Cupcake Kit

December 29th, 2007

Last night we *had Christmas* and exchanged gifts with our very good friends Geoff and Brenda and their daughter Sarah.  I was very excited about the gift I had for Brenda – a Cupcake Kit!  First she opened the book Cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor (as I wondered why the heck I didn’t also buy myself a copy).  Then she opened this cupcake tin.  :)

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You may recognize the tin as a Stampin’ Up! punch box.  I’ve been saving two of these for awhile for just the right project and this was definitely it.  I can’t tell you how excited I was to find this cupcake paper by Junkitz at eclectic Paperie (thanks Joy!).  It matches the tin perfectly and just what I needed!  I used Mod Podge (I prefer Roayl Coat, but I ran out) to adhere it around the tin and to the bottom of the inside and also as a protective coating since this will be used in the kitchen.  So, what’s inside the tin?

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On the left are some cupcake papers and some sprinkles I found at -get this- TJ Maxx!  One of them is sharks, tropical fish and such which couldn’t be more perfect for 9 year old Sarah who has loved all things fish since she was a toddler.  What a find!  On the right is a cupcake decorating kit from Pampered Chef.  I actually purchased that first and it started this whole idea.

cupcake-close-up-dec-07-jami-custom.jpgThe cupcake image is from Just Johanna and it’s an image I stamped from my friend Emily (WaterPixie) when we were in Portland.  I was so happy to have it on hand.  For the sprinkles I used some pink seed beads and dots of Crystal Effects.  To top off the cupcake I used a Maya Road velvet flower and a blue rhinestone brad.  I used ribbon from the big Costco collection to make a belly band for the tin that easily slides off.  Honestly I would have liked to have done more (you know me!), but I was finishing this yesterday late afternoon and had limited time.

This was super fun project!  Have you altered any of these punch boxes?  If so I’d love to see a picture of what you did.  Be sure to leave me a link!  I have one more waiting to be altered.  Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you are having a teriffic weekend!

Happy Pajama Day!

December 26th, 2007

*happy sigh*

As you probably already know, the day after Christmas is Pajama Day at our house and it’s our favorite holiday of the year!  It all started around our 3rd or 4th year of marriage when I was really sick with bronchitis one Christmas and just feeling well enough to be out of bed the day after Christmas so we played a video game Curt got for the PC and stayed in our jammies all day.  It has evolved into a tradition where Curt cooks a big breakfast and we read and watch movies and sometimes play with our Christmas toys.  *grin*  Gosh…we didn’t even go out to the end of the driveway to get the mail!  If you’ve never had a real Pajama Day without being sick I highly recommend it!

I would have played with some new toys today if my stamp room weren’t completey trashed from Christmas gift projects and cleaning up the rest of the house for company on Christmas Eve.  I’ll need to work on that tomorrow.  Curt gave me some fun things for Christmas including a full set of rectangle Nestability dies, a Scor-Pal, three stamp sets from Paper Trey Ink and a dozen Copic Markers!  Is he cool or what????

I have to tell you something funny about the Copics.  I had made a list of some colors I might want to start with and given him the info to contact Joy at eclectic Paperie if he wanted to get me any.  I’ve agonized for months over what colors to get if I were to start a Copic collection and finally came up with a list of 12-15 colors.  I wrote out the letter/number code and the name of each color.  I also put “Colorless Blender” on the list but didn’t have the letter/number code.  The list of Copics was followed by other random items on my Christmas wish list.  When Curt decided to contact Joy via e-mail he copy/pasted my list of colors except for “Colorless Blender”.  He thought it was a typo for “Cordless Blender” and it somehow got mixed into my Copic colors.  Bwahahahahahahahha!  Everytime I think about it I giggle.  Is there such a thing as a Cordless Blender and if so, would I want one???? *snort*

Yesterday I had one gift left to wrap – it was dinner and a movie for my niece Kira.  I had a gift card to a restaurant and movie tickets and I had a grandiose plan to alter this acrylic box to put them in.  But…..it got to the point that we needed to leave in an hour and I couldn’t even get to my stamp table.  So instead I made this cute little double pocket purse out in the dining room using my new Scor-Pal and this tutorial on SCS.

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The picture is not the greatest because I just took a few quick shots as we were loading up the car yesterday.  I had seen this purse demonstrated at SU Regionals in Portland and was thrilled when I saw the tutorial on SCS so I didn’t have to try to decipher my notes.  It’s super easy and a really cute presentation.  It worked out perfectly since I had two items to give, but you could stamp a greeting to put in one pocket if you were giving a single gift card.

Happy Pajama Day!  Lots to do tomorrow starting with actually getting dressed.  Thanks for stopping by!

Christmas Blessings

December 25th, 2007

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Christmas Eve Wishes

December 24th, 2007

jami-with-the-tree-dec-07-small.jpgHope you are having a wonderful Christmas Eve.  Just thought I’d share our tree with you and a few of the fun felt ornaments I picked up this year at Carlton Cards/American Greetings to go along with the rolled paper ornaments I made and showed you previously.  Click on the thumbnails to see larger images.  Can you believe these cute ornaments were only $2 each and then on sale at buy one, get one 50% off?  I bought a bunch and there are several more designs.  And the colors go perfectly with the SU Celebration wrapping paper!  Made for fun and easy decorating this year along with some red metallic bead garland and colored lights – I love colored lights!

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Wishing you Christmas Blessings!

Celebration Cookies

December 23rd, 2007

This afternoon and evening I have baked 3 kinds of cookies – Cranberry Pecan Celebration Cookies, Banana Oatmeal Drops and Chocolate Chunk Bars – plus made up the dough for Curt’s favorite Ginger Snaps.  I’ve had a shower and now I’m trying to muster the energy to get back in the kitchen and make Red Velvet cupcakes before bed. 

celebration-cookies-dec-07-jami-custom.jpg  Thought I’d take a few minutes to post while I’m taking a break.  Tomorrow afternoon we have my side of the family coming over for gifts before church.  After church we’re having about 12-14 people here for a lasagna dinner.  I think you can imagine how crazed I will be in the morning trying to get the house cleaned up!  I’m so thankful that Curt is so wonderfully helpful in that area!

I wanted share another gift – cookie mixes I made up for neighbors and a couple of friends.  It’s the Cranberry Pecan celebration cookies pictured above – the ones dipped in white chocolate.  The recipe came from Pampered Chef and the layered mix is in a Pampered Chef Small Batter Bowl.  As soon as I saw the idea I knew I had to make up some for gifts!

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Isn’t it cute?  And the Batter Bowl is so useful after the cookie mix is gone!  I made a pocket card to go on top to hold the directions for making up the cookies, the Pampered Chef product booklet and a greeting from us.

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There is a jumbo eyelet at the top of the pocket and the card is held on with wide grosgrain ribbon and a pop up glue dot on thr back of the card near the bottom.  Here’s a photo with the greeting piece pulled out.

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If you want to try these cookies here’s what’s layered into the mix:

1/2 c. granulated sugar

3/4 c. sweetened dried cranberries (Craisins)

1/2 c. white chocolate chips

3/4 c. packed brown sugar

1 1/2 c. flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. quick or old fashioned oats

1/2 c. peacns coarsley chopped

Along with this mix you will need:

3/4  cup butter or margarine, softened
2     eggs
teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375.  In a large bowl
combine butter, eggs, vanilla; mix until well blended.  Add cookie mix and mix
until well blended.  Drop scoops of dough (approx 2 tablespoons) 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet.  Flatten dough slightly using the back of a spoon or bottom of a glass.  Bake 13-15 minutes until edges are golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes; remove to cooling rack.                          Yield: 3 dozen cookies.

The PC directions were for baking on a stone which I don’t have.  I did discover that the cookie sheet would be best if greased.

I was just reading a post from a week or two ago on my friend Val’s blog about crossing something off your holiday to-do list to cut down on stress.  She crossed off baking.  I almost did too, but for me that would have been really sad!  I love to bake and it just doesn’t seem like Christmas if I cut it out all together…so I just cut back a little bit.  I would have prefered to have had a whole day to do it, but I’m happy I got some done.  Not to sure about those cupcakes though…I’m fading fast.

So what do you do for Christmas Eve?  My family has always had our Christmas celebration including gifts on Christmas Eve – even when I was a little girl (Santa came to our house first *wink*).  Whatever you have planned I hope you are all ready and not too stressed!  Thanks for stopping by.

Getting Wrapped Up

December 22nd, 2007

Just a quick post before I venture out to finish up the last minute errands and grocery shopping.  Curt and I have been wrapping presents all morning and our sweet little Love Bird Parsley has been helping.

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Parsley is 14 years old which is a little old lady for sure for a Love Bird, but she acts no different than she did as a youngster really.  She loves to bite and shred paper and had a ball helping Curt with the wrapping.

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She certainly doesn’t get as much press as the big birds, Macaws Beaker and R.B., but we do love her!

While I’m here I’ll also share this jumbo binder clip I made awhile back.  When I saw this idea on SCS I just had to try it.  This was one of the ideas I had for everyone in my office before I decided to make the Reindeer Food.  These would make great holders for a photo or a special card, or as placecards at dinner.  The really do need the ribbon tied tight around the top to keep the clips tight enough to hold something.  I’m thinking I might make a variation for Valentine’s Day.  Easy peasy quick project.

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I hope you are enjoying this weekend before Christmas.  I fear there are more things to do  on my list than I can actually accomplish, but we’ll see.  Breathe in..breathe out…remain calm…focus on the Reason for the Season…exude joy…that’s the ideal…continue to pray for calm and focus…

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Merry Christmas!!!  :)  Thanks for stopping by amid the holiday rush!

Reindeer Food

December 20th, 2007

My office Christmas party is tomorrow afternoon and I always like to take in a little something for everyone.  I’ve had several ideas over the past couple of months, but when I tasted this cereal mix recipe at a vendor fair I was in love and knew I had to make some.  I bought a cello bag of the stuff and ate it all in one day.  The cello bag listed the ingredients, but of course not the proportions.  I’m really happy with the way I worked it out.  As I was making it I just kept thinking “reindeer food” so that’s what I am calling it.

My packaging is not anything special.  I could have done something much cuter if I’d worked on it sooner.  I was just glad that I remembered this reindeer stamp from a little TAC set I purchased last year.  Of course the packaging options are endless.  It would be great in cello bags,  jars, frap bottles, tins, you name it.

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Here’s the recipe in case you need some little last minutes gifts or would just like a holiday treat.

For 4 batches you will need to purchase:

Cheerios 1 box (8.9oz)

Rice Chex 1 box (12.8 oz)

Small Twist Pretzels – 1 bag (I bought a large bag 24 oz. but I didn’t use them all)

M&M’s – 1 large bag – 21.3 oz

Peanuts – 1 jar – 1 lb.

White Chocolate Chips – 4 bags – 12 oz each

For each batch you will be making, cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or wax paper and set aside.  A Tupperware ThatsaBowl is the perfect size for mixing up a batch of this stuff.  In the bowl mix the following:

2 1/4 c. Cheerios

3 1/4 c. Rice Chex

1 1/2 c. pretzels

3/4 c. M&M’s

3/4 c. peanuts

Stir gently with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

In the microwave melt one bag of white chocolate chips according to package directions.  Let cool slightly and then mix into bowl a couple of spoonfuls at a time.  As soon as everything is well mixed, dump mix onto your cookie sheet and spread out evenly.  Let sit for 30-60 minutes so chocolate can set.  Break up with your hands and fill bags or other containers.

The measurements above are designed to use up all the ingredients (except some left over pretzels) by making 4 batches.  For me 4 batches filled 15 of the coffee bags I have pictured.  It would fill even more cello bags.

One tip on melting the white chocolate chips – don’t do it in those disposable Gladware bowls.  I ruined one whole bag of chips when the plastic bowl melted through the bottom and left black burned plastic in my chocolate chips.  This happened at half power in the microwave for less than a minute.  I was just really thankful that I had purchased extra chips since they were on sale.

I can hardly believe Christmas is only a few days away – so much to do still.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

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