Croptopia - Mystic, CT

I will be in Mystic, CT all weekend teaching classes for Croptopia Getaways. Hopefully this will become a regular thing for me so check them out here if you are in the New England area or the Carolinas.

I will be teaching a class on my Pink Paislee Home, Sweet Home hanging frames and another where we'll be creating January and February calendar layouts.

Wish me luck!

Love is in the Air!

Or at least it WAS. Valentine's Day plans got rearranged this year due to me being sick all week and us worrying that going away for the weekend would be a wasted trip. As it turned out I felt better by the weekend but it was salvaged by getting a chance to see a good friend in town from London and then a massive steak dinner later in the evening. Ryan was a sweetheart and bought me roses.

The next weekend was another fabulous A Cherry On Top crop weekend and the Creative Team kept the ladies busy with challenges, fast scraps, bingo, and games galore. I used the opportunity to scrap my roses for a challenge example to use poetry on a layout:

Red Velvet Cupcakes

It has been quite a while since I have made and posted cupcakes here but Valentine's Day was the perfect excuse to get back to baking. And what better Valentine cupcake to bake than Red Velvet? If you have issues with using food coloring there are recipes out there using beet juice but I am just too lazy to mess with that and there was enough cocoa in this recipe to counter the weird food coloring taste. Although, they did have a funny aftertaste when they were still warm. It went away at room temp and colder.

These were firm and dense and I urge you to watch the oven carefully when you are nearing the end of the baking time. They easily could become dry and you should err on the side of pulling them out a bit early. I topped mine with cream cheese frosting (a classic pairing) and they were quickly consumed!

Check out that deep red color!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
(courtesy of
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or just add regular milk to 1 T. of vinegar till you get a cup and let stand 5 minutes)
  • 1 fluid ounce red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 20 paper baking cups.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, frost with desired frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
(you'll probably use about 3/4 of this)

- 6oz. of softened cream cheese
- 1/2 c. softened butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 1/2 - 4 3/4 cups of confectioners' sugar

Combine the first three ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.

1,2,... CHA CHA CHA!

Holy smokes, where did the time go?? It feels like I was just getting ready to head to sunny California for the annual winter CHA show and now we are already back in the frozen tundra dealing with snow and reality. Why is vacation time so much faster than regular time?

The show was a blast. I had such a great time meeting some of the ACOT gals and seeing all the amazing new products. I can't wait to get my hands on new Pink Paislee, Jillibean Soup (new company!), Maya Road, and of course some new American Crafts Thickers! The make and takes were fun too... check out this adorable Love banner I did at the Melissa Frances booth:

We had a few days of fun with the ACOT gals and got silly... ask me about biffing it on the show floor or my string of unaturally colored bar drinks. ;-) Here is the crew in one of many group photos:

Ryan and I also got a few days to hit the sights of Cali. We went to Hollywood, Huntington Beach, and the San Diego Zoo. Fun times! See you again next year, Anaheim!