Monday, 26 November 2012

6th Birthday Awesomeness!

My dear sweet baby is growing up!  My son recently celebrated his 6th birthday, and if you know me at all, you know I love baking and decorating cakes.  We wanted an Avengers theme so we had some inflatable mallet things and all kinds of Avengers candies and junk. So much fun with 7 boys between the ages of 6 and 8 jacked up on sugar! HAHA!  Anyhow, back to the cake: my favorite part!  I wanted something special, and I know my son could care less about eating the cake, he just likes the idea of getting one and eating the icing, however he DOES love rice krispie I decided to combine the two for a specatcular combo of a Captain America shield (of cake) and a Thor hammer (of rice krispie cake)!

16" cake pan with a heating core filled with vanilla cake (some of which was dyed blue)

It took an entire bottle of Wilton Red Red gel coloring, and an entire bottle of Christmas Red to get my batch of red icing to not look totally pink!  I also added in a pouch of strawberry jello powder to give it a little extra something.

The Thor hammer was made in two parts, the handle which I coated in melted chocolate and then sculpted some lines into, then I formed the hammer head and frosted it with the vanilla buttercream and sprayed it with Duff''s edible silver spray.  It looked fantastic after it sat for a few hours.  The shine almost disappeared and it looked pretty much like Thor's hammer!

MMMMMMmmmmmm Tasty cake!!!

Tomato cage Christmas trees!

I saw on Pinterest a while back a few assorted ideas for making tomato cage Christmas trees so I figured "hey, I've got some tomato cages and tons of clearance Christmas garland and decorations...I'm gonna try this!"  One day when a friend was over, we wrapped the lights around, then wrapped the garland, and added some balls and snowflakes. (If I do it again I will buy more greenery so I can fill it in more densely.  It doesn't look bad, but it could look better) It didn't quite look finished so I went back and added some ribbon later.  I'll have to try for better pics some time, but I think they turned out great!!

Christmas Lantern

A while back I bought this plain old black outdoor lantern on clearance at WalMart for $3.  At the time I had no idea what I was going to do with it. Well, 3 months later I figured it out.  I filled it full of assorted Christmas balls and stuck a couple peacock feathers in for good measure, tied some ribbon on top and....Voila!  Christmas decoration!  (and I only ended up bleeding on one ornament after I dropped one and it shattered)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Baby Shower Cake!

A friend asked me to bake a cake for a baby shower, and of course I'm not going to say no.  I love baking!  She requested zebra print and left the rest up to me...although she did manage to score a deal on some Wilton Sugar Sheets in an awesome zebra print that made my life so much easier!  I thought to myself "you know what would be awesome?  If the cake itself was zebra print when you cut into it!"  Of course I really had no idea how to do this so I guessed, and (unfortunately I didn't get any pictures from when it was cut into, as it was at someone else's house at a baby shower I wasn't at) according to the guests, it worked perfectly!

I baked 4 little mini cupcakes and wrote the baby's name on them and they were set on top after the cake got there.  So cute!

Notes on using sugar sheets:  It was my first time using them but I have used frosting sheets before.  Basically the same thing.  Cut them carefully and make sure they aren't too dry or they won't peel nicely from the backing.  If you find they are too dry and are cracking and not peeling off the paper nicely, stick a damp paper towel between the backing sheet and the package (not on the sugar side) and zip it shut for about half an hour.  It makes a HUGE difference!  Crumb coat your cake and then slather on the frosting nice and thick.  For this cake I used about 6 cups of frosting (including between the layers).  This 2 layer cake was 8"x8"x4" and took 2 sugar sheets to cover the sides and the top. If you are putting them on a cake you had previously frozen to crumb coat they may sweat some as the cake warms up.  No big deal, just something that happens.

P.s. This is what the baked layers looked like before I put it together.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Pinteresting Pumpkin Cookies

I admit it.  I am a Pinterest junkie.  If I could spend hours on there, I would. Also, I wish there was a button I could click when I actually complete a pin and I would be rewarded with a round of applause!  My most recent success was with a batch of pumpkin cookies.  It was soooo hard to only eat two and make sure that there will be some left for Thanksgiving supper with my family!  I will definitely be making these again! Thumbs up delish!

Original pin links up with MyBakingAddiction:

My results:

Fluffy pumpkin batter

Baked cookies were not pretty on top, but that is what icing is for!

Mmmmmm yummy! (it was hard to stop nibbling to take the picture!)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

New Shoes Day!

New shoe day is equally as fantastic as new purse day...I think...  If it came down to one or the other though, I would have to choose new shoes.  They are even better when they are a surprise find, and better still when they are on for an amazing price!  The Zellers stores in Canada are closing soon so all their stores are having blowout sales.  I went to check out one near us and found they had gotten in a TON of fantastic things from The Bay to blow out during their sale!  There were gorgeous Calvin Klein dresses, cute blazers and other things that I now forget about because of just how awesome the deals on the shoes were!  There were Kenneth Cole, Nine West, and many many other fantastic brands marked down drastically.  My favorite find however, was this fantastic pair of Hopskotch2 heels from G by Guess.  These babies are amazing!  I think I peed a little when I saw that they had been tagged at just $29.99 with an additional 20% off sale on!  Seriously? These beauties are regular $70! Thank You Shoe Gods!!!  I got some other things on sale cheap too, but none worth mentioning compared to this! hehehe.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

I only ALMOST burnt the house down, Honey!

Inspiration struck me, or rather "Pin"spiration when I stumbled across this fantastic idea on Pinterest.  (Isn't that how all the best stories start?)

Original Pin:

Memory Frame

What I ended up with was similar but definitely not as professional.  (and still needs some tweaking)

I learned a few lessons while making this;

  • Even though something looks and feels like wood, doesn't make it wood.
  • Plastic melts super fast and stinks really bad
  • cardboard smokes and starts on fire quite easily
Ok so I knew these things before, but I forget things from time to time.

This frame looked like wood.  Boy was I wrong!  Totally plastic!  The inside part to keep the back from touching the frame (I'm sure there is a technical term for that)  totally looked like wood. (more like particleboard I guess)  Again, very wrong.  Totally cardboard!  I thought I would just make a slice with the angle grinder in the top to make the hole for items to get dropped into.  Yeah not going to do that again.  My house was FULL of smoke!  I am so glad hubby was at work, or he may not want me going near power tools again after that! haha..  Anyhow, I ended up with a horrible melted mess at the top of the frame where I cut the hole, and didn't get it all cut the way I wanted it.

I ended up with some jagged edges I'm going to have to try to sand down somehow.  When I try to drop in ticket stubs etc.  they get caught and don't fall in the way I want them to.  Also, the backing in this particular frame is a strange sort of cloth material that really grabs hold of all the perforated edges of the tickets.  That is why there is a zoo ticket stub just hanging out in the middle of the frame!

I still love it though.  It serves its purpose of being a place to stuff things I want to save, without taking up space in my junk drawer.  Now I just have to go through all my junk drawers and find all the stuff I saved to put in there!

Thrifty Harvest Wreath

I love wreaths.  I wish I could have an excuse to have one up all year around.  I really wanted to keep my son busy this morning, so we set out to make a Harvest/Thanksgiving wreath out of crafty materials I picked up on clearance throughout the year.

Here is the mess of a table that we started with:

Yep.  That is a pool noodle!  I bought it on clearance for 25 cents this fall.  Great jumping off point for us since it is already orange!  Tape the two ends together with clear packing tape, and Voila!  Wreath shape!

Start adding whatever decorations you like.  I chose a couple different kinds of ribbon.  (I love animal prints)

Burn yourself a few times on the hot glue gun, because really, you haven't done a craft properly unless you burn yourself or something else! hahaha.

Add some leafy pieces next.  (I got my strand of leaves with little pumpkins and berries attached on clearance for 2 bucks after Thanksgiving last year)  I wrapped it around and around and then pulled off the leaves that were on the back side, then glued them to the front side.

Next I had to come up with something to attach it to the door since the pool noodle is too fat to sit in one of my wreath hooks nicely.  I took and made a large loop of ribbon in one of the colors I already used and attached it at the top with hot glue.

Almost done.  Next step was to let my son have fun with some gemstones.  He isn't old enough yet to use the glue gun, so I gave him a roll of Glue Dots and a bag of gems and let him just stick them on wherever he felt like.  He is all about things being symmetrical so he was very careful to evenly space them and put the same colors in the same places on all sides of the wreath.  (Yes he probably gets that from me)

It was missing something.  I didn't know what, so I stared at it for a while.  Then a while longer.  Then it hit me.  It just needed a flower.  So we glued on a flower and stuck some of the berries from the leafy strand in the center.  Then we hung it up by sticking a really strong magnet inside the loop of ribbon at the top and sticking it to our (metal) door.

And just because I love playing with Instagram:

All together I think this project ended up costing about $8. (mostly in the cost of the pretty ribbon)  I can handle that!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

King of the Castle!

I took Zane to Michael's a while back because I needed something for a project I was working on.  When we go there he usually ends up conning me into getting something.  This time we saw these adorable little wooden unfinished lighthouses and right beside was this little bag of decorative shells we thought we could paint the lighthouse and glue some shells on...that is until we got looking around the store a little bit more.  In the section with all the wooden unfinished things, he found something that made him so excited he was dancing around and squealing like I have never seen before!

Wooden Unfinished Fold Up Castle

Even I had to agree with him that this is a pretty fantastic wooden unfinished fold up castle!  Normally I wouldn't pay the 29.99 it was tagged at, but of course I had a couple coupons that made it end up costing 13.95!  Perfect!  When we got home with it he was so excited to show his dad he was swinging it around and just beaming!  (His old man whispered to me that it is the equivalent of a dollhouse for boys which is so true but don't let Zane hear that!)

So on the weekend we took it with us to Grandma and Grandpa's house because we knew he would need something to fill all kinds of time.  And he did exactly that!  He must have spent a solid 4 hours over 2 days working on this thing!  He was ever so careful with it.  He drew a blueprint before hand of what he wanted it to look like when he was done and stuck pretty close to it!  Here are some pics of the process!

He had originally wanted every room to have every color, but after he thought about it for a while, each room ended up one solid color

complete with a lego table and bed he built because his lego men fit perfectly inside and can even hold their little guns up right between the turrets.  

painting the brick lines on the outside (yes I helped on the drawbridge )

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Breakfast Bush Pies!

Staying at the cabin at the lake is fantastic.  The best part is eating whatever I feel like for every meal.  Case in point...bush pies for breakfast!  We made some with peanut butter and blueberry jam, some with just jam, some havarti grilled cheese, and (the best of all) Smores ones made with Nutella and marshmallows!  Sooooo good!!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Color Wonderful!

Right before Zane's second birthday (with the help of a couple friends) I tackled painting a mural in his bedroom.  It was complete with adorable animals and palm trees, however that was not my original plan.  The plan was to do vertical stripes on the lower half of the wall and it all went great until I removed the masking tape and half the paint came off with it!  I cried and cried and wanted to scream.  It took days plus hours and hours to scrape and sand all the leftover bits of paint off.  (I'm sorry but I don't even want to look for the pics of the disaster on my computer)  Then came the hours and hours of painting the mural.  It was totally worth it though, it looked great.  Alas, Zane is growing up and it was time for a new paint job.  I took him to Home Depot and let him pick a few colors to do test spots with before we made a final decision what to pick.  We ended up with 3 very vibrant colors and I was nervous.  We decided on a pattern and I went back to go get the full amount of paint I needed.  We were only going to need one quart of the orange color which it turned out was not available in the kind of paint I wanted in a quart size.  I asked the staff if it went on nicely like the other one and she assured me they were basically the same.  Boy was she wrong!!!  I love using Behr Premium Plus Ultra paint.  It goes on thick and covers great; I could get away with one coat if I wanted to.  This CIL Smart crap was HORRIBLE.  It took 4 coats for it to not be see through and it went on like I was smearing on dish soap.  When I sat and thought about it for a minute, all of a sudden a light bulb went off - I had used CIL paint the first time I painted Zane's room and had such horrid results!  Note to self and others:  CIL paint sucks so don't use it!

Before - cute baby boy's room

I have used this primer on a few things, and while I don't use it for the coverage (it is pretty transparent) It goes on nicely without drips and does it's job.  It was about $18 for the gallon at Home Depot

This is the paint I LOVE using.  It is thick and creamy and goes on fantastic.  I like using a flat finish with darker/brighter colors.  It is less intense.

This is the paint I will NEVER EVER EVER use again.  It was horrible horrible horrible!!

And there is his bed with the new Avengers bedding we surprised him with.  If you look just under the edge of the blanket you can see some of the fabric that I had recovered the box spring with about 3 months ago.  Funny, the colors are the same as the ones we put on the walls!  I might have to go use some scraps of that fabric and put them on something else to be all matchy matchy!

Still need the closet door on, but I love it!

Bookshelf was made by Grandpa for Christmas 2009, and I built the desk thanks to plans from Ana White - Knock off Wood.  She has fantastic plans for building things and it is all geared towards women and making things easy, cheap, and fabulous!

I guess they all love it!  The nightstand was something I threw together after I built the desk and had some leftover wood.

This project took a VERY long time.  Zane was displaced from his room for 3 days while I did this all.  The whole time I kept reminding myself how much I love my son or I would have stopped. Haha!  Bye-bye to the little baby boy's room and Hello to my little man's room!  If you are curious, the colors I used are in the Behr Premium Plus lineup:  Intense Teal: S-G-490, Opulent: S-H-300, and Green Acres: S-G-440