Spiffed up sidelights for Fall: Frosted Glass Vinyl fun!

10 Sep

This is a project that had been rolling around in my head since before I even had a Silhouette SD to call my very own.  I had this “frosted glass look” window cling film up in our front door sidelights for a few years, and it was getting worn looking. I thought…hm, that frosted glass stuff would work GREAT in the sidelights, and I could change it out seasonally! Finally, after a little bit of procrastination and a few learning experiences (two sheets of Dusted Crystal vinyl wasted to some wierd issue with the machine not lining up properly after cutting a few pages, spending an evening perfecting my vinyl “weeding” technique on the subway art portion) we have this:

I am absolutely in love with the way it came out!!!

Katelyn helped me think of fun Fall words for the “Subway Art” sections, and the leaves are from the Silhouette online store.  I applied the vinyl to the inside of the window since it is “indoor vinyl” and all, and I didn’t want it to get peely or potentially not come off as easily as it should.

It’s impossible to capture on camera, but the frosted glass vinyl looks even cooler at night from the inside, with the lights from the outside hitting it -it kind of sparkles!  We will definitely be updating this for winter with snowflakes and fun snowy words!

S’mores Cupcakes. Oh yes I did.

26 Aug

Pink Flamingo Fridays are a neighborhood tradition that everyone looks forward to.  For the unititiated, Pink Flamingo Friday is basically a yard party, where neighbors congregate in your driveway and yard, hang out, and the kids run around, playing.  Feeding people is optional.  We took our turn as Pink Flamingo hosts last week, and I did my usual – make an over the top, probably too messy dessert treat.  (Last year it was salted carmel topped brownies, which required me bringing out a roll of paper towels.)

This year, I’ve kind of been cupcake obsessed.  I tried making a smore’s cuppy earlier this year with a graham flavored cupcake, chocolate ganache filling and melted a big ol’ marshmallow on the top.  They were good, but the graham cupcake part was a little dry for me, and I felt like there should be more chocolate…. So Katelyn and I hit the internet and searched “best cupcakes ever” (it’s what she wanted to search) and came across none other but a very s’more like cupcake on Martha Stewart’s site. Well, Logan had chosen NOT to nap and had gone completely bonkers by the time it was time to make cupcakes, so we did some cheating.

S’mores Cupcakes {the easier way}

Ingredients:
1 box of your favorite chocolate or Devil’s Food cake mix
+ whatever the box calls for (eggs, water & oil)

Crust:
1 1/2 Cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 Cup sugar
1/3 – 1/2 Cup butter, melted
1 handful semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Frosting:
4 egg whites
1 Cup sugar
1/4 teaspon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
While you wait, put the cupcake liners into your two cupcake pans.
Combine the sugar, graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a medium bowl. You are looking for a pebbly, damp sand texture.
Spoon about 1 Tablespoon of the graham mix into each cupcake liner.  Use a small glass to pack the mixture down.
Distribute a few chocolate chips into each liner. (or not. I honestly don’t think I would miss them if they weren’t there.)
Bake the crusts for about 5 minutes, or until the egdes are just starting to turn golden brown.

Mix up your cake mix according to package directions….

…and fill each cup 3/4 full with the cake batter.  Return the pans to the oven for the lower end baking time indicated on your mix box (if it says 18-20 minutes, you might want to stick with 18.  You’ll see why in a few.)

Let the cupcakes cool for 10 mintues in the pan, then place them on a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.

Time for  the frosting! (directions according to Martha)

  1. Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately.

Have a gallon size plastic bag ready (or if you are fancy, use a pastry bag and tip and all that.) with a corner cut off to make about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch(ish) opening.  Plop all of the marshmallow frosting into the bag, and pipe it on each cupcake.  Mine were a big mess, but it made for more peaks to get super toasty in the next step….

Crank up the oven to BROIL/BROIL HIGH if you have it, and put the frosted cakes on a cookie sheet.  Don’t crowd them, you may have to do two or three batches.  Toast until they are browned to your liking.  Alternately, you could use a torch and toast them the more fun way…..

(and yeah, I made pink glittery flamingoes for the tops with my Silhouette!  Lesson learned, glitter card stock is thicker than heavy card setting in Silhouette Studio!)

Endings and Beginnings

23 Aug

The end of summer break.

The beginning of a new school year…

- which is the last year for Katelyn in the Montessori Children’s House – so, a beginning of an ending…and if I want to get even sappier and more confusing, the beginning of the last school year with Logan home all week, as well. (He will be 3 next summer, so Lookout, Children’s House 2 come Fall 2012!)

Logan missed Katelyn SO so much. He was pretty much a mess all day. I tried to keep us running around and playing and doing stuff, but I guess I am no substitute for “Kate-en”!  I also found myself missing her. Even with the bustle and noise of a 2 year old in the house (A grumpy one, at that) the house seemed quiet, and maybe a little sad.  Missing the bouncing, loud, spontaneuousness of Katelyn – and the feeling that summer has officially gone.

When we were on our way to pick her up, Logan recognized the major intersection we turn at, and said “Mommy, get Katen now pwease?” so sweet.  She was all smiles after a great first day, her teacher gave a glowing report.

We polished off the day with rediculously huge ice cream cones with friends, and a few trips around the block on bikes with them, too.

While I am sad to see summer fading into cooler days, at the same time I am thrilled to have routines, destinations, plans.  As for me? I am starting off the new school year trying to get organized, too, and make an attempt at simplifying and decluttering. OH, and I might try and blog more than once a month, too. ;)

Look who’s two!

29 Jul

 


Happy Birthday, Logan!

I cannot believe my little man is TWO!

Yes, those are the saggiest, wierdest looking Lightning McQueen cupcakes ever. We tried.

At 2 years old:

Favorite color: green
Favorite book: was 15 Animals, now No, David and Click Clack, Moo
Favorite music: Anything danceable. Does not dig A Fine Frenzy, Florence + The Machine…. Likes Taio Cruz and Sesame Street Old School.
Favorite food: pizza? Hard to tell what his really very favorite is- he likes LOTS of stuff. Doesn’t seem to like turkey, take or leave beef and tomatoes are  definitely “yucky” (that’s my boy!).
Favorite toy: Remote control Jo Jo’s Bumper Car, after birthday presents – mower!
Other random stuff: Loves to be outside. Love swimming and jumping in the water. Makes the same great “oh my!” face with big eyes and a little circle mouth every time he jumps in. Loves his “sissy”, “Kate-en”. Gives the best, snuggliest hugs ever, could melt an ice block with his warm snuggles!  Sleeps with “Baa” the sheep, Elmo, and now his new very favorite, Tigger. (Tigger was given to him by Daddy.. who was given Tigger by Mommy, many years ago.) Has the best sense of humor and is loud, friendly and just plain awesome.

 

 

“this moment” {of life…as we know it}

22 Jul

Taking a prompt from the always inspiring Amanda Soule of SouleMama and starting the ritual of adding a favorite photo from the past week– a moment of “life as we know it” so to speak.  A moment to “pause, savor and remember”.

 

A few things form the “sewing room”….

21 Jul

Finally! Something to show off from the land of Sew. (I put sewing room in little quotes because really, it is a cozy corner of our basement… which now thanks to the fabulous Mr, is sealed and white and bright and wonderful…)

Katelyn is the proud owner of a new twirling skirt – from (mostly…) this tutorial from hous on hill road.

I made the contrasting panel much wider, did NOT make a contrasting panel for the waistband (noone will ever see it, I’m not doing more work than I need to, let’s be real here, folks!) and used 3/4inch non-roll elastic. It is pretty stiff elastic, but it seems comfy enough. She would complain if it wasn’t!

And yea, it was wrinkly, it had been worn half a day already- I admit,  and yea, not an award winning photo. It was about 6 billion degrees out and she insisted on the hairstyle. :)

But wait, there’s more!

(I always wanted to say that)

I rescued a shirt with really, really short-long-sleeves (it shrunk wierd, I guess?) that also happened to be super soft, and converted it into a pair of pants for Logan.

(excuse the lovely “Oh, hey, I should probably take a picture of this before I hack it up” iPhone shot)

This is my first attempt at reusing something that isn’t bluejeans and won’t be my last.  It was a fun project! I used the ever-popular Kid Pant tutorial from Dana Made - I found the pattern & intructions easy enough – but next time I will have to alter them specifically for L.  The rise is OK over a diaper- but REALLLLY old man-over the bellybutton-style with his new “unnerwear”. And they are about six miles long. But soft. And cute. And he loves them.

(I’m killin’ it with the pics, lately, hm? ugh, sorry!)

More soon, from the land of Sew, down below… I hope….

GodSpeed Atlantis…

8 Jul

Thinking of all the memories-

The good -busrides, Bugles on fingers waiting for launch, earth moving rumbles, promise of discovery, Ride, Sally Ride, house shaking double-bangs welcoming shuttle’s return…

And the bad – Challenger disaster in 2nd grade, lost life, coverups…waking Michael to news of tragedy over Texas, budget cuts, the realization that we (the US) have more funding going to A/C in the Middle East than NASA as a whole….

Hoping that one day we can move back to blasting off… So much yet to be discovered.

I’m going to get me geek out for a sec and link the intro to Star Trek: Enterprise which captures the feeling of discovery – shows how far we’ve come (and could go….) – nerdy as it is, it’s pretty moving.

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