Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mr. & Mrs. Peter Blank.....and a cake top!

Here is a little peek into the ceremony that took place yesterday. This is pretty nice for a court wedding, don't you think. Fullerton knows how to git 'er done! :o) This is the condensed version of our afternoon and evening....
Peter and Brenda exchanging their vows.
Having a toast at the restaurant....
Posing with their was delish even though the car ride there was a little rough so the frosting buckled. Thank goodness this wasn't a job I got paid for!
And the most adorable cake couple ever!!! They would've been sitting straight on the cake if Kelley had put them down but I did it and there was no moving them with the sticky dots underneath. Kelley did an excellent job with them and couple using personalized toppers seems to be the thing nowadays. Aren't they adorable?
I got to help a little bit with the painting but just on the couples mouths. It is a little different doing the wood craft painting compared to watercolor paper and canvas that Kelley is used to. I cut 3 or 4 circles of tulle with my Big Shot circle die, gathered them up with a needle and thread and Kelley stuck them down with a glue dot and added the little flower. We even got it on the right side of Brenda's little wooden head to match her 'real' head. :o) I made a little tie for the groom too but the rest of the adorable came from Kelley. So darn cute! Did I say that already? lol

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Butttttttercreeeeeeam. Yum!

Yesterday I got the supplies out for baking Brenda & Peter's wedding cake. I took cake decorating lessons when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter so the classes were some 32+ years ago. Things have changed quite a bit since then but some things have stayed the same too. Like my cake pans. They have held up really well for lots of years of baking cakes (though I don't do them much any more).
I "always" use Betty Crocker SuperMoist cake mix. It has never failed me and the cakes are so moist and delicious. I spray the sides of my pans with Pam Baking Spray and use parchment circles (I cut myself from rectangle pieces) in the bottom. These are 12" pans so I used three cake mixes but I really could've used one more and just made cupcakes with the leftovers. I like to fill the pans a little more and cut off the tops. That's what my family had as their treat for years. I wish I had a picture of my hubby's face yesterday when he came home and there was no "top". It was the saddest face ever. I made up for it tonight by baking another round cake and had lots leftover.
I needed to make another batch of icing for a total of 3 so I did a crumb coat on the cake to keep it from drying out.
Now, when you see these pictures you'll be able to tell I took my classes 30 years ago. I don't know how to do the ever-popular fondant and my style is "old school" but hey, the cake is free and I must say, it's tasty. It's white cake with raspberry filling and buttercream icing. How can you go wrong......old school or not. :o)
I needed something for the top of the cake for the wooden "couple" my daughter Kelley painted the happy couple. That will be their cake topper. I thought I had some wooden hearts but we couldn't find them. Kelley found a pack of sports coasters so I had her glue them together and wrap them in cellophane to keep the grease from the Crisco in the buttercream from soaking through it. And I was going to make roses for the top of the cake but it's warm and the icing was too soft. The roses looked like a blob so I just did a vine and some rosebuds. It was all I could think of to do at the last minute and it was getting late. There are only supposed to be about 20 people at the dinner after the ceremony so I think there will plenty of cake. Since this kind of cake is Peter's favorite, I hope they get some to take home too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Flowers, bag parts and a card

I'm still working with my Nikon camera that my girls got me for my birthday. I still get a lot of blurry pictures so I played with the settings and took some pictures in the yard. I love my old Sony. It took such nice pictures and it was a point and shoot camera. This one is bigger but it's mine so I'm trying to work with it. :o)
Pretty zinnias...

My mother-in-law, Betty, passed away several years ago but she always had these little flowers in her garden. I love how they look like tissue paper flowers and that in each plant you can get lots of colors. It's called Portulaca and it's a succulent (I looked on Yahoo! lol) They're doing pretty good in this spot in the yard. Yay! (Don't mind the big weed in the picture. There's always one!! haha)

My roses are 'finally' blooming. I'm not sure if I wasn't watering them enough or what. I only have two in the yard. This one is Angel Face, from my friend when my mom passed away. It is so fragrant. I love it.

Last night and tonight I cut some of the kits I need for the bridesmaid bags for my daughter's wedding. I have several more to cut before I get to the sewing.

And tonight I made a card for the wedding we'll go to on Friday (for Brenda, from the shower last Saturday). I saw a simple card online and liked the simplicity of it so I used the basic premise of the card as a starting point. (I like mine better. lol)

Kelley made Brenda & Peter a wooden doll cake topper. When I talked to Brenda, they weren't having a cake at the wedding. They were doing a small dinner after the ceremony for a few friends and family. Me and my big mouth offered to make a cake since it can be small and there are only about 20 people who will be attending. I'm such a glutton for punishment, aren't I? lol If the cake comes out nice enough, I'll post pictures. It could be a disaster as I haven't made a cake in quite a while and my tendinitis has been acting up with all the rotary cutting and gardening I've been doing. Gee, you think I should back off some of these things? :o)

Brenda's Shower (lots of pictures!)

Well, we finally had the bridal shower for my daughter Kelley's friend, Brenda. I'm sure if you have kids, you know sometimes there are a few that seem like your own. Brenda is one of those girls. Besides being one of Kelley's best buds, we joke that she is also like my middle daughter's twin sister. They are so much alike. Anyway, here are some pictures of the decorations and guests and of the bride-to-be......
Kelley used quilts, pennants, tea cups and paper lanterns to decorate the backyard.

Her colors for the shower were pink, red and little bit of every other color.

We found a few teapots at yard sales and thrift stores and tea cups from my collection and at a wholesale place. Kelley gathered things from all over the house to decorate with a shabby chic kind of style.

We had pink marshmallows left over from a craft project and they looked perfect in this thrift store container. We put straws in a milk bottle and put flowers from the 99 cent store in some of the teapots since it was in the 80's and too hot for a warm drink! Kelley mixed colored and clear sugar sprinkles for the party favors. You can see a close up picture in my last post.

We had pink lemonade and peach tea (yum!). The peach tea was the Market brand from Target and was so delicious and refreshing....and sugar free! The clear cups were also from the dollar store. I think there were about 10 in a package. They were a cute little shape, perfect for a tea party.

The plants in the yard filled in pretty nice by the time we had the party. I thought the bougainvilleas were goners but they're both coming back nicely. Don't you "love" the orange hand chair? That was trash-picked chair by my middle dd from her high school days and it's still here. lol We're a classy bunch, eh? This picture shows a good shot of Kelley's pennant. She used some cute fabric Stephanie got at a discount fabric store and some eyelet I've had since they were little girls (and needed to be used up a LONG time ago). Kelley cut them out and stitched two pieces together (except for the eyelet ones) and I chain sewed them together using double fold binding.

Here's another shot that shows the set up pretty good.

You can see the sun was bright that day. Kelley made name tags in her artsy-fartsy program. The vintage quilt they are on is one Stephanie bought several years ago at a thrift store in Hollywood when we went to see Wicked. Kelley bought the badge and personalized it for Brenda who's married name sounds like a Marvel comic character, Mrs. Brenda Blank. :o)

We put the food out at the last possible moment. There were cranberry scones, pumpkin scones, chicken Caesar salad, fresh fruit platter and also bowls of cherries and strawberries for use of their wonderful red color.
Brenda greeting some of her guests....

....having deep conversations and showing off her bling. :o)

A little peek at a few of the games.......He Said, She Said and a word scramble.
There was also a "guess who brought this lingerie" game. If she guessed wrong, she had to put it on. What a good sport!
You can't have a shower without a something RED, right? I got her this red pitcher, perfect for her own peach tea!

It was a good time. Good job, Kelley! And thank you mother nature for keeping the heat at an acceptable 82 degrees and a nice breeze blowing all afternoon.
And in case you are wondering where I was during this the food table, of course! Those dang scones were delicious!!! lol

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wedding Shower card

We're finally having the bridal shower for my daughter's friend Brenda this Saturday. Brenda had emergency surgery a while back so the 'surprise' shower got postponed and now she knows all about it. Me and Kelley can hardly wait to have this shower. I'm sure now that Brenda knows about it, she's excited too....we hope. LOL
I got into my room to make a card. And of course, you might as well do two cards if you're cutting paper for one, right? I had two different kinds of doilies so tried some layering but it seemed like something was missing. I'll show my kids and they'll say something like, "Oh, you just need one of these" or "you should've...". It's okay though. Hopefully, the bride-to-be will love the card and the present even more. :o)

Kelley made some little party favors with jars from Michael's (50% off...woohoo), colored sugar and a tea bag. The red and white polka dot background is a washtub sort of container that Kelley got me for Mother's Day. We'll use it for a party ice tub and put cute little bottles of drinks in it.

Off to go cut out a few more of those bridesmaid bags. Multi-task, multi-task......times a flyin' by!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cricut Cartridge Storage

I signed up for facebook (fb) a while ago but never really cared for the layout. It's taken me some time but I'm coming around. I follow a couple of crafty sites and recently, I saw something that made visiting fb worthwhile.
Below are my Cricut cartridges on a shelf in my 'paper crafting room'. As you can see, I have a few! :o) I recently joined the Cricut Cheat Sheet on fb and a lady, Deanna, shared a great space-saver on a post. She got a storage box and was able to store 22 cartridges and all the 'parts' in one box. So I went online and ordered a box for $6.99 (no shipping or tax) from Gander Mountain. Here is a link to the actual product.
So, I was able to go from this...

To this! 22 cartridges in a nice little space.

I have two leftovers so I just sat them on the shelf by themselves for now. I'm sure I'll acquire one or two more cartridges and have to buy box #2. I just can't help myself.... When I find them during the holidays for $15.00/a's just too tempting to add to my collection.

I have been organizing and cleaning in my sewing room too. Things were so messy, I couldn't move around or didn't have a clean place to cut fabric! Got my laundry done yesterday and some cleaning done so I hope to get some sewing done today. Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Good ol' Customer Service

I have to admit, there are times when I think customer service is dead in this country. Well, maybe in the whole world. Who knows? In my day job, I am an Administrative Assistant and we focus on providing people with good customer service but when I'm on the other end of the phone, as a customer, it seems obsolete. Until Monday.....

I got a Keurig coffee brewer for Christmas and when we were on vacation, I got a text message from my daughter that it died. Well, we didn't bury it or anything but only about a tablespoon of coffee would come out when she tried to brew a cup. Now, my first thought when I got the text message was, "What the heck am I going to do about it from Arizona?" but she was just asking if the problem happened to me too or was this a new problem? It was a new problem and imagine the dismay of my friend and her mom who were house sitting and were all ready to have a hot cup of coffee at their every whim. Sorry Nora! :o(

So, Monday I called the 800 number in my owner's manual. They took all my basic information and I held for a minute for a service person but unfortunately, there was no one available to walk me through a few 'things' like poking certain parts in my machine with a straightened out paper clip. High-tech, I know. :o) I told them I would call them back the next day because I wasn't sure when I would be home. Tuesday I called and got lots of please, thank yous and ma'ams and after it was decided that my machine was not repairable, the service person said they would be sending me out a new, NEW, not refurbished, brewer by FedEx Ground. After I picked myself up off the floor, I thanked the young man repeatedly and said I knew a lot of people that had gotten Keurig brewers because I always raved about mine. I told him I would be sure to pass on what wonderful service they also offer. So, there you have it. Did you hear it? I just brewed me a nice hot cup o' Joe.....and I lived happily ever after. hehe

And what goes great with coffee? Buttermilk pancakes of course!! When we were on vacation, we went to Blueberry Hill Restaurant in Las Vegas. We had been there in 2009 and the pancakes were so good, it stuck with me for two years. Not literally, but you know what I mean. lol We went there for breakfast and after I got home, I checked to see if there was a recipe for their buttermilk pancakes. I found one and happened to have all the ingredients I needed. That was a shock right there since it requires buttermilk!!!

I slopped me some butter on there and some syrup and yum, YUM! They were delicious! And now they're gone. You country-cousins might think "What's the big deal?" but this city girl has only ever made pancakes with a mix. It is a big deal. :o) Here's the recipe I used:

Buttermilk Pancakes from Food by Yahoo! Shine!

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flower
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or sour milk) **this cook (I use the term 'cook' loosely) didn't look up what that meant!** lol
3 tablespoons cooking oil
Desired fruit options (optional)*
Desired syrup (optional)

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, use a fork to combine egg, buttermilk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy). If desired, stir in desired fruit. (I made mine fruitless.)

**I'm going to type the rest of the recipe under protest, to be legit and provide the entire recipe but honestly, even "I" know how to make pancakes!! As I typed most of the info below, I was saying DUH under my breath! lol

For standard-size pancakes, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet, spreading batter if necessary. For dollar-size pancakes, use about 1 tablespoon batter. (Yeah, right!) cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry. Serve warm. If desired, top with syrup. Makes 12 standard-size pancakes or 40 dollar-size.

OH....I made two batches. The first one, well, the griddle was too hot and um, yeah, I'm a great cook. I told you that, right? Hey, the smoke alarm didn't go off so I think I did okay. Anyway, the batter was a little thick. On the second batch, I added a little more buttermilk and a little bit of water. I would say you could either increase the buttermilk to 1 3/4 cups or use what the recipe calls for and add a little water to the consistency you like. I think it was so thick, that's why the first batch burned. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!!

Here's a little Americana and a Happy 4th of July wish to you. I am on vacation with my hubby, my sister and her husband. We are in Flagstaff, AZ. We went to see the majestic Grand Canyon yesterday and then went to Williams, AZ. We ate at a quaint little place called the Pine Country Restaurant. And just around the corner was a quilt shop!! (We're clever to find a restaurant so close huh?) This picture is from the post outside the restaurant.

And here's a little view of the Grand Canyon....
Tomorrow we're off for Sedona. The guys will play golf and we girls will go shopping. Again......