Friday, March 29, 2013

Peep! Peep!

As a treat for The Scot's office (and because I like a good holiday themed baking project) I made these little Peepcakes. I really wanted to get 4 colors of Peeps, but as they were packaged in sets of 15 and we're not huge eaters of Peeps (and I was only making 24 cupcakes), I held off on the blue and purple. For this year, anyhow.

The cake itself is one of my favorites. I call it Bunny Cake as it's a recipe I first learned years ago for a rabbit-shaped cake but nowadays make when I want something simple, but not plain. I'll share it someday for Eat Something Sunday. Basically, it's a dense buttery cake that tastes of awesome. The cupcakes were topped with the fluffiest vanilla buttercream I've ever made and dipped into shredded coconut (both tinted green, of course) before each little Peep got a home on top. Super simple, but super fun. I quite like how the stripey cupcake liners add to the Easter basket effect.

May your Easter be full of joy and celebration and may your Easter baskets be full of treats!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Sponsor Round-up!

Last month I started offering sponsorship via Passionfruit (a great service in my opinion). It's been a lovely month and I've been enjoying having some similarly-minded bloggers making new contacts and such through the Laura Kate Is Crafty blog. Today I'm featuring my March sponsors. They're all crafty gals, but each blog has widely varied content. Read a bit about each below and find some new blogs to enjoy!


First up is Denise from Every Hour Here. We've recently become online acquaintances through our mutual affection for Project Life scrapbooking. :)

My name is Denise and I blog at EveryHourHere.com. I am a SAHM with a 7 year old daughter and 3 year old boy/girl twins. My husband, Mark, & I have been married for 13 years and have seen each other go from goth-styled club kids to college radio DJs to parents. Together we love music, books, and spending time in the sun with our family.

EveryHourHere is a mix of crafty endeavors, parenting stories, and thrifting tips and finds. I love documenting our crazy life using Project Life and share new pages each week. I also have a regular series called Life With Twins that shares our experiences and trials and errors with being parents of multiples. Sometimes you'll find quilting/sewing projects, new music recommendations and stories from our day to day life.

You can also find me on Etsy at Bitte Shoen. Here you can find vintage treasures including kid's clothes, linens, books, and housewares. I love sharing my finds with other collectors and only stock items that I truly love.

I'm not new to blogging, but I am pretty new to promoting myself and our life. I've been so inpsired by and met the most amazing women online. I love how we can support each other and use our stories and experiences to lift each other up. These connections help feed my creative spirit and push me to do more and be more for myself and family. I hope somewhere in the posts on EveryHourHere you'll find something that makes you smile, laugh, think, and ultimately inspires you.


Next we have Lauren from Sparkle Monster. I met Lauren at BlytheCon in Dallas this past August and she's just a great gal.

My name is Lauren and I'm the voice behind Sparkle Monster. I live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area with my husband and our cocker spaniel. I dabble in all kinds of crafting with knitting and crocheting being my main creative outlets. I'm a bit of a nerd and I like to obsess over Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Adventure Time, Blythe, etc. Most of the time, my love of crafting and geekery come together to make awesome things!

My blog is all about crafting, nerdy pleasures, and whatever else I feel inspired to write about. I'm into fashion as well so there are always lots of clothes involved! I've opened up a bit about my battles with depression and anxiety and I'm an advocate of mental illness awareness.


Here is Jess from MilkyRobot. We're online acquainted through Blythe adventures, but she's a broadly talented lady!

Hello, I'm Jess! I am an addicted crafter who loves knitting, cats, body positive and blogging! My blog revolves around my world and everything I do and like. I mostly blog about my cats, baking, plush making and self love. I am an amateur photographer and love taking pictures of everything!

Jess's etsy shop can be found --> here.


Now we come to Lauren of Tastes Like Love. I don't even remember how I happened upon her blog, but it's delightful!

Hello, my name is Lauren, pleased to meet you! I'm a twenty four year old lady happily living with my husband on the Central Coast, Australia. I love drawing illustrations of girls in cute dresses & custom portraits, pots of tea, home wares, blogging and keeping busy. My blog, Tastes Like Love, is my little space where I love to share my illustrations, fancy folk, daily adventures and delightful things!

Follow Tastes Like Love on Bloglovin' --> here!


My other March sponsor is Samantha at IndieAndChic, a fellow newlywed who designs pretty jewelry, runs, and who is giving scrapbooking another chance through Project Life.

If you're interested in sponsoring Laura Kate Is Crafty in April (or anytime), just check out my Sponsor page. Ad swaps are 100% free* and paid sizes are incredibly reasonable. It's a fun way to promote your blog or shop to a group of likeminded readers!

*ad swaps are at my discretion for content

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Project Life: Week 12

Do you ever have those weeks that you're sure are going to be tranquil pools of calm bordering on downright boring? Me too. This was one of those weeks. Not a lot going on. Nothing at all planned. Some tasty meals at home, a lot of grey day catching up on some tv in the afternoons while crafting, a bit of forward planning/scheming for summer things. And then along came Thursday and a tweet from Alan Cumming offering free tickets to the Paul Taylor Dance Company performance at Lincoln Center that night. Being a short ride away, having never seen a performance at Lincoln Center, and being a fan of modern dance, I jumped on it before even asking The Scot if he'd be up for it! (Thankfully he was). The seats were amazing. The dancing was beautiful (and featured a college classmate of my sister's!). I'm not sure how much I've mentioned it here on the blog, but I used to be a dancer. I had planned to double major and changed plans my sophomore year of college. It's something I miss a lot and don't generally have the money to go see a lot of dance. So this was just a wonderful treat.

Full spread with insert to right
(I'll probably swap out the leftmost 3x4 for the real stubs when I remember where I put them!).

Full spread with insert to left
(I have just noticed in posting this that my end date is incorrect. Oops. Totally fixable).

While he was out for some Friday night post-work drinks, it was my husband's turn for scheming. Saturday, after the Blythe meet, we were heading to Atlantic City with work friends... Sometimes life happens in the best sort of ways. And it's great! So instead of my spread featuring snaps of the amazing pork chops & grits or the tasty quiche that I made last week, it features so much more in the way of adventures. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting too old for these hijinks, but then I realize I'm only as old as I feel. And there was little old man who looked in his 80s dancing to the band at 3:30am. So I've got a lot of living to do. Plus, I left AC a winner! (This budget-savvy girl only played the penny slots and only spent $5, but I did it with GUSTO!). :)

Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen on Grooveshark
Yes, I know it's about AC mob activity, but it's been in my head since Friday

(That "snapshot" tab pulls up to reveal another photo that I couldn't leave out!)

It was a crazy end to a week that started off so placidly! I had fun paring down the photos to include in my Project Life spread this week. I'll definitely be doing to more detailed 12x12 layouts about the concert, the Blythe meet, and of course the crazy Saturday.

Have a marvelous Easter week. If you missed them on Thursday, please check out my Eastertide freebie cards. Also, as a convenience (and because bad links on Pinterest, etc. annoy me a little), I've created an indexed page of all my freebies that I'll add to as I offer them. It's there on the righthand menu next to my other links.

As I do weekly, I'm linking up with The Mom Creative's PL Tuesday.

I Am Just Only Myself

After reading this excellent post from Margaret Cho, a small segment of sentences called out to me. She was writing of her tattoos and of other scars and stories her body tells. While I'm not tattooed at all (and don't intend to be), this still spoke to me. I thought it was a quote worth sharing. Lately I'm not the most fond of how my body looks. But, in the end, it is me. I am just only myself.

image source

Just a little something while I am up too late tonight. I am as guilty as many others of judging based on appearance. But I shall try my best to remember this simple thought. We are all only who we are.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Playing dollies: NYC style

The last NYC area Blythe meet was just before Christmas. As the seasons are attempting to change and the sun is peeking out a bit more than it had been in recent memory, it was time for another. This time it was held in Jersey City at the home of Katie, who has a high rise apartment with great views.

Spring NYC area Blythe meet
Erica's famous Flo

Spring NYC area Blythe meet
The three girls I took along. They weren't as popular as the many fancy customs and re-rooted dollies there, but I love the girls I have and wouldn't trade them for all the fancy ones!

Spring NYC area Blythe meet
Warhol girls! (My Edesia is on the left)

Spring NYC area Blythe meet Spring NYC area Blythe meet
Siri's girl // Mel's parrothead girl

Spring NYC area Blythe meet
Katie's cat was very curious. He gave a few dolls a nuzzle and was just a sweet little kitty.

Spring NYC area Blythe meet
Who doesn't love a Rosie Red?

The meets here are a lot different from the London ones. Not less social, but definitely just a different kind of socialness. (Maybe because we often meet in pubs in London?!). It was still nice to have a little dolly afternoon, even if I couldn't stay very late due to a rather hastily (and hilariously) planned trip to Atlantic City (details forthcoming). The sun was shining bright and it lent to the hope that perhaps Spring really is here!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Eat Something Sunday: Simple Bacon & Zucchini Crustless Quiche

Mmmm….quiche. This isn't something I grew up with. Not that I recall. My first quiche-related memories are solidly in high school or perhaps college. Since then, however, I've been a convert. I love a good quiche. Back in London, I have a known weakness for the hand-sized Quiches Lorraine from Paul bakery. They're to die for.

For a pretty simple weeknight meal, or a weekend brunch that's a nice change from French toast and pancakes, this crustless quiche is a breeze. Made in the vein of those "impossible pie" Bisquick recipes that were the joy of the last mid-century (and are rather fascinatingly awesome), this recipe creates a pseudo-crust as it bakes. Not quite as luxurious as a flaky pastry, but still very delicious. I've made it with fresh zucchini, but it's also great with frozen as one of those "Ack! What are we having for dinner?!" meals. At least in my house where bacon & cream are refrigerator staples...

Simple Zucchini & Bacon Crustless Quiche

Preheat oven to 350° F

4-6 slices bacon, cut into small pieces (not pictured)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 eggs
1/2 cup cream
1 lb Zucchini (fresh or frozen), chopped into small chunks OR shredded
- this is about 2 average sized zucchini
2-4 Tbsp flour**
1 Tbsp thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (
- cheddar, gruyere, Monterey Jack, or Swiss/Ementhaler all work nicely

**Use more flour if you used frozen zucchini and less if fresh.

This photo is a little light on bacon. Normally I use more, but I was running low :(

1 - In a frying pan, saute the bacon until chewy and the onions until translucent. This should take just a minute or two. Allow it to slightly cool while you move on to the next steps.

2 - In a large bowl, beat the eggs . Add the cream and then the zucchini (if you're using frozen, just toss it in frozen). Mix well.

3 - Add the (by now slightly cooled) bacon & onion mixture, followed by the dry ingredients, then the cheese. Mix after each addition.

4 - Pour it all into a greased 9 inch pie plate and bake at 350° F for 40-45 minutes, or until center is firm

5 - ALLOW TO COOL & set for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Bon appetit!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Eastertide freebie set

Last week I launched my new scrapbook designs shop with 2 travel-related sets (you can read all about that here). Along with it, I offered (and still am offering) a coordinating freebie set to fans of the blog on Facebook. Today, I have a little treat right here on the blog.

Spring began yesterday. In my neck of the woods it was sunny, but cold. I know that for many of you it was/is quite snowy and grim. But with the new season comes fresh starts and renewal and all sorts of loveliness. The season is also that of Easter. This Sunday is Palm Sunday in the Christian faith and in Judaism Passover begins on Monday. This set of cards designed to work with Project Life or other pocket-style scrapbook systems approaches the season from a few viewpoints with a bunny, a lamb, and some whimsical treats as well. I hope these wordless designs help you tell your story, whatever your faith may (or may not) be.

You can download them > > > here < < <.

I hope you all have a wonderful springtime and a beautiful holiday time. Please feel free to share in the comments here or on the LKiC Facebook page any links to your pages using these cards. It's always great to see what ideas people come up with (and I love reading comments left by readers!).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

For Spring

A Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

Robert Frost*

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Project Life: Week 11

Welcome to Week 11. Birthday week! Woohoo! Admittedly, my birthday was mostly quite low-key. But we did have dinner with ninjas...

Here's the spread with an 8.5x11" AC insert. It's a little layout within the pocketed look of everything else. I quite like it! (The back side holds all my cards)

The main spread

Hello, properly-in-my-30s

Those excellent instagram 3x4 cards are a freebie from Cathy Zielske. I love her.

So that's my week. If you're loving Project Life and always like seeing new inspiration, you should head on over to my pal Meg's brand new blog. I've known Meg since we worked together at a scrapbook store in WI many moons ago. She lives in Wales these days. She's just wrapping up her PhD and finally having some time to blog. I personally can't wait to see what she'll be sharing, so I think you'll all love it too!

It's Tuesday, so I've linked up at The Mom Creative.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Eat Something Sunday: Sarah Sylvia Cinnamon Stout Cake

Eat Something Sunday happens to fall on St. Patrick's Day this week. While I was tempted to share a recipe for the non-PC named Irish Car Bomb cupcakes (which I did make for the husband's office as a treat), I decided that there are lots of takes on that in cake form out there. But it is St. Patrick's Day, so I had to do something as an ode to Ireland. This moist and decadent cinnamon and Guinness cake fits the bill. I actually made this as my birthday cake on Wednesday. It's a bit of a change from the usual birthday fare, but it's absolutely special and fabulous.

Sorry for no ingredient pic this week. I forgot before baking, then I'd used all the beer. Oops!

Sarah Sylvia Cinnamon Stout Cake*
written for a 12 cup capacity pan, such as a Bundt
adapted from My Spice Sage

preheat to 350° F

2 cups sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1.5 cups butter
3 eggs
3 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups Guinness (or your favorite stout or porter)
3 cups flour

*I ♥ Shel Silverstein

1 - Cream together butter and sugars then add eggs and mix until light and fluffy.

2 - Add cinnamon, baking soda, & salt and mix to incorporate

3 - Slowly pour in the beer. I like to mix about 1/2 at a time. It will foam up and look strange. Keep going. It's supposed to do that.

4 - Add the flour. Toss it all in at once and mix until everything is wet and mixed together. You'll likely have to scrape the sides of the bowl once or twice.

5 - Pour batter into prepared (greased & floured) Bundt pan and bake at 350° F
for an hour.
I can't stress enough how important it is to prepare your pan well. I greased and floured mine within an inch of it's life and some still stuck later (possibly as my pan is ancient) - so do this well!

6 - After removing from the oven, allow the cake to cool in pan for about 30 minutes. Gently run a butter knife around the edge of the cake (and around the center bit as well) and turn out the cake onto a cooling rack to allow to finish cooling.

You can see that mine came out a little wonky. No matter. I just stuck it back together. It all tastes the same, right?

You can dust it with powdered sugar, glaze it, or even frost the whole thing - but that seems a bit overkill on such a decadent cake. I drizzled a cinnamon buttercream glaze over the whole thing. Admittedly, it looked a bit funny, but it tasted delightful!

Erin go bragh!