Something Wicked This Way Bakes

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cut cake close up

It is only April but I couldn’t wait to try a Halloween version of this cake. As you recall I made this cake a few posts back with spring colors. When I say I couldn’t wait to make this cake what I meant was: I made this cake and took it to the family Easter dinner. At this point my family just took me bringing a Halloween cake to Easter in stride. It took many years but I think they have finally accepted Halloween is my lifestyle not a holiday. If they did not like the cake theme my family kept that to themselves. They were impressed with the swirled color effect. They said the cake was tasty also.

So here is the instructions to make this cake. Once you learn the process you can customize the colors for any holiday or party theme.

Ingredients:

1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Pam to spray the pan
Food coloring or icing coloring gel
Any items you want to decorate with (I used gummy mummy)
1 can white frosting

Use a Bundt pan.

Preheat your oven to the temperature on the box directions. Spray/grease your Bundt pan.
If you read the box directions for a white cake mix it calls for 3 egg whites. That’s because you don’t want to yolk to mess up your white cake. Since we are going to color the batter it is okay to use 3 whole eggs.

Add the items listed on the cake box along with vanilla extract to a large bowl. Mix your cake according to box directions. After it is mixed thoroughly, divide the batter between three bowls. I find it works out better if you don’t get the amounts totally even.
So now you have 3 bowls of white cake mix, now get your food coloring. I use the gel colors, I find they work better. One color to each bowl. Orange, green and purple. Halloween colors. Mix, mix and mix some more. Get rid of all that white.

color gel

color gel

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Take the bowl with the most batter and pour in pan first. Follow with the bowl with next most amount. Finish with the bowl that has the least. You don’t want to cover each color completely. I have a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

Stick that pan in the oven and let the cake voodoo happen.
Now the cake is baked. Let it cool before you turn it out of the pan.

The spring color cake I made the other week, I divided the icing into three bowls and colored the icing with the same colors I used in the batter. This time I decided to go with red to look like dripping blood.

Put the icing in a bowl. Heat in microwave 25 seconds. You want the icing running so you can drizzle over cake. You may have to heat it a few more seconds if the icing is still thick after 25 seconds. BUT before you decide it needs to heat more give it a good stir, that maybe all it needs. Once you have it runny enough to drizzle add your color and mix away. Once mixed good drizzle that bloody concoction like you want that cake to resemble a crime scene.

without gunny mummy

without gunmy mummy

Let the icing cool then add your decorations.

Done! Now sit back and enjoy your evil creation.

bloody cake 2

uhhh 5

Here is the link to where I learned this technique. Actually it’s the pin that will gateway you to the site.
Here is the post where I made this cake with spring colors.

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Something Wicked This Way Bakes

1

cut cake close up

It is only April but I couldn’t wait to try a Halloween version of this cake. As you recall I made this cake a few posts back with spring colors. When I say I couldn’t wait to make this cake what I meant was: I made this cake and took it to the family Easter dinner. At this point my family just took me bringing a Halloween cake to Easter in stride. It took many years but I think they have finally accepted Halloween is my lifestyle not a holiday. If they did not like the cake theme my family kept that to themselves. They were impressed with the swirled color effect. They said the cake was tasty also.

So here is the instructions to make this cake. Once you learn the process you can customize the colors for any holiday or party theme.

Ingredients:

1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Pam to spray the pan
Food coloring or icing coloring gel
Any items you want to decorate with (I used gummy mummy)
1 can white frosting

Use a Bundt pan.

Preheat your oven to the temperature on the box directions. Spray/grease your Bundt pan.
If you read the box directions for a white cake mix it calls for 3 egg whites. That’s because you don’t want to yolk to mess up your white cake. Since we are going to color the batter it is okay to use 3 whole eggs.

Add the items listed on the cake box along with vanilla extract to a large bowl. Mix your cake according to box directions. After it is mixed thoroughly, divide the batter between three bowls. I find it works out better if you don’t get the amounts totally even.
So now you have 3 bowls of white cake mix, now get your food coloring. I use the gel colors, I find they work better. One color to each bowl. Orange, green and purple. Halloween colors. Mix, mix and mix some more. Get rid of all that white.

color gel

color gel

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Divide batter into 3 bowls. Mix in colors. Layer in pan

Take the bowl with the most batter and pour in pan first. Follow with the bowl with next most amount. Finish with the bowl that has the least. You don’t want to cover each color completely. I have a picture so you can see what I’m talking about.

Stick that pan in the oven and let the cake voodoo happen.
Now the cake is baked. Let it cool before you turn it out of the pan.

The spring color cake I made the other week, I divided the icing into three bowls and colored the icing with the same colors I used in the batter. This time I decided to go with red to look like dripping blood.

Put the icing in a bowl. Heat in microwave 25 seconds. You want the icing running so you can drizzle over cake. You may have to heat it a few more seconds if the icing is still thick after 25 seconds. BUT before you decide it needs to heat more give it a good stir, that maybe all it needs. Once you have it runny enough to drizzle add your color and mix away. Once mixed good drizzle that bloody concoction like you want that cake to resemble a crime scene.

without gunny mummy

without gunmy mummy

Let the icing cool then add your decorations.

Done! Now sit back and enjoy your evil creation.

bloody cake 2

uhhh 5

Here is the link to where I learned this technique. Actually it’s the pin that will gateway you to the site.
Here is the post where I made this cake with spring colors.

A Pinch of Magic

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Bibbity Bobbity Boo

Bibbity Bobbity Boo

I have been asked, “Gotha, why is your blog titled, The Pinteresting Life of Gotha Stewart?”, well the answer is simple. When I decided to start this blog I told my husband I wanted to call it “Bitches Be Pinning”. He immediately replied, “I will divorce you if you do.”
Since I have already invested eighteen years of my life with this man and he is the one who kills the spiders that get inside the house. I decided to come up with a different blog name. My friends are all the time telling me, if the evil world had a Martha Stewart it would be you. That is the direction my mind went to find another blog title, so later that day ‘The Pinteresting Life of Gotha Stewart’ was born.

That being said, today’s post is not even about a pin I saw on Pinterest, (oh the horror). This is a pin I, myself pinned. It was just a photo of the finished project that I uploaded to Pinterest. Since several people have asked me how I made it, I decided to share the how-to.

We have this giant oak tree in out back yard, I call him the mighty oak. Yes I do talk to him. If I don’t he throws acorns on me as I try to relax and read in his shade. Mighty oak tends to lose limbs during bad thunderstorms. One day while picking up limbs after an extremely bad storm I picked up this one good size stick. The first thing that entered my mind was, Gandalf from LOTR. I turned to the husband, shouted, “You shall not pass!” then struck the earth with the bottom of the stick. The husband looked at me, shook his head and said, “to bad it’s not a broom, you could fly off.” Oh he thinks he is funny. He’s not.

The mind started working. I saw this stick transformed to a magical staff any sorcerer or sorceress would be proud of.


 

How-to Magical Staff

What you need:
An awesome stick from an acorn throwing tree. (any good size fallen limb would work)
Wood burning tool
Sandpaper
Screwdriver or something to scrape away bark
Sealant
Imagination
Gemstones (optional)
Jewelry/craft glue (if using gemstones)
Small jewelry charms (optional)
Cooking twine (for charms and gemstone)
Nail polish or marker (if using gemstones)
Sharpie
Small can of light wood stain
Eye of newt (not really)
Tongue of goat (not really)
A sarcastic husband who thinks you are incapable of using a wood burning tool (optional)

I already had all the items on hand. Except eye of newt and tongue of goat. I began working naked under the light of a full moon, not really, it was full sun and I was fully clothed. Since we just experienced a bad storm the night before I had to lay the stick in the sun to dry. This took a few days. I did almost all the work on this project outside, due to messiness and chemicals used.

After drying I used a flat head screw driver to scrape off the bark. My plan way to scrape all the bark off, cut off any lumpy bumpy places and smooth the whole thing down. I decided against that after realizing all those things were what gave the stick character. I did remove the bark and sandpaper from places where I was going to burn symbols. This took a week, mainly because I was working a lot of hours at the time and was hardly home. I must warn you, there could be tiny bugs coming out of the stick as you work. The stick at one time was a living limb that housed living things. Nope, not creepy at all.

After the scraping and sanding was complete I got down my trusty book, “The Happy Homemakers Guide to Sorcery and Pot-Luck Potion Swaps.” Not a real book but what an awesome Gotha Stewart prop that would make. I did use books and go online looking up magical symbols to use. It’s not like anyone has ever accidentally conjured up a demon that way. Right? (See Buffy, season four episode four, “Fear, Itself”. To see how things can go wrong using symbols from books. Last scene in episode is great.)
With the sharpie I drew the symbols I wanted on the stick. Using the wood burning tool I burnt those symbols into the stick. Some symbols I had to burn a few times to get them deep and dark enough to be seen. FYI this is not a project for children, unless they are enrolled in Hogwarts, even then they would still need adult supervision on this project.
Once the symbols are burnt you can now stain the staff. At this point I feel it should no longer be called a stick. I used a paper towel to apply the stain, I only stained a few places. I wanted the staff to have a used well worn look and feel.
Once you have the staff looking how you want it. Now get out your can of spray sealant and spray away. I did several coats. Let each coat dry completely before applying the next.

Now is time for gemstones. A few years ago the husband and I took a day trip to the mountains. We stopped at a roadside gem mining stand. You buy a bucket of rocks, sit at a flume with running water, use container with a mesh like bottom and proceed to find gemstones. We ended up with a huge bag of gemstones.
I played around with placing gemstones in the ‘fork’ of the staff until I found the perfect one. I then used craft glue (E-6000) to glue it in place. This stuff has a strong smell. Make sure you are outside or in a well ventilated area. I then glued a pointed stone to the tip of one of the ‘prongs’. That area was not the most secure place and the glue did not have much area to grab onto. So I applied glue the bottom end of the stone and the first inch of the stick then I wrapped cooking twine where the glue was applied. Once completely wrapped to my liking I started dabbing more glue on the outer part of the twine. Once dried I was not happy with the look of the twine, it was orange and black striped. I had this dark purple nail polish that was left in my car. The heat had thickened it up to the point I could not use it as fingernail polish. I coated the twine in it. To finish it up I tied a bundle of charms to the staff. I went overboard with the charms. I will probably take most of them off and just settle on three to leave dangling. I will also use a different color twine to tie them with, maybe a solid color.
staff close up

So there it is. The making of a magical staff. It is now ready to use as a magical prop, or to dazzle your friends at conventions or banish a demon hiding under a dwarfed mined mountain.

A little over five foot tall

A little over five foot tall

I wish I had taken photos of the whole process. As I sit here typing this the wind is picking up outside, maybe a storm is blowing in. If the Mighty Oak loses another awesome limb maybe I will make another magical staff and take pictures of the process this time.

I hope this has inspired the magical person inside you to make you own staff if so, please share your experience and photos with me.

Thanks for visiting now off you go, there’s pins out there in need of pinning!

Signs of the Apocalypse

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Last September I stumbled upon this darling spooky Pin. It was a wood post with direction signs to scary locations. I knew I could do this, I just needed a little help from my man.

Halloween Sign from Pinterest:

Halloween sign from Pinterest

Halloween sign from Pinterest

Link to Halloween sign Pin

When will I learn? I have had a few pins go bad over the years, the worst were the ones my husband had a hand in.
Remember the pin where someone dug a little trench along their flowerbeds, lined it with landscape rubber runners then filled the trench with white rock? It looked really good. I showed the picture to my hubby then I began to explain what we needed to do along with the supplies we needed. He put his hand up to shush me, “I got this,” he assured me.
It turned out so bad I didn’t even take a picture of it. I lived for weeks with fear that the landlords would see it and ask us to move. Thankfully it is now covered in grass, all evidence gone…for now.

With the spooky sign I was determined to keep control. Get the wood I needed, along with some paint and stencils for the lettering. Within five minutes of entering Lowes I lost that control. I know where I went wrong, oh if only I could go back in time to warn my delusional self.

I lost control the minute I opened my mouth and asked, “What size boards do you think we need?” What my husband heard was, “please take over this project and dazzle me with your manly awesomeness”.

I wanted to get a small can of paint, we got spray paint. The wood for the sign the hubby decided we would use some fence wood left over from another gone wrong project. The lettering? No stencils for me just black sharpie and bad handwriting.

Let me share with you all the problems with this Pin.
Problem one: well, letting him run the show, obviously.
Problem two: the wood just soaked up the spray paint. I lost count of the cans we used.
Problem three: we couldn’t agree over the destination names. eventually I did win that battle. Bless my evil heart.
Problem four: Sharpie. That’s all I’m saying.
Problem five: see number one
Problem six: coating the sign with a clear sealant. I wanted to do several layers to make this thing last. After all that work I didn’t want the first rain to ruin everything. We did one coat.
Problem seven: I suggested cutting the bottom of the post into a point so we could drive it into the ground. Again I refer you to problem number one.

The hubby could only drive the sign into the ground so far because…wait for it…no pointy end. So every gust of wind knock the damn thing over. All in all it did turn out decent but nowhere near what I envisioned.

wood

Our Halloween sign

Our Halloween sign

 

 

Did I learn my lesson? Yes.
Will crap like this happen again? Sadly yes.
Will I one night smother him in his sleep? No because I need someone to kill spiders and other bugs that invade my space.
Do I love this man? Yes, with all my dead heart. That is why I will still involve him in my projects, he’s my best friend.

So on this Pinteresting adventure the Pin didn’t go wrong, the man behind the plan was the problem. But I wouldn’t change it for anything. We had fun together. In the end, isn’t that what life is about? Going through this world, the good and the bad with the one who has your heart, (even if it’s in a jar buried in the backyard).

My fall display with Halloween sign

My fall display with Halloween sign

Trapped in a Web

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I saw this Pin last fall and wanted to make it so bad. Who wouldn’t want a person trapped in a spider web in their front yard? It wouldn’t be too scary for the neighborhood kids plus it looked so awesome. With the tree I have in my front yard it would be tricky. The branches start close to the ground on my tree making getting close to the trunk difficult. I felt with some strategic moves on my part it could be done.

Picture from Pinterest. Link below.

Picture from Pinterest. Link below.

Spider web Pin link.

Sadly my work schedule picked up causing me to work a whole lot of overtime. I still found time to decorate for Halloween, just not as much as I wanted to. I was able to accomplish one Pin. I will share that at a later date.

But the idea of a victim trapped in a spider web stayed with me. Haunted me you could say. My dark soul longed to witness this. I was getting the twins ready to go hang out on the porch for October. FLASHBACK 4 YEARS AGO:

How I adopted the twins. The hubby and I were at Morris Costume one September day. I needed liquid latex for my zombie make-up and the hubby needed rigid collodion to make horrific scars on his face. We were heading to the check out counter when we noticed these Halloween props. Little demon boys. So cute, I knew there was no way we could afford one so I kept walking to the register. The lady running the register smiled then said, “I noticed you looking at the monster boy props. I don’t know if anyone has told you but we received a whole truckload of those props but the power switch is bad. The props are being sold for $5 each.”
The hubby immediently piped up. “we’ll take one.” he said.
I said, “No, we’ll take two.”
Now we have the twins. Vincent and Boris, our evil boys.
FYI: the switch wasn’t broke. On/off writing was reversed. The boys work just fine.

The twins: Vincent and Boris

The twins: Vincent and Boris

BACK TO THIS PAST FALL:
Vincent is always popping up at the most unexpected places and scaring the crap out of me. The hubby is always moving Vincent around the house when I’m not looking. I hope it’s the hubby doing it anyway.
While getting the twins ready to be in our Halloween display I had an idea. I can stop both Vincent and my hubby dead in their tracks.

Vincent was placed in the ‘time-out’ chair. With the help of some spider webbing, a few thumb tacks and some tape Vincent became a prisoner of the time-out chair. Boris sat on the back porch with a bowl of body parts on his lap.

Vincent in the time-out web chair

Vincent in the time-out web chair

It wasn’t a spider victim trapped in a tree web but I was happy. Next Halloween there will be one in the tree just like the Pin. Even if I have to use a real body.

Until next time remember: You can pin if you want to. You can leave your friends behind. Cause if your friends don’t pin and if they don’t pin. Well they’re no friends of mine.

Now that you have that little ’Men Without Hats’ tune stuck in your head my job is done. Gotha…out.

Dark Days Ahead

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Words to live by: IT IS NEVER TOO EARLY TO PREP FOR HALLOWEEN

With that being said let me share a little photo from my garden this past Fall. This is one of my all time favorite photos. When I see it pop up as my computer background my normally non-beating heart gives a little jump. I love Halloween, every aspect of it from the whimsical to the horrifying. The hubby and I are renters so I am unable to go all out on my gardening or my Halloween decorations. My landlords are very religious so I must respect their beliefs while celebrating my favorite holiday. In a neighborhood of thirty plus homes my house is the ONLY one decorated for Halloween. Which has all the neighborhood kids coming to look at the yard all October long. Most are young kids so between my landlords and little children I tone down my scary outside decorations. I’m okay with that, the scary is inside my house year round. Just ask my cable guy. He says when he sees my address pop up on the days rotation he is so excited he tells everyone he is going to the “Zombie House”.  Sad that I have so much trouble with my cable that he has to visit regularly. Okay now that I’m done rambling here is the photo.

My Happy Place

My Happy Place

Oh Halloween, how I miss you so.

Back to what today’s blog is about: Halloween prepping. Even though it is only March I use this time to stalk Pinterest for Halloween pins. Costumes, decorating ideas, projects, food, etc. Today I searched Halloween treats. Bite size candy apples caught my attention. There were several pins, I looked at them all. One common theme: everyone was having trouble with the candy coating not sticking to the bites. Seems it would just slip off the apple bites. If I would have had all the ingredients handy I would have tried it anyway. I think maybe caramel would stick better, sadly the only caramel I had was caramel sauce for ice cream. Yes I could have broomed it down to the store to buy what I needed but that would require me to change out of my spooky cupcake pajamas. Wasn’t going to happen.

Now I did have chocolate candy coating items on hand. Apples and chocolate? I have never tried it but I like apples and I adore chocolate. Why not?

What you need:

Apples (I used Granny Smith)

Lollipop sticks

Chocolate for melting (I used Wilton light cocoa candy coating)

Melon ball scoop

Tiny cupcake/candy liners (optional)

Sprinkles (optional)

Wax paper

Here we go:

Wash and dry your apples

Lay out your wax paper on counter.

Use what ever chocolate melting method you prefer. I used the double boiler method. Pot of simmering water with a glass bowl sitting on it.

double boiler method

double boiler method

As the water is heating go ahead and scoop you out some apple balls. Put peel side down, stick in lollipop sticks.

Scoop those apples

Scoop those apples

Once chocolate is melted, get to dipping.

After dipping I put some of the apple bites into the cupcake liners. A few I just sat out on the wax paper and tossed on some sprinkles before the chocolate set.

I was also working on another pin project that required the caramel sauce (holy giant pumpkin that pin turned out awesome).
For the photos I took one of the apple bites in a liner and covered it with caramel sauce. Looked nice for the photos, trying to eat that one caused a major caramel sauce incident. Which resulted in me having to change out of my spooky pajamas and into something not covered in caramel sauce.

Yummy apple bites

Yummy apple bites

Gooey goodness

Gooey goodness

One of the original pins: Candy apple bites

I must say that now having tried apples and chocolate together, I am a fan. I will be adding this to my Halloween line up. I would tell you what the hubby thought of the apple bites but my dad came by and we ate them all before hubby came home from work.

Candy apple bites are not something you should make a day ahead. I would make them a couple hours before any haunted events.

I think I will make these for the family trip to the pumpkin patch this year. I’m sure my little devils would enjoy them as a snack.

So this Pinteresting project turned out very well, very well indeed. I do plan on trying the apple bites with candy apple coating and the caramel coating. I will share that Pinteresting adventure with you.

I will be doing more Halloween prepping pins throughout the next few months. I also have a Halloween pin project from last Halloween to share. See you soon, same Pin time, same Pin channel. (Sorry had a flashback to my young days of watching Batman after school).

A Zombie Apocalypse Easter Egg

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Not a big fan of Easter. To me there is something disturbing about a bunny hiding eggs to lure kids behind bushes with the promise of candy. But I have to put away my Easter Grinchness for the kiddos.

I saw a Pin about string Easter eggs. Some just for decoration and some with treats inside for children. One Pin used a fabric stiffener on the string another used a flour/water mixture. I happened to have flour and water so I went with that Pin.

Here’s the plan.
1: Gather the supplies: flour
water
Bowl
Balloon
String (I used embroidery floss/thread)
Wrapped candy
Canning jar lid (this was not in the original pin but you will want to use this)
what it takes egg
2: Mix flour and water.
3: Cram candy into deflated balloon.
4: Blow up balloon to desired size. Go small.
5: Soak a long piece of thread in mixture.

Okay let’s take a moment. The pin looked like after soaking the thread you just start wrapping it around the balloon. Yeah…didn’t work for me. The thread just kept sliding off the balloon causing a chorus of bad language to spew forth from my mouth. So I spot a canning jar from another pin project. A light bulb moment: the lid will make a perfect stand to hold the balloon.

Revised plan:
6: Sit balloon on lid to free up both hands.
7: Take soaked string and just randomly cover balloon. I was only able to do one side at a time this way. Give the wet section a little time to dry before rotating. Remember once you pop the balloon and remove it you will have candy inside so make sure all your holes are small enough to keep the candy from falling out. You might be asking why I glooped (technical word) so much flour paste on the thread. That was the only way I could get certain parts to stay put.
8: Let it dry.
9: Wait forever to let it dry.
10: Watch Resident Evil while you wait for the string egg to dry.

The messy process

The messy process

So I’m watching one of my favorite Zombie movies while the drying process drags on. While watching I think about this past Fall when I planted a Zombie and Halloween night where I became an Umbrella Corp scientist cooking up the dreaded zombie virus. While we wait for the egg outcome I will share these two projects with you.

Planting a Zombie
While on Pinterest I stumbled upon a cute little pin. It was a little flower pot with a zombie hand planted. I said to myself, “Self, you can do this but it needs to be bigger.” I totally agreed with myself.

Here is the Pinterest zombie planter:

Zombie plant from Pinterest

Zombie plant from Pinterest

Here is mine. Yes it is true. Bigger is better.

My Zombie planter.

My Zombie planter.

Unleashing the Virus:
Every Halloween I dress as a zombie. Do my own make-up. Go to work covered it latex pieces I made with itchy blood and make-up on. So I awake at 4 a.m. to apply make-up. Wear make-up until eleven that night, sometimes even later. This Halloween I decided that was more then I wanted to commit to. So If I wasn’t going to be a zombie I was going to be a zombie creator. Off to Amazon I went, a week later my lab coat arrived followed by my Umbrella Corporation patches. A little ironing, some safety glasses and a security pass…Ta-da! I am a scientist that creates the zombie virus that wipes out mankind.

Resident Evil scientist costume

Resident Evil scientist costume

So for the moment you have been waiting for, the Pin outcome.

Getting candy out of a balloon that’s in a string egg is not a fun time. I tried to cut the balloon in half to get the candy out in doing so I managed to cut the wrapper off of one the candies. It seems flour paste was not a great choice. The string was now a dull flour coated mess. The egg is fragile, handle with care. I do not have any photos of the balloon removal process. It was late at night and all my concentration was on not breaking the damn egg. Somehow during this time I fell over the kitchen chair.
The crashing noise woke the husband, he raises his bald head off the pillow and asks, “Is someone attacking you?”
“No.”
“Good cause I wasn’t getting out of this warm bed to come save you.”
That people is true love at its finest.
In his defense if I was being attacked by a person and not an evil chair he would have helped me fight off the attacker…I think.

The eggish thing I made

The eggish thing I made

I used the four/water method because I did not have any fabric stiffener. Going to buy some for just one little project is just insane. Would I do this project again? Sure if I ever have some spare stiffener lying around.

Now I have this pack of balloons looking at me, begging to be used. I have the perfect Pin for those bad boys. So off on another Pinteresting adventure I go. Until next time, may the Pin be with you.