Friday, May 28, 2010

Window washing

In the shop window washing takes on a whole new meaning.....if I was them it is to PAINT on them. During city wide clean up I was able to pick up a few really nice windows and today I was in the mood to paint them. The new enamel paints make it so easy . Hopefully these fly out of the shop over the weekend to give me more incentive to paint a couple more.

Monday, May 24, 2010

More to life than cupcakes

I have been so busy over the past few months with The Great American Moose Fest and the shop that I finally decided the weathre was nice and it was a good time for ma Grandma and me day. In this case I am the Great grandma and my daughter Patrice is the Grandma. So, I called her up and explained or project.......The three of us , her, me and JJ her grandson were going to build a green bean teepee. We picked the day collected the sticks and set out to get it built. At two JJ is more of a supervisor it seems, alot like his Dad. But he loved the digging in the dirt and the carrying sticks, sometimes away from the project. Her you see him and his Grandma finishing up the tying of the sticks.
Here all tired out from the hard work he tried it out to see if it was big ewnough to sleep in ( he was pretending to snore). After school Chrissy my grnadaughter helped hom plant pole beans, scarlet runner beans and some black eyed susan vines. We have been watering ever day and watching for something to sprout. JJ is at my house four days a week so he is very hands on with this project. This morning we had sprouts.
Now with my day off complete and feeling recharged I am back at the shop painting and adding photos to Etsy and my site of some of my new work. If only every day could be a play date. Wouldn't that be great. The moral of this is we should never get to busy to stop and enjoy the simple things like a little boy ,some dirt and green bean seeds........ PRICELESS

Friday, May 21, 2010


Here I am again, looking for yet another great cupcake recipe, The I came across this one and thought this could be it!

Cookies and cream make anything taste great! These cupcakes go so fast after they're baked, be sure to hide a few for yourself."

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
18-24 whole chocolate sandwich cookies, crumbles
1 recipe vanilla buttercream frosting

Mix together cake mix, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Place a spoonful of batter on the bottom of each paper liner. Place a whole cookie on the bottom lying flat. Cove with remaining batter until 3/4 full.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool completely.

Add crumbled cookies to buttercream frosting. Be generous and frost cupcakes nice and high.

8 Tbsp. (1 Stick) butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 Tbsp. milk or cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Place butter in large mixing bowl. Beat until light and fluffy, about 30 seconds. Stop beating before adding sugar to avoid a large mess.

Add sugar, 3 tablespoons milk or cream, and vanilla extract. Beat frosting starting on slow, increasing your speed until frosting is nice and creamy. Add up to 1 more tablespoon milk or cream if frosting is too thick.

This recipe was taken directly from "101 Cupcakes in 10 minutes". I have got to buy this book, Walmart does carry it and I am off to order one for myself. I should be off painting and I find myself on the computer drooling over cupcakes.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Great information...shared

Yesterday morning I attended a meeting given by Fred Clarks office in Portage. There he had gathered people from SBA, Dept. of Commerce , Small Business Developement Center and more. They described just what they could do for small businesses in Wisconsin and there was a question and answer session after . Alot of very good info was exchanged. Now I have come in to the shop early to get more work done today so tommorrow morning I can go to Madison and attend a breakfast sessiion with Kathryn Jeffers. From what was said yesterday she is a wonderful speaker and can help you turn things around in your business. I don't know of any business who would'nt like to be better. So there I paln to be from 7-9 and then back to the shop until it is time for the Montello NOW meeting at 5:30. That is another heavy meeting, we should be able to find out from the answers given what Steve Krueger will do with The Great American Moose Fest next year. Enough heavy stuff, I am off to paint fun things, not sure just what as each piece of wood is so different. The weekend had been busy at the shop and with Memorial Day right around the corner I do need to get some pieces done. So, I came ready to paint and enjoy myself, that reallly matters or the painting just doesnt work.
Still pondering my cupcake recipes, my grandson Mike 11, thinks we should try them all out ahead of time and then decide. Taste testing seems to be the answer so I will let you know what we come up with. Also if one seems to be great I could enter it in IRON CUPCAKE MILWAUKEE I am leaning towards all of them myself. A huge bake sale would be wonderful!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cupcakes on the Brain

I have an 11 year old grandson MIKE who not only loves when I make cupcakes but loves to watch Iron Chef with me. Last night I told him about Iron Cupcake and he thought that was the best thing he ever heard of. Now, today after the shop I told him I had a comment from Iron Cupcake and he almost fainted. How did they know about his Granma and could I print it off. Well, I was thrilled also to see the comment and if you, like me are a baker or just loved baked goods check out their site and this

become an Iron Cupcaker.
To join, all they have to do is email me ( with the following information to join. All Iron Cupcake participants must register via email.


City, State, Country
Blog Address
Flickr Name
Referral: MY BLOG NAME

Any questions you or your readers may have can be found at the Iron Cupcake Earth Central Hub.

IRON CUPCAKE is getting bigger everyday. In addition to our ETSY artists, the makers of the CUPCAKE COURIER have donated one of their awesome carriers to every challenge winner for the next 12 months! I am also in talks with the folks at an incredibly hip, uber-desired kitchen accessory company - who must remain nameless for the moment. They are in for a similar offer. So the pot gets bigger … and cupcake lovers all over the world will reap the benefits!

Bringing the World together one Cupcake at a time!
what could be more fun, ever age group enjoys a good cupcake, they make people smile, and it doesnt take much to exercise of one little cupcake!
So you heard it here, go spread the word and check out their site!

Cupcake Quest

Last night after I left the shop I went home to look through cookbooks and scour the internet for Ice cream themed is what I came up with.
creamsicle cupcakes
rootbeer float cupcakes
hot fudge sundae cupcakes
banana split cupcakes
malted milk cupcakes
Now, how do I decide which to bake, one kind, maybe two or do I jump in and make some of each. I tossed and turned half the night, I think after two cups of coffee and more thinking , I will make some of each. I will then take photos to share.
While looking for these recipes I found Iron cupcake milwaukee and think that is my goal.... to get good enough to enter!
I am off now to finish painting and work on a few new projects, I just picked up some old windows and my creative juices are off to the paint brush for now.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sunny Saturday

It is just beautiful outside today. The sun is shining and the wind has finally died down a bit. I am determined today to paint outfits for the Dress-Me Friends, finish a coupl orders and then if their time, work on a few slab wood pieces. I am never quite sure how those will turn out. The wood does it's own thing. With all the black bear sightings in the area, maybe I should do a couple more pieces with bears on......maybe the Don't feed the bears !

I am still looking for cupcake recipes for Dairy Days, so many choices. My grandson J.J. is my baking buddy he comes running when he hears the mixer to help lick the beaters. He makes even the grey rainy days bright.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dairy Days is fast approaching and with that come another Bake Sale. This time I thought why not find Icecream themed cupcakes and desserts. Here is one I am going to make for sure. Another easy and fun idea is cupcakes bakes right in the icecream cones. So many more that I am off to find them. We have 4 or 5 bakers in the group so I can share my finds with them.

Root Beer Cupcake Recipe from

The cake part of the recipe was a root beer cake. I found the recipe at the Bittersweet Blog. The cake was moist and had a strong root beer smell and flavor. Definitely a winner.

makes 12 cupcakes

•1 C rootbeer soda
•1 t apple cider vinegar
•3/4 C sugar
•1/3 C canola oil
•1/2 t vanilla extract
•2 t rootbeer extract
•1 1/3 C flour
•3/4 t baking soda
•1/2 t baking powder
•Pinch of Salt
1.Combine the soda and vinegar and let stand for a few minutes.
2.Add in the sugar and oil, whisking vigorously until slightly frothy.

3.Integrate your extracts, and gently introduce the flour, along with the baking powder / soda, and salt, being careful not to over mix.

4.Fill cupcake liners approximately 3/4 of the way to the top.

5.Bake at 350 F for about 18 - 22 minutes.
The Cream Soda Frosting Recipe

The frosting that was used on Bittersweet might be great, but it just didn't seem like it would be what I was looking for. I wanted a rich vanilla and creamy frosting and the taste of vanilla soy just didn't seem like it would do. Instead, I opted for a cream soda frosting. I used the cream cheese frosting recipe from my maple frosting as base, but made some changes.

•1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
•1/4 C butter
•4 C powdered sugar
•1.5 t cream soda extract (Cream soda extract isn't exactly a common household item. However, I was able to order some at a soda home brewing company, HopTec. This is also where I ordered my root beer extract from. The service at HopTec was fantastic! They shipped my stuff the same day and even called me to let me know they had found a cheaper shipping rate for me. I'd definitely recommend them, if you want to try making some cream soda frosting. I'd also highly recommend the frosting. It was a perfect match for the root beer cupcake.)

1.Beat cream cheese and butter.
2.Add powdered sugar until the consistency is right.
3.Add extract.

The Topping

I topped the whole thing with a chocolate malt ball just to complete the soda fountain experience.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shop filling up

Hand painted windows, no waste here I paint on just about everything I can find. One man's trash is another mans treasure!
Dress_me Welcome Friends and outfits are always a must in the shop and online!
Some of my favorite things to paint are BEARS and the rustic wood is so much fun, each one is different!

New Project

Today I decided to have a little fun while I worked on stocking the shop.

Rock Painting is a great form of therapy for me. A stress releiver and inexpensive way to let some of the creative juices flow.

First step is to FIND or buy a rock.....for a bunny I always tell students to find a baked potato shaped rock that is as smooth as possible. Wash it and let it dry.

Next step is to base coat the whole rock black. Let that dry completely. Right about here the students start to look a little skeptical.

Now using a piece of chalk, draw out the basic shapes of the bunny. Place the ears, eyes and back legs. Still not too sure of themselves we go on.

Thin white paint to an inky consistancy, out line the eyes, nose and ears. Then make short fur strokes up from the nose for the head and out to the sides. Always stoke in the direction hair grows or he could end up looking more like a porcupine. LOL

The back legs have hair in the direction of wheel spokes, hair runs down the back, just like his sides. Let these lines dry completely.

Now for some color, thin brown paint till in is but a tint and brush in the direction of your strokes covering all the fur lines. Add some white fur around the eye area, add a touch of flesh paint to the inner ears and the nose. Give the eyes a brown circle with black pupil and some black lashes. A touch of white paint for a reflection, then 4 white feet and that fluffy tail and you are done.

After your rock is all dry, coat it with a spray of clear acrylic and watch the colors pop. This rock can now sit on your porch or in the garden.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Moose Fest is over.....

Moose Fest brought an estimated 7,000 people to Montello and the surrounding area. The attendance was estimated at between 10 and 20 thousand but for a first year event it went very well. Of course like every event things need to be tweeaked and this will be rehashed before next years event. The Pro fisherman and the kids were a great hit. People are still talking about how nice it was to get some life back into the area. local motels and campgrounds saw increased business and the downtown shops had alot of traffic throughout the weekend also. We are hping those vendors who came this year will be back as we are looking for ways to relocate vendors so everyone is in the same area, and hopefully all get increased traffic.

That over I have put aside the moose hats and am busy painting for orders and getting those rustic camping and fishing signs done for in the shop. I will also be starting the rock painting clases and hope to see alot of new painters this season.

Memorial Day Weekend is always busy and after that we will be onto Dairy dayze with some cute cow ideas coming up so stay tuned.....

Don't forget the Moose Hunt is still on until the end of July so come on out to Montello and grab a dozen or so tickets from the surrounding shops and businesses!