Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Newfoundjoye

I feel obligated to blog about my blog's new look. I thought that the previous look was a bit stale, so I refreshed it! It's part of my entire refreshing attitude that has sprung up this year. Look forward to new updates as well as ongoing series such as my BOM Cupcake Challenge. Thank you for reading and I appreciate your comments!

Happy happy joy joy

Perhaps the best thing about this video is the end result. It is definitely a complicated little gizmo.

(via NewWork)

Monday, February 14, 2011

BOM: Cupcake Challenge 5/175

I wasn't going to make cupcakes this weekend, but whenever Valentines rolls around, I can't help making delectable treats. In honor of Valentines, I used one of the holiday cupcake recipes. Brownie cupcakes topped with pink tinted vanilla frosting and brownie bites.

These precious, paper liners from Wilton made a nice show of Valentine's Day. They come in a pack of 75 (25 of each design).

Quite a large assortment of ingredients. Lots of flour, lots of eggs, and lots of butter—lots of mixing.

I ended up doing a lot of mixing by hand. Instead of using my electric mixer, I opted for a hand mixer because I was using quite a large bowl.

The batter is ready to be spooned into those paper liners. Isn't it chocolately looking? What, with 12 ounces of Ghirardelli chocolate, it out to be.

Fresh out the oven. I had an additional brownie pan for the cutouts (the part of recipe that didn't go over well).

Electric mixer is a must for this fluffy vanilla frosting which I tinted pink with some drops of red food coloring.

I probably waited too long to cut out my hearts from my pan of brownies. So, I just cut little squares to top the cupcakes with. They taste delicious! I'm thinking I might make them again sometime soon.

All images courtesy of yours truly

Because of Martha | Valentine's Day 2011

First and foremost, let me wish you a very happy Valentine's Day. I love this holiday because it is another craft-friendly one. My lucky co-workers get showered with handmade goodies once again. Last year, I made little treat bags. This year, I ended up making something edible (it was a tough decision). I turned to the "Queen of Crafts" for ideas and wound up falling in love with the Valentine's Cookie Sandwich Pops. Hit the jump for process and results images.

All photos are courtesy of yours truly

Thursday, February 10, 2011

DIY | Extruded Bracelets

I don't know what it is about February, but I feel extra crafty during this month. Maybe it is because Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Either way, I found a great, easy project that you just might want to try out. These extruded bracelets by syndee holt are inexpensive to make and a great way to accessorize. Believe it or not, these only require Sculpey (modeling clay). While the tools might seem a bit pricey, you can reuse the majority of them, so the cost can be justified.Visit the Polyform website for detailed instructions.

Difficulty: Easy/Beginner
Time: 45 minutes to an hour
Expense: Moderate (I spent $65 on supplies)
Materials: Available in craft stores and online (I ordered through A C Moore)

There is one thing I changed. Instead of getting Jacquard brand inks, I bought Copic Ciao markers to add color to my Premo! Sculpey. That saved me the trouble of wearing gloves and using cotton balls. My results are actually the image above! Not too bad for my first time, right?

Thursday Traffic | 10 February

It's been a while, hasn't it? I haven't been blogging about traffic for some reason. I mean, it's there every week. Anyway, I had a particular point of talking about the traffic today. You see, people go on and on about how humans have destroyed forests and such. I must say that when you see a deer walking along the interstate, it might just be a fact. 

However, I like to imagine that these animals prefer the suburbs. Of course they don't, but they are masters of adaptation. Other animals that you might just spot during a morning commute? Check out my great list below:
  • Foxes—They might be cute on cartoons, but good gosh, not so much in real life.
  • Skunks—Hold the tomato juice please. No, I'm kidding. You can get rid of skunk smell with specialized products. 
  • Rats—Unfortunately, this is a fact in most major cities.
  • Neighborhood "pets"—Random dogs and cats might roam your neighborhood. Don't expect them to clean up after themselves either.
  • Rabbits—Cute and fluffy, but only if they aren't flattened by a car.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This is not new

I have been very newly informed about Kirby Ferguson. While I have been watching many of his videos since, I really wanted to showcase his series, Everything is a Remix. This should be four parts and the first two are already up and out. If you have some time, watch the videos below.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl Spread

I'm honestly not a huge fan of American football (or any sport, really), but I still watch the game. My sisters and I threw a party and I thought I'd share some eye candy of the event. Enjoy!

BOM: Cupcake Challenge 4/175

Thanks to last fall's purchase of Martha Stewart's Cupcakes cookbook, I challenged myself to make all 175 recipes. I have no deadline or anything. Instead, I make them as they come. Though I am not going in any particular order, I have been skipping through sections to switch up the difficulty. This edition is all about Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes.
As usual, I gathered my ingredients. This is for the chocolate batter.
I also had to grab some other ingredients for the peanut butter filling. Just a couple needed here. You can also see the recipe right there. Doesn't it look delicious in the photograph?
Next step was to work with the chocolate batter. It was not too bad. Chocolate is usually a bit messy for me.
Before I could really throw the chocolate into a paper lined muffin pan (yes to easy clean up!), I had to get my peanut butter filling mixed. Surprisingly, this whole process did not require use of a mixer, just physical mixing.
The recipe called for alternating between chocolate batter and peanut butter filling. Then, you were to swirl the top. I think my measurements were off though.
After baking for nearly 40 minutes, I had the finished result. Maybe not exactly like the photo, but very tasty. I'm thinking that my skills are slightly improving though, so that's a relief.

Friday, February 4, 2011

DIY | Candles

A candle is such a versatile item. It can be given as a gift, used as decoration, burned for relaxation and much more. What makes a candle more than just any candle? When YOU make it of course! I made candles as Christmas gifts for close friends and you could make them for your friends/loved one(s) for Valentines as well. It was a new experience for me that was made easier by my choice of supplier. I ordered online at CandleScience and followed their guide. Hit the jump for supplies and such.

Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Expense: Moderate
Materials (available in craft stores and online):
  • Wax (I used paraffin, but choose the right kind for your project)
  • Pre-tabbed wicks
  • Dye Blocks or Chips
  • Container or Candle Mold (for pillars and votives)
  • Wick Bar to hold the wick during pouring
  • Wooden Spoon for stirring
  • Pouring Pitcher and double boiler
  • Thermometer to check wax temperature
  • Candle fragrance (optional)
  • Decorative materials like glitter or stickers (optional)
  • Warning Labels (recommended when giving gifts)