Friday, April 27, 2012

Crafting Action! Easy, sparkly bracelets

I saw this video on YouTube last week, and I got the fever to make this bracelet:


Super awesome video from LaquerandLace, by the way. Very clear, and if you have any fabric, jewelry, or even yarn crafting experience, this shouldn't be too difficult at all.

A few notes:

  1. I made my bracelet shorter, especially for my first try
  2. I laid the crystal chain face down on my crafting surface, applied a dot of Gem-Tac to the back of each crystal, then laid the cording on top. I found this to be easier.
  3. If you are doing the shorter version, make the crystal chain shorter than your wrist circumference so it isn't too loose. I think my peachy one will look great stacked, but a little too large on its own.
And now for the pictures!

This is how the square knot technique she shows in the video turned out.

Side view of the wrapping technique

So fun, and so easy.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Peace, man.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Phillipians 4:6-7


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pinterest Party: Angry Birds Cake and Marshmallow Fondant


I have always wanted to be that mom who makes awesome cakes for the kids' birthdays, but I just never could get my artistic style to jibe with icing. I have also wanted to make fondant forever. If you have an Angry Birds obsessed child like I do, and search Pinterest for cake ideas, you can become both over and underwhelmed. There are some beautiful and complicated cakes that have been pinned that just aren't feasible for a first time cake decorator, like me. Then, there are some cakes that just miss the mark. I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for on Pinterest, but this pin came pretty close. I like a bold, graphic design style, and I needed a simple plan. I needed for the cake to just be a circle. I didn't want to mess around with making extra shapes, and I had an idea I needed to make sure would work. I found Joe's red Angry Bird, and held it so it was a circle when it looked at me, like this:


I realize this isn't a red Angry Bird. I couldn't find Joe's red Angry Bird, so I improvised a blue bird when writing this post. When I had a good idea of how the Angry Bird would translate, I drew this picture really quick on my iPad to get an idea of how the shapes would work:

Now for fondant. My frugal friend Penny and I went to Michael's where she talked me out of buying precolored fondant. I know it would have made this a bunch easier, but that fondant tastes gross. I made marshmallow fondant which tastes delicious. I used this webpage for my recipe, and she also has tons of helpful hints. I didn't take pictures because her pictures work! But I want to add that you can't really overestimate the need for greasing your workspace and hands. Seriously. Like think something crazy, and you aren't too far off.

If you are making a red Angry Bird, you need red (I used Wilton "No Taste Red"), black, golden yellow, white, and beige colored fondant. I used the Wilton concentrated paste, and wore food safe gloves. While I was able to pick up the red, black, and golden yellow paste, I was pretty sure that I could make the beige with the red, black, and yellow due to the excellent color theory taught to me in school. Once I mixed the red, yellow, and black fondants, I took two parts yellow to one part red fondant and mixed them with a pinch of black fondant. This made a brownish small ball that when mixed with a larger ball of white, made beige. Probably the proudest moment of the whole project for me, if I am honest. I got a little work out in with the coloring, and kneading that went with it, but it was pretty much like playing with playdoh.

I want you to know, that when I was halfway through this, I looked at Penny and said "Should have taken pictures." So I don't have pictures. Many apologies.

I rolled out a red circle using one full recipe of the marshmallow fondant to about 1/8 inch thickness, then in a harrowing moment, rolled it up and placed it on the cake (Which I totally and shamelessly ordered from the Safeway bakery), smoothing it with my hands over the top and sides. I trimmed the bottom, and tucked in the edges. Does any of this matter without pictures? I know not. Ok, the rest of the pieces I cut out, according to my sketch, and stuck them to the red fondant with a little water. Then I had a very dusty looking Angry Bird, because corn starch is an important part of the rolling out process. After some quick Googling, I decided to gently rub the cake down with a paper towel lightly greased with my other fondant making buddy, Crisco. This did the trick, but really vodka in a spray bottle would have been my first choice. I will prepare with that next time. Now, for the final result, a cake, which makes me unreasonably happy.


Friday, April 20, 2012


While reading an excellent book last night "The Best Question Ever" by Andy Stanley, I did a little side activity where I came to the conclusion that a little daily walk wouldn't be a bad thing. At first, I don't even think it will be particularly athletic. I used to love walking, and being outside, but I rarely do it now. It gets me moving, sure, but it also feeds my soul. On a day like today, I feel like the woods can be the best cathedral in the world.

Before I descended into the woods, I stopped by my friend Lynne's house, and took some pictures of her blooming azaleas. And her! I wasn't going to take a goofy picture of my friend, but I think I said something like "work those azaleas!" and then this magical moment happened.

The woods behind my house is in the neat, soft, green stage where all the leaves are new and haven't gotten that toughness they will need to get through a Virginia summer. I kept reaching out to touch things, enjoying the velvety texture of leaves, flowers, and ferns.

I was hit with the pleasant smell of verdant, earthy decay just as I walked around the bend to see this tree stump. It reminds me of playing in the woods around my house growing up.


When walking in the woods here, you often come across a little "fairy" patch like this, which looks like it couldn't possibly be a stone's throw from a bunch of houses.


Finally, a honeysuckle as I came from the forest path, up to the houses again. Also a childhood memory, because there were honeysuckles all around my kindergarten's playground.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012


We are all taking turns telling our testimonies in our shepherd group. I have written a PG, public consumption version, but I have some gritty, nasty stuff in my past that doesn't make ME look good, I was never harmed, abused, or unloved by anyone who mattered, but I was a rotten person in comparison. It is hard to write it out. I want to edit it, make myself look better.

I'm trying to figure out what is relevant. What is salacious. What is superfluous. I should have started a while back. I was thinking, that once it is all done, I want to videotape it, edit it, and just play that for everyone. Is that weird?