Between yesterday’s cupcake post and this the blog is in danger of turning into just a collection of “Look at this cool thing I found!” posts, but I had to preserve this for posterity.

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Photo by mybluemuse @ flickr

How cool is this? It takes some major guts to commit to painting the entire front of your house like a rainbow and for that I salute them.

Do you think these people will adopt me? Or maybe one of their neighbors so I can just look at it all the time? IF YOU LIVE IN OR NEAR THIS HOUSE AND ARE LOOKING FOR A BRAND NEW 22-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER LET ME KNOW. I’M QUIET AND I COOK. JUST THINK ABOUT IT.

I just found the most amazing cupcake blog and I had to share it with you immediately.

Ming Makes Cupcakes

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Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here licking my screen.

Seriously, I just want to make every single cupcake on that site, even though I’ll gain a thousand pounds and I know that mine won’t look nearly as pretty.

Credit for the photos obviously goes to Ming Makes Cupcakes, although I’m the one who made the snazzy graphic out of them. I just like to make snazzy graphics.

WARNING: Terrible Pictures – it was raining outside, so the artificial light I had to use and the camera flash made everything look gross.

My baby brother turned 21 last week which is slightly horrifying.*

(*) I don’t know why, but nothing makes me go “Holy crap, time is flying by!” like my brother having a birthday. It doesn’t feel like twenty-one years have passed since he was just this tiny person that came home from the hospital one day and stole all my thunder (I console myself with the fact that, at the time, I was WAY CUTER THAN HIM).

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YOU CAN’T COMPETE WITH MY BLONDE AFRO BABY.

ANYWAY, despite all this I love him to pieces, so I always try to give him an awesome birthday present. This is pretty simple, but I’m quite happy with how it turned out. I think my stenciling is getting better.

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He’s kind of stoic, so it’s hard to tell, but I think he was touched that I made him something.

Detail Shot:
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Sorry for the lack of action shot. He fell asleep pretty much immediately after present opening because he’d been moving his girlfriend into their new apartment the day before and was exhausted.

Stencil: Stencilry

Note from the Blogger: I’m sorry I haven’t updated in ages. I have been trying unsuccessfully to post this entry for three or four days now because WordPress was being a butt. Hopefully it was worth the wait.

Remember that bleach stencil t-shirt I made that turned out less than stellar?

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I managed to turn it into something I’ll actually wear! I’d been meaning to try this tutorial for awhile and I thought that the variegated coloring caused by the bleach, when cut into strips, would have a really neat effect here.

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And I was right! Isn’t it nice when that happens?

I worked well, but for some reason my strips didn’t fold really fold in on themselves, they just stretched and got raggedy on the cut edges. I actually like it though, it gives it a much more rough, organic feel.

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Unfortunately, it’s warming up around here, meaning I won’t get many more chances to wear it until the fall. That’s not so bad though, I’m just glad it turned out.🙂

My mom is the most awesome mom ever. You might be under the impression that your mom is the most awesome mom, but unfortunately, you are mistaken. Your mom would basically have to perform life-saving surgery on African orphans while skydiving out of a plane to be more awesome than my mom. My mom runs her own business and is super creative and somehow managed to avoid the temptation to leave me on the side of the road somewhere back when I was a rotten teenager (I’m still rotten, just no longer a teenager. True Story: When I first saw her this morning I said, “Good Morning! Mother’s Day is over; no more respect for you! Like Rodney Dangerfield!” (because I make very current references).)

The point of the preceding paragraph being that I take Mother’s Day very seriously. Here are all the things that I made.

First up is the card.

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Computer-made because the handmade attempt didn’t pan out. The font is Honey Script. The background is a free pattern that, unfortunately, I can’t remember where I got. I went on a crazy pattern downloading binge recently and forgot to keep track. If anybody knows who made it, please let me know!

And the inside.

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Next up are the muffins I made for Mother’s Day breakfast.

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Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I make seriously delicious muffins. I’ve been doing it since I was about five or six (with adult supervision, I’d like to point out, lest you think my parents are the sort of people who would let a kindergartner use the oven by themselves), so I’ve pretty much got it down to a science now. I think I’m going to make an entire post all about muffin baking soon. They’re just too tasty to keep to myself! (lol)

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My general muffin making M.O. is to make “Whatever-I-Can-Find-In-The-Cabinets” Muffins, so these are Honey Muffins. I’ve never put it in muffins before, but it worked great! They didn’t taste much like honey, but it made them super moist and spongy and cake-like. I might start adding it to all my muffins now. These were a really big hit. My step dad actually pouted a little when we sent the leftovers home with my brother, so I guess I’ll have to make more.😀

And since we were having family over for a nice Mother’s Day Dinner, I made a Red Velvet Cake for dessert.

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This is the first time I ever made red velvet cake from scratch, and I gotta say, I now have crazy respect for the Southern ladies who make this all the time. Apparently, the reason the South will rise again is stone-cold patience.

It turned out pretty good; a little bit dry, but I think that’s my fault rather than the recipes’. It said to bake for about 30 minutes so I stuck it in there and didn’t check it again until the timer dinged. I should have kept a better eye on it. Will definitely start out with a shorter time next time I make it.

I’ll post the recipe for the cake soon, I just want to try and perfect it first.🙂

And just because it’s cool – the packaging for the cake flour:

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Isn’t it fantastic? It looks like they haven’t changed their logo since about 1963. I love that! This brand now has my loyalty for life. My mom and I are both hardcore dorks about graphic design, so we were both nerding out over it.

My mom really loved everything, and I think she had a really good Mother’s Day. And so did I, even though I stayed up late the night before to make the cake and got up early to bake the muffins because I am a crazy baking fiend. Whatever, I love baking and a little fatigue is small price to pay to do something nice for the woman who gave birth to you.

So make sure you go and hug your mama kids because I bet she’s pretty neat. Not as neat as my mom of course, but that goes without saying at this point.

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Love you Mom.

I found these plain black canvas shoes at Target for $9. I couldn’t resist such a good deal, but the shoes themselves were pretty boring. So: bleach.

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It was so simple to do, but I am so happy with how these turned out.

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I just stuffed the shoes with newspaper, splattered them with a mixture of bleach and water, and rinsed them off in my kitchen sink. They took a couple of days to dry post rinsing, but they look fantastic!

This is basically my virtual To-Do List. I’ve always got a lot of ideas bopping around in my head and I need a way to keep track of them. Plus, like my post of crafts I want to learn, this should help me stay motivated.

  • Ukulele Songbook
  • Songwriting Notebook
  • T-shirt Necklace/Scarf
  • Paperclip Jewelry
  • Button Hairclips
  • Headbands
  • Homemade Lip Balm
  • Handmade Paper
  • Envelopes from Repurposed Paper
  • Magazine Clutches
  • More Lucky Wishing Stars (and string ’em up)
  • Organize My Craft Supplies

This list will be edited and updated as I accomplish things.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts our crafts just don’t work out. This was one of those times.

While I was stenciling robots and sunglasses with freezer paper and fabric paint, I decided I was also going to try out bleach stenciling. The plan was to cut a heart out of freezer paper, iron it on, and then spray bleach around it so the heart would be in the negative.

Here is an artist’s rendering of what was supposed to happen:

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And here is what actually happened:

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As you can probably tell, I used the wrong kind of spray bottle. Not only did it get completely out of control, it also bled under the freezer paper. The lesson here kids is that when bleach stenciling you should use the spray bottles you find next to the travel-sized shampoo, not the ones next to the household cleaners.

Don’t you worry about me though. I have a plan for this thing.

I’ve been wanting to make an altered journal for awhile now, and I’ve found the perfect book!

It’s a hardback copy of a John Grisham novel…

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in German.

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It’s so effing cool. It even has little footnotes explaining the Americanisms (which I…neglected to get a picture of, whoops).

The best part is that I found it at my local Goodwill for a grand total of $1. It’s one of my best Goodwill finds – right up there with the Saturday Night Fever t-shirt and the Slimnastics record (because those things are essentials…yes).

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Right now I’m in the process of gluing every second page together so they’re all sturdy enough to paint on if I want to. Well, and the book is nearly six hundred pages long and I don’t know that I can fill that many. It’s slow going because the gluing is so incredibly dull that I can only do it for so long before my brain starts to shut down, but I want to get the gross boring part out of the way before I start on the creative part (damn you responsible part of my brain! you never let me have any fun).

Pages will get posted as I do them. Or as I scan them, which, honestly, is more likely.

These are the very first shirts I’ve ever stenciled. It was, um, a learning experience.

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The sunglasses shirt actually turned out the best, which surprised me because it was my practice stencil. I picked it out just because I knew it would be easy to cut, to sort of ease myself into stencil making. Apparently there’s some truth to the saying “Keep It Simple Stupid”.

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As you can see, it’s cracking a little bit, but I don’t really mind.

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Poor robot. His heart is black because it’s cold and metallic and cannot feel love. Also he is slightly off-center which is going to bug the crap out of me.

And he looks wonky when I wear it because, well…boobs.

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This one turned out okay, but I really should have done it on a shirt that wasn’t so dark (and, y’know, made sure it was centered (seriously, it’s going to make me crazy, oh my god)).

Stencils: Stencilry
Materials: $4 Wal-Mart tees, freezer paper, and good ol’ cheap-ola Tulip fabric paint.