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Showing posts from August, 2015

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today we wound down our Celebration Season after a series of birthdays, anniversaries, etc, with a party to celebrate my Dad's birthday.  

Of course, I made a cake.  I tried a couple of new things this time.  Instead of decorating with fondant I created pennant for the cake which matched the one I made for decoration. 

Both were made with my Cricut and the "Pretty Pennants", "Life's a Beach" and "Everyday Fonts" cartridges. The cake banner was made from pennants about 1 1/4 inch long and strung with baker's twine between two bamboo skewers. By contrast, each
decorative pennant was 5 inches long and strung with 1/2 inch wide grosgrain ribbon. 

I also decided to make the cake stand.  A few months ago we rescued a pallet from a neighbor who was tossing it out. I knew from DIY shows and Pinterest that there are all sorts of interesting things you can do with the wood.  I finally got around to cutting it up last week and because of the strange way it w…

Happy National Dog Day or Who Rescued Who? Canines and Cookies

I turned on the news this morning and found out that it is National Dog Day. 

This is Seamus. We adopted him at a benefit at the D'Art Center in Norfolk (a local artist's co-op). Each year they would have an event where several humane societies would bring cats and dogs to D'Art for possible adoption and fundraising.  We had absolutely no intention of getting a new dog. Having recently suffered the loss of our Dalmatian, Captain (who actually had brown spots instead of black!), I did not feel it was the time to get a new dog- the kids were leaving home and I had envisioned travel and freedom from more responsibility. How selfish that sounds now!

Long story short- we fell in love with this big-eared baby who had been rescued by the XOXO Pet Rescue from a kill shelter in North Carolina.  Every time I think about what could have happened to him, I tear up- I cannot imagine life now without my buddy.  He and I take off in my Jeep to make visits or run errands (including some tri…

Challenge Accepted (and Won!)

You may have noticed the sparkly little button I now have on my blog.  A couple of weeks ago I posted an anniversary card  I also submitted to the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge. I recently found out I won the challenge! Now, it is not because of any incredible artistic merit on my part, as the winner was randomly selected, but I WON! I get a free crafting class. I haven't chosen it yet, but I'm very excited (and I am sure that you will be hearing all about it in the future!).

I enjoyed participating not just because I won, but because as a new blogger I'm really enjoying becoming a member of the blogging community- participating in challenges like this one, or posting on a theme day such as Tablescape Thursday on Between Naps on the Porch.  I enjoy reading other blogs and learning about different things by reading what others have to say about any topic from crafting to teaching to my favorite, food.  I hope there are one or two people (or hopefully more!) who might enjoy wh…

Back to School

It is hard for me to believe, but some of the kids in the western part of my state went back to school on August 10th!  The summer is not nearly over then!  Around here the schools do not open until after Labor Day which is an excellent time to end the summer. Back when my daughters were in elementary school I decided that I wanted to do something special for them, and their friends as well, the day before the first day of school.  Now it couldn't be a big party- it was a big vacation weekend after all nor could it go very late- it was a school night, but somewhere around 15 years ago I started a little neighborhood tradition of "The School Bus Cake".

 I am not really sure how it evolved the way it did, but somehow it got to be a tradition in the neighborhood and with my girls' friends, and then later their parents, to come over to our house for a big slice of "School Bus Cake." It was always a cake which was somehow either shaped like a school bus or was de…

What Your Professor Really Wants you to Know

I decided to stray away from my usual topics today. As you may know, I am a college professor. I have been teaching on the college level for 23 years now.  I have seen a lot of students come and go, some successfully, some not.  As I am preparing for another semester and another freshman class begins their college career, I decided to share a few thoughts that might help the new (or returning) college student to start the year on the right foot.

Your syllabus is your guide to life for the next four months.

Whether your instructor posts your syllabus (or course outline or lecture schedule) online or hands you a paper copy the first day of class, consider it the outline for your activities for the semester.  Get yourself a calendar, yes a paper calendar, and mark down the due date for every assignment, exam dates, meeting dates, etc. Schedule your social activities, family events and vacations, doctor's appointments, etc. around these dates.  Do yourself a favor, don't plan a road…

Flamingo Cookies and Cocktails!

My cousin/neighbor and I are big fans of The Chew co-host, Clinton Kelly. We are also fond of ice cream and a good summer cocktail.  So, when he posted his recipe for a Pink Flamingo  cocktail and stated that "It might just be the best ice cream cocktail ever!" we knew that we had to try it.  

Of course, you know that I cannot do anything without going a little bit overboard!  So, first there had to be cookies 

and decorations.  

We served the cocktails in the glasses that I glittered and posted about a couple of weeks ago here

in front of the Flamingo Garden I blogged about here.

Wearing brightly colored pink flamingo inspired outfits.

And finally, cocktails!  The picture on Clinton Kelly's post was certainly prettier than this one (note to self: for beautiful photos of ice cream cocktails don't take them outside at 90 degrees!), but I am sure that mine was equally delicious! 

 Clinton Kelly's Pink Flamingo

1 cup vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup creme liqueur (We used Bailey…

Happy Anniversary (Again!)

Today I am linking up with the "Use this Sketch" Challenge on the  Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog.     

The goal is to design a project guided by a particular sketch (below) and using at least one item made with a Cricut.  This is the prototype for my parents' anniversary card.  I made the flowers using my new "Flower Shoppe" cartridge.  The stamp is one that I have had for years, probably purchased from Michael's.  (I realized recently that I have several cake stamps.) The "Happy Anniversary" stamp is from a set I also bought at Michael's several years ago.  Of course, there are also gold rhinestones on the cake and on the frame.  

While I am on the topic of Anniversary cards, here is the one I am making for my husband. Our 28th(!) anniversary is next week. The card is a work in progress. I used the "Everyday Fonts" for the numbers and "Cricut Essentials" cartridges for the little heart. 

Thanks for stopping by today! 


Happy Anniversary!

This week we celebrated my parent's 54th Wedding Anniversary! 

Of course, there was cake.  This was a white cake with basket weave piping on the sides (see tutorial below) and the leaves and flowers were fondant (perhaps a later tutorial?).  

The basket weave piping is always a crowd favorite and so easy to do. 

It begins with a cake (of course).  Stack as normal and put a thin coat of your favorite butter cream frosting on the sides (a crumb coat).  This ensures that you cannot see the cake through the weave and contains any stray crumbs. Prepare your piping bag with a #47 (basket weave) tip.  

Here is a helpful hint- use a Pringle or similar container to help fill the piping bag. I use a Fritos Stax container because it is plastic and easy to clean between uses.  Just fold the bag over the top to keep the bag open while filling.  It is also a good place to keep the frosting- filled piping bag when it is not being used. 

Start by frosting a straight vertical line with the serrated edg…

Happy Birthday!

Party season continues in our family!

Saturday we had the 20th(!) birthday party for my youngest daughter.  You may remember the invitation from this earlier post

As you can guess from the invitation, she chose a sunflower theme, with a blue color scheme, but with a cat cake. 

The cake is chocolate baked in the Wilton Animal Crackers Pan.  The pan is shaped like a bear but I have used to make a frog (but not the one on the website), a reindeer and of course bears (including a pirate bear- long story!).  Every time I think that my kids have outgrown it and I can give it away, we find a new use for it. The "fur" is piped icing using the multi-opening tip, Wilton #233.  This tip is also very flexible. I have used it for fur, obviously, grass on a football field and in an Easter basket and for fireworks. The details are all made from fondant. 

I made a "Happy Birthday" Pennant using the Cricut Essentials cartridge and some sunflowers using my new favorite cartridge, Flow…