Monday, April 25, 2011

Lovely Lace Flower

My cousin Meredith is getting married in June, so of course we had to have a pre-wedding party (ok, really it was a shower). In my family, a wedding, is a big deal. The Sewell clan loves a reason to have a party, any reason. Really, we just love being together, and anyway we can be together ususally turns into a party. Two weekends ago, my Aunt Lorry, threw a couples shower for Meredith and Phil. After purchasing my gift, I went home and didn't think much about it, until the night before the party. It was 9p.m., and I needed to wrap that present. So I went searching for wrapping paper. In the closet I had Christmas, Birthday, Graduation papers. None of those will work. So I started prowling my house, trying to be clever.

In my house, I like to paint walls.(There is a point to the rabbit trail, I promise!) Alot! I've owned my house a little less than 2 years, and painted the basement 3 times (thankfully, I've settled on colors I like, I don't see repainting it in the near future any time soon). When it comes to painting my Father is a stickler for details and edges, and he instilled this in me, to an extent. One thing that I use while painting is the brown craft paper on rolls, that you use to make clean edges and protect the floor. I think you can see where this is going....I wrapped the gift with that brown paper.

But it wasn't enough, so I dug through my craft tub, and came up with a spool of wide ribbon in chocolate brown. After wrapping it around the package, it still looked kind of plain. So, while digging through the craft box some more, I came across some white lace scraps, and white felt.
After seeing this, an idea popped into my head. Since the white was too harsh against the brown, I brewed up a strong pot of tea, and let the pieces soak for about an hour.

After letting them soak, I pulled them out, wrung them out. The problem with felt is it holds alot of moisture. So I put each piece in between two pieces of paper towels, and rolled them up as tight as possible. This helps get moisture out.
I did this with the lace as well. I then popped them into the dryer for about 30 minutes. Now they are a lovely light tan, kind of antique-y looking.

After they were dried, I traced out some flowers and got to work. I traced out one extra big flower, folded the felt in 1/2 and cut out 2 flowers at once.
 I tried my best to cut inside the traced lines so that they didn't show on the finished product. On the second sheet, I traced out 6 flowers of the same size and cut them all out. This actually turned out to be one more flower than I needed, so really you need 5 flowers. I also cut out one flower, same shape, but significantly smaller.
I then traced two flowers onto the lace. This was a little difficult, but I found using pencil, with a piece of paper underneath allowed me to see the marks.
After getting all my pieces cut out I was ready to assemble the flower.

First I took my two large flowers, and placed it so the petals could all be seen. I then layered four scrap pieces of lace, and one mid-size flower.
I put a few stitches in the middle, and then began layering in the fun petals. First you take one mid-size petal and fold it in half...

Then you fold it in half again, so you end up with this.
Then you stitch it on, so that you end up with four all the way around.

After doing this, do the same with the lace flowers and layer them in.

Finally, add in the smallest flower and your pearls.
And your done. I chose to hot glue a pin clip to the back of mine. This will allow Meredith to re-use the flower as much as she wants. I actually loved it so much, that I made a second one for me. I wore it in my hair on Easter Sunday.

As always, thanks for stopping by.


For as long as I can remember, my mother's best friend, Debbie, has been making the WORLDS BEST SUGAR COOKIES! Sadly for me, I have to wait until the occasional Thanksgiving or Christmas to eat the WORLDS BEST SUGAR COOKIES! I even asked for them as a birthday gift once. When Debbie knows I'm coming, she always makes some extra just for me. I hoard these cookies like Scrooge McDuck (did you like that childhood reference), portioning them out, and nibbling them, until sadly they are all gone. 

Lately, I've been hounding my mother to get the recipe for me. It's really the icing that makes these cookies as fantastic as they are. Finally she came through for me.

I used the following recipe for the sugar cookies. (Notice, they aren't the WORLDS BEST just yet). 

2/3 cup of butter softened
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 cups of flour
1. In a large bowl, beat butter on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in egg, milk, and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill about 30 minutes or until dough is easy to handle.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time until 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-1/2-inch cookie cutter, cut dough into desired shapes. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack; cool. If desired, frost with Royal icing and decorate with decorative candies. Makes about 36 cookies.
For some reason, I couldn't get my cookies to be as thick as Debbie's but they tasted the same, which was a victory in my book.

As you can see, I followed all the directions via the recipe. 


And finally it was time to ice the cookies. The icing is what makes them the WORLDS BEST SUGAR COOKIES! I used the following recipe:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Food coloring

  1. Stir the powdered sugar and the milk until smooth
  2. Beat in corn syrup and vanilla until icing is smooth and glassy (if it is too thick, add more corn syrup)
  3. Color as wanted or needed, spread on cookies. 
I honestly think the corn syrup has something to do with making the icing so fantastic. But that's all there is to it folks. Now that you can make your own, I don't have to share with you anymore. 
As always, thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Yums (1)

So once again, it's Easter. While I love the story behind Easter and I love the gift (and I'm definitely in awe of) that we received from Jesus, Easter has never been a holiday that we traveled to see family. As a child I remember Easter being Church in the morning, and a nicer than usual dinner in the evening. I remember one childhood Easter, where we actually saw family and participating in an Easter Egg Hunt with my cousins.

One reason that I love my family, is that we tend to "adopt" friends as honorary family members on Easter and Thanksgiving. Especially as I've gotten older, we've added people here and there around the table. Some Easters we have cousins and friends, others it's just me and the parents. I love it anyway I can get it.

This year, around the table we are expecting my parents, me, and my cousin Hilary. In order to take some of the pressure of my mother, who will be cooking a delicious meal, I've offered to make rolls and some delicious goodness (more to come on the delicious goodness later). I remember one failed attempt to make bread when I was younger, and I've never really gone in that direction again. But this year, I thought, okay, I'll try it again.

I found this recipe over at Our Best Bites. I adore them! So like any normal person, I gathered my supplies, and got ready.

 First I mixed together the milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Melted it all down, and put it in an water bath to bring down the temperature.
Then I made the yeast mixture. I'm not going to lie, it took me a few times to actually get the yeast to bubble. I think I was making the water to hot, but I got it eventually.
I did however, forget to take a picture of it after the yeast bubbled. I then mixed everything else together and set it aside to rise. The rising process, punching the dough, and making the actual rolls didn't get documented. I was on my own, and the process was hugely messy. My bowl over flowed, and in order to rescue the dough I had to move fast so no pictures. :-) Eventually, I did get actual rolls made and put into pans.
After baking them, I pulled them from the oven, and brushed butter on the top. They turned out delicious looking and tasting.

I'm excited to serve them at Easter dinner tomorrow! I hope everyone has a blessed Easter! As usual, thanks for stopping by.