Month: November 2014

Roman Shade

Roman Shade Disaster

Within the first week of having the twins in the household, they decided to rip my curtains in the bathroom. Honestly, they are old and came with the house so they needed to be changed anyways. I guess I could look at it as the twins doing me a favor. ­čśĺ

I’ve been ogling roman shades online for awhile now. Per usual, I read 50 tutorials before settling on how I was going to make mine. I wanted to make them sit outside the window like a normal curtain. I also wanted them to be completely washable so the dowel rods that give it rigidity need to come out.

I chose a green apple color broadcloth as my fabric. I wanted a white fabric with visual texture but I’m working with what Joann’s has to offer. I picked up all my supplies there. Fabric, blackout backing, roman shade tape, dowel rods, nylon cord and even a new curtain rod. I’m very thankful for coupons! Don’t forget they take a Hobby Lobby coupons too.

Construction began. It was going so well. One large rectangle of blackout fabric, sew on the roman shade tape in intervals. Then put broadcloth and blackout fabric together and sew along the tape again. I hemmed three of my edges leaving the top for last to see how much I needed to wrap around the new curtain rod.

Roman Down?w=620

The shade just touches the ledge. The edges of the left and right side of the curtain sit 1″ outside the window.

This is where it started to go wrong. I needed to put up the new curtain rod and I completely forgot. Sometimes I question my own intelligence. With the new one up, I wrapped the shade around and pinned it to the proper length. So with the that sorted I went to stringing the back.

Yet again I checked out a bunch of tutorials. The most popular seems to go up one side then move diagonal up to the other corner. Let’s get to the point, don’t do that! I don’t have a picture of what it does but it makes it flair out on one side into a fan shape. Thus continuing the train of wrong. I ended up restringing three times all different ways. The best way is two strings fed from the bottom up then take one across to the side you want the pulley to be.

What to do at the top to hold the string? Good question. It took me three different items around the house (all that I sewed on and eventually removed) because I didn’t want to go buy a billion plastic rings that I’m never going to use again. The best and final item I used was the eye part of a hook and eye assembly. It has two points to sew on and the loop is just big enough for the thread.

Roman Back?w=620

Hopefully from this you can see the string and the eyes at the top. It might be hard to see with all the white on white.

Roman Up?w=620

The only thing that I’m missing is the cleat that goes on the window frame to wrap the string around. Currently it’s looped on a hook that is near.

I hated this project. I was so excited at the beginning and then it went south as soon as I started fussing with the length of the curtain. I made Hubby promise me that if I ever mention making one of these again to stop and remind me of all the trouble (and the mountain of cussing) that occurred.

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Pinterest: Success or Fail?

It’s time again for another Pinterest creation. I’m someone who enjoys Halloween. For my work Halloween celebration, it was encouraged to bring food that embraced the holiday. Last year I stuck with something easy (witch’s hats created with Hershey kisses and fudge striped cookies) but this year I wanted something a little more difficult. I spied Reese’s Frankenstein Cupcakes created by Lizzy from Your Cup of Cake.

They are so adorable and they didn’t look too difficult. I don’t know if it was stupidity or ambition that got the best of me by picking this creation. Now don’t get me wrong, I can bake. Making food items cute and fancy on the other hand is not my forte.

So I didn’t follow the recipe. Really no surprise there… I didn’t make my own cake mix. Mine came from the grocery store. I didn’t use white chocolate or Reese’s pieces or whatever she suggested to use for the dark part of the eyes. Why? Two reasons: I can’t melt chocolate correctly for the life of me and secondly I’m cheap.

RECIPE:
I left out what I didn’t use. If you want the full list check out Lizzy’s page.
Chocolate Cake Mix
Icing:
1/2 C. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
3-4 C. powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk
Green Food Coloring
Decorations:
Reese’s Cups
Chocolate Chips

I made the cupcakes the night before to save me some time before construction. I knew it was going to take me a while to do this. I was prepared to allow extra time for frustration ie. cussing and throwing.

Cupcake?w=620

Here’s some happy, naked cupcakes. All prepped and ready to become monsters. I started off making the icing. Nothing too special about it, it’s close to a typical cake icing but this one calls for cream cheese. I can’t complain about that addition.

White icing?w=620

First shot of my icing. I’m still feeling good about this. I followed the directions and I did end up using all 4 cups of powdered sugar.

Green icing?w=620

I made the icing green. Yet again, easy kid stuff. I loaded up “my” (my mom’s­čśë) cake decorator to pipe this stuff on the naked cupcakes. I’m still feeling confident at this point. I grab the first cupcake, shoot some icing on it. “Hmmm… That seems a little runny. Oh well.” I give 5 more cupcakes green tops. I whip out my knife and try to start smoothing the icing out and up. This is where that frustration I spoke of started to set in.

I scraped the icing off of the cupcakes who now looked sickly because of this green ooze sitting atop their fluffy heads. I stirred in more powdered sugar to thicken it up and tried again. Nope! That’s it. It goes back into the mixing bowl and I added at least 2 more cups of powdered sugar into the bowl. I’m now grumbling about why I felt the need for cute cupcakes and 4 cups of powdered sugar!?! REALLY!?!

The perfect thickness for this icing is: if you scrape it up in a spoon, turn it over and it doesn’t fall off, then you’ve got it! At this point, I’m starting to feel nauseous. I don’t know if it’s all the “frustration” or the thought of the amount of powdered sugar going into this icing.

Frankenstein?w=620

First, pathetic Frankenstein. I kept a little bit of icing out before coloring the rest green. I used that for the white part of the eyes. I also used chocolate chips pushed deep in his head for the dark part of his eyes.

Frankenstein Army?w=620

The army of pathetic. Poor little guys. Their creator had such high hopes for them. There was no loud cackling of celebration after making these guys. It was more of a quiet, hide them in the fridge kind of moment. I deem this a Fail. Not only on my part but on that icing recipe. I think I should stick with food that tastes good and stay away from cute.