August 26, 2010

Fabric and Ribbon Flowers

The other day, I was searching for an interesting alternative to real or silk flowers for our wedding, which is next September. Some ladies on suggested looking at Martha Stewarts wedding site, So, I checked it out and found these adorable fabric and ribbon flowers. My plan is to use these in all of the places that flowers would normally be used. (Our centerpieces don't include any flowers, so that takes a lot of flowers out!) They are so easy to make!

To make the flower from fabric, tear (yes, tear. Don't cut.) a 1" by 8" piece of fabric. Using a piece of matching thread, make a few stitches down the long side of the fabric. When you get to the end, push all of the fabric together and form a tight circle. You may need to back-stitch to get it nice and tight. Then, sew the two ends together to make a fluid circle. For the centers, I used a cute little button and some artificial stamens that I found at Hobby Lobby. Simply put the stamens through the button holes, poke through the center of the flower, twist, and wrap in floral ribbon. If you like, look a piece of floral wire through the folded stamens' ends.

The total cost for about 150 of these flowers will only be around $15.00. Luckily, I did hit a sale and only spent $1.00 on the "dirty" fabric (that wasn't really dirty), and $3.50 for two different kinds of rick rack ribbon. The tube of buttons I found was $2.50 and the stamens were $1.29. I also had to buy some floral tape, which was $1.29 for two rolls. Some floral wire stems still need to be attached, but I forgot them while I was there last.

While these may take me the next year to make, it will totally be worth it to have a unique and ever-lasting bouquet for not only me, but also my bridesmaids. And not to mention, they're simply adorable!

August 22, 2010

Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes

Baking has always been a passion of mine, and picking wild blackberries along the dam of my grandparents' lake is a very fond childhood memory. I had been contemplating on how to make a blackberry lemon cupcake for quite some time. The moist-ness of lemon cake just seemed like it would perfectly complement the slight bitter tangy-ness of blackberries. After some thinking and trying to taste things in my mind, so to speak, I decided on this recipe. They turned out simply amazing (even though the icing was very thin). We decided to put the icing inside the cupcakes rather than on top. The only thing that may have made this better is by having some sort of real whipped cream on top. Not an icing, but just straight up Starbucks style cream.

And now the recipe :

Cake  Mix one box of Duncan Hines lemon cake mix with 4 eggs, 1 cup of buttermilk, and the amount of oil called for on the box. (This is my go-to recipe for any cake when I don't have time to make it from scratch.)

Icing  I started with one jar of Duncan Hines cream cheese icing. I then beat in two pints of blackberries. This seemed a little thin for me, so I added about 1/4 block of cream cheese and some powdered sugar.

Stuffing  After the cupcakes had completely cooled, I carefully cut a whole in the center of the cupcakes and spooned in as much icing as would fit.

While these were delicious as-is, like I said, it would have been even better with some real whipped cream on top. This would also hide the mess on top. Enjoy!