“Here by the owl…”

May 20th, 2014

FFA Topper Stacks

“Here by the owl…” that’s it, that’s all I’ve got. That is the extent of my knowledge of the FFA Creed and the only reason I know that much is because my brother-in-law Marc is a former FFA Advisor and State Officer. So enamored of FFA was he that he tried his darndest to convince my younger sister Kris and I to join FFA back in our high school years. “Are you kidding?” we would reply, “FFA is for boys!” We of course followed the pack, the pack of girls that is, and became members of the Future Homemakers of America, which I don’t think even exists anymore. Now a days I have to chuckle at the thought that I ever aspired to be a “Future Homemaker”, although I did learn how to set a proper table and muddled my way through sewing a zipper into a corderoy throw pillow.

Well things have most definitely changed. Our local FFA chapter has an equal amount of girls and boys in it as does all the other chapters in the towns surrounding my little hamlet. It was one of those chapters that contacted my friend Stacy, the Queen of Cupcakes, looking for some sweet treats for their end of the year banquet. I just have to insert a little note here… can you believe it’s already the end of the school year? Our little kiddos served their last half day yesterday morning. But I digress… back to the blue and gold.

Stacy texted me several weeks back asking if I would be up for making some cupcake toppers for the McCool Jct. FFA Banquet. “Of course,” I replied, “absolutely.” Then she texted… “It will probably be about 17 dozen…” whooo… I admit I paused for a minute before replying. Then she said… “They are going to want names on some of them.” A pause again, but I figured they would probably just need names on the ones for the outgoing and newly elected officers. Uhhh, yeah, wrong again. They wanted to use the cupcakes and toppers as place cards which means they would all need names. Oh boy. Of course I responded “Not a problem.”

Stac mentioned the client was thinking the FFA logo on one side and the names on the other. “Oh really??” I said, “I already have a different idea.” “Go for it.” she said, “I don’t think they will be to picky about it.” Ahh, my kind of client. I had seen some farm animal sillohettes I wanted to use on the front side…

FFA Toppers Front

so I made up five different designs (I mean who just wants one design?) and then on the back side, where the names would go, I did a more basic design with a tractor…

FFA Toppers Names

I had all the designs ready to go with time to spare and then I got the list of names… a long list of names. I went to work adding the names and was soon ready to start printing. A few days earlier this had popped up on my Facebook page…

Rows and rows

Ahh, yes… Stac was hard at work as well. For some reason that photo made me want to just start pushing buttons on something. No matter how organized and somewhat ahead of the game I think I am, Stac will always be miles ahead of me.

So the day before the toppers were due I thought I was sitting pretty. I didn’t have a huge workload at my real job so I shouldn’t have a problem getting out of there at a decent hour and I had half of my toppers printed, I just had to print the second half and start assembling. The best laid plans. It ended up being a stormy day and I was still at work at 5 p.m. when I got a text from Stac “Do you have electricity?” Oh boy, I thought. I replied I was still at work so I didn’t know. Well they didn’t. Crap. Just my luck. I got a few more texts from Stac saying she wasn’t at home yet either but was already planning on packing up all her cupcakes and mixer and heading over to her mom’s, where they had electricity, to get her cupcakes frosted. I headed for home praying during the whole 15 minute drive that my garage door would open when I hit that button. I got into town and saw lights on in some houses so hopefully it was just part of town that had no electricity. I turned that corner, hit that button and AAAAHHHHH (the sound of angels singing) the door opened and my garage light beckoned me in. Crisis averted.

I finished printing my toppers while the rain came down outside. I had told Stac to pop over when she was done frosting. She had been trying to get me a flashdrive full of photos of her soon to be graduating daughter Sidney for a week now and we could never seem to connect. That flashdrive contained materials for my next project… graduation centerpieces for Sid’s big party (more on that to come). Soon her and Corey braved the downpour and showed up at my front door. She had brought with her the cupcake liners she was using for the FFA cupcakes… the bright yellow and navy cupcake liners. Uhhhhhh, I had gone with more of a gold and navy color scheme… uh oh. Can you say clash? We had a bit of a debate over what were the true colors in the FFA logo. I said gold and navy, she said yellow and navy. What did we know? We were Future Homemakers of America. I think we were both right. In the end I don’t know what I was thinking, I mean where was she going to find gold cupcake papers? You know, not a shiny gold but a more orange-y gold. I looked over at my pretty pile of printed toppers and then brought my topper document up on my Mac and started searching for a more suitable yellow. Stac said, “Are you going to reprint them all?” I sighed and nodded my head and could see the relief flooding her face. She started laughing and said, “That’s why I like working with you, if you’re going to do it you’re going to do it right.” Touche!

Of course Stac had her issues as well. She had decided to make her frosting a yellow and blue swirl, not thinking about yellow and blue turning into green. So she would get about eight cupcakes frosted before the frosting turned a Hulkish green and then she would have to empty and reload her frosting tube. Uggghh, now that sound like way to much work to me.

Soon she and I started talking plans for Sidney’s graduation party and Corey was looking a little bored. I thought, if I’m going to stay up all night making toppers, I’m going to at least get something out of Corey, the computer tech. “Hey Core, I don’t suppose you’d like to take a run at hooking this thing up for me?” And I whipped out the wireless router that’s been sitting in my studio for close to a year. Well of course he would take a crack at it, he’s Corey. I’ve tried a million times to hook that thing up. Watching him sit patiently and try to figure it out made me feel a wee less dumb as he struggled some with it as well. Eventually he got it and I have now finally entered into the 21st century and have wireless internet.

So they finally headed home around 10… yes, that would be 10 p.m. and I still had 17 dozen toppers to make. My well organized work day started over at 10 p.m. Big surprise right? By morning this had appeared on my desk…

FFA Topper pile

just in the nick of time. When will I ever learn? I delivered my two gallon sized Ziploc bags full of toppers (real classy packaging, I know) to Stac and reminded her to get a picture of the final product. The next night I got this…

Final FFA cupcakes

after all our headaches and hard work they turned out pretty good. Again I say, “Here by the owl…” (because that’s all I know).

4 Responses to ““Here by the owl…””

  1. Newman Says:

    Hey Kerri at first glance of the headline I thought you might be blogging about owls…

    Just kidding – keep up the good work, YES there are people out here that DO read your post.

  2. Rebecca Allan Says:

    Can we purchase the printable for The FFA cupcake toppers?

  3. Samantha Says:

    Can you design the cupcake toppers that I can print them out myself and make them. I have to have them by this weekend

  4. Tina Says:

    I really would like to order 8 dozen FFA cupcake picks!!!!

Leave a Reply