Thursday, January 27, 2011

New Family Portrait.... Kinda

I have decided I just can't wait for one big reveal, I have to give you a little sneak peek of my family room.  This is not a totally done space.  I still have a lot to do... like maybe put pictures in the frames.

I can't even begin to tell you how totally happy I am about how this is turning out.  When we moved into our house I knew I wanted a large piece of art for this wall,  but couldn't find anything just right and anything I did kinda like was way more then I would want to spend.  So after a month or two of bare walls I just hung up some stuff I already had.
Here is the before:
As you can tell I took this picture back before Christmas, but it gives you a pretty good idea of what it looked like before.  The lamps I had bought about 5 years ago for $4 each.  When I bought them the base was GOLD and they were UGLY.  So I spray painted them black and then rubbed them a little before the paint dried to let just a little of the gold show through.  Back then my credenza was red, but once I painted the credenza black and the lamps where black and the frames where black and the walls and ceiling were beige the effect was very blah and cave like in the room.  

So first I decided I would just make my own art.  I got the canvases for about $18 each at a local craft store. Then I got two of those little sample cans of Behr paint.  You know the ones that are like $2.94 or something like that.  I got the two colors I was planning on painting on my walls so the painting would really feel like it was part of the house and so I could test them out and see how I liked them before I actually put any on any walls.

I started by painting a quick coat of the light blue on the front and edges. Then, on the front only, I dry brushed on the green color.  Once it was dry I lightly brush the blue back on in a few spots and added a few little drops/splatters of the light blue.  Once that was all dry I free handed the branch.  If you are going to do this yourself and you are nervous about painting the branch I would suggest looking some up on-line do give you an idea, but don't look at the pictures while you are painting.  Just don't.
The birds are my family.  Can you see it?  My hubby and I are the love bird up at the top and then the other 4 are the kids.  I even left room so as our family grows I can add more birds.  To do the birds I downloaded a few pictures of love birds into picasa, cropped them so they would all be the right size when I printed them off.  Then I rubbed the back with a pencil, traced the outline onto the canvas, and painted it in.

Then there were the lamps.
Do you remember this post?

Well here is what I was talking about.

Those are the same lamps I bought for $4 each, but now for the first time I can say I LOVE them.  I just spray painted them aqua blue and gave them a coat of spray on lacquer.   Then I just switched out the shade and you would never know they are my old ugly lamps.  Since doing this I have noticed a lot of people spray painted their lamps aqua blue.  Yeah I am such a trend setter. :)  Umm you know I am joking right?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Valentine's Day Mantels

I have really been wanting to do some Valentine's decorating here at Corner House, but I started a major family room redecorating project in December and it is taking a little longer than I had planned.  I am still trying to decide if I am going to show you completed projects along the way, or wait for one big Ta-Da when it is done.  Add making a total bedding set for my lil sister's new baby and I have just been too busy to indulge in ruffly flowery hearts.   But I girl can dream can't she???

This vignette from The Casabella Project is totally dreamy!
I love the pink against the apple green desk and the texture of the hearts and topiary.  I wish I could just put this in my entryway or maybe at the top of my stairs just as it is.

I love the way Erin at In Between Laundry took seemingly ugly stuff and turned it into this pretty, light, and airy display!!

I am crazy in love with this mantel from Tatertots and Jello.  I love the wreath, garland, and especially the plates.  I think I really need to get a Silhouette.  I can't decide if I like this years or last years mantel better.  They are both so pretty.

I am totally sweet on this mantel at My Blonde Ambitions.  If I find the time I think I will have to make making one of those wreaths a priority and possibly a matching pillow or two.  

I think I may also have to make time to whip up a few of these little lovelys at Lemonade Makin' Mama.

Ok well seeing all these pretty pictures makes me really want to find the time to Love-ify my house.  So we will see I may find the time after all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can You Guess What I Made This Skirt For?

A princess NEEDS a princess skirt if she is going to be meeting princess right?

You may be surprised to hear that I put a LOT of thought into what Emma would wear her first trip to Disneyland.  (I am kidding, if you know me at all you know I tend to put a lot of thought into what Emma wears.)  So for the first day, I considered making her a Cinderella Dress to wear in Disneyland, but I was worried she wouldn't be comfy enough to just play and have fun, so I opted for a skirt.  I search high and low (on the internet) for Disney Princess fabric I actually liked.  I tend not to like "character" prints and stuff.

I mixed the princess print with beautiful Riley Blake Sweet Divinity fabrics and I love the result. 

The princesses loved it too.

I loved Sleeping Beauty.  She was so SWEET to Emma.  They started out just standing in the area thingy but then she had Emma come over and sit with her and they talked for a while.

Surprisingly Tinker Bell seemed to love it the most.

I planed our days so that the first day would be princesses and the second day would meeting Mickey and Minnie.  So if you are going to meet Minne Mouse you are going to need a Minnie Mouse meeting outfit.

You almost can't tell them apart... almost :)

For the Minnie Skirt I used about 3/4 a yard of Micheal Miller fabric and the circle skirt tutorial from Made.
It was super easy, super fun, and took like 20 minutes to make.

Monday, January 17, 2011


The weekend before Christmas I had a lot of cake orders.  Sadly I also had the worse cake experience of my life.  I knew when I got the request for the order that I was really busy and really didn't have time to do it, but I also hate to tell people no, so I said I could take the order.  It was just for am 8in Transformers cake and 25 cupcakes, but it was enough to send me over the edge.
I started the week out well, baked the cakes, made the fondant and then it  happened.... we all got strep throat.  I called the client to let her know, but she still wanted the cake so I set out to get it decorated, but everything possible went wrong.  I had to take everyone to the doctor, then had to get the prescriptions filled and that ended up taking a few hours and 5 trips to Walgreens.  By the time the client came for the cake and cupcakes my once clean kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off, and Bryce had crawled through the kitchen emptying the contents of all the lower cabinets onto the floor.  I don't even want to know what she thought of the mess.  It was just so horrible and embarrassing, but I had done all I could do.  I truly hope I don't ever go through something like that again.  The cake was doomed form the beginning, I didn't ever get a clear vision and I think I added to much powdered sugar to the fondant because it was a little dry.  It was just a bad cake day.  My husband reassured me that the cake looked really good, but you know when you have one thing in your mind and it is just not turning out that way you thought it would.  So many things went wrong I didn't even get a picture of the cake before it was gone.
After they left I felt horrible, but I still had one more cake to do, so I cleaned up the kitchen and got to work.
This one turned out just as I had pictured it.

The week after Christmas I had another cake to do, but this time I knew the "client" would love it.

Thats right my baby Bryce turned 1!   We had a huge game night party for him so of course he needed a Candyland cake.

I think you could say he liked it.

I gave him the top yellow tier and the "castle" on top.  The top layers where confetti cheesecake cake and I used applesauce instead of oil to make it a little more baby friendly.  The bottom tier was triple chocolate cake with a candy cane butter cream.  Yummy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pajama Pants and Reindeer Shirts

Do you remember these pajama pants?  Do you want to know why they kept ripping out?  Funny story, I guess it helps when you wash flannel before you sew with or wear it.  Who Knew Right?  I'm kidding.  That was kinda like a duh moment.  I felt a little stupid when my husband, of all people, suggested "have you tried washing them?"
After washing them all but 2 of the 7 pairs have held up great.

I made a pair for each of the "grandkids" and they all wore them to the big family Christmas Eve party.  

My oh so talented sister-in-law made all the kids cute little reindeer shirts with their names on them.  They were a perfect match to the pants and we didn't even plan it.  We are just that cool.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I HEART Christmas Cookies

I love baking at Christmastime and I LOVE Christmas cookies. This year I found the cutest cookie boxes at Hobby Lobby and I just knew I needed to get them and fill them.

This year I decided on Candy Cane Cookies, Spritz Cookies, Sugar Cookies, and Almond Cherry Spritz Wreaths.  There is a really great tutorial for spritz cookies here.  I love her tutorials and my spritz cookies have always turned out great following this recipe.  The green trees at the normal spritz dough tinted green and the flower looking ones are the Cherry Almond.  They have almond extract in them and halved maraschino cherries in the center.

For the sugar cookies I once again used the recipes from Bake at 350.   The cookie recipe it here and the icing recipe is here.

Last, but not least and my personal favorite the Candy Cane Cookies.  

Candy Cane Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 egg
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
red food coloring
Mix sugar, butter, milk, vanilla, peppermint, and egg in a large bowl.  Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt.  divide dough in half and tint half red.  Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. 
Heat oven to 375.  To form cookie shape 1 teaspoon of each color dough into a 4-inch rope side by side.  press together lightly, twist, and shape.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 9-12 minutes.  In my oven 10 mins is perfect.  Remove them from the cookies sheet almost right away and let cool on a wire rack.

One great thing about all of these cookies is that they are very kids friendly.  Once you get the rhythm going on spritz cookies you can totally let your kids help pump them out.  Kids are always willing to use cookie cutters on the sugar cookies and although they don't always turn out as pretty when kids make them I usually like to give each kid a little bit of each color and let them make a few candy canes while I am making them.

I gave the cute red and white boxes out to my neighbors and I got a few of these cute Santa boxes for teacher gifts.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Long Time No See

All I can say is I survived and now I am looking forward to getting everything back in order.  Even though it is way past Christmas I am still going to post a lot of the Christmas stuff and get all caught up.

 Here is a quick rundown of what I have been up to and since Dec 13th.  The Relief Society Christmas Party, Christmas gifts for my wonderful neighbors, Strep throat, several cakes, a huge Christmas Eve party at my house, Baby Brycey turned 1, a game night party to celebrate Brycey turning 1, another Christmas party, family staying over, a trip to Disneyland.....and a little more strep throat just for good measure.

Your excited right??  I know blog posts about strep throat are riveting.  But since I am finally feeling well enough to sit up and type and no longer feel like crawling into a hole and dieing, I thought this would be a good time to start catching up.