Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lucky Cupcakes {Happy St. Patty's}


I'm posting a holiday treat before the actual holiday....It's a miracle!
These are dark chocolate cupcakes with creme de menthe frosting.
The little bows and shamrocks are made from gumpaste and then lightly brushed with edible Luster Dust.




To make the shamrocks:
-Roll a small amount of gumpaste into a ball.
-Put ball onto working surface & press down until you have a nice, plump disc.
-Use a toothpick to notch about a 1/3 of the way in. Repeat process on the opposite side of the first notch. Then repeat on top and bottom of the disc.
-Pick up the disc & roll the toothpick between each notch (rounding the petals a bit).
-Add a small tapered gumpaste rope for the stem.
TA DA!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Agave & Vanilla Roasted Walnuts

I'm back...I hope! I've been MIA on and off for the last couple of months and I continue to get e-mails asking where I've gone...thanks :) I'm recovering for a 2nd spout of an icky virus that has been going around. Anyway, enough of that and on to the good stuff!

Around here, we try to eat healthy as much as possible (except on Sundays when we have our "family" get togethers & eat whatever we want). I like to have some healthy treats to cure the sweet tooth during the week. Today I made Vanilla Roasted Walnuts sweetened with Agave. It is a simple & delicious recipe from one of my {gluten-free} favs, Elana's Pantry. Look at those yummy little vanilla bean specks. I'm going to try this will other nuts, like pecans & almonds. This recipe goes together pretty quickly, so it makes a good last minute gift. I'm making some for "Thank You" gifts.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What Happened?!

Yikes!!!!!!!!!!!!! My blog has been changed mysteriously. I looked at it yesterday and somehow today all of my preferences & graphics are gone :( I know I downloaded my settings somewhere....

I hope to be back to normal in a couple days.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Obsession

Like many others, I've been OBSESSED with making these flowers. It started this past summer and grew from there. My favorite was a headband I made with some vintage lace and other fabric. Then I made a bunch for Christmas, which is why I'm now getting them on the blog. I have a few more that I didn't get pics of...they were all coordinating for Christmas with my moms & sisters & niece. Maybe I'll get a pic the next time I visit.

There are plenty of tutorials out there. If I would have waited a few months, then I wouldn't have had to figure things out for myself, but oh well! Here are some links to free tutorials:
Everyday Chaos
Sis Bloom
Once you have the flowers down, then you can make this:
Scientific Seamstress

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hello January!

It is hard to believe that it is already January and already a New Year. Most people blogged about it in the first few days...but I'm just a little late.

No big resolutions on my list. I have a goal to strengthen my spirituality, among other things. My new job at church is Camp Director for the young women. In our area, the camp program is year round and the girls are certified before they go to camp. I'm excited to be back with my girls, after a 5-month break (when we switched wards). My goal is to bring a little fashion into camping...I was one of those girls that brought a butane powered curling to my first year of camp. I think it will make camping more fun for those who aren't die hard fans. Of course, it is not the top priority (survival and spirituality come first).

So Hello January! We are one month closer to some real warmth.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Easy, Cute & Fragile


You've probably seen some style of Shrinky Dink rings floating around the blog world (there are several tutorials). I made some a while ago when I first spotted them. I somehow forgot why I only made a few, until I made a couple for stocking stuffers. My problem with these cute rings are that they are fragile and break easily. The rings can be worn for a short period of time as long as you aren't doing anything too active. I need to find a way to make them stronger...like a spray on something. Any ideas?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Fav Way for Lemon Meringue







A yummy addition to a fun Girls Night! The recipe was absolutely perfect. Thanks, Martha! I've made lemon curd before for my award winning cake, though the recipe was slightly different the process was nearly the same. It was the first time I'd made seven-minute frosting, though. I really didn't know what to expect, but I liked how it turned out. It has a light, fluffy, glossy finish and torches perfectly. The flavor is very similar to a meringue (like on a lemon meringue pie), except I think I prefer the seven-minute frosting. These Lemon Meringue Cupcakes are labor intensive and well worth it.

The cupcake tags were really simple. I created them in Photoshop by creating a circle and adding the text on an arc (adjusting to the curve of the circle). Next I added a name in the middle and age behind it (adjusting the opacity to 50%). I flatten the image, then adjusted it to the size I wanted and filled the page. I was really wishing I knew where my circle punch was, but it is in a box somewhere...so I cut them out by hand. I added a pick and a feather with the good 'ole hot glue gun. I really wanted to have glitter on the black outer edge of the circle, but ran out of time (next time!).

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Girls Night



Who doesn't love a good Girls Night? It is so fun to get to know other women on a more personal level. I've also learned a lot of new things. For instance, last night I learned that a peacocks bum is very soft! Not sure how that topic came up, but it was probably because we were making feathered hair pieces.

Every once and a while our Girls Night will include a craft. We were celebrating my friends bday that night and she had been wanting to make feather hair pieces for a while, so I thought it was a perfect time to do it. Even though our craft resources are slim over here (the closest Micheals is an hour away and that is if you don't hit a bridge opening/closing...which I never miss!), everything turned out. I pulled a lot out of my craft stash and then other people brought some supplies to add to the mix. It was a lot of fun.

Even non-crafters came to enjoy the food and conversation...two very essential parts to any successful Girls Night. The menu included Spinach Salad in Parmesan Frico Cups, Lemon Meringue Cupcakes, Tropical Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips, Cherry Bombs and a sweet friend brought yummy Peppermint Brownies. All of it was delicious!


Christmas Brulee

This was my second attempt at making Creme Brulee. The first was successful, but I didn't have the cute little ramekins or a high powered torch. I used a glass 9" round baking dish and a butane torch.

This time I had new little ramekins (from World Market) and a propane torch. I would recommend both! My hunny really liked helping on the torching part. I think this will become a tradition at my inlaws. We all loved it!

The recipe I used is compliments of Alton Brown. The only change I made was using half and half instead of cream. No one noticed :). A quick tip is to save the vanilla bean pod to make vanilla sugar.

Happy Torching!

Indoor Photography


I've done a lot of photography since the end of summer. I've come to a conclusion that I do not enjoy shooting in the winter time, because it is too cold and gloomy. I love shooting outdoors, so winter time has forced me to practice indoor shots.

Since we don't have little kiddos running around at my house, I use the next best thing...our dogs. My little girl dog loves the camera and is a great model (she must take after me). Our boy dog doesn't really care and usually doesn't pose for me, so I stick to my girl.

Last month I pulled out my flash that I got when I was 16. It works great on my DSLR. I'm still learning on getting the best shots indoor, but I'm getting better! I learn a lot from flickr forums and blogs. I also try to apply some of the things I learned when I was younger. The best advice I can give is to learn the basics, then play. Whenever I have a question I search the blogs and usually find my answer! My favorite place for the basics is Pioneer Women. There is also a wealth of information about cameras & lenses on Ken Rockwell's site.

I'm Back!

After a bit of a hiatus, I'm back & ready to blog! Since my posting in November, we finished the remodel project on our new house (the contractors left 2 days before Thanksgiving!), hosted Thanksgiving with 19 people, put on a Church Christmas Party, made Christmas presents, spent time with both sides of the family for a couple days around Christmas and celebrated the New Year from our home. Add a couple photo shoots, work outs, etc and you've got my life for the last few months. I'm ready to slow down a little bit.