I made babycakes yesterday for a friend's last day at my grown up girl job and I thought I'd share the recipe, as well as some easy peasy tips for decorating them! Here's my recipe (which is the one on the Nestle' Toll House Cocoa box):
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cups of sifted powdered Nestle' Toll House Cocoa
a few drops of milk
Beat on high speed with your mixer. Then....
Decorate by frosting the babycakes (I use the big star tip) and then by adding your choice of:
a malt ball
mini chocolate chips
1/2 of a white chocolate candy melts (found at the cake supply stores...)
See how easy that is? Yummy too.
My booth at Junkees is looking pitiful. Pathetic, really. So empty and forlorn. I am thrilled that my things are selling so well, but I can't seem to get in a rhythm to keep up with the demand, and I have been moaning and groaning and whining to my friends about it. Well, this week I decided to stop whining and do something about it.
I found a bookcase on craigslist Wednesday and I made arrangements to pick it up after work. When I saw it in person, I was pretty disappointed. Let's just say, in person, it was not the greatest looking bookcase I'd ever seen. The darling little gal selling it was desperate for money, as she was moving (driving) back home to Georgia in three weeks. (my heart melted when I met her, so sweet and sincere, with her charming Georgia drawl, calling me ma'am...) She was probably 20, but looked 17. So young to be so far from home, and all alone. I paid nearly triple what the bookcase was worth (in my frugal mind..) but I knew I was doing the right thing. She needed the money far more than I needed a bargain.
It took 3 of us to load it, then I paid for the bookcase, and gave her a hug and told her to have a safe trip and was on my way. She was thrilled to be rid of her last big piece of furniture and for the money and I felt like I had done a good deed, so it was all good.
Then, last night, a funny thing happened. (not funny ha-ha, funny extraordinary) As I primed and painted the bookcase, a miracle occurred. The ugly duckling of a bookcase had become a beautiful vintage furniture swan. It's going to be fabulous in my booth, holding all my smalls. I got goosebumps when I stepped back and looked at the finished piece. Seriously, I got so excited I couldn't go to sleep. (Really. I'm goofy like that.)
I just love it when stuff like this happens.
How can you not love this face?
I got this oh-so-charming gigantic bear last Saturday out junkin'. He's really not completed yet, since I still plan to antique his tags and maybe add a few more vintage button embellishments to his bow. Aah, a perfect bear to live in a nursery.
So, how big is he?
This little train case was screaming for some foofifying. (Did you hear it?) So, my trusty Silhouette and I obliged. (I made the stencil for the word "Paris" with my favorite tool of the trade in about 4 seconds...)
Too easy. Too fun. Too cute.
It's off to my booth at Junkees to find a new home.
I had to share!
My daughter is a planner, so it is of no surprise to anyone that this past weekend she and the Daddy-to-be got the nursery all painted and she said I could share a few pictures with all of you!
A pale blue ceiling (that will soon have a few scattered fluffy clouds painted upon it) and fabulously striped walls. The room was already the toasted cashew shade of cream, so they only had to paint the lighter white stripes and not the entire room. (Still, it was a huge job, as this room is quite large...much larger than it photographs in fact) Can you just imagine the darling vignette that will be set up on the ledge there?)
The vintage dresser I painted looks almost small in the corner since the walls are so tall, but trust me, it's a decently sized piece of furniture with plenty of storage for the Peanut's onsies and such.
*sigh* It's easy to see that this project is a true labor of love.
When I did the last order of orange, white and lime green baby cakes I had no idea they would be so well received! I got a phone call the very next day from a woman working with a ladies golf tournament wanting exactly the same babycakes... ten dozen of them to be precise!
I was more than happy to oblige.
Look at these adorable vintage looking chalk ware duckies I snagged this morning out saling. (Six of them in all!)
I am thinking they just might need to go in Peanut R's bathroom on a shelf....since his Mama is doing a vintage nursery theme....or maybe three duckies for each Peanut...if Peanut B's Mama likes them!
*sigh* I just love Saturday morning garage sales.
Were you wondering which invitation I chose? Well, I just couldn't decide, so...I did a few of each and they are waiting in my mailbox for the mailman to pick them up this morning. They were so easy to make and they turned out so cute!(by the way, you may be surprised to know that my personal favorite was the lime green with the bright orange...different for me I know, but so cheerful!)
I can't tell you too many times just how much I looooooove that Silhouette machine that made it possible to make those darling diapers. It is just the coolest thing and it has opened up a whole new creative world for me. ( I just realized that I sound like I had a religious experience due to this machine...not quite, but...well, you know I have a bit of a flair for drama. Suffice to say I haven't regretted this purchase at all.)
Okay...the double shower.(How fun is this gonna be?! Two grandbabies!) As for the theme...It's a coin toss at this point, since we won't know Peanut B's sex until the week before the shower...so, I have two roughed out plans all set to go. (I know, you're not even surprised.)
Option 1 (if we are expecting a boy and a girl)
I want to go with a "buttons and Bows" theme...with pink and blue ribbons and buttons. Pink and blue babycakes and lots of pink and blue on the buffet table (with blue buttons and pink ribbons and vintage family baby photos...)
Option 2 (if we are expecting 2 boys)
I want to make a banner that reads "oh boy oh boy" and of course everything will be blue. (Robins egg blue) There will be cupcakes (I'm thinking the bird's nests with 2 lil' blue eggs in them) and other treats.. (and Lisa, you cracked me up with the suggestion of serving Vienna sausages!)
Now, I've got to figure out exactly what we'll be doing at his shower besides eating and watching the two mama's to be open gifts...any suggestions?
I am thrilled to make this announcement! The next Tumbleweed Cotillion has been scheduled and a location selected!
If you're interested in being a vendor, you can get a copy of the application and vendor kit right here. I do believe that this one will prove to be our finest yet. The historic old gymnasium is huge, (so huge in fact, that we've decided to make all of the booth spaces a generous 15 by 15 feet!) with hardwood floors, plenty of electrical outlets for our vendors and ample parking for our shoppers.
Besides the amazing vintage fare you've come to expect, we're offering up something really fun this time around; an old fashioned Bake Sale. Picture this if you will, a long table, draped with some wonderful burlap and canvas cloths, and upon this, oodles and toodles of delicious baked goods from our very most favorite caterer and restaurant, Voila'! (pumpkin breads, pecan bars, walnut and chocolate chip cookies, caramel apples....oh ya.) stacked and arranged in giant apothecary jars with charming labels and ribbons on them. (of course we'll have hot cider and other beverages as well)
Like I said...mark your calendars! (and stay tuned people, I'll have lots more to share in the days ahead...on the Tumbleweed Cotillion website and here on my blog!)
My mind is spinning as I begin planning the upcoming double baby shower and I am extra excited because I will be hosting out of town guests. Oh, how I love entertaining and making people feel welcome, friends and family alike.
This Saturday I will begin my time line and prep work for the shower (and my guests!) and there are so many ideas in my head that I am not quite sure which path I'm taking yet. The decorations will have to wait until we see if Peanut B is a boy or a girl (oh!! I cannot wait to find out!) and the menu is up in the air for now too. Then, there are the other meals for my guests...and of course, having all the family together. There are sheets to be washed and groceries to be bought...yes, I've got to get my plans nailed down this weekend.
One thing is for sure though, I'll be baking and serving cupcakes.
Here is one of the treasures from last Saturday. It's a vintage wooden ironing board that I reinvented with a bit of paint, antiquing and decoupage. Here's the ironing board in it's "before" state with some other finds from the day.
Who says an ironing board can't be romantic?
I ended up with a most unusual (and all fabulous!) assortment of goodies from this year's annual Hidden Valley neighborhood yard sale. A tiara (I know I shared it yesterday, but it's so cute I took pictures of it in a few spots...it's going to be altered and foofified for the Sewing Queen of northern Nevada) a crinoline slip (pictured above, and a fabulous find at $3) some large botanical prints...
....a vintage wooden ironing board, a slipper chair, vintage Christmas ornaments, some perfectly aged old silver serving pieces, a giant old dictionary (I use to pages for making banners) and the most charming rabbit I've come across in quite some time. (can you just see him outside of a playhouse in Gramma Cupcake's backyard?)
All of this, and still I didn't get the "buy of the day", (Although we all agreed that the $3 crinoline slip was a close second as far as pricing went) Nope, the "buy of the day" went to my friend Tracey, who scored an entire box of absolute mint condition bottle brush Christmas trees ( and assorted santas and snowmen!) for a whopping two bucks from an older woman who was enjoying the morning sitting in her driveway, with all her goods on a table under an awning with a freshly made bloody mary, thankyouverymuch. (Now, that's the way to enjoy running a yard sale.)
Most unusual thing we saw all morning? Um...that would have to be the Cinderella style real wedding gown hanging in a large tree in someone's front yard. (What the heck is wrong with me?! Why didn't I take a picture?!) I of course immediately wanted to snag it for a future display in my antique booth. (...to put on my dressform in my booth some month when I am showcasing a "something borrowed, something blue" wedding theme...) but, when we asked the price, we were told "Seven fifty".
"Seven dollars and fifty cents?" we asked.
"No, seven hundred fifty dollars." she answered.
"Oh." (insert eye rolls and small gasps here)
After all, she explained she had paid $4,000 for it. Um, ya. If you're serious sweetie, the way to sell it wouldn't be hanging it in a maple tree in the front yard hoping a potential bride in a size 8 wanders by in search of the perfect gown (perfect other than slightly soiled, probably from the many attempts it took to get it hung just so from the branch of the tree) to complete her wedding plans.
*sigh* It made for great conversation the rest of the morning.
Faithful friends are gifts
from heaven; whoever finds one has found a treasure. Unknown
Saturday morning was spent at the annual mother of all garage sales in the biggest little city with three of my friends. Scouring driveways for treasures, conspiring to get reduced prices on all of our purchases, and occasionally even critiquing people’s fashion choices for the morning, we had a fabulous time.
I look forward to this event each summer, (We've been attending this sale for years) and it occurred to me today that the reason it is so fun is not the treasure hunting, or even the goal of being the one shopper in the group that got the official “buy of the day” but the blessing of spending this time with true friends. That is the real treasure.
Three cupcake orders this weekend, and lucky for me, two of the orders were for the same colors and flavor. The cupcakes pictured here are the tiny ones (I call them babycakes) but it's hard to tell that in the picture, since there isn't really anything to reference it by.
Lime green, orange and white baby cakes, with whimsical little details. I make the swirls by piping melted candy melts through a parchment bag onto freezer paper. Once I am done, I put the freezer paper in the refrigerator to firm it up, then lift off the swirls and pop 'em on the little babycakes...so cute.
And so yummy too.
You know I am all about family. And nesting.
I'm planning a double baby shower for the two mama's-to-be, just 'coz I think it will be so fun, and I love them both so much. (and I am just dyin' to do some entertaining!)
This brings me to my little dilemma..er...challenge, and I'd like your input. Okay, let me begin by admitting right up front that I may be a little..OCD, and I really have trouble making up my mind on things like color ways for table scapes, invitations and all that. Really.
In this case the decision to be made is the invitations, made with my new tool, 'natch. (Yup, it makes the diaper die cuts...in any size I want! Have I mentioned that I love this new tool?) It's about color (or lack there of...) and really, what lead the choices for paper and pattern was that I have only green, tan and chocolate brown mini safety pins. (...just try finding these locally in the biggest little city.) We know that Peanut R is a little boy but we won't know what Peanut B is until a week before the shower, so I am designing the invites to be more uni-sex, neutral...ish. So...here is option number 1, which is pretty colorful, and while it may not remind you immediately of me, I do love the bright cheerful splash of color:
And option number 3, which is more vintage feeling (and it reminds me of my sweet friend Dawn!)....
OK people. Don't hold back. I value your input and I can take it. Which one is your favorite? (Oh, and keep in mind, this will have no bearing on the decor for the party...that will get decided the minute I know what Peanut B is!)
With the exception of an occasion show on the Food Network or HGTV, or Oprah if I am lucky enough to be home at 4:00 once in a while, I'm really not too much of a TV person. This week is different. This week I am all about the Olympics in the evenings. How about you?
Oh ya, I'm a Phelps phan. (Isn't everyone?!) I had errands (and two meetings) after work and thought I was going to miss part of the Olympics, but I made it in the door just as it was starting. (I needed my Phelps phix) I mean, is this kid amazing, or what? And he seems so nice. (and his Mom even seems so nice, like someone I'd swap recipes or run to Target with) That just makes it all perfect television for me.
It's kind of funny, I'm not an athletic person by any stretch of the imagination, and I never have been. I played badminton in high school (notice I didn't say I lettered in it, and yes, it is too a sport.) I don't watch any kind of TV sports and I only ever cared about the sports my own children participated in as they were growing up, but... I don't know. There is something different about the Olympics. Maybe it's the fact that it's all about the world's best young athletes, still mainly unknown, giving their all out there. Or all the ceremony of the award presentation, and the fact that yes, if you are talented enough and work hard enough you can do it.
Everyone has a story, and they are all fascinating. (How about Germany's gymnast, Oksana Chusovitina, who left Russia for Germany to get her son medical care? Now, that's a story.) I swear, I think these stories are every bit as interesting as the Olympics themselves.
Another observation from my cozy chair in the living room, is tattoos. Have you noticed how many of these young athletes are sporting the Olympic rings tattood somewhere on them? The shoulder seems to be the most common location. While I am from an age group that are not necessarily fans of body art, these look kind of cool and I can understand the symbolism of it all.
Besides Phelps, and the swim competitions, I'm also totally engrossed in watching those tandem (synchronized? Whatever.) divers. How do they do that? Wow. (There isn't a better descriptive word for me to insert here. Just WOW.) Oh, and the gymnastics.The strength. The power. The balance beam? Come on. If that doesn't impress you, you need to get yourself checked.
My third favorite event is volleyball. Mens. Womens. Oh yes, people, volleyball. And for me, with the volleyball event, it's not just the volleyball game, it's the fact that it's in the sand and I love those cool little covered benches to take-a-break-and-have-a-sip-of-water areas they provide for the players. So cute, with the fan-type flipp-y awning tops. (You see, in the end, a little part of it is about decor and details...)
Remember it before? (I hope it did it justice...I'll have to see what the card designer thinks)
How do you like it?
Remember this from a week ago Saturday? The Victorian spooner was really in pretty dismal condition, with a missing (well, unattached at least) handle, no spoons, and hardly any silver-y finish left. (and clearly it wasn't even silver-plate, so I didn't feel bad painting it) Parts of the base almost appeared to be plastic-ish, if there is such a thing. (Mmm hmm, that's what a quarter buys you these days, people.)
I spray primed the lid, then painted it a pale cream and antiqued it (really, it took all of three minutes.) Then, I took an old apothecary jar, removed the attached glass top and added the now fabulous re-invented lid to it. It holds my small collection of pearly colored buttons.
Hmmm, looking at it now I do think I need to add a length of vintage seam binding ribbon around the mouth of the jar at some point, but for now, I am quite happy with my transformation.
*sigh* Pretty good for twenty five cents and five minutes work.
I arrived home from work last night to find 2 large shipping boxes on my front porch. I hadn't ordered anything...what could they be?
I opened the boxes to find the most beautifully wrapped presents! Each one a work of art, wrapped in sheet music and vintage wallpaper,adorned with old buttons, vintage ribbons and crystals and accompanied by the sweetest handmade collage notecard from Susan G. (That's the darling notecard in front!) They were all so lovely that I couldn't bear to open them, so I just admired them on the counter in the kitchen for nearly an hour.
I had a friend coming over and so I decided to wait to open them so she could see the incredible wrappings. Once she arrived it was just like Christmas. Really. I opened all of my sweet gifts and found the most precious black and creme colored ceramics!! Susan had thrifted most of these treasures and thought of me.(How nice is that?!) She said the pitcher was from TJ Maxx. (does this girl know me, or what?!) I cannot wait to use it!
The gifts are fabulous, but much more, I am so touched by her kind note, and her thoughtfulness that I do not have the right words to really express it. "Thank you" definitely doesn't begin to cover it. Susan, your wonderful note and gifts from the heart have me grinning ear to ear, knowing that I have so many wonderful friends out there. We may never meet face to face, but we're kindred spirits just the same.
You touched my heart and I thank you sincerely.
I meant to share these pictures last week and somehow forgot to. Then, last night I was telling a friend on the phone about my last trip to my beloved PTown and I remembered that I forgot (oh, you know what I mean...)
After attending the Barn House Sale in Battleground, we headed back into Stars Hollow Camas to check out another fair supposedly happening there, but we never quite made it. We had to stop because certain streets were closed, due to the "Camas Days Parade". (What?! Oh. My. Ga. Yet another thing to love about this sweetest of small towns...)
It was a true Stars Hollow moment, I tell you. I hung out the car window snapping pictures and taking it all in- the homemade floats, the proud members of the community out there curbside supporting their little town. Gosh, I loved it.
The highlight (for me anyway) was seeing this...
If you can't read it, let me tell you what is says: "CITIZEN OF THE YEAR, Wilson Cady". Oh, how I long to live in a small town community where each and every one can aspire to become the citizen of the year. How magnificent!
I asked my daughter what Mr. Cady did to receive such an honor. She said she had read about him, or maybe it was on the TV news, but she couldn't remember exactly what it was. (Sorry Mr. Cady.) I felt the sudden urge to jump from the car and locate the Taylor Doose or Miss Patty of Camas to ask them. They would know.
At any rate, the reason I share this, is that we need more of these kinds of things in our daily lives. (at least I do) More Camas Days parades. More Citizens of the Year awards. More little big moments.
Let's celebrate everyday life.
I know. I said I'd show you the finished product tonight.
Well....I thought I'd get this little cutie finished up, but.....an errand after work and phone calls to make had me running very much behind, and I want it to be exactly perfect (it's for my grandbabies, you know!) so I didn't get it antiqued yet, and I have a wee bit more detail work to add here and there...but here's a little snippet of what I'm working on... I'll show it in it's entirety when it's completed, I promise!
I was so touched and honored that I cried when the card designer arrived last Sunday she surprised me with this family heirloom treasure. Her father-in-law had made it for her girls when they were wee small babies, and she knew that with my love of vintage items, I would adore it.(Oh,and I do!) I will cherish this precious piece always, not just because it is so charming, but because my dear friend thought enough of me to entrust me with it's care and keeping.
She said she wanted me to reinvent it with my paint, and I know that she is anxious to see what I do with this captivating little rocker...so, today after work I will have it completed and share it with you all tonight.
** I will give you one clue...I am using my new "Silhouette" tool to add a bit of vintage charm to this sweetest little bit of nostalgic furniture. (and I know this will thrill the card designer even more!)
I love making banners. Big or small, vintage looking or colorful and hip, I am all about thinking up new ideas for banners and garlands. The card designer told me about this incredible machine that actually cuts letters (or shaped die cuts) in any size you can want.Oh, and you can use the remaining part of the paper with the cut out space as a stencil.
It's called the "Silhouette". I got confused and referred to it as "the Stiletto" (must be my shoe addiction kicking in) It's a "digital craft cutter" and it. is. way. too. cool. (If you have one of these, I'd love to hear what you make with yours!!)
A little bit unusual but oh, so meant-to-be string of events ended with me as the proud (and slightly scared) owner of one of these babies. Proud, because, once I mastered the machine, the sky would be the limit for me to create new things with lettering. Scared... for two reasons. First, it was an investment type of purchase. (cha-ching) I don't make purchases like this often, and I was totally freaked that it might not be all it was cut up to be. (pardon the pun, I couldn't help myself) Second, scared because the computer and I go way back, with me always managing to jack something up each time I want to install new hardware or try to download anything other than a photograph (I once ended up with Chinese writing all over my desktop when I installed too many fonts. It wasn't pretty, and I remember that I had to do an intervention, or a reinstall or some such nonsense to get my computer world right side up again.)
The machine has been sitting on my work desk in my craft room, waiting for me to have a go at it, since...oh, the first week of June. I've studied it and I've stared at it. Finally, Sunday, the card designer and I tackled it, head on.Oh. My. Gosh. (did you hear that squealing? Yes, that was us.) So easy peasy. I am in love. The sky is the limit. (What was I afraid of?) This little tool has rocked my world, let me tell you.
My picture doesn't do any of it justice. I'll show more later in the week when I have time to actually create some banners, place cards, invites..oh yes, I have big plans for this little machine.
Let me start by saying that I spent the most wonderful Sunday afternoon having lunch and visiting with my friend, the card designer. From the moment she arrived we were laughing and chatting; sharing mom stories (yes, we still do that even after our kids are grown) and secrets of the heart. A perfect day.
You know how sometimes you have one of those days where everything goes just enough off schedule or hiccups ever so slightly to keep you off your game? I had one of those days yesterday. During our perfect visit, the card designer pointed out that folks out in blogland most assuredly think that I never set a table without cute little place cards, and extravagant desserts. (Well, I am here to shatter that fantasy today, people.)
Arriving home later than I planned after church (OK, they had a root beer float event going on after the service and I stayed a little too long chatting with a friend) I realized I needed to run back to the grocery store for some ingredients for my luncheon (Curry chicken salad, my favorite summer meal!)**edited to add: Click here for the recipe. I use yellow raisins instead of grapes. This extra trip to the market cost me my leisure time of doing a cute table scape, so I had to settle for a basic set up...knife, fork, spoon, napkin and plate. (Sorry Melissa, there were no "You" and "Me" place cards....)
I then got carried away and made enough salad for a small army (or the Osmond family, take your pick) and was in the middle of attempting to doctor up some existing frosting for the chocolate cupcakes when my sweet friend arrived. The reason I was doctoring it up? Well, I had done a cupcake order on Thursday for a Hawaiian surf party theme, where the birthday girl wanted blue and orange cupcakes. I had leftover frosting, but I myself have an aversion to eating anything that bright and unnaturally blue, so I thought I'd tone it down to my favorite Robin's egg blue with some freshly made white buttercream. (don't even ask me why I didn't just simply frost them with white buttercream...) In my haste, I added about a fourth of a cup of milk to the frosting, making it very thin...and therefore, when frosted, the cupcakes appeared to be... uh..well...depressed I guess would be the best description. (Believe me on this one folks, they were so droopy that we had to eat them with forks.)
The reason I share this is because while it is nice to set a pretty table or to create a dessert worthy of a cover shot on Bon Appetit's August issue, it is not what really matters. It's about investing yourself in a friendship and letting others know you value and treasure them.
But you knew that.
The Navigator and I headed out at our usual 7:00 a.m. time, although the newspaper didn't show too many sales, which is kind of odd for early August. We held a good thought though, remembering that it only takes one good sale to make a morning.
This was not the case this morning, however. I was back at my cottage by 9:20 (and that was after we stopped at our favorite spot for French toast) and I only spent $7.25. This was really kind of sad, because my antique booth is screaming for a dresser, or cute tiered table..something with some height.
The duo of charming yellow picnic baskets will go straight to my both at Junkees later today, while the suitcase will be decoupaged and..well, I have yet to decide what I will do with the little covered bowl with the sweet bird lid. If you have any ideas for me, let me know!
(You know I am just a sucker for anything bird-y or nest-ish, and it was only twenty five cents, so I had to grab it, even if all I end up doing is using the lid in a vignette of old photos and memorabilia..)
The biggest neighborhood wide sale of the summer is coming up here in a weekend or two, so I'm not gonna get too panicked over the puny little sales around town today. In fact, I think I'll use the rest of today to get things completed in the garage and get a load down to my booth, so I'll be ready for the treasures that I am bound to be bringing in later.
I hope you are having a productive (and fun) Saturday!
I was treated to a trip to Monticello Antique Marketplace straight from the plane ride to Portland last weekend. Oh, what an incredible store this is.
We entered through the side door and this is what we saw. The perfect sunny retreat to put in a backyard. No worries if the forecast is rain, this darling structure is made from nothing but recycled windows and French doors. Simply close the windows and still enjoy all of your garden.
I immediately pictured a small vintage cottage table and two weathered chairs (all in Robin's egg blue) with a candelier hung above, right in the center of this sweet little space. Aah, the perfect spot for a leisurely morning breakfast with a friend, or for reading the paper...or for working on the book you're writing. Of course, it's not so small that there isn't enough room to have a dog or two sleeping at your feet. (Just small enough to be cozy, you know?)
Cost for one of these beauties? Around $4,500. I'm betting it's worth every penny.