Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Monkey Cake

I thought I would share one of my baking projects with you. I asked Kaitlyn what kind of cake Adeline should have for her dedication and she simply told me that Adeline had to have a monkey cake. So, I went looking for what to do. I found a great idea at the Martha Stewart website and attempted to recreate Martha's handiness. I think I did pretty well. The Monkey Cake was a lot of fun to eat!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cool Cucumbers

The start of a baby cucumber...Once this little beauty gets pollinated take a look at the process it goes through. In case you are rusty on the parts of a flower take a look at this site.Here's the little cucumber growing! You can see the flower on the end, it's not fully opened, kind of shriveled. Since it's already been pollinated the plant doesn't need to waste it's energies on upkeep of that flower. Eventually it will just fall off. However, look at the little prickles on the baby cuke. Self-defense :) Awesome. You'll notice the residue of them when you buy them in the store. Those little white spots are what's left when the prickles fall off because the cukes have been handled. When I pick mine in the garden they still have those prickles. Here's the little baby growing. And finally we have the end product. Another couple of things about cucumber plants. First they need to climb. They produce little feelers that cling and wrap around anything. They are way cool. I train my cucumber plants along a fence (as you can see in the pictures) and the tendrils will curl around anything it senses it's near. Some people let theirs just grow along the ground as a vine, but that takes up tons of room, so put something next to your plant it can grow up. Next thing you should know is that the cucumber plant has two separate kinds of flowers, one is the male and the other is the female. The pollen from the male flowers needs to get to the stigma of the female flowers. Reliance on insects to do this is best, however if they are failing you can always hand pollinate.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hair Bow Holder

With two little girls hair bows and clips are plentiful around my house. They always seem to pop up out of nowhere though and need a permanent home. I found this great idea and just tweaked it a bit for my smaller space. I picked up a pack of three 4x6 wooden frames at IKEA, some coordinating fabric and ribbon, mod podge, foam brushes and I already had the glue gun.

I ditched the plastic thing that usually covers the picture (maybe it'll come in handy for another project). The blog I got the idea from used a large picture frame and made this project into a large wall hanging. I needed something that can work in multiple areas, like setting it upright like a picture on the bathroom counter, the girls' dressers or even hanging all three vertically or horizontally on the wall. I then cut out the fabric for the frame, leaving enough around the inside and outside edges to fold the fabric to the back so that you can't see any edges. It's a little tricky, but err on the side of too much fabric, you can always trim it up later.
Then cut out a square on the outside edge of the frame on the corners and a slit on the inside frame edge corners. This will make things neat and tidy when mod podging it down. Go ahead and apply the mod podge (for those of you who are newbies, it's kinda like super strength Elmer's Glue) with your foam brush to the frame. Just start with the easiest, the front and then put the fabric over and smooth. Pick the outside or inside edges to glue down and make sure to smooth out all the fabric. Next, cut out fabric for your inside mat, mod podge it down and let it all dry. Hot glue your ribbon attaching it to the back of the cardboard mat. And, here you go with the final product. Very Cute!