Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Can't Craft Without: Martha Stewart Bone Folder

So, even though I'm not currently crafting, crafts have been on my mind an awful lot lately. I'm lusting after a new sewing machine, stacking up project ideas and new techniques to learn, and dying to get my new kitchen and craft space organized.

I was mentioning to my friend K that I won't be blogging much until I'm settled in the new house. We went on to talk about various projects we were working on and she mentioned her need for a bone folder.

This led to my recommendation of a few types, and my ultimate statement that I loved my Martha Stewart Bone Folder. Upon patiently (and kindly) listening to me profess my love for my MS bone folder, K said "you should totally do a feature on your blog about the tools you love."

So, here we are folks, #1 in a series of things I can't craft without.

Why do I love my MS bone folder, I can hear you asking? Well, let me tell you.

I used to have a cheap plastic "bone folder." It broke. True, I was using it for something other than it's intended purpose, but that sucker never really made my creases as crisp as I would have liked.

I decided that my next bone folder would be heavy duty and get the job done. I went to Micheal's to have a look around. I didn't really like the options they had, so I thought I would check out the Martha Stewart section (I had a 40% off coupon). Lo and behold, there it was- the MS bone folder. Love at first sight.

The MS bone folder comes in a plastic pouch with a snap closure. While unnecessary, I like the pouch because it gives me the feeling that my bone folder is "safe" when not in use. It stays clean, isn't being dinged up by my other tools, and has a home.

But, the best thing about the MS bone folder? It's dual sided. There's a wide end that you can use for smoothing your folds or paper and for burnishing (polishing), and on the other end there's a pointed tip for scoring.

It's also made out of a durable and heavier duty (than my plastic one) melamine. That sucker is sturdy, let me tell you.

If you're creasing your cards or papers with your fingernail or another found object around the house- stop it! Go out and get yourself one of these, stat. I swear to you, you will thank me.

**While bone folders were originally given their name because they were constructed from animal bone, nowadays most are made of melanine or other heavy duty non-animal products.**

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bead Up!

One of my good friends has been selling her gorgeous jewelry for a while now on Etsy.

I mentioned in passing back on May 5 that she's started up a blog about her jewelry.

Well, today's your lucky day! She is giving away a piece of her jewelry. What do you have to do to enter? Just hop on over to her blog and leave a comment with your favorite piece from her Etsy shop. Hurry though, you can only enter until Monday, May 25.

If you like hand made jewelry, you're going to love Bead Up. In her blog, Christyn shares her inspiration and process. She puts a lot of time, thought, and heart into her jewelry. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Cup O'Cakes is Moving!

No, don't worry, the blog isn't moving, and my website is still at Cup O'Cake Designs.

But, my husband & I are moving. We've bought our first house and are in the complicated process of packing, closing, and moving.

The wedding cupcakes were my last big project before the move- which is why the blog has been (and will continue to be) quiet for a while. Expect to see posts again in early June.

For now? You can check out the pictures from the wedding on my flickr.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Road to 135 Cupcakes

8:00 am- First thing's first. Making a list of ingredients so I only have to take one trip to the grocery store today.

9:51 am- Back from the grocery store and washing up the last few dishes, I've donned my apron and am ready to start the baking marathon. Also, saying a huge Thank You! to my husband who cleaned up the kitchen on Thursday before I came home. He did a mound of dishes in preparation for my day of baking.

10:54 am- The first two dozen cupcakes are in the oven- Chocolate Peanut Butter. I've got another 11 waiting for their turn (10 regular, and 1 extra large for the Groom). I started here because the Chocolate recipes don't call for butter. I'm also pulling out more eggs (for the next batch) so they can come to room temperature. I'm off to wash dishes so I can start making the next flavor.

11:40 am- Cupcakes have finished baking. Taking a lunch break.

1:30 pm- Starting up again with the Mint Chocolate Chip cupcakes. My break was a little on the long side, but I'm still fine for time.

2:10 pm- First two dozen Mint Chocolate Chip cupcakes are in the oven. There are 11 more waiting (again, 10 regular sized and 1 extra large for the Bride). I'm washing the dishes so I'm ready to start making the next batch. I also need to wash some of my cupcake containers (Cupcake Courier, Wilton 3-in-1, and my regular old Tupperware) so I can store these puppies.

3:45 pm- Margarita cupcakes in the oven- well 1/3 of them. And, with that I am 1/4 of the way done with the cupcakes.

4:09 pm- Live blogging saved my behind. I forgot to set a timer after I rotated the cupcakes. Thankfully, I was able to check the blog to see when I put them in originally and avoided overcooking. Sweet.

6:08 pm- The Margarita cupcakes have been done for a while now. While I was baking the last 10, my husband came home with dinner. So, I took a nice break to eat and catch up on The Office, 30 Rock, and Scrubs. Now, back to baking!

6:40 pm- Cookies & Cream cupcakes are in the oven. Whew- so close I can almost taste it.

7:30 pm- Having finished all four flavors, I'm off to the grocery store. Looking back at my first batch I'm unhappy, so I'm redoing them. Which requires more peanut butter chips.

8:30 pm- Back from the grocery store, about to pop the second try of the Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcakes in the oven. The nice part is that I can whip up the two frostings (Margarita & Cookies & Cream) without having to wait for pans to cool.

10:30 pm- Everything is done for the day.

All in all, I think today went pretty well. Sure, I could have budgeted my time a little better. For my first time making more than 4 dozen cupcakes (and it's a big jump from 4 dozen to 11 1/3 dozen) it went smoother than I'd anticipated.

Tomorrow I'll make the last two frostings, frost the cupcakes and transport them to the wedding. I promise to post photos of the set up early next week.

*The goal for today is to bake all 135 cupcakes, make 2 of the 4 frostings, and complete the cupcake tower/stands.*

Thursday, May 07, 2009

What's Going On?

Well, glad you asked.

This weekend I am baking 135 cupcakes, in a variety of four flavors, for a good friend's wedding. I am currently alternating between nervous and excited as I am sure you can imagine.

Not only am I baking, frosting, and decorating the cupcakes- I am also creating cupcake stands and some hip and cute cupcake toppers (identifying the flavors and for the Bride & Groom's special cupcakes).

I took Friday off from my "regular" job to give myself ample time for this project. So, I will be waking up nice and early on my day off to bake. I might check in here from time to time- if I'm not feeling too hectic- to update you on what I am doing.

In the mean time, why don't you check out some of my new favorite blogs?
My friend Danger Kitten started a baking (and sometimes crafting) blog.
Another good friend, Christyn, is now blogging her adventures in beading.
My new favorite design/diy blog How About Orange (mad props to K for recommending this one).

And if you want to laugh and haven't found this one already: Cake Wrecks.

See you all tomorrow!