Thursday, June 30, 2011

Completed Project: Modern Accents Tote

All the hanging threads have been snipped and all the crinkles ironed out! My Modern Accent Tote is complete, and just in time for me to take it his weekend to Cape Cod.

I found the pattern extremely user-friendly and it was full of informative pictures. The pattern itself was about 35 pages due to all the pictures, and it also included pattern pieces and dimensions for the patchwork pieces on the outside.

I only made a few minor changes. For the straps, the pattern recommended folding and ironing 1/4 inch down both sides, then folding in half and sewing. I constantly burn my fingers when trying to iron little seams, so instead I sewed a tube then turned it right side out and top-stitched both sides. I also added gussets to the bottoms. It made the bag a little smaller, but it suits my needs because I was going for more of a "purse" than a big tote.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Chunky Monkey Cupcakes

Want there to be a party in your mouth? Then try these cupcakes. Playing around with ingredients one afternoon and having the flavors of my favorite breakfast smoothie in mind, I came up with my own Chunky Monkey Cupcakes.

Chocolate-Banana Cake
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
Prepare according to directions on box.

Peanut Butter Buttercream
  • 2/3 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Mix together peanut butter and butter. Slowly mix in sugar. The measurements for the ingredients are really only guidelines. I tend to adjust as I mix the ingredients together and taste everything.

Last step: Drizzle with caramel topping, the sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Amy Butler Haul...

In anticipation of upcoming sewing project, I took a little drive into Franklin, MA to shop at the Franklin Mill Store. As a drooled over the various prints by Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Joel Dewberry, and Heather Bailey, I finally decided upon six prints by Amy Butler.

Fabrics from top to bottom:
lime/eyelashes (Belle)
fuschia/honeycomb (Midwest Modern 2)
ivory/floating buds (Midwest Modern)
orange/ripple strip (Midwest Modern 2)
fuschia/martini (Midwest Modern)
blush/peacock feathers (Soul Blossoms)

Now it's time cut!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

a look back in time...

It's amazing what one can find poking around through computer files. I suppose you could say that I am a photo file pack rat. I have folders, upon folders of my pictures saved. I even save the crooked, unfocused, boring ones. You never know when you'll need a crappy picture, right?

Here is one that I found of a bag that I made a few years ago as a birthday gift.

(i used iPhoto to hopefully create that "nostalgic" look. Photoshop still intimidates me a weebit...)

This bad reminds me of Hawaii, which is where I'll be in 363 days!!! But who's counting?

happy sunday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

back in the saddle again...

So I'll admit, I've been a lowly absent blogger for the past few months. It's not the I grew tired of blogging, or ran out of crafty ambitions, rather I finally got hired as a TEACHER! So teaching full-time during the day and being a call center drone by night really left me with little time to sleep, never mind crafting.

As of Wednesday, I have officially begun my summer vacation. Which translates to: I can sew again! Bake again! Crochet again! Knit again! Rest assured, I've wasted no time. I've already been on Etsy looking for some inspiration. I think that I've found a pattern that will make a perfect bag for my upcoming "mini vacation" to Cape Cod, MA.

Here's my new obsession, the Modern Accents Handbag by SweetPeaTotes.

I guess a trip to the Franklin Mill Store is in order! (That's my favorite place to pick up some Amy Butler lovelies!)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Eggnog Cupcakes

For me, one of the true marks of the holiday season is eggnog. So naturally when I needed to make cupcake for my office holiday potluck, eggnog cupcakes came to mind. For this particular cupcake adventure, I decided that I wanted to modify a cake mix instead of trying everything from scratch. This way I could save a little time, and cash.

Thanks to some extensive Google research, I found an eggnog cake recipe that uses a mix.

Here is the recipe that I followed, modified slightly to be made as cupcakes.


* 4 ounces butter, softened
* 1 cup eggnog
* 1/4 cup rum
* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 3 large eggs
* 1 package vanilla cake mix

Heat oven to 325°.

Beat butter until light; beat in eggs and eggnog and rum. Add vanilla, nutmeg, and cake mix; beat slowly to combine, then beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Spoon into cupcake liners. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes.

The batter tasted to delicious!!

The frosting was kind of my own invention. I just wanted to make a simple cinnamon buttercream frosting. I used two sticks of butter, about 3 cups confectioner's sugar, 3 tablespoons of eggnog, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. I tend to add things to my frosting depending on how it tastes. For this particular one, I think I ended up adding a little more vanilla which then required me to add some more confectioner's sugar so it wouldn't get too runny.

So of course I was making these cupcakes at the last possible second because I was trying to get out the door and make it on time for work. Unfortunately, I was a bad little blogger so I didn't take any pictures.

Here is an example of how I wanted them to look:
source: living artfully

In all honestly, my cupcakes were not decorated with love. My last frosting bag busted, so I had to frost them old school with a spatula. I did, however, throw some red and green christmas sprinkles on there to help add some color.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

First Crafty Wedding Purchase

On Friday night while my husband-to-be was going to town on his new XBOX 360, I was struck with the random urge to research ideas for my wedding table numbers. Throughout this entire wedding planning process, Google Images, has truly been my best friend.

I found so many great and creative ideas, but there seems to be a lot of hype about the Tolsby Frame from IKEA (pictured below).
Here are some examples of it in action:

source: ruffled
(p.s. - if you are in love with this format, you can download the template from ruffled!)
I really like the idea of the menu on the back as opposed to printing one out for each place setting. I hate wasting paper!

source: GatorBrideDesigns

In her etsy listing, GatorBrideDesigns also shows examples of using this frame at your guestbook table and for listing info about the signature drink. Love that idea!

So because I can't wait for ANYTHING, I spent my Saturday afternoon taking a little trip to my "local" IKEA in Stoughton, MA. The car ride isn't that far, but it was filled with a lot of "I think we should've turned back there..."

Into my blue IKEA shopper tote went twenty Tolsby frames. I can't wait to get started!