Friday, March 30, 2012

Easy Elegance: The Sweetest Spring Mason Jars . . .

Looking for a quick DIY project to make a simply stunning centerpiece for your Easter Brunch?  Well, look no further, because these easy-peasy bunny jars from The CSI Project are just the things to create a whimsical & fun focal point for your holiday tablescape!

Bunny Mason Jars

Supplies You Will Need:
~ mason jars of all shapes & many as you like!  
~ Krylon Spray Paint in your favorite Spring colors
~ small bag of potting soil
~ pretty flowers (that grow well in small groups).  Those in the photos are alyssum:)
~ A roll of white vinyl
~ an exacto knife or scissors
~ cookie cutters in Spring shapes

1.) With your jars flipped with the mouth down, spray paint each jar the color you want. The first coat should be a very light coating, not covering all the way. After the first coat sets for just 10 minutes, you can follow up with a second coat. Repeat until you have the coverage you want.

2.) After they have dried 24 hours, transfer over your Spring plants. Make a paper funnel and place it in the mouth of your jar. Slowly scoop in potting soil.  Fill just over two thirds full, leaving plenty of room for your plant.

3.) Remove your flowers, roots and all, from the pots you bought them in.  Separate your flowers into smaller, natural groups.  

4.) Transplant your flowers into the jar. Add in any extra soil around the plant that is needed to fill the jar.

5.) Repeat with all of the jars.

6.) Unroll as much of the white vinyl as you need and using your Spring cookie cutters, trace shapes onto it.  With an exacto knife (or a pair of scissors if you don't have one!) cut out the shapes and apply them to the side of your mason jars.

Repeat with all the jars, some of the jars, and whatever shapes you like!!

Aren't those darling?  And you don't have to stick with just Easter & bunnies, you know!  These would look great with any colors or shapes that go with your next big event . . . you can fill them with plants, wrapped candy,  straws, heck, whatever you like!

And in case you feel like fancying things up a bit for Easter, now that you have been all inspired, don't forget to check out our Easter Brunch invitations in the Juneberry Lane Etsy Shop!

And don't forget about our sweet little 'Bunny Tail' cake pops from last year . . .

  Why, they would go quite nicely with these lovely mason jars too, don't you think?  Have a wonderful weekend!! Photobucket

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Desserts for Spring: Homemade Peeps!!

You just have to love it when a major holiday puts a big focus on candy, and Easter is no Egg-ception with all of the delicious sweets & treats that the bunny fills your basket up with!  Last week we learned how to make some delicious Cadbury cupcakes, so I thought it only fitting that we delve into the world of homemade 'Peeps' today!!

This fun recipe is originally from Martha Stewart, but was adapted by The Kitchn to get the Springtime candy favorites just right!!  Take a look . . .

(homemade peeps on the left:)

Homemade Marshmallow Peeps

~ Rimmed baking sheet or several small bowls
~ Fine crystal colored sugar or turbinado sugar
~ Luster dust or sparkle dust (optional)
~ Piping bag and tips (Be sure to use a large piping bag. If your piping bag is too small the remaining marshamallow will start to dry out by the time you need to refill the bag)
~ Marshmallow for Piping recipe-see below
~ Cocoa powder

Marshmallow for Piping

(Makes about 1 1/2 cups)

~ 1 unflavored gelatin (2 1/2 teaspoons)
~ 1/3 cup cold water, for gelatin, plus 1/4 cup for syrup
~ 1 cup sugar

1.) In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water. Allow gelatin to soften, about 5 minutes.
2.) In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water and sugar, and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring, and place a candy thermometer into sugar water; wipe sides of pan with a wet brush if sugar crystals have splattered up. Boil sugar until temperature reaches the soft-ball stage (238 degrees). Remove syrup from heat; add to softened gelatin. Using the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, hand-stir the mixture a few minutes to cool; place bowl on the mixer stand. Beat on medium high with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form and the marshmallow mixture holds shape, 8 to 10 minutes.
3.) Transfer marshmallow mixture to a large (14-inch) pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch (No. 11 Ateco) tip, and use immediately.


**Fill rimmed baking sheet or small bowls with about 1 1/2 cups sugar. If desired, color white sugar by stirring in luster dust or sparkle dust a little at a time.

1. Pipe an oval shape onto sugar, about 1 inch wide, tapering the end and pulling upward to finish with the tail.

2. For the head, pipe a mound on the end opposite the tail, about the width of the body, pushing toward the tail and up. Pull away from the head to form the beak.

3. Immediately sprinkle sugar over the entire surface of the chick. Allow a few minutes for the shape to set.

4. Mix cocoa powder with a little water and dab it on with a toothpick to make the eyes!

5.) Lift the chick out of the sugar with a spoon or small offset spatula. Place in a parchment-lined airtight container until ready to serve, or for up to 2 weeks.

Come on!  Isn't that just the cutest?!  You can make all sorts of shapes & colors using whatever quality of ingredients you prefer, so you never need to buy the store bought version again!!!  Hooray!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Handmade-Chic: Heavenly Knit Vases . . .

(via Design Sponge)

We all know handmade & DIY is all of the rage this wedding & party season; from poms & buntings to hand-drawn maps & paper pretties, crafty brides & moms everywhere are rolling up their sleeves and getting down to business when it comes to throwing a memorable event.

And you know it's always the fun little details that truly stand out; a bit of the unexpected that arrives on the scene and just steals the show . . .  and keeps your guests talking for months to come.

Now I have to admit, I have been a bit obsessed with knitting over the past couple of months.  My mom taught me the basics a few years back and I spent the better part of a fall & winter making all sorts of scarves for myself & my nearest and dearest.

And while I haven't practiced near as much as I would like,  I have spent the last several weeks absorbed in Gil McNeil's 'The Beach Street Knitting Society & Yarn Club' book trilogy (if you haven't read it yet, you can purchase it HERE), and although I am sad to only have about 50 pages left, I am completely overjoyed to be inspired again by one of the oldest crafts in history!

Ideal for rainy April days and the evening breeze of summer, these hand-knit vase cozies, in perfect shades of pale, will look ever-so-lovely front and center on your next beautiful tablescape.  Just take a look . . .

(photo via 100 Layer Cake & courtesy of Love Me Sailor)

(Available from Bayleaf Studio)

(available from Bayleaf Studio

Cover a mason jar . . .
(available from Megan Esass)

or two . . . 

And who says you have to stick with just the vases . . .

Wine anyone?

(available from Retrotiques)

And if you get started now, just look at the lovely gifts you'll be all set to whip up for the holidays next year  . . .

So pick up those needles and get a-stitching!!!  And have yourself a fantastic week too!! Photobucket

Friday, March 23, 2012

Boston Cream . . . CUPCAKES!!!

Unexpected cupcakes?!  Not over here at Juneberry Lane, ha ha ha!  These yummy desserts are just plain scrumptious and a whole bunch of fun to make too!  Brought to you via Something Pretty for Today, these little guys make for quite a fun project for the weekend, don't you think?   Here's what you do . . .

Boston Cream Cupcakes
This miniature version of the classic custard pie leaves nothing out, with rich vanilla pudding, buttermilk and a semisweet chocolate glaze!
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

~ 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
~ 3/4 tsp baking soda
~ 1/2 tsp each baking powder and salt
~ 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
~ 1 1/4 cups sugar
~ 3 large eggs
~ 2 tsp vanilla extract
~ 1 cup buttermilk

~ 1 package (3 oz) cook & serve vanilla pudding
~ 1 1/4 cups milk
~ 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
~ Chocolate Glaze
~ 8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
~ 1/3 cup each sugar and water
~ 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened


1.  Heat oven to 350ºF. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until blended.

3. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Beat in vanilla extract.

4. With mixer on low speed, alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until just blended.

5. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

6. Filling: Prepare pudding as package directs, using 1 1/4 cups milk. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Scrape into a bowl; cover surface directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.

7. Glaze: Place chocolate, sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter until it melts and mixture is smooth. Let cool.

8. To assemble: Slice off top of cupcakes to come to top of paper liners. Spread cut surface with about 1 Tbsp filling. Top with cupcake top. Spoon about 1 Tbsp glaze onto top center of each, easing it over top.

Divine, right?  Hope you have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wedding Wednesday: A Trend on the Rise . . . Goodnight Stations!!

One wedding trend that is still going strong and is not about to go away any time soon is a 'Goodnight Station'.  And it is obvious why these sweet little touches are making such a hit at weddings everywhere!  I mean, what a wonderful way to send your tired guests off in style than with a special treat to re-energize them for the ride home?  

You can make your big day amazing from start to finish by customizing your send-off table to fit the style of your event too!  Having a summer wedding?  Why not do a smoothie-to-go bar, chocolate-covered strawberries, or a scoop of old-fashioned ice cream?

For those steamy summer nights, a popsicle bar would be just the thing to cool everyone down after a wild night of dancing . . .

Or even ice cream sandwiches!

Mini-apple fritters, hot-spiced cider, or candy/caramel apples would be the perfect to-go snack for an Autumn affair . . .

And a winter wonderland would wrap up quite nicely with egg nog, peppermint mochas, or a toasty cup of hot cocoa to-go.

Having a reception at night and plan on extending the party to the wee hours?  Why not send your nearest & dearest home with a copy of the Sunday paper, a steaming cup of joe, and a delicious donut, tasty muffin, or fresh bagel with cream cheese?   

Cinnamon Buns-on-a-Stick would work out quite nicely as well . . .

And I am loving this little tag to dress it all up . . . 

And go ahead and throw in some chamomile tea for the late-night, caffeine-wary if you like!  But nothing says 'Bedtime Snack' or 'Midnight Snack' like your tried and true milk & cookies . . .

And just in case you are planning an afternoon soirée, you can change things up a bit with a 'See You Later!' sign or a 'Good Day!' banner on the table; and all of this can be custom-designed by Juneberry Lane to tie-in perfectly with your color scheme & type of event, of course:)

Placing a fun table right at the exit to thank your guests for spending their whole evening with you is quite an unforgettable touch, don't you think?  Who knew goodbyes could be so very sweet . . . Photobucket