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Clumsy Crafter: November 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

B and D's Great Thanksgiving Adventure

4 nights, 7 hours headed towards Dallas, one turkey dinner, one cute monkey shirt, one bout of carsickness topped off by one new carseat, 8 hours headed back south and we are finally back home. Not to mention one fabulous new purse that handled black friday like a pro....

I am so glad to be back home. Especially after this crazy day. We started out early so that we could get home with plenty of time to unpack and rest. Half way into our trip, Princess Goofy started saying, "my tummy hurts". 30 minutes later, she showed us how badly it hurt. I quickly pulled over into this tiny older than dirt walmart. Notice that I did NOT say Super Walmart. Just a regular old walmart. Did you know those still existed? Well they do. We quickly changed out princess and decided that the carseat was a total loss. We were still several hours from home and the smell radiating from the carseat was horrible. So we headed into this walmart to find a new carseat. To let you know how small it is, you could see all four walls of the store when you first walked in the door. Unfortunately they didn't have a carseat that would work for us. So what do you do when that happens? We bought two towels and febreeze, also a new toy for our sick princess. So one towel went on the seat of the carseat and one went on the princess' chest so that the yucky straps wouldn't touch her. It was a goofy sight. Off we headed to find a larger store. 45 minutes later we coasted into Bryan/ College Station. One hour later, we headed out of the Super Target with a new carseat and the old one properly disposed of. Between that, our check engine light, and massive traffic... we finally got home. We were tired and the girls were hyper!

Great weekend over all and I'm so excited because it's time for ......


coming soon..


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

House cleaning tip of the month

Today we leave for Dallas for the night and then we'll be west of Fort Worth for the rest of the weekend. We have lots of food planned and the best part is that I won't be cooking any of it. Sure, I love to cook but everyone needs a time off from cooking. My time off just happens to be on one of the busiest cooking weekends of the year.

So today.. in the spirit of getting your home ready for company.. here's a tip that you can't live without.

To clean out all that gunk inside your microwave, simply micro a cup of water for 5 minutes. I just use a coffee cup full of water. After 5 minutes, open your microwave and simply wipe it away. No more fancy cleaners, no more brilo pads, just a cup of water and a cloth. If you're busy at the end of 5 minutes and can't get over there to wipe it out, don't worry.. just do it over again when you can and it will still work.

Let's face it, when you have a two year old and a three year old, your microwave stands the chance of being the only clean thing left standing at the end of the day.

Be safe in your travels and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving countdown... 3... 2....1...

I have a huge list of things to accomplish before we leave for the DFW area early Thursday morning. Just a few things on my list include:
  • make a monkey applique' for Princess Goofy's shirt. (per her request)
  • sew two long skirts for each of the girls
  • sew a new purse for me with a crazy weird handle (show you later)
  • find my thanksgiving outfit
  • haircuts for everyone
  • clean out my van so that my Grandma will be happy
  • bake pumpkin bread

The list is much, much longer in reality. I finished a cake topper for my father in law late last night that I will show you in the next few days. So that is one thing off of my list. 398 things left to go. I will be coasting into DFW on caffeine fumes.

I'm leaving you with two of my latest cakes... one great.. one not so much

This one was done for my mother-in-laws office. It turned out great. Most of the cake is hand painted. In case you didn't know, you paint on icing using vodka. I was able to walk in a straight line after completing this cake. Just FYI.

However, this cake DID NOT go so well. I have named in the potty training cake. Why do you ask? To put it bluntly, it looks like one of those surprises that you might find on your floor when you're potty training.

I am attempting to make my own recipes. This was my attempt at a hazelnut spice cake with cocoa spice buttercream. I knew when I dumped this brick out of the pan that it wasn't going to be great. I was going to still practice with the icing but I quickly got an "I don't care attitude" and just threw the icing on there. Just goes to prove that everyone has their bad days. The chunk of icing is missing because of my princesses. Its the only part of the cake that they would eat.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Fridge Frames

My mom came up with this very clever and cute idea and I decided to show all of you how to do it. Have you ever bought those cheap plastic frames at walmart that stick on your refrigerator? I forgot to take a picture of them to show you exactly what I'm talking about but they are the clear acrylic ones that are usually about a dollar. They don't have a frame and you just slip the picture in between the two pieces to hold it in place. They serve a great purpose but aren't very stylish. So my mom came up with this great way to personalize them.

You will need:
Clear Acrylic Frame
Foam board
exacto knife
pen or pencil
heavy duty glue stick (Martha Stewart brand is my favorite)
Scrapbooking paper and embellishments
extra magnets
skinny elastic

First we need to make a template. Lay the frame on a scrap piece of paper. Decide how wide you want your frame to be. Ours is about two inches on each side. Using a ruler, make four strips that are two inches wide. Lay them on top of your clear plastic frame to make a frame hat slightly covers all the frame edges. This will be a small lip that you will cut out to help hold the frame in place. glue the edges of your template together and trim off any long edges with scissors. Another way to make the template is to lay the acrylic frame down on the paper and measure 1 3/4 inches around every side. Use a straight edge to make a large square. Pick up the frame and then measure 2 inches in from the outside. make a smaller square using your guides and trace that square. Cut it out. Trust me, explaining the template is much harder than making the entire frame.

Once you have the template made, lay it on your foamboard and cut around it using a straight edge. When you are done, you should have a frame from the foamboard that will cover all the edges of the frame with a small lip and enough room on the outside to decorate as you wish.

Now take the acrylic frame and lay it on the middle of the foamboard frame. Trace around the outside of it and cut only halfway through the foamboard. Do not cut all the way through. Using the exacto knife, cut between the two layers of the foam board only as deep as the line that you traced around the acrylic frame. Lift this little piece out and trim the bottom of the lip so that it is even. You should now be able to place your acrylic frame in the foamboard frame but the small lip in the front will help hold it in.

Now using your scrapbook paper, cover the outside of the frame. We wrapped the paper all the way to the back of the frame so that the edges are covered. The back will not show however so it does not have to be perfect.

Now take your scrapbooking embellishments and decorate the frame. There are so many cute options with this. You could use many different things such as buttons, rhinestones, sequins, etc.

After you are done decorating the front, turn it over to the back. Using skinny elastic, place to places of elastic across the back of the frame as shown in the picture. I glued the pieces down and then covered with some heavy duty tape to make sure it stays in place. This simply helps hold the acrylic frame in place while making it easy to remove the acrylic frame and change the picture.

Now the back of your frame will look kinda rough. You can leave it like this if you wish but I quickly covered it with some more paper. After that, I glued a few more pieces of magnet around the outside of the frame just to reinforce the magnets. Now place your photo in your acrylic frame, place inside the foamboard frame and hang!

I really like how neat and organized it makes my refrigerator look. Let's face it, anything that makes me look organized is amazing.

My mom did this great oval one. How creative.

My mom left me her template. I think I'll be making more very soon.
This would be great to top someones gift with this Christmas. I'm also thinking of making one and then slipping in different scriptures that I want to learn. When you have one memorized, it's easy to change to another one. So many great ideas for this.

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Plum Cake

This is a cake that I grew up on. Seriously. Everytime I visited my grandparents, Granny would have a plum cake waiting for us. This is a cake I dream about. Last year I finally asked my mom for the recipe. I had never asked for it before because I thought that since this cake was so delicious, it must be the world's hardest recipe. I about fell over when she emailed me the recipe. If you can do a box mix cake, you can do this. If you can't do a box mix cake then you need to still make this. Your family will think you are a genius.

Granny's Plum Cake - makes one bundt cake

1 Cup vegetable Oil
3 Cups Granulated Sugar
3 Eggs

Blend the above items well.

Sift the following items together. (note: I don't shift... evil, I know... but this is what the recipe says. Proceed without shifting at your own risk, it's still delicious!)

2 Cups All-purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking soda
ΒΌ Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon (heaping teaspoon)
1 Teaspoon Cloves (heaping teaspoon)

1. Add all ingredients to first mixture and blend well.
2. Next add the following ingredients.

1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Small Jars of Plum Baby Food (Infant Size) Strained Plums
(Plum Baby Food can be hard to find. You could always put pitted plums in the food processor or buy a different baby food. We tried blueberry Pear last time we made this cake and it was good but a little sweet. Try any flavor you want. A relative of mine uses carrot baby food to make a quick carrot cake.)
1 Cup Pecans

3. Pour into a Greased & Floured Tube or Bunt Pan
4. Bake about 1 hour at 350 degrees. Test for doneness at about 40 to 45 minutes.
5. Remove from an after about 10 minutes

I layed a stencil over the top of the cake and then sprinkled powdered sugar on top to make a design. However, I didn't like how it turned out and cut it before taking it to the party I had made it for. A paper doily really works better than a stencil. But, it never hurts to try.

When the cake is cool, cut and piece and...... SLATHER the sucker with Parkay butter spread.

Q: Does it have to be Parkay?
A: Do you need air to survive? Yes, it has to be Parkay. It will make all your dreams come true.

Making this recipe this weekend helped me notice just a few differences between my mom and I

#1. She shifts, I don't even own a shifter.
#2. She uses a ruler. I just eyeball it
#3. She uses patterns to sew. She bought me a pattern this weekend. I now own two patterns.
#4. She doesn't like my minivan. I love my minivan. Yes, Em.. I LOVE my minivan.
#5. She measures her spices. I um.. really don't.... see pics below

My mom's way:

My way:
Go eat your cake and measure your spices however you choose.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Clumsy Crafter: Home Improvement Addition

I did it. See that b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l fence? I did it!

Alright, alright.. I had some help. His Royal Highness and I put in the posts and supports over the weekend but I put all the boards on it while he was at work. Every single board was done by me. :) Now the dogs can go back into their part of the yard again for the first time since hurricane Ike. (We have two seperate yards)

Doesn't Gershwin look happy to be back on his side of the fence?

Meanwhile, while I was outside taking the pictures of the fence, this happened......

And this....

Would you like butter on your toast sweetie?

Domestic Queen, at your service.

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