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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Monkey Cake Topper

Please don't judge this project on the photographs alone.  I finally looked at the pics tonight of this baby shower cake topper I made last weekend.  Can you say Blurry!

So please squint your eyes and read on :0)

My sweet friend Stacie gave birth to her sweet baby boy, fourth baby to the family, a few weeks back.  Little Jacob was born super early.  Stacie's water broke at 27 weeks.  She had to spend the week in the hospital until, due to a prolapsed cord, the baby had to be delivered.

The sweet momma has been traveling over 45 miles each way, every day to see her sweet baby.  Hopefully soon she will get to bring Jacob home, but to help Stacie pass the time, we threw her a baby shower!

Somehow I was able to get away with only making the cake....um....I didn't exactly MAKE the cake.  You see, I have had just so many cake orders lately, I cheated and ran to Costco to buy an All American Chocolate Cake YUMM!  I did, however, make this cheeky monkey cake topper.  I was going for the infant photo pose where they rest the baby's head in their hands and snap a few.  It proved to be a little more tricky to position a fondant monkey into that position than I thought {like what on earth do you do with the legs!!!}

In the end though, it turned out darling!  I love, LovE, LoVE the blanket.  It was super easy to make, just on a cardboard piece, and then I just dropped the cake topper on top of my store-bought cake on my way into the house.  Whew!  I love the easy way :0)


Monday, May 28, 2012

Score!!!

Talk about 
           Scoring Big!!!
I ran to Home Depot to grab a board of 1/2" MDF when I noticed that the cull lumber cart was overflowing!

I bought tons.  Each board was $.51 a piece.  Some of the boards, like the 1x12's would have been like $6 for the board, but I got them for $.51 each!

Yep.  Got my shopper's thrill for today.  I paid $20 and came away with 39 boards.
SCORE!

Even this Killer Bee thought my deal was AMAZING.  He had to come over and see my booty with his own eyes.  Keep your stinger to yourself :0P  This wood is mine...all mine.  Now we have the ammo we need for that 4th of July crafter's weekend my friends!  I have been working on the craft line-up all day.  Hopefully I will find some time to paint this week with all the graduating going on so I can show you my fun designs!!!  See you soon.


Friday, May 25, 2012

A "Reel"y Awesome Dad

My Awesome friend Ashley, from Cute As A Fox emailed the other day and said we needed to have a craft party really quick.  Always up for a craft party, Emmers and I were totally in.  I dug out some fishing pole handles I cut last summer, then never ended up using, and we all decided to make them Father's Day gifts.  One of Ashley's sponsors, Elmers Glue, supplied us with paint pens and we set to work.

Lucky for us, I had painted the handles last year too, so we just set them before the kids and let them have at the pens.  Somebody get me a brush!  Apparently I forgot to do Emmalee's Cinderella's hair 
{yes, Hello Kitty Star has changed her name.  She will correct you a thousand times over, so save your breath and just call her Cinderella from now on...she has "lellow" hair and everything!}

Here is a close up of the handles.  I cut them out with my bandsaw.  First I cut this view, notching into the handle up to the reel and angling the handle sides. 

Next I cut this view, cutting the circle of the reel and the front angle of the handle.   

Isn't Morgan a doll!  She is Ashley's girly.  I so love the piggytails...but I am not sure why she is blowing the paintbrush dry :0)  Ashley, are these your craft skills at work here???

I had to snap a shot of this side of the fish.  Aren't those gills like the most artistic thing you have ever seen! OK, not "reel"y, but I do think they are adorable. I think she was actually making her fish look like Nemo, with stripes, but they worked out well anyway :0)

For the pole we used Trendy Tubes filled with swedish fish.  You can buy them at local scrapbook stores {sometimes} or google Trendy Tubes to find them online.

Don't have a band saw to make a custom handle???  Try just a thick wooden dowel.
You can check out Ashley's post for a more detailed tutorial :0)
Have a great day!!!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sargento's Thin-To-Win Challenge

The folks at Sargento Cheese have come out with a new product, their Ultra Thin line of cheeses.  While getting the word out about their ultra thin cheeses, Sargento decided to sponsor a 45 day campaign to "thin out" our lives.  Lucky me, Sargento and TheMotherhood.com have asked me to be a part of the fun.  We are talking about thinning out all sorts of the things, like household clutter, stress and schedules, all in addition to our sandwiches = our bodies ;0}

Some of my favorite challenges posted on the Facebook Page so far are:
Challenge 9-carve out 30 minutes of your day for "me" time
Challenge 11-Find a workout buddy
Challenge 14-De-clutter one room in your house!!!

That leads me to my personal assignment...
"Thin-Out" my bookshelves!
I was asked to "Donate old books to find new shelf space"...And that, my friends, is just what I did :0)  

Actually, I need to tell you a small-ish story first.  Our family knows a very handsome boy scout that has been working feverishly the past 6 months to earn his Eagle Scout Award.  As his Eagle Project, he chose to help a local woman in her efforts to bring books directly to families.  She does this by bringing books to cafeterias during the summer free lunch program at our local schools.  I will post again with details on this organization, but for now, know that this fine young man has been working like a dog, car washing on weekends and fundraising to provide necessary equipment and books to the organization.


When I found out about the project I gladly donated {I won't tell you how many weeks it took me to finally go through my book shelves}.  One rarely productive afternoon of cleaning gave me the opportunity to scan the shelves and lighten our load a bit.  The books were packed into bags and delivered to the collecting site.

That all happened about one week before I received the "Thin-To-Win" challenge :0)  

You might say that we are book collectors.  We like, no, LOVE books...but we tend not to re-read very many chapter books and have far more children's books than should be legal.  Thanks to the Sargento challenge, and having a worthy cause to donate to, I decided to get rid of a few more books.  Once my fingers started walking, there was not stopping.  I had piles, apparently almost 100 books more, ready to bag and be donated.  

Oooops, missed some!
Sargento is so right!  Thinning out is totally rewarding.  I feel thinner already :0}

 Here is the playroom book shelf  after my second gleaning.  Don't even begin to think this is all the children's books we have.  It is just a nibble compared to the shelves back in the bedrooms. 
And just to give you a clue about what it looked like before {since I was so excited to get started I didn't take a before picture}...
It looked something like this.

And now it is this...
See!  It is magical!!! 

The kids got in on the action.  We bagged the books and loaded them into the car.


 Ding-Dong!
Special Delivery :0D

Here is our handsome boy scout.  His poor mother!  They have had these boxes filing slowly into their front room for months.  I think I would have gone totally crazy by now with all these boxes hanging around.  They believe there to be about 1500 books so far.  

I find that the best way to "thin out" is to find your purpose first.
I was able to part with more books once I discovered the cause my books would benefit.  Whether you are cleaning out your closets or your re-structuring your body, if you can find a "cause" or a purpose to drive you, I believe you will have a far greater success.  

How does this all relate to Sargento's new line of Ultra Thin cheeses???  
Well, using these yummy, portion-regulated slices of heaven are a great way to thin-down your meals without having to cut cheese out completely!
Each slice has only 45 calories or less!
Fabulous. 

Just in case you are curious, I checked out Sargento's website and found all the different cheeses they make, including the Ultra Thins mentioned here today.  Not only that, but you can look up the nutrition facts of each product, recipes you can follow for some yummy looking meals, and a tool to guide you to the closest retailer near you that carries their products.

Be sure to check out their FaceBook page and enter the daily challenges.  Each challenge has some fun prize up for grabs.  Previous prizes have been TVs, tablets, $500 in work out gear, or mp3 players.
Check it out, enter for the prize and start Thinning-Out your life!

***Disclaimer***I received products and compensation from Sargento Foods Inc. and TheMotherhood.com as part of my participation in this campaign.  While I was compensated, all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are totally my own :0)


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Class of 2012 {Scorpion} Cake

Here is a graduation cake I made today.  I am a couple cakes behind, but this handsome graduate begged not to wait.  The mascot for the school is the Scorpion.  Kind of gross I have to say.  Have you seen a real scorpion???  I have.  I would like to forget it!

At least this one tastes good ;0)

The order was for a Chocolate PeanutButter cake.  I made a chocolate cake, then filled it twice with my recipe for buckeye balls + whole milk to thin it out a bit.  

Here is my scorpion.  I think I will call him...Fabio {Madison picked it-Don't look at me :0}  Fabio's body was made from rice crispie treats, the arms, legs, and tail are a foundation of wire, all of them covered in black marshmallow fondant.
Here is the compromising view {bashful smile}

I painted the middle portions with pearl glaze to make the look of different textures.

Do you like the graduation cap???  It is probably cheesy, but I thought it was fitting :0)

I covered the top of the cake with orange fondant, the sides with chocolate frosting smooshed with chopped  peanut butter cups.  

Do you like my border???  No, I am not overly proud of my graduation cake! 
I LOVE the tiny caps and diplomas boarder.  Love.

So this is a special cake for a very special graduate...
Congratulations Again SKYLER!!!
WoHooo!


Angry Bird {Pig} Pops

I promised months ago to post my naked pig pops so you could see how I put them together.  Even after a reminder email last week, I forgot again!  Here I am, begging forgiveness and finally posting my pops

I made Oreo balls, dipped paper straws in melted almond bark, and then into the Oreo balls.  I used a little more melted chocolate to add Cheerios to the top of the head for ears, and this is the crucial part, TWO Cheerios for the nose.  I just dipped one Cheerios in the chocolate, put it on the bear pig {don't they look like bears!} then dipped a second cereal piece, and placed it on top of the first.  I have found that you really want to accentuate those kinds of features on the cake pops so that they show up once you dip the whole beast.

This is Mary.  Don't you just love her!  I do.  Mary is one of my bestest friends in the whole entire world...and not just because she worked in a chocolate shop in her younger years and is easy prey when I need slave labor ;0)
We dipped the pigs in melted chocolate, then held them face up while we tapped them on the bowl to get all the excess chocolate off.  I took the less stressful/lazy route and just placed the pigs down on wax paper to dry.  We popped two crazy eyes...
onto the pigs, all wonky like they are on the game Angry Birds.

We added eyebrows and nostrils with a edible marker.  
***Note-not all edible markers will write on the dipping chocolate.  I used a marker that has to be refrigerated {yep, I keep markers in my fridge}.  
I got mine a little cheaper at the cake supply store, but they are available on Amazon...and they last FOREVER!

So, that is how I made my pile of pigs.  They were a huge hit at the Blue and Gold Banquet.  I am tempted to make them again just because they turned out so cute!!!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Baby Girl

OK, I am supposed to be getting dressed for church right now, but I HAD to show you these pics.
Madison needed some pics for her facebook page so I pulled up these old pics from last winter in the cotton fields.  

Here are three versions of the same picture.  I LOVE this one washed in sunlight, 

But the black and white is gorgeous too.

This one is my FAVORITE!  I took the sunlight one, converted it to black and white, then added a lovely lightly colored texture to the top.  LOVE IT!

My {SWEET} Baby Girl.  She just turned 14 :0)  Poor thing, she has been sick ever since her birthday a week ago!!!  I am trying to tell her that being a teenager is NO FUN, and I think this is good proof :0D