Thursday, December 29, 2011

Loose Ends

Two days from now I will be ringing in the new year, and I couldn't be more excited.  2011 has been an incredible year, and I am so ready to see what 2012 has in store for me.
I'm not going to bother making any resolutions...they'll just get broken anyway, but I will grow and learn and try to do better.
Before I leave 2011 behind, I thought I would recap the last few little tidbits of 2011.  For Christmas, I made three cute little crafties that were given as gifts.

This is my third braided scarf! I gave it to my aunt and she LOVED it!


I made both of these for my niece to match outfits that my mother bought her.
I used the incredibly simple (and precious) tutorial from Notes From the Patch.
I don't think I'll ever use another method to make a bow!
 
I am so happy with all of my crafties that I've made this year, and I am just itching to see what I can do next year!  I'll make sure to post a lot, so that you can all keep up with what's happening in my Cupcakes and Candy Canes world.

My final tidbit (which is not so much a "tidbit" as it is HUGE NEWS) of 2011...............I'm engaged!!  This was the icing on top of an amazing year.  I'm so excited to dive into wedding planning (with a long-ish timeline) and wedding crafting and all of the other fun details!  I'll be keeping you updated on all of that too!

Have a WONDERFUL last few days of 2011, and I hope that 2012 is wonderful!!


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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas the Day Before Christmas

Merry Christmas Eve!  

I hope all of you are having an incredible Christmas so far.  I know I promised that I would tell all about the Christmas goodies that I made with my mother and sister, so here goes.

Every year, we set aside two days to make all of our Christmas treats.  One of the days is "Fruitcake Day," and my mother and Nana use my great-grandmother's recipe to make (at least) four cakes.
The other day is "Chocolate Covering Day."  We clear off the kitchen counters, put wax paper down on everything, and cover anything not nailed down in chocolate.


The pretzels are always a big hit!


So are the Oreos.

I know this isn't technically "chocolate covered," but I LOVE peppermint bark.
Normally on a post like this I would give a recipe or tutorial...but it's just chocolate.  We bought Kroger brand Kandy Kwik, melted it, and slung it all over everything.  Then we added sprinkles!

The peppermint bark has a few more steps.  For that we used actual bakers chocolate and Andes brand soft peppermint pieces for the top.  After we melted the chocolate we mixed 1/4 tsp. of peppermint extract in (both layers).  It is incredible, and the Andes brand  peppermint pieces are soft so everything is really melty.

It's all incredible...and mostly gone.  My very favorite part of making all of this is giving it away.  We filled 16 tins and 2 trays totally full to give as gifts! 
This kind of stuff is just perfect for coworkers, bosses, friends...pretty much everybody.

I hope y'all are all enjoying your Christmas as much as I am!  Make some goodies, eat some goodies, and have a WONDERFUL weekend!




Tip Junkie handmade projects

Monday, December 12, 2011

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas

Christmas is in full swing at my house! The (five) trees are decorated, the stockings are hung, and the house is absolutely full of goodies (more on those in another post)!
Just in case you're wondering...the picture isn't crooked. The tree leans to the right. Those white blobs at the top are angels made out of paper doilies - one for me, my sister, and my niece. 

This has always been one of my favorites (we actually have two, but we only put one up). We only put vintage glass ornaments on it. It has a spinning color wheel that goes with it too!

This is my tree. I like for it to be the epitome of girly, sparkly, sweetness!

Toy Tree. My niece can take everything off this tree and play with it.

Also mine...obviously. You know about my love for cupcakes...the two in the front are the first two in a Hallmark series. I want to get enough of them to display them on my cupcake stand!

In addition to the tree forest, we have about a billion Santa Clauses, nativities, and a few more trees.
Christmas is a pretty big deal here...

On that note, last night we went to the Christmas music at our church, and it was incredible. I love all things Christmas, but there is just something about hearing a choir tell the story that gives it that extra oomph!

The last thing I wanted to show you is another new crafty something! It took seriously about twenty minutes start to finish.  You just can't beat that!



Tip Junkie handmade projects
There you have it, Christmas in a nutshell. I hope your decorations are sparkly and beautiful and that you hear incredible music and services. I'll be doing more Christmas crafts and cooking very soon! And I promise that I'll post about our baking day and Christmas goodies!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sewing, Scarves...and Santa?

I  finally did it! Pinterest is no longer solely a time-waster; I made something I pinned!


This little thing is SO popular on Pinterest, and I jumped right on the loving it bandwagon.
Like everyone else I was devastated to find out that the link is to a German website where you can buy it...not as much fun. It didn't take long to find some people who had this same problem.

Megan over at Making Lemonade has a great tutorial that I used to make my very own (...and one for my mother of course).



I made a red and gray one too, and I love it! I would have written my own tutorial...but you don't really want to be along for that ride. My only suggestion is that it can be a little difficult to cut the t-shirts, so I cut the sleeves and neck/shoulders off completely so that they were in rectangles. I think the next time I make one, I'll probably just buy some fabric. That way I can have perfect rectangles, and the scarf will be a little longer...but I still love mine!

I feel accomplished. Now I can tell people that I actually made something I pinned. I'm planning on doing way more because...........it's almost CHRISTMAS! I have a lot planned for Christmas - crafty and otherwise. In a few weeks, my sister and I are going to see White Christmas at the Orpheum! I am so excited...after that it's onto Thanksgiving, decorating, gift-giving, and whatever else Christmas brings our way!

I'll keep you posted...promise!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

School, Crafting, and Pinterest

School started a few weeks ago, and even though I don't stay too busy...I still find it really hard to do cutesy, crafty things.  I have all of these great ideas bouncing around in my head, and the few times I try to accomplish something...huge disaster. 
  I'm not sure if I told you or not, but I have this adorable orange and white polka dotted fabric that I was going to use to make a Tennessee Vols shirt for my niece.  I cut out a big Power T and started sewing it onto a plain long sleeve black t-shirt.  I had no sooner started than my sewing machine ATE the fabric...  Seriously.  I had to take apart part of the machine just so that I could yank the shirt and the huge thread ball out of the mechanism.  Annoyed but determined, I found another shirt, cut out another T, and started again.   I got no further on this one than the machine ate ANOTHER shirt! 
  I still haven't tried again. 
  Maybe in a few weeks when I'm less annoyed.  My machine has only done that once!  Twice in a row?  Ridiculous. 
  Also on the agenda...a yarn wreath, a scarf, and that quilt that I've been working on forever.
  In brighter (although no more productive) news - I'm on Pinterest. Follow me!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pre-Beach Craftiness

So we just got back from the beach…it was incredible.
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I was on an extreme craft kick right before we left.  In addition to the bazillion bows, I made the perfect “riding to the beach” outfit for Della.  Of course it was outrageously simple like all of the other things I make, but I’ve never thought that took away from the cute-ness.

No more waiting…I can’t wait to show you!
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Adorable right?! Just wait!
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I love rickrack!  Still not totally done though!
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Matching bow! 
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I think this is my favorite thing I have made so far!
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So, not only did Della look adorable in her shirt, but she absolutely LOVED the beach!

I know this wasn’t the most literarily satisfying blog…but that last picture makes up for it in spades!

I hope you all had a spectacular summer.  Get ready for some serious fall crafting!

       Also, I’m on Pinterest now – follow me “Allyson Butler”

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bow Frenzy

This week has been a veritable frenzy of bow making!  After a friend from work asked for a couple of bows for her niece, my aunt asked a few days later for bows for my cousin! I already had one planned for my niece...that makes seven.


Two for my friend's niece! (Side note: I LOVE Fall...making these made me so ready for it!)




One, two, three, four for my cousin!  She can only wear orange, black, and white to school...hence the color theme.

One more for Della.  It matches this adorable outfit with a flamingo on it...perfect for the beach!
So...seven bows in two days...not too shabby if I do say so myself.  I LOVE hair bows...probably more than anyone should, so of course I relish any chance to make some.  On that note, be expecting another post very, very soon about another something adorable that I made for Della...it includes a hair bow!
Aside from that, you can be expecting some musings about fabric, ideas, Pinterest, school, and the beach!
I have two more weeks of summer, and I am NOT going to waste them!  Of course, I won't be wasting the school year either...lots more to come!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This week (ok...weekend) I have about 876763 things that I am finally going to finish! I have all of these adorable crafty ideas that I've been meaning to finish...it's easy to lose motivation at the end of the day though.
That being said, I'm posting my to-do list. Partially so that I know what I have to do...and partially so that I can drum up some motivation.

* Finish those adorable ruffly flower shorts...mentioned here.
* Make a shirt with a fish on it for my niece.
* Make a hair bow to go with the fish shirt.
* Make a hair bow to go with another outfit.
* Sew a button on a pair of shorts (if I didn't list it I would forget it!)
* Possibly add something cute to a pillowcase dress I made.

I think that's all. It doesn't seem like much...until I get comfortable.

So there you have it! Not the flashiest or best post ever - but effective.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Back to Blogland

I know...I've been a bad blogger.  I've been busy-ish (i.e. lazy).  My summer has been mostly work and not nearly as much crafting as I intended to do.  To that end, I don't have any pictures to show you now, but I am almost done with a few things that I will definitely be showing you soon and very soon!  Don't give up hope yet readers...I still have big plans for this blog.

Oh wait!
I found a picture to share!


I made this for my niece to wear on the 4th!  Pretend like it's a better quality photo...and understand that the bow is huge!  I love a big hair bow, and this one is one of my favorites so far!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Little Late

I know...I've been a bad blogger. Almost a month away! What was I thinking?
I was thinking that I had nothing to say and nothing precious to show you...
All of that aside, I have more new things to show you now! I finally got my sewing machine. It was a birthday present, and I'm loving it! This little darling is going to move me onward and upward in my craftastic journey!
Soon (I mean it this time) I will have more to share. I've been working on some bloomers, but they still need some tweaking... I fully intend to share them with you, but I absolutely do not want you to see the hot mess I'm working with now. I promise they'll be precious...just not now.
I know you're waiting on pins and needles. I am too!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Perfect Plan


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   (Ignore the blurry-cell phone part of this picture)
Remember how I said I was going to make some pillowcase shorts for  my niece? Of course you do…
I found this fabric at my grandmother’s house…picture this – something along these lines (except for an 18-month-old and a little longer), made out of that fabric!

I know!  It’s like little old lady fabric, but what could be better for a baby?  I think with the leftover fabric I’ll make a fake applique shirt to go with!  I am so excited about this. Seriously.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

To-Do List

It’s finally summer!  I have finished my second year of school, and I am so thrilled to have more time for everything…especially my craft journey.  I promise to post much more this summer than I have been – there will be a lot going on.  Aside from the incredible pie (preview: it’s called Chocolate Marshmallow Mousse) I made yesterday, I have plenty of crafty ideas to try this summer. Also…I’m finally getting a sewing machine!  After I tell you all about this pie, I’m going to let you in on what will be going on.

Here we go:
A few days ago I was watching an adorable little movie.  In the movie someone spoke words that literally stopped me in my tracks…Marshmallow Pie.  I know.  Naturally, I stopped working on the paper that was due and immediately started searching for Marshmallow Pie recipes.  After a few that didn’t quite speak to me I found this.  As soon as I moved home for the summer I made it my mission to concoct this masterpiece.  After my second day of work I headed straight for the grocery store to stock up on ingredients.  As per usual, I got to the grocery store around 5 o’clock on a Friday afternoon…in the rain.  Allow me to clarify; by “rain” I of course mean a torrential downpour, wind, and the tornado sirens. 
I really wanted this pie.
I swam back to my car and drove home.
Although the recipe is obviously divine on it’s own, I tweaked it just a smidge.  After I let the mixture cool for the first time, I put it over low heat so that my marshmallows would melt…and then…I added a generous dollop of marshmallow cream!

What a sight!
p.s.  I will not judge you if you a) cannot wait until it sets up to eat it or b) lick the mixing bowl.

Now for my to-dos:
1.  Get my sewing machine!
2.  Pillowcase shorts for my niece.
3.  Probably a ton of “appliqued” shirts for my niece.
4.  HAIRBOWS to match every outfit for my niece at the beach.
*  Noticing a theme?
5.  More work on my “quilt".”
6.  Doily lantern…for my niece.
7.  Book pages wreath…for my niece.
*  I’m sure there’s more…maybe even for me.
I promise to post more.
I can’t wait!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Little Break

Even though I have thus far only posted my dabbles in the craft world, this is my blog, and today I'm taking a different direction. I want this blog to completely reflect me...and all that that entails. That being said (and because I want an excuse to have more posts), I'm going to post a little something I wrote a few months ago. I go back and read it from time to time, and it always reminds me of the things I like (about myself and otherwise). Sometimes I think everybody needs some encouragement, so that's what I'm here for today!

I believe in a hill called Mt. Calvary…whatever the cost. I believe that believing that trumps the mistakes that I make. I believe I should try to make less of those. I believe that this is nowhere near the best that things will be. I believe that if you’re doing it right, life gets better overall all the time. I believe that the people who matter don’t look for faults. They have already seen them and let them go. They also spell your name right. I believe that the best relationships don’t need constant conversation and entertainment. They can handle silence and even think it’s comfortable. I believe that what you know in your heart is more important than what other people say. That being said, I believe that if you don’t want people to talk about you, you shouldn’t broadcast. What you want people to know doesn’t have to be said aloud. It should be quietly obvious. I believe that a Coke is calming, and cupcakes are by far the best form of cake. I believe that a nap is wonderful medicine best if taken with a zebra cake (Christmas tree cake in season) and a Coke. I believe that high standards make you a catch not picky. The Life is Good store told me that “the little things in life are the big things.” I believe that too. I believe that turnabout is fair play, and you shouldn’t dish out what you can’t take. I believe that trust, respect, and sympathy are earned and can therefore be lost; it will be much harder to earn them the second time around; you can believe that. I believe that I am entitled to my opinions, and you are too. If I don’t like yours I won’t pay them much mind; you can do the same. I believe that the closest friends overlook the element of competition because it’s silly not because it doesn’t exist. They also talk to you, with you, and over you if need be but not about you. I believe that Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is one of the truest most insightful books about all sorts of relationships…not just friendship. The element of comfort in a relationship should never be taken for granted; tension is wearing and a waste of energy – I firmly believe that. The best sorts of relationships, whether personal or not, build up others and yourself. I believe that it’s easier to grow into love than fall into it. I believe that love is surprising and welcome and unbelievably comfortable. I believe that God puts exactly the right people into our lives at the exact right time. I believe that He answers prayers in unexpected but perfect ways, and I believe that we should take more note of this and say “thank you.” I believe in being comfortable, happy, and content. I believe that letting go and moving on are two of the most freeing things you can do. Fresh starts are scary and welcome at the same time, and I believe that even though it’s hard to believe that everything will be okay…it will be; believe me.

Well...there's that. I hope you're all having a WONDERFUL April...it's birthday month, you know!

Friday, March 25, 2011

P.S.

After I made that first bow, I was hooked...so naturally I showed it off to everyone. One of my friends asked if I could please make her one to match her boyfriend's bow tie. The bow tie is purple and gold striped for his fraternity, so I knew I wanted the bow to be shiny and fancy too!


This one was so different from the first. I used wired ribbon (because I liked the color best), and that made it a little harder to work with. I did invest in some craft wire and Fray Check, so in those respects it was easier. After I made the purple part, I wove the gold through so that it wasn't quite so bulky (plus it mirrors the stripes on the bow tie!).

I love it...everyone keeps telling me that I could make a fortune selling them in all sorority colors or just in general...we'll see!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hair Bows

Yet another new adventure - bow making! Today, I made my first ever hair bow for my niece. Using 23 inches of "Funky Giraffe" green ribbon and a pink rhinestone, I fashioned possibly the most adorable bow ever (so far). I would give instructions for how to do it, but after reading 2,458,566,523 different instructions, I ended up just combining them all into one.

I am happy with how it turned out, and I fully intend to make more.
If you can make sense of the pictures, you might be able to figure out sort of how I accomplished it.

All folded and clipped in place!

Stitched together.

From the back with the piece I used to attach it to the clip.

Finishing touches!

Complete!!

I'm not nearly as cute of a model as my niece...but you get the idea!