to let my son choose his costume this year instead of picking one for him.  We asked him over the period of a week about what he wanted to be and at first he said he wanted to be his daddy, but then he decided he wanted to be a blue train and he was stuck on that idea.  So we got to work!

I gathered a few diaper boxes and we started cutting and gluing parts together.

Then we went to Ben Franklin in search of something that we could use for the round part in the front.  In their craft section they had two empty spools which usually have ribbon wrapped around them.  I asked if I could have or purchase them and they gave them to me - YES!  So I glued the two spools together and then glued them to the front of the train.

Then I just got a piece of plain construction paper and covered the spools.

Next we were ready to paint!

After the paint was dry I got some paper plates and spray painted them silver as well as a few decals for the train which I then glued securely.

And I had one happy boy!

We ended up going to the hardware store and finding a metal funnel for the pipe.  I also inserted a small plastic bottle underneath it, because the plan was to get some dry ice and have a real looking steam engine, but apparently our town doesn't carry dry ice!  Darn!  Just imagine it looking even cooler.

We were able to stick a headlamp to the front of the train though, so at least he had a light.

And the little brother was a Railroad Crossing sign!  I just took a black onesie, and sewed a white "X" to the front and painted the letters on.  I then cut off one of the sleeves and replaced it with a white one and then wrapped that with some red fabric.  Over all these were pretty easy costumes to make and we got a lot of compliments!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Collage Painting

A few weeks back I was doing my Saturday ritual of hitting up all the yard sales and came across a giant canvas picture of a mountain in a big frame.  The family selling it wanted $5 for it.  I stood and stared at it for a long time trying to figure out if it was something I really wanted to bring into my home.  I offered them $3 since I was unsure and they said, "Take it!"  So I miraculously got it into my car and took it home.

I took the canvas out of the frame and tried sanding the picture off since it had a lot of texture in it.  This did not work as I hoped it would.  Infact it barely got any of the paint off at all.

So I took some yellow interior house paint that I got at Lowes the week before for $1.50 in their "cheap paint bin" and gave it a few good coats. The texture obviously still showed through, but you couldn't see the picture.  I had planned on painting a picture of some lovebirds sitting in some branches on it, but with the texture showing through, I wasn't loving the idea.  Then one evening I was flipping through a Martha Stewart magazine and I kept thinking how all the pictures looked so pretty and it was too bad I couldn't just frame all the magazines pictures... and it hit me!  I was going to do a collage painting!

I started cutting away at the pictures that I really loved and started organizing them onto my canvas.  I already had an idea of what I wanted my picture to look like, so instead of covering the whole canvas I just modge podged (or half glue half water if you're cheap like me) the areas where I wanted my design to go.

Then I started making an outline of the design I wanted and covered the appropriate spots with paint.  If you don't already have a design in mind, it would be very easy to print off a picture and just trace it onto your canvas that way.

This is what I ended up with on my first coat.  I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to do the birds yet and I added a few extra squares of magazine clippings here and there to cover with paint later just to add some texture in areas where there wasn't much.

And here is the final product after the second coat of paint!

I then painted the frame that it came with because it looked really grungy.

I love it!  It is so pretty and was so easy to do!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Cupcakes

Here are some chocolate cupcakes, filled with orange, yellow and white buttercream frosting (I wanted it to look like candy corn when you bit into it).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wooden Crates from Used Pallets

We recently moved into a new house and the master bathroom is awesome... other then no cabinets to hold all my stuff!  There is this one big shelf:

and since there is no door on that shelf everything looks messy!

Enter the pallet:

My Ace Hardware gives these little babies to me FREE!  They are certainly not in great shape, but I am usually able salvage some boards from it and I'm really into the "vintage" (or as my husband calls it - junky) look.

So while the kids were playing in the yard, I started hammering together some boards.  The boards weren't exactly even, so I had to do some trimming.

But I came to realize one of the best parts of this project, is it doesn't need to look that great.  It's vintage, remember?

Even my son got invovled.

Then just slap on some clear coat wood sealer, drill some holes and attach a vintage looking rope (my husband said the rope looked like it had been dragged through manure - I really just got it at Ace Hardware for $0.59 a foot.  He REALLY doesn't get this whole vintage thing.)

Then I slipped them onto the shelf and filled them with goodies!

It does look a little rough, but I like it.  And it cost me next to nothing!  If anything, they'll get me by until I can come up with something else.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Succulent Wreath

My grandma is probably one of the hardest people to find presents for, so I start thinking of ideas for her Christmas present way in advance!  I was flipping through a magazine and saw these succulent wreaths going for $100+ and thought that is perfect!  She lives in Las Vegas, so it's the perfect climate for succulents and it is just so pretty!  The price however, was not so much in my budget so this is what I came up with!

Here's my how to - What you'll need:

*Wire Wreath Frame - You could pick any size.  I chose a 12" frame that was $2.99 in my local craft store.  You could probably find one cheaper at a place like Joanns or Michaels.

*Spagmum Moss - $4.99 for a package at Lowes and comes with enough to make two 12" wreaths.

* Fishing line or floral floss. (I just used fishing line because it's what I had in my garage)

*Succulent clippings - start scavenging!  I found quite a bit of my clippings from my friends and relatives yards!  The owner of my local nursery also gave me some clippings at a discounted price since I didn't need the whole plant, and then I also found a few on clearance at Lowes for a total of $1.95.

*Optional: Bobby Pins or Floral Pins (I used floral pins that were $1.99 for a pack, which was more then enough at my local craft store.)

*Optional: root growth hormone.  You could use this if you want, but everyone I talked to said it wasn't necessary.

What you do:

First you'll need to collect your succulent clippings.  Put them in a box or bag and wait a few days until the ends of the clippings become dry.  If you want you could try ommitting this step.  Several people told me that you don't even need to wait for them to dry.  I only waited one day.

Next soak your moss in a bowl of water for about 5 minutes until it is thouroughly wet.  Then get your wire frame wreath and start stuffing it with the wet moss from the back side.  Wrap fishing line or floral floss to around the moss just to secure it.

You can see that the front part of the wreath is still showing through.  You now want to go back over this with more moss and secure it with more line.  Once you're done you won't be able to see the wire frame or fishing line for that matter.

Then start arranging your succulents!  I used a pen to make little holes in the moss before I stuck my succulent clipping in.

You really can't go wrong with how you arrange it!

If you are planning on hanging your wreath immediately, then you'll want to secure your clippings with the bobby pins or floral pins.  If you have patience, you'll need to let your wreath lay flat for 3-6 months so that the succulents can root into the moss.  I secured all my succulents, because I want to enjoy the wreath before I have to give it away.

Once you are done, find the perfect place inside or outside to hang it!

Isn't that neat?!  This is a real living wreath.  All you have to do is spritz it with water and it will continue to grow!  Also make sure that you let your succulents get some sun every once in awhile, they'll appreciate that.  I think this would even make a great center piece on a table.  Just throw a big white candle in the middle of it or something!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I recently made a birthday cake for my friends son (he is also Adrianne's close friend). His birthday party was a Cars 2 theme. The cake was a chocolate cake from scratch with a strawberry filling covered in butter cream and marshmallow fondant. I asked what my friend wanted on the outside of the cake and she suggested putting mater on top and we are so glad she did since mater was the star of the show!

These pictures are almost the end result. I still needed to brush away some of the powder sugar on top (it helps the fondant not stick to the counter when rolling it out)
The world on the back of the cake.
The cars 2 logo on the front

Breakfast Monte Cristos is one of my favorite websites for cooking ideas. Awhile ago I came across this recipe on her website and I knew Peter would love it (I am not an egg fan). They are easy to make and Peter loved it.

*Makes 2 sandwiches

2 eggs
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
4 slices of bread (thick, whole-wheat bread works great)
cream cheese
2-3 slices deli black forest ham
2 eggs, fried (middles poked and spread out so the eggs lay flat)
2 slices Swiss cheese
powdered sugar
Raspberry Jam (or any jam you like)

Mix eggs, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla together with a fork and pour in a shallow dish. Spread a good amount of cream cheese on each slice of ham (if you have a large slice of ham you may want to fold it over). Add the cream cheese-covered ham, a fried egg, and a slice of Swiss cheese to one slice of bread and top with another slice of bread making a sandwich. Dip each sandwich in the egg mixture and turn over so the the entire outside of the sandwich is coated in the egg mixture. Cook on a griddle or in a frying pan (as if you were making French toast). Carefully flip the sandwich when the first side becomes nice and brown (again, like French toast). When both sides of the sandwich are brown and slightly crispy, remove from heat and sprinkle each sandwich with powdered sugar. Cut into halves or fourths and serve with raspberry jam.

Lemon Burst Cookie recipe

Awhile ago my husband told me that he was craving lemon cookies. I had no idea what he was talking about since all I have ever had are lemon bars. So, I looked up a recipe and decided to try it out and I must say that they are amazing. I would say they are now probably one of my favorite cookies and they are very easy to make!
Lemon Burst Cookies
1 (18.25-ounce) package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Zest of 2 lemons
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
2. Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract until well blended.
3. Place confectioner’s sugar in a bowl.
4. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in confectioner’s sugar until lightly coated and place on baking sheet.
5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I got this recipe from HERE

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Diet Pepsi Cake

I made this cake for my husbands co-worker's Birthday. She LOVES drinking diet coke. I always see one on her desk when I visit the office, so we knew this would be a great theme for her cake. This is my first cake that I have ever carved. It is one white cake, cut in half and then stacked on top of eachother and filled with strawberry filling.

Chili Relleno

For Valentines day this year I made my husband Chili Relleno and fried rice. He LOVES anything spicy and always loves eating this at restuarants. So, I thought I would give it a try and they were easier than expected and tasted great! Next time I would like to find a recipe with sauce that covers the chili and I am going to use a white cheese instead of cheddar.

12 Anaheim chile peppers, charred and peeled
1 pound Cheddar cheese, cut into strips
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour for coating

1.Remove seeds and membranes from peppers. Stuff each pepper with a strip of cheese.
2.In a small bowl combine milk, the 1 cup flour, egg, baking powder, baking soda, salt and canola oil; mix well to make a batter.
3.Pour enough oil in heavy frying pan to reach 1 inch in depth and heat over medium-high heat. Roll each pepper in the remaining flour and dip in the batter. Fry until lightly browned on both sides.

Card Ideas: Birthday and Thank You

I love making my own cards for people. I do not own any of the new machines that people use, I always just use glue, paper and scissors. So, they are not perfect but I love making them. The one on the left is a birthday card and the one on the right is a Thank you card.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Traveling cake

I made this cake for my husband's co-worker's birthday. She loves to travel, so my husband helped me think of a theme, and this is what we decided on. It is a butter cake with cream cheese almond filling and covered in fondant. This was my second time making a 3d person.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Bath time cake

My youngest son just turned one years old. His favorite thing to do is take abath so I made a bath themed cake. It is a white cake with buttercream frosting and the duck is made of fondant.

Super Hero Capes!

For Christmas I decided to make my two older kids some super hero capes. They love the show super why and in the past whenever they wanted to be a superhero I would put a towel around them and secure with a pony tail holder. So, I decided they finally needed real ones. These are so easy to make. I found a tutorial on this link . I made both of these capes within thirty minutes and they cost $1.20 since most of the fabric I used for from old projects. I used cotton for the bulk of the cape and felt for the design on the back.