Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Eggs

I was absolutely blown away by a bird nest tutorial I found on iambaker’s blog. With four kids I’d just be mad and NOT baking amazing goodies and blogging about it. I’m pretty much stark raving crazy without even so much as a pet to care for.

It looked so good that I decided to ape it. I’m not a very inspired human being as I sometimes fake people into believing me to be.

I used the cookie dough recipe and tutorial for the nest, but wanted to make cake pops as the eggs. These were a disaster as I experimented with a different kind of chocolate that didn’t work too well. The end result of both the nest and eggs were pretty clumsy… but fortunately most of it was covered in chocolate. When there’s chocolate involved it makes everything look better... it impairs vision and judgement and makes your brain one big mush of joy. You look at the world through rose tinted glasses. That’s strangely beginning to sound like an illegal drug… but really… chocolate makes the world so much easier to live in.

I packed and gave them away to my parents, sister’s family, in-laws and a couple of friends… all the people who’ll take the worst thing I could cook up and find something to appreciate. Awesome strategy I say! And I know you’re reading this and nodding to yourself cause you’ve done it a million times too. Yeah… you, giggling behind your computer monitor. Rascally rabbit!

Here they are, all prettily packaged disguising the too-many-to-be-named flaws.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Giant Note Tags!

This Easter I plan on baking some treats for friends and relatives. I thought I’d package them in a transparent plastic bag and tie a paper tag on it with Easter wishes. So thinking to myself that I'm very organized and all that jazz I started work on the note tags. But as usual, a simple, quick project is never complete unless it's blown unnecessarily out of proportion. And that earlier mentioned organized self, loses time (in what I prefer to call detailing) and  gets set back a full day on the baking schedule and may have to just give people plastic bags and note tags :(

I came across these lovely Easter cards and fell in love with the simplistic and Spartan approach. Totally inspired I opened up my box of ribbons and knick knacks and there began the saga of giant note tags. I just wanted to keep making them! They’re so easy to put together and the results are stunning!

The fourth one with the purple roses... that was my husband's idea. He said "Don't tell anyone I'm making suggestions when you are crafting". I can keep a secret. No one reads my blog right? 

Here's a gratifying shot of all the cards together.

Even though they’re bigger (much, much bigger) than normal note tags, I plan on using them anyway. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Honeycomb Tissue Paper Pom Poms

I've never really been a keen follower of trends - fashion, technology, food... it all changes so fast! Party decor on the other hand is something that I didn't realize I've been subconsciously following.

Just when I discovered the tissue paper pom poms, all the party decor blogs that I read have a new kind of pom pom featured. They're called honeycomb pom poms apparently. They look so pretty... but if someone had suggested it a month ago, with no pictures, I would've run for my life. They so remind me of those super tacky multi coloured Christmas decorations we used to buy from Parry's Corner and hang around the house.

I could only find online stores selling these but no tutorial anywhere. After much 'Google'ing I found a tutorial that I made some changes to. So here's the inspiration from Martha Stewart (as usual)... and here's what I made. Needs work, but oh so pretty!

On another note, my sister visited and I showed her these and told her how I struggled to figure out how to make them. She said that we'd been taught to make these at art class in school but wasn't surprised that I didn't know. I hated art in school as much as our art teacher disliked me. My sister on the other hand was the legendary teacher's pet. I can still remember our teacher telling me to stand outside class while saying 'I can't believe you are Ruth's sister. Why can't you be more like her?' I bet she'll be proud of me now... or maybe not :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cake Pops... At last!

I read Bakerella's blog religiously and dream of making (and eating) those wonderful little things called Cake Pops. My excuse was that I didn't have most ingredients. I finally decided to try it anyway... and I'm so pleased that I did. They aren't perfect but they taste awesome!!!

This little doggie's ears are just a couple of Kellog's choco flakes. For the nose I bought Cadbury's Gems... those colourful ones and peeled off the candy coating... like I loved to do as a kid. The eyes and mouth are drawn on with edible ink sketches that a friend brought from the US. But for some reason they weren't writing well on chocolate. And yeah, I used microwave melted Milky bars for the white coating and not candy melt or even cooking chocolate.

I had asked my sister to buy me a few mini cupcake liners from the US. What I didn't realize then was that I didn't have a mini cupcake baking tray. I was looking for an alternative use for them and found inspiration on the internet. How I wish I had discovered these before my SIL's baby shower!

These came out ok for an experiment I guess. Next time round definitely got to give attention to detail, cleaner lines and finish.

Birthday favour boxes

A friend's baby girl celebrated her first birthday last Saturday. I was asked to make pillow favour boxes and coordinate the colours with the party theme - white and blue. I also made the favours that went into the box: Chocolate Cake! 

I realized only much later, during a conversation with my friend, that neither he nor his wife had ever tasted anything I've baked and just went with their instincts that I'd do fine. I'm happy that they trusted me, but it's a pretty scary thought as well.  I'm so glad it all worked out!

Note to self: Samples, samples, samples... make sure your customers know what to expect.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Boys, cars and trucks

I made this shadow box for a friend's baby boy last December. Another friend from college wanted the same concept on two picture frames in two different colours for her new born baby boy. I love the hand painted feel on the shadow box, but decided to try something new and used paper cut out shapes instead.

The name is a coincidence :)


I’ve had to put much thought into phrasing this post and realized that it’s actually pretty simple. We wanted to celebrate the awaited birth of my sister-in-law’s baby. Oh wait! Didn’t we already do that? Not the traditional way! So my mom-in-law hosted a Valaikaapu ceremony.

I’m not sure about the exact ceremony and there’s been a lot of debate about what it could mean to a Christian… but I know for a fact that we didn’t really care. It was an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the new life and thank God for this blessing. And what greater joy than being surrounded by people who’ve seen you in diapers huh?

I think my mom-in-law sort of made up customs… none of us were sure for certain… but the ceremony was beautiful, simple and meaningful.  And I’m sure my SIL loved it!

And who can say no to colourful bangles?!!!

My contribution wasn’t much this time around… but I did manage to squeeze in a few of my origami square paper boxes. They were big enough to hold a couple of bangles, a banana, some beetle leaf and nuts, a piece of turmeric and a rose.

So colourful! So pretty! Me likey a lot!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Baby Shower

After dreaming of planning a small party for a really long time, I got a fabulous opportunity to organize my sister-in-law’s Baby Shower. Boy was I happy! I’ve browsed through so many ideas over the years and was just dying to have an opportunity to use them in a small intimate setting so that I can keep costs low and see how all those ideas stocked up in my head would translate in real time.
When the opportunity did come, stream lining the ideas down to a realistic number was the most difficult part. The rest came easy! I did have a ton of help from my husband and two of my SIL’s best friends. So it was all relatively stress free too. 
We decided on a late evening terrace party. I decided to go with paper pom poms and paper lanterns for d├ęcor. There is something so wonderfully summery and light about those pom poms that I simply adore.

Paper pom poms were super easy and fun to make. But those paper lanterns were a pain to even find in stores. When I finally did find them they had huge pictures of Santa Claus printed on them, but after some careful peeling off of the printed areas of the paper and sticking white tissue paper they were passable… when lit up.

 The party started late evening, so for lighting we used our Christmas fairy light set. Actually three sets of fairy lights. That and two lanterns had the terrace pretty well lit.

I love the idea of a wishing tree and just had to have one. I had a branch of driftwood lying around the house that my parents had picked up on a beach of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. It was perfect for the occasion with a shell holding the paper tags.

The ‘Celebrate!’ banner is a free download from The TomKat Studio. Initially I planned to design one but ran out of time.

For favours I made little pram boxes for Choco-Pies. My friend brought me a couple of boxes of brads from Michaels when she was visiting from the USA and I’d been waiting to use them ever since. So I used them for the roof of the carriage to help fan out the paper.  

That was super fun planning… can’t wait for when I get to do something like this again. 
Oh! And before I forget... there was cake! It doesn't look like much all butchered up in this picture... but it was a chocolatey world of D-E-L-I-S-H!!! *drool*