Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine's Day

This weekend was round two for Valentine's Day crafts. I made two buntings, a billion-button heart, and a birdhouse. Because what's Valentine's Day without a birdhouse?

The first bunting I made from felt, double fold quilt binding, fabric and Heat and Bond.


I cut the felt into triangles, cut out some fabric hearts, ironed the Heat and Bond to the hearts, and then ironed the hearts to the felt. Next, I ironed the Heat and Bond to the inside of the quilt binding, arranged the felt triangles, and ironed the whole length of the binding to adhere. Easy.




The second bunting was even easier. I had a Harry Potter paperback that I had cut for a Christmas present, so I took out five whole book pages, cut the bottoms into a flag, used my craft knife to cut out heart shapes, adhered patterned paper and some glitter stickers, and stapled the flags to some ribbon.




For the birdhouse, I bought a plain unfinished wood bird house from the craft store. I painted it, added some glitter to the paint for some shine, and added embellishments.



Finally, I made a billion-button heart by gluing buttons in a heart shape to patterned cardstock. Quick, cute, and easy.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ice Skating Party

This past weekend we had a super small, low key ice skating party for Lily. Since it was only four little friends and Lily, I decided to make most of the goody bag treats. I made:

Felt flower barrettes



Maya modeling one of the barrettes.

These are super easy to make and are the same ones I made for Lily's Rapunzel costume. You cut a circle of felt, cut petals around the outside of the circle, cut it into a spiral, roll it up, and hot glue the end. I ordered a million silver clips from amazon, hot glued ribbon onto each clip, then hot glued the flower onto the ribbon wrapped clip.

White chocolate snowflake lollipops:



These are easy, too, especially if you go to the craft store and buy a squeeze bottle in the candy section. You can melt the Wilton melting wafers in the squeeze bottle in the microwave (make sure you leave the lid off), squeeze the melted wafers neatly into the plastic candy molds, stick the sticks in them, wait until they harden, and wrap in cute ribbon bags. I'll definitely use this craft for future treats!

Stamped treat bags:



These muslin bags were super cheap on amazon. I found an ice skate stamp and just stamped directly on the muslin. I made the tags with card stock, punches and letter stamps. Each letter stamp went with the guest's name. Finally, I ordered some handmade personalized name stamps for each girl from etsy and the goody bags were complete. Cute, easy, and not filled with dollar aisle toys.

For this party, Lily requested a winter Cinderella cake so I got a Cinderella Hallmark ornament from ebay and went from there.

I found a recipe for sugar snowflakes from Betty Crocker and Pete and I made those a day ahead.



Tip on the snowflakes: make sure you make them on the thick side, otherwise they'll crumble and break, like many of ours did, much to my dismay. When they said "delicate" in the recipe, they weren't foolin'!

I used another cook's illustrated recipe for the cake, but for this one decided to put cherry preserves in between the cake layers. Yum. That was a good call.


I made a real buttercream frosting and tinted it blue with food coloring. Don't even ask how many sticks of butter are in the buttercream recipe. Your arteries would clog immediately if I told you.


After Christmas I found some gumballs that look like snowballs in the clearance section in the craft store.


So I put them around the base of the cake as a border and decorated the top with the sugar snowflakes.




I really liked this cake and even though most of our snowflakes broke I am happy with how it turned out. I was nice though and let people eat it. The buttercream isn't as smooth as the fondant, but it tastes hella better.



And now for some nothing to do with crafts, but "look at my stinkin' talented kid" pics.

Lily skating on her own. She's a quick learner. She must have gotten that from me.



And I think Maya is pretty cute, too. And I'm sure she got that from me.

Coming up soon--more Valentine's Day and some scrapbook layouts! You can hardly wait, can you??

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Alice Cake

This weekend, as Lily's birthday celebration continued, I made a Strawberries and Cream cake decked out in Alice in Wonderland decor. Lily specifically asked me to use her little Alice figurines (easy enough) but also asked for mushrooms. I originally decided that I was going to make mushrooms from candy, but then went to the grocery store and found this:


It looked fairly straight forward so I grabbed two packages. I put some marzipan in a ziplock baggie, squeezed in a few drops of red food coloring, closed the bag and kneaded it until it was a lovely shade of red. From there it was just like playdough.



The cake recipe, from cook's illustrated, is super good. Here are some cake construction shots:


Yum strawberry filling with cherry liquor.

And here's the completed cake:



And the birthday girl with her cake:





Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Man Alive My Big Girl is 5!!

We hear parents say it everyday...time flies. And it does. I can't believe I have a 5 year old. I started this weekend with some prep for Lily's birthday fiestas. Let me just preface this by saying we are having a very very small party for her this year. I've gone all out for a few years now, culminating in Maya's crazy circus party, so we're going small for Lily this year, but I'm determined to make it small but still cute. I made her number shirt this weekend. Again, I don't have a sewing machine (ahem, Husband!) so I used Witchy Stitch or some stuff you iron on. Last year I hand stitched. That was a pain.

Here's Lily last year when she turned 4. Hence, the big old 4 on her shirt.

And here she is this morning. Looking way more grown up!




Last year I made crazy butterfly cupcakes that required templates, melting wafers, and a very steady hand.

Strangely, after all the hard work I put into them I can't seem to find a single good picture of them. You'll have to trust me, they were cute.

This year, I got some Snow White cupcake wrappers and toppers from my good old buddy Willams Sonoma. Lily was quite happy with these, especially since they feature the Mean Queen on the bottoms of the wrappers. She did, however, insist on red and blue sprinkles to "match Snow White's dress."



See? Cute and easy, right?

Last year, she asked for a Belle castle cake. After a few weeks of google image searches and a few too many trips to Michael's, here was the end result:




I was happy with it, and so was she, but I certainly learned some cake decorating lessons. First, my awesome father in law was my sous chef for the day and it took like, a million hours, mostly because I had no idea what I was doing. Second, fondant is a pain in the arse. And it tastes like crap. It looks nice, but that's about it. Third, don't make a cake that takes so much time and effort that you can't possibly let anyone eat it. We did end up trying it a week or so later, and that's how we found out that fondant tastes nasty, but I made everyone (including the birthday girl!) eat cupcakes because I wanted to just look at my pretty cake. I'm a mean mommy, I know.

For her kids party with all her friends, Lily wanted an Ariel cake. Again, google image was my friend, so I got some ideas, ordered a plain white Costco cake, and went from there.

This one was fun and pretty easy, so I let the kids at the birthday party eat it. I was nice that day.

This year, for her kids party (which will only be a handful of kids at a local ice rink) she has requested a "winter Cinderella cake, with Cinderella in her blue winter cape, Mommy." I spent a day over Christmas break on ebay, searching for something that earned Lily's approval as a cake topper. Her party is in a couple of weeks, so be on the lookout for a "winter Cinderella cake, with Cinderella in her blue winter cape, Mommy," as well as some fun things I'm making for the treat bags.