Sunday, April 29, 2012

Everybody Loves Cake

Meet our new, itty, bitty kitten: Cake.

She's super tiny. And super cute. And we're super excited she's ours.

Why Cake? Because as Eric said.... "Everybody loves cake!"

Friday, April 27, 2012

Pee-wee Herman likes my cookies.

My head is going to explode. Much like my piñata cookies.

I could not foresee what has just happened this week. My little piñata cookies found a great big audience on the "internets." Holy cow! An editor at contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I'd be interesting in doing a cookie tutorial for them. Sure. Sounds fun.

And then, boom! The article posted on Tuesday and I've seen it a million places. Over 174,000 194,000 222,000 341,000 pins on Pinterest. A Facebook & Twitter shout-out from Pee Wee Herman. (I'm not even kidding.) And a repost of the recipe on one of my favorite baker-type-bloggers, CakeSpy. (I don't even care that she called them unicorns.)

So yea...... Well. That was fun. Really fun. Let's do it again.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Buttercream? Macaron? Whisk?

We're adopting a new calico kitten on Sunday. (Not the one pictured here. Although, I'd take this one in a heartbeat.)

Gus and Bea are sooooo excited. (O.K. maybe I am too.)

What should we name it? I have an idea, but maybe someone out there has a fun suggestion. Comment below and then stop back by on Monday and see what we're calling our new bundle of fur.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bea Nice to Birds

Bea got into the Earth Day spirit last week, and begged us to help her make a pine cone bird feeder. Basically, you just tie a string around a pine cone, slather it in peanut butter, roll it around in some bird seeds, and hang it on a tree branch. 

I'm pretty sure she saw the idea on Nick Jr. and wouldn't rest until she'd made one. Bea's a little bit too much like her mother sometimes - always got a have a project to keep her busy.

Unfortunately, I don't think any of the backyard birds got to enjoy their treat. One of the squirrels ripped it down and took off with a tasty snack for himself. Oh well, a squirrel's gotta eat too.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Beautiful Basement Branch

Another piece of our basement remodeling project is complete: an 8-foot tree branch shelf. The inside frame is made of birch plywood, painted white. And the front is covered in a thin walnut with natural finish. It took me a while to convince my husband to built it, but he finally agreed. I originally saw this piece - designed by Olivier Dolle - on a design blog and knew Eric could make something similar. There were lots of crazy angles and cuts on the table saw to make this beauty come to life. Thank you, Eric. He always exceeds my expectations, and it looks absolutely perfect on our grey-striped wall.

Now, what fun things can I find to put on it? So far, I just have this sweet, little, lasercut card I found on It feels like it needs a ceramic birdy, or maybe a nest made out of felt. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Psychedelic Playdoh Cookies

I was baking some very colorful sugar cookies this week for another project, and rather than throw away all the scrap dough, I mixed it into a giant, psychedelic ball. It looked just like my daughter's stash of Playdoh.

I decided to go ahead and make cookies from it. They baked up pretty cool. And the kids at Bea's daycare loved them. Just hope they don't go home now and eat real Playdoh.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Experiments in Baking

I saw a baking trick in the latest Martha Stewart Living that I wanted to try. It was a recipe for pretty, swirled meringue cookies. (Meringues are kinda like macarons, minus the almond flour.)

For a while now, I've been trying to figure out how to make multicolored macarons without totally screwing up the batter. When you add too much food coloring or fold the batter too many times, you get messy macarons. I want pretty macarons.

Anyway, Martha's tutorial said to paint stripes on the inside of the pastry bag with gel food coloring before you fill it with your batter. I tried it, and it sorta worked. They weren't pretty & swirled like the meringues in her photo, but they were definitely different, and colorful. I think the green food coloring I used was too dark.

You can be sure I will try this trick again. And again. And again.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Ahhhh... family.

Family reunions are best known for two things: 
1. Potluck dinners that include a marshmallow, whipped cream & jello salad.
2. Torturing spouses & children to meet 2nd, 3rd or 4th cousins.

I will be enjoying both of these things in June at the Weishaar Family Reunion. Apparently, the Harry & Mary Weishaar side-of-the-family is suppose to be in charge of organizing it this year. (Harry & Mary were my paternal grandparents.)

Thanks to my cousin Gary, I was volunteered (err...voluntold) to do the invitations.

OK, I did my part. Now, could somebody get me a bowl of that jello salad?

My grandparents look pretty surly for being newlyweds. Sure hope things got happier.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rustic Country Wedding Invite

Some friends of mine are having a fun wedding in the country this summer, and they asked me to help them with their invitations. The bride set me free to design whatever I wanted, and I think they turned out pretty swell. I like to create mail that involves the recipient, and this piece unfolds to reveal all kinds of cool stuff.

I tried to capture all the special details that are going to make this a celebration to remember - down-home hospitality, wildflowers & herbs, burlap accents, hay bales, cowboy boots, wooden barrels, country quilts, rustic chalkboards and most of all, LOVE. The ceremony is taking place on the couple's very own piece of land that they hope to build a home & life on someday. How awesome is that?

Congrats and best wishes, Cassie & Brandon. 

Yee haw! I love fun mail.

As a companion to the fun, country wedding invite I created for Cassie & Brandon, the couple wanted an equally-fun rehearsal dinner invitation. So, I designed this simple, oversized, boot-shaped postcard.

I had the fronts and backs printed on kraft paper and then I spray glued them to a piece of heavy-duty chipboard. It gave my fingers and wrists a workout to cut the boot shapes with an exacto knife, but there were only 20 so it wasn't too bad. It helped to drink a glass of wine or two. (That rule pretty much applies to all of my projects.)

Oh how I love sending cool, unusual mail pieces. Each postcard will need an extra 45¢ in postage, but they're so worth it. And this one definitely has the fun & flavor of the engaged couple too. They really know how to kick back and have a good time.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

See page 36.

Eric and I somehow managed to make it in to the April issue of Womens Focus. Slow news month? Perhaps. 

Check out the great story written by my friend, Sheila. She made my little family and our projects sound way more interesting and fun than they are in real life. Thanks, Sheila.

And another big thank you to Carol -  the new owner & publisher of Womens Focus - for calling and asking us to be featured in their NEST section. I was more than flattered, and Eric was a little bit flustered. (He prefers to fly below the radar most days.) 

Sorry honey, But I'm a great big ol' signal always waving for attention. Thanks for putting up with me and my ideas.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Home Sweet Home Shower

I've been keeping myself busy lately, buying candy and baking treats in every shade of purple possible. Someone who had seen the wedding dessert tables I did for my friend, Rachel, last summer contacted me and asked if I could make a perfectly-purple dessert table for a bridal shower she was hosting the first Saturday in April. The theme of the shower was "Home Sweet Home" and the bride is a K-State grad (thus, the Purple Pride!)

Instead of using my fancy glass apothecary jars, vases and white platters, I decided to use household items for displaying the goodies - baking pans, measuring cups, canning jars, colanders, a blender, a mixer, a lamp and a big white frame. I thought it really tied-in nicely with the Home Sweet Home theme.

I hope the bride and her party guests enjoyed the sweet display. I had a lot of fun dreaming up all the different purple possibilities.
The blender is filled with Sixlet candies.
Measuring spoons were used for candy scoops.
These spoons are filled with peanut butter and covered in purple chocolate.

The fortune cookies had a special message inside:
"Marriage is a dinner, that begins with dessert."
This house & heart picture was created with Sixlet candies.

The mixing bowl was filled with huckleberry flavored taffy.

I used Hershey's Kisses for the "fringe" on the lamp shade.

Marshmallow Peeps surround these petite cupcakes in various shades of purple.

I used a mini colander to hold these purple, chocolate-dipped Oreos.

Purple ombre sugar cookies filled my favorite, 5-tiered dessert stand.

Each of the Whirly Pop lollipops had photo sticker of the bride & groom.

I just loved these Itty-bitty purple macarons with raspberry creme filling.

I built the 3-dimensional Home Sweet Home sign out of foam core and hot glue.


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