Showing posts with label art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art. Show all posts

Happy Birthday Mom!

I have found my favorite cupcake recipe ever. Check out this color explosion. I've already written about how I'm not super afraid of food dyes, and my love for this cupcake confirms that I absolutely have no fear. What I do have is pure joy from the rainbow of color found in this cupcake.

This cupcake is dedicated to my mom, who is celebrating her 63rd year today. I love you so much mom and hope you have a fabulous day. She should...She told me that today she plans on driving around delivering amaryllis flower bulbs to friends in the area. That basically sums up my gifts to others on her own birthday. And then tonight she's going to the st. olaf christmas concert. Lovely. So here's to a wonderful, happy birthday. Love you, mom!

Christmas Craft Night

We had a fantastic turn out for our first Christmas Craft Night on Friday night. The hope of this evening was for women to come and make classy gifts to give to teachers, babysitters or coworkers. We had 30 ladies come, and had a really great time. I had the room set up with six different stations and the ladies moved around the room as they pleased. We had great food, great childcare and Bing Crosby singing us into the season.

Our craft stations included: Christmas Cocoa cones, Fabric covered magnets and tacks, Scrabble Tile Necklaces, Gift Tags and pretty gift wrapping, and Bath bomb cupcakes. Click on any of those titles for the link to the tutorials, where I found all of these fabulous ideas!

I hired a few camp counselors and co-worker's kids to be our babysitters for the evening. They were awesome. When I went to check on them I found the crew having a snack in their fort. Love that.

The evening was not without a few glitches, however. I was in charge of welcoming ladies, helping with the bath bombs and helping with the cupcake frosting. And honestly, I probably should have delegated the frosting or bath bombs. One batch of frosting was so thin it ran off the cupcakes entirely. Another batch of frosting misfired, when all of their ingredients were added together at the same time. Turns out, this is how you make marzipan! The putty was incredible and we actually played with it for a while because it was just that cool. At that point, I realized I needed to hang out at the frosting table and made sure everything was put in exactly as the directions specified. And then it turned out great every time.

Pretty Gift Wrapping

I enjoyed another day of Women's Christmas Craft night preparation and today I worked on making demonstration pieces for the gift wrapping station. I found this pattern for a paper iris on this site. Pretty easy to make, and lovely on the present.

Fizzy Bath Bombs

A while back I found this awesome tutorial on Little Birdie Secrets. I love this blog...three crafty friends who do cool things together. How fun is that?!! The site is full of inspiring and thoughtful projects to tackle and I have many bookmarked that I want to try. So, anyway, I found this tutorial, and later my co-worker, Casey, and I decided to host a Women's Christmas Craft night at Carol Joy Holling. The hope was to get a bunch of crafty-types in a room for a night of food, creating and childcare done by camp counselors. Genius. So this Friday night we have 20 women coming to make three different projects, one of which is the Fizzy Bath Bomb. Today I did a trial run of this project and basically decided that I have the best job in the world.

First I gathered all of the supplies. This was the hardest part of the entire process. I had to track down five cups of citric acid. And figure out what witch hazel was (it's not a vitamin, so don't waste your time looking in the vitamin section in countless stores across omaha...just head over to your local walgreens and go to their face wash section. who knew?!! not me, obviously.) But once I gathered all of the ingredients it was a pretty simple process. I told Rory that by the time the ladies actually come and do the crafts, it will only take them 10 minutes because the prep work has already been done for hours, and if I were really honest, days. It reminds me of watching someone on a cooking show and they say, "simply toss your chopped vegetables in the pan" and you think to yourself, 'well who chopped those vegetables?!! All recipes would be easy and simple if your ingredients were premeasured and ready to dump into your pot!' Basically, this is what I have done for craft night.
So from there it was a pretty straight forward process...mixed the dry ingredients first and then added the oil and coloring. Apparently the citric acid and baking soda are the two things that really make these babies fizz. Again, if you want the actual instructions with step-by-step pictures, click here for great easy to follow directions from Little Birdie Secrets.
Adding the witch hazel was maybe the trickiest part, but it would be hard to screw this up, so I use the word tricky quite loosely. The key is that you don't want to ever saturate your dry ingredients or it will activate the fizz prematurely. So you spray on the witch hazel until the mixture clumps easily in your hand.

Then I packed the mixture into the cupcake cups seen below. The stuff hardens really fast, so I filled them fast. I plan on making mostly cupcakes, but wanted to try the actual "bomb" like you would purchase at LUSH.

For the cupcakes, I made a lotion frosting to go on top. It actually is a pound of powdered sugar, meringue powder and cream of tartar. I was sort of weirded out about bathing in powdered sugar until I realized that lots of people use sugar scrubs, so it can't be that horrible for you.

It stiffened up really quickly, so we filled the icing bag fast and decorated our fizzy bath cupcakes. This is my friend, Gina, who showed serious skill in her use of the piping bag. Very impressive, Gina.

They hardened up within two hours. Hard as rocks, actually. I was still curious how they would react in the water, unsure if I had done everything exactly right. So we tested one. I can't explain how thrilled and relieved I was that it worked, because I have been promoting this entire event based on these things, raving about how cool they are when they fizz up, while thinking, "Lord, please let them fizz up!" Not only did it work...but it fizzed like a hottub jet shooting up out of the water. Well, I mean, like the little spits of water that shoot up from a hottub jet. Not really like a gushing fountain. I'm just trying to say the fizz was impressive!

We wrapped them up and are all set for Friday night. If you're in the Omaha area and want to come, drop me a line. We'd love to have you!

I've been looking on a lot of craft websites lately for projects to do for our Women's Craft Night at camp as well as good projects for our adults with special needs. In the process, I have found many a project that overwhelms me with delight. The following are from a site called craftster, and I can't get enough. Be sure to check it out, because the pictures here are just a smidgen of the cool stuff this woman made. Can you imagine how fun it would be to play with all of this food?!!

Eye Candy

I have a new favorite blog. Everything on her page is lovely. And inspiring. And makes me want to try my hand at cool sounding things like crackle paste. The artist's name is Donna Downey and she makes some glorious things. Enjoy!

PYSANKI Easter Eggs!

Oh man, do I have a favorite Easter tradition joining my world of traditions. I already cannot wait for next year. Last year Lisa had Sara and I over for a ladies afternoon of Ukrainian Egg dying, known as Pysanki. Lisa is Polish and Ukrainian so to learn from her is really incredible. So this year I wrote her an email that said, “I’d like to invite myself over for more egg dying (as well as my mom and my grandma)” She wasn’t going to get all the gear out this year, but I am so THANKFUL that she did:

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When we showed up, we each had a station (Rory took Grandma’s place) and 14 colors of dye to choose from.

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We began by drawing with pencil on our blown eggs, then adding bee’s wax with a special tool to draw on our eggs, and would dye the egg in the next color. This is horribly hard to explain (I’ve tried all weekend) but something you MUST try to experience one day.

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Lisa got us babushka’s for our hair! Don’t we fit the part?!! She is the master teacher…honestly, I think she could offer this for the month before Easter and make some money next year! It’s a hard art form to teach, but she was so patient and made a killer lunch with aged provolone! :)

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It was a phenomenal morning and afternoon. And we left evidence that we had been there…

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I always say there are three words that describe Lisa Groves: Above and Beyond.

I love being her sister.

Rory's Art

I often forget this, until I remember it. Rory is a true artist. He really has an eye for colors and size and shape and texture. And it always shocks me because my dad never seemed to have opinions about home decor. But Rory does...and not only does he care, but he's got really great taste.

His new software, Weather Defender is proof of his artistry. He created the entire site, and figured out every hue and saturation point for every color used for the radar in his new program. And it's gorgeous. When severe weather is shown on Weather Defender, it shouldn't be so scary because it is displayed as a rainbow of beautiful colors. :)

Check his art out at:

Fused Glass

When Rory and I first got to Omaha we spent some time in the Old Market, a sweet part of down town with fantastic restaurants, cobblestone streets and lots of art galleries. There was one gallery in particular with an artist named Anne Nye ( whose trade was fused glass. It was stunning...glorious colors, super bright and beautiful.

I told my mom about her work and as it turns out, my mom and Aunt Jan have been learning how to fuse glass down at Venture Out in Mesa. So when we went for the family reunion a few weeks ago, I tried my hand at it and made this plate. The whole process is pretty cool...I'd love to take a class and learn more- the colors turn out so vivid!