Sunday, January 30, 2011

Car Party Favors - Crayons

Our inspiration for the crayons were based on this post by homemade by Jill. We had both seen it and knew regardless of the theme we would find some candy molds that would work. Since both our boys are in love with cars and motorcycles we found some molds at the all-in-one bakeshop.
There are several methods that we have seen for melting crayons. We ended up trying Jill’s tin can double boiler and also tried melting in the microwave. I would not recommend the microwave. It took a long time to melt it. In fact I think the plastic butter tub we were melting it in got soft faster than the crayons. Stick to the tin can method.
The first batch I made with similar colored crayons, mixing as I melted and I got very solid colored crayons out of it.
In the second batch I experimented. If you don’t mix the crayons as they are melting the resulting crayon looks marbleized.
Also as I would run out of one color of wax I would drip some drops over the empty molds then I would fill the mold with the next batch resulting in some splotchy unique looking crayons.
We thought these crayons were super cute. We didn’t think they could be described as delicious yet FIVE of our guests decided to eat them. Sadly THREE of them were adults.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cam and Asher's Awesome Race Track Birthday Cake

It's official!! We are both mothers of two-year-olds! Where did those 2 years go? And where did my sanity and clean house run off to? But seriously, we couldn't be more proud of our two little boys...and to show our pride (and craftiness) we designed and created the Best.Cake.EVER! It's definitely amateur work, but I think Wilton will be calling any day now to hire us on as decorators or, at minimum, creative consultants.

 So without further ado....Cam and Asher's Awesome Race Track Birthday Cake

Here is how we made it. We started with 4 chocolate buttermilk cakes made in a sheet pan. The first two were placed side by side and covered with a homemade mixed berry jam then the other two cakes were layered on top. The edges were trimmed to make them even. Next we placed a sheet of parchment paper on top and roughly drew a figure 8 for the race track. the width of the road was about 3 inches. We cut out the track shape and placed it on top of the cake then used a knife to lightly carve an outline of the track onto the cake.
To make a bridge we made a vanilla box cake in a 9x13 pan. After it cooled we removed it from the pan and froze it. It is really easy to cut frozen cake with a serrated knife. We cut the cake into two 13 in strips the width of the road and stacked them with a layer of Nutella between them. 004
We carved this into a concave hill and placed it on the base cake with a layer of Nutella as the glue.
Using the trace marks as a guide we used a chocolate butter cream frosting died black to make the road. This frosting started out a medium gray but got much darker and was black by the time we got to the party.
Using a plain buttercream frosting that we died green we did a crumb coat of frosting on the rest of the base cake.
Then we piped in grass using a basket weave decorating tip.
We added black frosting to the tunnel and then did the rest of the bridge in a gray frosting which will be the mortar to the bricks.
Using the left over frozen cake from the bridge piece we made a winner’s podium and iced it in blue.
Using the basket weave tip we made the bricks on the bridge the red and white checks on the road as well as the checkered flag on the winner’s podium.
We also used a round tip to add place numbers to the podium.
Next came the cars! We used this cake pan to make the cars. Instead of frosting each car we just died the cake mix using Wilton food coloring.
We cut one of the cars in half and placed it so it looked like it was coming out of the tunnel.
Lastly we decorated the cars. Piping on windshields, head and taillights and bumpers. We used mini Oreos and Nilla wafers as tires. We also placed some stacks of oreos around the track.
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Whadya think? The party was EPIC and there's more details we must show you, so keep a look out. The only downside is that now we're not sure how we will top it next year....but I'm sure we'll figure it out. ;)


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Play Kitchen Challenge: 8 Months Later

Well….as you may have noticed, we’ve been really bad about posting Play Kitchen updates, but rest assured there has been major progress. The summer months were a wash…it was too dang hot to work in the garage. So, after our last post in May, we didn’t get too much accomplished until around September when the demon Texas sun gave us a much needed break.
Then, in October it started moving very quickly. Ruth had a goal of completing her kitchen by Asher’s 2nd Birthday in December. She kicked it into high gear.

Here’s a quick rundown of the last 8 months:

We routed window holes in the microwave and oven doors.


We chiseled out mortises for the hinges, by hand.

We cut plexi-glass windows for the microwave and oven doors.

We did a dry fit with the doors in place and then fine tuned the door fit. Quarters were used for spacing.
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We plugged pocket holes.

Then came hours and hours and days and days of endless sanding. We also cut the floor piece and back piece somewhere in there, but no pictures were taken of any of this cause it was….well….boring!

After the epic and arduous sanding event, we primed.

One of the coolest details, I think, is the magnetic fridge door. The magnetic primer is apparently toxic if inhaled…something about heavy metals…which explains the crazy headgear. Best part is that you can paint over it, and it’s still magnetic. Sweet!
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Ok, you’ve been caught up to a point. Ruth has a 99% finished product, but it requires it’s own post…cause it is super awesome! Prepare to be wowed!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Mom’s Apron

For weeks I had been wracking my brain for crafty ideas for my mom. I love making things for her, but often my plans are too huge for the small amount of time I have and never come to fruition. This year was no different. A few days before Christmas, Kelly at Sewing in No Man’s Land did a quick post about aprons. She posted some cute pictures from Anthropologie (I had no idea they even sold aprons) and as soon as I saw them I knew what I was making for my mom.

I drew up a quick design using elements from various apron styles and headed out to the fabric store.

For the first time ever, I bought fabric at Ikea…needless to say, I’m hooked! The print is so beautiful and the weight is exactly what I was looking for. Joann’s had a lovely linen-look fabric in a deep rich purple. There isn’t even any purple in the print, but the two looked great together so I went with it.

My favorite part of the project was the 4” circle-cut ruffle at the hem. Using a Christmas platter, I drew a circle on the fabric and then measured out 4”, drawing another circle.

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The platter must be large enough so that the ruffle length you desire fits around the platter. I used a rolled hem on the serger for the hem on this, but any hem method could be used.


 As a dividing line between the purple and print, I sewed a faux-piping between them. It isn’t piping at all, but a 1 1/4” strip of cream polished cotton folded in half and creased to make a 5/8” strip. The entire apron was stitched with 1/2” seams so the piping stuck out 1/8” and really makes the colors pop.


I added a few small gathers at the center waist and two rounded pockets, which really added to the vintage-y look.

The waist straps are extra long so they can be wrapped around the front and tied in a bow. I think it looks adorable on my mom! She is such a great hostess and I’m sure this apron will get a lot of use.

 Merry Christmas, Momma!