August 31, 2011

Camp Miles


I love when my cupcake ideas come together without too much work
The camping pieces were just that... super easy!

Camp Miles (Miles is my sister's 3 yr old nephew) was so cute!
His mommy put up tents in the yard, campng signs & had S'mores pops.
My sister made a bunting sign that hung over the sweets table..
You can see her sign on her blog..click here
Everything looked perfect!
I recovered the cupcake stand from my gramps party with kraft paper & put twine around the edges for a rustic look.
S'more sticks - royal icing

Camp fire made with fondant.. no tools necessary

Fishing pole - royal icing

Camp Miles sign - I distressed a piece of brown fondant
so it would look like wood the piped  in royal icing

Log & Axe - fondant

Flavor tags I made out of left over paper from the
tent cards & S'more picks



S'more pops made by Charlee Z. - Picks made by http://www.etsy.com/shop/buckyandboo
photo compliments of Brie Z.

August 29, 2011

Tutorial: Fondant Pearls

Have you eyed the bottles of pearls at your local hobby store?  I have and I can never justify buying them in every color... will I ever use that many?   I have the perfect solution ....make your own!
Gold pearls for an upcoming 50th anniversary party

You will need :
rolling pin
straw
fondant (white or dyed a color of your preference)
 Vodka or Gumpaste Glue (recipe here)
mason jar or clear glass (not pictured)
petal dust or shimmer powder (not pictured)

Roll your fondant to the desired thickness..
the thicker you roll, the bigger your pearl. 
Press the straw into the fondant to make a circle.  This keeps your pearls uniform in size.

Circles ready to be rolled

Roll the fondant into balls ..sorry, this is out of focus, hard to take pictures
of yourself without making them blurry.

Pearl ready for dusting

Sprinkle a generous amount of pearl dust in your jar /glass
If your fondant is dyed, you can use pearl white to give it a shimmer in
whatever color you wish. 
Add your fondant pearls to the jar.  See the white one in the bottom left corner?
it will soon be gold


Swirl the jar around several times to give it a good coat. This works better if the pearls are not dried for more than 10-15 minutes. 

Whalah, custom gold pearls!

Flower ready for the pearl center

Apply some gumpaste glue or vodka to the flower 
Set the pearl on top..and you have yourself a pretty little flower

I use paint trays to dry my flowers.  Michael's sells them for 99cents each..
so much easier than using flower cups.

August 24, 2011

Tutorial : Fondant Fireman Helmet

A fireman helmet is so much easier than it looks.  
The most important thing is to make sure the circle you cut out in step 4 is big enough to cover the fondant base.
1.  Roll a ball the size you want for your helmet

2. Push it down so the base is flat and not round

flat bottom ^

3. Roll a "snake" for the ridge in the helmet. Cut it the length you need. Attach it using vodka or gumpaste glue.



top view

4. IMPORTANT! Using a circle cutter, find one that is about 4x's bigger than your fondant base

5. Roll fondant & use your circle cutter to cut

6. Brush your fondant base with gumpaste glue or vodka. Set your circle on top of the fondant base

7. Press it down on the base with your fingers and define the "ridge" down the center so you can see it. 
8. Use a circle cutter that is a touch bigger than your helmet and cut off excess.  Leave more at the back than the front so you can turn it down. 

9. Cut a badge for the front & affix with gumpaste glue


10. Set a straw under the back end so it turns down when it dries. 
I customized this helmet for Firefighter Escobar by using dye thinned with vodka so I could paint his name on.

August 14, 2011

End All - Chocolate Cookie Recipe


At LAST..I think I've found my favorite chocolate cut out cookie recipe!!!
I've been searching for over a year for a great recipe to satisfy my choco-holic personality.   The one I was using was ok..but was on the bland side and simply not what I would call THE BEST.   SweetSugarBelle posted a link to LilaLoa's blog a few days ago so I was eager to try it.   I decided to give it a try with my new cutters that arrived Friday from Karen's Cookies  (seriously awesome customer service, I ordered Tuesday & they were here by Friday).

This recipe is sweet but not overly sweet, has a rich chocolate flavor and remains moist.  It calls for a small amount of crisco, which I normally do not use even in my decorating buttercream, I use all unsalted butter.   I wanted to make the recipe exact for the first time.  I'll try all butter next time.  I am a no chill kind of girl, so I used 3.5 cups of flour since I was going to roll it and bake right away.

You can find the recipe here on LilaLoa's blog or at the end of this post.

Try it.. I think you'll love it just like I did.

Cookies for an upcoming event ...
shshh... I'm shipping these to NY to my in-law's for their 50th wedding anniversary


Cookies ..ready for flooding


The End-All Chocolate Cookies Recipe ..adapted from LilaLoa
 
1 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup cocoa
3 or 3 1/2 cups flour

Cream butter, shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add baking powder and salt and mix again. Stir in the cocoa until well blended. Add flour 1 cup at a time. IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE COOKIES RIGHT AWAY, ADD 3 1/2 cups flour. If you are going to "chill" the dough, or just wait for another day to make your cookies, STOP AT 3 cups. It will be totally soft and look all wrong, and you will want to ignore me completely and add more flour, but I'm telling you -- DON'T DO IT. Practice self-restraint. You will be glad you did, and I will be proud of you. Roll out on lightly floured surface. Bake at 375 F for 6 1/2 minutes.
 
Thank you LilaLoa for sharing this with us!


August 7, 2011

Gramp's 90th Birthday Party

Gramps was an avid golfer for years until 12 years ago when his legs started to give him trouble.  My aunt planned a party for Gramps 90th and went with the golf theme.   She & my uncle made really cute centerpieces..hand painted pots, with a metal "flag post" that had a golf ball glued to it. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of them.  Hopefully I can post later from other people's photos.

Gramps and me..Hope I look as good as he does in 50 years :)

Cupcake stand tutorial : click here

Gramps favorite saying "Damn I'm Good"





I also made cookies.   The shoe cutter is actually a flip flop cutter sideways

I used the same flip flop cutter to make the golf bag.



Happy 90th Gramps!
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