I am glad you chose to visit! My blog is a compilation of the many hats I find myself wearing. On any given day I may be an encourager, an instructor, or just a lady who is venting. You, dear reader, will probably identify with my triumphs and my tribulations! These snapshots fit into my Life Scrapbook I have named A. McInnis Artworks. I hope you will find something worth your while.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

* Hummingbird or Bummingbird Cake?

I promised I'd post a blog revealing my Hummingbird Cake adventure..so here goes.
And I can make this snappy and to the point.
 My enchantment with The Bummingbird...er Hummingbird Cake began here:
(We southern girls consider Southern Living magazine the "go-to" place for great recipes.)

I read about the HB cake for years...so I thought..."How hard can it be?"
And after all, it was its 35th anniversary!
The most sought after and requested recipe in Southern Living history.
I decided to make the cake layers Friday since they needed to be refrigerated. 
Tip: a wise decision.
(I was slightly "ticked" when I realized I needed another cake pan and the hubster
had ruined a perfectly good one by Pamming it to death for his biscuits.)
So I used a slightly larger aluminum throw away pan I had on hand.
Tip: Do NOT make one layer a different size from the others.
Plus, it called for 4 layers and I crammed it all into three.
That was a very big NO NO!
Early Saturday morning I made the "custard" filling.
It was delicious...how do I know that?
I ate all the leftovers..
I then proceeded to layer and ice with custard and got so
carried away that I forgot and iced the top layer.
Which BTW was the oddly sized layer and kept sliding toward the back.
Tip: Do NOT ice the top layer. The real icing will slide off.
No problem: I just took off that custard and ate it too.
Sometime before 6 a.m. Sunday:
When I began getting the table ready, I decided I needed to go ahead and ice the cake...
with Browned Buttercream Frosting.
Sounds great....omgosh.
Centerpiece in place: "Check".

China, silver and placemats ready. (Triple "Check")

Now, on to the icing (time: 6:00 a.m. Sunday).
Browned Buttercream Icing...hmmmm, never done anything like this before.
Oh, well...how hard can it be? Fast forward...
Time lapse: 9:30 a.m.
Burned the butter the first go round...did it say Burned Buttercream or
Browned Buttercream?
Next try:
Stir 1 cup butter until it turns light brown..
is this like golden brown, light "burned" brown,
how light? Uh, oh...guests arriving at 11:15 a.m.
Stir constantly for 8-12 minutes.
Tip: When it says light brown that's what it means.
When it says stir 8-12 min.on medium heat,  it doesn't mean 5-ish on high.
When it says to pour into a SMALL bowl and cover and chill,
it does NOT mean large bowl, uncovered in the freezer.
(I laid down only for a second to rest my aching knees...
but when I woke up the browned butter was frozen.)
I pulled out the big guns...my Kitchenaid mixer
and beat the living daylights out of that frozen blob....all the while
adding powdered sugar alternately with 1/4 cup milk...ending with sugar.
When the husband walked in he remarked,
"Looks like a bomb went off in that side of the kitchen."
Tip: the cake must chill for 1 hour before serving...oh, no.

I know, I know..you are being kind...saying "It doesn't look so bad."
However, if you zoom in, you will see that those pretty yellow flecks
are NOT pineapple, but rather frozen browned butter...ugh.

Everyone raved, but I was too tired to notice.

I went back to Southern Living's website this afternoon, following my 2 1/2 hour nap
and guess what?
The original recipe was really quite simple...
it  had Cream Cheese Frosting.

Then I read the comments on this year's cake...they were hilarious.
We should have been on a conference call...
they had some pretty awful comments.

My Unconventional 2013 Easter Menu

Rotel Chicken
Deluxe Green Bean Supreme
Green Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Almonds
Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette
Texas Toast
The 2013 Anniversary Version of
Southern Living's

Yes, I think I will just have a carrot tonight...nibble on.

A joyous Easter to you,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Are We Being Bombed?

What a difference a year makes! (Or for that matter, a day.)

Here sit my Carolina Jasmine vines...
ready to be moved to their new home.

I almost did it...I almost planted them early Monday afternoon...

"No! No!No!" implored a little voice in my head.
You DO know the old saying, don't you?
So I watered them once again and let them sit.

This time last spring, all was well.
Buds and blossoms everywhere!
Spring had truly sprung.
Not this year!

We had a hailstorm to beat all hailstorms day before yesterday (Monday).
Hail the size of golfballs and baseballs freely fell from the sky.
Thousands of cars and homes were damaged, people were knocked in the head
and the weather wreaked havoc (or mayhem) throughout our area.

On this first day of spring, I will be waiting on the insurance adjuster to survey
the damage to my cars, screens, siding, and my 5 day old new roof.
The septic system went out...the lights in the house won't come on in some rooms.
All in all, it's a bad scene around here.

The Hubster had just gotten the yard cleaned up from winter...

I remembered... (thank goodness.)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bedroom Mini Makeover (Again!)

It's been a while since I tackled a bedroom makeover.
 I must admit I have a short decorating span when it comes to my bedroom.
Because I spent so much recuperative time in said room this summer,
I felt it was time to brighten up the place!

 I am not sure if you remember what the "before" was because there have been so many "befores"...
 but most of my "makeovers" are just small ones, as is this one.

This is the bedroom before...quite adequate...but in need of a perking up.
Before blog:
Further Before drama blog:
Here was my "jumping off " point...a Waverly comforter set.
I LOVE the color apple green and paired with several shades of
 clear blue...I am doubly happy!

You see it coming, don't you?
Blue Willow as an accent is a must!

This heavy green herringbone fabric would be used as
a small pillow for my chair and shams positioned behind
the Waverly shams. See below.

The blue and white fabric was edged with dark and light blue and yellow
trim. I loved the way the blue brought out the blues in the comforter. 

I found this fabric at Hancock's...it was pricey (because it is reversible),
but it was 50% off and
I only needed 1/2 a yard.
This would be a pillow and cover
a small stool.

The bedskirt that came with the set was striped...I had had quite enough of stripes.
So after much internet searching...the Coach took me to Bed, Bath and Beyond
and HE found this sage matelasse skirt! I think he might have a future in decorating!

I "shopped" my house and came up with lots
of  blue and white. I shopped my
shop and found this lovely pair
of glass birds.

I went slightly overboard on the Blue Willow, so I backed up
and  began swapping out the "too much blue" and added
more green and neutrals.
In the above two pictures you see the "too much".
Below you will see the pared down version.

A little blue and white goes a loooong way.
The extra pottery tones down the "in your face" look.

I found this great old bird print at the Flea Market Saturday.
Not only was is a great price, but all I had to do was
clean it and add a very thin navy mat and it was done.

Here's the finished look.

I added a vintage button for detail on my linen chair pillow.
(and of course, a furry throw.)

I like this look for spring.
It's fresh and happy!
I am delighted but not surprised at  how well the paint color, August Dried Grass,
once again is such a neutral backdrop for new colors.
This is my "go to " color when I want  versatility.
(BTW: right in the middle of this blog we had a horrible hailstorm!)
I have been waiting on insurance adjusters and contractors all day! :( 

Hope you have a happy Spring!