Monthly Archives: June 2012

DIY: 18 Semi-Homemade Cards (Step-By-Step Tutorial)

I’ve really been trying to come up with an easy DIY that even the most un-crafty, un-creative person or just a beginning crafter could do. This actually left me quite puzzled at first, but then it hit me! Cards! I mean come on, we’ve all made at least one homemade card in our lifetime. So here’s what I came up with…

I decided to create a semi-homemade card tutorial. Semi-homemade meaning, you can take the templates that I have so lovingly created* and put your own spin on them during assembly. Basically, you can make the cards as complex or as simple as you’d like. Let’s get started.

What you’ll need:

– Some sort of adhesive tape or glue
– Scissors
– Blanks cards
(Can be purchased at craft stores)
– Card templates
(Attached at the end of this post, I printed onto white card stock)
– Complimentary paper of your choice
– Ruler
– Pen/pencil

Step 1

Cut out designs on the card templates.

Side note 1: Whenever I’m crafting I always cut a little bit over around the actual border. This takes off the pressure of having to cut the border line perfectly. Andddd in the end I just think it looks better presentation wise.

Side note 2: I don’t use a ruler to trace where I’m actually going to cut. I just eye-ball it as I’m cutting. The rule usually goes measure twice and cut once but when I’m paper crafting I skip the measuring and cut twice. I just continue cutting down until all the sides look about even. If you’d feel more comfortable tracing with a ruler before cutting then go for it! They’re going to be your creations after all.

Step 2

Once all the designs are cut out start placing them on the different colored complimentary papers. I just used some card stock I had at home for my background paper but you can use whatever type and colors of paper you’d like. Keep playing around with the placement of the designs on different backgrounds until you find what you think looks the best. There is no real right and wrong way to do this.

Step 3

Get together everything you’ll need for the first card.

Step 4

Take the design for your first card and glue (or tape) the back then place onto the background paper of your choice.

Step 5

Cut out the design (still not using a ruler!) then play around with the placement onto the blank card. Again, there’s no right or wrong way to do this. I placed mine in the middle of my card.

Step 6

After placing my design in the center I thought the card looked a little bare for my liking so I decided to add an accent. I used a ruler this time to trace out a stripe on a piece of the complimentary paper I already had out. For this stripe I just traced both sides of the ruler to ensure the entire thing would have an even width. After tracing, I cut it out and then played around with placement again. Once it was in a placement I liked, I glued the design and accent stripe into place then cut off the end of the stripe to fit the card.

And basically you’re done. You just need to repeat those steps with the different designs you like from the templates or your own designs. Remember to try and change it up a little bit with every card. Have some cards going vertical and some horizontal. My favorite part is adding the accents. Adding different accents really changes the look of your card making it your own and truly semi-homemade.

Here’s what I came up using only the materials I listed above and my imagination.

Some are simple and some are complex. I wanted to create a variety so that you could get an idea of what is possible with the somewhat plain designs you’ll print out.

Here are the templates:

Birthday – Color
Birthday – BW

Get Well Soon and Thinking of You – color
Get Well Soon and Thinking of You – BW

Congrats and Thank You – Color
Congrats and Thank You – BW

Give my tutorial a try? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear whether or not it worked out for you and what you came up with.

– Katie

*Although I did create the card templates I am in no way claiming that the pictures used are my own. All pictures were found using Google Images.

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EASY Cake Pop Tutorial (Step-By-Step Instructions)

What you’ll need:

– 1 box of Cake mix (any flavor)
(And everything to bake it according to box)

– 1 can of frosting (any flavor)

– Large bowl

– Cookie sheet

– Parchment paper

– 1 Tbsp Cookie Scoop (optional)

– Small deep bowl

– Candy Melts or Almond Bark
(Candy Melts can be found at Michael’s,
Almond Bark can be found at grocery store)

– Spoon

– Vegetable shortening (Crisco)

– Lollipop sticks (can be found at Michael’s)

– Small shallow bowl

– Sprinkles (optional)

– Styrofoam base (can be found at Michael’s in the floral department) (Pre-punch holes into the Styrofoam that are big enough to fit the lollipop stick)

– Plastic wrappers (can be found at Michael’s)

– Ribbon

Let’s get started…

Step 1

Bake cake as instructed on box and let cool. Cool times will vary based on size of cake made (I usually make two eight inch round cakes but any size will work).

Step 2

Once COMPLETELY cooled crumble entire cake (both 8 inch rounds) into the large bowl. I like to take off the sides of the cake first if they’re a little stiff because they won’t crumble well.

Step 3

Spoon ½ to ¾ of the canned frosting into the crumbled cake and mix it in until it’s about the consistency of Play-Doh. You can mix either with a spoon or your clean hands. I use my hands because it’s faster. (Use ½ the can of frosting to start because this step is crucial. If you add too much it won’t hold the round shape and if you don’t add enough it’ll fall apart. You can always add in more if needed)

Step 4

Now that all the frosting is mixed into your cake place the large bowl into the fridge for 45-60 minutes (or in the freezer for about 15 minutes but DO NOT let the mixture freeze completely). While it’s setting line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Step 5

After at least 45 minutes in the fridge take the frosting-cake mixture out and form it into approximately 1 inch balls then place onto your lined cookie sheet. I use a 1 Tbsp cookie scoop to help form evenly sized cake balls but if you don’t have one your hands will work just fine.

There is no telling exactly how many this will yield. It all depends on the size of balls you make. For this tutorial I was able to make 28 cake balls.

Step 6

After making all your balls place cookie sheet back in the fridge for another 45-60 minutes (or the freezer for about 10-15 minutes but DO NOT let them freeze completely).

Step 7

When time is nearing the end of the 45-60 minutes you can start getting your chocolate ready. Pour about ¾ of the bag of Candy Melts (or chunks of Almond Bark) into the small deep bowl and microwave for 60 seconds (to start) then remove and stir. Continue stirring until all of the chocolate is melted together. Once you’ve stirred for around a minute you may notice that your chocolate needs more time but don’t worry about it for now. We’ll address that in step 9.

Step 8

Take cake balls out of fridge. Dip your lollipop stick about half an inch into the chocolate. Insert the dipped stick half way into the cake ball then place back onto cookie sheet to allow the chocolate to set up. This ensures the cake ball will stay on the stick during the dipping process. After all the lollipop sticks are in the cake balls put back into fridge for about a minute or two.

Step 9

If all of your chocolate isn’t melted together yet continue the microwaving process at 30 second intervals (30 seconds in then remove and stir) until all the chocolate is completely melted (my chocolate usually takes about 90 seconds total but the amount of time will differ based on the power of your microwave).

Step 10

Once all your chocolate is melted and you’ve inserted the lollipop sticks into your cake balls you will want to add some vegetable shortening (NEVER WATER) to the remaining chocolate in order to thin out it out a bit more (this makes the dipping process easier to manage). Only add a little vegetable shortening at a time because you don’t want your chocolate to become too runny (usually around half a teaspoon does the trick for me). At first it may look like the vegetable shortening isn’t melting completely, but just keep stirring and I promise it’ll all mix in eventually.

Step 11

Now that your chocolate is thinned out you can take your cake pops out of the fridge and start dipping. I find it easiest to dip the cake pop straight down and out of the chocolate (you can move the cake pop SLIGHTLY but moving it too much will cause the cake to crumble into the chocolate and it’ll be a mess for the rest of the cake pops). Go directly to step 11.5 and 12 before continuing on with the rest.

Step 11.5

Once the entire cake pop is covered in chocolate let the excess chocolate run off (this should take about 30 seconds or so). You may want to use both hands for this step; use one hand to hold the stick (like pictured) and the other hand to gently tap your wrist (or fingers, which is what I do). Vibrations from the tapping will help move the excess chocolate along faster than just holding the stick still over the bowl.

Step 12

Immediately after finishing step 11.5 you’ll want to sprinkle with or pat (I found rolling became too messy) the chocolate covered cake pop in the sprinkles before the chocolate hardens. Do this using the small shallow bowl. Once coated with sprinkles place the cake pop stick into the Styrofoam base to set.

Repeat steps 11-12 until desired amount of cake pops are finished (if you do not want sprinkles on your cake pops skip the beginning of step 12).

Step 13

Once all of the cake pops have been dipped, sprinkled, set into the Styrofoam and given time to harden you can start wrapping. Place plastic wrapper over the cake pop and tie the bottom closed with a piece of ribbon.

Do that to all of them and you’re done!

Oh wait, one more step…

Step 14

Bring left over cake pops to the kids you nanny and be declared the best nanny of all time!

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. I wanted to put together an easy tutorial because I wished I had known some of these tricks when I first attempted to make cake pops. Below is a picture of my first experience with cake balls/pops from a few months ago.

Go ahead and laugh… it’s Monday so I’m sure you need it!

Luckily I have gotten sooo much better since then and am getting even better each time I practice. Have you ever attempted to make cake pops? If so, do you have any funny stories or tricks you’d like to share? Leave a comment on this post.

– Katie

Give my tutorial a try? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear whether or not it worked out for you.

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Target Haul

I went shoppingggg again! Big surprise there… but sadly, this is probably going to be my second to last big shopping haul until I go to the Mall of America in August.

So let’s see what I got at Target this week…

And the best part is I didn’t pay full price for any of it!

Here’s a breakdown:

CLOTHES

Mossimo Boyfriend Tee
Regular price: $8 each
I paid: $6 each (on sale)

Mossimo Shorts
Regular price: $17.99 each
I paid: two pairs for $8.98 each (clearance) and $12.58 for an additional pair (clearance)

Side note: not really sure why one was $12.58 because I bought them all on the same day… weird?

COSMETICS

#1 – NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in 720A Sunny
Retail price: $2.99
I paid: $2.50 (50¢ off coupon)

#2 – Revlon ColorBurst LipButter in Peach Parfait
Retail price: $6.49
I paid: $2.49 ($3.00 off coupon plus an additional $1.00 off coupon)

#3 – NYC Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder in Rose Glow
Retail price: $4.49
I paid: $3.99 (50¢ off coupon)

#4 – Sonia Kashuk Beautifying Blush in Sunset
Retail price: $8.99
I paid: $6.99 ($2.00 off coupon)

#5 – Sonia Kashuk Instructional Eye Palette in Eye on Neutral
Retail price: $19.99
I paid: $17.99 ($2.00 off coupon)

NAIL POLISH

#1 – Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel in Calla Lily and Blue Slate
Retail price: $4.99 each
I paid: $1.48 each (On clearance for $2.48 plus $1.00 coupons)

#2 – Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color in Ionic Indigo*
Retail price: $8.99
I paid: $7.99 ($1.00 off coupon)

*Side note: My step-dad actually surprised me with this polish earlier this week. I think he just thought it was cool since it’s magnetic… such a guy! I’ve tried a different brand before but it didn’t really work, so I’m excited to try this one out!

Well, there’s this week’s Target haul! I kind of spent a lot there this week but in perspective I also saved quite a bit with the clearance and sale items, as well as using my beloved COUPONS!

I hope everyone has a great Friday! This weekend I’ll be making cake pops for a step-by-step tutorial, so look for that next week sometime.

Be sure to check out my previous post on Target’s summer beauty bag.

– Katie

In honor of another post I put up this week (Summer Nail Polish Picks) I wanted to share with you my first manicure of the summer. It’s so bright and pretty that I can’t stop staring at my nails. I actually might paint it again once this manicure starts chipping.

3 coats China Glaze – Flip Flop Fantasy, 3 coats Spectraflair topcoat and 1 coat Essie – Good To Go topcoat.

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Target Summer Beauty Bag Overview

Earlier this year I got a call from my mom telling me to go on Facebook (she doesn’t have one and refuses to get one) and sign up for Target’s Spring beauty bag giveaway. At the time I didn’t know exactly what it was but hey, it was free so I was doing it! I signed up for the Spring beauty bag and of course, totally forgot about it until a lovely little package arrived on my doorstep a few weeks later. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but once it arrived I liked what I saw. I got a little makeup bag with a bunch of trial/sample size beauty products and a coupon booklet. Since that was my first time hearing about and receiving the beauty bag I wasn’t sure if it was an every season giveaway or not. However, a few months later I got word that Target was doing it again for summer. I quickly ran over to my computer, logged onto Facebook, went to the Target Style page and signed up to receive the Summer beauty bag (pictured below is a screenshot of how the webpage looks for the giveaway).

Once again, I had completely forgotten about it until a little box arrived on my doorstep this Wednesday. In case you’re not familiar with Target’s beauty bag giveaway here’s an overview of the bag and its contents:

Not only was I pleased with the products inside, but I actually like this season’s bag itself more than the spring bag.

Products:

#1 – Aveeno Living Color (color preserving) shampoo and conditioner

#2 – Garnier Fructis Color Shield shampoo and conditioner
(And look at the size of those samples! They’re huge! I can get AT LEAST 2 washes with each)

#3 – Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 70

#4 – TRESemme Split Remedy Shampoo

#5 – Revlon ColorBurst LipButter in Peach Parfait
(I was really excited about this sample because I loveee these lip butters and I didn’t have this color yet!)

In addition to the bag and all the trial/sample products you also get a coupon book. Inside are coupons that can be used on full size versions of all the products you received, as well as a bunch of other products.

Overall, I’m very pleased with this season’s bag and it was free so I can’t complain anyway!

I’ll make sure I share with you if Target does another beauty bag giveaway for Fall. If you follow me on Instagram (@KatieFigYaDig) I had posted about it this time around but next time I’ll share it on my actual blog as well for my non-Instagram users.

Be sure to check out my next post to see how I already used some of these coupons in a Target haul.

– Katie

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Summer Nail Polish Picks 2012

Yayyyy it’s officially the first day of summer!

Side note: I’m not really excited about this… I hate the heat!

And what’s better than having an awesome mani-pedi to match the season?! To make choosing a color a little easier for you I created a list of some of my favorite picks for summer nail polish.

NEONS

Back L to R: Funky Fingers – Ectoplasmic, Funky Fingers – Pop Artist, Funky Fingers – 220 Volts Middle L to R: China Glaze – Pink Voltage (Neon), China Glaze – Sun Worshiper, China Glaze – Flip Flop Fantasy, Sinful Colors – 24/7 Front: Essie – Pink Parka

WHITES

L to R: Essie – Blanc, Sinful Colors – Snow Me White

BRIGHTS

L to R: OPI – Elephantastic Pink, L.A. Girl – Polka Dot Bikini, Zoya – Maura, Zoya – Arizona, Sinful Colors – Pull Over, China Glaze – For Audrey, China Glaze – Flyin’ High, Sinful Colors – Aquamarine

PINKS

L to R: OPI – If You Moust You Moust, Sinful Colors – Cream Pink, OPI – Pink-ing of You, Zoya – Jolene

NAUTICAL

L to R: OPI – The Color of Minnie, China Glaze – First Mate, Essie – Escapades, China Glaze – Pelican Gray, L.A. Girl – Idol

GLITTERS

L to R: Essie Luxeffects – Set in Stones, China Glaze – Fairy Dust, OPI – Pirouette My Whistle, Funky Fingers – Sand and Stilettos, Essie Luxeffects – Shine of the Times

Well, there you have it! Those are some of my picks for a summer inspired mani-pedi. Keep in mind that this list is compiled from only polishes I currently own but there are tonssss of additional colors and combinations you could go with. I hope this list helped give you some ideas!

What are your favorite summer nail colors?
Leave a comment so I can check them out.

– Katie

 

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Father’s Day Cupcakes

One of my dear nanny friends Taylor (I call her that because we’re both nannies and we randomly met at a park last summer when we both took our kids there) came over Saturday for a little reunion/baking lesson. Being that father’s day was the next day she wanted to make and decorate some cupcakes for her dad. He loves golf and the Chicago Cubs (smart guy!) so here’s what we came up with…

It’s not my best work because I was in a rush to get them done but overall I’m happy with how they turned out. Plus, her dad loved them so that’s all that matters!

– Katie

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Two Incredible Men

To the best dad and stepdad a girl could ask for,

Thank you for always being there and loving me unconditionally.
Your presence in my life means more than you both will ever know.

Happy father’s day!

– Katie

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