Thursday, January 22, 2015

. . . Polka Dot Cake Carrier . . .

Several years ago I received this Cake Carrier and love it but everything looks cuter with polka dots so it was time to give this little baby a makeover. 

I decided to use Decoart American Multi-Surface Satin Paint in girly colors that are also perfect for Valentine's Day.  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you know Valentine's Day is on my mind so this cake carrier got covered in Valentine's Day colors too.  Really, I just look for any excuse to use Pink, Purple and Red in my decorating.
To make a Cake Carrier of your very own you will need:
Wilton Cake Carrier from Michael's
Decoart Americana Multi Surface Paint in the desired colors
Lots of ribbons or fabric scraps
Round Foam Pouncers or Stencils
*Patience


Americana Multi-Surface paint is available in Michaels. Visit the DecoArt Multi-Surface website for more crafting ideas and inspiration too. This little bottle of paint is perfect for so many surfaces!  You can use it on glass, wood, metal, fabric, most plastics and more.  It is for sure something you should keep in your crafting arsenal.  Check out their Metallic Colors too!

 To make the polka dots on the Cake Carrier the easiest way is to purchase these handy little Foam Pouncers from Martha Stewart Crafts at Michael's.  They come with multiple sizes in the package and they are great for making polka dots!  

Choose the size foam pouncer you want for your dots and "pounce" it in the paint color of your choice.  I usually dab it off a few times so I don't get any globs of paint on the item I'm painting.  Just gently press down to apply the paint in a perfect circle. 
  I used multiple sizes of these pouncers for this project.
 The nice thing about the foam pouncers is how easily they wash out and then just grab an old towel and dry them well and you can use them again immediately.  It is also very easy to realign them if they don't quite cover the first time.  For this project I did 2 coats of paint--I let the first coat dry and then went back and did a second coat and it was the perfect amount of paint.

 Once the Americana Multi Surface Paint dried it created the perfect look for this project.  I didn't want the circles to be too perfect or too dense in color so I really liked the coverage of this paint.  It was my first time using it but won't be my last.

 Once all the circles were dry I started cutting ribbon in about 6 inch pieces.  I used fairly thin ribbon but you could do this however you prefer.  Once all the ribbon was cut I started tying them onto the handle.  I didn't do any fancy knots...just a basic knot.  I squished my ribbons tight together so the handle was well covered and just alternated colors until it was completely covered.

 When the handle was complete I went back and cut the ribbons at different lengths.  Some were much shorter than others but that is what makes it fun!

  Once the ribbons are tied on and trimmed you are ready to fill the carrier up with cake or cupcakes!
 
 So cute and girly!

 Seriously, polka dots and ribbon make everything better!

 Of course I had to fill the carrier up with Valentine's Day Cupcakes too.  I cheated and ran to the store and got plain vanilla ones and then added my own cute heart sprinkles.

 This cake carrier would look so cute bringing your sweets to any function.

Be sure to follow Itsy Bisy Paper on 

Monday, January 19, 2015

. . . Takeout Style Fried Rice Recipe . . .

Years ago I started making Fried Rice and over time I finally have it tweaked to taste pretty darn perfect.  It's good enough that my husband and son ask for it quite frequently.  We usually grab a couple egg rolls from the Chinese Restaurant nearby and then add some shrimp or chicken to the rice and we have a very fast dinner that tastes delicious.  


I have never been a real big Chinese food eater but I love me some fried rice!  I was so excited the first time I made it and it actually turned out pretty good.  Not perfect, but not bad, so I kept trying.  I would tweak little things and most the time I felt like it was a fail but over time I have it down to just the way we like it.  The nice thing about this recipe is that you can make it work for your tastes.  If you want a little Sesame Oil added to it go for it or if you want to add some broccoli and sprouts or other veggies then go for it...you get my point.  It is one that works for you and your family.

You will need:
Cooked rice which is best if it's cold so I usually make it in the morning and then put it in the fridge.  I used Minute Rice and made 3 cups for this batch because we like it for leftovers.  You can adjust it to suit your needs.
Soy Sauce
1/2 bag of frozen peas and carrotts
Sliced Mushrooms
Green Onions
Kikomon Fried Rice Seasoning Packet which will be in the same section that you find gravy mixes and chili mixes etc.  Near the soups usually.
Any other meats, seafood or veggies your heart desires.
Sesame Oil to splash on at the end (I'm not a fan of Sesame Oil so I just put it on sparingly on individual servings)
 This Fried Rice Seasoning packet is a game changer.  It makes this rice so yummy!

First things first...dump your seasoning packet into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of warm water and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and whisk it with a fork until it's pretty well combined.  It will still have some lumps and bumps but you want to get it as smooth as it will go.  I usually do this first and then let it sit to dissolve further while I cook the veggies.
You can't have fried rice without the egg can you?  I think not!  Crack the egg in a hot skillet coated with a little oil and scramble that bad boy up.  Once it's scrambled put it into a bowl to save for later. 

Add a touch more oil to the bottom of your pan and add your frozen peas and carrots.  I used a half of a bag but you can adjust this to work for your family.  Some people might not want all these peas and carrots while others may want an overload of them so whatever works for you then go for it!
Add your sliced mushrooms immediately to the peas and carrots.  If you are using other veggies go ahead and get them in there now so they have time to soften up.  I keep my heat at medium for this step but if they don't seem to be getting browned up bump up the heat just a tad.  I don't like my veggies mushy but I like them nice and soft so about 5 to 10 minutes of sauteing them or if you like them softer go longer or if you like them more crisp then do less.  See how this recipe works for you?  I love that!

While the veggies are frying up grab those pretty green onions and start chopping them up.  I add the white pieces directly to the veggies as I go and then save the green ends to add as a garnish at the end. 
If you have company coming or you just want to make your dish a little fancier then save some of the long pieces of the green onions and cut them into thin strips and place them over the serving of rice.  I'm fancy like that!  No, but really it does look nice it's just that my guys aren't going to really appreciate the beauty of adding that garnish so I don't typically do it.
Once the veggies are cooked up just the way you like them add in your cold or room temperature rice and mix to combine everything.  If you rice is cold then you might want to let it sit on the heat for about 5 minutes and stir it frequently so it heats up before adding the sauce.

Once the rice mixture has started heating up you will add your Fried Rice Seasoning liquid.  Stir it around really well to make sure it's getting all the rice coated.  I usually do this step and then take a little nibble of the rice to see if I like the flavor and if not then I add a little more soy sauce to bump up the flavor.  
Once the seasoning is just right for your tastes then add the scrambled egg and mix well.  That is it!  Easy as can be and you have restaurant style fried rice to serve your family!  
This recipe is easy to adjust the quantity you make as well.  If you are a small family make less rice and maybe only use a half or 3/4 of the seasoning mixture.  
See how those crisscrossed green onions dress it up just a bit?  I like doing this when we have this with company over.  Makes me look like a real pro...totally kidding.  
I am not a big meat eater so I usually don't add the meat or seafood directly to the rice but you can for sure do that.  I have made it both ways and I personally prefer having just the veggies and then having the meat on the side.

This rice will hopefully put some smiles on your family's faces like it does mine!



Takeout Style Fried Rice
www.itsybitsypaperblog.com

3 to 4 cups Cooked rice
*Best if it's cold so I usually make it in the morning and then put it in the fridge.  I usually use Minute Rice to keep things speedy and it always turns out perfectly.  You can adjust the quantity of rice to suit your needs.
2 to 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1/2 bag of frozen peas and carrotts
Sliced Mushrooms, optional and quantity will depend on your tastes
1 bunch of Green Onions, chopped
Kikkoman Fried Rice Seasoning Packet
 *sold in the same section that you find gravy mixes and chili mixes etc. (Near the soups)
Any other meats, seafood or veggies your heart desires
Sesame Oil to splash on at the end (I'm not a fan of Sesame Oil so I just put it on sparingly on individual servings)

Pour your seasoning packet into a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of warm water and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and whisk it with a fork until it's well combined.  Let this sit while you prepare the vegetables for the recipe.

Crack the egg in a hot skillet coated with a little oil and scramble it.  Once it's scrambled put it into a bowl and set aside for later.

Add a touch more oil to the bottom of your pan and add your frozen peas and carrots.  I used a half of a bag but you can adjust this to work for your family.  Add your sliced mushrooms immediately to the peas and carrots.  If you are using other veggies go ahead and get them in there now so they have time to soften up.  I keep my heat at medium for this step but if they don't seem to be getting browned up bump up the heat just a tad.  I don't like my veggies mushy but I like them nice and soft so about 5 to 10 minutes of sautéing them or if you like them softer go longer or if you like them more crisp then do less.  

While the veggies are frying chop up the green onions.  I add the white pieces directly to the veggies as I go and then save the green ends to add as a garnish to the rice at the end. 

Once the veggies are cooked up just the way you like them add in your cold or room temperature rice and mix to combine everything.  If you rice is cold then you might want to let it sit on the heat for about 5 minutes and stir it frequently so it heats up before adding the sauce.

Once the rice mixture has started heating up you will add your Fried Rice Seasoning liquid.  Stir it around really well to make sure it's getting all the rice coated.  I usually do this step and then take a little nibble of the rice to see if I like the flavor and if not then I add a little more soy sauce to bump up the flavor.  

Once the seasoning is just right for your tastes then add the scrambled egg and mix well.  That is it!  Easy as can be and you have restaurant style fried rice to serve your family! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

. . . Flameless Candle Valentine's Day Makeover . . .

I'm in full Valentine's Day mode around here.  I love this simple little holiday for the colors and hearts and love and romance and sparkly things.  It might not really be a holiday but it's an occasion that I have always loved.  Maybe it's because it's the only time of the year that my guys don't fuss at me for decorating with PINK--my favorite color.  

We have lots of flameless candles and I love them because they last forever and they have remote controls that make them very easy to light up.  My favorite flameless candles are by Luminara but they are expensive so I can't go buying a bunch of colors so I just buy the basic colors and then make them over for each occasion we are celebrating.  The best thing about Luminara is that the flame moves and flickers just like a real candle.  I have yet to find any other flameless candle that looks as realistic!  You will fall in love with them.
You will need:
Baker's Twine or ribbon
Heart Shaped die cut hearts.  Mine are corrugated cardboard hearts from Hobby Lobby.
Flameless candles
Any other embellishments you'd like to add to your candles
 I picked up some chipboard hearts and used some red and white baker's twine I always keep on hand.  This is simply a way to recreate your candles for any occasion without ruining the candle.  If you don't mind making the candle permanent for that holiday you could use glue to add cute buttons or any other embellishment.  

 These Luninara candles are the best flameless candles because the wick moves to look like a real flickering candle.  I just love them!
 Simple and Sweet!

Valentine's Day is fast approaching so add a little pop of color to your house by adding some pink and red for the occasion!

Lve!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

. . . No Sew Throw Pillows . . .

Say what?   Christmas is over already?  I spent a year getting ready for it!  Buying gifts and crafting and thinking about recipes and it all went by in the blink of an eye. I remember when I was younger I heard older people say how fast time flies and yet it never seemed to move that quickly as a kid, especially at the holidays, but now that I'm older I realize how true that statement is. I marvel at the speed of time these days. There is never enough of it and the time that we do have passes so fast. I can't believe that the Christmas tree is put away and the gifts are all opened and the cookies are gone and I'm now moving on to Valentine's Day ideas.  Despite the brisk passing of time I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!

I am embarrassed to admit I don't sew. I can sew but I don't and that is probably because my mom and grandma are such great sewers that I don't have to. I had my mom make me several throw pillows for my front porch last fall and they were great for that season but now that it is coming up on Valentine's Day my orange and black assortment of pillows just looked funny with my pink and red banner and wreath.  My mom had elbow surgery right after Thanksgiving (really great time of year go be out of commission. Doesn't she know I have crafting and sewing projects that need her assistance. Just kidding) and sewing is out for her and grandma had a million other projects going on. That meant being creative with my pillows and coming up with a no sew idea. This idea worked perfectly and the best part is that I can quickly change out the fabric for any occasion without pestering mom or grandma to sew or to motivate myself to pull out my machine.  Who wants to do that when I have this super easy and super fast alternative for you!  
You will need:
Throw pillow form and it won't matter if it already is covered in fabric.  *If the pillow is already covered make sure the new fabric is dense enough that it won't let the current pillow fabric show through.
 
Fabric for your pillow. Buy enough to extend 3 inches past the pillow on all sides. My square pillow was a 12 inch pillow and a 5/8  yard was perfect to work with. I wouldn't have even needed quite that much but wanted to make sure I had enough.
 
Small ribbon to coordinate with your fabric 
 
Pinking shears to keep the fabric from fraying
 
Ruler 
 Of course I don't take a single picture of me making the square pillow but this will still give you the same idea of how to make the cover no matter if your pillow is square or rectangular in shape.  See this cute fall colored pillow?  It just doesn't work with my Valentine's Day wreath and banner does it?

 Step 1:  Lay your fabric out flat.  I bought 5/8 yard and folded it in half.  I then placed the pillow form on the fabric and measure 3 inches all the way around the pillow and that was where I cut.  Make sure you use pinking shears or the fabric will fray.  I found that a 3 inch excess of fabric was the right amount but you may want yours to be a bit different so just play with it.
Step 2:  Cut the fabric at the designated spots with your pinking shears.
Step 3:  Place the pillow in the center on the wrong side of one panel of fabric.  Place the other panel right side up over the pillow being sure it's centered.
Step 4:  Take your corners and wrap your ribbon around the corners and pull good and tight and knot the ribbon to hold the pillow cover in place.  I know this isn't a very good photo of the ribbon but really it's very simple--cut ribbon and knot each of the corners.  I used really tiny ribbon but you can certainly use what you like.  I wouldn't go too wide with the ribbon because it won't work as well. Tie all 4 corners and fluff the pillow and fabric and you are done!

 Check that out!  Easy peasy and now you can change your pillows for the occasion you are celebrating.

 This is the 12 inch square pillow I mentioned above.  As you can see the idea is the exact same whether you use square or rectangle shaped pillows.

 The black and white polka dot pillow is one that always stays on the porch bench so it's sewn but I like being able to add accent pillows now with this easy idea for no sew pillows.

Love is in the air now!

Simple!  What is your favorite no sew project?  I would love to hear your ideas.
 
If you liked this idea then you will love this No Sew Bench Cushion Cover!  
 
I like being able to quickly change my porch as the season changes and buying vinyl tablecloths and recovering my bench cushion is both easy and cheap!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

. . . Roy as Cousin Eddie . . .

In our house one of our absolutely favorite movies is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!  We always watch it Thanksgiving weekend and then several more times throughout the holiday season.  My husband says it's a great movie but you can't beat watching it with my dad because he howls with laughter every time he watches it.  When we were looking to add some Snow Villages pieces to our collection we about died when we saw that they now have the Christmas Vacation series as part of the Snow Village set.  I knew it was something we had to have at our house.  So when Roy showed up with our first piece in our collection we were all so excited but it couldn't top Roy dressed up as Cousin Eddie!  This is one of our favorite scenes in the movie so it was really funny to all of us so please don't be offended by Roy's sign. 

 Roy came dressed up as Cousin Eddie and Peppermint was even dressed up as Snots the dog.

 Cousin Eddie and his RV really will make our Snow Village Collection complete!

 I love that Roy has the beer can and cigar as well as the hat and robe that Eddie wears in the movie!

 Oh Roy, you crack us up!

 Snots the dog

"That there is an RV.  Don't go getting attached to it when we leave here next month."  
I could probably recite the whole movie...

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

. . . Vote for Roy . . .

Roy, our elf, is nominated in an Elf on the Shelf contest and he needs your votes!  Please vote for our Wrapping Elf at http://www.joelmckinnon.com/about/2014-elf-shelf-voting/

Our son is so excited that he is part of the contest and is really hoping he wins so we could use your help.  Thank you for your votes!  
http://www.joelmckinnon.com/about/2014-elf-shelf-voting/
REMEMBER ROY IS THE WRAPPING ELF
 you want to vote for!
 

Friday, December 19, 2014

. . . More Elf on the Shelf Fun with Roy . . .

I am SO behind.  With this being my busiest season for my Stationery business I just get really backed up on blog posts and I feel terrible about that.  Especially when we have so much fun with Roy at our house!  He has been up to no good as usual and here are a few photos of his antics lately.

 Uh Oh...Roy is lit up like a Christmas tree!  He even has a star on his head.  

 Such a rotten look on his face!

 He is flying high today!  

 We love that he even has the bomber jacket and flight goggles.  My husband works in aviation so this one really got a laugh out of all of us.

 Roy always does something nice for Marcus's birthday and this year was no different!  He brought Krispy Kreme and left lots of confetti around!
 Yum!  My dad saw this set up and said he was sure he needed an elf of his own.

 My mom made Roy pajamas and after a sleepover at our house he was cuddled up in them.  He even has a sleep mask on!  Obviously he doesn't want to be disturbed.  I want to stay in my pajamas all day too!

 Oh boy!  Tis the season to be spending lots of money.  I guess Santa and his Elves are no exception because Roy was balancing his checkbook.

 I love that Santa sends checks to Roy so he can go do some shopping.  He even banks at the Bank of North Pole. 
 Looks like Roy and Santa have been spending lots of money!

 Oh Roy!  How did this happen?  You must have snuck into Charley's crate and got trapped.  

 This is one of my favorites!  I just love those huge googly eyes.  We had been talking about the Sons of Anarchy finale and Roy must have been as upset about it as we were.
 Wow--Santa and his Elves watch Sons too!  I wouldn't have thought so but I guess it is true.

 How cute!  Roy loved watching us with our new puppy Charley and our dog Maggie so he went and found a puppy too!  Peppermint will be making regular appearances with Roy I guess.

 Roy was up to no good today!  He covered our trees with Candy Canes.  I guess he thought he was really funny.
 Not great photos but they were in the trees and our son thought this one was hilarious.  He didn't want them taken down but after a day they came down.
 He was busy getting all these candy canes in the bushes and trees.

 Uh Oh!  Roy brought coal today as a reminder to keep being good or Santa would be bringing lots more Christmas Morning.

 I hope this coal is a good reminder to Marcus to keep being good!

 The last week of school before Christmas Break started off with a real healthy breakfast!  Marcus read the note and looked at me and said "I don't really have to eat that do I?".  

 I guess it is true that sprinkles are great but not sure how yummy sprinkle toast would be.
 At least it was colorful but no one ate it at our house.

 Another funny day with Roy.  He covered the sink with shaving cream!  I guess he needs to keep his baby face smooth by shaving everyday.
 He even left Marcus a little message on the mirror!
 I love that Peppermint came along too!

 
Oh Boy!  Roy got into my gift wrapping stuff and made a big mess!  

 I guess he has to get Peppermint's gift wrapped and decided to help himself to my gift wrap.

Well, that is pretty funny that he thinks he is such a neat gift wrapper.  If this isn't a mess I'd hate to see what he thinks of as a mess!  Maybe if he takes over wrapping all the gifts that I need to wrap this weekend I will forgive him for creating such a disaster. 


What has your elf been up to?  I love hearing about the antics so let me know.

Happy Holidays!

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