Nov 27, 2012

Cutting Edge Stencil...Test Run & Giveaway!

Giveaway found below!
I really love painting, but I am notorious for screwing up stencil work. I just work way too fast...aka not very patient! So, when Cutting Edge Stencil contacted me about reviewing one of their stencils I was a little nervous. Obviously, I decided to take on the challenge, but chose to play it safe for the first project. I wanted to start small so I could test out my stencil without ruining a section of a wall in my house (knowing my luck it would have been a mess). My master bedroom had a large empty wall which I had been meaning to fill with something and a large canvas which I had been meaning to paint, perfect!!

For my review, I chose the Marrakech Trellis Allover Stencil. This particular stencil comes in a short version and a long version. I chose to use the long version since I was tackling a larger surface and eventually would like to do an accent wall. The long version stencil is 24"x40" and the design itself is 21"x36". 


Stenciling was much easier than I expected and I am so pleased with how it turned out! My best advice to anyone attempting a stenciling project like this is to take your time and don't load up the roller with paint. If you glob on the paint it will run under the stencil edge and you will be left with a mess! I would also suggest investing in one of their dense foam rollers for your project.

Here is a great how to video from Cutting Edge Stencils that will help you get started! You can find more videos from Cutting Edge Stencil here.


If you are still unsure if this is your kind of project visit the Cutting Edge Stencils Blog or Facebook for some project inspiration!

Win A $50 Cutting Edge Stencil Giftcard!
Enter below for your chance to win! There are three mandatory entries and three extra optional entries.
Open to US citizens only. The winner will be announced December 12th. Good Luck!


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Nov 25, 2012

Easy Cupcake Christmas Ornaments


Last year, I shared a DIY Cupcake Christmas Ornaments post that has had a phenomenal turn out, and the traffic just keeps pouring in! If you're a long time follower of The Kurtz Corner, then you'll remember I was in the middle of buying our first house this time last year, and did not get to decorate for Christmas. Before I knew when we were moving last year, I was working on a sweets themed Christmas tree. Well, I finally got my wish this year! We all know how expensive ornaments are, and we definitely can't buy everything we want all in one year, so we collect a few each year. This year, I found these adorable faux cupcakes in the plastic food section at Hobby Lobby. Not sure what you would call that section in the store?? You'll find the plastic fruit, baguettes, and grapes in this section. You'll also find three varieties of these oh-so-cute cupcakes! Now, they aren't ornaments, they're meant to be placed on plates or serving pieces as decoration, but I saw them and thought 'why not ornaments!?' They're way more realistic than the glass or plastic ones in the Christmas section, which I love, and easy to turn into an ornament.

For this easy DIY project you will need:
  • Cupcakes - which come in a box of 2 for $10, but with a trusty Hobby Lobby 40% or 50% off coupon you can snag them for around $6
  • Screw eyes - 1/2 x 1/2" seen below
  • Jute or wire ornament hangers


Screw eyes which you can find at Lowes or Home Depot
These cupcake are made from foam, so all you need to do is press in the screw eye and twist until it is fully screwed in. Use some jute string or normal wire for a hanger. It's really that easy! I like these a lot because they aren't fragile. When you have two pups and a sometimes-clumsy-husband, non-breakable is a good thing! They also look super realistic and are so much cuter than the plastic ones you find.




Nov 22, 2012

Very Merry Berry Cake


How delicious does this look? Seriously, I cannot wait to devour this little beauty. For Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to make something different. Of course, I still made a traditional pumpkin pie, buttermilk pie, and pecan pie, but I just wanted to make something different! I was inspired by a holiday recipe I found in my Southern Living magazine, to whom I give all the credit (sources below). The recipe is simple, definitely beginner level. So, this holiday season, try something different! Dress up your plain white cakes with a festive filling to wow your family and friends, you'll be glad you did! 


Directions

Cake
Prep time: 40 mins | Servings 10 to 12
-------------------------------------------------
1 cup milk                     3 cups cake flour (do not substitute with regular flour)
2 cups sugar                 1 cup butter, softened 
1.5 tsp vanilla extract    1 Tbsp baking powder
5 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 3 (8-inch) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, and grease and flour paper. Whisk together milk and vanilla. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift together cake flour and baking powder; add to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form; gently fold into batter with a rubber spatula. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake at 350° for 20 to 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for about 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from pans and place on wire racks to cool. Discard parchment paper. Cool completely (about 45 minutes) before icing.

Filling
Prep Time: 15 mins | Total Time: 6 hours
-------------------------------------------------
1 cup fresh cranberries          1 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar                        3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp cornstarch                 1 Tbsp cold water
2 Tbsp butter, softened         1 cup chopped fresh strawberries

Combine cranberries, raspberries, sugar and 3 Tbsp water and cook  in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes or until cranberries begin to pop. After cranberries begin to pop, gently mash the cranberries with your spoon. Whisk together cornstarch and 1 Tbsp cold water until smooth. While stirring, slowly add to cranberry mixture and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in strawberries and butter until butter is melted. Cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Cover and chill for about 6 hours.

Frosting
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Makes 4.5 cups
-------------------------------------------------
1 cup butter, softened          1/4 tsp salt
6 to 7 Tbsp milk                  1 (32 oz) package powdered sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Beat butter and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer for 1 to 2 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 6 Tbsp milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition. Stir in vanilla. If desired, beat in remaining 1 Tbsp milk, 1 tsp at a time, until frosting reaches desired consistency.










Source:
Mrs. Billett's White Cake
Merry Berry Filling
Buttercream Frosting

Nov 21, 2012

Free Christmas Subway Art Printable!

I have definitely fallen behind on my Christmas crafting. Anyone else feel like they're on the road 24/7 during this time of the year? I've actually resorted to crafting in the car on these long holiday roadtrips! I'm not surprised though, most women, especially us bloggy gals, are the queens of multitasking! So, today on our three hour drive to my hometown, I took the opportunity to do, what I thought would be, an easy "car craft" - A Christmas Subway Art Printable! Well, it turned out great, but it wasn't as easy as I had anticipated, ha! Imagine the sun blaring down through the car window, making it impossible to decipher color shades and control my mouse. Thinking about it just makes me laugh! I even considered making cupcake toppers for my etsy shop...I have an adapter that allows me to plug anything into my car...can you imagine? Hot glue + crazy hubby driver + random bumps = bad idea. Glad I stuck with the easy Photoshop project!

So, here it is, my free Christmas subway art printable! I made this one in blue and silver because it matches our living room Christmas theme. I'll also be putting out a more traditional red, green, and gold printable next week. We're the crazy couple who has two Christmas trees, one in the sitting room and one in the living room, both with different themes...we just love Christmas!! Click on the link below to download your free printable (do not right click and save the image, it will not print correctly)! This printable should be printed at 100% in an 8x10 format to fit an 8x10 frame. You will need to trim the edges to fit your frame. I would also suggest getting it printed on cardstock, it will look much nicer! Enjoy!


Nov 6, 2012

Welcome Baby Cora - Elephant Themed Baby Shower

This past weekend I had the great pleasure of throwing a baby shower, with a few coworkers, for my good friend, Khrystal. This was my first baby shower to organize and I had so much fun! Our theme was elephants with purple, grey, and green. What a cute little shower it was! I guess you know you did a good job when you're still going strong three hours in and no one wants to leave! I also had an amazing helper (my mom) who did a lot of work to keep glasses full and the kitchen clean! Thank goodness for mom or I may have not been able to spend any time with my guests!
Baby Cora apparently loves lemon and strawberry cupcakes, so of course that was our cupcake selection. I used a crystal tree that I made for my sister's wedding as a centerpiece and added a few vases with some handmade Billy Balls for a little touch of whimsy. Isn't that lamb adorable?
For a guestbook I wanted to create something that our mommy-to-be could hold on to, maybe even frame and put in the nursery. Khrystal and I are cupcake freaks, so how very appropriate that I make her a cupcake fingerprint guestbook where the guests sign with their fingerprints to create the sprinkles on the cupcake. It turned out sooo cute and it was cheap and easy to make!
The full spread, minus a platter or two. Had to get a picture before all of the guests arrived, but you get the idea! I had so much fun planning and putting together this shower...good thing too, because I am hitting that age where all of my friends are getting married or having babies. Bring on the showers ladies!
Myself, Khrystal (our mommy-to-be!), Mallory & Lisa (two of my coworkers)


Tuesday Tutorials Link Party {No. 52}

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Tuesday Tutorials Link Party {No. 52}
Welcome to the party! Link up your tutorials, cooking, crafts, sewing, DIY tips & tricks, I want to see it all! After each link party I will feature my favorite tutorials from the previous link party, so check back to see if you've been featured! I feature several posts on {The Kurtz Corner FB Page} and pin your projects to my Tuesday Tutorials Link Party Pinterest Board so make sure you become a fan/follow me on Pinterest and check it out!


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Features!
 
 Mrs. Pac Man and Ghost Costume DIY from Spot of Tea Designs


 Wicked Spinach Dip from Jenn's Random Scraps


Mercury Glass 101 from Simply Simplisticated


DIY Paper Stars from Eyes On The Source

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