Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wedding Monogram

My SIL is getting married next month and had seen some nice monogram images on wedding invitations. A friend of hers did most of the work for her invitation, but I helped out by designing the monogram and helping with fonts. The invitations are letterpress and turned out oh so lovely.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

TRYathlon Logo

Our neighborhood elementary school had a triathlon aka TRYathlon. The events were a short run, a ride on the square sitting scooter things, and jumping rope. I was asked to help out by designing a logo to go on the water bottles that they would give out. The school's mascot is the tigers, so the design is orange and the running is represented by paws (and the neighborhood and school are Traverse Mountain):

Tomorrow I'll share with you another project. Pin It

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recipe Share: Butterscotch Budino with Whipped Crème Fraîche

When I saw this picture on Oh Joy, I started drooling. I knew I had to find a recipe and try this out. And I was not disappointed. As my sister said, "It's restaurant quality good!" She and I have similar taste in food. My hubby, however, prefers brownies and rocky road ice cream. So if you are like me and love fancy, exotic desserts, you'll love this. If you're like him, this is probably more work than will be worth it for you. Oh, and if you care about fat content—just forget it.

This amazing recipe is from epicurious.

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 1-inch piece vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • Fleur de sel*
For budino:
Mix cream and milk in large bowl. Whisk egg, egg yolks, and cornstarch in medium bowl. Stir sugar, 1/2 cup water, and salt in heavy large pot over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and boil without stirring until mixture turns thick, syrupy, and dark amber, occasionally swirling pot and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 7 minutes. Immediately whisk in cream mixture (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir to dissolve caramel bits. Bring mixture to boil, watching closely to prevent mixture from bubbling over, then reduce heat to medium. Gradually whisk half of hot caramel mixture into egg mixture. Return mixture to pot, whisking to blend. Whisk over medium heat until custard boils and is very thick, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add butter and rum; stir until melted and smooth. Strain.
Divide custard among ten 6-ounce glasses or cups. Chill uncovered until cold, about 4 hours. 
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.
For toppings:
Place 1/2 cup cream in small saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Add butter and set aside. Stir sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium-high and boil without stirring until mixture turns medium amber color, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with wet pastry brush, about 6 minutes. Immediately whisk in cream mixture (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir to dissolve caramel bits. Set pan in large bowl of ice water to cool. Discard vanilla bean. DO AHEAD: Caramel sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Using electric mixer, beat remaining 1/4 cup cream in medium bowl until peaks form. Add crme frache and beat until soft peaks form. Place 1 budino on each of 10 plates. Reheat caramel sauce just until warm. Spoon 1 tablespoon caramel sauce over each budino. Spoon dollop of whipped crème fraîche over and sprinkle with fleur de sel.
*A type of sea salt; available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.

My notes: 
I used rum flavoring--worked fine. 
I shelled out $7 for 2 vanilla beans. Are you kidding me? That's outrageous. You only use one inch of one bean. So if you don't have anything else to use real vanilla beans in, just try vanilla extract and save yourself some dough. Don't over-do it though, it's a subtle flavor.
I left my budino (pudding) in the ramekins rather than putting them on plates. You could put them in tea cups, mugs, glasses, anything really.
I used Real Salt sea salt instead of Fleur de sel, because I already had it on hand. The salt really ads a fantastic contrast to bring out the flavors.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Bathroom Sneak Peak

Did you forget about my bathroom makeover? Can you believe it's still not done? Waiting on that rug still, so I'm taking my time finishing up a piece of artwork to go on the wall. It's done, I just need to print it and paint a frame. But here's a sneak peak of how it's looking.

And evidently my design plan isn't too original. Look what I saw this week! (OrdyandJoon

I like their mirror better, but I doubt it would have fit in my space. Too wide. Besides, mine was only $30 from Craig's List.

More pictures to come when it's all done! Pin It

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Papier Mache Easter Eggs

How cute are these polka dot papier mache, piñata-esque Easter eggs by Not Martha. She always has the greatest holiday projects on her blog. She even walks us through the how-to, step by step (link).

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Origami Easter Bunnies

I'm thinking I might have to make some origami Easter bunnies this year. Find the video tutorial here!
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Painted Frames

I've been spray painting a lot lately.
I like to have a family calendar out where all can see it so that we can more easily coordinate our schedules (all 3 of us, you know). And to remind me when bills are due. And you just always need a corkboard for miscellaneous items. What I really want is this, but I just can't bring myself to spend the $160 to get what I want. So in the mean time, this will have to do. A thrifted frame ($3) painted blue, and a new frame ($2) painted green. I wish I'd seen the green frame sooner, I would have just bought 2 of them. But my white board won't fill the opening now. But not too shabby for $5, right? And they go nicely with my Orla Keily tablecloth.

By the way, I got the green frame (originally white) at Tai Pan Trading on clearance. What a deal! Pin It

Friday, April 8, 2011

Little Necktie

So I've now made my first of probably many neckties for my future baby boy, using this pattern from The Little Gentleman's Closet. It was super easy and fast, and I can't wait to make more.

I plan to use this Joel Dewberry fabric for the next one, but first I have to use the bulk of it to make baby's crib skirt.
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Monday, April 4, 2011

Plum Rose Headband

Made another satin rosette headband, this time for a friend. I put just a teeny bit of adjustable elastic on it, since her baby is a newborn and her head is still growing rapidly.

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Friday, April 1, 2011

The Little Gentleman's Closet

Is there anything more adorable than a little man in a necktie? I hardly think so.
If you have a little gentleman of your own, check out Etsy shop the little gentleman's closet. These ties is that they have an adjustable neck strap so they will fit your little guy for a loooong time! You can buy one that is already made, or you can buy the pattern and customize it with your own choice of fabric. She even sends you the clip and adjuster strap when you buy/download the pattern! You can order extra clips and parts, which I will probably do because I plan on making like 10 of these. Bow tie's are also available!

This is the first pattern I've gotten from an Etsy shop, but I have to tell you, I'm super duper impressed. It's so much better than a standard store pattern! It has tons of great photos to walk you through every step. So if you are a beginner and still a little nervous about doing your own projects, this is a great pattern for you! 

Plus, no hand sewing required! Hooray! I don't like hand stitching things, it seems like it takes so long. Plus I'm always nervous about it coming un-done. Never has yet, but I'm still always nervous. Most of the necktie patterns out there require some hand stitching, but not this one!

You only need either 1/4 yard of fabric or a fat quarter (which I seem to have an endless supply of), so you can make tons of these. I can't wait to get started. My baby boy is going to be well stocked when he arrives. Oh yeah, and the pattern is for size 6 months up to 9 years old, so I can prepare now for the next few years. Or if you have like 4 boys of different ages, this will work for them all.

You can check out the facebook page or the little gentleman's closet Etsy shop!

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