Monday, January 31, 2011

Homemade hostess cakes

Sunday is a day that is definitely a day for good family time. We usually just spend time together at the house, not doing much but enjoying each others company. I get a couple loads of laundry done (yuck!) and if I'm lucky get some time in to bake something yummilicious ( a warp of yummy and delicious together, good made up word). Today's baking adventure: homemade hostess cakes ( the recipe follows the pictures). I always put the finished picture first to motivate your taste buds! You're so welcome!

So now that you have your motivation here is the recipe:

 Cupcake recipe: I use a box cake because they always turn out so good, I just add different ingredients than the box calls for.

 One box of your favorite chocolate cake mix ( I used Duncan Hines devil's food cake)

 1 1/2 stick of butter softened

1/2 cup of milk

2 eggs

 Mix together in mixer and scoop into muffin pan. Should make about 2 dozen. Bake at 350 for 20 min. If a fork is put in the middle of a cupcake it should come out clean ( always a good guideline to go by)

 Buttercream frosting recipe:
 1 stick of butter
 1/2 cup shortening
 1 tsp salt
 1 tsp butter flavor
 1 tsp vanilla extract
 1/2 tsp almond flavor
 4 cups of powdered sugar
 2 tsp of meringue powder (this is optional but it will make frosting smoother)
 milk  (used to thin out frosting if it gets too thick)

 Mix together butter, shortening, and salt until well blended. Add butter, vanilla, and almond extracts. slowly add in powdered sugar and meringue powder. When all sugar is mixed in and frosting is smooth, add milk 1tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached. I made this frosting pretty thick.

When cupcakes are completely cooled, I used my filler tip on my cake decorating bag. Insert the tip in the middle of each cupcake and fill each one. Then make a squiggly line on the top of each cupcake. Enjoy!

 The verdict:

He approves! Outcome is a success!!

 Happy Baking!!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Vintage coffee sign

In an attempt to be organized with my posts (before I can't even find an old one that I'm looking for) I created a categories page. Please use this as a helpful reference to past posts. Enjoy (lets see how long I can keep this organized)!

As you may know I am currently redecorating my kitchen (to see all the projects I have done for it thus far go here). See that categories section already came in to use! O.k. back to the tutorial of my lovely vintage sign. So, I had some left over plywood from my miles from me to you sign And you know how much I like to use stuff that I already have. When the price tag is FREE, I am excited! I took this 22in by 15in scrap and painted it chocolate (sounds much yummier than brown don't cha think?). Here is that:

Then here is the most annoying part: letting it dry! ughhh! When it was finally dry ( I check it like every 5 mins because I get impatient) I painted a crackle finish over the chocolate. That takes at least an hour to dry, so find something else to do in the mean time. When you can touch it and it isn't sticky, you are good to go on the top coat. I painted a cream over the chocolate and crackle finish:

Instant vintage appeal! So I then printed out hot and fresh coffee served daily in different fonts and sizes. I used this as a guide for me to paint these on free hand. I also printed out a picture of coffee as a guide as well. It is so much easier to paint something when you are looking at what you want it to look like. Here is the end result:

This sign is going to look perfect over my french doors to the patio! Love it! Now off to hang up my new decor that cost me nothing! oh yeah!!

 Happy crackling!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Who stole my zipper??

So I set out to accomplish several different things today and failed :( I first tried to finish my cushion cover to my bench. I went to sew on the zipper and I couldn't find it ANYWHERE! Where is my zipper you ask? I really would like to know how a 20 inch white zipper can POOF be gone. I think it may have something to do with this little guy:

He just looks like he is up to something doesn't he? Fortunately he is way to cute to get mad at. Besides, I'm sure a month from now he will be carrying the zipper around like "What? Were you looking for this?". So due to the disappearance of the said zipper I could not finish my cushion cover....long sigh (good excuse huh?!).

So I set out on another task: Make curtains for my kitchen. I made two of them (they turned out lovely) and didn't have enough fabric for the third window ( sigh again). So I would rather not do a post about that until the final curtain is made.

 So here is what I have for you today, I was inspired by a recent post I saw at a link party. A woman took one of those digital frames and decorated it with scrapbook paper and ribbon flowers (see her version here).
 What a great idea! I have one of those in my study and seriously how boring can you get?? So, any who I took some scrapbook paper and traced out the shape of the frame. I then cut out where the opening was. I also added another layer of paper on the inner part of the frame. I used spray adhesive to bind it to the frame. Then I took a stem of flowers and cut the flowers off. I heated up my trusty side kick (hot glue gun) and glued on the flowers. Here is the end result (much more appealing than the boring black frame):

Happy glueing!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thrifty measures

So, I totally slacked on my sewing today. Sorry you are going to have to wait on the new cushion cover for my dining bench. I seriously could not sew today due to the fact I spent four hours yesterday sewing (who knew a cushion cover would take so long!).

 I did however make some pretty swanky (love that word, just had to use it) decor for my kitchen island. I took some random pieces I got from thrift stores:

I used my trusty goop (if you don't have some of this, it is a must to have in stock at home) and did some stacking:

I then added some coffee beans into the candle holders and puts some candles in the center. If you don't like the smell of coffee ( I do, I am a coffee addict! It's not the caffeine, I mostly drink decaf) you could use some black beans or whatever color beans you want for that matter.  I then took some decorative flowers and placed it in the little container thingy ( have no idea what it's called. Any ideas?) Any who, this is what I have now:

My project cost: $1.98 for each candle holder and $3.99 for the container thingy, so that would be $7.95 ( already had the other supplies on hand). Pretty cool for under 10 bucks!

 Happy gooping!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another great find

While looking for something totally different on  a online classified ad, I found this great bench:

As fate would have it, it is the exact measurements of the opening on my dining table. The price you ask? $40.00! I have had this beauty now for a month. It was my intention to make a nice cushion and some pillows for this bench. I kept putting it off and putting it off (I seriously was just finding other things to do). Yesterday I made the cute red pillows and today I am FINALLY working on the cushion cover.

 Here is a pic of the red pillows (instruction on how to make these gems follows):

They are actually pretty easy to make. Take a rectangle of fabric, cut to the size you want. Mine were 14in by 24in . Then fold fabric over so there is about 5 inches of fabric at the top of it. I sewed each side of the soon to be pillow. I then took stuffing (from a pillow that has been sitting in my linen closet for two years, ummm probably won't use that one again), and filled the pillow. I then folded over the 5 inches of fabric at the top and sewed it to the sides of the pillow. Then, I took two buttons and spaced them evenly in the middle and hand sewed them down. I think they turned out pretty good!

 Stay tuned for the making of my bench cushion. You'll want to see this. I know, I know, the suspense is just killing you, patience. You're going to have to wait until tomorrow for that!

 Happy sewing!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I knocked off Pottery Barn... Again

O.k. so this may become a theme with me, but seriously who doesn't love Pottery Barn?! They have beautiful stuff and at their prices, they are so tempting to hack. I saw their calligraphy lamp shades and once again fell in love. How cool are these?

So easy to "borrow" this idea as well. I took two lamp shades that I had in my bedroom. They are about the same shape and color as these, except they had a decorative trim on them. I pulled off the decorative trim and unfortunately had  glue all around the edges:

Oh well! I will deal with that later! I then went to the online translator (again, see the other project I used it for last time here). I translated several love quotes I found online. Then copy and pasted that into my word document. I picked some script that I liked and put it in several different size fonts. I then taped the different pieces onto the inside of the lamp shade. I traced out the words with acrylic paint and a paint brush (took FOREVER!). I had some travel stamps that I got from Michaels and used those all over the shade as well.

Finally, to deal with the caked on hot glue, I covered it with some trim and fabric I had on hand. Total cost of project $0 (Only because I had everything on hand). Sorry Pottery Barn, once again I have evaded your $120 price tag for two medium shades. Thanks for the idea though :)

Happy hacking!


Monday, January 24, 2011

The smell of cinnamon is in the air

I love a good recipe, so I decided it was a must for me to share this one with you. There is nothing better than a warm, moist, flaky cinnamon roll in the morning (or anytime of the day for that matter). I found a recipe in Family Circle magazine and accidentally changed the recipe, which turned out amazing (thank goodness because I'm notorious for miss reading stuff in recipes and my husband probably wouldn't let me live it down. Ha I showed him!). So here follows my version of a recipe that I borrowed from Family Circle. (but first a nice pic to tantalize your taste buds, thus giving you the motivation to create these lovely rolls).

You're welcome! Now for the recipe:


  • 1  cup  whole milk
  • 1  envelope (1/4 ounce)  active dry yeast
  • 1/4  cup  warm water (100°F to 110°F)
  • 3  tablespoons  granulated sugar
  • 2    eggs
  • 1 1/2 sticks  unsalted butter, melted
  • 4-1/2 to 5  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  •   Filling:
  • 3/4 stick  unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4  cup  granulated sugar
  • 1  cup  packed light brown sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  cinnamon


1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and let stand until cooled to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, eggs and butter. Beat in cooled milk.
3. Gradually add the flour and salt, scraping down side of bowl, until a soft dough forms. Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead the remaining flour into the dough, adding more flour if too sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes until smooth. The dough will be soft.
4. Grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours.
5. Coat two 9-inch round baking pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottoms with waxed paper; coat paper with spray. Prepare Filling: Mix butter, both kinds of sugar and cinnamon together in a medium-size bowl.
6. Punch down dough. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to an 18 x 12-inch rectangle. Spread the butter-sugar mixture over the dough. Starting on one long side roll up jelly roll fashion and pinch seam to close.
7. Cut crosswise into 14 generous 1-inch pieces. Arrange 7 pieces, cut-side down, in each prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot until buns double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Or cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the following morning.
8. Heat oven to 350°F. Uncover pans and bake buns until they are golden-brown and bubbly, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.

Top with your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe or even just a glaze! I didn't even use frosting, that's how good it was! ENJOY!!!

Happy baking!!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

framing out a mirror

I have been wanting to frame out my guest bath mirror since we moved in our house (ummmm two and half yrs ago). I looked into having it professionally done and it's would be like $300.00 for one mirror. Really?? I decided that if we were going to frame out the mirror I would do it myself. I finally got the courage to tackle the project this weekend.

Here is a before pic of the ugly unframed mirror:

I first measured the width and length of the mirror. Then, I went to Lowes and picked out the cheapest best looking trim I could find. I also got four square decorative pieces to put at each corner. I took into consideration the size of the squares and subtracted it from the original length and width. I then had the good people at Lowes cut my trim ( make sure to check their work, I had to come back and have it cut again because the measurements were off). While at Lowes I also bought some liquid nail and caulk.

When I got home I painted the trim and decorative pieces a cream. When dry, I sanded down the edges of the painted trim and then rubbed on some wood stain. I then took another wet cloth and wiped away the excess. 

When everything was finally dry, I put the liquid nail on the back of the trim one at a time. I then put it on the mirror. I secured it with clear tape so it wouldn't topple over.

 After waiting for about two hours, I took off the tape. The end result is, in my opinion, an excellent mirror makeover.

Now if I could just learn how to clean the mirrors really well ( I always seem to leave streaks for some reason)!

Happy painting, gluing!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Unexpected finds

I have been looking at light fixtures for awhile now online, at lowes, home depot, and the list goes on. I absolutely do not like the fixture in my guest bathroom. As you know, lighting can be quite expensive. After not really finding something I liked at a good price, I thought why not just change the glass covers on the fixture!?! Great idea! So I went to Lowes to check them out. The cheapest ones were $6.00 and they weren't what I wanted. Those things can get pricey! The ones I really liked were $12.00 a piece. At four new glass fixtures, you're talking $48.00. I changed my mind and decided to just wait. I can live with the one I have for now.

I went to a Goodwill I have never been to before a couple days ago and low and behold four beautiful glass fixtures! Oh yes! The price on these $4.99 for ALL of them. So the moral of this story is, make sure to check all your options before buying brand new. There might be just what you're looking for at your local thrift store.

 Here is the glass fixtures I had up before (sorry I forgot to take a picture of them up, I got too excited):

Here is the after pic of the new ones installed:

Love it! Much more fitting with my decor! My next project in here is too frame out the giant mirror.

 What color do you think the frame should be: brown or cream (distressed)? Comments and suggestions are always appreciated!

 Happy Friday everyone!!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pottery barn inspired stool

I love you Pottery Barn! I often browse through your catalog, stalk your web pages, and go to your store for inspiration. You stimulate my creativity and for that I am thankful. Recently, I have been looking for a vanity chair for my daughter's bedroom and Pottery Barn has the perfect chair. See picture below and fall in love:

I just adore the shape of this chair and the fact that it  swivels is a huge bonus! The pink chair would be perfect in my little girls room. Unfortunately, I don't love the price tag: $229.00!! What??? Sorry Pottery Barn, you and I both know I am too thrifty to spend that kind of money on a stool.

 As I was browsing through the pages of Craigslist, I hit the jackpot! Well maybe not a jackpot, but seriously how lucky could I get?? Take a look at this:

Look kind of familiar? This is where you scroll up and check out how similar this stool is to the Pottery Barn stool. Oh yes I am EXCITED!! The price tag on this beauty: $40.00!!!!

My plan is to paint it white and re-upholster the seat. Easy peasy! (By the way I have never upholstered anything in my life)

 I first took the chair off the base. Good so far.

 Have my tools:

I then get to removing staples. Who knew that such a small piece of furniture could hold so many staples! This experience has given me a whole new respect for people who upholster furniture for a living. 300 and something staples later (could be more, who knows! seemed like 1000!) and four cuts on my hands, all the staples are out!

 The above pictures are during the staple removing process. My plan is simple: try to remember the way I took the chair apart and ues the old fabric as an outline for the new. There is piping around the chair, so I will cut strips of fabric to cover some new piping. Then, I will staple staple staple my little heart away. Here we go:

This is the first time I have ever made piping. I did a little research online and found a process that seemed pretty simple. I first cut a strip of fabric about three inches wide that is the length of the area that the piping is going to go on. I then used some piping that I purchased from a fabric store for .25 cents a yard. Fold the fabric around the piping and secure with fabric pins. I then sewed it in place. Pretty simple!

In the mean time I also painted the base of the stool a nice white. Here it is:

I stretched, I stapled, I even broke out my hot glue gun, The result, I think, is pretty amazing for a first time upholsterer:

A beautiful addition to a beautiful room. I am so patting myself on the back for this one!

 What do you think of the chair and the fabric choice? I love hearing from you!!

 Happy stapling!!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Good things come to those who wait

As of right now I have four projects going on! I kind of get ahead of myself sometimes and try to take a bit to much on at once. Really it's just me excited about several different things and like a little kid at Christmas I just can't wait to open my presents ( the present being my finished project of course). So, here is a little teaser of what I have to come.  But first, cuteness alert, here is a tidbit that is sure to make you smile (well it makes me smile :)


So adorable! She is such a good big sister and he is in awe of her. This is a good place to start though. This frame was a little side project I did. Super easy! I bought the frame at Goodwill for a whopping .99 cents! Then I took some left over ribbon, trim and fabric to make the little rosettes. I got the idea from a blog and I can't remember which one to direct you to for the tutorial (darn, I hate it when that happens!). They are super easy to make though. You just twist the fabric and slowly, glue it down with your hot glue gun going in a circle. Make sure to start in the center of the rosette. Then I painted LOVE on the top and added the adorable pic! The result: PERFECTION. Well at least the two in the picture are.

So you ask what's in store in the coming days and the next week? Here are some pics to give you a bit of a teaser:

This fabric is for the chair I found for my daughters room redo. If you haven't seen it yet click here . I am so excited about this chair. It is an amazing find! Can't wait to share it with everyone.

Another project I have going is making a cushion for the new bench in my kitchen (also a great find on an online classified ad). I'm thinking of making some red pillows for it as well.

I found another amazing deal on craigslist, a beautiful chest that will be painted this lovely turquoise. 

Finally, we have purchased the paint for the kitchen and it should be painted by Sunday. Yay!!

So many good things to come. Hope you're excited! I sure am!!

 What do you think of my fabric and paint choices? Any ideas or suggestions are always appreciated!

 Happy crafting!