Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Monday night we had craft night and I got started on a new project. I am stitching some cute patterns onto something useful for my friend, Kris. I didn't get terribly far because I started to come down with something about halfway through "Knocked Up". I have since been down with a mystery illness.

Our cable has been out for three days, too. Comcast lied to us repeatedly about the problem, thus prolonging the outage. Finally a technician came out this afternoon and informed me that our cable is connected to the next door neighbor's cable. That neighbor recently moved out, so when the cable was cut off, ours was, too. This has happened four times this year, and I'm sure it'll happen again every time we get a new neighbor. The technician gave me his phone number, however, so I don't have to deal with call centers and rude customer service representatives any longer.

I say all that because as a result of losing cable, I concentrated extra hard on my new project while I was home sick. There are three parts to it and I finished part one at lunch today while waiting on the cable guy. It took me forever because I was using a French knot and I've never done one before. Katie demonstrated one to me a few weeks ago, but my feeble mind lost that information. I looked up "how to french knot" on youtube and voila! I copied the motions and I got it down! My first few knots were a little untidy. But by the fifth one, I think it looked great. I'm really thrilled that I can continually learn new things with needle crafts.

I'm still a sickie today, but Lonnie and I wandered over to our local ice cream parlor/cafe for hot soup and cold milk shakes. They did wonders for my congestion and sore throat! I think I might pick up some ice cream to accompany the Mexican chicken soup I will probably eat for dinner. I also plan on working on Kris' Christmas present some more. If I continue on this schedule, I should finish it by the end of the weekend.

I ordered the Winterland pattern from Sublime Stitching and it should be here soon. I'm thinking of embroidering some cute ornaments and elves on tea towels for the women in my family. I know for sure my mother and grandmother would love them. My Aunt Linda seems like the type to love crafty things, too. I will just stitch as many as I possibly can before the Holidays and give them out to as many people as will take them! I have a feeling my friends and family will get tired of receiving an embroidered something or other after a while. I'll be like that crazy aunt who always give the children knitted scarves and hats every single year. After 20 years or so, there's just not room for any more!

Monday, October 27, 2008


For the past two years I've gotten my pumpkin carving stencils from Zombie Pumpkins. They turn out great (I think so, anyway) every time! Last year I carved a Wario and a funny face named Horton. Carson, my boyfriend's nine year old son, and I share a love of video games. So this year we carved Boo, Bowser and Princess Peach!

We took a trip to McGee Farms on Saturday Morning and picked out three perfect pumpkins from the pumpkin patch. Gutting the pumpkins is always a chore because Carson doesn't like getting his hands dirty. I gutted two and Carson gutted one. It was nice having some help. He was very enthusiastic about the patterns we picked out this year.

I had forgotten how tedious tracing and then carving can be. It took about five hours total to carve all three pumpkins. Next year we're only doing two! The end results were totally worth all the eye strain, back pain and sore hands. This really is a fun activity for the entire family. Even if the kids are too young to handle the sharp stuff, pulling out the guts is something they can do. Even Corey got involved and roasted the seeds. YUMMY!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Delicious Surprise

My best friend, Girl Kris, came to visit me from Arkansas last night. Our other friend Christopher came over, too. I made baked ziti with garlic bread and a salad. It was pretty delicious. After dinner, Kris gave me my birthday presents... Yes, a month late, but in person is better than through the mail if you have a choice! The first thing I got was a fairy umbrella. It has a huge fairy on it and fairy wings on the sides. I was actually able to use it this morning on my way to work since the storm clouds have gathered over our region.

In addition to my awesome umbrella, Kris gave me a cupcake decorating book! It is amazing and the instructions are so clear. I have no doubt that after a few tries, I will perfect my decorating skills. I've never done anything so elaborate with baking. The book is called Hello Cupcake and there is a website to go along with it. Go check out some of the designs.

And I almost forgot! Christopher took a look at my camera and he fixed it! I will be testing it out this weekend when we go to McGee Farm to pick out pumpkins to carve. If it isn't obvious, I have the best friends in the world!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Calories, What Calories?

My day job is as the producer of a radio show about small business. Recently we had a co-founder of Fairytale Brownies on our show. She caught my eye because, first of all, they make brownies. But their company also has an interesting story and contributes to their community. A portion of every purchase goes to an organization that makes sure kids have a safe playground on which to play.

The best part about this is that they sent us a dozen brownies! You'll be surprised to know that I've only tried one so far. It was a cream cheese brownie and boy was it delicious. The texture is not too cake-like and not too moist... the perfect balance. I'll let Eileen Spitalny, the co-founder of Fairytale Brownies, tell you about it in her interview.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

First Project

I finally finished my first embroidery project! I am so excited that it turned out as well as it did. It's funny how you can see the improvement from one part to the other. I started the satin stitch on the star to the very right. You can tell that I got better as I practiced on each star.

It's very exciting to have this new craft. I look forward to the progress I make on future projects, too. I have so many ideas and I can't wait to start. I'll be starting on Christmas presents at our next craft night.

Clearly it's not perfect, but I am very proud that you can even tell what it is! Well that's all I wanted to share right now. I'm craft-free for the evening and watching Six Feet Under with Corey. It's good to relax.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

In my family, a cake isn't a cake unless it is made from scratch. No box cake mixes for us, no ma'am. Cooking has always been a big part of my life and baking an even more so. At family gatherings there would be a huge spread of Southern comfort food and a table devoted to only desserts. That was my favorite table. My Aunt Jane made a killer red velvet cake and I always got an extra large piece to split with my cousin Ashley. Since I haven't gone to family gatherings as frequently as I used to, I kind of forgot my love for red velvet cake. That is until I saw Paula Deen make some delicious looking cupcakes on TV one day. They were red velvet cupcakes and I just had to get the recipe and try them! At the time, my cousin Ashley was about to get married and I was planning her bachelorette party (I was the maid of honor). Since red velvet is her favorite, I chose to try this recipe out on her.

Everyone at the party couldn't get enough of the cupcakes. They were so moist and delicious, they couldn't believe I had actually gone to so much trouble just to make cupcakes. Little did they know that baking is kind of theraputic for me. Not only that, but the satisfaction of everyone complimenting me feels wonderful. Yeah, I'm selfish!

Since the bachelorette party, I have made these cupcakes for birthdays, fund raisers and other occasions. Every single time they turn out perfectly and I always eat more than I should. I like to dress them up with blueberries on Independence Day and sprinkles when kids will be enjoying them. My favorite topping is the suggested strawberry. It adds a wonderful sweetness.

Here is the link to the cupcake recipe on Food Network. I've played around with it, but I haven't written any of my own recipes down. Just try your own and top them however you want to! And if you're running low on time, use some pre-made cream cheese icing. It isn't as good as home made, but if the cake part is perfect, then people rarely notice the store-bought topping.

This is one of the cupcakes I made on Sunday for an event at the local university. I heard they were a big hit! And I realize it's blurry. My beautiful, lovely, amazing Nikon is currently not working so I'm using my little point and shoot Kodak. Hopefully I'll be remedying that soon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I love cupcakes and crafting

I've had a personal blog for about five years now. It's mainly private and I get my feelings and emotions out in it as well as update on my day-to-day. After meeting my friend, Katie, I found her blog and a community of bloggers who write specifically about their crafts. I find this to be exciting, because I love talking about embroidery, baking, cooking, etc. Not many people in my real life get as excited about these things as I do. I've been silently following Katie's and other blogs and now I've decided to start one of my own. Even if no one reads this, it will be a place to catalog my projects, recipes and ideas.

Sometimes when I start something new, I dive right into it and then after about a month I lose interest. With a little inspiration and motivation from my friends, I have started a new hobby and hope to continue it. Lonnie, Dayna, Katie and I meet usually about once a week and we call ourselves "The Crafty Cupcakes". It's a lot easier to be excited about a project when someone tells you how cool it is!

Currently I am working on my first embroidery project. It's a pillowcase (the first piece of cloth I picked up) with a light house scene on it. I'm having fun trying out different stitches and finding new ways to add texture and color. Katie has helped a lot with that. I have books and diagrams, but it's so much easier to have someone demonstrate a stitch to you! I have a few rocks to stitch on there, and I should finish the piece tonight.

I have also decided to make a few things for Christmas presents this year. I found some free patterns online for a tote I will make for my best friend, Girl Kris. I will be using a gnome and fairy pattern my boyfriend, Corey, bought me for my birthday from to make an apron for my best pal, Telisha. I also have a few patterns picked out from that website to use on some tea towels for my aunts and mother. As soon as I get paid on the first, I'm heading to HobbyLobby to pick out some materials! I'm pretty thrilled about it.

Hopefully I'll have a picture of my completed pillow case for my next post. Until then, I'm going to work on making this blog look snazzy!