Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quick Post

Here's one costume. More photos tomorrow.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Craft #4: Halloween Coloring Book Pages

We had a neighborhood "Fall Festival" party tonight, and we needed some activities to keep the little ones happy while the grown-ups socialized. Among other things, we had coloring. I quickly drew up these coloring pages for the kiddos and now I'm sharing them with you.
To download, click on the image and then right click and select Save As.

Happy Halloween!

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes

One of the cupcake shops around here won me over instantly when they sold me a key lime coconut cupcake. It was Ah-mazing! Moist and rich, with a delectable filling and dancing flavors on my tastebuds. It's a little far from my house, however, and I don't often find myself in that neighborhood anymore. So I set out to make my own by combining some recipes I found around the web. First cake attempt wasn't satisfactory, but round two was pretty darn good. So here's how it goes:

Key Lime Coconut Cupcakes

3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tsp coconut extract
almost 1 c coconut milk
1 c butter, melted
4 eggs
1 Betty Crocker Super Moist French Vanilla cake mix
(that's what I used but you can experiment with different brands, or maybe a white cake too)
2 tsp lime zest

Pour lime juice and coconut extract into a 1 cup measuring cup. Fill the rest of the cup full with coconut milk. Mix butter, eggs, cake mix, and coconut milk mix in a medium sized mixing bowl according to cake package directions. Stir in lime zest. Pour into lined cupcake pans (makes 24 cupcakes) and bake according to package directions. Cool.

I just bought some key lime filling because it was a trusted brand that I know to produce good tasting products (Private Selection brand, which is Krogers/Smiths high end store brand. They make great icecream too :)
You can make your own from scratch though. I haven't tried this but here's one example:
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 c key lime juice
1 Tbsp lime zest

I tried two different methods of filling. First, I carved a little hole out of the center with a knifeand filled in the hole with the lime filling. Most of the time I put in too much. Maybe if I had a cupcake corer this would have been more successful. My second method was to use a decorating bag and tip (Wilton #230) made for filling pastries and cupcakes. For me, that worked better. I just piped in the filling until I saw the cupcake begin to bulge. After the cupcakes have been filled, you may want to cover & refrigerate them for a few hours to allow the filling to soak in just a little.

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tsp coconut extract
3 c powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together and frost your cupcakes! Garnish with sprinkled lime zest and a thin sliced wedge of lime.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween Craft #3: Tweed and Flannel Fabric Pumpkins

I had this idea last year but never got around to executing it. I'm glad I got to this year. I'm sure I got the idea of fabric pumpkins from somewhere else, maybe Martha? Who knows, but anyway, I thought some menswear would be the perfect touch for the season. A little dark, a little sophisticated, a little mysterious.

If you'd like some directions, this is a great tutorial.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

DIY Graphic Tee

The weather is starting to cool a little here, and my kids are in need of some warmer duds. So I snatched a plain grey t-shirt at Target the other day for Ezra and decided to make it into something more. I've always wanted to try freezer paper stencils, so this was a great opportunity for that. I decided upon a simple star image.
My little guy doesn't stop moving, so getting a decent photo was a serious challenge. A fun challenge too!

A typical face. He loves to "ooooo".

And lets finish with a salute? Why not.

If you'd like to take a stab at it, here's a quick tutorial. (It's easy).
I prewashed my shirt, probably should have ironed it for the photo {note that for next time}.
Create your image. I drew mine on the computer and printed it out. For more simple shape ideas, read the end of the post. Ok, so next lay your design over your freezer paper (waxy side down) and tape it down onto the freezer paper so it won't wiggle. Cut around your shape with an exacto knife.

Separate your papers and place your freezer paper stencil onto your shirt, waxy side down. Gently place the iron over your design, not rubbing it back and forth, just pressing it up and down so the paper doesn't get warped. Make sure you get all those little corners and edges really well.

Now the fun part! Put a barrier layer (like a flattened box or piece of cardboard) inside your shirt to prevent bleed through. Squirt some fabric paint onto an applicator sponge (I used a make-up sponge because  it isn't very porous and looked most like what the kits come with). Gently dab one layer of paint all over your design. You don't need to flood it on the first round. Allow layer 1 to dry and reapply. Repeat one more time if it needs it.

Once it has dried, peel off your freezer paper and you are done! (Read bottle directions for recommended wait time before washing).

Some other simple image ideas are: heart, cloud, moon, mustache, raindrop, bow tie, mask, simple elephant or whale, sail boat, an letter or number, bird, ampersand, mountain, octopus, fish, and so on.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween Craft #2: Sparkling Spider Webs

This is a craft that was inspired by a post on Pinterest. But I wanted to try it because I am lacking in decorations plus this was essentially a free craft since I already had all the supplies (which are cheap anyway).
Halloween Craft #2: Glitter Spider Web

Here's what you'll need:
1.wax paper or freezer paper with a waxy side (comes in larger size than wax paper)
2. glitter
3. glue-such as Elmer's
4. disposable box , optional, for controlling the spread of a glittery mess

Step 1: Lay your wax paper down on a flat working surface (inside your optional box).

Step 2: Open the tip of your glue bottle and start drawing a glue web.

Step 3: Pour generous amounts of glitter over your completed web, making sure every bit of it gets coated in sparkles.

Step 4: Allow to dry completely (this make take up to 24 hours). When dry, lift wax paper and shake off all the extra glitter (into your box, if you have one). Gently peel back the wax paper and remove your web. All done!

Tip: After a few more days the web does become brittle because it's just dried glue. So be gentle with it and keep toddlers away if you don't want it broken.

You can also do this trick on a painted pumpkin like I did a few years ago:

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Friday, October 5, 2012

Pinterest Weekly Round-up

Here are a few things I found on Pinterest this week:

Sushi Costume. I love the simplicity. Easy to make.

DIY duct tape boots for Halloween costumes.

Plastic Easter eggs turned skull party favors.

Cheap and easy DIY paper doll costume.

Worm and spider ice cubes for parties.

DIY stocking spider nests, eeeeew!

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Baby Bubble Skirt and Triple Rose Onesie

Earlier this year, a few of my neighbors got together for a picture of our babies.  We thought it would be fun to get a photo of all the babies that were born just last year in our little neighborhood. All FIFTEEN of them.

My boy is #7 from the left.
So now you know we have a lot of babies around here. Which means a lot of baby showers. Which means a lot of baby gifts. 
For the baby shower this week, I made an elastic waist bubble skirt and coordinating satin rosette onesie. I used this same fabric a while back to make this pillowcase top for my baby Ava. And now here it is again on this skirt.

I love tiny little baby clothes. 

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