To me, scrap-booking is almost meditative in nature. Alone in my craft room, with a warm cup of tea or glass of wine (in a travel cup) by my side, surrounded by beautiful papers and ribbons, I can take my time and leaf through pictures. As I visualize how I will arrange the photographs, I reminisce about the event that featured in the picture and quietly smile, shed a tear, or laugh out loud. However, sometimes I take too much time, and my projects pile up and don't get finished. I don't stress about it; scrap-booking is something I do for fun and if the muse goes away for a bit, that's okay.
I've gotten back into making cards the last few months (inspired after receiving several gorgeous greetings from my cousin Ainsley of Pattycake Manners, and after receiving a wonderful kit of Stampin' Up goodies from my mother for Christmas.) Also, I made a few mini-albums for Christmas gifts, as well as embellished containers for my holiday gifts. So I haven't abandoned scrapping. But I have been "working" on two projects very dear to me for over a year, and despite wonderful pictures to work with and some great materials, they just weren't coming together for me. Clearly, I needed something to put me in a scrapping frame of mind! And so, I decided to invite two of my fellow scrappers over for a "crop night."
Of course, because I'm me and I can't help myself, I had to jazz it up a bit and have some fun preparing. And so I decided to share my plan for the Perfect Girl's Night Crop!
What could be more fun than cupcakes! To me, they are the picture perfect girl's night snack! Pretty and delicious, they also avoid the need to put out plates, forks, and serving utensils. Anytime you can avoid doing dishes,embrace the opportunity, I say! Cupcakes can also be easy and super quick to make! Now, you all know that I love to bake, and "from scratch" baking is near and dear to my heart. However, there's a time and a place for mixes, and in my humble opinion, Crop Night is the time and place!
I picked up two mixes and two tubs of pre-made frosting. I chose Cherry Chip and Butter Pecan; my theory is if you're going to use mixes, go for flavors you probably wouldn't engineer yourself. I got a little happy when I saw Cherry Chip; there's just something so in-your-face cake-mix-y about it! For the frosting, I chose of tub of "white" and another of "cream cheese." I added a dab of Wilton Icing Colour Concentrated Gel in Rose to the tub of cream cheese frosting and mixed it up well. I placed a large tip into a disposable decorating bag and filled the bag with the pink frosting. I used a large caterers tip with a plain open end to make "ice-cream" type swirls, and alternated between generous swirls and smaller rosettes (Since some people like a lot of frosting and some people don't!). A dusting of multi-colour sprinkles was the perfect finishing touch!
Here is a tutorial from Wilton on making 1M Swirls on cupcakes using their 1M tip which fits into a coupler. A coupler is a small tube with screw threads that fits into a decorating bag; once the coupler is in place you can change out tips on the same bag. This is especially useful when you want to use the same colour for different techniques. It also holds the tip in place; with the industrial ones I used you need to make sure that the tip doesn't "sink"into the bag of frosting. The 1M swirl looks so perfect that I think I will pick up that tip for future cupcake projects.
The tip I used for the Butter Pecan cupcakes was similar to the 1M. For these, I added some Butter Pecan flavouring essence to the tub of white frosting and stirred it well, then followed the same process for decorating the cupcakes. To finish these, I added a sprinkle of pecan pieces.
Here are the finished cupcakes, all ready for the girls to enjoy!
And for inspiration, a Cabernet Savignon!
So, did the inspiration work? Well, I got some perspective on my projects and definitely know where I'm going with them, but I didn't actually commit to gluing anything together. But that's okay, because when I was cleaning up afterward, I came up with another wonderful use for plastic clam-shell containers!
Some of you may remember this project from a few weeks ago:
Well, since I came up with this, I've been saving all my clam-shell containers and tea canisters. The clam-shells come in a variety of sizes for different kinds of produce (spinach, cherry tomatoes, and strawberries ). I haven't gotten around to decorating them all yet, and as I was carrying my stash back to my craft room, I saw them sitting there and got an idea.
My current projects (the ones I'm struggling to finish) are both "mini" albums. One is a chip-board accordion album, and the other is a mini-binder with chipboard pages and brown paper envelopes for ephemera. Add to these two pieces the paper, pictures, and add-ons and it adds up to a lot of stuff that I always seem to be rummaging for whenever I want to work on a project.
Scrap-bookers have been using large pizza boxes to organize their traditional 12x12 projects for years, but they are kind of big for mini-projects. Well, now mini-albums have a home to call their own!
I was able to fit all of my project materials into the strawberry container. I placed a sheet of the Martha Stewart Crafts matting paper (in a fun travel theme) that I am using for these projects on top so it shows through the lid and now all my materials are organized, easily identified, and ready to grab when inspiration strikes!
This would be a great way to gift-wrap scrap-booking supplies as well, since it would also give the recipient a nifty green project organizer as well. If I were doing this, I would make a one sided card or tag and attach it to the top of the container so it would be decorative in the recipient's craft room! Here is an example I made using a variety of Colorbok "Friendly Forest" papers, journaling cards, and embellishments:
|Ready to Give!|
Here are the materials I am using for my projects:
- Chipboard Accordion Album (unknown)
- Chipboard Mini-Binder with inserts (unknown)
- Canson # 505 Red cardstock, and other unknown assorted cardstocks
- Colorbok "Friendly Forest" Journaling Cards, mat papers, and embellishments
- Martha Stewart Crafts Travel Mat Pad
Have a wonderful and creative week!
PS - I'm sorry for the late post today; I was one of the bloggers effected by the Blogger isolated access issues going on Sunday and Monday! Rest assured I was up late desperately trying to get this post to you on time!