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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Holiday Crafting and Felt Ornaments

Holiday crafting is in full swing. My friend and I were invited to participate in a local holiday craft fair with a European theme. We were thrilled to have the opportunity but we needed to come up with some new items along those lines. I decided to try my hand at felt ornaments as I had a stash of the fabric and I've been wanting to dabble in it for a while now.

Can I say that I'm in love?

I know, dramatic. But seriously - stitching in felt is so awesome! It's smooth, easy to work with and manipulate, and it got my creative juices flowing. Once I got started, I couldn't stop! I made over 40 ornaments over the course of two weeks. Intense, yes, but it felt so nice to be crafting like that again.

I think our display ended up looking beautiful, and the craft fair was a lot of fun. There was tons of foot traffic and we met a lot of great people.

I'm really proud of all of the stuff that I made up for the fair, but I do need to get my Etsy shop updated with some of my newer baby items. I did get a chance to put some of my holiday ornaments and decorations in though, and readers of this blog get a holiday discount! Just use the code '10PERCENT' for 10% off of your purchase. I can ship pretty much immediately, so there's still time to get things for the holidays.  Here's the link: What's Up, Cupcake? Etsy Shop

Isabel made up some adorable onesies in fun holiday designs. She also had these new onesies with a crochet flower. The flower detatches to make for easy washing. How clever is that?? I need her to help me clean up my crochet skills. Her work is so delicate and intricate, and to be honest, I feel like mine can be a little sloppy.

Aside from ornament crafting, I have a few new baby lovie designs to stitch up. I'd love to get that done in the next few days so I can ship them out as well. I've already had some mommas asking for them in my online groups. And then, I'm hoping for some R&R. Spending time cuddling with my little guy and enjoying the winter weather with my family.

I hope you, lovely readers, are doing well, and enjoying this holiday season! I have some more yummy treats to share with you and I'm going to be cutting out my Zinnia skirt soon. It feels good to be at the sewing machine again!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Sweet Treats Saturday: Sugar and Spice Cupcakes

Sugar and spice and everything nice!

I've been craving spice cake. It happens every Fall. Ok, really... year round. But I remember it every Fall when I smell spices in the air or think of mulled cider. This time, I decided to try my hand at a spice cake recipe.

I still feel 'new' in the area. North Carolina, that is. I've met so many new people who don't always know about my love of baking. Well, the word is getting out. These cupcakes brought about some new converts and I can't hide my secret (ok, really, it isn't much of a secret) much longer.

Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting
Frosting recipe from I Wash You Dry
Cupcake recipe makes 24 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 1/2 c cake flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c butter, room temp
1/2 c light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c buttermilk

Cupcake Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake pans.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a mixing bowl and using electric beaters), cream butter and sugars. Once fluffy, slowly add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat at high speed until light and fluffy, approx 5 minutes.
4. Add dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk, mixing until just combined.
5. Pour batter into lined cupcake pans, filling 2/3 of the way. Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

Frosting Ingredients:
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/4 c water
1/2 c light corn syrup
4 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting Directions:
1. Mix brown sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil (being careful not to burn yourself as the mixture will rise). Let it boil at medium heat until the syrup drizzles from the spoon in a hair-like string. This will take approx 10 minutes but may vary so keep an eye on the mix. Remove from the burner and set aside to cool.
2. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.
3. While beating the egg whites, slowly pour the hot syrup in a thin stream into the egg whites. Don't rush this step! Continue beating until the icing holds peaks, then add the vanilla.
4. Let cool until room temp and frost the cupcakes when ready to serve.

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