Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DIY Crocheted Bow Hair Pin

I don't know about you guys, but for the last few months, I have been in love with hair bows. I got inspired to make these guys after seeing Laura's post about knitted hair bows, over on her blog, Creating Laura. Her knitted version is SO cute, but ya'll, I don't know how to knit. I know. I embroider, I sew, I do all sorts of domestic things, but I don't knit! It's just never happened. Fortunately, I recently learned how to crochet, so I used a single crochet stitch to whip up this cute little crocheted hair bow.

By the way, when I say little, I do mean little. The finished bow is about 1"x2", which is the perfect size to pin your hair back with! You can, of course, make any size you like.
To make one, you'll need some yarn (if you have leftover yarn from another project, that would probably work great!), a 5.5mm crochet hook, a tapestry needle, scissors, and bobby pins (1 per bow).
Get started by crocheting a long, thin rectangle. I chained 18 and then did 5 rows. Note: I am not awesome at crocheting, so I will not be telling you all about that part. If you're interested in learning, check out this video. It was really helpful when I was very first learning.
Once your rectangle is done, stitch the ends together with yarn and a tapestry needle so it forms a little ring.
Next, cut a length of yarn about 18" long and tie one end tightly around your crocheted loop. Tie it nice and tight so your crocheted loop starts to resemble a bow. Be sure to leave a couple of inches at the tail.
Next, wrap the yarn around the center of your croceted loop until you have just a couple of inches of yarn left.
Tie the two ends together at the back of the bow and trim the ends.
Cute, right?
To finish it off, just slide a bobby pin through the looped yarn at the back of your bow. Be sure the flat side of the bobby pin faces away from the bow.
Ta-da! In just about 10 minutes, you've got yourself a super cute crocheted hair bow!

I'll definitely be whipping up a few more of these in different colors. They're such a fun little hair accessory that can really liven up your look!

Til next time!


P.S. I'm still in the running to have my string art project turned into a DIY kit with Whimsey Box! If you haven't done so already, by sure to stop by and favorite my project. Today is the last day to vote!

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes

Hi guys!

Today I'll be sharing a recipe for Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes. Holy moly, are they ever tasty! A few weeks ago I shared a recipe for PB&J Cupcakes, which were a trial run for a potential recipe for my friends' wedding that's happening in a couple of weeks. They've requested that I make their cake (I'm beyond flattered), and have asked that it be gluten free and vegan so everyone can partake! Well, at the get-go it was a bit of a daunting task, but now that I'm settling into it, I gotta say, delicious gluten free and vegan cake is easy!

Honestly, these Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes are so good that I felt like I was eating gluten filled, dairy filled cake. My family (who were told to pull no punches!) agreed, too, and my coworkers positively devoured them!

Man, really. They're good. These Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes are comprised of tart lemon cake with blackberry lemon filling and are topped with sweet, tangy lemon buttercream and fresh blackberries. Here's how to make them!

Lemon Blackberry Cupcakes: Gluten free and vegan, makes 16 cupcakes


For cake:
- 1 package Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix (If you're raising your eyebrows at the mention of cake mix, just trust me. This one is awesome and ya know what? Gluten free flour is hard to get right sometimes!)
- 3 flax "eggs." To make a flax "egg" mix 1 tbsp flax meal with 3 tbsp warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stirring a few times, and then use away!
- 1/2 c vegetable oil
- 1/2 c fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon

For filling:
- 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
- 1/2 cup lemon curd or lemon filling (check to be sure it's gluten free and vegan if you need it to be!).

For Buttercream:
- 1/2 c vegan butter at room temperature. (I used Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
- 3 c powdered sugar
- 1/4 c fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon

- Fresh blackberries, enough for 1 per cupcake!

1. Preheat your oven to 325°F and line your cupcake pan(s) with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl combine the cake mix with your flax "eggs." Beat on medium speed until well combined.
3. Add the oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, scraping down the sides part way through.
4. Fill your cupcake pans with batter. You'll want to fill them to about 1/2" down from the edge of the liner.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and then tops are evvvver so slightly golden. Then, remove from the oven and let cool.
5. To make the filling, begin by muddling the blackberries in a small bowl. I don't have a muddler, so I just smash 'em with a fork! Smash!!!
6. Then, add the lemon curd or lemon filling, mix to combine, and set aside.
7. Once your cupcakes have cooled, use a knife to cut a little cone of cake out of the middle of each cupcake to make room for your filling! Just be sure to not cut through to the bottom, or else a pile of blackberry filling goo will await you when you take your cupcake out of its wrapper. Trouble.
8. Then, using a small spoon, fill your cupcakes with the blackberry filling. You are also more than welcome to use a piping bag for this, just be sure to use a tip that's large enough to avoid it getting clogged by the blackberry seeds.
9. Next up, it's buttercream time! Begin by beating the vegan butter on medium speed until smooth.
10. Then, add the lemon zest and part of the powdered sugar and beat at medium speed, adding more powdered sugar as it's incorporated, and until it's all been added.
10. Add the lemon juice, and beat on medium speed until well combined and super smooth!
11. Load your buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a number 22 star tip, and pipe the lemon buttercream onto your cupcakes. You can also totally spread it on with a knife if you don't have a piping bag handy (Hey, I've been there! Let's be real. I was always there until about a month ago).
12. Finish off your cupcakes by placing a fresh blackberry on top of each one, then stand back and admire your handy work!
Aren't they just the dreamiest little things? I just need to run it by my friends, but I think these are going to be the wedding cupcakes! They're delicious as they are pretty, and have such bright fresh flavors that I think they'll be perfect for a summer day!

I hope you get a chance to try these out!

Til next time!


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Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend Wardrobe: A Pink Dress at the Pink House

Dress: Anthropologie; Necklace: Snash Jewelry; Belt: Vintage/Similar; Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens; Hair pins: DIY.

Wow, it was a busy weekend! Lately I've been feeling like it would be reeeallly convenient if the day was 4 hours longer. If I had a 28 hour day, I'd for sure be caught up on everything going on!

The summer weather has been just lovely the last week or so, and with it comes gorgeous produce at the farmers market. Friday I hit up the Phinney Ridge farmers market to purchase some of the summer bounty, and then headed home for some Friday night baking! I tried out another batch of cupcakes for my friends' wedding that's happening in a couple of weeks (!!!), and BOY were they good! More on that tomorrow. Promise!

Saturday was my dad'd birthday, so I headed to my parents' cute pink house for some birthday celebration! My sister and I gave my dad basically ALL the snacks for his birthday, which he was very pleased about! He didn't have much of a sweet tooth, other than for fruit, when my sister and I were kids, so I think we kind of delight in the fact that he's turned into a sugar fiend like the rest of us. It was a lovely afternoon with family, followed by a lovely evening getting drinks with my friend, Sarah.

Sunday was busy, busy, busy, running errands, working on projects, cleaning the house, and doing some canning (pickled okra!).

All in all a good weekend!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun or work on any fun projects?

Til next time!


P.S. I'm still in the running to have my string art project turned into a DIY kit with Whimsey Box! If you haven't done so already, by sure to stop by and favorite my project. There are only a few more days to vote!

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Mix-tape (CD) Exchange!

Buddy and Hank were so good at posing today!
Hi guys! Now, I don't know about you, but I love a good mix-tape. Granted, my mixes are usually done digitally or on CDs these days, but still, fun! There's something so great about spending time carefully picking out songs and putting them all together to create a perfect mix.

A few weeks ago, I shared A Playlist for a Hot Summer Day here on Ladyface Blog. Then a couple weeks later, Juni posted a great mix-tape CD that she had put together on her blog, Hej Juni, and it got me to thinking, how fun would it be to do a mix-tape cd exchange through my blog!

So I'm doing it! I hereby announce the Ladyface Blog Summer Mix-tape (CD) Exchange!

If you are interested in participating, send an email to me at or comment on this post with your email address by Friday August 2nd letting me know you want to participate! Then, I'll draw names, and email you to let know who you'll be sending your mix to. From there, you can email your recipient to get their mailing address and get started on your mix-taping! You can mail your mix whenever it's ready, but let's shoot for August 9th so the anticipation isn't too much, because, guys, I'm going to be really excited.

And hey! If you're a blogger, feel free to post the track list to your blog so you can share it with all of us!
Are you guys pumped? I'm pumped.

I look forward to seeing who wants to participate!

Til next time!

-Becca (and Buddy and Hank)

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Weekly Wishlist- Subdued Hues

I think it might be because of the cool mornings we had in Seattle earlier in the week, or maybe it's the shorter daylight hours, but when I was doing some online window shopping this week, I found that I was really drawn to subdued colors and pieces that would transition nicely into cooler weather. I'm no where near ready for fall to be here, but I guess my brain is telling me to start very mildly preparing!

This dress from ModCloth is so, so pretty. The cut and the details of it are really convincingly vintage! If I happened upon this dress in a thrift store, I'd be sure it was from the 50s (until I, being the nerd I am, started turning it inside out to look at how it was made to really figure out the exact era. Seriously. Nerd.). If you love vintage but get frustrated trying to find your size, this would be a great dress to add to your closet!

As it turns out, I have almost no black in my closet, as I tend towards other neutrals most of the time, so when I was thinking about accessorizing this pretty little frock, I thought it would be nice to bring in some pretty tan accessories. That way everything would go nicely with the black in the dress, but would also be more likely to go with a lot of the other colors in my closet. Don't be afraid to mix brown and black! It can be a great combo!

This belt from Anthropologie, which is on sale by the way, would be a great piece to add to any wardrobe. It's casual, but put together, would go with just about any color you tried it with, and is a really great width. I also seem to have a thing for shoes with cutouts lately, so I'm really drawn to these cute tan flats from ModCloth.

The feather brooch is by Kate Rowland, who I've previously expressed my undying love for. Her pieces are so fun and so pretty! Every time I visit her Etsy shop, I'm tempted to buy up the whole lot! I shared another gorgeous tote from Slide Sideways last week, but how pretty is this one? They make the most gorgeous prints!

So how about you? Is there anything you're wishing for this week?

Til next time!

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DIY Arrow Tote

I don't know about you guys, but all summer long I've been dreaming up a tote bag project. I thought about stamping one, dip-dying one, you name it and the idea has probably passed through my head. Simultaneously, I've been really drawn to arrow motifs (perhaps my inner 12 year old Hunger Games/Katniss Everdeen fangirl talking?) and eventually decided to make a tote bag that would have some sort of an arrow on it!

The day I finally figured out the How of it all, was a slow day at work, so there was a some extra time to chat with my co-worker. That obviously led to extra time for yours truly to just think out loud about this project (I gotta work on that whole thinking out loud, thing...), and after doing a couple of sketches I decided on a plan of action: I would draw up a pretty arrow template, paint it on my tote with fabric paint, and then do some simple embroidery to outline the shape and add the details!

If you'd like to make one for yourself, here's what you'll need:
- 1 large tote bag (or more if you're feeling ambitious!)
- Fabric paint, not puff paint, in the color of your choosing
- Awesome gold metallic yarn, or embroidery floss/yarn of your choice
- 1 large embroidery/tapestry needle
- Scissors
- A thin paint brush for the outline and a thicker one to fill everything in
Arrow template, printed and sized to fit your tote
- Transfer paper, OR if you're like me and always forget to buy one thing at the store, you can use a soft lead pencil and a hard lead pencil
Ok, buddies! Let's get started! First things first, you're going to want to transfer your template onto your tote! Actually, scratch that. First things first, iron your tote. Mine was ultra wrinkled. After you're tote is relatively wrinkle free, then you can transfer your template.

If you have transfer paper, have at it! Otherwise, let's talk about the pencil method. If you need to transfer a pattern to something that isn't transparent, such as a tote bag, and otherwise have no transferring materials, grab thyself a soft lead and a hard lead pencil and your printed template. Now, turn over your template, and shade the back of it with your soft lead pencil.
Then, find a good placement for the template on your tote. If you're lucky, your cat will help. Once your template is down, have your cat hold it in place, or if you don't have a cat, or your cat is unwilling to do so, you can hold it in place yourself, and then trace over the outline of the arrow with your hard leaded pencil. Skip the details for now! Tracing the outline from the top of the paper, will transfer the lead marks on the back the paper onto the tote in just the areas you went over with your pencil.
See? Pretty cool, huh? If your pencil marks are faint, you'll want to draw over them with your pencil just so it's easier to see.
Next up, use your thin paintbrush to paint the outline of your arrow with your fabric paint.
Then, use your thicker brush to fill in the arrow, and let dry. I actually did two coats, so once the first one was pretty dry, I applied the second coat of fabric paint and let that dry.

Ok guys, now this is the point at which my project, that I had planned to do in an evening, got slightly derailed. Ya know when you use something new and decide you can just figure it out and then later read the directions and find out there's a little more to it? Yea. That. This was my first time using fabric paint, and I had not realized you are supposed to let it dry for an extended amount of time, and then wash your item and let it hang dry. 

Now, when I say extended amount of time, I mean 72 hours. I am not that patient. So, I decided to partially follow the rules and throw my tote in the wash after it had dried for 24 hours. I washed my tote in cool water with a small amount of mild detergent, then hung it to dry. Once it was dry, I ironed the crap out of it (it had gotten super wrinkly AGAIN in the wash.) and got back on track!
So the next step is to transfer the details onto the pattern using the same pencil or transfer method. If you'd like, you could also free-hand the details.
Now it's embroidery time! You'll be using a backstitch to do the embroidery work, so thread up a needle and have at it! 

I started by embroidering around the whole perimeter of the shaft of the arrow. Then I moved onto the outline of the arrow head, then the outline of the feathers, and then I filled in the other details.

Once you've finished your embroidery, you should have something that looks like this:
Super cute, right? I have to say, because I had a few set backs with this project, I was a little skeptical of how it would turn out, but once I saw the finished project I was SO happy with the outcome. I'm really pleased that the combination of the embroidery and the fabric paint give this a really cool geometric quality that I've been crazy about lately.
I'm really looking forward to bringing this tote just about everywhere this summer!

Hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial!

Til next time!


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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Goat Cheese Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Hi everyone! Today I'm going to share a recipe for one of my favorite savory summer treats, Goat Cheese Stuffed Squash Blossoms.

I realize that they're a little alien looking, but they are delicious! Tender squash blossoms stuffed with herbed goat cheese, coated in olive oil, salt and pepper, and baked in the oven until they're tender and ever-so-slightly crispy.

If you had talked to me 10 years ago, I would have never agreed to eat these, let alone make the recipe. First of all, I thought summer squashes, like zucchini, were gross. How wrong I was! Second of all, I didn't tend to eat anything "weird-looking". Ah, how limited my thinking was! Last but not least, I thought goat cheese was gross. Man oh man, it is hard for me to picture a world where I thought goat cheese was gross because it is SO GOOD! If left to my own devices, I could probably eat a whole package of the stuff in a sitting. It's just so delicious!

I digress. Here's how to make these goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms:
- Squash blossoms. I used about 10, which I think was about 1/4 of a pound.
- Fresh herbs. I grabbed small bunches of basil, parsley, and chives from the herb planters out in the the little yard behind my building. Ultimately you'll need enough to equal about 1 tbsp of each when you chop them up.
- About 3oz. goat cheese
- About 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Ok, first things first! Preheat your oven to 400°F, then grab your squash blossoms. Look inside of one. See that little thing in there? (Guys, I haven't taken a science class since I was 15. My brain has pushed out all preexisting knowledge of plant anatomy. I want to call that thing a stamen, but that's almost definitely wrong. Right?). Well, that thing is not a super pleasant addition to your food, so use your fingers to twist it and pull it out.
2. Once you've de-whatevered your squash blossoms, chop up your herbs! You'll want about 1tbsp of each when they're chopped up. Once they're chopped, put them in a small mixing bowl and add your goat cheese.
3. Now, use your fork to mix the goat cheese and herbs together. Pretty much you'll mash and mix until the herbs are evenly distributed through the cheese and the mixture has a bit of a crumbly texture.
4. Time to fill your squash blossoms! If you are feeling fancy (and like doing extra dishes, am I right?) you can load the filling into a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice and pipe the filling into the squash blossoms, OR you can just use a small spoon and yer fingers to fill each one with about 1 tbsp of the goat cheese and herb mixture. Once it's filled, twist the blossom closed at the top.
5. After you fill a blossom, lay it onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. When all the squash blossoms are filled, drizzle olive oil over them and roll them to coat. After you do that, sprinkle the squash blossoms with salt and pepper and put them in the oven.
6. Bake your goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is a little bubbly, the blossom is a little crispy, and the tiny squash attached to the end is nice and tender. Once they're done, remove them from the oven and let cool until they're cool enough to eat. Then, devour them, obviously!
Now depending on how many people you want to serve, and how you're serving them, you may want to increase or decrease the recipe. I ate this plate of them on their own for dinner, but I've also served them as hors d'ouevre at a cocktail party, or made a meal of a couple of these goat cheese stuffed squash blossoms over some pasta and marinara sauce.

I hope you get a chance to try them and I hope you love them as much as I do!

Til next time!

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