Sunday, October 16, 2011

While I Was Out

Even though last month was crazy busy, I did finish my nephew Noah's blanket in time for his first birthday.
A little embroidered patch:

Quality control check by Bruiser.  He agreed it was just the right weight:

Noah's smash cake was my Grandma A's Banana Cake recipe.  It was pretty delish.  This was so easy for lettering.  Melt some dark chocolate in a double boiler and pipe it onto wax paper.  You can put a font under it if you find a certain lettering you like.  Freeze the letters and then pull them off and stick them on the cake.  That way if you mess up, just pipe a new one!

And the man of the hour...isn't he a doll?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Back from Break

Wow, how quickly a month goes by!  September was quite the whirlwind for us in the restoration business.  The fires in Bastrop completely overwhelmed our staff and crew, but in the end, customers were happy and homes were restored.
Even though I haven't blogged, I have been up to some of my crafty ways.  Bunco was back at my house this past Monday.  Can you believe it has already been a year since I started our group?  I get a little over the top for Bunco, but I love entertaining.  The bad part is that I was so busy cooking, that I didn't take pictures of the food!  My brother came over on Saturday and we cooked while the UT game was on.  We made homemade chicken and seafood stocks and started the gumbo.  Saturday night I baked the desserts.  Yup, I baked again and they all came out great!  I guess I'm getting the hang of it.  I made apple pie bars, pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a candied walnut, and pumpkin tiramisu (the big hit of the night).  The recipe for the tiramisu can be found here, trust me, you will want to make this for Thanksgiving.  It is that good.  I did manage to snap a picture of my cupcakes.  Funny how a gold wrapper, a sprinkle of some cinnamon/nutmeg, and a candied nut can make a plain ole cupcake look so fancy:
So, we had gumbo, shrimp etoufee, cornbread, cucumber salad, and desserts.  For a fun cocktail, I mixed pretty much equals parts of Applejack brandy, Woodchuck hard cider, and sparkling apple cider. A used thin slices of granny smith apple for a garnish.  It was great to have something different than our wine and it was autumn-y without being heavy.  All in all, dinner was a success.  There were barely any leftovers which is also a good sign.  I'll also give you my cornbread secret.  I tried this awhile back and I will never make cornbread again without adding about three to four heaping spoonfuls of canned creamed corn to the batter.  It makes the cornbread so moist that you can't stop eating it!
Bunco and parties also give me a reason to get my butt in gear in the decorating department.  The mantle is always a good focus spot.
So, I started with these that I found at Jo Anne Fabrics:
I sprayed them with two coats of this engine spray paint.  Why engine paint?  Well, its orange...and free.  Clay had some from a car he had been working on.  I would suggest spray painting a base coat on these cardboard letters since you can do light coats and avoid them getting soggy.  Plus, the spray paint hardens them up a bit.
I got this.  They were a little too red-orange
 So, I added some streaking with some different colors of acrylic craft paint
 Then, I cut out the backs, took out all that zig zag cardboard in the middle.  I used an ice pick and punched holes all over the fronts of the letters.  Then, I filled the back with orange Christmas lights and put the backs back on.  I left a little slit in the bottom for the cords to come out.
Then, I added some little spiders I found at Michaels and set them on my grass boxes that I get soo much use out of from the wedding.  When I plug in the letters, they look like old school marquee lights.  Not too bad for about $15 worth of supplies!
p.s. that fake raven still catches Bruiser off guard.  Every now and then, he come running in the living room and bounces back like its about to swoop him up.  Dogs are so simple...