Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Apron Inspiration

I haven't sewn an apron in a while. I know, right?! It was our love of aprons that first initiated this little group. Well, I am anxious to get the sewing machine out because when I saw this apron from Anthropologie, I was instantly inspired. I'm a little in love with it. Nope, A LOT in love with it.

Don't you just love the vertical ruffles on the bodice?? And the flower? Love it! Must sew now!

EDITED: Well, someone was way ahead of me and has already put together a tutorial for this apron! Lucky for us! Check it out here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I love this mother/daughter/doll apron set

This was my last pre-prego project. I wouldn't have made a custom mother/daughter apron set 5 weeks before my baby was due (energy level of a 35 year old at 35 weeks was 0%)... except it was commissioned for my sweet friend Tiffani from her mother-in-law and I teach Tiff's adorable daughter in my preschool and love that girl (and all her sass!)

but I'm glad I did and it turned out so cute. I used Cindy Taylor Oates, More Retro Aprons pattern book. This apron is really feminine and reminded me of the Funked Out Apron (which I loathe), but it was so much easier to follow and I love the end result. One nice thing about this apron is that it accentuates your bust whether you have one or not. It's so delightful and girly.

And what's the point of having a hostess apron without a little girly bling. Tiffani is the kind of girl who is always wearing cute things in her hair - so I figure this might get more use then a cute apron. It was my first attempt at rolled flowers, (Thanks Christie for the tutorial) they are easier then you think.

This is the apron I made for her 4 year old. I used the 5 ruffle SSC Anniversary Apron idea to make this one. I just had to make it a little smaller and I made the top double sided.

This is the bling I made for this apron. I blogged about this flower tutorial a long time ago and made all the flower cutouts and ironed them all with wonder under, but never assembled the flowers. I love that I had flowers ready to go in the right colors to match this apron.

I wish you could see the back of this better (all my models were at school or taking naps) but they are super long straps attached at the top and thread through loops at the sides. I got the strap idea from Cindy Taylor Oates Little Retro Aprons for Kids. The edges of my ruffles I left serged.

This one I threw in just for fun, it's made from scraps and took no time at all. The pattern I got from Cindy Taylor Oates kids apron book. I love it because it's cute and matches the daughter apron. 

What would the doll apron be without it's own little bling? I even put a pin on it so she could clip it to her dolly's hair. This project actually turned out to be a lot better then I anticipated.

It actually helped pass the time 'til this little cutie came along... Now I know what busy is.

a last minute Christmas Craft

I don't know if you remember my skeleton tutorial from Halloween, but I decided to use the basic idea and create the same type of craft for Christmas. Here is what I did:

I bought 3 cheap frames from Wal-Mart (they cost $3 each), 2 are 8x10 and one is 8x 12. The frames were black or dark brown so I bought a can of cream spray paint and went to town on them. I didn't sand them or use a primer (they are a cheapy plastic) and a few places it cracked, but it actually made them look cooler.

I also bought a pack of 10 Christmas clothes boxes for $3, using the glass for a template; I traced and cut them out. The ribbon came off a gift someone had given me. So it cost $0. I cut 4 pieces the same length and threaded them through the frames.

Don't forget to use a spacer so there is equal spacing on the ties. This is my camera battery charger (it was closest). Then I tied the ribbon in knots and cut the edges.

Here it is all assembled and hanging on my wall. Total project cost $12 - $15 

Another cool thing is the Costco photo store online has a gallery that you can buy prints from. This frame is 16x20 and I think it cost me $2.49 to print this from the gallery. It was ready for pickup the same day I ordered it. I already had this frame and I think it's fun to buy prints that fit frames you already have and switch them out for the holiday.

Here is my holiday inspired wall. I love how it turned out. I didn't get it done in time for Christmas, but it's ready to go for next year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hot Chocolate Cupcake with Peppermint Marshmallow Filling

Now that the stress of the Ward Christmas party is over I feel like I can finally get into my holiday baking. I'll save the bulk of it for next week when the kids are out of school, but I wanted to do a little bit for a family dinner we had last night. I thought about it (probably way too much) and decided I wanted to create my own little hot chocolate cupcake. Mmmmm, hot chocolate. I could drink hot chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I used a Devil's Food cake mix to keep it simple, but you can use your favorite chocolate cake recipe. The peppermint marshmallow cream is my favorite part. It gives the cupcake that perfect little peppermint zing that you get from real hot chocolate when you melt a small candy cane in it.

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Marshmallow Cream Filling
Yields 24 cupcakes

1 box Devil's Food cake mix

Bake according to the instructions on the box. Allow cupcakes to cool.

Peppermint Marshmallow Cream
1 small (7 oz) jar marshmallow cream
1/2 package (4 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 candy canes, crushed to powder
2 TBS cream or milk

Cream the marshmallow cream and cream cheese together until smooth. Put the candy canes in a heavy ziplock back and crush it to powder (or you can grind them in a food processor or blender - I'm just lazy and don't want to wash another bowl). Be sure to make it into powder, you don't want any chunks because it makes it hard to pipe into the cupcake. Add the candy cane powder and cream. Mix until nice and smooth.

Using a long piping tip and a pastry bag, pipe the filling into the cooled cupcakes. I show how to do this here.

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
* adapted from allrecipes
1 1/2 packages of cream cheese (12 oz total)
1 cup of white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups of heavy whipping cream (minus the 2TBS used for the filling)

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.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, making them look like the whipped cream on hot chocolate. Sprinkle some cocoa powder or hot chocolate mix on the top of the cupcakes and add a small candy cane. And enjoy!

** You can also fill the cupcakes with caramel instead of the peppermint marshmallow cream to make Caramel Hot Chocolate cupcakes. I had a few cupcakes left over and I think that is what I'm going to do!

(PS - You'll probably have left over frosting. It goes great on graham crackers or any other cake recipe. It's also yummy as a little topping on Maren's recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider syrup. It's my most favorite frosting recipe ever!)

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Card Holder Anyone?

Meg over at Brassy Apple created this adorable Christmas Card holder. Can you guess out of what? Embroidery hoops? Yeah. That's what I thought... but you'd be WRONG! Dollar Store burner stove covers... I know crazy right? But how clever is that. They are magnetic, makes sense. She modge podge paper over the cheesy prints they come with and strung it together with ribbon. What a fab craft to do for the holidays and so EASY. These would make great inexpensive gifts. You could make a snowman with magnets and let your kids decorate to their hearts content. She also has a clip of little news segment she was on where she shares all kinds of other ideas of what you could do with burner covers. Check out her tutorial.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I love this time of year

Ok. So this clip made me cry - but that's not hard to do at 9 moths pregnant. I'm a ticking time bomb and cry over commercials, or just no reason at all... not so happy about being a walking leaky faucet, but I do love 'good will t'wards (women &) men and the kindness that people show this time of year"

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