Monday, June 18, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

pink lady project

ok...what could possible pull me from my daddy who hung the moon project? behold....

these beautiful ladies are two quilts that i was commissioned to complete as a special secret project. story ~ my father celebrated a milestone birthday this year, and to help him celebrate, two close friends of the family had him "flocked"! they paid a local charitable organization to stake 32 flamingos in my parents front yard with a big happy birthday sign. what a hoot!

since then the pink flamingo phenomenon has been following him as a running gag ever since, a constant reminder of the flocking. even going so far as to bestow a terribly tacky mug on him at church one week, along with a lot of good natured giggles from friends...now my dad figured he would wait for his chance to get even.

so, as their birthdays are both within these two weeks of june, my father decided that he needed to return the flocking....but with class
that is where i came in. one of my favorite pattern books has a pink flamingo wall hanging pattern that i really wanted to try, but didn't know what in the world i would do with when i finished. i mean, this is one of those patterns that you really try to find a good excuse to make. dad solved the issue for me, he asked me if he could pay me to create two of these to bestow upon these two special women as a way of flocking them. the catch, i had to do it in one week!

yippee! i love a challenge and i love the pattern, so on saturday i was off to the fabric store to purchase my necessities ~ hawaiian shirt fabric, 6 fat quarters, and two rolls of batting later, i was on my way home, ready to roll!

i finished them both on saturday, complete with pole sleeve (a first for me) and quilt label on the back. i had
soooooo much fun with these little gals. i did tweak the pattern to make it my own, adding the purple eyelids and eyelashes, just to make them a little more prissy.

i outlined quilted the flamingos, and free motion quilted waves around each flamingo, outline quilted the pink hibiscus flowers in the border, with free motion filling around the rest.

now, of course these had to have the perfect bag, but alas we could not find pink flamingo gift bags.....so i made them!

i purchased two .99 pink gift bags from target, then at home i cut a panel of flamingos from the same fabric i used to make the label and glued it to the front of the bag with craft glue, bordered with a glued down piece of ribbon, and completed with some small pink feathers glued to two gals. add a gift tag from target, and voila!
pretty cool, huh!

best of all, my dad was so pleased! i had a great time, and i think the two ladies will really appreciate their prissy flamingo friends.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

tiny tot graduation

my preschool celebrated the graduation of our 3rd set of seniors. i wanted to post pics of the grad cake i did for those who are interested. the general idea came from cakecentral.com, tweaked a little for my crew. i cut the individual kids faces out of fondant and make name plaques to make the cake more personal.



as always, it was a super cute ceremony, with our 2z, 3z, and grads all singing (many quite loudly), lots of laughs, smiles, and fun!

my cakes are always a big hit, but i am here to admit that it is largely due to research, not pure talent.
ok...for those who want it, here is a great way to "adjust" a box mix to make a spectacular chocolate pound cake! this is what i use when i don't want to use my scratch recipe. warning...it doesn't work for other flavors, just ends up too heavy:

Doctored Chocolate Pound Cake
you need:
1 box of devil's food cake mix
1 3.4oz pkg of chocolate instant pudding
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
preheat to 350. prepare 2 9" or 10" cake pans (i love baker's secret spray...it is the best!) combine all ingredients and blend on medium speed for about 3 minutes. pour, tap, place in over for about 50-60 minutes until toothpick is clean. remove, cool in pan for about 20 - 30 minutes, then invert onto rack.
and, confession, i hate store bought fondant, i pick it off! so i found a super marshmallow fondant recipe that is super yummy and is so easy and cheap to prepare!
Marshmallow Fondant
you will need:
1 16oz bag of mini marshmallows
2 tbsp water
2 lb bag of sugar
place marshmallows and water in a microwave safe bowl and nuke for approx 60 seconds, until marshmallows puff. remove and stir until smooth. add powdered sugar (and flavoring, if you wish) and stir until you have to pull it out and knead it. knead about 10-12 times, then you are ready to roll. this prepares enough fondant to cover a double layer 9" cake, with a little left over to cut out fun accents. ....by the way, if you are going to prep all one color, add it right before sugar to make it easy;)
enjoy!!

my new space

well, i finally took repossession of my quilting/guest room. after beginning my latest project and having my kitchen table engulfed for about a full week i decided to simply get creative and make a way to use this extra bedroom space while making it flexible enough to convert to a guest bedroom quickly. with the help of a great book called creating your perfect quilting space by lois hallock i took a quick inventory of what i had and came up with what you see below. this area uses about 1/2 of the floor space in the room, but still gives me the "u" shape workstation that the author recommends which should significantly speed up my sewing while easing the strain on my neck and back. and the best part, dh took the leftover styrofoam insulation panels from the basement, mounted a few on the wall and after a quick covering with batting, i finally have a design wall!!!! you can see my progress on my "daddy who hung the moon?" quilt.God really blessed me because the drop leaf table came from my mom, the night stand and dresser were already in the room, so no $$ was spent. when we have company, i can simply tuck the table up to the corner, stow the ironing board and the sewing machine, and move the nightstand. after bringing the box spring and mattress up, i can place it where on the right wall and voila! a guest room reappears. i get to try out this new layout this weekend, as i have to interrupt my current project to work on a quick request for a couple of fun gift quilts that need to be completed by friday....pics to come ;)