Monday, June 29, 2009

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes (recipe and giveaway!)

I love lime. With a sweet passion. Or a tart passion. Whatever way you see it. The color, the flavor, the fruit...I love it all. I've had this idea in the back of my mind for awhile to make Key Lime cupcakes with a Key Lime filling. Key limes were on sale so I picked up 20 for $1 and started searching for some good filled Key lime cupcake recipes. I found quite a few, but none were quite was I was looking for. So I combined and adapted recipes to fit my taste...a Graham cupcake (by Vanilla Garlic )with Key Lime curd filling (by Coconut & Lime) and a lime whipped cream cheese frosting (from allrecipes). I so loved the final product and wanted to share! Oh, don't worry. It's not just a recipe...if you make it to the end there's a giveaway too! Lime themed. :)
Filled Key Lime Cupcakes

Graham Cupcakes by Vanilla Garlic
Makes 20-24 cupcakes / 350 F oven

What You’ll Need...
1/2 cup of butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup of milk
1 cup of flour
1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt

What You’ll Do...1) Beat the butter for about 30 seconds until well creamed. Add the sugar and mix for 3 minutes using a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. 2) Add the eggs, one at a time, being sure to beat for 30 seconds for each egg. 3) Place graham crackers in a food processor or in a plastic bag and beat the crud out of them until it's been ground into small crumbs and powder. 4) Sift together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and powder, and salt. Add about 1/4 of the mixture to the butter mixture, then add some of the milk. Continue to add the ingredients in a dry-wet-dry method, ending with the dry. Continue to mix until just combined. 5) Scoop into cupcake papers, only fill half-way, and bake for 15-18 minutes in a 350 F oven or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Key Lime Curd adapted from Coconut & Lime
3 eggs
6 TBLS butter
¾ cup sugar
½ cup key lime juice
1 tsp lime zest

Over low heat, melt butter in saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk continuously for 8-10 minutes, or until mixture becomes a custard. Allow to cool. It will thicken as it cools. Pour into a jar or bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (with added Key lime zest) from allrecipes
1 (8 oz package) of cream cheese
1 cup of white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups of heavy whipping cream
1 tsp lime zest

In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped cream with cream cheese mixture. Add lime zest.

Putting it all together--

I use a really long tip (Wilton 230) to fill cupcakes. Just jab the tip into the middle of the cupcake and squeeze the curd into it. You know you have enough when the cupcake starts bulging on top. You can also cut a hold in the cupcake, fill it with the lime curd, and replace the cake.
Filled cupcakes.
Top it with the whipped cream cheese frosting and eat!

It seems like a lot of work, but it's really pretty easy. I made the key lime curd and the frosting the night before, so the next day all I had to do was make the cupcakes, fill, and frost. It's so worth it!

Now, in celebration of all things lime-y (is that a word??), we are giving away a Key Lime apron. Trimmed in ric rac, with a sweet bow and a pleated ruffle, this apron is perfect for baking (and eating) some Key Lime cupcakes in! Check it out:

You have three chances to win. --GIVEAWAY CLOSED
#1. Leave a comment telling us anything your heart desires. (Personally, I'd love to hear what your favorite cupcake flavor is...but whatever you wanna say, we'd love to hear!)
#2. Post on your personal blog about this giveaway and then come back a leave another comment telling us where to find it.
#3. Check out our Etsy site and then leave a comment telling us what you love. There are some new items up now, and more to come in the following weeks!
You will need to leave three separate comments to be entered three times. We will be using the Random Number Generator to determine the winner! You have until next Monday, July 6th at 11:59pm to enter. Good luck!

BONUS GIVEAWAY: Hey... this is Maren. I found this darling apron that I made for Etsy & decided it was too lime-a-licious to miss out on this fun limey giveaway so I decided instead of selling it I will just give it away for FREE (to celebrate me joining Etsy & Christie selling kids aprons). We will have a winner for Christie's green and white scrumptious apron above, and another pint sized winner for my "Cherry Limeade" child's apron. This is for a child size apron 2t-4t.

#4 - To enter for kid's apron, just leave a comment with your favorite summer drink and an email or way to contact you if you win!! Good Luck! Giveaway closes Monday July 6th 11:59 pm.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

fun in the sundresses

I was blog surfing the other day (because I obviously do not have enough projects to keep my idle hands busy) and came across these adorable little sundresses from Nanoo Designs. Nannette was sweet enough to let me use her images so I could share with you how stinkin' cute these dresses are...

How much would I love to see my girls in matching dresses. Paige & Abbers would look so cute!

I love the Tutu dress. Seriously, how adorable are Nannette's models? I love the yellow green fabric on the right (but Paige is a pink girl and I know would choose the fabric on the left), and if your not a big fan of tule, I bet you could substitute a sheer silky fabric and get the basic same effect.
I love that this dress is so simple and a classic design. I could see this dress in fabric from the 50's till the present. What a great design that will never go out of style. One other cool thing is that Nannette sales her patterns in groups at a discounted rate so, you getting a great deal if you want to try more then one style... Thanks Nannette for sharing your great talent.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My cute flip flops for my little girl

I have been in the mood to make really cute flip flops for my little girl, my nieces and my friends little girls, and I thought I would put it on here to show you all my creation...

Monday, June 22, 2009

simple storage solutions

I love fabric the most. I love buying it, I love having little hoards of it. I think of myself as Miss Maudie Atkinson from "To Kill a Mockingbird" in my garden surrounded by my pride and joy, just reveling in it's beauty. No one really understands this except fellow sewers/crafters. There is something magical about the endless possibilities of a single cut of fabric... joy. pure joy.
But what do you do when that joy is overshadowed by disheveled madness or you can't find that adorable Sandi Henderson piece in your tsunami sized pile of chaos. Your garden can't be admired if the flowers are piled on top of each other... wait is that a dahlia or hydrangea under that charlotte rose?

I came across the picture of the colored coated stacks above which actually might work well, but I am not a stack kind of girl. I'm a rummage-through-pulling-out-several-only-to-toss-them-all-back-and-come-up-with-a-third-one kind of girl... so this is what my garden looks like. 
pretty little rolls of fabric that remind me what I already have and surround me with beauty. You can store these in any old basket and just like flowers they will make the shabby basket look wonderful. You can keep them up high and pull down the basket when you need fabric or just some nice eye candy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

cute Father's Day ideas

Thanks Brassy Apple and Sunshine & Shade for these great ideas! We love our Daddy's...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Another Sundress

I was a little hesitant to make this sundress for Elsie seeing that Maddie really didn't care too much for her dress but I had been holding onto this pink toille for a long time waiting for a project for it and this dress seemed like the perfect fit. It really is a fun and easy dress to whip up...I see many more filling up Elsie's closet in the near future.

Call me Spoiled!!

My mom came to visit a little while back and we visited some boutiques here in Mesa to maybe spoil Elsie with a one-of-a-kind and extremely overpriced outfit. But it was me that walked away spoiled. We found at one of the boutiques, Domestic Bliss carried adorable Amy Butler and Heather Bailey fabric. I was in love!! I kid you not, I squealed with delight when I saw the red poppy fabric by Heather on the shelf. When my mom saw my face light up, she knew that she had to buy it for me. She claims that I was practically drooling (which could be possible) over the stuff, but really I couldn't believe that I was seeing the fabric that I had been stalking online for months in real life. Isn't that silly? It was like this fabric was a celebrity like Zac Efron or Matt Damon and I was actually meeting them, face to face. So silly, I know. But anyways, of course I had to get coordinating fabric to go with the red and yellow poppies so I walked away VERY spoiled. My mom kept asking me what I have done with the fabric and I kept telling her that I was waiting for the perfect project...not just any apron was going to be good enough for my Heather Bailey fabric. And than I remember someone in the Secret Stitch Club got the Funked Out Apron by Lila Tueller

for a gift and I knew that this apron was THE apron for my precious fabric. The stars had aligned, the apron gods were rejoicing...this was going to be a great apron. And it is:

I didn't want to take it off at all and kept asking Ty to take pictures of me in it because I am in love! I love the vibrant colors of the fabric and the overall shape of the apron. The ruffle at the bottom and the gather bodice on top, too much!!!! And the fact that the ties wrap all the way around and tie in the front is just too perfect! I think I may add my own 1 inch wide bias tape out of the green material to the very bottom of the ruffle to tie that fabric in better but really, what a great apron?
So a huge thanks goes out to Aubrey for buying the pattern as a gift to Christie. To Christie for letting me borrow the pattern. And to my Mom, for spoiling me more than I deserve and encouraging my obsession for delicious fabric and all things aprony!
And speaking of delicious...if anyone wants to try out this brownie recipe and invite me over to eat the whole pan with you, by all means feel free. Don't these S'mores brownies from Joy the Baker just look to die for?

Good thing I am assigned a dessert for Bunko this month because I am looking for any excuse to make these and wear my new adorable apron at the same time!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

making dolls with dolls

Yesterday I got to watch my cousins' girls. They are great ages for sewing/painting projects (meaning their attention span is longer then 20 minutes). It was fun that I didn't have to do it all either. This was a team project in every sense. 
Asia is almost 8 and Macey is 9 (perfect ages to begin the madness). They cut out the doll patterns. Sewed the coats and dresses. I painted the faces and shoes, but they stained the bodies. 
I had the boa and pearls on hand from another project, so everything was here that we needed. We had to invest some time in it, but they were so dedicated it wasn't a problem.

Didn't they turn out great? It not only built up the girls confidence in their abilities to create something, but they will love these dolls because they got to make them. If anyone wants the pattern, email me and I will send it to you -  maren_buchanan [at] yahoo [dot] com.


Thanks Jessie for getting everyone motivated to make sundresses. I love finding brilliant ideas on the internet, but I hate it when I put them away mentally to do "some time" and never get around to them. Since Jessie made a sundress for Maddie - the fire has been relit and since Myla had a birthday it was a good excuse to peruse my fabric stash and whip something up.

I took the "slacker mom" way out and instead of making a tie, I used thick ribbon.

To make up for my "slacker mom" ways I added some trim to the bottom. I didn't want to hem, so I used bias tape. I didn't want to worry about my stitches so I covered them with rick rack and added the ribbon peaking out from underneath to coordinate with the tie. 

I was on a roll (and these suckers are so easy to make) I made 2 for Abbey & one for Paige. Paige wants to be a twinner with Ab's but isn't sure about the bagginess of the dress (if only I could wear a tent without people thinking I'm maternity and get away with it) but she promised to give it a try. I might be turning it into a skirt with an applique tank before too long if she refuses to wear it (the fabric is too cute to abandon)... thanks Amy for the great idea!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sewers Block

Does this ever happen to you? It's not that I don't have anything I want to's that I can't sew it!! Last night I tried to sew up some baby booties and matching onesies for some family we are going to see this weekend. I started off on the baby booties. I've done several of them and thought they were pretty easy. Well, I couldn't do anything right with them last night. I kept picking and sewing. By the time I was done I had a bootie no baby could (or would) wear. And the onesie wasn't any better. Holes, uneven stitches, gaps, bunches...everything that I could do wrong I did. So I decided to ditch that set and start on the other. Bad idea. Even worse. I have decided that when I am having a bad sewing night that I should just put everything away, get some sleep, and try again later. As it is, I have two ruined pairs of baby booties and two horrible tie applique onesies that I'd be embarrassed to give. That was a waste of three hours and a lot of sanity (which is in short supply as it is!) and precious sleep.

So, what have I learned? If it's not working out, give it up and come back to it later. Don't continue to ruin project after project. AND, never put off projects until the very last minute. Target here I come.

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