Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Alcohol Ink Cards and EXCITING NEWS

Oh yes, I went there...finally!  I have been wanting to get these inks for AGES but just haven't done it due to cost or because there were other things I wanted more.  So, when I got a gift card for Christmas, I decided to buy the lot of 23 that I had my eye on in an Etsy store.  It included two of the fixatives (gold and silver) and then I ordered the other items I needed from SimonSaysStamp who are a fantastic site to purchase from.  Contrary to what some of my friends wish - these are not for drinking or licking!  I do suggest that you work in a well ventilated area though!

On Monday, I finally had the chance and the energy to try them!  Here are the results:

(Materials used: Stampin' Up Whisper White Card Stock, tissue paper in purple, blue and white, Ranger Archival Ink in Jet Black, Diamond Stickles, Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro, hot glue, Hero Arts Stamp and Emboss Collage Background, Tim Holtz Sizzix Die Mini Butterflies Movers and Shapers, Alcohol Inks in Stream, Currant, Wild Plum, Silver, Gold and Sail Boat Blue, misc brads, Clear Embossable Acetate, Tim Holtz Sizzix Springtime Backgrounds and Borders Texture Fade, Vintage Treasures Scrapbooking Dazzles, Pearl Pen in White)

(Materials used:  DCWV Cardstock, Gold Glitter Paper, Ranger Archival Ink in Plum, Rhinestones, Vintage Treasures Scrapbooking Dazzles, Plastic packaging, Time Holtz Sizzix Springtime Backgrounds and Borders Texture Fade, Glue Arts Glue Glider Pro, hot glue, Staz On Ink in Jet Black, Tim Holtz Sizzix Die Mini Butterflies Movers and Shapers, Alcohol Inks in Cranberry, Red Pepper, Watermelon, Gold, Butterscotch, Sunshine Yellow and Sunset Orange, Adirondack Alcohol Ink Cardstock, Hero Arts/Sizzix Stamps and Die Cut Message Frames, Gold Twine)

The purple card was done using a clear embossable acetate from Sparkle and Sprinkle while the red card was done using Adirondack Alcohol Ink Cardstock.  You will need some form of glossy or slick surface to use these on but they have SOOOOO many applications.  Here is a video from the guru himself about how to use them:

 He tells you just about everything you need to know about these amazing inks in this video.  There are many great videos on YouTube about Alcohol Inks as well if you search for them.  I can also recommend Scrap Time as a fabulous site for videos too.  Sorry I didn't have any step by step photos this time!  I was just to excited to remember :)

What is this EXCITING NEWS I hear you say!  Well, if you didn't see it on my FB feed - I've been published!!!  Scrapbook Creations Issue 91 has a two page layout with one of my cards!  I am beyond excited and very honoured that they chose one of my creations.  I would have been jumping out of my skin for just a gallery shot but to have the two pages is more than I could have hoped for.

So run out and get a copy.  If you live close by, I'll autograph it for you ;0)  You never know, it might be worth something some day!  Here's the cover of the issue it's in too:

Thank you so much to all of you who have been so supportive and encouraging.  And thanks to all of those who have already celebrated with me!  Your words of congratulations have made it even more enjoyable.

Next time, I will have some fun to show you with Claudine Hellmuth's paints and sticky back canvas!



Mmmmm, Chocolate Cake!!!!!

Sorry I have been AWOL but with the new school year starting and Spidermonkey's 9th birthday, I was all hands on deck to get it all done!  So today will be a double post.

I think most of those who had the good fortune to taste either the cupcakes or the cake that I made last week will agree that it was pretty darn good (if I do say so myself).  Unfortunately, I am unable to take the credit for anything but the baking and presentation.  I am going to share the recipe here on the blog but both the cake and the frosting can be found on (or by clicking on the words in the last sentence).  I have no way of knowing where the poster of each of these recipes got them so I can only hope I am not getting anyone in trouble.

This cake has to be the best chocolate cake I have tasted in a very long time.  It is moist and chocolatety without being too much chocolate - if there is such a thing!  The Hershey's Cocoa Powder can be bought at Costco or if you don't want to venture there, USA Foods.  I really recommend getting it.  It's different to the cocoa powders here...don't know why, it just is!  So here is the magical recipe:

Hershey's ® 'Perfectly Chocolate' Chocolate Cake

2 cups white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY®'S Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup HERSHEY®'S Cocoa Powder
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2.Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3.Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting.
4.To make "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Frosting: Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla.
5.One Pan Cake: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350 F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
6.Three Layer Cake: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350 F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
7.Bundt Cake: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350 F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost
8.Cupcakes: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350 F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.

I did not make the frosting that is included in the recipe!  Instead, I made a buttercream frosting.  I have to say, when I saw the finished product of the following recipe, I didn't think it would be enough.  But, I went ahead and started frosting to see how far I got.  I was happily surprised when I had exactly as much as I needed for a two layer cake (including frosting in the middle of the layers).  It colours well and tastes fantastic and matches so nicely with the chocolate!  So here is the frosting:

Quick and Almost-Professional Buttercream Icing

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
3 drops food coloring, or as needed

1.Cream room temperature butter with a hand mixer, the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, or a wooden spoon until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract.
2.Pour in milk and beat for an additional 3-4 minutes. Add food coloring, if using, and beat for thirty seconds until smooth or until desired color is reached.

I did not use unsalted butter because I only had what I had purchased and I didn't see "unsalted" when I was making my list.  I can honestly say I don't believe it made a difference.  This was easy to make and easy to spread and looked lovely when it was finished.

So, if you want to make a special treat for the family, this is the one for today.  Go on, you know you want to....I am!