Monday, July 23, 2012

String Balls - Failed

Want to see something absolutely beautiful?? 
Aren't they beautiful?! Ugh. So gorgeous.. almost unbelievable actually!

Well guess what... they are unbelievable because here's my attempt at a string ball ----->

I was shown this awesome centerpiece idea for a wedding and was asked to try to recreate it. 

I was thinking to myself, this will be the easiest crafting craft I've ever done! Things started off bad to begin with. I had all my supplies... balloons, string and fabric stiffener (which is almost impossible to find, I finally found it at Walmart and it was overpriced!) 

I blew up my balloon and started to wrap it with string, since this was a very difficult task because the string kept slipping off, I couldn't take any pictures. The string was falling off, becoming untight and just overall being difficult. This is what it looked like before I sprayed it. As you can clearly see the string is loose, I thought that maybe it wouldn't matter and would just add to the artistic element of the ball when it was finished. HA. 

Once I got enough string on, I took my stringy ball outside so I could spray it. 

After it had dried for about 6 hours, I brought it inside and popped the balloon. 

Do I need to say anymore? I think the pictures basically speak for themselves. Attempt 1: Failed. I really hope my failure at crafts isn't a repeating process for much longer because I am getting very frustrated!

Duke mocking me. How rude. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Flower Balls

One of my best friends is getting married and I have the honor and privilege of hostessing a bridal shower for her. I was equally as excited because I was finally getting to use some party decorating ideas from Pinterest! I looked through my wedding Pinterest board and found my inspiration.

My inspiration:

I loved the cluster of the different types of balls. I have already made the tissue paper balls before, and I knew I could buy some of the paper lanterns. I wanted there to be one more element to the cluster though, and that's when I remembered what a cute clothing boutique by my house had in their display windows. Flower balls! I had asked them how to make them and it was so easy I couldn't believe it! 

No hot glue required!? How can that be so?! IT IS SO!

Here's what you'll need: 

* Fake flowers that'll pull off the stem easily - (I bought 2 bouquets of flowers from Hobby Lobby, each bouquet had about 14-15 flowers on them. The bouquets were originally $11.99 but, flowers were half off that day so I only spent $6 on each bouquet!)
* Straight pins - (Since I was using these to stick in the hole of the flower, I had to make sure the heads of the straight pins were big enough to keep the flower in, I ended up buy a set of 250, size 24 - 1 1/2. I tested them in the store to make sure they would fit perfectly in the flower and not go through the hole.)
Styrofoam ball - (I used a 6 inch floral ball.)
Ribbon if you plan on hanging it

Here's a picture of the underside of the flower so you can see how it is detachable. 

I did this backwards but I would recommend doing this part first. Attaching your ribbon to the ball so you can hang it later. I just double looped the ribbon for added security and pushed it in with a straight pin. 

Now you just detach all the flowers from the bouquet. Then take a flower one by one and stick a straight pin through the hole. You see why the straight pin head has to be bigger than the hole? You can't have it dropping through the hole or they'll serve no purpose!

This is a really quick process and the product is AMAZING!!!

Ta-Da! I hope you enjoy making your flower balls! I am going to make smaller ones too using 3 inch balls but I ran out of flowers. :( Sad day, but I'm going to Hobby Lobby tomorrow to buy more!

And since this is a wedding post... I thought I'd let y'all in on a little secret... one of my dear friends makes homemade invites and they are AMAZING!

If you are in need of invitations from weddings to showers to birthdays and baptism, every order with Simply RSVP is custom-designed around your event theme and made by hand. Whether you need invitations, announcement programs, escort cards, table numbers, thank you cards, etc., each piece will tie your event together elegantly. 

Here's a little snapshot of some previous invites she's done: 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pumpkins: 1-to-1 correspondence

A lil something I made for my Pre-K class... I bought lil plastic pumpkins and wrote the numbers 1-10 on them, then I printed and laminated pictures of candy corn. Students will put the correct amount of candy corn in each corresponding pumpkin :) 

Also, I bought pumpkin bulletin board decor pieces, cut them in half (you can cut them straight across, or make them like puzzle pieces like I did), put some stickers on one side and the matching number on the other side (cut out with my Cricut), laminated them and bam... another quick and easy (cheap!) center!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cake balls (2nd attempt): Failed.

I tried cake balls (pops) again... 

mine are the pink ones. 

I think I'm making mine too big too... I'm flirting with gravity. I'll be making much smaller balls next time... maybe that'll help!

I will not surrender!!

In the meantime, a good friend of mine thought of this AWESOME idea.... Thank you Kim!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cake Ball - Status: Failed

Hello all! I've been away for longer than I thought... but I have come back to entertain y'all with a failed Pin! I wanted to make cake balls for one of my best friend's bridal shower... I was thinking, "I can make all these precious cake balls in her wedding colors and top them all off with a pretty T and everyone will love them and I can quit teaching and open a cake shop and get a reality show..."

Basically I was getting pretty excited about all my future plans in the baking business. 

Here we go: 

What I used:
* 4 cups of cake (mine was just the plain ole white cake for practice)
* 1/2 cup of butter cream 
* white chocolate candy coating (I bought at Kroger)

The pan with the wax paper and the cooling rack will come in handy later. 

Here I am cutting the cake up into tiny pieces... you aren't suppose to have ANY big pieces of cake so once I put it in the bowl I really broke it apart with my hands.

After I put in the half cup of butter cream... it looked sticky and I did not enjoy mixing it with my hands. It got stuck all over my hands and wouldn't come off... my dreams of being buddies with Buddy from Cake Boss were slowly going downhill...

Roll the mix into 1 inch balls. I placed mine on a waxed cookie sheet... LESS CLEAN UP! 

After you finish rolling, place your cake balls into the freezer. The recipe I used said to just keep them in the freezer until you are done melting the chocolate... first mistake. Leave them in there for a while. They are easier to work with when they are hard. 

After they have been in the freezer for a while, place your cake balls on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet (again lined with wax paper... less mess people!)

I would like to point out that the chocolate is NOT moving in this picture. She had scraped it all forward hoping it would pull together and pour out neatly on top of the perfectly round cake balls.  It didn't... it just sat there in all it's lumpy wonder. 

I dyed my white chocolate with regular food coloring. I reheated it and it still wouldn't pour.
Turns out you're suppose to add shortening (Crisco) to help thin out the consistency.. or you can use a small amount of Crisco vegetable oil. Of course, I didn't know that until I was writing this!
Mom tried really hard to make this work and tried rolling the cake balls in the chocolate using two forks, but the chocolate just started to harden again, again, because of the lack of the vegetable oil. 

These cake balls could be used as alien babies in the next sci-fy film!

 I am going to re-attempt making these tomorrow and this is what I'm going to do differently:

1. Don't use the candy coating you buy at Kroger. After researching, I found that most people use the Wilton chips that you can buy at Michael's.
2. Add a bit of Crisco Vegetable Oil to the Wilton chips to help get it more workability.

So, my future cake shop isn't exactly on the horizon but I'm still going to get it another shot! Also, I might try putting them on sticks, that seems to help with the pouring of the chocolate as well. We will see!