Birthdays Make Me Crafty

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then you already know how I feel about birthdays. To sum up for the new kids: I like them a lot. (example, example, example)

I had a string of birthdays recently, and it brought out the craftier side of me that apparently had been napping for the past couple of months. I love a good craft project so I sort of ran with it. It started with my gal L’s birthday. I had planned a specific project for her birthday since it was a milestone year and I was going to visit her in San Fran (read about it here). My plan was to make a scrapbook of her birthday weekend. I prepped the book prior to leaving for the trip and the plan was that I would run to the store, print out the pics, glue’em in (I brought some supplies with me) and I would give it to the birthday girl just before we all left. It was a flawed plan. We were jamming in super fun activities until the moment we left for the airport. So I had to finish it when I got home and mail it instead.

A book to remember our magical weekend gallivanting all over San Fran together and celebrating birthdays.

A book to remember our magical weekend gallivanting all over San Fran together and celebrating birthdays.

Not too long after that came two back to back birthdays. First was one of my best buds C. Second came my co-worker R. I attempted to try something cool for C that I had seen on the internet, and Pinterest, a millions times. An ombre layer cake in a mason jar. All I can say about this endeavor is that it was horrible lol. EPIC PINTEREST FAIL.

UGH...started off decently with the ombre cupcakes. But look at this shizzzz. HORRIBLE.

UGH…started off decently with the ombre cupcakes. But look at this shizzzz. HORRIBLE.

Ugh. Just looking at the picture annoys me. I couldn’t possibly give this monstrosity to C. It ended up in a mushed pile on my counter that was later eaten by my roommate.

I ended up admitting defeat on the whole ombre thing and making a mason jar cake instead. I filled it with some nutella as an added perk. To make it extra special (and because I turned into an unstoppable craft machine for like 2 weeks) I printed out tiny pics of us from our years of friendship and made a little photo-tree topper for the cake.

Apparently we are incapable of making attractive faces.

Apparently we are incapable of making attractive faces.

As you know, I love a good theme. As it happens, my coworker R shares my love of Doctor Who…so it struck me with the idea of making her some Doctor Who cupcakes for her special day. Basically it gave me an excuse to craft and indulge my nerdiness.

The Doctor Who Gang

The Doctor Who Gang

I printed small pictures of each of major characters from the new reboot of the series, including a 3D Tardis so that I could use them as cupcake toppers.

I used my awesome little cupcake screw thingy and filled them with some Tardis blue buttercream icing (recipe from my Gram…thanks Gram).

I got this little tool from some weird Chinese overstock website I found 2 Christmases ago

I got this little tool from some weird Chinese overstock website I found 2 Christmases ago. Icing piped in with my super sophisticated ziplock bag.

Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and blue buttercream filling

Vanilla and Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting and blue buttercream filling

All in all, the birthday crafting went over really well. Everyone seemed pretty pleased with their birthday surprises.

Also, if you’re interested in making the white cake the recipe is super simple:

-1.5 c flour
-1 c sugar
-2 eggs
-1/2 c milk
-1 3/4 tsp baking powder
-vanilla

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Add everything else. Bake for 20-30 mins at 350.

 

Mmmm…Banana Bread

Weather is a tricky thing….in particular, what it does to temperature. My kitchen is a variety of different temperatures, which is less convenient for my poor bananas. Those poor jerks just can’t seem to adjust and seem to ripen at warp speed these days. I found myself with 4 overly ripe bananas so clearly there was only one option–make banana bread.

Now I have shared banana muffins with you all before…and those were great…but I decided to try something different. So naturally I asked google for advice.

I found a super simple, relatively healthy recipe (check it out here).

Yummy Banana Bread Drizzled with Chocolate

Yummy Banana Bread Drizzled with Chocolate

Here’s how the magic happened:

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup
  • 2 eggs (I used eggs whites)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 4 bananas, very ripe, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (really use however much you want…this measurement is arbitrary)
  • walnuts to sprinkle on top (optional)

Beat the eggs and sugar together for little bit (a few mins to make them fluffier). Add other liquid ingredients and the bananas. Add the dry ingredients. Pop that biz into your pan (line it with parchment paper or just spray it with Pam like me). Bake at 350 for 45-60 mins. <–this seemed long to me but totally was needed.

Now, remember that time I had some ladies over for a party around New Years? Well I ended up with leftover chocolate fondue (which I stuck in a ziplock in my freezer) so inspiration hit. In all fairness, this was not an original idea…Dunkin’ Donuts has a new banana chocolate chip muffin that looked good so I totally copied them. I thawed out some fondue and drizzled it on top of the banana bread. I thought it added a little something.

All in all, I pleased with the recipe and am working on finding a temperature that won’t kill all my bananas (I wrapped the top of the bunch with saran wrap because Pinterest told me too…we’ll see how that works).

DIY Painted Glasses…aka The Epic Craft Fail

Ugh…the wounds are still fresh on this one folks…

So you all know how I spend lots of time surfing the depths of Pinterest. I’ve found tons of super cool craft ideas on there. Its great. I had found this one project that I was totally psyched to try out. They were these knock of Anthropologie Confetti Tumblers. So cute. Also the blog its from, Radical Possibility, is HILARIOUS and awesome. Totally check it out. The girl is super funny and has some excellent ideas!

Anyways…when I was home for Thanksgiving I stopped by the dollar store and picked up four stemless wine glasses so I could make my own confetti glasses.

Stemless Wine Glass

I was all set to start confetti-ing the crap out of these guys…and I started…and I sucked at it and gave up lol. I really didn’t like how the paint looked sort of transparent (I was using my own Basics brand acrylic paints from Michaels). So I washed ’em off and started again…attempting a type of ombre-esque feel using a paint sponge.

Painting with a sponge

I was so-so about the sponge, but I liked the coverage and texture much better than the dots looked. So I painted them different colors.

Painted Glasses

I was feeling like something was missing. So I decided to mix up lighter versions of the colors and lightly sponge it over the glasses (except I used yellow on the orange one to make sure it didn’t look too much like the red one). I used a flash on my camera to show the overlay colors better (in regular light it creates a sort of frosted look).

This is with a flash...in regular light it looks 'frosted'

This is with a flash…in regular light it looks ‘frosted’

DIY Painted Glasses

In the end, I was happy with the final product! I sprayed it with a couple coats of Mod Podge Acrylic Sealer and thought I was good to go.

this is the spray I used for reference

this is the spray I used for reference

Turns out…I was NOT good to go. I let them dry for 4 days. And when I went to give them a quick wash so I could drink out of them, DISASTER STRUCK.  The paint cam right off! 😦 I was…and AM…SUPER bummed about it! I really don’t know what went wrong.

FAIL. Ruined Glasses

I’m hoping that some of you super crafters might be able to shed some light on what exactly caused this tragedy. I think next time I attempt to re-do these glasses I might just spring for some paints specifically made for painting on glass…maybe the Martha ones.

Muffin Tin Madness: Individual Chessecakes

mmmm…cheesecake. Right?

I’ve never made cheesecake before. This is partly because many recipes are a bit intimidating…mainly because it can take a while and you really need a spring form pan…which I don’t currently own. YET.

But in one of my frequent ramblings through the depths of Pinterest I came upon this guy (click me!). Its such a great recipe and super easy. And best yet: you make’em in a muffin tin. BOOM.  Also there’s a great instructional video to walk you through it.

I topped mine with some Nutella. YUM!

I Love to Craft: DIY Jewelry Rack

Okay…so I’ve made a decision. I LOVE crafting. I love crafting almost as much as I love cooking. And the post I made about the DIY project I did with my lady pals (check it out here) was really popular in the blogosphere, so I have decided to merge my loves and include my DIY/crafting projects on this blog. Additionally, I’m adding pages at the top to make it easier for you folks to find specific recipes and projects. There is a newly added DIY Projects page, and there will soon be a Recipes page!!

Moving on. I’ve been extra crafty lately acutally. And I’m SUPER excited to share my crafting with you. I went home for Memorial Day weekend and got my crafting on…

So there happened to be a yard sale at my old high school…and this girl LOVES a good yard sale. I made out like a bandit and came home with some great stuff. In particular, I picked up a cool looking old frame (haggled down to $7!). The minute I saw it I knew JUST what I would do with it…make an awesome jewelry rack. I had seen many ideas for it on Pinterest so I had some guidelines to run on.

The color was chipped in some spots…and was missing on one edge…so I picked up some gold spray paint from the craft store ($5). I only sprayed in some spots because I really liked the old-timey antique like look of the frame. I also picked up some hooks from the dollar store and more hooks and a rod from the hardware store (which I painted gold to match the frame).

With some help from my crafty mom, I put some circle hooks on the sides, two hooks about 2 inches from the bottom to hold the rod for my bracelets, and about 10 hooks along the bottom for necklaces.

Then I tied twine between the circle hooks so I can hang my dangley earrings. I have 3 rows for those guys. Then I added 2 rows of ribbon for my stud earrings. To finish it up, I attached hanging wire to the back so I could hang it on my wall.

I love the way it holds all my jewlery (clearly of have a bit). I also LOVE it when you can re-purpose things. This whole project only cost about $20. WORTH IT.

Happy Crafting! (SIDE NOTE: look for a post about about the necklace seen in the bottom left of the rack!)