Completely Pinteresting: Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting

I friend was celebrating her birthday and I asked to bring a cake!  I have some serious go-to’s in the land of cakes – my favorite ones to make.  But, I’ve been wanting to make a new cake every time there’s been an occasion to make one lately.  Step in, Pinterest.  I started perusing pages upon pages of the gorgeous food that everyone loves to pin.  Thus far, with my Completely Pinteresting feature, I’ve shared projects I’ve made.  A great part of Pinterest for me is the food, and actually making the stuff I see and pin!  I thought I’d share this cake with you.

I went and grabbed the recipe here, and I stuck right to it.  While the caramel turned out alright, I am so in love with the caramel from the Tartine cookbook, so I’d use that in the future.  I am obsessed with cakes now!  I used 6″ rounds, stacked three high.  Even though it’s not the prettiest cake in the world, I sure do love this one!  I have another life goal to add to the pile – cake decorator extraordinaire.



Completely Pinteresting: Geometric Clay Magnets

I’ve been so in love with geometric shapes lately, and have already shared about how much I adore these magnets on my blog a few months ago. They’re incredibly beautiful.  And these earrings are perfect! So last night while catching up with Mad Men – we watched the first three episodes of season 5! – I decided to get out some Fimo clay to play around with.  Have you used the stuff?  You can make anything, then you bake it in the oven.

With one eye on Don Draper and the other on this little project, I used my hands to set the basic shape of each magnet and then a knife to flatten things out and clean up the lines.  I got better with each one I did, I must say.  Once baked, you just affix a magnet to the back.  Easiest DIY project ever.


Completely Pinteresting: Twine Hanging Vase

Today’s l’il project was more of an inspiration from Instagram, rather than the usual inspiration I gather from Pinterest for this feature!  So I guess I should title it “Completely Insta-great!”  One of my favorite ladies in San Francisco, my dear pal @thegoodelena over on ye olde Instagram, shared a photo of a flea market find – a gorgeous little gem that I was instantly envious of.  So, as per usual, I set out to recreate it.

I used twine I had in my craft treasure trove, and started tying knots.  I plan on working on some more intricate designs, but I’m pretty excited about this first prototype.  I cut four 3-foot strands of twine, paired them up to make an X, then tied them together at the intersection of the X.  Then, each string was double knotted with it’s closest neighbor, not its partner.  Does that make sense?  I just continued to tie knots like that for a few rounds, and ended up with a rather simple net, of sorts, ready for something to carry.

The most fun part of it all was the hunt for the glass jar.  I found a beautiful oil and vinegar jar that dove off the shelf and into my arms.  The little spouts were perfect for plants!  How adorable to have a hanging vase in the kitchen made from an oil and vinegar container??!!!  I can’t wait to switch out the leaves for fresh herbs, flowers, twigs, and leaves throughout the seasons!


Completely Pinteresting: Linoleum Block Stamps

I’ve had my eye so many handmade stamps all over the place!  These are adorable, but they’re made of foam and I wanted the intricacy of carving.  These stamps are great, but I couldn’t find rubber to carve at any craft shop around town!  So frustrating!  So I opted for linoleum block.  I’ve worked with linoleum blocks what seems like a million years ago in a college art class, and I remember loving it.  Downside?  You can’t use ink pads, just a brayer and block printing ink.  That’s fun, just not exactly what I wanted for these stamps.  I was instantly frustrated that I was not as good as this Etsy shop, turns out it takes some serious practice and is not something you can conquer in one evening.  Go figure.  There were a great many stamps I scrapped, but I only cut myself once – so there’s that.

I love, love, love wrapped up the food I make for others, and I’m setting out to get better about sending packages to friends far away!  Now, I’m ready to adorn them all with handmade stamps.  I’ll be practicing, and maybe I’ll even get good enough to send the stamps themselves as part of the gifts I’m sending away.  Fingers crossed!

P.S. I’m going to keep reminding you about the Tartine Bread cookbook giveaway!  Go leave a comment here for a chance to win!


Completely Pinteresting: Gold Leaf Plaque

I’ve had my eye on gold leaf all week!  I’m thinking it’s because I’m definitely in the zone rooting for the gold all day, every day.  I’m such a nut that I’ve convinced my almost-three-year-old that his upcoming birthday party should have an “Olympics” theme, rather than the previously planned “Super Hero” theme.  (I promised him lots of medals and he could sing a song on a pedestal as he waves to everyone.)

So yes, my eyes have been on gold as I have been scrolling through Pinterest.  This card is gorgeous, and I’m definitely going to be embellishing some glass just like the ones here.  I bought a plaque of wood in May that I’d intended to paint my Whisk Bakeshop sign on for the farmers’ market booth.  It was just too small for my sign, and it’s been sitting on my desk with a coat of chalkboard paint, waiting to be finished.  I actually saw this plaque a few days ago, which was weird and a bit shocking, because it was exactly what I’d been planning on making.  I had only waited to do it because I just couldn’t decide on the words…that is, until gold fever set in this week!

I’m so happy with the outcome, it being my first experiment with using gold leaf and all!  I’ll be adding hardware so it can hang on the wall.  Would you like it on your wall?

And here’s my pic from Instagram:


Completely Pinteresting: Pins Loved Lately

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I don’t have a project this week, but that’s perfectly alright because I felt inclined to share some of my favorite pins lately over on Pinterest.  The majority of the things I’ve been pinning as of late revolve around food I want to make, looks I adore that inspire my wardrobe, photographs that are beautiful, and any hand lettering goodness I find inspiring to my own craft, and stuff that my talented friends (and Internet friends, too!) are up to.

I began this Completely Pinteresting feature on my blog because I do find that beloved website so very interesting, and I wanted to share how I was using Pinterest to inspire me – maybe inspire others too!  I’ve read a few things lately that seem to bash the idea of Pinterest, and I feel like I’ve got to defend it as if Pinterest is my best friend’s kid sister.  Back off, Pinny, haters!  (I just made that up on the spot now, I don’t call Pinterest Pinny!  Although, that is pretty cute!)

I’ve heard people scoff at the “lack of creativity” of people using Pinterest, that they have to curate and reblog beacuse they can’t think of things of create things to make on their own.  Yeesh!  That’s crazy!  I, for one, use it as a guide.  Yeah, I’ve created things that are pretty similar to whatever initially inspired the project I’m making, but more often than not I’m putting my own twist on things.

The thing about Pinterest is you can totally get swept away in going pin crazy, but it’s the next step, the action, that’s the key.  I feel motivated to do, to make, to create, after I spend time looking through friends’ boards.  I don’t know if there’s proof to back this up, you know, proper studies of the pinning habits of the masses…but I think the most actively creative people are the ones embracing Pinterest the most.   It’s fun to use it as a visual cookbook (to actually cook/bake the food I pin!), and to see the kind of inspiration others are having.  It’s also incredibly interesting to see what seems to be trending, too.  I’ve found countless blogs I know read regularly, and products that I’ve actually bought, after seeing them on Pinterest.

But, you know what?  If people are simply just pinning things and never doing a thing beyond that, whatever!  Why are people all up in their business anyhow?  I know there are so many pins of recipes and DIY projects that I’ve yet to tackle, and I certainly don’t see a problem there.  Right?  Right.  Okay, I’m done.  I’ve used the word ‘Pinterest’ in this post a bazillion times.


Completely Pinteresting: Kitchen Knife Organizer

With very little counter space, I’m always on the search for any ways to get things out of the way.  I pinned this DIY from Design Sponge and have been staring at it for weeks now.  I ended up getting a magnetic strip, instead of using the hidden magnets, but I still wanted to spruce it up a bit.  After a few trips to our local architectural salvage shop, The Heritage Company, I got a few pieces that were the right width, and opted to nail them each to the wall.

Dan, my ever-so-useful-and-charming husband, cut them to size, drilled the holes and nailed them to the wall.  So really, I was more of an art director of the project.

After some stress as we were planning things out (I BLAME THE HEAT!), I’m happy.  There’s an illusion that it’s one piece, and it gets the job done.  No more knife rack stealing counter space, and my wall is that much happier too.


Completely Pinteresting: Kitchen Art

Honestly, making some more art for my kitchen was a last minute back-up plan.  I ventured into the world of natural dyes for some white placemats I thrifted a few weeks ago.  I wanted to dip dye them in green.  I used grass, peppermint, leaves, and spinach and followed the instructions.  And nothing.  Not even a minty glow.  Oh well.  I’ll try that again soon.

As far as my inspiration for my little kitchen mantra, it comes from a few places.  The Internet is a finicky place, and someone left a weirdo comment on my friend’s blog, to which someone quickly responded, “Haters Gonna Hate.”  Of course that’s not the first time I heard that, because haters always be hatin’.  It was just in my head though, and then on dear ol’ Pinterest I saw this lovely sentiment right when I had a brush in my hand and was ready to figure out what I wanted to paint.  Well, if haters gonna hate and lovers gonna love, bakers are certainly gonna bake.

Painting is definitely not the easiest medium for me, as far as hand lettering things go.  I’m more of a pen and paper kind of gal.  But this paint thing was pretty fun, and super simple.  My one regret is that I should have make the ‘b’ in ‘bakers’ a capital letter.  I’m afraid it looks like “lakers gonna bake” and that just doesn’t make sense.


Completely Pinteresting: Polka Dot Utensil Jar

I saw this from A Merry Mishap and was inspired!  I actually had lots of porcelain mugs, jars and the paint in my craft closet and have been meaning to get to work!  Seeing that lovely plate of hers (those tiny dots! that random pattern!) was a perfect reminder of a project that I’ve had squirreled away for at least a year!  And polka dots are everywhere right now, which is fitting because I’m such a fan of them!

The paint is cheap, and I got the jar at a thrift store.  It’s actually really easy to wipe away the paint if you need to as you go along, so the project is not very intimidating!  Once you’re happy with your design, it sets up for 24 hours, and then you bake it in the oven.  It’s that simple, and then it’s stuck there forever!  I had every intention to make a similar pattern to hers, but I got in this polka dot trance and made more of a classic pattern.  I am so addicted to this stuff.  I’m still planning on making a complete new set of dishes!


Completely Pinteresting: Copper Dipped Flatware

I saw this copper vase tutorial over on A Merry Mishap and was instantly inspired, for a few reasons really.  I saw that glass beaker, and my heart skipped a beat!  As a former science teacher, I adore glassware.  I’ve got one that a friend gave me as a present, and I just can’t muster the courage to paint it!  I never really was a fan of copper – I’d throw pennies in the garbage because I hated copper so much, actually.  Okay, that’s a lie about the pennies and the garbage.  But really, I wasn’t a fan of copper until I met Dan, my husband.  His degree is in ceramics and metalsmithing, and the dude loves copper.  The first thing he ever made me was something made with that glowing metal.  So, of course I loved it.  I’m not a jerk.  I’m not going to hand something back, letting him know I hate copper.  Turns out, I just needed some beautiful art as a gift to make me love the stuff.

Since I couldn’t paint the glass beaker, and I’ve been getting sick of my silverware lately, this seemed like the perfect fusion for me.  I am always eating, so I’m always using silverware, and I’ve been using the same forks, knives and spoons for nearly five years.  It’s about time to mix it up!

At the thrift store I got four of each type of flatware at a whopping 29 cents each!  The process is simple: Wash & dry the flatware, tape off the desired section (a little variance in how much you tape off is fun), spray paint, let dry completely, then pull off the tape.  I’m not sure if this is necessary, but I’m going to let mine set up for at least a day before I use them.

Simply by the process of uniformly making the copper “dipped” ends for each piece, they look like a real set!  I love it!  I think I’m going to make a couple more sets in different colors!  I’m addicted!  Whenever I find a project that is quick and affordable, I have the urge to make some for anyone and everyone, and for any and every occasion!  Father’s Day!  The Fourth of July!  Christmas!  Christmas in July!  Birthdays!  Unbirthdays!