This is awesome

Oh my goodness. People are so smart. This is home-made glowing kryptonite candy.The tutorial is here on CRAFT. I can’t wait to try it with my nephew, who loves superheroes and candy.


Candy Corn Necklace

I have never been a big fan of Halloween. The decorations and costumes are just too scary for me. This year I wanted to make something that was in the Halloween spirit, but not at all scary, and all I could think of was candy corn (my niece calls them acorns).

I bought a bag of candy corn and started stringing them with a needle and thread. It was a little frustrating, because a lot of them broke. But I ended up with a long enough strand for a necklace!
I tried it on, and it looks cute. Not scary at all!

Easy Kitchen Curtains

It took me a while to decide on the kind of curtains I wanted to make for our kitchen. I finally made them yesterday after looking at tons of different pictures for inspiration, and I am pretty happy with the result.
I was kind of making it up as I went along, so I took pictures and wrote down the steps just in case I ever want to make them again. I started with 3 yards of Amy Butler Midwest Modern print, plus an equal amount of lining fabric. I used a little less than a yard for each window.

The window in the picture is 33″ wide (measured from the outside of the frame), so I added an inch for seam allowance and cut 34″ lengthwise and used the width of the fabric with just the selvedge trimmed off. Then I cut an equal size piece of lining fabric and pinned the 2 pieces together with the right sides facing.
Then I sewed down 3 sides (left, right and bottom), and turned it inside-out like a pillowcase. Once the piece was inside-out, I pressed the edges.
I sewed the edges again, just to make sure that the curtain would lay flat, then I decided to add some pleats to the bottom.
I folded over the bottom edge 3 inches and pressed the fold, then sewed 1 inch in to create a pleat.
Then I folded the fabric over again, 3 inches from the previous pleat, pressed and sewed 1 inch from the fold again.I repeated the pleating step again, and added a third one.

That was enough for me, so I finished up by creating a rod pocket on the top of the curtain and I was all done! I am definitely still a beginner at sewing, and this project could not have been easier.

The kitchen still needs some work, and I need to paint the window frames over the kitchen sink before I can hang the curtains.

Apple Cupcakes

I made some really delicious apple cupcakes this weekend for an Octoberfest party. I have never baked fruit in a cake before, and I definitely want to try it again soon.
Apple Cupcakes
Makes about 36 cupcakes

– 2 cups all purpose flour
– 1 cup whole wheat flour
– 2 cups packed brown sugar
– 2 teaspoons baking soda
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2 cups milk
– 1 cup vegetable oil
– 2 teaspoons vanilla
– 2 cups apples, peeled and chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare cupcake pans with wrappers.
2. Mix dry ingredients (flours, sugar, baking soda, spices and salt), in a large bowl. Pinch out any lumps in the sugar as you mix.
3. Add wet ingredients (milk, oil, vanilla) and mix together until smooth.
4. Add apples and stir until evenly distributed.
5. Fill cupcake pans and bake for about 20 minutes.

I used a simple white icing to frost the cupcakes.
White Icing
Make 2 batches to frost 36 cupcakes

– 1 stick butter (room temperature)
– 4 cups powdered sugar
– 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
– 4-6 tablespoons milk

1. Cream butter using a mixer with the paddle attachment.
2. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until combined, then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla then the milk, one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.

Once the cupcakes were frosted, I asked Anthony to take some pictures. He couldn’t help taking a bite!

Long Hallway

One of the things that is helping me feel settled in our new apartment is hanging pictures on the wall. Yesterday I finally got around to hanging our collection of original drawings from Sam Brown in our very long hallway.

Anthony and I have been joking that we get all of our exercise from walking up and down the hall, since our living room is at the front of the apartment, and the kitchen is at the back. Since I had seven framed drawings, I wanted to space them evenly on one side of the hall. I started by measuring the entire length of the hall (it came out to 35 feet), and then dividing by 8 since I had 7 pictures to hang. I ended up with 4.375, but rounded down to 4.25 in order to make it easier on myself.

I marked the wall with painters’ tape at regular intervals, 4.25 feet apart. You can see the tape and the shelves I put in the cabinet at one end of the hall in this picture.

Once I marked off the wall, I measured for the hooks 14 inches up from the moulding. I like to use picture hanging hooks whenever possible, as the little pins don’t need to go too far into the wall and cause much less damage than regular nails or screws.

Then I hung the frames, and it was done!
Since we spend so much time walking back and forth in this hall, it’s nice to have something good to look at. I still need to put something at the far end of the hall, and it looks like we’ll end up with a bookcase, since we have an overabundance of books in the house. I am going to start searching craigslist and thrift shops for something solid that I can paint a fun color. The carpet in the hall is an ugly brown industrial berber, so I may end up trying to find a runner to put over it as well.

Welcome Boxes

One of my best friends got married this weekend, and I was so happy to be able to help her out with some of the details. My favorite part was the welcome boxes that we put together to greet the out-of-town guests when they checked into the hotel.The colors for the wedding were gold, ivory, and brown, so we picked these beautiful gold boxes to hold all of the treats. The bride and groom love sweets, so we filled the boxes with some of their favorite candy.I like to use clear boxes and bags with custom labels for each of the treats inside, so that the little packages match the big ones. It’s also cheaper to buy the treats in bulk and then re-package them instead of buying pre-packaged single serving sizes.The wedding was beautiful and we had a great time dancing at the reception. I even kept my heels on all night! They’re usually off by the end of the cocktail hour because I can’t stand it when my feet hurt.It was a great weekend!

Keeping track of good ideas

Pinterest is fantastic for keeping track of good ideas for recipes and craft projects, but I also like to keep track of the good things I find in magazines every month. Instead of keeping stacks of whole magazines, I tear out the pictures and articles for things I think are cool.A few years ago I bought a simple black sketchbook with about 200 pages, and ever since then I have been clipping good ideas and sticking them inside with double-sided tape.So any time I am looking for a new dinner or dessert idea, planning a party, decorating a room or itching to do some crafting, I look through my idea book for inspiration.It’s so much easier than searching through complete old issues of magazines, and I don’t have to keep the extra space on my shelves for months and months of back issues.