Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
A few posts ago I mentioned I was working on some new party favour packaging ideas. Here is a peek at a board I put together and photographed this morning. I plan to have the new products updated in the shop while I am, ahem, on holiday for the next couple of weeks.
These cellophane cones really are fun to work with. Just about anything you put inside looks all glam and gifty. I threw together a hot chocolate mix (layers of chocolate powder, mini marshmallows and chocolate Chipits) so the snowflake pattern on the packaging would be more visible. But the chocolate dusted the marshmallows and I can't decide if it's appealing or shabby. I think if I were to attempt this for gift-giving, I would bag the hot cocoa mix separately and place that inside the cone.
More holiday/holiday posts to come!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
In my humble and openly anti-fondant opinion, decorated cupcakes look terrific but no one actually eats them. Adults may try to be polite and chew through a gummy layer of icing but kids will openly scrape all that hard work right off to get at the tasty bits below. Who could blame? Buttercream is the only way to go. Home-made buttercream. I shudder at the thought of store-bought icing. But look carefully at these owl cupcakes, courtesy of food blog Caramel Potatoes, and you will see something no kid (or adult) will object to: Oreo cookie tops. What a splendid idea.
I suppose, in a pinch, you could buy pre-iced cupcakes and just decorate the tops. But I find grocery store-bought cakes taste lousy too. I was liberated years ago from the rigours of baking from scratch by a chef friend who told me that there is no shame in using a box mix, so it's been Duncan Hines ever since. It's one bowl and an egg while the house fills with good baking smells and I get to wear an apron for an hour. Win-Win.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
I came across this lovely fête and was smitten with the simplicity of the decorations and theme. How perfect for a four-year old to twirl around the living room with some friends?
How great are these ribbons wands? It looks to me like like the dowel has been drilled and the ribbon looped through that, but for a no-drill DIY option that needs only a 12" dowel (found at Canadian Tire for a dollar), a screw-eye hook and four feet of ribbon check out the tutorial from the Ribbon Wand Shop.
There are two things I love about these streamers: first, the unconventional way they're hung in simple rows across the room looks fantastic and modern; second, they've been ever so slightly coloured using a shallow bath of food colouring (and plenty of drying time). I wonder if you could also get this effect by brushing the rolled end with watercolour paint?
A pitch-perfect party favour, watercolour palettes, ends the festivities:
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
In addition to an impressive one million kits sold, which makes it the best-selling face paint kit in the universe, the Klutz kit also boasts Wolfe Brothers paint. Do you know who the Wolfe Brothers are? I didn't either so I looked them up and discovered that they are bona fide theatrical make-up and F/X artists whose products are created by artists for other artists. Hard to argue with credentials like that. I decided to give it a try. Which brings us back to this morning and a mini experiment over breakfast:
The difference in texture was immediate from the first swirl of the brush. It was creamy but blendable and dried to a powdery finish in two minutes. No greasy smears, no uneven waxy coverage. Well. Knock me over with a feather. It's the best darn face paint I've ever used. At lunch my five-year old insisted on trying it out for himself on the back of my hand:
See? So easy even a five-year old can do it. By dinner we were experts:
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
If you haven't yet met Marlene MacPherson, you really should. She's a Canadian (Ontario) mom, food lover and entrepreneur who embarked on a second career all the while living through a first, and now sadly a second, cancer diagnosis. Marlene has terrific family-friendly food ideas - I always check out the Cook Once/Produce Twice recipes - that are healthful, simple but tasty. Great ideas with a dollop of courage and a pinch of inspiration. Pumpkin mini loaves anyone?