Tag Archive | decorate

These are a few of my Favorite Things

I absolutely, positively, without a doubt, LOVE SUNFLOWERS! I have a dear teaching friend that helps feed my obsession by driving all over the Texas countryside with me to take pictures of the fields when they are in full bloom. This year, due to the rains we had in early spring, the blooms were exquisite!sunflower 1

Each one is beautifully unique!

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This past weekend, I was able to go on a brief getaway to the coast. It was a great escape from the everyday ‘stuff’ and I couldn’t help but feel a wave of sadness wash over me when driving back home yesterday.

When packing for a beach vacation, it takes a lot of planning. Of course, the no-brainer is to throw in a couple of bathing suits, cover-ups, and flip-flops; but strategically packing the unfinished craft projects that you want to complete can be a bit tricky. On this particular getaway, I had decided that I wanted to sew some canvas bags. I had been buying coordinating fabric for this particular project and was super excited about trying out a pattern I had found online.

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I did tweak the pattern a bit, but for a great step-by-step tutorial on sewing tote bags Amanda from www.crazylittleprojects.com is your gal. I can’t wait to try her messenger bag pattern next.

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Just think of all of the possibilities! Beach Breaks – they’re not just for sand and sun anymore!

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With love,

sunflower

 

 

praying for JWR

The Days that Time Worked in my Favor

At the beginning of any extended vacation time  from work, there is a spring in my step, an unrealistic to-do list of Pinterest projects to try, and a feeling that the world is at my feet because time is on my side. I can easily organize the responsibilities of laundry, cooking, and cleaning with a lighthearted attitude.  I am so sorry  for those that  have not been able to feel that luxury of ‘time’ every once in a while because the opportunity to refresh is so important for one’s health.FullSizeRender (3)

This weekend, my husband surprised me with a road-trip for my birthday and our anniversary. Our definition of road-trip is: get in the car and drive to some undetermined destination.

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We spent two days driving to small towns, roaming around, talking, and laughing. Letting go is good and we both know that we have got to take these mini-vacations more often. We have decided however, that Siri will always travel with us in case we need assistance with gas station locations, hotel choices, and restaurant recommendations (that is a whole other story and one that we will laugh about together for years to come).

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With Love,

Penny

 

 

It’s All About That Cake (’bout that cake)

If you were to look up the definition of  ‘Nervous Wreck’ in the dictionary, I am quite certain that you would see my picture as a visual representation and it would probably even have an unflattering caption underneath about my physical responses to stress. I  really can’t explain why – I grew up surrounded by a loving and supportive family. I did well in school and got along fine with my peers. But, in spite of it all, I can remember as far back as third grade and attempting to hide my anxiousness that was so extreme, it made me sick to my stomach. I have tried every remedy known to man to relieve my stress to no avail; so for me, it continues to be a daily struggle.

 

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Go figure – instead of avoiding situations that cause anxiety, I seem to select hobbies that have the word ‘stressful’ written all over them; for example, cake decorating. The challenge of taking on new cake designs is like an obsession for me. This past weekend, I had multiple cake orders  and each one had a special meaning to me!

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I  managed to survive and get all of the cakes completed and delivered to their correct locations with time to spare, but going back to ‘work’ on Monday was a killer.

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I really did feel like I had just played in a ballgame that had gone into extra innings! Then Tuesday rolled around, my kitchen was clean, and I had already started thinking about the orders that I have for the upcoming weekend.

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 Welcome back, stress! Good-bye clean kitchen!

With Love,

sunflower

Storms and Showers

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Creatively Blue

‘Tis the season for showers – showers other than rain showers. I am talking about baby and bridal showers. If you happen to decorate cakes as another source of income like me, shower season is a busy, busy time.

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When there is busyness, no time can be wasted on the inconveniences of Mother Nature. So, what’s a gal living in central Texas to do when there are cakes in the oven baking and it is storming outside, but she desperately wants to  re-paint some much neglected wooden frames? Just sitting around waiting for the oven timer to go off is not an efficient use of time; therefore, it makes perfect sense to set up a painting station right on the living room floor. It would be ridiculous to do it at the kitchen table because of all of the cake items in the way. Besides, it is easier to watch episodes of Fixer Upper in the living room.

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Life is about seizing the moments, not waiting for storms to subside and oven timers to ding!

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Let’s Talk Weddings

 

Hmmmm….what is the definition of micromanaging? I have come to the conclusion that I must have a micromanagement disorder (otherwise known as M.D.). Actually, I am thinking that I might have the disorder with additional issues – the one that is labeled M.D.H.D (Micromanagement Disorder with Household Duties).The definition of M.D.H.D is as follows: an obsession with spending an overabundance of time cleaning and staging a small section of one’s home while purposely remaining oblivious to the rest of the household which looks like tornado alley.

I have seriously thought about medication for this but when I have seen the commercials on television for the prescription, the actual side effects sound a whole lot scarier than the disorder. After all, watching an hour long television show without an advertisement for some sort of medication with serious side effects is impossible these days. Disclaimer – I don’t think that M.D.H.D. is an actual medical diagnosis yet, but I am living proof that it could be one! 

It is a beautiful Saturday here in central Texas, so let’s look at the advantages of having Micromanagement Disorder instead of the side effects shall we?

One of the advantages to being a micro-manager of a wedding reception is the feeling of control you have, even if it is just a false sense of security. When we celebrated at the reception in March, we had been planning it for almost a year and we were in charge of the decorations, the food, the cakes, and the order of events.

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I am pretty sure that the wrinkles were out of the tablecloth before the reception began. Yikes!

Don’t get me wrong, when it is down to the wire on wedding day and we are trying to manage the timing of everything, the idea of having someone else bring in the food or the cakes, or even just to have a separate clean-up crew is tempting.Not to mention that prior to the event, anticipation often invades my sleep for several nights  as I continue to go over and over checklists of every little detail in my mind. IMG_1582

But, eventually the moment arrives at the end of the evening when everything is packed up and we are feeling achy- muscle fatigue achy- as we wearily head home. It is then, that reflecting on the events of the day makes everything worth the work/the planning/the anticipation/the sleepless nights/ the aches and pains.

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Sweetheart Table

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Photo Booth Scrapbook Table

Reflection does seem to dull one’s memory (for example – the experience of giving birth doesn’t seem that bad following the fact). Reflecting on the expression of the bride and groom’s faces throughout the evening, witnessing the re-connections between family and friends in a time of celebration dulls the memory of all of the hard work leading up the event. Even reflecting on the memories of the stress points is a joy. Spending time in a panicked state with special friends who enjoy this work as much as I do is priceless.IMG_1591

And then, just like childbirth, I can’t help but smile to myself as I relive the memories and I am ready to take on another big challenge all over again…….A wedding, not childbirth!

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Happy, Happy Mother’s Day!

With Love,

sunflower

Sweet Reflections

Today,  I am not reflecting on how special my relationships are with my husband, children, family, and friends. As superficial as this may sound, I am reflecting on sweet treats to eat!  Actually, I am not much of a sweet tooth – I’ll take chips and dips over cakes and candies any day. I do however, love to bake cakes and decorate them. About ten years ago, my dear friend, NiCole, talked me into participating in some cake decorating classes at Hobby Lobby. I was very reluctant to go along, but when she told me that it was ‘bring a friend for free’, I was all in!  The next thing I knew, we were doing cakes for all occasions and we even had our own business cards!

Well, this past weekend was a particularly busy weekend for cake orders so I thought that I might just show off some of my personal favorites from over the years.

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Sunshine cakeMy partner in crime, NiCole, asked me to come over and help her with this adorable cake this weekend!

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How cute is this cake? This was for a bachelorette party.

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Yeah! These girls won the soccer championship for their division – and they celebrated with this huge cake!

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Sometimes it is the simple, yet elegant ones that make me just say, “ahhhh”.

R2D2 Birthday Star Wars

May the Force be With You!

With Love,

sunflower

American Made

I am crazy, maybe even borderline obsessed,  about the Ball American Heritage Collection Canning Jars. Last year when the vintage style blue ones began showing up on the shelves at Walmart, I bought not one dozen…..or two dozen…..but three dozen of them. Actually, whenever I pop into Walmart for another purchase, I still can’t resist walking down the canning aisle to see just how many they have left. When it comes to these babies, that line between needs and wants really gets blurry for me!

 

So, imagine my reaction on  Friday afternoon when I discovered that now they have come out with VINTAGE GREEN! I will have to say that picking up that box of six quart size jars for $11.67 put a big, ole’, goofy smile across my face….even the cashier noticed it, because he called out “Happy Canning” as I walked away from the checkout! Little did he know that I have never really canned in my life; nor, do I ever have any intention to!

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When I opened my new box of goodies, I noticed the story of the Ball Mason Jars printed on the side. I was unaware that the three styles between 1913-1915 were called the “Perfect Mason”, the “Perfection” and the “Improved”. Also, shortly after World War I, the jars were discontinued. So, they really are a piece of American History. Last, but not least, these jars are made in America!

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The beautiful blue jars are the “Perfect Masons” and the gorgeous green jars are “Perfection”. I am anxious to see what tint the “Improved” will be when they are released.  After searching a bit on Google, I have a feeling that they might be amethyst or amber in color. Ironically, I discovered that there are some other nuts out there that are obsessed with these jars – go figure! There are even some YouTube Videos about the Ball Canning Jars.

 

IMG_0769I wonder what the Walmart cashier would think about my vintage green chandelier!?!?!

God Bless America and I still have that goofy smile on my face – Happy Creating!

With Love,                          

sunflower