September 26, 2010

Youngest tries to be like the eldest...

After seeing all of Em's pretty fondant cakes, I thought I would give it a shot for Jacob's birthday cake. Then I remembered that I am really awful at cake-decorating and don't have any of the proper tools. I made Jacob's little sister come help me, because I was stressed out about finishing it in time. Here's what we ended up with:

We were supposed to put orange flames over the purple ones, but we were over it by then.
I realize that it looks pretty crappy, but I'm sorta proud of myself since we had no idea what we were doing. I don't know if this is something I'll be sticking with, because it made a huge mess and took a lot of work, but it was fun to try.

September 24, 2010

SFC Glen Jacob Whetten

I drew this picture of my nephew, who was killed in Afghanistan last March, for an art competition for Constitution Week. The best part of the picture is the quote which was one of Jake's favorite. "All that is needed for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." He truly is my hero. I won the people's choice award. I feel pretty guilty about winning. I won because I told all my friends to go vote for my picture. I have a lot of friends!!!

Sock Wrangling

If it were up to me, we would never have to wear shoes and socks.  I love the summer for this very reason.  The kids can throw on their flip flops, and we're good to go.  But, as the children must wear shoes and socks to school, we have a little system that minimizes lost and mismatched socks.   
 A small net bag hangs on our laundry room door.  The kids take their socks off as they come in the door and put them in the bag. Now they are all together in one place waiting to be washed, instead of strewn around the whole house or hiding under beds. 
 I still prefer flip flops, but this has made sock season more manageable.

September 20, 2010

Fabric Fall Wreath Tutorial

I made this wreath using fall fabric scraps that I already had, and a large wreath from the dollar store! 
First, gather some fall-looking fabrics.
Then cut them into 3"x7" strips.
To make each leaf, fold the strip in half lengthwise,then fold one side over at the mid point.
Do the same on the other side.
Overlap the ends and secure with hot glue.Make a bunch of these.Start arranging and gluing them to your dollar store wreath, overlapping them as you go.
You can do this all the way around, or you can leave room for flowers, like this:Now make an assortment of fabric flowers.  Here is one kind I made:  Cut out 6 circles of fabric.  Fold one circle in half.Fold one side over to the midpoint and hot glue in place. Repeat with all circles, then overlap, gluing each section together to form a flower.
Hot glue a wooden bead to the center and squinch up the fabric so it will be fluffy.Arrange your flowers on the bare sections of the wreath, and glue in place.
Now you have a fun fall wreath, all for $1 and some leftover material!

September 15, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I know what you're thinking. Efy banquet. Nasty, still-cold-in-the-middle chicken cordon bleu. But I created my own little recipe for it, and it was really easy and yummy.

First unthaw however many chicken tenders you'll need. I know you all have a costco bag of them in the freezer (if you only have breasts, just slice them to be thinner after thawing).

Now mix breadcrumbs, some Mrs. Dash original, and a little paprika, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. (sorry I didn't measure anything). Pour a little milk in a seperate bowl.
Coat each piece of chicken in milk then the bread crumbs.

Now take a piece or two of lunch-meat style ham + a slice of your favorite kind of cheese (we used provolone) and lay it on one side of the tender.

Roll it up and secure with a toothpick. Stick them on a greased cookie sheet and bake 20-25 min. at 350. Donezo!

That's not mine, but that's what they should look like.

September 11, 2010

modest is hottest

I made this cute little jacket/bolero for my friend's strapless wedding dress. It originally had really cute, structured sleeves, but she wanted something more simple- I like how it turned out!

If you know of anyone looking for a wedding jacket or bolero...send them my way!!

September 7, 2010

"Today" board

This is a simple way to keep track of things you have to do each day.  Clip grocery lists, mail, reminders, invitations, etc. with the clothespins, then take them off as you do them.  This was soooo easy to make!  I painted a wooden board, then sanded it to give it a distressed look.  I painted the letters (from JoAnn's), and small clothespins, then hot glued them to the board.  I embellished each clothespin with a button, but you could add ribbon or mod podge scrapbook paper on them too.

September 2, 2010

Bedroom on a Budget!

Living on student loans makes it almost impossible to decorate. Here are a few cute finds I threw together to make Landon's room more comfortable. Since his room doubles as our guest room, I'm hoping to entice some visitors to come our way! I started by making these Euro Shams. I followed this tutorial and finished 3 of them in one afternoon. The one item in this room I "splurged" on was the quilt, found at TJ Maxx for $20. I held off on buying the bedskirt for a while. I just couldn't bring myself to pay $14 (the cheapest one I could find) for one at Walmart. While rummaging through Target's clearance pile (usually found on end-caps in each dept.) I found the exact size and color bedskirt I needed for only $2!
These large cardboard letters are sold at Joann's for $8. Use your 40% coupon, or wait for them to go on sale. I used black spray paint on mine. The city scape is a reusable sticker I found on clearance at Target for $4. Each of these plates was less than $1. I used this tutorial for the rain gutter bookshelf which should be painted if I ever find some spare time.
The curtains are ONE flat full size sheet cut in half. Walmart's brand are very inexpensive, and they have a whole slew of colors. The tube for the rod and all but one hemmed edge (from the cut in half) is taken care of right out of the package! I actually lined mine with heavy fabric found at SAS (for you lucky AZ girls) to make them blackout- and now Landon sleeps until 10am every morning.This piggy bank was another Target clearance item $2, however it did start out lime green. In order for it to match I used acrylic paint and some painter's tape. The yellow frame was a clearance item from TJ Maxx which also started out lime green- nothing a little high gloss spray paint can't fix! I've had this frame forever and couldn't think of what to put in it. Using this website I made five 15 cent pictures and whah- la!
One rule to follow when on a budget is NEVER PAY FULL PRICE for anything! Wait for it to go on sale, use a coupon, or re-create it yourself!

September 1, 2010

Dress for a Toddler

I made this little number for the daughter of one of my friends in Houston. I wanted to get her a birthday gift, but didn't have the car that day. So I improvised.
I gathered up enough scraps and followed this tutorial (they also have one for infants) with a few alterations. I sewed the straps at the top instead of doing ties. I also added the little waistband by adding two strips of fabric between the bodice and skirt. The flower is just a strip of fabric (narrower at one end) that I gathered, wrapped, then scalloped the edges.
Tada! Piece of cake.


Fondant Cakes

Here are some cakes I've made using this tutorial for
 marshmallow fondant...
Mario cake

Muse cake

SF giants cake (AT&T Park)