Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Babbling...

(...I'm making my blogging comeback slowly but surely... in the meantime, let me share with you a couple of recent craft articles over at Babble.com - some great ideas for kids' holiday projects!)





Monday, December 6, 2010

December Cupkins Link Party - Christmas!

It's the first Monday of the month (Happy December!) and it's time for December's edition of Cupkins. 
Happy Holidays to you!
I know that I've been absent for the past month or so - and I promise you two things...

1)  that I explain my absence, and get you updated on everything that's been going on in my life,
and,
2)  that I'll be back on a more consistent basis soon enough!
This month's theme is Christmas of course!  Now - since I've been away from blogging I've also been away (mostly) from baking and crafting.
SO - I'm going to share with you a couple of different Christmas-y, cupcake-y type of things.  Is that okay?  And after you've checked these out, please please please head over to visit Meg, my better Cupkins-half,
over at MegaCrafty to see her delicious creation!

hese were last year's Cupkins creation for December.  I love the tinted frosting and putting those cute little mini candy canes to good use!

These were a creation I whipped up for a Holiday Crafts piece I wrote for Babble.com!  Simply sweet!
What kinds of cupcakes and sweet treats have you been dreaming up?  Be sure to link up your ideas over at Meg's place. 

And thanks for stopping by you guys, and for hanging in there with me while I've been gone.  If you are still out there - feel free to leave me a comment and let me know so.  I'd love to "hear" from you!
Happy Baking!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

I hope you're all having a wonderful week!  If you have a sec - pop on over to Babble.com to take a look at my Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids piece.  Direct link HERE.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November Cupkins Link Party!

As Cupkins drew nearer and nearer this month I became more and more anxious and overwhelmed.  While I LOVE Cupkins, and cupcakes and muffins in general - you all know how busy and crazy my life is right now, I was panicked about WHAT to bake, and WHEN to bake it!  I had no time to plan or test bake, and I was stressing out about the whole thing!

That's when I realized that has the holidays get closer - we all feel these same frantic feelings at one point or another - so for my sake, and yours, I took a deep breath - and decided to keep it simple.  And you know what?  Sometimes simple IS better - because these mini cupcakes are divine... and so easy!  They're small, so you can squeeze one or two in even if you're full from Turkey Day dinner, and they are simple and quick to make - so you can spend the rest of Thanksgiving worrying about the turkey and the sweet potatoes!

Oh, and forgive the dark photos... we had to make a run to take some food to friends in the hospital and I lost my light.  C'est la vie.

Spiced Pumpkin Mini Cupcakes


I was inspired by these darling little mini cupcake wrappers by Wilton.  So much pumpkin-y cuteness!


Combine a box of yellow cake mix, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil, 1 cup of canned pumpkin, 4 eggs, and 1/2 tsp each of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon in a standing mixer.  Fill baking cups 2/3 full with cupcake mixture and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes (keep a close eye on them - mini cupcakes especially burn on the bottoms very easily if they are left in too long!)

Remove from oven and allow to cool...


While the cupcakes are cooling, whip up some cream cheese frosting.  Mix 1 stick of butter and 1 block of cream cheese until combined, then add 4 cups of powdered sugar one cup at a time.  Add in 2 tbsp of vanilla extract and mix well.  Then pipe or spread onto cupcakes...

After piping, I added just a sprinkle of orange sugar to decorate...


Yum!  Delicious!  Enjoy!


Now head over to Meg's place to check out her yummy looking Apple Pie Muffins... mmmm................


Now it's time for you to share YOUR Thanksgiving cupcake and muffin ideas!  Leave a link to your recipes, decorating tips, and more!  We'd love to salivate over your creations, too!  The link party will stay open until 11:59PM on Tuesday - so link up and tell your friends!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cupkins Link Party TOMORROW!

Good news, friends!  I may be busy - but Cupkins lives on!  Tomorrow (Monday) is our November Cupkins link party right here at Ready, Set, Craft!  So get your bake on today and stop back by tomorrow to link up your cupcakes or muffins with a Thanksgiving theme!  Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Change

Forgive me... dear friends and readers.  Forgive me first for being such an awfully inconsistent and mostly absent blogger over the past couple of weeks... and forgive me second for this post not being craft-related at all.  If you'd like to stop reading now - please do - I won't be offended I promise!

The past couple of weeks have been chock full of highs and lows.

On a (very) high note, I have accepted a full-time job offer with Gilda's Club - a wonderful organization that works to provide support, resources, and programs to patients and family members dealing with cancer and/or grief.  I'll be working primarily in special event fundraising - which is my favorite area of development - and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of such a wonderful organization with a great mission and community presence.  It is humbling to be a part of such important work in the fight against Cancer.

On a much lower note, a dear friend of ours has been in the hospital all this week with complications from Myasthenia gravis and has been very sick.  We've been doing everything we can do help the family - and were thrilled to hear that he gets to come home late tonight.  Thoughts and prayers and good juju are most certainly appreciated as we hope for a speed recovery.

Another high is that we're celebrating the birth of my friend Cindy's son Beckett Paul Bylsma!  Beckett was born to proud parents Cindy and Dustin and big brother Caleb yesterday morning.  I look forward to visiting them in the hospital this afternoon and meeting the little guy.

With all of these events and more, I've been working my butt off trying to get as much work done on my thesis as possible (I didn't anticipate going back to work until AFTER my thesis was completed!) and finish up a number of freelance and home projects before I start at Gilda's Club.  Tomorrow is my first day - and I still have about a million and one things to do between now and then!

As a result of all of these changes in my life - I'm not sure how much blogging I'm going to be able to do in the next couple of months.  I really can't say!  I DO plan on continuing Ready, Set, Craft! - you just may have to live with continued inconsistency until we get through the holidays!  I do hope you understand!

For the time being, I am going to try to post a couple of times a week, and go from there.  Sometimes it may be more often, and some weeks I may not get to posting at all.  I'll have a much better idea once I get into a new routine and get ahold of my schedule.

I value you all so much - and am always thrilled to read your comments, get your e-mails, and see photos of your own projects you've completed that have been inspired by this blog.  What an honor to have all of you in my life.  Thank you!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Joanne  : )

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween Recap Part 2

Some shots from Halloween dinner (Texas style chili and pasta, pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting), goody bags for the little ones (see yesterday's post) and Trick or Treating...











Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Recap Part 1

I guess this is actually part two - since I already shared our pumpkin carving with you!  I hope that you had a wonderful Halloween weekend!  We had a fabulous weekend - carving pumpkins, a birthday party, Trick or Treating and more.  Lots and lots of beautiful memories made!

For the little ones in my life - I put together some Halloween gift bags with tags.  I had the best intentions for the longest time to SEW the bags themselves out of felt - I have all the supplies and everything - but time got away with me and lots of exciting changes have been happening in my life this past week (more on that to come later this week...) and I just ran out of time.

I used the Fang-Tastic stamp set from the Holiday Mini Catalog.  I love this set and have used it more than anything else in the mini catalog thus far.  This set will only be available until December 31.  Visit my online store today if you'd like to pick up this set for yourself - it's so cute!


The vampires were the boys' bags and the witches indicated the girls' bags...

I inked the edges of the white cardstock using a Pumpkin Pie ink pad for an extra spooky effect...

I have a thing for curling ribbon.  Putting these together got me excited about Christmas wrapping.  I LOVE to wrap Christmas gifts!

I thought they turned out really cute - and the kids certainly enjoyed them!  I filled them with sweet treats (of course!), plus a Halloween book, some play doh, and more.


More Halloween recaps and Trick or Treating photos tomorrow!  Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin Carving 2010

Every year we get together with our friends Cindy and Dustin to carve pumpkins.  In fact - this year marked the 5th Anniversary of our annual pumpkin carving activities!  As always, it was a lot of fun, and I think this year's pumpkins were our best ever!

Before...
 I have a thing about making chocolate covered pretzels lately...
 Travis' famous artichoke dip... a Halloween tradition...
 Action shots...
 Cindy and I...
 The finished products!

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hello, Baby!


I put together yet another baby gift this weekend - and while I can't share what's inside this bag (which is a simple drawstring bag I sewed myself with some wide ribbon as a closure) since its recipient may very well be reading, I can tell you about the tag I made for it.


In fact, I liked the tag so much that I used the entire Animal Stories stamp set to create a set of tags to stash away for the next baby gift.  Because you know there's lots more to come!


Gift tags are such a useful thing to have a stash of, don't you think?

The ink colors I used for the images were More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, Pacific Point.  I inked the sentiment and edges of the circles in Early Espresso, and used the 1 3/4 inch circle punch and the XL scallop circle punch with some hemp twine to create the tags.  The "hello baby" sentiment is from the Teeny Tiny Wishes stamp set.  Purchase all of these products and more on my Stampin' Up! website.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quick Birthday Card & Wrapping

One of my customer's and friends, Kim, had a birthday party for her daughter Zoe this weekend.  Zoe comes to stamp a stacks with Kim and loves to stamp - so I thought it was only fitting that I sent a little hand stamped card and gift over for her.  It was a great excuse to play with a pink and girly design!


I used the Birthday Bakery stamp set, which is a level one hostess set, on pretty in pink cardstock with melon mambo ink.  I colored in the cupcake with blender pens and of course, some glitter applied with a 2-way glue pen.  To finish, I used some raven lace trim from the Holiday Mini Catalog.


I stamped an image inside the card, in the bottom right corner.  I almost never stamp images or sentiments on the inside of a card, I just leave it blank.  I think I was having too much fun and wanted the opportunity to add more glitter!


I had a lunch sack style pink paper bag that I put some little treats in and used the same lace ribbon and stamps (and yes, more glitter!) to coordinate it with the card.




It's not often I get to design a card for a child - so this was extra fun.  Come to think of it, it's not often I get to design a card that's not for a workshop, stamp a stack, or other stamping event.  This was a lot of glittery fun!  Happy Monday!

To order any of the Stampin' Up! products shown here, head to my online store and click on "Shop Now"  To find out how you can earn the Birthday Bakery hostess set for FREE, contact me about hosting a workshop at joanneroehm@yahoo.com