Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trailer Trash Party Cake

I thought I'd share with you the cake I brought to the "Trailer Trash" party that I talked about in my last post!  When I told Bonnie I'd bring a dessert, I began to wonder what I could bring that would blend with the theme - then it hit me! I could make a trailer cake!  I love watching the program "Ace of Cakes" so it would a fun challenge. I didn't have time to make a cake from scratch so I mixed up a box of white cake mix and mixed some rainbow sprinkles into the dough so the cake itself would look trashy on the inside.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to take pictures so I'll describe how I made the cake as best I can!

I poured the batter into a 9 x 13" glass cake pan that I had sprayed with "Baking Pam" - this product is great because the flour is already in the spray so it is way less messy to "grease and flour" your baking pan!  I choose this pan because the corners were really rounded which I was going to need to shape the trailer.

TIP: Always hold your pan low in your sink when you spray it so the over spray is in your sink instead of all over your counter! So simple - but I didn't learn this trick for years! (Sorry - I needed a third hand if I was going to get a shot of my spraying the Pam while taking the picture!)  
When the cake was done cooking, I set it out .  

to cool for ten minutes and then flipped the cake out of the pan onto a cooling rack
While the cake was cooling, I covered a piece of cardboard with some foil to make a base for the cake. When the cake was completely cool, I cut the cake in half across the width. I spread canned vanilla frosting over the bottom of one half of the cake, and then stood the cut- end of the half up on the foil covered board. I then grabbed the other half and pressed the bottom against the frosted side make a cake sandwich that was standing up with cut sides on the bottom, and the frosting in the middle.  The round corners of the pan help form the top rounded 'trailer shape'.

I wanted to make it look like the 'trailer cake' was sitting in a dirt lot.  I spread a then layer of the vanilla frosting around the cake on the foil covered board.  Some caramel corn was perfect for the dirt - I just crushed it and then sprinkled it over the frosting covered board.

Next step - make the frosting gray to match the outside color of Bonnie's Streamline trailer.  They make black food coloring now!  It comes in the regular liquid like the tall cox here or in paste form, like the little containers here. You can buy food coloring in this 'paste' form at Michael's, Sur La Table, and Hobby Lobby.  Using a paste coloring, instead of liquid, gives you the benefit of getting a more saturated color to your frosting,without changing the texture of your frosting.  In this case, I used the liquid black because I needed only a smidgen to make my vanilla frosting turn light gray to simulate the silver Streamline trailer.  I spread the gray frosting over the entire exterior of my cake.

Next I googled "vintage airstream trailer" in Google Images so I would have a visual reference.  My cake trailer needed some windows, so I cut down some squares of candy foil wrap and stuck my "windows and door" directly onto the frosting with the shiny foil side out.  Wrapped Hershey's Nugget candies were perfect for the air conditioner that was on top of the trailer.

I needed a roll out awning to make it look more like a real trailer so I grabbed a bamboo skewer and broke it in half.  I cut a small square of waxed paper out and rolled it around a pencil.  The wax paper held the curl after I took the pencil back out so I placed it on the cake with the two pieces of skewer on either side - the awning looked great!

 I decided to write " Bonnie's or Bust!" on top of the cake and I had some pink squeeze tube frosting which worked perfectly.  I also outlined all the foil pieces and added some other details.

I poked around my baking cupboard to see what else I had that would add some finishing touches - a flamingo candle and a drink umbrella were just what I needed!  What trailer would be complete without a pink flamingo?!

 I used chocolate marshmallows for the tires.  If you have never tried these marshmallows from Williams-Sonoma try them sometime - they take marshmallows to a whole new level!  They are a seasonal item so watch for them. The mallows are individually packaged so they stay fresh for a long time and they are huge! Each mallow is about a 1.5" square cube - I cut two mallows into circles and attached them for my tires.

Voila! My "Trailer Trash Party Cake"!  Bonnie liked it so much she froze it to share at her next party! Whenever I see party goods or baking decorations on sale, like the pink flamingo candle and drink umbrella,  I grab them because you never know creation will need to be made next!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bonnie's Vintage Trailer Redo!

"Want to come to my Trailer Trash party?" was the question I was confronted with one day by my friend, Bonnie Rosser.  My first thought was "Are we going to be eating possum?" but it was quickly answered when Bonnie explained how she throws "Trailer Trash" parties to display and sell her vintage western home decor!  "Sounds like fun! What can I bring?"  I decided to bring a dessert - a cake.

I arrived with my cake in hand and was warmly greeted as Bonnie showed me in, and then presented the "Trailer Trash" feast:  margaritas, cheese curls, vienna sausages, potato chips, and the grand daddy of them all - SPAM!  The rest of the guests arrived, we grabbed the food and heading out to the trailer for the party. 

Bonnie had found an old Streamline trailer, talked the owner into selling it to her and then undertook remodeling and decorating the interior of the trailer in a vintage 1950's western theme.   The original oven, sink and banquettes from the seventies helped Bonnie determine the color scheme of turquoise and red.  Bonnie painted the rest of the cabinets to match the oven color.

 The food was set on the table in the 'banquette' part of the trailer. Bonnie restored the original turquoise vinyl ulpholstory on the bench seats and found a folding table from Ballard Design which allows her to use the space in different configurations.  Bonnie stores some of her vintage western merchandise inside the banquette seats between shows.

The window above the banquette is dressed in window coverings designed and made by Bonnie.  The shelf above is dotted with conchos all attached by hand and houses Bonnie's collection of personal favorite Roy Rogers' memorabilia on a daily basis, and serves as a display shelf when she is selling her wares.

 The pair of child's Roy Rogers boots are one of her prize finds!

The custom curtains were designed and made by Bonnie out of turquoise leopard print, vintage western fabric and large cotton fringe.

 The vintage chandelier is suspended above the banquette - Bonnie painted the canopy a bright red to go with her color scheme.

 Zane Gray books are clustered together and held in place by two vintage horse head bookends designed by Gladys Brown. 

A vintage Roy Rogers rider toy sits atop the shelf displaying collectibles.
The sconces flanking the banquette were designed and Bonnie hired a Cal Poly graduate, Jessica Kong, to give the horse head's a custom "Trigger" paint job!  Boonie added the conchos to the shelf herself.

 The longhorn cabinet hardware is just one of many special details!

Conchos also embellish the mirror Bonnie installed, with a longhorn head centered over all.  You can see a reflection of the bed and curtains on the opposite wall.

The bedspread is a vintage cotton spread Bonnie found in Gilette, Wyoming, when her daughter, Linsay, was competing at the National High School Rodeo Finals.  The guitar is another vintage piece Bonnie purchased at the Sacramento Antique Fair.

The bedroom counter displays an vintage western scarf under glass.  Bonnie added the beaded fringe to her curtains.  A vintage bottle cap belt is lined up at the front of the counter and is a fun touch!

This cabinet is adorned with a vintage toy fence panel.

Bonnie sells vintage western themed collectibles out of her trailer including this Sky Ranch platter.  Other merchandise includes: Wallace China, Monterey Ware, Siesta Ware, vintage enamel ware, Gladys Brown bookends, horses and other western memorabilia to name a few!


Candy cigarettes fill a vintage vase with steer roping detail.

 All the Rosser's are involved with rodeo in one way or another so the vintage western theme was a natural choice and it is where Bonnie's love lies. The repurpose and remodel was a two year labor of love and Bonnie's attention to detail is evident in every niche of the charming space.

 The color scheme continues to the outside with special sidewall tires rimmed in turquoise.

 The "Happy Trails" propane tanks were custom painted and the family brand was painted on the trailer.

Keep track of Bonnie on her Facebook page, Trailer Trash: Old Timey Trash and Treasures of the Old West.  Bonnie just joined "Sisters on the Fly" and no doubt will have many adventures in her tricked out trailer! This sassy gal, another of Bonnie's vintage finds, sits waiting for visitors - so until then - Happy Trails to You!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Whispering Pines Antiques - Amarillo, Texas

 Once we entered Texas on Route 66 while on our road trip,  I quickly checked the back of my Romantic Homes Magazine to see if any shops were close by. Little did I know I was about to find a fellow blogger and a place I want to get back to soon!

 Lucky for me, nestled between a row of antique shops on 6th  Street, in the Historic San Jacinto District of Amarillo, Texas, I found a unique home decor shop,Whispering Pines Antiques.  

After being on the road a while, and then entering this shop with its welcoming country prairie theme, the homey atmosphere made me want to just settle in for the day.  I have a particular fondness for all things bee related, so when one of the first accessories I saw was the bee skip atop this cupboard, I knew I had found a kindred spirit in shop keeper Angie Mitchell. Angie was so welcoming and gave me all kinds of information about where to shop in the area.

Then I looked down and saw the checkered floor - similar to Melange's, but not set on the diagonal - another sign!   I was in awe over the way Angie layered her linens on the twin bed in the middle of the shop - there was burlap, and leopard, grain sacks and linen and it all worked beautifully together.  

 A fireplace sits center stage and even though my visit landed in the dog days of summer,  it seemed to call you in to stay a while.

This tabletop display shows how Angie brings the outside in by incorporating pine cones, greenery, antlers and lots of pine wood to carry on the cabin feel.

Surprises pop up in smaller vignettes - here a vintage pair of ladies lace up boots sits perched alongside a vintage bottle and vanilla scented candle.

A pine bough wraps itself around vintage crib springs - a pair of shutters tucked away behind while a gorgeous carved chair presents itself in front.

Angie has a second twin bed dressed in the second room. I love the way the white linens were layered with the earth tone floral giving it a pop of crispness.  A breakfast tray sits on the bed complete with plates and napkins.  At this end of the bed, two busts sit with another serving of dishes - perhaps company is coming?

Heading back into the main room I looked up and there was a full size canoe suspended from the ceiling!  The pine paneling throughout the main room provides a honey hued glow and serves as a perfect backdrop for displaying forest greens, warm reds and even a shabby piece or two.

Good lighting makes an impact without being obvious and Angie has it down.  Lamps cast soft glows to accent various pieces such as on this vignette of a salvaged grate,  a bowl of vintage photographs and a couple big Texan seashells.

The natural light cast on this dress form sporting a garden apron makes you think she's going to grab the basket and head out into the crisp morning to gather flowers or pick the daily vegetables in the garden.

The shabby porch railing was one of my favorite pieces in her shop.  The ghost and green pumpkins filling up the pull cart next to it left nothing to imagine - it was easy to picture it on my own front porch. As I thought about Whispering Pines Antiques, it is that which makes it such a beautiful escape - anyone can walk into this store and see a use for the merchandise. So stop by whenever you are in Amarillo!  
There are 17 antique shops and malls next to Whispering Pines Antiques
located at 2727 SW 6th Ave - a quick jaunt off Interstate 40 on historic Route 66. 
And if you can't get there right away - visit Angie's blog - you can't get much better than a virtual coffee break with Angie and her gorgeous shop!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bella and The Cupcake Cafe - Lake Havasu City, Arizona

 While on our trip cross country, I found some wonderful shops and met some great people.  Over the next week, I'm going to let you inside these shops - all of which are places you must see if you are ever close by! 

First up is Bella and The Cupcake Cafe, owned by Anita Fluke, located at 171 Swanson Avenue #102 in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
Before I even start I have to say I loved meeting Anita!! What a kick! Her energy and enthusiasm is infectious! When I entered her shop and introduced myself, she welcomed me with opened arms, offered me a cool glass of water and before I knew it, there was a delicious cupcake set aside for me!

I first read about Bella and The Cupcake Cafe when the stores were featured in the article "Sweet Shop" in the August 2011 issue of Romantic Homes magazine.  While nearing the California-Arizona border, I checked the map to see how far off our route Bella would be - only 20 miles off the main highway AND the London Bridge was there - another sight we wanted to see. The side trip was well worth it!

Anita created beautiful graphics for her store - The Bella logo you see in the first picture - it is painted on a wall above her wrapping station for the gift shop.  The Cupcake Cafe logo you see here is painted on canvas and hung in a prominent corner in The Cupcake Cafe- a separate area in the same building!  She came up with a great idea to have a place to gift shop and a place to grab a sweet treat, when a group of regular customers like to linger in her shop!

We got to the store an hour before closing and we were lucky to get a cupcake at all as she was just about sold out!  This is the cupcake display case - the front panel of the case is a salvaged window she turned on its side.

The window makes a beautiful display!  
The pom-pom trimmed banner adds a whimsical touch!

Cupcake towers, pedestal dishes and boxes sit atop the display cabinet waiting to fill orders to be delivered - Boxes all receive a sticker with "The Cupcake Cafe" logo before going out the door!

A signature decoration at the Cupcake Cafe is the floor to ceiling "Cupcake Tree".

The flocked tree is decorated with pink feather boas and of course, lots of cupcakes!

But cupcakes aren't the only reason people visit Anita's shop!  Bella, the gift store side of the shop, is filled with fabulous European and shabby chic treasures displayed in creative ways by Anita. I love her display of bangle bracelets displayed on a cupcake display piece - a perfect marriage of cupcakes and gift ware!!

A queen size bed anchors the space filled with luxurious linens!  I love the sign "The Queen will NOT be accepting an audience!"

Soaps made from lavender and olive oils fill the old postal cubbies - I love the green color she picked to paint the wall - it subtly tells shoppers the soap are 'all natural'.

A combination of industrial galvanized boxes and wire baskets anchor this tabletop display - note the Romantic Homes magazine in the middle basket - it is the issue the store is featured in!

Apothecary jars sparkle with their decorative stoppers.

 A shabbied vintage cupboard displays Cavalleni postcards, stamps and note cards.

 A lavish Louis XVI dressing table shows off purses well. 
I just love the vintage clothes rack!
Anita carries lots of vintage and European inspired jewelry - This weathered cement statue sums up how I felt about my visit to Bella and The Cupcake Cafe - Satisfied and relaxed!  I recommend a stop by this wonderful shop on your travels!  You can contact Anita at (928) 855-PINK (7465).  Anita and her friend, Tammy, also have their own online shop where they sell vintage and European inspired gift ware.

And don't forgot to visit the little European landmark as well!  A billionaire moved the London Bridge to Lake Havasu City brick by brick - the gorgeous bridge features ornate street lamps and there is a English Tudor style tourist town built at the base where you can even pick up some fish and chips! Next post - a find in Amarillo, Texas . . .