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1  COOKING / Dessert / honey-mint cupcakes with honey-cream cheese frosting. on: July 30, 2010 10:05:26 AM
so i've recently started reading The Secret Life of Bees.
i'm loving it. and it got me all inspired to bake with honey.
i also have recently fallen in love with the show Cupcake Wars. so cupcakes seemed like an obvious choice.

i altered a recipe for plain vanilla cupcakes i found on a blog. substituted 1/3 cup of honey for half the sugar. and added 2 teaspoons of mint extract.
sadly, i forgot to add the second stick of butter. the recipe said 1 cup so, in my head, that computed to just 1 all around. they're not terribly dry, but i think they would have been the perfect consistency had i not forgotten.

the frosting is beautiful. tastes wonderful. the honey flavor is subtle, but you can tell it's there because the whole cupcake tastes a little different than it does with normal sugar.

my family doesn't like the additionally mint flavor at all. i think it's great. it really freshens up a really dense cupcake. the honey works kind of like molasses and makes the cake rather dense.
oh well. to each his own. =)

my only real problem with this recipe is the HUGE amount of butter it requires. is that normal for cupcake recipes or is there another way to achieve moist cupcakes without causing arterial blockages?

here is the recipe for your baking enjoyment.

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. honey
4 eggs
2 3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 c. milk
2 t. mint extract

cream together the butter, sugar, and honey. beat in each egg, one at a time. mix together all the dry ingredients in a separate container. alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk until everything is all mixed together. add mint extract.
bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes.

1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
4 T. butter
4 T. honey
3-4 c. confectioners' sugar

beat together the butter and cream cheese. mix in honey. add confectioners' sugar until desired taste and consistency is achieved.

2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: first sundress of the summer. on: June 30, 2010 08:26:05 PM
oh, definitely not feeling required. just liking the excuse to sew. and wear sundresses more often. =)
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: first sundress of the summer. on: June 30, 2010 10:17:13 AM
thanks, everyone. =)

i did use a pattern. mccall's 5878. this dress was view b. really easy to follow. it calls for interfacing to reinforce the hem of each side which i left out as well as 5 snaps to do away with the problem i have with keeping it together. =P i had never done snaps so i figured i'd try to do without. i'd recommend trying them anyway. =P

also, the sizes run a little small, but i don't think i would have made a bigger size. it's just kind of an odd fit, but once i positioned it correctly on myself it worked well.

i actually don't go to SCAD. =P not going the art/design school route. i go to vanderbilt university. i'm a pre-med. =P
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / first sundress of the summer. on: June 30, 2010 06:54:33 AM
this year i completed my first year of college and discovered that apparently girls at fancy private colleges in the south wear dresses for at least 50% of their college lives. i was grossly unprepared for this this year, so i've come home with a sewing vengeance, considering i'm a low-income student and can't really afford to buy dresses. =P plus it's just really fun to impress all the girls wearing the dresses daddy bought.

i finished my first dress of the summer a couple weeks ago and stalled posting it just because it's not completely finished. i haven't made it fully secure yet. it's a wrap dress and when the wind blows...it's a bit revealing. however, my dad had some leftover adhesive velcro from when he needed to attach carbon inserts to his shoes so i'll be adding some of that soon. for now, here are some pictures. =)

and a bit of a close-up.

i used broadcloth for the main body and printed calico for the tie. white bias tape for the edges because i hate hemming. pretty pleased with the result. and excited to wear it once that whole wind security problem is fixed. =P

5  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / a collection of rather amateur paintings. with commentary. on: June 29, 2010 08:28:10 PM
when i was a little girl, i used to tell everyone i was going to grow up and be an artist.

i've since become infatuated with science and helping people, so i'm a pre-med. =P
but i do stay artsy to blow off some steam.
the following is a collection of paintings i did over the course of high school.

i believe this is the first legitimate painting i ever did. i was a sophomore in high school and it was my first time using that canvas painted white and stretched over cardboard. i've since fallen in love with it and can only paint on that. because it's cheap AND it looks nice.
i was told to paint something with a window. so i did. but i also painted ice cream. learned a lot from this painting. for example, black should not be used to add depth to pink ice cream. good to learn early on.

i think this was the next painting i did. originally i had this vision for it to be super inspirational and used as a graduation gift for my boyfriend. i ended up not liking it very much so i hung onto it. i really liked how the trees turned out, but was unimpressed with myself otherwise. definitely not my best work.

when i first did this painting i loved it. everyone was shocked that i felt so good about it because i usually hate everything i make for about a week and a half. oh, the plight of the perfectionist. this was adapted from a photo i took that is posted at the following link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=188065.msg1971876#msg1971876. i've since gradually felt more disdain for it, but i still really like the concept. execution could be better.

this may be my favorite painting i've ever done. i've loved it since the beginning. perhaps my love of the painting stems from my love of the character here depicted. or the fact that i grossly miscalculated the size of my video game friend while sketching him. i think it adds character. makes it artsy. the fact that he has no head.

this one was done for an AP Language & Composition project in 12th grade. we were focused on nature writing (which i really can't stand) and were asked to compose something of our own. and then present a visual. the whole project seemed very 3rd grade to me. a lot of kids glued leaves to construction  paper and then glued their writing in the middle. really rather sad. i wrote 2 pages about experiencing the beauty of nature and then did a painting. the two had to relate so i think i said the word "flower" once in my composition. it was considered passable. i got an A and my teacher sticky-tacked it to the wall for the rest of the year. i think she still has it.

this painting represents the beginning of my love for octopode. the image came into my head one day, as most of my painting inspiration does, and i set out to paint it. i  really like the painting, but i wish i had spent more time on the shading of the tentacles. leaves something to be desired. but overall pleased, as was the recipient. i gave it to my boyfriend at the time (the same one who was originally destined to receive the painting of the road. we dated for 4 years. =P) as a going away present. he went to maine for college.

and there you have it. my most recent painting history. minus my senior project. perhaps i will make an addendum later to allow you to see that one too.
until then, i hope you have enjoyed my art.
6  COOKING / Dessert / multi-level funfetti monstrosity. on: June 29, 2010 07:55:45 PM
last year, i was given the privelege of making my sister's birthday cake.
everyone loves funfetti cake, so the mix was taken care of. at this point in my baking career, i was focused more on decorating as opposed to making things from scratch. i knew i wanted to make something more exciting than a two-layer round cake. so i pulled out pans and cupcake tins of various sizes.

while the oddly sized cake components were baking, i mixed up some buttercream frosting and dyed it exciting colors. i'll not share the buttercream frosting recipe because it's horrible. i promise. this cake looked so much better than it tasted. my mom was convinced for a while that this recipe tasted good enough to have me make it for every cake she requested, but i've since discovered significantly more tasty recipes. =P

my sister shares my love of bright colors, so i just made colors that i would enjoy. once the cakes cooled, stacking them was a bit of an ordeal. some of the pans had round corners and others had straight corners and then i had a ton of cupcakes and some bad frosting transitions to cover up. but in the end, everyone was pleased and impressed with the result.

and so commences the photographic evidence.

the base is a two-layer round cake, the middle is from a small container we usually cook corn in, and the top is a cupcake. there are 6 cupcakes around the middle layer, all decorated differently. 3 have the letters of her name, amy, and the others just have dots and circles on them.

and, of course, there was a 14 on the top. because she was 14.  =P

hope you enjoyed my first real cake decorating escapade. though it happened almost a year ago, i thought it pertinent to celebrate the beginning of my career.

7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Tulip dress(es) on: June 21, 2009 02:53:30 AM
those look fantastic. i'm such a huge fan. =)
did you use a pattern or make one up?
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / my fake wedding dress. on: May 26, 2009 09:23:43 AM
this year for prom i totally wasn't thinking and bought white fabric to make my dress.
definitely felt like i was making a wedding dress. =P
and when i told people about the color, they made fun of me.
however, it turned out pretty well.

i used mccall patterns M5382. view c. the peachy one.

and here's how it turned out.

i also made the bright blue and green dress my friend is wearing for myself for last years prom. it was kind of cool to be able to say i made two out of the three dresses in our group. =P

here's another picture of the whole dress. i love this picture for its incredible awkwardness.

and a closer look at the top.

i don't have any pictures of the back, but it was really not that interesting. it draped like the front of it, had some janky zipper sewing, and a small dot of motor oil from my machine. it decided to spit on my dress. lame.

thanks for looking, guys. =)
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: my layery, tiered, dream semi formal dress on: April 21, 2009 06:24:17 PM
i'm a huge fan of this dress as well. very fun. and fantastic color choice. =)

just wondering what pattern you started with to base it off of.

10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / twisty bodice. on: December 25, 2008 12:17:49 PM
so i've been wanting for quite a while to make a dress similar to this one:


a friend of mine wore one just like it except hers was a halter with very thin ties.

i would like the one i make to have the halter thing going on as well, but that part is easy enough to figure out.
i know how to make a bubble hem. i would just need to figure out how to size it so it fits that high up. the pattern i have puts it  smack at my waist.
this, also, not so difficult to figure out.

what i really can't wrap my mind around is how to make the bodice.
i've been looking for a while for a pattern with the same thing, but i've come up with nothing.

any ideas on how to tackle it?
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