Spooktacular Buttercream Frosting

Happy Halloween!
ghost cupcakes

I was asked for my frosting recipe by several people at the wedding.
I had to make it again to make sure I remembered exactly what I did.
So now I have it written down... You want it?

This is my current favorite buttercream frosting recipe.
It has more butter than crisco, making it a really buttery, buttercream!
This is basically a double recipe and will frost lots and lots of cupcakes!

{I use my paddle attachment on my kitchen aid mixer}
Cream 1 3/4 cups of real, salted butter
and 1/4 cup of crisco.
Add 1 tsp kosher salt
and 2 tsp vanilla.
Now you are going to pour in a 2 lb. bag of powdered sugar (slowly so it doesn't make a mess).
Start with half the bag, then add 1/4 cup milk, then add the other half of the bag.

This makes a nice, stiff frosting that you can throw in a bag
(with no tip, just cut off about an inch at the tip) and swirl out a pile of frosting.
You can get vibrant beautiful colors with gel food coloring.
candy corn cupcake

If you want it a little softer, add a little more milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time until you like the consistency.

I hope everyone has had a safe and happy holiday.

You still have one more day to GO VOTE!!!
I can't wait to show you how my sister and I did our paint project!

Fortune Teller Costume

She can see candy in your future.
fortune teller 4

I wanted to share this amateur costume I worked on this week.
I'm getting into a bad habit of buying fabric, with no plan and no pattern.
I either have too much faith in myself, or I'm too cheap to buy the pattern.

But the truth is, I have low standards. I'm only trying to impress my kids, which is very easy.
They are always super stoked about the sewing I do and that's why its so rewarding for me.
This is a total low pressure situation.

I made this blouse out of muslin. I used 3 yards for $2.50.
I knew I wanted puffy sleeves and lace ups on the front.
I used some scrapbook eyelets to do this. Whatever works!
fortune teller

I made this purple skirt with 2 yards of this cheap purple stuff.
I simply made a casing at the top and threaded it with elastic.
Then I added two ruffle layers that were 2x the length of the skirt.
fortune teller 2

I made the scarf the same way I make receiving blankets. Simply double fold the edges and sew!
The yellow sash is just 1/4 yard of sparkly tulle.
The head piece was a scarf I found on clearance at target. We also got fun earrings that she loved!
$17.00+ a happy kid= successful costume.

She really played up her role.
fortune teller 3

So this year, I ended up making 2 costumes. (Here is the witch costume)
girls

And buying one.
knight

This little boy fell in love with this costume (probably because of the sword) from Costco.
And as much as I love making a costume that they adore, I equally love buying a costume they adore.

Any way you do it, they get candy!


p.s. Did you see the fabulous painted projects over at "Sew Dang Cute?"

I'm linking to Allie Makes!

Wall Cubby Shelf

Thanks to anyone who voted! We're moving on to round 2! This was ours...

cubby shelf

A lot of people have said, "I knew this one was you." Maybe becuase they know I love a wood project,
or maybe because they know I wasn't capable of any of the other amazingness.
Honestly, I was like, "Am I on project runway?" These people are basically profesh!

Anyhoo, I'm really excited that I had a reason to get right on this project.
I'd been wanting to copy this pottery barn shelf for a while.
pottery barn cubby organizer

I started with 3- 1x6's, some gorilla wood glue, some spray paint, sand paper, etc....
IMG_0194

A 1x6 is actually a little less than that. You can make them this deep, but the pottery barn one is 5" deep, so I shaved a little off with a table saw. Not necessary, but I did it.
table saw

Then I cut 4 pieces, 23.5" long, then sanded them.
IMG_0193

Then I cut 2 pieces, 25" long for the outside. I set them aside.

Then I trimmed the rest of the wood 1/4", lengthwise with the table saw because the verticals are actually a little less deep in the picture, and I wanted it to be similar.
Can you tell what I mean from the bottom, right corner in this picture?
IMG_0323

From this narrower wood, I cut 9 pieces in 5 inch segments, so I had 9 pieces, 5"x 4.75 " Then sanded.

Then I glued 3 short pieces, onto a horizontal piece (23.5").
I spaced them out evenly, leaving 4 sections that are about 5.5" wide.
I marked about where they would go, then used some wood glue, from gorilla glue.
My partner, Cheri, suggested this brand, and I was really happy with it.
Then I turned it on it's side, used a square to shore it up and nailed it in from the bottom.
gorilla glue

Soon, I had this. You can see the board weren't perfectly straight, but it turned out fine in the end.
IMG_0204

Then I put glue down, another board, and nailed it in.
For the next set of small vertical pieces, I toe-nailed them in (at an angle).
I continued, until I had this:
IMG_0205

I put the top on, next up, were the sides.
Then I took my 25" pieces and drew the curve I wanted on the top.
This needed to be cut with a jig-saw, which is my favorite saw, by the way.
IMG_0208

Sides were nailed on, then I gave it all one more sanding.
IMG_0209

Then I cut a piece if 1/4 inch plywood to 25" by 19.5" for the back.
The next day, I primed,
IMG_0212

spray painted,
IMG_0215

and distressed.
I used sand paper and a glaze/paint mixture to rough it up and make it look weathered, like the original.
IMG_0218

In the pottery barn description it says they are hand painted numbers, so that's what I tried to copy.
IMG_0225

I made a fancy template out of a 4x6, then penciled on the ovals.
IMG_0216

Then I printed out numbers and placed them over the wood.
I used an exacto knife to make guide marks for the numbers.
Then I painted them on the best I could.
IMG_0222

My sister helped with all of the cute packaging.
I just couldn't say "we" in the description, or it would give us away.
We combined our wrapping resources, made a mess and came up with 12 gifts.
IMG_0188

I'm really happy with the result.
IMG_0336


I knew this shelf could be used for so many things, I just threw a few things on there to show you.
fall shelf

craft shelf

I wanted it to be a "12 day's of Christmas" shelf, for now. My mentor and star (indeed she is) told me a story of a Christmas family tradition where you anonymously give a present, each of the 12 days before Christmas. How perfect is that! I have been wanting to think of ways to get my kids more focused on giving instead of receiving! (They are already telling me what they want!) That way, this can hang in our home, and be a reminder of service and giving, and each day, as the shelf gets emptier, our excitement will grow. I can't wait to make this a tradition in my home and for this shelf to serve as a reminder of giving! Thanks Cheri, and thanks to Tam for giving me the motivation I needed!

Now here's the theme for round 2:
Round 2 button copy

Possibilities are endless. I can't seem to pin down an idea yet.
Hmmmmmm...



Monster Eyeballs

monster eyeballs- missing

These were so fun, fast and easy. You want to make some?

I started with cheater/ready-made cream puffs. I scored 110 of these babies from Costco for 9.99.
That's hard to beat!
cream puffs

Then we, the kiddos and I, dipped them in white chocolate candy melts.
I just put it in the microwave for 30 seconds, then stir, then repeat (usually 3-4 times) until its melted.
Dip about half-way in.
dip

Then while it's still wet, put a chocolate chip, upside-down in the center.
Don't press it all the way down, leave it raised a little.
chocolate chip

Now set them down and let them dry.
{I don't know why I have the urge to line them up at this point. It doesn't matter, I know.
Somehow it just makes me feel better. Is that wrong?}
white

Then I dyed some of the white chocolate to green (gel color works best) and put it in my squeezie bottle.
Now we drew a couple circles around the chocolate chip.
Right after, give it a few quick shakes to level out the chocolate and make it smoother.
Now you have eyeballs. Different colors would be fun too.
eyes

Then we just slipped them right onto these short bamboo skewers I got from world market.
My 10 year old says they're too creepy to eat.
I just needed to remind her, they taste like cream puffs and chocolate. Then she braved a bite.
monster eyeballs 2

Can you believe your eyes...how easy was that?


p.s. Can you also believe your eyes at how crazy-amazing all of the projects are at at "sew dang cute?"
I didn't realize I was entering a contest with professionals!


I'm linking to TidyMom.

Round One.....DING!!!

This is it!



Voting has started!

I worked hard this past week, doing my best "brand-inspired" craft.
I'm not allowed to tell you which project is mine, voting is anonymous.
But on Tuesday, I will tell you which one was mine and give you a little tutorial.
You get to join the party and link up your "brand-inspired" item on Monday.
For now, go vote for your favorite!


p.s. I still can't believe I'm doing this. {nail biting}


Sassy Zebra Cupcakes

What to do when your 16 year old politely asks if you could bring 50 cupcakes to High School for her birthday?

Smile inside and do a litte cheer because even though I don't get to help in her classroom with painting projects, and I don't know all of her friends and I only get to hold her hand when she's in the mood, I still get to bring cupcakes to school.

So they have to be good.

And not totally embarassing.

So, they're zebra.

046

I'm no cake decorator but I figured if I put two colors in the bag, it would kinda work.

It also kinda turned their tongues black. Which they may have kinda liked.

Luckily I made these, too.

050

As she walked away with 3 friends each holding trays of cupcakes, she turned around and said, "Thanks mom."

Awwww! She really is sweet sixteen!

Cute Witch

Jenna wanted to be a "cute witch" for Halloween. Not a mean one. Not a green one.
collage

So the whole thing was inspired by the witch hat I got from a friend, years ago.
It was originally from pbkids, and I just loved the gingham brim.

So I found some matching fabric and some other fun halloween fabrics.
I didn't use a pattern, which I kinda regret.
The bodice turned out a little bigger than I like, but I'm too lazy to redo it.
A waistband can cover that up a little bit.
cute witch 2

I'll admit I had to pick out a sleeve 3 times and I got a little frustrated.
I don't know why I was surprised it didn't turn out exactly as it was in my mind,
with my limited sewing knowledge and all.

But then I remind myself that "as long as she likes it, that's all that matters."
And she does love it! She loves her spiderweb tights.
tights

She loves her sparkly broom. (You can't really see the sparkles in this picture).
broom

The fabric and all was about $20.00 which I'm good with!

And the snaggletooth (that loose one in the front) was free!
tooth

This is her best impression of a mean witch. Yep, she's still smiling! She better stick with the cute witch.
mean witch

Next up, a gypsy costume. Any ideas or inspiration?


Now for some news! I entered a little contest over on SEW DANG CUTE.
Contestant-Button
I don't know what I was thinking, thinking I could hang with all of this amazing talent.
But I couldn't resist the chance at working with the "stars" (the big-time crafters).

Well, low and behold, we are in the finals (top 12)!
I'm so excited and nervous. I told Kass we gotta muster up our "A" game, whatever that is.
Good thing we will have the help of Cheri of "It's So Very Cheri."

Anyway, we will be posting a project over on sewdangcute.blogspot.com this weekend,
then people VOTE! I hope all of our friends and followers will join in the fun and wish us luck!
Our assigned theme is:
Round-1

This is giving me a jolt of motivation to do a project I've been wanting to do for a while.

Little Crafters

My little girls love doing crafts and projects.
I have to admit that sometimes they want to help and I shove them off, because I'm in a rush.
In hindsight, I realize nothing is more important than spending time with them.
Somehow, I just don't get it amongst the hustle and bustle.
So now they have taken things into their own hands.
Lately, they can't stop making friendship bracelets, and they can do this without my help.
Yay for something they can do independently! But, boooooo for the mom (me) who isn't
engaging with her kids when she gets golden opportunities.
friendship bracelets

This weekend, when we were at Target, my daughter bought a package of silk leaves from
the dollar aisle, with her own money. She told me she was going to make a "fall craft."

When she got home, she told me she needed to learn how to use the hot glue gun and she
was going to make a wreath. I was laughing and also impressed with her ambition.

But I'm not ready to hand over the glue gun yet,
and I told her she needed something to glue the leaves to.
So we spent some time together.

She traced on some felt I had on hand.
Untitled-1

Then she cut it out.
cutting

Then she used the hot glue gun, with my hand over hers, trying to control the glue webs.
Then she placed the leaves in a few layers.
glue

She loved the result and I helped her hang it on the door.
Then the next time I walked by, she had spelled this out with her "bendaroos:"
door

She was proud. And she didn't want to stop there.
She brought me this headband that I have never seen before.
She got it out of some craft kit she had, and she said she wanted to decorate it with leaves.
headband 1

She arranged these and we glued it on.
Pretty cool for a little crafter!
headband 2

It is moments like this that I think my kids have a little piece of their grammy in them.
If my mom were still here, she would be doing an educational/creative project with them all
the time! She would encourage their creativity and their desire to develop their talents.

I'm just reminding myself to be more like my mom in this way.
I need to say, "not right now," a lot less often.
So here's to turning over a new "leaf." :)
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