September 1, 2010

chocolate cheesecake cupcakes

with ganache frosting.  Did you get all of that?

Chocolate + cheesecake + cupcakes + ganache + frosting.

Those are some good words right there.

It's a lot of chocolate, and a lot of delicious.

Is it okay that I'm slightly more excited about the cupcake wrappers than the actual cupcakes themselves?  Mostly because the wrappers are a delightfully bright turquoise and frill out at the top.  It makes me want to string cute, colorful cupcake wrappers around my room.

Not a bad idea.  And low-cal too.

The recipe can be found here via The Food Network.

Baking cupcakes with a surprise in the middle makes it that much more impressive. Just my opinion.  Thanks to Kaylee for helping with...most of the baking.

August 28, 2010

a little bit of retro love

Super cute retro typewriter that I bought my mom off of Craigslist for her birthday!  I thought that it was SO mom sees it, and goes, "Elysa...this may be retro for you, but I grew up with these."  Ah well.

And here's a close-up of the card that I made for her as well. Total sucker for a good pun.

August 16, 2010

things to do: make a list

  • sew an adorable laptop sleeve for my new macbook, totally digging this one i found on Etsy
  • transfer all the fonts from my old computer to this one
  • download even more fonts
  • because, seriously, who can ever have enough fonts?
  • run
  • finish the two canvases I started on vacation. in the next year, ideally.
  • learn more about photoshop
  • dye my hair. bought the dye today. hooray for progress.
  • read and bookmark more sites like this
  • because--ohmigod--of gems like this
  • vow to be more organized this quarter
  • again.
  • read more. the new shopaholic book totally counts.
  • (fine.)
  • write handwritten letters
  • become the next Amy Atlas
  • wake up early and  go to garage sales
  • so that i can score incredible finds like this
  • research grad schools where i can get my master's in Building Your Own Incredibly Successful Indie Craft Business From Scratch with an emphasis in Event Planning Like It's Nobody's Business.
  • stop making lists and start doing.
  • but first post pretty (and not in the least bit styled) picture of crafting table while on vacation

July 30, 2010

have a lemontastic day

Summer in San Francisco is not exactly summer in LA. I should know this by now. Case in point: when we went last year, I didn't bring closed-toe shoes, so I had to buy a new (and so unnecessary) pair of converse. This year, I managed to leave my whole collection of jackets, peacoats, and sweatshirts up in my apartment.  Do you blame me though?  I was still in Davis, packing for home (hello 100+ degree weather), so the last thing on my mind was warm clothes.  It was more like: swim suit, shorts, more shorts, tank tops, more shorts, five pairs of sandals...and two pairs of sunglasses. one of which I managed to break and the somewhere...I think...

Here are a few pics from the farmers' market outside of the Ferry Building.
Don't even need the cake, the design is delicious enough in itself!
More graphic design loveliness. Vintage: check: Bold: check. Font: LOVE.
When life gives you lemons, pair it with pretty vibrant flowers and make up words like lemontastic.

July 5, 2010

the fourth

I can't believe it's been three years since I've been back to Pine Mountain Lake.  Summer after high school graduation was the last time I went up to the marina for the annual 4th of July fireworks show, and now I’m entering my senior year of college...isn’t that just crazy?

The first place we always go to is the downtown thrift store. Funny thing is, Kaylee and I despised going there when our mom would drag us many years ago. We would loudly state that we were ONLY here to shop for our dear (fictional) Aunt Floy, because we wouldn’t dare have nearby shoppers thinking we were (gasp!) secondhand shopping for ourselves.  As we got older and I began to love everything vintage—check out the retro orange sewing machine below—I totally appreciated the art of thrifting.

Kaylee hit the jackpot, as usual.  She has eyes like a hawk, and always comes away with the best finds.  Only she can take a skinny red belt and turn a long, shapeless, jean romper-jacket-thing into a super cute dress.  On a rack of a dozen coats and jackets, I spotted a simple, white bustier.  Love at first sight.  I just couldn’t ignore its pleading: Alter me!  I immediately snatched it off the hanger and showed it to Kaylee, who pouted that she didn’t find it first (don’t worry K, you can wear it after I frill it up).  I have tons of ideas from reading through the back issues of Altered Couture.  And I still have a good chunk left of summer to start (and maybe finish?) a project.  Along with the dozen other projects that are floating around inside my head. Oy. Happy July!

June 21, 2010

June 19, 2010

(100) days of summer

100 days. Give or take a few, now that we're one week into it already. 100 days of going back and forth between here and LA...where is here you ask? I'm living it up in Orange County (Laguna Hills to be exact), interning at my favorite crafting magazine, Stampington & Company! And being only five minutes from the Irvine Spectrum is always a plus.  Note to self: do not spend whole lunch break in Anthropologie. Because when I spend time there, I spend money there, and unpaid internship=no shopping money...but awesome experience!! Seriously though, totally stoked about being here by the beach and working in such a great creative environment.

Now that I won't be back in Davis until the fall, and can't just ride my bike to Arcbucks (ARC + Starbucks) with the crew, I'll be making the Starbucks at the Spectrum my new hangout. So you can find me there on my lunch break with my grande cafe vanilla frappachino with an extra banana (thanks Dalia), before I need to run and hope that I don't forget where I parked my car in that massive lot.

Here's to exploring new places, meeting new people, and embarking on exciting adventures. Happy 100 days of summer!

May 27, 2010

up where they stay all day in the sun

Davis didn't get the memo about how April showers are supposed to bring their good friend May Flowers to the party.  Because it's almost June.  Y'know, Summer??

I'm tired of wearing pants, so I boycotted the rain today by wearing a jean skirt.  And found out that it's not the most comfortable thing to bike in.  Who'd have thought?  But I sucked it up for the whole mile long bike ride home from campus. Totally hardcore like that.

Costume party last week = fabulous.  The theme was Disney, and I (of course) was...well, try to guess.

Some dude: Who are you supposed to be?
Me: Are you serious?
Some dude:
Me: PURPLE sparkly top...turquoise FISHnet tights...
Some dude:
Me: I have a fork in my hair!!
Some dude:
Me: It's a DINGLEHOPPER!!!!!
Some dude:

Okay, so my Ariel costume wasn't the most obvious, but it was definitely the most creative if I do say so myself.  I whipped up my Dinglehopper-seaflower-hair-thingamabob with literally an hour to go before showtime (recognize it from here?).
This is my intense modeling face.  Being creative, don't mess.

May 10, 2010

this is why i love davis

This is just one of the MANY reasons, of course.  Whole Earth Festival came to Davis this weekend, and it was a blast. Vendors after vendors selling pottery, jewelry, eco-friendly handbags, tie-dye shirts, original paintings...interesting little chia-pet type creatures, fun times.  You go for the free-wheelin, earth-loving atmosphere, do a little shopping, stay for the food (falafel + froyo = delicious), and run into every single person you know.  Davis does it all so well!

This dude was just sitting on the sidewalk, typing out poems on an awesome vintage typewriter!

Super cute popsicle stand!
How cute are these vegan cupcakes??

Ending the day with a cup of froyo :)

May 9, 2010

Dear Mom,

A few things..

1. I will eventually pay you back for "investing" in my [latest] business whenever I go to Michaels.

2. You are going to run out of places to hide things, so when you do...use my closet.  You can't find anything in there anyway!

3. When Oprah discovers me in my makeshift purse-sewing/cupcake-baking/canvas-altering art corner of my apartment, and I become famous overnight, I'll be sure to thank you on the air! (see #1)

4. When I text you, it's usually because I'm in class.  So don't call me, I'll call you ;)

5. I'm sorry I worried you during my dark-emo-paint phase in pre-school. ..

6. I promise to make you a bike basket the future.  It will happen.

7. Con-see-airj.

8. You were right.  I wish I didn't quit piano.

9. Eggplant does NOT equal hashbrowns.

10. "You don't look upset." <-- best line ever.

Thank you for being my manager/editor/biggest advocate/friend and providing me with endless inspiration.  Love you!

xo, Elysa

P.S. Please vote for my mom in the Michaels Most Creative Mom Contest here: Thanks!

April 28, 2010

destination: procrastination

I have a midterm tomorrow, so naturally I just spent the last two hours crafting and blinging out my blog (check out the new social media buttons on the right--LOVE!).  I work best under pressure anyway, right?

Day in the life of a college got your mod podge, foam brushes, buttons, and...yes, those are plastic cupcake carriers from Safeway in the top left corner.  Oh hey, there's my ice cream carton from...ten years ago?? How time flies after you're on national television :) Hopefully I'll be back soon to finish my canvas project that you see is in progress here!

April 27, 2010

Canvas Art, Part 1

Oh, how I love canvas art.  It's the new scrapbooking in my opinion! With canvas art, you can actually display your artwork on your wall, instead of stuffing it awkwardly in a plastic sleeve never to be seen again.  I love the variety of materials you can use to alter a canvas...scrapbook paper, fabric, rhinestones, flowers, rub-ons, chipboard letters...I could list things for ages.  I've said time and again that I could open a mini craft store with the amount of supplies I have in my apartment.  One thing I'd like is MORE TIME to do all the crafting that I want to do!  I have another canvas of my sis & me in progress, hopefully I'll post that soon.  In between studying for midterms of course...

April 21, 2010

Cupcake Break!

Ah, finally.  After an extremely stressful and exhausting day, I think a cupcake post will do me good.  I've been obsessed with these adorable vintage posters from WWII.  Interestingly enough, 2 and half million prints were made, but since they were only to be used as a last resort, they were never distributed. The original slogan was "Keep Calm And Carry On," but recently I've seen a variety of inspiring (and delicious) takes on it.  This one is my favorite! (Are you surprised?)

So true.  I feel so overwhelmed with everything that needs to get done--can I please have a few more hours in the day??  I love it all, but sometimes I need to take a step back and put things in perspective.  In the midst of our crazy, jam-packed college schedules, it's nice to just sit down, keep calm, and eat a cupcake :) You can find this print and many others at KeepCalmShop on Etsy!

Speaking of cupcakes, I am serious about opening up a cupcakery out of my apartment.  I just got an order for Greek-inspired cupcakes for my friend's toga party this weekend...that should be an interesting batch to make!


Cupcakes dipped in Nerds candy for--what else?--the epic neighbor nerd party.

April 14, 2010


For those of you who have been "living under a rock or just got out of prison," (narrates Mr. Schue) Glee is the cutest, most energetic show that's got everybody talking.  Or rather, singing.  This quotation that opened the first episode after a long hiatus is just one of the many hilarious, snarky comments that are abundantly sprinkled throughout the show.  And I just LOVE snarky.

This week's episode was centered around the word "Hello."  So, in the spirit of Glee and continuing to experiment with new creative endeavors, I thought it was about time for a new post, and a new project: fabric flowers!

There a million tutorials out there on blogs and youtube, I want to try out all of them!  This corduroy and cotton fabric flower was my very first stab at it.  For details on how to create it yourself, visit Heather Bailey's amazing blog.

Now I'm totally going to have to grab some clips and make them into hair accessories!! :)

March 5, 2010

Chi-O Cookies Part 2, the Decorations

Is it too late to declare a major in Party Planning, with a minor in Centerpiece Crafting?  Because that is exactly what I want to do.  I'm super passionate about good design and making everything look aesthetically pleasing.  Color-coordinated papers, ribbons, flowers, buttons--you name it, I love it, and I'll create something with it.

My living room was an explosion of pink for the past month as I created placecards, cake stands, candy holders, and banners for Chi-O Cookies (see Part 1).  With a little bit of mod podge and a hot glue gun, the room was transformed into a colorful candyland of desserts. A big thank you to all my sorority sisters--you girls were such a tremendous help!  Shout-out to my mom, The TomKat Studio, Hostess with the Mostess, and Cupcakes Take The Cake for their wonderful inspiration!
 The hot pink, robin's egg, and chocolate brown color scheme just happens to be my favorite colors, what a coincidence :)
Pinwheel idea courtesy of the Paper Source blog
I was thrilled when I found this 3-tiered cupcake stand at the thrift store downtown for $4!  Not that I needed another one, but it was so pretty and vintage and I just couldn't leave without buying it.
Inspiration for the Chi-O Cookies banner from Design*Sponge


After reading a post about making your own cake stands (also from Design*Sponge) I knew I had to try it!
LOVE the idea of painting and mod podging terra cotta pots and saucers! (idea from Once Wed)

March 4, 2010

Chi-O Cookies Part 1, the Dessert

I am so excited to post these photos from my sorority’s annual winter fundraiser!   I have so many pictures that I'll have to do this in two parts: dessert and decorations.  Chi-O Cookies is an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet and all proceeds from ticket sales and donations go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  The event was such a success, and the best part of it was that we got to take the leftovers home...for our roommates of course!

After months of looking at all the eye-candy on the dozens of cupcake blogs that I’ve discovered, I finally got the chance to bake and decorate pretty cupcakes for the enjoyment of the Davis community :)
Strawberry Blonde CupcakesI tasted the batter, and it was...interesting.  My friends liked the cupcakes though, so it's all good!  I'm not partial to strawberry cupcakes, that's probably why.  I just like the pretty pink color!

Minty Oreo Cupcakes.  Love the turquoise color.  It's hard to tell, but the cupcake wrapper has white polka dots!

Perfectly Pink Chocolate Cupcakes with Nestle Crunch heart

Need to transport your mini cupcakes? An egg carton works perfectly!  Just make sure the frosting isn't piped too high!
Safeway was kind enough to give me these cupcake cases for free!!
Lollipop Cupcakes!! These make me so happy!  Idea from Hostess with the Mostess, love this blog!

February 17, 2010

So Much Better

"But I am seriously in love with you!" exclaims the bubbly heroine in Legally Blonde.  And what better way to forget about the Warners of the world than with something pink?
Two different swirls topped with a candy heart!
This gorgeous laundry line art piece is courtesy of Design*Sponge.  I'm going to use it as my inspiration when decorating for my sorority's upcoming philanthropy event!

February 5, 2010

Handbago Hearts Valentine's Day!

Want to win some free swag?? Then head on over to Handbago, your go-to site for everything handbag related.  I was the Fashion Editor at Handbago over the summer, and had such a great time working with Kris, Brian, and the crew--check out their awesome blog!.  Right now you can enter their Valentine's Day sweepstakes (you know, the movie with the Taylors and Julia Roberts and Ashton Kutcher and the rest of Hollywood?) to win the soundtrack from the movie, as well as shirts, hats, and coffee mugs.  Enter here!