10/27/14

ZERO Calorie Cupcakes

I recently made three dozen "ZERO" calorie cupcakes to pass out to some friends and acquaintances recently. Don't they look yummy! Would you believe they have ZERO calories? Its true!!!! "How can that be," you ask? uh.... because they are not edible ;-) LOL I crack myself up.... 
I used an insulating foam to create the cupcakes. This 16 ounce spray can of insulating foam I picked up at Home Depot was under five dollars. It made a LOT of cupcakes.

I only filled the cupcake liners half way... you can see in this photo below how much the Styrofoam rises with the 24 hours that I let them set up.

I ended up having to cut off the tops down to become "cupcake" size. If your going to try making some, I would recommend filling them only 1/4 high in the cupcake liners. It will look like a squiggly mess when you first spray it in the liners, but when it rises, it will be a perfectly smooth.
I also had to cut off the bottom of each cupcake as the Styrofoam created a round bottom to each cupcake making them wobble when set down. For the frosting I used "Patch-n-Paint" lightweight spackle. I used pink paint in this cup below. The first photo shows the cupcakes that I mixed straight red paint into the white spackle thinking it would turn pink... it didn't, it looks more like a salmon. Whatever~
I noticed too that some of the frosting had started to crack. I think this might have happened due to the spackle being old and having sat in the garage for over a year. If I were to make more of these, I would invest in new spackle. But for what I used them for--- it was perfect. Perfectly funny that is *wink*
Here are a couple of tips if your wanting to try making some.
  • Again, only fill each cupcake liner 1/4 the way up.
  • Don't touch the foam with your hands--- that's some sticky stuff!
  • Once you start spraying the insulating foam you have to either use it all up or toss it as it won't let you use it over several days.
  • Use a piece of double sided sticky tape to hold your cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. The foam will make it expand right out of the cupcake pan leaving you with a "hot mess." 
  • If your needing to wash off any tools, do it outside with a hose and not down your pipes. 
  • Make sure you tell your "dumb" friends that they cannot eat them. *wink* 
big hugs,

10/20/14

Crocheted Frozen Elsa Hat

I whipped up a crocheted Frozen Elsa hat for my grand daughter Chloe... Here is the finished hat on the newly made head form I had made especially to showcase this hat~
 The turquoise yarn I used for the crown has a little silver shimmery strand running through it. I used some large snowflake sequins I pulled off a winter sprig that I got at the dollar store.
I found the pattern for the Elsa hat on Sarah's blog if your wanting to make one yourself. My grand daughter is pretty-happy with it! Now we just have to wait for colder weather so she can wear it to school.

 I have a LOT of crochet projects in the works, two hats, three scarves and one poncho--- it is fall isn't it? The temperature is dropping, but it is still in the 80's. Gotta love California *wink*
big hugs,

10/15/14

Keepsake Tins

I was commissioned recently with a request to make some small keepsake containers to hold a person's cremated remains. A portion of the remains are going to be placed inside each of the containers and given to a number of people so that the remains can be scattered in different places.
 I was asked to make them look vintage and distressed and to use the "Skull n' Bones" embossing folder by Cuttlebug. Sounds easy enough.
They didn't have to be distressed all the same.... it was fun to play around with different color choices. I also added some embossing powders to them to give them a super old look. I think my favorite is the copper tins with the green verdigris. It isn't as bright in person.

I sprayed each one when they were finished with a matte sealant to keep the paint intact.

 I made a total of twenty-four small keepsake tins...
I also added another embossed piece on the inside of each lid. I used some of my coveted vintage velvet on the bottom of each tin... I also distressed the inside too~

I hope the person who commissioned me to make them loves them.

big hugs,

10/8/14

One Thing Leads To Another

Isn't that the truth? I was crocheting a hat for my grandaughter recently and as I was doing so, I thought to myself... "self, you should make a cute hat stand to show this hat off when your finished with it." So, the crocheting was set aside and I was off starting a new project. I took an old Styrofoam head and totally made it over into something that I now l.o.v.e.
 I used metal tape that I ran through my Big Kick embossing machine to cover the head form. I used a very ornate embossing folder on the tape to give the form a nice vintage look. Along the edges of the cut pieces of the metal tape, I used pins to keep the tape in place. I think it gives the piece a look of having rivets.
 After finishing and loving the results with the Styrofoam head... that made me grab the Styrofoam torso I have and cover that with the same treatment. Here you can see the beginning stages of that project... one thing leads to another... and another.
I also had my two grandkids playing with some metal tape too.... I had them both create a photo frame. Here is my five year old grandaughter very proudly holding her finished frame.

Now, I am needing to get back to my original project of crocheting my grandaughter's hat!
big hugs,
 

9/29/14

Cement Compass Tutorial

Here is a tutorial on how I made the large compass rose in my backyard lagoon.
Firstly, I drew a large compass to use as a pattern. I drew this onto some butcher paper, it measures approximately 37 inches round.
The next step was to create a mold if you will to pour the mortar mix (I use mortar not cement) into to create the cement compass. I cut long strips of cardboard into two inch strips. Next, I used hot glue to attach it to the paper backing and to other pieces of cardboard to keep it all together. Here it is completed. The cardboard strips are all glued in place to the paper backing and to the joining cardboard pieces as well. I pulled off the paper backing in this photo. I did this to better anchor the mold in place in the dirt. I tried it with the paper backing still attached but it didn't sit properly in the dirt so it wasn't leveling like I wanted it to. So off came the paper!
Here is the cement mold in place ready for the mortar mix to fill in the areas to create the compass in the lagoons floor. I just poured some of the dry mortar in a bucket and added some water until it was a nice ever-so-slightly-runny consistency. *wear gloves,  mortar is brutal on bare skin*
The mortar mix sets up pretty fast. I usually take a knife and run it along side the cardboard to make the edges a little softer. If you don't do this step, the edges can be pretty sharp on your feet when you walk across it barefoot.
Once you start pulling up the cardboard pieces you'll be amazed at how great it looks. Which in turn gets your mind racing to all kinds of other fabulous things you can make with mortar!
Here is the compass rose all finished with some faux bricks that I made to fill in the area around the medallion. There is no way I was going to cut brick to fit in those areas.

Here it is painted with the first coat of acrylic paint.
I also distressed it as well and painted all the brick around the compass black to give it all an old-old look. Lastly, I swept some dirt and sand on to the bricks to set them all in place.

It was super easy to make. I hope this encourages you to make this or something similar. 
big hugs,

9/23/14

Treasure

This past weekend I got a lot of fantastic pirate treasure. Prices were insanely low on everything I seemed to gravitate  towards. Ok, most people do not want to buy this old junk--- so maybe that is why I can pick it up so cheaply?
I found some great block sales.... 

I also scored at some rummage sales...
and some Church sales as well.

 My favorite place to score treasures though is the weekend swap meet. I have people I buy from every weekend and they practically give me things for free... The gal I buy jewelry from sold me all of this for $1.00!

 In the bag was all of these too...

Another person whom I buy from lets me stuff-- and I mean STUFF things into a large carry tote and sells me the entire lot for only $10.00. Here is a small sample of some of the things I stuffed in my large tote that I got this past weekend. *don't hate me*
I also stuffed in the bag an old Kodak memory book... At first glance I thought the images were cut out from books....

When I got it home I realized that it is actually filled with old post cards, the earliest is from 1900. 

Here is a post card of the 1906 devastating fire in San Francisco with the caption "No need of telling what this means"

I have also been playing pirate in my backyard. Ok, more like "demolition man" I pulled apart the little pirate store I have in my backyard. I am getting rid of the "cutesy-ness" and making it more pirate. Aaaarrrgh! 
All the shabby chic bird cages are being taken out. I'll either paint them black and reuse them, or just get rid of them all together. I was concerned my grand daughter wouldn't be to happy with the idea--- but I think she came around when I showed her some small plastic mice and she asked me if I would put them in her new pirate store to scare everyone. That's my girl!
I am hoping to get a huge jump on things before the weather gets rainy and to cold for me to venture outside.
big hugs,
 

9/18/14

Girl Scouts

My five year old grand daughter is going to be selling Girl Scout cookies in a few months and I am excited for her.... I thought it would be fun for her to make some "cookies on a cookie sheet" for either a Girl Scout swap or just as a little thank you gift for a cookie purchase.
 My daughter had a bag full of rectangle shaped pins that worked out perfectly for the cookie sheet.

I used metal tape to cover the pins and then using a hole punch I punched out a bazillion little circles (cookies) out of thin chip board.
I dabbed Elmer's glue on the metal covered pins and glued the circles in place. Lastly, I handed them over to Miss Chloe and she gets the fun job of adding all the chocolate chips to all the cookies.
I am sure she has her eye on getting a patch for selling the most cookies.. the little cutie-pie~
big hugs,