Archive for February, 2013

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A dream is a wish your heart makes…

February 28, 2013

Hello readers!

I have been looking forward to this post for a while now, but had to keep it top secret because it was a gift. Now that the gift has been given, I want to share it with you.

My sister-in-law is a big Disney fan and got engaged at Cinderella’s castle at Disney world! She is having a baby girl in the very near future. I wanted to make something sweet for her room and decided on a hand painted wooden sign with my favorite Disney quote, “A dream is a wish makes when you’re fast asleep.”

Instructions:
1. I started with a fence board and drew out triangle on either end to prepare for the jigsaw. (This was actually my first jigsaw project, but like I said before, it was top secret!)

painted detail

painted detail

2. I painted the finished shape with a beautiful grey paint. Once it dried, I sanded it down a bit to age the finish.

3. I decided to hand write the sign so I began with a sharpie and wrote out the whole quote.

hand painted detail

hand written detail

4. After the sharpie layer was complete, I went over with a paint pen to give it layers and a more finished look. (notice the color change as well)

hand painted detail

hand painted detail

5. I taped off the triangles with masking tape to ease the cut and using the jigsaw, cut out the shape.

Jigsaw detail on hand painted sign

Jigsaw detail on sign

6. Finally I covered the sign in a polyurethane to help protect it against the elements (though it will be indoors).

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes When You're Fast Asleep sign

Finished Product

I hope the sign brings peace to my soon-to-be sweet baby niece as she sleeps and dreams in her crib.

Happy dreams,
Amanda

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The hardest year I have yet to experience.

February 24, 2013

Hello readers.

I have been without my father for 5 months today. He was the rock of our family. I know we will make it and survive without him, and that we are better because he was our father, husband, uncle, friend. I gave the eulogy at my father’s funeral. I am not going to share it because it is personal to those who knew him, but I often think about all the lessons he taught me whether it was how to fix a toilet, how to do my taxes, or how to treat other people. His lessons, talents, and love are all around me in my everyday actions. I know those of you who have lost a father, or close friend or family member, probably understand these feelings and thoughts.

The past year has been one of the hardest I have yet to experience. I was honored to help take care of my dad during his fight with cancer and miss him everyday. Some days are much harder than others. I talk to him a lot. I think of my dad as my angel who takes care of me from up above. I imagine him with my sister’s dog who passed away last year and with his parents and others we love who have passed away.

The past year has been one of the hardest some those around me have yet to experience. Within the past year, at least 5 co-workers have been somehow touched or affected by cancer or something terminal. Within the past year, at least 4 former co-workers have lost a parent. I am not sure how many more were affected by something similar, but I’m sure more, but life is real and sometimes I think reflecting on those feelings, experiences, and emotions are what bring us together as a community.

The past year has been one of the hardest for those I don’t even know have yet to experience. I know this blog is very happy and upbeat, but life is real and sometimes I think reflecting on those feelings, experiences, and emotions are what bring us together as a community.

Thanks to everyone who checks in, distracts, or carries on with life. You are inspiring, helpful, and my rock.

Happy memories,
Amanda

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Avocado Egg Salad

February 21, 2013

Hello!

You may have noticed a lack in food-related blogs; I’m so sorry!  On New Year’s Day I announced David and I were going paleo!   After doing a lot of research regarding what’s best for our bodies, we have settled on a more modified paleo.  To be specific for me, I am attempting gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free!  I know, it sounds like a sad life to live, but I  feel so much more energetic than ever before!  It’s glorious!  I occasionally cheat since it’s not that I have an allergy to those things. (For example I went crazy and ate a cake ball the other day!  Totally worth every bite!)

In addition to my wonderful diet, I am Catholic and it is the lenten season which means no meat on Fridays!  While searching the web for delicious recipes that fall into our diet, I found this avocado egg salad and needed to try it.

Avocado Egg Salad

Avocado Egg Salad

Ingredients:
-4 Boiled eggs
-one large avocado
-Salt/Pepper for seasoning
-Lime juice

Ingredients for Egg Avocado Salad

Ingredients for Egg Avocado Salad

Directions:
1. Boil eggs and chill.  Remove shell from eggs.
2. Cut open and scoop out avocado inside.
3. Mash up avocado and eggs in bowl.  Season to liking.

Avocado Egg Salad

Avocado Egg Salad

It’s that easy.  Seriously.  I served it with gluten free crackers, but it would make a great sandwich or even be good on a salad.  It’s really a combination between egg salad and guacamole. If you love either of those things, you must try this deliciousness.

Happy Eating!
-Amanda

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100th Blog Post!

February 18, 2013

I know it has taken a while to get here, but we are finally on post 100!  This moment reminds me of elementary school when you reach the 100th day of class and everyone brings in 100 of something, you eat cake in the shape of 100, and you party like there is something amazing to celebrate!  Does anyone else remember those days?  Do they still even do that?  Kindergarten had some fond memories!

In order to celebrate 100 blog posts on Cut.Bake.Stich, we decided to recap what got us to this glorious moment! Since we began blogging in September 2010, we have accomplished a lot (in our little world):

  • Our highest views in one day (185!) was March 10, 2011, when we first shared our blog with the public!
  • We have had viewers from all over the world: 67 countries in 2012 including Canada, the UK, Russia, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and Argentina to name a few!
  • Facebook is our top referrer, but Pinterest is quickly catching up (feel free to pin our work!)
  • Our most returning visitors are for our Corn, Crab, Shrimp Soup recipe and Cake Ball & Cake Batter Ball posts!
  • Melissa has blogged twice, Sarah blogged 11 times, and Amanda has blogged 86 times! (Cut.Bake.Stitch blogged once to welcome everyone!)

I’m sure the list of statistics goes on and on, but we are excited to have posted 100 times and can’t wait for the next 100!  I am hopeful that goal will be reached within the year or shortly after at the consistency we have been blogging this year.

If you’d like to see one of the previous blog ideas re-visited or have an idea for a future blog post, please comment below and we can chat about it!  We love hearing from our readers and getting to know you!  Also, if you haven’t subscribed already, please do on the right hand side of the screen! We’d love to have more of you as friends!

Happy blogging,
Amanda

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Valentine’s Day Garland

February 14, 2013

Hello Hello!

As I have explained previously, I am in love with Valentine’s day.  While my previous blogs have been love related, this one is straight up Valentine’s, and what more appropriate day to post on than Valentine’s day!  I hope your day is filled with lots of love from all around.  Seriously, spread love and find love in everything you do!  Today my love is particularly strong for my family.  I wouldn’t get through life without them and this past year has been one for the books and one we need to overcome with love.  So I dedicate this Valentine’s day to my beautiful mom, sisters, husband, extended family, and in-laws.  Love is what makes the world go round.

Ok, enough of that sappy stuff, and let’s get down to business.  I made what I would consider one of the cutest felt garlands for this Valentine season.  I have purchased many a felt garland in my life, but have been obsessing over the opportunity to make one on my own.

Valentine's Garland Template

Valentine’s Garland Template

I did this one the old fashion way and created a template out of a folder and cut it out of two colors of felt.  Easy!

Valentine's Garland Template

Valentine’s Garland Template

The next step was to lay them out in a pattern and stitch them together.  I used a cream thread because I like the way it stands out, and I was a little bit lazy about changing my sewing machine thread.  ek!  Anyway, I pumped out three sets of these garlands, each a varying length.

Valentine's Felt Heart and X Garland

Valentine’s Felt Heart and X Garland

They are all over my house and I can’t wait to make more garlands out of felt!  I think I’ll need to design some for every holiday.  Psst: I have a secret.  I have purchased a die cutting machine and I can’t wait till it arrives!  I am going to be pumping out all kinds of felt garlands!  I’ll do a whole blog about my new toy, don’t worry!

 

Valentine's Felt Heart and X Garland

Valentine’s Felt Heart and X Garland

What kind of garlands do you like?  Leave a comment letting me know what holiday is your favorite to decorate for!

Happy Valentine’s Day!
-Amanda

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Party Time: Travel Theme!

February 11, 2013

Hello all,

To carry on the love theme of February (I know some of these are a bit of a stretch), I want to share some of the fun crafts I made to celebrate the love of my Aunt and Uncle.  The theme was travel because these two lovebirds have traveled to so many cool places!  They’ve traveled to England, France, and Italy and coast to coast in the United States.  (I’m only slightly jealous.)

We threw a simple party, which you got a sneak peek of last week.  I went a little crazy with the paper crafts and made a paper chain and paper bunting out of two-sided antique map scrapbook paper.

IMG_2801

Supplies:
-One pack of scrapbook paper (map theme)
-I have a fancy paper cutting machine that helped ease the process, but you could easily cut with scissors.
-Stapler
-Sewing Machine
-Coordinating Thread

IMG_2751

Bunting Instructions
-Cut your scrapbook paper into isosceles triangles.  That’s the fancy way of saying cut them in the shape of a pennant.
-Determine the length of your bunting by either laying out the papers or measuring the short side and doing some quick math to figure out how many triangles you need to make the length bunting you want!  I can tell you I didn’t measure anything.  I just grabbed a pile of cut triangles and stitched away until I got to the end of my pile.  I divided my cut triangles into three uneven piles.

Sewing bunting

Sewing bunting

-Prepare your sewing machine with the appropriate thread and bobbin and start sewing!  I didn’t adjust anything on my machine and it turned out great.  Hint: Leave a trail of thread at the start and end so you can tie the bunting or tape it to let it swag.

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Extra! I made a small paper bunting to swag across my cake.  Just follow the above directions on a smaller scale!  Too cute!

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Paper Chain Instructions:
The paper chain is super easy.  We all made these as kids, right?  I just cut my 8 x 8 paper into 1 inch strips.  I looped each piece through the previous and stapled the overlap.  Once again, make these as short or as long as you’d like!  I found the 1 inch width to be perfect!  Too fat and they don’t move or bend easily.

IMG_2877

Happy Travels.
-Amanda

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Smell the Roses

February 7, 2013

Hello!

I am so excited about this blog post.  If you know me well, I love cakes and decorating them!  I have been building a Pinterest board with ideas for cake decorating and jumped at the opportunity to bake a cake for my Aunt and new Uncle’s marriage celebration.  I am not actually going to blog about the cake making process because I use a cake mix (shh..)!

Buttercream Rose Cake

Buttercream Rose Cake

For this cake, I decided to attempt a few details I’ve been wanting to try forever.  I’ve drooled over them on Pinterest and now was my chance!  I decided to do a rough side and beautiful roses on top of the cake.  I also went for a small bunting to swag on top of the cake as a makeshift topper.  It was all so much to make.  I’ll blog about the bunting in an upcoming post, so here you’ll get my cake decorating!

I found this awesome instruction (and this awesome inspiration) and followed it roughly.  For example, I don’t have the 1M tip so I used a smaller star tip, but it worked just as well.  Also, I make a buttercream icing using high ratio shortening found at my local bake shop.  This recipe allows for more powdered sugar per shortening  so it’s less oily and more creamy!  It’s seriously delicious.  The other thing I did differently was to use vanilla bean paste.  I knew I wasn’t going to dye the icing so I wanted the speckles of vanilla bean to show up.  It looked rustic and I was so pleased.

Buttercream Rose Cake

Buttercream Rose Cake, Speckled

After giving the cake a good crumb coat, I piped the roses around the outer edge of the top first followed by the center roses.  Start the tip in the middle of the rose and circle around twice.  I found the rose looks different with different twists and turns of the bag, but beautiful no matter what.  Play with the icing and see what design you like best.  As for the rest, I did as the instructions say and added some sweeps between the roses where any holes were left.  As for the sides of the cake, I piped a thick layer of icing around the edge and then using my spatula spread it out and gave it a rough look, which isn’t too hard, but looks fun!

Buttercream Rose Cake

Buttercream Rose Cake, sides

Other tips: I didn’t use my leveling strips around the cake pans and boy do I regret that.  One cake turned out domed and the other slanted.  I have no idea how that happened, but never again will I be too lazy to use the strips.

rose icing wedding cake

Buttercream Rose Cake with Bunting!

I strategically placed the bunting on top and voila, a finished cake!  I hope you like it!  I know there wasn’t much left after the couple cut the cake, must’ve been delicious!

Buttercream Rose Cake

Buttercream Rose Cake

Happy decorating!
-Amanda