Oct 29, 2013

Spooky Cakes, kinda

I'm all mixed up on my Holidays.  I've been helping Miss M on her Christmas ornament project, (if you missed that post you can see it here).  I've been planning Thanksgiving and trying to decide if we should skip the turkey and just do a big 'ol Mexican meal because I really love Mexican food way more than I love turkey and stuffing. And, I still have unfinished Halloween projects sitting in my living room. I'm thinking those projects just might not get done by Thursday.  But good news, I did manage to get some Halloween cakes done!

We decided to make some Halloween cakes and cupcakes on Sunday.  The twins and I made several colors of marshmallow fondant on Sunday and then Miss M made the white fondant yesterday.  And, after the fondant was set we went to work on the creative process.  That's my favorite part.

I'm sad to say the cupcakes got eaten before the camera came out but the cakes are still around.  They were pretty simple to make, I didn't think to take step-by-step photos but here's a brief explanation of what to do in case if you want to make your own.

Franky Cake

supplies needed:
1 Cake, baked in a bread loaf pan (we made chocolate - yummm!)
buttercream frosting
Green, black, white and orange Marshmallow fondant (see recipe link below)
rolling pin and a clean surface

Step 1:  generously frost your cake with the buttercream frosting and let it sit for a bit so the frosting firms up a bit - you don't have to do this, I just like to because I don't like my fondant sliding around.

Step 2:  Roll out a large section of green fondant and lay it over the cake, trim off the excess and save trimmed pieces

Step 3:  Roll out the black fondant and cut a jagged edge into one side for the hair.  Then lay the black fondant over green fondant making sure that the cut hair lays over what would be the forehead of  Mr. Franky.  Trim off any excess fondant and save

Step 4:  Make some "bolts" by wrapping fondant around toothpicks and place them into the sides of the head like shown.

Step 5:  Add a green nose and some little green warts.  Then add on the black mouth, stitches and eyes.

And, that's all, Mr. Franky Cake is done!

My Mummy Cake

supplies needed:
1 Cake, baked in a bread loaf pan 
buttercream frosting
Green, black, and white Marshmallow fondant  (see recipe link below)
Rolling pin and a clean surface
Pizza cutter

Step 1:  generously frost your cake with the buttercream frosting and let it sit for a bit so the frosting firms up a bit - you don't have to do this, I just like to because I don't like my fondant sliding around.

Step 2:  Roll out a large section of white fondant and using your pizza cutter, cut long strips of fondant and lay them over your cake.  Put some of them on angles and layer them so it looks like a mummy wrap. 

Step 3:  Flatten out two medium circles out of green fondant and place on your cake.  Then flatten two smaller pieces of black for the pupils and place those on top of the green circles

Step 4:  Continue to add more white fondant strips as needed and then trim off any excess pieces.

Ta-da!  Done!

Ok, so some quick tips:
-  Marshmallow fondant is fun to work with it, it's just a little bit of water, marshmallows and powder sugar.  You can get a great, detail, tutorial on how to make it here:  Marshmallow Fondant  I don't use the corn syrup or the lemon extract, but you could

-  When you are ready to knead the fondant, cover your hands in a light coat of Crisco.  It will still stick to your hands but not as much. 

- Keep powder sugar close by so that you can continue to add more as needed

- You can divide up your fondant batches, I made three different colors out of one batch

- To get fondant to stick to fondant, use a teeny-tiny bit of water between the layers.  The water, once it hits the sugar and marshmallow, acts like glue - it's pretty awesome!

Oct 20, 2013

Helping Miss M - The Ornament Project

I know it's not even Halloween yet, I know this because I still have Halloween projects occupying my to-do list.  But, I also know that most people like to plan ahead and be prepared for the holidays so please forgive me as I skip over Halloween for just a moment and focus on Christmas ornaments.

Most of you know my Miss M, I talk about her every once in a while on here.  This is her. 

She's a teenager.  To be honest though, she's not what I thought having a teenager would be like.  I've been prepared for rebellion and angst but it hasn't happened with her.  There was a short time when she was between 12 & 13 that she was really, really good at the eye-roll.  In fact, her eye rolls were so well executed that we gave them a name and called them EDLs which was short for evil death looks but for the most part, that is where the struggles have ended.  I've been lucky.  She thinks differently from most teenagers and I love her good heart.

Case in point, Miss M has been wanting to go on a humanitarian service trip for quite awhile.  She wants to go spend three weeks of her summer helping build rooms in an special needs orphanage in Ecuador.  I love that she wants to do this.  I love that she even thinks about doing this because when I was her age my thoughts were far more inward and all I wanted to do each summer was go shopping or go to the dam to work on my tan and hang out with friends.  Luckily, she's does not think like I did as a teenager and I admire her for that.  

This past summer she took on a nanny job and saved almost all the money she earned so she could apply it to her trip.  Her job ended when school started back up and while she still babysits, her babysitting jobs are few and far in between and sadly, even though she has saved some money, she hasn't saved enough to pay for all of her trip. Because of this, I want to help her out.

She and I have been brain storming ways for her to reach her goal and she has decided she'd like to make Christmas ornaments and I've agreed to let her use my Etsy shop for the cause.  So, if you are looking for a unique gift, or a special ornament please consider ordering one from her.  That way, you get what you want and she gets a little bit closer to reaching her goal.  Sounds good?  Yep!  I think so too.

All the profits from every Christmas ornament sold between now and Christmas goes to her.  Plus, they are all customize-able.  You can add a name, date, or saying to most of them. Most ornaments are $8.50 but we are happy to give a discount if you order 5 or more.  Email me for more info on large orders (thenshemade (at) gmail.com)

She will also be offering a few Temple ornaments too.  For now the only one offered is the Salt Lake Temple but others are coming.

So, what do you think?  Can you help Miss M out with her Ornament project?  If so, you can start your shopping here:  Then She Made Etsy - Christmas Ornaments

And, if you don't want an ornament but would just like to donate to her cause you can use the donate button below which is managed by PayPal.


Oct 14, 2013

$1 Halloween Coaster Banner

It feels so good to be done with my training at work and I'm happy to be on a part time schedule and home a little more again.  It's good to be back to creating too.  I missed it!

Kicking off my creative, I made a super quick and super cheap Halloween decor that I put together in just a matter of minutes.  It's so easy that you can assign it to one of your kiddos and let them take it over or at least help you with it.

The banner all came about because I was trying to kill some time last week and I was wandering the $1 section at Target.  I spied these pretty cool coasters but knew I'd never use them as coasters.  We don't entertain much nor do I ever use coasters.  So, I was trying to think of how else I could use them.  And, well, this is what I came up with.

So, do you want to make one too?  Here's how....

Go, buy a set of coasters.

They had three different sets and styles but I liked this one best.  I'm not big on scary Halloween, and to be honest the heart kind of grosses me out but my twin daughters love this kind of stuff and I knew they'd be happy with my choice.

The set comes with 8 coasters, two of each design and really, for a $1 that is pretty good. 

You will also need some twine, ribbon, a pair of scissors and a hole punch that is strong enough to punch through chipboard

Step 1:  Punch two holes in a coaster.  One hole on each side of the top like shown.

Step 2:  Repeat the process on the remaining coasters

Step 3:  Next, thread the twine through all the holes so that your coasters are all connected.  Leave a small space between each coaster so that you can add in some ribbon.

Here it is with all the coasters threaded on the twine.

Step 4:  Then take your ribbon and tie a little bow on the twine between each coaster

Step 5:  Hang up your banner and adjust the spacing of the bows and coasters as needed.

Step 6:  Add some other Halloween decorations to help accessorize and then step back and enjoy your work!

See, I told you it was easy.


P.S. My apologies if my photos look wonky.  We just replaced our monitor and I'm still working on the color adjustments for photo edit.... hopefully they look ok on your end!  :)

Oct 9, 2013

"Oh. My. Gosh"

My family sometimes makes fun of me because I get a little excited when I make fun things.  Yes, I admit, I've been known to do a happy dance and clap my hands happily over the outcome of a project - haven't we all?

Well, my lovely Miss M came home from school today and had - HAD - to show me this video.  I guess it reminder her of me, somehow.  And, really, it is funny.

And, just so you know, being slightly tired and slap happy will help you enjoy it even more.  I know it did for us, we giggled quite a lot.

"Oh My Gosh! - LOOK AT THOSE WIGGLES - Oh My Gosh!"

Have a great day, y'all!

p.s. - I think I will try and find me a sponge to make some wiggles of my own.  It looks fun.

p.s.s - if you are getting this blog post in your inbox, the video probably didn't show up so you can go HERE to watch it if you'd like.  Enjoy!

Oct 8, 2013

Pumpkin Muffins and Paper Baskets

Just checking in.

I'm alive.

I'm well.

My brain is just currently being pushed through a sieve.

Sounds painful, right?!

It kind of is. BUT it's good too.  I'm in my last week of a three week long on-boarding/training for a pretty cool job.  I had to leave this job when my dad passed away but the company was pretty great to work with and they let me join in with the current training class.  I'm very grateful for that and I actually really like what I'm learning. So, even though it's a lot, it's all good!

The down side to it is I haven't been posting much.  That will change. And, remember my last post, the one where I asked your opinion about my next fabric bold craft?  Well, by far the most popular response was

 .......... drum roll please.........

It was a Scarecrow.   So, watch for the tutorial coming soon.  In the meantime though, because it's fall, and pumpkin everything is on my mind, here's my favorite Pumpkin Muffin recipe and I've included the link to the fun little paper basket tutorial, too.  That way you can make the muffins and share them because, well, that's nice.  And being nice is awesome!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

4 Eggs
2 C. Sugar
1 (16 oz) can Pumpkin
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 & 1/4 C Vegetable Oil (I know, it's a lot)
3 C Flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Baking Powder
2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Salt
12 oz. Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (mini is best)

In large mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and oil until smooth. Mix in dry ingredients and fold in chocolate chips. Fill muffin pans and bake at 375 degrees for 15 - 18 minutes.

You can make these regular size or mini, I prefer them mini because I think mini is cute!  Ya, forget that they are yummy or that some people think bigger is better, visually the mini muffins are just cute.

Ok, enough said, go make muffins.

And, when you get them made put them in this cute paper basket and go deliver to someone who needs a nice treat!