Friday, March 30, 2012

Defrosting by Pixar

My defroster made my car look like something from Disney/Pixar Cars... His name is "Speedy"
Cool Pic of SF Bay Bridge at Sunset

We took this picture out the sunroof while stopped at a traffic light on Harrison near First. Pretty cool shot.

Grinch Gloves

These gloves are super easy to make!

You need 1 pair of green gloves, green marabou, needle and thread.

Cut marabou into 10 pieces about 3 inches long each.

Put your finger into the glove finger you are going to sew - but not all the way so you don't poke yourself. Being careful, make a loop of thread and stick the marabou in. Tighten the loop and then repeatedly sew through the fabric in the middle of the marabou to secure it. Knot.  Repeat 9 more times and Voila!

Gringhy goodness at your fingertips.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fall Table Settings

Fall is the perfect time of year for apples! What better way to set a festive table than using apples?

Start by purchasing enough large apples for each of your dinner guests. Using heavy green craft paper, cut out leaf shapes (two per apple). Use double stick tape and affix lengths of craft wire between two leaves. Write the guest's name on one side of the leaf. At the end of the leaf, bend the wire at a 90 degree angle, and stick the wire into the apple next to the stem.

Next, get enough small apples for each guest. Use a melon baller to scoop out enough pulp to fit a votive candle in the apple. Make sure the votive has a metal or plastic holder so the wax doesn't spill all over.

The table setting is festive and smells wonderful. Additionally, guests can take their personalized apples home to enjoy!

"Sally" Ear Hat

Making a "Sally" ear hat from a plain Mickey ear hat

One of my favorite characters is Sally, from Nightmare Before Christmas. I knew Disney would probably never make an ear hat for Sally, so I decided to create my own. I intended the hat to make you think of the character by using notable features of the character, instead of trying to recreate the character on the hat. I made this Sally hat in early 2011. People keep asking me to make them and sell them on etsy, but I like that mine is unique.

I mixed acrylic paint into a color resembling Sally's skin. I painted the ears with several coats, allowing complete drying between coats. Once coverage was complete, I used black paint and a fine brush to create "stitches" on the ears.  Last, I used a clear coat spray to seal the paint and make the ears shiny.

Next, I cut strips of fabric and sewed them in a patchwork over the head portion. Also, using felt, cut circles and sew them down onto different patches so it looks more like Sally's dress.

Next, using yarn seaprated into individual strands, I sewed "stitches" onto the hat.

Finally, using thin binding tape, finish the edge of the hat. Stitch the binding tape down.

Ear hats usually come with an elastic strap that goes under the chin. I cut that off and secure the hat with bobby pins instead so it doesn't fall off.

Here is the final product:

Making a Rainbow Cake for St. Patty's Day

Cake Supplies
2 boxed white cake mixes
2 cans of Sprite (diet is ok, too)
gel food coloring
6 small bowls
1 large bowl
wire whisk
nonstick baking spray

Icing Supplies
See link below for icing recipe
pastry bag (or sandwich baggie with corner cut off)
something to spread the icing with

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (click for conversions)

You can prepare the cake mixes as directed, if you like. I would have, except that I had boiled all my eggs a few days prior and begun the project without double-checking my supplies. Therefore, I used the old can-of-soda trick.

In the large bowl, pour 2 cans of Sprite. Empty both cake mixes on top. Use wire whisk to mix them together until the batter is not lumpy, and no more foam is left.

Using the ladle, divide batter equally among the 6 small bowls. Add gel food color to the first bowl. Mix well. You may need to add more depending on how vibrant you want the color. I added a dime-sized amount of each color.

Spray two 8-inch round pans (20cm) with baking spray. In one pan, pour in the color that will be the bottom layer, in the other pan, the next layer color. There should only be enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake for 16 minutes. Cool in pan for at least 10 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks. Wipe out pans and repeat with next two colors. As the cakes cool, begin stacking and icing the layers. I do it this way because I only have 3 cooling racks, and 6 cakes won't fit all at once.

Icing Your Cake
I use the Wilton recipe for buttercream icing and triple it for this cake. Storebought icing is not stiff enough and you will have a runny mess. Don't even attempt it, you'll be sorry. Using a pastry bag with no tip (or a sandwich bag with the corner cut off), pipe a thick ring of icing around the edge of each layer, then fill with a thin layer of icing. Begin with the bottom color, then stack accordingly. The ring of icing will assist the cake's structure and prevent the icing from squishing out the sides.