February 27, 2009

Pretty Post-It Gift ... Free Download!

I've been itching to post this online for a few days now! Now, instead of me just throwing it up on here I thought I'd actually use my own free download and show you just a few of the ways I thought of how to jazz it up. You are definitely free to use this download and embellish it as you wish! If you do, I'd LOVE to see what you've done with it.

This is what the download looks like when you visit the link and print off the PDF. I've put simple instructions, but I will furthermore tell you how to assemble it here. This would make a PERFECT office gift for your co-workers in celebration of St. Patrick's Day, Easter or a just-because gift. It's so cute and I'm definitely proud of this pretty little thing.

Click Here for your FREE Pretty Post It Gift Download.

This is how you do it.
1. Visit the link above, print off the PDF. I printed mine on a thin white cardstock for sturdiness. I recommend the same or at least a heavier weight of paper if not cardstock.

2. Take note of the faint white lines (there are arrows pointing to them on the print off). That is where you'll score (fold) AFTER you cut the shapes out.

3. Cut around the shape without leaving any white of the page.

4. Score along the lines.

5. Using a paper/craft glue (I use Zip Dry) glue the back of your post it pad to the center of the cut out. (Refer to the image for placement).

6. If you'll be using ribbon to create your closure, then punch holes with a hole punch where the white dots are. If you plan on embellishing, you can use Velcro dots with sticky backings as your closure. (Refer to the image for placement).

7. Embellish and most importantly HAVE FUN!!!

These are the few that I created with the download.

1. For the Easter Bunny I used Paper Bliss' Bunnies. It came in a pack of 4. It was approximately $4.00 at my local Hobby Lobby. For the "eggs" I used Polo Shimmer Brads.

2. On this one I punched out the holes and fed the ribbon through both sets of holes with this ribbon from Crafts Etc. Their mini ribbons are $.99 each!!! You can't beat that. The little flowers I found in the wedding section of my local craft store.

3. No, I didn't spend time cutting felt flowers and gluing the bling. I actually found these in pack of approx. 30-40 or so, and it was $1.99! I found these in the Easter Crafts section of Hobby Lobby. They already come with an adhesive backing too! Too easy! (The middle flower I added a pop dot to.)

4. This one was the quickest to make as all I did was add this embellishment from K&Company's Amy Butler Adhesive Chipboard.

OH and lastly, the sticky note pads come in a pack of 3 for $1 at Dollar General in Pink, Yellow and Blue!

February 11, 2009

Decadent Dark Chocolate Heart Cupcakes

I love cupcakes. I love chocolate. I love hearts. This was the perfect, delicious harmony for my cupcakes that I baked tonight. I am taking these yummy little bad boys with me to work for my co-workers. For sure I wanted them to be red or pink or with hearts, and luckily I had both! It's a really simple recipe, but will admit that it's a bit time consuming. Perhaps not so much for someone else, but I'm slightly a perfectionist :)

Here is the recipe for you to try:

Moist Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

• 1 stick of butter
• 1 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
• 2 eggs
• 3/4 cup of flour
• 1 tsp. baking powder (not baking soda :)
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1/2 cup dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/2 cup whole milk (split in half)
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• cupcake liners

Makes 12 - 14 cupcakes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

• Beat the butter with an electric mixer until it is soft, then add the sugar. Beat for about 3 minutes.

• Add the eggs, one at a time beating until they are combined well.

• Combine all the dry ingredients with a whisk in a separate bowl.

• Add 1/3 of the dry mix to the butter and sugar and beat it just until combined. Add half the milk and half the vanilla extract, scrape the bowl and beat with the mixer until combined. Now add in another 1/3 of the dry mix, and beat. Add in the final half of the milk and vanilla, and beat. Lastly, add in the last of the dry mix and beat. It's important that you alternate the dry and wet like that.

• Now fill your cupcake liners in your cupcake pan 2/3 of the way and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then frost.

Strawberry Buttercreme Frosting
Note: This isn't perfected, and it made way more frosting than was needed for my cupcakes.

• 1/2 cup butter, softened
• 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 tsp. strawberry extract
• Red food color
• 6 or more tbsp. whole milk

• In a large mixing bowl beat your butter until fluffy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, strawberry extract and about 5 - 6 drops of red food color.

• Add in 6 tbsp or milk or more until you get the consistency you want.

I'm sure if you stopped there, they'd be a showstopper on their own. I went a step further and bought a tiny little cookie cutter from Wilton at my local hobby store. I just made packaged brownie mix and used parchment paper underneath my brownies to ensure that they'd be completely non stick (I never have luck with brownies not sticking to my pans). When the brownies cooled, I just cookie cut them.

February 5, 2009

In Honor of Happy Hearts Day :)

My husband and I truly don't do anything over-the-top fancy on Valentine's day, but being an old-fashioned romantic at heart I love seeing all the red, pink and heart stuff in the stores. Aside from Valentine's Day, I LOVE hearts. If I ever get another tattoo it probably will be of hearts! I've just been finding things on the internet with hearts that I LOVE (and hopefully you love too), and here they are for your viewing pleasure.

1. Bittersweet Candy Hearts $9.99. These totally crack me up. Instead of the traditional sweet candy sayings these come in dreary packages like Dumped, Dejected, Dysfunctional. For example, here are a few of the candy heart messaged from the Dysfunctional package: ANNULMENT | I BEEN CREEPIN | CALL A 900# | P.S. I LUV ME | DO MY DISHES | BOOTY INFL8N | PAROLE IS UP! | AWFUL INLAWS

2. Lace Heart Earrings $5.00. Why do I feel so 80's Madonna when I look at these, hmm?? LOL. I love them though! They are so cute! I'd totally wear them with a cute summer dress.

3. Juicy Couture Lip Gloss Pendant $16.99. So it's a bit pricey, as soon as I have some money I may splurge on something like this. It's so pretty and it would be one of those items that if I bought I'd smile with glee when I saw it. By the way it's a light, pale pink lipgloss.

4. Hello Kitty C Ring Key Chain $27.49. Not something I'd buy for myself but would LOVE as a gift. I'd cherish it forever! I just LOVE it!

5. Felt Heart Wallet $15.00. If I could ever plan enough ahead of time for someone's birthday gift, I think this would be so cute to use as a gift card, check or cash holder. Or perhaps putting in some tickets to a movie theater. It's so endearing and pretty to look at.

6. Red Heart Ramekin $18.00. Holds about 8 oz. It's a bit pricey, but these would look so beautiful on my table when I serve salsa or dip...Or I could make pudding and serve them in these cute ramekins. Or make mini cheesecakes.

7. Heart Bath Fizzies $3.00. These are handmade by a woman in Minnesota. Something about handmade things makes it more authentic to me. These light colored fizzies come in a rose scent and sets of 3. $1.00 per fizzie-full bath!

8. Heart "Love" Votive Candle Holder $1.90. These don't have to be just for Valentine's day. These would be great for setting that mood all year round. I LOVE the price and may have to bookmark this page to purchase them later too!

February 3, 2009

Super Sweet Valentine Cards

I have been so excited to share this with the world (or the small following of people on my blog :). I created small printable Valentine's Day cards. They are about the size and shape of the kinds that come in a box for kids. I will admit, the design is probably not for everyone. I've just come to the realization that the kinds of illustrations the I love to draw and that I'm drawn to can be described as Kawaii.

There are 8 cards to a page.

Click here to download the PDF.

So, yeah, have fun with these. As for me I will be printing these off and handing them to the lovely ladies I work with and possibly attach some sort of sweets to it with ribbon. Ribbon makes everything better :)

A side note, to anyone out there who would like some designs done for a competitive price, let me know! Email me separately and I can send you some of my work and you can decide whether or not you want me to work on something.