Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I am super excited to be in this month's papernstitch exhibition.  Please go check me out! It's exciting to be along side all these other great artists.  So check them out too!   LOVE!  I think I need this minigoals chalkboard by Mary Kate McDevitt and this awesome bunny poster by Debbie Carlos. So darn cute!

Both of these lovelies have been cruisin' the blogosphere for awhile now, and how I love them. I should take this as a sign that I HAVE to have them...

i heart yellow

 I have been noticing yellow everywhere lately, since Hunter has declared it as his favorite color. We even found him some yellow converse sneakers the other day.  Are they not the cutest?

So today it’s all about yellow.

I saw this wedding over at Southern Weddings and I am loving the cowboy boots and the dobby cotton yellow dresses. Did I say loving. Must admit, rather obsessed.

While searching for the world’s cutest yellow garland, I came across this lovely. I envy anyone who can crochet. could hang it if you wanted. Double-bonus. I think they would be just lovely with a strapless gauzy sundress.  So  pretty.  Petite leaves neck garland by kanokwalee on Etsy.

Kate Greiner has the most adorable paper garlands. I just want all of them in her shop. Yes, every single one.  Then I could sort them by color in a box and I’d be set for anything. Wait…lightbulb…what an awesome idea for a present. Box O’ Garland. Ms. Ang and Ms. Bina close your eyes and remember to act surprised!

Mostly yellow sewn paper circus flag garland decoration by Kate Greiner on Etsy.

I love tissue paper decorations almost as much as I love fabric. I have my own stockpile of Martha poms, handmade pom dahlias, arcade style garlands, and some big pink hanging lanterns. What's great about these is once you fluff them up, you can store them in the attic and use them again, instantly.  I am loving the colors of these perfectly light Summer Love Poms by MySillyBear on papernstich.

This banner, which can be customized in any…, anyway you’d like or think of, is adorable. There’s a reason they’ve sold a ton of them. I think I want one in my favorite quote "Never Settle."  Just Married Banner in Sunshine by Earmark on Etsy.

I get a kick out of this girl’s blog, super cute Tuesdays! YAY! And what party is complete without a cupcake. Okay, this one’s great for one too many lemon drops at the party, or for melting away the weeks stresses before. Either way...yummy, and better for my waistline. Cupcake bath fizzie in lemongrass by yourdirtylaundry on Etsy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ms. Emily's Wedding

Ms. Emily (of the Pickled Tink store in Reno) is getting married in September and I get to do the garlands! YAY!   I am super excited. See the super cute happy couple above! Yes, they are that cute in real life! Ms. Kelli France of France Photography did their engagement shoot and is photographing the wedding. LOVE! 

This post is just the beginning of a series.  I thought it would be helpful to show you the process that I go through for a wedding package.  As with any of my garlands, you get to customize them any way you like.  Ms. Emilys wedding is a circus theme, with accents of red and aqua.  LOVE!  She really liked the red and white stripes I had on another garland, so I found some more.  I also picked up a thicker stripe that reminds me of awnings and popcorn stands. 
Each new fabric always needs a trial.  Sometimes, as pretty as the pattern may be, once gathered in the garland, it's a miss.  Either the pattern doesn't look quite right ruffled or the fabric is too stiff to be sewn properly.  For this, I got a yard of each to make our samples. 

Into the wash they went, to remove all that stabilizer gunk and to get softened up.  I always use fragrance free Method detergent and dryer sheets.  Method has plant derived sheets, which makes me wonder what is in those other ones??? Anyhoo, once washed, dried , ironed and cut into strips, I am going to make a couple of shorties.  Little fabric garlands about a foot long.  For my wedding samples, I always put ties on the ends so they can actually be used.  No sense in wasting them right?  Sky's the limit...chandelier decor for a dinner party, baby's first birthday highchair decor? Weddings do often lead to other little people...just sayin'...

The next post in the series will be a DIY on how to make my garlands. Yes, for all your crafty ladies out there, you don't have to figure it out, I already know and I will share!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Father's Day Chain Garland DIY

Hello! In celebration of Father's Day, the boys and I made this little fabric chain.  The chain is just like those cool paper ones we made in kindergarten, except I used fabric so its softer and more durable for reusing. It's more "manly" than my usual garland, boys need love, too. It took about 1.5 hours total (time including interruptions by two mini men.)  Ready? Great...

What you will need:
~roll of WonderUnder (regular weight paper-backed fusible web)
~four (or more) half yard pieces of coordinating fabric - 18" x 44"
~ironing board
~pinking shears or my favorite pinking bladed rotary cutter (could_not_live_with_out)
~ruler (I regularly use a yardstick)
~cutting board (if using rolling cutter)
~sewing machine

Step 1:
Stretch out fabric piece wrong side up on ironing board.  Iron out wrinkles, if any.
Cut out a sheet of WonderUnder about 18" x 22" . 

Follow the directions for your fusible webbing.  Place rough side of webbing down on the left half of your fabric piece. Iron as directed.  Let cool.  Peel back paper, interfacing should stay, if it is ripping up, place paper carefully back down and reiron. 

Step 2:
Fold fabric over in half, so right sides stay together. Iron as directed.  You now have a stiffened piece of fabric with no wrong sides showing. 

Repeat steps 1 + 2 for all pieces of fabric.

Step 3:
Place fabric on cutting board and square up edges with rotary cutter. Fabric should be about 9" wide on the shortest side.

Step 4:
Line up yardstick with edge (9"side) and using the rotary cutter, cut fabric on opposite side of yardstick.

Repeat down the length of the fabric piece.  You will now have strips of fabric, all pinked and cute, about 1.25" x 9". Repeat for all pieces of fabric.

Step 5:
Make your first link.  Take a strip and curve up into a circle, overlapping edges abut 3/4". 

Using your sewing machine's zigzag stitch the edges together. 

Slip the second strip (of a different fabric) through the center of the circle.  Stitch and repeat.  and repeat.  and repeat.  Until your chain is your desired length. 

Step 6: (Optional)
Cut two pieces of twill tape about 1.5' long.  Tie on each end of chain.  You could sew if you wanted, too.

Viola! Enjoy! Hang it up and marvel at its cuteness, then hide it away for Sunday's celebrations!

Farmer's Market Blueberry Cupcakes

I am a sucker for cupcakes.  My favorite is Trophy Cupcakes in Seattle. Their icing is divine, so smooth and yummy.  I have tried many recipes for icing, searching for the perfect one.  This is my winner for buttercream. (ain't nothin' can compete with Ina's cream cheese, sorry) This blueberry cupcake is purple.  It's the perfect cupcake for a muffin lover.  It tastes just like a blueberry muffin, but better.  As I marveled at the pretty color of the blueberry puree, I envisioned this recipe as a perfect starter recipe for a variety of fruits.  Need a different flavor? Change the puree.  Easy peasy.  Peach, mango, choose.  Me? I am so doing mixed berry...

Here's the recipe from the Seattle PI.
Blueberry Cupcakes:

Makes 12 cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line cupcake pan with paper liners

2 Cups + 2 tablespoons sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 1⁄2 cups of Sugar
2 large eggs
1⁄4 cup of whole milk
1/2 cup of blueberry puree (recipe follows)
1⁄2 teaspoon of pure Vanilla extract

Blueberry Puree:
Bring one pound of blueberries (fresh or frozen) to a boil in a sauce pan (preferably organic and from your local farmers market). Reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 1⁄2 hour) and the mixture is thick (stir occasionally). Cool the blueberries slightly and place in a food processor. Mix until smooth. For an extra smooth puree pass mixture through a fine sieve before using. Makes about 1 1⁄4 cups.

For Cake: Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating until incorporated after each one. Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Mix milk with 1⁄2 cup of blueberry puree and vanilla. Add wet and dry ingredients alternately to butter, sugar mixture starting and ending with the dry ingredients in three additions.
Mix until just incorporated after each addition. Do not overbeat batter. Fill cupcake liners 3⁄4 full of batter. Spoon 1 teaspoon of blueberry puree into the center and mix in slightly with a wooden skewer or small spoon. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch. Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting. Frost with Blueberry Swiss Meringue
Buttercream. Top with a dollop of puree or a fresh blueberry.

Blueberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 egg whites (I used the meringue powder equivalent as a substitute - worked fabulous)
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
2 cups room temperature unsalted butter (4 sticks or 1 pound)
1⁄4 cup + 2 tablespoons of blueberry puree
Pinch of salt

Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff
and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. The buttercream may appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add blueberry puree and salt and beat just until combined. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes. If using
buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.

YUMMY! Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

flora and fauna garlands

Ahhhhh...more lovelies. Everytime I search Etsy to see where my little garlands are hiding, I find other little pretties on the way. This is our fabric floral and fauna edition. So pretty!
I am loving strawberries right now.  Strawberry shortcake without the cake.  Just berries and cool whip, please!  Yes, I did make shortcakes, but I always have extra berries, in all their juicy glory, because two short people, who shalll remain them all while you are doing the dishes.    These little fabric berries are so pretty I just want to eat them up! Strawberry Garland by RubyRed Crafts.

When I was little, we had a dogwood tree with gorgeous little white flowers in spring.   A dogwood tree was the original resident on my list of perfect garden plants that will surround my wrap-around porch. 'sigh' Other plants are a magnolia tree (the kind with the teacup sized flowers), white hydrangeas and aisles upon aisles of peonies. So loving this Dogwood Garland made by Middleburg Folk Art Studio. Each pretty little flower is painted muslin (LOVE!)
and I couldn't decide which was prettier, little white flowers or lovely handpainted (on MUSLIN!!!) robins.  Robin Garland also by MFAS.
Pretty little modern butterflies.  Ahh...we need a little girl in my clan.  Of course, I would love having these in my craft room, too! Flutter Garland by mamaiwawaki.

Monday, June 14, 2010

more Taylor St. Market pics

Here's a few more pics from the faire last week.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Taylor Street Market

Saturday was Taylor St Market and it was super wonderful! Honestly, the best craft/vintage market I have ever been to. Ok, the only one I have been to, but it was such a good mix of vendors. Perfectly vintage and handmade, who knew all of these fabulous people were in Reno.
It was alot of work getting everything up and running for the market.

Printables...garlands...displays... Oh my! I even made my own tablecloth. My biggest challenge was making stands for the garland to hang on. Luckily, Ms. Emily from Pickled Tink, set me up against a chainlink fence.

What a brilliant and thoughtful idea! Thank you, Ms. E! I promised my hubby that I wouldn't buy anything, and I made good, aside from some to die for almond cookies with frosting made by Bloom and some delish chocolate chip cookies by Bash. Yum! I did trade with my new friend Ms. Ashley for the cutest windchime made from vintage silverware. LOVE!
I wish I had taken pics of all the vendors, aka some new friends, but these ladies are on etsy, and I am so telling you all about them when I get home. Here is one more pic from the market taken from my phone (better pics later, promise!)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ironing Tricks and Cowboys + Rat Rods

Hope you had a lovely weekend! I didn't get nearly as much done as I would have liked for the Taylor St. Market (four days away! eek!) We went to a car show on Saturday, the boys' first ever.  I am biased, but every lady there thought my cowboys were the cutest ever! 

Now for a party trick, er...ironing trick. I hate ironing because I can never get all the wrinkles out.  I love you mom, but I don't think you knew how to iron.  Or if she did, she never showed me.  I have been doing my own ironing since I was 8.  Ok.  Only ironing when I had to, but still...  I might have ironed more if I knew this trick.  Disclaimer: I am probably the last person to learn this trick. 

INTRO:  I was chit chatting with the ladies at the yardage shop while purchasing my fabric.  I am going to make a floor length tablecloth for the folding table in my fair display. Folding tables are ugly, and I didn't like those poly-whatever they sell for trade shows.  I'm a girl who loves a straight stitch, and it's been months since I have sewn from a pattern anyways, so why start now? Exactly! Anyhoo, back to the story.  The ladies and I were discussing my bad ironing and they said "use a squirt bottle with water to get the wrinkles out." D-U-H  Holy cannoli, can it get any easier?  I always loved that squirt feature on the iron, but hated that I would use all my water for the steam function.  This trick works wonders for muslin, which has a knack for wanting to stay wrinkled.  So, there you have it.  A trick you probably knew anyway, or if you didn't...shhhhhh...I won't tell.