The Z's are beach lovers & my sister loves the nautical theme. Anchors, flip flops, beach buckets, bikinis & swim trunks seemed perfect to bring with me.
They loved them and didn't even care that their mouths turned BLUE!
We are enjoying our time together & it's been an eye opening experience to see the way people live over here..snakes for sale on the street corner eeewww. Life here is not as I know it back in the US. I miss home and have a new appreciation for all that we have and the easy life we have in the states. I'm so proud of The Z's for learning to accept what is here and living in a different country.
In case you are wondering, that means HELLO in Mandarin.
I'm ready to go on my 1st "5k Monday" walk to Starbucks with my sister's expat group. Every Monday they walk to Starbucks, sit and relax with coffee and visit. Now before you tell me it's Sunday, not Monday.. it is already Monday here. My sister has met so many great people over here & Sal has buddies to play with. They do lots of day trips, walks to the vegetable market, Ikea, etc.
I made this set of cookies to take and share with her friends. Writing Mandarin isn't very easy but I did my best although it is not perfect (as pointed out on Facebook by a Chinese friend). The coffee cup cutters are from PlasticsinPrint on Etsy. I've had them for a while and was excited to finally get to use them. The cherry blossoms are painted with Americolor food dye thinned with vodka and a paint brush to add color to the center of the cookies. It's a little easier than dragging out the airbrush and dries rather quickly.
Time to go get my Starbucks fix... I'll update with Starbucks pictures when I get back
If you've been following me for a few years, you know that I love to ride on the back of my husband's Harley. I think my husband was sad that this set of cookies were not for his eating pleasure.
I made a dozen cookies, Harley themed, to donate to an auction
for Tony Gulley. He is a Harley lover and had a fall, resulting in numerous broken bones and extensive therapy. With medical bills climbing, his friends held a benefit on his behalf. I love to help others so when his friend contacted me asking if I could donate something, I didn't hesitate in saying "yes".
I sent 3 dozen cookies, all different themes. I hope they helped raise a good amount of money for his recovery.
This is not only my 1st time out of the country, I'm also flying solo which is way out of my comfort zone. Thankfully my sister will be at the airport with her driver to greet me.
I'm sitting at San Francisco airport waiting for my 13 hour flight. Hopefully I can spend some time drafting blog posts & getting my blog caught up but no promises. There may be a few moments that I actually drift off in dreamland :)
I would never in a million years plan a vacation in China but this is a great opportunity to go visit.
The Z's will be there for 3 years. When they left in June 2012, I didn't even have a passport so I did that right after they left. My brother in law was a huge help booking my airline travel (and spoiling me with a 1st Class upgrade..whohoo!), giving me all the info on applying for a travel visa from the Chinese Embassy and having their driver pick me up at the airport. I appreciate all the help he has given me.
The Z's love my cookies. Shipping to China can be tricky (lots of items blacklisted) but over the past year I have pretty much conquered USPS, Customs & China Post. I have shipped cookies almost every month them and they say they still taste good even if they are in transit 14-21 days. I made three sets to take with me and hand deliver. China Dolls, Starbucks cups (for her Expat group's Monday meeting) and a nautical/beach set.
The first set is a set of China dolls & lanterns. I was inspired by Sugarbelle for this design. She is such an amazing cookie decorator and so generous with her tutorials. I love when she uses cutters on hand for a different design. It makes you really think about what you have and what would work vs. going to buy a new cutter. I used a polar bear cutter from Cristin's Cookies for the doll cookie. The cutter was used for a challenge that I took part in back in January. For the lanterns I used a snowman, pumpkin & another cutter from a Wilton Halloween Set (sorry, I have no clue what the cutter is supposed to be).
A few months ago my friend, Shannon of Artfully Delicious, sent me test cookies. If you aren't following her on Facebook, go on over and follow now. She was looking for taste testers and I was one of the fortunate ones "picked" to taste test. Her cookies were so soft and had a great buttery vanilla flavor. Her royal icing was not rock hard to bite into and really complimented the cookie. Her artwork was amazing. My husband liked her cookies better than mine, so I have since changed my recipes and think I have found a better cookie & icing recipe.
She also sent these beautiful flower cookies! Aren't the colors fantastic?
So bright & cheery!
While I wanted to do wet on wet flowers, I also wanted to do some hand painting. I flooded 1.5" rounds with white royal icing & then let them dry. After they were dry, I used Americolor Deep Pink dye diluted with vodka and painted plaid on the cookie. This is a great way to add color with out mixing a ton of icing colors. For this set I had 4 icing bottles: turquoise, green, black and white.
Polka dots can be tricky when doing the wet on wet technique. If you don't drop enough icing for the dot it will not be a solid dot. I lucked out on this set because all my dots ended up as nice round white dots.
The pollen in our area is so bad, my white car has been neon yellow for about 3 weeks now.
The wind in our area hasn't helped. Flowers are blooming all over. The lupine are so pretty on our back roads. This set of cookies went up to Northern California with my mom to Grandma Geneva's.
I hope they are having a nice visit and getting things scratched off her "to do" list...
always feels good to get things accomplished.
I've been doing a lot of cookies with hand painting and the wet on wet technique. The flowers were done wet on wet. Once they were dry I used a KopyKake marker and drew outlines on the cookie. The plaid cookies are hand painted. Hand painting and outlining with a marker mean less mixing of colors which is always a plus.