Friday, October 15, 2010

Trick Your Pumpkin

See that boring old pumpkin from the dollar store? Remember how I said I wanted to change it up with some paint? Well I did it. I transformed it into a chalkboard.
I spruced up my pumpkin to enter it into the Plaid Trick Your Pumpkin contest.

I was browsing plaid paint products to decide how I wanted to trick my pumpkin. I had lots of ideas, glitter, mod podge lots of options, but ultimately decided on chalkboard paint.
There are so many different colors to choose from. I thought orange chalkboard would be fun. My local Joann's didn't have orange so I went with black, but sometime soon I will do something cool with colored chalkboard paint.
The fun thing about the chalkboard pumpkin is the ability to change up the face based on how you feel that day. It also keeps toddlers entertained for about 20 min.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Apple Skirt and Tutorial

I have apparently started a tradition of making an apple picking outfit every year. You can see past years dresses here and here. It wasn't necessarily my intention to make this a tradition, but after making dresses 2 years in a row and seeing this very cute corduroy at Joann's I thought why not and this is what I came up with.Isn't it cute? I thought so and decide that some of you might think so too so I am going to attempt a tutorial.
You will need about 1/2 a yard (depending on your size I made a 2T) of 2 coordinating fabrics. I used a printed corduroy and matching solid color cotton.
To get the right size measure your child's waist size (19 in for me). Also measure from waist to knee, or however long you want the skirt and add an inch(mine is 12 in). Now that you have your measurement cut either one piece twice as long as your waist measurement by your length measurement (this will make one seem in back)or cut 2 pieces your waist measurement by length measurement (creates to seems on side). You will do this for both of your materials.
Now take the right side of the pattern material and match it up with the wrong side of your solid material then sew it together. Now you have one big piece (or 2 big pieces). Next sew the sides together by folding the piece long ways so that the right side of the pattern material and the wrong side of solid material are on the inside. Sew up the side. If you have 2 pieces then just line them up on top of each other and sew up both sides. You should now have a tube. Now fold the pattern material over the solid material. You now have a tube with right side of pattern material on out side.
Top stitch near top where you sewed the to types of material together. This will keep the material in right orientation. The bottom should have to raw edges the pattern material and solid material. Hem these separately, hemming the pattern material shorter so that the solid peeks through under the pattern.
Now we are going to pleat the front. Make a mark in the center of your front panel then make a mark every 2 in. Use these marks to help you make your pleats even. I made three pleats on either side of my middle mark. Sew your pleats down by sewing a straight line across all pleats about an in or so from top.
For the back I cut a piece of elastic half the size of my back panel and stretching it across the length of the back panel sew it on about an inch from the top.
Now you have a skirt. For the cute little pink belt I just sewed a tube of material the length I wanted turned it inside out and sewed the ends closed. I tied the belt over were I sewed the pleats and elastic down. This made it so there is sort of a ruffle sticking out over the top. So, this skirt is meant to be worn with a shirt that is tucked in.
Since I had scraps and since my daughter informed me that her doll only had PJs I made the doll a simple little matching skirt.
You can make the doll skirt the same way or simplify it like I did. I measures The dolls waist and cut apiece of elastic that size. I then sewed 2 strips of the pink material on either side of the apple material that was twice as long as the elastic (or piece scraps together to make a piece twice as long as your doll's waist)
Sew your loose ends together forming a tube. Then fold your 2 pink strips under and sew in the ditch as shown in picture. One side is now the bottom him and the other is the top where you will insert elastic and sew together.
So there is a simplified matching doll skirt tut. I hope it makes since.
Once you have your outfit you are ready to go pick apples. I also made a little clip by cutting out one of the apples and gluing it to a clip.
My husband was making fun of me when I felt bad I hadn't made Aidan an outfit. He said "because Aidan is going to look back on these pictures and feel bad he did have an outfit." sarcastically of course. So just in case he did look back I appliqued some apples on an onsie so they were matching.
There you have it an apple skirt, matching doll skirt, clip and onsie all in one, perfect for an afternoon of apple pickin'? Now what to do with the apples. Here is what I did last year.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hi Hat Cupcakes

What is better then a fabulous tasting cupcake? A fabulous tasting cupcake that looks impressive and if I do say so these Hi Hat cupcakes are just that.

These come from Martha Stewart however I did not follow that recipe (if you haven't figured it out yet I don't like following recipes). I don't know how those cupcakes taste, but mine were delicious, toot, toot (that's me tooting my own horn). Here is my chocolate cupcake recipe. Its super easy
1 chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding
1 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of sour cream
3 eggs
1/2 bag mini chocolate chips

Just mix it all together and put it in your cupcake tin and bake at 375 for 20 mini (less time if making mini cupcakes longer if making a cake)

I ate many of these cupcakes before I even frosted them they were that good.

This delicious looking frosting was made using the recipe from The frosting was pretty good, but my husband thought it was too sweet and it was a little grainy. I have been thinking if I could make a light weight frosting like this using powder sugar so it wasn't so grainy. Oh, and since I was serving these to children and a pregnant lady I used meringue powder instead of egg white (just look on container for substitution amounts).
I placed the frosting in a zip lock bag and cut the tip off and piped it on the cupcake as high as I could.

So make a delicious chocolate cupcake top it with sweet light frosting and then dip it in chocolate how could it get any better than this. I found the mini cupcakes easier to dip.

My two year loved helping me make this for her friend Caleb's birthday party at playgroup. Caleb's mommy is pregnant, been there done that with a toddler and knew making cupcakes is not always what you want to do with your free time, eating them yes that I liked to do when pregnant. The day of the party it was raining and I was trying to get inside with a toddler, baby and a platter of cupcakes. I gave the cupcakes to the toddler who held onto the cupcakes with both hands instead of holding onto the stroller and with me moving a little faster to get out of the rain lost the toddler with the cupcakes off the stroller. Addi was more devastated by the few cupcakes we lost to a puddle in the parking lot than her scrapped knees.

These cupcakes took a little more time then normal, especially the frosting, but they were fun and oh so delicious. To see beautiful pictures of Hi Hat Cupcakes and my inspiration for making these visit Bakerella.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Let the Spookiness Begin

Now that it is October I can put my Halloween decorating into full swing. I'm weird about decorating to soon for holidays. I hate when Holidays get skipped, like did you know that there is already Christmas stuff up in the store? What happened to Halloween and Thanksgiving? Anyways, in case you missed this over at Under the Willow here is my first Halloween decoration I made this year.
All supplys came from the Dollar Store a vase, a candle stick, plastic skulls and some peat moss.
I put mine on my entry way table along with other Dollar Store finds (I love the Dollar Store).
Adding spiders and webs to things can make anything look spookier. I cover everything in my house in spider web at Halloween time, just make sure you remember where you put it or you will look up months later an realize your clock is still covered in spider webs.
I love this fun picture. I think I'm going to re-frame it in a real frame so it looks more like a real picture and not just a Halloween decoration.
Check out my post at Under the Willow to see how you can your new vase stand for other holidays as well.

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