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Creative Casey's Blog

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Play-Doh Cake Wars

What do you do when it's 90+ degrees outside... you have a play-do CAKE WAR!  My nephew helped my sister create a cake while I tried my hand at creating a couple.  I think I missed my calling as a cake decorator...notice how I didn't say cake baker. I'm not so good at that part.

Quite a few years ago I got a couple of episodes of some cake show. I remember the business was in Boston, MA. Each employee had a special talent when it came to making cakes; there was the cake baker, the cake engineer, the cake builders and the frosters/fondant decorators.  It looked like a fun place to work and I was mesmerized by the beautifully decorated cakes they made. I still wonder how they actually tasted though.

This is my fancy cake.

My 4th of July Celebration cake.

My nephews 2 little pigs "getting ready to eat the cake". :)

My nephew and sister's cake. Not quite sure what it is.... Dr. Seuss mobile in pink?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Spokes & Ink Festival 2012

I've taken classes at the Genesee Valley Art Center and am on their mailing list. I received an announcement on upcoming events and remembered the Spokes & Ink Fundraising Festival event last year. You can check out the info at   I remember wanting to participate last year but didn't think I had anything to contribute. After coming back from Europe and being inspired by all of the bikes in Amsterdam I decided to use a picture I had taken of an awesome bike while in Paris and create a poster to submit.

I made duplicate copies of the image of the bike, used iPhoto to manipulate the pictures and then ended up purchasing a program for the mac called iStudio. I used iStudio to put the poster together. I've submitted the pdf image of my poster and now I'll have to wait and see if mine is one of the posters picked to be exhibited and sold during the event. I'm keeping my fingers X!

What do you think?

***Update as of 8/7/12  I was informed that my poster was not chosen to be represented at the Festival. Bummer! Oh well, I think it looks good and may have it printed and hung at work.

*** Update as of 1/12/13- Here's a picture of my poster matted and framed professionally and hung in our hallway at work! Looks awesome!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Unearth Amateur Photography Contest

My sister, nephew and I went to Saluda Shoals Park yesterday;  This is a pretty neat park that has an education center, splash park, covered playground, wetlands, lots of trails, bikes to rent, canoeing, kayaking,tubing, and picnic shelters.  We had quite the fun day and even had to run in the rain a few times.  The nature center even had brochures that depicted images of different types of snakes and fish found in SC. My nephew loved those and took a couple home. We found an application for an amateur nature photo contest and went off to take some pictures in the wetlands. I let my nephew take some photos and then we both picked images that we want to enter in the contest. There are two categories; General Nature and Digital Creativity.  All photos will be be placed in an exhibit at the Environmental Education Center at Saluda Shoals Park Oct. 1st-7th. You can find out more information at

My nephew talked all day about wanting to find a crawfish so we took a walk through the wetlands. We saw a heron, some bugs, and finally as we were heading off the wooden path my nephew screamed "crawfish, crawfish"! Sure enough on a grass path there were a ton of huge crawfish (okay well 3 of them). My nephew had fun playing with them and trying to pick them up without getting attacked by them. As we headed to the car his day got even better as he spotted a tiny frog that he caught and played with for a bit. We think he's going to be the next Crocodile Hunter or bug scientist when he grows up. :)

Below are the pictures we are entering into the exhibit.

"The Wetlands" by Casey

"The Leaf" by Dominic- age 5

"Crawfish" by Casey

This photo is being entered because it was a little blurry but it's still a pretty neat picture of the tiny frog on the concrete path. It blended in really well.

Refinishing My Front Door

Since I've owned my house I've wanted to refinish my front door. Why people were/are obsessed with painting over beautiful wood is beyond me. My house, including the front door is about 100 years old. About 2 years ago I attempted to strip the paint off the front door in preparation for refinishing it. I purchased a good chemical stripper and went to work... Nothing happened. After about 2.5 hours of applying, waiting, scraping, and having my house reek of the horrible supposedly "orderless" stripper it didn't work. I was able to see that there was 5 layers of paint applied to the door over the years- white, yellow, blue, red and brown; however after that long I had only stripped the size of a quarter down to the original wood. So, I slapped some of the brown color back on that area and researched refinishing stores.

I discovered a place nearby that would pick up the door and dip the entire door into a solution that would strip all of the paint off, though this would cost $275 and I would still have to sand and stain/polyurethane the door myself. In addition, the back portion of the door is in excellent condition and stained to match the molding in my house. So dipping/stripping would mean I'd have to redo both sides of the door.  Needless to say I haven't done this method and the door has remained the same until now!

I was talking to a neighbor recently and they mentioned using a "hot zone" heat gun to strip off paint on a door before. They had one and said I could borrow it. I doubted this method was going to work after my chemical stripping failure but decided to try.  Holy worked! And it worked well!  It worked right away and I was able to scrap off 3/4 of the door after about 3 hours of work (clean up time included).  I still have to finish the last portion where the leaded glass window is, sand, stain and polyurethane but it's coming along well so far. This hot gun is my new favorite tool and comes highly recommended! I will mention that I sweated off a few pounds on this project but that's because I chose to work on it on a 93 degree day in the middle of summer. DUH! This I would NOT recommend doing.

 I'll keep you posted on the progress.  Below is a pic of the door as I was working on it. I have more done since the photo was taken.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My 6x6 Artwork Sold

When I got back from vacation I checked out the site for the 6x6x2012 art exhibit at:  and discovered that 3 out of 4 of my pieces of artwork that I donated sold already. If you look mine our #'s 754,755,756,757. I have a theory as to why the fourth piece hasn't sold and that is because the 3 that sold are on the bottom row of a page while the 4th image is at the top of the next page. It's still cool most of them have sold and so soon!

I also stuck with tradition and purchased a piece (I've purchased a piece for each year that the event has been going on). This is my 5th piece and is #3035. I'm really excited in a month to find out who the artist is.

Update: 7/8/13- Hooray! All of my artwork sold!!! I happened to check today and the final piece had SOLD on it!

Favorite Images from European Vacation

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Goodbye Europe: The places you'll go and the people you'll meet!

Well this is my last entry while in the UK. 18 days and 8 countries later while traveling with 36 complete strangers and enduring sharing a room with a complete stranger and I will go home in 7 hours a person who has experienced many different cultures, landscapes, and people, and have not only survived but flourished and can readily say I have will keep in touch with a handful of new people I've met. In fact I'm already thinking of my next traveling adventures... To Vicoria, BC to visit with Debbie and perhaps check out Washington state while I'm in that direction and the land down under, Australia to visit with Dave and Carolyn and Auri and Etti. Adventures for another year. Plus I can't forget my all time dream of going to Scotland, Wales and the English country side. Something has been calling me to Scotland for years now... We'll see where I end up next.

 The farewell dinner went really well and was a blast. We went to a great restaurant which was in a basement and felt like we were in a castle or cave. We were serenaded with songs from our countries and it was the first big meal we got to choose from a menu. No one will believe me but I tried a ton of foods at dinner as I was cheered on by everyone. You will believe me when you see the pics, but I ate French onion soup, blue cheese cheese, AND snails and frog legs and duck!!!!!! We'll see what my stomach thinks on the flight back!

 Oh- I forgot to mention that after visiting Notre Adams yesterday I was walking over a nearby bridge, saw a piece of paper flying my way, stepped on it, picked it up and found out it was a5 Euros! How exciting. Maybe all of those lucky wishes and myths I participated in are starting to work??? One can hope.

****And now what you've all been waiting for.... I have to eat my words. I did try new foods in my last night in Paris. I ate French Onion soup, Snails, Frog legs, and duck.*****
Below is the PROOF for all of you non believers!

French Onion soup

Preparing for snails.

Gross and rubbery! No wonder they had so much garlic butter on try and make them taste better. Didn't work!

Frog legs

Man- I hope I didn't just eat my Prince Charming. :) Actually it didn't really taste that bad.


I know I know...I make faces before I even eat it. It was actually good.

Now this is a meal- this was my actual heavenly perfect meal minus the veggies.

Amazing chocolate mouse.

Here's half of our group at our farewell dinner.