Friday, December 7, 2012

Tweet, tweet! Here's a treat......or two.

We have been working really hard to bring you two, new quilt kits using the Life Is Tweet collection from Wilmington Prints.  This collection is so cute.   Tweet, Tweet Baby Quilt is an Up and Away exclusive kit.  The piecing is simple and a little fussy cutting really adds to the character of this quilt.
Tweet, Tweet Baby Quilt

 I have to mention the back on this quilt, because I just fell in love with the way it turned out.  Any of the prints in the collection would be cute, but we used Moda Snuggles.  Let me just tell you that besides the fact that they are so, so soft, the quilting shows up beautifully.
Moda Snuggles

We also have a larger Life Is Tweet Kit for the big sister, or little princess making the transition into a "big girl" bed.  This quilt is really easy to put together.  Love how it showcases the  panel from the collection.  Whimsical birds and trees, cute bugs, swirls, bubbly dots, & crowns really appeals to every little princess for nurseries, bedrooms, & dresses.
Life Is Tweet Quilt


Monday, October 22, 2012

What a Shining Star!

Last week, Comedy Central hosted A Night of Too Many Stars which is fundraiser for educational programs for autism.  It was a pretty funny show - lots of comedians and talent.  There was one performance that stole the show and rocked the house.  Katy Perry performed an amazing duet with a beautiful little girl named Jodi who happens to have autism.  I think this is one of the best things I have ever seen.  Like many other parents out there, I can relate wholeheartedly to Jodi & her family.  I can remember receiving a diagnosis and being told what my child couldn't or would never do.  I thank God everyday that we are our daughter's parents.  I realize now that we were chosen, because we would fight for our girl now matter what and ignore all the misconceptions that go along with Autism.  Our girl has come a long way.  She has worked so hard and while she may have autism, it doesn't have her.  I don't have time for anyone who uses the word "can't" or "never".  These are some amazing and extraordinary people who have so much to offer this world.  The best advice I can give any parent of a child with Autism is never settle, never stop fighting, and always believe in your child.  If given the chance, they have no limitations. No matter what the "experts" say.  There are amazing kids and people out there proving that everyday. God bless them all.  Thank you DiPiazza family.  You and Jodi are an inspiration!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Life Is Tweet............Key Lime Style

Hello! So we have a couple of very cute, children's collections.  The first is Life Is Tweet.  It is so-o-o cute! With whimsical birds and trees, cute bugs, swirls, bubbly dots, & crowns – it appeals to every little princess for nurseries, bedrooms, & dresses. Designed by Stephanie Marrott for Wilmington Prints.  It has a very sweet  panel and border stripe.  You can find the project sheet from Wilmington here or you can create your own masterpiece.

Life Is Tweet

Next, is Bungle Jungle.  I love this one.   You can get crafty with a whole herd of cute critters and they won't bite.  This collection has lots of fun prints.  I especially like the dashed stationary print.  I even remember learning to write my letters on that paper, so did my children.  Tim and Beck are new designers for Moda and this is their premier collection.  Who doesn't love parachuting monkeys or elephants on parade?

Bungle Jungle

And finally........the Key Lime Cupcake with Key Lime Curd!  What a refreshing way to wrap up summer.  I have to admit, I'm not a fan of lime, but these were pretty darn good!  I know I say that A LOT, but this Cupcake Sunday experience has forced me to open my palette to more than just chocolate  ( I feel like a traitor for even saying it).  This cupcake is from Cupcake Wars Spiderman Episode and is courtesy of Rebecca Grammer-Ybarra of Suite 106 Cupcakery.  I think they have won Cupcake Wars twice.  We were not able to get into the fancy decorations like they did.  I know Daughter #2 would like to.  She has asked if we can start working with fondant - yikes!  It was late before we got started.   Almost every grocery store within 10 miles was out of key limes.  I see them there all the time. Of course,  when we need them, they are out :(  I finally found them at Sunflower Market.  I felt bad because this recipe was kind of time consuming (or maybe it was just us) and she didn't get into bed until after 10:00 on a school night.  Daughter #2 likes to do most of the work herself and zesting a dozen limes takes time.  You need the lime zest for the batter, curd filling and the frosting and they are so tiny compared to a regular lime.   It was wearing me out watching.  They were delightful though.  The key lime cream cheese frosting was yummy and so was the key lime curd filling.  Although we did not use the 2 cups of pop rocks candy in the curd.  The only place around here that has pop rocks is Party City.  They are $1 for a tiny envelope and I wasn't willing to spend $50 on pop rocks to make the 2 cups!   I really don't think we missed them anyway.  If you like key lime, you will really enjoy these cupcakes!

Key Lime Cupcake with Key Lime Curd

Bon Appetit!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

National Anthem

Check out this very cool and unique version of our National Anthem!

These guys are great!  The lead singer served in our U.S. Navy for four years.  He sings with such conviction (not to mention he's kind of cutie).  The video gave me chills!  God Bless America!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Blueberry Blossoms

I have always wanted to make something special for my sister.  I am very lucky, because not only is she my sister, she is my best friend.  While we are living thousands of miles apart, we have managed to stay close.  I miss her dearly, but I usually talk to her everyday (at least twice and sometimes more often than that).  She is how I start and end my day.  And even  those few times that we get busy with our everyday lives and families and miss a day, I know that we are always in each other's thoughts and hearts.  I opened my shop six years ago and have always wanted to make something for her, but just couldn't find the perfect fabrics or pattern - who knows the excuse at the time.  I knew eventually that I would find something that was "her".  She (and I) love turquoise and blue.  I knew when Me and My Sister's Twirl collection arrived that they would be perfect.  Besides, she replied to one of our emails that she thought this print would make wonderful pajama bottoms.  Hint, hint.

 Well, she didn't get the pajama bottoms (at least not yet), but I did make her five, one of a kind pillowcases and this beautiful quilt:

Simply beautiful just like my sister.  How fitting to use fabric from Me & My Sister Designs.  I was so happy with it that we decided to share the love and kit it up.   I wish you could see the stitching.  It is quilted with a butterfly wing pattern, which really compliments all of flowers.  Such a good feeling to know that when she is snuggled under this happy quilt, she will always be thinking of me.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Cherry On Top Quilt Kit

Cherry On Top Quilt Kit

Our exclusive, new kit features fabric from various collections by Me and My Sister Designs.  I have always loved the panel from the Oh Cherry Oh! collection, but wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with it. One day, I was looking through a book by Acorn Quilt & Gift Co. and came across this terrific pattern. I knew immediately that it would be perfect for the panel.

There is just something about the fabric, too.  Barbara and Mary always design the brightest, cheeriest fabrics.  Their designs just make you "feel good" looking at them.  I think this is one of my favorites.  This sweet quilt will brighten up any room and make any girl (young or old) very happy.  

Happy Quilting!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Peaches n' Cream Cupcakes

Cupcake Sunday was, as usual, yummy.  This time Daughter #2 picked Peaches n' Cream Cupcakes from Cupcake Wars' Kentucky Derby episode.  Let me just say....WOW!  The peach flavored cake is nice and light and the peach filling adds a little tang.  Loved these!  They definitely made the top of everyone's list at our house.   Like ourselves, Annette, the winner of this episode, does not cook with alcohol.  We had a really hard time finding peach extract.  No one carrys it in ABQ, not even the cupcake supply store.  We could have used peach flavored alcohol, but we didn't really want to make them that way.   It is hard to buy some of these ingredients online and get a good quality product.  Some of the extracts can taste so artificial.   So, we decided to email Annette to see if she could recommend a good one.  She could not have been nicer.  She replied to our email very quickly with a link to a good supplier.  You can find the peach flavoring here.   Annette has a really fun blog that offers some of her wonderful recipes and baking tips.  The next time we visit California, we will have to stop by Goodie Girls.  I know Daughter #2 would love that (Annette is one of her favorite Cupcake Wars Champions).   I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of peach (I usually go for the chocolate), but these were delicious.  I/we would make these again in a heartbeat.  I think I will ask Daughter #2 to make these for my birthday!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

More Flowers On the Strip!

Remember this?

Flowers On the Strip Quilt Kit
We decided to kit this one up in the black, too.  I love the way the black and white contrast each other.  Same pattern as the original in the white colorway, but we did change the accent prints.  I think it turned out great.  The colors really pop against the black.  So fun, so bright and so easy!

Flowers On the Strip - Black & Bright Kit

Now on to something YUMMY!  So Daughter #2 & I have are still taking advantage of Cupcake Sunday.  I am still the assistant and she is the Head Baker.  She likes to help my husband with dinner and gets so irritated at him when he refers to her as his "Sous Chef".  She does not like that at all.    Anyway, I'm a little behind on cupcake updates so I have quite a few to tell you about. 

First, the Chocolate Truffle Cupcake.

 This yummy cupcake doesn't skimp on the chocolate.  It is chocolate cake, chocolate truffle ganache filling and whipped, chocolate buttercream.  It was pretty good to say the least.   Now the ganache filling does require chocolate liqueur, but since she is 9, we always use a non-alcoholic substitute.  I know that the alcohol will cook out, but I feel that there is time for cooking with those ingredients later on - when she is all grown up.   Her suggestion was to use a tablespoon of coffee instead - worked great.   I have said before that I love decorating cakes.  I am getting the feeling that I will soon be demoted from that job, as well.  I was told I had to use the cupcakes that she decorated in the picture for the blog.  Then she said, "well you can put one of your cupcakes in the picture as long as there are two of mine".  OK.  Can you guess which two she decorated?  She is definitely getting better.

Next, Raspberry Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream Frosting

These were wonderful!  And yes, she did the decorating.  The cake was so yummy.   Of course, we tried using sparkling juice in place of the champagne for the frosting, but it was just gross.  It did not blend well and it tasted terrible.  So, we decided to use some of the left over raspberry puree and make raspberry buttercream.  Daughter #2 felt very strongly that "raspberries & lemons are two flavors that really compliment each other Mom" - so she took it upon herself to zest some fresh lemon and add it to the frosting.  There you have it, Raspberry Cupcakes with Lemon Zested, Raspberry Buttercream.  Delicious!

Last,  White Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
We took these to a family gathering at the park.  It was so hot that day that the frosting was starting to melt.   These are soooooo good and so rich.   We did not use the cherry liqueur or the vodka that the recipe called for.  We simply used some of the maraschino cherry juice.  The frosting recipe calls for 4 Tablespoons, but that is way too much.  I think it is supposed to be teaspoons not tablespoons.  More than that and it will be way too runny and good luck keeping the frosting on top of the cupcake.  We just added a teaspoon at a time until  we got the flavor we wanted.  Too much maraschino cherry juice and lemon extract will make the frosting super sweet.  Also, the recipe calls for "mini" white chocolate chips.  We had a hard time finding them and could only find the regular sized chips.  These are fine, but I would recommend chopping them into fine pieces.  Otherwise, they will sink to the bottom of the cupcake and the cakes won't be as good.  These ended up being a huge hit.  Everyone really loved them.

Here is my sweet baker!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Something Spooky-Cute!

We just got Viv Eisner's new collection for Wilmington Prints, Nightmare Manor, in the shop.  It is so cute!  I love how she used traditional and non-traditional Halloween colors.  The addition of teal is a nice, creative change.  The fun style depicted in the bats, cats, and silly ghouls brings this collection together frightfully.

The panel would make a spooky-cute, Halloween wall-hanging, and the coordinating prints would be great made up into a trick-or-treat bag.  Nightmare Manor is sure to bring around the trick-or-treating mood when October finally rolls around the corner!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cutie Patootie!

I have been working on a new kit.  Well, I finally finished it up and I think it turned out great!  I love the little girls on this quilt.  There are 14 of them and they are cute.  Lil' Miss Cutie Patootie can be seen playing nurse, bathing and getting into all kinds of trouble with her kitties and puppies.  Having three girls myself, I can relate.  I'll never forget the times mine have come pushing their toy stroller down the hall with the family dog inside.  Here is our most recent incident:

I couldn't help but laugh.  She just looked at me like "Really?  Do I really have to put up with this?"  Of course, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  I am the one who grooms our pups, but my husband always tries to do it when I'm not around (and always after I have swept and mopped the floor).  I came home one day and found him shaving poor Willow in the middle of my clean, living room.  Then I heard that mischievous giggle.    This is what he did to my sweet girl:

 See that Mohawk?  Nice.  Not to worry, I eventually cleaned that hair up.  She actually developed a little attitude to go with the hair.  We left her that way for about  a week.   Anyway, back to the quilt.
I'm sure we can all relate to her somehow.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Flowers On the Strip

I'm loving our new kit, Flowers On the Strip.  It is so easy and can easily be completely in an afternoon.  I think the simplicity is one of the things I love most (along with the colors)!  This is the perfect size for a toddler bed, but I think it would be a wonderful summer, table topper. This little quilt would be so fun draped across a table at a birthday party or tea party too.

Here is a closer look.

While we were visiting our local Aquarium, my husband made a new friend.  I was so surprised at how long this little guy perched on his finger.  He is absolutely beautiful.  Isn't summertime great?


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Flowers In the Garden

I just love they way this little quilt turned out.  Our Flowers In the Garden Quilt Kit features fabric from Me and My Sister Designs.  It is so simple and quick.  It is definitely an afternoon project and would be a perfect gift for baby.  You can't go wrong with these bright, cheery flowers and butterflies!  Our kit includes the pattern and fabric needed to complete the quilt top, backing and binding.   We have included a sweet pink and orange floral toss for the back.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hello Luscious!


This pretty, floral collection from Basicgrey just arrived at the shop.  

 We have yardage & precuts.  We have also kitted up the gorgeous quilt featured in Moda's booth last fall. 

Speaking of luscious!  I'm a little behind on my Cupcake Sunday updates.   I have a couple of different recipes to share.  The first is the Blue Velvet, Blackberry Curd, and Blackberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes.  Let me just say that these were terrific!  The blackberry curd filling is sooooo yummy - makes a lot though.  The frosting is excellent.  The lemon zest really makes it.  She (my 9 year old) zested the lemon all by herself, strained the blackberries, used an apple corer to cut out the centers of the cupcakes and filled them herself.  She wants to watch me do it "one" time and I mean one and then do the rest all by herself.  She even frosted these, too.  I only got to frost the first cupcake.  Did I mention that I love to decorate cakes?  I did have to help with the blackberry curd.  I was ready to stop stirring it after about 1 minute, so I can't imagine her doing it for 7 minutes.  This one was a little more work than some of the others, but definitely worth it.

The next cupcake is the Chocolate Chip Cannoli Cupcake.  I really liked this one. It wasn't too sweet, just really, really good.   The sour cream in the cake really complimented the chocolate chip cannoi filling and the fresh whipped cream.  I would definitely help her make these again.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cupcake Sunday

I have three wonderful children.  They are all very different and each has their own special gifts.  My 9 year old has this love of baking, watches Giada, Guy Fieri, Rachel Ray - you get the gist.  Of all of the cooking shows on The Food Network,  Cupcake Wars is her absolute favorite.  She (and her best friend) recently had this great idea to open their own cupcake boutique.  Asked good, old Daddy to build it, and, of course,he agreed.  They had worked out what kind of cupcakes they would sell, how much they would charge, etc.  Only to be devastated to find out we were just playing along with the "pretend" bakery.  They weren't pretending.  Oops!  You can imagine how that went over.  Our solution was to get at booth at the Farmer's Market this summer and let them sell their cupcakes there.  I told her she needed to use the time between now and then to practice and perfect her recipes.  This is how Cupcake Sunday began.

The Food Network posts all of the winning recipes on their website.  So she (my daughter) looks through all of the recipes, reads all of the reviews and then decides which cupcakes we are going to make.  I always try to sway her in another direction if the recipe she picks has a lot of negative reviews, but it is in vain.  She has made up her mind and "it will be fine Mommy".  Last week, she decided to make Southern Red Velvet Cupcakes.
 After reading the reviews, she decided to cut back on the oil and add extra cocoa to the recipe.  These cupcakes were wonderful.   When I say she made them, I mean that I am the assistant and just follow her lead.  (Not the best picture I've ever taken, but I was texting it to my sister).   I wish I had taken a picture of the first cupcakes she made, Lemon Blueberry with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.  They were yummy and so pretty!

Last night, she decided to make Chocolate Marshmallow Cupcakes.  They were to die for!  She made a few changes to the recipe.  She used hot coffee instead of hot water, cut the amount of salt in the marshmallow cream frosting, and added her own fresh raspberry garnish.  Amazing child!
I can't wait to see what she will pick next week.  I really look forward to Cupcake Sunday.  Unfortunately, I don't think my rear end does!