Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween...uh, I mean, Reformation Day!

Woo hoo, it's Halloween weekend! You know what else is celebrated on October 31? Reformation Day! Yay Martin Luther! I'm so glad he stood up for what was right, even though it cost him everything!

Anyways, the young adult group at church had a Halloween party last Saturday, and the church did Trunk or Treat on Sunday. I was pretty excited about it all; I mean, small children running around in cute little costumes, plus a whole bunch of leftover candy to eat later? Count me in!

I decided to dress up as Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's because A) I already had a black dress and B) it's super easy to put together. But, of course, by the time I made homemade biscuits (and burned my cookie sheets!) and did laundry, I had, oh, about 8 hours to kill before the party. So I made this painting to hang on my wall and some candy corn cupcakes to take with me.

Want to know how I made the cupcakes? Of course you do! They're so incredibly cute!

Candy Corn Cupcakes
Adapted from Half Baked's Honey Cupcakes
1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In a small bowl mix together buttermilk, honey and vanilla; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until combined (it should look like wet sand).
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  6. Gradually add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating in equal amounts, and mix until combined.
  7. Pour half the cupcake batter into another bowl. Add red and yellow food coloring to one bowl and mix until the entire batter is a deep orange. Do the same with the other bowl to make yellow batter.
  8. Fill cupcake liners about 1/3 full of yellow mixture, followed by 1/3 of orange mixture on top.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  10. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

Delicious Frosting
Frosting recipes are a little hard for me, mainly because I use the "eyeball" method just like my grandmother. It drives my dad crazy. :)

Usually what I do for a nice white frosting is I use softened butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar (and milk if I have it). I use about a quarter of a package of cream cheese to ice about 12-18 cupcakes. The more butter you use, the less pure white your frosting will be, so I would start with a half stick of butter and a quarter package of cream cheese, plus about a teaspoon of vanilla. Mix powdered sugar in until you can get a peak to stand up when you remove the beaters. This *should* give you a delicious white frosting with a hint of cream cheese. You can always add more cream cheese if you want. That's the beauty of the eyeball method!

DIY Colored Sugar
I didn't have any decorator's sugar to add to the cupcakes, so I made my own! 1 drop of food coloring per rounded tablespoonful of sugar will get you a nice, cheap way to decorate cookies and cupcakes and stuff.

Add a few candy corns to the top, and voila! Candy corn cupcakes. Halloween never tasted so good!

Still wondering about the Audrey Hepburn costume? Well I made that, too. It was a wonderful little hodgepodge of different articles of clothing hanging in my closet plus a piece of unfinished white satin I found in the bargain bin at Hobby Lobby. Costumes don't have to be expensive to be cute!

Add the white satin to my grandmother's black sun hat, and there is Audrey's hat that she wore to Sing Sing!

Source: A Certain Cinema

I look just like Holly Golightly, right? Right.

I even won Best Homemade Costume at the party! Can't wait to try my new Spider Cider, the spoils of my victory!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Painting Project

Several months ago, I started writing my favorite lines from certain worship songs that have been stuck in my head for quite some time on my mirror. Eventually I added a few drawings and ended up with a creation that took up my entire mirror. Granted, it was a little one over the sink in my dorm room, but still.

I decided to paint my mirror creation onto a small canvas, so I could have color and stuff (and so the steam wouldn't destroy it). I tried to make a mottled background with my favorite colors: pink, blue, purple, and green. But, I am a novice painter, and haven't quite figured out how to blend colors together, so I ended up with this:

Definitely NOT what I saw in my head.

This sat in my painting box for many months, until I came across this blog entry. I thought it would be a perfect solution to my botched project!

So, I bought some white foam stickers and did this:

If you will recall from my first post, this is the name of one of my favorite songs by Sherri Youngward. It was the inspiration for my original mirror art, so it's what I chose for this project.

I got my art supplies ready:

I like acrylic paint. It's a lot easier to use than oil paint (and less messy!) and thicker than watercolor. Plus it dries fast, which keeps me from getting antsy. Perfect for a beginning painter!

I used long brushstrokes to paint a nice thick layer of the white paint over my canvas and foam stickers, making sure to get in all the little crevices and not let the paint build up along the sides of the stickers.

When I was finished with the first layer, it looked like this:

I then painted another layer and waited (somewhat impatiently, I'm afraid) for the canvas to dry. I even made candy corn cupcakes for my Halloween party this evening to keep myself from going crazy with anticipation. 

These are so pretty, they might just get their own post!

I just couldn't take it; I had to eat one! It was calling my name, begging me to bite into the deliciousness. How could I resist?

Anywho, my painting finally dried enough to where I could peel back the stickers, and this is what I got:

A tad bit messy, but I don't think anyone will really notice. And it looks so much nicer than the original project! I'm so excited! I can't wait to display this in my newly decorated apartment.