Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Something else to do with your junk mail

Despite our dedication to Greendimes and the frequency with which we update our preferences (to tell them which junk we don't want to get anymore), we still end up with some junk in our mail.

Like chocolate in our peanut butter, but less delicious and ideal.

If only junk in the mail was as good as chocolate in peanut butter...that would be incredible. I would love getting the mail. I would love our mailman. Even when he walks across my landscaping and smushes my plants because he's too lazy to use the walkway. EVEN THEN.

But let's stop talking about all that because it's not going to happen. The chocolate, the delicious junk mail or the mailman using the walkway instead of my African Iris for his walking.

Instead, we can make our junk mail delicious in another way. And give it a real purpose in life other than making sure it's plainly obvious to everyone who drives by that we haven't yet picked up our mail so might be out of town and HEY ROB US. Or whatever.

How can we do this? We can use those glossy junkie mailers as stencils, y'all, and monogram things.

Because we all know my glorious history with monograms. Still though, stay with me.

First, bake something you want to monogram. I used cupcakes. Funfetti cupcakes to be exact. For a friend who is having a birthday and who loves Funfetti baked goods with all her heart and soul because she's *that way.*

I'm more of a red velvet cupcake kind of person, but it's not my birthday so weh.

Then, let them cool because otherwise the frosting does that annoying peeling-off-of-the-cupcake-skin thing when you go to put it on and UGH. Annoying. Once they're cool though, go to town frosting them with whatever frosting you want. I used Funfetti frosting because, obviously, and also because it comes with sprinkles whose grand importance will later become obvious.

The Funfetti frosting is really just vanilla. In case you have been fooled by it before. Not that I have. Ahem.

Then go to your recycling bin or mail box and look for a nice piece of junk mail that includes a letter somewhere on it that's appropriate for your monogramming. My friend's name begins with the letter, "A", so I found a nice flyer from Mike's Bikes who was advertising their 45th Anniversary Sale.

No, Mike, I do not want to purchase a $5900 roadbike, but thanks anyway.

Notice that "Sale" has an "A" in it, if you haven't already figured out where I was going there. C'mon. Keep up.

With your Xacto knife/razor blade/ninja sword, cut out the letter to the best of your ability, leaving the rest of the piece intact.

"Best" is subjective.

Now, take one of your frosty cupcakes and place the stencil on the cupcake somewhere around the center of the thing. Kind of push it down on there so it sticks. Don't smash it.

It's also good if your frosting is flat where you put your stencil. Just saying.

Pour some sugar sprinkles onto the letter part of the thing.

I'm not going to tell you how old these sprinkles are because sugar never goes bad. Right?

Press those sprinkles down gently with your finger and don't be judging my little girl fingers because one day I'll be glad I have puny hands. Like when I lose something down a hole with a narrow opening or something.

Also, don't smush too hard.

Now - AND THIS IS IMPORTANT - lift the paper DIRECTLY UP from the corners of the letter in one swift movement. This keeps awful smearing from happening. Trust me.

I'm not going to lie. This wasn't the first one I made. The first one I made is featured at the end of this post as a warning.

Admire your work and then decorate the rest of the cupcake as you wish. Or don't. This is fine as it is.

Now, if you want to use the opposite image, you can do that, too. Just place the letter itself in the center-ish part of the cupcake, sprinkle on some sprinkles (yes, I said that), press gently and remove in the same manner: From the corners, lift directly up, etc.

You can also cut out different fonts of the same letter from other crap in your mail box, if you so desire.

For the cursive crowd.

And when you totally eff one up and you can't even tell what the letter is supposed to be, you can use the sprinkles to cover up your shame. And now you see why I bought the Funfetti frosting - Crucial shame covering sprinkles in there.

This was cupcake #1 and let it be a warning to all of you about what happens when you don't lift directly up with that stencil.

When you're all done making a semi-small mess in your kitchen, put all your cupcakes in your cupcake carrier thingee and try to not drop the whole thing while you're carrying 16 bags of crap to your car.

See how some of them don't even look like "A"s? Yeah. It happens.

Not that I know anything about that.


  1. I hope sugar doesn't go bad, because we have some colored sugar in our cabinet that I'm pretty sure is older than I am, and I used it this year to decorate my King Cake.

    We're not dead, so I think it's all good.

    Also, know what tiny hands are good for? Birthin' sheep. So says my husband, who is convinced that if our sheep ever have trouble lambing, it will be me shoving my little midget hands up their ewe bits to help them out.

    He is obviously delusional.

  2. Well who knew??? I was just wondering last night why there isn't something like a do not call list for junk mail. 'Cause junk mail is the bain of my existence -- it's everywhere and it drives me cah-razy.

    Those cuppycakes look divine Ms. Finny. You are the temptress of all things yummy!

  3. Oh thanks! Now I want a cupcake with an A on it...or a B or Z even! Dang. That would mean I would have to get in my car and go buy all the ingredients and well you know what all after that.
    Your cup cakes look delish is all I am saying.

  4. At least your mail man will come to your door! Our mailman is so terrified of my dogs (they bark at the door) that he won't come to the door. He will put a note in the box and writes "dogs" on the card. We have to pick everything up at the post office. Pretty sad when you're scared of a weiner dog.

  5. So simple and yet? So smart. Love this idea. And I really, really want a cupcake caddy now.

  6. Kris - Wow. So glad I don't live within arm's reach of a birthing lamb. For a few reasons. You tell Adam to get some forceps or something.

    That colored sugar I had was about 4 years old, so I'm assuming it's OK. I mean, it's not like it's "all natural" or anything, so I doubt it's going bad any time soon.

    Thimbleanna - Thanks for not making fun of my silly cuppycakes. They're mildly retarded, but I still like them.

    Claudia - Sometimes you have to give in and just make cupcakes. And then you let Bubba eat two in one sitting because that stinker is never going to be fat.

    Lisa - You should leave him a note that says, "LOSER". Afraid of a weiner dog? Come now.

    Africankelli - I am horrified that YOU of all people do not have a cupcake caddy. I sense a birthday pressie...

  7. So do you actually have a recipe for red velvet cupcakes? My book group meets on Monday which happens to be my anniversary. I thought of making a cake, instead of the usual cookies for book group, but I love the idea of red velvet cupcakes. I've never made one before but have always wanted to. (And you really need to join our book group, by the way. We have two members who drive up from Sunnyvale, one who comes from Alameda and another from San Rafael so you won't be alone in your "that's too far to schlepp" moan.

  8. LOL That's definitely a new use for junk mail. Do you save all your junk mail that has particular fonts/letters/shapes you like, specifically for this purpose? ;-)

  9. Oh, funfetti. (This is pronounced in that special voice you always reserve just for when you say, "Oh, Ale...." you know the one I'm talking about? Kind of like a mixture of 'you're so silly and ridiculous and yet I love you anyways' So that's also useful for funfetti, I think.

    You're just getting craftier by the day my friend. And, cupcake carrier? See now there is yet again something one can live without as long as they don't know it exists. Otherwise known as an 'americanata' but that's just what the snobby Italians say. Secretly they're super envious of all of our geneeeus inventions.

    Countdown!!! Getting your digs ready.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.