Thursday, December 31, 2009

Devil Dog

Charlie Murphy loves to snuggle down in any time he wants to take a nap. This particular evening, he chose to wriggle into the flap on our pillow sham making himself a true wiener in a bun. These pics are courtesy of Jeff as he thought it was too cute!
Have a safe and happy 2010 everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 The Year of the Monkey

Last year around this time, I was embarking on a journey to craft two sock monkeys for a coworker by request. Little did I know that one year later, I would have made 21 monkeys for various people at work. Here are some of the monkeys that have been adopted this year!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Frankenstein Cupcakes

I first saw the Frankenstein cupcake idea in a magazine, but couldn't find it when the time came. I ended up peeking at a few pic of similar ideas on Flickr and decided to just wing it as I have done ice cream cone cupcakes in the past.

Here's what you need:
Package of ice cream cones- Tip--buy more than you need because some will likely be damaged!
Box cake mix- I used an orange and fudge mix special for Halloween
Ingredients called for on box- Usually water, vegetable oil, and eggs
Container of chocolate icing
Full size peanut butter cups
Black decorator's icing- I used Wilton's black icing in a tube that the tip is "supposed" to fit on!
A mini muffin pan

Step 1: Place 6 (or 12 if you have a big mini muffin pan) cones into your pan. Fill with prepared cake mix to just above where the cone widens.
My box called for the oven to be at 350 degrees and I found through trial and error that 15 minutes seemed to be the perfect baking time for my cupcakes. Your time may vary a bit, but you can always check by poking with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, it's done!

Step 2: Place peanut butter cup on top when the come out of the oven immediately. They will melt a bit to stick onto the cupcake top.

Step 3: Decorate! Put chocolate icing around edges of peanut butter cups (or any other color you like). Push 2 candy corn in for the neck plugs (I guess that's what they are!) Draw a face with your choice of icing. Black was quick and easy for my purposes. If you don't have tips and bags for decorating, you can put your icing in a sandwich bag and cut a small corner off with kitchen scissors.

A few tips I discovered along the way. Don't make the night before because my candy corn got sticky and started to melt and fall out due to the moisture in the cake mix. Also, the fine detail in the icing decoration started to run. I would bake the cupcakes and do the basic icing the day before and decorate only a few hours prior to your party so they are looking their scariest!

Jeff Carves a Pumpkin

Almost 3 weeks before Halloween this year, my husband says, "I know what I'm carving on my pumpkin." Now most years it's like pulling teeth to get him to agree to carve pumpkins with me. It is a Herculean task! He proudly flips his laptop around to show me a spiderman face carved into a pumpkin. I have to admit, it was pretty cool. I was just excited that he actually wanted to carve a pumpkin uncoerced! I wanted to try painting my pumpkin black to make it super creepy. I ended up carving a somewhat cute design, so I don't really know how creepy it turned out, but I was happy with the results. Here are our attempts at artful pumpkin carving for 2009.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Game Day Birthday Celebration

Jeff's 31st birthday fell on a Tuesday this year. It's a little hard to party on a Tuesday, so I planned a game day party for the weekend after to watch the WVU football game. The inspiration all started from a cake pan in the shape of the flying WV. I was busy attempting to be a good hostess so they aren't too many photos, but I'll share a few that I managed to snap.
I know he liked it, but just like a kid, he can never give a serious smile just a funny face!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kitty Litter Cake

This is a cake that I have made a few times now. It is met with laughter and resistance, but is truly delicious if you can get past its' looks. It is a great dessert for Halloween. This particular cake was made for an office party. No matter the occasion, it is sure to raise some eyebrows!



  • 1 box German chocolate cake mix*
  • 1 box White cake mix*
  • 2 large pkg vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 large pkg vanilla sandwich cookies
  • Green food coloring
  • 12 small Tootsie Rolls
  • 1 NEW Kitty litter pan
  • 1 NEW Plastic kitty litter pan liner
  • 1 NEW Pooper Scooper
*I prefer to use 2 butter or yellow cake mixes instead, but you may use whatever type of cake suits your taste.


Prepare cake mixes and bake according to directions (any size pans).

Prepare pudding mix and chill until ready to assemble.

Crumble white sandwich cookies in small batches in food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but about 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup cookie crumbs, add a few drops green food coloring and mix until completely colored.

When cakes are cooked to room temperature, crumble into a large bowl. Toss with half the remaining white cookie crumbs and the chilled pudding. IMPORTANT: Mix in just enough of the pudding to moisten it. You don't want it too soggy. Combine gently.

Line a new, clean kitty litter box. Put the cake/pudding/cookie mixture into the litter box.

Put three unwrapped Tootsie Rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until soft and pliable. Shape ends so they are no longer blunt, curving slightly. Repeat with 3 more Tootsie Rolls; bury them in the mixture. Sprinkle the other half of cookie crumbs over the top. Scatter the green cookie crumbs lightly on top of everything-- This is supposed to look like the chlorophyll in kitty litter.

Heat three Tootsie Rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake; sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Spread remaining Tootsie Rolls over the top; take one and heat until pliable, hang it over the side of the kitty litter box, sprinkling it lightly with cookie crumbs. Place the box on a newspaper and sprinkle a few of the cookie crumbs around for a truly disgusting effect!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My first embroidery project

I recently finished my first embroidery project. The pattern was a Sublime Stitching pattern. It turned out really cute and was a lot of fun! I guess I can't really say that I'm new to embroidery, but it was my first time trying an iron-on pattern like this one. I can see that there will be many more projects like this one in my future. I've been spying on some really cute patterns on Etsy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

End of Summer Fun

Labor Day weekend was quite the whirlwind this year. It started off Saturday with a baby shower for my friend Stacy, then onto having a house full of guests that we carted off to our friends' house on the river for a cookout on Sunday, and ended on Labor Day with an early evening 30th birthday celebration for my friend Vicki. Talk about a fun-filled and exhausting weekend! Here are some highlights from the weekend.
Vic and Stacy...both mommies-to-be! Check out the finished farm animal cupcake display!

Connor enjoying the boat ride, a lot!
Teagan trying to keep warm with Jeff.
Vicki (aka. Vanna) displaying her gifts.

Monday, August 24, 2009 Ramona! (The Early Years)

Ramona came to live with Jeff and myself way back in the day in July of 1999. She was seen jumping from the window of a car in the Wal*Mart parking lot where I worked as a courtesy desk girl. It was hot and many customers expressed concerned for her saftey on the 90 degree+ day out on the pavement. Someone had purchased her a bottle of water and put the cap down for her to drink a bit. She seemed tame enough, so I picked her up and brought her inside and put her behind the desk to call animal control.

Since it was Friday, no one at animal control was available. I decided to take her home just until her owner called to claim her. As sweet as she was, I was certain that someone would call distraught over the fact that they had lost her. The call never came. We drove to the shelter with her in our car, but I was already in love. Ramona was meant to be a part of our family.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fondant Fun

I have never worked with fondant, but had always heard that it could be a bit tricky to work with. (I watch a lot of Ace of Cakes.) While I think this holds true for covering a cake and making it look nice and smooth, it's not true when it comes to making cute farm animals! My friend, Vicki, found a super cute blog called Blue Cupcake, that had a picture of an adorable farm animal cake/cupcake combo. We decided to try to recreate some of the farm animals for cupcakes for an upcoming baby shower we will be hosting. I had my doubts, but it was much easier than I had hoped. It was actually a lot of fun. Below are some close-ups of the sheep. I just love his curly wool! I don't think I could pick a favorite even if I had to. Stay tuned for pics of the shower in a few weeks!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

July Design Challenge Results

So I finally have the results of the design challenge that I did with Hillary, of Happy Hippy Jewelry on Etsy. It was our July design challenge (a little belated), and my first design challenge ever. Basically, we gave each other a theme and then let our imaginations run wild. Typically, this type of challenge is done in a large group with everyone using the same theme and then a winner is announced, but we modified a bit for just the 2 of us!

Hillary's theme that I chose was "Summer Romance," and this is what she came up with. I have to say that I love that the "couple" are in my 2 favorite colors....Let's Gooooo Mountaineers!

Here's what she had to say about it: "I really tried to represent the coming together and intertwining of two separate souls with the blue and yellow wire wrapped pendant. I added the pink and floral accents to emphasize the idea of romanticism and to add a little bit more of a "summery" feel." She elaborated more on her design process by saying this, "I made the pendant first and really wanted to represent two unique persons entangling themselves and falling in love. I couldn't decide if it was finished and even asked for advice from other crafters, who gave me some great suggestions. I discovered how well the pink went with the bright blue and yellow just playing around with different things. I played with several things and ultimately went with it because it helped soften the overall impact of the high contrast colors without making them "disappear". Pink is also a great color for romance and the floral beads looked appropriately "summery" to me. Ultimately, I think I ended up with something very romantic but unusual and unique, which is what i always strive for."

The theme Hillary assigned to me was "weather." Here is what I came up with!
This is a 3-piece bath towel set that includes a full sized bath towel, a hand towel, and a washcloth. I first thought of using a cloud, sun, and raindrop. Those just didn't work well together. They weren't very much fun. Almost a little sad. So I picked the cutest of the three, the raindrop, and created around that. The umbrella and boots gave me the ability to add some color and interest into the project while still sticking to the theme. I have to say that the rain boots, I thought, were going to be a bit out of my comfort zone as far as getting them to look normal. It didn't take me too long to figure out how I wanted to attack them, and I think they turned out pretty stinkin' cute! This item is listed at my shop on Etsy, 15 Pieces of Flair.

There are 3 of us lined up to do another mini-challenge for August with a September 8th deadline. It will feature Hillary of Happy Hippy Jewelry, Liz of LiDDesigns, and me, Angie, of 15 Pieces of Flair. Our theme this time around will be the same for all 3 and will be....drumroll.......Hollywood Glam! I'm very excited about the prospect and will keep you all posted.

Monday, August 3, 2009

My First Ever Design Challenge

On Etsy, they encourage you to become part of one of their teams. Each team has different requirements and functions differently. I chose, about a year ago, to become a member of the Retro Handmade team. It is designed for those who do throwbacks to retro-feel designs/items or even possibly use vintage items within their creations. There must be a handmade aspect to your shop, not just vintage or retro items.

A few months ago, we decided to start doing a monthly design challenge. I didn't participate in the first few, but was feeling plucky this month. Only one other person was feeling up to the challenge, so we decided to do our own mini challenge. My co-conspirator this month is Hillary from Hippybeads. She chose the theme "weather" for me to use. I chose "summer romance" as her theme. Our deadline is fast approaching, August 8th. I've created a design and have put the wheels into motion this evening. I'm very excited about my design. The item will be for sale in my shop upon completion.

Stay tuned to see what my partner and I have come up with!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Shot Block

Shortly after meeting Jeff in 1997, I was introduced to the shot block by his family. Some of you may be familiar with this party pleaser, but for those of you who are not, I will explain and provide instruction.

1. The first and most important part is the "puck & suck" stand that has been constructed to hold the enormous block of ice. There are 2 such contraptions in Jeff's family. One lives in Akron, OH, and the other in Charlotte, NC.
As you can see, it's construction is pretty simple. All it requires is a slope to get the alcohol of your choice down into your mouth. The step is not necessary, but is very handy, as most are not tall enough to comfortably pour without some vertical assistance.

2. The ice block. This requires massive feats of strength and also some further construction of a device to properly lift the ice. Please refer to photo. You must supply your own strong men for this step.3. Next, the tracks for the yummy beverages have to be cut out with a router. It is best to make a small reservoir at the top of both tracks and then use a gentle "squiggle" motion down to the bottom of the block. Otherwise alcohol will shoot down the block at top speed into your gullet with a high risk for chokage. This would be bad. Please follow the proper precautions when working with any and all power tools. Alcohol and power tools=fun...what?, I mean danger. Very bad! Please refer to photo #3.4. This is the fun step. 2 people step up to the bottom of the block, pucker up, and await their icy cool beverage to slide on down. Placing towels on nails on either side of the puck & suck stand is recommended for drippage. Please refer to the photos below to get a load of the action.5. Hygiene factor. "Everyone puts their lips on this ice? That's gross!" you say. Well to you, my friend, loosen up and have a few drinks. Life is short so enjoy it while it lasts.

As an added bonus, there was a large potato cannon at this year's party. I think the best part was that the name on the side was "Potato Delivery Systems". Quite a high-tech weapon in my opinion.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Me and My Crafty Mommy

My creativity seems to go in spurts, or should I say during times when I'm not bogged down by other life committments. Well, over the 4th of July weekend, I had a few extra days off that led to some new and some tried-and-true recreations of previous designs I have done. I also received a box from my mom with her new-found addiction...crocheted bath poufs. I have to make fun of her though because when she first started making them she called them "pouf" like it rhymed with "woof". So of course, I teased her relentlessly about them, and we have to joke about it every time we refer to them. So here are some of my latest creations as well as my mom's "poufs"!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Photographic Hilarity

Recently, my friend Vicki, pointed me in the direction of a fantastic site called They update it on almost a daily basis, so it really needs to bookmarked and checked frequently to get the most benefit from it. There have been a few pictures that have struck me, but one in particular today merited being reposted here. It is strikingly remarkable in regard to a picture of mine in my last blog post. Just take a look. A glimpse of the future perhaps?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Relay for Life 2009

A group of us at work decided to have a team for the Relay for Life this year in Marion County. We named ourselves Aaron's Team to support our co-workers' son, Aaron Riley, who unfortunately passed away before the event after a short, tough battle with leukemia. It was the first year most of us had participated, or even attended the event. We chose to decorate in a circus-theme and had a bowling game, a ring toss, a fish pond, face painting, balloons, popcorn, peanuts, and glow necklaces for when it got dark. Malissa graciously agreed to dress up as a clown for the evening. I think she looked cute and not at all like a creepy clown.

We really didn't know what to expect, but were pleasantly surprised that our tent was definitely a hit, and were kept busy the entire evening raising funds for the cancer society. We doubled what we had raised prior to the event in just a few hours exceeding our team's goal of $1000.
After the evening was drawing to a close, we decided to treat ourselves to some mustaches. I think we all look very distinguished....or something like that! Pictured are Miranda, Michelle (team captain), and myself!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Snuggies Are Fantabulous!

This year for Easter I received from my loving, albeit smart-assed husband, a Snuggie. We have laughed at the commercials for hours on end as well as the remixed version on YouTube. I swore that I would never wear something so ridiculous looking, but as you can see I've had to eat my words. The weird thing is that it is actually a pretty cool little hybrid. Yeah, I realize it's just a backwards robe without a belt, but so what? The crafty part of my brain is already thinking of ways to improve upon this fantastic invention. The fleece is a bit on the thin side, and the sleeves are waaaay too long for me. JoAnn fabric just might need to watch out for large purchases of cute print fleeces in the near future with some snuggilicious Christmas gifts!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Don't Get Eliminated!!

I love elimination dinners. I realize after all of my Vegas posts and now 2 elimination dinners, I probably look like I have a gambling problem, but we really don't do these things often. It's just been a banner year for gambling! Just in case anyone reading does have a gambling problem...please follow this link.For those of you that don't know what an elimination dinner is, let me explain. Usually only 200 tickets are sold for the event. You pay for your ticket which includes dinner and drinks for two. There is a board with all 200 ticket numbers posted and then throughout the evening numbers are drawn and....yep....eliminated! If you are the last number standing you win a major award. Going rate around here is $1000. Also included in the dinners are various other schemes to milk any extra dollars you have hanging around right out of your wallet. Tip boards (also called fish bowls in some places), 50/50 drawing, 200th ticket raffle, chances on donated prizes, really just about any gambling gig you can dream up can be run at these things. This most recent dinner was to benefit the local Lion's Club. My husband, Lion Jeff, is a member and I know it's for a good cause so I don't mind spending the extra dough!
The most fantastic prize of the evening, hands down, was the gift certificate that the Nelson's received in their prize pack from a raffle. I guess spell check doesn't pick up on things this hilarious! Apparently, there's a new gig in town. Not only is the restaurant name spelled incorrectly, but the name of the town is Sabraton.