Birthdays

So both of my kids have March birthdays.  I love making their birthday cakes.

We’ve had a variety of themes and flavors over the past few years.

We’ve had buttercreams and fondants, cakes and cupcakes.

My sons birthday party is coming up and he wants a Wall-e cake.  Last year we had wall-e cupcakes for his school party.

My daughter has declared that her third birthday party is going to be a jewelry party. 

I think the Hello Kitty cake was my favorite.

So today I made a test batch of cookies and cream cupcakes…I combined a few recipes, I can’t seem to stick to just one.  I plan on making a rainbow cake as well, because the boy really likes the colors.   I like to bake the cakes in advance and freeze them until it’s time to decorate.  It’s a huge relief to have one less thing to worry about as the party approaches.

So…we’ll see how this years cakes turn out!

Enjoy a look at a few cakes from the past few years.

Circle accents and a snazzy wipes case

A friend asked if I would make cute and girlie wipes case that wasn’t too baby-ish.  Immediately I knew that we needed bright bold colors and patterns and a fun little accent on top.  So today I present to you this fun wipes case.

I based the wipes case  loosely on this one.  Here’s what I did…(sorry, didn’t take pics on this part today.  I will try to post some in the next couple of days!!)

  • 1 wipes case (I used the small Huggies brand one)
  • fabric 1/4 yard (you will only need about 9 x 10-11 inches though.)
  • one sheet of felt
  • ribbon 1 yard or so
  • any type of decorative accents for the top such as wide ribbon or circular accents (how to to follow)
  • glue gun and sticks, scissors, marker

So to begin, open and lay your wipes case on top of your felt.  Trace around it with your marker.  Cut this out.  I cut it into two pieces (at the part where the case folds in half)

I glued each piece to it’s side of the case.  Using a line of glue only around the perimeter, and gluing in small increments, to avoid it drying before I get the felt smoothed out.

I repeated this process with the main fabric, only adding a 1/8-1/4 extra fabric allowance to hag over the sides more than the felt.

If you want to add a ribbon across the top do so now.  Glue in place wherever you want it.

Start gluing the ribbon around the edge, smoothing your main fabric as you go.  Once you get all the way around, cute the ribbon leaving just enough to overlap and glue the last part.  Repeat with the other side.

Your case should be finished now…to add the accent to the ribbon.

For the circular flower thing…

  • fabric scraps
  • fusible webbing ( I used craft fuse)
  • button
  • scissors, needle, embroidery thread

First adhere your scraps to your fusible webbing.  Cut out circles in various sizes.

Next stack them together.

Next grab your needle and thread.  Sew the button in place.

Tie off the back.

Now it’s finished.  Decide where you want it.  For the wipes case, you’ll glue it in place.

Now you are finished.  Despite what it’s actually for, at least it’s pretty!

We’d love to see your work!!  Show us, please!!!!

Blueberry Muffins

This morning, we had snow…again.  What do you need besides a lot of coffee on a cold morning???  How about a blueberry muffin that’s loaded with blueberries and topped with a fragrant lemon sugar topping??

I saw this recipe and knew immediately that I needed to make it.  I was not disappointed!!  It came from America’s Test Kitchen, they have lots of free recipes on their website.  The following is one of them.

The Best Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Sugar Topping

1/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon peel

Muffins

2 cups fresh Blueberries

1 1/8 cups sugar; plus 1 teaspoon

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. For The Topping

Stir together sugar and lemon zest in small bowl until combined; set aside.

2. For the muffins

Adjust oven rack to the upper middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or insert muffin cup liners.  Bring 1 cup blueberries and 1 teaspoon sugar to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, mashing berries with spoon several times and stirring frequently, until berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes.  This will cool while you prepare the batter.

3. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl.  Whisk remaining 1 1/8 cups sugar and eggs together in medium bowl until thick and homogeneous, about 45 seconds.  Slowly whisk in butter and oil until combined.  Whisk in buttermilk and vanilla until combined.  Using a rubber spatula, fold egg mixture and remaining cup blueberries into flour mixture until moistened.  (Batter will be very lumpy with few spots dry flour; do not over mix.)

4.  Use ice cream scoop or large spoon to divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups (batter should fill cups and slightly mound).  Using a spoon push a teaspoon of cooked berry mixture into center of each mound.  using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl berry filling into batter.  Sprinkle lemon sugar evenly over muffins.

5. Bake until muffin tops are golden and just firm, 17-19 minutes.  Cool muffins in tim for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack until cool.

ENJOY!!!

Little felt flower accents

I am all about simplicity.  So when I tell you that these flowers are simple and quick to make, you can believe it. 

(I apologize in advance for the terrible lighting in the pictures.)

What you will need for this project :

6 felt circles (they need to be the same size, but you can choose the size, I happen to like the one inch ones.)

matching thread, needle, scissors

(pin back, hair clips or whatever you want to attach it to.)

Next, with your threaded needle, take one circle and fold the ends together.

Sew through both sides, close to the end.  I sew through two times for reinforcement.

Now repeat this with the rest of your circles.

Now once you have all your petals sewn.  Take your thread and run it through all of them.

You can sew through it once or twice.  Then spread it into a circle.  Finish it with a knot.

Now your flower is finished.  Easy.  You can add it to item of your choice.  These look really cute clustered together as well.

A new bag

Sorry to be away for a few days again.  It’s truly been a crazy past couple of weeks.  Sickness and loss simply isn’t conducive to crafting.  I do have several things to share with you over the next few days.  For today though, I’ll simply tell you about a project that I am starting.

We are headed to Orlando on a business trip.  Well, it’s a business trip for my husband, but we are tagging along and going to Disney while he’s at a conference.  So of course the first order of business is to make a new bag or two…I mean you see the importance right?!  So I ordered a pattern from here.  I’ve tried another pattern from them and they are pretty easy to follow.  I ordered this one. I plan on making both sizes.  I love the big button detail on the handles.  For the larger bag, I plan on using some of my Echino Birds and Berries by Etsuko Furuya for the main part of the large bag. I’m not 100% sure what the top part and handles are going to be yet.  So far nothing is jumping out at me.  So maybe I’ll make the big one out of something else in the mean time.  We’ll see.  I’m itching to get started on this.  The small bag is cute, not sure how practical it will be, it seems to be on the shallow side, but it looks cute so I will definitely give it a try.

I have a cute little flower tutorial to share with you tomorrow.  It makes a cute accent on shirts or bags or whatever you want to use it for.  Now, back to my coffee and watching the snow.   Spring time where are you???

Felt Cupcakes

I love the look of Sprinkles cupcakes.  I wish that there was a location remotely close to me, but no such luck.  So…I will have to settle on making my own…Felt of course.  Perfect for the kid in me and the ones in my home!

Want to make a some really fun cupcakes just in time for Valentines Day?? Well, here’s how you do it…

Your Materials:

  • your choice of felt colors for: the bottom & sides, the top and the decorations (I cut out hearts in different sizes and colors)
  • cupcake/muffin liners
  • thread to match
  • stuffing (fiberfill)
  • scissors, marker, paper, scrap cardboard, sewing needle

Ok, let’s get started.

Take your cupcake liner and cut a notch down to base.

It should be about an inch or so at the top and taper down to the bottom.  (You can really control however much you want to cut out, this is just so that the cupcake will be a bit more narrow around the top when it’s finished.)

Now cut the base and sides apart.

Now you have your pattern pieces.

Pin those onto your felt and cut one of each.  Grab your needle and thread.

Using a whip stitch, place the base and the side together and sew all the way around.

You’ll continue to sew and turn the thing until you get all the way back to the beginning.

You should have a little fabric overlap when you get back to where you started.  Just sew it down as well.

Now your going to sew the side just like you did with the bottom.

Now your base is finished.

Take your bottom pattern piece and trace it onto a piece of cardboard.

Cut inside the circle, you want it to be smaller so that it will fit in the bottom of the base.

Now turn your base over and trace around the top part.  This is going to make your top pattern.  (You can stuff the base a little before turning it over to trace it.  It helps keep it from collapsing while you trace it.)

I put the small circle inside to make sure that I had a (somewhat) even circle. Cut it out.

Now cut it out of the felt.

Place your felt hearts (or whatever you’re using) in the center.  You can pin it in place or just hold it with your fingers as you sew.

Sew through all pieces.  This will secure all three layers with only one stitch!

Using your whip stitch again, sew the top to the base.

As you get near the end, insert stuffing.  You can make it as fluffy as you want, but don’t over stuff, you don’t want your seams bulging.

Make sure you secure a good knot at the end and you are finished!

Good Luck!  We’d love to see what you’ve made…Please share your cupcakes in our Flickr group.