Update your bookmarks, people!

I have a new site! Yay! It still needs some tweeks and what not but I'll fix 'em up shortly. Now when you type in thecraftinista.com, you aren't directed to a blogger site but my own domain. Hoorah.

Go there now - www.thecraftinista.com

Much thanks to my brother, Greg, for helping me out on this :)


Springtime Cupcakes!

I'll let you in on a little secret - when I make cupcakes, I often use a cake mix.


I know, I know, it's a cheat but I just figure it's cheaper than raw ingredients and they rarely ever fail. The key to making it not just taste like a typical boring cupcake is to add new ingredients to it to make it unique.


AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I haven't had marshmallow fluff since I was a wee child. It's full of horrible sugar and it's AMAZING! I can see myself using Fluff for more cupcakes in the future. Perhaps S'mores cupcakes?

Here's my recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Vanilla Bean Cupcakes.

1 box white cake mix
4 egg whites
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk (or 3/4 cup milk plus 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice*)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 cup marshmallow cream
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1 cup icing sugar

500 ml whipping cream
1 tbsp strawberry flavoured gelatin powder
1 cup icing sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350º and place liners in cupcake tray.

2. In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except cake mix. Blend well. Sift in cake mix to ensure no lumps of mix will be in the cakes. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Try not to over mix.

3. Fill cake liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-17 minutes.

*if you do not have buttermilk, you can substitute it for 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 tbsp of lemon juice. You should prepare this mixture 10 minutes before starting the recipe as you need to give the milk time to sour.

Once the cakes have cooled, cut a piece out of each one for the filling. I happen to have a rad cupcake tray that bakes each one with a hollow centre from the get-go. It saves on time and each one looks perfect!

4. Combine all ingredients for the filling. Spoon into hollow cake centres.

I love the use of vanilla bean paste in baked goods. I love the look of the speckled vanilla beans throughout the food. I find it appealing.

5. Whip cream until hard peaks form. Add gelatin and icing sugar.

6. Pipe whipped cream onto cupcakes just before serving and garnish with a strawberry.

I brought 15 of these to a friend's place last night. There were six of us and they were eaten in about an hour or so. Impressive!

I'm moving once again...in just under two weeks! I'm looking forward to it. Closer to the city and work, and I'll be living alone once again. My crafting time may be lessened in the next couple of weeks but it'll be worth it.

**** Come visit my new site at www.thecraftinista.com ****


Two pairs of pears.

I created a new pattern for a large pear amigurumi. Pattern & tutorial coming soon!
**** Come visit my new site at www.thecraftinista.com ****


Peanut Butter + Cookies = Happy Jennifer

I luuurve peanut butter cookies. And peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips are even better. But what's EVEN better is if these cookies also have oatmeal AND peanut butter chips.

Oh yes.

And no, they are not diabetic friendly. Not even close.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup natural peanut butter (don't use Kraft or any other processed peanut butter. Get the 100% natural peanut butter. Trust me, you'll thank me)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla bean paste (you can use vanilla extract - if you have to)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp hot water
2 cups flour
1 cup ground oatmeal
1 bag chocolate chips
1 bag peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350º. Cream together butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy and then add sugars. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix baking soda, salt and hot water in small bowl and add to butter/sugar mixture. Add flour & oatmeal, one cup at a time. Blend cookie mixture until well blended and is rather fluffy. Add chocolate and peanut butter chips. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll dough into a ball and place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes.

You may not have to cook them as long as I do, but I happen to use a 3 oz. cookie scoop so my cookies tend to be pretty massive. If you prefer to make a smaller cookie, you may only need to bake them for about 10-12 minutes. Just keep and eye on them and when the bottoms start to brown, get 'em out of the heat!

And last but not least, EAT THE COOKIES!

If they happen to last more than a day or two, I recommend putting them in the microwave for about 15 seconds or so. They get all warm, gooey and delicious.

**** Come visit my new site at www.thecraftinista.com ****


Gaga over Zig Zag

After I made my sister, Rebecca, a zig zag blanket for Christmas, I knew I had to make one for myself. Zig zag stripes + purple & grey? Hellz yes! This time around it only took me about two weeks to make, a far cry from the six weeks it took me to make my sister's blanket and a super duper far cry from the year it took me to make the blue and grey blanket that I made a few years ago for my living room.

So many pretty colours! Purple, grey, black, oh my!

I think it turned out pretty well! The colours match the rest of the decor in my room - especially my duvet cover and the art above the bed.

The fur babies are a huge fan of the blanket as well!

Every time I worked on it, Mags decided to sprawl across it, forcing me to move her each time I had to switch sides.

Vega seemed more interested once I was getting close to the end of it. Anytime I left the room, she curled up on it. Adorable? Yes.

And not to be outdone by the girls, Pete joined in to the snuggle-a-thon as well!

Shockingly, the blanket is covered in animal hair already....I can't imagine why! :)
**** Come visit my new site at www.thecraftinista.com ****


Cats + Felt = Love

I tend to make a lot of felted items. I love how they look and how durable they become after the felting process. Little did I know, cats seem to love felted items as well. Doesn't matter where I put them, one of the cats seems to find them, curl up and sit/sleep on them. Below is some photographic proof.

Two kittens, one bag.

James just chillin'.

 Tiny Magnets lookin' pretty adorable, if I do say so myself.

Vega gets into the action as well.
Magnets figures that there is room for her as well. "Move over Mom!"

The bag is smaller than Vega but she tries anyway.

Maggie tries this one out as well.

Now don't get me wrong, the furry little buggers lay on everything. Coats, pieces of paper, flyers, projects I'm currently working on, everything. But something about felt just draws them to it. And it's the WORST fabric to try and get cat hair out of.

Until next time! I'll probably post about my attempt at auditioning for the Food Network's Recipe to Riches! And no, I didn't make it on the show. Jerks.

**** Come visit my new site at www.thecraftinista.com ****