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Friday, April 27, 2012

1st Birthday Photos

Cute little Isabelle turned 1, and MAN is she CUTE!!!
I took these photos of her one sunny afternoon.
They turned out so darling I just had to post them.

This cutie pie just sits around taking it all in, rarely smiling.

I loved capturing her cute little looks and faces in their natural form.  She is just such a calm and observant child...just like mine {NOT!} {Yep, I am that old that I just said "not" after a not-true statement}  


This picture is actually one of my favorites.  Isa is just sitting there like, "Let me know when you are done."   Just for information sake, I don't have full photoshop.  I bought Photoshop Elements 9 last year with my tax return, and after a well paid-for class from Erin at TexasChicks, I learned how to use it.  This photo was colored with the "Soft Faded" action available for free from ThePioneerWoman.   It is by far my most loved action, and the best part is it didn't cost a cent!


I actually took these pictures a while back, making use of my basket of balloons twice in one day.  I used them for an infant shoot after this toddler shoot.  Talk about getting the most out of my money.  I have been dying to try a balloon picture, but needed to stock up on the shoots to make spending $20 on balloons worth it :0)

This was my shabby chic set up.  I made the burlap banner and hung it from the trees.  Speaking of trees, it is really hard to find trees in this part of Arizona.  We don't have hardly any, especially trees with lush leaves and such.  This little spot was a super special find for me!  One of the only green areas in miles.




I am super loving the chance to practice my photography skills on such adorable subjects!  Thanks Isabelle for being so darling AND easy to work with!!!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Blue and Gold Inspiration

I am finally getting around to posting these pictures sent from one of my followers, Jill, from Minnesota.  Jill and I chatted back and forth almost daily for a while there while she was ordering her firepits and getting ready for this Blue and Gold banquet.  She is such a fun and spunky lady, I am thrilled to share her event pictures on my blog today.  I know it can be totally overwhelming when you are asked to put one of these together, so hopefully you will get some inspiration from the work Jill did getting ready for her's.

I love the pennant banner along the wall as well as across the ceiling.  It sure makes things feel more like a party :0) 

Here is a shot of the firepit centerpiece.  I sure made a ton of those this winter!
This was one picture I had while working one day.  Now just multiply that by three or four!  Whew!  Glad Blue and Gold season is dying down, but the Wooden Fire Pit Pattern is still available on my Etsy site just in case anyone is still interested.

Check out how awesome this display of photo cubes is!!!
I bet the boys were excited to receive those.

Jill also blew up the images from the cubes and made wall decor out of them.  So smart!  What a great way to tie everything together.


I SO love this banner!!! 
I may have to make one for our pack too.


Jill said she also added a table for the boys to display projects they had made in the last year.  She made re-usable name tags for the boys so she can use the same tag per boy every year.

Nice!  Included the Pledge and Cub Scout Motto.

Used brown craft paper for the placemats.  I really like the look of the tables with placemats on them.  Obviously the placemats don't have to be difficult or expensive to be awesome ;0)

I threw this picture in for one reason....check out the size of those coats!!!
I haven't touched a coat since we moved from Minnesota to Arizona.  I almost forgot they existed  LOL
Those suckers are HUGE!   

Jill, you make a lovely model :0) 

Check out their scrumptious spread!  They had a baked potato bar, complete with all the yummy toppings.


I LOVE cub labor!  Look at those handsome boys at work.  Those kabobs look yummy.  What a great way to include marshmallows {campfire theme} and something a little healthy.  I bet that whole thing would be good eaten s'more style! 

Handsome cub scouts totally enjoying a fabulous award banquet!  That is what Blue and Gold is all about.
Worth every speck of labor, wasn't it Jill.

Now, for a special note about Jill and her devotion to the cause.  Moments before the start of Blue and Gold, Jill got a phone call from the church youth group leader saying that her son was injured at the snowmobiling activity that night.  Her husband raced away to help him at the hospital, and Jill was left to run the dinner and festivities.  I can only imagine that took every bit of strength Jill had to keep it together for the cute little cubs.  Bravo Jill, for being that fabulous Scout Leader and pulling through the night so the cubs could have a great time!  So glad to hear your son is doing well and I sure hope someone nominates you for Cub Scout Leader of the Year!!!

Thanks for your pictures Jill.  I am sure they will be enjoyed by many a leader looking for scouting inspiration!  


Baby Sweets

Just changed my wedding sign for a baby shower.  
Don't you just think babies are sweet!
Want this printable, let me know
vanessa.cam5@gmail.com

More PWD Pit Pass Printables

 
Here are a couple more pit passes from this year just in case you need them.  The first is with the license plate, year included.

This one is if you are finding me after 2012 :0)  I left the license plate blank of dates so you can fill in whatever you want.  

No pictures or time to get them???  How about this one...
Files for download available HERE with Dropbox!

Also check out my Black version made in 2012 HERE!


Bravo to all of you serving in Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts!!!  Through programs like those we are shaping better people with our involvement, and in turn, shaping a better America!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Technique Tuesday: Ribbon Frosting

Ok, couple days past Tuesday, but I have NEVER been known for consistency :0)
I am hoping for forgiveness with this two-day overdue post.  Late is better than never, right?

A week or two ago I got a request for a tutorial on how to do the fabulous ribbon frosting like on this cake.  I finally got a moment to myself, so thought I would bust out that tut for you all now.  

The tip I use is Wilton's 127.  It is larger than the normal petal tip, but a petal tip it is.  You would normally use this tip for making roses, if that helps you process tips in your mind.   

It looks like a tear drop, but the 127 is huge.  If you are using your reusable bags, it won't fit in a normal sized one.  Lucky for me, the cute little cake supply store that just moved in by us carries these extra large disposable pastry bags!!!  Super excited.  They are only $.25!  Score!!!
 
I like to fold the bag around my hand for filling.  Grab the bag around the tip area.  Fold the bag down over your hand/tip part, then start filling.  I slide my hand up the frosting-full areas, pull the empty part of the bag up, then fill more until it is as full as I want for the project.

Here is my moment of truth.  I will tell you all this, but it doesn't leave this post, GOT IT!?!
I was making my famous white chocolate whipped frosting for a wedding cake a few weeks ago.  I added vanilla pudding to it as usual {not realizing that I usually used cheesecake pudding-which turns out is not as yellow :0P}.  The whole batch was bright yellow.  I couldn't have a yellow wedding cake for my bride!!!
With not much time, I ran to the local Kroger grocery store and begged the bakery for some of their frosting. I actually had three cakes that weekend, and just bought a whole bucket...for $45.00.  Here is the really terrible part... The Frosting Was DELICIOUS!!!!  It isn't normal buttercream, but whipped frosting.  It was SO good, I couldn't use anything else.  Couple weekends after that I had another three cakes, went to another Kroger store, and that bakery guy told me I could have been buying this stuff from the local cake supply store for half the price I was paying!!!
My cake supply in Phoenix carries the stuff in their freezer.  It is a frozen liquid.  You take it home, throw it in your mixer and there you have it!  Fabulous whipped icing at half the price.

When I called the ABC Cake Supply in Phoenix, they said the brand they carry is called Whippen Top or Whippen Ice.  The Whippen Top is like whipped cream, not sweat at all, the Whippen Ice is sweet like buttercream, but lighter.  That is next on my adventure list, get my hands on some of this stuff.  I actually live quite a ways from the cake store so I don't get there very often.  It is definitely on my to-do list though. 

For this sample cake I just ran to the store and bought two pounds of their whipped frosting at $2.99/lb.  I thought that was a bit expensive, but with my own recipe, you use white choc chips, butter, heavy cream....they are really the same price and this one comes already made!

OK, moving right along.  So, it is best if you have a cake turntable.  Not so much for the ribbon sides, but especially if you want the ribbon top.

Blop some frosting on the cake and smooth it out.  Normally when frosting, I try to never touch the cake itself with my knife.  I just smoosh the frosting down from the top until the cake is covered.  That keeps you from getting crumbs in the outside where they make the cake look dirty.

Today, we are just applying a crumb coat so crumbs in the frosting are no big deal.  The crumb coat encases any fly-away crumbs so we don't have them in our ribbons, plus give a white background in case the ribbons are not close enough and some of the cake show through.  

Now take that rose tip and hold it perpendicular to the cake...yep, straight up and down.
squeeze the icing out making a little piece about 1" wide, then fold back over, back and forth, until you have a  string of ribboned frosting.

I am terrible at taking pictures while doing things.  I don't normally touch the cake with the tip, just get it really close and the frosting kinda falls against the side.

Look at that!  Isn't it so cute!?!

The secret to getting this cake to look really good is to get these ribbons straight up and down, and keeping them all the same width.  Don't worry too much if they are not looking great.  It is hard to see when you have tons of them, just make the next one a little straighter, or scrape it off and try again.  They are super easy to scrape off, making mistakes easy to repair.

Put one next to another all the way around the cake.

This shows how much frosting you use.  TONS!  As for where to stop at the top, I just end the ribbon when it is even with the top of the cake.

Side view. You can see that not all of the layers are touching the sides.  It will be okcareful with real buttercream.      

When you get to the last row, just plug 'er in there and chalk it up at the back of the cake.

Fabulous!  Now to top it off.  I have done them flat on top, just plopping more frosting on top and smoothing it out, but I kind of like the top ruffles.

Same tip, go around the top of the cake with a zig-zag like motion, moving the tip up and down to create a ruffle.  

Once you have the first layer done, move in so the top of your tip is just past the bottom of the last row {overlapping so you don't have blank spots}, and do another row. 

This is where the turn table comes in handy.  You can just keep going like one continuous ruffle when you use the turntable.  

I threw a little flower in the center, and...TaDAh!

Love it.  It looks so totally cute over there on my table.  It isn't very often we get a cake for ourselves around here :0)  Can't wait to see the kids faces when they see this one just for them!!!
Let me know if you have any questions!!!
vanessa.cam5@gmail.com