Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Okay, I know it has been forever since I posted.  Being a full time working mom makes it a little hard to get to the extra stuff sometimes.  I was definitely inspired by something a little unusual recently though... tissue boxes - specifically Puffs brand - which have super-cute patterns on them in stores now.  Check out this simple, but really cute one.  The box is mostly plain, but it has these super cute circular patterns made up of purple teardrop/pear shapes.  

So, I thought that instead of simply tossing this in the recycling when the tissues were gone, I'd do something more creative with it and "upcycle" it.  Fun, right!?

My first step was to determine what part of the pattern I wanted to use.  Sometimes, I'm just a little lazy, and my circle punch was a really easy way to catch part of this pattern, so I used it repeatedly around the tissue box to capture the center, smaller part of the circular pattern.  When done, I had a bunch of these fun circles to play with.

Utimately, I decided to use them on a girly disco card.  The dense circle pattern was reminiscent of a disco ball, and I had a stamp set from My Favorite Things that I was just dying for an excuse to use.  The purple teardrops in the pattern on the tissue box also became the inspiration for the purple to pink color palette on the card.  I chose three of the Puffs punchouts (I nearly always group in threes) and added a little bling to the center.  My Disco Queen was stamped with staz-on and colored with water color pencils. I then used a blender pen to achieve the look I wanted.

All in all, I'm happy with how the card turned out.  You'd never know that the circles came from a tissue box and not some fancy designer paper pack!  Next time you are looking for a little inspiration, take a look around at things you might normally consider trash and see if there is a way you can turn it in to something that can brighten a friend's day.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Not a card, but I still got my hands messy!

My eldest child just turned eight.  My how time flies!  She really wanted to make a cake with me for her birthday.  So, she helped to make the cake mix and I did the decorating.  We decided a butterfly cake would be fun to make, but I didn't want to spend the money on a shape pan.  Instead, I used a loaf pan and cupcakes to make the shape.  Here is the process:

Divide your cake batter between a loaf pan and a cupcake pan for six cupcakes.  Follow timing instructions for the two different types of pans.  My cupcakes were done 10-15 minutes before the loaf pan.

After baking, allow to cool and remove from pans.  Then, take the loaf pan and trim the corners off to create the body of the butterfly.  Keep two of the corners you trimmed.  Leave a little flat area on both the top, bottom, and each side.

Ice it on the top and all sides.  I used white cream cheese icing.  You'll need to "dirty ice" it first, chill for a bit, then add another layer of icing to ensure no crumbs are seen.  Ice both of the corners that you kept as well.  Ice the cupcakes.  I left mine in paper wrappers, but you could remove them.  

The loaf you trimmed becomes the body of the butterfly.  Center it on whatever pan you want to use.  Two cupcakes plus a corner you trimmed become the upper wings on each side.  One cupcake becomes the lower wing on each side.  Once you have them in place so that they resemble wings, you'll need to place another layer of icing over the top so it covers all of the seams between the pieces.  Don't worry about it being perfect since you'll be adding decorative frosting as well.

Decorate the rest of the butterfly with colored frosting.  I used the pre-made colored frosting tubes from the grocery store, with the tips that you can purchase for them.  You'll have more color options if you mix your own.