Have I mentioned that I am obsessed with Gingerbread houses? I think they are just the most adorable. I have dreams of hosting an epic gingerbread house decorating party but everytime I start to think about the details it all becomes a little overwhelming. Some day. For now I will have to console myself with helping out at my work's gingerbread class they host every year. We had an extra house one day, and some extra time so I got to decorate a house. I did one last year with the candy and such but this year I decided to let the kids use the candy and I would content myself with just using some royal icing.
Classic and sort of vintage feeling. And delicious...did I mention delicious? I think I better go make some gingerbread cookies to enjoy right now!
I have had the idea in my head of making my house look like a giant Gingerbread house for quite awhile. I am finally going to start making that happen! I made some cute Christmas candy lollipops for the front yard for super cheap.
I started with a broken drying rack that I had lying around (I never throw anything away!)
First I took all the white dowels off of the rack.
I bought some styrofoam plates for the candy part. I needed something that would hold up well in weather. To make it look a little more candy-like and less plate-like I trimmed off the outer edge of the plates.
....And I kept the scraps to make some other project!
Using craft paint from my stash I whipped up some lollipops. After experimenting with a few different designs I was most happy with the 'traditional' swirl design so I made more of those. This would be fun to do with kids- they could make whatever candies they wanted!
Even though you will mostly only see one side of these I made each one so that both sides were decorated. After the paint was dry I took each pair of plates and sandwiched them around the dowels and glued them together. I finished them By wrapping some clear plastic bags on top and tying with some ribbon.
Thankfully the ground hasn't gotten so solid that I could fairly easily just shove these in the ground. It will look a bit more Christmasy once there is some snow on the ground! It will probably take me a couple of years to get enough projects done to make it look properly 'gingerbread' house but I am up for the challenge.
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! The day of my sister and I kept it pretty quite...but the weekend before a dream of mine came true. I made a Cherpumple! Anyone who has known me for awhile has probably heard me talk about this monster cake. The idea is taken from the Turducken- the chicken inside of a duck inside of a turkey. Except this is cakes and pies! I saw this YouTube video a couple of years ago and have been dreaming about it ever since.
My friend said we should make it for our Friendsgiving party we were going to and I jumped at the chance. It was not a perfect project but it was a lot of fun. The bottom layer is a pumpkin pie in a spice cake. The next layer is an apple pie in a yellow cake and the top layer is a cherry pie in a white cake. Working in a bakery I should have seen some of our problems coming a mile away...but we just didn't have time to really do it right!
It was still too warm when we put it together to frost it. The layers were trying to slide all over and the pressure of the weight was making the top crack. I was FLIPPING OUT and we ended up plastic wrapping the heck out of the entire thing so we could get it to the party!
Taking the wrap off. I made someone else deal with the cake so when it fell apart I could blame it on someone else! Kidding! But seriously....
After the first piece was cut a lava flow of frosting and pie came out with it! It was pretty funny. But everything tasted pretty good so we are going to call it a win! You live and learn.
Onward to Christmas!!! I am already listening to music (like right now) and watching movies : ) Just pulled out all of my Christmas stuff out of my closet and I have some craft projects started!!!
Nothing seems to make my heart sing quite like sequins. I think that when I was in school and a die-hard tomboy the years of shunning all things 'girly' has now swung to the other end of the spectrum. Now I am the girl with sparkle everything, way too many dresses, and an obsession with pink. Hmm. Cycles I tell ya.
Combine thrift store finds AND sparkles and you have a most winning combination in my book!
The perfect Christmas green sequin shirt! All the stores are all a glitter this time of year for the holidays coming up and I love snagging a thrifty-vintage find. At $3 this top also be easy on my tight holiday budget! It came complete with shoulder pads but I took those out!
This lovely dress also had elbow pads. Not quite a sparkly beauty but the cute print and small details on this dress make it a great find in my book!
Both of these outfits look slightly frumpy on my tiny dress form. They look even better on someone with the curves to fill them out a bit ; )
So is anyone else as obsessed with Skyfall as I am? Well there must be because it is the #1 movie in the world...but I can't even express how much I loved this movie!
James Bond has always been a favorite and when Daniel Craig took over the iconic role I could not have been happier. By the way, how are his eyes so blue? I digress. Casino Royale was a fun movie that stepped up the James Bond game and got it away from some of the sillyness that it was becoming. I sort of feel like it was the 'Batman Begins' equivalent of the Bond franchise. Then came Quantum of Solace and I was again very excited...and then quickly dissapointed. It is just not that good of a movie. The nod to Goldfinger was excellent and a couple of M's quips were of course spot on but other than that the movie seemed to lack clear direction.
Now onto Skyfall. Firstly- the trailers were excellent. From the first teaser you wanted to see this film and you wanted it to be so good. The movie delivered! I will admit the first 20 minutes or so I was a little worried and then things took a turn. Javier Bardem makes one of the best villians in modern cinema. The clear 'bad guy wants revenge plot' was so much more refreshing than the mysterious world of secret society terrorists in the last two films. The background on Bond was great as well and the connections to the past movies was fun and tied the 50 year history of this brand together in a clever little package. It is so nice to see a well made action movie! There were scenes towards the end that were so beautifully shot you forgot you were watching a 'Bond movie'.
Also I have to give a shout out to the new young 'Q'. Not many men could distract from the swoon-worthy-ness of Mr. Craig but Q, played by Ben Winshaw, managed to steal some of the attention that is usually heaped upon Bond (at least in my friend group!).
Something about the combination of accent+great hair+sweaters+nerd glasses really made this Q work for me! Nerds: you are having a moment of awesome right now!
I will try to catch Skyfall again while it is still in theaters. Until then I will just listen to Adele's Skyfall on repeat like I have been doing for the last week.
I am trying to think of some fun James Bond craft projects. Anyone have any ideas?
Working at a bakery sometimes the LAST thing I want to do when I get home is bake, but I love it so I have been forcing myself to make stuff! A couple of weeks ago the Derby team got together for a potluck- and I brought the skate cake! I bought the pan at the local Hobby Lobby with a coupon. I really shouldn't collect this kind of bakeware because I don't have the room...but oh do I love it!
And cupcakes are always a favorite! I made these easy peasy egg cupcakes for my friend's birthday Brinner (breakfast for dinner).
These are so easy they are criminal! I loaded up a pastry bag with white frosting and put an irregular dollop on each mini cupcake. Then I separated out some plain yellow m&ms and made sure I put the 'm' side down. Ta da! These are nice because they don't have an obscene amount of frosting on them. Another cute idea is to use green m&ms for a green eggs and ham/ Dr. Seuss party.
Now it is all about the turkeys and fall leaves and getting ready for winter.
Not only is October (and Halloween) over we already solidly in November! Where has the time gone? I am going to say that I have been having so much fun that the time has just flown by...Mostly true! I did get a few Halloween projects done this year, including two costumes.
One was for my sister. She wanted a pikachu costume. I forbade her from buying one!
We headed to the thrift store and found an adorable yellow dress. I made a tail and some stripes and a set of ears.
For the ears I covered a headband and stuffed the ears with polyfil and some lightweight wire to give them a bit of bend.
The tail is a styrofoam base covered in fabric (all sewing- no glue!) The base of the tail is sewn to the dress and then a small loop of string was attached to the top of the tail and then looped onto the button at the top back of the dress to make the tail stand up.
The stripes are dark brown felt sewn to the dress. The upper stripe covered some of the zipper so it is only half sewn on and the other half I attached 3 velcro bits so you can still unzip the dress.
Some major blush on the cheeks and she was the cutest pokemon at the party. (Ok she was the ONLY pokemon at the party...but still!)
I also made a squirrel costume for my girl Squirrely Q. I had her buy a hoodie that she liked and I added ears and a tail. She loves it so much she still wears it around. I didn't get a picture of it but I also bought a small glitter acorn from the craft store and added a loop of fabric to it so she could wear it around her wrist or safety pin it to herself so she wouldn't lose it!
Hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween and now onto the holiday season! WOOO HOOOO!
Halloween AND Roller Derby? Be still my heart! Two of my favorite things in one. Our team is headed to their very FIRST away bout and we are getting pretty excited! If you are going to be in the area check it out. H
Another pattern sale! How can I resist? Patterns that are $17.95 on sale for 99 cents!!!! Be still my heart. Now though I really do need to get a box for all of my patterns because I am beginning to forget which ones I already have. I think that means I need to start sewing! This time it was all costume patterns. They are my favorites and I was shopping with other people who didn't want to spend another hour at the store as I pour over the pattern books!
And yes- that pattern on top is CLEARLY a 'Snow White and the Huntsman' pattern. That is a movie I did not like AT ALL which was disappointing because I love Snow White stories. Anyways the outfit is so darn cute that I couldn't resist getting the pattern. I also just sort of love the patterns that come out for the movies that were released this year. Maybe I can use it for the Oscar party next year.
Now for the good part: Drumroll Please!!!!!
On sale for: $6.38!!!!!
Savings of: $96.32
I helped out at the History Center's Harvest Moon Festival this weekend and we were encouraged to dress up so of course I jumped on it! I originally wanted to be sort of a fall/fairy queen type but I started to run out of time to get together an elaborate costume. This is a lesson that I have learned over and over and I really need to take it to heart: USE WHAT YOU HAVE. Sometimes I get so obsessesed with creating a new costume that I forget that I already probably have stuff in my closet and craft room that would work. I did really want to make a fall floral crown after being inspired by all the tutorials and things I have recently seen.
A trip to Michaels provided some lovely fake fall items on sale I got this whole bunch for less than $5! My job at the festival was helping out at the pumpking painting station so I wanted to make sure I had at least one pumpkin involved.
First: I simply unwrapped the small circle of leaves and beads. I was hoping to use this as a base. Lo and Behold! It was a perfect shape and size. I would probably wear this by itself it is so pretty.
2nd: I just started pulling apart elements from my other 'sprigs' and winding and twisting them into the base crown. In a couple spots I used brown twist ties to secure the items together. The whole project took less than 10 minutes! And since there was no glue involved I can take this apart to either source for other craft projects or to mix up this look. Win! Mine sat on my head just like a head band but if you added ribbon to each end you could tie it and adjust the side a bit for the kids in your life! (Just make sure they are old enough not to try and eat it- there are some small bits!)
The rest of my costume ended up being a combination of a few different costumes I had and some regular clothes. It was supposed to be a bit like a victorian looking witch. One girl described me as a 'Fall queen' and said that I was 'very pretty and you have the perfect color hair." She might have been my favorite! It was a little chilly and of course I forgot my camera but here are the little pumpkins I painted!
Slowly, steadily things are becoming Halloweeny. Fall colors are already at their peak here and the weather has gotten rather brisk. Today I need to face the chilly to get some outdoor decorating done. One of my favorite things to do for Halloween? Use the pumpkin leaf bags. We always used these when I was a kid so it brings me back and it is both fun and functional!
This month has been CRAZY. But now it is almost over and we can get on to more important things, like Halloween!!! But seriously what a month.
I made pies for my friends wedding... 27 pies.
Heading to the bakery to bake them in the giant oven. Thanks bakery!!!
County Apple, Peach Blackberry, and Cherry. Nom.
For as much as I flipped out about this project it all came together in the end. I may be a terrible procrastinator (ahem...friend's t-shirt quilt I still haven't finished...ahem) but when it comes down to it I get shit done.
The day before the wedding I was running around doing last minute projects, including making helmet covers for my roller derby team! We were short a set so I found a pattern on the internet, ran to the fabric store and busted them out! On Saturday after my hair appointment (which on a separate note I am never doing again) I sneaked over the arena where my girls were setting up for their bout. They ended up loosing but I am so proud of all of them and I am sad I could not be there for them. After a day of recovery it was back to grindstone. Now here we are a few minutes from October and it starts all over again! Another bout to plan, more baking to be done and costumes to figure out and be made. Let the epic-ness continue!
Now that Roller Derby has started back up I am going to mixers where most often you get a 'team t-shirt' and you have a little bit of time between arriving and warm ups to transform it to something wearable. While a plain t-shirt in itself is not completely evil derby girls tend to have their own sense of style and 'boutfits' are part of the game. Plus you usually can't have your sleeves down as you put your number on your arms. What results is a flurry of scissors and scraps and usually some pretty cute shirts. It is a mini t-shirt party every time.
The last mixer I went to my locker room had at least 3 girls who brought scissors. One also brought the t-shirt bible 'Generation T' for ideas. Another girl brought her rotary cutter and a mat- that is hardcore.
This has got me to thinking a lot about cute things to do with t-shirts. The quicker and less sewing the better but I did find this dress online and it has me drooling.
It is only $805... Omg. I want it but I don't want to pay that. If I attempt a version of it DIY style I will let you know how it goes!
Crafting and Roller Derby. Two of my favorite things.
I saw the amazing work of Liesbet Bussche on another blog and I just had to share. She creates huge urban jewelry using her surroundings and creativity. These images are stuck in my head and I love them all.
The giant stud earrings are my favorite. Whats yours?
Most days I am a bit cranky about work (shocking I know) but some days are pretty good. This day I got to make these lovely wedding cookies. I have seen the idea several places and it was really fun to make them.
Have I mentioned that I am making wedding pie for my friend's wedding? Well I am. And that project is coming up rather quickly. I will hopefully be documenting the successful process right here! : )
What is Beer Fest you ask? It is a Fest of Beer. In the best sense. This past weekend up near the Mall of America (the parking lot to be exact...super classy!) my friends hit up the second annual Twin Cities Beer Fest. Your ticket gets you in and you are presented with a small cup which you then take up to the different booths and you get a little 2oz sample of beer! There were all kinds of beer to try so most tastes had plenty to try. Ciders are my favorite! There was also music, giant jenga, bean bags, fake tattoos and a plethora of fake mustaches! I was a last minute addition to the group and I am really glad I went!
Trouble makers...I tell ya!
I also helped out with the 'days of yesteryear' at the History Center that morning...but since I had to run off to beer fest I didn't get any good pictures!
Have you been to a beer, wine, or other tasting? What do you recommend?
Well I haven't been quilting as much as I like but I have been finishing up quite a few small sewing projects around the house. This project was inspired by my surroundings. I love having a lot of pictures up on my walls but I don't like putting holes in my walls. I have used 3m strips/ hooks for years but they fall down a lot and can get quite spendy. I have this shelf going around the top of my wall already I thought if I could figure out a way to attach the pictures to the shelf then I wouldn't have them falling down all the time and I could put more pictures up and make more space on my shelf for all of my other cool stuff.
Here is the before. I have about 12 pictures on the wall (plus a bare hook and some other random stuff).
I sewed two strips of fabric together. One was to tie around the shelf and the other one was to attach the picture frames to. I sewed lengths of scrap fabric and ribbon to the 'picture strips' to attach the pictures- making them easy to change out.
Finished! Now I have 21 pictures on my wall that are not going to fall down. If I were to do this project again (or tweak the one I have) I would have made the picture strips come down a bit farther to meet up with the dresser more. But I was just using scraps from my bin- a quick no cost project that serves a great purpose! Win!
As busy as things are I always find time to daydream about more stuff I could be doing. And quite honestly if I spent a little less time daydreaming about it and more time DOING stuff then maybe it would happen.
My current sewing project is another t-shirt quilt for my friend. She gave me all the shirts MONTHS ago and I have only made significant progress on it in the last week or so. (Pictures to come when completed). Partially I have problems organizing my craft time but then I also feel like I shouldn't start new projects when I have some in the works.
Thankfully my latest craft obsession is quilting and I hope that this will motivate me to get this quilt done and to start some new fun projects at the same time.
It all started a couple of weeks ago when I visited my Grandmother Marilyn. Her town was hosting it's little 'festival days' and one of the events was a quilt show and 'bed turning'. I had been to the quilt show years ago and decided it was time that I went again. My Grandma, Aunt, Mom, and I piled into the car and drove the mile or so into town. The quilt show was probably small by most standards but the wide variety of quilts was quite stunning.
The bed turning was the coolest part. They had a bed layered with 30 or so quilts on top and then at certain times during the day you could grab a seat and one at a time the ladies would hold up a quilt and tell the story behind it. They had quilts from all eras and it was great to see the history of the area sewn with love into these quilts. My Grandma Marilyn had actually worked on several of the quilts there. The biggest surprise was a community quilt that was about 50 years old.
Each square was hand embroidered by a member of the group and then it was all stitched together. Some of the ladies who worked on the quilt were in the audience.
One square caught our family's eye.
This square was made by my Great-Grandma Anna Dempster! Anna is my middle name (named for her of course!) and it was such a lovely way to witness crafting through the generations.
After this trip I have become obsessed with quilting. I went to the library and got a lot of books on the subject (when in doubt-go to the library) and I have been pouring over new found quilt blogs and posts all over the internet. I found Wild Olive's post to hit really close to home (and she includes some excellent links) and I also loved the Etsy's Blog post on the Aids Quilt. So inspiring! I have a hundred ideas for projects running through my head now but hopefully I will now have the motivation to finish that quilt I have started and then to start sharing some of my zany ideas.