Adventure Time Birthday Party Cup Cakes

July 31, 2014 in Cooking, Deserts, Kids, Parties

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Look at that cute 11-year-old.  Smiling, party with friends, the summer sun shining down and her favorite show made in frosting on cupcakes.  Adventure Time cup cakes.  Right?!  Does life get better than that?  I admit, I’m crafty and creative but decorating cup cakes…that’s a different story.  Really, I’m not a bad cook, but this was way out of my comfort zone.  But how do you say no when your only daughter asks for her favorite TV show on her birthday treat?  You don’t.  You warn her it might not turn out perfect but you’ll give it your best shot.  Actually, they turned out great.  Sometimes, I don’t suck.  :)

What you need:

1 Box cake mix and ingredients to make it

Butter cream frosting, double the recipe (recipe below)

Classic color food coloring

Neon food coloring

Black food coloring*

Red food coloring*

Piping bags

Large round piping tip

Medium star piping tip 

Skinny round piping tip

Mini Marshmallows

Medium sized blue dragees (you know, those little can balls you can decorate food with)

*I know the red and black food coloring can be found in boxes of food coloring, but I find you get a much better hue if you buy a jar of coloring gel or a bottle specifically that color.  I bought mine from Jo Ann Cake Decorating & Foods Crafts at Joann.com as well as the dragees.  Amazon also has dragees if you have having a hard time finding them at a craft store.  

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The Method:

Allow me a moment to get on my soap box.  There is absolutely no reason to make a cake from scratch for a bunch of kids.  They are going to love the cake no matter what, and box mixes are actually really delicious.  And don’t buy the expensive version!  I’ve tried them all, and trust me, they are all the same.

Make the cupcakes according to the box instructions.  Let them cool.

Meanwhile make the butter cream frosting.  Start by creaming the soften butter,  powdered sugar, and milk in a mixer until light and fluffy (on hight for about 5 minutes).  Divide the frosting into 8 different bowls, equal amounts in each.

Now, let’s color the frosting, this part is actually pretty fun.  I don’t actually list when to use the red, but for the pink hues you can dip a toothpick into the jar and mix to get just the right color.  I recommend decorating each of the cupcakes without the black face first, then do all of the faces at once.  Have fun with it, I mean, its Adventure Time after all.

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Jake Colors:  

For his face and jowls mix 5 drops yellow and 1-2 red.  Play with it until you get the right shade of orange.  Be warned, this is the hardest color to get right so don’t be neurotic about it.  Once all of the cupcakes are put together it’s going to look great.

For his mouth, nose and eye background mix black.  Go crazy with that food coloring.  It is imperative that you have a high quality back food coloring, other wise you’ll end up with gray.  I bought my black from  Jo Ann Cake Decorating & Foods Crafts at Joann.com.

For his pupils just leave a bowl of frosting white.  

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Fin Colors:

For his face you are going for a peach color.  Again, mix a little color at a time to get it right.  I started with 3 drops of yellow and 1 drop of neon pink.

White for his hat and the ears on top (if you choose not to use mini marshmallows).

For his eyes and mouth use the same black used for Jake.

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Princess Bubblegum Colors:

For her face use 1-2 drops of neon pink food coloring.

For her hair use 5 drops of neon pink food coloring.

For her crown use 5 drops of yellow food coloring.

For her eyes and use the same black used for Jake.

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Lumpy Space Princess (LSP for short)Colors:

For her body use 5 drops of neon purple.

For her star use the same yellow you used on Princess Bubblegum’s crown.

For her eyes, eyebrows and frown, you guessed it, black. :)

Time to frost those puppies:

This is the fun part.  I admit, the idea of using so many different tips for piping frosting is intimidating for someone who isn’t’ used to using them (i.e. me).  Don’t be scared!  They are fairly inexpensive and fun to use!  You can spring for the reusable piping bags but I just bought a 100 pack of parchment paper ones for about $10.00 from Jo Ann Cake Decorating & Foods Crafts at Joann.com.  Just follow the instructions and tape the cone then cut the tip off about 1/2 inch from the bottom.  Remember, you are going to need 8 piping bags total (unless you are using reusable bags in which case you’ll have to clean you bag between frosting colors).

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To Create Lumpy Space Princess:

No need for a tip with this one, you’re just going to cut the bottom of about 1/2 and inch up.  Simply fill the bag with the purple frosting, twist tight at the top so frosting doesn’t escape and squeeze where you twisted the bag.  Start in the center of the cupcake and gently squeeze making 5 star arms continually applying pressure to the top of the bag and not lifting the tip until the star is complete.  

 

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You can use a tip in a piping bag one of two ways.  Your parchment piping bags should come with a small funnel that slips down into the bag.  If the opening you cut is too small just cut a little more.  Now slip the medium star tip into the funnel and use the screw circle to tighten on the outside of the bag.  

If you are uncomfortable or don’t have the pastry bag screw bottom, you just slide the tip into the bag.

Fill the bag with yellow and make a single star at the top of her head by squeezing lightly and lifting directly up.  

Last, use the small round tip and fill the bag with black frosting and pipe on her face.  I think it’s best to wait until all of the base work for each cupcake is done and then I did the black faces on all of them last.

To Create Jake:

Using a different bag insert your large round tip and fill with your orange frosting and smoothly cover the entire cupcake in a circle starting at the outside and ending in the center.  

Using a different bag insert the small round tip and fill with frosting.  To create the gowle use a lot of pressure and move the tip slowly in the middle of the face in a frown shape.  

Then create the nose, eyes, and mouth using the small round tip with black.

To Create Fin:

Start with the white frosting in a pastry bag with the large round tip.  Cover the top of the cupcake smoothly with white in the same way you covered the cupcake for Jake.  

Now clean the round tip and fit it into a new bag.  Fill the bag with peach.  In the center of the white make a smooth oval.  

You can pipe the ears of his hat on the top but we found mini marshmallows to be more fun.  Just stick two mini marshmallows on the top of his hat for the ears.  

For the face use the small round tip and black frosting and simply make two small dots for his eyes and, of course, a smile.

To Create Princess Gumball:

Fit the large round tip into a bag and fill with the light purple color.  Smoothly cover the top of the cupcake.  

Now fit small star tip in a bag and fill with yellow (you could also use a medium round tip to make her hair smoother).  Pipe the frosting down both sides of the cupcake meeting at the bottom.  Then create a line for her bangs about 1/3 from the top of the cupcake and fill in to the top.  

Last, fit the small star tip into a new bag and fill with yellow frosting.  I started on one side of the hair and swooped to the top center.  Complete by doing the same to the other side.  Finish the crown with a single blue dragee at the top.

For the Faces:

Here’s what they will look like faceless (don’t worry, it’s not scary).

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Fit a pastry bag with the small round tip and fill with black frosting.  Using the pictures as guides make each of the faces using black.  While I was doing this I found that all of my small dots had sharp tips from where I lifted the bag.  This is an easy fix!  I just got a cup of warm water and dipped my finger in and patted down the spikes.  

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Adventure Time Achieved!  Happy Birthday, Olivia!

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<3, Sharla

 

Adventure Time Cup Cakes
Yields 24
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
2 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 Box cake mix to include ingredients called for on box
Frosting
  1. 2 Cups powdered sugar
  2. 1/2 Cup butter (softened)
  3. 2-3 Tablespoons of milk
  4. 1 box classic food coloring
  5. 1 box neon food coloring
  6. 1 bottle red food coloring
  7. 1 bottle black food coloring
  8. handfull mini marshmallows
  9. handful blue dragees
  10. piping bags
  11. #808 large circle piping tip
  12. #18 small star piping tip
  13. small circle piping tip
Instructions
  1. Make cupcake cake mix according to instructions on box. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
  2. In a mixer mix the softened butter, powdered sugar and milk until light and fluffy (on hight about 5 minutes).
  3. *Remember to double the recipe
  4. Follow decorating instructions on blog page.
This Is Do-Able http://www.thisisdoable.com/
As a side note, I had to include the party favors we made for the party.  I took an extra long pixie stick and wrapped a licorice rope around the length of it and secured with tape.  I found and image of Lady Rainicorn online (shown below), printed it and cut out the head and back legs and glued to each end of the licorice wrapped pixie stick.  They were a hit, and inexpensive!  Oh Lady Rainicorn, you’re so sweet! 

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Using Your Own Art to Decorate Your Home

February 6, 2014 in Christmas Creations, Creating, Easter Creations, Halloween Creations, Thanksgiving Creations, Valentine Creations

Using Your Own Art to Decorate Your Home

Let’s talk wall art.  It kills me every time I go to Target and look at the generic wall art they sell, for a lot of money!  Why not make your own?  No really, I’m being serious.  You don’t have to be a great artist to make something that is interesting and quality.  Plus, when it’s yours it has so much meaning!  It adds character and warmth to your home.  Think about what you remember about your childhood house.  It’s easy to remember those wall decorations that were staples, whether it was a picture or a quote or a decoration.  It is linked to your emotions, and that is what you add to your home when you use your own talents to decorate.

I took a photography class in college and had to develop and print my own black and whites (you know, when people still used film).  My pictures aren’t the best ever, but I took them, I’m proud of them and they are pretty.  I mounted them myself with some spray adhesive on mat board and then framed them with inexpensive frames I used a coupon on at Joann.com .  They have been hanging in my house since I got married (just for the record, my husband never took a single photography class and he is still a better photographer than I, it’s his artistic eye….I curse and delight in it).  They are every bit as good as anything you’ll find in the store but I was there when the moment was created.  And it’s fun to brag to my kids that I took the pictures.

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How about this creepy little picture.  My husband, Matt, has always been creative and artistic (as I mentioned before), and this is a painting assignment he completed in high school.  Creepy Raggedy Ann and Andy….perfect for Halloween.  I just bought a frame on sale and had the framing department at my local craft store frame it for me.  Because of it’s abnormal dimensions I couldn’t just stick it in a ready-to-hang frame.  This is a piece of art that cost a total for $40 to put together, but to me, it’s priceless.  Now that Halloween is over we hung in my basement.  It reminds me that my husband brings talent and fun to our family’s life.

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Speaking of priceless, doesn’t it break your heart to throw away all of the creations your kids come home from school with?  I’m sorry, but there just isn’t enough room in the universe to keep everything they draw, paint, or glue.  However, my good friend Cassie found a great solution.  She took a few of her kid’s choice pieces of art and framed them and created an art gallery in her hallway.  She can rotate the pictures out as she feels, and the kids feel like rock stars seeing their art up on the walls.  

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I just started a new tradition this Halloween, but it could also apply to Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, even the first day of school.  I created a collection of pictures of varying sizes of the holiday that we are celebrating from past holidays.  This is an example of past Halloween pictures.  I just picked one or two from each year, had them printed and used dollar store frames for them.  Each year I add one or two more.  It’s a fun and unique way to display pictures of your family.  My family and I love to look back on past costumes and it adds a warm touch to a creepy holiday.

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Check out this painting.  This is a treasured piece of art in our home.  The year my second son was born my husband wanted to do something special for Mother’s Day.  He contacted his friend Dave Adams and sent Dave a snap shot of our kids.  Dave used a photo shop program and scanned the picture in then did a color reversal program, printed it, and projected it on the the canvas.  He traced each color and then painted (just like painting by number).  The result was moving.  The crazy thing is, the picture he used wasn’t even that great, but the finished product is breath taking.  This is a project anyone can do, but Dave is happy to help you out.  If you want him to do a portrait for you, email him at mrdavidadams@gmail.com.

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Now, if you have an artist in your house, by all means, USE THEIR ART!  Matt does amazing spray paint work… for a lot of other people.  You’d think our house would be covered in it, but the picture you see below is the only one we have of his work.  He painted it for me for our 13th anniversary and it hangs in our home’s entry way.  It is a great conversation piece, one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever been given, because it came from his heart.  I love it!  

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So, be brave, take a chance, put yourself to the test.  I promise, you will end up with something meaningful and you’ll have a blast doing it!

<3, Sharla

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Daily Doable 11/15/13

November 15, 2013 in Daily Doable

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Blog Post: Using the Natural World to Decorate for Any Holiday!

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable!

 

Using Nature to Decorate for Any Holiday

November 15, 2013 in Christmas Creations, Creating, Easter Creations, Halloween Creations, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Creations, Valentine Creations

Using Nature to Decorate for Any Holiday!

I love to decorate for the holidays.  I love the spooky, fun look of Halloween, the warm, inviting earth tones of Thanksgiving, and the joyful bright themes that surround Christmas.  But adding decorations to these holidays in your home doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t need an interior designer to make them look good.  Here are a few of my favorite, simple ideas for adding a lot without spending a lot.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to put out some beautiful earth inspired decor.  That doesn’t mean you go to Pottery Barn and drop $45 on a throw pillow.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that place but shopping there is a rare treat.  Instead, look around you at what makes this time of year beautiful.  A huge part of Fall are the leaves!

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Olivia and Sawyer had fun filling an over sized Mason jar I bought from Joann.com with the leaves in our yard.  Check out how beautiful the result is:

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What’s more beautiful than the natural world.  Artists have been trying to capture it since the dawn of time, so use it!  It’s simple, beautiful and free!  Take for instance this simple stacking of mini pumpkins.  A friend of mine, Cathy Croxton of Card Sharks, happened to grow these herself.  I however, kill everything I touch, so I would buy mine.  But they are inexpensive and stacked on a neutral platter really makes a pop in your home.

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She also has a simple platter of Buckeye nuts in the middle of her table.  Again, natural and free, and LOVELY!

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Let’s go back to the same jar I used for the leaves.  Yeah, that jar cost $20 at Target and look at the possibilities…their as endless as your imagination!  All I did was fill the jar with a large bag of fresh cranberries, then cut some branches from my own pine trees in my yard.  Add a ribbon and-PRESTO!  Fresh, inexpensive Christmas center piece.  

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Do you have flowers or rose bushes in you yard?  I’m lucky enough to have moved into a house with a boat load of rose bushes.  Cut the wilting or dying flowers from the bushes and pull the petals off.  The ones in the center are still beautiful and a lot goes a long way.  I mean, Right?!  Click 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 for more ideas on what to do with your dead or dying roses, that are cool and beautiful!

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I think you get the picture.  In the Summer it could be wild flowers.  Spring, use the large jar as a vase and fill it with twigs from a tree with buds on it.  Get creative and look around you, it’s a beautiful world!

<3, Sharla

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