Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas time is here

I was really excited to decorate for Christmas this year, but I am every year. We put up my little fake tree and decked it out with lights and ornaments. Last year we just did traditional looking Christmas bulbs, but this year I was keen to get back to the mix of new and old ornaments that I think make the trimming of the tree so special. The above picture is a box of vintage ornaments I snagged from my moms house. Aren't they lovely?

I've also been a busy elf at work trying to come up with new cute ideas for cookies and cakes. 

These are my snow monster cookies! So much frosting but really fun. 

I also did a version of snowglobe cookies. The Penguins and snowmen are cupcake rings. 

While I'm doing lots of packs of hard iced cookies I wanted to do some for the case that were a bit fancier. 

And last but not least some large cookies. Most ideas came from coworkers and an idea book I got at a conference a couple of years ago. The doors with the wreaths were a new idea I saw this year floating around the Internet. 

My heart has been heavy these recent weeks. If yours has been too I hope these cheerful cookies will help lighten your day at least a bit. I hope to post some Christmas cakes soon too! 

Happy cookie decorating! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas Tree Hat DIY

Hello everybody! I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and weekend. I did not break my personal rule of no Christmas movies/music before thanksgiving but I did get a jump on crafting...because it takes time! So today I am excited to share a simple DIY to get you in the holiday spirit. 

Christmas Tree Hat DIY:

I saw a hat similar to this in a store and thought a DIY version would be fun and easy and it was! 

What you need:
-Green hat for your Christmas tree base. You could use a premade hat or make your own! (I crocheted mine with bright green sparkly yarn using this great free pattern )

-Yellow yarn for Pom Pom topper

-Mini Pom poms. I used a bag of glittery ones I found at a craft store to match my sparkly yarn hat, but you can choose any size/ shape you want. (Or make your own!) 

-Needle and thread
-yarn needle
-Two toilet paper rolls (for Pom Pom) 

1. First I made my tree topper. I used yellow yarn and this technique for making a giant Pom Pom. 


Using a yarn needle and extra yellow yarn, attach your Pom Pom to the top of your hat. 


Next I layed out my small Pom poms. I put them in order so I could make sure I used all of the colors. My pack had 18 and I ended up with 2 leftover. 

I used a needle and green thread and sewed each Pom Pom onto the hat doing my best to stagger them and make it look natural. I started just above the brim and worked in rows around . 

TaDa! Your very own Christmas tree hat! I made this one for myself but they would make such cute kids hats, gifts, etc! 

I hope this little tutorial gives you some ideas for your own Christmas crafting. If you make a hat I would love to see it! After I finished this one I found a pack of smaller Pom poms so I might have to make another hat! 

Check back for more Christmas fun. I've got some new Christmas necklaces for the etsy shop coming soon. 

Happy crafting everyone! 

Monday, November 16, 2015

News and updates.

Well kids the Etsy shop is back and up and running! I admit I have lost my way more than a few times. Stumbled over distractions, got mired in the swamp of 'what ifs'. But I'm trying to find my way back. Get some balance going, do what I love. So the shop is back and I hope to add some fun holiday items in this next week so stay tuned! 

I've also finally set a date for my wedding! For fun and perhaps to organize, keep deadlines, and keep sane I'm hoping to share my DIY wedding adventures here. I can't wait to get started! The holidays are going to get in the way a little bit I think but full steam ahead for October 1st, 2016. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Coffee floats and fall baking

A weekend off for a bakery worker is a rare and beautiful thing. So what better way to spend it than baking? 

Weekend time also means time to hang out with friends who have more conventional work weeks. I decided a pie was in order. 

Apple cinnamon with rosemary. I got fancy with the maple cutouts but opted not to use my usual egg wash in light of high egg prices. The recipe is adapted from a Rocco Dispirito cookbook. 

I also made a Saturday afternoon treat for all the coffee lovers out there. Coffee floats! 

(Tony's Vanuatu mug and my brand new mermaid mug!) 

A scoop of Haagen das coffee ice cream, splash of milk and some cooled coffee made for a delightful afternoon pick me up. I also want to make some cold brew coffee and try that next time. 

Hope everyone else is having a great weekend! Now for some car ride crocheting on our way to friends and games night! 


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thursday Thrifting

Haven't posted my thrifting finds lately. I have been trying to be good but I have had a couple of really good days!

Here is the haul from a couple of weeks ago. I collect the pie dishes with the recipes in them, my problem at this point is I don't remember which ones I have! So if it is a good price and I don't KNOW I have it I go ahead and get it. This Raspberry Cream Pie plate was only $2.99. My dream is to someday have them all displayed in my house and any extras or doubles I have can then be gifted.

I also bought the old wooden rolling pin for $1.99. The paint is peeling and the handles are a little wonky but I loved the look of it enough to buy it as a decorative piece. I have seen these types of rolling pins go for way more at antique stores, so I thought for the price it will look awesome in my someday kitchen.

The two cake plates are matching and were $3.99 a piece. Steal! I love cake plates and as I may actually set a date and get to plan a wedding here sometime in the hopefully near future these will be put to good use on a dessert table.

The clear pasta container has been on my radar for awhile. I have a pin saved on pinterest where someone used this type of container to store their cupcakes liners. I am notorious at losing track of cupcake liners, shoving them in strange places and generally either squashing them or not knowing what I have. As I find my stashes around my kitchen and elsewhere I have been adding them to the container and now I know where they all are, what I have, and they aren't getting squished anymore! Huzzah!

Harder to see in the picture is a simple wooden napkin holder. I'll admit right now that I don't buy napkins but hoard them from take out. (Most notably chipotle). We end up eating in the basement in front of the tv a lot and the napkins have just been strewn about on the coffee table. Now at least I have them contained. Baby steps towards classing the place up a bit.

So a good haul all around. Yay for good thrifting days!

Find yourself some treasures lately?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Back to School Cookies

Today is the first day of school here in our district. To celebrate I made some back to school cookies at work.

These were actually 'gift package' cut out cookies. We get our cookies in frozen and bake them off in store. We don't use a traditional royal icing, like I would prefer, but a glossy frosting more used for donuts. It never gets super hard, which makes it delicious, but also harder to decorate. I am taking it upon myself at work to sort of be 'in charge' of the sugar cookies though as we roll into the holiday season. Most times we do 6cts that are simply decorated with icing and maybe sprinkles. I'm hoping to bump it up a notch this year and offer at least some cookie options that really tap into the cute factor. There are some truly amazing cookie artists out there! I am nowhere near as talented as some of them but I vow to continue to try to make cute yummy cookies.

To all my teacher friends: Good Luck with this school year! And a special Shout Out to my fiance who is starting as a Math Corps Tutor!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Shark Blanket

I started my mermaid tail crochet project with a lot of enthusiasm. I was convinced that I would be able to 'wing it' and have it turn out awesome. Well not long after my 'Skein 1' update I was hitting a bit of a roadblock and getting frustrated. That's when my friend Becky posted on my FB wall a picture of a shark blanket from MJ's Off the Hook Designs. Being the crazy person I am I saw it and immediately wanted to make it. I bought the pattern (my first purchased crochet pattern!) and ran off to the craft store to buy gray yarn. I had enough white and red on hand for the teeth and gum details. I had to tweak the pattern just a bit because I did not use a bulky yarn. I used regular yarn and used two strands. It went pretty smoothly but I did end up making the tail 3 times to get the sizing right.

I am super happy with how it turned out. I just took a couple of quick shots before wrapping it up and sending it off to Texas! It got there only a couple days after her birthday. The nice thing about the pattern is that it includes lots of different sizes (baby to adult) and she allows you to sell your finished products as long as you give her pattern credit.

She also has a mermaid tail blanket pattern....I may just break down and buy that as well. Although it is probably very similar to the shark pattern I want to start supporting craftspeople more when I can.

So excited to have finished another LARGE crochet project. Working on more and more and keeping the momentum going. Getting back into hats too now that fall is here (in name if not in temperature). Trying to decide if I can buckle down enough to be part of the Halloween cryptkeepers this year. If nothing else look for a giveaway I am hosting in early October!

Happy Labor Day everyone! And Happy Crafting!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Make do and mend

Just a little Sunday mending. I admit to the bad habit of buying 'super cheap clothes' but I just love the target clearance rack! To make up for this I try to make them last as long as possible. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the mending pile so today I grabbed 3 quick fixes, two broken straps and a popped seam. A little hand sewing later and I'm done! 

I hope everyone else is having a lovely Sunday. I don't often get a weekend day off of work so I savor them all the more. 

Bit of mending, laundry and letter writing so far. Now to scrounge up some lunch and get outside! 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mermaid Blanket: Skein 1

Well after a hard couple of days at work I have a day off. Pancakes in the morning, Lots of internet reading, crocheting, and going to see Magic Mike XXL with some gal pals. Perfect day really. Now I am doing a last minute load of laundry so I can return to work and the real world tomorrow.

I have the crafting bug HARD and am still riding high after finishing the granny square blanket. I am doing a project for myself this time so I can share more 'in progress' posts without fear of ruining any sort of surprise. Have you seen the super cool mermaid blankets online? There are a few different patterns out there as well. From what I can tell though most of the blankets are 'lapghans' so they just sit on top of you like a blanket. I'm interested in something a little more lifelike. More cocoon. Actual feeling of being a mermaid. Sure I might have to struggle in and out of it or hop around like I'm in a potato sack race but I still think its the way to go. Despite the patterns available I am making this up as I go along. I am trying out different stitches along the way and sort of making this a sampler project. I found the loveliest Red Heart Soft yarn in 'Deep Sea' (perfect, I know) and am not changing colors so I am trying to add some interest and texture with different stitches. It would be a quicker project if I just went with one stitch I'm sure but it feels good to try new stuff on a project that does not have the pressure of being a gift or on a time crunch.

When I found the yarn I bought several skeins and I thought I would share what it looks like after skein 1;

My game plan is to start at the bottom and work up and then return to the bottom to add the fin. Progress is progress. I plan to continue sharing as I go along. Has anyone else made a mermaid blanket of any sort?

Happy Crafting!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Stormtrooper Granny Square Blanket

July already? My word this year is slipping by fast! Today I am happy to share my latest completed crochet project. It is my largest crochet project so far and I am so happy with the way it turned out.

I present to you my Stormtrooper Granny Square Blanket!

I am so excited that it actually turned out! And that I finished it in time for my sister's birthday. That was the goal. I first started this project over a year ago and was hoping to give it to my sister for Christmas. I was making massive granny squares and it was taking forever and I got discouraged and gave up. Like many another project it sat in the corner, a few stacks of black and white squares and no real intention of picking it back up.

But this early spring I had caught the crafting bug again and was determined to pick a large scale project that I would finish. I came back to this idea and had a light bulb moment. Little squares. I know it sounds dumb but by making my squares less than half the size I was going to (I dont know why I started so large!) I convinced myself that the project was do-able and made the goal to be finished by June 30th so I could give it to my sister. My sister is a lover of all things geeky and nerdy but Star Wars is a big one and one that we bond over.

I did seriously consider more 'in progress' posts, but on the off chance she might see this and find out I thought it better to just share it all at once.

Here is a picture of all my finished white and black squares. I timed it out and I could make a square under 4 minutes if that was all I was doing. If I was talking or watching something it was a bit longer. Many a car ride was spent making squares, and many a movie. They are so easy to make I could see this being a great 'filler' project too, between bigger projects and such. Make a  few squares here and there.

Once I had 10 squares of the same color done I would tie them together in little bundles. I have never made a granny square blanket before so I was somewhere between making it up as I went along and looking to the internet for tips.

The idea for the entire project came from a pinterest pin that led me to this great image from Crafster.

Super happy with the way it turned out. I eliminated the white squares around the boarder and after assembling the blanket I did a simple border out of gray. Even with all my planning and working on it I was still finishing the border the day of! I have since pinned several of these grid type patterns. You can also look up 'perler bead patterns' and 'cross stitch patterns' for more options. As long as you have a pixelated grid image you can make any granny square project your heart desires! 

I'm still loving hard on crochet. My next big project is going to be a mermaid tail blanket. There are quite a few patterns and ideas out there. I'll for sure share once I get it started. This one will be all for me so no need to surprise anyone!  

I hope everyone has a Happy and Safe 4th of July weekend! 

Happy Crafting! 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Settlers of Catan: Cupcakes

I can't believe I didn't post this last year but I am fixing  it now. Have you played Settlers of Catan? It's a fun game that quickly gets competitive and sometimes heated :) 

Last year I was invited to attend a birthday Catan tournament. With over 30 people invited I knew I probably wasn't going to bring home the game trophy... But they were also giving a prize for best food- now that I had a shot at. Lots of people have done versions of cupcakes or cookies so building from those ideas I made a cupcake version of the game board.

I used a combo of frosting, candies, and a bit of fondant.  I was super pleased with how it turned out. And at the end of the day I did being home the award for best food! 

Now the tournament is again taking place this weekend and I have to live up to my name.... What to make! I haven't figured it out yet but I'll share once I do. 

Cheers all and may your Catan playing bring you much glory. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Crochet Cacti

After seeing the idea on the internet I loved the idea of sweet little crochet plants around the house. Finally a plant I can't kill. On a trip to the dollar store I grabbed a 3 pack of mini clay pots. It actually took a LOT of restraint not to buy more but I made myself a promise that I could only buy more if I made at least these 3 first. Now after a couple of weeks I have 3 new little cacti! There are lots of free tutorials out there for all different varieties of little cacti. They are quick to whip up and I find it super satisfying to sit down and have a project done start to finish in the same sitting. After making the first one Tony liked it so much he wanted to have it on his nightstand. (The entire collection resides there currently, I may have to make more for other areas of the house!) With the never ending winter these sure have helped me think of warmer days to come. 

Now on to bigger crochet projects? I feel like there are always more projects in my head then I will ever get to. Nice to get these little ones done! 

Happy Crafting!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Groundhog Day

Well that little fur ball saw his shadow. Oh well. I heard he is only right like 39% of the time. To cheer you up about so much winter I would like to share these awesome cupcakes I made for a little girl's Groundhog Day birthday! 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pi Project

Hello folks! I am super excited to share this project that I just found through Mr. X Stitch! The Pi project is collecting 9.5 fabric squares with digits 0-9 on them to create on of the largest textile art versions of Pi! 2015 happens to be a big year for the number and they are looking for as many squares as possible.

Check out the website for more info on the project and how to participate. They have posted some cool contributions already and I am inspired to participate and I hope to create many squares to send!

I have been playing with the idea of starting my own craft night and was trying to decide on what project to start with and this is perfect! I am going to put the word out to see if anyone is interested and if even ONE OTHER PERSON is game I am going to host an epic craft night. YAY!

I will post any creations it get ready to send out. Please share if you are doing the same!

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Vintage Lovelies

This Christmas I got some lovely little vintage items from my mother. My mom, sister, and I are all into thrifting, antique stores, and general collecting. I don't want to say hoarders,,, but,,,, kidding! At least for now. We all have a fairly good idea of each others tastes though so it is fun to get gifts for each other. My sister got a bunch of vintage superhero items and I got mostly vintage beauty and wedding items!

This little lovely came from my mom with a tube of pink lipstick. She tried to find one that was the color 'bashful' or 'blush' (heck yeah Steel Magnolias!) but no luck. Actually most of my lipsticks were too large for her skirt but I found a few plus some chapsticks.

I'll share some of the other items another day. Hope you had a lovely weekend!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Pancakery: Pancake Reviews

Welcome to the first Pancakery post! I like pancakes. Like really like pancakes.  After getting a couple different mixes for Christmas, and pinning a plethora of pancake recipes on Pinterest I have decided to start a little Pancake review section. So any time I try a new pancake I'll share and let you know what I think. If you have any that you are particularly fond of send them my way!

First up:

I received this mix for Christmas. Always fun to try new pancakes. But here is my question: What is the point of a mix if I have to add more than one ingredient to it? Yeah I probably like from scratch the best, but if I am going for convenience I don't really want to have to add egg, buttermilk, and melted butter! Might as well make them myself at that point. The mix itself is a bit on the runny side but it did make nice large 'plate sized' pancakes just like the package said. We got 4 large pancakes and one smaller one out of a 'serving'. While they were cooking they smelled just like fresh waffle cones! The taste was on the sweeter side too and they paired nicely with just regular old pancake syrup.

Mmm. Pancakes. We also got a coconut flavored mix from the same brand. I'll let you know how those turn out. But for the amount of extra work these took with no special flavors I'd probably stick to homemade. Happy Breakfasting!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Currently Obsessed With: Agent Carter

I had the good fortune of watching Agent Carter tonight! I don't think I am being too dramatic when I say that this is now my new favorite thing ever. Comic books, awesome heroine, and 40's amazingness? Yes Please! Seriously I just finished watching it on hulu about 20 minutes ago. The premier was last night and after a quick google search I found lots of reviews that were either positive, or saying something to the effect of the feminism was too heavy handed. To refrain from going on a rant/tangent on THAT topic lets focus on the important things here shall we? Like the fabulous vintageness of the ENTIRE show. Hair, makeup, shoes, stockings, cars, buildings, suits, ties, this show is a vintage lovers dream! One of the main reasons Captain America has been my favorite Avenger and Marvel movie so far is that it is set in the 40s. Can't gush enough. I would love to really delve in and talk costuming on this show. Are other vintage lovers thinking the same? I wonder if I will be able to find some like-minded bloggers out there on the case already.

Love love love!

What a bombshell! Did I mention that she had poison lipstick?! Where can I get me some of that?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Wedding Extravaganza 2015

Every year RIGHT AFTER THE HOLIDAYS our town holds this huge "Wedding Extravaganza" at our civic center as a kick-off to the wedding planning season. So right after everyone gets their ring for Christmas they can come down and check out pretty much every wedding vendor in town. Its lots of djs and photographers, venues and rental depots. And of course cake. Cake and other food. People looove their samples!

Every vendor there spends big bucks to have a booth and brides also spend some cash to even get in. There is a lot of money being made somewhere here but I digress a bit. The grocery chain I work for has three locations in town and for this one event we band together to make a super kick-ass display of cakes, flowers, and catering. All the big display cakes are fake underneath but it is a cool way to show off a bit and show the people what we can do. Each of our stores is expected to bring 5 cakes, along with matching bouquets and other floral arrangements and samples. We meet months earlier to talk broad-strokes to make sure we are not doing anything too similar and to decide who will bring what flavor of cake for samples. Its a lot of work but it is a chance to showcase our best. Did I mention it is RIGHT AFTER THE HOLIDAYS!!!? Argh. I don't know why it couldn't be held any other weekend in January but its always right after busy bakery season plus personal holiday business and all sorts of busy!

I contributed 2 tier cakes and some cupcakes and overall I do think the show was a big hit.

 My cake is the square one on the corner and this shot gives you a bit of an idea of our booth!
I am pretty happy with my 1920's square cake. It was a challenge as I am still working on my fondant skills but I am glad I pushed myself. The wedding show is a great time to experiment and try something that probably wouldn't normally be ordered.
And this is my large petal cake. There are many lovely versions out there on pinterest and the like. Mine I dusted the edges of the petals with some purple luster dust to give it just a hint of color and sparkle. What I love about this cake is that it is so versatile. You can keep it solid white or really get crazy with color, whatever will match your wedding best!

Happy with the day overall but glad its done. Every year we say "It wont be like this next year, next year we will plan ahead!". Well as long as it continues to be right after the holidays I'm sure we will continue to scramble. Oh well. Yay cake!

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Years Resolutions

Can you believe its 2015? Last year was one of the longest of my life but as I look back it did finally pick up the pace a bit. Apologies to those who posted comments that I didnt see until almost a year later, apparently my mobile version I was trying to use was not conducive to seeing those.

But forward! Every year I make just a couple New Years Resolutions, mostly just for myself. I like to think of them more as ongoing goals. I know a lot of people don't go in for that kind of thing and I myself try to stay away from the more cliche choices, but I say whatever works for you is great! Here is my short list.

2015 New Year Resolutions

1. Wear more lipstick
2. Wear more cat-eye liner
3. Craft more

Numbers 1 and 2 directly came from New Years Eve. This year a small awesome group got dressed up to go out for dinner, then ice cream, and then back to our house for game night! It was so much fun and I rocked a pretty good cat eye and some lovely lipstick. I have tons of lipstick and I always feel just a little more put together, and a little more vintage when I put some on. So why not make it a goal to do that more? I also feel like I have figured out how to do a decent cat eye that turns out at least ok. Practice makes perfect so I shall continue to practice. Both of those resolutions also continue my less obvious resolution of embracing my inner vintage vixen ;) Number 3 might be my version of 'lose weight' for New Years resolutions. I always have more projects started than finished and the ideas going through my head continue to multiply!

2014 was actually a fairly good year for the crafting. I just want to continue to make and craft and be creative because I am happier when doing so. I have quite a few projects that I did complete in 2014 that I hope to still share on here and then to continue on making! 

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Years and that your 2015 is everything you want it to be! 

New Years Eve shenanigans at the ice cream parlor. Coat was an amazing thrift store find a couple of years ago. I think it looks pretty fabulous and probably needs to be worn more :)