Sunday, October 30, 2011

Witches Brew Recap

A few years back, I started an annual party called "The Witches Brew Tea." It is a night where my friends and family(ladies only) gather to celebrate Halloween.  My rules are simple...everyone is required to wear a hat.  It has been so much fun to build the party a little more each year. This year's witches brew was a so much fun!  I loved the company, the food and the ambiance. The menu for the bash included: baked potato soup with bacon, cheese, chive and sour cream toppings; bread bowls; green salad; pumpkin and chocolate pumpkin cupcakes and sugar cookies.
For drinks, I served Sprite, Gingerale, and Cream Soda with Grenadine, Lime and Grape syrups.  Of course I dressed the bottles up with spooky labels and Halloween patterned paper.  I also fancied up the cups with a barber pole straw, spider, and lime.
The cupcakes were a real hit, so I thought I would share the recipes with you.  Also, check out the previous post for the free download of the cupcake toppers.
Cupcake Hints-
-Use an extra large star tip and a pastry bag to frost cupcakes
-Use a plain cupcake liner to bake the cupcake, then place the cooked cupcake into another decorative liner after it has cooled.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 heaping teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 heaping teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 heaping teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 heaping teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup half and half
1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup applesauce

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 heavy whipping cream
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
  2. Beat oil, the white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the mixture before adding the next. Stir in the half and half, applesauce and pumpkin puree after the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by beating the cream cheese and 1/4 butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; beat until fluffy. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost with the cream cheese icing.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes
1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Pumpkin pie spice as desired
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
 3/4 (6 ounces) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 heavy whipping cream
1 cup cocoa
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease or line cupcake tins.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs and oil for 3 minutes using a mixer on medium speed. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool, then frost with cream cheese frosting.
We had some great witches outfits, but I believe the greatest hat award went to my friend Kirsten who created this beautiful headpiece with a selection of florals adhered to a headband.
Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween tomorrow!  Watch out for the tricks and eat lots of treats!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


I am sure many of you are busy getting ready for Halloween on Monday. I thought I would share a little help from my Witches Brew (pictures to come soon)this week. As one of the desserts, I served pumpkin and chocolate/pumpkin cupcakes. To top them off I created some festive Halloween Picks.  To create these picks for your Spooky goodies, simply download the pattern, punch out the designs with a 1 1/2" circle punch and back with a scalloped circle punch.  I added a toothpick so that they would stick easily into the cupcake frosting.
Hope you all have a wonderfully Haunted Holiday!

Friday, October 21, 2011


We are now exactly 10 spooky days from HALLOWEEN!!  I have a few "I LOVE FRANKIE" kits left, so I thought I would offer my last few for a SUPER DEAL.  If you have been looking at Frankie, but haven't snagged yours yet, now is your chance to get him for just
$15 with FREE SHIPPING to any US location!!
(regularly $22)

Kits ship out within 24 hours so you could easily have yours up and ready for display by October 31st. Deal is good until the kits disappear!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

DI and Spray Paint

Last week I mentioned my addiction to spray paint and up-cycling thrift store finds.  I finally got a few of my DI deals painted and dressed up for my apartment, and of course, I had to share them with you.
I picked up this little beauty the other day for $6! A few coats of red paint and some distressing ink later and's a great entryway piece.  I love going for adventurous colors of paint when I find something for this cheap.  It is fun to make a bold statement with little odds and ends.
After my dictionary print segment last month, I decided to make a wall of witches. I spray painted 2nd hand frames ($1.00 each) and had Costco print me some vintage art.  I love how it turned out.  Such a fun little vignette.

Although it is difficult for a quick and simple crafter like me, I have found patience to be a major virtue when working with repainting.  I thought I would share a few tips for an excellent paint job:
1. Pre sand and clean your surface.  Use a fine sandpaper to remove any shiny finishes and create a rough surface for paint to adhere to. Wipe surfaces clean before painting.
2. Apply multiple coats and allow plenty of drying time between applications.
3. Sand off edges and use stain or distress ink to create a vintage look.
4. Finish your project off with a sealer coat. Sealers can be purchased in spray paint form and add a nice finishing touch to a piece. They also prevent the paint from chipping and scratching.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Paper Pumpkins on Studio 5

Today was all about pumpkins that will last through the years!  Here are three fun ideas for bringing the pumpkin spirit onto your table, wall, or party favor.

Bitty Favor Pumpkins
These pumpkins are so cute and versatile....and so easy to make!  They look adorable hanging from a banner or can also be filled with treats and used as a perfect pumpkin party favor.  To make these bitty pumpkins, you will need:
1 5X12" strip of pattern paper (use double sided for a cute inside)
Hole punch
Wire, ribbon or string
1. Fold your 12" strips into 2" selections.
2. Cut each corner off of folded strip. You don't have to be perfect with your cutting, but try to leave about 1' that doesn't get cut.
3. Use a hole punch to punch the top and bottom of the folded strip.
4. Open up strip and adhere the two ends together.
5. Use ribbon, wire, or thread to pull ends in.  Thread your desired medium through each hole and pull together.
6. If you are using the pumpkins as a favor, add a treat at this time, then thread medium through the center of the pumpkin and out through the top holes and pull tight.  Add additional ribbon as desired to create stem.
Try tying the bitty pumpkins on to a ribbon to create a garland.
Hanging Medallion Pumpkins
To create the medallion pumpkins, follow the instructions for fan folded medallions. Use different widths of strips to create a variety of medallion sizes.  Layer multiple medallions in varying sizes.  Add a green stem and circle to the top to finish off the pumpkin look.   Tie medallions to thick, festive ribbon and hang from your ceiling, mantle or chandelier.

Fancy Free Centerpiece Pumpkins
These statement pumpkins are a perfect solution for dressing up a fall or Halloween table.  They are a breeze to create in a variety of sizes and shapes.  To create these pumpkins you will need:
8 squares of paper-try different sizes to give variety to your tablescape.
Green paper for the stem
Pen or pencil for tracing if desired
1. Fold your sheets of paper in half and cut a half of a pumpkin pattern.  If you are nervous to freehand your pattern, you can use a practice sheet to test it out.
2. Use your first piece to cut each piece in the same pumpkin pattern.
3. Cut stems the same way and adhere them back to back.
4. Adhere folded pumpkins back to back in a stack, tucking stem pieces in as you go.
5. Ink all pieces.
6. Fold pumpkin out and enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Prepping Paper Pumpkins

I just wanted to share a little pre-segment pumpkin inspiration!  I crafted up these accordion fold hanging pumpkins last night (I'd rather not say what hour).  Be sure to tune into Studio 5 next Wednesday at 11 to see more details for creating fun and fancy paper pumpkins of your own.  Happy Halloween!!! Oh, it is so close I can hardly wait!
And, don't forget... you still have 4 days to countdown 13 days until the haunted holiday.  You can still purchase an I LOVE FRANKIE kit and craft it up in time.  Kits ship within 24 hours and arrive to most Utah locations the next day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thirty, flirty and thriving!

I love birthdays!  However, this year was a little bit hard to swallow!  Leaving my twenties felt like one of those big steps in life.  Luckily, I had a good friend that was willing to take a wild and crazy adventure with me to celebrate the day!  As a very last minute trip, we decided to hop on a plane to DISNEYLAND last night and go to the parks all day today followed by the 6 am flight home on tomorrow!  Crazy!  It is so much fun do something fun to commemorate the big day, it helped me to feel like this year I am Thirty...Flirty...and Thriving!  Happy Day!  A special THANKS to Deanne for sharing in the adventure.

*Also...Disney at Halloween...Fabulous!  As if I needed one more reason to love this holiday :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Faith, Love and Spray Paint

Does anyone else feel like they can create anything with a can of spray paint in hand?  One of my favorite creative outlets is walking the isles at a thrift store and collecting junk...then taking it home to transform with a little paint.  I love it!

This week I have been in Halloween decorating mode....yes, I am a little late at getting to it.  Since my Book Page Segment on Studio 5, I have had a craving to do a whole wall of Spooky Dictionary Prints.  I can't wait until it all comes together!

I am creating lots of prints to use, but here are a few I have created so far.  You can just download the pictures and print them out for use in your haunted decor. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pocket Full of CANDY Instructions

As promised, here is a full tutorial on making the Pocket Full of Candy Countdown from yesterday's segment.  Have fun crafting up this festive countdown that also makes a great October centerpiece.

What you will need:
4 Sheets of double sided pattern paper cut to 9X12
4 Sheets of double sided pattern paper cut to 6x12
4 2X6 Strips of patterned paper
Strong Adhesive
Embellishments, treats and signs as desired

The How To:

1. Fold (use your scoring tool if available) 9X12 papers in half at 6", then fold bottom up at 6" to create pocket. Once your piece is all folded, you will have a 6x6 folded pocket. Adhere the edges of the pocket shut, then reinforce the edge with a few staples.
2. Fold (use your scoring tool if available) 6X12 papers in half at 6", then fold each side towards center at 2". Once your piece is all folded, you will have a 4x6 folded piece. 
3. Fold 2X6 Strips in half and adhere them to the inside of the center flaps of the 4X6 folded piece. This will connect the two folds together in a "V" pattern. The black and white star piece in the picture below shows how that piece should look. The 2X6 strip goes on the inside of the "V" to hold it together.
4. Fold each of the pieces and then you are ready to connect your book together.  Alternate folded pieces so that the large 6X6 folds are sandwiched between the smaller "V" shaped piece.  Adhere "V" pieces to outside surface of 6X6 pieces with adhesive on the top and bottom sides ( you should have pocket in the front that you can slip treats in to.  Reinforce the adhesive with a few more staples along the edge.  If you would like to be able to open and close your countdown, don't adhere the last two pieces together.
5. Once you connect all the pieces, you will see that you have a star formed.  Add numbers and embellishments as desired. Then stuff your pockets with goodies and trinkets.
6. I added a little sign on a skewer with some ribbon to the center of the star to top things off.
*Note, you will have 14 pockets, so you can give some days 2 pockets if you would like.

Cutest Ribbon Ever!

I have had quite a few questions about the adorable ribbon that I used on my Vintage Flip Countdown.  I fell in love with this fancy little striped ribbon when I was making my menu boards a few months back.  I found it at Michael's Arts and Crafts in their Halloween section.  I have used it on several projects since then, so I probably need to go and buy another spool!
Also, I picked up the rings at Heartland Paper in Bountiful and they are pre-colored.  You can also find silver 3" rings at an office supply store and paint them if you would like.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Countdown to Halloween on Studio 5

It's that time once again to COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN!  You may be thinking, aren't you a week late to start counting down October? Well, this year, I decided to switch things up a bit and countdown 13 spooky days to the ghoulish holiday. By doing the unlucky 13 days, you aren't counting down a full 31, which gets a little bit long for the little ones. And, the best part is, you don't have to start counting down until October 18th, so you have plenty of time to complete these projects.

This year, I created 5 different countdowns that are sure to bring the spirit of Halloween straight into your home.  I hope you enjoy the patterns and instructions below.

I created this haunted countdown using the new black and orange envelopes from Doodlebug Design. I love these envelopes because they are the perfect colors and they have an adorable rounded scallop flap that really adds to the countdown.  Although these envelopes were perfect for my creation, you can use any envelope that has a top flap.  To embellish the envelopes I used pattern paper and embellishments from Teresa Collins' Haunted Hallows line.

I adhered patterned paper to the front of each envelope and then attached envelopes together so that flaps were open and easy to access. To reinforce the adhesive, I sewed along the edges of the envelopes, being careful not to sew the flaps closed.  (If you don't have access to a sewing machine, you can add a few staples along the edge).  For a fun decorative look, you can sew or staple strips of folded ribbon into the edges as well.


I am obviously loving the Doodlebug Design Halloween line this year.  To create this fun banner, I used the scallop circle cards from their card line, patterned paper, twine and lots of lovely coordinating embellishments.  I love this line because it is so kid friendly.  Lots of cute characters for the kids to enjoy.

To make this banner on your own, you will want to make 6 pennant pockets.  You can get 2 pockets out of each piece of 12X12 paper, so you will need three sheets.  Download the PAPER PENNANT TEMPLATE here.  Cut and fold the pennants and then adhere them together so that you have a pocket to put treats in.  Punch a hole in each corner to thread your ribbon or twine through.  Add numbers as desired for a countdown.  You can download the numbers for all of my projects here.
To create the sucker flap, wrap a strip of paper around the open base of the card.  Adhere the strip in the back.  Place your sucker so that it fits directly in the card opening and then punch two holes along the sucker stick so that you can weave it through the card. Decorate the front of the card as desired. Punch holes in either side of the back of the card and tie them onto your banner.

Alternate cards and pennants to create a fun and colorful banner.  Stuff each pennant with treats and goodies for the kids to get to each day.


You already know that I am FRANKIE crazy!  I switched up my FRANKIE KIT a little to include a countdown to candy!  You can still purchase either the kit or pattern only for this fun little monster, but it will now include the numbers and sign to make your kit into a countdown for the same price!  Kits will ship out for FREE within 24 hours of purchase!

If you would like to see the tutorial on the accordian circle, visit my circus segment here. (This tutorial also comes in the kit and pattern)

I guess I will always be a bit of a vintage junkie!  I was inspired with a similar flip frame that I saw on Little Birdie Secrets and of course I had try a version of my own. This countdown is sooooooo easy to make, you can whip it out in just an hour.  All you need is a dollar store 4x6 frame, my FREE PRINTABLE DOWNLOAD, two 3" rings, a hole punch (I used my Cropadile) and you are good to go!  To view detailed instructions and photos of the process, download the instruction sheet here.

I created this countdown using the classic Star Book Pattern idea with a little twist.  Instead of just making pages, I folded each sheet of paper to create a pocket.  Because this project is a little more instruction intense, I will be posting a full tutorial tomorrow at the latest.  Sorry for the delay, but I promise, it will be worth the wait!

Countdowns are coming...

Sorry for the delay, instructions and pictures for today's segment are on their way.  Check back soon for all of the Halloween countdown goodies!