Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Black & White Cupcakes

I finally had a chance to play with some new baking toys I picked up in Atlanta - I can make two flavor cupcakes!

I kept trying to figure out two really creative flavors to try but ended up just doing a classic vanilla/chocolate combo for the trial batch.

The batter is separated when you pour it and then bakes up two delicious flavors in one little cupcake.

Now I just need to figure out what two flavors to try next...chocolate/banana, orange/vanilla, cinnamon/apple, caramel/chocolate....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Arts and Crafts - Scratcher Birthday Card

I go through magazines and pull out the sheets I want to save for future reference - which means once a year I go through a huge pile of recipes, exercise routines, cute outfit photos, and craft ideas only to throw away about 75% of what I've been saving.

One idea that made the cut was how to make your own scratcher card. The original idea was in Martha Stewart Weddings and it was for a 'save the date' card.

I used it to make a lotto scratcher card for a birthday present. Michael's dad had to scratch the tickets and if any two destinations matched, he won a that trip. Of course we set it up so he has three trips to choose from for his birthday present. (In case you are wondering, no final selection has been made but the early polls show the train from Portland to Chicago as a heavy favorite.)

The scratcher paint is made from a combination of acrylic paint and dish soap. It took me a few tries to get the consistency correct and to find the right paper. I ended up putting a small piece of scotch tape over the words to protect them - and it worked perfectly. The paint stuck to the tape but scratched right off with the lucky penny and the words remained perfectly legible.

It also took several thin coats of paint to cover the words completely.

The final card was quite a feat of crafting and everyone was properly impressed.

We made sure the lucky penny included with the card was from the same year Michael's dad was born - 1942!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Cupcake a Day....

Well just yesterday but I was in the mood to bake and I had some home made frosting just waiting to be used.

The cupcakes were a little dry but they looked wonderful. I used fancy cupcake wrappers, printed with gold and silver snowflakes. The frosting was dusted with edible glitter (because everything is better with sparkles) and topped off with my gum paste snow flakes. (Yes, I made the snow flakes out of gum paste using a special cutter and yes, they are edible.)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Best Thing I Saw This Weekend

It's a little dark, but this sign in hanging in one of our local drinking establishments. It is my new motto!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Reinbeers - Best Holiday Craft 2011

I saw a picture of these and knew I had to make them!

Root beer bottles decorated to look like one of Santa's reindeer. Not only were they fast and easy to make, but they were a huge crowd pleaser.

And really, they look pretty darn cute all grouped together as a "herd".

We even made some for adults only. I brought them up to BDO, but I'm pretty sure MomO will never let him drink them. I'll be visiting next Christmas and they will still be in the fridge, "because they are special".

Two people working on them made 24 in about 30 minutes. It worked best if one person worked the hot glue gun and attached the eyes and nose and the other person added the antlers. The antlers are made with two full pipe cleaners - I initially underestimated the amount of pipe cleaners needed, which created a last minute run to Michael's craft store. Luckily I was able to secure the necessary large bag of brown pipe cleaners without having to go to multiple stores.

Now, how am I going to top them next year??? Maybe I need to let it ride and have them make a repeat appearance. An annual special treat!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Helper Cat

It's always good to have extra help around the holidays.

Beckham proved to be quite the helper this year.

Not only did he make sure the Santa hats stayed put on the bed - he taught them who was boss. (Note the tufts of white Santa hat fur on the bed. I didn't actually see him attacking the hat but I bet it was really, really funny.)

And when wrapping presents you always need a cat to properly unroll the paper.