Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Photoshoot

I recently took my kids to a park to get some shots for Christmas-here are some highlights!

Cake Balls

I love these. I make them every Christmas because my Husbands coworkers always bug him until I do. Actually this happens on other holidays like Easter also.

I used to think these were too hard, they never came out right and took forever and made a mess and were a big hassle. After awhile though, I pretty much perfected my method and I can now crank them out pretty quickly and they always turn out pretty cute but better than that, delicious!

You will need:
Boxed Cake Mix (and whatever additional ingredients it takes to bake the cake)
Canned Icing
Almond Bark-Chocolate or White- is Chocolate called Chocolate Bark or still Almond Bark? I have no idea? Why is it even called Almond Bark anyway?
Sprinkles (optional-but yes you need them)
Wax Paper

*You can use whatever combination of Cake mix and icing your heart desires. My most recent batch included Yellow cake with Strawberry frosting, and Devils Food Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese icing. The chocolate were by far the yummiest!

1. Bake your cake according to the package directions.

2. After removing the cake from the oven transfer it to a bowl, be careful-its hot!

3. Cut/Crumble your cake in the bowl- yes its still hot, so be careful! I like to grab a butter knife and cut it up.

4. Add your icing to your still hot, but now crumbled, cake. Stir Stir Stir it up! It should resemble a big mess after you are done, ha. It almost looks like batter again, but is much thicker.

5. Stick your concoction in the freezer to cool. Or if you have more time than I ever do I guess you could set it out and allow it to cool, but I have never tried that because I am most definitly too impatient for that.

6. After its cooled some-it can still be warm (remember I'm impatient!), but you dont want it to be to hot to handle-pull your bowl out of the freezer and roll some balls yall. Take some of the mixture and roll in your hands until you get a ball about the size of, or slightly smaller than, a cherry cordial (you know those- chocolate covered cherry thingies that your Grandma probably loves?! at least my Grandma does...) if you have no idea what those are, then I would say they should be the same size of a small bouncy ball. This is probably the part where someone tells you how many inches to roll your balls, but I have NO idea how many inches it would be, and I never understood how you measure a ball in inches anyway. You should know that my cake balls are considerably smaller than most, I do this because its the method that produces the best cake balls in my experience. Also because I do not have a big sweet tooth and these things are SWEET and RICH and smaller is better when it comes to these- in my opinion.

7. I usually put my completed balls on paper plates and stick in the freezer in batches. As soon as I have a plate full I pop the plate in the freezer and start on the next plate. Roll all of your balls and pop them all into the freezer to let them firm up a bit.

8. Line a cookie sheet or tray with Wax Paper and set aside for a minute.

9. At this point you should get your bark and break off about four squares and place into a glass bowl. Microwave your chocolate to get it ooey, gooey and melty. I love the word melty. I start by microwaving for 45 seconds, I then stir and microwave additional 30 second increments until its smooth.

10. After you have four bars melted, grab one of your paper plates from the freezer. Preferably the very first one you put in there as it has had the most time to chill. Grab a spoon and roll the ball around the chocolate until its coated and then transfer to your wax paper lined tray.

11. Immediately shake some sprinkles on the melty chocolatey ball.

12. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat. If you run out of chocolate, heat up four bars again and keep going. After you fill your tray, set it aside to allow the balls to harden. No need to refridgerate or freeze unless you have an unusually warm home, which I do not.

13. After its hardened completely (within an hour) package them up! I found small Holiday themed ziplock baggies at Big Lots (30 for $1.20-yes!) that I used to package them for coworkers. They also had larger ones (probably 2 quart size?, they didnt say how big they were so I am guessing here) that I used to package some up for my husband to take to work to share with all of his colleagues.

14. Enjoy and do not think about how many calories you are consuming :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Glass Ornaments

Inspiration via: http://pinterest.com/pin/81627811965737377/

I made these ornaments to go along with these and these to give as gifts. In every set that I made, I carried the same srapbook paper to make them all cohesive.

You will need:

Glass ornaments, the only ones I could find were irradescent, which I actually would not prefer but I was desperate. They were half off though-bonus!
Scrabook paper

1. Cut long skinny strips of scrapbook paper- use two or three patterns for more flair. You will need 10-15 strips, depending on how full you want the ball.

2. Take the tops off of the ornaments.

3. Twirl the strips of paper around a pencil.

4. Insert the pencil into the opening of the ornament and release the strips of paper.

5. Shake Shake Shake your ornament!

6. If you are using thin ribbon, tie the ribbon now, before you attach the top. If you are using Thick ribbon move onto the next step first.

7. Attach the tops. If you used thin ribbon, you are done! Go take a picture and show me my dears! If you used thick ribbon, tie it now.

Kindergarten Classmate Gifts

Classmate gifts all ready for Ruthie's friends. From this post.


Remember the magnent strips that I said I was saving for another project in this post? This is what I made with them!

You will need:
Mosaic tiles, I purchased two bags at Michaels for 1.99 each.
Scrapbook Paper
Magnent strips
Hot Glue or E6000 glue.

1. Cut your scrapbook paper to match the shape/size of your tiles. Cut any extras you want to layer with.

2. Spread a thin layer of mod-podge on the tile and paste your cut paper to the tile. Smooth out any air bubbles.

3. Spread a layer of mod-podge over the paper,being sure that it is smooth.

4. Allow to dry, I make mine in the evening and allow to dry overnight.

5. Cut your magnents small enough to fit your tile.

6. Once dry attach your magnents to the back, using the Hot glue or E600 glue.

So easy! I like to use the same scrabook paper as I do when I make these and give them as gifts.

Picture Frame Ornaments!

I love these. I made one for every child in my daughters class at school and am making them for all of the grandparents, aunts, and special friends who love my kiddos and am inserting a picture from the Christmas Photo Shoot I did with my littles.

I came up with the idea while I was browsing Michaels for other goodies and I came across these kits they had, to make Magnetic Picture Frames. The kit came with 4 Frames, 4 Markers, a sheet of stickers, a couple of Magnet strips and 2 glitter glue pens. And they were on clearance for $1.29! I bought about 12 or so kits, my daughter was thrilled about this, she got to keep the markers, stickers and glitter pens. I kept the magnent strips and frames, but am using the magnents for another project, Bonus!

Ok so here's what you will need:

1. Small wooden unfinished frames
2. Scrapbook Paper
3. Mod-Podge
4. Ribbon
5. Sand Paper, I use emory boards/nail files
6. Foam Glittery Stars (optional)
7. A drill
8. Cardstock (optional-your frame probably comes with some kind of backing) see step below.

*For these, since my edges were so thin I did not paint the edges, but if you had thicker edges you might want some paint to finish the edges with.

1. Start by tracing the frame on the back of your scrapbook paper. Don't forget the inner square!

2. Cut out your paper.

3. Spread a thin layer of Mod-podge on your frame, try to make it as smooth as possible.

4. Glue your paper to your frame, smooth out any air bubbles.

5. Coat the paper with a layer of Mod-Podge, trying to make it as smooth as possible, I use a foam brush for all of my mod-podge projects.

5. Allow to dry, I make mine in the evening and dry all night.

6. Sand the edges after the piece is dry, to get a clean edge.

7. Cut out a square of cardstock that is big enough to cover the photo insert cutout of the frame and allows you to slide in a picture. Mine came with some and I used them for the kids class presents. For the others I traced the backings but I used cardstock instead of the backings it came with, because I had another idea for the backings. I said Backings a lot in the last sentence. Just wanted you to be aware that I was aware.

8. Glue your backings on, but only glue three sides so the top is open and ready for a picture.

9. Drill a hole in the top, be sure to drill above your backing.

10. Insert a piece of ribbon and tie at the top.

Viola! You are done. How fun!

Once I edit the photos I took and put some in the frames I will post another picture!


Another Completed Frame

Picture Frames

I love these, they are easy, inexpensive and look really good when completed. I am making a bunch this year for Christmas! I got the idea from here: http://pinterest.com/pin/81627811965737296/

You will need:
An unfinished wooden frame. I purchased mine at Michaels for $1.00 a piece.
Paint for the edges
Scrapbook Paper. I got some on sale at Michaels for .25 a page-yes!
Sandpaper-or you can use what I use: nail file/emory boards, I bought a big pack at the dollar store for a dollar.
Hot Glue

1. Trace your frame on the back of the Scrapbook paper, making sure to trace the photo opening as well. Then cut it and set aside.

2. Paint the edges of the frame in a corresponding color to your paper, don't forget the edges of the photo opening! Set aside and let dry.

3. After the drying has completed, coat the frame with a layer of mod-podge. I use a foam brush for this.

4. Glue the scrapbook paper to the frame, smooth it out so there are no air bubbles.

5. Go over the paper with another layer of Mod-Podge, try to get any "lines" of glue to be very small, and try not to have any air bubbles. Set aside to dry- I usually make these in the evenings and then allow to dry overnight.

6. After it's completely dry, trim any edges along the outside of the frame that have paper that is not flush with the edge. Then carefully (so as not to sand the paint) sand the edges to give a clean edge. I like to use nail files/emory boards because I never chip the paint with them, and I never have sandpaper around the house.

7. Tie a bow with some ribbon and glue it on with your hot glue gun. I especially look for any imperfections and try and attach the bow to cover any flaws.

8. Your done! I have some card stock (also purchased with the scrapbook paper) that I cut out to use as the insert.

New Blog

I am starting this blog to have a place to put instructions on how I make stuff I post in Pinterest:) Enjoy!