Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Spooky" Halloween Board Decoration

MOPS is next week and I wanted to make something special for my new friends at my table that would be cute and cheap. (Two of my favorite crafting adjectives...) I had an idea of making a little shelf sitter or doorknob hanger or something like that. I went out on a quest for materials. I found a package of 48 plaques in various sizes at Hobby Lobby and with my 40% coupon, I got the package for $6! Not a bad price for that many potential gifts! The only thing I had to purchase was some scrapbook paper and a little ribbon. I had everything else on hand. Love it when that happens!

Before the addition of the googlies...
Though, for some reason I stressed over the googly eyes. Still am not 100% sold on them. I mean, they are cute, but I think the little board is cute all by itself. I cut out the "spooky" using black vinyl and my Cricut. I used Stampin'Up punches for the shapes and my new Stampin'Up hostess set called Mixed Medley for the little spider web. I made the accordion folded flowers using the Stampin'Up Simply Scored scoring tool. Mod Podged over the whole board before hot gluing the embellishment on.
Very happy with the results! Hoping my table group will love them too. Fingers crossed...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Boiled Chocolate Cinnamon Sheet Cake

Pretty sure this is the most boring picture ever....
So, we are having company tomorrow night. Some new/old friends are coming over for dinner with their kids, who have been friends with 2 of my kids since kindergarten. I say they are new friends because even though our kids have known each other for so long, we have just recently realized that we have a lot in common as parents, and enjoy each others company. How cool is that?! So looking forward to a happy friendship! :) We will be sharing the cooking between us and will be enjoying chili verde (click the link for a video of me making the recipe,) rice, chicken enchiladas, guacamole and chips and now, we shall have cake. Yummy yummy cake.

Ok, I have two words for you- boiled cake. Boiled, you question? Yes. Boiled. I also have two more words to go along with the other two- IT"S FABULOUS! It is a family recipe and I would have thought it was strange if I hadn't tasted it first. I will confess though, it is not one of my husband's favorites and he is a fan of chocolate cake. I think it has something to do with the cinnamon that the recipe calls for. He says there is something about cinnamon and chocolate that he doesn't like. I will also say that the whole rest of the family completely disagrees with him...

I don't make it very often because it is quite a large cake. In fact, it takes up an entire jelly roll pan. I save it for when we have company or if I am scheduled to share a dessert at a potluck or gathering of some sort. I think the hardest part is waiting for it to cool. But trust me, it really DOES tastes better when it is cooled. The flavors are more blended or something. I don't get it really. Something about chemistry or some other blah blah reason... whatever. I just know that MAYBE somebody couldn't wait for it to cool down, one of the times it was made it in the past, and MAYBE that person can say that eating it cooled down after they had to make it again (because they still needed it for a potluck on Monday,) makes it taste better. Play it safe and park it in the fridge for about 24 hours. You will thank me later. ;-)

And here is the recipe:

Boiled Chocolate Cinnamon Sheet Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cube margarine
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup water
4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine flour and sugar in a bowl and set aside. In a saucepan, combine margarine, shortening, water, and cocoa. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Pour into the sugar/flour mixture and stir to combine thoroughly. Add eggs and buttermilk, cinnamon, soda, and vanilla.
Spread evenly onto greased jelly roll sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven,

Five minutes before the cake is done, melt one cube margarine and add 1/3 cup buttermilk and 4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder. Bring to a boil while whisking. Remove from heat and add a 1 lb. box of powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and one teaspoon of vanilla. Mix thoroughly and spread evenly over the hot cake. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate for at least 8 hours (24 is best,) then cut and serve.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wooden Jewelry Holder Story

Back in May, my friends and I got together to craft a simply adorable wooden tray/casserole holder. It was constructed of wooden plank-like pieces, had super cute handles, was stained a beautiful color, and a casserole pan fit beautifully inside of it when it was complete! Perfect! At least everyone else's version was... Mine, however, was not. I have a good excuse for letting my unfinished wooden tray/casserole holder, sit so long unfinished. Let me tell you my story really quickly. (I could use the vent...) ;-)

Earlier that day, the Saturday before Mother's Day to be exact, I was happily shopping at the Hobby Lobby (home away from home) and when I went to checkout, it seems I had "misplaced" my wallet IN THE HANDS OF A PICK-POCKET!! Yes ladies, it's true. I was pick-pocketed at Hobby Lobby. Totally learned a huge lesson that day. Do NOT under any circumstances let your purse hang behind you unzipped as you shop. I should have realized that the "eyes" that I felt on my back and then the two different people who "brushed" against me as I browsed the supplies, were not just coincidental. Now, I know I had my wallet with me before I got to the store because I had bought gas at the nearby gas station before I arrived. I know I hadn't left it there because I threw my wallet in my purse after I used my debit card. Here is where I went wrong: I didn't zip it up after I simply tossed my wallet back in my purse and drove away.

So, I shopped. My oldest daughter was with me that day. We talked, we browsed, we giggled, we planned a couple of projects and gathered the necessary supplies. We then headed to the checkout lanes. Got a total, reached into my purse to pay the nice lady and... NOTHING! I freaked out as I searched my purse at the checkout counter. No wallet. No sign of a wallet that resembled mine throughout the whole store. (Believe me, we checked everywhere.) I had no idea what to do next. I was very sad. VERY sad. Hardly ever carry cash, except on that day, of course. Grrr... Made a police report and did all the necessary stuff you have to do when something like that happens. Still haven't replaced my social security cards. Probably should do that... Ok, you may all feel sorry for me now...

So, later that day, after my head stopped spinning, I decided that I still wanted to go hang out with my friends and attempt  to make the wooden casserole holder that was planned for our gathering. I got there late and started hammering away. I shouldn't have. I messed up. A lot. My heart just wasn't in it no matter how hard I tried. I went ahead and stopped and took the supplies home with me. I set them in the corner of my craft area and they sat there for several months. Today I decided that I would do something with them. I had messed up the wood too badly to make it a usable tray or anything like that- too wobbly and dinged up. I decided to take a trip to the local OSH and picked up a package of cup hooks and a can of flat black spray paint. Drilled a couple of pilot holes in the side of the box, removed the handles from the outside (for use in a different project later.) After I had let the spray paint dry, I hung up my favorite necklaces for display. I am hoping that having them out will encourage me to do more than just collect them. Who knows! I may even wear them someday...

I am so happy to be done with my formerly unfinished project! I feel like I made something out of a bad situation. Hahaha. It wasn't the box's fault, after all. It deserved to be finished! It did nothing to hurt me! ;-) So it is finished and in my room enjoying it's new home. It isn't anything fancy, but functional (like me.) And that is ok too.
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