Sunday, January 16, 2011

Christmas Present Reveal

It's been a busy week month. So busy, in fact, that since school started up again, I haven't really had any time to do things of luxury, like laundry. And I have been wearing things out of my closet that I never wear any more and realize for a second time why I don't wear these clothes anymore and there is actually a reason why they are in my closet.

But backtrack to one month ago, when I was not so busy and happily crafting up a storm for my blogging partner and great friend, Maggie!

Now that Christmas is over and she already knows what she received, I am happy to show everyone else what I had been up to. My gift was in three parts:

1) Monogrammed magnets
2) Vintage map picture frames
3) Customized recipe cards

I was heavily inspired by the store Anthropologie, which I happen to know is one of Maggie's favorites. I was lucky enough to visit a store once-- unfortunately they don't have one in my home town! But luckily the internet showed me what sort of things they sell.

I started with the magnets first, in a style that is almost identical to the button magnets I had done a few posts ago for a past challenge, instead using cardstock and alphabet stamps. You can visit the tutorial here. (K magnet shown here, I forgot to take a picture of the M's before I shipped them off)

The picture frames also made their blogosphere debut in the aforementioned post. I snagged an old atlas of my Mom's that dated back to 1972, which said great outdated things like 'U.S.S.R.' and 'West Germany'. I suggest scouring used bookstores and old Salvation Army/Value Villages for old atlases rather than paying $2.00 per page for vintage maps of equal quality.

The frame I used was a plain wooden one from Ikea that came in a pack of 3 for about $4.00. All you need is good glue, a sealer (like Mod Podge or similar), scissors and a brush for ther sealer. Vintage frames give a fun, eclectic feel and I thought that Maggie would like that.

The last part was my favorite- Customized recipe cards! This one required creativity in a way that wasn't conventionally crafty (if that makes any sense). Inspired by these recipe cards from Anthropologie, I decided to make something that was all hers.

The template
I am used to using Microsoft Paint and have become fairly proficient at in these last years. Making the switch to a Mac in August sort of disregarded any talents that I may have possessed and so I had to start from scratch. Using Keynote and Pages (the Microsoft version of PowerPoint and Word, respectively) as well as images of my own or that I found, I came up with a template for the cards which I exported into a .pdf file.

 I printed these on plain 4" by 6" index cards (unlined) and they came out amazing! I put together a set of 60 cards with a special 5 cards that featured 5 of my all-time favorite recipes, one of which I will share with you:

UBC Ponderosa Cake
This cake was first introduced to me by a friend's mom when I was 14. The best recipe can be found online, but I have tweaked it here:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup mashed bananas (approx. 2 bananas)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

Cream butter and granulated sugar. Add egg, then vanilla and bananas. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add to banana mixture alternately with sour cream. Pour half of batter into greased 8" square pan. Mix cinnamon and brown sugar together. Sprinkle half on top of batter, then half of chocolate chips. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until cake tester in middle comes out clean.

And here's to a brilliant new year!

1 comment:

  1. love, love, love them all. they look amazing, and i absolutely loved all the gifts. The frames are perfect (they are currently holding camping pictures--which really help add to the geography theme ;)) the magnets are lovely (and i was in desperate need of some) and the recipe cards are perhaps my favorite because i love cooking so much :) also, can't wait to try out the cake


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