Friday, September 28, 2012

wasting time

i haven't spent much time blogging lately, my silhouette cameo has taken over my free time.  i just -love- this thing!

some recent cards...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

wanna chance to win a cuttlebug?

go here:

and then browse her blog, she makes THE most adorable cards!

Monday, August 13, 2012

what i love best

card making.  and my cameo.  my husband reluctantly bought it for me for mother's day.  and by reluctantly, i mean, he said  "yeah, another piece of crap you'll use twice."  wince.  he knows me too well; jack of all crafts, master of none.  but i'm pretty sure i've proven him wrong, this thing hasn't been off my dining room table since i got it.  i love, love, LOVE it and i use it ALL the time.

here's a card i just made for my mother in law's birthday this week:

so, how much do you like your mother in law? :D

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

the party

so this little soiree i've been planning since june; i feel like an olympic gymnast, i totally stuck it. nailed it. the crowd went wild,  people cheered, i received corporate endorsements and martha stewart is freaking out because i'm about to take over her empire.

ok, i lie, but the party went off without a hitch and the severe weather that was predicted to ruin our entire day didn't show its ugly face until 10 pm; about 10 minutes after the last guest made it safely to their car.

how lucky can a girl be?  my sister in law called about 20 minutes before the party saying it was POURING at her house 5 miles away.  the sun never stopped shining here for a minute!
two of my beautiful nieces behind the pallet we turned into a sign, using some vinyl and my silhouette cameo

i'm not going to lie to you, this party was a lot of work and we did it entirely by ourselves, from the invitations, to the decorations, to the food and desserts. i started early and did almost everything in advance that i could so that saved me an enormous amount of stress (don't worry, there was still plenty to go around the week leading up to the party!) 

i wish i had better photos, but you know, you can't plan a party, host a party and take pictures for your blog! 

the mr. and i spent a few hours on friday cooking 20 pounds of chicken cutlets; half chicken piccata, half chicken marsala.  

we had grilled chile lime honey shrimp in baked wonton cups with mango salsa and some amazing stuffed breads that my mom was so kind to provide for appetizers.  for lunch it was the aforementioned chicken, penne with marinara, grilled, sliced london broil, a field greens salad with cherry tomatoes and a simple olive oil and balsamic dressing, eggplant parmagiana that my mom made and some nice italian bread.  no pictures of anything! waaaaa.

 i do have the buffet table before we put the food out. heh.

we had a nice little beverage area with two different iced teas, pink lemonade, and a to die for peach basil white wine sangria.  that sangria will be my go-to for many summers to come!  i bought a few cases of pint sized mason jars and used cupcake liners under the screw cap to keep the bugs out of drinks (thanks pinterest) hung tags with bakers twine so each person could write their name on their drink and stuck in those darling, yet very expensive striped paper straws.  seriously, who spends $20 on 100 straws?!


 i was freaking out a little bit prior to the party,when i realized that the beverage dispenser i had purchased and one that i had borrowed didn't have stands.  no worries, turn a few old crates on their sides and there's your stand.   

i made labels for one case of the water bottles (anything more than that was just proving i had too much time on my hands!) and i promise the tape, scissors and boxes beneath the table were gone before the guests came!  a 1/4 keg of sam adams, some bottled beer, chilled pinot grigio and pinot noir quenched the thirst of some 50 party goers on this very hot day.

in the corner near the tool shed i tucked a vintage bicycle with its basket filled with kraft paper cones in which guests could mix and take popcorn flavored with seasonings of their choice:  ranch, cheddar cheese, cinnamon sugar, chile lime, truffle oil, truffle salt, lavender buds, butter, salt and some sweets like m&m's and nestle crunch pieces.  

 i also had some candy coated popcorn made with jello mix and sweetened condensed milk.  the popcorn bar was a big hit!

i should add at this point, that we really tried to keep costs down for this party and in doing all of it ourselves we were able to save a lot of money.  i cut corners where i could, like using paper table cloths on the tables and cutting burlap into runners and tying scraps of it onto mason jars filled with lime slices,sunflowers and hydrangea from my yard for a cohesive look.  tissue paper flowers and fabric pennant banners (that i made a little of each night) completed the borrowed ez up tent decorations.

and now, my favorite part.  desserts.  i found this cake on pinterest:

i loved the vintage look of it and tried my best to recreate it. yeah, i sorta didn't stick that landing.


but it tasted delicious, thanks to my mother in law who baked it.  hot milk cake with strawberry filling.  yum.

some sugar cookies with royal icing

and the dessert table, the crowning glory of the party as far as i'm concerned.

on the dessert table were jars of candies, chocolate covered pretzel rods with sprinkles, chocolate covered marshmallows on sticks, gum balls, and pixie sticks.

remember this vintage buffet i was refinishing for my master bath? it's not there yet.  it's been in my garage, unfinished.  i put two quick coats of paint on it for the party and thanks to our banging it around on its way out of the garage, it became perfectly distressed! ha.

in the drawers of a vintage buffet i stuck push pop cupcakes, pound cake with banana pudding filling and whipped cream on the bottom and salted chocolate caramel up top.  to the right of the dessert table was an old fashioned root beer barrel that was my husband's grandmother's from her general store.  i knew this party had to have root beer floats and so we did.

sadly we couldn't get the root beer barrel working in time,so we used ibc root beer kept in the cooler behind it for the floats. stuck some candy root beer barrels in vintage richardson root beer mugs to sweeten the deal.

and i love old window sashes, you know.  so i took this chippy one and some dollar store contact paper, used my cameo to cut 'good luck tori' and put a picture of her getting on the bus for her very first day of kindergarten. i'm teary now.  she's leaving for college in two weeks,where does the time go?!?!

i cut paper pennants for the cake from the cameo which said good luck tori, but it was windy when i snapped the photos, but hey it didn't rain! so i put up with the wind messing with my letters!


and here are my two beautiful daughters enjoying a game of beer water pong.  time flies. sigh.

i'll post recipes soon!


linking up to these great parties:
Nutmeg Place
not JUST a housewife
The Well Crafted Home

Friday, July 27, 2012

DIY baker's twine (food safe)

yeah, i don't like to spend money on things i think i can make myself.  case in point, baker's twine; it's all over every party blog and it's not cheap.  i'm a week away from my youngest daughter's 'going away to college' party and it's decorations crunch time. now, i've been planning this party for a month or two, and i'm pretty proud of myself, just for that...i'm usually 'last minute lizzie' but i gave myself a ton of time for things i ordered online to arrive.

anyhoo, i really wanted some baker's twine to dress up the mason jars and striped paper straws for the beverage and desserts table. i've seen a few diy tutes, and they all use markers. i tried it,and i wasn't thrilled with the results.  the marker doesn't seem to penetrate the twine very well, and you're left with color usually only on one side of the twine. plus, i'm not sure i want something that's not food safe,that close to my food.

enter gel food paste. and vodka.  two of my favorite things! ha.  ok, maybe just one.   so grab yourself some kitchen twine or cotton crochet thread, some cheap vodka (no such thing in my house), a chopstick, a cordless drill, some condiment cups (i have a ton, we make jello shots in them), and a paintbrush.  oh and glass and some mixer of your choice.

you really don't need the cordless drill but it really speeds up the twine wrapping and unwrapping.  ready?

get your drill and open the chuck (i think that's what they call it, you know,the part where you'd normally put the drill bit) stick the thick end of your chopstick in there and tighten it up.

 (kind'a like you're looking down the barrel of a .45mm,eh? this is chuck. say hello chuck)

take the loose end of your string and tie a little knot around the chopstick.

mix vodka in a tall glass with your mixer of choice. you're having fun already,aren't you?

 now gently give the trigger some pressure,while holding the twine somewhat taut and guide the twine down the length of the chopstick.

 now draw the twine back in the other direction if you don't really care about the stripes being uniform,otherwise,cut the twine.  and yeah, take your finger off the drill trigger now :D

 mix a few drops of the gel food paste with some vodka

 dip your paintbrush in and get it saturated. now paint a line down the edge of the twine. 

it's going to bleed out into the twine a bit,don't freak out! this is how the inside and outside of the twine gets color! :)  have another sip of your mixed drink.

turn the chopstick 180 and repeat painting the other edge
 you're still enjoying that vodka,right?  now unwind.  which is to say, put your drill in reverse and pull the end of string as you gently apply pressure to the trigger.

when you get to the end, untie your knot, let your string dry a bit and there you have it!

if you can't find gel paste food colors (available at most cake decorating shops)i'm pretty sure that regonary old liquid food color will suffice.  use your color mixing skills and make a few yards in every color of the rainbow!

tell me, how do YOU use baker's twine?

linking up to:
Nutmeg Place


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