Sunday, January 31, 2010

Birthday Crafting

Oh man, it's been TOO long since my last posting and making endeavor! Can you tell that I started my Spring semester of graduate classes?! I can tell because of the constant stress about the next assignment due (and there are one million this semester!) Ok, I know they call it a masters for a reason, but I think they forget we have full time jobs :) Just glad I was forced to craft this weekend...

Lauren is the other speech teacher at my school. To recap our short friendship, we didn't like each other when we first met. When working on a team (which I never did before since I was alone at Denton), it can be challenging. We butted heads when trying to plan out what we were going to teach. Now, we're good ol buds with classrooms next to each other. And we've figured out, we're alot alike. Which is probably why we didn't get along at first :)

She turned the big 25 this weekend and we did a thing for her bday on Sat night. TOO much fun, I haven't laughed that hard since I can't remember! Man, I needed it. It was a fun group to hang out with and I had a great time.

She lives in this gorgeous townhouse so I asked her what her decorations consisted of (before I saw her place). After she told me she liked fleur de lis, I got some ideas. So I went to the local Goodwill (bc a lot of good crafters go there for ideas and projects- and I want to be like them) and found a tacky pink vase thing. So I bought it ($3.99) and painted it black.

This is the slightly before picture. I forgot to take one before I started painting.





Then I drew (like five) a fleu di lis for the first time on the back of some oh so cute leopard print scrapbook paper that I bought because it looked like her. This is a sketch since the other side would be seen more.



Then I cut out the shape and (of course) mod podged it to the vase. Note the presh happy dog in the background. :)



And I used the glossy mod podge so I had to mod podge the whole front of the vase.



And I bought some pretty red ribbon and tied it to the top. I put wrapping tissue inside so that I could put some baked goods in there.



I thought it turned out so cute. It took longer than expected to make, but it was fun. She seemed to like it. It'll be cute to put flowers in. I thought about making one for myself. :)

Ok, and I attempted cake filled circles again. It was a fail and I won't make them again. Well, a fail in terms of looks, but everyone loved them at the party.

This time I made red velvet cake filled circles bc it's Lauren's favorite and it was her birthday.



I'm not a fan of red velvet cake. It reminds me of chocolate cake having an identity crisis. But it sure is pretty.



I even froze them this time.



And I didn't take an after picture. Probably because I was so flustered that they turned out ugly again. And I strongly dislike ugly baked goods. Grrr. But they had to be drizzled with white chocolate, not dipped. The almond bark DID NOT stick. Ugh. Over it. Time of death of that recipe was 2:30pm on Saturday.

And last but not least, I bought this TERRIBLE sign at Goodwill for 99 cents and thought it was the best buy all week!

Told you, LAME.



So I painted it black (of course).



And painted the word "inspired" on it. First, with paint pens that didn't work. (I tend to always have paint challenges) So I fixed the mess up with puff paint. I'll be hanging it up in my classroom.



Looks better in person.

And Henry was happy the making was over because he wanted to play. He pretty much just stares at me when I'm making crafts because he is so bored without my attention. Oh the perk of unconditional love and pet owning :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Painted Wine Bottles

When I went to the House of Blues in Dallas a couple of years ago, I was inspired by their eclectic decorations. They painted liquor and wine bottles as decorations.

I've been saving my wine bottles for the last six months, waiting for a good crafting idea to come to mind. When I was looking at blogs the other day, I saw a wine craft that reminded me to do something with those dang wine bottles (and two root beer bottles I also saved). So I decided to paint them for my kitchen. I'm not a big drinker so I didn't want to give off the wrong impression to my kitchen guests (I am all about impressions). But I decided to give this "Craft" a go, and hoped for the best.

First, I stuck them in the over at 375 for 10 mins to get the labels off. This made me VERY NERVOUS. For those of you that know me well, you know I don't have the greatest luck (I don't believe in luck, but if I did, I have bad luck). I thought that this is an explosion waiting to happen. But I got the tip from a blog so I figured it must be safe. And it ended up not exploding (I did picture myself opening the oven with glass flying out) AND the labels came off SO SO easy!



Btw, can I plug for my ALL TIME fave wine? Costello Del Poggio Wine is, by far, the best wine on earth. Hands down. It's a moscato wine and doesn't taste like the usual nasty wine. I could drink it like grape juice. When I lived in Dallas, I had to drive 30 mins to get it. Now the drive is 5 mins. Not good :)



Remember, these bottles are over a six month period. I am not a lush. :)



Next, I painted all of the bottles black with a sponge brush. It's the fastest and covers the glass well.





Then I painted all the bottles with basic patterns that would look good from far away (bc they are above my cabinets).



Then I put them next to some letters I painted a while ago that had the same colors (blue, red, black).







So the overall area looks like this...




I think it's a nice touch to the Rooster collection my sis started me on for Christmas. I feel like the bottles give it a nice, unique touch. And they were so easy to make!

Cake Filled Circles and a Name Gift

My bff, Becca, is in town to run the Houston Half Marathon this weekend so I gave her a bday gift a little early so I didn't have to mail it to Birmingham where she lives. I asked her if she has a lot of last name stuff everywhere and she said no. Since her new (she was married in May) last name is short, I decided to Mod Podge some letters for a gift.

I started with some basic, hard paper letters from Hobby Lobby and painted them Black for the base.



Then I mod podged with scrapbook paper in different shapes and designs for each letter.



And to not be redundant with pictures, here's the final four drying...



I put them in a cute and basic gift bag. It looked boring so I wrote one of my fave bible verses on a card and taped it to the bag...






I think she liked them, or she's a good actress. And since she's into pictures like me, she insisted we take a cute pic with them. (We've taken a many homecoming pictures in her parent's backyard, just like the back ground in this one. :)
(Bec on left, Me on right...for those of yall who don't know me, yet.)



Ok, so I can't help but to bake for birthdays. She said they already had a cake so I had to make something else. I found this GREAT baking blog (bakerella.com) and she has the C U T E S T ideas for cake balls/pops. I'm NOT a fan of calling them cake balls, so I'm calling them Cake Filled Circles. It just sounds...um....nicer. Anyway, the blog owner has an awesomely easy recipe on there and I somehow managed to not read it correctly. So therefore, mine turned out.... distressed looking. I know what I did wrong, and they WILL turn out prettier next time. (I am SO disappointed when my baking adventures don't turn out right, ugh!

**CAKE FILLED CIRCLES**

Ingredients
((I got "Reduced" sugar cake mix and icing. So there really healthy. (ha! yah right))



First, bake the cake like the box says and then stick the cake in a mixing bowl. You'll then mix the icing with the cake. This part is super messy. I cleaned my hands thoroughly and then got in there to do the dirty work of mushing it all together.



Ok, this is where you're supposed to ball the cake/icing up and stick them in the freezer for 10 mins to let them harden. I did not do this step bc, like I said, I can't read and mine turned out looking like a hot mess



Melt the chocolate (or almond bark) and start dipping the "cake filled circles". Yours should be hardened and look MUCH better than mine...



I put some sprinkels on there and then stuck them in the freezer for 10 mins to let the chocolate harden. Remember, I did not do this step in the correct order so it's up to you.



Here is the finished product of my "distressed looking" Cake Filled Circles. (They ended up tasting amazing, btw, just not looking pretty like I was hoping.)



In the words of the Terminator, "I will be back" (and in my words )" to make better looking Cake Filled Circles"!!!

:)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Humbled...

Btw, after becoming addicted to looking at PRESH blogs I stumble across, I am A M A Z E D by the ridic talent that everyday women have. I thought I was creative until I got sucked into the amazing world of craft/cook blogs! I have been humbled beyond belief by some of the creativity and innovative ideas/crafts/recipes that I have been sponging up this week. Some of these women's blogs I have as buttons on the side of my blog, and some I'm following so if you want me to give them to you let me know. However, I know one thing, I have been inspired to do ONE MILLION projects in my near future. I'm hooked...

(P.S. I'm already feeling VERY antsy to move somewhere bigger next year so I can have a presh little craft room...stay tuned...)

Keys Please...

I've been meaning to put this project on here for a while because it's DEFINITELY one of my favorites. So that's why I've posted TWICE today!

I bought this Keys holder at...not Hobby Lobby... not Michaels... but WAL MART??? It's a surprising find, but it's true. It was just a basic wood keys holder...borrringggg. Wish I had before pictures, but it was PB (Pre-blog) so no can do. So anyway, after much (and by much I mean a little) thought, I decided to cut out little pieces of scrap book paper into circles. Then I outlined in rise paint and decorated a little. I love this touch in my entry way, because it's unique and a nice personal touch!

(Forgive the pictures, they were PB and I didn't know they would be displayed)

Here's the paint up close. A little outline and dots (I LOVE dots!)



Classyroom Crafts

I have always dreamed about my own classroom as long as I have wanted to be a teacher (since I was a little girl in 4th grade). So when I finally became a teacher, I was VERY excited to decorate. I have a MILLION ideas in my head, just not enough money (guess I'll wait till I get married some day ;). But I have done a couple of little things that I think have added some charm to the mundane-ness (no, it's not a word) of high school.

Stool Make-over (and not the bathroom kind, gross :)
I've had this dang stool since I was can remember. Somehow through the years it's popped up where ever I move. So naturally, when I became a teacher, I decided to put it in my room. And then this year I thought, geeze, it sure does look boring. So I semi transformed it with some scrapbook paper, mod podge, and ribbon (with some unsuccesful hot glue). Sorry, I have no before pics.

So I just cut scrap book papers and mod podged them around the legs (which took longer than anticipated).



I decided to leave some of the legs bear (which if I had more time I would've covered) and two I wrapped with ribbon and hot glued on.



NAME LETTERS:
My little speech teacher friend down the hall bought some cute letter from Hobby Lobby. So I copied her and bought some as well. I decided to paint them funky and put them above my calendar board in my room. I think they turned out cute, but let me tell ya, they took two hours!!! But if I have a friendy who wants some for a bday, let me know...





Whole thing... geeze, my name is too long :)



CLIP BOARD:
I decided to girlify (no, not a word) a clip board for my fellow coach, Nicole, for her birthday. With some mod podge (of course), scrap book paper, and... BUTTONS!! I just love buttons as a finishing touch! I also bought some cute scrap book stickers for her name.





And then on the part that no one sees because papers are on top, I just wrote her name in paint pen.



If I had more time, I could've made it better as well. And after reading this quote today...

"If better is ever possible, good is not good enough." -Anonymous

...I feel like I'm letting myself down in the making world when I cut these projects an inch too short (whoa, ambition sure can be a double edged sword...:)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Taco Ring and a Bachelor

(WARNING: This post is long bc I put ample picture directions...)

Me and one of my friendys, Nicole, decided to make plans tonight. I'm not much of a weekday hang out kind of person bc I like to go to bed early with this early school start time down here. But I DEFINITELY needed some girly time and I like hanging out with her (well, shoot, we've known each other since we were 12!).It originally started as a Bachelor Show Watch Party, but I shortly decided I couldn't handle the cheesiness of the newest guy. However, after she got here and left the movie we were supposed to watch (Julie & Julia), we decided to turn it on. I'm glad we did, it was fun and it's nice to have company. And we played association with the cheesefest of bad hair and outfits (oh, and you can't forget the cheesy music and terrible pick up lines- LOVE it! :)It will definitely be our guilty pleasure for the next month! Plus, Henry likes the love from someone besides me and he's a good host (I'm biased).

Another one of my besties, Kimi, made a taco ring for my twin and I about 3 years ago. It was AMAZING!!! And to top it off, it's a "pretty" dinner. So I decided to show Nicole how to make it! I have been a vegetarian for a little over a year (read the book "Skinny Bitch", you'll understand) and this is DEF one recipe I miss eating! Since she made it for us, I like to give it out because it's SO easy to make and super quick. However, before I had my blog, I would just draw pictures and it never quite turned out how it was supposed to for my friends and family who tried it (great, I'm a teacher who can't "teach" recipes). So here are some pictures to help with my teaching and for the visual learners (aren't we all:)...

Ingredients:
2 cans of croissants
1 bag of sprinkle cheese
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 chopped up onion (optional)
1 lb of ground meat (or turkey meat)




Directions:
*Preheat oven according to the croissant directions (usually 350 degrees)

*Start browning the ground meat. Nicole had to do this one for me. (I'm a vegetarian remember...) :) Make sure you follow the directions and put the taco packet in when the meat is brown.



*Next, or while you're browning the meat, start overlapping the croissants to make a pretty little ring. Fat parts of the croissant are the inner part of the circle and skinny parts on top!



*After the meat is done and seasoned, start putting the meat on the ring covering the fat part of the croissants.



*Then for the healthiest part of all (ha, yah right!) add as much cheese as you would like. Since I'm the one on the diet and I made it, I lived vicariously through her and dumped the cheese on there. :) Additionally, if you like chopped onion or chopped tomatoes, this is where you would put it as well.



*Ok, now start folding the ring over to keep all the meat and stuffings inside. (Disclaimer: at first I forgot to put the cheese on and took the picture. Then Nicole reminded me that I needed to put the cheese on, a girl after my own heart. So ignore the part of the pic with no cheese, the real thing DEF had it!)



Here's what it looks like before the oven...



*Stick in the over for about 13-14 mins.



*Here's the finished product! I like(d) to put sour cream and salsa on it. I knew someone who put ranch on it. To each his own! Be creative to your liking.



*And I think it goes well with corn or beans. I made Nicole try these -awful-, pickled asparagus that Lisa left when she was last in town. Gross. But it looks ok on the plate. Well, minus the fact that Nicole decided to pick my old cheap dorm plates FROM COLLEGE for the photo op!!! Please know that I own big girl dishes that don't look so cheap. :)



ENJOY!!!