Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Caker Flashback

Well, I find myself trapped in a virtual abyss, having not one computer at my disposal that is well enough to blog on :-O  Shocking, I know!  What do people like that do when they want to share their latest crafting adventure!?!

I am pushing this machine to it's absolute fullest to show you a few of my past projects since I cannot upload any new photos until I get home.  Today I decided to show you some of my past caker experiences.  I hope you enjoy them! 

Above is my Violin Cake.  I made the main body out of cake, but made the handle from 2x4 lumber.

This Ipad Cake was my very first fondant adventure.
I made this Noah’s Ark Cake for a friend's baby shower.

I made this Tiki Cake tutorial after not finding any ideas from a Google search myself.

This Pirate Ship cake was so very much fun to make.

This was one of the wedding cakes I made this year.  It was probably the biggest I made, next to my own :0)

I made this Baptism Cake for my boy Eli when he turned 8 and chose to be baptized.

I just realized I forgot the Wii cake.  Too bad I can't get any more pics to load :0{
You can click HERE to see it anyway.

As for cupcakes...

This was the first Cupcake Bouquet I ever made.

These Soda *Pop* CupCakes were made using mason jars!  I LOVE cooking in jars!

This was my first CupCake Cake and I made it for my sister Kira's Wedding.  You can find the full post by clicking HERE.

These are my favorite Baby Shower Cakes to make.  I make them any time I am asked to do a Shower Cake.  I love how sweet and simple they are.  They look adorable, break away from the traditional cake, plus make serving much less messy!

I recently posted the Super Mom CupCakes, but loved them so much I thought I would add them to the list.

Don't forget my updated CupCake Bouquet!  I used homemade picks instead of cups as the foundation.  Works great unless your using filled cupcakes.  I would stick to the cup formation if the cupcakes are filled due to the heaviness of the treats :0)

Umm, you may have noticed a slight obsession with Cake Balls/Pops on this blog this year.  Here are some of my favorites.  The Easter Cake Balls turned out especially adorable.

This little guy looks pretty spiffy himself.  You can find my Turkey Cake Balls HERE.

No matter how you look at it, these Ice Cream Cake Balls are my favorite by FAR!!!  They are so adorable, realistic looking, and easy to make look good, ANYONE can make them!!! 

Now for the Fake Cakes!!!
You didn't realize I had such a category, did you???

I made this Topsy Turvy Fake Cake out of Styrofoam, craft paper, and drywall mud.
Looks good enough to eat, don't you think???

I did a Fake Cake Re-Make and used the same cake for a different occasion.

This darling Felt Cake comes complete with tutorial after I searched all over the net for instructions.  I finally made them myself so you don't have to :0)

Let's not forget about the little cakes too!  I made this Fimo Cake after a small obsession with clay food.

I might as well throw in the mix my CupCake Towel Tutorial.  It is still cake, right?

I made these Bake Even Strips to combat a small problem I was having getting my cakes to bake evenly.  Worked like a charm!

These are sooo not cake, but how Cute are THEY!!!  There we go baking in mason jars again!

Now, these are not all the cakes, but a sampling of the things we baked up around the Sew*CakeMaker household this last year.  I hope you enjoy them.  With any luck I will be back with more flashbacks in the near future. 
(Anyone in Utah wanna let me use their computer?  This post's pics were courteous of My Hubbs posting them for me back at home in Arizona :0)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Before I Leave Town

I have had a house full of visitors this past week. As a perfect ending to the visit, I decided to leave with them...My kids and I that is. That means tons of mini projects to finish up so we can take off and head for the cooler hills.
I am posting this a little late. I was aiming for Wed. as we left for Utah, but figured I had delayed the trip long enough.  I had an order for 100 cake pops come through Tuesday night.  Normal, sane people would say NO!  I said, "Well, if we make them we will have the money to eat at Los Hermanos in Provo (Sheepish grin aimed at my caker friend Wendi :0)  That pretty much sealed the deal.  No trip to Provo is complete without a trip to the BYU Creamery and, if you are in a splurgy mood, dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant from our college days, Los Hermanos

So, with a 12 hour drive ahead of us, bags almost packed, we set about making 100 cake pops...Oreo Cake Pops to be exact.  I lucked out that one more recent purchase from the cake supply store included red, white, and blue sprinkles.  We used them on one set of pops and drizzled blue and red on the other.  The pops were bagged two to a bag and ready to go in...don't want to say... a while.

There you have it!  A very rushed photo of all 50 bags of pops.  Now, hit the road!

No!  Wait!!!  I have one more thing to finish!!!

I nearly forgot about this cakepop stand order I started for one customer. Whew!  Lucky for Scott I remembered or he would have been forced to become the painter in the family while I basked in the sun :0)  The stands were painted blue bird blue underneath, then dark chocolate brown on top. The customer asked for them to be very there you go :0)
I really like them. This photo makes it look a little less marvelous than they are, but I was happy to finish none-the-less.

It ended up 112 degrees by the time we finished packing the cars.  Wendi and I both ended up sunburned from the experience unfortunately her more than I.  None of that matters now because we actually made it on our way.  
You should know that I am a vacation over-packer.  I am not talking about my suitcase, but about the tourism itinerary I choose to follow.  That is how I travel.  Ask Scott if he is a huge fan of my waking with the sun and going until it has long since gone to bed.  He really should have warned Wendi and her six kids about that particular flaw of mine :0)  Before the babbling continues due to mortal exhaustion, I will go, but be prepared to see more exciting travel the whole family sitting by the side of the road waiting for the princess potty to sound victory, coming up very soon!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Spy Instructions You Can Read

I had someone logged in as "Anonymous" ask for clearer intructions for my I Spy Bag Tutorial last night.  Here they are.  For a full tutorial with photos, please refer to the pictures in the original post.  This is just to help if there were words you couldn't read due to my choice in fonts :0)
Sorry about that!

I Spy With My Little Eye Bag

I made my bags 7 3/4"unfinished, or 7 1/4" finished. I really like this size and it ends up just the right size for making 3 out of a quarter yard piece of fabric. I layered 3 different fabrics one top of each other. Each piece was 1/4 yard tall. 3 one quarter yard pieces will give you 12 bags. To start out, straighten the bottom, then cut a 2" strip that runs the length of the fabric. Move that piece out of the way, then cut two 7 3/4" squares, two 2" strips, and there will be a strip left over. Next, I took one of the 7 3/4" squares, folded it in half, then cut two more 2" strips from it. You will not need the rest of the scraps.

Now cut your vinyl. I ended up with a clear window that measured 4 1/4". In order to get that measurement in the end, you will need to cut your plastic 4 3/4" wide. For 3 bags, your plastic needs to be 15" long. That makes your total measurement for the plastic 4 3/4x15". If you are making just one, you need a square of plastic 4 3/4 x 4 3/4". Take that long 2" fabric strip and cut it at 15" as well. You will need two fabric strips 2x15". I read several craft forums on making these bags. Some people had a hard time sewing the plastic on their machine due to the fact it tends to stick. I laid my plastic, then fabric on the machine, on top of a piece of tissue paper. In the past I have used regular printer paper as well. Lay your fabric on top, sew as you normally would, then simply tear the paper off afterwards.*note* I was able to reduce the pressure foot  tension on this machine to the point that the tissue was not necessary, but it works great to slide it under the plastic if it starts to stick!!!

When doing more than one set, I don't even lift the needle. Simply lift your pressure foot, slide the next strip in there, and keep on sewing. This is faster and makes for way less threads to cut later. When you get the first strip sewn on, lay the next long strip on top of the plastic and sew in place. When you have the fabric sewn on, you can rip off the tissue paper from behind the plastic. Finger press the fabric flat, then carefully iron it down without touching the plastic :0)Take your time! Next, sew a top stitch over your fabric strips, about 1/8" inch away from the plastic. Trim off the end so you can start with a straight edge for measuring. Measure over 4 3/4" and cut. Repeat 3 times so you end up with 3 rectangles, one for each bag. 

Head back to your machine and stitch on a 2 x 7 3/4" strip like this... I should mention, as I was reading those forums on making these bags, several ladies recommended not sewing with too close of a stitch length. I would think a tight, short length would make it less likely the beads would come out. Not so. It actually perforates the plastic, causing a big hole. Instead, top stitch a little ways from your first stitch to reinforce without creating a hole. Now turn the project around and stitch the other strip on the other side! Are we having fun yet???  Once again, finger press the seams open. It helps when you go to iron them flat.  Here I am ironing very close to the plastic without actually touching it! It is possible!

I wanted to include pictures with my label of items in the bag. It helps little kids that cannot read yet to know what they are looking for. I thought it would be difficult, but it really wasn't hard to find pictures. Since I am not selling these, I went to Google, typed in something like... "pictures of a clothespin" and hit enter.  Magically hundreds of pictures popped up. I looked ‘til I found one I liked, right click, save to file, and tried the next object. I was able to find every picture I needed and it only took about 30 min. You are welcome to use mine if you would rather :0)

The whole process of making the labels was boring and fun at the same time. I use the bubble jet recipe found at the link below. You soak your fabric for 15 min., let it dry, iron it to heat-n-bond, then run it through your printer. It really works! I washed a test piece from a previous project. The colored ink faded quite a bit, but the black was just as strong as it started. I figured it would work fine for these due to the fact I don't plan to wash them. If I do, the words should fair just fine, we just might lose a few pictures. For the $$$$ savings, I am OK with that! Next step, peel the paper off the back of the label, iron the label to the fabric, and stitch it down (I used my machine and a zig-zag stitch because I am lazy).

Once your label is sewn onto the back, place your front and your back pieces together, right sides together, and sew around them. I like to start just in from the corner, sew to the corner, around the other three sides, and an inch or two after the last corner. You need to leave an opening for turning and filling, but by sewing an inch or two on each side, you make the closing lots easier and cleaner. Clip your corners, open the bag at the section not stitched, and turn inside out. I like to use a dowel or bbq skewer to push the corners out. It gives it that fresh, professional finish when your corners look nice and have shape.

***Note-found out the hard way you need to clip all threads at this stage or you will see them floating around in there the rest of your life!!!***

Now for the fun part! The Toys!!! Place a piece of paper down for each bag. It makes pouring into the bags way easier! Go down your list gathering each item one at a time-that way you won't forget any :0) Put one on each piece of paper.  When you have them all divided out, bend one end of the paper and pour the toys into the bags. I like to use my canning funnel for the pouring. It's mouth is wide enough for the toys, while the top is wide enough to catch all the beads. My bags held 2 cups of poly pellets. The bag of poly pellets cost me $7 at Joanns and had 7 cups of beads in it-definitely the most expensive part of the project.

Remember not to fill the bags too full. There needs to be space to push things around. Once everything is in there, it is time to sew it up! I used my machine, again with the lazy thing, but you can whip stitch it shut if you want to. Just watch out for loose beads when you are running the bag through your machine. I don't think beads and needles are very good friends :0)

The finished product!!!You can finish three of these bags in 2 hours or less, depending on how many children are interrupting you... and for somewhere around $5-7 a bag depending on what you put inside and if you are buying everything from the store. If you are attacking your toy box and your fabric stash, you can get away with it for much less! 

Thanks so much for asking!!!
With any other questions you can contact me at

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Reddi" for Summer Re-Cap

Well, I had a great time being a co-host for the "Reddi" for Fun Summer Cooking Class.
It was a crazy experience as it was my first text-based online show.  There were two fabulous hosts bringing up ideas and questions and 10 energetic co-hosts chatting about things all at once.  Though it was a wild ride, it was totally fun and incredibly informative.

They brought up many good points about how to involve your kids in the cooking process, how to make the experience educational, and how to keep things cool in the summertime.  

I came away with tons of new ideas and even a few yummy recipes.  
You can check out the re-cap at

Here are some of the recipes...


And for dessert... 

Thanks to and ConAgra Foods for letting me be a part of the "Reddi" for Summer Event!  Stop by to get some great ideas of your own to start cooking in the kitchen with your kids today! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Playing with Elements 9

I had only a minute, but finally got to edit some of the photos I took of my new niece Sophie.
I think my all time favorite effect is to turn a photo black and white, then take the black and white back to about 65%.  You get this really sweet bit of color.  Not total black and white, and yet not too much color to make the photo distracting.

However, there is a lot to be said for straight black and white!
This photo wasn't the greatest, but after the B&W action and a little sharpening of the eye...WOW!
I am happy with it.

I have Photoshop Elements 9.  My sweet hubby bought it for me with his left-over tax return money after he build himself a new computer.  I was totally overwhelmed when I tried to use it the first dozen times, but after a few online tutorials, and the classes I took from Texas Chicks, it is really starting to make sense to me.  

Here is that black and white before...
Lots of baby acne, not quite the right angle, and a little too bright of glare from the window...

I used the spot healing tool to erase the acne, a Gaussian blur to soften the skin, and the Eye Dr. action from MCP to bring out the eyes (Best Action Investment EVER!)

Here is another Black and White turned soft color... 
Don't you just love those cute little lips!

How amazing is that picture!  I wish I was that cute :0{

I tried a couple looks.  The action used on this photo was FREE from Pioneer Woman.  It is my second favorite action next to the Eye Dr.  It is called Soft Faded and it is absolutely LOVELY!  I also used it on all these pics after I boosted the colors... 

One day I will get all three kids looking where they are supposed to.  I love this picture.  
It is representative of my life!  All three children headed in a totally different direction, not one listening to what exasperated mommy has to say :0) 
 Gotta love 'em! 

This picture, I don't remember exactly what I did...
but I did things in the wrong order and didn't know how to fix that shadow that appeared around the kids.  I like it anyway, I just couldn't find the layer it happened on so that I could fix it.  I think this was an experiment with many, many layers.  I think the overall effect was I did the boosted colors, did a couple actions like bullets from a pistol, then put a vintage layer on, but un-painted it from the kids.  Anyway, there is no right or wrong with photo editing, right?  It is all about personal taste and style, right?

This is a picture of Granny and Grandpa.
It is so fun to snap-snap away and see people's real light start shining in their eyes.  
The first response to a camera is that blank stare and forced grin, but after a little teasing, people forget that you are snapping pictures and that is when the real fun begins :0)

This picture is way at the top of my favorites too.  The texture and colors are more than I could have imagined myself capable of.  I think I had the exposure compensation set a little too high, but I can live with it.  I am FAR from professional, don't think I can even call my photography skills amateur yet, but it is sure fun to give things a try.

Still my favorite.
I used that Gaussian Blur to add softness to the skin.  
These children are not as heavenly as they appear in this picture.
Do not be fooled!

Novelty Print Quilt Pattern

I have had a hard time finding good quilt patterns for novelty prints the past couple times I purchased them.  I made up this pattern so tha...