Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Kitchenaid Makeover - Vinyl Decals

I recently painted my kitchen.  We changed from a light spring green, to a beautiful aqua color called "Hawaiian Sky".  I absolutely LOVE it.  It's so peaceful and calming.  

"Hawaiian Sky" paint color is a Dutch Boy paint color, and I found it at Fred Meyer
Of course, as home improvement chain reactions go, I am now on the lookout for a few teal accent pieces to help tie the colors in the kitchen together and give some pop to the room.  Most everything in the kitchen is white (cupboards, appliances), including my Kitchenaid Mixer.  I thought, hey, maybe I can gussy this thing up!

Plain, white, kitchenaid mixer. I'll now call this "the before"
I have long admired some of the Food Network gals and their fancy hand-painted mixers, but the lofty price tag kept me at bay.  I went over to Etsy just to see what was available, and found some gals that make vinyl decals specifically for your Kitchenaid... and I decided I would TRY IT!  There were many styles to choose from, but since I like swirly, and filigree designs, I went for a shop called "Good Golly Graphics" because they could do the cool design I really liked, in the exact turquoise color that would go with my kitchen.

Fast forward a few days later, and I was so excited to get this little package in the mail.  It contained tons of decals, a page of detailed instructions on how to do this project, and bonus - some links to some YouTube videos for the visual learners like me.

Vinyl decals for my kitchenaid by Good Golly Graphics
I decided to lay the designs all out to see what I had:  The nerdy symmetrical side of me was immediately giddy to see that each design had a matching set on another page, only the opposite direction, which would end up giving you more variety in the long run on which way you wanted the design to go.

There were a ton of decals in the pack.  Very nice!
The first step was to clean your kitchenaid mixer.  Let's just say it had been a while. Who knew flour could get way back there?? I got out my trusty degreaser spray and scrubbed that baby until she shone like the top of the of the Chrysler building (random Annie reference for your amusement).  After you have a clean, smooth surface, you can begin to place the decals on the mixer.  Being a perfectionist, and nervous, I watch the link to the YouTube instructional a few times to get the gist of things.  I waited til the kids went to bed (no interruptions) , and then I excitedly started my project with the perfect amount of peace and quiet to think about my masterpiece! The first step is to cut out the designs, very close to the decal.

Individual vinyl decals for the kitchenaid
The trick with the kitchenaid, is that it is curvy in spots.  Okay, all spots.  Let's just say I don't think there is a truly flat, flat spot on the whole thing. Not only should you cut the designs out close to the vinyl, but if there are any leaves or swirls that go into the design itself, to clip down between the shapes (white sections of the design) and make some snips so that your design would be able to bend around curves.

The next step is to get some blue painter's tape (hey, I JUST happened to have that, I just painted my kitchen, how did you KNOW!?) and tape your selected shape at the top and press firmly a few times, making a flap of sorts.

My first decal.  I was so nervous and wanted to get it right the FIRST time.
So now that the tape is at the top, it will act like a "hinge".  Flip up the design and take off the stiff backing while basically holding it upside down.  The vinyl will stay on the bendable top layer.  Once the backing is totally off, the painter tape has kept your design exactly where you want it without shifting. 

The painter tape acts as a "hinge" so your decal stays in place while it's all sticky and vulnerable
Then you slowly roll the vinyl shape down over the mixer's curved surface, smoothing as you go down (no picture of this, I need both hands on the decal). Once in place, rub gently over the whole shape to help seal it to the mixer.  Then take the blue tape off (it comes right off, I used the same piece again and again).  Now you can pull off the top backing layer of the vinyl decal.  The trick is to pull steadily at a 45ยบ angle with even pressure.

The more flexible backing side comes right off and the design is now firmly on your mixer
This works out pretty fabulously!  Once you get the hang of it, this painter tape hinge thing is awesome for the bigger pieces with many small curls and swirls. Matter of fact, I thought for sure that the tiny little end pieces of the intricate designs might rip up when I removed the final backing, but to my surprise, even the smallest of tiny swirls stayed in place.  Moving up the side of the mixer, every time I picked a decal, I would find it's opposite design on the other sheet, cut it out, and set it aside for the other side of the mixer (so both would match and also so I wouldn't accidentally use that piece somewhere else)

Four pieces down - no turning back now!
I felt it was logical to do some of the largest pieces first, to make sure they would fit, especially up the sides and over the top, then I would go back and fill in with some of the smaller swirls.  I'm not gonna lie, I was a little stressed at making sure the design wasn't going to be too busy, that it had enough visual white space, and that the pieces looked like they went together. Taking your time and planning ahead are key. Luckily, the decals are kind of see through, so you could lay them out and see how they would fit with the one next to it.  The hardest part I think was the back rounded end of the mixer at the top. It was the most curvy and the trickiest to make sure the vinyl went down flat.

Holy cow, it's turning out so cute!!!
When I was totally done, I stood back and admired my handiwork. Hey, that turned out even better than I thought it would! I went paparazzi mode and took pictures from each angle. First side:

 Other side:




I decided to put the Kitchenaid back on the counter, with the silver bowl back in place for the full effect.  You can see that I decided to leave the center part where the bowl sits white (I thought that gave it a nice contrast) and I can't believe how NICE it looks with my new aqua walls!  My hubby came home and was actually impressed.  He said it gave it "personality".

A designer look at a bargain price!
By they way, they have easier designs that you don't have to think too much about.  I saw a leopard print that had larger pieces that covered larger areas of the mixer all at once.  I think mine took longer to do because there were so many ways the pieces could go together, and it was all up to ME on how they looked...

So if you have an older mixer (before all the snazzy colors came out), or even if you have one of those newfangled colors, you can get some awesome decals for under $20 and try out a cool design that matches your kitchen.  Check out Good Golly Graphics because, not only can she customize the shown design into a ton of specialized colors (even silver and white), I found out she's an Army wife and doing this as home business while her hubby is deployed and she's keeping down the fort at home, so it's a great way to support the troops too. By the way, the exact design I picked is called "Flourish kitchen mixer swirl decal" and you can find it by clicking hereShe had a ton of colors to choose from.

Before                                                                                        After
I just love how it went from plain Jane to designer awesome in one evening.  The best part is, if I ever change my mind, the vinyl is removable and I can go back to plain white, or change it up with a new masterpiece if I wish. Plus, you don't have to go girly or swirly.  I saw designs on Etsy for every taste.  There were flame decals, nerd decals like turning your kitchenaid into a tribute to R2D2 or the TARDUS, fruits, tropical flowers, cherry blossoms, polka dots, Disney fun, animal prints - really you are only limited by imagination. Now get out there and gussy up your Kitchenaid mixer, stat!

Friday, April 01, 2016

Poo Emoji Cupcakes

Ever have one of those weeks at work?  Nothing is going right and entire systems crash?  That's what happened to us at work two weeks ago, as we ended up having a catastrophic server crash lost a ton of emails, and a ton of needed information.  We were having a rare group meeting the following week and I wanted to bring something to lighten everyone's spirits.  I just happened to see these float past on Pinterest and thought, not only were these the perfect hilarious treat, but they should become the new temporary company mascot. I give you: Poo Emoji cupcakes.

Poo Emoji cupcake stares back at you in silence
What's not to love about these adorable faces?  (however disturbing)

Poo Emoji cupcakes - What you lookin' at?

To start off, I simply made a bevy of devil's food cupcakes.  I was pleased that although the batter was a lighter brown, they baked up a nice darker "realistic" color.

Devil's food seems to be a perfect base for these particularly "naughty" treats
After letting them cool I found my Wilton round 2A tip.

Gotta love Wilton
Due to time, we ended up using store bought frosting for this, but you are free to use whatever frosting you wish.  {Side note: This led to a very interesting conversation I had with my 11-year-old at the store. As we were perusing the different frosting types, I leaned close and whispered "which one of these looks most like a poo color".  Ha.  Well she picked the darker of the two, if you want to know the answer.}  Also, I had to shush my 8-year-old for asking REALLY loudly... "MOM, are you going to make extra poop cupcakes for US?!", which got me a couple of side glances from some moms standing near by.

Frosting in the piping bag, ready to go.  The round tip will help make the rounded-edged piles we need.
I filled up the larger piping bag with some frosting and away we went.  

Can you believe this was my first one?  It went down hill a tiny bit after this, then I started improving again.
It took a couple of tries to get the frosting to sit up in a little mound like I wanted.  A few YouTube videos helped in that area.  I was able to buy these little candy eyes, which saved a lot of time!

The "eyes" have it
 I tried to place eyes as soon as the frosting was down.

It's crazy how two little eyes add so much expression to these piles of frosting!!

Soon I had a small army of poo emojis.

No one is safe - from the poo emoji army!

This particular one cracked me up the most.  I didn't quite get the formation right, plus his eyes were off.  I call this one "Derpy Poo".

Hi, I'm Derpy Poo.  Nice to meet ya!
After that I needed to get them to my location at the office meeting so I put them in my cupcake carrier.  This would make a nice laptop wallpaper, no?

Poo Emoji Cupcakes: They get cuter, the longer you look at them
So one of the funniest things that happened is on the 10 min drive to the office.  The frosting piles started to slide around a bit, towards the edge of the cupcake.  Not all of them mind you, just a few - and it made them look, how shall we say, even MORE realistic?  

After arriving at the office, I had placed them on a special tower in the center of the goodie table for full effect.  Don't they look majestic this way?

Poo emojis need their own theme song I think
You can see a close up of a few of the poo skids below... but thankfully, my emoji warrior at the top of the tower stood firm!

The poo emoji tower of justice

Needless to say, they were a big hit at the office meeting!  A few co-workers screamed with glee as they came around the corner and seeing the emoji poos for the first time.   Here one is now, nestled amongst the "regular" offerings:

Don't mind me.  Fruit n' poo cakes go together!
I thought today (April 1st) of ALL days, would be the perfect day to celebrate a wacky treat that made a BIG impact on those who got to see them first hand. I can definitely see these might be a big hit with boys for some reason, an emoji birthday party would work too. Teenagers, kids, and yes, even grown ups found these hysterical.  Whip up a batch for someone you love soon.  Enjoy!

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