Monday, November 29, 2010

Now Available at the Artisans for Nicaragua Craft Fair!

Mallory and I are participating in a fundraiser for the Nicaragua Immersion program at the University of Portland. We are selling the following items.

Flower hairpieces with a clip and pin back. You can wear them in your hair or on a jacket or even on a headband, as Ellie so nicely demonstrates below.

Snuggle Baby Blankets: Made of soft cuddle fabric on one side with a patterned flannel on the other and a satin ribbon trim. These blankets measure 1 sq. yard and are the perfect size to keep in the carseat for cold winter drives. They heat up quickly and keep little ones warm.

Clutches and makeup bags available in many different prints!

We will also be selling baked goods (like cupcakes, almond toffee, poppyseed muffins, pumpkin spice rice crisipies and more) and handmade cards.
Come by and see us in the Franz lobby all week long between 11:30am and 1:30pm!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The One With the Turkey Cupcakes

Last year, my nephew and godson, Cyril, was born on Thanksgiving Day. To celebrate his first birthday, I made some turkey cupcakes as he was having a Thanksgiving themed birthday party. Here's what they looked like:

Unfortunately, due to bad weather, they actually never made it to the birthday party. Now I have a bunch of turkey cupcakes lying around with no home. I hope that someday, however, he will at least appreciates the sentiment. I'll be sure to show him pictures so he can.

I got the idea from Hello, Cupcake, which is a great resource for cupcakes for all occasions. As usual, however, I changed some of the ingredients because some of the items used by the book's author are pretty hard to come by. So I usually make do with what can be found either in the cake decorating aisle of Michael's or the local grocery store. Here is what I used:

  • 24 regular and 24 mini Pumpkin cupcakes baked in white liners (see recipe below).
  • 2 cans vanilla frosting - set some aside for eyes in a small ziploc bag. To dye the rest the correct color, use brown, yellow and orange food coloring until you have a caramel color.
  • Gold pearlized sugar - roll the entire edge of the large cupcakes and the top edge of the minis for a feathery effect. (Hello, Cupcake calls for caramel jimmies which would also work well if you can find them.)
  • Candy corn for beaks and tail feathers.
  • Pizzelle cookies - these Italian cookies are quite thin and I found them in the bakery section of Fred Meyer. Any cookie with a scalloped edge would work, but a thin kind would be best. To make it work better, I broke out 1/3 of the cookie so that it was contoured to fit the top of the cupcake. Pipe 7 stripes of white frosting onto the cookie and add the candy corn for feathers.
  • To support the the cookie/tail feathers I cheated and poked a toothpick into the cupcake to lean the cookie on. I know it isn't edible, but truthfully, no one is just going to be biting into these anyway. So just warn your consumers that there is a toothpick in there and they will be able to easily remove it.
  • Red fruit leather cut into elongated tear drop shape for wattle.
  • White frosting (that you saved from earlier) and mini chocolate chips for eyes.

I had used a Pumpkin Spice Cupcake Recipe before that did not work, so here is what I did and it worked!

Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe:

2 boxes yellow cake mix
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2/3 cups oil
7 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put liners in cupcake tins. Combine all ingredients except eggs and blend well. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Pour into prepared liners until 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and the tops are a nice and firm.

Makes 24 regular and 24 mini cupcakes.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dreaming of Christmas Cards...

It's that time of year again and I've been thinking about how I want to do our family Christmas cards this year.

This one is pretty sweet. And I like the snowy version below even better.

And although I'm a fan of this one, Steve says it isn't wintery enough. I guess that's what you get for living in Portland where there is no snow. We'll have to dress Ellie up in some winter gear and at least pretend there is snow for a photo shoot before these go to print.

And another one... mostly because I lack pictures of other babies to put in the template.

And then I just started playing around and making some for friends...

This is one I did last year to announce the birth of my nephew.

And this design was our Christmas card last year. I just updated it for fun.

So here's the thing: I want to continue to build my portfolio and would love to make YOUR family's holiday cards! That's right! I'm giving away 10 FREE holiday card designs. You would be responsible for all printing, etc. I would just be making the design. Really, seriously. You will be able to choose any of the designs above or get a whole new one if you give me some ideas of what you're hoping for.
To win one of the FREE designs, comment on this post or email me and we'll get something started!

Wishing you a happy holiday season,

Monday, November 1, 2010

The One With the Leaf Lessons

Ok not really... this is actually just a post of pictures from Ellie's autumn portraiture session (which was really just Mallory and me taking pictures to practice using our cameras). But it looks like she is learning a lot from a leaf in a few of these.

Here Ellie is screaming, "I love fall!" Well, at least that's what it looks like to me.

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