Thursday, August 29, 2013

DIY Thursday: Sharpie Tie Dye Coasters

I helped throw a tie dye themed bridal shower for my little sister Charlotte and in loo of games we decided to have everyone participate in a craft that she could use in her new home. I found this idea on The Sharpie Blog.

You will need 91% isopropyl alcohol, sharpies, a bowl, a small straw, and white tiles. (Optional: spray bottle)

I tried a few different things while making these coasters. This first try I just made lines of color and then used a spray bottle filled with alcohol to blur the lines.

While I liked the way it turned out I wanted the color to be a bit more dramatic. (Also as a side note, some sharpie colors "blur" more easily than others. The light blue I used didn't work as well, but I found if I used my finger to smudge the line a little after I used the alcohol it got rid of the defined line that was left behind.)

 My second try I colored almost the entire tile and again I used the spray bottle.
 Cool right?
 Third try, I did smaller patches of color and colored the entire tile.
 I used the spray bottle again and wasn't thrilled with the result. (I just was being lazy and didn't want to take the time with the straw)
 The fourth attempt I really went crazy with the color and even overlapped them a bit. I also finally gave in and used the straw with a little bowl of alcohol.
 This was my favorite tile. I loved the way the little drops of alcohol pooled. To use the straw you dip the end into a shallow filled bowl of alcohol and use your finger to cover the other end of the straw to trap the liquid inside. (I know that you have done this with a Slurpee.) Then you simply remove your finger while holding the straw over the tile, letting the drops fall.

As a side note when I did these tiles I used a Capri Sun straw. When we did it for the party I brought coffee stirrers but we found the drops to be to small and ended up using regular straws, which worked just fine. 

 This last tile I tried doing a specific pattern, like you would find on a tie dyed shirt.
 Eh not so good.

I bought little felt circles at the hardware store to place on the bottom of the tiles, they are a bit rough on the bottom. (The ones you use on the bottom of chairs or decor to prevent scratches.) There is also a glaze that goes over the top of the coasters so you don't lose the color as they are used, but I haven't gotten that far yet. So I will post that how to when I get around to it. :)

Anyway. Have fun!! This could be a fun project for your home or a great gift idea. The holidays are coming up after all...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sweet Tooth Tuesday: Tie Dye Sugar Cookies

These turned out so cute!! Maybe a bit too cute because now my Mom and sister want me to make about 150 for my sister's upcoming wedding. Yikes! This was another project for my sister's tie dye bridal shower and it was a bit of an adventure. I have never used royal icing before so I did some research on Pinterest to get me started.
I got the original idea from The Hungry Housewife.
I found some really great tips about flooding and piping royal icing from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle.
And found a recipe for royal icing (using egg whites not meringue powder) at Sweetopia. (The link for the recipe is near the bottom of the post.)
There are a ton of amazing cookie artists out there Sugerbelle and Sweetopia were both amazing sites if you want to get into this beautiful hobby.
 I started out with my families sugar cookie recipe (which is amazing!) and I promise I will share that with you all soon. Then I made the Royal Icing.
Royal Icing
1 lb powdered sugar
4 large egg whites
1 Tbs Cream of Tartar

Mix the egg whites and cream of tartar for 30 sec. to get rid of the lumps.
Pour in all the powdered sugar and mix with the paddle attachment at medium speed for 10 min.

**Just as a side note my instructions will vary slightly from the recipe found at Sweetopia. After following her recipe I found the icing to runny and had to mix it for longer at a higher speed to get the thick consistency I wanted.

I tinted about half of my icing yellow (sisters favorite color) and used a piping bag with a small tip to outline the cookies. This creates a barrier for when you go back to fill in the middle.

Then I separated the remaining icing into three bowls and colored and thinned out the consistency. You want the icing to be able to fill in the cookie and create a smooth finish. Sugarbelle describes the outline icing as the consistency of toothpaste and the flood icing to fill it in as shampoo. I just added water a teaspoon at a time till I got it right. I am sorry I can't give you better tips than that but if you need more specific instruction go to the link above to Sugarbelle. She has amazing tips and video demonstrations.

I started out trying to pipe the icing to fill in the cookie but found it much easier to spoon a little on and smooth it out and fill it in with the back of the spoon. It gave me more control.

 I put the rest of the icing in piping bags.
 And made different swirls on top of the yellow icing. I think that next time I would use squeeze bottles for more control and easier storage.
You can see that the blue and green icing is sitting on top of the yellow and we want it to all meld together. To get it all to flatten out all you have to do is give your cookie a good shake.
 TA DA! Nice and smooth.
I forgot to take a picture of the next step but all you do it take a toothpick and drag it from either the middle to the edges or edged to middle. Just experiment with it and have fun. The toothpick will leave little indented lines on your cookie, just give them another shake to smooth them out.

 Leave them to dry until hard, I left them out overnight, and then enjoy. They stack like a dream and store really well.

I hope these inspire you to get creative in the kitchen. A little extra effort can go along way. Wish me luck on the 150 I still have to make. Happy Baking!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Speed Scrap!

Want to try a Speed Scrap? Do you know what a speed scrap is? A speed scrap is when you go to the forum that is hosting the speed scrap (Scrap N Pieces tomorrow morning) and one of the designers will give you 7 instructions over 1 hour and then you get an additional hour to finish your page and get it uploaded to the sites gallery and in the forum thread. I did a speed scrap for my very first completed page and I love doing them. They force you to try new LO and new techniques plus you get super cute and fun things for FREE!! Anchored Hearts Studio is hosting the SS tomorrow and she is giving away a fun mini kit brand new into her store. I love the color pallet with this kit it is super unique and beautiful.

Join Dana in the forum and chat room over at SNP for a fun speed scrap on 8/27/13 at 9am CST (7am PST, 8am MST, 10am EST).  The flier below is linked to the Speed Scrap forum and the instructions promise to be easy enough for those of us that will be multitasking at the same time.  ;)

The free prize for those that complete and post layouts on time will be the newest Anchored Hearts Studio mini kit, Peachy (pictured below).

Hope to see you there, even if it's only to say "hello" for a few minutes!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wild Card Wednesday: Summer Door Decoration

I have been MIA on here.  It has been one busy summer.  Sorry ladies.  I will do better I promise. I finally finished a project I have wanted to do all summer.  It was a simple door decoration.  All I did was buy a wood letter S (S for summer and Sherman) from the craft store.  Painted it white.  Let it dry.  Then I applied crackle paint (Which I found next to all the acrylic paints in the craft store.)  Followed the directions for the crackle paint.  Then I painted the teal over the crackle. Finally I added flowers and ribbon and hung it on my door.  I am pleased on how it turned out.  I wish I had done it earlier this summer because I will be taking it down soon to put up my fall wreath. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sweet Tooth Tuesday: Chocolate Vanilla Swirled Cupcakes

Delicious and surprisingly easy these cupcakes were also made for my sisters bridal shower. The theme was tie dye but I thought that we should get some chocolate in there some how so this was my compromise.

I started out by making two cake batters, one vanilla and one chocolate. (Yes I used a box. I have a hard time bringing myself to make cake from scratch. I blame my Mom. She is an amazing cook and baker but cakes were never her thing.)

Look at my big (scary) helper.

I just used regular spoons to fill the cupcake wrappers. I alternated white and brown and ended up putting four spoonfuls total in each cup. It didn't take as long as it sounds. My pan is a little messy because I had so much "help".

Follow your recipes baking instructions.

They ended up really fun on the inside.

Next was the frosting. I used my families recipe for the vanilla frosting. It is super easy and really yummy.
Vanilla Frosting
1 1/2 lbs powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt

Whip it all together for a few min till thick and fluffy looking. You may want to start out with half the milk and add more as you need it.

And for the chocolate we have always loved the recipe on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa box.
"Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Add powdered sugar and milk, beat on medium speed until desired consistency. Add more milk if needed. Stir in vanilla.

I was originally going to just try to dump the frosting in the piping bag, trying to get most of the chocolate on one side and most of the vanilla on the other, then hoping they would swirl together nicely. But while researching something else I came across this technique of filling a piping bag on The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle and thought it would be perfect for this. 

First you lay out a nice long piece of plastic wrap on your counter. Then you spoon one color of frosting in a line across the middle of the plastic wrap with the other color on top. (You could do as many colors or flavors as you want.) 

 Then you carefully wrap the sides of plastic over your frosting so it looks like a tube and twirl the ends till they are wrapped nice and tight.

Then you "thread" your tube through your piping bag pulling it down as far as it will go.

And cut off the extra plastic. If you have the cool piping bags with the removable tips you will want to do all this before adding your tip. I am not that cool. If you just leave the plastic near the end of your tip it will bunch up and not be pretty coming out. All you have to do is pull your tube of plastic back in your piping bag a bit so that the frosting will squeeze out and the plastic won't get in the way.

Next you swirl to your hearts content. I think they came out lovely. And yummy! My Dad ate three at the bridal shower alone.

Now I have ideas for all kinds of color and flavor mixes I could do with this same technique. Orange and vanilla, lemon and lime, chocolate and caramel. What do you think? 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Foodie Friday: Chicken Enchilada Pasta

I found this amazingly delicious recipe on pinterest and figured that I had to post it on here because it was too good to not share. My whole family, but especially my husband absolutely loved it! This dish does require quite a bit of ingredients, but it is well worth it! The recipe can be found on this site.

Chicken Enchilada Pasta

  • 1 rotissere chicken shredded
  • 2 TBS olive oil ( I just used some canola oil cause that's what I had on hand)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced green chiles (4oz)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cans green chili enchilada sauce
  • 2/3 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (any kind)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Penne pasta

  • sour cream
  • green onions
  • tomatoes
  • olives
Shred chicken. Chop veggies. Boil pasta according to package directions. Heat oil in large skillet
 and cook onion for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes.Add cooked chicken, green chiles, cumin, chili powder, salt, and enchilada sauces. Let it simmer for 8-10 minutes. Add cheese and stir until is is melted and heated through. Slowly add sour cream and make sure to NOT LET IT BOIL! Stirl just until heated through. Add cooked and drained pasta to the skillet. Mix well. Serve and garnish with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wildcard Wednesday: Fruit coolers

Need a refreshing way to beat the summer heat? These drinks are super yummy!! Just cut up a bunch of your favorite fruits (I like using strawberries, peaches, oranges, grapes, and raspberries) Put them in a pitcher and pour sprite or 7up in. Let it soak overnight before drinking. my kids said it tasted like drinking skittles. The best thing is that you reuse it several times. Once the liquid is gone, fill it up again. I think we filled it 3 times.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Munchkin Monday: Back to School Countdown

I don't have any school age kids. I know, I know, why in the world would I make this? Because. It's adorable. Right? I saw this idea on (where else) Pinterest and I couldn't help myself. The original idea came from the blog This and That.

I found a simple drawing of a school bus on Google image, picked out my paper and got started.

I started by cutting out my bus with an exact-o knife. I cut out the wheels separately because I knew I wanted them to be a different color. Your choice if you want to do that or not. I think cutting out the windows is a must.

Then I taped the bus to my paper and got to cutting again. I decided to flip my bus over so you could see the cute flower print on the final product.

I happened to have these cardboard letters from another product and colored them with sharpie for the side of the school bus. I also colored the wheels black. (I had no black paper)

I used this niffty tape I got from staples to stick everything on.

Then I made two inch squares of orange paper and taped/glued the count down numbers to them. (The numbers are just like the cardboard letters from above)

I attached small rectangles of Velcro to each square using hot glue.

And attached the other side to the green paper, all equal distances apart.

The finishing touches were writing the words, (the worst looking part in my opinion, I am not a huge fan of my hand writing) and adding the ribbon on the back to hang it. Just as a side note I used numbers 0 - 9 and made 1 and 2 twice. You could count down from 30 days if you wanted to. (To big of a number to start with in my opinion but 12 numbers looked better on my page than 11. :)

Hope this gets you and your kids in the mood for school. You could even involve them in the process of making it. Everyone have all their school supplies yet? I love school supplies!!