Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day ~ a tea-party and button-flower cupcake-toppers

In celebration of every woman who has brought a person into this world or raised a child as your own ~ you are loved and given thanks for on this day. I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Here are some flowers and cupcakes for you ~

My sisters and I threw a little Mother's Day party this past week -- no boys allowed (except for babies). As it was a dressed-down, relaxed occasion, no true tea cups or cutlery were involved :)

These yummy lemon cupcakes are super easy to make and so are the button-flower toppers.

First, the cupcakes:
- 250g butter
- 250g sugar
- 250g self-raising flour
- 5-6 eggs
- 1 fresh lemon, squeezed

--- Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer till fluffy and white, then slowly mix in the eggs. When well-combined, blend in the flour and fresh lemon juice.
--- Pour into mini cupcake cases and bake in a preheated oven for 12-15 min at 180 degrees C.
--- Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then tap them out of the cases, cut in half horizontally and fill with meringue frosting and jam.

... and the meringue frosting (really light and not too sweet!) :
- 4 egg whites
- 2/3 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- pinch of cream of tartar
- the juice of 1/2 a lemon
--- Combine all the ingredients in a double boiler. Stir over low heat till the sugar is dissolved.
--- Transfer to an electric mixer and use the whisk to whip till stiff peaks form.
Note: If you frost your cupcakes immediately, they can sit out without being refrigerated. However if you make the frosting a day or two ahead, store it in the refrigerator. When you are ready to frost, re-whip the meringue as it will have separated.
Disclaimer: If you have concerns about salmonella, you can read more online about meringue frosting safety, and further note that I haven't died of it yet :D

I colored half of the frosting pink, sprinkled lemon rind on top of a few cupcakes, and filled the rest with strawberry jam. I also did not have a cake stand, so I made my own out of a glass bowl, platter, and fruit-plate cloche cover :)

On our menu we also had chocolate-dipped pretzels, fruit-kabobs, dip and chips, raspberry punch, and other miscellaneous yummy things that I shall not proceed into at this time.

The Cupcake-Toppers!!
I used toothpicks (clean new ones OF COURSE), assorted buttons and mulberry roses, and patterned paper.
All you have to do is cut random leaf-shapes out of your patterned paper. Alternatively you could use a die-cut or puncher. Using craft-glue (and if you are reading this blog you probably have some of that lying around), adhere the buttons and flowers together as you please and glue them onto the toothpick. Layer the leaves below the button-flowers. THE IMPORTANT PART: Let the glue dry. If you don't, you will get a glue-y mess on your cupcakes haha. When the glue is dry, stick the toppers in your cupcakes and admire, then take them out and consume cupcakes.
(A waste of time, if you ask me...)

You can cut a few flag banners and stamp words on them too. They mix very well with the button-flowers.

We also decorated the house a little bit. I found fresh roses at the florist and filled a few mason jars and glass bowls with them.

I wish you all a Happy Mother's Day!

~ V

*PS: linking-up-love : I am going crazy over DIY nowadays, so hopping on the bandwagon with everyone else ... @ and

Today's Creative Blog

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hello 60 ~ handmade birthday book

Hi. Have a post for you today. This paper-bag-book was made at the request of a very special lady and friend for her 60th birthday. That is the cover, in case you couldn't tell...

Throughout the book I used chipboard from Dear Lizzy Neutrals Trinket Thickers. It was SUPER FUN!!
The diamond embellishments are sections from NinaBDesigns Fancy That bling. Paper by Authentique and Prima (Prima link goes to SimonSaysStamp 'cause that's the first place I find a link to when I google "Prima Songbird 6x6." The silly Prima site does not have it anywhere... ugh).

The book in all it's stuffed glory.
I'll show you more pictures.

Now I haven't lived to 60 yet, but I would think it to be a very happy place to be, yes? Because you would be a grandma :)
Sadly, you can't really see the good job I did backing each word with a different patterned paper, it was really brilliant. (not).

In case you haven't noticed yet (from the first sentence that said "paper-bag-book") each page is made of either a brown paper sack or glassine bag. See the page on the right? The pocket is made of the base of the brown sack. All it took to make that was some stitching.


More paper bags, chipboard, and stamps.

A hand-cut pinking-sheers edge (try trimming the edge of a chevron-patterned paper, it will drive you nuts).
Also, more chipboard and some of my corny hand-written font.

And this is the back cover.. something simple.
These are the tags I made to go in each pocket:

There was some bird theme going on there, but I didn't really mean for it to happen... it just did :)

Thanks for visiting!
~ V

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

~ NinaBDesigns January 2013 Blog Hop ~ LOVE

Welcome to the NinaB Designs first team blog hop of 2013!
And welcome back to the blog at which I hardly blog (FYI I spent the last four months making this card, and I just finished it two minutes ago. Cheers!).

For this month's hop, Nina challenged the team to create a project with the LOVE theme, which can be interpreted in many ways: Valentine, Anniversary and Friendship.
I have a few photo steps for you, using some NinaB Designs dies to create the little heart window box -

First, cut the tag from Spellbinders Grommet Tags ... my favorites.
then pop the smaller heart die from Sweet Folk Art onto the center of the die-cut tag and run it through that BigShot one more time.

And then die-cut the larger heart from Sweet Folk Art before using the smaller heart die to remove the center...

Am I making no sense? Sorry .. :-[

Like that. It should look like a tiny little heart-shaped frame after you're done. Ask your mummy if you're not sure how to do it (I wouldn't want you to cut your finger you know).

And then I was lazy and skipped a lot of steps, so figure this out yourself okay; just GLUE the heart-frame die-cut over the heart-shaped hole in the middle of the die-cut tag.

You know how to do that, yes you do.
And embellishadaroonie-o your tag with Prima resin borders.
It looks a little bit like a birdcage (in my imagination) but I really didn't mean for it to become that way. It just happened ~ yay!

And because I want a little bit of sparkle behind the window, I added a shiny crystal. Just put some glue on the edges and thunk it on, it'll stick.

And then die-cut some pretty wings from Home Sweet Home and add them behind the birdcage (I put the wings upside down, somehow it's nicer that way, and I don't know why).
And throw some mini paper doilies in, patterned papers, and your card is DONE!!!

I am truly disorganized, so I don't know where each scrap of paper comes from, but majority of it looks like it came from this Prima Songbird collection.
The sentiment is from NinaBDesigns' Penny Black Lace Delight. Another favorite of mine!

Here are the NinaBDesigns products I used for my tags and card box:




The NinaB Designs team is giving away these TWO PRIZE PACKAGES:
 Prize Package #1 includes Spellbinders Venetian Accents and Motifs:

Prize #2 includes 2 retired sets from Layers of Colors stamps:

Winners will be picked randomly from 2 of these designers' blogs:
Everybody is welcome to comment and be eligible to win. The winners will be announced on  January 22 on Nina's Blog, where you will also find all the relevant info regarding the giveaways. Finally, please consider liking the following Facebook pages that are represented on today's hop, so you don't miss the latest news and happenings:
Thank you for joining us today!

Come back tomorrow for a new post. In case I don't finish a card by then (or too lazy to write new stuff), just read this post again.


And now I'm hungry and want a cookie. *crunch*

Saturday, September 15, 2012

~ Nina B Designs September Blog Hop ~ Trim the Tree

Finally, a post for you... =)

After a much needed summer break, the NinaB Designs team is back to showcase some of Nina's designs for our monthly hop. For this month's hop, Nina challenged us to create something with gift-giving in mind using some lovely dies. Here is my project:


In case you were wondering what my project has to do with gift-giving, as specified earlier, this is my answer:

Nina, I promise you that all I saw was "let's highlight the new dies in this blog-hop" and then I went and made my project. But anyway this is not the first time I did not follow instructions, so I know from experience that you are very forgiving haha.

So everybody, let's PRETEND that this card has EVERYTHING to do with gift-giving!! Send it to someone special with a gift! Wrap up the gift and paste the card on the outside!! There. It now has much to do with gift-giving.

The Nina-designed goodies I used on this card are Penny Black "Lace Delight" (lace stamp and sentiment) and Spellbinders "Sweet Folk Art" dies (tree and mini-heart die-cuts).

The tree is quite an unconventional look, yes I know... but then, I like odd things and this looked oddly nice enough. Generally, I hate the "throw a pile of stuff in the air and glue it where it lands" look, but it kind of looks like that on this card (a bit)... well nevermind.

We, the WORLD-FAMOUS NINA B DESIGNS TEAM, are giving away 2 prize packages 
(I typed "2 price packages" and then realized it didn't work).

Prize Package #1 includes Spellbinders Ironworks Accents and Motifs:
Prize #2 includes The Craft's Meow's Vintage Rides and Retired Layers of Colors Dotted Dahlias and Dotted Peonies Stamp sets (the middle one looks like a must-have stamp set. That's a hint to Nina as I don't even have one myself):

Winners will be picked randomly from 2 of the designers' blogs:

Nina Brackett * Beate Johns * Beatriz Jennings 
* Clare Buswell * Heather Jensen * Jennie Harper 
* Julie Overby * Lea Lawson * Linda Lucas 
Viola Mahr <-- this is me obviously

Everybody is welcome to comment and eligible to win. Nina will announce the winners on  September 22 on her blog. Due to the number of prizes being given away on her blog, she asks that the winners email (via Contact tab) her with their info within 4 days (till September 26) in order to claim the  prize. This will help with organization and avoiding confusion. Thanks for understanding! Finally, please consider liking the following Facebook pages that are represented/affiliated on today's hop, so you don't miss the latest news and happenings:
Penny Black Inc.

I hope we'll inspire you all today! Happy hopping!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

~ Looking Back and Looking Forward ~

Welcome to my new --- errrr --- OLD blog!
I made the decision to switch from typepad to blogger, as the time I was investing in posts definitely did not compensate for the amount of money typepad has been draining from me (argh). Very soon, it will be two years since I started blogging, and with the account-renewal deadline looming ahead, I felt this was the time to make a change. So welcome to my blogspot.
Consider this post a round-up of all my typepad days and a look-forward to what blogger will bring!

It was fun to browse the archives as I transferred all the posts from typepad to blogger. There were some I squealed at (I used to be so creative! and clever! when did I go downhill?)... and some, I blinked at and hurriedly scrolled past. But whether nice or horrid, every project post has been transferred here. These are some of those that triggered ..err.. the good memories:

1. From this post

2. From this post

3. From this post
-- If you won't beat me for saying it, these mini albums are so cute I think I want to hug the screen.

4. From this post
-- I need to do this again!!! (this = make cards)

~ ETSY ~
I started my etsy shop a year and a half ago as a means of supporting myself through my pre-working days. Let me take this opportunity to encourage those who have an etsy store for sharing your handmade projects with others: Do it for the fun of it, and not because you have a desperate need for money! Etsy is not the best way to earn the most out of your projects, but it's the community of people on it that make selling handmade projects so much fun and minimizes effort on the part of the seller.
My etsy stats show that within the space of a year or so, 308 items sold and the shop made a profit of $3,883.20 ... divided by twelve calendar months, that is really not a lot -- about $323.60 a month. Well actually that WAS quite a bit for a sideline, have-fun job as a then 19 y/o. The etsy store was only a platform from which I made many friends and repeat customers, who then purchased directly from me (via PayPal, which removed the painful etsy fees). All the money went to my music lessons, and helped to pay for project supplies and typepad fees (which I really could have avoided by being on blogger from the start... grrr).
Now that I have moved on to a full-time job, the etsy store is no longer a necessity. Not to mention that I also don't have the time to make anything to stock the store with! :) So for now, there is a glaring white page at One day maybe I will fill it with fun stuff again.
I hope my etsy story will encourage you if you have your own shop...
Most of all, have fun with it!

Wow, I think this has to have been one of the most amazing things that have come about from blogging. It started out as an adventurous streak in me to do something good for the cause of crafters -- ha. After creating free designs for some of my blog-friends, some of them insisted that pre-designed blog banners would be a good item in the etsy store. I did a few of those, and eventually moved on to custom designs with more complex navigations, specialized backgrounds, etc. I have learned TONS from doing hours of research and studying html, but still have a long way to go. By NO means am I a web-designer. I am more a collage graphics kind of person, but let's hope the technical skills will improve as the years go by.
Due to my schedule, I am no longer taking in design requests, but I may set up a few ready made designs to go in my etsy store soon.
Here are some of my very favorite designs in place -- click on the links to see more of the gadgets and bits I created to match:

This is totally random and just for fun, but this has been the most-pinned-pin from my pinterest boards...

That's basically it for the round-up post today. That was fun... and tiring. I SO need to get some sleep now...

Thank you, thank you all of you for visiting my little spot on the internet. I wish to continue inspiring and creating. Be back soon with some crafty posts for you.

Much love to all,
~ Vi

P.S. I'm still kind of setting up house here, so the navigation bar links are errr...... mostly broken... (sorry). Also, my sidebar is kind of in a mess, but I'll try to get that settled in the next few days =)

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