Frosting Rosettes

I have been Pinteresting lately (who hasn't?), and I saw a frosting technique from I Am Baker that I thought would be super easy to try.  Truthfully, I first saw this technique done by my Aunt Sharon, who also shared her amazing marshmallow fondant recipe with me.  The best parts about the frosting rosette are that it is nearly foolproof and so easy to do.  All you need is a 1M tip, frosting bag, and some delicious frosting.

If you remember the dreamy cupcakes from my daughter's birthday party, then you will remember how I learned to frost the cupcakes in an amazing way, with the 1M tip and the little pointy peaks, like so:
Well, it turns out that to make a frosting rosette, all you have to do is the exact same thing as the pointy peaks, except start in the middle of the cupcake instead of the outside edge.  Genius! 
For more detailed instructions, head over to I Am Baker.  These rosettes look great all over a big cake or on individual cupcakes.  Plus, everyone will think you are a pastry chef when you bust these bad boys out.  Win-win.


Father's Day Recap

In addition to the Father's Day Tie Banner that I shared a few days ago, I also did some other fun homemade gifts for Dad this year.
I had some of my neighborhood girls over, and we tried the Tin Can Treats from Our Best Bites, filling them with Whoppers, M&M's, Skittles, peach rings, and my favorite caramel corn.  I also got the cheap kitchen towels at IKEA ($0.79 each) to give as "grilling towels".  I don't like my regular kitchen towels going outside, so I thought these would make good replacements.  We did hand and foot stamps on the towels with the kids.  I would recommend feet only for babies, unless you have someone else to help you.  We used Speedball screen printing ink and painted it on with foam brushes.

For dessert, I tried this recipe for Oreo Cheesecake.  It was pretty dang good, although the center was a little soft for my liking.  Next time I will probably cook it 5-10 minutes longer, even though Dad liked it just fine this way.
It was really nice to have a food processor for the crust, since I haven't used one in the past.  And since there are only two adults in the house, we may try cutting up a few of the leftover pieces and freezing them to put in shakes.  I also found a great deal on a compound miter saw from Slickdeals, so Dad got his tool fix for a few months as well, plus we can get working on some more DIY furniture projects.

We had a fabulous Father's Day and hope you did, too!


Father's Day Tie Banner

Ok, let's face it.  Father's Day isn't usually a holiday I decorate for.  At all.  But this year, I happened upon this great free printable.  She has another Father's Day banner in the printable, but it was a big bigger than I needed, so I actually ended up using the "centerpiece"-sized ties.

It was so easy!  All I did was cut out the ties and tape them to a thick piece of hemp twine.  If you are hanging your banner in front of a mirror like me, make sure you use clear tape.  Then I just taped the twine to the top of the mirror and had some serious Father's Day festiveness going on!

I have another Father's Day idea to share later.  It's another one I got from someone else's blog.  I know, real original, but I had a lot of fun with it.  I think you will, too.


Toy Stroller Makeover

So, my daughter has this cute little toy stroller for her dolls/stuffed puppies/sippy cup.  It's very versatile, and it gets a lot of use.  Due to that, the cover that it came with started falling apart recently, not that it was that great to begin with-- poor quality fabric, coarse binding, and loose stitching.  At first, I thought I was just going to fix the parts that were coming apart, but then I figured if I was going to spend time on it, why not just make a new one?  Here's a photo of the old cover (after I already took it apart to use as a pattern for the new one):
Yeah, not a fan of the washed-out flower pattern.  So, I got myself some bias tape (one day I'll try making my own, but not this time), cute fabric, and ribbon.  I looked at the existing cover to see how it had been done and basically followed the same method.
I am not much of a pattern seamstress, so this was a big accomplishment for me.  It only took a couple of hours one afternoon, and I already had all the supplies except the bias tape.  I reused the buckle from the previous cover, and I reinforced all the trouble spots, where the old one had been wearing out, on the new cover.
My daughter is back in business and loving it!


DIY Big Wall Clock

It's finally here- the reveal of the surprise project I talked about in this post and the crackle glaze tutorial!  Turns out, all this time I was making a big clock to hang on the wall.
Yeah! Many of you know that a big clock can cost you an arm and a leg at somewhere like Pottery Barn or even Amazon.  Mine ended up costing me $13, which was what I paid for the actual clock movement.  Yes, it really tells the time!  Everything else was stuff I already had on-hand.  I am so pleased with how it turned out, although there were some unexpected difficulties, which we will get into later.  As a quick recap, here's what I started with:
First thing, I took the legs and the hardware used to attach them off.  Maybe they will reappear in a new project, but I didn't need them for this.  Then, I sanded the table top and did my crackle glaze technique on it.  After the crackle glaze, I was left with this:
At this point I should have done a clear coat to seal it.  I will say this one more time: DO A CLEAR COAT AFTER THE CRACKLE GLAZE.  This was the one thing that gave me trouble.  I didn't do a clear coat until after some of the next steps, and the paint I added over the top sort of reactivated the glaze.  After the crackle glaze, I did a little bit more weathering/distressing with a simple black acrylic paint.
First, I painted on the black, then took a paper towel and wiped it off until I got the look I wanted.  I kept the middle mostly the same and got progressively darker as I moved to the edges.  Once the paint was dry, I used my Silhouette to make vinyl stencils for the numbers.
The font I used is called Market Deco.  Lining the numbers up was a bit of work.  I used a T-square to find the center of the circle, then I used my quilting ruler to get all the numbers in the right places.
Before I peeled off the backing on the vinyl, I positioned them and temporarily held them in place with painter's tape.  When I was satisfied with where the numbers were, I put the vinyl on and filled in the stencils with the same black I used for the glazing.
If you look closely, you can see that I didn't completely paint the numbers in.  I left intentional horizontal brush strokes to add to the weathered look.  I pulled the vinyl off (had some trouble with the previously mentioned reactivated glaze) and finally sprayed on a clear coat.  At this point all I had to do was let the clear coat dry and install the clock mechanism.
To install the movement, I drilled a hole in the middle of the circle and used a Dremel tool to carve out a little bit of the back so the box would sit in a little bit more.  I also had a broken clock from Old Navy that had much bigger metal hands, so I used them instead of the ones that came in the kit, which was a big improvement for me.
I am still trying to decide how to hang it.  I am thinking of either drilling a hole in the back for a nail or putting on picture wire.  I'm leaning toward the picture wire, which seems more stable.  Your thoughts?
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Bird-Themed Girl's Bedroom

Hey!  I'm so excited to kick off my summer Home Tour with my daughter's bedroom, arguably one of my most favorite rooms to date.  This is the first room I did in my house, back in late summer of 2009.  Things have evolved a little bit since then, but not much really.  I spent a lot of time thinking about this room while I was pregnant and after my girl was born.  We didn't get into our house until the start of the summer in 2009, and by then my baby was already four months old.  I think the amount of time I had to stew about the design added a lot to the quality of the room in the end.  I still consider this and my other daughter's nursery the most complete rooms design-wise in my home.  Well, let's begin, shall we?
We painted the walls ourselves, using a lot of painter's tape and a bottle of nail polish tied to a string to get the lines straight.  Since we have nine-foot ceilings upstairs, I didn't want the stripes to go all the way to the floor.  We put a chair rail up and left the bottom part plain white, and even though I really wanted bead board, it still looks amazing.  The bedding is courtesy of my mom and awesome Amy Butler prints.  The theme is birds, and the color palette is soft and bright pinks, soft lime green, and white.  Here are a couple of shots of the whole room from the door.

I painted the dresser white and added the branch drawer pulls, and the sign was one I did in my pre-Silhouette days.  I printed the letters out on a piece of paper, cut the letters out, traced them onto the blank pink sign, and painstakingly painted in the letters.  It was quite the process.  Projects like this are ones I look back on and think, I am so glad I have a Silhouette.

The toddler bed is just an old dropside crib with the dropside taken off.  It works for now, at least until we can build her a twin-sized bed.  I made the collages above the crib with scrapbook papers, and they are hung a bit higher on the wall so she can't knock them down onto herself.
The felt bird mobile was another gift from grandma.  She did a great job with it, and Molly just loves her birds.
This little area is a newer part of the room, since we needed better toy and book storage once my baby was no longer a baby anymore.  I got the white shelves at IKEA and the hatboxes at Downeast.
Thanks for stopping by!  Next destination on the tour will be my other girl's room.
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Crackle Glaze Tutorial

It's finally here!  This is the method I used for my birdcage redo and for my current secret project.  Here's what you will need:
  • Something to glaze!  It must be painted, but it can be any type of paint you want.  If you need to paint your piece, you will need to let it cure for 24 hours before continuing on.
  • Weathered Crackle Glaze
  • Flat Finish Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Disposable bowl or plate
Just as a reminder, here is what I started with:
Since I started with unfinished wood, I had to prime and paint it before I could get started on the glazing.
Then, I waited a full day before I did the glazing, as per the instructions on the glaze.  When you are ready to begin glazing, make sure you have a good 2-3 hour chunk of time.  First, apply the glaze on every surface where you want the paint to crack.  The thicker the glaze, the bigger the cracks will be.
Let the glaze dry for at least one hour but no more than four hours.  If you let it dry longer than this, the glaze won't work.  Now for the fun part!  Whip out your flat finish paint.  (Note: You must use flat finish paint for the top color in order for the glaze to work.)  I used Ivory Lace from Valspar.
Start brushing your paint on, taking care to cover everything in as few strokes as possible.  If you brush the paint around too much, the glaze will start to gum up.  The paint will start to crackle almost immediately.  Most of the cracks run along the brush stroke, with some bigger ones running perpendicular.  I'm glad I decided go around the circle instead of straight up-and-down.
As the paint continues to cure, more and more cracks will appear until the paint is dry.  You never quite know how it will turn out, but that is part of the fun of the look.
Once your paint is dry, you should seal it with a clear topcoat.  It's looking real nice.  I should have the other half of this project finished this week.