Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday is for baking cupcakes

Here's a one bowl chocolate cake recipe that comes out perfect every time! Moist, chocolatey and velvety smooth, it never ever fails to delight.

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cupcake

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with chocolate frosting.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

Chocolate Frosting:

1 can condensed milk
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cup cocoa
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp liqueur

Melt butter slowly in double broiler. Add cocoa powder and mix gently. Add condensed milk, salt and liqueur. Continue stirring until frosting coats back of spoon.

Friday, March 28, 2008

5 minute hair clips

Got 5 minutes? Then make some easy peasy hair clips.

I made these easy fabric and button hair clips for my niece using One Crafty Mama's fabric hair clip tutorial and Martha's button hair clip how-to. Don't you think these also make sweet party favors for little girl birthday parties?

Adult versions of these hair clips can be made by using spring hair clips instead of fragile hair pins. Faux pearls, rhinestones, crystals or vintage buttons are all pretty add-ons. Glue gun away!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Garden birdies

Garden Birdies Tutorial

  • Bird template
  • Vintage floral fabrics
  • Terracotta pot/small galvanized tin buckets
  • Craft sticks
  • Fabric scraps
  • Buttons
  • Embellishments (rick rack ribbon, ribbon, raffia, sequins, beads, etc)
  • Japanese paper

Trace bird template into fabric. Stitch and leave small opening on the bottom of the bird. Stuff with polyfill. Insert craft stick into opening and stitch opening securely closed. Embellish craft stick with buttons. Decorate fabric bird with ribbons, buttons, beads, sequins or anything that strikes your fancy. I prefer my fabric birds simple though. ;-)

Fill tin bucket/terracotta pot with green japanese paper. Stick fabric bird into terracotta/bucket.

Make several birdies and display on a sunny windowsill. Enjoy and happy birdwatching!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter fun and inspiration

I think of the garden after the rain;
And hope to my heart comes singing,
At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
And the Easter bells be ringing!

– Edna Dean Procter, Easter Bells

Pastel dyed eggs inspired by the lovely Gina

Tiny snow bunny Easter basket inspired by Q.D. Patootie and Doe-c-Doe

Spring blossom heart pillows inspired by Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion

Pom pom Easter chicks inspired by Craftbits

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Paper Chase

Susannah, My Black Apple Doll

The first time I saw Emily Martin's delightful art at Inside a Black Apple, I was completely charmed! Her Etsy shop is filled with wondrous delights- illustrations, paintings and paper goodies that are out of this world gorgeous! Her doll softies are also something else! They have unusually pensive, haunting expressions and they are totally irresistible. I swear I can spend hours at her shop-- looking, wanting, desiring, coveting those wonderful items she has on sale. Emily is truly a creative powerhouse that no wonder she's Etsy's number one seller.

Now, imagine my utter delight when I found out that she's sharing her Black Apple Doll tutorial. So good and so true! Where, you ask? In The Martha Stewart Show, no less. The doll template is here. Thanks so much Emily for sharing your art with us.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sweet and tidy

Spring clean your crafting nook/studio with these sweet and simple organising labels from Notebook Magazine. You can download the labels here.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fun, free clip-art!

Want vintage clip-art delivered to your inbox every week? Then subscribe to Dover Publishing's free samples. Every week, you get free clip-art and sample pages from vintage books, colouring books, poetry and literature books as well as samples of games, craft projects, puzzles and even paper dolls!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Spiral bound inspiration

There is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost.

-Martha Graham

I love inspirational and motivational quotes so when I found this great
quote notebook project from iHanna's Blog I couldn't resist making one for myself.

Simply get a nice spiral bound notebook. Custom cover it with fabric jacket if you like. Fill pages with your favourite quotes and embellish to your hearts content!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A little bit of spring

Add a touch of spring to drab, ordinary pencils with these fresh pencil cover downloads from Marie Claire Idees: