Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Chocolate Frosting

It's hard to believe but my baby is turning one year old!!! This week has been full of party planning, lists, decorations, and gifts. Tonight was the night for daycare treats. I decided on chocolate cupcakes, in part because that was the box mix I had in the pantry, and also because as much as I wanted to give into my laziness and go to the store, it was cold and rainy and I just didn't feel like making the drive.

For the frosting, I have tried many recipes. In years past I've opted for a cool whip style frosting because I like that it's not too sweet. Tonight I decided to again attempt a butter cream style frosting. I think I just may have come up with a combo that I really like - sweet but not too sweet, chocolaty but not too rich.

Here's my recipe...

4 c. confectioners sugar
4 T. coco powder
1 stick butter, room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 t. vanilla
1/3 c. milk
1 c. mild chocolate wafers, melted

In mixer, combine first 6 ingredients.
*** I measured out 1/2 c. milk and added it slowly to get the thickness that I wanted. I have learned from experience that it's very hard to thicken frosting once you've added too much liquid.

Then while mixer is going, slowly pour in chocolate and allow it to mix in thoroughly.

I used a piping bag with no frosting tip to get a nice thick swirl.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Holiday Oreo's

For my son's Halloween party at daycare I signed up to bring cookies. I realized that weekend though that  I really didn't have time to mess with making something from scratch. So I opted to dress up some Oreo's with chocolate and sprinkles. This is something that he can help out with and we were finished in 15 minutes.

You will need:

Oreo Cookies
Milk Chocolate (wafers or chips)
Wax paper, Saran Wrap, Parchment or Freezer Paper
Cookie Sheet

First, line a cookie sheet with paper you have on hand.

Next, melt the chocolate in the microwave. Stir a few times during the melting process to distribute the heat.

Get dunking...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tin Can Upcycle - Pencil Holders

I am ashamed that it has been almost a month since my last post, bad blogger!!! I know, life got the best of me. It's amazing how the days fly by when you let them. I try my best to slow life down but that's not easy. Being away from my home 11 hours a day Monday - Friday it's easy to see the days run away from you. I try my best to keep my priorities straight, the few waking hours during the week are spent having fun with my kiddos and hubby. Once the little ones are in bed I'm either crafting, Etsying, or spending some quality relaxing time with my dear husband. And here we are, it's fall, school is in full swing, pumpkins are everywhere, and I have no idea what the Halloween costumes will be this year! But we'll save that for another episode.

For tonight let's take a look at a great rainy day craft... Tin Cans = Pencil Holders

You will need:

  •  Scrapbooking Paper
  •  Tin Can
  •  Glue Gun
  •  Mod Podge
  •  Paint Brush
  •  Ribbon

Measure the height and circumference of your can and cut the paper accordingly allowing an extra 1/2" to wrap the paper over the top edge of the can.

Run a line of hot glue down the can and line up the edge of your paper on the glue. Be careful, the heat of the glue will come through the paper.

Run another line of glue down the can next to the starting point of the paper. Then wrap the paper around the can and press onto the glue. Again be careful, it will be hot!

Bend the top of the paper over the can to cover the rough edge.

Next, carefully run hot glue around the inside of the can on the edge of the paper and cover with ribbon to finish off the edge. Do this working in batches so the glue does not dry too quickly.

Finally, brush the can with Mod Podge and let dry.

I have also done this project with fabric and though it is a bit easier you can see the ridges in the can. But it worked nicely for some Batman cans for Nate's room!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Here it is folks. A tried and true, super easy, homemade laundry soap recipe.

Now I've always been a liquid soap kind of gal but for cost savings and diy nature in me, I just couldn't resist giving it a try.

I can say that it has successfully cleaned the following...

     a load of whites
     a load of delicate work cloths
     a load of baby cloths
     a load of stinky hubby cloths

AND there was no irritated skin reactions, even from the baby!!! I think that was my biggest reservation of all.

This recipe uses 3 ingredients and takes no more than 15 minutes to whip up a nice big batch.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 c. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 c. Borax
1 bar soap

Now I choose to mix the bar of soap and use 3 Ivory (for the gentle factor) and 2 Fels Naptha (for the stain fighting factor)

When I first was looking at these recipes I thought, where do I find this stuff???

Well, amazingly enough the Washing Soda, Borax, & Fels Naptha are all in the laundry isle. Who knew?!?! And of course you know where to find the Ivory soap :-)

I also went to my local Re-Uzit consignment shop to hunt for the perfect container. I figured my laundry room and blog readers deserve the best, tehe!!!

I got super lucky and found this great glass lidded canister with a nice vintage "Goodies" print in a pretty mustard yellow color for $4.50.

And I also splurged on a hand thrown ceramic mug for $.25.

So, let's get crafting...

First, shred the soap in the food processor. Just think of it as giving your food processor a good cleaning.

My dear husband came in and asked how I was making laundry soap with cheese. Silly hubby!!!

Then, mix other ingredients with shredded soap in large bucket.

Next, working in batches, add mixture back into food processor with the blade attachment and process until it is a nice powder. I couldn't get the Fels Naptha to completely turn to powder but figured it would all come out in the wash, hahahaha! I'm cracking myself up now!!!

As your batches are finished add into your pretty container and viola! Homemade Laundry Detergent!!!

If you decide to make the leap and DIY... use 2 T. of detergent per full load.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bleach Dye T-Shirt - Part 2

Sometimes my ideas look great in my head, great on paper, and then go terribly wrong.

Case in point - Rock On onesie.

Looks great on paper...

Nicely planned

But something went terribly wrong and I ended up with an angry cassette tape.

I'm pretty sure the issue was that my bleach mixture was too thin. The other issue was that I decided, because it was a more detailed design than the first project, to use paint brushes instead of the Clorox pen. The application was all wrong and I ended up going back to the pen but couldn't get the definition I was looking for. And I could see the bleach bleeding into the fabric so I was trying to work fast.

Maybe I can find an 80's rocker wig for Ian and he can be a rock star for Halloween.

Props for the big smile go to Daddy on this picture.
He was up on the roof cleaning the gutters in preparation for Hurricane Irene!

Maybe third time's a charm with the bleach pen project.
I think I'll invest $2.50 in a new pen and see if I get better results.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Miss Avery's Flower Girl Doll

I had the fortune of being commissioned by a friend to make a custom doll for her niece-to-be, the flower girl in her wedding. I've sold other custom orders at my Etsy store but this one was for such a special event. I feel so proud!

The wedding colors are white and charcoal grey with an accent color of hot pink roses.

Here is the finished product...

Her skirt ties in the back with an oversized satin ribbon.

The body was embroidered with the flower girls name on the front and the wedding date on the back.

The shoes were a first for me. Typically my dolls have crazy tights. For this occasion I felt only glittery princess shoes would do!

Her neckline was accented with a lazy daisy stitch and pearls.

Her face was dressed up with glitter on the cheeks, fancy eyelashes, and a hot pink flower in her hair.

What do you think?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Photo Challenge - Eyes

This weeks photo challenge on I Heart Faces is "Eyes". I've never entered before but right away I thought of a picture I took of Nathan shortly after I got my new camera.

Tutorial - Skirt to Purse

I love to turn old into new. So when I saw this tutorial on Whip Up I knew I had to give it a try. I can always use another bag!

I really liked the use of the pleated skirt but did not have one one hand. Then I found a cute stripped mini that I haven't worn in years, perfect! I also had some old drapery in my fabric stash that I bought about 10 years ago because I liked the textures but never found the right project.

So here's what I started out with.

I maximized all the hems and seams on the drapery. The main fabric hem was used as the top of the lining for the purse.

The hem on the lining of the drapery was used as the top of the inside pockets.

The side seam between the main drapery fabric and the lining was used to cut the straps for the purse.

After everything is cut, start by finishing off the edges of the pockets. Press the sides and bottom to the inside and sew to the lining of the purse.

Then sew the lining together with the right sides facing each other. Remember to leave the top open.

To create a flat bottom to the purse, bring the bottom seam to the side to create a triangle and sew across.

Next, sew the bottom hem of the skirt together and finish off the corners, same as above.

Turn the skirt right side out and layer the lining inside. The wrong sides should be facing each other.

Carefully pin the top of the purse together. I used a lot of pins to ensure the two pieces did not shift around as I sewed.

Next, finish off two long strap and a short one for the button hole.

Pin the straps in between the lining and the skirt and begin to sew.

I sewed around the opening twice for extra strength. I shifted my needle position the second time around for a decorative look and also to get nice and close to the edge.

I will say that if I were to do this project again I would use a stronger needle to finish off the purse. There were some pretty thick parts and I went through 4 needles! Live and learn.

Viola! Skirt to Purse!!!