Dec 30, 2007

Family Photo Mass Production

Here is a little section of the drying 55 family photographs that Diego developed in his darkroom this afternoon. Rather than a family Christmas card, we will mail a New Year’s card wishing our friends and family the best in the New Year. I hope that tomorrow a little package from my favorite store, PaperSource, will bring me my card and envelope-making supplies. We will put the photograph on top of a red A6 flat card. I am hand making the envelopes out of vellum sprinkled with silver stars.

Dec 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Here is a package that Malena wrapped and created for Uncle Matt using recycled goods. I was inspired by the resourcefulness of my friend Yolanda at Perfecting Imperfectness. She sent me her family’s Christmas card in an envelope made from a recycled PaperSource catalog.

Because of her eco-friendly envelope, I wrapped the majority of my family’s gifts in kraft paper that was previously used as packaging material when I ordered the presents and grosgrain ribbon that can be reused.

Dec 23, 2007

Waldorf Doll in Progress

I am almost finished stitching together the body of Lautaro’s Waldorf doll. Today, I finished attaching the body and I am now working on perfecting the feet. Later, I will add hair and facial features.  I totally forget that this little doll will need clothes! My mom has the original patterns and I forget to cut my fabric while I was visiting her. So, I will trace around Baby Doreengi’s clothes (Malena’s Waldorf doll) to create patterns for Lautaro’s doll. 

I really have to hustle the remaining bits of this afternoon and tonight. I have to finish Lautaro's doll, sew doll clothing (i should probably make Baby Doreengi an outfit while I am sewing.), wrap presents and clean the house. I was hoping I would have time to sew some matching family stockings, but that will have to wait until next year at this rate!

Dec 21, 2007

Happy Winter Solstice!

My first cake that someone paid me to bake! As a fundraiser for my children’s co-op preschool, I offered my cake decorating skills and someone actually took me up on it. For a winter solstice party, I baked a carrot cake with an orange cream cheese frosting filling. I covered the cake in Satin Ice fondant. Then, I painted the fondant with a silver pearl dust. I covered the cake with fondant snowflakes dusted with glimmering silver dust. I also made white chocolate snowflakes to scatter around the base of the cake on the dessert table. I bought my cake decorating supplies at Edward’s Cake Decorating store in Modesto, CA.

Retro Swirly Cupcakes

Another big hit from my Dad's 60th birthday bash. These cupcakes are a throwback to one of the forbidden Hostess treats of childhood. I don’t think I ever had one in my life! Although I can’t compare, I am sure that these cute cupcakes from Icing on the Cake in Los Gatos are a 100 times better and without all the mystery preservatives that make them last on the 7-11 shelves for a decade.

Homemade Crème Sandwich Cookies

My Dad recently celebrated his 60th birthday. My Mom threw a fun party at their home to celebrate the big occasion. For the dessert table, I made a homemade version of one of my Dad’s favorite cookies, Oreos. I found several recipes online. After reading through several, I selected part of different recipes that highlighted what I thought would result in a crunchy chocolate cookie and a creamy, yet firm vanilla center. I was also short on time, so I wanted to create a simple recipe. The cookies received rave reviews; “even better than Oreos.” These are a yummy treat when served with a cold glass of milk, organic of course! Here is the recipe that I created:

· 1 (18 oounce) package chocolate cake mix
· 2 eggs
· 2-3 tablespoons water (first add 2 tablespoons water, if mixture is too dry, add the 3rd.)
· 2 tablespoons oil (I used canola.)
· ½ cup cocoa

Blend the cake mix, eggs, water, oil and cocoa. Form the dough into a ball and let stand for 20 minutes. Roll the dough into ½ inch balls. Grease the bottom of a smooth-bottom drinking glass. Dip the glass into the cocoa and flatten a ball with the glass bottom. Dip the glass into the cocoa before flattening each dough ball. Place the cookies on a parchment cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove cookies immediately. Flatten any that have puffed with a spatula. (None of mine did, though). Let the cookies cool for about 20 minutes before frosting.

Crème Center:
· 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
· ¼ cup butter
· 1 tablespoon vanilla
· 4-6 cups sifted powdered sugar

Blend all of the crème ingredients together until smooth. If the crème is too soft, add the additional cups of sugar one cup at a time. Frost the bottom of a cookie and add another cookie on top. Viola! Enjoy!

Dec 12, 2007

Christmas Gift Tags

I just finished an assortment of Christmas gift cards. I started these several weeks ago at my "Ladies Activity Club" with Maria at MamaPlum and Yolanda at Perfecting Imperfectness. The paper is from a PaperSource Scrap Bag. A PaperSource boutique opened in Santana Row, not far from my parents house in San Jose, California. Everytime I visit, I sneak out for an hour browsing all the beautiful paper and inspiring ideas. The waxed twine from Martha Stewart's old catalog. I bought the twine ages ago. It is great to work with - if anyone knows of a source, please let me know!

Face Cupcakes

I just had to share the lovely sand cupcakes that Malena baked outside this past weekend. Our hillside backyard is scattered with oak trees, which provided the necessary cupcake embellishments!