Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Horsing Around Seattle

I am sharing this video today because it's hilarious and you need to see it. 

About two weeks ago my brother and I rode the bus to Seattle with a horse mask and decided to film a dance video around the city. The next day we edited it and added a very goofy dance tune and produced this. Enjoy!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cake Catwalk

I'm now about five days into my internship and I've gotten to practice quite a bit. I've constructed cakes, filled some with filling, iced them (buttercream, whipped, and cream cheese), and airbrushed and decorated them. It's challenging and it tries your patience. 

Finding the right amount of pressure for each different icing can be really frustrating and I end up taking forever just to frost the cake to my liking. Then I feel stuck on what to put on the cakes once they're iced because I don't know what to do and I don't want it to look stupid. I know that my cake decorator has got to be frustrated with my lack of faith in myself when it comes to deciding what to decorate the cakes with but I just don't really know what to do yet. 

And the writing still kinda freaks me out because I don't want it to be off-center and ugly. 

So here they are! 

First coming down the runway is a goofy-trendy cupcake cake who's two-tone whipped frosting will remove once you take away the cupcake! She's covered in Spring flowers and leaves and she's half chocolate/half vanilla!

Our next cake is a part of The Tim Series, as I'd like to call it (during the course of the week there was: Happy Birthday Tim! Good Luck Tim! and now Farewell Tim!). He's covered in navy and blue masculine border dots with a two-tone writing for extra definition! The smiley face waves happily as if both wishing Tim good luck and being happy that he's finally gone so someone can creep in on his wonderful corner office!

Eva won't forget her 10th birthday and her One Direction cake with the off-center 1D logo and airbrushed purple whipped frosting. This cake and the rest of your co-worker's kid's birthday party you don't even care about is coming to a Facebook birthday photo album near you!

And next there's the gender neutral Elle and Wally cake! Who could forget these two and their coordinating birthdays? They may even sport their matching couple's outfits to match the cake! They special requested the nuts along the border because these two are so nutty and thought their cake should reflect it! 

Here comes Mary and her pink-on-the-bottom border and white shelled border on top! She's also sporting purple, pink, and yellow Spring flowers with two-toned yellow and pink icing writing! Mary's also got sprouting and fun flowers creeping up around her cake sides, so fun and flirty!

Then there's Jenny who's not shy about telling the world that she's twenty-nine. No age shame here, folks! She's frosted with whipped icing with fun, grooved sides. And look at those lovely cherries all over! Work it, girl!

*The stories are fictional and are for entertainment purposes only. I'd be mortified if the owners of these cakes were to contact me and complain about how they do not wear matching outfits (I'm looking at you, Elle and Wally) and everyone does, in fact, care about their child's One Direction birthday party. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Craigslist Amazing Find!

So, on Wednesday night I was casually perusing Craigslist fully expecting not to find anything really of value. There's always the standard fare like 80's dining tables priced for $500, lovely mid-Century Danish furniture for $275 a dining chair, horribly pastel hand-painted side tables, waiting room furniture, and stuff that husbands list just to make their wives happy about getting something out of their garage. 

Then I saw this:

It was listed as $100 for the entire set. For. The. Entire. Set. 

I quickly jumped at the chance to hit the "reply" button to try and snag this amazing deal. I was also a little nervous because 1) last time I tried to purchase something on Craigslist the guy basically said, "yeah, I'll meet you on Saturday at the mall" and never showed and 2) I've never bought anything on Craigslist. 

The couple were very polite and responded to my excitedly-written email by giving me more detailed pictures. They just wanted to make sure that I was aware that the set wasn't in brand new condition and included these:

I still wasn't deterred and wanted to see the set so we decided that I'd drive down to South Seattle and take a look. I wanted this table bad or I might have second guessed driving down there in rush hour traffic. The normal twenty-five minute trip took over an hour but I occupied my time by dreaming of an awesome dining set with newly recovered seat cushions. 

A quick glance at the table (which they had nicely already removed the table legs and hardware) and a chair test (they were all solid and not wiggly!) and we knew we had to have it. Sure, it had some imperfections but it was solid wood and if it had a really horrendous problem after adding some Old English scratch cover, we could refinish it. 

The couple actually told me that they had many, many inquiries on the table but my enthusiastic emails set me apart and they knew I had to be the one to have it. Isn't that funny?

It fits in so beautifully into our little 60's rental! It also came with a table leaf which would be cool down the road if we wanted to use the four chairs for the sides and maybe find two similar chairs for the ends to make it a six-seater. (I couldn't wait to get home today from my internship just to gaze lovingly at it.) 

I am totally psyched with this purchase! Isn't it always the case that you find something when you're not even looking? I'm also not used to having such a wonderful Craigslist selection. The best thing I could find on Craigslist in Virginia was some old toilets someone had sitting in their lawn, toddler clothes, a particle board dresser, and if I was lucky, a used waterbed. 

I can't wait to refinish the seats (because baby blue is so not my style) and I'm just now starting to shop around. I've got a few that I like:


I wasn't necessarily going for neutrals but that seems to be what I'm leaning toward right now. I want something that's going to wear well and not discolor from blue jeans because I've seen that with my recovered desk chair that I did a while back. 

We'll see how it goes, I'm just ecstatic from such an awesome find!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Room Crashing!

Today we're going on a little tour of two (yes, two) of my brother's rooms. Since the upstairs has three bedrooms and the downstairs has one, we decided that it would be great to have Russ and me have our own apartment downstairs and my brother could take one extra bedroom for his study. 

The rooms aren't terribly large in this rental so this was a good use of space. He also got the extra wall space he craved by dividing his wall art between his study and his bedroom.

Here's his study space: he's got his computer desk on one side and on the other he has claimed our old dining room table (side note: YES we finally solved our table problem with an incredible find- more on that tomorrow) for room to sprawl out his books and writings. 
Rug- Target
He's got an eclectic mix of things that represent his interests like the arts, history, and science.
Globe- Value Village Thrift Store

The blank rental walls were a great way to showcase his interesting art collection and clock.

Then across the hall, his bedroom is a little less sophisticated and a little more Hollywood and rock 'n roll.

He's got the canvases that I made for him hanging up together. 

And some albums and a fabric poster behind his bedroom door. 

He's got his bed set up like a cushy daybed with a million pillows with the KISS sock monkeys that I made for him for his birthday. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Underway To Do List

Russ has been gone a few weeks now and we've still got a little while before he gets to come home. I wanted to use this time wisely and get some things done that I've been putting off/haven't gotten to do yet. I figured with all my free time with him gone, I should be able to tackle a few things and goofy goals I've set for myself. 

1.) The weather has been iffy and I really don't want to mess up the paint or stain with it being too damp to properly dry.
2.) Our closet really needs a shelf for more storage and I'd really love to hang one for folded shirts or maybe shoes too which tend to fall out of the closet after being stacked on the floor.
3.) I recently planted some pansies and petunias in our little flower pots we got from Home Depot (for a later post). They really add some beauty, along with our ombre birdhouses, to our little sad exterior.
4.) I've lost about seven pounds or so since Russ has been gone and I'm doing rather well... usually. 
5.) I had a four day work out streak of walking around the neighborhood and then I got busy one day and the streak is over... I will resume this!
6 and 7.) I count my internship as a little of both.
8.) I've read two chapters in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and I've been too tired to read lately. I'm going to make some time because I absolutely fell in love with Savannah, Georgia and this book is so Savannah. (side note: I had a good chuckle while writing this because I accidentally wrote "Midnight in the Garden of Food," don't know where that came from!)
9.) I've been putting this off since we moved and I finally did it yesterday! I hate doing car stuff. I get bonus points because I also washed and cleaned out the car too. After almost two years it still has a remnant of the "new car" smell (which is surprising after a four day car trip with a sick cat).
10.) My poor Ian cakes needs to get his yearly check up and I've been putting it off since January. I rationalized that his booster was due in April so I might as well wait... well, it's now April. Time to get on that!
11.) I've missed doing some painting and I was hoping that I'd have some free time and energy to focus on another canvas. Haven't got to it yet but there's still some time left before Russ comes home. 

Not bad... so I've done almost 50% of my list and I've still got a few weeks of time to get my list accomplished. It'll give me something to do while I count down the days until Russ returns. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Little Bit of Ombre

Our outside is still a little depressing and I'm trying to spruce it up as inexpensively as possible. When we moved in there were these two birdhouses just sitting underneath our carport and they looked a little lonely and boring so I decided to buy two acrylic paint colors (at around a dollar a piece) and make them a little more lively. 

And what better way to liven them up than with a little turquoise ombre? 

I just taped off where I wanted the stripes to be and painted .

I really wanted them to be similar yet different and that's why I decided to change up the widths on each of the ombre stripes. I think they look really cute together.

Don't they look so happy and cheerful now? They really go well with my turquoise and terra cotta colored flower pots that I'm going to share tomorrow. Operation: Yard Sprucing is well underway!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Internship Update

My internship is only two days old and I'm already learning a lot. I took a cake decorating class last year which was really fun but now it's like I'm taking a free cake decorating class with even more one-on-one teaching time.

My first day I didn't do too much except be shown around, watch the decorator in action and have her help me practice some writing. Their buttercream was so stiff that I left with my hand nearly cramped and my forearm hurting. It was that day that I thought to myself, "Okay, this is not something I want to do for a career- I want to bake." I don't want to injure myself or live with a painful condition just to decorate cakes but I do want the knowledge for my future business. 

The first day was rather remarkable because I got to learn how completely offensive the owner of the bakery really is. I was not left with a very good impression but I'm deciding to press on. 

The second day was much better as we got to decorate way more cakes than the first day because it was Saturday. I got to airbrush, pipe borders, and frost cakes carefully with buttercream and whipped cream. I'm learning a lot and doing rather well. I was told that I might get some part-time work in June if I keep progressing at the rate I am which is rather exciting. 

Here's a picture of a cake in which I did everything; the icing, airbrushing, and borders; but the writing (the spacing really freaks me out and I didn't want to screw it up). 

And I have no idea what the heck the writing was supposed to mean...

Friday, April 19, 2013

Snow Home-Ish

After hearing how quaint and cute downtown Snohomish, Washington is, we decided to finally head up the eighteen-or-so miles to check it out. A quick look at their website and it's plain to see that this cute little town is a haven for antique enthusiasts and tourists. 

Our first stop was a Uppercase Book Shop that was the most darling shop I've ever seen. Really, it's the book store that would be in a romantic comedy where the lead works and buys endless romance novels waiting for her own Mr. Darcy. 

Inside the window were an assortment of clocks that displayed the time from fictional places like Hogsmeade from Harry Potter, Panem from The Hunger Games, and Narnia from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe series. Absolutely adorable. 

There was also this book page chandelier that killed me. I absolutely loved it and it's totally DIY-able, isn't it?

Next door we went into our first antique store called Faded Elegance. It was probably my favorite store of the entire trip. There were so many neat things to look at that I felt I didn't have enough time or eyeballs to absorb it all.

Go ahead, take a look around!

There were broaches, old chess pieces, letter tiles, marbles, etc. in jars to buy. 

Mom absolutely loved this blue bread box that was sitting on the desk. It was only $35 which was surprising. Most of the items in the store were very decently priced which was quite a different experience for me. Usually most antique stores are so expensive that I can't even afford to look. 

I loved the old book pages on the wall with the hanging frames. This could be easily and affordably done in your own home.

I was in love with these old cathedral drawings for $24 each. 

See that old metal chest on the right? Only $125! Something like that would usually cost double anywhere else. I think Mom wanted to hug it and never let it go. 

Aren't these little plates goofy and fun? 

We next went into Victoria Village Antique Centre that had antiques from many different vendors instead of one huge shop. And it was huge! Full downstairs and upstairs which kept us busy for over an hour. 

There was some awesome stuff like these copper-lidded canisters for $35 for the whole set. Yes, only thirty-five dollars! I am still surprised we didn't somehow leave with these.

There was also some goofy/weird/creepy stuff too but that comes complete in every antique shop. 

Aww... I want some old windows.... :(

My brother enjoyed the record selections at the antique stores too. 

I want all the crates! These crates were a little pricey though, the cheapest being $75.

Then we decided to hit up a Snohomish town favorite, the Snohomish Pie Company. 

We each tried a piece of chocolate pecan pie which was really tasty. It was very chocolately with a pecan top layer but very rich. I probably would have been satisfied with a much smaller piece!

And... did we buy anything?? 

Yes... adorable things at inexpensive prices are my weakness. I got this copper bread box at Victoria Village for $24 that we plan to use in our someday bakery. For now, it can hold an assortment of things and look beautiful. (I can always love a good box.)

Look. At. These. Aren't they beautiful? $14 each at Victoria Village. I think plastic cake savers are more expensive than that!

This rustic, adorable sign was $14 at Faded Elegance. So cute. 

This charming vintage tin was also at Victoria Village was only $4!

I remember when the Norfolk thrift store had an assortment of these ornate decanters but I've never seen a Kentucky Derby one. How gorgeous is this?

What a fun day! And we only saw three of the nearly twenty antiques shops in town! Guess we'll have to plan another trip down the line.