Thursday, February 24, 2011
I'm frequently asked: 1) how long do these projects take, and 2) where and when do you find the time? My answers are: 1) it varies from project to project, but generally, if we're creating something completely from scratch, there is about a 2 hr brainstorming, researching, designing, and prototyping session before we actually start a batch of something, and 2) we don't really "have the time" but we're passionate about our creations, so for right now, the time we spend working on projects is on weekends and at least a couple of times during the weekdays; today I went straight from work to my sister's house around 4:30 pm (work for me starts at 8 am and lunch is usually a 25 minute working lunch), and I didn't get home until after 11 pm (hence my 1 am posting). However, we wouldn't be doing this if we didn't enjoy it so much!
These Doraemon (or should I say Dorae-men), were made on Monday; I just haven't had the time to post them until now.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Aside from playing in the marching band at football games (speaking for myself), Super Bowl Sunday provided us with the opportunity to advance our creativity. The Steelers logos were hand-painted, and the Packers "G's" were hand-piped. Here's a field-level shot:
Fast forward several weeks, and the two of us were wondering what we could (notice the "could" and not the "should") make for my niece’s school birthday party. The owls were cute, but we didn’t like how the cupcakes tasted dry just after one day. My sister picked up a “Cake Pops” book, and while the pops looked adorable, the idea of sticks in a cake didn’t quite resonate with us. We decided to go for the cuteness and forego the “pops” of the equation. We happened to make strawberry-flavored cake and wanted the outside color to match, so after some time, the ladybug in the book looked cheery and harmless enough, and we started making cake balls. The dipping took some practice, and if you’ve ever worked with melted chocolate, it can be a nightmare. Candy melts are much more forgiving than chocolate, but getting the right consistency and covering the cake pockmark-free were not. But before long, my sister was dubbed the “Dip Master,” and I was the one giving life to the ladybugs (let’s just say I hand-painted, piped, and dabbed an awful lot). My favorite part was giving each ladybug eyes and a smile, at which point I found it too difficult to eat a creation that was staring back at me.
Our next task was coming up with something to accompany the ladybugs, and sunflowers didn’t quite work out, and neither did anything else we saw in the book. However, the sunflower idea led to bees (yellow as the common denominator), chocolate chips became the perfect stinger, and I became the Creative Director! By the time my niece’s birthday rolled around, we figured out how to pipe the wings beforehand (on wax paper) and to make green waffle leaves for the critters to rest on. Each lil’ fella went into individual treat boxes, and my sister delivered them to school on time!
As with many things, there is usually a beginning. The very beginning really started when two young girls started baking when the older fourth-grader brought home a hand-bound recipe book of brownies, chocolate chip cookies, 7-up Cake, and much more. (Yes, kids learned how to bake in classrooms in those olden days; this was the time before Pillsbury "easy-bakes".)
However, we'll start in December, 2010. My nephew needed cupcakes for his pre-school birthday party, so we decided to make these adorable owl cupcakes we saw in a cupcake book. Our cupcakes ended up being entirely too small for the Oreo eyes, so we ended up with oversize-eyed owls that looked pretty comical. In fact, the whole process of making them was entirely hilarious. After 15 minutes of experimenting, we had my dad twisting open the Oreos (the cream had to remain a perfect circle on one side), and we had my husband carefully sawing the non-creamed Oreo sides into thirds for the ears (Oreos are very brittle, so that was no easy feat). My sister and mom frosted the cupcake tops, I added the eyes and placement of the pupils (very important part in expression), my nephew popped on their little yellow "M&M's" beaks (banana Runts are good too), and the owls cycled back to my sister to receive their feathers. The last step was to add a glimmer of mischief to the eyes, and voila - we had owl cupcakes! If you'll notice in the picture, there are also cupcakes topped with "bugs" which my sister piped together with "M&M's" on wax paper.